Saturday, 17 March 2012

Food Society, Darlinghurst

There are so many new eateries popping up lately that I lost track of what is new and what is worth visiting. 
Food Society was one that has been on my radar but just haven't gotten round to pay a visit. 
So when browsing the net on where to go for  lifeis2mu(n)ch belated birthday / graduation celebration, I came across an offer at Ouffer for Food Society - $49 / 2ppl for shared 3 course dinner + a shot of vodka each (bargain !!)

Food Society began as a catering company and then they decided to open up a restaurant in the backstreet of Darlinghurst, offering modern Eastern European cuisine whilst still stay true to the tradition. 

The restaurant itself was very welcoming and warm as we walked in , love the odd pieces of furnitures and sort of antique decors. 

Semolina Bread Sticks & Pickled Cucumbers

As we had already mention that we will be using the Ouffer vouchers that night, the special set menu for the night was already on the table so all we have to do was sit back and wait for the foods hehehehe...
Not long after we sat, a jar of crispy semolina bread sticks and pickled cucumber were brought over for us to nibble on.
Liked the bread sticks as it has that gritty texture of semolina, the cucumber was pickled with dill and what I think is mustard seeds ?

The Apple Thief's Pink Lady Apple Cider  $8.00

For drinks, 2 of us chose a pink lady apple cider which was so delicious !! It is a little bit sweeter than your normal apple cider but it just tasted better than normal apple cider.
This is one of those time where I really hate my alcohol allergy T____T  I can only drink one bottle and it has to be spread out over dinner (or I'm dead).

Spiced Apple Pie $15.00

The other 2 of our 4 ppl dining crew ordered Spiced Apple Pie, a signature cocktail of Food Society. Zubrowka bison grass vodka, house infused apple juice, cinnamon, star anise & lemon zest shaken over ice.
Had a sip and it does tasted like apple pie, but surprisingly the alcohol is not that strong at all, pretty mild. 

Food Society Bar

Now that we are slightly sedated with the alcohol, let the feast begin !
(Note : thought it may be handy to put prices of each dishes as you would have to pay when you are not dining on deal vouchers - prices are in brackets to distinguish them )

Beetroot & Vodka Cured Ocean Trout Blini, Dill Cream ($4.00 each)

First up from the appetizer line up was a bite size cured ocean trout blini with dill cream.
It just tasted like any other cured ocean trout despite being cured in beetroot and vodka, couldn't taste any of the 2. 

Fried Cauliflower w/ Paprika, Parsley, Water Cress & Red Wine Vinegar ($10.00) - Serves 2 

This humble fried cauliflower dish would have to be the highlight of the night for me.
Chunky cauliflower florets with spiced batter, deep fried to golden perfection was just sooo good....
The crispy cauliflower, the tangy red wine vinegar and the slightly bitter water cress was just such great combo....

X - section of a floret

Chicken Liver Parfait w/ Onion Jam & Toasted Breads  ($18.00) - Serves 4

A pot of creamy chicken liver parfait sealed with a thin layer of fat served with a constructively sound stack of chargrilled gluten free bread, plus condiments of onion jam and pickled cucumber. 

Chargrilled Gluten Free Bread ; Fully Assembled 

The gluten free bread had a funny texture, it's sort of cakey and soft which was interesting.
Doesn't mean it doesn't taste nice, on the contrary it tasted pretty good.
The pate was lovely, but I need to top it up with a decent amount of the sweet onion jam to mask the liver flavour (not a big fan of liver :P).

Daily Artisan Bread $2.50

There was plenty of pate in the jar but not enough bread to go with them, so we asked for more bread and more onion jam.
We were actually quite surprised we got charged extra for the bread and jam (which was around $3 - $5 ?), I think we are under the assumption that we can get extra bread if need be like in other places. I mean , you can't just eat a pate on its own and there was a good half jar left too. 

Moving on to the more substantial dishes ......

Lamb Ribs w/ Slice Potatoes, Tomato, Eggplant & Rosemary  ($ ?? ) - Serves 2

Oh dear lamb...why are you a popular choice on a set menu / degustation menu ? T___T
Had a small bite of the rack...and thought that the lamb taste was too strong, so just started digging into the vegetables underneath it.
Then I thought to give it another go and I'm glad I did ! The lamb ribs was sooo tender that a slight nudge with the knife and the meat will just flake apart.
The lamb taste was still strong, however the delicious baked potato, tomato and eggplant helps to mask the flavour. 

Chicken Breast w/ Potato Dumplings, Mushroom & Paprika ($25.00)
Side of Iceberg Lettuce, Red Onion & Cucumber Salad ($6.00)
Serves 2

After the lamb we were already so full...and then...the chicken dishes came out.....they really are very generous with portion sizes here.
The chicken breast was sooo moist and tender, a little bit bland perhaps but the rich sauces just balanced things out nicely. 
Love potato dumplings and the one here were good, not too stodgy , just right. 

The iceberg lettuce salad was perhaps not an easy one to tackle - seems like it was prepared by simply quartering a head of lettuce, plonk it into a bowl and voila.
We joked at the table that perhaps we should eat the chicken and lettuce ala sang choy bow  LOL

Zoladkowa Orange & Clove Vodka  ($9.00 each)

As part of the deal, we got a vodka shot each before dessert - I think you get a random one as it is not specified on the voucher. Tonight we got the Polish Zoladkowa vodka flavoured with orange and clove, it was deliciously sweet with just a very slight hint of clove.
This was my first ever vodka shot and I vow NEVER to down one again.
Within 10minutes I made acquaintance with the wooden seat toilet - at least the toilet was super clean and pretty. 
Needless to say, I was pretty useless for the rest of the night....couldn't even polish off the dessert !!

