Thursday, 25 November 2010

My Fantasy Kitchen ~ Magnum Temptation

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang 


If you were asked this question, “What would be your most indulgent fantasy ?
People may wish for a dream holiday in the Maldives, trip around the world with all expense paid for, a dream home , never ending supply of chocolates for the rest of your life…mmm….

I’m probably a bit odd…I want a kitchen !

My kitchen now is probably not the most well designed and functional kitchen. The cupboards are high up I need a step to reach the top, the benches are too tall that my pant’s belt loop always got snagged by the handles, and so on and so on….
(Doesn’t sound like a safe kitchen to be working in isn’t it? LOL)

My ultimate kitchen would have these in it :

1. Island Kitchen

Why settle for one island when you can have TWO!! You can spread out and make a lot of mess: D
Having 2 sets of oven would be lovely too. Imagine how much faster would baking be? No more baking one cake tin at a time, a tray of cookies each time and the waiting time that seems like eternity as you stare at the oven and ask whatever is in the oven, “Are you done yet?”

Photo Source : photography by Emily Minton-Redfied. Kitchen by Debra Toney (

2. Accessible Storage

A tidy, organized and storage with easy access like in IKEA catalogue would be excellent. Say goodbye to pulling out every single thing in the cupboard to find that pot or to find that pack of ingredients from the back of the pantry.
Honestly, the way my pantry is now, I end up chucking out half of what’s in there because I forgot I had bought them :P 

Photo Source :  IKEA

3. Cath Kidston Kitchen / Tablewares 

They may be a bit too floral and girly, but I just adore Cath Kidston's dinner wares and knick-knacks. Her signature floral prints and pastel colour palettes are just so cute and adorable don’t you think?

4. Red Everywhere (would be nice)

I have a thing for red kitchen wares – the plan would be to have red pans and pots.
I’ve made a good start with a couple of red things in my kitchen now, my handy red Kitchen Aid mixer and the DeLonghi Nespresso Lattisima; I’ll be a zombie every morning without you.

Current red stuffs in my kitchen :)

I suppose I should start saving big time or start buying Lotto tickets more often now...

But for one of you, your indulgent fantasy may not be as far fetched as it may seem.
The lovely people from Magnum are giving away $1000 for one lucky reader!!

How to enter the competition :
1. Play the Magnum dice game and try to obtain the highest score possible.
2. Leave your highest score and answer the question, ”What will you indulge in with $1000?” in a comment.
(Please remember to put down your name and your preferred method of contacts so we can contact you if you win ).
3. Competition period is running from November 24 until midday on Tuesday December 14, 2010.4. The winner will be the entry deemed most creative across all 23 blogs taking part in this campaign (See Terms and Conditions for full list)
5. The winner of the $1,000 prize will be announced on Friday December 17, 2010.

Terms and Conditions can be found at: .

So start rolling the dice and all the best of luck !!  \^o^/

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Lindt Chocolate Appreciation Evening @ Lindt Cafe Martin Place, Sydney CBD

Lindt Cafe @ Martin Place

Last month we held a training course at our office for some of our customers, and as the evening outing for the participants, we went to a Lindt Chocolate Appreciation Evening session.
The appreciation class is held at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place - a little trivia : this cafe at Martin Place is the first Lindt Cafe in the world (go Sydney !!) and it was opened back in 2005 if I'm not mistaken.
Now there are 3 others in NSW and 2  in VIC.
Since I had to do a presentation at the training, I get to come along as well, yipeee !!!  \^o^/

Demo Table

Lindt Hot Chocolate

When everyone has settled down on their seat trays of Lindt Hot Chocolate were served. Smooth, creamy hot chocolate..mmmm....
I found it a tad too sweet for me but I still drink it anyway :)

The 5 Senses & History of Chocolate

Our host that night was Thomas Schnetzler, the Master Chocolatier for Australia and boy does he know his chocolate or what !
Throughout the evening he shared with us the history of chocolate and how to appreciate it. At the end of the class I had a chance to get some macaron making tips from him :P And better still, scored a macaron recipe ! Just have to find a time to try out the recipe now :)
He was really passionate on his job and didn't mind sharing tips at all, thanks Thomas :D

Chocolate Tasting Plates

As Thomas was explaining how to appreciate chocolate by using your 5 senses, we were each handed a plate of different chocolates. 
Since it has been a while since the class, all I can remember was there were a mix of different chocolate blocks, a Lindor ball and a mousse filled white chocolate. 
Though they may look the same but each has its own distinct flavour. The best way to eat chocolate is not by munching it (which we tend to do most of the time) , but is to let it melt in your mouth and savour the flavour.

