Archive for month: February, 2012

Choujyu an, Soba Restaurant, Ginza, Tokyo

28 Feb
February 28, 2012

A late start to meetings had us meeting up with the Fuminator for an early lunch in Ginza before our working day started.  Actually the Fuminator’s day had well and truly started earlier that day back in the office.  Moi, on the other hand, spent the morning traipsing around Ginza shopping.  I looked at it as my duty to inject monies in to the Japanese post tsunami economy. Read more →


New Shanghai Chinese, Chatswood Chase

27 Feb
February 27, 2012

The first thing that strikes me about New Shanghai is the decor, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the decor.  I feel like I am transported to a little alley in Shanghai in the 30s.  Sitting on the wood and red accented stools at wooden tables you feel like you are sitting outside shopfronts in a small bustling alley.  The bustling comes from the busy wait staff whizzing by to attend to the full restaurant. Read more →

Sunny Harbour Seafood, Hurstville

24 Feb
February 24, 2012

Sunny Harbour Seafood is a regular yum cha spot for us in Hurstville.  Even though we have frequented this restaurant many times to partake in various dumplings, we have never had dinner here.  Mum and Dad were down from Queensland for a very brief visit and it was decided a Chinese meal was on the cards.  The perfect opportunity to try Sunny Harbour as we didn’t want to drive in to town.  Let’s face it, decent Chinese restaurants in the Sutherland Shire are hard to find.  Well, sadly, I haven’t found one yet and I have been living here for 19 years.

The restaurant is both licensed and BYO.  Service is quick and attentive.  We notice we are the only caucasian family eating there that evening, so that has to be a good sign that the food is good.  I notice that most of the families dining take advantage of the mud crab special that is on offer.  What that special is, I’m not sure as I couldn’t read the menu.  I didn’t ask as it wasn’t what we were after.  I am very tempted to go back and try it out as the crab looked awesome.

My Mum isn’t a very adventurous eater, so we ordered pretty mainstream dishes.  Not ordered on the menu was chicken with fried bones and tofu stuffed with shrimp, both items I want to try and feel they warrant a return visit.

We didn’t order entrees and instead decided on five main dishes and steamed rice. Read more →

Biscotten Torte Recipe

22 Feb
February 22, 2012

I love this recipe, it has been a staple in my recipe folder for over 25 years.  A dessert that my mum has made for as long as I can remember.  Fail safe and easy for entertaining.  I use to love it when mum and dad had dinner parties.  I had dinner earlier and mum always saved a slice of the torte for me.  She would serve it to her guests whole with a slice missing.  Her excuse was that it always looked better when guests could see the layers.  In truth it was to make sure I got my slice the next day, as the whole dessert would be polished off each time without fail.

Those of you that juggle life and are time poor, know how frightening it is to entertain guests mid week.  This was my mum’s fail safe dessert and has become mine.  It is a family favourite and often is whipped up as a birthday cake.  I am addicted to its flavours of almonds, cream and rum.  If I haven’t made it for a while, I will actually crave it.

The joy of this dessert is the ease of preparation.  The filling consists of beating some butter, adding a few ingredients then folding through stiff egg whites.  Layering Niece biscuits, which have been brushed liberally with rum and milk, with the filling.  Wrapping your dessert in aluminium foil and placing in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours, 18 is better.  The magic happens once left to rest in the fridge overnight.  The biscuits become softer and flavours meld.  All that is then needed is a covering of whipped cream and decorating with some chocolate before serving.

When I decided I was going to share this recipe with you, I had the vision of shaved chocolate and strawberries adorning the dessert.  Once I gave this some thought, I  decided to not tart up the torte, but share how I actually decorate it.  Flake, smashed up flake sprinkled on top, again easy and tasty.  If you wanted to you could go down the more labour intensive task of shaved chocolate and the likes, but this recipe is meant to be easy.

Biscotten Torte

  • 24 plain biscuits, I use Arnott’s’ Niece (2 packs are required)
  • 125g butter (you cannot substitute margarine)
  • ½c caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 125g ground almonds
  • Few drops of almond essence
  • ½c milk
  • ½c milk extra
  • 2T rum (be generous)
  • 300ml cream
  • Grated chocolate (flake or whatever you desire)
  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat egg yolks in to creamed mixture, add ground almonds and almond essence.
  3. Gradually beat in a ½c of milk.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold half in to the creamed mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  5. Combine rum and the remaining ½c of milk.
  6. Arrange six biscuits lengthwise in two rows, beside each other, on aluminium foil.  Brush the biscuits liberally with the rum/milk mixture.
  7. Spread the biscuits evenly with ? of the filling.  Top with another lay of biscuits and brush liberally with rum/milk mixture.  Continue as before until all mixture is finished and you have ended with a layer of biscuits (again brush liberally with rum/milk).
  8. Wrap up in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Before serving remove torte from foil and place on serving plate.  Cover with whipped cream and top with chocolate.  Once covered and decorated, refrigerate once again until ready to serve.

