Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Winter Wonderland in Manly



Dear Edible Diary, 

We were aimless chilli beans walking around Circular Quay when we spotted the ferry terminal.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do at that point and though he wasn't all that keen on my randomness, he was curious enough to join me on the next ferry to Manly! I could feel my water elements gearing up as we jetted across the crystal blue sea! When we arrived, I was really surprised to find that it was warm and sunny! We were chilli beans no more! We decided to check out the Art Gallery but along the way we got distracted by the beautiful scenery...and...




THE PANTRY!
 I had totally heard about this place a while back but have been crazy busy that I didn't have time to go! But that day was the day that we became oneeeee!






I can't remember what time we went but it was definitely a good time because we were seated immediately with perfect view of the beach!




How cool is this picture right? My sexy bottle chillin on the sexy ledge overlooking the sexy beach.  




For starters, we ordered the crumbed baby bocconcini w/chilli jam.  Verdict? Well good enough for me to take photos of them chillin on the window sill... 




On the table...




Half masticated on my fork...

Ah and that chilli jam was so good, it complemented the salty cheeeesiness perfecctly!  I will fight with anyone who doesn't like or tries to steal my thunder with these goodies..

(A little excerpt of our lunch whilst I was obsessively taking pictures of the bocconcinis)

Him: You're so weird
Me: Yes I know, so what? 
Him: (action) tries to steal the rest of the boccocinis whilst I was taking photos...
Me: Give them back.  Now.
Him: Make me.
Me:  I will...

And I continued to give him a very clear rundown of what would be bestowed upon him should he not return them (best left for another tale), to which he unwillingly, but ever so quickly returned the plate back to the table- yep I'm mean.  




 On a brighter note, he was very happy when his main arrived, the Steak Frites- New York cut, green peppercorn butter and fries.  He said it was delicious and after I tried some, I had to agree.  It was very tender and tasty!






My dish was the grilled prawn gnocchi w/ goats cheese, pine nuts, peas and tea soaked sultanas. In terms of the gnocchi alone, I found their texture to be nice and bouncy (I like to call it Qyu Qyu in my native language, and anyone who gets that is pretty cool in my books).  Despite the nice texture, I found the gnocchi to be quite bland, but together with the other components of the dish, namely the saltiness of the goats cheese and sweetness of the soaked sultanas, it tasted like magic. Yes magic.  Sadly, the magic didn't work for him so much, as the dish disapparated before I could quid pro quo! 

After lunch, we had more fun with Ben and Jerry :D

Next post baking, and it will be, riveting.


The Pantry on Urbanspoon


Monday, 15 September 2014

The Morrison, Sydney


An overdue catch up found us at The Morrison on a Friday night.  We had both wanted to try this place especially for their super delicious sounding Crab Toast.

The Morrison, Sydney CBD (near Wynyard Station) was super packed and lively- I suppose for a Friday night that was pretty standard.  A menu was brought to us a by a lovely waitress and as far as menus go, it was short and sweet with a couple of entrees and mains.  





We didn't have to wait long before our dishes came out, beginning with the Crab Toast ($18.00).  It was a delectable composition of chilled snow crab, creme fraiche, lemon zest and chive on rye.  The crab was really fresh and the lemon gave it a very delicious kick- delicious!




Next came our Slow Cooked Pork Hock ($55.00).  Behold, a pan of crispy glory at its best! The meat was cooked peeerfectly.  So crispy outside and with the most fluffy meaty innards, not stringy at all.  Not to mention the apple, radish, watercress salad it was sitting on...and the beautiful caper gravy drizzled all over it.  I distinctly remember scooping up the gravy with my spoon.  So good.




Yum.


The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room on Urbanspoon


We continued our belly adventures at The Rocks Cafe, The Rocks.



We got the Apple Pie ($12.00) which was supperb! It was nice and warm, we especially loved the crumble on top.  Perfect kind of warm and crumbly :D




I was a little disappointed with this, the Tiramisu ($12.00).  I thought it lacked flavour.  The nuts on top were nice though!

The Rocks Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 11 September 2014

CHISWICK, Woollahra



  We ventured to this beautiful restaurant for Jie's Birthday a few weeks ago.  CHISWICK is well known for its kitchen garden where apparently much of their menu is grown out back :O Didn't get to see that...would have been interesting though!

As you can see below, it is right in the middle of a huuuuuge garden which gives the restaurant an almost royal-like feeling when we walked over to it! :)






We were delighted when we entered the restaurant.  It was nice, spacious and warm, with even warmer staff :D





The pretty menu.




We began our dinner with CHISWICK's famous snow crab sliders ($9 each) from the nibbles section which were every bit as delicious as I had heard and hoped for.  The buns were sweet, soft and warm, sandwiching super fresh lettuce, kewpie, gherkins aaannnddd drummmroolll the most crispy and juicy crab patties ever!

