It’s Been A While

Can’t blog…eating…

Brazilian Festival

Christmas Day 2007 Lunch…

Coconut Crusted Tuna with Tomato Rice & Tuna Pineapple Salsa…

Strawberry Festival

Birthday Cake & Mia Tai’s…

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, sorry for the hiatus, and Bon Appetite

Anniversary Weekend

This weekend was our 6th Wedding Anniversary.

I was very fortunate to have been offered a complimentary stay at the Adelphi Hotel. After reading this post, one of the co-owners, Damien, was kind enough to offer me a free night at his hotel.

Adelphi Hotel is located at 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne and is an intimate boutique hotel. The interior decor is funky and modern where every room has wifi, broadband, an LCD TV, a Bose iPod Dock and an autographed copy of Teage Ezard’s cookbook. I have to tell you, I was sooo tempted to take the cookbook :p

The hotel staff were friendly and helpful. When we arrived there was a small fruit platter in our room and the general manager, Andrew, left a personal welcome note. Personal touches like that is what makes the Adelphi Hotel stand apart from those big multi-chain hotels.

Now, how can I talk about the Adelphi and not mention THAT pool!

The pool is located on the rooftop of the hotel, where part of it hangs over the roof overlooking Finders Lane. The part of the pool that overhangs has a glass floor so you can see down onto the street when you go for a swim. Unfortunately, the day was too cold to go for a few laps of the pool.

Here is hubby’s contribution to the worlds most photographed pool…

On the ground floor of the hotel is Ezard’s. An internationally acclaimed restaurant. Since we dined at Ezard’s a couple of month’s back (see this post), we decided to have our dinner at Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill. We have been here before earlier this year but we enjoyed it so much we decided to return. The menu hasn’t changed much since our last visit but that was OK since I planned to have the wagyu beef anyway.

For starters, Hubby and I shared a ham and salami tasting plate. It consisted of Serrano Ham from Spain , Joselito Iberico Ham from Northern Spain, San Daniele Prosciutto from Italy and an Australian Salami. (I’m sorry I can’t remember the name). Each ham had a different flavour from each other. Personally I liked the Joselito Iberico Ham. It was full of flavour and it melted in the mouth. (I have to go out and look for some to buy.)

For the mains, Hubby opted for the woodfired Grilled Pigeon with parsnip, pears and radicchio. I ordered the Wagyu. I am so glad I finally had a taste of the wagyu beef. It was tender and luscious in the mouth. For our sides we shared the “mac and cheese” and sauteed Brussel Sprouts with bacon, onions and burnt butter. As the waiter said “you gotta have your sprouts!” That was delish. The reason why it was so good, we found out later, is that fat from the joselito iberico ham was used in it.

And finally for dessert I had Orange Creme Caramel and Hubby had the Strawberry salad with vanilla panacotta. My creme caramel was nice and had a bitter tang to it due to the orange. Hubby’s dessert was different. It was served in a martini glass. The strawberry “salad” had pistachios and tiny cubes of jelly. In the middle sat a layer of vanilla panacotta. It was topped off with rose granita. I think I would have liked that if it wasn’t for the rose granita…. not a fan of rose flavourings.

Hubby and I had a fantastic weekend for our anniversary. On Sunday morning we picked up the Little One from home and went out for a drive.

Fantastic hotel, fabulous food and great company. That’s Melbourne

Bon Appetite

My Birthday Cake

Pineapple Cream Cake.

For my birthday dinner with my family, I decided to have it at the family Nando’s store so we can be all together. For dessert I baked a Pineapple cream cake. The meringue on top of each layer makes the cake light and fluffy. The recipe came from one of the women’s weekly cookbooks. It seems a bit fiddly to make but it actually is quite simple to make.

