Monthly Archives: November 2012

Happy First Blogversary – Never Too Sweet :)

Yes! You have gone to the correct blog ~ Never Too Sweet For Me :) It’s still me! I just thought it was time to give my blog a HUGE facelift! Because today marks an very important day for my small humble blog :) It is the official Blogversary for Never Too Sweet For Me! That is this day last year was the first time I wrote something, stuck (ugly) photos in and wrote my experience and opinion about the food we had :P If you really want to read it here’s my first post.

First Post!

I cannot believe how fast time has flown by this year… there have been so many ‘first times’ for me… working full time for the first time, moving out for the first time and meeting people from the internet for the first time :P Hahaha now I don’t even blink an eye when I meet people in person for the first time, because though blogging, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I honestly feel like I know each and everyone one personally :)

Much better photos :P

I also feel like I have been blogging for a much longer time than just one year… even though it can be hard work sometimes especially with time constraints of working, I honestly believe this is the best decision I have made since choosing to do major in Marketing back at Uni :P the blog has kept me connected to the world, creative and most importantly brought me so much joy and happiness :D Sorry if that sounds  corny, but I meant every single word!

I made these for our anniversary :)

Initially, I wanted bookmarked and planned a million cake recipes that I wanted to make for my blogversary, it went from a 6 layer rainbow cake then to a caramel cheesecake, then it was madelienes, then it was even macarons! But I simply don’t have the time this week…so I will make up for it…instead, I just wanted to spend today’s posts reflecting on the things I have done and achieved through the blog and also thank the people who have supported me!

First Cake Pop ~ Little Bee!

Some of the things I have done this year through my blog:
– Celebrated numerous birthdays and anniversaries
– Attended Eat Drink Blog 3 Conference 2012 in Adelaide
– Did a macaron and a cake pop making class
– Met and interviewed a few chefs Gregroire Michaud, Pierrick Boyer, Peter Gilmore and Jeffrey Lebon.

Melb Bloggers at EDB

Thanks Simon from Simon Food Favourites for the amazing photo :)

Now to the Thank You’s! There are so many people I would to Thank because without them, I don’t think I would and could have blogged  for so long and have the motivation to keep going :)

Thank you Dearest Mr Bao!

Mr Bao - You’re a legend! Always supportive of my blog, you let me choose what I want to eat, eat what I don’t like and simply let me drag you around thank you! xox
Win Win – My Big Sis was supportive of my blog from day one, will do anything for me and the blog including asking her friend to smuggle me 3 large cans of Laduree hot chocolate LOL
My friends – Kirk, Dd, Julianne, Iola, Qiao Qian, Shaun, Kirk, Kristina (my neighbour), Yue, Charmaine and Mary and all my friend in HK, they put up with me talking about food 24/7 and also going to only ‘Daisy approved places’ :P
Fellow Bloggers -  So many of you guys, if I listed everyone I’ll be here for ages and I don’t want to forget anyone, but just know I am grateful for every single of one of you who have supported me, left me a comment and also gave me advice!
Readers - One of the most important people :) They are why I write and update and share with them my mistakes in baking and how to improve, in particular Joanna, my Reader living in Hamilton, Victoria ~ she is the sweetest girl ever and she made my chocolate orange tart ~

Joanna made my chocolate orange tart ~

Jovian and William - They are the talented designers behind my new blog logo and also my business cards, please support them and visit their website.
Sandy - My official blog designer :) I never would have been able to get a new blog design without her! Thank you :)

We’re still tweaking the blog design, so there might be minor changes to the font and colour schemes ~ but hope you like the new layout so far! I’m looking forward to sharing many more of my sugar-loaded adventures in future blogversaries THANK YOU everyone for the support!

For Him – Taste of Melbourne 2012

Melbourne is definitely a city full of events and most importantly food events :) one of the most popular would have to be Taste Of Melbourne. It’s an annual event that many foodies like myself look forward to going ~

Taste of Melbourne 2012 at Albert Park

I m actually a newbie to this event ~ last year was the first time I went, but I wasn’t blogging then and Mr Bao was busy and couldn’t go, so this year it was his first time and was held at the new Albert Park location. He wasn’t sure what to expect hahaha I reassured him ‘lots and lots of delicious Food!’. In fact we were so lucky to win tickets from Ms I-Hua’s blog that we got to go twice :) Thank you Ms I-Hua again!

The Big Fork :)

As you can see from the heading, I have decided to separate the Taste of Melbourne event into a savory post (for him) and a sweet post (for me). Simply because it’s too hard to squeeze everything we tried into one single post ;)
For those who haven’t visited Taste of Melbourne before, you need to buy an entry ticket first. Usually the earlier you buy the cheaper, and then you also need to buy ‘Crowns’ which come in booklets of $30, $50 and $100. These will then act as ‘money’ during event and you will pay the stalls in crowns even though some still take cash. I think it’s a clever idea and more hygienic than using real notes. We quickly got our crowns and studied the map to make sure we went to all the stalls :)
First place we stopped at was the Yarra Valley caviar and we had a little bit to try, very fresh and sweet yet salty liquid would burst into you mouth ~ tempted to buy some home back home. But we were going out afterwards so had no where to store it :(

Yarra Valley Caviar

We then rushed over to Movida, Mr Bao had been bugging me about going to Movida…so this was the perfect time for him to get a taste ~ we were surprised to see Executive Chef Frank Camorra serving the Fideua Mejillones.

Frank Camorra from Movida

The Fideua Mejillones reminds me very much like a paella but instead of Spanish rice it had braised pasta with mussels and calamari. It was extremely fragrant with paprika and the sweetness from the mussels ~ Mr Bao immediately wanted another one!

