Saturday, March 27, 2010

Scone Bread and Doughnut French Toast

1 comment:
Scone Bread and Doughnut French Toast
Home Cooking



I'm a bit mad about scones. I've probably produced more batches of scones than anything else I've ever cooked. I devour these things religiously. I like plain. I like buttermilk. I like fruit scones and date scones. Actually, I LOVE date scones. I like pumpkin scones. I like savory scones. My heart skips a bit when I find new scones I've never tried before (blueberry? Spinach and feta?)

Honey drizzled on French toast

I buy scones from cafes, bakeries, chain grocery stores and private market stalls. Scones are one of the only things I can whip up without any recipe reference.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sams On Edward Street

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Sams On Edward Street
348 Edward St, Brisbane City (Corner Turbot St)



This is yet another of my regular lunch time spots. Part of the decision-making process as to where I should eat is how long I have and how far I want to walk. Sams is for those lazy days where I can't even fathom crossing a street for food. It's literally just a short stroll up from the dental school.



We nickname Sams Cafe as 'The revolving door cafe'. No prizes for guessing why. The cafe itself is on the ground floor of an office block (the IBM building, to be precise).

Sweet Beef Cashew Korma

2 comments:
Sweet Beef Cashew Korma
Home Cooking



Another lunch party. Another curry. I think I'm falling into a rut here. Hey, is it a crime to be curry-obsessed? In all fairness, I was tossing up between several other dishes including satay chicken or a meatball pasta. My curry fetish prevailed.

I had a few goals. Firstly, I modeled this dish after the korma I had (and loved) at Mint. Another objective was to get my slow-cooker out and running. I decided on a beef korma that was started the night before with flavors adjusted just prior to serving.

Slow cooker propped up on my study desk

This is my own creation but I did use a supermarket bought curry to form the base of the sauce. I suggest you try whatever label appeals to you but I used Patak's Cashew Masala. The korma from Mint was very sweet but in a distinct way (i.e. not just 'sugary') so I tried to duplicate that with a combination of condensed milk, honey, cream and coconut.

Six Degrees Take TWO

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Six Degrees Take TWO
Shop 4/30 Station Rd, Indooroopilly



I've done a review on Six Degrees Cafe before but it's undergone some menu changes since then. It had been over a year since I last visited but a friend of mine decided to host her birthday dinner there (many birthdays this season) so I got to try the new stuff.



When I got there, most of the guests were already seated at a table so my friend and I (not the birthday girl, a different friend) were cast aside into a little booth.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chewy Brownies

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Chewy Brownies
Home Cooking



I dedicate this post to that precious time slot between around 12 midnight and 2am when your brain starts bombarding your stomach with relentless hunger signals. This is usually when I have 5 browser windows open, each with a different food blog, recipe or restaurant review and I flip through and perve on the food. Every 5 seconds, I'll change my mind about exactly what I'm craving at that moment.



I found this brownie recipe one night. Well, more accurately I saw a bunch of absolutely irresistible photos and clicked into the recipe. They just looked sooooooo sticky and decadent and glorious. Very, very convincing. I set aside one task-free Friday afternoon to do a bit of therapeutic baking.

Best Coffee in Brisbane's CBD

1 comment:
Brisbane City's Best Coffee



I feel cautious about writing this post. I enjoy eating out and taking amateur photos to share but I have no actual training/talent/skills in passing formal judgments on what I eat and drink. I like that my blog is a platform for expressing my thoughts but my thoughts tend not to surpass basic conclusions such as 'this tastes good' or 'I don't like that'. Occasionally, I'll push the limits of my food vocabulary by including such statements as 'complimentary flavors' or 'great texture'.

Basically, I am NOT a food critic nor do I want the responsibility of people actually taking my feedback seriously and using my recommendations just to end up feeling disappointed.

Having cleared all that up, how DARE I compile a list of 'BEST' of anything in Brisbane? Not only that but COFFEE?? People go nuts about coffee. There are barista championships and prize-winning blends.

Apricot Chicken

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Apricot Chicken
Home Cooking



Continuing on with the trend of bulk cooking, last night was apricot chicken night. A trip to Coles was arranged to pick up necessary ingredients and I'm happy to announce I got a free 6-pack of chocolate hot cross buns (buy one get one free deal). The funny thing is, we weren't sure whether the discount was put through and when I was asked to check, I automatically threw out the receipt. This was the first of the evening's many lapses in judgment.

Skinning a pineapple

Apricot chicken is one of Byron's dishes (probably doesn't require clarification since I haven't posted any savory dish of my own doing for many months) so the actual recipe is hazy to me. I wasn't much of a positive contribution to the cooking process but I know a large pot was involved. After identifying myself as a redundancy, I removed myself from the kitchen and watched Biggest Loser on TV.

Kings Food

1 comment:
Kings Food
Market Square Shopping Center, Corner McCullough and Mains Rd



If you live in Brisbane, you would've heard the hype surrounding Clem 7. I'm one of those who doesn't have a private means of transport and also doesn't need to travel from Southside to Northside on a day to day basis. In other words, the tunnel opening didn't affect me but I was still bombarded with news stories and even friends on Facebook updating their status with Clem 7 'best times'.

It so happens that last weekend I needed to head North to Strathpine to check out a car I spotted for sale online. I live near one of the entries to the tunnel so it was an ideal excuse to take advantage of the toll-free period.



I suppose 1/2 of Brisbane must've been thinking the same thing because on the way there, the tunnel was completely congested. We laughed scornfully at the cars entering the obviously blocked road tunnel like sheep and zipped past easily on the adjacent highway.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zucchini Carbonara

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Zucchini Carbonara
Home Cooking



A few weeks ago I got a parcel from one of my best friends down in Canberra. She snail-mailed it up for my birthday and I was hoarding it until the actual day so as to not prematurely ruin the surprise. Of course, I am an individual that's completely without self-control. It was still several days before my birthday when I saw the package and mindlessly tore it open.

Contents = pasta machine.

Let's all be honest here, more often then not, you'll get a present that's not exactly what you want. Unless you asked for it. This was one of those rare miraculous occasions where I don't remember saying "I REALLY want a pasta machine" to anyone but it was something I've been wanting for a long time.

So THANKS LOVELY!!!!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Breadtop in Brisbane

4 comments:
Breadtop, Garden City
Kiosk K218, Westfield Garden City, Upper Mount Gravatt



My first experience of Breadtop was down in Sydney. I remember that my friends and I spent the whole trip on a full belly because there were just too many things we wanted to eat. The moment we walked into Breadtop, I didn't even care because I wasn't the least bit in the mood to eat anything. We bought a tray of stuff out of novelty and it wasn't until later in the day that I had a chance to appreciate the actual taste.



When I saw a Breadtop open in Garden City a few months back, I felt a level of excitement disproportional to how much I actually cared about the shop. What I mean is, I wasn't someone who recently moved to Brisbane and was craving Breadtop from Melbourne or Sydney and felt a sudden sense of nostalgia upon seeing a local store opening up. I was just excited because I dig food and I like Brisbane having more options.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday celebration #2: Duck noodles with the family

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Roast Duck Noodle Soup
Home Cooking



As part of my ploy to stretch out my birthday celebrations for as long as possible, I had a small dinner thing with my parents last night. It was 1 week after partying with friends but a few days before the actual event. The birthday tradition in my family is to eat noodles as they are supposed to symbolize long life. Knowing this, I got pretty excited because noodles are one of those food items that I never appreciated much living at home but am constantly craving now that I'm forced to live off toast.

I gave mum and dad about 2 weeks notice hinting a desire for duck noodles (preferably in soup format). Being the lovely humans that my parents are, they obliged.

Stock- brought everything together perfectly

This duck noodle soup is really easy to put together but it's all about the quality of ingredients. Mum spent ages brewing up a nice stock and that forms the base of the soup.

Birthday celebration #1: Party at Garuva

2 comments:
Garuva Hidden Tranquility Restaurant and Bar
www.garuva.com.au



About a month ago, I started planning out my birthday in advance. Because it so happens that a whole bunch of my friend's have birthdays around this time, it gets a bit tricky as to when we can place our parties to avoid clash. I got in early and decided to celebrate 2 weeks prematurely.



For the past 3 years now, I've been having largeish parties at bar-type venues. This year, I felt real lazy about it so I thought to just pick a location and keep it small with minimal planning.

Cocktail carcasses

Garuva was the venue of choice simply because I asked a mate of mine who lives at New Farm (and knows the local beat well) "where should I have my birthday party" and this is what he suggested. I did next to zero research about the place and was happy to take his word.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Connolly's Coffee

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Connolly's Coffee
179 Turbot St, Brisbane CBD



Years of attending clinic in the city has allowed me to try a multitude of coffee shops during my lunch breaks. For some reason unbeknown to myself, it never occurred to me to go to the one directly opposite our hospital. Well, it wasn't even until the end of last year that I discovered there was a cafe there at all.



Connolly's Coffee is (in my mind) almost invisible from outside of the building. There are a few blackboards that proclaim coffee deals but I didn't give them much thought until one fateful day when I thought of actually entering through the doors.


Since then, I've been to Connolly's a number of times. It's a matter of just feeling comfortable the moment you set inside a cafe. I never feel rushed when I'm in there and the decor is unpretentious. As a relevant bonus, the menu contains all the basics that I require to get me through lunch breaks (host of toasted paninis, few wraps, various cakes and slices).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spag bol production line

2 comments:
Spaghetti for the masses
Home Cooking



You know how sometimes you come up with some radical idea (e.g. Kramer in Seinfeld suggesting a restaurant that sells only peanut butter and jelly) but they fizzle out of existence when your sensibility kicks in? Byron decided on a whim to cook a giant vat of spaghetti, justifying this strange desire by saying that once frozen, he'd have an ongoing supply of emergency food.



I sort of expected that a) the urge would die or b) the pasta venture would end up 'normal-sized'.

And then, I see this:


mmm...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sugo mi Bistro Pizzeria

3 comments:
Sugo mi Bistro Pizzeria
http://www.sugomi.com.au/



Surely you would have noticed to some degree that I censor out the names of nearly everyone I eat/cook with. I'm not certain of the reason behind this although other food bloggers do the same and I presume it is to avoid legal complications. Some get around this by fabricating nicknames for their dining buddies. I've considered this but my creativity is somewhat limited so I've resorted to labeling everyone as 'my friend'. Occasionally, where there is more than one 'friend' involved, I might go so far as to specifying with an adjective (e.g. 'uni friend).



Regular readers of this blog might now be under the false impression that I have many of these said friends but let me assure you that 95% of the time, it's the same couple of people.

Recently, I had the pleasure of being taken to a restaurant by people who not only allowed me to publish real names but in fact insisted that I do so (exact words were 'it is mandatory').

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Zafron on Brunswick

3 comments:
Zafron on Brunswick
http://www.zafrononbrunswick.com/



It always seems to me that tonnes of my friends' birthdays coalesce around this time of the year. Where my usual thing is to whinge about being home and bored on a Saturday night, these few weeks are chockas with money-draining events of one kind or another.

I was consulted-upon recently to recommend a restaurant for my uni friend's birthday. The task was to find somewhere that was a bit different but acceptable to the masses, had parking and wasn't too expensive. These tasks aren't to be sneezed at. I did a figurative run-around researching potential hotspots before suggesting Himalayan Cafe.



That rec was well received but unfortunately they were undergoing renovations at the time of the party so arrangements were made to go to Zafron instead. I had actually heard of Zafron before so it was a convenient alternative.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sweet Salmon Curry

1 comment:
Sweet Salmon Curry
Home Cooking



There's been salmon fever around here for a couple of weeks now. The initiating culprit was fresh salmon sushi at Top Sushi in the city. This somehow eventuated in my grandparents purchasing 3kg of fresh salmon for a sashimi party. We hopped on over there with a series of condiments to accompany the fish: Jap mayo, pickled ginger and even our own sushi rice. They, of course, had the obligatory soy sauce and wasabi tubes all laid out.



I've been formally recognized a sashimi amateur because after 3 pieces of that salmon (which I might add was CHUNKY CUT), I was all salmon'd out. Translation = I didn't even want to think about salmon for at least a week. Byron, on the other hand, happily took home the left over salmon pieces.

Guest Chef makes Karaage Chicken

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Karaage Chicken
Home Cooking



I LOVE eating stuff made by friends. Not only is it great because you know they put in effort, there's a novelty factor for me too. Everyone has their own way of doing things and it's interesting to see what little tricks and methods they employ that's different from your own approach.

The amusing thing is I have had so many people tell me they don't want to cook for me or recommend me restaurants. Their excuse is that I write a food blog and therefore must be like Matt Preston's protege (i.e. tentatively nibble on a morsel of food before screwing up face in concentration and delivering a molecular-level taste analysis). That is so, so very far from the truth.



Before I start preaching about my ability to enjoy all standards of food (well, unless it's basically inedible), I'll jump back to the point. One of my closest friends from uni, a fellow food-lover, joined our cooking party yesterday. She decided to make karaage chicken (or perhaps, it was me who demanded she make it).

Japanese Potato Salad

3 comments:
Japanese Potato Salad
Home Cooking



I was on the potato salad thread on Vogue Forums when I came across something described as Japanese potato salad. Unknowingly, I had eaten this many times before without making the connection between potato and Japanese to realize it was an actual replicable dish.

The recipe seemed extremely straight forward and I happened to have a bottle of Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise bought for a sashimi party last week. All the ingredients were basics and took no effort at all to collect from the grocery store.

Pseudo-Japanese Style Cooking Party

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Now that most of my uni friends are out on placement, I hardly ever get to see them. The first week was weirdest because I effectively lost all my lunch-time gossip buddies and that was my favorite time of the day.

Feasting in action

With full schedules and a shared desire to spend spare time sleeping or resting, it's not easy finding time to catch up. We decided to make the most of it with a cooking party.

This was pretty much a spontaneous decision so there wasn't a lot of time to think about recipes. Initially, I thought my foodie girlfriend would do whatever she wanted (first suggestion was pie) but then I got hit by an annoying Japanese food craving so I requested something along those lines.

We ended up attempting to stick by a Japanese food theme but the lunch was sort of 50/50 Japanese and 'other' types of cuisine. Still, it was great fun.

My plate

The recipes that will be blogged are as follows:
Freshly frosted cupcake

Dessert was a combination of cupcakes (though I had mine at the start of the meal) and sticky date pudding which doesn't even pretend to be Japanese but was a lovely sweet way to end our meal. Having decided I was fed up with dish washing, we opted to eat the pudding scooped directly out of the tin or out of makeshift cardboard 'plates'.

Sticky date served on a bed of cardboard box

It was a fun day and great opportunity for making up on lost conversation.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mint Indian Gourmet Restaurant

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Mint Indian Gourmet
394 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley



I have slight reservations about writing 2 Indian food posts back-to-back. But... they are only slight, so I'm going ahead. Here is another reference to my Indian housemate: I love Indian food and asked him for a formal recommendation of the best Indian restaurant he's tried in Brisbane.

He told me it would be Mint Indian Gourmet hands down.



I knew of Mint, having driven past it a few times whilst in the valley. It looks good from the outside and was always a place on my (very long) list of 'go-to's but after that heavy claim, it was elevated to the top.