It was such a simple yet perfect combination that we were all blissfully munching away in respectful silence.







I requested more kewpie mayo as I like my burgers more creamy than the average eater, and they kindly brought out a whole granite bowl of it! 




Next came our side of hand cut chips with black aioli ($9.00).  I am still not quite sure what the black part was..but it was creamy, a little sour and together with the super fat crispy fries - bloomin brilliant!




Soon after, our mains came out  This was by far my favourite dish of the night- Sautéed gnocchi, Swiss brown mushrooms, radicchio and taleggio ($28.00).  It was the most amazing gnocchi dish I have ever had in my life.  The chunks of gnocchi were slightly crispy and soooooo soft and pillowy that I thought of my pillows back home..maybe...The mushrooms were nice and juicy with the perfect amount of taleggio (which is kinda of like parmesan) to give it that nice salty kick! It was seriously one tasty dish.  I think it might have been everyone's favourite dish that night! 




Then there was lamb.  Mum and I ordered their other famous wood roasted Moran family lamb, white bean, smoked tomato ($66.00 for two) from their to share section.

It was a mammoth hunk of meat which we eagerly dug into, with the gloriously tender chunks of meat falling off with the slightest nudge of our knives!

I really enjoyed the basil pesto they slathered over the lamb giving the already tasty meat a fresh twist!  The salad on the side was awesome.  So fresh and crispy.




The others opted for the char grilled grain-fed beef, roast parsnip, seeded mustard butter ($33.00).  I tried some of the beef and it was tender and very tasty, just how we like it.   The mustard butter was an excellent accompaniment to the beef that even dad liked it! (He's not usually a fan of anything mustard). 







For dessert, we got the CHISWICK hazelnut rocher ($16.00).  It was such a beautiful and delicate dish.  There was a layer of crispy chocolate base topped with a nice thick slab of super smoooth chocolate mousse.  The roasted hazelnuts on top gave it the perfect final touch.  Wait, must not forget the side of mascarpone ice cream! That ice-cream was delectable!  It might seem obvious, but I highly recommend eating each bite of the hazelnut rocher with some mascarpone ice-cream-- soooo yummy!


Second visit to CHISWICK with Cheesy :)




Again, the sliders.  How could we pass these up? :)




Gnocchi I love you very muchlys.




Finally, something different. This was the pan roasted whole flounder, pine nuts, kale, pipis ($34.00) which was super delicious but a little on the pricey side for its size.  Other than that, the fish was cooked to crispy perfection with a toasty selection of roasted pine nuts and kale.  So good.




For dessert, we opted for the lime parfait, coconut, raspberry ($16.00) which I thought was pretty average.  




My disappointment soon dissipated when my favourite CHISWICK rocher ($16.00) magically appeared, with a handy dandy candle! :) 


Chiswick on Urbanspoon


Monday, 21 July 2014

Korn- Home Thai Restaurant, Crows Nest


 Hellooo my hungry beaaans! :)
Guess what guess what? I have have found my new favourite Thai restaurant!!!!

We recently visited this newly opened restaurant in Crows Nest, and from the moment we walked in, I felt like we were transported to Thailand!  From the cute old style wooden tables, dark grey brick walls, funky picture frames smelled every bit of authenticity!  This was irrespective of the delicious smell of cooking foods wafting over to us from the food station at the back of the restaurant!

We got there at almost closing time (they open from morning until 3pm and reopen at 5:30pm for the dinner session) and were super grateful to Roby, one of the owners, for accommodating us and feeding us such delicious foods!




Now unto the fooooooooods! :)
We flipped through the super cool looking menu, and was overwhelmed by the amount of delectable looking dishes!  With Roby's recommendations  and a couple of our must gets, we soon had a feast heading our way, I could feel the tingle of anticipation...




First out was *Roby's must have*, Crispy Eggplant ($12.90).  Just look at that mountain of deliciousness, it was my favourite of the day!  Now that is a big call...

I have always loved eggplants, but these giant, crispy on the outside yet super soft and juicy fleshed morsels brought my love for eggplants to another level.  They were tossed in delicious sweet basil, chilli jam, sauteed garlic, chilli and garnished with perfectly crisp basil leaves. Those crisp basil leaves were exactly like the ones they used in a lot of dishes in Thailand, super duper authentic methinks! :)




Next came my favourite dish at Thai restaurants- Banana Blossom Salad.  The ultimate test for a good Thai restaurant in my humble opinion. 



Verdict? Perfect.  

Each Thai restaurant does their Banana Blossom Salad slightly different and here, theirs was a Banana Blossom Prawn Salad ($13.90).   The beautifully shredded young banana was tossed together with coriander, spring onion and lemon chilli jam shaped into a cute cube.  The balance of sweet, sour and chilli was perfect, and the crispy prawns chilling on top were the perfect accompaniments!

