Chocoholic’s Dream Come True – Easter Shopping Guide 2014

Chocoholic's Dream Come TRUE!

Chocoholic’s Dream Come TRUE!

Hello My Dearest Readers :) Are you all ready for Easter? Have you done your Easter shopping? Bought chocolates for all your loved ones? If you’re lost for ideas or want to get something something special, this blog post is for you! I’ve always wanted to do an Easter Shopping Guide, because I love going around to different chocolatiers and see what they have to offer. I am one lucky girl because Mr Bao spoiled me and took me chocolate shopping and asked me to pick one or two things I wanted. A few chocolate companies such as Sisko and Ganache was also very kind and sent me some of their Easter range to try ~ I hope this guide will help give you some ideas and help you find the perfect gift!

Round Egg with point beak $22

Round Egg with pointy beak $22

Let’s start with the chocolate from Sisko Chocolate, I met Christina last year at an event, and I promised I was going to visit her. It took me a while but I finally paid her a visit and checked out her Easter range, she was so kind to give these products to me as a gift for this blog post. She gave me a Roung Egg with a little pointy beak and also a flat egg. I find her designs more modern and abstract which would appeal to adults more and she only uses the best chocolate she can source, and her favourite is from Spain :)

Flat Egg Medium $12

Flat Egg Medium $12

I don’t think I’ve seen any other place that do a flat egg for Easter, it’s definitely a more mature take to the average Easter egg. The eggs come in white, milk and dark chocolate with a range of patterns to choose from. Christina explained that these patterns are made from sugar and are all printed in France, where they then transfer it onto the chocolate.

Sisko Chocolate
330 Auburn Rd,
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 10 – 6, Sat: 10 – 3
PH: (03) 9818 5772
Website: http://www.siskochocolate.com.au/

Large Chocolate Bunny $20

Large Chocolate Bunny $20

On our recent trip to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery, Mr Bao bought this large cute bunny for me and said that we sort of look alike… ummm not sure if that’s a compliment but hey it’s chocolate so I forgive him :P Sorry guys but Mr Bao lost the receipt so we’re not sure if it’s actually $20 but we remember it’s around that price range.

Medium Easter Egg $10

Medium Easter Egg $10

I also bought this medium sized Easter egg with pretty yellow and orange lines through it for my little nephew Aden who’s coming to visit next week (super excited!). I bought him the milk chocolate because he’s not a fan of dark chocolate yet hehe. They have a lot of free events and Easter egg hunt down at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie so if you don’t have anything planned over the long weekend, would be a good place to take the little people :D

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice-Creamery
35 Old Healesville Road
(cnr Melba Highway)
Yarra Glen Victoria
Opening Times: Every day (except Christmas) 9am-5pm
PH: (03) 9730 2777
Website: http://www.yvci.com.au/

The B&P Easter Bunny $28

The B&P Easter Bunny $28

I am a huge fan of Burch and Purchese and they had some super cute things in their Easter range this year. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted the B&P Bunny or the Pablo Easter penguin, my friend Siok suggested the bunny because it was cuter. Actually, it’s so cute I’m not sure I want to eat it!

Burch and Purchese 
647 Chapel Street 
South Yarra VIC 3141
Opening Times: Every Day 10am-6pm
PH: (03) 9827 7060
Website: http://www.burchandpurchese.com/

Ganache Easter Range 2014

Ganache Easter Range 2014                                                                                                                            Traditional Bunny – $16                                                                                                                                             Easter Egg filled with Chocolate $25                                                                                                                     Frau Austria Bunny $25                                                                                                                                       Mini Bunny $4

Mr Bao actually took me chocolate shopping at Ganache first where we picked up the Traditional Bunny and Easter egg filled with Ganache chocolates. Which is actually one of my favourites this Easter, because I think it’s so nice to have the chocolate truffles first and then you slowly make you way through to the Easter egg hehe

Easter Egg with Chocolates $

Easter Egg with Chocolates $25

Coincidentally, that week Sian and Arno emailed me and said that they had a little Easter bag for me. They’re always so nice and generous. I missed the Frau Austria Bunny, which has such a regal look ~ And for those on a diet maybe you’ll like one of the mini Easter bunnies instead? :) If you do pop down Ganache, you must must must have my favourite classic Belgian hot chocolate!

