Tag Archives: Review

Quick & Easy Barbecuing – Heat Beads® Chimney Booster

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Australia is definitely a nation who loves their barbie (barbecuing) especially on weekends and special occasions, it’s part of our culture :) I worked in a team of all middle aged men (I hope none of them are reading this blog post haha) and it’s become a habit for them to come to work on Monday and discuss  their success or failure stories on the weber over the weekend. I usually just smile and secretly roll my eyes. I’ve never understood how it all works…because it always took us more than an hour to light the BBQ briquettes.

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That’s why when Heatbeads® asked if I would like to try their new Chimney booster, which can light the BBQ fuel in 12 minutes I was very intrigued how it all works! Headbeads® was very generous and sent me a brand new Weber kettle which you can find in most hardware stores. They also sent me a Headbeads® Chimney, the new Chimney Booster, BBQ briquettes, firelighters and everything else I needed to create a recipe.

Heatbeads 1I never thought I would get excited over a new Weber but it was so shiny and it was quite entertaining watching Mr Bao build it. Cupcake kept stealing the nails and parts and we had to chase after him, such a naughty puppy!

Heatbeads3Anyhow, moving onto using the new chimney and chimney booster, I had my usual helpers Mr Bao and our ever so eager puppy Cupcake who just walked around and sniffed everything. But I still needed some professional help, because I honestly don’t know what to make on a weber, so I recruited my manager AKA Annoying Uncle to help me :) He did a great job explaining to me how the Chimney and also the Chimney booster works and recipe ideas that were quick and easy.

Annoying Uncle this is what  REAL Chimney LOOKS LIKE!

Annoying Uncle this is what REAL Chimney LOOKS LIKE!

I have to rub this photo in his face, because he showed and lent me his very very rusty looking chimney so I wanted to show off my spanking new one!

Heatbeads® Chimney Booster

Heatbeads® Chimney Booster

I’m going to send you to the Heatbeads® website for more information about there new Chimney Booster and how it works. But I’ll try and give you a simple explanation here, the chimney starter is used to light the BBQ Briquettes quicker and because the air circulates inside. Generally, that takes about half an hour to light them. However, the Chimney Booster has batteries and accelerates as airflow is being directed up the chimney from the Booster to heat the BBQ Fuel quicker.

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As you can see it’s quite easy to use, just light the firelighters, place the chimney full of Heatbeads® over it and let it works it’s magic! I was really impressed at how quickly the BBQ briquettes became ashes all over which Annoying Uncle said it means they’re ready to be used.

Direct Heat

Direct Heat

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The first recipe I tried was a super simple grilled Kingprawns, so it required direct heat. So we plead the BBQ briquettes, into the baskets and into the middle of the weber. We then placed the grill over and waited for the king prawns to cook about 4-6 minutes one each side depending on the size of the prawn.

Grilled Prawns on the Weber

Grilled Prawns on the Weber

Once cooked and they’ve turned a gorgeous orange colour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, parsley and lemon. We also paired it with a simple mango salad :) They were so easy and quick to make and kept Mr Bao very happy! I didn’t write a recipe because it was so simple I’m sure you’ll be able to it too, however, if you want a recipe leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

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Next up is the quick and spicy BBQ Chicken wings, it only takes about 35-40 minutes to cook on the weber, which is still pretty quick given that you brine it at least 4 hours or even overnight. The spicy flavour also comes from the dry spice mix that is rubbed onto the chicken before being cooked.

Quick & Spicy BBQ Chicken

Quick & Spicy BBQ Chicken

Recipe – Quick & Spicy BBQ Chicken adapted from DJ BBQ

Serves: 4-5
Preparation Time: 1 hour plus 4-more brining

Ingredients
4 Chicken Thighs*
4 Chicken Drumsticks*
For the Brine:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon onion granules
2 teaspoons garlic granules
4 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
375ml water plus 250ml cold water

For the spicy rub: 
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion granules
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of chilli powder*

Notes: *
- Annoying Uncle advised not to use chicken breasts as it will dry out too quickly so stick with thighs, drumsticks and perhaps wings
– I like my chicken really spicy so that’s why I used one tablespoon, if you’re feeding the little ones or those who can’t take chilli, perhaps reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon

Method
1) Make the spicy rub first, mix all ingredients into bowl and set aside, you can do this well in advance as the mixture will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge.
2) Now move onto the making the brine, in a large saucepan heat up 375ml of water, store in all the other ingredients and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and pour the liquid into a heatproof bowl and stir in 250ml of cold water and set aside. Once cool enough place into the refrigerator for an hour before adding the chicken into the brine and return to the fridge for 4 or even overnight.Heatbeads4
3) When its time to cook, drain the chicken and discards the brine, remember to pat the chicken dry and let them return to room temperature before cooking.
4) Rub the spicy mix all over the chicken and place it over the weber using an indirect heat method, where the BBQ Briquettes are placed on each side.

