Sunday, November 4, 2007

A birthday and a get together

I am sooo behind in my blogging! Bad SMJ! Here's my attempt to catch up. So a few of my major outings in the past two weeks have included Alex's birthday party at the Bavarian Bier Cafe and also a get together with some of my old workmates at Malaya.

Bavarian Bier Cafe @ York St

Firstly, Alex's birthday. I didn't bother taking much food photos since I've been there so many times. The only real food photo is of their sticky date pudding:

I've always disliked sticky date puddings as I find them too sickly sweet. That is until I tried the one at Nick's Seafood at Cockle Bay Wharf. They have converted me onto this gorgeous dessert! The Bavarian Bier's version is lighter and slightly crumbly compared to the traditional sticky date, but it worked out perfectly for me after eating a massive slab of schnitzel and mash. Plus I had gus help me eat half of it.

Now onto the rest of the night. It was pretty calm except when I tipped half a bier onto my brand new dress trying to climb over the bench to sit down. Note to self, don't wear dresses when you're going to be sitting on a bench.

Of course, there was the present for the birthday girl:

Then for some reason, Gus got a bit macho jealous of Ryan's biceps and needed a photo with them:

Only he lost the contest:

Just to make Gus feel less inferior, we decided to hit the schnapps, picking the ones with the highest alcoholic content. You know, cos we're all macho and all.

Let me tell you this, Sour Apple Schnapps is the ONLY thing you should order from their schnapps menu. The rest is either a paint stripper, or a sugar concentrate that will guarantee cavities within 5mins of taking a shot!


The last get together I had with some of my old workmates involved Yum Cha at lunch. As nice as that was, we couldn't spend much time chatting and catching up. So this time round, I organised dinner at the Malaya to give us more time to catch up as well as have some great food! Unfortunately, the lovely Oyen who wanted to try Malaya so bad was feeling sick and couldn't make it, so it looks like I'll have to organise another outing to Malaya soon! Poor us ;)

As with every get together, there is alcohol beforehand. Its kind of given considering half of the people are boozers! (And I mean people who booze more than me!). This time however, we made it to the restaurant on time. Unlike the last dinner outing which involved a few of us getting so pissed we forgot to go to the restaurant, and when we did, we caught the wrong bus and ended up walking in a storm without umbrellas to get there! This time it was raining as well, and we were pissed, but not so pissed we couldn't find the place. But what do we do the minute we got to Malaya? Cocktails!!

Malayatini - Passion fruit and lychee martini

Mrs wong - Tastes like orange juice to me

We ended up having quite a few more rounds of cocktails and beers before the food even came out!!

Seafood san choi bow

My serve

Chicken satay sticks with a sweet sambal sauce

The sweet sambal like sauce was really really good. I was spooning a whole teaspoonful per bite I was taking. Then I moved onto the veggies which I dunked into the sauce then delicately balanced a heap spoonful of sauce ontop before eating. I was half tempted to ask them to leave the sauce behind. But get distracted for 2 seconds and it was gone :(

Roti Canai - Flakey pancakes with a chicken curry dipping sauce

The sauce

As much as I liked this dish, $11 for ONE roti cut into 4 wedges and a bowl of sauce is RIDICULOUS. In Singapore and Malaysia, this is considered a cheap snack. For what you see above, that wouldn't cost you more than $1.50.

Pepper king prawns - peppery but sweet and moreish

Wonderfully crispy salt and pepper squid

Tender Lamb Korma

Assam fish - Crispy but with a creamy sweet and sour tang

Half demolish Bali Lamb

Sze Chuan Eggplant

I decided to write about this dish last. This was UNBELIEVABLY, orgasmicly good! The eggplants were fried until crispy, but the inside was smooth and creamy, all tossed in a caramelised sweet and spicy sauce served on a bed of Kang Kung. I would've been happy with this dish and a big bowl of boiled rice. Hell, I'll eat this every single day, 3 meals a day for a week and I'll still be happy! Anyone who doesn't like eggplant must still try this dish. I guarantee it will convert you!

Happy campers!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Rounding up the Good Food Month

End of October means the end of the Good Food Month for another year. This year, I planned ahead and managed to squeeze in 4 "Lets do Lunch" outings. First one was at Forty One, and here are the other three:

Quadrant Restaurant

First up, Quadrant Restaurant by Circular Quay. Before we even ordered our dishes, they bought out a little starter of Three Cheese Tartlet with a Caramelised Balsamic sauce:

The restaurant was offering a choice of:

Choice of Crispy skin duck breast with duck parfait, sauteed witlof and pink lady apples or Grainfed beef tenderloin with jerusalem artichoke and truffle ravioli, sauteed spinach, red wine sauce or Steamed mulloway, shao xing braised squid, snow pea leaves, xo chilli or Grilled field mushroom topped with persian fetta, spiced eggplant and tomato salsa.

My workmate went for the Crispy Duck whilst I went for the Beef Tenderloin, mainly because I don't like witlof much and was expecting it to be really bitter even though they way they cooked it ensured it had a subtle sweetness to it so you didn't even notice the bitterness.

I have also never tasted jerusalem artichoke before and thought it was a great chance to try it out, and I loved it!

Tenderloin unveiled!


We also managed to get one of the limited bookings at Bécasse. Again, a lovely little hor'dourve to start with.

This little bitesize morsel was utterly amazing. It was a warm parmesan cheese biscuit base with a slice of cherry tomato topped with a quinelle of goats curd. If all they had served me was a platter of this, I would've died happy. This was sooooooo good!!

A lovely sour dough roll in a twisted floral shape

We also opted to try their entree, which was $15 as a part of the GFM special. This was a duck parfait with a herb and gerkin salad. REALLY REALLY good. I could feel my arteries clogging up with every mouthful, but we couldn't stop!!


For the main, we had Slow roast rump of Rosé veal with crushed potatoes and a warm vinaigrette of Spring vegetables.

The mash was actually half mashed potatoes half crushed potatoes mixed with herbs and a lightly seasoned with lemon to give it a bit of a tang. I've never had a citrus potato before, but it actually went really well with everything.

The rest of the group stayed behind for coffee, tea and dessert (Which takes a minimum of 20mins to make). But since I had a meeting, I had to skip all of that and run back to work.

Hyde Park Barracks Cafe

Bloody Google Maps! When I booked a seating at the Hyde Park Barracks Cafe, I was wondering why Google Maps had put the address on the corner of Bridge and Macquarie St. Lets just say, ITS NO WHERE NEAR THERE! Luckily my workmate new the address and after a 20min power walk, we got there without much drama.

The Hyde Park Barracks Cafe was offering a choice of Grilled King prawns served on a bed of saffron infused linguini in a lobster and tomato concasser sauce or Veal escalopes filled with provolone and baby spinach on a bed of creamy parmesan polenta with a cherry tomato jus.

My workmate's partner, decided to join us at the last minute, so we took her order over the phone. So infront of the poor waiter, who spent a good 2 minutes describing the dish to us in great detail such as what I wrote above, he asked "Did you want the prawn pasta with a lobster soupy thing, or a stuffed veal thing on porridge?". I think the waiter's heart broke a little when he heard that.

My prawn pasta with lobster soupy thing

Stuffed veal thing with porridge

So that's it for the year. Thank GOD! I don't think my wallet can handle much more of this lunch splurging thing.