Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Liveat, Elizabeth St Mall

Liveat has a large range of salads and sandwiches, and you can build your own or choose from the pre-prepared selection.

Tandoori chicken roll. It didn't really taste of Tandoori flavours but was nice and fresh and I like that style of bread.


Half chicken and pesto pasta and half pesto gnocchi. The gnocchi was great but the chicken pesto pasta wasn't very exciting.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Smily Kitchen, Liverpool Street

I've blogged about Smily Kitchen twice before, but this dish deserves a post of its own. It's the 'hand-pulled noodles' from the new items menu (which is on the whiteboard on the left hand side of the picture menu). For $13 you get a huge bowl of delicious noodle soup with pieces of pork, prawns, squid, fish cake slices, cabbage and mushrooms hidden within... I could only manage half of it, but took the rest home to enjoy later!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 44 : San choy bau

Week 44's theme was Chinese, and I found that I have an unfortunate lack of Chinese recipes and cookbooks. Thankfully I found this dish in a Delicious. magazine; the original recipe is on the Taste website.

1/3 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbs peanut oil
1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely diced
300g chicken mince
2 tbs oyster sauce, plus extra to drizzle
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
8-12 large lettuce leaves, to serve (iceberg is preferable, but I only had baby cos)

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
Set aside for 15 minutes to soak, then drain.
Dice into small pieces.
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
Add the mushrooms, ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a minute.
Add the chicken mince and continue tossing in the wok until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and lemon juice, and cook for a further 2 minutes until the sauces are combined.
Remove from heat and stir in the coriander leaves, before serving in the lettuce leaves.
Drizzle with a little more oyster sauce and serve immediately.

These turned out really well. Cos lettuce isn't ideal for serving these in but did the job! The original recipe didn't specify any chilli but adding it gave the mince a real buzz. I really enjoyed these but J wasn't so keen, saying that they were "spicy but bland"... men!


Cookbook challenge, week 43: Kale chips

The theme for week 43 was crunchy. I decided to try making kale chips, seeing as my kale plants have plenty of leaves just waiting to be eaten. The concept really interested me - crunchy green chips! - and I was curious to see how they turned out.

1 bunch of kale leaves, washed
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Cut out the thick middle vein of the older kale leaves, then cut/rip into pieces
Toss with olive oil and salt until evenly coated.
Bake on a baking-paper lined cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp.

The thing that bugs me with this sort of recipe is: how much kale is a bunch of kale? Because the amount that I used (a big bowl full, 66g) was clearly not enough, as my chips ended up way too salty and oily. They definitely were crunchy though, and I will give them another shot with far less oil and salt. I think I'll play around with other seasonings too, such as garlic salt, cumin or chilli powder. Despite the results of this attempt not being great, I can definitely see how kale chips are appealing!

I used both curly and flat-leaf kale, the curly ones were definitely better in the end


Dressed and ready to bake - you can see there is far too much oil


Post-baking crispiness!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Taste of Asia, North Hobart

Taste of Asia is a favourite for J and I when we don't feel like cooking; their curries are delicious.

Lamb and potato curry and Massaman chicken, regular size (as you can see, the servings are very generous!)


Massaman chicken and beef curry (either Penang or Rendang), large size


I really miss the fish curry that they used to have, the curry sauce was fantastic. Apparently the fish became too expensive, but I wish they could have bulked it out with potato and used less fish instead - it's the sauce that made that curry so wonderful!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Phuket Town

After Tenta Nakara, J and I spent a night in Phuket Town, the capital of Phuket Island.

The city was really hot when we were there, but drinks such as these from the 7/11 are very refreshing:


A noodle dish at a very Western-aimed Thai eatery near our hotel:


Some cereal and juice for breakfast, plus some Pringles snacks:


Opening up one of the cereal bowls:


Mixed together:


We didn't try these, but they looked cute! Doughnuts decorated to look like sushi:


Some strange-looking crustaceans in the window of a seafood restaurant:


Some 'alcopops', none were amazing but they were refreshing enough:


And to finish up, some snacks for our bus trip from Phuket to Surat Thani, where we would be catching a ferry to Koh Samui:


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rekorderlig Strawberry and Lime cider


This stuff is my absolute favourite drink at the moment. It actually tastes so much like real strawberries (and not that horrible artificial strawberry flavour) that I expect to find strawberry seeds at the bottom.

The same brand also has Apple and Pear ciders available in Australia, which are also pretty enjoyable. But through the power of google I have just discovered that there are a heap of other flavours overseas: Passionfruit! Forest berries! Apple & Elderberry, Raspberry & Starfruit, Pomegranate, Gooseberry, Melon, Elderberry... I want to try them all!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sweet Envy, North Hobart

Visit number two! We tried the pecan pie, lemon curd tart and caramelised apple tart.
The pecan pie didn't excite us too much, it was a little bland, but the other two tarts were utterly delicious.

sweet envy

Sweet Envy on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 10, 2010

Smily Kitchen, Liverpool St

I've posted about Smily Kitchen before, and I still love the place. They cook up some seriously delicious dishes. Recently I didn't have time to get a cooked-to-order dish, so tried the serve-yourself bain marie offerings.

Pictured below is what I had - some fried rice and noodles, with satay chicken, beef, and honey chicken. It was all very tasty (although both the rice and noodles had dried out a bit), and the satay sauce was fantastic. At $7.50 for a medium container plus a can of soft drinks, this lunch is great value.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Garagistes, Hobart CBD

Garagistes is a new wine bar and restaurant in Murray Street, next to the Cupping Room, and is opening tonight. This is Luke Burgess's new place - he who has trained under Tetsuya Wakada and spent time at Noma, and locally, has taught at the Agrarian Kitchen and ran Pecora... what a resume!

