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 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.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pilgrim Coffee, Hobart CBD

Pilgrim Coffee is a new-ish addition to Argyle Street, opposite the hospital. The fitout has a very Melbourne vibe. I've been here twice, and on the first visit I grabbed a couple of macarons:


The one on the left was pistachio - it didn't have a strong pistachio flavour but the ganache was nice and rich and there was also a dollop of tasty jam (strawberry or raspberry?). The left-hand macaron was lemon or lime and wonderfully zesty, with two different ganaches in the middle.

On another visit we sampled a couple of rolls from the delicious-looking selection. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have either the duck or pork belly rolls that I'd heard good things about, but found some tasty alternatives.

Lamb and lentil:


Chicken, avocado and cashew:


J and I shared these, and they were lovely. A little pricey but worth it - the quality of ingredients was clear.

We're not coffee drinkers but I've heard good things about their coffee!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Random Melbourne eats

To wrap up my recent trip, here are some bits and pieces from Melbourne.

Naked for Satan in Brunswick Street. I love their pintxos, and they're a steal at 80 cents each during lunchtime.


Drinks in the Ikea cafe: pink lemonade with rosella and sparkling pear juice. The lemonade was super nice, and we were disappointed that it wasn't for sale in the Ikea food shop.


But we did find the following in the shop: moose pasta and a packet mix of the Swedish meatball sauce, yum.


We went to see the Tutakahmen exhibition at the museum, and had lunch at the Tcheft Marquee restaurant there. The lamb burger and vege burger sounded good on the menu, but weren't terribly exciting.



Cheeky Rascal strawberry and apple cider - I was intrigued to try this after I received some comments about it on my Rekorderlig post, especially because it's not available in Hobart. It was pretty good.


Finally, some desserts from a self-serve Chinese bakery that I forgot to note the name of. A tasty pistachio layer cake:


And a really, really yummy mango sponge cake.


I love Melbourne!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shanghai Village Dumpling, Melbourne

Shanghai Village Dumpling is in Little Bourke Street, very close to where I was staying on my recent Melbourne holiday. We walked past one evening and there was a line out the door - a good sign! We headed there for dinner the next night. It's a funny little place, with seating on several levels. It's noisy, a bit dirty and very chaotic, but I loved it! The food was fantastic, and dirt cheap. I wish we had places like this in Hobart.

Fried spring onion pancakes ($3.50). This was a great start to the meal, although I do think the pancakes at Written on Tea are better.


Crispy pumpkin pastry ($3.20). These were unusual, but I loved them! They were sweet and almost custardy with a nice pumpkin flavour.


Steamed chicken and prawn dumplings ($7). Tasty with a nice wrapper. I saw bamboo steamers of dumplings being delivered to other tables that looked even better, but I couldn't figure out which dish they were on the menu.


Shanghai fried rice with diced chicken ($7.80). It looks like standard fried rice but was very tasty - a perfect filler dish.


Great food which fed the two of us for under $30 - bargain! I'll definitely head back next time I'm in Melbourne.

Shanghai Village Dumpling on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chocolate Buddha, Melbourne

Chocolate Buddha has long been one of my favourite Melbourne restaurants. It's right in the middle of Federation Square and serves fantastic Japanese food that's always tasty and fresh, good value and great for sharing.

Sunomono salad: shredded seaweed, cabbage, cucumber, carrot and daikon with a sweet vinegar dressing. I love this salad and it's something I always order here. My favourite part is the seaweed - I wish I could get just dish of it on its own!


Yakitori skewers: teriyaki sauce glazed chicken pieces with a spinach and cucumber salad, pickles and rice. These were great - perfectly cooked and juicy.


Green gyoza: vegetarian dumplings that have been steamed then seared. Great with the accompanying dipping sauce.


Tempura pumpkin roll: an inside-out sushi roll filled with tempura pumpkin, beetroot, seaweed salad and avocado. Usually I get a soft-shelled crab sushi but decided to try something this time. It was great... I did regret not getting the crab when I saw it being served to someone else sitting nearby, though!


We enjoyed a couple of glasses of Te Whare Ra "Toru" GRP wine with dinner - I wish I could find this wine back in Hobart!


Chocolate Buddha on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tasmanian Farm Gate market haul

It's been a while since I shared a market haul, so here's what I got at the farmer's market today. Lots of deliciousness!

Clockwise from top left: cumquats, rocket, an amazing yoghurt with berry topping, chocolate caramel and macadamia nut slice, wallaby burgers, lemons, with ciabatta in the middle.


The bread, burgers and rocket will be our lunch for today.
I haven't had cumquats before - any suggestions on how to use them?

Update: a pic of today's lunch! It was a beautiful day in Hobart today, and this was the first time we've got the BBQ going since last summer. The burgers were fantastic, topped with provolone cheese, bbqed mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, avocado, rocket and chutney. Delicious, but huge - I only ate half of mine. Saving the rest for lunch tomorrow!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Burch & Purchese is an amazing shop tucked away discreetly in Chapel Street, not far from the Toorak Road intersection. They sell cakes, individual dessert concoctions and a range of other products like chocolate, jams, and much more. They also have a pretty incredible wall full of jars of all sorts of ingredients that they use in their dishes, and an open kitchen where you can see creations in progress.

We shared three stunning desserts. First was the 'Rhubarb, apple, crumble, cheesecake'. The desserts are packed into boxes, and they thoughtfully include a piece of paper that lists the components of each dessert. This one has caramelised apple, custard cheesecake, malted walnut crumble, rhubarb compote jelly. I don't recall finding any apple, but it was a rather nice cheesecake.


Next up is 'Raspberry, white choc, honey, lychee', with components of white chocolate and raspberry mousse, raspberry and lychee jelly, muesli and honey nut sponge, raspberry and hibiscus jam, honey, lychee syrup, exaggerated raspberry cream, white chocolate velvet spray.


This one had heaps of components, and they all added up to a pretty tasty dish! Here's a shot of the innards. The mousse was rather lovely but I found myself wishing that there was a bit less mousse and a bit more of the rest. The best part were the lychee pieces - one of my favourite fruits.


Finally, we had the 'Passionfruit, chocolate, caramel'. Components are chocolate shortbread, passionfruit curd, passionfruit salted caramel, dark chocolate dome, dark chocolate jelly, toasted macadamia, passionfruit marshmallow, milk chocolate velvet spray.


And here's the innards shot. Damn, this was good - absolutely my favourite of the three. The caramel, curd and jelly within the dome were AMAZING.


Here's a glimpse at some of the other desserts on offer. It was really hard choosing just three!


I definitely want to go back to try more (and maybe get another of the passionfruit, chocolate, caramel!).


We got a few goodies to take home with us. I got the raspberry and pistachio chocolate fudge and a jar containing half chocolate hazelnut spread and half spicy pineapple jam.


Burch and Purchese website. They also have a blog!

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon