Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ichi-ban Boshi- Tsukemen special

This year's summer hasn't been as enjoyable as past years, it has been highly humid, mosquito ladened and tan-riffic. With such hot weather, all I want to do is laze by the poolside and eat ice cream to my heart's content. 

But alas, ice cream is empty calories and I need some proper food, because I'm not a very nice person when I'm hungry. 

This is how I found myself at Ichi-ban Boshi, the ever so popular Japanese joint in The Galleries Victoria. It is always crowded with hoards of hungry diners so I have never set my foot in there prior to this meal. 


It is a hot day so a fellow foodie and I decide to start with a round of drinks to cool down. (I ran from home to station then station to galleries, what a workout!)


green tea cappuccino

I opt for the green tea cappuccino because I am a green tea fiend, that being said, I have high expectations for anything green tea, I love my matcha strong, so strong it leaves that unique slight bitter aftertaste. This green tea cappuccino unfortunately didn't tick any boxes, it lacked any kind of flavour and tasted like... well icy milk.


melon soda

The melon soda on the other hand was a pleasant surprise, fizzy and refreshing, the best way to describe it would be melona (the korean ice cream) in liquid form. I would of preferred it without the ice cream though.


grilled beef tongue 

Next we ordered a few entrees to whet our appetite. First up is my favourite grilled ox tongue, I prefer my ox tongue more thinly sliced but these were still pretty tasty with a good chew to them. 



okonomiyaki

We also tried their okonomiyaki, or more commonly known as the Japanese pancake/ pizza. 
I am a fan of crispy edges but this one was rather thick and floury (Too much carbs!) The dining buddy on the other hand loved it and gave it 2 thumbs up. 


tsukemen

So why are we at Ichi-ban Boshi with the plethora of ramen joints that have opened in Sydney? Because at Ichi-ban Boshi, you can get tsukemen, a dipping style ramen where the "broth" and the ramen is served separately so that you don't sweat into your bowl of ramen.

I opted for the original tsukemen, which came with your standard toppings of pork slices, bamboo shoots and seaweed, with the "broth" in a separate bowl. The first few mouthfuls were delicious but after a few more, I found it to be increasingly salty, too salty that I ended up blotting my ramen noodles with the toppings instead of dipping the noodles in.

Do keep in mind how big the serving size of this is, I can normally polish off a standard ramen with no issues, but this one was so big I only managed half the noodles before noodle-sweats appeared.


tan tan tsukemen

I have issues with mince, but the dining buddy was lured in the promise of a spicy tan tan soup. 
He loved the strong salty broth and promptly slurped it all up. 


Ichi-Ban Boshi is always heaving with people so be prepared to wait for a seat, alternatively you can wander around kinokuniya (the land of money spending...)

So how do you like your ramen? ladened with piping hot soup or dipped in broth? Let me know in the comments below.


Till next time, 

Milkteaxx 

Ichi-ban Boshi on Urbanspoon


 Milkteaxx was invited to Ichi-Ban Boshi courtesy of Washoku lovers (SD marketing), opinions however remain her own.

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

Monday, 19 January 2015

Pandan sticky rice with mango and coconut crunch.

Why do I love summer? well summer means beach time, longer days and most importantly, an abundance of delicious fruits such as mango and watermelon time! 

but alas, I have come down with a cold (who get's sick in summer? seriously? T.T) so I haven't had any of those delicious fruits (and that delicious mango lava cake my SIL made!) because chinese medicine says those are "heat inducing". What can I do? 



To tide over my cravings, I look back at the photo of this recipe I am going to talk about today. 
It involves mango (yay!) and my current obsession pandan.

That's right, I'm giving Chat Thai a run for their money, recreating the famed pandan sticky rice with mango and coconut cream. 

This recipe is easy, as long as you set aside a couple minutes the day before to do some prep. 

To give you an indication of how easy this is to make, I baked a chiffon cake (pandan of course) and cooked dinner in between making this dessert. 

Ready to tackle for the recipe?? 