  • 1 cup (75g) shredded coconut
  • 450g can crushed pineapple in syrup
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar, extra
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 cup (40g) icing sugar
  1. Toast coconut in frying pan, stirring. constantly, about 2 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove from pan and cool.
  2. Drain pineapple and reserve 1/2 cup of the syrup.
  3. Preheat oven to 180deg (160deg – fan forced). Grease two deep 20cm round springform tins, line bases and sides with baking paper
  4. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with electrical mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined.
  5. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sifted flour, pineapple, and reserved syrup. Divide mixture between tins; bake 20 mins.
  6. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add extra caster sugar , beating until sugar dissolves between additions. Fold in toasted coconut.
  7. Remove cakes from oven, working quickly, divide coconut mixture over cakes in tins, using spatula to spread evenly so tops are completely covered.
  8. Bake about 30 minutes. Stand cakes in tins 5 mins then carefully loosen meringue from baking paper around inside of tin. Release sides of tins. Cool
  9. Meanwhile, beat the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
  10. Place one cake on serving plate, spread with cream. Top with remaining cake; dust with sifted icing sugar.

Pineapple Cake @ Group Recipes

Bon Appetite,

My Birthday Dinner

For my birthday this year, Hubby took me to Ezards. We’ve heard great things about the restaurant so we wanted to try for ourselves. Ezards is located on Flinders Lane in Melbourne City at the Adelphi Hotel.

We decided to have the degustation menu. The eight courses sounded very enticing and it gave us a chance to try a little of everything.

1 st course : japanese inspired oyster shooter – This was a great start to the meal. The shooter was saki and mirin with the alcohol burnt off. The raw oyster was divine. I don’t usually eat raw oysters but will definitely have this one again.

2nd course : lime cured cuttlefish with mirin, sticky soy, bonito mayonnaise, fried leek and seaweed – This was presented on Chinese spoons and is meant to be eaten in one go to feel all the different textures in the dish. The cuttlefish was tender and melted in the mouth. The bonito mayonnaise gave it a fishy tast but it was strong that it over powered everything. the aftertaste was fantastic. There was a lingering sweet and sour taste that came from the sweet soy and the lime.

3rd course : moreton bay bug raviolo with cauliflower cream, yarra valley salmon eggs and curry oil – the raviolo was very tasty. The moreton bay bug filling was excellent. I was excited when I saw that there was moreton bay bugs was on the menu even though it was a tiny portion. the cauliflower cream and the salmon eggs was to die for. Both Hubby and I adored this sauce the the raviolo sat it. It was creamy and full of flavour and the salmon eggs added bursts of salty to finish it off.

4th course : crispy polenta with sauteed mushrooms, poached quail egg, soft herbs and parmesan oil – The disk of polenta was crunchy on the outside and very light and creamy on the inside. the poached quail egg on top was a little over cooked but I guess it would be hard to keep the yolks runny as it it only need seconds to cook.

5th course : steamed suzuki bass with japanese plum wine dressing, hand rolled rice noodle, stir fried asian mushrooms and xo sauce -I liked the sea bass as I could tell it was very fresh, however the plum wine dressing was a little too strong in flavour. To me, it drowned out the flavour of the subtle bass.

6th course : morrocan spiced quail with babagnoush, mint and red onion and pomegranate salad, labna and saffron syrup – I really enjoyed this course. I loved the spices in the quail. It was the taste of Morocco. What both Hubby really liked about this dish was the labna. It had the great flavour of the yoghurt cheese.

7th course : wagyu beef two ways with soft truffled polenta, sticky shallot sauce and mache salad – This course was an alternative course to sichuan peppered duck. There was wagyu beef that was slow cooked ragu style and the other was pan fried cooked to medium raw. I have to say that this was my first time eating wagyu and I totally loved it. The meat is so meltingly tender. The sauce and polenta that accompanied the meat was a great balance.

Palate Cleanser : Vanilla Yoghurt sorbet with orange creme fraiche, poached tamarillo topped with mulberry jam and an oven baked slice of star fruit – This course wasn’t part of the degustation menu. It was complimentary. I’m sorry to say that this was the best course of the night! The sorbet and the orange creme fraiche was a great combination. The flavour of the orange really came out well in the creme fraiche. The poached tamarillo had the right amount of sweetness to compliment the sorbet. Fantastic!

8th course :pear and praline parfait with pear sorbet, roasted pears and pomegranate syrup – To be honest after the palate cleanser, I was really full and didn’t think that the dessert course can beat the palate cleanser. It didn’t. But it was still really delicious. The praline parfait was creamy and went well with the pear sorbet. I didn’t like the pomegranate syrup at all thought. It was a strong sweet and sour flavour. To me , it tasted a little weird.

