Reviews

6 Feb

Cafes/Restaurants 

Sydney

Events

Restaurant at Taronga Zoo 

Cafes 

Delmain Providore (Balmain)

Sweet/Dessert Cafes 

Cookies + Milk  (Newton)

Fine Dining 

Jonah’s, Whale Beach 

High Tea 

The Tea Room, QVB 

Italian

Ottimo Italian Kitchen (Hunters Hill)
Jamie’s Italian (Pitt Street, CBD) 

Modern Asian

Hungry Duck (Berry) 

Japanese 

Yume Sushi (North Strathfield) 

Pop Up Bars/Cafes/Restaurants 

MasterChef Dining and Bar 

Vietnamese

Thanh Binh Vietnamese Restaurant (Newton) 

Melbourne 

Picnic 
No. 8 by John Lawson 
Stavros Tavern
Vue de Monde

Cooking Classes 

Mastering the Art of French Pastry (At Patisse with Chef Vincent Gadan)

Product Reviews 

Cakes 

Messina’s ‘Juliette’ Gelato Cake 
Watermelon and Strawberry Cake (Black Star) 

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Recipes

6 Feb

Sweet

Afternoon Tea 

Lamingtons 
Rocky Road 
Scones 

Biscuits 

Biscotti 
Cornflake Cookies 
Cucidati Italian Biscuits 
Digestives 
Ma’amouls
Rock Cakes 

Bread/Loaf 

Coconut Cake 
Pear and Current Loaf 
Maple Banana Bread 

Cakes

Chocolate and Orange Checkerboard Cake 
Christmas Cake
Gingerbread Cake 
Tim Tam Cake 
Victoria Sponge 

Cupcakes 

Mixed Berry Cupcakes 

Dessert

Pavlova 

Jams/ Conserves 

Rhubarb and Strawberry Conserve 

Slices 

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Slice 

Tarts/Pies 

Fruit Mince Pies 
Ginger Brûlée Tarts 

Savoury 

Chicken

Lebanese Chicken and Rice ‘Riz bi-Djaj’ 

Fish 

Baked Salmon 

Pastry Based 

Quiche

 

Vue de Monde

5 Feb

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“A true individual is precisely one who is different from the rest of the world, and there is no formula, no set rules, no code of conduct that can possibly capture in information terms what it is to be like that”

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Overlooking Melbourne’s bustling business district lie’s Shannon Bennet’s, Vue de Monde “World View”. Situated on the 55th floor, Bennet’s French style restaurant offers local, organic ingredients, which are transformed into beautiful edible artworks. From the minute the receptionist signals the elevator through to finishing a few petite fours in the bar area, you are swept “across the city and beyond”.

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It was the closet thing to eating in heaven. My aunty Sue and our family friend Chris truly know how to spoil a girl for her 18th!

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We selected the degustation menu of 6 courses and arrived at 1:30pm and finished at 5pm. I tried a variety of food that I would never have touched in a million years! The food challenged my palette and took me out of my comfort zone. I decided to break the barriers of safe eating and test my ability. Vue de Monde takes you on a unique dining experience!

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Atmosphere 10/10 Service 10/10 Company 10/10 View- 10/10 

No words can really describe this taste sensation. Instead this visual review will say it all!

Snacks/finger food

Potato chips with a macadamia and apple dip

Potato chips with a macadamia and apple dip

Emu Jerky

Emu Jerky

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Salted cured wallaby

Salted cured wallaby

Smoked eel, white chocolate and caviar

Smoked eel, white chocolate and caviar- My favourite!!

Herb emulsion

Herb emulsion

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Truffle marshmallow

Truffle marshmallow

Degustation 

Munthan berry, beetroot and creme fraiche

Munthan berry, beetroot and creme fraiche

Duck, apple, pine mushrooms and Gascony butter

Duck, apple, pine mushrooms and Gascony butter

Duck yolk, pear and truffle

Duck yolk, pear and truffle

Marron

Marron

Marron with brown butter

Marron with brown butter

Enjoy the simple things in life… bread and butter

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Beurre d'echire butter

Beurre d’echire butter

Freshly baked sourdough bread

Freshly baked sourdough bread

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Cucumber and wood sorrel

Cucumber and wood sorrel

Spanish Mackeral, potato, caviar and lemon

Spanish Mackeral, potato, caviar and lemon

Blackmore Wagyu

Blackmore Wagyu

Blackmore Wagyu, onions and mustard greens

Blackmore Wagyu, onions and mustard greens

Berry juice (Left) and Kale, celery and coconut shot (right)

Berry juice (Left) and Kale, celery and coconut shot (right)

Chocolate souffle

Chocolate souffle

Chocolate souffle

Zealong tea

Zealong tea

A selection of petit fours 

Salted caramel shells

Salted caramel shells

Eucalyptus sorbet

Eucalyptus sorbet

One penny lemon myrtle jellies

One penny lemon myrtle jellies

Chocolate mousse lamingtons

Chocolate mousse lamington

P.s Even the restrooms featuring a powder room with a waterfall and hand wash scented lemon myrtle, sandlewood and eucalyptus was an experience in itself!

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missemzyy xox

Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon

Cookies + Milk

25 Jan

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“Come back next week” seems to be the familiar phrase at the small cafe, Cookies + Milk located on King Street in Newton. Owner and Pastry Chef Libby Marriner along with barista Adrian offer interesting delights such as ice cream sandwiches, banoffee tarts and cookie and gingerbread flavored milk. Range and stock is limited and it was only on our third visit when we arrived early that there was some choice available.

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A black board on the sidewall features their menu as well as a gift advert featuring their different sized jars filled with cookies. What a great present for someone with a sweet tooth!

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Ginger Voodoos are quirky, choc walnut moustaches are fun and the dark choc fudge is tempting but in the end we opt for the humongous salted caramel ultra thin consisting of two chewy biscuits sandwiched with gooey caramel. It was similar to a classic Anzac biscuit minus the crunch.

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A ‘must-try’ was their long and thin brownie. Despite the slight baking dysfunction resulting in a sunken end, it was rich in chocolate with a nutty base. Adrian said a staff member had eaten three in one sitting!

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The décor is whimsical and adorable. Old-fashioned milk bottles hold sugar and are showcased in a wooden cabinet, jars of cookies are position on top of a ledge, pillow biscuits are stacked on top of milk crates and the baby yellow wall paper “Jammy, Chewy, Crispy, Gooey” describes what the shop has to offer in a nut shell.

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We are given complimentary macaroons to accompany our coffees. They were fresh, moist and packed with the flavours of vanilla bean and their specialty, salted caramel.

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We end with an aromatic spiced ginger tea held in one of their plunger takeaway cups designed for tealeaves. What a great invention!

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Wanting to revisit your childhood memory of dunking cookies in milk? Then pop by and grab a freshly made bicky while you can!

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missemzyy xox

Cookies+Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Rhubarb and Strawberry Conserve

20 Jan

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Have you ever seen rhubarb served as a savoury dish? Many people consider rhubarb to be a fruit when in fact it is a vegetable, which originated in Western China. Its thick stalks are rich in calcium, vitamin c and fibre. For many years the Chinese have used dried rhubarb roots as medicine to aid digestion. Rhubarb is also usually ready to harvest before most other vegetables. The other day I turned our fresh bunch of ripened rhubarb out of the garden into a rhubarb and strawberry conserve. It made beautiful edible gifts for friends who gave compliments to the chef!

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Fills approximately 3-4 Jars

Ingredients:

  • 300g rhubarb, stringed and chopped into 3cm pieces.
  • 500g strawberries, chopped into quarters
  • 500g caster sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 2 lemons plus 1 tbsp. extra for assembling
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. pectin

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, juice and vanilla. Cover and set aside for at least 2 hours (preferably over night)
  2. To sterilize the four jam jars (approximately holding 200ml, 1 cup), fill each jar with ¼ water and heat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Place the lids in boiling water to sterilize.
  3. Transfer rhubarb mixture into a large saucepan. Add pectin.
  4. Simmer for approximately 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once mixture is of a thick consistency, test if the jam is ready (Place a teaspoon of jam onto a plate and leave in the freezer for 1 minute. Tilt plate and if the jam stays in place, i.e. not runny, then it is ready).
  6. Spoon mixture into empty jars. Pour a little bit of the extra lemon juice on top of mixture. Allow to cool.
  7. Seal the lids. You can store in the fridge for up to 3 months.

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missemzyy xox

Stavros Tavern

11 Jan

When I hear the word Greek I think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It is a good family movie, which will always make you laugh. Lots and lots of food is a huge part of the Greek culture. I hadn’t eaten much of the cuisine until last week when we all dined at Stavros Tavern in Melbourne.

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Stavros opened his restaurant in 1979 and has been running it for thirty-four years. It is a family business offering real traditional Greek food. As soon as you walk through the door you feel you are part of the family. The staff are extremely friendly and attentive, particularly Stavros who is quite the comedian. Isn’t his moustache impressive?

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We chose the banquet menu. A selection of house dips and antipasto including pickled octopus, marinated pulses and roasted vegetables are served with home made breads. I liked the dips consisting of melitzanosalata (eggplant), taramosalata (caviar) and tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber). The soda bread was a bit of a let down however we couldn’t go past the pita bread.

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Saganaki – a skillet of fried cheese was devoured in seconds! Definitely a favourite!!

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Next came a generous plate of tender deep fried kalamari. Each ring of octopus was perfectly cooked. I loved the smaller pieces, which were nice and crispy!

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The baked prawns with feta were cooked in a lovely rich tomato sauce. Superb!

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I especially liked the fish of the day, which was laid on a mound of rice and topped with spinach. The fish was delicate and juicy.

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The Greek village salad tasted as good as it looked. Seasoned well with a giant slice of feta on top.

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“Ian’s a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.”
“What do you mean he don’t eat no meat…. that’s ok I make lamb!”

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We indulge in a meat platter of spit roast lamb and chicken. The meat was extremely tender and juicy. A side of roast rosemary and garlic potatoes was a perfect accompaniment. I mentioned to the waiter how much I enjoyed the lamb and he said they start cooking it on coals at two in the afternoon. They also buy the best quality meat and not the stuff seen on the rotisserie at Kebab shops.

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When you think you are full dessert platters featuring a selection of pastries and fresh seasonal fruit are too tempting to resist. I enjoy a slice of baklava however I prefer the Lebanese kind, which has more pastry and less filling. The diamond of Galaktobourek (custard pastry) was filled with a firm centre of custard. Slices of watermelon and cherries were refreshing to end our meal.

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I recommend Stavros Tavern to anyone who wants a fun night with delicious food. We all walked out of the restaurant with big smiles on our faces. ‘Opa!’

missemzyy xox

Stavros Tavern on Urbanspoon

Picnic

8 Jan

My mission: To taste the Lolly Bag Cake by LuxBite.

After researching the recipe, discovering the price for the ingredients and being unable to find the right size moulds, I realized I would have to wait to visit the shop in Melbourne.

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At last the time had finally arrived! We took a tram to Toorak road and searched up and down the street until I spotted my favourite quote: “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first”. Suddenly my bad luck struck- IT WAS CLOSED!! 😦

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Instead we stumbled into the nearest café called Picnic. An edgy, hip café decorated with knick-knacks. The place is run by four young guys and has a relaxed vibe.

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The café caters for all ages and has quiet an extensive menu of healthy and tasty meals at reasonable prices. Coffee’s and Tea were ordered however the stand out was the mixed berry smoothie! It had a lemon twist and was bursting with flavour. Looks like my little nephew also enjoyed his chocolate milkshake.

Cappuccino and Long black with milk on the side

Cappuccino and Long black with milk on the side

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English Breakfast Tea with milk

English Breakfast Tea with milk

Mixed berry smoothie

Mixed berry smoothie

Chocolate milkshake

Chocolate milkshake

All the food was fresh and satisfying. I highly enjoyed my balsamic chicken salad, fresh herbs, roasted red peppers, mixed greens and feta.

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The deconstructed bruschetta consisting of avocado, roma tomato, prosciutto, rocket and pesto, on toasted Ciabatta beautifully presented all the fresh elements on a wooden board. Love the vibrant colour of the tomato!

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Chicken fried brown rice, wombok, spinach, corn, carrot, sweet soy, and crisp shallots, topped with a fried egg was delish! Just the right size with the egg cooked to perfection.

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The breakfast special featured corn fritters stacked with bacon, avocado, feta smash and homemade relish. I particularly liked the fritters, which were nice and moist. A hearty meal that will please your taste buds.

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We all enjoyed the fast service and food at Picnic. If I were to visit again I would definitely order their burger and wedges. Although it was disappointing that LuxBite was closed I have a good excuse to return to Melbourne!

missemzyy xox

Picnic on Urbanspoon