This dish was the overall winning dish of the day! :)




This was the Mieng Prawn ($8.90) which was a mixture of diced lime, shallot, ginger, peanut and roasted coconut wrapped in superbly fresh betel leaf.

This dish was so pretty that we didn't to ruin it by touching it, but alas our bellies won the battle and we carefully picked up a betel leaf each, wrapped up the prawn and drizzled the tamarind sauce from the shot glass on it before eating it whole. So light and refreshing!




This Chu Chee Fish Curry ($16.90) was a true beauty and was my was my second favourite dish.  I had never tried it before and I am now a solid convert!  The fish was simply delicious and even though it was fried, it was not at all oily! Chilling in its beautifully thick curry sauce friend, the fish pieces stayed cracking crispy! The kaffir lime leaves were fragrant as always,  this dish was definitely another of the favourites among us! :)




This was their Crispy Basil Duck ($18.90), super generous amount of deliciously crispy duck stir fried in chilli sauce and holy basil sitting on a bed of chinese brocolli! I love how they cook their vegetables so they are still a little crispy, in a vegetable sort of way :P  Look at that generous topping of crispy basil leaves...I could eat them all day long...




Then came a platter of Grilled Pork Neck ($13.90).  These super juicy slices of pork were served with Jim Jaew sauce, a sweet and tangy chilli sauce, yummos!




Another of our essentials, Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly ($18.90)!! Korn's version of it was one of the best I have ever had.  The stir fried curry was super fragrant with kaffir lime leaves, perfect with the copious amounts of crispy pork belly and green beans.  Ooohs I can still remember the distinct crackle of that pork belly skin...:9




Ahh and then zoomed over a beautiful bowl of Mussaman Duck Curry ($18.90).  Glorious chunks of tender duck swimming in a thick mild curry together with onions potatoes and cashew nuts.  I suspect the duck pieces were lightly fried, because there was a little crisp to them even though they were doused in curry sauce. Sooo delicious and definitely a standout dish for me! :)




Chips??!

Nope! Deep Fried Taro ($5.90).  These crunchy strings of taro drizzled with sweet chilli sauce were so addictive that they were gone in no time! Roby was right when he said they were yummy!  




This was the Goong Ma Kham ($18.90), a beautiful school of deep fried king prawns drenched in tamarind sauce served on a bed of steamed Chinese broccoli.  It was reaallly delicious and even though we were super stuffed by that point we still managed to finish it! It was that good :9

When I got a chance, I ducked over to the food station they have up back, and watched the chefs cook, it was totally awesome. When I returned to the table, I was confronted with this alarming display of goodies.

Oh my gooodly goodness :D





Where to begin..

First of all I loved the cute bowls the desserts were served in.  Second of all the flavours were beautiful.

This was the Tup Tim Grob ($6.90) which was crunchy water chestnuts and young coconut flesh in fresh coconut milk.  Those water chestnuts were awesome, they were kind of like pearls but crunchy inside!




I am not sure what this is called as it might have been a special of the day, but another delicious concontion of fresh coconut milk, pandan sago and taro cubes! Soo good!




I loved this, the Khao Nieaw Tau Daam ($6.90)!  It was sticky rice and red beans in coconut milk, and though it may sound simple, there was something really addictive about it.  We all really liked this, kind of sweet (the coconut milk) but salty (the sticky rice), and as for the red beans, well we love red beans in general :)  It was perfect.




These cute cubes were the Voon Kathi Bai Toei ($6.90).  Super bouncy layers of coconut and pandan jelly.  They were light and fragrant and were gone in no time!




These were Kha Nom Thuay ($6.90), cute little pots of coconut milk custard!  They were kind of like jelly, but more dense which you scoop out to eat with those little wooden spoons.  Yummos!




Our favourite Thai dessert has always been the Mango Sticky Rice *seasonal* ($9.50) which they delivered with beauttttyyy and flaaare.  I am talking about you flower! :)

Apart from the lovely garnish (I commend such work of art), the sticky rice was perfectly cooked and topped with deliciously sweet mango drizzled with a little coconut milk.  It was perfecto!  I liked how they served the dish as small bites as they were really easy to pick up and eat-- almost like eating sushi or tapas! Very innovative :)

***

Apart from having the most authentic Thai food I have tried in Sydney and generous servings, I noticed that compared to other Thai restaurants, there was always something a little creative about how Korn served their dishes (i.e. fried basil leaves, banana blossom cube, custard in little pots, sushi like mango sticky rice etc) making everything all the more exciting to eat!  Despite all this, the dishes were also very affordable!  

I want to thank the chefs for making us such a yummy meal, waitresses for being super attentive and finally to Roby for everything, you know what I am talking about you kind man! 

We will definiiiitely be back soon!!! :D


Korn - Home Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon