Category Archives: Other

Bloggers Pizza Competition 2014 – PLEASE VOTE for me :)

Hello my Dearest Readers :) Yes it’s been a while I know, since Easter I haven’t really had a day off or any time to myself. As some of you may know my parents and Mr Bao was in town visiting, so we’ve been busy cooking and taking them around Melbourne. But don’t worry I’m back!

Annual Blogger Pizza Competition

Now I wanted to test some of your memories hehe do you remember there was a bloggers pizza competition held at the Grosvenor Hotel last year? For those who don’t remember this is the post ~ Well it’s that time of the year again, for the annual pizza competition once again organised by Tink PR with Grosvenor Hotel.

Learning from the pro! Learning from the pro!

Last year I made a ‘sugarloaded’ pizza with dulce de leche, nutella, honeycomb and nuts even though most people said that it was quite nice and they enjoyed it. I knew that it probably didn’t get an many votes on social media because not everyone has a sweet tooth like mine :P So this year I took it more seriously and recruited Mr Bao to help and his mum was going to be our taster hehe

Chilli chocolate

Recently, I’ve been hooked on the chilli chocolate combo, I really like the extra kick of spiciness the chilli adds to the chocolate. So I was deadset on using chilli chocolate, so instead of using Nutella as the pizza base, I decided to use a chilli chocolate sauce. I researched and found some recipes, but decided to outsource this duty to Mr Bao because I’d probably burn the sauce if I was to make it. I then had all these other additions I wanted to add – fruit, nuts, more chocolate or brownies.

IMG_3432

I first started off with the chocolate chilli base followed by strawberries, hazelnuts and some chocolate chips. We tried this combination at home and found the chocolate chips to be a little overpowering, so I decided to take them out. I then spoke to Kirk for some inspiration and he suggested coconut for some extra flavour and texture.

IMG_3440

After a few rounds of trialling adding and subtracting ingredients, we finally came up with the WINNING combo! And that’s with a chilli chocolate sauce as a base, topped with strawberries, shredded coconut, feuilletine (think super thin crunchy crepe pieces) topped with vanilla ice-cream and more chilli chocolate sauce :)

Wow impressive way of serving ice-cream! Wow impressive way of serving ice-cream!

I personally really liked this combination and the crunchiness and slight caramel flavour from the feuilletine but I was really worried about how the judges would take it. Because not everyone can eat spicy food, but I’m really glad that the judges Julia and Paul (Head chef of Grosvenor) and the other bloggers all liked it! 

Whoopsie Daisy :) Whoopsie Daisy :)

Oh yes I nearly forgot the name of my pizza is ‘Whoopsie Daisy’ because I had no idea what to call it, and when Julia suggested it, I couldn’t think of a better name :) It really suits me and the pizza hehe! I was very surprised but my pizza actually got the top score that night along with Sabrina and Scott’s pizza from Brunch Addict.

Battle of the sweet pizzas Battle of the sweet pizzas

Two sweet pizzas appeared in the top three finalist, Sabrina’s pizza was a take on Rocky Road with Nutella, strawberry, marshmallow, nougat, whipped cream and served with hazelnut ice-cream. I’ve gotta say it’s a really good dessert pizza too but…I’m going to be bias and like mine a little bit more because of the chilli and feuilletine.

Now time to nicely ask, persuade and beg my loyal Readers to please vote for my pizza :) It’s really simple, you just need to go to this link which will take you to the Facebook page and you will find the photo of my Whoopie Daisy pizza. If you can please like this photo it will be counted as one vote. And of course if you live in Melbourne, please go down to the Grosvenor Hotel and try the pizza for yourself that will also be counted as one vote. The pizza will be on the menu until the 5th of May and that is also when the competition ends.