Lindt Truffles Tasting Plate

Next up was a tasting plate of different Lindt Truffles - I couldn't eat any more chocolates after the first tasting plate, thankfully the Lindt people are prepared and we got a bag to take home what we can't eat.

Master Chocolatier - Thomas Schnetzler 

After the chocolate lessons and tasting session, it's time to do some hands on demonstration - making chocolate dipped strawberries and easy truffle making and decorations.
He asked for someone to come up and be his "assistant" and guess who got pushed up by the others...
( I hate being put on the spot in front of people, but at the same time I do want to make the truffles - LOL)

Drizzling melted chocolate onto truffles

Making chocolate & coconut dipped strawberries

I'm in heaven....

After the demo, Thomas asked me to grab the (above) platter from the table, then he popped a few dipped strawberries onto the plate and said "The plate is all yours...".
My grin was probably as wide as a 30cm ruler hahahahahahhaha !!!
Better still, I got to keep the Lindt apron as well :D

Strawberries & Lindt Delice

Patisserie Tasting Plate

While I'm still staring at my plate of goodies, the others got a tasting plate of their cakes & delices ( they call macaron Delice here at Lindt). There was Opera, St.Moritz and mixed flavours delices.

Pot of Melted Goodness

Professional vs Amateur

To your left is Thomas' work on putting gold leaf on the truffle, to your right is my attempt.
The aim was to pick a bit of the gold leaf, but I end up pulling off the whole sheet of gold  0___o
You should see the horror on my face as I stared at Thomas (he is going to killl meeee >___<;).
So there you have it, a very lavish heart shaped truffle courtesy of my clumsiness :P

Gold heart just for you

Lindt Chocolate Blocks ; Lindt Delices ; Lindor Balls ; Box of Lindt Truffles

For the evening, you can purchase anything in the store and get 10% off ! 
Naturally I went a bit berserk :P Got 3 blocks of chocolates and a tray full of Lindor balls. The great thing is that in Lindt stores, you can find all the flavours of Lindor balls that Lindt made, I've got heaps of the peanut butter and peppermint ones :D Loveee peanut butter and chocolate !!
Also got a few Delices, salted caramel and olivo (olive oil ! soo good), after Ladurée liquorice macaron I like Lindt delices best (especially their 70% Excellence).

They were handing out cups of Lindt ice creams as we were doing our shopping, but I was so distracted that I missed out *doh!*.
Last but not least, we were handed a gift bag on the way out : a box of Lindt truffles and a few Lindor balls.

It was definitely a fun night out at Lindt cafe, learn about chocolates and eat lots of chocolates for weeks to come :)

Lindt Ambassador - Roger Federer
Chocolate Tennis Racket & Ball made by Thomas Schnetzler 

Lindt Chocolat Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, 19 November 2010

Tabou, Surry Hills

Deciding where to dine with another food blogger is never straight forward.
After many messages back and forth with Nut, it was decided we shall be going to Tabou, a classic French bistro located on Surry Hills' Crown Street. 
During last month's SIFF Let's Do Lunch event, they had duck leg confit on the menu and I was hoping and praying that tonight they have duck on the menu. duck :( 

Inside Tabou

Baguette & Beurre Conviette $5.00

The baguette were has a nice thin crust and soft texture inside, though it is a tad cold and the cold butter didn't help making it easy to spread onto the bread. 

Tourte Lapin Escargots
rabbit, snail, puff pastry, carrot puree

If there is rabbit on the menu, then I must order it :) They actually had a special rabbit main the night we went, but I thought rabbit for entree and main would be overkill.

This rabbit and snail pie was so very good ! The rabbit was tender and the snail was thankfully not chewy. It was cooked in this butter sauce that I suppose made it even better.
The pastry was perfect as well, flaky and golden brown.

Oozing butter...mmm...