Ganache Chocolate 
South Yarra Store
250 Toorak Road, South Yarra
Opening Times: Mon-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 10am-8pm
PH: (03) 9804 7485

Collin St Store
245 Collin St, Melbourne
Opening Times: Mon-Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-6pm
Website: https://www.ganache.com.au

Easter Collection Tin $29

Easter Collection Tin $29

There is a Lindt store just a couple stores down from Ganache on Collin St, so Mr Bao picked up an Easter Collection Tin for me :) It has a good range of Easter eggs, mini bunnies and the more adorable carrots made out of chocolate. A great Easter gift for a whole family to share.

Lindt Australia
They have 4 stores – Chadstone, Collin St, Chapel St and Southgate
Please check website fore more details 

271 Collin St, Melbourne
Opening Times: Mon-Wed 9am-6pm, Thur 9am-9pm, Fri 9am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6:30pm
PH: (03) 9667 0900
Website: http://www.lindt.com.au

Half Dark Chocolate Egg - Dark Almonds $22.50

Half Dark Chocolate Egg – Dark Almonds $22.50

We then went to a more traditional Australian Chocolate brand which is also my sister Win Win’s favourite Haigh’s chocolate, where we bought this half dark chocolate Easter egg filled with dark chocolate coated almonds. A similar egg as the one from Ganache, it’s like an Easter egg that keeps giving, because you need to get through the chocolate almonds before you eat the actual egg. We have since gave this Easter egg to Mr Bao’s mum and she’s really enjoying it :)

Haigh’s Chocolates
They have multiple stores across Australia please visit their website for more information.
I went to the Hawthorn Store
715 Glenferrie Road,
Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122
Opening Times: Mon-Tue 8:30am-7pm, Wed 8:30am-8pm, Thur 8:30am-9pm, Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 8:30am-2pm
PH: (03) 9819 5000
Website: http://www.haighschocolates.com.au

Hollow chocolate egg $15 and Chocolate soft boiled egg $9

Hollow chocolate egg $15 and Chocolate soft boiled egg $9

Last but not least, we bought some traditional hallow Easter eggs from Cacao, they came in 3 colours which I assume to be white chocolate (yellow eggs), milk chocolate and dark chocolate in the middle. But what really impressed me was the little soft boiled egg made out of chocolate. It looks super real from a far!

Cacao

I’m definitely keeping this soft boiled egg to myself :) I haven’t eaten it yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s made out of white chocolate and colouring is mixed into to make that yellow yolk.

Cacao Fine Chocolate & Patisserie
They have a few stores around Melbourne, please visit their website for more information.
I went to the Doncaster store closest to me
Westfield Doncaster 1st Floor, Kiosk 107
619 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster East
Opening Times: Mon-Wed 9am-5:30pm, Thur-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm
PH: (03) 9840 2269
Website: http://cacao.com.au

Now that’s a wrap guys! Really hope you liked this Easter chocolate shopping guide and it will help you in anyway. I’ve had such a ball going around buying the chocolate and of course eating it! But sharing is caring so I will be giving some of these chocolates away to my favourite people :)

Wishing you all a very happy, safe and chocolate filled Easter!!!

Except for Ganache and Sisko Chocolates, all chocolates were individually paid for thanks Mr Bao :D 

Beef Noodle Master – Yong Kang, Taipei

Yong Kang Beef Noodle1

Even though I go to Taipei regularly, I still manage to find new and old eateries I’ve never been before. Yong Kang Beef Noodles (永康牛肉麵)is one of these places, it is one of the most traditional and well-known places in Taipei for beef noodles. It’s a very old school looking store and probably hadn’t been renovated since it opened, with tables and stools filling the restaurant to the brim. They open at 11am, and we got there at around half past, already there was a queue forming and we were told that it will be a 15 to 20 minute wait.

image-9

We were given a small round table and shared with another party of 3, you don’t have a choice here. You either share a table or you’ll have to wait again for your own and they’re most likely not going to give it to you :) This is quite a common practice in Asia ~ The menu is all written on the wall in Chinese, which is a little concerning because I’m not sure how non-Chinese speaking people will be able to order what they want. But perhaps if you ask the waiters or waitresses they should be able to help you.