Check out the website at - the sample menu sounds fantastic, and the (42 page!) drinks list is impressive and informative. Maybe one day I will treat myself to one of the $50 or $80 ciders..!

Update: see this post for a look at some of their current menu!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 42: Duck, two ways

Week 42's theme was bird, and there was no question that I wanted to cook duck! It's something I don't cook very often - it's very expensive - but I absolutely adore the flavour of the meat. Just like the chocolate-themed week, this was a good time to try two different recipes!

Duck breasts with port and cherry sauce
Gordon Ramsey - Cooking for Friends

4 200-225g duck breasts with skin on
3 shallots, finely chopped
200ml port
250g pitted cherries (fresh or preserved, I used preserved)
2 tbs black cherry jam (I used blueberry)
300ml chicken stock

Season the duck breast then place skin side down on a dry frying pan.
Place the pan over gentle heat for 8-10 minutes until most of the fat has been rendered.
Increase the heat slightly and fry until the skins are golden brown.
Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the meat feels slightly springy and the duck is cooked to medium rare.
Remove to a warm plate and leave to rest.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan (save for roasting potatoes).
Add the shallots and stir over medium-to-low heat until soft.
Increase the heat and add the port to deglaze.
Boil until reduced and the pan is quite dry.
Add the cherries, jam and stock, return to the boil and cook until reduced by more than half and the sauce is syrupy.

I served this with braised bok choi, as suggested in the cookbook. The sauce was amazing, beautifully rich and perfectly matched to the meat, and this was backed up by J licking his plate clean!


Sweet duck with plums and star anise
Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Dinners

4 duck legs (I used breasts)
4 tbs soy sauce
3 tsp five spice
10 star anise
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 tbs olive oil
1-2 fresh chillies, sliced
16 plums, halved and de-stoned
2 tbs Demerara sugar (I used brown sugar)

Place the duck in a sandwich bag with the soy sauce, spices and olive oil and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
Place the plums in a casserole dish, add the chillies and sugar and mix all together.
Put the duck on top, skin side up if using breasts.
Bake for 2-2.5 hours.

I served this with duck-fat sautéed potatoes and steamed green beans. It was a fantastic meal, again the sauce was plate lick-able! It was possibly a tad too sweet which might be due to the type of plums I used, so if I cook this again I won't add the sugar. I added double the chilli (and didn't remove the seeds as the original recipe instructs) and the sauce was beautifully spicy.


Which is my favourite of the two? I honestly couldn't decide! They were both delicious, the only difference is how long they take to prepare and cook, with the cherry sauce recipe being very quick and easy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 40: Cider and honey roast leg of lamb

This is a week late, but better late than never! Week 40's Cookbook Challenge theme was apples, and I made a roast lamb that incorporated both apples and cider into the gravy. The recipe came from Gordon Ramsey's Cooking for Friends.

1 leg of lamb around 2kg, trimmed and skin scored
olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, skins on and halved
several sprigs of thyme
juice from half a lemon
4 apples
500ml cider
runny honey
300ml lamb or chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Weight the lamb and calculate the final cooking time at 12 minutes per 450g for medium rare (or 15 minutes for medium).
Drizzle the lamb with a little olive oil then rub with salt and pepper.
Place in a deep roasting pan and scatter with garlic and thyme.
Pour over the lemon juice and drizzle again with olive oil.
Sprinkle with a little more seasoning then roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes.
Slice the apples into quarters and cut off the cores.
Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 180ºC.
Scatter the apples around the pan and baste the lamb with the cider.
Turn the lamb over and drizzle with 2 tbs of honey.
Return to the oven for 30 minutes.
Turn the lamb around, baste with pan juices, and drizzle another tablespoon of honey.
Continue to roast for the calculated time.
Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside to rest in a warm place.
Sieve the contents of the pan into a saucepan, pressing the apples and garlic to extract all the juices and flavour.
Discard the pulp.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and add the stock.
Bring to the boil and let it bubble vigorously until the sauce has thickened.
Taste and adjust seasoning, then pour into a warm serving jug.
Carve the lamb and serve drizzled with the apple and cider gravy.

This gravy was delicious - rich and fruity and very moreish. The lamb itself was ok, but I really prefer cooking roasts in the slow cooker - I plan to make this gravy again next time I cook a lamb roast, but will try it with the slow cooker instead.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hippo Creek African Grill, Perth, W.A.

Visiting friends in Perth recently, we ate at Hippo Creek African Grill at Hillarys Boat Harbour.

Char-grilled Haloumi cheese layered with sundried tomatoes, roast capsicum and rokette dressed with peri peri ($13). Mmm, squeaky cheese! I loved how generous they were with the cheese, but wasn't so keen on how much dressing was on the rocket.


Grilled prawns. I ordered these as a side dish, and they were nicely smoky in flavour.


Stir-fried beef - unfortunately the online menu isn't up to date and I have forgotten the full name of this dish. I tried some of the beef which was beautifully tender, and it was a very generous serving.


Meat on a stick! This was one of the steak options, and I love how it was served. The juices dripped down onto the chips - yum.


Hippo Creek African Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New in North Hobart: Sweet Envy and Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar

Sweet Envy is now open, and is a beautiful shop. It's at 341 Elizabeth Street, where the organic grocer used to be. They have a delicious-looking range of cakes, slices, cupcakes, pastries and savouries - I want to try one of everything!

J & I sampled the macarons, raspberry and lemon. At $2 each, they are a tasty little morsel, especially the raspberry, which has a surprise dollop of raspberry jam in the middle.

Sweet Envy website


Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar has opened in the position previously occupied by Praties. Their menu looks fantastic with many interesting varieties. I remembered reading about this chain on Where's The Beef, a fantastic Melbourne-based vegetarian food blog.

Crust website