IMG_3368

Just in case you were curious the winner will have their name engraved on this trophy – so if I win my name will be under the legendary Iron Chef Shellie! My Whoopsie Daisy pizza will also stay on the menu for a month and the best part, I get to go down and eat it for free for a whole month! So my dear friends, family and Readers, if I win I promise to take you down there and try my pizza! Wish me good luck only a few days left!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended the Blogger Pizza Competition as guest of TinkPR and Grosvenor Hotel 

Beef Noodle Master – Yong Kang, Taipei

Yong Kang Beef Noodle1

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

image-9

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

Side dishes approx $35TWD ($1.5AUD)

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

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

Beef noodles small $200TWD ($7.2AUD)

Beef noodles small $200TWD ($7.2AUD)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

永康牛肉麵館

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

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. 

Lindt Chocolate Desserts – Jamaica Blue + GIVEAWAY *WINNERS ANNOUNCED*

Before Mr Bao became a little bit of a coffee snob we use to love going to Jamaica Blue for a coffee. We probably don’t go as often now, not because we don’t like the coffee. It’s more because I am so greedy and always want to try a new cafe and somewhere else :)

Jamaica Blue Doncaster

Jamaica Blue Doncaster

Lindt chocolate and Jamaica Blue have recently collaborated to create some new chocolate desserts using their chocolate. Mr Bao and I were invited to try the new desserts, I definitely could not say no to chocolate, dessert and some ice cold coffees. Mr Bao and I went to our local Jamaica Blue at Westfield Shopping centre in Doncaster, right across Big W.

Iced Coffee $6.9

Iced Coffee $6.9

Summer has finally arrived and it was a warm 30 degree day, so I started off with an Iced Coffee. I really enjoyed the intense coffee flavour it had topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream which reminded me a little bit of an affogato.

Cappuccino $5

Cappuccino $5

Mr Bao ordered a cappuccino describing the coffee blend seems to have changed since the last time we had coffee here. It was earthier with richer notes of chocolate and not very fruity. I was also impressed with the latte art love the double heart ~

Dessert Time!

Dessert Time!

Dessert time! YAY love seeing so many desserts in front of me and they all have chocolate in them :D Can you feel the grin on my face!

French croissant bread & butter pudding $13.50

French croissant bread & butter pudding $13.50

The French croissant bread & butter pudding has Lindt chocolate pieces mixed through and when it’s reheated it melts inside. It’s also served with a vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce. It was a rather comforting dessert and I think would suit colder days. I really liked the addition of the chocolate in the pudding, but would have liked a bit more to give it that extra chocolatey :D

Dark chocolate and pumpkin loaf

Dark chocolate and pumpkin loaf $9.5

The friendly waitress had told us that the pumpkin loaf was quite popular amongst customers. I didn’t think very much of it, but was actually really impressed. The pumpkin loaf was slightly warmed and very moist and slightly dense, with grated pumpkin and Lindt chocolate chips mixed through it. It had more chocolate than the pudding and was really lovely, I think it’s the perfect for morning tea.

Chocolate pots $12

Chocolate pots $12

Lastly we tried the Chocolate pots made with Lindt chocolate topped with whipped cream and a square of chocolate. It also came with an edible spoon made out of gingerbread. This dessert used the most chocolate and was best at showcasing the Lindt chocolate. The mousse was so smooth, not too airy like the ones you buy from the shops. How cute is the spoon?!? I’d love to know where and how they made it because I’d love to make it next time I served a pudding or fondant :D

Edible spoon

Now time for the giveaway! Thanks to Jamaica Blue and Verve Communications, 3 lucky readers are going to win a $20 voucher each to spend at their local Jamaica Blue!

To enter this giveaway is now CLOSED
- Leave a comment and tell me do you like edible cutlery and will you want to make it at home? :) 
– 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 14th January (Tuesday)
– 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 15th January (Wednesday)
– Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

CONGRATULATIONS 

Iola, Rachel and Monica you have won a $20 voucher to go to Jamaica Blue

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.57.10 am

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.57.38 am

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.46.48 am

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.59.18 am

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.46.39 am

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.59.23 am

 

Daisy and Mr Bao @ Nevertoosweet dined as guests of Jamaica Blue and Verve communications and provided vouchers for this giveaway all opinions are honest

HK Style BBQ – New Year Eve Party

Happy New Year my Dearest Readers :) 2013 was a rough one for Mr Bao and I, many ups and quite a few downs. But now that’s gone, I am ready to take on 2014 and can’t wait to see what it has in store for us all!