Side dishes approx $35TWD ($1.5AUD)

Side dishes approx $35TWD ($1.5AUD) each

We started off with some cold side dishes, which you can see in the photo above, you go to the counter and tell the waitress what you’d like she’ll scoop it onto a plate and you will need to bring it back to your table. From the top left, we got a soy braised octopus, braised mung and also cucumber with konnyaku jelly. The octopus and cucumber had a nice hint of spiciness to it and these were great starter.

Beef noodles small $200TWD ($7.2AUD)

Beef noodles small $200TWD ($7.2AUD)

Within a couple of minutes the beef noodles we ordered arrived. They come in two sizes but we decided to go the small because we knew we’d be eating all day :P For those who are unfamiliar with Taiwanese beef noodles, its very similar to the ones made in China, they both use beef brisket and perhaps tendons. What makes Taiwanese beef noodles special is the soy sauce used to make the broth and also the spiciness along with the herbs such as star anise used. I personally prefer this Taiwanese version as flavours are stronger. Anyhow, back to these famous beef noodles from Yong Kong, they certainly lived up to their name! All three of us were so impressed by the tenderness of the beef, the al dente noodle but most importantly was the broth! Happy to declare probably one of the best I have up until now :)

Clear broth beef noodle soup $160TWD ($6.6AUD)

Clear broth beef noodle soup $160TWD ($6.6AUD)

My other sister Bianca can’t really eat spicy food, so she opted for the beef noodles with a clear broth instead. There was definitely a contrast between the two beef noodles, as the clear broth the beef flavour is more prominent and becomes the hero, as opposed to the spicy broth in the other one. The beef didn’t feel as tender but wasn’t tough and the clear broth was nonetheless tasty. I think both beef noodles were delicious really depends what you prefer :)

Wonton in chilli sauce $100TWD ($3.8AUD)

Wonton in chilli sauce $100TWD ($3.8AUD)

Because it was our first meal of the day, we were pretty hungry. We decided try the wonton in chilli sauce as well. One of my favourite ways to eat wontons! A slight disappointment compared to the beef noodles, as I found the filling a little bland and expected the chilli sauce to be a lot spicier.

When I was doing research about Yong Kang Beef Noodles I found their website which is all in Chinese but the URL for their website is ‘Beef Noodle Master’ :P Find the name a little tacky but their noodles are everything but the best ~ really enjoyed our meal at Yong Kang, only advice is to get there early and go with an empty stomach!

永康牛肉麵館

No. 17號, Lane 31, Section 2,
Jīnshān South Rd, Daan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening times: 11am-9:30pm
PH: +866 02-2351-1051

Tiffin Afternoon Tea – Langham Hotel, Hong Kong

It’s no secret that I love high teas :) So if you’re a fan like me, you’ll have to make a trip to Hong Kong because so many places offer it and I find them to be relatively cheaper than the high teas we have in Melbourne ~ I’ve visited the Langham Hotel in Hong Kong before and dined at a couple of their restaurants and would recommend the Main St Deli for their burgers. I’ve also had drinks at the Palm Court before but wasn’t aware that they offered high tea there.

Palm Court, Langham Hotel HK

Palm Court, Langham Hotel HK

I was definitely surprised and slightly overwhelmed when I received an email from the Langham hotel in HK inviting me to try their afternoon tea set. I was also asked to bring a friend so I invited Win Win because she loves high tea as much as I do :) Because we couldn’t find a baby sitter we decided to bring my little nephew Aden with us, thankfully the staff at Palm Court were very understanding and made us feel so welcomed.

Smile Aden!

Smile Aden!

Here’s my naughty but nice nephew Aden :) I’m sure regular readers would recognise him, he’s grown up quite a bit and I can’t believe he’s actually turning 4 this year! Time honestly flies by without you knowing! Perhaps because he was so well behaved he was also given his own mini afternoon tea set for only $98HKD ($14AUD) which is basically a smaller version of the one you’re going to see in this post ~

Win Win and I really like the ambience of the Palm Court it’s got the traditional Victorian feeling to it, with light music playing in the background and I really liked the silver that they used it was super shiny giving that regal feeling ~ I can imagine sitting here all afternoon chatting to my girlfriends.