Ingredients

2 mango (cheeks only)

pandan sticky rice

2 cups of glutinous rice grains (available at Asian groceries)
5 drops pandan essence

pandan juice 

10 pandan leaves 
5 drops pandan essence
2 teaspoon salt

1 can 420ml coconut cream (save 3 tablespoons to serve)

coconut crunch 

1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup sugar

Methods

Note: You need to start this the day before as the rice grains need soaking.


soaking the glutinous rice grains 

1. Prepare the pandan solution. Blend the pandan leaves with 1/2 a cup of water and strain. 

2. Rinse the rice grains in a sieve twice and drain. 

3.  Combine the grains with the pandan solution, cover and refrigerate for 12+ hours


air-drying the grains

4. the next day, discard pandan solution and spread out onto a shallow plate to air-dry slightly.


steaming the rice 

5. Once slightly dry, steam over water for approximately 20 minutes (until slightly soft to touch). Allow to cool. 


mixing in the coconut cream

6. Mix in the coconut cream and salt until all grains are evenly coated. set aside. 


Or you can make it pretty!

7. Prepare the coconut crunch. Mix all the ingredients in a pan and toast on low heat until fragrant.

8. Eat up! Serve sticky rice with a mango cheek, coconut crunch and a generous dollop of coconut cream. 


Till next time,

Milkteaxx

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

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dragoncello, Surry Hills


Surry Hills is home to many famous and delicious eateries, but in the recent years many have retreated from the area, it would be sad to see the Surry Hills vibe disappear, but fear not The latest contender on Cleveland street is Dragoncello restaurant and bar.

This spanking new establishment is headed by Roy McVeigh and Stuart Sanders, offering modern Australian cuisine with a twist. 

What's so special about this restaurant in a food-lined suburb? well, the menu is based on fresh ingredients from its urban garden, where Roy forages for what he needs when he needs. That is a pretty fresh (no puns intended!) concept!

So on a rainy weekday, after finding parking in a nearby lane way (parking is effort alone!), i stumble across to Dragoncello, which is located just off the famous Crown street.

On arrival, the dining buddies were already sipping cocktails, but for the lightweight designated driver (aka, me), I decided for the safety of Sydney to opt for a mocktail instead. 


cocktails  and mocktails

We pursue the menu quickly and I notice how decently priced the dishes are. So without hesitation , we order a few starters to whet our appetite. You know, sort of like a warm-up before the race. In our case, we were working our stomachs and glutes.


Salt-baked jacket sweet potato with powdered almond, orange foam and dandelion leaves.

First up was the roasted sweet potato, soft orange flesh surrounded by a smokey charred skin, the orange foam gives it a nice citrus-y kick without being overwhelming. I would gladly eat my veg everyday if they were all served like this!


Pumpkin pot stickers on crispy puffed grains with nasturtium flower gel.

Their signature pumpkin pot stickers were the next ones to land on our table. These pot stickers are not the usual Asian pork stuffed ones but instead are quite delicate on the filling, with a smooth pumpkin puree. The skin of the pot sticker was very crispy, a big thumbs up from me!


Signature duck terrine with mustard pickled kumquats and burnt onion puree.

I am generally not a terrine or pate kinda person because I prefer something with more of a bite. The duck terrine may force me to rethink that, Dragoncello's version was meaty and flavoursome, without any of the gelatinous feel to it, the stand out was that burnt onion puree, deep and smokey!


Smoked eel croquettes with zesty chimichurri 

The last of the entrees was the smoked eel croquettes. Whilst seafood may not float everyone's boat, this certainly did. crispy balls of deliciousness, it was just a tad on the salty side. Asides that I could easily eat 2-3 serves by myself.


Slow roast chicken Ballantine with confit onion, shiitake mushrooms and valrhona scented merlot sauce. 

I am a very picky eater (although I like to think otherwise), i am not a fan of the dry bits of roast chicken so I always claim the drumstick or the wing, so when I saw this on the menu I was a bit skeptical, afraid that this would be dry, but boy I was wrong, this chicken was cooked to perfection, still plump and juicy. The mushroom provided a much needed cut from the overload of meat. It was however a bit salty and got a bit too heavy for my liking.


Crispy skin barramundi with cauliflower puree, beurre noisette and vadouvan spice. 

If I had to pick a favourite dish, then this was definitely the favourite main of the evening. I am i firm beliver that cooking crispy fish skin and tender soft flesh is a skill on its own, making it so that it melted away with a prod of a fork is even more of a challenge, but as stand out as the fish was, it was the crispy cauliflower bits that had us fighting over who would get the last bit. 