Terrine Maison
game terrine, foie gras mousse, orange marmalade, madeira jelly

I'm not a fan of game meat as they tend to have a very strong smell which I just can't cope with.
When Nut cut a piece for me to try, I couldn't refuse LOL
To my surprise, it tasted delicious ! It didn't taste gamey at all *phew* 
There was pistachio mixed in with the game meat in the terrine and the orange marmalade and madeira jelly added a touch of sweetness and tartness to the whole dish.

ballontine of chicken, new season asparagus, morilles, girolles

The ballontine of chicken breast was served with grilled asparagus, morilles (morel) & girolles (chanterelle) mushrooms. The sauce if I'm not mistaken is a brown butter foam, it has a slighty nutty and caramelized flavour.
Sadly, the chicken was dry and bland, luckily the mushrooms were packed with flavours and the sauce helped a little.

Steak Tartare
classic steak tartare, sourdough toast and accompaniments

Nut had the steak tartare for her main and like the chicken dish I had, it was quite a disappointment. 
Although it has been mixed with the condiments, it still tasted like raw meat to me. 
Very different to the amazing steak tartare I recently had at Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, it had more impact and well balanced flavours compared to Tabou's.

Crème Brulée
Vanilla crème brulée

We were quite full after the main so we thought we'll be good and just order one dessert to share.
Who are we kidding ? LOL We were just too greedy to share the one dessert ! Of course we end up ordering a dessert each.

The crème brulée was great, the custard was nicely set and not too firm. The sugar layer was thin and had a nice *crack* when tapped with a spoon. 

Millefeuille A La Mangue
mango parfait, feuilles de brick, fresh mint

I really loved the freshness in this dessert. The mango parfait melts in your mouth, creamy and not too sweet. The feuilles de brick was crispy and sugary, a perfect accompaniment to the parfait. 
A very summery dessert indeed :)

Mariage Fréres Tea - Marco Polo

Overall it was a satisfying dinner at Tabou, the service was friendly and attentive. Although we might skip the mains next time we dine here and just order another entree as the main. Their entree offerings are definitely more interesting than the mains. 
The desserts were nothing fancy, classic French style but well executed. Leave room for desserts when you dined there :)

Tabou on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Miso Japanese Teishoku, Sydney CBD


Located in one of the alley in World Square, Miso is one of the restaurants run by the Masuya group.
The theme (if you can call it that) of this Japanese eatery is teishoku - a Japanese set meal that comprises of main, rice, miso soup and side dishes. The idea of teishoku is to serve a reasonably priced yet healthy and well balanced meal. 

The menu has undergo a major revamp since it first open back in 2008, I personally liked the new menu better. 
Miso's menu is more focused now with only 4 types of teishoku : pork , chicken, combo and the popular bento box for those that wanted a bit of everything.

Tornado Katsu Set $16.50

Finding a good tonkatsu (breaded, deep fried pork cutlet) outside Japan can be a challenge - the bread crumbs needs to be crispy and not soggy while the pork should still be juicy and tender.
I found Miso's tonkatsu is the best one you can get here in Sydney, so far it has never failed me :)

We were told by the waitress that the tornado katsu set will take about 20minutes to prepare - no problemo.
The side dishes do vary frequently, that night we had cold potato salad, cold soumen (thin, white japanese wheat noodle) salad and no tonkatsu meal would be complete without the finely shredded cabbage salad. 

Tornado Katsu

The tornado katsu consist of fresh asparagus rolled in bacon and minced pork, rolled in breadcrumbs  and then deep fried.
There may be only 6 slices but they were reasonably thick. Took a round off my cousin's plate and it was good ! I suppose can't go wrong with a combination of asparagus and bacon :)

Chirashi Sushi & Tonkatsu Set $19.80

As always, the indecisive (and super hungry) me opted for the one of the combo teishoku. 
With the combos you get a bowl of chirashi sushi, tonkatsu, miso soup, side dishes and dessert. 
A pretty good deal !

Aburi Salmon Chirashi  ; Tonkatsu

The mini chirashi bowl was topped with thick slices of aburi salmon ( 4 - 5 pieces), ikura and drizzled with a sweet soy sauce. So simple but oh so good ! 
The tonkatsu as always was perfect, crunchy but not oily crumbs and the pork was juicy.


Dessert was thick sweetened yoghurt with strawberry jam which I found was an overkill for the set.
It was too heavy and rich to end the already filling meal, perhaps something more fresh like fresh fruits or something icy like granita would have been better to end the meal.

Miso also offers a range of well balanced teishoku bento for takeaways for those on the run.
They have special lunch time takeaway bento for under $10.00 - pretty good deal !

