Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Patisse, Waterloo

You know your other half loves you when he doesn't hesitate to go to high tea with you, and readily invites his mates and their partners to come along too.  At the end of the day, Cheesecake Boy knows he's going to get some good food and a certain Dumpling Girl will be very happy.  I'd been wanting to go to Patisse for a while, and when I realised a themed high tea was offered once a month, I knew that there would be no better introduction.  Now, Cheesecake Boy does have his limits being a guy's guy after all, and refused to go to last month's floral themed high tea.  However, when I suggested last Sunday's theme being the "Last Day's of Winter: Apple, Pear and Rhubarb", well he easily agreed to that. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bar H, Surry Hills

I had been mulling about whether I should give Bar H, and it's current Asian inspired offerings a try or not for a while, so when a Spreets offer for Bar H came along, I guess I took that as an encouraging sign.  A couple of Friday night's ago, Cheesecake Boy and I were huddled up together on a window seat, looking out at the terribly rainy and windy conditions outside, having drinks and enjoying our food in the cosy and intimate surroundings of Bar H.  Our deal consisted of four courses, that came with a choice of any two beers or glasses of wine for $69.  Due to the horrid weather, we dashed off to Bar H extra early, and made it to happy hour.  Where a selection of beers were $4.50 each, the house wine was $5 and certain cocktails were $10 each.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chat Thai - Westfield CBD, Sydney

On the blustery Friday that just came to pass, a crazy Cheesecake Boy, Dumpling Cousin and I had organised to meet up for lunch at Chat Thai in Westfield.  Had I known the weather was going to be that bad, trust me I would have preferred to stay at the office, but I hate cancelling last minute, so with my safety dangling in the air, I braved the weather and headed out for lunch.  This lunch was a big deal for me, as I tried Chat Thai at Campbell Street during its opening week, years ago now.  The impression that it left on my companions Sushi Girl and KFC Girl back then, well they never wanted to give it a second chance after that, so I arranged for Cheesecake Boy and Dumpling Cousin to join me this time, and I had all my fingers crossed, that this time round the food was going to be good.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Xanthi - Westfield CBD, Sydney

Last Thursday after work, Cheesecake Boy and I didn't want to head straight home and become couch potatoes, so we decided to roam around the city to get some exercise, which led us to getting peckish and wanting some snacks, but the snacks ended up turning into a full blown dinner.  The dinner at Xanthi was completely spontaneous, as I expecting to cook.  Luckily my trusty little point and shoot was in my bag, so I guess you can see that our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs, and don't ask how we managed to fit all that food in.  We always managed to eat more than we could at Perama, especially in their last week of trading.  It looks like it will be no different at Xanthi, as we were savouring some of our old favourites.  However, some new dishes came into the equation too.  I will admit that I had difficulty composing this post without drawing comparisons to our previous experiences at Perama, as Cheesecake Boy and I have had many dates,  dinner with friends and family birthday celebrations that we still fondly remember. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Central Baking Depot, Sydney

I'm a night owl who stays up all night, but only loves to sleep in on days that I am meant to go to work.  If it's the weekend, I wish I could sleep in, but by then I am already conditioned to get up to go to work.  It's a vicious cycle, I tell you.  You could imagine Cheesecake Boy's surprise when he found me wide awake one Monday, a while ago now, insisting on having breakfast with him before he started work.  See, I am not a breakfast person on weekdays either, but love brunch on the weekends.  The reason for all this was that I had gotten addicted to watching the documentary Busting the Berlin Wall that was on SBS not too long ago.  

Now you're probably wondering how a documentary addiction led to a sudden weekday breakfast urge from a girl who wants to sleep in, and skip her breakfast.  Well, one part of this documentary series focused on JFK's famous speech where a women part of the audience back on that fateful day of the 26th of June, 1963 remembered how moved with hope she was when JFK said the iconic line "Ich bin ein Berliner", that translated to "I am a Berliner".  This eventually led me to looking up the speech on wikipedia, and lo and behold some interesting views on how it is believed that JFK actually used the article 'ein' incorrectly and actually said, "I am a jelly doughnut" instead.  After a bit of a laugh, I couldn't get jam doughnuts out of my head.  That's how I ended up getting up super early on a Monday to find a jam doughnut for breakfast, well a Berliner Pfannkuchen in fact.  I was 100% positive that Luneburger at the QVB would have them, but I think we must of got there too early, and a now a worked up and very hungry Dumpling Girl was dragged by Cheesecake Boy to Central Baking Depot instead, as we could not find a Berliner in sight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shortgrain, Surry Hills

It was another lunch catch up with Sushi Girl.  I had been wanting to go to Shortgrain for ages, and she's definitely my lunch exploring buddy, always willing to try something different.  Unfortunately, Cheesecake Boy works too far away to join us, so he was a bit sore about missing out, as we are both very fond of Longrain, and Shortgrain the lunch canteen is only open Monday to Friday until 3pm.  Anyway, Sushi Girl thought we were going the wrong way, but before we knew it, we turned a corner and there was Shortgrain just opposite the Hollywood Hotel and literally just around the corner from Longrain.

