Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Lan Yuan, Top Ryde

I am a sucker for simple Cantonese dishes, it doesn't have to be all fancy pants and filled with seafoods (Not like I'd say no to lobster and pipis!)but when I'm need of a comforting meal and Mum hasn't cooked, I always turn to the local Chinese for a good feed.

So when an email from Wasamedia popped up asking if I'd like to check out Top Ryde's latest Cantonese restaurant, Lan Yuan (Meaning bamboo garden in Cantonese and is a symbol of good luck and wealth) of course I said yes!

Upon arrival (after getting utterly confused with the signage inside Top Ryde) we were greeted with a light an airy restaurant decked out in a mass of faux bamboos. Definitely a great place to sit back and relax with some good food on a sunny weekend!


Steamed chcicken w/ bok choy 

The food started arriving promptly, first up was the silky smooth steamed chicken w/ bok choy. this was probably my favourite dish that meal, you could taste the flavours of the broth the chicken was simmering in.


Siu mai 

A yum cha staple, one does not simply go yum cha and not order this. These morsels were however a bit on the dry side.


wasabi beef 

The wasabi beef was an intriguing dish, I guess everyone didn't expect a beef and bean dish to have such a strong wasabi hit. I personally found the flavour and the textures a bit mismatching


Sweet and sour pork 

The good ol' sweet and sour pork. This is one of my dad's favourites, each time we eat out at a Chinese restaurant, this dish mysteriously (not really) makes it on the menu despite my mother's adamant protest that it is really unhealthy. For me, I like to have a nice flesh to coating ratio and must have capsicums as well as pineapples to make the cut.


table full of food! yay!

We were so well fed that the lazy susan struggled to spin on a few occasions!


Salt and pepper tofu

A popular vegetarian dish, this is one of my recent favourites. How can you say no to pillowy soft tofu bits with a crispy salt crust? The only downside is that it gets a bit too overwhelming after a few pieces and we were all collectively reaching for our drinks to quench our thirst.

Shan dong chicken 

Another fantastic chicken dish, the skin is crispy and delicious, but it is the dipping sauce that makes me constantly picking at this despite being bursting point. 


Singaporean crab 

I am a very lazy person, I tend not to eat crab because I don't like getting my fingers dirty (don't judge!) I did try a tiny bit of the crab with what my chopsticks could manage, the flavour is a lacking in the tomato and acidic side but the sauce would still be quite good with a big bowl of rice.


fried rice 

A good fried rice to me is each and every rice granule is evenly coated in egg and flavouring, is relatively dry and has plenty of toppings. I've been told the secret is to use day old refrigerated rice.
The fried rice here is quite good, it ticks quite a few boxes of a good fried rice.


 sweet and sour barramundi

Fish especially barramundi is a big part of our family's diet, my parents love their steamed fish and barramundi is usually the choice. I am not a big fan of deep fried fish as you can't taste the freshness of the fish. I still gave this a go though, I thought the sauce overpowers the fish's flavour and texture. 


fried ice cream w/ caramel sauce 

Fried ice cream at Chinese restaurants were are rare occurrence when eating out with the family, we had to be on our best behaviours days ahead and for days after to earn one of them. Nostalgia indeed. 
Fast forward 20 odd years, I have since been spoiled bad by holy basil, so this deep fried ice cream with the bready dough and Cottee's caramel sauce didn't quite cut it for me. 


So tell me, what is your must have at a Chinese restaurant? Let me know in the comments below! 


Till next time, 

Milkteaxx 

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 Milkteaxx dined at Lan Yuan courtesy of Wasamedia, opinions however remain her own.


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

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Muffnut and Bonne Maman's Lilly Pilly Conserve

You read it right, muffnut.


MUFFNUT!

Move over cronut, a new gal is in town.
shes slightly cinnamon-y and oozing jam like a doughnut with only one rightfully placed muffin top. 

two desserts, 1 lot of calories. Sounds good to you?

Heck I'm sold myself!


SO....  how did this muffnut recipe come by? 

It all started when I was talking about doughnuts on skype (Yes, that is a legit leisure activity) and baking cookies with a jam centre when I had a light bulb moment. Believe it or not, I couldn't sleep that night because I was so excited about this.

After countless pages of doodling and talking to myself,  I baked these babies, but now I was stuck with the issue of coming up with catchy name. (I was going to call them doughnut muffins, so un-creative of me!) 

But that is when creative friends come in handy. We had a dinner date planned that evening so I bought along these muffnuts to share, mid sushi mouthful, the forever creative friend yells out,  "muffnut!, call them muffnuts! ". 
I'm sure our neighbouring dinings gave us quite a few weird looks as we stiffled our laughter. 



Bonne Maman's Blueberry and Lilly Pilly conserve'. 

