It’s quite funny when you think about it. I married into an Irish family but I don’t think Mac and I have ever celebrated St Patricks’ Day the entire time we have been together. It has been talked about, but the day seems to come and go and we don’t do anything for it. Generally I don’t even realise it is St Patrick’s Day unless I am in town and see a group of inebriated people in green. Actually next Sunday, 17th March, is St Patrick’s Day. In fact, I already know that once again this year I won’t be celebrating St Paddy’s Day. Instead I’m heading out to enjoy lunch with a group of very un-Irish friends. Read more →
When Tara from VegeTARAian gave a shout-out for those interested to come along to a vegetarian degustation I put my hand up pretty promptly. I asked both Mac and Josh if they would like to come along. Josh gave an instant excited ‘yes’ and I received an instant ‘not bloody likely’ from Mac. Consequently two, not three places were booked to attend.
The Saturday of the degustation rolled around. Josh looked like death warmed up on the lounge and was in the process of hacking up his second lung. The first one was successfully hacked up earlier that morning. He wasn’t going to be joining me that evening.
I needed to find a solution to this problem as I didn’t want to cancel a place at the 11th hour. I knew this degustation was being specifically prepared for our group. Phone a friend? I could of, but I knew the ones I would of roped in already had plans. My last hope, persuade Mac to come along.
We are no strangers to dining at Restaurant Atelier , we really do enjoy the food and service. Even then, this was a hard sell. After an initial ‘no’, to a ‘do I have to’. I pulled out the ‘I am sure Darren (chef & owner of Restaurant Atelier) will slip you some meat’, I ended up finally with an, ‘okay, if I have to’. Phew, mission accomplished. Read more →
The Singapore Shiok Truck
Last week you may have spied The Singapore Shiok Truck around town? Singapore Tourism has brought a glimpse of Singapore’s Hawker markets to Sydney. The menu has been designed by Audra Morrice (MasterChef finalist), and includes dishes Ketang Laksa $6, Nonya Chicken Curry $6 Sambal Stingray $7 and Popiah $4.
But what is shiok? Shiok is a Singlish term used to convey extreme pleasure and happiness.
If you missed out on escaping to Singapore for a few minutes last week, the Singapore Shiok Truck is around until Tuesday next week.
Sunday 10th March: Overseas Passenger Terminal 12-3pm & Hyde Park (Cnr Elizabeth & Park Sts) 6-9pm.
Monday 11th March: Bangaroo 12-3pm & Queen’s Square (Hyde Park Barracks) 6-9pm.
Tuesday 12th March: Victoria Park (car park) 12-3pm & Harmony Park, Surry Hills 6-9pm
The Singapore Shiok Truck is part of Singapore Tourism Board’s ‘Get Lost & Find the Real Singapore’ campaign, which challenges Australian to go beyond the Singapore they know to uncover the true breadth of exciting experiences the city offers.
If you have a chance, be sure to check out The Singapore Shiok Truck for great food at great prices which hopefully will have you exclaiming ‘SHIOK”!
School of Shiok
I was invited last week to the School of Shiok, a pop-up event in Waterloo, to get my hands dirty and have a go at making some Singaporean cuisine for myself. Ed Halmagyi ‘Fast Ed’ was given the task of leading those invited through cooking the dishes. Read more →
Welcome to this month’s roundup of what is happening around town.
Givva Fork: Do you Givva Fork?
This March, local charity Major Raiser will be giving Sydney diners the opportunity to become philanthropists with their forks through its 2013 GIVVA FORK campaign.
The GIVVA FORK promotion was created by Syndneysider Dominic Greenwood to raise money and awareness for the reputable World Food Programme, with this particular campaign focused on providing children in Laos with school meals. Every dollar raised for the WFP will provide four school meals to a child in need in Laos.
To spread the word, Major Raiser has partnered with some of Sydney’s most popular restaurants to offer diners a very simple and guilt free way of giving to this worthy cause. When dining at one of the Major Raiser restaurant partners during March, diners will be given the opportunity to;
Pay an optional ‘FORKAGE’ fee: Everyone knows of corkage – the fee you pay for the removal of a cork from your BYO alcohol. However ‘FORKAGE’ is an optional fee you can pay to help the charity – a small donation made when paying your bill at the end of your meal.
Purchase a ‘GIVVA FORK’ for $6: each fork purchased provides a child in Laos with school meals for a month.
The restaurant partners include: Orto Trading Co Surry Hills; Ampersand Surry Hills; Mad Pizza Surry Hills, Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Bondi Beach and Newtown; Olio St Leonards; Michelini Crows Nest; Not Bread Alone St Leonards; Ham Cronulla; The Dip at Goodgod and Edmonds and Greer Oatley.
For more information on Givva Fork
Meet Free Week: Will take place from 18 – 24 March and has the support of some of Australia’s top chefs. Bill Granger, Simon Bryant and Belinda Jeffery are among the chefs on board providing meat free recipes for Australians to enjoy during this flesh free week.
Simon is the ambassador for Meat Free Week and is very passionate about the campaign. The aim is to raise awareness of the meat we eat and the processes that take place to get it on our plate. We are the second largest consumer of meat (after the USA), whoffing down a staggering $120kg per capita each year.
For more information about Meat Free Week and to sign up to the challenge head to the Meat Free Week website. Read more →
If you have been watching MasterChef Professionals, you may have seen the Italian challenge earlier this week. There was a restaurant challenge and the challengers had to ensure one of their dishes included Barilla pasta.
The lovely people at Barilla decided to challenge me as well. I received the recipes under embargo before the episode aired, and was challenged to choose one to cook, but add my own twist.
I couldn’t help myself and ended up playing around with both recipes, Orecchiette Vongole and Casarecce with Rabbit, Cavolo Nero, Almonds and olives. I hate to blow my own horn, but I love my twists on both recipes. My version of the rabbit rocked, and I will share it with you guys shortly, but today I share the Orecchiette recipe. Read more →
It was only after returning back to Sydney that I discovered that a little restaurant Dad and I stumbled across in Nihonbashi, was in fact, ‘world famous’ for their tempura. The main flagship restaurant is, as the name states, located in Ginza. We had come across their Nihonbashi branch which is one of eight dotted around Tokyo.
It was the last day of a very quick business trip to Tokyo, and the morning has been shopping for my usual stash of supplies to take home with me. Dad had joined me on the shopping spree and has since decided against doing that in future. Arms laden with bags we call in to a building of restaurants near where we were staying in Nihonbashi. On level 3 we eventually find somewhere to eat we both agreed on. Read more →
I don’t think my love for Japan, it’s people and especially the food is a secret. Many years ago when I started to pursue my love of Japanese food, by learning how to prepare it for myself at home, it was a struggle to find the appropriate ingredients. Luckily, there are now many Japanese grocery shops around Sydney and many basic staples are available in your local supermarket. How far we have come.
Many years ago when I would originally see the word ‘sake’ in the ingredient list of recipes, I would run out and try and source a bottle of drinking sake (Nihonshu). Then one day, in my lounge room, Tetsuya Wakuda shared something with me. “This is cooking sake, you don’t use the sake you drink when cooking’. Maeve O’Meara then turned to him, nodded her head, and said she didn’t realise there was a difference. I do love Food Safari. Like Maeve, I had no idea there was a difference until that moment either.
Ryorishu is the Japanese word for cooking sake and literally means ‘cuisine alcohol’. You generally don’t drink ryorishu straight, it isn’t enjoyable as a drink. It is milled differently to drinking sake, there is a lower milling rate of around 80-90%. Milling removes fats, proteins and amino acids that lead to unwanted flavours and aromas in the brewing process. A lower milling rate means it isn’t as refined in taste as a drinking sake, but the bolder flavour lends itself much better to cooking. It doesn’t get lost amongst other ingredients like soy sauce, sugar etc. Ryorishu does have an alcohol content, the one in my cupboard is rated at 14-15% alcohol. Therefore salt is added to the ryorishu (usually about 2% to render it just undrinkable), which allows supermarkets to sell it. Read more →
Just Pure Bistro, or just Jpb for those in the know, is Swissôtel Sydney’s signature restaurant. Executive Chef Tseng has created something a little special in the heart of Sydney. A restaurant that is both sustainable and reasonably priced. Well, I think that’s special for a ‘hotel’ restaurant.
Tseng has a ‘straight from the farm to hotel’ attitude with his menu. Ingredients are organic, locally grown and sourced in NSW as much as possible. Pork from Byron Bay, extra virgin olive oil for the Megalong Valley and organic honey straight from their roof top.
Honey from the roof top? Yes, Swissôtel Sydney has their own bee hives, which they lovingly call ‘The Buzz Factory’. There are four hives which are home to 200,000 bees. The bees spend Spring and Summer feeding on the nectar and pollen in Sydney’s Hyde Park. To ensure the bees don’t go without, bee-friendly plants such as lavender, rosemary and basil are positioned close the hives at other times of the year. The honey produced is used in daily in the food and beverage menu, breakfast, honey inspired desserts and cocktails. Read more →
I will admit I am not into the commercialism of Valentine’s Day. If you want to buy me roses, then please do any other day of the year, don’t waste your money on the 14th February. Even though I don’t celebrate in a commercial way, in other words, paying big bucks for flowers, chocolates etc, I do like to play with the ‘Valentine’ concept in the kitchen.
Last year I made Robots bearing hearts biscuits. So cute and quirky, who doesn’t love a robot with a love heart, all together now, aawwwwe.
This year I wanted to play with my new small love hearts cake tin. Very cute and picked up at a steal. With a nice supply of green tea powder from a recent visit to Tokyo Mart, left over almond meal from Christmas baking, financiers (or friands) seemed a logical baking move on my part. Read more →
When I received an invite from GLAD to attend a sandwich masterclass with my ‘little one’, I initially thought ‘but my little one isn’t so little!’. Then amusing visions of my 6’2″ ‘little one’ attending a sandwich masterclass with hip high kids filled my head. The thought appealed to me no end, so much so I put it out there on my private Facebook profile to see what friends thought of the idea. I received many a ‘LOL’ and ‘Do It!’ responses. Which resulted in a ‘yes’ RSVP to GLAD’s kind invitation.
This is how my ‘little one’, Josh, and I ended up at Food, Wine & Dine surrounded by real little ones and a bunch of mummy bloggers. Actually a first time experience for me with mummy bloggers and I was quite glad to have my 6’2″ security blanket with me for company, they all seemed to know each other, we were definitely the odd ones out. Read more →