Wednesday, 25 November 2015

7th annual Sydney Food Bloggers Xmas party 2015

Hello! (From the other sideeeeee)
Sorry if I've been a bit MIA, it is officially summer school season and I've been inundated with uni and work. 
Although it has been crazy busy, i still managed to block off half a day for the cannot be missed 7th annual Sydney Food Bloggers Xmas party.

This year the party was held at Studio Neon in Redfern, no more fears of the rain gods bucketing down or heatwaves causing dehydration. 

This warehouse-esque space is decked out with some funky props. A lovely place indeed, I'm sure everyone had a go at the bubble chairs (whatever they are called!), I of course was in charge of spinning people! 

Oh hai Food Diary! hope you didn't puke :D

Ok, now to the most important thing, the food! 

This year's feature is the famous smash cake!
chocolate and candy hidden inside a chocolate shell! so much sugar. woo!

check out the fabulous ChocolateSuze smashing it! use them biceps!

 As usual, there was a spread of good food, I slacked off this year and bought some palmiers (which i forgot to take a picture of!) as I barely had time to feed myself! But fear not, there was so much deliciousness and homemade goodness, we all left rolling down the stairs!

Some highlights included the famous Ramen Raff's miso butterscotch macarons, these are so damn amazing, I could easily polish off a dozen! To those who missed out, gotta be quick next year! 

there was also homemade pocky!

Still hungry? then feast on!

but when you got 70 food bloggers in the same room, of course cameras gotta eat first!
Check out the food bloggers in action!

and last but not least, the obligatory group photo! (photo credit to Ramen Raff.)

Are we missing something you ask?

what is SFB picnic without a round of evil Kris Kringle? The stealing wasn't as intense this year......

photo credit: Frostickle, (Why do I look so yellow?!?!)

So I initiated the present stealing but alas karma comes back and gets you, so my beloved spiraliser got stolen back off me! but nevertheless it heaps of fun!
Yes, I look so sad in the above picture :P

As usual, the SFB gang made it heaps awesome, it was really nice to finally put some faces to names, no more "Hey!, you're @ *insert social media handle*

And of course, massive thanks to Helen and Suze for organising yet another fabulous x-mas party, can't wait for next year's one already! Woo!

Till next post,

                                       Say hi on social media, I only bite food! I can be found on Instagramfacebook, twitter and Google+

Friday, 6 November 2015

Simmer Huang, Chatswood Interchange.

Hot pot is a really general term in Chinese cuisine, it differs by region and even between families! 

In my family, hot pot or steamboat refers to cooking on the go, a variety of meat balls and veges cooked in a soup base of your choice and eaten with condiments such as shallots and soy sauce for a simple basic version or an all out version which can feature up to 5-6 types of sauces! 

Here at Simmer Huang though, the concept of hot pot is more diverse, asides the soup base version, they also have much more meatier versions where you choose a protein or seafood (PORK BELLY!) and sauce and a pot full of seasoned veges and meat of choice is cooked in front of you on the built in induction at the table. 


The fancy up do of Chatswood Interchange is kept here in SimmerHuang, I love the airy clean space with the bold red design!

 shallot pancakes

We start the evening with some shallot pancakes, they are crispy and flakey, but i prefer an abundance of shalllots on mine for added flavour.

cold appetizer- black fungus

We also tried the cold black fungus dish, yes it is called black fungus, I prefer to tell people I am eating wood-ear instead so it sounds less disgusting. 
This dish is tangy and still retains the nice bite the wood ear should have, I however found the onions too raw for my liking. 

Dr Huang 

This outlet of Simmer Huang is also the first one with a cocktail bar. I may be a cheap drunk, but who am I to pass up an offer for a drink? The one above is Dr Huang, one of their signature cocktails. It is a play on a Chinese herbal drink called huang lao ji. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as it wasn't too overpowering and was quite sweet and refreshing with the food. I know declare this is my preferred way to drink anything herbal!