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5) Cover weber with the lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Remember to check whether chicken has cooked through before eating, poke the thigh to check if the juice runs clear it is cooked and ready.

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We had a run around the garden with Cupcake and within no time the chicken were ready. I accidentally burnt the skin of a few of the drumsticks but I promise it was still moist and succulent inside :D

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Sticky Pork Ribs

Last thing we made that night were these Sticky Pork Ribs, they were another easy recipe simple marinate them over night and cook them on the weber. It takes about 45-50 minutes or even longer depending on the thickness of the ribs.

Recipe – Sticky Pork Ribs adapted Taste.com.au

Serves: 6 people
Preparation time: 1hour please marinating

Ingredients
2.4kg Pork ribs racks (American Ribs)
For the marinate 
125ml (1/2 cup) beer
80g (1/2 cup lightly packed) brown sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) Worcestershire sauce
120ml Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Few drops red Tabasco pepper sauces

Sticky Pork Ribs

Sticky Pork Ribs

Method
1) Combine beer, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, golden syrup, mustard powder, paprika and tabasco in a bowl, add pork ribs and coat all over. Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.
2) When ready to cook, drain the ribs and put the marinade a side. Poor marinade into a saucepan and place over low heat and simmer until mixture thickens.
3) Oil the grill or hot plate well, cook the ribs making sure you turn and bast very often to avoid it from drying out or burning (every 5 to 10 minutes). Cook through and until its sticky and golden, now enjoy!

Headbeads® Chimney and Chimney Booster

Headbeads® Chimney and Chimney Booster

Overall, we had so much fun playing with our new BBQ toys and I can finally understand a little more why the guys at work are so obsessed with barbecuing and also their chimney. With the Chimney booster it really cuts the time of lighting the BBQ briquettes by a lot which is great as I am a very impatient person and get hangry (hungry x angry) all the time! Now I can’t wait to show off to all my colleagues what I’ve made and make them jealous of my new Chimney booster!

For more information on Headbeads® product visit their website :)

Daisy@Nevertoosweet received the BBQ Set as a gift from Headbeads® and Keepleft PR 

Janice Wong High Tea – Aria, Langham Melbourne

Janice Wong High Tea

Janice Wong High Tea

I think I will describe myself as a High Tea Addict! If there’s a high tea I will be there :P That explains why I have been a repeat offender and gone back to the Aria Bar at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne so many times. This time Shelle (Iron Chef Shellie) kindly took me to try out the Janice Wong High tea as part of Melbourne Food and Wine festival. For those who don’t know Janice Wong is the executive pastry chef for the renown dessert bar 2am in Singapore which I was lucky to try a couple of years ago when I visited.

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Let’s jump right into the high tea, Shellie and I are both tea drinkers so we got the usuals. Yes that is English Breakfast for me (can’t be classic tea) and Earl Grey for her. I really liked the china they use too, if I remember correctly it is specially designed for Langham by Wedgewood.

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We got there quite early on a Tuesday so it didn’t take long for the 3 tier stand to arrive. We started from the top with freshly made sandwiches, and I’m usually quite picky because it’s always a disappointed when they are pre-made and the bread is try. But these sandwiches were perfect, with a good selection of fillings – egg salad, tuna, chicken, cucumber and smoked salmon.

Matcha desserts!

Matcha desserts!

Then moving down were two plates of desserts designed by Janice Wong. And I’m not sure if I can describe to you in words HOW excited I was to see so much GREEN on this plate! Because the green means MATCHA (Japanese Green Tea) and those who know me will know how obsessed I am about it. Let me quickly go through, there was a petite chocolate cake very moriesh reminded me a little of the Opera cake, matcha fanciers and also the warm matcha tart.

20150303-IMG_6631I will repeat that it’s a Warm Matcha tart meaning the centre is not set and I could feel the liquid inside wobble as I picked the tart up. The waiter suggested we started with this first as it’s best eaten when still warm. So here I go!

Warm Matcha Tart!

Green liquid gold!

I took one bite and quickly snapped this photo! Were you can see the green liquid gold as I liked to describe it flowing out! It was have to be one of the best matcha tarts and possibly desserts I have had. The tart case was still warm, with great buttery flavour and crumbly texture. But the filling was simply the best, it had such intense matcha flavour and wasn’t bitter at all! I would go back to this high tea just for this tart again.

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Continuing with the desserts, we moved onto the Singapore inspired choux the green and yellow puffs. The green actually had a kaya custard filling and for anyone who enjoys kaya would have really liked these. The chocolate tart with golden pop rocks was another impressive tart and even the caramel popcorn with freeze dried raspberries were delicious. I definitely had trouble pacing myself and kept popping them into my mouth.