Fideua Mejillons with mussels and calamari 12 Crowns

You know I’m not a lamb eater, but Mr Bao sure is so he got the Pinchitos Morunos which were chargrilled Moorish Lamb skewers. Mr Bao loved the chargrilled flavour and the tenderness of the lamb, he had 2 skewers both times we visited :P However, the bread on the end of the skewer was a little dry and bland.

Chargrilled Moorish Lamb Skewers 8 Crowns

Spanish food wouldn’t be complete without Spanish beer :) So we got the Moritz beer, never seen or had this before, it was a strong ‘malt’ tasting beer, which I was surprised I liked, as I normally like lighter tasting beers.

Moritz Beer 6 Crowns

Then it as my turn to run to Mamasita! I have been dying to try Mamasita, but because of the crazy long lines…I still haven’t had the courage to go and wait for more than 2 hours for dinner :P But I have heard SO much about the famous ‘corn’!

Mamasita

The ‘Elotes Callejeros’ the ‘street style’ corn did not disappoint ~ it was buttery, covered with parmesan cheese and chilli flakes! I seriously don’t know what else they do to it…but it was just so addictive!

Street Style Corn 6 Crowns and Braised Ox Taco 8 Crowns

We also had the Taco de lengua which was a Braised Ox Taco topped, the meat was so succulent and in the soft taco, I only had one tiny bite because Mr Bao wouldn’t let go!

Market Fish Taco 6 Crowns

We went back the next day and got Taco de pescado which was a market fish taco, I was worried at first that the fish taco was going to be ‘fishy’ but not at all! It had a slight crunch and paired up so well with veggies :)

Taxi Dining

I have seen really nice photos of the dessert they do at Taxi Dining Room, so was disappointed when they only had 3 savoury dishes. But then I was proven wrong… the stick pork was AMAZING! We loved everything about it! Soft, juicy and spicy :)

Sticky pork with red chilli dressing 8 Crowns

However, I do agree with other blogger’s comments and that it was quite expensive for 8 crowns you only got a tiny piece and sizes were very inconsistent. Some people got much larger pieces :(

Tempura King Prawns 10 Crowns

We also tried the Tempura King prawns with smoked chilli mayonnaise, we liked smoked chilli mayonnaise, but found the tempura batter to be a little thick and once again over priced 10 crowns for only two small prawns.

Tonkatsu Cups – panfried pork belly 8 Crowns

Saké Restaurant & Bar has recently opened up at the revamped Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre, and even though I work around the corner I haven’t visited :) We chose the Tonkatsu Cups with panfried pork belly, mustard miso and barbecue sauce served in a lettuce cup. I really enjoyed it! Thought the pork belly was perfectly fried, but would have liked more barbecue sauce. While Mr Bao complained it was too small, so typical.

Pea and Mint Soup 10 Crowns

Kirk was also with us for one of the nights, and couldn’t resist the lovely lady at the Albert St Food & Wine stall who kept yelling out “Try the Number 1 dish at Taste of Melbourne, our Minted Mermaid”. Apparently this pea and mint soup with smoked salmon and apple was voted the number dish at this years event. I had a little sip and even though I liked it…I’m really not a fan of chilled soups, I’m so silly I was tempted to ask them to reheat it for me :P

Dorper Lamb Ribs 6AUD

Another lamb dish! Mr Bao were totally in love with these Dorper Lamb ribs with pea and mint. I have to admit, I did have a little bite and could see why he liked them it wasn’t at all gamey with a nice mint flavour. According to Mr Bao good value too only 6 crowns for 2 ribs….yup he went back for more…

The Atlantic

The Atlantic the super well known and expensive seafood restaurant at Crown Casino, we tried all 3 dishes plus the icon dish with Kirk :)

Prawn Cocktail 12 Crowns, Soft Shell Crab 10 Crowns and Spaghettini with Moreton Bay Bug 14 Crowns

Starting from the Tempura Soft Shell Crab with jalapeno and ponzo (left), we all enjoyed it, super crispy but not oily at all. We ordered another plate because it was so good ~ I will go to The Alantic for these soft shell crabs! Then it was the Altantic Prawn Cocktail (top) with spanner crab, scallop, Moreton bay bug, prawn, iceberb lettuce, rockmelon, basil and soft boiled quil egg, so many elements to this prawn cocktail! It was definitely by far one of the best ones we’ve had ~ Then the icon dish Spaghettini with Moreton Bay Bug, sadly I didn’t get the try this! The boys said it was delish and just finished it within seconds… Definitely have put The Atlantic on my wish list :)

The Botanical – Lamb burger with truffled mayonnaise 10 Crowns

I swear Mr Bao purposely ordered all the lamb dishes! We walked past The Botanical and I wasn’t going to try anything, but Mr Bao couldn’t help get a Lamb burger with truffled mayonnaise. He enjoyed it, but commented that there was too much mayonnaise which made it a little too rich and hard to eat.

The Bishop of Ostia & Pope Joan

There was also the Sustainable pop-up store from Bishop of Ostia and Pope Joan, which I just did a post about a couple of days ago and enjoyed the food there ~

I haven’t figured out the meaning behind Bishop of Ostia ~ but that’s not important, was was important was the Crispy NZ regal King Salmon wings with chilli salt! I have never heard of or seen salmon wings, but they are seriously the best part of the salmon.

Salmon wings with chilli salt 8 Crowns

Such a simple dish but the salmon wings were so soft and super easy to eat, just like a chicken win :) I wonder if we can buy them at the local seafood store? Really want to remake these at home… or will just go to Bishop of Ostia for more ~

Cocktail from Cointreau 8 Crowns

Now that’s all the savoury dishes we had ~ but wait for my sweet post with all the desserts and sweet things we had :P Before we left, we grabbed a cocktail from the Cointreau stall and I don’t remember what it was exactly but it was quite strong with mint and lemon flavours. Great way to end the night!

