Category Archives: Australia

Sydney Foodie Getaway – Club Carlson

Source: Google Image

Source: Google Image

Sydney is one of our favourite cities to visit in Australia. Mr Bao and I try and visit once a year if not more, however, this year we haven’t had the chance to make the trip up…but we’re planning to do so very soon. We’re itching to go back :) Coincidentally, I was invited to participate in a competition where I detail my ideal weekend in a blog post and if I am lucky enough to win, I will get an all expense paid for trip worth $3000 for 2 people! So wish me good luck my Dear Readers!

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

This competition is ran by Club Carlson which is the records program of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group which own the Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, City Inn to name a few. I assume as a club member the more you visit, the more benefits you will receive and be able to redeem free nights which would be a great excuse to travel more and save money on accommodation! So my ideal weekend would start off with a 9am flight from Melbourne and arrive in Sydney just after 10am. This will give me more than enough time to catch a taxi and get to the Hotel. I would book a foodie getaway Bentley Package at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

Hopefully my room will be ready and we will be able to check into our room, put our luggage away and head out for brunch! Whenever I go to Sydney I go a little crazy and do as many food stops as I can!

Flour and Stone

Flour and Stone

First stop, I will definitely go visit Nadine Ingram owner of Flour and Stone! I simply cannot get enough of her Panna Cotta lamingtons! I’ve been annoying her for the past 2 years to please deliver them to Melbourne! I will also bring my own little esky to take a couple more home to Melbourne!

After two food stops, it’s time to do some exercise and what I mean by that its SHOPPING :)

Even though I live very close to a Westfield in Melbourne, I love shopping at Westfield Sydney. There’s a good variety of stores from the high end brands such as Prada, Miu Miu through to the more casual and affordable shops like Dotti. Let’s not forget about the food! They have Din Tai Fung (love their Xiao Long Bao), Ipuddo and more importantly Laduree!

Laduree

After some exercising I will definitely take this opportunity to sit down at Laduree and have a macaron or two will a cup of tea. Perfect way to spend and afternoon if you ask me!

I’m probably pushing it…because we’ll be stuffed by then…but I still want to make ONE more food stop before we head back to the hotel! That’s a quick dash to Bourke Street Bakery for their Ginger Brûlée tart.

With a large box of goodies from the bakery, we will head back to the Radisson Blu hotel. Remember how I said I’ll book in the Bentley Package, well it’s called this for a reason. It’s because this package includes one night’s stay in a Premier Room and also 2 tasting menus at the renown two hatted restaurant Bentley. I knew the restaurant was moving from Surrey Hills to a new location, however, I didn’t know it was into the Radisson Blu. It will be two birds one stone if I stayed at the hotel and also save on travel time ~

I’ve just had a look at the tasting menu and every thing sounds amazing what do you think of this dessert Violet Ice-Cream, Cocoa Honeycomb and Blueberry? hehe I think after a 7 course degustation dinner we won’t be hungry so we’ll head back to our room and relax! I’ll most definitely be using the free wifi to Instagram all the things we’ve ate that day!

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

We’ll leisurely wake up at 9am the next morning and order breakfast from Bistro Fax and delivered to our room, because I love the idea of breakfast served in bed! It’s a plus because it’s also included in the package without having to pay anymore ~

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After breakfast we’ll slowly get changed and pack everything and prepare to check out, we won’t rush because it’s Sunday and we should enjoy the time left we have in Sydney. We’ll leave our luggage at the hotel so we won’t need to carry it around with us. We will then make our way to the Sydney Fish market for some fresh salmon sashimi, baked lobster and cheese. This photo above was taken a couple of years ago when we visited the fish market :) I’m sure I’ll be doing the same when I go this time!

Wasting no time after a delicious round of seafood, I’ll drag Mr Bao to Blackstar Pastry a patisserie that has been on the top of my list for the longest time! Can’t believe I haven’t had this Strawberry Watermelon and rose water cake before!

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

Since we’ve left our luggage at the hotel, I thought we should try the High Tea at the Radisson Blu as you all know how much I like high teas ~ It appears to be a traditional afternoon tea set with a good range of savoury and sweet items.

And that will take us to the end of our foodie getaway weekend in Sydney. I will be so sad to leave Sydney so soon! I hope you liked reading about my ideal weekend away. I got so excited writing about this post, I’m already looking at tickets to Sydney! I really hope I will win and we will be visit Sydney very soon :D

Daisy@Nevertoosweet was not sponsored to write this post, however, this is part of a competition run by Digitaslbi and Carlson Rezidor/Club Carlson.  

