Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Indian Temptations

Can you have Indian food for lunch, dinner and supper? You certainly can, with Indian Temptations! Situated along the stretch of Main North Road is this popular Indian restaurant, specialising in North Indian food. The aroma of spices and spiciness of curry can be smelt from far as we walked from our car to the restaurant. Our taste buds and stomachs get stimulated and ready for a mouth watering experience even before we ordered. This blog post encapsulates 3 different visits over 3 years.

The flaky yet delightful pastry of Delhi Samosa can bring a great start to the dining experience in Indian Temptations. With $5, it comes with 2 generously big servings of samosas which are filled with potato, peas and ground spices. The dipping sauce which is made of tamarind, accompanies the samosa well. I really love the pastry, as it brings forth a tinge of honey-like sweetness when I crunch on it. Hallucination or not, I have no idea why I taste the sweetness as the pastry dough recipe has no sugar or honey in it.
Delhi Samosa
If you want to have something which is more moist but still want to try the samosa, Samosa Chat is a good option. The samosa is cut into smaller pieces, and served with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, chick peas, yogurt and diced onions. A tangy savoury snacks to spur your taste buds into their fullest swings.
Samosa Chat
Not a fan of samosa? You can get the onion bhaji, fritters of sliced onion in chickpea batter as entree. This filling entree comes with the tamarind sauce as well.  
Onion Bhaji
The garlic naan is a must-order-item to go with the curries in Indian Temptations. It is fried to get the crispiness on the surface and topped with garlic powder. It is not too floury as naan in Malaysia but can still be very filling as the serving is huge.  
Garlic Naan
Butter chicken and Lamb Roganjosh
Curries are essential to Indians and plenty of spices are being put into them. To get a perfect balance between the spiciness, sweetness, creaminess and savouriness of curry, the technique of cooking involved has to be up to par. Indian Temptations has done a great job in this. Among all the curries, butter chicken is one of the famous items in this Indian restaurant. It is suitable for those who can't stand spiciness as this curry is mild, filled with marinated chicken cooked in tandoori spices, tomatoes and cream.

The lamb roganjosh exudes medium spiciness which has tender lamb cubes cooked in a rich herbed oil and Indian spices. The lamb is falling apart as we delve into it, together with the naan and curry, you can be assured that you are brought to Northern India. 
Fish curry is another popular item on the menu. The level of spiciness is hot but still tolerable. The curry is not as thick as the one in butter chicken or lamb roganjosh. However, it still provides our taste buds a delightful memory, in which you will scoop more curry onto your naan and gallivant on it. 
Fish curry
Goat curry is served together with the bone. Tender goat meat it has and the curry tastes better when you suck on the bone.
Goat curry
There are a few vegetarian curries available on the menu, but the spinach paneer is the popular one. It is made up of spinach and potato simmered in a creamy sauce. Cubes of cheese can be found in the curry and the flavour of spinach is amazingly thick. Every single mouthful is full of spinach. Highly recommended for those who love spinach (like Popeye).
Mango Lassi
To cleanse your palate with something sweet after the spiciness, opt for mango lassi. It is the combination of mango, milk and yogurt, blended to produce a thick drinks.

The pricing of Indian Temptations is considerably cheap, when compared to its servings. One of the plus point is that you can phone them up to order and get a takeaway later. So why not have a try soon? 

Website: http://www.indiantemptations.com.au/
Address: U3/490 Main North Road, Blair Athol
Trading hours: 11.30am-2am (Mon-Sun)
Indian Temptations on Urbanspoon

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Market Shed on Holland

Adelaide is getting more and more happening nowadays with new cafes springing up, setting up an unique food culture limiting to this laidback yet cosy city. You can see food trucks mingling around on Rundle Mall or North Terrace, not to mention the ongoing monthly Fork on The Road and Night Market event! In addition, vacated spaces have been utilised and transformed into places which gather foodies around. 

Market Shed on Holland is the newest addition to the food culture in Adelaide. It was formerly an old undercover shed, situated on Holland Street near South Terrace. The focus of the market is on certified organic, sustainable and local produce. SA is blessed with great local produce, ranging from Kangaroo Island eggs to Coorong Angus beef, as well as wineries.