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This is a short post, not many photos because I was too busy chatting and catching up with one of my favourite girl Shellie and I really enjoyed everything! Thanks again girl for taking me as my birthday present! Before I forget the tea set also comes with scones (fruit & plain) butter, clotted cream and jam :) The Janice Wong High Tea is still available for $65 per person until the 13th of March (2 days left) so if you’re quick you might be able to score table.

Aria Bar & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Last post for 2014 – Addict Food and Coffee

Can you believe it my Dear Readers? It’s already the last day of 2014! I’ve started to reflect back on the things that have happened this year and realised it has been such a turbulent year with so many highs and lows. The highs include getting our little puppy Cupcake, the birth of my niece (name has been confirmed as Valerie) and achieving some new goals at work. While the lows have been an emergency trip back to Hong Kong for my sister, moving houses and some personal issues.

Best Gift of 2014

Best Gift of 2014

Anyhow, it all doesn’t matter because the year is ending and I am grateful for all the experiences, failures and success!

Magic $4

Magic

Enough talk moving on to the actual post, brunching has always been a tradition of Mr Bao and I on the weekends and now we bring Cupcake along ~ I’ve seen Addict Food and Coffee come up in my Instagram feed quite a few times and knew I had to come try. Mark Boyd and Steve Hogan are the masterminds in the kitchen, they previously worked at St Ali and now it was their time to shine :) Mr Bao ordered is usual coffee and really enjoyed his single origin magic and commented on the overall nuttiness flavour.

Ice Coffee $6

Ice Coffee

Sorry I forgot to take a photo of the menu, so I don’t have the price for the coffee or food here, but I promise to update it once I’ve revisited and have it ~ It wasn’t a very hot day, but we were sitting outside and the sun was out so I felt like an ice coffee. I really liked the presentation of the coffee in a little milk bottle and also a chilled glass with more ice.

Addict Food and CoffeeEven though the colour looks quite milky, it actually had good coffee flavours. However, I would recommend drinking it quickly otherwise the ice will melt and dilute the coffee or drink it from the milk bottle ~

Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries

Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries

The menu here has a good balance between the traditional breakfast dishes with eggs and bacon, yet also caters for vegetarians and also vegan options. But being Mr Bao… he decided to try the Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries. It was more like a sub to me with the long bun instead of the round burger bun ~ The pork was soft and flavoursome, however, what really caught our attention was the Parmesan fries, they were freshly made thin and crispy but not oily. We ended up fighting over who will get the last piece!

Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet purée

Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet purée

My choice was this is my vegetarian dish Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet puree and also roasted beets. Now you see this was a vegetarian dish but Mr Bao decided to ask for a side of bacon without consulting me, simply because he didn’t want a veggie dish haha not that I really mind but I see no issue with eating healthy somedays!

hargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet puréeThis dish was beautifully plated and I really liked all the different colours. Even without the bacon there was enough flavour and texture, I was particularly fond of the polenta bites (I’m a huge fan of polenta!) it was crispy on the outside but still stayed warm and fluffy inside. I’m not usually a fan of beetroot but because it was roasted it was very sweet and I guess… the bacon did complete the dish but then bacon always does :D

Buttermilk Pancakes with Mascarpone and raspberries.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Mascarpone and raspberries

So far we’ve enjoyed all the drinks and food at Addict Food and Coffee, but honestly nothing beats these buttermilk pancakes with poached pear, mascarpone cream and fresh raspberries! Sure pancakes have become a staple on menus across Melbourne, but there’s something about these warm fluffy pancakes. It was a generous serving of two thick buttermilk pancakes, that are slightly dense which is the way I like, paired with mascarpone and poached pear! Even Mr Bao was impressed and ate more than half of these pancakes! I was close to ordering another serve just for myself :D

We really enjoyed Addict Food and Coffee, staff were very friendly and efficient and most importantly they have those buttermilk pancakes and very dog friendly which is important to us now.

Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon

 

 

And that ends my last blog post of 2014 on a sugar high! I would like to say how grateful I am for those who have loved and supported me this year. That includes many people but of course Mr Bao (I admit I am hardwork!), my sister Win Win, my family and friends! But I also also grateful for your support my Dearest Readers, thank you for always being here and supportive loyal even when I haven’t had time to blog, I know you’re still here waiting for me!

With that I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you more joy and happiness :)

Merry Christmas!!! – Cookie Love + Giveaway *Winner Announced*

Merry Christmas everyone :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)

My small little family (Mr Bao, Cupcake and myself) would like to wish all my Dearest Readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day :) Hope you’ve been enjoying this wonderful festival of overeating, overspending but more importantly spending time with loved ones.

I know I am once again guilty for disappearing and not posting for a few weeks. I really apologise for that, however, I simply have not had the time do very much with work being so busy, working until early hours of the morning and also moving houses. We haven’t found our new place yet, so for the interim we’re back at my parents ~ But hopefully in the New Year we’ll find our new home! Wish me luck :)

Farmhouse direct

Because I feel bad for not blogging for such a long time a have a gift for one special Reader :) Keep reading and scroll down to the bottom for details how to enter this giveaway. Christmas a time for giving and also receiving. And although we tend to spoil ourselves during the holiday season, I think it’s important to remember to give to those who are less fortunate than ourselves. That is the reason why I was keen in trying and reviewing the new website ‘Where Your Heart Is’ website. This is a new website created by both Farm House Direct (a website which supports and helps sell local produce) and Good Spender (a website that sells products from Australian social enterprises).

Cookie Love from Teresa :)

Cookie Love from Teresa :)

The concept of Where Your Heart Is, is to give consumers the options of purchasing products which not only help local producers but also help give back to those in need. I think it’s a great idea and definitely makes Christmas shopping a lot easier! So save the link for next year! I was sent some beautifully packed baked goodies from Cookie Love a local artisan baker from Phillip Island in Victoria.

20141219-IMG_5250Teresa the founder and artisan baker of Cookie love wrote me one of the nicest Christmas cards I’ve ever received explaining how she came up with the idea of selling her gorgeous cookies and moreish panforte. Oh by the way, if you haven’t noticed that’s not my hands haha I recruited Miss D to come help me devour some cookies!

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

I opened the first box and squealed to see a range of talented decorated Christmas cookies, I particularly like the Santa Claus because he has the most adorable little face. Miss D and both tried a little gift box cookie, as we wanted to save the bigger ones for later ~ I was particularly impressed with how soft the cookies remained and had a nice texture. These cookies would put a smile on anyone;s face!

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

Underneath Christmas cookies were another layer of Gingerbread men! Once again delicately made with the cutest faces! I’ve made them once before… and lets say some of my gingerbread men we’re definitely not as happy or cheerful looking! They had the same soft texture as the butter cookies, however, these had a subtle ginger and cinnamon flavour through them.

Panforte Noire

Panforte Noire

We then moved onto the other two boxes which were Panforte. For those who are not familiar Teresa explained in the Christmas card that panforte are very traditional Italian fruitcake with lots of nuts. Some may mix chocolate through it to make it a ‘Nero’ a dark version of Panforte.

Panforte Bianco

Panforte Bianco

The serving suggestion is to sprinkle with a little icing sugar, cut into slithers and enjoy with a cup of coffee or I would suggest champagne.

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The panforte bianco has white chocolate mixed through, a variety of nuts and dried fruit. I’m not sure I’ve had panforte before so I’m probably not the best judge, but Miss D and I really enjoyed the chewy texture and crunchiness of the nuts. Compared to the dark chocolate (nero) panforte, we found that this wasn’t as sweet and tasted more fruity.

Panforte Nero

Panforte Nero

Moving onto the Panforte Nero which is exactly the same as the Bianco except it has dark chocolate (Lindt) mixed into it instead. It still has the roasted nuts, glace fruit and also honey for sweetness. I think the dark chocolate one looks more like a regular chocolate cake ~

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Once again severing suggestion is icing sugar (which I forgot oops!) and cut into slithers which mine are also too big…what can I say I’m a greedy person :D I must say the texture is very similar for both panforte but my personal preference would be the nero as it is sweeter and has a more intense chocolate flavour. I would have loved to have this with a glass of latte, unfortunately my life is in boxes right now so I don’t even know where my coffee machine is hehe.

The panforte were quite large and could easily feed 6 to 8 people depending no the sizing of the pieces as it is quite filling. I’ve enjoyed all the products from Cookie Love and really enjoy supporting products made in Victoria. You can also order these Cookie Love products from this Farm House Direct link and be sure to check out the other products they have. It’s like a local farmers market online without having to wake up early the products are directly sent to you :)

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Now thanks to Teresa (Cookie Love), Where Your Heart Is and Farmhouse Direct I have one set of this Christmas pack to giveaway. I’m sorry that it’s after Christmas but it’ll be more like a New Years present :)

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To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me have you tried Panforte before? Will you like the Bianco (White chocolate) or Nero (Dark chocolate) more?
– 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 4th January (Sunday) 
– You may reenter daily, one entry per day
– Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 5th January
– Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

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My little Reindeer (Cupcake) would like to wish everyone good luck in this giveaway and also have a safe and Happy New Year!

WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!

Congratulations CC you are the winner of this Cookie Love giveaway!

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I will be emailing you and sending you the gift pack very shortly.

THANK YOU EVERYONE who entered!

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!

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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

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

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