Happy New Year2014

How did you spend New Years eve? Did you have a party? It might be surprisingly to many but this year is probably the first year I’ve spent New Years in Melbourne because in the past I am always in Hong Kong wit family. Alas with work it’s a little hard to take time off during this period so Mr Bao and I decided to stay here instead. You know we had a Christmas Eve party, so initially for New Years eve we wanted to go away on a short trip. Unfortunately, because of the car accident that happened and a few others mishaps we left it too late and it was too hard and expensive to plan a getaway :(

HK Style BBQSo instead we decided to do it the Aussie way and have a barbeque at my parents place because its more spacious ~ and since they’re not here they couldn’t really object hehe. Even though we wanted to do a BBQ like locals do, we wanted to put a twist to it and do the HK style way. Instead of using a weber barbeque, have an open fire with charcoal and cook the food on long forks.

IMG_8793

We just assumed our friends knew what to do but hahaha turns out they haven’t seen or had this type of barbeque. It’s basically a DIY you need to choose what you want to cook, put it onto the fork and then go to the fire and cook it. Some of my friends were quite alarmed because they’re use to all the food being cooked at once ~ Nope you’ve gotta feed yourself :P sorry friends but that’s why it’s fun hehe

IMG_8693

Once again I think we over catered for 16 people haha we got 2kgs of beef marinated in Korean bulgogi sauce, 4kg of chicken wings marinated 2 ways with a special BBQ rub Mr Bao made, 2kg of chicken thighs marinated 3 ways and we marinated that in some Nandos marinate sauce which was actually quite tasty.

Honey marshmallow toast

I also made dessert using those forks, using a piece of bread spread butter and honey over it, toast it using the open fire remember to turn it frequently so it doesn’t burn. And then top two marshmallows and wait patiently because it will start to melt you then fold it into and eat it :) Its such a simple but delicious little sweet treat hehe next time I think I’ll put a little chocolate in it to make it into a Smores toastie :D

Apart from a BBQ party I also wanted to make it an ice-cream party where we blind tasted ice-cream to see which brand we liked the most. I got this super fun idea from my fellow blogger friends :) I asked my guests to all buy chocolate ice-cream because I mean who doesn’t like chocolate and that was probably the most readily available flavour hehe. We ended up with 7 tubs and ready to serve and taste!

Ice-cream party1. Movenpick Swiss Chocolate
2 Connoisseur Belgian Chocolate
3.Killeigh Farm Triple Chocolate with chocolate swirl (Aldi)
4. Indulge Chocolate ice-cream (Aldi)
5. Ben & Jerry Brownie fudge chocolate
6. Blue Ribbon Triple Chocolate
7. Sara Lee Ultra Chocolate

Ice-cream party

Can you guess which 3 brands was top three choices amongst my friends and I? hehe
First Choice – Ben & Jerry Brownie fudge chocolate
Second Choice – Connoisseur Belgian Chocolate
Third Choice – Movenpick Swiss Chocolate

I can’t say I’m surprised that Ben & Jerry won this blind taste because it was so decadent, moreish with brownies pieces through it just made you want to eat more :) I was surprised though Movenpick was only the third choice because it’s actually Win Win (my sisters) favourite.

Mixed berry coffee trifle

Mixed berry and coffee trifle

I was a little sad I didn’t get to make dessert for the Xmas eve party soooooo I promised to make a dessert for this party…flipped through so many recipes and finally decided to make a trifle since I’ve never used my trifle bowl (I bought it last year! :P) I ended up adapting the a few recipes and came up with this massive mixed berry and coffee trifle. It’s actually quite easy to make just need a few ingredients not baking or cooking required hehe please let me know if you would like the recipe! I’ll blog about it.

New Years 2014

We didn’t want to watch the fireworks on TV so we all headed over to Westfield shopping centre and parked at the highest car park. It was actually a great view we could see so many fireworks going off, they were not all close to us, but it was just as spectacular. I also bought us fire crackers/sparkling candles to play with. Yes I still act like a child hehe

Love 2014

We also drew words with this them :) I hope in the new year we will all learn to love ourselves and the important people around us more! May 2014 be the best one yet for us all!