Up In The Woods – Piggery Cafe

Piggery CafePiggery Cafe, Shannon Bennett’s newest venture up in the Dandenong Ranges. I visited in late September with Sarah (Sarah Cooks), Sandra and Ashley (I’m So Hungree) and have been meaning to write about the event for the longest time.

Piggery Cafe

Sarah visited Piggery Cafe a couple months ago and has been raving about the cakes and also the $25 afternoon tea. So we promptly organised a girls day out and Sarah kindly offered to drive which is probably a great idea, as I am horrible with directions :P

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Piggery Cafe is only one part of the Burnham Beeches a historical mansion built in the 1930s and is now divided into different area such as the Burnham Bakery and also an Emu enclosure. There are also plans to open a Burnham Beeches hotel and steakhouse.

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We chose one of the best afternoons to go, as it was lovely weather not too hot or cold and we managed to grab a nice table outside. Ashley and I took a walk inside the cafe and was immediately mesmerised by the table full of scones, mini tarts, cakes and other sweets! I was in dessert heaven!

Piggery Cafe1

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off all the baked goodies! I wanted to try EVERYTHING the scones, lemon tart, mini chocolate cake! I’m practically had to drag myself out back to the table and waited patiently for the waiter to take our order. He explained to us that for $25 per person, includes a selection of savouries, sweet and unlimited flow of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Valrhona hot chocolate

Valrhona hot chocolate

They use Valrhona chocolate to make their hot chocolate here, so Ashley and I decided to get one each. It had great chocolate flavour, however, wasn’t the thick European type and was rather light and came with a little house-made marshmallow.

Piggery Cafe

Savoury platter

Next up was a large platter of savoury items, it was a huge shock the amount of food on the board. From the left was a puff pastry filled with mushroom, smoked salmon, seeded sourdough with some addictive garlic spread and also a little quiche. Everything was great and I enjoyed it all but the mushroom pie was definitely a winner with the super flakey and buttery pastry!

Scones with jam and whipped cream

Scones with jam and whipped cream

This was followed by these dainty scones half fruit (dried cranberries) and plain served with jam and whipped cream. I am determined to make my scones smaller at home next time they just look so much more refines and so damn cute when they’re small like this!

I slathered a very generous serving of whipped cream and I think it was apricot jam with a light citrus flavour which may have been orange. Scones had a good crust, but was still moist and fluffy inside thumbs up from me!

Chef's selection of sweets

Chef’s selection of sweets

The food doesn’t stop coming, it was then a full plate of Chef’s selection of sweets! A wide range of cakes such as pistachio canele, almond cake, mini macarons, chocolate tart and macaroon. The cakes did not only look good they tasted fresh and nothing was dry or felt like it has been left out for a long time.

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We then finished up with another round of coffee and tea. The afternoon tea here at Piggery Cafe is such a great value for money and I still can’t believe we got all this food for only $25! I guess it is a great way to attract patrons to visit in the afternoon which is usually quieter for the Dandenong Ranges when people are making their way home. I heard that Shannon Bennett wanted to create a space where he would like to visit with his kids on the weekend. He’s definitely done a great job to make Piggery Cafe very kid friendly and also pet friendly which is very important to me :)

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Before I left, I went back inside to grab an Apple Danish and also Lemon Merengue tart for Mr Bao as he got quite jealous he wasn’t invited to come hehe I can’t wait to take Mr Bao and Cupcake with me next time and I’m tempted to try the Burnham Beeches picnic basket next time :)

Piggery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Garfield’s Birthday Dinner – Sapore

Hello My Dearest Readers :) Sorry I’ve been so quiet, but I promise I have a good excuse! For starters, I became an Auntie again my sister Win Win gave birth to a baby girl who is  our little angel! We don’t know her name yet, it’s been two months but they are still indecisive, so if you have any suggestions please share them in the comments below.

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Unfortunately, after giving my birth my sister had a hard time coping taking care of a very curious 4 year old and also a new born. So I decided to go back to Hong Kong for a week and spend some much needed time with family. I’m not very good with babies and trust me when I say I respect all mothers! It requires so much unconditional love to take care of babies and children, and I am definitely not ready for this responsibility yet. But I was glad to be home to spend time with them and do anything I can do to help :)

Sapore

Anyhow, in this post I wanted to share with you another birth and that is the birthday of my high school friend Garfield. If you’ve read my previous posts, you will remember Garfield only really likes Thai food, but I think he should try something else for his birthday! So he compromised and said he’ll be happy to go somewhere that makes good calamari. He has pretty high standards so I had to search high and low for a good place. I then remembered last year, when I visited Sapore they did a very good calamari and coincidentally they were doing a 50% off offer on Dimmi.com, so that’s how we ended up there on a quiet Monday night.

Beer $9

Beer

I have visited Sapore before and for those who are not familiar, it is at the end of Fitzroy St near the Esplanade and in summer it would be lovely to sit outside. Garfield started off with a beer imported from Italia and described it as rather dry.

Cider

Cider

While I stuck with a pear cider which was quite sweet to begin with, however, the aftertaste is sweeter. A shame Mr Bao couldn’t join us because I knew he would’ve enjoyed this.

House smoked salmon, asparagus, baby beet and cos salad $18

House smoked salmon, asparagus, baby beet and cos salad $18

 

The 50% offer was very generous everything on the menu including entrees, mains and desserts were half price. We quickly decided on the entrees and this was the house smoked salmon with an asparagus, baby beet and cos salad and also a horseradish mayonnaise. The smoked salmon had a much softer texture than the store bought salmon and not as salty which was quite pleasant.

House smoked salmon, asparagus, baby beet and cos salad $18

Don’t worry the salmon is there :) It’s just hiding behind all the salad hehe

Salt & Pepper Calamari with aioli, bitter leaf salad and a lemon dressing $18.5

Salt & Pepper Calamari with aioli, bitter leaf salad and a lemon dressing $18.5

Next up was the salt and pepper calamari, the main dish I wanted to bring Garfield and get him to try. Even though the calamari is on the entree menu, the waiter said next time if we wanted to we can also make it a main meal size.

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Garfield had a couple of bites and started to slowly nod his head. And I started smiling because I knew that meant he approves! The calamari is lightly battered in what I suspect to be polenta as it is quite light but still soft and tender in the inside.

Barramundi with mashed Potato and clams $32

Barramundi with mashed Potato and clams $32

Moving onto our mains, Garfield surprised me by ordering the Fish of the Day which was the barramundi with potato mash and clams. I didn’t expect him to order the fish, as I’ve alway seen him as 2 meat 1 veg sort of guy and would go for the steak :) I stole a bite and the barramundi was cooked very well with a good crispy crust. I would have liked a little more sauce, other than that it was very nice dish.

Twice cooked pork belly with confit celeriac, apple and a balsamic glaze $36

Twice cooked pork belly with confit celeriac, apple and a balsamic glaze $36

I ordered the 12 hour twice cooked pork belly with confit celeriac, apple and balsamic glaze. The pork belly was cooked until it is very soft and I really enjoyed the apple and balsamic glaze. But the confit celeriac was actually quite sweet and caramelised.

Vanilla donuts with strawberry jam and custard $14

Vanilla donuts with strawberry jam and custard $14

Garfield was complaining he was so full he couldn’t eat anymore, well too bad I want dessert so he got no choice :P We tried the vanilla donuts with strawberry jam filling and also custard. The donuts were quite small and dainty with a slightly doughy texture.

Chocolate and pistachio slice with salted caramel, honeycomb and passionfruit $14

Chocolate and pistachio slice with salted caramel, honeycomb and passionfruit $14

Last but not least is this chocolate and pistachio slice with salted caramel, honeycomb and passionfruit. It was rich and decadent with a smooth texture. I really enjoyed the homemade honeycomb and also the pistachio. However, I found the passionfruit a little too tart and didn’t quite match the rest of the element of this dessert.

We had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed all the dishes, it was also at great value with the 50% discount from Dimmi.com. Garfield really liked the calamari and said that he’ll return even without the discount so that’s definitely a win :) Recommend anyone else who has calamari cravings and would like to dine near the Esplanade in St Kilda.

Sapore on Urbanspoon

Healthy Snack – Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls + Giveaway *WINNER ANNOUNCED*

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls

Happy Wednesday my Dearest Readers :) Half way through the week! I’m not sure if I’ve told you, but I work in a very technical team with all men…there’s only one other girl in my team, but she doesn’t work in the same office as me so I haven’t even met her before. Anyhow, these middle ages men are always mindlessly munching on snacks all day long… whenever I bring any goodies in…they will generally be cleared in a couple of minutes.

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls

Recently, my two managers have decided to try and be healthy and opt for healthier snacks and one thing they love are pistachio nuts. They will take turns in buying a big pack and share it amongst themselves, and it’s very entertaining to see them fight over the last one in the pack! I didn’t realise until recently, that pistachios are a healthy snack which can help lower cholesterol and the fibre and fat content make them quite filling and hopefully you will eat less later ~

Wonderful Pistachio

Wonderful Pistachio

I was recently sent some Wonderful Pistachios to try and was asked if I was interested in creating a recipe for them. So I took this opportunity to make some healthy pistachio snacks for my colleagues which were also portable as they have been going on for long runs at lunch time.

Cranberry and Pistachio Energy Ball

Will provide you with the recipe now, but don’t forget to scroll down to the end for the giveaway :)

Recipe – Cranberry and Pistachio Energy Balls adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Yield – Approximately 20 balls (Tablespoon)

Ingredients
220g (1 Cup) chopped dates
1/2 Cup honey
pince of salt
1 1/2 cup of traditional oats
1 cup unshelled pistachio nuts
1 cup dried cranberries

Notes
- Fresh dates are probably better, because they’re not as hard
– More honey may be required to help the ingredients stick together
– Make sure the dates are well chopped, as my food processor had trouble combining the honey and dates together
– I use raw pistachio, meaning they were not salted. If you use salted pistachio, you can leave the pinch of salt out
– You can add additional seeds, nuts or dried fruit if you wish to

Method
1) Place chopped dates, honey and salt into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Mixture should be slightly runny, if it is too stiff add some more honey (1 or 2 tablespoons).
2) Transfer mixture into a large bowl and the other ingredients, pistachio, oats and dried cranberries. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3) Once the mixture is cool and harder, use your hand or spoon to assist and roll them into the size you like. Place them back into the refrigerator to firm up.
When stores in an air tight container they will last up to 2 weeks.

Cranberry and Pistachios Energy Balls

Mr Bao tried these energy balls and gave them a thumbs up as they were quite sweet and really filling, he said he ate 2 in the afternoon and was full until it was dinner time again :) Note these are also sugar free too, as it uses honey and dates!

Now let’s move onto the giveaway!

20141009-IMG_3279One lucky ready will win a Wonderful Pistachio pack valued at $24, pistachios in 3 flavours, Roast & Salt, Salt & Pepper and Sweet Chilli. Otherwise, you should be able to find them at your supermarket :)

To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me do you like salted or raw pistachios?
– 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 22nd October (Wednesday) 
– 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 24th October (Thursday) 
– Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

WINNER ANNOUNCED

Congratulations Jessica M! You are the winner for the Wonderful Pistachio pack! I will be emailing you about this today :)

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Thank you everyone who left a comment and participated!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet received Wonderful Pistachios as a gift 

 

New Friend Leaving – Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Mr Bao laughed and rolled his eyes, when I told him, “I’m going to start my blog post with the following statement – I am a social butterfly”. I’m not sure what’s so funny about this statement, because it’s very true! I love socialising, meeting new people, making new friends:) Fellow Wong (that’s our nickname for each other since we have the same surname haha)  is one of these new friends I have made, we met through another friend last year and have kept in touch since then. If it wasn’t because of a busy work/life schedule and distance of where we live, I’m sure we would met up more. 

Lucy Liu

Anyhow, the sad news is Fellow Wong is relocating again, he is originally from Sydney, this time he is moving to Singapore. It’s a great move for his career and he’s definitely someone who likes a new challenge so we’re very happy for him, however, at the same time it’s sad to see a new friend leave. There’s a few more weeks before he moves, but we wanted to catch up a few more times. That’s how we ended up having lunch at Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar, which is the new venture from Michael Lambie (The Smith, Circa), Smith Borg and Zac Cibbes. 

Kirin Apple Cider

I had a look at the menu before booking, and it gave me the impression of so modern Asian with Thai and Korean fusion. It seems to be on the rise with the number of modern Asian restaurants in Melbourne. The boys both shared a Kirin Apple cider, I didn’t know that Kirin produced ciders because I’ve always associated them with beer hehe I had a sip and found it to be quite crisp, but not too dry. 

Koh Tao Cooler - Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice top with soda $8

Koh Tao Cooler – Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice top with soda $8

I got a mocktail the Koh Tao Cooler with Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice and topped with soda. Really enjoyed this refreshing drink and paired quite well with our dishes with such rich flavours.

Freshly shucked oysters with red nam jim sauce $4 each

Oysters with red nam jim sauce $4 each

As a little starter we tried a freshly shucked oyster with red nam jim sauce. Haven’t had it with nam jim sauce before, found the slightly sourness helped bring out some of the sweetness from the oyster.

Barramundi & Scampi Dumplings with chilli, ginger and spring onions $14

Barramundi & Scampi Dumplings with chilli, ginger and spring onions $14

We then shared these Barramundi and scampi dumpling with chilli, ginger and spring onions. I’m usually sceptical of fish dumplings as they’re often quite fishy, but I was very impressed with these dumpling. They had a decent amount of filling and was actually quite tasty! Especially with the chilli sauce!

Crispy Pork Bun $8

Crispy Pork Bun $8

We then ordered a couple of buns to share, this is the Crispy Pork Bun with spicy kimchi and kewpie mayo. It’s so nice to see that Kewpie mayo is used more widely now and not only available in Japanese groceries. I’m addicted to it haha :) The bun itself was soft and fluffy, however, I found the crackly wasn’t as crispy as we would have liked and found the pork to be slightly bland.

BBQ Lap Cheong Hot Dog $8

BBQ Lap Cheong Hot Dog $8

This was my favourite! BBQ Lap Cheong ‘Hot Dog’ in a toasted milk bun with wombok coleslaw. A yum cha you can find Lap Cheong buns but they’re definitely not as indulgent as this one with that wombok coleslaw which I’m pretty sure has egg and more kewpie mayo! I really enjoyed this and would recommend you trying it!

Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly $20

Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly $20

This reminds me very much like that signature pork dish they have at Taxi Kitchen . I did find $20 for only 2 pieces of pork belly to be on the dearer side. It was also served a young coconut salad and red chilli. Unfortunately, we were a little underwhelmed as the pork was a little tough and once again under seasoned and not very sticky.

Koren Fried Chicken Ribs $14

Korean Fried Chicken Ribs $14

But then I was blown away again by the Korean Fried Chicken Ribs with kewpie mayo :) The ribs were not greasy with the flesh still tender, it was slightly spicy probably because of the marinate, and dipped into Kewpie mayo perfect!

Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock $38

Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock $38

Just in case I forgot to mention, the menu here is designed for sharing as most places are now! We’ve had a fair amount of food, so we decided to only get one dish from the ‘Larger’ section of the menu. We decided on the Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock with apple kimchi salad, pancakes and hoisin sauce.

Lucy Liu2

I would describe this dish like it a peking duck, but instead you replace the duck with pork! It’s quite simple, you hack into the pork hock, rip pieces off it, wrap it into the pancakes add a bit of the salad. Here comes some action shots for you!

Lucy Liu

Step 1

Lucy Liu

Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Oh yeah last step is to wrap it and put into your mouth!!! We all really enjoyed this, the pork hock was tender with great smokey flavour, with a drizzle of hoisin sauce to give it some sweetness and the green apple for crunch! It’s also a very generous serving that could easily feed 3 to 4 people! I also liked the super thin paper like pancakes which means it’s less filling and you can eat more of it :)

Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam $15

Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam $15

If I had it my way, I would’ve forced the boys to have 3 desserts! But they were too stuffed, so I settled for only 2! Starting with the Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam. I’m a little perplexed because I really liked the bottom layer with the dulce de leche, how sweet and rich it was. But then I’m really not a fan of blood orange, while it was the opposite for the boys they liked the foam more because it wasn’t as sweet :P

Crispy Banana Fritters $15

Crispy Banana Fritters $15

To make it easier for sharing, we got the Crispy Banana Fritters with coconut ice-cream and syrup. The batter in which the banana was coated in was thicker than I expected and not as crispy. Felt like a modern take and wasn’t as oily as the traditional one. Coconut ice-cream was creamy and nice with a sprinkle of toasted shredded coconut.