Shanghai night

We also had the shanghai night. 
I didn't enjoy this one as much as it was a lot stronger and I may had already had too much of the previous one :P I do however love the goji berries floating on top! 

Now on to the star of the evening! 

A little birdie told me Alvin Quah of ex-Masterchef was working with Simmer Huang on some new dishes including one that involved pork belly. *YES, PORK BELLY!* 
(excuse my excitement!!!) given the fact that pork belly was involved, I knew I had to get feasting on such gem, so when Wasamedia asked if I'd like to go check it out, of course I said yes! 

the vegetable base

mixing in the sauce 

Pork belly hot pot - complete

Look at the glistening gelatinous pieces of pork belly, how can you say no to this?!?!
The flavours in the pot is incredible, quite rich but oh so delicious. Would be perfect with some rice!

We also sampled a couple of other dishes.

Duck Salad

Also part of Alvin's menu is the duck salad, a nice contrast in flavours and textures but could do with more duck shreds.

 Wasabi beef buns

The wasabi beef buns were quite nice too, pillowy soft bun and a nice hint of wasabi for a little kick.

 Handmade noodles

To end the evening, we were treated to some serious noodle twirling action, these handmade noodles were then placed in a heavily reduced pork belly goodness to soak up all the flavours before slurping up. YUM is all I can say!

Overall, a fabulous place to dine, the cocktails are innovative and amazing, I'd come back for that one alone!

Till next time, 

Simmer Huang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Milkteaxx and guest dined at Simmer Huang  courtesy of  Wasamedia, opinions however remain her own.
Photos by Maikeru Nirvana unless otherwise stated. 

Say hi on social media, I only bite food! I can be found on Instagramfacebook, twitter and Google+

Monday, 26 October 2015

Ume Restaurant, Surry Hills

Japanese is one of the cuisines I'll probably never get sick of, there is so much emphasis on freshness, quality and presentation, even at the most casual of places, you will get some wonderfully presented and cooked foods. 

Japanese is also a popular cuisine when it comes to fusions, maybe its the versatility in the ingredients, but possibilities are really endless. So when a dear friend announced her birthday dinner was going to be at Ume Restaurant in Surry Hills, excitement, expectation and high hopes were made. 

House made silken tofu

Options for dining here are 5,7 or 9 courses, this evening we opted for the 5 courses as we had plans for a dessert run (the only type of running I do :P ) after. 

The first dish we were given was their house made silken tofu, topped with bonito in a light dashi broth. Light and clean in flavour and tofu didn't disappoint in silky smoothness either.

Cured kingfish sashimi, shiro ponzu, black sesame, yuzu kosho

It is no secret that I love my kingfish sashimi. The citrusy cured kingfish here did not disappoint at all. The black sesame sauce added a extra dimension to it, I even "offered" to help the others on the table with their serves! 

9+ wagyu sukiyaki- David Blackmore wagyu, local asparagus, onsen tamago, soy and mirin reduction

I have a soft spot for sukiyaki, it has that comforting feel of home-cooked goodness.
The sukiyaki was the standout dish of the evening for me, perfectly tender slices of wagyu in a soy and mirin reduction, but what stole my heart was the gooey onsen tamago and the grilled asparagus.
words won't be enough to describe it, just admire that egg porn.

Shiki no salad

Next up was the grilled seasonal vegetables. Look how pretty it is! The flavours were simple but sharp on the palate, not everyone's cup of tea but I was quite surprised that vegetables could be made so well!

Vanilla pumpkin rice pudding w/ honeycomb & candied apple

Last but not least, dessert was served. I am normally a big fan of dessert and pumpkin but I have issues with rice pudding, don't get me wrong, I love congee and oats but the sweetness of soft cooked rice just doesn't do it for me.
Unfortunately this just didn't float my boat and i left most of it behind, it didn't help that there was a big chunk of honeycomb in the centre which got lodged in my teeth. The candied apple was however quite nice.

Overall, Ume is a nice venue for a quiet dinner and some unique Japanese fusion dishes, but it is definitely on the pricer end as we left still quite hungry. 

So guys, are there food you don't eat because of a certain texture? For me, it is anything too mushy or slimy (i.e oysters). Let me know in the comments below!

Till next post! 


Ume Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Photos by Maikeru Nirvana unless otherwise stated. 
      Say hi on social media, I only bite food! I can be found on Instagramfacebook, twitter and Google+

Monday, 12 October 2015

Textbook Boulangerie- Patisserie, Alexandria

I have many weaknesses ( no I'm not blogging about job interview tactics today, sorry!) 
and cakes are definitely one of them. 

The way to my heart? 

Bribe me? (hint hint)

whatever. cake me. 

Apple crumble: poached cinnamon apple, apple custard mousse, speculaas crumble, dulcey chocolate bavarois, pain de genes

Talking about cake, (did we even talk about anything else?), let me tell you about my favourite and Textbook's signature apple crumble cake.

This cake is what dreams are made of. that glistening apple custard mousse encases the most wonderful of cakes (imho), think slight tang from the apple, sweetness from the other components and texture from that crumble.

Can totally see why this is their signature!

Lemon meringue with raspberry compote: lemon curd, raspberry compote, swiss meringue, vanilla sable breton 

One of my long time favourite desserts are lemon meringue pies. why you ask?
Well, who doesn't like the best of both worlds? tangy lemons and the silky smoothness and sweetness from the meringue. Textbook's version did not disappoint, in fact, this one had my parents fighting over the last spoonful!

Caramelised pear and roasted walnut: white chocolate bavarois, caramelised pear, chocolate sable breton roasted walnut crumble

I have taken a liking for pears in my desserts recently, be it pear tarts, poached pears, yep bring it this way! So when I spied this caramelised pear and roasted walnut, i knew i had to try it.
This cake isn't bad perse but it was definitely outshone by the 2 above for having a less exciting taste profile.

Chocolate, raspberry and hazelnut: chocolate pain de genes, hazelnut crunch, raspberry cremeux, chocolate mousse (top left)

The one that surprised me and my parents was the chocolate, raspberry and hazelnut. I was expecting a strong hit and intense sweetness but instead I was greeted with a very well balanced piece of cake. The raspberry definitely added another layer to the flavour and texture. Big thumbs up for this one from me!

Vanilla, strawberry & mint: vanilla bavarois, strawberry mint jelly, strawberry cremeux, almond dacquoise

Last but not least, (yes there was a lot of cake!) I was mesmerised by the appearance of this one so I decided it should go home with me too. Again, I expected the white chocolate to be very sweet but I was wrong once again, I loved the wonderful gentle flavours of this cake and how the flavour of the strawberries shone through nicely. 

Beef brisket pie 

And here is a potato. sorry I mean a beef brisket pie. The pies at textbooks aren't bad but they aren't anything worth writing home about with exception about the buttery pastry. 

Overall, cake is definitely their forte, eat savoury if you must but cakes area definite! 

So guys, what has been the most memorable cake you've had to date? Let me know in the comments below! 

Till next time,


Textbook Boulangerie-Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

                                               Say hi on social media, I only bite food! I can be found on Instagramfacebook, twitter and Google+

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Los Vida Mexican, Sydney CBD

There has been a burst of mexican (MEHICANNNN) joints in the recent years, from food trucks to established restaurants. It's hard work trying to work my way through all of them but I figured I had to start somewhere right? 

This is how we ended up at Los Vida after a day of wandering the city. 


Elderflower tequila

If you have read my previous posts, you know how much (or how little) alcohol it takes to knock me out. This elderflower tequila smelt wonderful but I only managed one sip without falling off my chair. Yeah #asiangenes

scallop aguachile : scallop, cucumber, red onion jicama and serrano chilli 

We started out evening with a refreshing scallop aguachile, a delicious tangy ceviche on top of the cutest rice crackers. I personally thought the flavours were a bit too overpowering for a delicate seafood like scallop, but nevertheless, it was quite delicious. 

Guacamole w/ totopos: blue and yellow cornchips, taro chips, lime zest, smoked paprika and crispy jalapenos. 

You can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and not have guacamole, especially when you’re ready to marry avocado cos it’s so damn tasty! (Hey, it’s a good fat!) I really enjoyed having the guac with the totopos’s varying textures and flavours, I personally really enjoyed the taro chips.

At the server’s suggestion, we ordered a few tacos to share. Given there were so many and we had such limited stomach space, we asked which ones were the recommended ones.

Mushroom taco: adobo mushroom, chicharrin de queso, peppers and queso fresco w/ chipotle mayo 

I love my mushrooms, I can eat mushrooms day in day out. So when a mushroom taco was spotted I knew I had to order it. Unfortunately this taco didn’t do it for me, the flavours were very mismatching and confusing to the palate. This was unfortunately left behind after a bite each.

Pork taco: pilbi braised pork, caramelised pineapple, habenero and radish w/ pickled onion

The pork taco on the other hand was so moreish, the pulled pork was cooked to perfection, poke of a fork tender and went very well with the tangy and slightly spicy sauce. I however didn’t think the pickled onions were necessary, as they sort of overpowered the flavours in the taco.

Yucatan fish taco: grilled barramundi with yucatan style marinade. smokey rojo sauce, zesty lime cabbage and pineapple salsa. 

The taco that surprised us the most was the Yucatan fish taco. The fish was deliciously soft and the Yucatan marinade left me wanting more. I normally don’t touch cabbage with a 10 ft. pole but the cabbage and pineapple salsa was so delicious!

Chipotle prawn taco: prawns, poblano chilli, refried beans, chipotle sauce and avocado 

If I had to pick a favourite of the night, it would have to be this prawn taco. The prawns and refried beans are a match made in heaven and with the addition of avocado, you just can’t lose!

Grilled corn: corn on cob, corriander, buter, lime and chipotle

We have been on the hunt for some mean grilled corn for a while, even when in Melbourne, we checked out the QV night markets but we were severely disappointed with what we got.
I guess it’s meant to be because we finally found some delicious corn locally (not that I mind flying to Melbourne for food…..)

The corn here had a nice char but the winner was the chipotle sauce and copious amounts of parmesan.

Torta ahogada: "drowned"spicy pibil style shredded pork rolls and refried beans bathed in arbol chilli sauce 

Can you believe we have just hit the more substantial parts of our meal?
I kid you not, this is where we start on the mains.

First up, we have the torta ahogada, shredded pork rolls. The filling in the roll is quite similar to the one in the taco with exception to the sauce, which is a mild sriracha style sauce. The roll was rather difficult to eat as the bun got soggy really quickly so we ended up eating this with our cutlery, leaving most of the bun behind.  

Beef ribs: braised, chipotle glaze, radish and red onion with pickled habenero 

I am a massive fan of ribs, pork ribs, lamb ribs, beef ribs, you name it, I gnaw on it!
My criteria of a good rib is that it has to be saucy and finger lickin’ worthy, the meat falls off the bone and is not sinewy.
This Los Vida rib ticked 2 out of the 3 boxes, being a bit sinewy on one end of the bone.  But definitely up there in terms of a good rib in my books!

Overall, a good experience at Los Vida, with some outstanding tacos, this would be a perfect venue for a couple of casual drinks or a few small bites.

So guys, tell me, what where is the best taco you’ve ever eaten? Let me know in the comments below so I can get my hands on it too! 

Till next time, 

Los Vida Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

 Milkteaxx and guest dined at Los Vida  courtesy of  Cardinal Spin, opinions however remain her own.

Photos by Maikeru Nirvana unless otherwise stated. 

Say hi on social media, I only bite food! I can be found on Instagramfacebook, twitter and Google+