48-Hour BBQ beef flank with caramalised nori, mushroom preserve and sauce bordelaise. 

I love my rare roast beef but I had never had a 48-hour BBQ beef before, with such curiosity, this was ordered. I found the beef to be cooked very well whilst a few dining companions found it to be a tad overcooked, but when you are slow cooking beef flank (a highly underused piece of meat) getting it perfectly cooked would be a laborous task!
I really enjoyed this dish and mopped up the delicious sauce with the roast potatoes!


Salty fat potato’s with fenugreek leaves

On to the sides, the roast potatoes were a gem (no pun intended!) , crispy on the outside, piping hot and fluffy on the inside, the only downside of this dish was some pieces were massive and got a bit dry and bland. The fenugreek leaves in place of the typical rosemary was a great addition to break up just the salt on the potatoes.


Dressed weeds and garden leaves

Did you know that Dragoncello has their own urban garden? and most of their greens come from their garden? I think it is such a cool concept! I love how self-sustaining a tiny garden can be and how satisfying it is to grow and pick something in your garden and in turn use it in your cooking. Bliss! 


70% valrohna chocolate cake, creme anglaise and sorrel ice cream 

After plenty of food to fill our bulging savourty bellies we activate our second stomachs and head into the desserts.

First up is the chocolate cake, you can't go wrong with chocolate cake, even packet mix is tasty but this one blew us away, with its dense fudgey texture and its richness from the 70% valrohna chocolate, it was defintily a winner! The other component that everyone fell in love with was the sorrel ice cream, the slightly minty green taste reminded me of basil ice cream and helps cut through the richness of this cake. I would order this again without a doubt.


potato chip cake with salted caramel 

The other dessert of choice was the potato chip cake. It was the name that caught my eye and piqued my interest. Unfortunately this was rather  stodgy and we couldn't quite pick out the potato chip or savoury component.



Stuart at work and more drinks!


For more talks on drinks, read expert drinker Bob's post here. 

For the non-drinkers like me, it was time to head home crash and get some much needed sleep. Going out on a weeknight seriously messes with my will to wake up and go to work the next day!

So dear readers, how many drinks do you do? I am unfortunately known as half-cider girl.....


Till next time,

Milkteaxx


Dragoncello on Urbanspoon

 Milkteaxx was invited to Dragoncello Restaurant and Bar courtesy of Evil Twins PR, opinions however remain her own.

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

Friday, 9 January 2015

Cherry Picking in Orange- Thornbrook Orchards.

what spells holidays more than a road trip?

a spontaneous one!


fresh cherries

I love summer, despite the sweltering heat, mozzies and upper lip sweat (TMI? Nahhh!) summer is still my favourite season all year round, why? Because of the abundance and variety of fruits available (and of course more reasons to indulge in Messina!) 

One that stil ranks pretty high on my list is cherries, (after watermelon and mangoes!) mmmm.. gorgeous red orbs of tanginess. Asides from the unique sweet tartness, it also holds many fond childhood memories for me (I’m starting to sound like a grandma!) when I was a kid, our handful of cousins and family friends’ kids would gather around the table to get our share of cherries and pretend to be vampires with them. It may sound silly to a fully grown adult, but those were the times where our minds were still carefree and innocent. How I wish I could time travel back to those summer days, the days we spent picnicking underneath the big shady tree at the local park, those carefree technology-free days….

Before I get too carried away, back to our road trip to Orange.


Wasn't quite tall enough to reach these!

Despite being born and bred in Sydney, I had never done much exploring of our beautiful state until recently. I have heard that Orange is a beautiful palce and have always wanted to visit ( a few high school friends have moved down there and settled down with farms!) but the thought of a 4-5 hour drive each way was just too daunting for me to even consider (quite a few of my friends don’t drive, so I’m always the designated driver)
Just as my travel bug started nibbling at my toes, the ever so awesome Irene, kindly asked if Feli and I would like to join her on a spontaneous road trip to Orange for some cherry picking.


I spy.....

Cherry picking and no driving? Of course that’s a yes!


the storm rolling in

So on a bright (well…. not really) and early Saturday morning, we started our road trip to Orange via Newtown (where you can’t find coffee for sleep deprived souls early in the morning). After joining a coach full of other keen cherry pickers, a maccas pit stop and a few naps here and there, we arrived in Orange’s Thornbrook orchards.
It must be our prescence but Mother nature decided to open up the heavens the the rain poured.


