Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guylian Cafe - Can anyone say sugar rush!?

Sunday was unbelieveably hot! We spent the morning at the cemetary as its a twice yearly event for the people from our village. Even just the hour I spent there in the morning, I could feel the burn of the sun. Who said its spring? Cos it certainly felt like summer to me! I called up Moishii to have a bit of a whinge and continue our conversation from the night before. He said that there was a Turkish Festival at Circular Quay, and before he could ask me if I wanted to go, I practically screamed GOZLEME at him!

1/2 hour later, Moishii is at my door and off we go to Circular Quay. We park at my work and wander over, the whole time searching for a place that did coffee. But first thing is first, food! My mind was consumed with the thoughts of grilled shish kebabs and koftes, sizzling stoves piled with Gozleme. We split up and hit up a stall each before meeting back up with plates of goodies. After stuffing our faces with gozleme and kofte rolls, we wanted something sweet and full of caffiene. Since the festival was so crowded, we used that as an excuse to visit the newly opened Guylian Cafe!

The waiter told us that Guylian Cafe Circular Quay is the first store to open in Asia Pacific. They have also picked out a site at the Rocks, which is currently under renovation. They're hoping The Rocks store will open mid November, but definitely before xmas. *fingers crossed*

We grab a seat inside by the window, giving us the best view of the Harbour Bridge.

The waiter gives us a menu, which we then poured over and ummed and ahhed for about 15mins. The waiter was really helpful, but also really mean in tempting me to order so many things! In the end, we decided to be sensible and ordered a drink and dessert each.

Cappucino and a free chocolate with the sugar

Iced Mocha with ice cream and whipped cream topped with chocolate flakes

I forgot the name of the dessert Moishii ordered, but it was a luscious layered chocolate cake with mousse and ganache and more cake and more mousse and ganache!

Waffles with fresh fruit and chocolate

I'm not really a dessert person, given a choice between a savoury or sweet meal, I always pick the savoury. However, this was sublime!!! The waffles were crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. The slightly melted chocolate ice cream is absorbed by the waffles giving it the most wonderful flavour when I bit into it. The fruits also ranged from slightly sour to sweet, giving me the full spectrum of heavenly sweetness when I drizzled the melted chocolate over everything. OMG!!!

I'm not sure if it was the sun or the excess sugar consumption, but half way through the meal, we had a laughing fit attack. I'm talking tears streaming down our faces and desperate gasps of air. The whole cafe must've thought we were on drugs or something! About 20mins of laughing left us utterly exhausted. We could barely walk back to the car as we were having a severe sugar crash. Infact, when I got home, I crashed into bed and passed out ontop of my messy pile of clothes and books. I definitely need to go again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So someone stole my photo...

I was browsing the net tonight, when I stumbled across Melissa Leong's food blog. Browsing through her posts, what did I see but my own photo, posted on her site... without my permission. Don't believe me? Here is her post:


Here is a screenshot of her post:

Here is my post:


Here is the photo that I blogged:

Here's the photo I uploaded onto Flickr:


Look similar? Very similar, except she had edited my photo to blur out some of the background. And she had used the photo for a completely different restaurant. This photo was taken at Musashi, using it for a review for a different restaurant is a bit misleading, no??

Apparently the review was also published in the 3D World magazine, so I have been in contact with the editors to ensure they stop using my image now and in the future.

This is not the first case of one of my photos being stolen, which is the reason why I had to start watermarking all my photos (long story). However, I've literally uploaded hundreds and thousands of photos, do I, or SHOULD I, go back and watermark everything?

Some of my friends have commented that the watermarking actually ruins the photos. Yes, I agree. But that's the least I can do to protect my own work? Yes this a small blog that is a personal project, but it doesn't mean that I don't cherish my own work. Maybe that's why the photo was taken? Because it is a small blog with few reader? And one thing my friend noticed, why are most of her photos watermarked, but not my one??

Honestly, I love taking photos, and I love looking back on all these photos. I hope others can enjoy it as well, but to a certain extent. I have been contacted many times through Flickr and even privately about the use of my photos on websites and other media, which is something that should have been done in this case. You know, I would have even been happy had she linked it back to my blog/flickr page like what a lot of other people do.

I have contacted Melissa to ask her to remove my photo from her site, lets hope there are no other instances of copyright breaching. Incase you haven't noticed, both my blog and flickr is copyrighted?

SoRMuiJAi current mood: Not happy Jan.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

De Malaya - North Ryde

My brother in law loves Singaporean and Malaysian food, luckily, so does most of our family. So when his Singaporean friends recommended De Malaya, we just had to give it a go. A last minute decision meant I had to leave work early to get home in time, so we could try and beat the peak hour traffic to North Ryde.

45mins later, we finally pull up to De Malaya. Luckily my brother in law knew roughly where it was, because I would've driven right on pass. De Malaya is situated almost in the middle of nowhere, with houses on either side and not another restaurant in sight. There's a small car park next to the restaurant making it easier for us to usher the kids in and out.

We were the second table of people there and practically had the restaurant to ourselves (considering we outnumbered the other table 2 to 1!). This is a truely a no nonsense buffet style restaurant.

Plate #1

Chicken curry, otak otak, ham and chicken roll, paper baked chicken, chicken satay, fried chicken wings and hainese chicken rice.

As you can tell, I love my chicken. A lot of the food was really nice and authentic even though the quality suffered a bit being in a bain marie. Since we were the early group there, some of the food had started to get cold. But as the night went on and more food came out, everything was piping hot and so fresh. My absolute favourite would be the fried chicken wings and the fried baby fish (in photo below - bottom left corner).

More fried stuff

Salt and pepper prawns, char kuey teow, satay chicken, cold mussels, fried chicken wing, spring roll, fried tofu, ham and chicken roll and fried baby fish.


There were heaps of other non-fried dishes available, like DIY Laksa, Bakuteh, heaps of salads and other cold entrees. I didn't bother taking photos of everything, I was too busy eating!

Anyway, I was so stuffed by the end of the meal, that I barely had room for dessert:


Fruit, pickle, fried banana and agar agar

De Malaya
122-124 Wicks Rd
North Ryde NSW 2113
Phone: (02) 9878 3833

La Parrillada - Petersham

I've driven along Parramatta Road so many times in my life, yet I've never really paid attention to La Parrillada. I know there was some restaurant, somewhere along the street that has a lot of flashing lights. Little did I know about the little meat haven inside.

La Parrillada is probably famous for 2 things. Firstly, they're a Peruvian restaurant. How many Peruvian restaurants do I know of? Just 1, La Parrillada. The second thing would be that they serve A LOT of meat. Its a meat fest at La Parrillada! Whether its all the all you can eat special for $19.90, or the 2kg BBQ platter for 2 people, its still A LOT OF MEAT.

On the occassion we went, we weren't exactly hungry enough for all you can eat, so we opted for the 2kg BBQ platter of meat. Not that there's a huge difference between the 2 choices, because I can feel my canines growing longer every minute I am in the restaurant.

Inca Kola

I don't know how to describe this, but its kind of like lemonade, kind of like Mountain Dew.

Complimentary bread

Fresh crunchy chips

Garden salad to cut through the grease

The most amazing dipping sauces!

Pièce de résistance - Parrillada for 2
2kg of meat - $54.90

The 2kg of meat is cooked to order. I knew that it was going to served on a mini bbq, so we ordered all the meat to be cooked rare (Even though I usually eat steak medium rare). This worked quite well, as we started eating the thinner pieces first. By the time we ate our way through the pile of meat, the ones at the bottom were between medium rare to medium. The BBQ came with Beef sirloin steaks, Pork loin, Lamb cutlet, a South American Chorizo and beef and pork spare ribs.

La Parrillada is a no nonsense meat haven. Probably not a place you'll bring a date, unless you both love eating meat and want to gorge infront of each other. Also expect to walk out smelling like a BBQ. I can't wait to go back and try their all you can eat next time!

