Monday, March 29, 2010

Indonesian Night Markets!


Let’s start with the Chicken Satay – skewered pieces of tender grilled chicken smothered with a dollop of smooth creamy peanut sauce and few servings of fresh rice cakes. Then perhaps move on to Bakmi Ayam – very thin egg noodles in a clear chicken soup with chunks of chicken meat and a few sprigs of fresh onion. And for dessert? The Martabak looks like an appealing choice. A thick crumpet-like pancake oozing with chocolate, peanuts and cheese. Or maybe even the Pisang Bakar? Grilled Banana Slices topped with condensed milk and grated cheese…

The Indonesian Students Association (PPIA) of UNSW proudly present the INDONESIAN NIGHT MARKETS (INM) 2010 “BACK TO BATIK” where you can truly have experience a “market-like” atmosphere and treat yourselves to an authentic Indonesian feast!  
Being the largest event hosted by PPIA, and the second largest event in UNSW after O-Week, the 2010 Indonesian Night Markets ‘BACK TO BATIK’ will be held on Tuesday 27th April 2010 at the UNSW Main Walkway from 4-9pm !

In addition to the numerous food stalls on offer, “BACK TO BATIK” also features a lively entertainment showcase including Indonesian student bands, traditional regional dances and for the first time ever, a batik inspired fashion show to honour the Indonesian icon.
So for an unforgettable night of fun, friends and of course food, head on over to the 2010 INM, where you can experience a true taste of Indonesia! 

Nibble on Nibblies! xx

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

SpiceMe Thai

“Hey, have you eaten yet?” 

Half the time, that’s how our meals tend to occur. Realising that we both hadn’t eaten yet, leads to a quick meal decided in minutes. So one particular day where we both end up finishing uni around the same time and hadn’t had the chance to have lunch , we end up at Spice Me Thai – a corner Thai eatery inside Bondi Junction’s Westfield.  Starved after a day of study, we order our dishes and sit at the wooden benches to enjoy them.
J went with the “make-your-own” stir fry option where one can customise their order to their liking picking their type of noodle, sauce and fillings. 
With the various options on offer, J finally decides on the Chicken Stir-fry with curly noodles and oyster sauce. She also had a deep fried tofu as a side dish. The noodles actually had an appearance and texture very much similar to instant noodles... hmmm actually, we were pretty sure they were instant noodles hehe.. and the sauce was a bit too salty for her liking. Though the deep fried tofu was quite nice and pretty- looked like a cute little gift tied together with a noodle ribbon hehe :)
Chicken Stir-fry with curly noodles and oyster sauce ($11.50)
Golden Tofu ($1.50)
L chose fish cakes to begin with and the BBQ Chicken complete with a small side salad and a tower of sticky rice. The Fish cakes were a good starter, nicely seasoned and went well with the the accompanying salad. The BBQ Chicken was barbecued well and the sticky rice had a nice chewy and starchy texture and it is coconut scented! :D
Fish Cakes ($2.20)
BBQ Chicken ($15)
Since we hadn’t had a good serving of Thai food in ages, it was a pretty satisfying lunch overall. Though we wouldn't say that the food is exceptional, it’s a pretty good place for a quick and easy nibble after a day of shopping or before a movie :D

Nibble on Nibbles! xx 
SpiceMe Thai
Level 1, Shop 1021 
Westfield Bondi Junction
(500 Oxford St Bondi Junction NSW 2022)

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Ghermez Cupcakes

The display of perfectly lined up decorated cupcakes at the red and white store was just too much of a temptation for J&L. 
Regular Cupcakes on display at Ghermez
“Ugghhh... I want oneeee!” L proclaimed
“Me toooo!” J chimed. “They’re SOOOO cute!”
So even though we had just had our lunch and were pretty much stuffed, we couldn’t help but settle on a compromise – we’d get the MINI cupcakes! It wouldn’t be too heavy on our already filled stomachs and yet we would still get a dose of a Ghermez cupcake... hehe  :P 
L went with the Mini Red Velvet Cupcake. A red velvet chocolate cake with coconut cream cheese icing.  Some of the bottom bits were unfortunately burnt but overall the cupcake was not too sweet with a good balance of cream cheese, chocolate and coconut. The cake itself was really moist and fluffy, making the perfect texture :)
Mini Red Velvet Cupcake ($2.20)
Though on the other hand, J’s chocolate marshmallow cupcake was a bit of a disappointment. It was a good choclately flavour but nothing too special.
Mini Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake ($2.20)
The counter also had a sample tray of generous chunks of 4 cupcakes which we gladly helped ourselves to hehe :p
Fresh Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing, Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing, Vanilla Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream Icing, Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

The Strawberry Cupcake was made with fresh strawberries and was extremely light and fluffy with the strawberry flavour not being too overpowering. It was surprisingly much better than expected and didn’t have that artificial strawberry taste (reminded us of the fresh strawberry milkshake at Perfection, Rose Bay hehe)
The Banana Cupcake had an eerie resemblance to freshly baked banana bread but with a creamy milk chocolate icing.
The Vanilla Milk Chocolate was nice and rich and was just like eating a moist brownie. The texture was nice with an incredible aroma. Definitely a was guilty pleasure to enjoy hehe.

The Vanilla was not too sweet with a really light and smooth buttercream icing on top :)

Our mini cupcakes and samples was a good compromise after all. There will always be temptations...but sometimes are there are temptations that are just too sweet to pass up ;) 
 Mini Cupcakes on display at Ghermez
Giving in to the sweet little devils, J bought home a caramel cupcake and another red velvet cake- the more than vanilla but not quite chocolate goodness really gets her hehe :P
Regular Red Velvet ($3.80) 
The caramel cake itself was more firm than the others but it goes well with the sticky caramel layer on top :D
Dulce de Leche ($3.80)
Ghermez makes some of the best cupcakes we've tasted so far :) All their cupcakes had a really soft and fluffy cake base with a light and smooth butter cream icing which are not too sweet overall :) ...Classic flavours made of fresh and fine ingredients with a pinch of glamour and a dash of style as they would say hehe

Nibble on Nibblies! xx


Westfield Bondi Junction

Level 5, 500 Oxford St
Bondi Junction, NSW 2022

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mizuya Japanese Karaoke Restaurant


When it came to pleasing their target market, Mizuya definitely got it right. Sleek touch screen menus, sophisticated karaoke rooms and even 50c Green Tea Ice Cream Takeaway... it all appeals to the young urban Asian demography – the typical residents of Sydney’s George St. 

