Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taste of Sydney 2012

Back in March I went to Taste of Sydney. Over the last few years it's come to become an event I look forward to each year. It's a great way to sample various restaurants in Sydney. 

This year Ms P and I had a pretty good run with the dishes we selected. We started off with fried Hawkesbury school prawns with prosciutto and rouille from Quarter Twenty One. This was one of the highlight dishes of the day. The prawns were so lovely and crispy.
Fried Hawkesbury school prawns with prosciutto and rouille from Quarter Twenty One

We then tried the crisp brisket of pasture fed beef with creamed wild mushrooms from Montpellier Public House. I didn't know what to expect with this dish. Not something I would order normally but boy was I plesently surprised. The creamed mushroom soup had me wanting seconds. The mushrooms reminded me of truffles.
Crisp brisket of pasture fed beef with creamed wild mushrooms from Montpellier Public House
Seared petuna ocean trout with ginger, chilli, shallot sauce served with carrot sambal and basmati rice from Flying Fish
After the beef we tried the ocean trout from Flying Fish. This was slightly disappointing. The trout was nice but there was definitely not enough sauce. 
Our last of the mains was the roast suckling pig from Four in Hand. This was heaven. The coleslaw, onion rings and hot sauce worked so well together. I've never been a fan of battered onion rings but these were something else. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take a photo of the suckling pig on the spit. Looked great. 
Roast suckling pig, coleslaw, onion rings and hot sauce from Four in Hand
Rekoderlig cider tent... my favourite was the apple, cinnamon and vanilla flavoured cidar
For dessert we decided we would go with one fruit based dessert and then with a chocolate option. For the first we went with a meringue filled with passionfruit curd, honeydew, rockmelon and watermelon from Otto Ristorante. Very good choice. Loved the passionfruit curd.
Meringue filled with passionfruit curd, honeydew, rockmelon and watermelon from Otto Ristorante
For the second dessert we went with the chocolate and spelt brownie with almond praline, vanilla cream and chocolate sauce from Agape Organic Restaurant and Bar. This was exactly what the doctor ordered. Chocolate, nuts and vanilla cream, simple but delightful.
Chocolate and spelt brownie with almond praline, vanilla cream and chocolate sauce from Agape Organic Restaurant and Bar
To end the day, I didn't plan on having another dessert. Although I couldn't resist after stopping by the Booza Ice Cream stand. Booza is Levantine ice cream made here in Sydney. That is ice cream from the Levantine Region, namely this includes Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, along with parts of Cyprus and Turkey . The icecream is made with sahlab pounded with wooden sticks until the right consistency. It is then served with pistachios. Sahlab is a flour made from grinding the dried tubers of the orchid genus. It is a thickener and gives the icecream an interesting texture. I'm a big fan of desserts with pistachios so I enjoyed it. Great way to finish the day.
Booza Ice Cream

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coachella Street Style

Probably my favourite look!

Here's to being there one day! Now how about that Tupac reincarnation? Very cool.

Photos via Vogue US, Harpers Bazaar US, Refinery 29 and They All Hate Us

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stuffed Vegan Zucchini Flowers with Truffle Oil

While fasting as a vegan for Easter I hit a slump in cooking and an increase in the weight situation. Carb overload! I thought I needed to brighten things up a bit. I love stuffed zucchini flowers but I've never made them before. I didn't think one could replicate the cheeseyness of a stuffed zucchini flower with ricotta and other white cheeses. But you sure can! These vegans know what they're doing. Of course good ol' tofu comes through to save the day. Okay anything fried with truffle oil is bound to taste good, yeah? Yes! Can't wait to make these babies again. Rarely ever fry anything but this is one special exception.  

As you may tell, I used baby zucchini flowers. If you are looking for a cheap place to buy them in Sydney, there is a fruit store on the corner of Marion and Foster Street in Leichhardt that sell a pack of 16 for $3. Bargain!

Adapted Recipe from Yoli's Green Living/Delicious TV


16 baby zucchini flowers or about 10 normal sized zucchini flowers
Truffle oil to serve


1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (I used parsley)
2 tablesppons nutritional yeast (I skipped this)
2 tablespoons powdered garlic (I used one fresh clove, crushed)
1 tablespoon of lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 standard block of firm tofu (1/2 is plenty if you are using baby flowers)


3/4 sparkling water
3/4 cup flour
Oil for deep frying


1. Carefully remove the stamen from the flowers.

2. Blend the tofu in a food processor. Add the other stuffing ingredients to the processed tofu.

3. Stuff each of the flowers with the mixture. Once it's been stuffed, twist the flower and hold it together. Place to rest on a plate. 

4. After the flowers have been stuffed, in a small bowl mix the batter ingredients together. 

5. Heat a fry pan with enough oil to deep fry the flowers. Once the oil is super hot, dip each flower into the butter and then into the fry pan. They should only take a few minutes to cook. Dry the flowers onto a plate covered in paper towels.  

6. To serve, plate up the flowers and drizzle with truffle oil. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter 2011... yes not 2012

To coincide with Orthodox Easter this weekend I thought I would post some photographs of last year's Easter. Photos I didn't manage to post. I know I'm so bad. This year it's a sombre time for our branch of Orthodox given the recent death of our Pope. As a result, although we will all be celebrating Easter, certain traditions won't be practised by many, namely baking of biscuits, Easter bread and the like. These goodies are the highlight to the food served on Easter. These biscuits are traditionally only made during Easter or Christmas. Shortly, I will be posting recipes to a few of them. They are amazing and are all very special. 

Biscuits by my mother and my mother-in-law and Easter bread by my mother

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Proenza Schouler PS11

To add to the neverending list of bags I want is the PS11. What a work of art that buckle is? Look at it. In complete love with it....  

Photos via Google Images and This Chick's Got Style

Friday, April 6, 2012

Healthy Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter! To celebrate Easter hot cross buns are required. I must say that the supermarket variety can surely scar someone from eating hot cross buns. These buns though are delicious and thankfully healthy! I just baked them this evening and am trying to hold myself back from my third serving. Oops. I've also included a vegan option to the recipe. Probably make them again for Orthodox Easter next weekend. They are very good.

Recipe from The Healthy Chef


220g or 1 1/3 cup whole meal spelt or wholemeal plain flour
50 g or 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried yeast
125 ml (1/2 cup milk) of dairy, almond, rice, oat, soy (I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract 
60 ml olive oil
Additional 60ml of milk OR 1 egg, lightly beaten (depending on whether you want a vegan or non-dairy option)
80 g raisins (I used dried cranberries)
50 g currants

Dark chocolate (Lindt dark chocolate uses no dairy products) or white chocolate for the crosses


1. In a mixing bowl mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, yeast and a pinch of salt.

2. In a separate bowl add the milk, vanilla and honey. Warm it until just slightly warm. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl along with the egg and oil.

3. Mix the dough for about 6 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruits and mix through. Cover the bowl with glad wrap and leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for about 1 hour.

4. Kneed the dough a little. Divide the dough with a knife into 10 rolls. Cover lightly and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or until double in size.

5. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

6. In order to add the crosses wait until the buns cool. Melt the chocolate and pipe crosses on top. 
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