It was such a great catch up with Fellow Wong and as a side story, I’ve already introduced him to my good friend Ms S who will take care of him when he lands in Singapore. See I’m such a good friend haha I go to great lengths to take care of them. Back to Lucy Liu, I think it had some hits, but also some misses. I think some dishes they executed so well, however, lacked some flavour in some others. However, if you’re looking for a new place to have lunch or dinner with friends who take bookings, I think Lucy Liu is a good option. Plus the name is quirky :P

Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Crown Golden Ale – Caulfield Cup Carnival Preview

Caulfield Cup Carnival

 

Can you believe it? It’s already October and for those who liked horse racing you will know it’s time for Caulfield Cup Carnival :) If you want to go, best to get tickets early! A few weeks ago, I was invited to a preview dinner to try some of the excellent dishes that will be served during Caulfield Cup.

Caufield Cup Carnival

NV Pommery Brut Royal

 

The event was very casual, we all arrived, grabbed a glass of champagne and forgot about the days trouble and relaxed into the night.

Soft goats curd with edible soils and heirloom carrots

Soft goats curd with edible soils and heirloom carrots

As we’re sipping on our drinks, we are handed a canapé, soft goats curd with edible soil which is made out of dehydrated mushrooms and olives garnished with pickled heirloom carrots. I’m not usually a fan of goats curd for the gamey taste, however, this was very subtle and the edible soil had such intense mushroom flavour.

Sashimi grade tuna with textured green apple and sevruga Caviar

Sashimi grade tuna with textured green apple and sevruga Caviar

It was quickly followed by the Sashimi grade tuna with green apple salad, green apple caviar, apple and wasabi sorbet finished with sevruga caviar. Such an exquisite canapé using some luxurious items such as the sevruga caviar. I know Mr Bao was so jealous when he saw the photo on Instagram, as he loves raw fish and tuna is one of his favourite. The apple and wasabi sorbet really impressed me as it helped bring out of the flavour of the tuna without being too overpowering.

Crown Golden Ale

Crown Golden Ale

We then moved into the kitchen were our main meal was going to be served. As this is the Crown Golden Ale preview we were given a range of lagers and ale to try :) Tully Hadley CUB Master Brewer, gave us a brief explanation about Crown Golden Ale the history and production method, I also learnt a few interesting facts. For starters, Australians drink their beer very cold compared to the rest of the world, in some places, they even drink it at room temperature up to 10-12 degrees (celsius).

Caulfield Cup Carnival

 

He taught us how to pour the beer and that it doesn’t really matter if its on an angle or not as it’s a myth it will create too much foam. I’m not generally a Ale sort of girl, however, I found the Crown Golden Ale quite easy to drink, malt flavour wasn’t too strong.

Ian Curley

Ian Curley

We were then introduced to Ian Curley (Head Chef of Black Caviar Restaurant) and Julian Robertshaw (Melbourne Racing Club’s Executive Chef). You may recognise Ian from a previous blog post of mine, where I met him last year :) He is one of the most candid and nicest chefs I have met. It was also very nice to meet Julian who has recently relocated back to Melbourne, he spent 10 ears working in China, which I found very interesting where he had to learn Chinese simply to communicate with his staff members.

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I swear John Dory is Ian’s most favourite fish, he used the same fish at the previous event ~ well can’t blame him the texture of the fish is outstanding when cooked well. On the menu was a Friscassee of John Dory with Oyster and Musseel escabeche. As you can see Ian is stirring the pot with the oyster and mussels, I was getting pretty hungry by then!

Ian and Julian weren’t going to make it easy for us, we were all asked to help including Chris and for those who don’t know he’s a jockey and it was so intriguing to know about what they do to keep themselves so slim which obviously helps with riding :)

Julian Robertshaw

Julian Robertshaw

After a dollop of mash potato, Julian spreads a generous amount of the oyster and mussel escabeche, wish I could quenelle mash like that!

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Even without the John Dory this dish, I think this dish was ready to be eaten :) But then that wouldn’t be fair because Ian had spent so much time filleting the fish and cooking it hehe

Fricassee of John Dory with Oyster and Mussel escabeche

Fricassee of John Dory with Oyster and Mussel escabeche

And the finished product looks, smells and tastes stunning! The John Dory skins as crispy but the flesh was still delicate, while the escabeche had such lovely flavours especially with the oysters and mussels. We were given the recipe, but don’t think I will be able to replicate this at home anytime soon!

Crown Ambassador

Crown Ambassador 2012 Reserve Lager

The main was paired with two Crown Ambassodor Reserver Lager, Tally told us that the Crown Ambassador is only made once a year and there is only once chance to make it, hence, they need to make sure the collect the hops on the right day and produce the lager.