Starting with some champagne

Starting with some champagne

Another surprise from Langham, they organised for our afternoon tea with some champagne and not only that it was Veuve Clicquot which I absolutely adore. I use to really like Moet and Chandon but lately, I’m starting to find that I enjoy the Veuve Clicquot more ~

 

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Of course Aden is a little bit too young to start drinking! So they offered him a hot chocolate which he kindly accepted. We had to keep telling him to slow down and not scull the drink! For blogging purposes :P I took a sip of his hot chocolate, and was warm milk lightly flavoured with chocolate, I personally would have preferred it with a richer chocolate flavour. However, this is probably great for little kids as it’s not too sweet.

Tiffan Afternoon Tea $428HKD ($62AUD) for two +10% Service Charge

Tiffan Afternoon Tea $428HKD ($62AUD) for two +10% Service Charge

Now that we’ve settled in having a drink, staff then came to explain that they offer two afternoon tea sets – Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and The Beast. The first being more fruit based and the latter has more chocolate and sweeter desserts. Both sets come with the same savoury items as you can see on the bottom layer with selection of sandwiches such as slow cooked chicken and foie gras warp and smoked salmon with horseradish cream. I’m a simple person and enjoyed the sandwich with the egg perhaps quail egg the most ~

Moving onto Sweets!

They were very attentive and decided to split the afternoon tea set and to allow me try both sets. From the Sleeping Beauty desserts (on the left) there is mango coconut tartlet, raspberry brioche, passionfruit fruit quark cheesecake. I was particularly impressed with the crisp profiterole with green apple even though the filling was a little sour the pastry was done very well. On the right is the desserts from Beauty and The Beast with hazelnut and chocolate chip cupcake, Opera cake and bitter chocolate and vanilla cream tartlet. Hard to pick my favourite but it’s probably the little tarlet because the flavours complimented each other so well.

More sweets!

More sweets!

Then there were more treats on the top layer, definitely my type of high tea. With three types of chocolate bark in the shot glass on the left, followed by the lemon ‘marshmallow’ macaron, panna cotta and the last was a chocolate mousse with a berry jelly filling topped with fresh cream.

Scones with clotted cream and preserves

Scones with clotted cream and preserves

I was so naive and thought that because we already had too much food, we won’t get scones hahaha but that’s not true we got some scones to share which came with clotted cream and strawberry jam and I think it was rose preserves (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Cream first? Jam first?

Cream first? Jam first?

I always have this argument with my friends, is it cream first or jam first? I’m definitely a cream first sort of girl but decided to conform and do it the ‘right’ way according to my friends hehe ~ No matter which way you eat them, scones are always good and these did not disappoint with a slight crust and still slightly warm inside.

English Breakfast Tea

English Breakfast Tea

To finish up and help with digestion, I got an English Breakfast tea :) Can’t help but thank Langham Hotel for their generosity Win Win and I had a wonderful time at Palm Court and really enjoyed the high tea. Would definitely recommend it for other high tea addicts out there, and don’t forget the Langham Hotel is in a great location. Right off Canton Rd in Tsim Sha Tsui, trust me it’s every girls dream there! They have literally all the brands you can imagine ~

Daisy and WinWin@Nevertoosweet dined at as guests of Palm Court, Langham Hotel HK 

 

My Perfect Weekend – In Perth

Australia is a big country, and even though I’ve lived here all my life, there are still so many places I have yet to visit. One of these places is Perth :) I’ve visited along the coast such Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Brisbane. But somehow I’ve never made it to Western Australia. But now I may have a chance! I was recently contacted by Digitaslbi to participate in a competition to write my perfect weekend in Perth staying at the Pan Pacific Perth hotel. If my post is interesting enough and I win the competition, I will win a free trip for two to go to Perth!!!

Photo Credit: Colliers

Photo Credit: Colliers

There are no rules or limitations and I can be as extravagant as I want so I’m really trying to make it as interesting as possible! So a weekend isn’t a very long time, so I’m going to pack as much as I can into 2 days! First we would arrive in Perth and because we’re travelling in style, I would love to picked up by a limousine :P

Photo Credit: Limohire

Photo Credit: Limohire

We would then be taken to the Pan Pacific Perth hotel and check into our River Suite with complimentary breakfast, access to the lounge, free WIFI and most importantly a massive room with our own ensuite bathroom and amazing view.

