Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cupcake's Xmas Feast

After a long posting hiatus I think a Christmas post is a good one to revitalize this blog ^^!

Merry Christmas everyone!!
Christmas time is definitely celebration time and what is the best means of celebrating? Through food, food and more food of course! A big thanks to Cupcake for inviting us to a Bring-a-dish feast! It was great fun and great food from all who came, and we ate till we were stuffed... then ate some more! Especially with all the tasty desserts mmmmmm. One problem with a feast like this is that I tend to eat too much and ignore my duties as cameraman haha so I have left out a few dishes like en.elle's Mi goreng :P (which was actually an Italian pasta dish) , D and C's Greek/Mediterranian salad and a few others I think :S

but enough talk because Here Comes the Food.

You really do lean something everyday. I found out that the Asian turning table thingy was actually called a Lazy Susan. Thank you Susan for being infamously lazy and coming up with this turning-table thingy :)

These delicious little bites were one of Cupcakes many tantalizing desserts! Yuummmmmmm ^^! Best part was we got to take some home as well :D

Tomato salad
D and C realised that they had too many tomatoes so made a tomato salad along with their Greek/Mediterranian one. They also added some balsamic vinegar to this which made it well-balanced between sweetness and sourness.

For those who are uneducated in the ways of the Meatcake please read up SuperSized Meals. Just search for meatcakes and many many mmmaaanny entries would pop up hee hee. This was Cupcake's second meatcake that I know of (First one was actually my B'day Present ^^!) and it was just as delicious with a harmony of mince, peas and carrots smothered in mash potatoes and finally topped off with cheese before reheating. Yummmmeatcakkkee!

Bake bake bake

Oven Bake Corn Flake Crumb Chicken
Pupu and I got this recipe from SGCC so big thanks to her for this tasty crunchy and juicy drumstick recipe. As you can see my crumbing skills were lacking either that or I missed a crucial step in how to make the crumb stick to the chicken :( I used creamy evaporated milk so maybe that caused for the poor crumbing :( But the recipe was really really delicious and a must try!

That is not my oven mitt.... unfortunately haha

Curry puffs/triangles
This was tomatosalsa's tasty contribution - curry puffs/triangles! Mild in spiciness so it was enjoyed by all but still with a rich curry flavour oozing from the centre with each bite. She used filo pastry so it doesn't really puff up.

Ham, avocado, tomato and lettuce puff

Smoked salmon, lettuce and corn cracker

Pesto Penne Pasta
Dannythemanny and V brought us some very appetizing starters and a wonderful pasta dish that was tasty either cold or hot. The crispy texture of the puff matched well with the creamy avocado and squirt of tomato flavour while the penne sprinkled with semi-dried tomatoes and spinach leaves was refreshing and left the pesto flavour swirling around our mouths.

Decadent brownies and luscious mixed berry cheescake

Brownie with 'snow sugar'
Beautifully moist and rich, Cupcake's brownies are definitely some of the best I have ever tasted. She is one of the reasons for my experimenting in the kitchen after all haha. Oh thank you great Sensei!

Mixed Berry Cheesecake
C's cheesecake was so good that she actually made 2 the night before but kept one for herself!!! The crumbly dark base balanced well with the thick and rich creamy cake. The fruits were a big bonus and added a pleasant berry injection.

Sticky Date Pudding

My first piece... out of 3 or so?

Cupcake's Sticky date Pudding was absolute bliss! Soft, sticky and sweet, I was floating to heaven with each bite of the warm pudding and cool ice cream. I could have eaten the whole dish by myself if there wasn't this concept of sharing... :P

Cupcake also just got back from Vietnam where she got the special poopy coffee beans for quite a reasonable price there. These beans have been ingested by weasels, where they undergo some special reaction to enhance the flavour of them. Once they pass through their systems, they are cleaned (hopefully many times and properly) and then sold in precious bags.

Weasel poop coffee beans

I am not a coffee expert since I don't drink coffee anymore but the other fellow feasters were quite impressed with this type.

Thanks again to everyone and especially Cupcake for this great Xmas feast XD! Hope everyone out there had delicious meals and Happy New Year!



Monday, December 22, 2008

Little Gordon & Coco Krispies

Pupu brought to my attention this awesome little guy - Little Gordon. He may not be as experienced or as hunk-o'-man as the real thing but he a pretty good little actor and got the attitude down f'ing spot on. So watch watch ^^!

Now onto a little recipe that I read from a book a while ago but forgot which one...

I don't have the exact recipe but this is my version of what I recorded down

Coco Krispies
(makes 24)
20 x fun size Mars bars
4.5 cups of Coco pops
100g butter (room temp.)

Line 24 muffin pans with paper cases (or baking paper like me).

Chop all but 4 Mars bars coarsely and slice the last 4 Mars bars into slices of 6 to top off the krispies.

Melt the coarsely chopped Mars bars and butter in a pot, stir over low heat and add in the Coco Pops. Stir to evenly coat all the Coco Pops evenly with the gooey, yummy goodness.

Spoon into cases as fast as you can as it will harden when it cools, top off with the slices of Mars and then refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

*The recipe actually called for melted milk chocolate to spread on top before topping with the Mars bar slices but as usual I ran out of time so I left that out :( Next time I shall definitely add some melted chocolate though!

Finished and refrigerated

Packaged and ready to go on Beach trip whheeee!
We just came back from Beach trip so we have plenty of catching up/commenting to do yay!
Also D is back from Japanland so I am awaiting his 10 page Special Japanese Toilet Edition post!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mino - Mosman, Sydney

When I first arrived outside Mino, I immediately thought 'How could I have not known about this place until recently!?!?' I had read about the authentic and traditional kaiseki style menu that this place offers but I was then pleasantly surprised by how many good food guide mentions it had recieved.

So much awesome I had to take a photo!

As soon as we entered we were greeted warmly and provided with the utmost service throughout the whole night. Mino carries a great atmosphere, the lighting is just right or couple dining or group outing, and I loved the wooden decor around especially the hanging grid.

Since we were here , we had to try the kaiseki menus and there is a choice between Mino and Goshu. For $55 and $59, respectively, the banquet menus are quite good for value considering the great dishes you get ^^! Kaiseki menus are traditionally served at tea ceremonies as they are supposed to enhance the flavour and taste of tea. I may not have had any tea with this banquet but the food was sure on the money so Here Comes the Food.

Appetizer - Steamed Japanese Kuruma-prawns with plum dressing
Light and fresh, the perfect way to start off this banquet. Beautifully crispy and crunchy wisps on top contrast the soft texture of prawn. I am not sure why this is called a 'car' prawn so if already knows please enlighten me thx :)

Appetizer - Sea Eel and crab meat tempura rolled in yuba with ponzu dressing
I did not get to try this but the smells and visuals of this dish were very appealing and a content face informed me this was another great starter.

Sashimi - Chef's Selection of today's Sashimi (two kinds of fish) with special blend soy sauce (Goshu menu also received a fresh oyster)
The sashimi was fresh and cool but was not as good as the sashimi I had a Sushi Studio. There were residue droplets of water on the plate which might indicate that this dish was prepared earlier and just fridged.

Assorted Grilled Entree - Kingfish and Shimeji mushroom with Ponzu-mayonnaise, Seafood and Vegetable Japanes style potage soup, Tempura of asparagus wrapped in thinly sliced duck and Tataki (seared) scallop salad topped with salmon roe and dill served with Japanese vinaigrette

Kingfish and Shimeji mushroom with Ponzu-mayonnaise
All of these small dishes were great hits. They had pretty well balanced and beautiful combination of flavours and textures. The potage soup was slightly thick and creamy with a fresh and distinct taste of vegetables. The tempura was good but the duck was very very thin indeed, maybe a bit too thin in my opinion hee hee. Lotus on top was crunchy and yum :) The scallop tataki was bites of sweetness but the salmon roe kind of lowered its' rating for me. The grilled kingfish was probably the best of them all even though it was very difficult to tell. The meat was soft and deliciously tender and the ponzu-mayonnaise matched it very well.

Assorted Grilled Entree - Grilled silver cod fillet marinated in saikyo miso paste, Seafood and Vegetable Japanes style potage soup, Fried ground prawn and vegetable spring rools (rolls), Tataki (seared) wa-gyu beef salad with ginger dressing and Deep fried soft shell crab with green tea salt
I only tried the silver cod which was magically soft and flakey and the spring rolls which was nothing special but still quite tasty, crunchy outside and yummy prawny inside.

For the main we had a choice between about 9 items on a list:

Mains - Japanese style beef steak, Rice, Miso soup, Japanese pickles
This picture does not give the steak justice at all. The meat was tender and beautifully marbled, not sure what grade it was, but the quality was definitely good and cooked to a medium rare so the flavour really stood out. The sauce was a sweet sesame and miso sauce which did not overpower the beef unless you really gave it a good drowning.

Mains - Fried sword fish with light teriyaki sauce and vegetables
The sword fish was also another highlight with its juicy meat. The sauce was indeed light and was only a subtle innuendo to the natural fish flavour.

Mains - Eel Kabayaki served on rice with teriyaki sauce, Miso soup and Japanese pickles

Dessert - Green tea ice cream, Chocolate with Kinako powder and Black sesame ice cream

Dessert - Green tea ice cream and Chocolate with Kinako powder
The ice cream had very well distribution of green tea powder throughout it and had a delicious creaminess. The dark chocolate was also brilliant and had me craving for more.

The wait in-between dishes were not very long but a way to entertain ourselves hee hee whheee make them fly

Chef Takaaki Nakoji walked us to the dinner after our meal, how very nice ^^!

Other delectable degustations:
Waqu - Crows Nest, Sydney
Rise - Darlinghurst, Sydney

521 Military Rd
Mosman 2088
Ph: (02) 9960 3351
Chef: Takaaki Nakoji



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kohya - Neutral Bay, Sydney.

There’s nothing quite like the warm fuzzy sensation you get when it’s torrentially pouring outside; whilst the smoky scent of tables barbequing meat seeps into your skin. Koh-ya is one of the affiliates of the I’S Holdings group with a menu akin to Suminoya; differing in having a more relaxed atmosphere of dining, situated in the North Shore and a fractionally cheaper price range (which is not large enough to notice). However, with the price difference this has lead to a variation in meat offered in the buffet including the absence of certain salads and the favoured meat by FFichiban and myself: beef rib finger.

Old school bikes are displayed around the walls of the inside-dining area (there’s also an outside dining area but it was pouring and thus had leaks here and there).

Here Comes The Food

Beef tongue is unlimited; which is a huge plus as most places don’t offer this (limiting one plate per person) as well as the fact that after sampling most of the meat dishes; it’s actually the better one in my opinion. Springy and cut at the right thickness such that it doesn’t take long to be snatched off the grill and into the mouth.

An assortment of chicken and beef harami which weren’t entirely that great in terms of quality. The meat tasted and also looked like the kind you would pick off the shelf of woolies or coles that is discounted and expiring in a day or two.

Sunny Lettuce with Miso Dip: when the taste of cooked meat repetitively consumed is just a little too overwhelming; simply wrap it up in the lettuce and dunk it in the miso dip; it’s like a yakiniku sandwich.

To turn the sandwich into a sammich top it off with some heat up some corn in butter and garlic in butter, throw in some rice too and it you’ll find yourself making one after the other addictively.

happily simmering away - don't overcook it though.

Yukke: when did a raw egg and raw beef ever taste so good? The sticky yolk when mixed with the meat fuses the flavours together such that it sweetens marinated beef even further.

Cold Soba: it’s a bit too stringy and the strands of noodles are cut short leading me to think they’ve either re-used noodles or simply cut costs and gave shorter noodles ><

What to do with the excess garlic – create your own beef tongue wraps.

When I asked for 12 scoops of green tea ice cream to be shared amongst our group; the manager returned asking me was I sure, which I replied with certainty that I was (the usual order at Suminoya). However, when the ice cream was brought we only received 8, with the waitress saying we had to finish those first before we go any more.

A hidden challenge! We took it up with no difficulty and were awarded our prize…4 more cups of delicious green tea ice cream full of creamy goodness.

Shop 1, 9-17 Young Street
Neutral Bay
Ph: 9904 5036
12:00pm - 3:00pm
(Last Order 2:30 pm) / Sat&Sun
6:00pm - 10:30pm (Last Order 9:30pm) / Mon & Wed - Sun