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We were lucky enough to try both the 2009 and 2012 reserve Lager. I thought I liked the 2012 lager more at first, as the malt flavour was strong but still smooth on the tongue, however, after trying the 2009 that was definitely more suited to my palate much sweeter like a dark burnt caramel.

Rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream

Rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream

The last course was a Melbourne racing club signature dessert rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream. The ice-cream is made in house and I was a little wary of the mint caramel combination at first, however, it turned out to be quite nice!

Caulfield Cup CarnivalLook at that luscious rhubarb layer on the bottom! It was probably a little tart for me, however, after a large meal and drinks you would probably want something not as rich to end the meal :)

I had a delightful evening at the Caulfield Racecourse and it was good to finally go as a guest and not go for exams! Hahaha yes Dear Readers, my University was right next to the racecourse and they would rent out the space for us to do our exams there! I enjoyed all the dishes presented and even though I won’t be going to Caulfield Cup Carnival, I am looking forward to seeing everyone all dressed and having a great time!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended this event as guest of Melbourne Racing Club and Haystac

 

Iranian Pistachio Gelato – Il Melograno

I’m not sure if any Dear Readers have noticed, but I’m starting to blog a little more again :) The last couple of months have been tough with work being so busy, personal commitments and everything else in between! I finally hit a wall and broke down… and even got a little teary at work… but my manager and team has been nothing but supportive! And of course Mr Bao has been doing thing he can to help. After the break down, I cancelled a lot of events and catch up with friends and gave myself more time. And realised that really helped clear my mind and help focus on the things that needed my attention!

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Anyhow, I’ve bored you enough with my break down, but don’t worry everyone :) I’m feeling so much better now! As a matter of fact, I’m doing so well I managed to get this blog post up, even though I only visited Il Melograno two days ago! Two nights ago a restaurant had their launch party (will be blogging about that soon) and quite a few food bloggers were invited. It was a great event to see and catch up with everyone. Once the meal was finished, it was still quite early not even 9pm, I had my partner in crime Ashely (Im So Hungree) with me, and she actually suggested we should pay Il Melograno a visit. We then lured Allan (Almost Always Ravenous) to come with us!

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I have read of Il Melograno opening a while ago and have been on my ‘must-try’ list. We are so spoilt here in Melbourne with so many authentic gelato places to choose from. My impression of Il Melograno is that they focus on making small batches of traditional gelato, flavours were not as modern or creative as say Gelato Messina. However, I could taste the quality and effort placed into producing these gelato.

Thanks Allan!

So apparently Allan said that he owed me money from so long ago that I honestly don’t even remember, but he said gelato was on him :D Wasn’t going to argue with him! Thanks Allan hehe

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The gelato here is also very reasonable priced $5.8 for a small cup with two flavours and take note! The cups are also edible which I find intriguing and rare to find here! I swear we didn’t plan this…but all our gelato have the same colour scheme hehe

Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Macadamia $5.8

Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Macadamia $5.8

Ash chose a flavour on their specials board, which is quite interesting Chocolate and Rosemary which surprisingly paired quite well with each other. Neither was overpowering each other. Not something I would choose but the salted macadamia! Such intense flavour!

Coffee and Banana & Walnut $5.8

Coffee and Banana & Walnut $5.8

Not as adventurous :P Allan chose the Ricci Method Coffee and also Banana and Walnut. Just like before both flavours were intense and for those who can’t handle caffeine too well, I wouldn’t suggest ordering the coffee as you might have trouble sleeping at night! The Banana and walnut resembled a smoothie with that strong kick of banana through it.

Bacio and Iranian Pistachio

Bacio and Iranian Pistachio

I got two of my favourite flavours, Bacio think the Baci chocolate (hazelnut chocolate) intense with small pieces of hazelnut through it. But what really impressed me was the Iranian pistachio, the wonderfully friendly girl behind the counter explained to us, that proper pistachio gelato should have a very pale if any colour. And the ones that are mint or even fluorescent green has certainly been tinted with food dye. That really intrigued me, as I always thought pistachio equaled green. The flavour was probably not as intense as the other flavours, but still very good and great creamy texture.

I definitely enjoyed Il Melograno, flavours are intense and you get all you asked for :) Pleased that we now have a good gelato store in the suburbs which hopefully will make parking easier and queues shorter. At least for now until more people find about them and then I won’t have a secret gelato spot to visit anymore hehe Maybe I should’ve kept this to myself and not blog about it!

Il Melograno on Urbanspoon

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