After checking in, I’d like probably to get a drink and just relax in our hotel room for a while. Before we head out to check out what Perth has to offer ~ I would like to pick up a rental car because I like the freedom of being able to drive and explore an area as I please.

Photo Credit: Hertz

Photo Credit: Hertz

 

I’m really into culture and history so I’d like to visit the Pensioner Guard to see the cottages there and be transported back in time to see how people use to live. Next would be to visit the Rail Heritage Museum because Mr Bao likes trains and will appreciate learning about the history of them.

Photo Credit: Railway Heritage

Photo Credit: Railway Heritage

After some sight seeing you know I’ll be hungry so it’s time for dinner and I’d love to visit Restaurant Amuse one of the top fine dining restaurants in Perth. I have done my research and it looks and sounds amazing! All the dishes look so intricate and interesting :) But will need to book in advance because I’ve heard it can get quite busy.

Photo Credit: Amuse

Photo Credit: Restaurant Amuse

I think after a degustation menu at Restaurant Amuse we will be too full to eat anything else. So we will head back to our hotel and relax and have an early night in. And prepare for the next day of more eating :D

Photo Credit: Pan Pacific

Photo Credit: Pan Pacific Perth 

With the River Suite will get complimentary breakfast, so we will head down to the Monterey’s Restaurant for a buffet breakfast. After that I’d like to head over to the Crown Casino in Perth to check it out to see how it differs from the one in Melbourne :)

Photo Credit: Crown Perth

Photo Credit: Crown Perth

I will gamble a little and hopefully win some money and have enough to pay for lunch, next stop will be Jamie’s Italian. I know they’ve opened up in Sydney for a couple of years now, I still haven’t tried so I think it will be a great opportunity to try them out in Perth.

Photo Credit: Jamie's Italian

Photo Credit: Jamie’s Italian

Taking into account that we are only staying for the weekend, we will probably have to leave at around 7pm so after lunch, I will visit Mary Street Bakery and get a range of cakes and pastries to try. It all looks so delicious but I particularly want to try the lemon merengue tart!

We would then head back to the hotel, pick up our luggage and be sent to the airport and make our way back home to Melbourne. That will concludes my perfect weekend to Perth! I have really enjoyed writing this post, because it feels like I have already gone to these places hahaha This is only a rough itinerary because I’m sure when I get there or have more time to plan, I will be able to squeeze a few catch up with friends in Perth and also find more DESSERT cafes :)

Photo Credit: Visit Perth City

Photo Credit: Visit Perth City

I hope my perfect weekend is interesting enough to win the competition and we will have the chance to visit Perth sometime this year!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet was not sponsored to write this post, however, is part of a competition run by Digitaslbi and Pan Pacific Perth Hotel. 

Bacon Steak – Ora Cafe

Bacon steak is definitely the new BACON :) So many cafes are now doing it and I’m so glad they are! Because there is so much more flavour with thick cut bacon. Ora Cafe in Kew is one of these cafes that do a great bacon steak dish. I’ve actually visited a few times but never got around to blogging about it ~

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe is one of the few cafes close enough to where we live that serve interesting dishes and most importantly good coffee. It rarely happens but I actually visited them twice a week a while ago, first visit was with Steph a Uni friend. We’ve been keeping in touch with Facebook and email but haven’t had the chance to meet up, so after what feels like 3 years we finally caught up :)

Iced latte $5

Iced latte $5

It was quite warm so I started with an iced latte which is a shot of coffee with some milk and ice. I really enjoyed it because it was essentially an espresso topped with cold milk and ice. The coffee wasn’t diluted and was strong enough which is how I like it ~

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Steph got the yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit, I was so jealous because it sounded amazing and tasted even better! It was like a legit dessert for breakfast, the fruit compote cut through some of the sweetness of the yoghurt panna gotta if anyone was worried. But what got my attention was that crunchy honey biscuit on top! Highly recommend this!

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

I know it’s a surprise for all that I didn’t go for a sweet option for breakfast, for once I was really craving bacon! And when I saw ‘bacon steak’, I simply had to order and try it! It didn’t disappoint, the bacon steak was full of flavour and the BBQ bean was slightly caramelised and sweet. I found the apple cider scones a little dry though but was great for scooping up the sauce left behind.