 I love the Bonne Maman's signature gingham patterned conserve jars, the design has a warm homely feel and are just so pretty that you'll want to reuse them for everything! (I use it to shake up my morning protein shake!) 

So are you ready for the recipe? 

Ingredients 

The Muffnut

2 cups SR flour
1/2 cup caster sugar 
a pinch of salt 
2/3 cup oil
1 egg
165ml milk 
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla bean seeds
Bonne Maman's blueberry and lilly pilly jam 

doughnut coating

 1/4 cup caster sugar 
3 tbsp melted butter 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 

Method

1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl

2. Add rest of the ingredients except jam and mix well 

3. Fill muffin cases halfway and add in a dollop of jam in the centre, make sure it doesnt spread to the edges! 

4. Top the cases up to the 3/4 full mark

5. Bake the muffnuts at 190 degrees for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown and cooked through (test with skewer) 

6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar 

7. While the muffins are still warm, brush with melted butter and roll them in the cinnamon sugar. 

8. Smash that muffnut! 



My once off hand modelling gig- photo courtesy of The Jugernauts 

In the above recipe, I tried out the Australia only gorgeous blueberry and lilly pilly jam. I am a massive blueberry jam fan and the addition of Australian native plant lilly pilly gives it a nice herby and slightly earthy aftertaste. I could easily put this on any baked goods and demolish it! 

Homer moment: Mmmmm scones with double cream would be good....... 


A sweet breakfast at the Bonne Maman breakfast 

I highly recommend getting your hands on this jam, cause it is pretty damn delicious! 


Till next time, 
Milkteaxx


  Milkteaxx attended the Bonne Maman Conserve Breakfast courtesy of AC agency, opinions however remain her own.

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

Monday, 20 July 2015

Redfern Asado @ The Norfolk

Fancy a BBQ without having to clean up yourself? Want to enjoy some delicious South American goodness without hopping onto a plane? 
No worries, The Norfolk can help.  Every Sunday at noon, you can find the crackle and pop of the BBQ at the back of the norfolk BBQ-ing some delicious meats for their spanking new Redfern Asado. Here you can eat your heart's desires (or bodyweight's worth) in meaty heaven.

The meats are sold  by weight (per 100g) and come with tostones (Fried plantain slices), Coca Cola rice, beans and tortillas.

The Norfolk, Redfern Menu

The Menu 

Nice to meat you. 


tostones (fried plantain slices) w/ smoked chilli mayo

The smoked chilli mayo gave the tostones the much needed kick to the otherwise bit soggy plantain slices. I could eat anything with that delicious smoked chilli mayo!


coca cola rice, beans and tortillas

The Coca Cola rice is delicious with the addition of the beans, it is a bit on the mushy side but was rather enjoyable accompanying the meats.


rump cap w/ coffee & brown sugar 

Now onto the meatttttt!
Oh yes baby! bring on the meat! 
The rump cap was super tender and juicy, I don't think I've had beef so perfectly cooked before! The chimichurri added a whole new dimension to it, I may had injured a couple of civilians fighting over the last piece of this. ( I'm, joking, please don't send anyone to arrest me!)


pork ribs w/ annatto rub

Next up is probably my favourite part of any BBQ. Ribs! I love the bony ribs because i get to gnaw on the flavour immersed bits. These ribs were pretty up there on my rib-licious scale!


beer can chicken, pork shoulder w/ sour orange, cumin & garlic, chorizo & morcilla

Also on the platte was an assortment of sausages, I loved the smokiness of the chorizo but wasn't completely sold on the texture of the morcilla. The pork shoulder however was crazy delicious, just the right mount of flesh to fat ratio with a delicious crackling. Oh boy! What stole the limelight though was the beer can chicken, the flesh was so tender and juicy, with the skin crackling perfectly. I wont lie, I'm still thinking about it! 


Grilled corn, lime and chilli salt 

After all that meat, we needed something juicy to neutralise our tastebuds.
Enter this grilled corn, coated liberally in chilli salt and a gentle squeeze of lime, hitting the spot perfectly. Please can I get the recipe for this gorgeous corn?

So tell me guys, do you have a favourite at BBQs? I can never go past saucy ribs or BBQ wings!


Till next time, 
Milkteaxx


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  Milkteaxx dined at The Norfolk courtesy of Drink n dine group, opinions however remain her own.

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

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

LuMi Bar & Dining, Pyrmont.


Perched across the wharf from The Star, LuMi Bar and Dining is the latest waterfront addition to the Sydney dining scene, it has captured the attention of many for their great value 8 course degusatation for under $100.
That’s right, $95 to be exact.
The forces behind LuMi aren’t new to the waterfront dining scene, with Ripples and Aqua dining already well established, what differs LuMi from the former is the food is given a touch of fusion, with influences from Japanese and Italian, resulting in an eyebrow raising yet surprisingly scrumptious menu. 