We did feel really full after our meal but I have to say definitely worth it. We enjoyed out night out not just because of the great food but the atmosphere and waitering service was top notch

Bon Appetite,

My Daughters First Birthday

Today was my daughter Deanna’s first Birthday Party. With the help of loving family, we were able to give Deanna a great night to celebrate the milestone.

There was food aplenty, as you can see.

Of course there was Nandos Chickens; 2 lemon & herb, 1 mild, 1 hot and Nandos Wings

My mum’s Prawn and vegetable lettuce wrap

My mum’s lasagne

Madras Coconut, Chicken & Banana Curry from “Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express 2” page 69 made by me (pictured left) and my mum in law’s Red-peppered beef stir-fry from “Complete Family Cookbook” page 102

My potato scallop and Stuffed Tomatoes

Spanish-style Rice from “Delicious Magazine” made by hubby

Mini Hot Dogs using English Pork Chipolata from Rob’s British Butchery fried by hubby

Salsa made by me

Lumpiang Shanghai (Shanghai-style Eggrolls) made by my mum

Unfortunately we didn’t take photos of all the food. There was also escabeche (Filipino Sweet and sour fish) made by my mum and Asian greens with oyster sauce.

After a very filling main course, we had dessert….

Trifle made by mother-in-law

Leche Flan (Filipino Cream caramel) made by myself

Fruit Platter with Honey Dip from “Desserts” page 86 made by me

Apple Cake from “Delicious Magazine” made by hubby

Tam made a few desserts. I think she was in a baking mood in the morning.

Of course the birthday cake….

Chocolate “Fairy’ Cake (Birthday Cake) from “The Essential Guide To Cake Decorating” page 30 made by me.

I know this day will be a memorable one for Hubby and myself. I hope when Deanna grows older, she can look back at the photos and relive the celebrations with us.

Bon Appetite

Mothers Day Breakfast

Today I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day. I got a really nice pink woollen jumper and got treated out for breakfast.

We headed out to the Blue Room on Clarendon Street, South Melbourne.

Hubby had the Eggs Benedict. Virginian Ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise on an English Muffin. Hubby enjoyed his meal. The egg was cooked perfectly. The yolks were runny and creamy the way poached eggs are meant to be.

I had the Spanish Omelette, baked in a claypot with pimentos, tomato, roasted bacon red onion relish, wood-fired potatoes, hollandaise and toast. I had to try this dish as I’ve never had eggs cooked in a claypot before. This dish was very tasty. I loved the flavour of the of the caramelised onions and and pimentos in the fluffy, creamy omelette. The potatoes was crunchy and delicious. The hollandaise sauce was a great addition.

I even got a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, which I think the little one was very keen on.

Bon Appetite

Jambalaya – The Revenge

Although I’ve already posted this dish it’s SO good it deserves a second posting. Also, being Mother’s Day tomorrow hubby wanted to cook for me and this is one of the few dishes that he can cook (which didn’t originate in a can).

We substituted chicken for prawns (as we didn’t have any).

  • 2 tbp oil
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 2 thick English pork sausages
  • 225g cooked prawns
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 celery sticks
  • chilli powder
  • paprika
  • 225g basmati rice
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 400 ml passata (or finely diced tomatoes)
  • 4 spring onions
  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • parsley

  1. Heat the oil in large frying pan, or better, a paella pan. Fry the thickly chopped chorizo and pork sausages until golden then set aside.
  2. Fry the garlic, onions, thickly sliced pepper & celery, in the pan for 2 minutes
  3. Add the chilli powder and paprika to taste (preferably hot) and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add back the sausages then add the rice, thyme, bay leaves, passata, chicken stock, salt & pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Use foil to cover if you don’t have a big enough lid. Stir 2 or 3 times during the simmer.
  5. Ensure the rice is cooked through, add a little more stock if needed.
  6. Uncover, sprinkle over the prawns and chopped parsley, & recover for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with spring onions and extra parsley, and some good crusty bread.
  8. Optional – add chicken as well as the sausages.

Jambalaya @ Group Recipes

Don’t be surprised if you see this on here again 🙂

Bon Appetite