I was so thrilled before I made a visit here, and it did not disappoint me at all. The experience was unforgettable and the Market Shed has become my favourite food market at the moment! You gotta have to visit here if you are in Adelaide!  

The weather wasn't in its best mood on the day when we visited the Market Shed. Yet, this did not dampen our excitement and thank God that it is a covered market. So, all good!  

Entrance of the Market Shed
The market was buzzing with food stalls, local produce and stage performance when we arrived. Streams of customers were seen enjoying their food, with great relaxing music in the background. This lively vibe is definitely what we need everyday!
Busker in the market
First up, we visited the Walnut Bar! The walnut bar's signatures are its rosemary infused walnuts and housemade almond milk. 

The Walnut Bar entrance
I can't help but to rave about the delicious, one-of-a-kind signature rosemary walnut from here as it is something that you wouldn't want to miss! THE walnut is roasted, mixed with rosemary infused honey and salted with Himalayan salt. This is one big piece of goodness! The moment when you bite on the walnut, fragrance of rosemary spreads across your palate, travelling up to your nose. Next up, sweetness of honey and saltiness kick in, creating an unforgettable experience. THE thing to die for!
The housemade walnut from The Walnut Bar
We were contemplating whether to order the thickshake or the almond milk. In the end, we settled down with the Chocolate Walnut Thickshake. It consists of almond milk, banana flour, cocoa, walnut and chia seed. The thick shake lives up to its name, considering that every single sip is full of texture, flavour and substance! 
Trade of the day
The bite sized Italian entrees from Francesco's Circchetti caught my eyes when I first entered the market. Hence, we decided to have a try. We ordered the polenta grigliata (chargrilled polenta with vegetables). The kind stall owner even offered us some side dishes for free. We got the verdure mediteraneo (organic roasted vegetables with preserved lemons, extra virgin olive and home dried tomatoes) and peperonata (organic capsicum, eggplant, onion and olives). The meal was amazing as it is close to authenticity. 
Bite sized Italian food
Take a look at Bona Food fridge for their vegan options. Colourful combination and tempting looks, it will never hurt to get some home or have them there. 

Healthy and vegan options 
Pies are the all time favourite of Australians. A farmer's market will not be complete without a bakery. Bull Creek Bakery's pies are woodoven baked and popular option such as beef pie is on the menu. 
Bull Creek Bakery
Another bakery in the precinct is the Mother and Sons Bakery. Fresh sourdough, rye bread and pastries can be found here. The smell of fresh bread is indeed refreshing!  
Mother and Sons Bakery
Apart from Francesco's Circchetti, Little Orange Arancini and Pizza Bar is another great Italian option that you can consider. It has breakfast pizza, fritole as well as its signature arancini balls.  
Little Orange Arancini and Pizza Bar
Woodfire pizza 
Besides serving the conventional arancini balls which use arborio rice, Little Orange has brown rice option available as well. We ordered the brown rice arancini with porcini mushroom and rocket pesto, as well as arborio rice arancini with beef ragu and parmesan cheese. They were lovely, crispy on the outside, full of bursting flavour and moist on the inside. The pesto and red pasta sauce complement the balls perfectly. 
Arancini balls 
Little Orange Arancini & Pizza Bar on Urbanspoon

And of course, you can get your daily fix of coffee at The Coffee Pedlar. 
Last but not least, the Market Shed rickshaw do offer ride services to the places in the city at an affordable cost. 

The Market Shed is a heaven for vegans and organic food lovers. I would strongly recommend you to visit if you haven't been there yet. 

Address: 1 Holland Street, Adelaide 
Trading hours: 9am-2pm (Sundays)

The Market Shed on Holland on Urbanspoon

Love, Victoria 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sweet Tooth @ Sydney

Continuing from Early birds @ Sydney, this blog post will bring you my food journey in searching for best dessert in the town. Ranging from gelato, drinks, cakes and sweets, macaron to pancakes, Sydney offers diverse choices when it comes to dessert. To me, it is the melting pot of various cultures, conserving the originality while injecting its own uniqueness into each food.  