Live music

I much prefer this years venue more than the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton last year, it was more like a spring festival with live music and great scenery. However, I agree with Ms I-Hua that some of the scenery was blocked by the moveable toilets >_< I would have also liked to see more seating available as it was hard to buy all these little dishes and find a place to  eat them.

Did you go to the Taste of Melbourne this year? If you didn’t I definitely would recommend you going next year ~ even though it can be quite expensive, its nice to be able to try dishes from so many restaurants :)

Kirk’s Big Day – Rosetta, Crown Casino

Another year another birthday :) and this time it’s Kirk’s Birthday! But it’s not just any birthday… it’s a BIG birthday for Kirk and marks a very SIGNIFICANT day for him ~ I’m not going to say how old he turned because he will kill me but trust me it’s a BIG birthday hehe!

Happy Birthday Kirk!!!

I’m sure my Dear Readers will know who Kirk is :) He’s the very talented friend of mine who is a professional pastry chef ~ celebrating with chefs can be a little nerve-wrecking because I’m not sure where to take them…and whether or not it will live up to their standards :P So I gave Kirk full control where and when to eat. Very quickly he decided we’ll go check out Niel Perry’s new Italian restaurant – Rosetta at Crown Casino.

Rosetta, Crown Casino

I was secretly grinning because Rosetta was top of my list of restaurants that I wanted to try, especially since reading Lorraine’s (Not Quite Nigella) post about their wonderful dishes and two things stuck to my mind, the meatballs and the Bonet.

Loved the red interior :)

We booked our table for 7pm, I was immediately stressing out, because I wanted to go early so there was more natural lighting hahaha better pictures, but I was surprised when we arrived and walked in that Rosetta, had a very bright and open design. It had a classic Italian-feel with the large chairs with the detailing but also had this girly-touch to it, which I guess was a given as ‘Rosetta’ meant ‘Rose’ in Italian.

A birthday party isn’t a party without bubblies, Rosetta was very generous to give us complimentary champagne as they knew it was Kirk’s birthday and I’m pretty sure he pulled some strings :P I wasn’t able to take a photo or note the name of it, but it was a very light tasting champagne which me likesssss ~

Cheers ~

I loved how the menus were multi-coloured and I obviously wanted and got the pink one ~ They have a large and extensive menu starting with the warm and cold entrees, then pasta and risotto, the mains, sides and last but not least desserts :) I’m not very familiar with Italian dishes, as you can see from my blog, I don’t think I’ve done many if any reviews on Italian restaurants ~ its not because I don’t enjoy Italian food, just don’t go as often as I should ~

Rosetta Menu

Thank gosh we had Kirk who’s the expert to talk us through the dishes and some of the ones he recommends to us as he knows our tastes quite well :) Soon we had agreed on what we wanted for our entrees and main but not the desserts, as I just wanted everything!

Bread and Grossini

After taking our order, the waitress brought over some bread, which I think was a focaccia type bread and instead of butter, they poured some olive oil but we were told that butter can be ordered if we wanted it. We all loved the extremely spongey texture of the bread and Mr Bao even had my piece and asked for more lol while I really liked the grossini sticks instead, they’re actually a type of bread… but to me tasted more like biscuits super crunchy could imagine munching on these while watching TV.

Scampi $30 AUD

Kirk didn’t have to think twice he knew he wanted the ‘scampi’ and being in the ‘Crudi & Carpacci’ section, it was raw scampi with pistachio, orange and mint.  Kirk really enjoyed it and said it was “Delicious! Fresh, soft and so tender and liked the crunchy texture from the pistachios”. I don’t think I’ve had scampi raw and was really surprised that it was so sweet.

Tonno $26AUD

This dish very much reminds me of the Japanese sashimi but being Italian it had Sicilian Sea salt, grapefruit and pine nuts. The tuna pieces were sliced very thinly and even though the grapefruit was rather bitter, Mr Bao commented that it helped bring out the sweetness from the tuna, while the pine nuts once again gave it some texture. I didn’t really like the grapefruit but liked the simple flavours of the tuna with the Sicilian sea salt.

Polpette al forno $19AUD

The meatballs, Lorraine talked about :) They’re simple oven baked meatballs topped with a tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. I haven’t had meatballs for a while, these were able to satisfy all my cravings. They were soft, fluffy and full of flavour and the tomato sauce wasn’t too sour or overpowering either. I also thought that it was a generous serving with 3 large meatballs for only $19AUD.

Cotoletta $45AUD

Kirk chose the Cotoletta which was a pan-fried crumbed boneless veal loin with lemon, it was such a large piece of veal! The plate is much bigger than it appears in this photo, Kirk kept cutting pieces off and giving it to us, but still could barely finish it~ we joked it’s a never-ending story. We really liked the Cotoletta it was super thin, with a great crumb that wasn’t oily at all and so crispy. Definitely recommend sharing this dish and its value for money as it could have easily fed 2 to 3 people :)

Porchetta $42AUD

Mr Bao ordered the Porchetta a wood fire roasted suckling pig with mustard fruits, the suckling pig was very lean which was good, as it wasn’t drenched in oil making it less tender. But we enjoyed the wood fire taste and the balsamic vinegar sauce complimented it very well. However, we found the crackling a little tough and wasn’t really salted but Kirk did mention that it probably wasn’t baked in the oven, that’s why it didn’t have that ‘crack’.

Occo Buco $39AUD

I ordered the Osso Buco a veal shin braised in Vermentino which is a late-ripening Italian white wine. The veal had a tender and soft texture, but I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I found it to be a little under-seasoned and slightly gamey to me. But the boys really liked it and the fact that they could taste the ‘meat’. So Mr Bao and I ended up swapping dishes hehe ~

Risotto ai Fungi $29AUD

Mr Bao was still feeling a little peckish, so decided to order the Risotta ai Fungi which is risotta with mixed fresh mushroom. It was so delicious, it wasn’t too rich with a fresh lemon flavour. I personally found the risotto a little too ‘al dente’ but I guess that’s the traditional way risotto is cooked, I’m just use to my mushy risotto that I make at home hehe :P Keep in mind that their pastas are all starter sizes, but you can always upgrade to a main size by paying extra.

Verdure $10

We also ordered a side of Verdure Romanesco broccoli and broccolini with lemon oil, we have never had Romanesco broccoli which has a lighter green colour and also subtler taste. Mr Bao loved this dish so much he’s decided to remake this at home! I can’t believe it…this carnivore actually liked a veggie dish, I think he liked it because it was cooked perfectly, soft but not mushy with a lemon taste to it.

Kirk must have pulled some strings with his connections :) Because we were very well looked after for desserts hehe ~ got everything and more that I wanted YAY!

Tiramisu $21AUD

Mr Bao wanted the Tiramisu, wish granted hehe ~ it came in a little sliver bowl and was a very traditional tiramisu with Savoiardi, layered with mascapone cheese and coffee liquor. I found it to be a little too strong for me in terms of the coffee liquor and thought it could have been a little sweeter, while Mr Bao and Kirk both liked it and thought it wasn’t too strong.

Potta Cotta $21AUD

I’m not usually a panna cotta fan but this vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb and strawberry compote was magnificent! It was extremely smooth, wobbly and silky :) It was not at all filled with gelatine which is the main issue I have with other panna cottas  hehe :) We also liked the sweetness from the strawberries and also the texture from the rhubarb, definitely the wining dessert ~

Bonet $19AUD

This is a very traditional Italian dessert which I have not had before, it was described as a chocolate  custard with coffee, rum, Amaretti biscuits and caramel. Lorraine described it as an ‘Adult dessert’, as no sugar is used to make the actual custard. Sugar is only used to make the caramel poured over the custard, with a large dollop with pure cream. I was fascinated by an ‘Adult’ dessert so was very excited about trying, as soon as you put it into your mouth, there is a strong kick of coffee. I personally think the custard can be quite bitter without the caramel and the whipped cream. I actually enjoyed it more than I expected myself too but still think I could have done with more caramel syrup :P

Gelati and Sorbetti 4 Flavours $24AUD (approx)

We also tried the gelati and sorbetti :) Pistachio and chocolate were the gelati while the sorbetti were strawberry and lemon. They had the BEST pistachio gelati I have had in Melbourne! And I mean the best! I haven’t been able to find a place in Melbourne that does pistachio as well as Gelato Messina in Sydney. But Rosetta have done it! I will just come back for the pistachio! While the chocolate smooth, rich and deep ~ went so well with the handmade wafer biscuit. The strawberry and lemon were both refreshing and great as a palate cleanser, but I did find the lemon to be a little too sour.

Assorted Pasticcini $3AUD per piece

The desserts just kept coming! I couldn’t be happier :D we finished off with a plate of assorted pasticcini which I assumed meant cookies or the equivalent to the French Petit Fours. Starting with Cannoli di Ricotta, I was most excited about trying these as Lorraine mentioned that Rosetta makes fresh Ricotta everyday and it is never refrigerated. It did not disappoint, the Cannoli was fried, then filled to the brim with one of the silkiest ricotta I have tasted, and even though it wasn’t sweetened we all liked the slight savoury taste. Then it was the almond biscotti, it was crispy and dry with a slight orange scent, much better than my homemade ones which were triple the size ~ last but not least the ricciarelli which reminded me of the Greek short bread, but this was an almond and orange flavoured one and wasn’t as ‘crumbly’ as them.

Hope you had a great night Kirk!

Overall, we enjoyed our time at Rosetta and would recommend you trying, but have noticed their low rating on Urbanspoon, I personally think it’s because, some dishes were quite ‘traditional’ so you need to be prepared for a slightly different texture or take on a familiar dish :) Either way, I’m still happy to return for the meatballs, ricotta cheese and PISTACHIO Gelati! Once again would like to wish Kirk a very Happy Birthday! Thanks for being such a good friend for the past year :)

Daisy@Nevertoosweet, Mr Bao and Kirk paid for all food and drinks with a few perks thrown in e.g. Champagne and the cannoli :) 

Rosetta on Urbanspoon

Medieval Legend – Pope Joan

I was intending to continue with my journeys in my Little Aussie trip, but going through the photos and writing the posts are taking longer than I expected >_< so please bear with me, I’ve got a short cafe review for you today.

Source: Newspaper.li

Do you know much about Pope Joan? :) I don’t really know much about her, so I did some research and found out that there are many stories about her and the most well known describes her as a talented women who imposes as a man and becomes the pope. However, her gender is revealed when she gives birth to her son while riding a house and usually in the stories she is either killed or dies due to illness.

I have been quite intrigued by the name of the cafe Pope Joan ~ Have been meaning to visit, but it’s not in a suburb that we go very often so it has just remained on my ‘to-go list’. Then coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago, I had a baking class in the Brunswick area so I was frantically looking at places to have breakfast. Then I remembered seeing on Heidi (Apples Under My Bed) Instagram photo that she had visited the other day and the food looked sooooo good ~

My baking class started at 9am on a Sunday, very cruel if you ask me :P and it was worse, because I made Mr Bao wake up early, have breakfast with me and drive me to the cooking school hehe. We rocked up just past 8am and it was relatively empty in the cafe, the chirpy waitress told us to choose any table we wanted.


Surprisingly normal looking cafe :P I was expecting it to be more ‘medieval’ in the decor but nope ~ but it did have a retro-feel to it.

Joan’s Porridge $10AUD

They had a decent sized menu with the common breakfast items such as big breakfast, omelette and oats. It was a chilly morning and the baking class was a whole day course, so I wanted something warm, comforting and most importantly filling :) So I opted for the healthy Joan’s Porridge with with poached pear, nuts, seeds and honey. This was probably one of the best porridge I’ve had in a long time ~ It was not gluggy or sticky, nor was it too watery, it had the perfect consistency. My only issue was it didn’t have enough honey :P so I asked for more, which the waitress gladly gave me.

Not So Full English Breakfast $18AUD

Usually Mr Bao will always get a breakfast dish with eggs, the more the better and will complain when a cafe only gives him one. But that morning he didn’t want eggs and wanted something lighter, so he got the Not So Full English Breakfast with bacon, sausage, baked beans and swapped the egg for a side of avocado with no extra cost. We both loved the simple and homely presentation of his breakfast, especially how they put the baked beans in the little sardine tin :D I tried a little bit of everything and was quite impressed especially the Cumberland sausage that was full of flavour ~

Tomato Relish

The Not So Full Breakfast also came with a large jar of tomato relish, for customers to have so much as they please. I really liked this relish :) It wasn’t too sour or sweet and we both loved the chunky tomato bits ~ went very well with the bacon and sausage. Only criticism Mr Bao had was that the breakfast was a little small for $18, as other cafes serve a larger English breakfast for a similar price.

Flat White $4AUD

Coffees here are from All Press and Pope Joan has been praised for their coffee so we were both excited about trying. Mr Bao ordered a flat white and commented that it was quite bitter with slight floral notes. I had a sip and just thought it was just too bitter and needed a teaspoon or two of sugar and then it would’ve been lovely! Sugar makes the world a much better place :P

Mocha $4AUD

I got my signature mocha, and found it to be a little weak but very fragrant and had a nice chocolate hit to it ~ I would’ve liked it even more if it was a little thicker.

We really enjoyed our visit and would recommend you to come and try ~ I’m definitely coming back to try their egg dishes such as Deviled egg, ham hock croquettes, lentil and vinaigrette. I also have my heart set on trying their sweets, I could see the cakes and donuts in the glass cabinet screaming “Eat Me” :)

Pope Joan on Urbanspoon

Panna Cotta Lamington – Flour and Stone

I planned our Little Aussie trip very well, and made sure I had a list of places that I had to visit and tried to tick them all off ~  I would also like to say thank you to all Sydney Instagrammers who left a comment giving me recommendations and suggestions of where to go ~ THANK YOU!

Flour and Stone

I was going through my photos and I had so many places I wanted to blog about…but nothing could have stopped me from blogging about Flour and Stone first. It has got to be one of the most praised and blogged about bakery in Sydney and I have to agree with everyone else it is FANTASTIC!

I previously emailed Charlie from Hotly Spiced and asked if she would like to meet up and she said yes ~ YAY! Our plane arrived at 10:30am, we immediately rushed to the hotel, dropped off our luggage and jumped into a cab. It’s actually quite easy to walk/drive past Flour and Stone on the quiet Riley St. As I was about to head in, someone called out “Daisy?” I turned around and there was Charlie :) I immediately recognised her from the photos on her blog ~

I was quite surprised that Flour and Stone was such a small cafe, no wonder they wouldn’t take bookings, but very kindly reserved a table for us, because Charlie had called them that morning. We got the nice table in the middle, I couldn’t take my eyes off the glass cabinet with all the cakes, tarts, pastries and most important the FAMOUS Panna Cottta Lamington!
But I was trying to be good and balance my diet with both savoury and sweets :P

Chicken, leek and targon pie $7 AUD

The menu was written on a large piece of butcher’s paper and placed on the wall, it had a small selection of sandwiches and pies, along with coffee and tea options. Being quite hungry, we promptly made our choices.  Charlie got the chicken, leek and tarragon pie, and even though I didn’t try it, she seemed to really enjoy it commenting it had a “lovely tarragon flavour”.

Poached Chicken, corn, avocado and lettuce with chilli mayo sandwich $10AUD

Mr Bao opted for the lighter option, Poached Chicken sandwich with corn, avocado, letter and chilli mayonnaise. We were both so impressed with how fresh and delicious this sandwich was ~ this is the perfect example of simple things done very well! The bread was toasted and had a lovely crunch, along with the poached chicken which was still tender and the chilli mayo was slightly spicy but not too hot. One word YUM!

Wagyu beef, mature cheddar and tomato relish sandwich $10 AUD

I actually wanted something quite salty and filling so, so I got the Wagyu beef sandwich with mature cheddar and tomato relish. Once again I was very impressed with the bread ~ It was so delicious! I’m not sure if they make it in house, but it was just so fresh! The wagyu beef reminded me of roasted beef with more flavour and it went very well with the mature cheddar cheese. I enjoyed it so much Mr Bao couldn’t even sneak a bite :P

Come to meeeeee :)

Now to cakes and sweet :) I really hope I didn’t scare Charlie, because I went all out…and ordered 5 things for the 3 of us lol

Panna Cotta Lamington $6.50 AUD

Please allow me to use caps locks :P THIS IS THE MOST FREAKING AMAZING LAMINGTON I HAVE EVER HAD! I’ve never liked lamingtons they’re dry, crumble with very little flavour and not enough coconut…but this was super moist, with a lovely chocolate coating, sweet raspberry  jam and heaps of coconut!

