Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Breakfast at Vicinity, Alexandria

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, no?  Are you a morning person? I'm not, and this buzzfeed page describes how it is exactly. 

Whilst having breakfast is high on the priority list, having something healthy is a bonus. This is why I think Vincinity in the inner-city suburb of Alexandria will thrive. Their brand new breakfast menu is designed by 2014 Masterchef contestant Renae Smith is choc-a-bloc of the good and the healthy with plenty of variety, catering for the gluten free and the vegan alike.  Perfect for those on the go who need a dose of healthy to start the day. 



Renae Smith 

Quality food here in collaboration with some local producers such as coconut milk alternative yoghurt and ice cream COYO, gluten free Protein Bread and protein balls made by Charlie and aptly named Charlie's Balls.


Representatives from the local produce


The ambience here is exactly what what I love, a place flooded with natural light and a simple no fuss design. 

 The bar and entrance to communal dining tables 

The lovely floral arrangements you see? They are by Justine's roses. Aren't they gorgeous?



Floral arrangements by Justine's roses 

The food was aplenty and full of variety, so much it was stretched out across a long table. 


A long table of breakfast goodies. heaven!


French Toast

If you still haven't heard me declaring my love for french toast then you and I ain't friends. 
Whats not to love about bread dipped in egg, drenched in maple syrup and topped with fresh fruits? Here at Vincinity, they take a more sensible approach, the french toast here has Pepe saya's buttermilk and is sans maple syrup (you can ask for it though) and is topped with seasonal fruits, berry compote and vanilla bean Pepe saya creme fraiche.  Delicious


Super Bircher 

Those preferring a lighter healthier option could dig into the super bircher consisting of  oats, chia, almonds and coconut soaked in coconut water and topped with CoYo. 


Fresh fruit salad

There was also a selection of fresh fruits. Mmmm  I love rockmelon! 


baked goodies by Black Poison

There were also boxes and boxes of baked goods by black poison. That brownie is to die for! 


Now on to the savoury breakfast items. ( I got my priorities right) 


African baked beans 

I spotted these cute copper saucepans full of baked beans, whilst not normally a baked beans person, these exuded a fragrant scent and i knew i just had to try it. These did not disappoint, paired with crispy toast, heavenly. 

.

skim chai latte

I am not a big coffee drinker, mainly a single coffee can send me bouncing off walls for the rest of the day so I opt for a chai latte instead. As i don't often do coffee, chai lattes are used in place to measure whether i enjoyed my drinks there or not.  Here at Vincinity, they use chai powder, which I'm not a big fan of. I guess places using loose leaf has spoilt me to the point of no return. 


protein bread

Protein bread was also on offer to those who were gluten free. This bread has a whooping 8 g of protein per slice and does not taste like wet cardboard (speaking from experience). I particularly liked the date and walnut one!


bacon and egg rolls

You really can't go wrong with bacon and egg rolls. The ones here at vicinity are made with some gorgeous maple bacon and a lip smackingly good tomato relish!



*cue heart palpitation.*

need i say more?


Big Breakfast

I'm a big breakfast kinda girl because I always want everything and big breakfast does just that. My favourite from this was defintiely those juicy grilled mushrooms and squeaky salty haloumi. 



a well stocked bar

Vicinity also offers a variety when it comes to alcohol. Massive selection right here. 


communal dining area

As it was a media launch, we were seated in the communal dining area, a lovely area for families or groups alike. 


I have heard pretty good stuff about their dinner menu so I definitely be back to try more goodies. 

Disclaimer: Milkteaxx was invited to Vicinity to sample their new breakfast menu, opinions are however her own.

Vicinity Dining & Bar on Urbanspoon

So, is breakfast the most important meal of the day for you?
Let me know in the comments below!

Milkteaxx


Say hi on social media. I can be found on Instagram, facebook, twitter and Google+.


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Why I Write.

I can't really call myself a writer, I'm a chronic word vomitt-er at best.

So, why do I write?

1. Food is alternate expression of love. 

I write about food, something that is very close to my heart. Growing up in a Chinese household meant "I love you" was rarely ever verbalised, but notes prompting you to eat more or your favourite food is in the fridge were quite common in the household. They were and still how my family expresses their love for each other. It almost like how many of our terms of endearments are related to food, honey, pumpkin etc.

2. Writing defines who I am. 

I am all for lame and nerdy science jokes but deep down i am still an introvert, but in the interwebs, I scale it like a spider weaving its own webs. writing has allowed me to define who I am. Writing here has given me the courage to connect with people I haven't ever met before, to not be afraid of talking about your passions and dreams, which is something I'm still working on in person (cue sweaty palms and tongue tied splutters, its ok, I'm not choking).

When I first started writing here, I didn't expect any readers, it was more of a creative outlet, but slowly and surely, a few comments here and there have encouraged me to continue my abieit atrocious writing.

I may not be the best writer, but to be able to write about your area of passion is truly priceless.
I still look back at old older posts and cringe, but thats proof that I have improved as a person, a writer and most importantly, understanding and attending to my flaws, because no one person is perfect and no one should be the former me and say "I can't write".


humans aren't perfect, robots are. 

3. Let the memories live on. 

I may be a chronic food picture hoarder but some memories are better captured in words than in form of jpg. Yes a picture may tell a thousand words, but it is all up to interpretation, but to motivate myself, I will write them down and stare at them until I go cross eyed (hidden procrastination).


This may look gloomy, but there are many ways you can interpret a picture. 

4. Writing is therapeutic

Words are powerful, which is what makes writing is therapeutic. I write when I'm happy, sad, angry or purely I have something I would like to preserve for the future.
I'm going through a stage of decisions at the moment so the blog has been a bit quiet, but it doesn't mean I've stopped writing, I'm just doodling in my trusty little thoughts book.


So this is why I write.

Last but not least, A massive thanks to Deepa from One Small Pot for giving me this wonderful opportunity, It has allowed me to reflect on why I write/word vomit. Check out her beautiful work here.

So, why do you write? and what do you write about?


Till next time,

Milkteaxx

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

[GIVEAWAY] CoYo prize pack and a special announcement!


Sydney's weather has been atrocious. (Yeah I started a post talking about the weather, +1 for social skills right here!) The rain gods must have been very upset... with me, because it would pour as soon as I stepped outside or started driving and stop/return to a small drizzle as soon as I was warm and cosy indoors. I have and will always be a summer girl, I can't wait for all this icky weather to be over! It has been torturous seeing Instagram of the beach and amazing weather!

Bad weather aside, I wanted to finally announce some tweaks to my blog! It's been a while since some change and It was starting to look a bit patchy, but Thanks to Angel Poon, she came to the rescue and completely revamped it for me. What do you think of the new look? I'm lovin' it! (Not endorsed by maccas btw!)  And have you noticed Milkteaxx is now on a new domain? yep! Thanks sydney.com!

Back to tropical weather, as we are still a fair bit away from toasty warm weather and being able to enjoy the beach , I wanted to take you on a virtual tropical holiday, to a place called CoYo.


CoYo is a range of coconut milk based diary alternatives for the vegan and lactose sensitive, not only are they delicious, they are also gluten, soy and added sugars free, making this a guilt-free treat! Mmmm! Their yoghurt and ice creams come in a range of sizes and flavours and are made from creamy coconut milk and plant fed probiotic cultures.

I tried out the passionfruit CoYo yoghurt and it was thick and creamy, just how a delicious yoghurt should be!

So can I tempt you with some CoYo? Yes?

To celebrate the new blog, the lovely peeps at CoYo,have a CoYo sample pack up for grabs today!


The awesome prize pack includes:

1x 400g CoYo yoghurt
2x 250g CoYo yoghurt
2x100g tub CoYo yoghurt

It is a short giveaway open to Sydney readers only (Sorry rest of Aussie-land and international peeps!)., so hurry up and enter. You can enter once daily. The competition will end Saturday 23rd August 2014, Midday, so be quick! The prize will have to be picked up in person as the products are perishable. 


Want to know more about CoYo? find out here

Don't forget to leave me comment on which CoYo products tickle your fancy! 

Till next time, 

Milkteaxx

Thursday, 14 August 2014

PAZAR Food Collective, Canterbury.


What do you get when you combine a police officer and a passion for good food? 

Pazar

Formerly La Lupita, followed by a brief stint at The Basement, Circuar Quay, Atilla Yilmaz is back at the original warehouse-esque location along the busy Canterbury road serving mouthwatering Mediterranean. 

You may have stumbled along the lifeless rows of shops along Canterbury Rd before and have completely missed this little gem. I wouldn't be surprised though, the only indication of its existence is a simple sign bearing the words PAZAR and social media icons. But don't be fooled by its simple signage, step inside and it you are instantly transported to a lively Bazaar, Atilla's concept of combining good food and selling exotic produces. 



What catches my eyes is the massive black and white image of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe Festival on one side of the diner.


 A quick scan of the venue and I choose to sit at the bar, here you can catch all the action in the kitchen and do a lot of food watching and oh, the fabulous looking wood fired oven churning out fresh pide and flatbreads.




As there were only 2 of us, I had to be sensible when ordering (who am I kidding?!?). 
We persued the brief yum cha-esque menu and the specials board and decide to share a few items. 


We are told that the menu is no longer just Mexican, like it's previous life, instead, you now get a delicious mix of Turkish with a healthy dose of Middle Eastern and Mexican thrown in. Atilla tells us that his Father was a big inspiration for his cooking, teaching him how to cook up some Turkish classics which he till this day, still makes quite often. 

The food arrives promptly and we begin with a garicky smoked eggplant and tahini dip (Hello vampire breath!). The dips come with some fresh Turkish bread which we saw exiting the oven just a few mere minutes ago. (Oh how I love warm fluffy bread!)


Next up was the smoked wood oven roasted lamb. We simply couldn't resist it as we saw plates of it going out to all the other diners! The lamb was so tender and flavoursome, the pickles gave it a great tangy contrast. Atilla later tells us that the lamb is first smoked and roasted over water to retain moisture, the juices from the cooking is then lathered over the lamb itself and the durum bread. No wonder it was so scrumptious!