1. Chanoma

Chanoma means Japanese style living room (tea room). What will come to your mind when Japanese tea is mentioned? Bingo! Chanoma is all about matcha! As a matcha fan, I fell in love with this place instantly. The cafe adopts the order-at-counter concept whereby you will receive a buzzer after placing your order. 
Order at the counter
One of the ordered item is the matcha anmitsu. It comes with small cubes of agar jelly, a stick of Japanese rice cakes, bean paste, sweetened peach and pineapple slices as well as the matcha ice cream. The matcha ice cream is my favourite! Its smooth texture and rich matcha flavour make me crave for matcha even more. It is a relatively sweet Japanese dessert and to my liking. 

Matcha anmitsu

Next up is the matcha shiratama parfait. It is highly recommended if you are looking for a more complex and diverse dessert. It has matcha ice cream, love letters, ice cream cones, more matcha ice cream, rice cakes, swirls of chocolate syrup and whipped cream. After finishing a serve of parfait, you will be pretty full. Definitely a filling afternoon tea to satisfy your cravings.  
Matcha shiratama parfait
Besides matcha dessert, Chanoma does offer drinks such as green tea latte and Japanese hotdog. 

Website: -

Address: Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney 
Trading hours: Lunch and Dinner time (Mon-Sun) 
Chanoma Cafe on Urbanspoon

2. Gelato Messina

Gelato Messina is by far the best gelato that I have ever tasted! With its full-bodied flavour, it captures my heart and even intensifies my cravings even after I am back in Adelaide. 

There are a few branches in Sydney, namely Surry Hills, The Star, Darlinghurst and Bondi. Recently, Messina has opened a new interstate branch at Fitzroy, Melbourne. Different branches might have different special flavour but one thing for sure is that they use authentic ingredients in churning the gelato. 

Gelato Messina, The Star
We chose 5 flavours to be shared between 4 people, namely Pistachio, Milk chocolate and chocolate peanut fudge, Salted caramel and white chocolate chip, Italian nougat and Dulce de Leche. The pistachio flavour left me awestruck as I can literally taste the thick nutty pistachio. On overall, the gelato is thick and smooth with authentic flavour. Definitely creme de la creme in the gelato world.
From left clockwise: Pistachio, Milk chocolate and chocolate peanut fudge, Italian nougat, Salted caramel and white chocolate chip, and Dulce de Leche
Website: http://www.gelatomessina.com/
Address: Cafe Court, Level G, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Trading hours: 11am-11pm (Sun-Thurs), 11am-11.30pm (Fri-Sat)

Gelato Messina Pyrmont on Urbanspoon

3. N2 Gelato

N2 gelato adopts the technology of using liquid nitrogen to create a large number of microscopic ice crystals in seconds, resulting in an exceptionally smooth texture. So, you might be asking, 'Is liquid nitrogen safe?'. Well, it is definitely safe (think about it, a single breath consists of 78% of nitrogen gas!) as it is non toxic and non flammable. As the boiling point of liquid nitrogen is extremely low (-196C), it would have evaporated from your cup of gelato when you are scooping a spoonful of the goodness. 

I find this concept interesting, especially as the store members wear like lab assistants while preparing me the extreme gelato. The flavour combinations brianstormed by the gelato creationist in N2 gelato are truly special and worth trying. I ordered the 2013 creation, le Cloudy Bay Duck and Pinot
N2 'lab assistant'

Interesting and wacky enough, N2 gelato has the concept written on the blackboard at the store. Cloudy Bay Duck and Pinot has frozen ducky custard as its base, topped with Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir brulee and finished with salted earl grey infused duck fat sand. As you can see, hear and feel, this gelato is extremely fattening. The gelato itself is thick and smooth, with every scoop full of light creamery taste, accompanied with crisp brulee and a tinge of earl grey scent. A perfect combination indeed! 
This is how Duck and Pinot comes about
Do stay tuned for their new creations!
N2 extreme gelato 
Website: http://n2extremegelato.com.au/
Address: 43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney.
Trading hours: 1pm-11pm (Mon-Sun) 

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

5. Adriano Zumbo
Zumbaron is the special name of macaron created by Adriano Zumbo, one of the guest judges who appeared in the first series of MasterChef Australia. He is a patissier who has great passion for dessert and started his apprenticeship at the age of 15. If you are observant enough, you would have noticed the various premix pack to make macarons and cakes on the shelf of local supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths). 

At The Star outlet, there is a dessert train for the cake lovers whereby you get to choose the desserts off the moving belt. You can choose as many desserts as you like, but do mind that this is not a buffet and you have to pay for the individual dessert you have taken. Please note that the dessert train is only opened on Fridays and weekends.  
View from the exterior 
Interior display
Aside from dessert train, you can buy zumbarons from the outlet. Interestingly, as few as one zumbaron you have bought, they do provide you with a box instead of just a plastic bag. According to the store assistant, the popular flavour is the salted caramel. Since it is fresh, as I bite on the macaron, the shell collapses and the salted caramel filling is pushed into my mouth. When I further bite it, the chewiness comes by and that makes the macaron perfect! 
Salted caramel zumbaron
A pack of 6 Zumbarons
Website: http://adrianozumbo.com/ 
Address: Shop 1, Cafe Court, The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 
Trading hours: 
- Patisserie: 11am-10pm (Mon), 11am-11pm (Tues-Thurs), 11am-Midnight (Fri-Sat), 11am-9pm (Sun) 
- Dessert Train: 6pm-11.30pm (Fri), 2pm-11.30pm (Sat), 12pm-6.30pm (Sun) 

Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier on Urbanspoon

5. Flour and Stone Patisserie

Situated in Woolloomooloo, this patisserie is popular for its panna cotta lamington. The lamington is huge but yet not overpoweringly sweet. It consists of 2 layers of sponge-like cake, layered and coated with chocolate, finished with shredded coconut. Definitely a good idea for an afternoon tea, especially if you are near Hyde Park. 

Aside from lamington, they do provide cookies, savoury pies and tarts, cakes and scones.  
Panna cotta lamington
Website: http://www.flourandstone.com.au/ 
Address:53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo
Trading hours: 7am-4pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-4pm (Sat) 

Flour and Stone on Urbanspoon

6. La Renaissance
La Renaissance is a small patisserie at quaint The Rocks precinct. Even though the patisserie itself is small, but the outdoor seating area at the back has the old Victorian style. Do take note that customers who opt for a takeaway are not eligible to sit at the seating area. 

The products of this patisserie include hand crafted cakes, macarons and flans. Its popular item is the mille feuille, also known as vanilla slice or the Napoleon. It consists of layers of delicate puff pastry and vanilla creme patisserie dusted with icing sugar. La Renaissance's specialty is French based desserts and hence its mille feuille will fare better than other bakeries. 

The mille feuille is crunchy and the light cream fits the pastry nicely, creating a good soft and hard combination. It is light, fresh and not too sweet.  
Mille Feuille
Website: http://larenaissance.com.au/
Address: 47 Argyle Street, The Rocks 
Trading hours: 8am-6pm (Mon-Sun)  

La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie on Urbanspoon

7. Pancake on the Rocks

Do you know where is the best place to go for supper late at night or dinner when almost all restaurants are closed at wee hour of the day? In Australia, pancake houses are always good choices because they open 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. Pancake houses in Australia are brainchildren of Mr Meadmore. The idea was triggered during his driving trip in America whereby he noticed the pancake-eating obsession of local Americans. 

Pancake on the Rocks has 2 choices of pancakes to choose from, buttermilk pancakes and the famous chocolate pancakes. Besides pancakes, they do serve crepes, pizzas, salads and ribs. 

We ordered the Blueberry Heaven. There were 2 buttermilk pancakes with blueberries in sauce, served with cream and vanilla ice cream. The buttermilk pancakes were fluffy and light. Even though the blueberry sauce was slightly sweet, it fitted well with the unsweetened pancakes. 
Blueberry heaven 
Since it was dinner time and we queued up almost 1 hour for seating, we were so hungry and decided to go for a savoury chicken and bacon pizza. The pizza had chicken breast pieces with bacon bits, fresh and sundried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, tomato salsa on a guacamole and mozzarella cheese base. It was topped with sour cream, guacamole and shallots. The pizza was not too bad on overall. 

Chicken and bacon pizza
Aside from Blueberry Heaven, we did order another buttermilk pancake but this time with fresh strawberries, cream, vanilla ice cream and strawberry coulis. It was the Strawberry Patch. Again, it was a little bit too sweet to my liking. 
Strawberry patch
My favourite pancake from the pancake house is the Devils Delight. It has the famous chocolate pancakes with strawberries, chocolate ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. If you are a chocolate lover, you will love this absolute chocolate pancake. 
Devils Delight
Website: http://www.pancakesontherocks.com.au/
Address: 227 & 229-230 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour
Trading hours: Open 24 hours (Sun-Mon)

Pancakes on the Rocks on Urbanspoon

8. Black Star Pastry
Nestled in Newtown, the food heaven of USyd students, Black Star Pastry offers its customers with varieties of pastries and cakes. Among all its creations, the strawberry watermelon cake is the famous one. Due to its popularity, I made a trip there just for the cake. 

The strawberry watermelon cake has tiramisu-like moist cake layered with rose-scented vanilla cream and watermelon. On its top is strawberry slices on bed of strawberry jelly, finished with rose petals. This is such a wonderful creation! With every bite, the scent of rose, sweetness of strawberry and watermelon, soft texture of cake just exude the uniqueness of the cake. It is definitely a must-try if you drop by Newtown! 
Strawberry watermelon cake with rose scented cream
Website: http://blackstarpastry.com.au/
Address: 277 Australia Street, Newtown
Trading hours: 7am-5pm (Sun-Mon) 

Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

9. Guylian Chocolate Cafe

Guylian is a renowned chocolate brand which uses the finest Belgian chocolate. Guylian seashell is undoubtedly its signature chocolate, which also coincides with its support for seahorses conservation work in the world. 

Aside from Guylian chocolate cafe, Lindt does open its chocolate cafe in Sydney. These 2 brands produce premium quality of chocolate and it is worth visiting either one of both stores.

At Guylian cafe, we ordered the Belgian waffle. It came with praline ice cream, chocolate dip and whipped cream. Different from the traditional Belgian waffle that I have eaten before, this waffle did not have pearl sugar within. It was sprinkled with icing sugar instead. 
Unique Belgian Waffle
Visiting a Guylian chocolate store, you wouldn't want to miss the Guylian Chocolate Special.  It comes with layers of yogurt, mixed berry fruit, raspberry sauce, chocolate milk and topped with whipped cream. On its side is a Guylian praliné chocolate. The yogurt and mixed berry fruit balance the sweetness of chocolate milk, conferring the mixture of mild sour and sweet taste. A great drink which symbolizes Guylian chocolate.  
Guylian Chocolate Special 
The chai latte comes with a sweet offering of Guylian chocolate. The chai is mild in flavour and can warm you up on a cold winter day. 
Chai latte
Website: http://www.guyliancafe.com.au/ 
Address: 1-25, Harbour Street, Sydney
Trading hours: 8am-late (Sun-Sat) 

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe on Urbanspoon

10. Bondi Surf Seafoods

What to do when you are strolling along Bondi beach and your dessert craving strikes? No problem, have a fried Mars bar at Bondi Surf Seafoods! Check out here for my experience.
Fried Mars Bar
11. Chat Thai
If you are wondering what dessert to eat for supper, Chat Thai might be a good idea as it offers Thai desserts after 10pm. Mhmmmm, needless to say, Thai dessert will surely salivate you and satisfy your cravings! 

May this blog post be a saviour to you who have a sweet tooth at any time of the day. Enjoy!

Love, Victoria