We were the first to arrive, and Martin Boetz in the flesh was actually at the counter and said 'hi', I tell you of all the times to be shy.  However, do not get me wrong, I really am shy by nature.  Oh well, moments come and go and it's back to the food.  The chalk board daily menu had Sushi Girl and I really contemplating and before you knew it, we proceeded to place our orders at the counter and chose a table.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


You may be wondering why there is a lack of Vietnamese restaurant posts lately, and to be honest I have taken up learning how to cook Vietnamese food.  Especially, now that I have learnt to make Cheesecake Boy's favourite of pho or beef noodle soup, we tend to eat pho at home.  Inspiration for this dish actually came from the most used cookbook in our household and it has never failed me yet, the great and easy to use book being Little Vietnam by Nhut Huynh of Snakebean Asian Diner.  Huynh's version is from South Vietnam, and is a very easy to follow recipe.  However, being the girl that I am, I had to play around with this recipe, and have adapted this recipe to Cheesecake Boy's and my taste. 

Now I must stress something to you, if you are planning to make this recipe, you will need at least a ten litre stockpot.  I managed to get my mum's stockpot that was my grandmother's, they don't make them like that anymore.  However, back to the recipe, patience will reward you with ten bowls of pho, even if the book says six servings, so either have lots of people over for dinner or be prepared to pho day and night for a while.  Also, this recipe is temperamental, so depending on your radishes and how fresh your meat is, the taste can slightly vary at times.  This recipe lasts three days at best.  All critical things aside, let the cooking begin, I guess...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bacio cake: a birthday cake post...

It's Dumpling Sister's birthday today and I am usually in charge of organising the birthday cakes very last minute.  However, sometimes you get stumped and want something different, and need to find some inspiration.  That's how I have been feeling lately.  However, Cheesecake Boy has come up with a great idea and suggested that I do birthday cake posts to help others in the same boat as me, so from now on when we have birthday or other celebratory cakes we will post them under 'birthday cakes'.

Unfortunately, by the time I got notice, well it was too late to order a cake, so a visit to Pasticceria Tamborrino a favourite of Cheesecake Boy and mine was in order.  In case you ever need to know this, they open at 6.30am on Saturdays, which was good news for us as we had a birthday lunch to shop and cook for  as well.  In the end I settled for the bacio cake, as Dumpling Sister and I use to love eating Baci chocolates when we were kids and reading all the love notes enclosed.  The cake came in a nice box with a cute pig snout handle.

Bacio cake, $28 (feeds 8)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Lab, Adriano Zumbo - Rozelle

A couple of Saturday's ago Cheesecake Boy, Dumpling Sister and I were off to The Lab where all things Adriano Zumbo were being created.  With my V8 Diesel cake order confirmation in one hand, we all waited patiently in line, adamant to resist other surrounding temptations, but the lure of all things Zumbo was too great as it had been a while since our last Zumbo fix.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

EnoPizzeria, Neutral Bay

It was Dumpling Mummy's birthday, and when you have fussy siblings like I do... Well, what they like to eat, dictates what we eat when we dine out together as a family.  The other part of my family hates to travel, so when I heard that Mauro Marcucci had just recently opened EnoPizzeria in Neutral Bay, I knew that it was going to be the perfect place for everyone to enjoy a relaxed birthday lunch.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Da Wan Lai The Poets Chinese Restaurant, Top Ryde City Shopping Centre

Cheesecake Boy and I were feeling hungry after our early morning visit to the zoo.  It was lunch time and I felt like some simple dim sum, but did not want to be around the hustle bustle of our usual yum cha haunts.  This led us to  Da Wan Lai The Poets Chinese Restaurant in Top Ryde City Shopping Centre where they serve dim sum made to order.  However, they predominantly focus on Northern Chinese dishes.  If the name of this establishment sounds familiar to you, it is because they are the sister restaurant to Da Wan Lai in Eastwood.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

J-Ten, Sydney

This eating adventure opposite the QVB all started because of a Scoopon deal, where for $49 you got $144 worth of food and beverages of your choice at the relatively newly opened J-Ten.  Now I see a lot of restaurant deals, but after finding out that the head chef Yang Wu of J-Ten worked under Kenji Nishinakagawa previously of Koi in Woolwich, I could not look the other way, as Koi is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Sydney.