J&L had already tried lunch at Mizuya some time ago but with the desire to try some of the dinner-only items AND the opportunity to try their karaoke rooms, we grabbed along a few more stomachs (and voices :P) to join us. Accompanying us was Y, P and T and we were starved! =)
Dim lit, air-conditioned and separated private booths, it was a perfect place to relax and escape from the heat. Upon arrival though, we discovered that the dinner karaoke package required us to spend a minimum of $198!
“Umm... Wasn’t it like $20? For Food and Karaoke?” questioned Y.
“Yeah! That’s what we read last time...I remember! ” J confirmed.  
A quick reference to the menu, it turns out that during lunch Mizuya offers a Karaoke and Lunch Package for $20 (2 hours) and a Karaoke and Dinner Package for $198 (3 hours). With that in mind, we decided to just skip karaoke and go straight to the food...after all that’s what we were most interested in anyways right? ;)
We really wanted to try these test tube drinks which we saw from our previous visit. But even after several attempts to find it on the menu, we still couldn’t find it =( So we asked the first waiter passing by ...
“No sorry. We don’t have them anymore. Probably later,” he brusquely explained before rushing off to assist another table.
Still unfeeling satisfied, we couldn’t help but ask the waitress this time.
“Ohhh...we might have finished them already today! But let me check with the kitchen first ok?” she offered.
A few minutes later she came out with a smile on her face
“Do you still want the test tubes? We can make them for you!”
“Awwww yes please... THANK YOU! ” we chorused, ecstatic that we had asked a second time.   
Mizuya Test Tubes ($18)
The test tubes came in a rack of 6 with 2 of each of the flavours – peach, grapefruit and pineapple. They had very little alcohol, making it a nice light fizzy drink. It was actually quite hard to get the crushed ice and liquid to come out, but we definitely enjoyed this novelty.
Looking at all the hotpots around us, J Y and T decided to follow their lead. Y went with the Wagyu Beef Shabu-Shabu while J and T chose the Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki. The Shabu-Shabu was a light and clear meat broth, whereas the Sukiyaki was a stronger-flavoured sweet soy soup base. They both came with the same ingredients- thinly sliced tender wagyu, vegetables and mushrooms… it was a feast on all of its own. Extra rice or udon noodles can also be ordered to eat with the tasty soup.
Small Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki ($15.50), Small Wagyu Beef Shabu-Shabu ($15.80)
 Sukiyaki (with cracked egg in soup :P which you're not supposed to do as it's meant for dipping-like a sauce)
Udon noodles ($4.80)
P had the Ochazuke- a  tea soaked rice dish with a generous serving of salted salmon, japanese pickles and seaweed on top. The portion was very tasty and very filling for P.
Ochazuke ($6.80)
L went for the Salmon Kushiage which was crunchy thanks to its deep friend coating. The salmon inside was moist and very soft. L also ordered the Chicken & Prawn Chawan-Mushi which actually took ages to come out – even after alerting the attendants multiple times. It was however a pleasant dish with generous chunks of chicken, vegetables and prawn in the soft steamed egg mixture.
Salmon Kushiage ($4.00)
Chicken & Prawn Chawan-Mushi ($4.00)
One bad thing about having a touch screen menu with us is that we get to see photos of all the dishes they offered. Flicking through the menu again and again, we got so tempted by the looks of the cheese baked oyster and scallops! Mmmm… anything topped with baked cheese can never go wrong hehe
Creamy Miso Cheese Oyster ($10.80)
Creamy Miso Cheese Scallop ($9.80)
And of course... dessert =) We couldn’t resist ordering the Green tea Crème Brûlée which was a definite pleaser. A Japanese take on the classic dish, we could taste the creamy green tea goodness with the unmistakable top layer of caramelised sugar.
Green tea Crème Brûlée ($6.50)
While Mizuya lacks in restaurant service, the menu boasts affordable prices and a wide range of innovative choices.  Next time we go, we’re thinking karaoke... for lunch :P

Nibble on Nibbles! xx


Mizuya Japanese Restaurant & Karaoke
Basement, 614 George St 
Sydney 2000

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A simple BBQ =)

L and J’s friend M just recently brought home a new family member – the cutest labrador retriever puppy!! So we decided to drop by for a visit to meet this cute little fluff ball (well…. and also to do some cooking hehe :P)
 he is absolutely adorable <3
At the time he still didn’t have a name so M asked us for some opinion, being the food-obsessed girls we are, we came up with ones like butterscotch, baileys, cookie etc. and for a few hours we called him butter :D, which we thought really suited him since it was golden in colour and… um… well it was just a cute name! haha but this name only lasted for one night until M’s family disagreed thinking butter was too girly :( 
 nawwww look at his sad face :(
But anyway… we played with the cute little puppy and took lots and lots of photos of him for an hour or two until we started getting a bit hungry :P and after looking at what was available in M’s kitchen, we decided to make some butter & lemon sugar crepes!
our recipe was similar to this, with an additional spread of butter, a few pinches of sugar and a generous squeeze of lemon juice to taste :)
 butter & lemon sugar crepes
Not very satisfied with just crepes for dinner, we ended up having a small barbeque and cooked some steak, lamb cutlets and mushrooms and corn :D 
 bbq cutlets
M, being a healthy eater, actually started eating the corn raw when we were preparing our food.. so then we all joined in :P corn is actually really nice when eaten raw, it’s just natural goodness! they’re very crunchy and each kernel is guaranteed to be bursting with freshness and sweetness! corn is in fact the rawer the better hehe.. because they start losing flavour and also nutrients when cooked for too long.. 
 fresh and raw corn :D
we covered our corn with some mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, lemon pepper and salt and chucked them into the grill, though we might have added a bit too much so it turned out quite salty woops hehe… but then we realized if we scraped off the coating of seasonings, the corn actually tasted really good all the flavours were captured into each little kernel making it very very zesty and delicious! 
our recipe was similar to this.  
 grilled cheesy corn hehe
button mushrooms are best grilled with the cap upside down so all the sweet mushroom juice that seeps out as it cooks can be all collected inside... they look especially appetizing if the stalk was peeled off before cooking so it would turn out like a mini bowl of soup, only that the whole thing is edible hehe.. 
 grilled button mushrooms
we also made some Chinese deep fried green beans with minced pork aka Sichuan dry-fried green beans.  traditionally it is made with pickled vegetables, but we didn’t have any at the time, so we substituted it with some minced olives, which worked pretty well and gave the dish a western twist :) 
you may want to try this recipe,which we have yet to give it a try :P but looking at all the positive comments, it seems pretty dependable hehe
 Sichuan dry-fried green beans with pork & olive mince

Nibble on Nibblies! xx

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Taste of Sydney 2010!


UPDATED (13.3.10)
Thanks to Jenius, J&L had the fantastic opportunity to win tickets to the 2010 Taste of Sydney (TOS) restaurant festival! Dubbed as the “foodie event of the summer”, we seriously couldn’t wait to see and taste all the food on offer! Opening night finally came round and we prepared our cameras and stomachs for a feast to remember…
Accompanying us were Y and K, who decided to come along last minute. Very little convincing was needed - a quick glance of the irresistible tasting menu and they were in ;) 

Arriving around 6:30, entry was simple. We got our menus, handed our tickets and were immediately welcomed by complimentary Ferrero Rondoirs – a dark chocolate that had just  joined  the Ferrero Chocolates family.  Only a few minutes wait to trade our money for Crowns ( Purchases in TOS must be through Crown tokens!) and off we were to eat and eat and eat !
Ferrero Rondnoirs

We loved the many samples and tastings on offer, particularly the City Tatterstalls Club which offered tastings of mini wagyu burgers, tempura soft shell crab, dulce de leche & Chocolate pannacotta and mini Bramble cocktails… YUM !
These were our highlights of the night so check them out when you go! 
Balzac’s warm chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream, the complimentary churros at El Toro Loco – they were warm and crunchy!, 
Pilu’s Risotto with Crystal Bay prawns and zucchini, 
Danks Street Depot’s Beef Ribs Smoked in Watermelon with a Watermelon and Avocado salad, 
and City Tatterstalls Club’s Apple, Cranberry and Cinnamon Doughnuts injected with either sour cherry or white chocolate filling! 
Dank Stree Depot's Beef Ribs Smoked in Watermelon with a Watermelon and Avocado Salad ($12)
The meat was very tender and nicely flavoured. They went surprisingly well with the sweet and juicy watermelon, which added a bit of crunchiness and coolness to the dish!
 Marque's Slow Cooked Lamb Rump, Confit Capsicum, Eggplant caviar & Black Olive Oil ($12)
This one had a subtle hint of sweetness to it, but we couldn’t figure out what it was.. though it enhanced the sweetness of the veggies! hehe
 Pilu's Suckling Pig panino with apple, mustard and rocket served on Sonoma sourdough ($10)
Couldn’t really taste the apple :( but the suckling pig was definitely very tender :D The soft meat contrasted well with the sourdough making it very tasty! 
Pilu's Risotto with Crystal Bay prawns and zucchini ($12)
YUMMY!! much much much nicer than the risotto at Spigolo :P hehe The prawns and zucchini were fresh and a good combination with the well cooked risotto. This dish was full of zest and flavour! 
Plan B's Organic Grass Fed Wagyu Beef Burger ($12)
Jonah's Alba White Truffle popcorn ($8)
When L & J saw this on the menu, we knew it was a must try! how creative is this though, white truffle popcorn!! At first none of us could really taste the truffles, but the more of it we ate, the more we could taste it. The flavour really comes out when you eat a handful at once instead of a few morsels. Cinemas should start selling these :P hehe
El Toro Loco's Paella a la Maestre ($10)
The El Toro Loco had a lively vibrant atmosphere, enthusiastically yelling out “paella” each time someone ordered it. The paella though? Hmmm these were a bit disappointing actually, being a bit too dry and undercooked :( but cooking with a pan that big that’s sort of understandable..
Complimentary Churros at El Toro Loco