Society Signature Pashka w/ Strawberry Compote ($10.00) - Serves 2

Inspired by the traditional Russian dessert served during Easter was Food Society's Pashka, a baked ricotta cheesecake with strawberry compote and broken pieces of shortbread served on a wooden board. 
I agree with other bloggers who had been to this place that this dessert is not sweet at all. But thankfully helped by the compote and the icing sugar.
Liked the extra crunch from slivered almond in the cheesecake, without the texture it would be just a mush of baked ricotta. 

Jar of Bill

The verdict ?
The foods here are no doubt delicious, still quite traditional with a little bit a of twist. Not to mention the generous portion size, definitely food to share.
The atmosphere was great, there was live music playing as the night goes on...a lovely place to hang out with friends over a nice meal. 

The let down was the service, the waitress who attended our table that night probably wished she was somewhere else on Sunday night.
When we asked her for something it was as though we have disrupted her from an important mission, no smile and was abrupt.
Which was such a shame as the other 2 waiters that served us occasionally were friendly and accommodating. 

Food Society on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


HelloFresh Ingredients
"HelloFresh aims to make cooking a quick, healthy meal at home more accessible than it currently is. By providing recipes and all the fresh ingredients people that don't have time to shop now have an alternative to take-away meals and ready-to-heat meals. The range of interesting recipes are intended to be fun as well as convenient as families get to share the experience of cooking and eating together."

How often are you caught in a situation where you stare at what you have in the fridge and pantry and say to yourselves what meal I can make with these ? 
I must say I'm one that got caught in that situation one too many times, and sometimes its a hit but more than likely it's ...well....on the borderline of inedible.

But fret not Sydneysiders !! HelloFresh is now available to us thanks to Tom Rutledge and Diogo Cruz, who have brought to us this online grocery business where fresh ingredients are delivered straight to your door and best of all, recipes included. 
If Tom's name sounds familiar, he was one of the contestant in the 1st Season of Masterchef Australia ;)

Rather than writing a long explanation here on how it works, check it out at HERE at HelloFresh's website.

So come Monday (which is their delivery day every week, FREE delivery btw) 5.00pm, I was waiting at home excitedly, curious on what I'm going to get.
Tom himself delivered the food, which was a pleasant surprise ! 
After a brief chit chat as he had more delivery runs to do, off to the kitchen I go....

Cannellini Beans ; Fresh Green Beans ; Fresh Coriander ; Barramundi Fillets

Inside a big white paper bag were all the fresh ingredients needed to make the recipe of the day, Herb Barramundi Fillets with Warm Bean Salads.
The portion delivered was for 2 people, which is the minimum you can order, but you end up with a little extra on ingredients like the herbs, onion, garlic.

Simple Step-By-Step Recipe

As we were cooking from scratch, some prep work were definitely in order.
Got into a panic mode when the recipe require the use of food processor - had to rummage the cupboard to find my mini processor. 

Marinade Ingredients In ; Fish Marinading ; Beans Duo Drained ; Onion Sliced

Fish Grilling ; Warm Bean Salad - Ready

The warm bean salad was super duper easy to make and surprisingly I liked it !
Never been a fan of beans, but this was goood.....Sauteed the sliced onion till they are soft , plonk the drained beans in and add some lemon juice. DELICIOUS !

The fish fillets took longer to cook than what the recipe indicated, the cut were quite thick so that would have contributed to the extended time.
Problem was the outside started to char whilst the middle were still raw - the thought of just microwaving to finish off the cooking did cross my mind.
But since I'm already making a mess of the stove, might as well soldier on (put a lid on it and let the steam helps the cooking process).

Herb Barramundi Fillet w/ Warm Bean Salad

Tadaahh !!! The end product and please disregard my lack of plating skill.

The fish was delicious (it better be after such an effort), still soft and silky on the inside although the outside had a little bit too much exposure to the heat :P
Love the lemony bean salad, which just lightens up the whole dish and lightly blanched green beans added the extra crunch factor - recipe got a big tick from me ^_^

The time taken from start of prepping to plating for me was around 40 minutes, which was longer than I had expected (included washing up in between whilst waiting for things to cook).
HelloFresh would be a great option for busy people that doesn't have time to do groceries but don't mind spending time in the kitchen, prepping and cooking as a mean of de-stressing after a long day at work or just simply loves cooking :)

It may be a bit tricky for people that are quite fussy with what they eat, as you don't have the option to choose what you want for the week. So be open to eat ANYTHING ^_^ Explore, be adventurous !!
( I know my brother who doesn't eat seafood will just have to eat beans for dinner if he had today's menu delivered to him LOL )

HelloFresh has a special deal for Love My Foods & Sugar readers - 30% OFF your first order from HelloFresh !
All you have to do is type "foodandsugar" under Voucher Code in the Order Page. 

If you are ready to start healthy eating without breaking the bank ( each meal costed less than $10 per person) and get cracking on your cooking skills, what are you waiting for ?
Check out HelloFresh for more informations.

Post sponsored by HelloFresh