La Parrillada
470 Parramatta Rd
Petersham, NSW
Ph: (02) 9560 0943

Savoury french toast

I've been meaning to blog about this for ages, and by ages, I mean a year. I cooked these almost a year ago, but I "misplaced" the photos. And by "misplaced", I mean I tranferred them to my laptop and completely forgot to transfer them back onto my PC. I also found a whole heap of other photos I completely forgot about, so expect an enslaught of posts.

I think I saw this recipe in a Bill Granger's cook book once. I don't remember the exact book, but I do remember the photo making a huge impression on me. Again, it was one of those obsessive cravings, where I see it today, and I'll obsess over it every day until I make it. It usually takes me about 3 days to completely crack.

This recipe is so simple I'm not even sure I should bother writing it? I basically spreaded some mustard onto thickly sliced bread and sandwich a load of ham and wedges of camembert cheese within in. Dunk the whole sandwich in an egg and milk mixture and pan fry with a little oil.

My babies in the pan

Side shot with oooozey cheese

This was so simple yet delicious. The bread was slightly crispy on the outside, but super soft and fluffy on the inside. The cheese had melted and started to ooze its way out of the sandwich. Perfect as a light meal. I tried to eat the second sandwich, but I had put a bit too much camembert cheese in the first one and was way too full to finish the second.

This will work great with any other savoury filling.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Breakfast tagine wannabe for... dinner?

I was reorganising my photos when I stumbled across these photos. I can't even remember which blog I was reading when I saw the most lucious looking breakfast tagine. It looked so good, I couldn't stop obessing over it for days. After a few days, I succumbed to my cravings and cooked this breakfast tagine like dish for dinner.

It was really simple to make and so satisfying. I browned some slices of chorizo in a pan, and then tossed in some sliced onion and capsicum to let them soften in the chorizo oil. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 fresh chopped tomato. A dash of paprika and saffron with lots of cracked pepper. I let it simmer for awhile to let the flavours developed (and basically let the veggies cooked to the softness I wanted), I made a few wells in the mixture and cracked an egg into each. Lid on and flames low to let the eggs slowly poach/steam.

Serve with plenty of cracked pepper on the eggs and a big roll of crusty bread. Oh, and some shredded cheese if you want.

I love how soft and wobbly the eggs are in this photo. They had JUST set and the yolk was sooooo runny and lucious!

Leftovers re-bento'd

One of the things I've learned since making my bentos is how to make the most of leftovers and giving them a bit of a revamp. I've gotten used to digging through the fridge to see what is in there before building my bento.

Left: Carrot and sugar snap pea tomato fried rice
Top right: Cucumber and cherry tomato with japanese dressing
Bottom right: Chicken and ginger patties

The chicken patties were uber easy to make. It's basically a mixture of chicken mince, grater ginger, soya sauce, pepper and a dash of sesame oil. The fried rice was basically leftover rice toss with chopped up veggies, ketchup and a heap of cracked pepper.

Left: Sliced cucumber on a bed of cha soba and carrot salad. The dressing was stored seperately.
Top right: Leftover purple and yellow sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas
Bottom right: KFC crispy strips

The KFC crispy strips weren't crispy anymore, but they tasted absolutely fantastic cold. I also love cold sweet potato, they go sticky and fudgy, its almost like eating a brownie. Except its good for you. Probably not so good for those sitting around you...... ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back on the Bento wagon

Even though I haven't blogged, it doesn't mean that I've stopped with the bento boxes. Work has just been too hectic for blogging, and a few days even too hectic to wack together a bento box. Here are the bentos I did manage to make though.

Left: Udon (Soup in a seperate container) and a container of salad dressing to dip the veggies in
Top right: Blanched wonga bok, carrots and a boiled bunny egg*
Bottom right: Chicken patties

*not real bunny

Left: Stir fried vegetable udon
Top right: Fresh strawberries
Bottom right: Miso chicken fillets

Left: Veggie tomato fried rice
Top right: Cherry tomatoes, seafood sticks and a container of honey mustard
Bottom right: Beef patties

My birthday celebration continued...at Nick's Bar and Grill

Hey, I only have my birthday once a year, so I was going to milk it for all its worth! After the massive friday Tharen's party, I had a quiet night on Saturday with a few friends at the Italian Film Festival in Leichhardt. This was because Sunday was going to be another birthday celebration which involved lots of shopping and heaps of food.

I found out that Nick's was having an all you can eat Seafood and BBQ special on Sunday and Monday nights after 6pm and I managed to convince a friend that that is exactly what we needed. The day involved shopping around Town Hall and an hour at Kinokuniya to slowly browse some of our favourite books. We eventually get kicked out and stroll to Darling Harbour. Since it was early, we sat outside Nick's Seafood for a while to enjoy the night light before going in to get a table.

Once we were seated, we start browsing the menu and realise there is no mention of the all you can eat special. No probs I thought, it was probably one of those specials advertised on the internet only. The waiter comes by and I asked if they had the all you can eat special offer on and this is what happenedL:

Him: "You're at the wrong restaurant."
Me (mild panic attack): "Wait.....is this Nicks?!?!"
Him: "Yes, but you need Nick's Bar and Grill"
Me: "OH CRUD! I thought it was the same thing! Like there is only one Nicks!"
Him: "No no, its the same owner, just different restaurant. We get a few mistakes a week. You need to head down to King St Wharf for Nick's Bar and Grill."

We sheepishly get up from our chair and make a quick get away. Damn that was embarrassing. We walk towards King St Whard and eventually spotted Nick's BAR AND GRILL. And luckily, outside the restaurant they had a hugeeeeeeee sign with the all you can eat special poster on display. Yay!!

We get seated and the lovely waiter gave us a quick run down of what the deal is about. Basically we order, and he'll bring the food. We did request that they either reduce the amount of chips or skip it altogether, because we knew it was just going to go to waste (Especially since 3 out of the 5 choices were LOADED with chips). But since it would be extra work for the kitchen NOT to give us chips, we can just opt not to eat it. They're not going to force us to clean the plate before bringing more food.

Seafood Plate #1 of 3

First plate we got was a bit cold and stale. I think we were the early arrivers and they were batch cooking everything. However, plate 2 and 3 was piping hot and oh so good! The fish was moist and flakey, the calamari uber tender and the prawns were nice and meaty.

Seafood plate #2 of 3

Mussels in white wine sauce #1 of 2

These mussels were tiny compared to what I am used to at the Belgian Bier Cafe or even at Bungalow8. Taste wise, they're nice, but definitely cannot compare to the BBC or Bungalow8. Plus they were slightly on the cold side.

Mussels in red sauce

I didn't really like this one at all. The red tomato sauce tasted distinctly like canned tomato soup, with fresh tomatoes thrown in at the last minute. I was hoping for a red sauce made of fresh tomatoes and herbs, this was quite a disappointment.

1/2 rack of ribs

The ribs were nice, but not up to the standard of Hurricanes or Tony Romas. Walking past their open kitchen, you see racks and racks of white ribs sitting near the stove. The ribs looked like they had been poached/stewed and basted with BBQ sauce after it was thrown on the stove quickly to warm it up. Flipping the ribs upside down, the bottom of the ribs was whiter than my belly, meaning it wasn't marinated or slow roasted with any marinade. It also wasn't as tender as I had hoped. But for all you can eat, you can't be too picky.

Mixed Grill

We really should've ordered this earlier, because we were much too full when this came out. Surprisingly, the meat was all very tender. Grilled chicken thighs, tender greek style lamb souvalaki, steaks, chorizo and ribs. But I was just way to full to enjoy this.

Overall, the food was pretyt good quality for the price you paid. And we had the most wonderful waiter who didn't make you feel guilty ordering plate after plate of food. That plus the water views made this a lovely birthday dinner. Now I just have to work off all the food!!

Nick's Bar and Grill


The Promenade, King Street Wharf

Sydney NSW 2000

Ph: (02) 9279 0122