Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Treasury Deli & Cafe

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I'll keep this text lite and let the amazing salads at Treasury Deli & Cafe do all the talking.  Treasury Cafe is situated within the Department of Treasury and Finance.  It is open to the public and has a spacious al fresco area over looking city greenery.  Their salads are officially, da bombe.

Large takeaway salad $11.90
This salad was deceptively filling and satisfying.  It was a mix of two salads - one was a meatballs, Israeli couscous and pumpkin.  It had Middle Eastern spices throughout.  The other salad was a chicken breast, kale, string beans with a lemony dressing.

My friend ordered the crumbed John Dory with the same chicken salad as above ($15). She was delighted with the fresh fish.

On a separate occasion, I ordered a beef salad.  The beef was cooked just right - not too overdone and not mooing.  It had a deliciously charred outer.  I mixed this up with a bit of chicken and kale salad.

The salads are seasonal.  Here is a pic of the their salad bar.  There is also the usual suspects in the hot food selection, eg a pasta, a casserole.

Or if you prefer, sandwiches and foccacias...

and sweets....a pretty awesome selection to go with a coffee.

Treasury Deli & Cafe - worth a lunch time visit.

Treasury Deli and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Taro Ice Cream

Taro ice cream 

Hello Fellow Nom  Seekers!

I have been Googling recipes for taro ice cream ever since my Aunt was reminiscing about eating a taro flavoured ice cream bought from a street vendor over 40 years ago.  She was waxing lyrical about how absolutely delicious it was.  Whilst I have never come across taro in ice cream form, I surmised it would taste awesome.  Taro itself once cooked down takes on a creamy consistency and it has a mild macedemia nutty taste to it.  With the addition of coconut, it was a tropical South East Asia holiday in a bowl.

I discovered this wonderful site, called Serious Eats which had an easy to follow and easy to make taro ice cream recipe.  I was sold on the idea.  What's particularly great about the recipe (apart from it's fool proofiness), was that it used real taro versus the alarmingly coloured purple taro powder commonly found in bubble teas.

Here are a few pics of my taro icecream making experience.  For recipe details from Serious Eats, go here. 
I followed their recipe to the letter with the exception of straining the mixture as I rather liked having little niblets of taro speckled in my ice cream.  I replaced sugar with stevia in a 1:1 ratio - I rationalised I cam eat more ice cream as it's sugar free!  Another wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is egg-free so for anyone with egg allergies, eat away with abandon.

Shredding the taro - a good arm workout

Cooking down the egg-free mixture

The churn-inator

A bowlful of yum
I also recently made Matcha (green tea) ice cream.  Recipe here. Matcha ice cream is a lot cleaner in flavour than the taro.  But I think I prefer the taro because it's like a frozen tong shui.  Yum.

Until next time...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Miss Frank - Revisit

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Miss Frank is a short stroll from home and it's a handy place to have around the corner for catch up with friends as it does decent coffee and filling brunches/lunches.  Please see here for previous Miss Frank's post.

For brunch today I ordered the Schnitz Panini and it did not disappoint.  The lemony crumbed chicken breast came with a refreshing fennel slaw.  It was pleasingly jaw dislocatingly huge ($17.50)

And the thick cut chips that came with were seasoned with sea salt and yummy aioli.

My friend M and her little D, shared the Big Breakfast ($19).  It too came in a generous serve with the eggs separate (due to D's egg allergy).  It was a heaping helping of spinach, thick cut bacon, Italian sausage, toast and two sunny side ups.

The above was washed down with coffees and a freshly squeezed OJ for little D.

Whilst the muffins and sweets looked ever so tempting, I had absolutely no tummy real estate left after that ginormous panini.  So for next time...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Grain Express

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Grain Express is situated in the Centro Box Hill's food court and it straddles the divide between yum cha in a restaurant (sit down meal with waiters, trolleys and all) to food court (grab and go).  It is the busiest shop front in the Centro food court complex and I'm guessing it's popular because a) you get fairly decent yum cha offerings and made to order noodles without having to wait too long b) being very informal dining, it attracts the large groups which otherwise would be be split to fit onto standard tables in a restaurant.  Often you would see large gatherings of pensioners or families with young children rearranging the tables and seats in the food court dining area to suit.  

