Friday, July 31, 2015

Devon Take 3

I think I have weird eating habits. If I want something, then I'd have to have it or else I can't study.

And for the beginning of this semester, that was truffle. I knew if I didn't have it this winter and before uni gets hectic, I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my studies and just think about truffle...

Missed out on last year's truffle season...and even though I don't like 'repeating' cafes, this one is an exception. Nice to still see their signature dishes from my first and second visits (some flavours have changed to suit the change in season I guess).

The special for that day was a croissant, scrambled eggs, bacon with truffle. That sounded way too fattening for me, and scrambled eggs are my least favourite eggs, so decided to go with adding truffle onto a popular dish.

Eggs Blini: Buckwheat blini, cured king salmon, salmon caviar, brocollini, sauce Mikado and poach eggs-$20 plus shaved WA TRUFFLE-$11

taking photos of different angles to make of the use of that $11 truffle

overexposed photo, but you can see the contrasting TRUFFLE colour

top view

The reason why I didn't have this dish on my earlier visits was because I thought the flavours would be weird and $20 for a pancake of that size is quite expensive.

I was so wrong. I know understand why this is a must order dish. Loved how the salmon wrapped around the 2 perfectly poached eggs, hidden under the truffle. Not sure what they cured it with since i couldn't taste the flavour, but could taste the fresh fish (: The brocollini was nice and soft whilst the salmon xavier gave it some texture and helped add some savouriness to the dish. The Mikado sauce is kind of like a hollandaise sauce but a bit more acidic yet not too overpowering. From photos, the sauce looks like a generous portion, but on this dish there wasn't much of it. I guess it's a good thing since you want the truffle to shine on the dish.

I've had truffle before, but not a generous shaving of it such as on this dish. Everyone around me turned heads as my dish arrived. Heard other's saying 'it smells so nice' and sneaking glances at my plate. IT WAS WORTH MY MONEY. Truffle has a very distinguished aroma and taste, super hard to describe. Kind of earthy, slightly sweet but not really sweet. Yeah, no idea how to describe truffle but it just gave so much flavour to the dish. Truffle flavour isn't salty, just added it's own distinctive flavour. YUM. Anyone reading this, go to Devon and have some truffle! Didn't have time to go Devon on Danks since you kind of have to go out of your way to go there...but they have more truffle dishes there.

Finishing off this post with some yolk porn. Love how this egg is placed higher on the stack and the yolk actually runs down and you use the pancake to soak some of that yolk. Some action shots!

just cut

spilling down...

pool of yolk

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gelato with Friends

it kind of just hit me that i'm actually getting old. just learning about ageing of the eye last sem, i kind of don't want to imagine what happens to the body with age...should stop spending money on cafe food...but can't help it since you can only eat unhealthy things whilst you're young, since there are more effects on your body when you get older...

one of my courses don't have a final exam! actually a first. he's a pretty funny lecturer, and understands us as optom students have a million other exams during finals. it does mean continuous stream of assignments...but it should be fine hopefully...

shouted my optom crew Messina today-i wouldn't have survived without the help and people answering my sometimes stupid questions

their prices have increased ): apparently it increased in June...and after reading the reasoning, i guess it's understandable...

500mL tub-$12.80
  choc chip, poached figs in marsala, pandan and coconut,
salted caramel w/ white choc, a-malaysianf, cookie monster crack

definitely lacking a sorbet in the second tub since everyone could pick a flavour, sorbets aren't usually your first choice, you would rather have gelato than sorbet. really liked the a-malaysiang flavour even though couldn't really taste the 'stick coconut'.  this gelato combo got quite rich afterwards...but i could finish it off hehe. haven't had messina since the beginning of the year. don't plan to have it till the next break. these things you actually have to go out of your way to get. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Charcoal Mine BBQ House

Korean is one of those cuisines that I don't know much about, and hardly have a chance to eat. Lovely catch up on this night with old high school friends at a KBBQ. I guess the good thing about KBBQ is that it's quite a social thing, so you can talk while you eat/cook.

Whenever I go to Parra, I always drive past this place/never knew it existed. It's not in the Parra CBD, so best to drive there and park on side streets (free parking after 6pm on the usually metered-streets during the day). On a Friday night, it was packed, with some tables leaving and more people come in/2nd seating. It's priced at $35pp buffet style for Fri night, I guess it's the average price these days.

There's not a lot of variety compared to previous experiences I've had. Some of their meat was marinated but would have preferred more flavour, particularly with the Bulgogi. I guess that does mean less sodium, so slightly healthier...They also have unmarinated meats as well. The food started to come out slowly but more batches came out throughout the night. They didn't change the pan thing a lot in the beginning until later in the night as well it was changed a bit more...Would have liked to see some more Korean food/side dishes available.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MKR 2015

last Saturday, MKR 2015 winners Will and Steve came to my local shops to do a cooking demo and a meet and greet. it's a pretty small shopping centre, so there wasn't a lot of seats...really liked this pair, funny on TV and pretty decent cooks. i'm not an mkr fan, but i like watching cooking shows (: it's not everyday someone on TV comes up to my area.

crispy salmon dish

so sad, they only made 10 servings of this, and the people at the front got it since we sat at the back. this plate went to an Indian family of 3: mum and 2 kids. what's worse is that they only hate of the dish and were 'too full'. pleaseee, should have at least cut the dish into two. sah greedy. the kids already have signed shirts, signed booked, $100 worth of vouchers, and the MC chose them to get the dish. what a waste of beautiful food.

have to say, the MC was sooo racist. people asked questions and got $50 vouchers, and extra vouchers (i.e. more than one). some Indian couple just sat there and he was like 'a look, a couple, here you go, free cheeseboard'. this lady gave her sample to another lady 'oh how nice of you, free $10'. people got multiple vouchers, whilst he kept ignoring us. 

whilst i asked like 5 questions, mum asked 1, we gave up our seat for an old lady, and that MC just turns a blind eye. just gave vouchers to caucasians and Indians, not a single Asian got something, and ignored them completely. i guess the 'older' Australian population, there are still some people who don't like Asians, it's the younger population who accepts all cultures. well, we're used to this kind of was just annoying how people already had stuff and he gave them even more.

i only got a voucher because i was the first one to 'like' a page, but the MC didn't realise that 'task' was already done, so he grudgingly gave me a voucher. 

apple spring rolls w/ mascarpone cream and pistachios
they made 3 full servings in a glass and gave it again to the first 3 people sitting at the front-they already had the salmon, so bad sharing there...only got a tiny portion...the apples had some acidity but the cream wasn't that amazing/the dessert was lacking flavour. 

apparently they're taking over a restaurant for the night, but a dinner cost around $200, no thanks, i think i'll rather go to a renowned chef.

got my photo (:

in the end, i did get a cook book. actually, at the end of the demo, they had 2 copies left, and will and steve asked questions about the show, which were super hard and no one could answer. like who were the first people to be eliminated? well as i said, i'm not an mkr fan, and don't follow it closely like MasterChef, so i had no idea. whilst i was still googling, they decided to just give out the book, and this lady and my mum then put up her hand. then Will was just like 'who wants it' so my mum just walked up to the front to take it #noshame. if you the (racist) mc guy ignore us and won't give me a book, well the cooks offered it so we will take it! 

the centre was also handing out free shopping bags which are actually really good quality! Will and Steve are actually quite tall url, and still have their jokes. 

productive day getting a signed cook book and photo (:

Monday, July 27, 2015

yay! Billie won MasterChef 2015 (: really didn't like Georgia. if you can't handle the stress/pressure, the how can you be a chef? it's part of the competition. and she cries non stop. i actually didn't have a massive favourite this season, maybe Reynold because of his desserts. i only had people whom i didn't want to win.

that Heston dish was so amazing. 5 hours to make it, wow.

super intense finals. first time where someone won first 2 rounds but final winner won the 3rd. she's deserving to win, so calm under pressure, and cook both savoury and sweet and so much prettiness. also getting a job at probably the most exclusive restaurant in the world! it's the first year (i think) which MC didn't go overseas for a trip. in the first season, i still remember them going to HK. i think the extra few thermomixes they bought this year probably took away their plane ticket money, and since qantas always say they have been losing money, they didn't have the money to sponsor them...

uni this week already, the month has definitely flown by. lecturers actually uploading everything a week before wk 1 and so many self study stuff to do before the lecs. went into clinic today, totally not ready to see real people. need to find our own px as well for our 3 weeks time D=

feeling behind already in uni and uni hasn't even really started yet. many lecs not in wk 1, which is bad since it means they run till wk 13...

well now that MC is over, i actually have time to study rather than drag out my dinner sem 2 results are usually a bit better than sem 1, so lets hope in this super important sem where a minimum cut off wam is needed and need to pass every single course to progress to next year that less tv means more time to study

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Four Frogs Creperie

If you're ever doing the Bondi to Coogee Coastal walk, walk from Coogee to Bondi since there's more food choices at Bondi rather than Coogee. After our walk, we decided to head to Randwick, since there wasn't much to eat at Coogee (if there are, please let me know good cafes)

This place is close to uni, but never had the time to come here, so after walking up the hill from Coogee to Randwick, decided to come here for crepes. We were seated upstairs, and it's a really nice atmosphere. There's an open window and it kind of feels like you're in Europe, looking down onto the street, and with their simple but effective decor (sorry no photos, was too tired lol)


specials for the day

Galette of bacon, egg, swiss cheese and avocado-$16

that runny egg yolk

I was actually sick on this walk, but decided I needed some fresh air, and also I thought I shouldn't eat sweet things if I'm opted for savoury. They use buckwheat which is naturally more brown in colour, hence the 'burnt' appearance of the crepe, but it's not actually burnt. Crepe was thin and buckwheat flavour not too strong (I'm not a massive fan of buckwheat, but don't mind it when it's mixed with other flours when baking). Quite a lot of fat on the bacon so trimmed it away...Loved that egg yolk, they also gave you the option of having it runny or cooked-of course I chose runny!

banana, walnut, honey

chocolate and strawberry

white choc, salted caramel, almonds (?)

Had a bite of the sweet crepes, and definitely prefer them, I guess crepes are originally sweet. It's thinner, softer and more pleasant to eat. Want to try a sweet one next time...when I'm not sick..

Coastal Walk (:


ended up walking in the rain for a bit


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Friday, July 24, 2015

i can't believe it. first time being stressed before uni starts. course outline for a third of the course is already so long. not sure how i'm going to handle 4 subjects. all these documents they're uploading and i feel like i'm already behind-not even started wk 1 yet. need to test on real people and incorporate everything we learnt so far including all the specifics like norms and what not.

it's going to be a challenge, but i'm still grateful for making it to this sem.

last sem the stress fully hit after my first exam...i've also had holiday stress before...last year i think...

but these few days before uni starts has got me.

uni content. practice. hospitals. relatives. organising. =/

mini-breakdown on the inside

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sweet Street Festival 2015

Another year of Sweet Street, this time went with Dandelion. It was a bit different to last year's one. This year was more expensive, $75 for 8 tokens, while last year was $55 for 10 tokens. Most desserts this year was 1 token each and bigger portions (compared to last year, but smaller than if you were to have it at the actual store), but last year they were smaller portions for more amount of tokens...It was more well organised this year in terms of the ticketing of the event, and the set out. It was spaced over 2 levels and the foyers rather than everyone being crammed inside the Shangri-La ballroom. There wasn't a stage this year, so more space to walk and to accommodate ~750 people compared to ~500 from last year. There were also some more dessert people this year, which I guess may explain the increased price in cost. Major difference was that there were no goodie 'show' bags handed out at the entrance...

Not going to go into detail for everything, just some highlights. I was too excited for most of the desserts, so some of them I didn't bother focussing/check if the photo was focussed on my phone...

Black Star Pastry-Strawberry Watermelon Cake

graffiti, they also did some ink-iron pressed cloth bags (2 tokens)

first ones in!

Katherine Sabbath! (awesome looking cakes on Insta)

Lux Bite: all the way from Melbourne. Loved how they showcased their actual cakes from their current menu, saves me from flying down there. Their desserts sound sweet, but they are probably the least sweet of them all, and perfectly balanced yet interesting flavours.

Endless love-Inspired by Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan: Lychee ganache, rose cream, lychee, fresh raspberries (my favourite)

Blue Calpis-Cheesecake with a twist: Calpis & mascarpone mousse cake, white chocolate sponge, blueberry jelly, blueberry cream, topped with blueberry meringue and crumble (calpis is so yum)

Bernard Chu

came back for seconds

Kuma: cookie, mork hot chocolate, strawberry, banana, white chocolate milkshake mousse, caramel, chocolate tart

Epic Chocolate Cravings: rich Callebaut dark chocolate w/ hazelnut crust and salted caramel sphere
This is actually dark chocolate with minimal amounts of sweetness. It's quite dense in texture, but eating it doesn't make you feel bloated. The sphere reminds me of Lindt's salted caramel Lindors, but this is more well balanced and the salt more well incorporated.