Hope you all had a – Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas my Dearest and most amazing Readers :) Sorry I’m a couple of days late, but still I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones, family and friends. As for what we got up to, Mr Bao and I have started to make it a tradition to have a Xmas eve party at our place. My parents never really celebrated Christmas, so I’m definitely making up for it now.

Xmas Eve Feast

Xmas Eve Feast

We went for a full traditional Christmas menu where we did the Turkey and Ham and everyone else was to bring a dish. Look at what a feast we had! So much food! I didn’t expect everyone to bring something but everyone bought something spectacular over.

Mr Bao and the 9kg turkey

Mr Bao and the 9kg turkey

Let’s start with the amazing Turkey Mr Bao made, we did it last year and found Heston’s recipe to be the best to ensure the meat is moist and succulent. The secret to this recipe is to brine the turkey in salt water for at least 9 hours or overnight. Last year the turkey was got was only 5kg so it wasn’t hard to find a bucket to brine it in. But this year we went for a 9kg turkey! We had no idea what would fit such a large bird so eventually I came up with the idea of the turkey in the eksy :)

You must watch this video because it is honestly so funny, Mr Bao putting the turkey into the esky and the strange noises it was making hahaha

After brining the turkey, the next step is to soak it in ice water for an hour, changing the water every 15 minutes. I’m not quite sure what this step does, but Mr Bao said that the cold water will extract the unnecessary salt in the turkey and also help crispy up the skin. Once this is done, you can stuff the turkey with any filling you like – we used a bacon, leek, prune and walnut stuffing.

Roast Turkey

It then took about 4 hours to bake depending on the size of the turkey. The best way to test if the turkey is cooked is to use a meat thermometer and if the thickest part reaches 70 it’s ready :) I am so proud of Mr Bao, he absolutely nailed it! The skin was nice and crispy but most importantly it was super moist and succulent! Highly recommend this recipe next time you want to make a roast turkey!

Maple Glazed Ham

Maple Glazed Ham

We also doubled the ham this year a 6.5kg hehe we used a Valli Little maple glazed ham recipe, I know ham is often served cold but there is something so nice about warm ham. We had a lot left over but everyone was happy to take it home in takeaway containers because they wanted to make fried rice with it :)

Sticky Ribs

Sticky Ribs

Thanh brought over sticky ribs not sure what sauce he used but it was spicy, sticky and yum!

Sushi, Curry and Sausage rolls

Sushi, Curry and Sausage rolls

Dave who I’ve known for so many years was awesome and brought over so many dishes, sushi, curry puffs, and sausage rolls. He also helped me cater for Miss D who is vegetarian. Hmmm the curry puffs reminded me of the ones we get at yum cha delicious!

Sides

Apart from all the mains, we also so many other dishes, Mr Bao made Nigella Lawson’s pea, mint and pancetta side, I made a vegetarian capsicum and corn salsa, Chris made a prawn and chorizo dish last but not least Jason made a macaroni salad with perfectly soft boiled eggs.

Heston's Hidden Figgy Sauce Pudding

Heston’s Hidden Figgy Sauce Pudding

Mr Bao banned me from making dessert because he knew I would stress out having to help make the turkey, ham and sides so we decided to cheat and serve Heston’s Hidden Figgy Sauce pudding with warm custard instead. It’s quite amusing it only took 3 minutes in the microwave and all the sugar in the middle started to melt and became so molten inside. This was well received and I wished I had bought more when it was still available at Coles.

Ice-cream pudding

Ice-cream pudding

I also outsourced dessert to Iola who made a massive and delicious and ice-cream pudding. The inside was strawberry and raspberry ice-cream with fresh berries and topped with chocolate sauce and pop rocks.

Ice-cream pudding

Ice-cream pudding

I am definitely stealing this idea next time I’m invited to a party :) Its easy to make and definitely a crowd pleaser.

Drink Station

Drink Station

I also tried to deck out our study desk and transform it into a drink station with a homemade sangria on the left and a berry ice tea in the small drink dispenser.

Photobooth

Photobooth

To give the guests something to do, I stole this DIY Photo booth idea from BBFF Michele using my Macbook and putting it on a bookshelf there was our photobooth. Mr Bao and I ordered some Christmas photobooth props and we were ready to go :D

Xmas Party 2013

Here are some of the photos we took at the photo booth. Clearly I need to learn how to make funnier looking faces hehe oh and just in case you haven’t met Shy the cute Miniature poodle, Mr Bao and I are dog sitting him for a month while his parents go back to Hong Kong to visit family ~

KK Time

KK Time

After all that food and fun, it was time to open out KK presents! Yue introduced a new way of organising the KK presents and that is we draw the number of presents. Then the person with No 1 will choose a present and open it, then No 2 will have the opportunity to either choose an unwrapped present to take No1 present. We keep going until no presents are left, so it’s always the best to be last, because you basically know all the presents and which one you’ll like :P I got a popcorn making machine, while Mr Bao stole a mug warmer from Iola hehe

Santa Clause!

Santa Clause!

Then out of no where SANTA CLAUSE aka Mr Bao appeared from no where :D This is definitely a modern Santa with those sunnies and he swapped Rudolf for Shy a poodle instead hehe

Mandatory photo with Santa

We then all took a mandatory picture with Santa with our KK gifts hehe I think next year I’m going to make it a costume party and everyone will need to dress up!

Merry Christmas from Mr Bao, Me and Shy  :)

Merry Christmas from Mr Bao, Me and Shy :)

That sums up our super festive and fun Christmas party. It was a lot of effort and work to make everything but it was definitely worth it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and please leave a comment and tell me how you celebrated! xx

Stakes Day 2013 – Lexus Design Pavilion

Lexus Design Pavilion

Lexus Design Pavilion

Even though I’m born and raised in Melbourne I never quite understood the Spring Racing Carnival and certainly did not understand the reason why we have a public holiday for Melbourne Cup. For my Dearest Readers not from Melbourne, this is the first Tuesday of November every year the Melbourne Cup races will be held that day and it is a public holiday. Yup it may be hard to comprehend but we have a day off because of horse racing :D

Lexus Design Pavlion

And the guys and girls who go to these Spring Carnival racing are always dressed up in a pretty dress or suit but most importantly is the FACINATOR For girls! I had no idea that’s what the head piece is called with feathers and flowers and all different colours but now I know it’s the facinator. I have thought about going to one of the races, but my friends weren’t really interested so it never happened. Until one day the amazing Julia from Tink PR invited me and Ms Ihua, Zeboy, Thanh and Shellie to the Lexus Pavilion catering preview followed by an actual invite to the races on STAKES day! Please bare with me because this is going to be a long post because it really is such an awesome event :)

Lexus Design Pavilion

All five of us were so excited! We’ve all wanted to go and this is the PERFECT opportunity and excuse to GLAM up! We were going as guests of Lexus and was definitely treated like VIPs that day, we arrived at the Grand Hyatt hotel where a brand new Lexus picked us up and drove us to the Flemington race courses and we made our way through to the Birdcage and finally into the Lexus Design Pavilion!

Very important not to lose ticket into the Birdcare :)

How pretty are Shellie’s and I-hua’s feet :P

I was so ignorant and thought a Pavilion was going to be a marquee or tent, but I was wrong very wrong. It was a fully built 3 story building with bars on each floor and a free flow of drinks and food. I will cover more about the food later on the post but I was more mesmerised by the design and all the pretty people!

I think we look pretty good GLAMMED UP!

All glammed up :)

We don’t really dress up much but I think we glammed up pretty well! It was a huge rush for me though because I have been so busy at work…I literally got the dress a week before, got my facinator 2 nights before and dyed my hair the night and rushed late at night to do my nails hahaha gosh it’s hard being a girl :P

Breakfast - Champagne egg and bacon roll

Breakfast – Champagne egg and bacon roll

None of us had breakfast so was pretty hungry, for breakfast we had these delicious egg and bacon rolls and of course our first glass of champagne. And behind the rolls is our betting book, I have never bet on horses in my life so I had trouble trying to figure how and what to do ~

Nutella Donut

Nutella Donut

I then had one of the BEST donuts with warm melting and oozing Nutella filling inside! I honestly can’t explain how good these were! They disappeared so quickly I didn’t even have a chance to get another one >_< I wonder where else can I find such delicious donuts.