Chocolate beetroot brownie

Chocolate beetroot brownie $4

Who was I trying to kid, of course I needed something sweet :P Steph was too full, so I got something small for myself. The friendly waitress suggested the chocolate beetroot brownie, a great choice! It was so moist and moreish, it actually resembled more like a fudge.

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Then a couple of days later on Valentine’s Day, Mr Bao and I went back to Ora for brunch, because he also wanted to try the bacon steak. I was one lucky girl because Mr Bao got me a new camera for Valentine’s day YAY!!! So I used my snazzy new camera to take a very awkward photo of him hehe

Canon 100D

I had been eyeing the new Canon 100D that was recently released, it claims to be one of the smallest DSLR cameras on the market, and to make a comparison it’s smaller than my iPhone 5! Mr Bao also got me a new lens the 40mm which Fatboo (Let’s Get Fat Together) recommended :) I’m totally in love with both the camera and the lens! Hopefully my photos will improve and you will also like my photos!

Magic $4.20

Magic $4.20

Moving onto the food and drinks, Mr Bao got his usual Magic, he commented it had a light floral flavour with some nutty undertones. He really enjoyed the coffee and went on to order another flat white after our brunch ~

Latte $4.2

Latte $4.2

I got a latte using the same coffee and agree it was quite floral but I really liked the nutty aftertaste that comes a few seconds after you’ve taken a sip. The coffee was at a good temperature too not too hot or lukewarm.

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Mr Bao got the same dish as I did last time, the bacon steak and he was also blown away by the flavour of the bacon. His only compliant was he wanted servings to be a little bigger because he wanted more bacon haha

Swimmer crab hash with salad $18

Crab corn and fritters with salad $18

I decided to get something on the specials board, the crab and corn fritters with salad. The fritters were quite fluffy and reminded me more of potato hash with crab mixed through it because it’s quite fluffy. I really enjoyed the sauce beneath it which was like a spicy hollandaise/mayonnaise.

Crab corn fritter

And because it was Valentine’s day they had a little something special on their sweets cabinet hehe and I’m a sucker for cute things. So that’s how we came about ordering this heart shaped macaron with a chocolate. The macaron shell was a little soft but I really liked the chocolate filling and its so perfect for Valentine’s day! It will put a face on any girls face :D

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Always a pleasure to visit Ora cafe, it’s close to home, service is friendly and efficient but most importantly it is still the dishes they make and the bacon steak!

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

Hazelnut Crunch Bars – Taylor’s Wines + Giveaway *Winners Announced*

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe on the blog so I’m super excited to share this recipe with you today :) I was recently sent a couple bottles of Taylor’s wine to review, create a recipe to go with it and most importantly do a giveaway for my amazing readers!

Gewürztraminer 2012, Taylor's Wine

Gewürztraminer 2012, Taylor’s Wine

I was sent the Gewürztraminer 2012 from their white wine range, its a dry crisp wine with lime and lychee flavours. I think it would go quite well with a seafood dish such as rissoto, Michelle (The Bakernista) paired it with a Thai Red Curry prawn which I thought sounded great.

Taylor Wines

But you know me, I’m no good with making anything savoury, so decided to make something sweet (so predictable :P). I had so many ideas going through my head – apple pie, cheesecake and pudding. Eventually, decided to make something a little richer because I think the dryness of the white wine will cut through the sweetness.

Hazelnut Crunch Bars

Hazelnut Crunch Bars

I came across this Hazelnut Crunch Bar recipe and thought it was the perfect thing to make because it used two of favourite ingredients feuilletine (thin crepe crisps) and Hazelnut Praline Paste. If you haven’t used this praline paste before, think Nutella but without the chocolate flavour and but has intense hazelnut flavour.

Hazelnut Crunch Bar

This is also ridiculously easy to make, no baking required just some chopping and melting. The end result is a crispy chocolate layer topped with a hazelnut chocolate ganache filling. Mr Bao tried it and said it reminded him very much like the Bueno chocolate bar made by Ferrero :)

Just like Bueno!

I’m quite happy with how these hazelnut crunch bars turned out but found the chocolate ganache was quite soft, so maybe next time, I will add less creme to make it a more solid filling so it doesn’t melt in your hands as soon as you touch them :) If you like Nutella, Bueno and hazelnuts – you will LOVE this! It’s not always easy or cheap to buy feuilletine or hazelnut praline paste, but trust me it really makes a huge difference and you won’t be disappointed!