Porcini brisee, mascarpone, walnut.  Rice chips salt and vinegar. Onion and chicken macaron & Chawanmushi

The first course is a showcase of their signature small bites. Picking a favourite out of all these small bites was difficult but I was particularly impressed with the chawanmushi and onion and chicken macaron. Yes, a savoury macaron. It messed with my tasted buds initially but the slight char from the caramelised onion made it the clear winner on the plate. The chawanmushi on the other hand was silky smooth and so light, I contemplated stealing the other bowl from across the table!

The 2 other small bites were also quite delicious and moreish. I wouldn’t mind sitting in front of the telly with a bowl of them!


bread and butter

Warm and crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Soft whipped butter. Heaven. 


Spanner crab: milk curd, lime dressing


Next up was a delicate and fresh dish of spanner crab with milk curd and a hint of lime. I loved how perfectly cooked the spanner crab was, still so sweet and juicy! This was the first time I had tried kohlrabi, the kohlrabi gave it a nice contrasting texture similar f thinly shaved radish with a sweet taste. Delicious!


Ravioli: gruyere,  porcini butter
Two words. Cheese explosion.
I have to admit that I did coo a little bit when these arrived at the table. 3 adorable ravioli basking in porcini butter was just too much for me. This was definitely the favourite dish of the meal, the liquid gold called melted gruyere paired with wakame salt and mushroom butter is something I will dream about for days to come. Oh yes!   



Beetroot:  black sesame and cream


The next dish definitely threw my palate off. The dish was a perfect round of steamed juicy beetroot covered in a moreish black sesame and cream sauce. I am normally a big fan of beetroot on it’s own (fine in burgers and salads) but upon the first spoonful, I was sold. The beetroot was soft and sweet, and when paired with the earthy black sesame sauce and rich cream, it was absolutely heavenly. Totally did not see this one coming!


House grown lemon tree


Burnt semolina spaghetti: quail, cime di rapa

More pasta you ask? Who am I to refuse pasta? Carbs and I are basically joined at the hips (yeah, they protect my solid 6 pack). The spaghetti here is pretty good, a bit on the bland side and I couldn’t quite pick out the quail but the cime di rapa (turnip tops) was an interesting addition to it!

The dishes may look small but by the 5th course, a food coma was hitting me bad, but we had only started on the more substantial dishes. Oh the struggles of have a degustation!


Lamb rib: red miso, celeriac

Maybe I used up my wow quota earlier on in the meal but this lab rib dish did not float my boat. I am not a fan of extremely fatty cuts, where there is more fat than flesh (case in point) so I barely made a dent in this dish. The red miso however was quite lovely and umami.


Yuzu: mandarin. Licorice, wakame powder


After so many dishes and shocks to the palate, a citrusy cleanser was definitely needed. I love yuzu in desserts for many reasons, it was citrusy yet not as harsh as lemon, it helps cut through any heavy meal you’ve had, and most importantly, it is always a delicious component in desserts! This palate cleanser did its job well and prepared my stomach for the final and most important course of the meal. Dessert. 


Ginger ice cream: white chocolate, passionfruit yoghurt

I loved how this dessert was presented. Shaved ribbons of sorbet like ice cream with a surprisingly strong punch from the ginger and tang from the passionfruit. The white chocolate helps cuts through the tang of this dish, giving it a subtle sweet finish.  
The dining experience at LuMi definitely rates pretty high in my books, the menu is innovative and full of surprises, I particularly liked the influences from the different cultures (The chawanmushi <3 and="" colours.="" contrasting="" flavours="" o:p="" textures="" the="">
Considering that the menu does change seasonally, I will sure be back later down the track to sample more of their work of art.
So tell me guys, have you ever come across a peculiar sounding dish that you ordered and loved? Let me know in the comments below!


Stay warm (Winter is coming!) & till next time,


Milkteaxx 


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Monday, 6 July 2015

Yebisu Izakaya, Regent Place.

I love a lively atmosphere, the buzz and bright neon signs, the bustling crowds, you name it. My favourite place to find that would definitely be the lively street markets of Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan. Alas, I can't afford to travel often, so a local joint to satisfy my cravings is needed.

Yebisu Izakaya has been on my list for far too long, I have tried out their neighbours Chanoma and Tenkomori a fair few times for a quick meal but had never had the chance till now to have a proper sit down meal.

I love the way Yebisu is decked out, the abundance of neon signage and the exposed brick walls give it the much street food vibe. Lucky for us, we scored a bar seating that evening (the best seats in the house IMO) so we got to watch the chefs doing their thing. (bust out them dance moves!) 


