Category Archives: Australia

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 

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

Simple and Traditional – Mr Collins

Hello to my Dearest Readers :) I am writing this post in the plane as I’m going to back to Hong Kong for a couple of weeks to visit family, friends, shop and most importantly EAT! Follow me on Instagram and you’ll know exactly what I get up to. Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago I was invited to Mr Collins in the Docklands for lunch and was asked to bring a friend as well.

Mr Collins at Collins Square

Mr Collins at Collins Square

Since it was in the city, I decided to ask my colleague Yue to come, it would be a great chance for us to catch up before I headed off and was still quite close to our office. In the past couple of months, I’ve heard of so many new cafes/restaurants popping up in the Docklands, which I think is really nice because a lot of my friends work there and use to complain about the lack of eateries ~

Mr Collins

Mr Collins is located inside an office building (not sure which one) and adjacent with a modern food court. I really liked the seating they had outside the restaurant which had a lot of natural light coming through. The concept here at Mr Collins is to serve homemade style Italian dishes and where possible they make all their pastas and sauces from scratch.

White Wine

We started the luncheon with some white wine and prosecco, who said you can’t drink on a work day lunch even though I did turn quite red :P It was then followed by a charcuterie board with a good range of salami, bresaola, various cheeses and brae cheese with pear and honey drizzled over which was my favourite. Great way to start our meal, but I had to pace myself because I knew there was going to be a lot of food coming our way!

Charcuterie board

Charcuterie board

Frank Nesci introduced himself to us and explained that he has been in the hospitality industry since he was 12 years old at his parents restaurant. Before Mr Collins, Frank and his family owned and managed Healthy Habits, Sputino and Fancy Fillings. Many of these outlets can be found in food courts in most shopping centres.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

I know bruschetta sounds like a very simply dish, but this one at Mr Collins was probably one of the best I’ve had for a long time. I’m not sure if it’s the housemade bread or the fresh tomatoes, the flavours just melded without each other very well.

Mains - Squid ink pasta, gnocchi and ravioli

Main – Squid ink pasta, gnocchi and ravioli

There was then a short wait for the mains, which I understand as there were quite a few of us, and normally we wouldn’t have mind, just Yue and I had a meeting so we had to rush back ~ We all got our own plate of pasta with squid ink garlic prawn pasta, gnocchi in a tomato base sauce and ravioli. the prawn pasta was the most flavoursome and the prawner was cooked well. I found the gnocchi to be a little soft while the ravioli was nice with a soft cheese filling, sorry guys forgot what it was exactly.

Pizza - prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, rocket

Pizza – prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, rocket

The food kept coming, we then had two pizzas to share. The first was the proscuito, rocket and mozzarella cheese, my type of pizza. Really liked the topping and the flavour in the dough, not sure if they use a wood fire oven but it sure had that texture. Yue did find the base of the pizza a little wet, but we think it might be because we were at the end of the table and the last to take the pizza.

Pizza - Mozzerella cheese

Pizza – Mozzerella cheese

The second pizza had a drier base and that was the simple tomato base mozzarella pizza. Like the bruschetta it was simple but very tasty.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Would have loved to stayed and chat to everyone, but we had to rush off. Just before we got up, Ashleigh from Harvey PR made my day by bringing over the dessert tiramisu in a tall glass jar. I’m definitely no expert when it comes to tiramisu but I really enjoyed the strong hit of coffee and the creaminess from the mascarpone cheese.

How cool is this loaf of bread?!

How cool is this loaf of bread?!

Overall, I like how Mr Collins focuses on making traditional simple dishes and not overly modernising the dishes. Think Mr Collins is a great addition to the growing number of restaurants in the Docklands providing people more lunch and dinner options. I know they make all their cakes and sweet in house as well, so next time I’m going to have to come back and try some of the cakes :)

Mr Collins Cafe on Urbanspoon

Yue and Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined at Mr Collins as guests of Harvey Publicity 

Ice-cream creation – Harry’s Ice-Cream

Because I’ve been absent for so long, two posts in a row for my My Dearest Readers! For those who are in Melbourne are you prepared for another hot week? It’s going to get up to 40 degree this weekend. But I guess it’s still better than a couple of weeks ago when it was over 45 degrees Celsius. I don’t do very well with heat… so if you’re like me, remember to drink more water, keep hydrated and eat loads of ice-cream :P