Now going to share the recipe with you, but don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom for the giveaway!

Recipe – Hazelnut Crunch Bars adapted from The Kitchn 

Yield – 8×12 inch tray (approximately 20 bars) 

Ingredients 
For the base:
170g dark chocolate, melted (microwave or bain marie)
285g (1 cup) hazelnut praline paste or Nutella
140g (2 cups) feuilletine

For the filling:
160g milk or dark chocolate, finely chopped (depends on your preference) 
60g dark chocolate, finely chopped
225g (1 cup) thickened cream
57g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Optional to garnish
Toasted hazelnuts
Feuilletine

image 4

Method
1) Spray the pan 8 x 11inch pan with oil and line it with baking paper, allowing it to hang over the sides.
2) In a large bowl, mix the melted chocolate and hazelnut praline paste together until well combined. Gently fold in the feuilletine trying not to crush them until combined.

feuilletine

3) Pour mixture into prepared tray and flatten using the back of a spoon.

Hazelnut Crunch 1

4) For the ganache filling, place chocolate (finely chopped) into a glass/steel bowl. Place thickened cream into a saucepan and over medium heat until it simmers and bubbles start to form. Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes. Add diced butter into chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth and shiny.

Hazelnut Crunch Bar2

5) Pour ganache over the feuilletine crust base and smooth with a flat spatula. Place into the refrigerator to set and firm approximately 1-2 hours or over night. Slice into thin bars and ganache with toasted hazelnuts or feuilletine if you like :)

Giveaway

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One lucky reader will win two bottles of Taylor’s wine!

To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me what do you like to eat when you drink white wine?
- For more entries please ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter ~ If you’ve already done that please let me now! Thank you!
- Giveaway ends on the 24th March (Monday) 
- You may reenter daily, one entry a day
- Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 23rd March (Sunday) 
- Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

Winner Announced

Congratulations Nicole! I will be in contact with you soon!

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Daisy@Nevertoosweet tried and reviewed Taylor’s wine as a gift, all opinions are true and honest. 

My favourite Matcha Softserve – Via Tokyo, Hong Kong

My Dearest Readers! I’m back :) I arrived back home in Melbourne on Monday morning. And even though it’s great to be home, I’m already starting to miss my family, friends and one of the best matcha soft serve I’ve had! I don’t use these words lightly, but I honestly liked the matcha soft serve so much from Via Tokyo, I visited 3 times in during my short stay.

Via Tokyo in Causeway bay

Via Tokyo in Causeway bay

Via Tokyo is one of Kosei Kamatani many ventures in Melbourne, he’s also the owner and operator of Ramen Jo which is just a stores down from Via Tokyo and believe it or not he also owns a Shisha bar. A lot of my foodie friends in Hong Kong are friends with Kosei so I was lucky enough to meet him in person. He was surprisingly young, friendly and very dedicated to his businesses, I’ve visited both Ramen Jo and Via Tokyo and they’re both brilliant, will have to try the Shisha bar as well next time :)

Via Tokyo Menu

*Warning* Via Tokyo is definitely designed for matchaholics! More than half of their menu is matcha based and the rest is focused on soft serve made from Hokkaido milk and a range of coffees. My first visit was on my 3rd night in town and I dragged my friend Mary to come with me. We arrived at around 8pm and there was already a queue outside. We were told to stand line up and given the menu to look at, I couldn’t decide I just wanted it all!

Matcha Azuki Parfait $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Matcha Azuki Parfait $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

We were both quite full from dinner so we only ordered two things, the first was the Match Azuki Parfait, the base is a matcha soft serve, Azuki beans puree, mochi (glutinous balls), sliced banana and rice puffs. I didn’t even pay much attention to the toppings and just dived straight into the matcha soft serve, and it was everything I expected but more! It had the smoothest texture but what really impressed me was the strong matcha flavour. That is the main issue I have when I go to most places for matcha soft serve, it always look green in colour but usually the matcha flavour is really light and merely tastes like green vanilla ice-cream. But here at Via Tokyo the matcha flavour is not only strong enough but it doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste :D

Sample Set $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Sample Set $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

We then got the sample set with mochis azuki beans, matcha soft serve and a soft jelly served with a brown sugar syrup. Once again I had my eyes and mind set on the matcha soft serve, which was just as nice but the other two sides was also nice and shouldn’t be ignored especially the mochi which was chewy on the outside but still soft in the middle. That concludes my first visit to Via Tokyo and I can only describe it as ‘impressive’.