Angus beef tataki

We started our evening with the beef tataki, the beef was fresh but a tad sinewy side, nothing like a small jaw workout to prepare us for the food to come ;)



Salmon chazuke

I am always up for something off the beaten track, in this case, it is the chasuke. What is chasuke you ask? chasuke translates to tea over rice, a slight savoury tone with a light tea aftertaste, it was a really refreshing dish to start the evening. The salmon cheek was a neat little addition to this dish but definitely made this a more hands on dish!


Skewers: pork belly, salmon belly, wagyu beef and tsukune (chicken meatballs) w/ 63 degree egg (below) 

A selections of skewers were also ordered, my picks of the evening would definitely be the salmon belly and the tsukune. The tsukune had a nice bite to it whilst the salmon belly was juicy, fatty and oh so good! I would happily polish off 10 or so of them before rolling myself out of the restaurant.


63 degree egg porn.

Oh yes! bring on that egg porn!


Skewers:  Teriyaki eel

After much deliberation, we couldn't pass up their daily special of grilled eel.

Can I please take a moment to recover from my swooning?
This piece of eel was out of the world delicious, sweet, sticky and smokey. So good!


Eel omelette

After some amazing grilled eel, we decided to try out their other daily special, the eel omelette.
The flavours of this was okay but I didn't quite like the texture of the omelette against the eel.


Deep fried rice cake with pork, black sesame sauce

We also tried the deep fried mochi with pork and black sesame sauce. This dish was quite moreish but a bit difficult to unlodge from the roof of your mouth after each bite! I thought the black sesame sauce didn't quite go with the dish but was actually quite nice in flavour on its own.


Negi shio rice bowl

My favourite dish of the night was definitely this negi shio rice bowl, the pork belly was satisfyingly creamy and had a nice char from the grilling. This would definitely make it onto my death row meal list!


Mochi w/ red bean and syrup

For dessert we opted to try their new item, mochi with red bean and syrup. The texture of the mochi was quite interesting, quite firm on the exterior but sticky and chewy on the inside, we had heaps of fun trying to eat this in a civilised manner!

So tell me, what is your favourite dish at an Izakaya? Let me know in the comments below! 


Stay warm and till next time, 

Milkteaxx


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Milkteaxx dined at Yebisu Izakaya courtesy of SD Marketing, 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, 29 June 2015

Illi Hill, Marrickville.

The inner west that was mostly industrial was now had quite a facelift and is inundated with more cafes than ever.  A few of my favourites are located quite close to me, but I love branching out and finding other good eats in the area too. This is how I found Illi Hill. Previously a corner shop and butcher, this café promises plenty of choices for everyone, vegans and gluten free too. The menu changes seasonally and in divided into breakfast and lunch, although you are free to order from whichever tickles your fancy.

Breakfast salad anyone?

As per usual, a café visit starts with a round of drinks, as much as I’d like a coffee, having a 3rd cup that day would have tipped me over. So better steer clear and opt for a milder option. (Trust me, a caffeinated up me isn’t pretty.)


                                                             Non-dairy Green smoothie


We were so glad when we saw the non-dairy smoothie on the menu as the dining buddy is lactose intolerant. The green smoothie tasted anything but green and earthy, it was slightly sweet with a nice tang to it. I would definitely order it again!



Soy chai

The weather was getting cold when we visited, so a hot drink was needed to warm up our souls. Soy chai is our go-to whenever we café hop, The version at Illi Hill is on the weak side but we have both yet to find a chai that is both strong enough for both of us, with exception to the sticky chai from Circa. Let us know if you know of a good strong chai! 


Mushrooms on toast


Don’t be fooled by the simple description, this dish was my pick of the day. Juicy field mushrooms were paired with tangy tomatoes and a house made pepita dukkah, complementing the saltiness of the feta perfectly. The sourdough was a bit on the tough side, so we ended up going hands-on. What etiquette?!?


Salad of 6 hour roasted lamb shoulder


I only ever order a salad if there is a substantial amount of protein attached to it, because truthfully speaking, I’m not a cow grazing the fields, so bring on the meat! This 6 hour roasted lamb did not disappoint flavour-wise. Tender and flavoursome, it was however a bit on the dry side. The serving size of this salad is massive though, I’m known to demolish food but even I struggled to finish it! Must be the hefty amount of grains and greens!


Gluten free lychee rose and coconut cake

We were about to grab the bill when I spotted some sweet delicacies on the front counter. They looked too pretty to pass up so I talked my dining buddy into sharing one with me. After much decision-phobia, we opted for the mini gluten free lychee rose and coconut cake. The cake was lightly scented but strong in flavour, crumbly, buttery and moist, albeit a tad on the sweet side. I would definitely come back for the other versions!

So what do you look for in a cafe? I love a cafe with a cosy homely feel. Let me know yours in the comments below! 


Till next time, 
Milkteaxx



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