Our cherry haul

Did you think that would stop us from cherry picking? Of course not!
Despite the trees being full of raindroplets and being super slippery to climb (Shhh!) we still managed to get a decent amount of cherries.


Peaches

Asides cherries there were also some handsome looking peaches, they were still a bit underripe when we got to them so we had to leave them behind.


Haloumi salad

A road trip is not complete with some homemade food, for that occasion, I made a haloumi salad with plwenty of homegrown greens (lettuces, tomato, capsicum and tomato) , haloumi and of course my beloved avocado.


Real life Princess Peaches vs Irene is getting fat feat. Mickey Mouse


It was a much needed day out to detox the city lifestyle that we are used to and we had heaps of fun with a selfie stick.

Thank you girls for making it such a lovely start to a well overdue break. I look forward to our next trip!


hot chicks running away

We also ran into some hot chicks, unfortunately no pick up was allowed ;)

So tell me, what is your favourite summer fruit?


Till next time,

Milkteaxx


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

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Churasco Masterclass by Tramontina @ Vic's Meat Market, Pyrmont.

Nice to Meat you. Or so Vic said.

Excuse me of that sounded a bit sleazy.


vegetarians look away!


Vic's meat market is the latest addition to the highly popular Sydney Fish Markets. Vic's is a genius for picking this location, asides from  being able to do all your shopping in one place, you can also eat to your heart's content before heading  home full of inspiration ( or in my case, preparing for a nap).


Vic's Meat market offers a range of different cuts of meats that will cater for all your meat-ings.

Inside this massive cool room (very welcoming in the sweltering heat!) not only will you find a generous selection of meats, but you'll also find BBQ tools by Tramontina, a selection of herbs and spices as well as a humerus (ha!) side of Vic's in their merchandise section. (I want that shirt!)


AACO wagyu striploin BMS 11+ crossbred 

I love my protein, especially in the form of a delicious steak! Vic's offers from your good old rump steak and t-bone to something more fancy. yes this 11+ marbling score wagyu baby! (come home with mummy!)


Tramontina stand 

got your meat and no tools? fear not Tramontina got ya covered too. I tried out the set we got given and man it made eating steak much less of a workout!


al fresco wagyu tasting bar.

They have an al fresco area where during the day you can do wagyu tasting! holy moly! I'm definitely coming back for that! 


more outdoor seating 

Head further outside and you'll be greeted by some lovely waterside views, but what caught my eyes was the massive teppanyaki style pan.


 Chef Juan Pancorbo


Don't bring home the bread without the bacon!

I'm in love with this place, I love their witty comments and signage, if only I could camp out here. (hello high protein diet!)


Tame the beast!

Or ask the butchers!


 CEO of Vics Meat, Anthony Puharich



meat candy and other goodies!



picanha (rump cap)

picanha (rump cap) is a popular cut in Brazil. it is not very well known outside of the BBQ nation but it is in fact a budget friendly and tender cut. Perfect for BBQs. 


salsa

salsa to go with the picanha, oh my, where do I start? this was so moreish and refreshing, we ended up stealing the other plate from our neighbours. 


More picanha!

Picanha, chorizo and beans stir fry. Am completely lost for words as to how tasty this was. tender tender steak, and the beans, oh my the beans were tasty!


caipiroska

The delicious meats were washed down with a couple glasses of caipiroska, I stole a sip of a neighbour and it was indeed very easy to drink, probably too easy.... 


Oh hello there sexy! 


You are smokin' hot


hands off my rump (steak)! 

all mine or I'll come after you with the knife!


Nice to meat you all!


I could get used to view like this! 

Although we didn't get to sample the full offerings of Vic's meat market, I am more than keen to go back after reading ChocolateSuze's post. So if anyone is interested, give me a holler! 

Brisket come to mummy!

I hope you have all having a lovely time off but it now time to go back to work. I have already self diagnosed myself with back to work-itis.

So what is your favourite BBQ cut? let me know  in the comments below!


Till next time,

Milkteaxx


           Milkteaxx was invited to the churrasco masterclass courtesy of tramontina and 6DC PR, opinions however remain her own.

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