Matcha Addicts!

Matcha Addicts!

I went home with a huge smile on my face, and kept bugging my other matcha loving friends (Ivan, Minnie, Winnie, Margaret and Ann) and kept telling them we have to go back together as soon as possible. So about a week later we finally found the time to go, conveniently, we had dinner at Ramen Jo first (blog post to come) then walked over to Via Tokyo. Its a small store and we had 5 of us so we wanted for a good 20 minutes before we got a table. And we went nuts hahaha we ordered a whole table of matcha desserts and drinks!

Matcha Affogato $42HKD ($6AUD)

Matcha Affogato $42HKD ($6AUD)

I’ve heard and seen so much about the Matcha Affogato that I was so excited to try. But note that this isn’t on the menu so if you want to try simply order it at the cashier :) It’s basically a serve of matcha soft serve topped with matcha latte. It’s a genius idea! Because we get the best of both worlds.

Matcha Affogato

Moving on we got the Okome Shiratoma Matcha Soft serve, which is similar to the Azuki Parfait with the matcha soft serve base and I found out the Shiratoma are not really mochi but more sweet rice flour dumplings. I particularly liked the rice puffs which gave the soft serve a little crunchiness.

Okome Shiratoma Matcha Soft Serve $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Okome Shiratoma Matcha Soft Serve $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Nope we still weren’t matcha-ed out and Margaret suggested we get a matcha latte, and I was so surprised to see the latte art. It was a very cute Winnie The Pooh face and also the word ‘Pooh’ with a little heart on the side! Definitely one of the prettiest lattes I’ve seen! Didn’t even want to drink and wreck the face! The matcha flavour wasn’t as strong because we’ve been overdosing in matcha but I know if I drank this first it would’ve had enough matcha flavour ~

Matcha Latte $32HKD ($3.5AUD)

Matcha Latte $32HKD ($3.5AUD)

Ok to give you guys a relief from matcha, we also shared a regular Affogato with Hokkaido milk soft serve and a shot of Espresso. I loved this shot! Thanks Ann for being such a great pourer hehe even though it’s not matcha, I still enjoyed this soft serve it has the richest and creamiest texture probably because they use the milk imported from Hokkaido to make all their soft serves.

Affogato $38HKD($5.30AUD)

Affogato $38HKD($5.30AUD)

That’s the second time I visited and I was left thinking about the matcha soft serve again, and I knew I would’ve visited even more often if it was closer to where I lived. So on the last day I was about to leave, we had peking duck with the family for lunch and then we had a couple of hours before I had to fly out … and there was only one place I wanted to visit before I left and that was Via Tokyo for the matcha soft serve yet again :) And I really wanted Win Win (sister) to try because she also likes matcha ice-cream ~

Matcha affogato

Matcha affogato

I got another Matcha Affogato all for myself and no sharing :) I mean it was my last day so I think I had the right to be selfish hehe still just as good! Win Win got a simple cup with the matcha soft serve and she was also impressed with the strong flavour.

Okome Shiratama Soft Serve $38HKD($5.40AUD)

Okome Shiratama Soft Serve $38HKD($5.40AUD)

My nephew Aden isn’t a fan of matcha yet probably because he’s 3 and doesn’t like the slight bitterness which comes with matcha. So got him an Okome Shiratama Soft Serve with ‘milk’ instead and the shiratama again. Aden really liked the soft serve and kept asking for more haha I think soon enough I will be able to train him to like match as much as his Auntie Daisy done :D

And that there sums up my 3 visits to Via Tokyo and trust me when I tell you, I really really like the matcha soft serve here. One of the best I’ve had and if you’re a matchaholic like me or like really rich and creamy soft serves, I highly recommend you trying Via Tokyo! Now I can’t wait till the next time I get to visit :D

Via Tokyo
Shop nos. 1A-1B, G/F., Leishun Court,
106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣禮頓道106-126號禮信大廈地下1A-1B號舖
PH: +852 
2895 1116
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/viatokyocafe

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