Harry Icecream

Harry Ice-cream

That reminds me, at the start of summer, I was invited to Harry’s Ice-cream to visit their factory in Brunswick and was also asked to create my own ice-cream flavour! That is like any ice-cream lovers dream because I mean who doesn’t like ice-cream and to put all your favourite things in to create your own signature one, that sounds pretty awesome to me :)

Owner & Founder Lawrence Harrison

Owner & Founder Lawrence Harrison

I always assumed the Owner and Founder of Harry’s Ice-crema, first name would be Harry. But turns out Lawrence Harris is his name and they shortened it to Harry and used it as the brand. Harry’s ice-cream is their own brand of ice-cream but they also do private labels of Coles and Aldi, so you never know when you’ve purchased a tub of their ice-cream.

Blueberry Lemon Cocktail

Blueberry Lemon Cocktail

We started the fun event with a cocktail each served in these pretty and trendy Mason Ball jars which I adore. It was a blueberry and lemon cocktail with some vodka, the girls at Keep Left PR actually hand squeezed over 40 lemons themselves, now that’s effort. It was quite sour but a great way to clean our palettes and prepare us for the savoury and ice-cream tasting.

Sovoury Canapes

Savoury Nibbles

We were offered some savoury nibbles with mini bagels with smoked salmon, a spinach ricotta cheese tart, mini chicken sandwiches and puff pastry with blue cheese and dried figs. They were all freshly made and very good, but the spinach ricotta cheese was definitely my favourite.

Zumbo Macaron Tower

Zumbo Macaron Stand

Super spoilt, there was also a 3-tier stand full of macarons from Adriano Zumbo with nearly all the flavours you can think of, salted caramel, milo, popcorn, violet, finger bun and many more. I may have had one too many :P

Where the magic happens!

Where the magic happens!

After some savoury dishes we were then given a tour around the factory to see where the magic happens. It is so amazing how quickly it is for ice-cream to be made, filled into a tub and sealed and have it ready for delivery! I felt like I was in Willy Wonka land but for ice-cream hehe

Tony Senior Technician

Tony Senior Technician

We met Tony who is the Senior Technician and has been working alongside Lawrence for several years. He showed us how ice-cream was made from scratch, where a mixture similar to a custard is firm made with additions added to it and then churned in an industrial ice-cream maker. By the way, hygiene is taken very seriously here so we were all in the same gear as Tony, with a hairnet, lab coat, shoes also had to be covered lol no sorry no photos because I look simply too weird haha

Freshly churned ice-cream

The ice-cream is all churned and ready to be placed in the plastic tubs. I was really surprised with the texture and flavour of the freshly churned ice-cream it felt like whipped cream, it was so light and not very cold. Flavours were also more prominent because it wasn’t as cold.

Now it’s time for tasting and judging! So there were quite a few of us – Lianne, Sofia, Ling, Gastrology and Prue. We didn’t only get the chance to create our own ice-cream, it was also a competition where we got to judge each others ice-cream. Gosh I was nervous hehe because not everyone has a sweet tooth like mine :D

Our ice-cream creations

Our ice-cream creations

We had a good range of flavours amongst the bloggers, we had a carrot cake flavour, chocolate caramel slice, pistachio honey and rosewater and coconut cheesecake with biscuit.

My Creation

My Creation

Now do you want to know my creation hehe it took me a while to get it but I came up with a super sweet (duh) flavour haha with white chocolate ice-cream base, Mars Bar, Roasted Hazelnuts and Peanut Butter. Thinking back I probably overloaded my ice-cream but it was everything I like all in packed into one ice-cream.

Harry Icecream

This was the scoreboard! Congratulations Lianne for winning! Her flavour pistachio, honey and rosewater was fantastic and I’m a fan of pistachios too so it won a vote from me too :)

As for my favourite Harry’s Ice-cream flavour from their range of ice-cream would definitely be Sticky Date Pudding with toffee and fudge pieces through the ice-cream. Delicious! Thank you Harry’s Ice-cream and Keep Left for the invite to such a fun event, now time to go home and perfect my own personal flavour!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended this event as a guest of Harry’s Ice-cream and KeepLeft PR 

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