The ugly duckling before covering in cream and chocolate

Please make sure you use butter in this recipe and not margarine.  I have been making this recipe for so long I have tried all the variations.  If you use margarine your torte will not hold together.  I also suggest you avoid making this dessert in the middle of a scorching hot Summer’s day.  The filling will fight you all the way and slide off your biscuits when trying to layer.  It can be done, but if it is hot weather make it first thing in the morning the day before.  Unless you have air-conditioning of course.

Do tell dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, do you have a loved dessert from childhood that you continue to make today?

Sara xxx

Sake Restaurant, The Rocks, Sydney

21 Feb
February 21, 2012

I have wanted to visit Sake ever since seeing Shaun Presland create magic on MasterChef. Yes, it seems that I too can be influenced by MasterChef.

My desire to visit strengthened greatly when I realised that Sake was situated in the same space as a restaurant I use to work at around 19 years ago. Back then it was called the Argyle Tavern. I am pretty sure that quite a few of you guys wouldn’t of heard of it, it was probably well and truly before your time.

I am going to apologise about my ramblings at the start about my past life in hospitality. I suggest you go grab a cup of coffee/tea for my flash back to a former life, sorry!

The Argyle Tavern was geared towards tourists. You could of classed it as a theatre restaurant of sorts. Think Dirty Dicks but without employees getting up on stage to perform skits etc. Well that isn’t entirely true, there were a couple of times that you would be tortured on stage. There was a house band that played Aussie style bush music during the evenings. Initiation for your first night on the job was to be thrown up on stage in front of a packed house to sing and encourage from the stage to get guests to join in. The rest of us just walked between the tables clapping our hands and singing from a less prominent position to cajole patrons to join in. Read more →

Torigin Restaurant – Ginza, Tokyo

20 Feb
February 20, 2012

Have you ever eaten Kamameshi?  I haven’t seen it on a Japanese menu or seen a restaurant that specialises in this dish in Sydney.

Kamameshi literally translates as ‘kettle rice’, a very popular Japanese dish which is prepared and served in a small pot.  The closest dish it reminds me of is Korean bibimbap.

It is a rice dish topped with selected ingredients that are cooked and served in a pot called ‘kama’ and in this circumstance ‘meshi’ means rice.  The ingredients are cooked in stock, in the pot, which creates taste congruity between rice and toppings.  It is my understanding that this dish originated during the big Kanto earthquake in 1923.  Apparently a restaurant owner cooked up a dish of mixed rice for those affected by the earthquake. Read more →

Quick & Easy Prawn Toast Recipe

15 Feb
February 15, 2012

Prawn toast is a favourite of mine.  The crunch of biting through the crisp fried bread base and savouring the juicy prawn topping, truly scruptious.  Usually eaten just out of the wok, steam escaping from the prawn topping, usually up my nose as I take that first bite.

As much as I adore prawn toast, it really isn’t an everyday food, is it?.  Being fried in oil, the bread does do it’s fair share of soaking a bit of that oil up, no matter how well you drain it.  Healthy for you, this dish is not.

On the weekend once in a while I will make this as a treat for the boys, and of course as a treat for myself.  Simple finger food served with some sweet chilli sauce on the side.

I never order them these days when we eat out at Chinese restaurants.  I have often wondered if they are of those ‘Anglo’ dishes that are just there for those of us from non Chinese backgrounds.  They were a staple item I would always want to order as a child, but these days I always tend to order items a lot more interesting and unusual.  Read more →

Happy Robots Bearing Hearts’ Day – Robot Cookies

13 Feb
February 13, 2012

No matter if you are a Valentine’s Day fan or you sit in the anti Valentine camp, if you don’t like robots then there is something very very wrong with you.

I have decided that today will forever be known as Robot’s Bearing Hearts’ Day.  What better alternative to Valentine’s Day than the celebration of robot love.  There really isn’t enough robot love out there, and it will be appreciated, when in the future we welcome our robot overlords. Read more →

High Tea – Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport

12 Feb
February 12, 2012

I am  pants girl by nature, I tend to feel a little uncomfortable in a dress.  I think I have never really grown out of my tomboy phase.  My youth, when not in Sydney, consisted of running around paddocks, trying to ride cows when horses weren’t available, climbing trees, going bush, chasing kangaroos and swimming in the local river.   My comfort zone really is Jeans and a tee.  There are a couple of exceptions where I will make an effort to wear a dress and get a bit more girly. One of those occasions is high tea.  I love high tea and I am really surprised I haven’t shared more of my high tea adventures with you

I find it the perfect way to catch up with girl friends.  It is a little bit more special than just catching up for a lunch.  It is also something I enjoy doing with Josh, a “mummy & me” date.  Read more →

Chocolate Valentine Heart Tarts Recipe

10 Feb
February 10, 2012

Ooooooooo Manu, now aren’t they words you would like to breathlessly whisper after the end of a delicious romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  I know quite a few of my girlfriends would.  Well ladies I am giving you that opportunity.  Okay I may not be able to present you with Manu Fieldel himself, but I can do the next best thing.  Share his incredible chocolate tart recipe with you.

Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday, not far away.  The day is all about chocolate, romance, chocolate, flowers, chocolate, chocolate and let’s be honest more chocolate.  I am quite happy to forget the romance, just give me chocolate, oh and some flowers. Read more →