Mmmmmm..The complimentary churros nearly made up for it – being freshly made! They were crunchy on the outside but VERY soft and moist on the inside :D
Longrain's Ping Pong - Lychees and passion fruit skahen with 42 Below Vokda and fresh lime juice ($12)
This was actually quite a strong cocktail even with the mixture of fruits. After drinking it for a while though, the ice had melted and diluted the drink, making the taste more to our liking. The fresh lychees were a great end to the drink! 
Assiette's Sydney rock oysters with Vietnamese dressing, crispy shallot and baby coriander ($10)
Berrowa Waters Inn's Quail Breast & Truffled Risotto Croustillant ($12)
Couldn’t really taste the truffle :( but the texture was good.. crunchy on the outside and the risotto was soft and chewy :D overall it was pretty nice and went very well with the green puree 
Restaurant Balzac's Warm Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($10)
This is heaven on earth <3!! warm, rich, moist, excellent texture and flavour, it was baked to perfection ! Mmmmmm :) 
Restaurant Balzac's Crispy Wagyu Beef with Wild Mushroom and Truffle Foam ($10)
It didn’t turn out as what J expected- she was expecting the wagyu itself to be crispy without the pastry. But the truffle foam was yummy and you could really taste the mushrooms :D the braised wagyu was tender and  juicy so she was satisfied hehe
City Tattersalls Club's Awesome Complimentary samples!!!!!!
Mini Wagyu Cheese Burgers with Capscicum Relish
These were absolutely  cute and delicious! Fitting into our mouths in just one go, they were very satisfying. The wagyu was tender and was nicely complimented with the capsicum relish, rocket and cheese.
Apple, Cranberry and Cinnamon Dough Nuts with White Chocolate or Sour Cherry
Ahh these were so fun to eat! We got told to squeeze the sauce into the freshly fried donuts which were still hot! The texture was different to your ordinary donuts, a fried crisp coating with soft and moist insides :D
Tempura Soft Shell Crab with Lime and Ginger Aioli
The crab was still piping hot when we tasted them. They were very crunchy and were perfectly accompanied with a lime and ginger aioli dressing.  
Dulce de leche and Chocolate Panna Cotta
These were so nice as well hehe very nice and smooth.. and they had really cute spoons that sits on the edge of the glass! hehe
White Chocolate Martini
This was a fresh cocktail with a hint of chocolate. It wasn’t too strong and each sip had pieces of white chocolate as well. Was very refreshing and tasty!       
Although we were stuffed at the end, there were still plenty of other dishes that we would have LOVED to try ! Jonah’s at Whale Beach’s  Fries with Eyes (Crisp school prawns with a spicy Cajun remoulade) and their Vanilla pannacotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate).
It was definitely an unforgettable night... We met Simon from Simon’s Food Favourites and even spotted celebrity chef Pete Evans from My Kitchen Rules! Going home with an satisfied stomachs, sauces from Nandos, copies of Gourmet Traveller magazine, Nudie juice key rings  juice from preshafruit and tons of delicious pictures, it was pretty much decided that we’d  definitely be back next year ;)
With only three days of the festival left, head on over to Centennial Park for your chance to get YOUR taste of Sydney .. it’s pretty delicious ;P          
Nibble on Nibblies! xx      
11-14 March 2010 Centennial Park
Tickets sold presale (via Ticketek) or at the door    
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