From the Roof top

Moving on we went up to the second level to hang out and then on to the roof where it hard outdoor seating and a great view of The Birdcage and of the other marquees. That’s when I could really feel the exclusivity of the Lexus Marquee and in The Birdcage so privileged!

The Birdcage

We did go for a stroll around the Birdcage and admired some of the other marquees, there was G.H Mumm Champagne with their Moulin Rouge themed marquee. Lavazza was known as the party marquee with loud music and everyone dancing while Myer and another few marquees were a little quieter but we could still see people having a lot of fun.

Ms I-hua on TV!

Ms I-hua on TV!

On our way back to the Lexus Pavilion Ms I-Hua was stopped by a camera man from Chanel 7 and asked to show off her pretty nails! Ms I-Hua is going to be on TV :)

CHEERS!

CHEERS!

Then there was more champagne and all of a sudden Matt Preston (Masterchef judge, food writer and presenter) walked into the second level. I was a little nervous but still made my way up and asked if I could please take a photo with him!

I met Matt Preston

I met Matt Preston

He was such a lovely man and quite tall too! I felt tiny next to hime hehe I really wished Mr Bao was with me because he is a huge fan of Matt Preston and have bought all his cookbooks and we’ve really enjoyed the recipes! We actually did receive a tweet from Matt Preston himself before so it was just really nice to meet him in person!

Lexusdesign4

Catering is taken very seriously at the Lexus Pavilion with The Big Group being the main provider, a pop up Hihou Japanese restaurant and Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill. We were lucky to try all the dishes at the preview and again on Stakes day.

Betting on horses

We also bet on quite a few horses. Unfortunately, I won nothing…yup I lost every single time I bet hahaha that was like 6 races…Ok I do admit it’s partially my fault because I did no research and basically chose all horses based on their names and clearly the funnier the name the more likely I’m going to pick it. Hence, why I chose the horse ‘Unpretentious’ and clearly it was too ‘pretentious’ and lost the race :P

We then repeated what we did above until it was time for us to go home, where another friendly driver picked me up in a Lexus and drove me back to the Grand Hyatt. Unfortunately, I left a little earlier because I had to meet Mr Bao and some friends, because I heard from the others at 6pm the ground floor became a dance floor and it was the best time of the day. But I still really enjoyed myself and if I get the chance to go again, I will read up on all the horses and make sure I win!

Yuzu Sparkler (Mocktail)

Yuzu Sparkler (Mocktail)

Now backtracking about 10 days before Stakes day, Julia invited us the Lexus Menu Tasting at The Big Group a prestige catering firm. As mentioned before they did a cross over with Hihou a Japanese restaurant from the Izakaya Den group and also some of Neil Perry’s recipes. We started the event that night with a Yuzu Sparkler which is a mocktail, it was so refreshing and not too tart. I’m a huge fan of Yuzu because it’s like a cross between a lemon, grapefruit and orange.

Crisp miso cigars - filled with tuna tartare, yuzu salmon tartare and soybean curry

Crisp miso cigars – filled with tuna tartare, yuzu salmon tartare and soybean curry

We start off with some dishes from Hihou, these are the crisp miso cigars filled with tuna tartare, yuzu salmon tartare and soybean curry. It’s such an amusing way to eat these canapés, and also really liked the light miso flavour from the crispy miso wrap. The salmon tartare was definitely my favourite cigar!

