Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taste of Tasmania, 2011/2012

As I've mentioned before, I really enjoy the Taste of Tasmania. I can understand why some people don't like it but I love having a whole bunch of food and wine to choose from in the one place, as well as the music and social side of it. This year it changed a lot with the changes to the PW1 shed - the logistics of it are great - there's heaps more places to sit. I was a bit disappointed to find that there was a reduced choice of food this year due to the smaller amount of space available for stalls, however there were still lots of treats to be found!

J and I (and others!) shared a meaty platter from Tas Game & Gourmet. It was about $35 but great value for money, with plenty of scallops, abalone, venison, buffalo, goat, wallaby, cheese kransky squeezed onto the plate with salad, wedges and chutney.


Mum and I shared a few dishes on another night. First up was a premium platter from Meadowbank ($16). This was excellent, with a chicken and pistachio sausage, pork rillette, duck liver pate, air-dried beef, duck terrine, brie, bread, gherkins and pickled onions.


We also had a plate of Nepalese lamb curry from the Vanidols stall, along with one of each of their spring rolls and curry puffs. All delicious!


I enjoyed discovering the new Small Players cider range, which is made by Holm Oak Vineyards. They have ciders in sweet, dry and perry varieties; sweet was my favourite.


I introduced mum to the Tasmanian Chilli Beer Co's excellent raspberry sparkling drink.


On the last day I enjoyed some of the old favourite Taste dishes on the second-last day, when the crowds had died down. Waji's calamari:


And tempura mushrooms.



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jam Jar Lounge, Battery Point

Happy new year!

Jam Jar Lounge is another Hampden Road cafe in a great building with lots of different rooms and a fantastic courtyard out the back, which is where we chose to sit on a recent sunny day.

I had the spatchcock with bread salad and labne. The spatchcock was perfectly cooked and delicious, but the salad didn't excite me too much.


One friend had the French toast with salted caramel and a lemon curd cream. The caramel was insanely good!


Another friend had a roast beef sandwich which looked and tasted spectacularly good, but sadly I forgot to photograph it.

Between Jam Jar, Environs and Jackman & McRoss, Hampden Road has a lot going for it in the cafe department!

Jam Jar lounge on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 16, 2011

Environs Cafe, Battery Point

Environs Cafe is a newcomer to Battery Point but I have a feeling that it will be around for a while - it's just that good. The food is fantastic, the menu is really interesting and it's very reasonably priced.

From the breakfast menu, the Cottage Green: almond-coated sardines, poached egg and rocket on a hash brown ($12.50). The hash brown is on the left and the sardines on the right - this is a pretty tasty light meal.


The savoury breakfast ($14.50) is enormous, and one of the best full breakfast-type plates I've ever tasted. It comes with scrambled eggs on a corn cake, and bacon, hash brown and tomato, topped with hollandaise sauce. The corn cake and scrambled eggs are the highlights! The picture below shows the dish ordered with their home-made sausage ($3.50 extra), which was nicely spicy.


The French toast with poached fruit, labne and pistachios ($12) is a winner for the days when something sweet is wanted.


The risotto ($13) is on the lunch menu and comes with roast vegetables, mushrooms, garlic and parmesan cheese. It was lovely and hearty.


I didn't try the chicken pasta ($15) but it looked fantastic - I plan to try it soon! It's pappardelle pasta with roast chicken, pumpkin and cashews and a garlic cream sauce.


Both the breakfast and lunch menus are an option all day, and there are also some antipasto dishes that I've yet to try. Definitely a new favourite place to eat!

Environs on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Some recent cooking highlights!

Ottolenghi's Plenty is an amazing cookbook - one of my favourites. The recipes are generally not particularly simple but the amazing flavour combinations are worth the extra time/effort/ingredients that are called for. A dish I've cooked a few times now is the soba noodle salad with eggplant and mango. It's amazing, and great for dinner parties. The recipe can be found all over the internet, e.g. 101 Cookbooks.


A swiss cheese and tomato tart from taste.com.au. A simple and tasty recipe. As suggested in the comments I doubled some of the filling ingredients, although didn't quite cook it as long as I should have because of this. Next time!


Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible is my number one favourite cookbook. Almost every recipe that I've tried (more than 10 now) has been spectacular, and I've used it so much since I bought it a few months ago that it's almost permanently stationed on my cookbook stand. The royal chicken korma below is one of my favourites.


Not much in the way of cooking was involved here, but this was a very delicious cheese! (from the Wursthaus).


What tasty things have you been cooking recently?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas baking

This year I've been pretty organised and have done a fair bit of Christmas baking already - hurrah!

I've made two tropical Christmas puddings based on this recipe, one for my work Christmas barbecue and one for family. I'm not a massive pudding fan but these smell amazing and I can't wait to try them. Making puddings requires a lot of dedication: this recipe involved 6 hours of boiling time per pudding.


I've also made a spiced whisky fruitcake based on this recipe. I varied the dried fruits a bit (using up leftovers from the pudding recipe). I'm pretty sure my dad, who loves both fruitcake and whiskey, is going to appreciate this one!


Bring on Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mo Mo Bubble Tea and Coffee House, Sandy Bay

I've written about the city Mo Mo store before and am a big fan of the place, but until last week I hadn't had a meal at their Sandy Bay store. Everything at this outlet is vegetarian and the menu is mostly made up of mock meat goodies.

To start with I tried one of my dining friend's green dumplings. These are relatively pricey compared to other dumplings on the menu, but very tasty.


I had the San Bei 'chicken', which has a sauce of soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. The sauce was quite tasty, although I was hoping for a more pronounced sesame flavour (I love sesame oil!). It was really filling, and the fake meat had a great texture.


A friend had the 'beef' ribs which came skewered on sugarcane. I tried one and it was very nice - the marinade had a lovely flavour and I enjoyed chewing on the sugarcane.


Another friend had the crispy 'chicken', and it was my favourite of the dishes. Crispy goodness!


Mo Mo Sandy Bay is a great place for dinner - the food is interesting and very reasonably priced. If you go there make sure you get bubble tea too!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mai Ake Thai, North Hobart

Mai Ake Thai is on Elizabeth Street in North Hobart. It's a popular Thai restaurant that has been around for quite a while.

We started with the roti bread with peanut sauce. It was good value and a great start to the meal.


The chicken pad thai was fantastic, a great example of the dish.


The duck curry was a bit disappointing - the pieces of duck were chewy and gristly, and I'm pretty sure the menu said that there was lychee in the curry but we couldn't find any. Royal Thai definitely does a better red duck curry.


Still, overall it was a tasty dinner and we left feeling quite satisfied.