N2 Gelato

N2xBlack Star Pastry Watermelon Cake
A cream sort of gelato is not really my kind of gelato, didn't really find a lot of watermelon in it, and not enough chunks of the cake...Flavour of the cake was more on the subtle side...


Savour School (from Melbourne): 'Pipa' in 3 flavours, managed to try 2 (1 token each but they gave me 1 for free)

Kirsten Tibballs

Olive oil sponge w/ sea salt, caramel cremeau and vanilla mousse chocolate
Lime-centred sponge w/ citrus crumble, passionfruit curd and caramelised chocolate creme

Cacao Fine Choc: a new set of eclairs this year. One token each, usually they retail for $6 in Melbourne


Tim Clark

Torching 'smores'



Mi-So Fancy: also loved that massive miso-salty hit you get in this eclair

berry flavours balanced well                           yep, definitely had the iconic graham cracker of a Smore
Gelato Messina, new this year but didn't think it was worth it and didn't look that appealing

Anna Polyviou!

berry yogurt: it was average, probably too much yogurt and not enough berry flavour

got all 3 for free! Berry, Passionfruit (featured last year), and Carrot Cake Terrine (from the Carrot Cake featured on MasterChef)

Andy Bowdy: never had the time to go to Newtown to try his creations...and he's new this year so really wanted to try it.

fixing the sign...

this cake is over $200

Milo Malteser Cake-2 tokens
This cake was worth about $20 and was the only thing we lined a while for...We were in line for around 20 min, then turns out the person in front of us got the last piece of cake. I saw there was still a tray of cakes behind them but apparently they fell on the ground and couldn't sell them, we me being a persistent dessert eater awkwardly stood around, until they released 4 cakes which were in the middle which didn't touch the ground, yes a little deformed (well most really since it was stuck with a pool of chocolate), but I really wanted to see what the cake tasted like. 

I'm not a massive chocolate fan but I have a sweet tooth. Even in saying that, the two of us sharing this cake could hardly finish it. It was superrrr duper rich, heavy and decadent. There was a super salty short crumb biscuit base on bottom, but it was stuck onto the cake board and couldn't cut into it whilst eating the sweet cake, so we had a salty after taste....looks good but I know this isn't my type of cake.

I also have a feeling that lining up for this cake upstairs meant I missed out on winning a kitchen appliance, since I didn't hear any announcements about giving away prizes even though I stayed in the main ball room for the whole night except when lining up for this cake...

tarts which we didn't get...

some savouries (didn't get any)

Adriano Zumbo

selfie this year! oops, didn't check the lighting...

As much as I love Zumbarons, I have to say the cheese and lime zumbaron was so weird it was kind of displeasing to taste...Get that cheese flavour than a super lime aftertaste, so salty and sour and not trace of any sweetness...The Cereal Killer flavour was more of a milky taste.


First time trying a chouxmaca: choux bun filled with cream and topped with a macaron.

Toffee Apple and Salted Popcorn Choc Top Chouxmaca

yumm...normally these are $6 so might go buy one when I next go past...choux bun so soft and the filling isn't too sweet, and who doesn't love a macaron shell?


freeeee, over $100+ worth of desserts

Since State of Origin finals was on the same night, many people arrived there early and left early, it was almost empty at around 8.30pm, where as many people stayed till 9.30pm last year. This year every single chef )except Andy Bowdy) made heaps of desserts, and everyone had leftovers, so me being Asian and a dessert lover decided to ask them if they were giving out desserts, and after some persistence, they did! Cacao Fine Choc were the most generous, and gave without really asking whereas I personally asked Zumbo and he told me to ask the ladies...I guess that might be why you get females to run part of your business, since they tend to be more strict with their food/ the lady from Andy Bowdy who wouldn't give us a discount on a deformed cake...but I managed to try all of the eclairs and most things from that night of desserts so it was a success! 

Loved how they donated all the leftover desserts of Oz Harvest the next day, rather than just sharing them among the dessert people/their companies.

Looking forward to next year's dessert festival! (Please don't increase the price)