I can eat one now :)

This is SERIOUSLY the BEST can I repeat that? THE BEST LAMINGTON! Okay sorry, I’ll stop :P

Purple carrot cake $5.50AUD

Then the purple carrot cake :) I’ve never had a carrot cake made out of purple carrots before, you couldn’t really tell…it was light and moist with a small dollop of cream cheese frosting. I thought the cake could have been sweeter :P but Mr Bao said it was fine as it lol

Donut with jam and custard $4.50AUD

Charlie chose the donut filled with jam and custard, the donut had such a great texture, fluffy, bouncy and not at all dry like some donuts I’ve had :) It also had the perfect amount of jam and custard.

Salted Caramel Tart $5.5AUD

Have I told you I love Salted caramel? Couldn’t go pass a lovely looking salted caramel tart ~ we really liked the tart case and found the filling not that sweet, but Mr Bao and Charlie thought it could have been a little more ‘salted’ hehe

Rainbow Ginger Bread $3AUD

I remember seeing these pretty Ginger Bread cookies on Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella) blog and have been waiting to try these ~ they were too pretty to eat hehe. Once again I’m not a fan of gingerbread but Flour and Stone did a great job! They were still moist with a strong but not overpowering ginger taste ~

Mocha $3.5AUD

Flatwhite $3.5AUD

Mr Bao and I also got drinks, he got the flat white and I got my signature mocha. We both enjoyed our coffees and even though I usually like my coffees stronger, the light flavours went really well with all the cakes we had hehe ~

Charlie and Me ~

That concludes our first visit to Flour and Stone with Charlie :) It was the loveliest way to start our Little Aussie trip ~ Charlie is just like her blog, charming, funny and honest! I really enjoyed meeting up and hope I’ll see her again soon!

Back again!

Now you didn’t expect me to just leave Sydney like that did you? :D I couldn’t! Even though I was only in Sydney for 2.5 days, lol I managed to go back on the 3rd day before we went to Brisbane ~

This time I only went with Mr Bao and got more cakes!  I was very lucky and had got in touch with Nadine Ingram the owner and creator of Flour and Stone through Instagram thanks to Dex (Kewpielovesyou). She came out and greeted us and said she was impressed with my appetite and sweet tooth ~

More panna cotta :)

I basically came back just for this panna cotta lamington, Nadine told me she was inspired by another chef who use to do a similar version, but with a jelly filling instead of jam filling :) I would DIE for the recipe but I know lol it wont be shared so easily so in the mean time, I am happy to fly up to Sydney every so often just for this! Thanh (I Eat Therefore I am) even asked me to bring him back a few and I would if I wasn’t going to Brisbane :(

Rhubarb and ricotta tart $5.50 AUD

There was so much to choose from, but I took the advice from Nadine and the lovely lady behind the counter and tried the rhubarb and ricotta tart. It was fresh out of the oven and was still warm when we had it ~ I was really surprised that it had a sweet yet savoury taste, probably because of the ricotta. Mr Bao really enjoyed it because it wasn’t very sweet, while I just loved how warm and soft it was :)

Old fashioned Vanilla cake with cream and raspberry jam $5.50AUD

Nadine said that this was one of their best sellers apart from the panna cotta lamington and that they don’t make it every day. The vanilla cake was spongy, super moist with strong vanilla flavours. Definitely one of the best Vanilla cakes I’ve had for a very logn time!

After Mint tea for two $6AUD

We washed all the cakes and tarts down with this lovely After Mint tea :) I have this new thing for good peppermint tea that is strong but not so much that it tastes like chewing gum hahaha and this definitely quenched our thirst.

I honestly do not know how Nadine and her team do it…they have totally changed my perception of everything I don’t usually like to something so heavingly to eat! I HIGHLY recommend anyone going to Sydney to have to pay Flour and Stone a visit :) I am already planning my next trip back to Sydney just so I can come back ~

PS. Even though I wasn’t able to bring Thanh or anyone else the panna cotta lamington, I was able to bring back the hazelnut torte and everyone seemed to like it :)

Hazelnut Torte $16AUD

Flour and Stone on Urbanspoon

Sweet Corn Tamale – Trippy Taco

Hello dear Readers :) I wasn’t going to blog about any Melbourne places for a little while, because I still have so many posts about Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide ~ But I couldn’t help but blog about our experience at Trippy Taco immediately, because I have a really funny story to go with it.

Trippy Taco

So the story is, I read Ms I-Hua’s post about Mexican food the night before, and had huge food envy and really wanted good Mexican food, so after convincing Mr Bao that Trippy Taco was the best place to go for dinner :) It was quite busy for a Saturday night and we weren’t able to get a table immediately, but after a short 10 minute wait, we got a table right next to the bar.

Everything was fine, until I looked at the menu while Mr Bao was in the toilet, I realised…that Trippy Taco was a vegetarian restaurant with vegan options LOL And if you haven’t noticed…Mr Bao a 100% CARNIVORE, this man needs his meat :P

He came back from the toilet and the first thing I said to him was, “Listen to me…take a deep breath and don’t freak out… but I just realised that this is a vegetarian restaurant, meaning NO meat, NO chicken, NO beef and NO lamb”. Mr Bao’s mouth nearly dropped to the floor and started giving me death stares lol as you can see from the picture below.

Mr Bao’s angry lol

He then said, “Ok…any is there any reason WHY we are having vegetarian food tonight?” hahaha I couldn’t help laughing and simply replied “Oh get over it, it’s Mexican food, there’ll be tons of cheese, cream and black beans it’ll fill you up and if you’re not we’ll go get you something else later”. I don’t think he was convinced :P But too bad!

Trippy Taco – Meal Size 2 tacos $12 AUD

We were both pretty hungry so we quickly ordered our dishes, starting with my Trippy Tacos, which was house-made corn tortillas with cheese, black bean, salad, salsa, avocado and lime juice. I’m new to tacos and have definitely jumped on the bandwagon hehe I really enjoyed them and thought they were quite light and fresh with the lime juice. But I didn’t really like the taste of the black beans, it was like they had this blue cheesy taste…not sure if it was the marinade or if there was goats cheese. Having said that, I will still recommend you trying these dainty tacos :)

Taquitos crispy corn tortillas $11 AUD

I’ve never had taquitos before, they remind me a little like springrolls hehe a crispy corn tortilla with a black bean filling topped with guacamole, salsa, cheese salad and lime juice. We both enjoyed the taquitos more because it was flavoursome and more filing with the large dollop of guacamole :)

Trippy Fries $6

LOL Mr Bao obviously wasn’t full so we got the Trippy Fries with Trippy seasoning, I think the best way to describe the seasoning would be a smokey BBQ taste ~ they were freshly fried and were piping hot when delivered to our table :)

Margherita $12AUD

Mr Bao was SO depressed due to the lack of ‘meat’ he decided that he needed a drink lol so he got the Margherita ~ I knew I should have stopped him. He’s never been good with tequila and soon he was talking and laughing more and louder than usual hahaha I had a sip and liked how it was very strong with a nice balance of tequila and lime.

Okay…I have to admit… I did feel kinda peckish after my tacos especially since… Mr Bao had one of mine! Meaning I only had one taco for dinner >_< not enough even for me. So of course it was time to get dessert! I was really surprised and impressed with the number of desserts they had, sweet tortillas, tamale and chocolate taqiotos.

Sweet Corn Tamale $12AUD

I was going to get the Nutella banana melt on a tortilla, but then the lovely waiter overheard that I wanted dessert and suggested the Tamale. I was a bit apprehensive at first, as I’ve never had a Tamale before and he did mention that traditionally they were only made savoury. For those who are unfamiliar tamale is made out of the same flour as the corn tortillas but it is wrapped in corn husks and often steamed or boiled.

But I decided to be adventurous and try their sweet corn tamale with bananas, maple syrup and vanilla ice-cream. And OMG let me repeat that OMG it turned out to be one of the best desserts I’ve had this year! I loved the soft, spongy texture which reminded me a little bit of the Zhong Zi, Chinese people at. The bananas and maple syrup really accentuated the sweetness from the tamale (corn dough) and when eaten with the ice-cream, it was pure BLISS! I’m going to have to stop there, if I don’t I’ll just go on and on and on about how cook this dessert was! Just go and try for yourself, I bet you’ll love it too :) Kelvin (HK Epicurus) agrees me and said it was the best dessert he had last year when he visited ~

Still sulking… lol

While I was fulling enjoying the Sweet Corn Tamale, Mr Bao was still sulking over the fact that he had not consumed any MEAT… gosh he’s such a baby! So he decided he wanted another drink…Sangria this time!

Sangria $6AUD

We both liked the Sangria and found it very refreshing and once again wasn’t very strong which was nice because I think Mr Bao didn’t need anymore alcohol :P He wont admit it but I thought he was getting a little tipsy hahaha

Despite of Mr Bao’s disapproval of Trippy Taco only because it’s a vegetarian restaurant, I really enjoyed it and that Sweet Corn Tamale made my day, heck it made my week :) Trippy Taco is definitely a cheap, chic and delicious place for dinner and even if you don’t want to do veggie tacos, simply go for desserts, it wont disappoint you :D

Trippy Taco on Urbanspoon

Market Feast – Eat Drink Blog 3 Part 3

This is the final part of my Eat Drink Blog 3 posts :) I’m feeling a little sad…reminiscing all the good times I’ve had with my fellow food bloggers, it’s just a shame that we wont get the chance to meet up as often as we would like to. But at least we are able to look back on these photos and look forward to the next time we meet!

The first day (Part 1 and 2) of our conference was just full of eating, drinking and talking :P but the next day was when the real conference began. It was going to be a pretty full on day because most bloggers had to rush off and catch the 7pm flight back home.

Red Door Bakery pastries and bread

EDB was very kind and had organised breakfast for delegates as it was a pretty early 8:30am start, we were provided with an array of pastries and breads from Red Door Bakery. I was super excited about trying the pastries as I had put Red Door Bakery on my ‘to-go’ list but knew I wouldn’t have the time to go, so it was a win win situation YAY! I had the orange marmalade danish and it was everything a good Danish should be, the pastry was puffy and flakey and with the orange marmalade it was just NOMMY!

dianne

Dianne Jacob acclaimed writer

Source: Diannej.com

It was then followed by Dianne’s workshop, where she went through her thoughts and opinions about food bloggers. I was very excited about meeting Dianne, as I have been meaning to purchase her book ‘Will Write For Food’. Now I’m definitely going to buy it ~ she gave us an overview of her experience with food bloggers, and she said she has seen a massive influx in the number of food bloggers in the past 5 years. A couple of years ago there were probably 40,000 food blogs, but this figure is no longer accurate. Dianne also mentioned that competition amongst food bloggers have also increased, therefore, its important to have good quality content on your blog~ I’m worried…I talk too much randomness to my blog posts hahaha

jules clancy

Jules Clancy from The Stone Soup

Source: The Stone Soup 

I then chose to attend the Blog Design workshop by Jules Clancy (The Stone Soup), it was a wonderful workshop as I have been interested in redoing my blog design, but haven’t had the time or expertise. These are the key points I got from Jules’ talk :)

Key Points
– Need to decide on an objective for the blog, what do you want people to focus on when they visit your blog
– Make it easy for Readers to find recipes and reviews
– Must easier to read posts with a white background and black writing
– Use narrower columns to help Readers quickly skim through the post
– Research has shown that the first time we look at a website is the top left corner

After attending this workshop… I really think I need a new blog designnnnnnnnnn can anyone please help me? :P Pretty please! It’s so complicated hahaha

Chef Nick preparing the seafood paella~

Time seriously just flew by and it was then time for lunch ~ no one knew what we were going to have for lunch, so we were all surprised when we walked downstairs back into the Central Market. The market is closed on Sundays but a number of stalls had opened up just for us to create a Market Feast!

Seafood Paella

Everything smelt and looked fantastic but the ginormous seafood paella was the show stopper :) I’ve never seen such a large paella pan in my life! I got a small serve and it was so delicious! The seafood gave it a sweet kind of flavour, while the chorizo was smokey and full of flavour.

San Jose products

More San Jose ham, chorizo and salami! You might remember San Jose from part 1, where we got to met San Jose and his partner turing the Central Market tour.

San Jose Ham

We also got to sample Vegas poultries pandan chicken :) I love the subtle pandan flavour the chicken pieces had and would really like to take some home with me if I could, because it’ll be the best after work dinner dish ~

Vegas Pandan Chicken

We also got to sample some of O’Connells Meats, I don’t think we got to meet them during our Central Market tour, but they were offering the most exquisite ham I have had :) It was warm, smokey and seriously AMAZING flavours! This is seriously the best ham to serve at any Christmas party.

Never ending chocolate fountain ~

Dessert was covered by Providore, another chocolate fountain? YES PLEASE! I can seriously contemplating getting one of those plastic mini chocolate fountains and put one at home so I’ll also have a never ending supply of chocolate :P

My lunch :P

I practically just sampled, the savoury dishes, instead this was my lunch lol pancake with strawberries drenched in chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate gelato :) Life couldn’t get any better!

I really wished we had more time to eat even more food, but we were only a very tight schedule. So we were rushed back into the Central Market Kitchen for the next lot presentations~ Next up was Geoff Kwito, the web entrepreneur and SEO guru. I really wished I had the chance to talk to him more, to pick his brain about SEO. He explained SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) very well and also gave us many hints and tips on how to optimise it to increase our hits.

Key Points
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important and inevitable
– Keywords are important, include them in the title and in the post
– Google will not rank your blog very high if it does not have good content
– Share the love, link back to each other :) The more links you have, Google will believe you are a quality blog
– Google does not recognise images, therefore, it is important to name them something relevant

These are a only a few things I learnt from Geoff’s presentation, for more Julie from I Dream In Chocolate recently did a post about SEO check it out ~

Afternoon tea – from The Cupcake Table

As we were all paying attention to the presentation, I saw on the corner of my eye, Natasha (The Playing House) who is also part of the EDB committee set up a table in the corner with our afternoon tea. It was like a little girls birthday party and definitely made me grin from ear to ear ~

So much to choose from!

I had a lot of trouble deciding what I wanted! I simply wanted to try everything there ~ I did manage to try the cakepops are they were so delicious! Fudgey and soft cake centres covered in chocolate then the crunch from the 100s and 1000s hehe yum yum yum!

Caramel Popcorn Cupcake

I couldn’t go past the caramel popcorn cupcake and then were AWESOME! Let me repeat that AWESOME! It was this soft, sticky and sweet caramel cupcake with a caramel filling, topped with caramel popcorn that was so crunchy and YUM! The cupcake was SOOOOOOO good, I couldn’t help but ask Natasha for the recipe, and she has been so kind to share with me :) I’m going to try making them ASAP and once I succeed, I will post about it :D

Christie from Fig and Cherry

Source: Fig and Cherry

The last presentation I wanted to share with you would be Q&A about Ethics and Working with PRs, with George Ujvary (The Foodologist)Ed Charles (Tomato) and Christie Connolly (Fig and Cherry). I was most excited about meeting Christie in person as I follow her blog and love the simple yet tasty recipes she shares, I also like stalking her blog because Poppy her daughter is SUPER adorable :)  I thought this topic was very interesting and important topic for food bloggers, especially since more and more food companies and restaurants are now using food bloggers to help promote and sell their products.

Key Points:
– 
Always be honest with your Readers and also be transparent and disclose when products/meals are paid for
– Decide what products you will accept and review that fits with your blog
– Decide whether you will charge and how much
– Public Relation companies do not usually have a budget, marketing firms usually have a budget and are able to sponsor bloggers

I think these tips were great and very useful, as I think it’s very important as a food blogger to be honest and disclose when products or meals have been paid for. I think Readers have the right to know and shouldn’t be misled to think that the meals were paid for individually when it wasn’t ~

Now that concludes my EDB 3 food bloggers conference :) I am going to cherish this experience for the rest of my life ~ I had the chance to meet all these fantastic bloggers and people in the food and beverage industry, be able to taste all the fresh produce and delicious dishes and most importantly learn how to be a better food blogger :D And that is to be honest with Readers and write good quality and intersting content!

Would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Christina (The Hungry Australia) and Amanda (Lamb, Ears and Honey) co-chairs of the EDB event and everyone else on the committee Natasha (The Playing House), Celeste (Travelling in Mary Jane), Erin (She Cooks She Gardens), Alex (Eating Adelaide) and Kristy (The Natural Foodie).

I’m really hoping to go to EDB again next year with all my fellow Melbourne bloggers and also catch up with all the wonderful and talented bloggers I met this year :)

For a recap of EDB 3, Simon (Simon Food Favourites) has done a brilliant video ~ I love re-watching it hehe :)

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