Miso Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, 12 November 2010

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse Sydney, Woolloomooloo

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse

Thanks to Sarah Ashmore of Pacific Restaurant Group, I found myself dining with and meeting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 other food bloggers ( for the first time !) at Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse Restaurant in Woolloomooloo. We were also joined by the lovely Sarah and Tim Muschamp, the manager.
This flagship restaurant of Kingsleys name has been at this prime location on The Wharf for 10years and they have just undergo a major revamp of the restaurant. 
I have never been here before so I can't comment on how much things have improved, but I found the ambience is pleasant, slightly formal but not too uptight. Then again, how can you beat dining outdoor on the decks on a warm Spring night ? :D

Mocktail ; Mango & Chilli Daiquiri

Since alcohol is a no go zone for me,  I've got a mocktail made up to go with my chosen entree. Michael, the assistant manager and wine master, suggested something robust to go with my chosen entree.
So Charlie, the bar manager, whipped up an amazing mocktail of Grapefruit Jam & Cranberry Sour. 
Don't be put off by the odd sounding combination, it was delicious and refreshing ! 
Love the slight bitterness from the grapefruit that balances out the sweetness of the drink. 

For those of you who are lucky to be able to drink alcohol, do not go pass the cocktail menu. 
They all sounded so good, but the most popular one on our table that night was the Mango & Chilli Daiquiri, made with mango sorbet with a kick of chilli.

Happy bloggers ; Table setting ;
Tools for the night ; Outdoor dining

Bread & Butter 

As soon as our order of entrees were taken, wooden boards carrying warm crusty bread and cold butter were swiftly placed on the table. 
The breads were fresh out of the oven so they seem, the crust were thin and crunchy while the inside was warm and soft as cloud (not that I've had cloud before).

Burrata Mozarella Salad $21.90
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, Balsamic Reduction
(photo borrowed from Suze *Thanks Suze!!*)

There were 3 entrees to choose from tonight and they cater for all needs - a vegetarian, seafood and meat option.
Reading the reaction on the faces of the buratta mozarella eaters who were all sitting across the table, I think it was safe to deduct that this refreshing dish got the 2 thumbs up !!
Simple combination of flavours but definitely delivered a big impact :)

Baby Octopus
Chilli, Salt & Pepper 

Betty who sat next to me was kind enough to offer me her baby octopus entree :) 
The baby octopus was lightly crumbed and deep fried till golden and crispy. There was a right balance of the chilli, salt and pepper on it, it was definitely one moorish entree.

Steak Tartare ~ $18.50
Truffle Aioli, Sourdough Crostini, Watercress Salad

If you are game for some raw beef, then you must order this amazing steak tartare for your entree.
You can opt to have them mixed by the chef like me, or unmixed like John did. With the unmixed steak tartare, you get a tray of condiments to mix and match to your liking - I wouldn't know how much of each to add so I went for the safe option :P

Mixed Steak Tartare ~ $17.90

I've had steak tartare in other places before, but this one had to be the best I've ever had. The salty, sour, spicy (Tabasco) flavours were very well balanced and trust me, you wouldn't even realize it was raw beef you are eating. Topped with a soft boiled quail egg with still oozing yolk, eat the tartare with ultra thin crispy crostini...mmmm....
The steak tartare was the highlight of the dinner for me :) 

Alaskan King Crab Legs ~ $19.90/200g or $55.90/600g
Served Chilled with Mayonnaise

The Alaskan king crab legs arrived prettily propped up on a bed of crushed ice. These crabs are best served chilled and accompanied with simple mayonnaise. 
As delicious crabs can be, I think we would all agree that they are such a pain to eat. I usually avoid eating them in restaurants because they will end up everywhere on the plate (or table) instead of in my mouth where it should be !

Tadaah !! Perfect leg meat !

However, Alaskan King Crab are so easy to eat ! Most of the meats are on the legs and they just came off the shell with just one tug - perfection ! 
The crab meat was really fresh, sweet and well.."meaty" :) It really didn't need any other thing to go with it as it is naturally already full of flavours. 

Beside the Alaskan crab, the good old QLD Mud Crab is also on the menu, either served chilled with mayonnaise, cooked in Singapore chilli sauce or simply cooked with salt & pepper. 

Lars Svensson, Kingsleys Group Executive Chef
in Super Carving Action 

Chef Lars came out from the kitchen to carve our main dish, Beef Wellington for 2, by the side table. 
He was carving at super fast speed and the server was grabbing the plates off at super speed as well.
It was so quick that being the food bloggers we are, asked whether they could slow down LOL
They did slowed down for us, but as you can see, it made no difference to the quality of shots I took *sob*

Beef Wellington For 2 (Pre Order Only) ~ $68.90
400g Eye Fillet, Mushroom Duxelle in Puff Pastry w/ Red Wine Jus

Each of us got half of the wellington - so that's200g each !! The beef wellington was so perfectly cooked, the beef was pink in the middle, love the creamy mushroom duxelle between the beef and the crispy flaky pastry. 

With Tim's threat of "If you don't finish the wellington, no dessert for you!", I tried to be good (I want my dessert) but I just couldn't finish it.
Sorry beef wellington, you were so yummy but I can't eat more....

Charred New Season Asparagus & Parmesan ~ $9.90

We were also served 3 side dishes to accompany our main. The new season asparagus was chunky and nicely charred, perhaps a tad too overcooked for my liking, I like my asparagus to be slightly crunchy still. 

Zucchini, Peas, Mint & Persian Fetta ~ $9.90

I've never had this combination before and I am surprised how good they tasted. Not a big fan of zucchini, but combined with the peas, mint and fetta - tasted healthy and good.....

Iceberg Salad, Radish & Blue Cheese ~ $11.90

If you have been reading my blog, you would know that my nemesis in the cheese group are blue cheese closely followed by goat's cheese. 
With great hesitation, I took a wedge of the salad and took a bite *drumroll....*
To my relief, the blue cheese dressing didn't taste as strong, if anything it tasted like a creamy cheese dressing. 
Love how the salad were presented, the baby iceberg are cut into wedges, slices of radish and pieces of parmesan crips were sprinkled on top, then a drizzle of the blue cheese dressing.
The baby iceberg were very fresh, crisp and sweet - this had to be the best out of the 3 sides tonight :)

Food Bloggers vs Desserts

Sarah took notice on how we struggle with the poor lighting on our table, so she arranged for an extra set of desserts to be placed on a well lighted table inside the restaurant - thanks Sarah :D
Then we all rushed in and started snapping - we must looked pretty ridiculous to the other diners LOL

Toffee Cheesecake with Praline Ice Cream ~ $13.90

I didn't have a taste, but it sure looked decadent and came as a big tall slice. Oh, and it wobbles too like pannacotta ! *wobble*wobble*

Crème Brûlée with Sticky Bluberry Compote ~  $13.50

The crème brûlée I was told has a nice crack as it should but the sugar layer was a tad too thick so it was almost sticky toffee like. Other than that, the flavour was there and it looked like it has a nice set to it. 

Chocolate Brownie & Banana Sundae ~ $13.50

I was sold when I saw chocolate brownie on the menu - SOLD !
There were chunks of chewy, chocolatey brownie, served with sliced banana, vanilla ice cream and no sundae is complete without a red morello cherry on top. 
Served on the side is a pot of chocolate sauce, which on hindsight I shouldn't have emptied onto the sundae - it was too sweet :P
A perfect end to the dinner for me....

Milk & Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans 

The chocolate coated coffee beans were served along with the desserts, coffees and teas. I was so full that I passed on the hot beverages, but of course I took a few of these little morsels :)

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for some good steaks and crabs. You are in good hands of Chef Lars for your food and leave it to Michael to select the best wines to accompany your meals. 
It was mentioned earlier in the evening that with the current economical situation, they try to recommend wines that may not be pricey but will definitely compliment what you are having. 
Of course if you are in the mood to splurge, they do have a selection of highly priced wine as well. 
If you are after something more fun, Charlie can whip up some classical cocktails with a twist for you or perhaps some friendly mocktails ?

The service throughout the night was faultless, my glass of water never go below the half line , it was always filled back up immediately :)

For other Kingsleys restaurants located in Brisbane and Canberra, please refer to their website

Goodie Bag !
Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans ; Wine ; Steak 

Before we end the night, Tim passed on to each of us a goodie bag to take home : a tin of the chocolate coated beans, a bottle of Sally's Paddock wine and a rib steak along with a cooking instruction on how to cook the perfect steak. 
Thank you ^_^

Love My Foods & Sugar dined as guest of Kingleys Steak & Crabhouse, Sydney.

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon