FOOD is fashion . FASHION is food . a VICTIM of fashionable food*

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cafe Mint*

During my last catch up with C,
we embarked upon a delightful stroll around Surry Hills
in search for 'something different'.
As a result, 
we discovered an inconspicuous Modern Middle Eastern cafe. 
Think of it as a fusion of cuisines
from Morocco to Turkey, and beyond.

*Be warned, this menu is predominantly comprised of lamb

pomegranate marinated lamb fillet skewers
with mint yoghurt & salad
(vibrant colours were popping off the plate. 
citrus accents lifted the salad and provided a welcome tang 
to contrast against the heavy lamb aroma.)

spicy merguez lamb sausages and lamb kafta 
baked in chackchouka with peas & mint, 
served with corn herb bread
(A divine nod to a classic North African dish of 
baked eggs with roasted peppers, onion and tomatoes.)

Cafe Mint
579 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9319 0848

Brother in Berlin*

Missing my brother who has been on exchange in Berlin for the past six weeks.
Looking forward to his return in a few days!
Seems only days ago when we had family dinner to bid him safe travels,
oh how time flies ~

(steamed blue cod with ginger & shallots; stir-fried kailan; salmon sashimi; oysters; salted chicken; mushrooms & sea cucumber in hoisin; 
duck & lotus root; braised pork belly)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ampersand Cafe Bookstore*

"Supporting the Community times thrice
First, discounts to local retailers to ensure affordable lunches.
Twice, donating proceeds from $1 book bin to local charities.
And thrice, buying pre-loved books regularly from locals."

Combining the relaxing ambience of a cafe and bookstore becomes a haven of tranquility at Ampersand. Browse for a book, take it to the table, then enjoy a good read while waiting for your meal. Outdoor dining also provides a buzzing of sounds of laughter and good cheer. Whether it be perusing the ever-changing Breakfast Blackboard or the choosing from the simple menu options on offer, the selection of pasta, salads and bakes seem enticing. 

Mediterranean Breakfast
grilled portobello mushrooms, potato rosti, spinach, poached egg & grated parmesan
(Unfortunately, salad was too salty and olive oil drenched the spinach.)

The Ampersandian
Crispy potato hash brown with thyme roasted field mushroom, semi dried tomato, poached eggs and asparagus. 
Served with bearnaise sauce. Gluten Free.
Add: smoked salmon, bacon & pork sausage
(Eggs poached to perfection & sprouts were a nice addition. However, hash brown lacked the external crispiness we were after.)

Fruit Smoothie
Mixed berries with dessert yoghurt
(Refreshing, sweet with a sharp punch of berry flavours! 
Though the yoghurt made the beverage a bit thick.)

Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore
413 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9318 1116

Cartoon Fruits & Veg*

Having fun with fruit, vegetables & wholegrains
does not have to be a daunting task.
Being creative on the plate may also be healthier on the palette.
I am thrilled at the idea that 
food can be a work of art!*

Friday, July 27, 2012

Eee -spiration *

My love hate relationship with food is no longer a Catch 22!

I love everything associated with gastronomy-
as it embraces all the five sensations of
taste, smell, sight, touch and hearing (re: The Fat Duck).
Yet weighing down the positives is the opportunity cost-
or hate - in gaining a few extra pounds.

Inspired by Eee
, I have adopted a healthier lifestyle incorporating regular exercise while enjoying all the foods I love in moderation. In any case, I hope that I will look as great as my Aunty in future!

The secret is really not a secret at all. Simply indulge in the food you love, in moderation, combined with regular exercise and healthy eating! V's mantra of "Everything in Moderation" has finally struck a chord with me. Thank you V ~ for all your patience, guidance and witty criticism that has helped me to love food even more!*

Muppets cupcakes*

Super cute,
somewhat sweet,
definitely the perfect treat!*

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SH Mitten Crabs*

In a few months it will be that time of year again,
when the hot humid weather fades
and cooler conditions set in.
One of my favourite local delicacies during my time in Shanghai ~
Mitten Crabs (大閘蟹) will come out of hiding!

en route to Le Bernardin*

Capturing the moment with my two best friends.
While we were chauffeured in a Lincoln Limousine
en route to Le Bernardin ~ 
Although it was only a few months ago that we were in NYC,
the experience seems to be like a blur now... 
missing these magical moments

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seoul Ria *

From the myriad of complementary side dishes on offer
(kimchi, acorn jelly, honey sesame potatoes... to name a few),
to reminiscing about wonderful "Seoul-food" adventures with V,
it is definitely food for the soul.

In short, my recent obsession with 
Korean dining has been satisfied at last after this encounter:

cheese buldak
(marinated chicken thigh pieces with onions,
drenched in a spicy chilli & cheese sauce on a sizzling hot plate)

Seoul Ria
2/605 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9269 0222

Insecurities *

Why there is no egg in eggplant *

Pondering life's great mysteries, one word at a time ~

Mario Tokyo*

"Mario met Tokyo on his first trip to Japan. 
Her father Godzilla was taken by special services 
after he decimated the city with his stomping. 
Tokyo and Mario have been together ever since."

In a world where Italians who reside in Japan crave for comfort food... 
they can always rely on the Koreans to whip up a deliciously interesting meal. 
Somewhat of a nationality crisis? 
Let's call it a redefinition of culinary cuisine.

Hats off to the friendly little boy in the wall who prepared our meal!

cajun chicken salad
(cajun chicken, mix salad, mustard dressing)

bulgogi pizza
(korean marinated beef, broccoli, capsicum, black olive, garlic, mozzarella cheese on a tomato base)

arrabiatta risotto
(onion, mushroom, bacon, chilli, garlic, grana padano cheese)

Loved the vibrant colours emanating from the dishes. 
Flavours quite on par, providing lighter options to the traditional italian mix. 
As a fond reminder of the experience, we can take away the story of how Mario and Tokyo were first acquainted and have been inseparable ever since!

Mario Tokyo
Shop 2/23, The Boulevarde
Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9579 1688

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The French House*

In stark contrast to the industrial buildings and warehouses saturating Waterloo, there is a neat little Parisian cafe hidden amongst this unassuming location.

You can elect to be seated on the outside terrace to bathe in the sunlight, or alternatively...

Wander inside and be transported to the era of Marie Antoinette
a place where gilded mirrors litter the walls & aristocratic elegance is the norm. 
Now sink into velvet lounges and Bon Appétit!

soy latte
(coffee served in beautiful glasses with intricate details of marine creatures was a wonderful surprise)

blue cheese quiche with chicken & asparagus
(good combination of ingredients though the blue cheese was too subtle)

tartelette aux ricotta
(Average cheese tart. Pastry was too thick and ricotta filling quite dense.
But handmade dark & white chocolate garnishes gave it my swirl of approval, just.)

The French House
1 Danks Street
(02) 8399 2770