Hihou - Kingfish Ceviche sashimi, Duck breast crepe, with mustard miso and Temaki roll with lobster, cucumber and mayo

Kingfish Ceviche sashimi, Duck breast crepe, with mustard miso and Temaki roll with lobster, cucumber and mayo

Next up was the Kingfish ceviche sashimi with clear crystallised seaweed which I haven’t seen or tried before. The Temaki roll with lobster, cucumber and kewpie mayonnaise was left for us to roll ourselves which is a great idea because it keeps the seaweed super crisp. And the last is the buckwheat crepe with duck breast, mustard miso, pickled mushroom and leek, another dish I know Mr Bao would’ve liked because he’s a fan of duck and I liked the nutty flavour from the buckwheat crepe.

Mini Hihou hotdogs - Gotzinger Pork sausage served with pickled onion and cabbage and chilli, wasabi mayo and tonkatsu sauce

Mini Hihou hotdogs – Gotzinger Pork sausage served with
pickled onion and cabbage and chilli, wasabi mayo and tonkatsu sauce

Even though the cigars and Japanese styles were delicious, my favourite that night was actually the mini Hihou hotdogs with a Gotzinger Pork Sausage served with Pickled onions and cabbage and your choice of chilli, wasabi mayo and tonkatsu sauce. I’m really hope they serve these at Hihou because I loved the pork sausage kind of reminds me of a Frankfurt and take my advice it needs to be served with all 3 sauces!

Neil Perry's - Rockpool Bar & Grill Slider, Asparagus pancetta and egg tart and Fried calamari and zucchini aioli

Neil Perry’s – Rockpool Bar & Grill Slider, Fried calamari and zucchini aioli and Asparagus pancetta and egg tart

Moving on was Neil Perry’s dishes, the Rockpool Bar and Grill slider which is based on their famous burger they serve at Rockpool. The patty was so juicy with a slice of bacon, pickle and tomato relish a small slider isn’t enough so I think I’m going to have to try the full size soon. The winner for me though was the fried calamari with zucchini aioli and fennel pollen, never had that before and its quite floral. Last but not least was the Asparagus pancetta and egg tart, the puff pastry was so buttery and flakey with the eggy filling perfect afternoon canape.

The Big Group - Pork belly cooked in coconut caramel, Beetroot and orange cured tuna with cucumber, Steak and Chip and Smoked goats cheese on spun pastry

The Big Group – Pork belly cooked in coconut caramel, Beetroot and orange cured tuna with cucumber, Steak and Chip and Smoked goats cheese on spun pastry

The food kept coming and the last savoury dishes came from The Big Group kitchen and designed by Chef Chris Henderson. On the top we have the Pork belly cooked in coconut caramel with crunchy ice-berg, hot mint and fresh lime I guess you can never go wrong with pork belly. On the left is the steak and chip which was piping hot and served with creamy tarragon béarnaise, impressed that the steak and still cooked quite well even though it was cut into a small cube. The beetroot and orange cured tuna and cucumber was a lighter tasting dish and smoked goats cheese with tomato sherry jelly on spun pastry.

Desserts - Toffee and coconut creme brulee on a macadamia sable, Tequila and lime marshmallow, Rosetta tiramisu and Peanut butter Eskimo Pie with salted caramel and praline

Desserts – Toffee and coconut creme brulee on a macadamia sable, Tequila and lime marshmallow, Rosetta tiramisu and Peanut butter Eskimo Pie with salted caramel and praline

After all that food, it’s finally time for DESSERT! I was patiently waiting and it was well worth the wait, on the top left we had a toffee and coconut creme brulee on a macadamia sable, I can’t decide if I like the creme brulee more or the sable both so good. Tiramisu using the recipe from Neil Perry’s Rosetta recipe it had a good kick of coffee but not too strong. The tequila and lime marshmallow was a little strong for me but the texture of the marshmallow was lovely. But always save the best for last! We were all so impressed and enthralled by the Eskimo pie, peanut butter ice-cream coated in chocolate topped with salted caramel and praline can not get better!

This whole experience at the Lexus tasting and the Design Pavilion has by far been one of the best events I have gone to this year. Would like to thank Julia and Lexus again for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to be part of this extravagant and fun event :D

Check out my fellow bloggers take on the event:
Iron Chef Shellie 
Ms I-Hua
I Eat Therefore I Am 

Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended the as guests of TinkPR and Lexus Australia 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,268 other followers

%d bloggers like this: