Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sawak Cafe, Collins Street

Sawak Cafe has recently opened in the spot previously occupied by Pasta Resistance, next to the Collins Street entrance to Chickenfeed. They sell a range of Malaysian dishes, and I've been working my way through the delicious menu.

Nasi lemak ($11). Lovely coconut rice served with the traditional accompaniments: fried chicken, peanuts, egg, cucumber, sambal sauce and the addictive dried anchovies.

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Char kway teow ($10.80). These fried rice noodles are simply fantastic - they even beat my previous favourite version from Chatterbox in North Hobart. I think the magic ingredient is the lap cheong (Chinese sausage), which you can't see in the photo.

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Kari ayam with roti jala ($12.80). A chicken curry with pieces of potato, bean curd and beans, served with net bread. This was enjoyable, although I prefer curries with a bit more of a kick to them. The roti tasted like it was fried in butter (delicious!) but had more of a pancake texture than I was expecting, although that probably wasn't helped by my carrying it back to the office in a sealed plastic container - the bread probably ended up soggier as a result.

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Other things on the menu that I plan to try in the future include laksa, nasi goreng, mee goreng and the beef salad... after the Christmas holidays!

Sawak Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From a trip to Melbourne the weekend before last...

An unexpectedly huge serving of saganaki at Blue Train Cafe, Southbank:

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The big breakfast at Kush Bar Restaurant, Chapel Street:

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And the eggs royal from Kush:

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Delicious giant strawberries from the Prahran Market:

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Amazing pintxos from Naked for Satan, Brunswick Street:

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Vietnamese sauce-topped Lord of the Fries:

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I love Melbourne.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend market haul

From Salamanca market:
  • Bok choy
  • Two new Dickens cider varieties: Old English and a pear cider
  • Red currant vinegar from Hillwood Berry Farm
  • Strawberries ($4 for a large punnet)
  • Peas ($6 for a large bag)
  • Peaches ($2/kg)
  • Coriander
  • Mushrooms
  • Jalapeño and cheese bread

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And from the farmers market we got some broad bean hummus, strawberry jelly and broccoli. We got there kind of late at 12pm, but it was great to see so many stalls and plenty of people still there.

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I love this time of year - there's so much wonderful fresh produce.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Noodlebox, North Hobart

Various noodles from Noodlebox in North Hobart. Their noodles are consistently enjoyable. Unfortunately I took these photos a while ago and have forgotten which ones we ordered...

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Sauce-splattered noodleboxes don't look all that great in photos, but they tasted mighty fine.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mo Mo Bubble Tea and Coffee House, Hobart CBD

More deliciousness from Mo Mo - it's really close to my workplace so I am a regular patron.

Half tom yum, half special fried rice with a white chocolate bubble tea:

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Cajun chicken wrap with a peach iced tea. The wraps are fantastic - great value ($7.50) with a generous amount of filling, especially chicken. They are often sold out in the display cabinet but they will make up fresh ones too.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Me Wah, Sandy Bay

Back in September J and I treated ourselves to a dinner at Me Wah. They have a couple of set menu options and we chose the Peony menu at $65. We enjoyed a bottle of Lalla Gully Pinot Gris with the meal.

The first course was 'Two kinds of hand made seafood dumplings steamed in bamboo basket'. One was prawn and the other a scallop sui mai. They were lovely, as was the accompanying special soy sauce.

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Tasmanian squid, pan tossed with spicy salt and five spices, and crispy fried crab claw with sweet and sour sauce. The squid was a tad saltier than I prefer, but the crab was amazing and we did our best at getting all of the meat out of the shell!

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Finely diced Rannock quail breast in sang choy bao. J wasn't very impressed with this, but I really enjoyed it. The flavouring on the meat was spicy and rich.

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Crystal Bay jumbo prawns sautéed with velvet eggs, diced shiitake, string beans, white truffle oil and stir fried hor fun rice noodles. Deceptively rich but very moreish.

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Braised S.A. King George whiting fillet in oyster sauce with fresh enoki mushrooms and steam baby bok choy. Steamed jasmine rice was also provided (in the bowl in the background). This was probably out least favourite of all the courses, I think because the fish was a bit dry. I got a kick out of the enoki mushrooms, though.

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Wok seared eye fillets of beef with garlic wasabi sauce and steamed sugar snaps, served with special fried rice (in the bowl in the background). This beef was AMAZING. Melt-in-the-mouth tender.

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Dessert of the day. We had a coconut crème brulee, which was the most delicious crème brulee that I have ever tasted! It was silky smooth with a perfect flavour. With it came a fried pumpkin cake in custard, which was also amazing. I had a glass of the Craigow dessert gewurztraminer with this course and it matched very nicely.

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Tea with almond cookie. A nice way to finish the meal. The tea was lovely, and a little heated teapot was provided with more tea to top up with, but we found that a second serving was a little too bitter.

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A pretty amazing meal, I can see why Me Wah is so popular. I've been meaning to go there for ages - I hope it's not so long until I go there again. I'd really like to try the weekend yum cha lunch.

Me Wah on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One year!

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Today marks the one year anniversary of starting this blog... how exciting!

Posts have been a bit slow lately, unfortunately. A myriad of things have kept me from posting as regularly as I would like but once I find the time again I have plenty of things to blog about.

The Cookbook Challenge has also finished. I think I kept up with it pretty well to start with, but drifted off a bit, especially in the last couple of months. I'll post a summary of what I cooked soon, and a list of the weeks that I missed but still plan to catch up on.

Anyway, thanks for reading :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Smith Street Store Cafe, North Hobart

J & I recently had brunch at the Smith Street Store Cafe. The food was tasty and service was prompt. It's a five minute walk from my house and I regret not going here sooner, especially as we are now moving house!

The "Gluten free breakfast", with smoked salmon, asparagus, poached egg, hollandaise sauce and potato rosti was pretty much my ultimate breakfast - I love all those things. I had I would have liked the rosti to be a bit crispier though. The egg slid off the stack before I could take the picture!
I also had a delicious berry and mint frappe.

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J had the big breakfast, and it definitely lived up to its name. He particularly liked the smoky baked beans.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sustainable Living Expo, November 6-7

I spotted a flyer for this in the Smith Street Store Cafe on the weekend - it was the first I had heard of it. It sounds fantastic, I'll definitely be checking it out.

Links to the program for each day can be found on their website. I'm especially keen to check out:
  • Sourdough breadmaking (Sunday 10:15am)
  • The 'Preserving your garden harvest' session by Sally Wise (Sunday 12pm)
  • The 'Inspired cooking with sustainable produce' session by Phillip Vakos (of Masterchef fame) (Sunday 1pm)
  • Thermomix demonstration - will be nice to see one in action!
Plus lots more!

Facebook link.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

World Party Tasmania 2010

World Party Tasmania was held in the Hobart City Hall last Saturday.

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It was a fantastic event with an amazingly friendly vibe and I hope to see it back again soon. Here's the food I tried...

Chicken satay sticks and salmon and rice balls. Both very tasty! The rice balls were quite soft.

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Inari from Masaaki's sushi in Geeveston. Probably the nicest inari I've ever had, with lots of interesting tidbits incorporated into the rice.

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A pandan pancake:

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The coconut filling:

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And to finish off with, a delicious lemon curd bombolone.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 48: Brioche

I am so far behind in the cookbook challenge that it's not funny! Things have been a bit too busy to do a lot of new cooking lately, and so I've been sticking to old and familiar recipes. Never mind, I will catch up on the challenges eventually.

The theme for week 48 was bread. I've tried cooking various breads semi-regularly, but without much success in yeast breads (flatbreads, Indian breads are easier!). My plan is to do an Adult Education breadmaking class sometime to try and figure out where I am going wrong - maybe not letting it rise for long enough or not kneading well enough - the new Kitchenaid helps with the kneading part, at least!

I decided to make a fruit brioche for the challenge, and used a recipe from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion.

Ingredients:
250g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp instant dried yeast
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
75g softened butter
75g dried fruit (I used raisins and cranberries)
1 tbs brandy

Warm milk and sugar slightly, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, then allow to cool a little.
Mix brandy and fruit and set aside.
Mix flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Combine egg yolks and warm milk.
Make a well in the flour, then pour in liquid and mix to a dough.
Work until dough forms a smooth ball, about 10 minutes.
Continue beating while adding butter in two lots, until the dough is smooth and shiny (add a little more flour or milk if not right).
Cover bowl with a clean cloth and leave dough to double in size for about 2 hours.
Knock back dough and briefly knead in the fruit mixture.
Shape into a loaf and allow to rise for another hour.
Bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes, then tip out of the tin onto a baking tray and bake for a further ten minutes.
Cool before eating.

It's nice. Not amazing, but nice.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Garagistes, Hobart CBD

I went to Garagistes last Friday night with a couple of friends, and tried many of their amazing dishes.

Saltcod fritters, meyer lemon mayonnaise ($14). A tasty little morsel to start with. The mayonnaise was fantastic.

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House-made salami ($15). These were both amazing. The larger slices had a slight aniseed flavour and the smaller ones had a hint of chilli.

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Chicken liver parfait, puffed buckwheat, radishes and apple vinegar ($17). This was probably my favourite of all of the dishes, and we loved it so much that we got a second serving. We also ordered some bread to go with it. It was beautifully velvety with an amazing flavour.

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Preserved trevally roe, tongola billy, soft onions and fried malt bread ($22). The preserved roe are the brown disc - intensely fishy in flavour, I guess the roe has been processed then dehydrated? Although it looks like there was a lot of cheese, the slices were very thin. An interesting dish.

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Grilled octopus, braised cauliflower, mustard leaves and almond picada ($26). The menu listed oxtail instead of cauliflower but they didn't have it on this night. This dish worked really well, with the beautifully caramelised cauliflower hiding underneath. The addition of soft raisins added a lovely sweetness.

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The octopus was another dish that was so good that we ordered it twice. The second time it came with little yellow mustard flowers instead of raisins, which were pretty but I found myself missing the sweetness.

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Raw jack mackerel, pickles, young elderberries, rhubarb and miners lettuce ($22). Fresh and sharp flavours, but it wasn't my favourite dish.

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Dessert time! Lardy cake, malt chiffon, dulce de leche ($15). Rich and comforting. By the way, doesn't the pattern in in the plate look amazing? Apparently all the servingware is made by the head chef Luke's father.

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Silk oolong cream, quince jelly, gingerbread and salted walnuts ($15). It doesn't look like much but it was completely amazing. I'm not even going to try and describe it, just get in there and try it yourself!

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Rhubarb and spiced custard, hazelnut meringue, dried blueberries ($14). A lovely way to finish the meal, it was light and refreshing.

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Fantastic dishes, very inspired. It's definitely worth checking out!

Garagistes on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ingleside Bakery, Evandale

Ingleside Bakery is one of several cafe options in the pretty town of Evandale. We decided to sit outside at Ingleside Bakery as it was a beautiful day.

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J had the baked potato with cheese, bacon and sour cream. The bacon was great - fantastically crispy. The potato was sublime, it tasted like there would have been as much butter as potato inside the jacket.

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I had the salmon, asparagus and brie melt. It had a very generous amount of salmon and cheese, and was really tasty.

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The bill came to about $44 including two hot chocolates - good value.