As always, I over-order and we were stuffed to the brim. That however didn't stop me from ordering a pide (because one can never have enough bread). 

I quickly persued the menu again and the words sucuk and haloumi caught my immediately, I guess it was made to be that I ordered the sucuk haloumi pide. 




To say this was delicious would be an understatement. I've had my fair share of pide back in my uni days, but these freshly made pide was nothing like those premade, reheated ones. Asides being piping hot (I burnt my tongue on the first bite), PAZAR uses quality gourmet ingredients. The squeaky salty cheese and sucuk had me swooning, we even fought over the last piece! 

Atilla saw my dining buddy toting a massive camera and asked if we would like a tour of the kitchen, seriously, how could I say no? Atilla showed us around the place and his currently small section of goods for sale and told us on weekends he would have group events out the back. 




It was a cold night and Atilla treated us to some Turkish tea which was delicious with an aromatic sweet touch. He even bought out the swinging tea tray to show us some tricks! 



As always, good times fly by and with our bellies stuffed, we rolled ourselves out, vowing that we will be back for their ever-changing menu. (Psst.. they do special Turkish breakfasts on Saturday mornings!)


If you would like to pay them a visit, make sure you check their opening times, they are opened for dinner Wednesday to Friday and all day Saturday. 

PAZAR Food Collective on Urbanspoon


Thoughts? Leave me a comment! 

Stay warm and keep eating, 
Milkteaxx

This meal was independently paid for.
All photos in this post are by Michael Zhang of Maikeru Nirvana Photography unless otherwise stated. 


Friday, 8 August 2014

Guest Post: Taste the Mediterranean- Baker's Delight & De Bortoli Wines

Hello Lovely humans!

I've been waiting for the weekend all week! Hope everyone has an amazing weekend ahead!

Let's get straight to business! So, I have  treat for you guys today, (a Milkteaxx first!)

Drum roll......

We have guest blogger in the house! Please welcome Lilian of Weekend Notes, the Queen of nerdy humour and epic metabolism.

Lilian is the go to if you need a laugh, spend some time with her and you'll be in stitches, literally (Psst... She is a doctor in training!)

Let's pass it on to Lilian shall we?

I shall be back in a few days!

sit back and enjoy!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, 4 August 2014

Matcha azuki bean magic custard cake- A 2 in 1 dessert.

Magic. 

you would generally associate with pulling bunnies out of hats, coins behind your ears and sawing people in half (I quite like watching the latter).Whilst magic shows are fantastic, I sometimes wish the magic would apply to other areas, like dirty dishes disappearing and assignments completing themselves.

As we all know, that won't be happening (anytime soon) so I'm going to introduce you an equally good (if not better) alternative. Matcha Custard Cake- featuring, you guessed it, azuki beans. 


Magic & cake? If you didn't think cake was already magical, I present you with the Magic Custard Cake. 
This recipe was first spotted on White on rice couple's blog and is adapted from Raspberry Cupcakes recipe

How magical is this cake? think rainbows and unicorns. Yes, that magical. Otherwise, how would a humble cake batter transform into 2 luscious layers of cake and custard? (hrrm... It could be the unicorns or Harry Potter..)

Is this magical cake hard to make? not at all!

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons quality matcha powder- for intense matcha flavour
110g butter, melted
2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
pinch of cream of tartar
a squeeze of lemon juice
1 1/2 cup of sweetened azuki beans
1 tablespoon water

for decorating:

dabs of sweetened azuki bean paste
1:1 ratio matcha powder and icing sugar, sieved. 

Method

1. preheat oven to 150°C and grease and line a rectangular baking tray.

2.combine flour and matcha powder and mix well (I'm lazy and don't sift stuff)


3. in separate bowls, melt butter and heat milk to lukewarm, set aside. 

4. In your mixer bowl, whip egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar and a squeeze of lemon juice until stiff peak, set aside.


5. in a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and thick, add in butter and water and mix until all incorporated.


6. add in the flour mix and mix until homogeneous.


7. add in egg whites in 3 batches and gently mix until incorporated (this step tests your patience as the mix seems to be forever lumpy)

8. pour the cake batter into prepared tin and bake at 240°for 45 minutes or until top is golden. (careful not to over-bake because you want the custard layer to still be wobbly)

9.remove cake in baking paper from tin and allow it to cool completely before cutting. Before serving, dust liberally with icing sugar and matcha powder mix.


This cake is delicious on it's own, but it is out of the world with ice cream. 
(Confession: I snuck downstairs after a late night studying session and had mine with homemade matcha ice cream.)

So if you are an avid matcha azuki bean lover like me, this is the go to dessert. I put some of the cake mix into a mini cast iron pot for individual serve, perfect for giving away! 

Happy baking!

Milkteaxx 


Like to know more about Milkteaxx and her food adventures? 
Check out Milkteaxx on Instagram / Facebook Twitter!