As mentioned there is the usual yum cha fare already steamed and ready to go eg: assorted dumplings, fried entrees, buns.  They also do a made to order noodles and rice dishes.  Here is an idea of what they have which we ordered over several occasions both as a take away and also to have there:  

Fried Kway Teow
This didn't really taste like an authentic fried kway teow one would get at a hawker stall - it's more of an Hong Kong style stir fried rice noodles but it tasted ok.

Curry Laksa
Like the Fried Kway Teow, this did not really taste like an authentic laksa but as a noodle dish, it had plenty of chicken and vegetables and tasted ok.  I wouldn't order this if you are after an original laksa experience.

Century old egg and pork congee with Chinese donut
This they do well.  The congee is a creamy texture with a fair amount of century old egg.  And who does not like a fried savoury donut to dunk in?

BBQ pork puff and custard egg tart
Their custard egg tarts are just as good as a restaurants.  Which is a dangerous thing because it is all too easy to order a plate or two, or three...

Fried calamari 
 The fried calamari are a bit of hit and miss.  Whilst anything deep fried is delicious in my book and calamari at that, the tentacles can sometimes be a bit chewy.  On the up side, you get a good jaw workout.

Fried prawn wantons
These fried prawn wantons along with the custard egg tarts are my pick of bunch.  The wantons are chock full of prawn mince and being deep fried, makes it even more moreish.

Grain Express - yes it's in a food court but if you can get over that fact, it does fairly good yum cha offerings for those in a rush or wanting very very informal dining.  I would not recommend their take on traditional hawker stall food eg laksas, fried kway teow, etc as there are plenty of other places which can do it better.  However Grain Express' congee, dumplings and custard egg tarts are pretty decent.

Grain Express on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Friday, 29 August 2014

Slow Roasted Ham & Pea Soup

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I have discovered pre made slow roasted hickory flavoured ham at my deli and it's a life changer.  It made knocking up a comforting pot of ham and pea soup a cinch and it taste waaaay better than any canned version.

To make enough for eight bowls, you will need:

  • 500g of slow roasted ham.  I bought the Tilbaldi brand and according to their label, it's been slow roasted for 10 hours.  That's good enough for me. 
  • 11 cups of stock
  • 1.5 cup of dried peas and/or beans
  • mixed herbs - I used fresh tarragon
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • tablespoon of olive oil
  • tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)

  • I soaked the peas and bean mix overnight then rinse and drain
  • Chop carrot, onion and celery then fry in pot with the oil
  • Once veggies and tarragon are soft, add the peas/bean mix and the liquid
  • Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer for 45 mins
  • At this stage I roughly blitzed the soup with a stick blender
  • Roughly shred, chop the ham and add to the soup
  • Throw in the chia seeds if using.  Stir to distribute
  • Serve with a big chunk of bread and butter!
With the chia seeds thrown in

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Shizuku Ramen

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I was the lucky plus one guest for lunch at Shizuku which is a modern take on a traditional ramen restaurant.  By modern take I mean, they had many creative spins on typical noodle house fare.  For instance, we ordered a cha su souvlaki which was all that you would expect of a Greek souvlaki (wrap, lettuce, salad elements like leek and cucumber) but with the Japanese roast pork interior and with an Asiatic bent of chilli mayo and sichimi sauce.  It was absolutely delicious and as an entree, a great starter to share.  It tasted very similar to a Peking duck pancake eg roasted meat, slightly sweet sauce, egg pancake....mmm....

Cha Su Souvlaki
To further demonstrate their creativity, the green tea came with a little nibble on the side.  These were savoury popcorn.  It tasted like they have been lightly sprayed with soy sauce or similar.

For mains we both ordered the ramen...for how could we not as this was their specialty?  There were many creative versions of ramen.  Of note was the ramen burger.  But being a ramen traditionalist, I decided to try their kimchi ramen.  I loved the juicy slices of pork with just the right amount of fatty to lean meat ratio.  The egg was wonderfully boiled, just setting on being gooey.  The kimchi itself wasn't the fiery hot type so very enjoyable to eat.  The soup was hearty and comforting.  Apparently the broth has been boiled for at least 10 hours to get the concentrated flavours.  The noodles had a nice bite to them which was in a whole different league to 2 min noodles.

Kimchi ramen

My friend ordered the Shoyu ramen.  The broth for this one was mind blowing.  It was tasted very complex.  I suspect a variety of meats were used to create the broth.  The broth of the Shoyu tasted like a labour of love.
Shoyu ramen
The interior of Shizuku was all about glossy black walls and statement lighting.  It had great ambience.  It is situated on the same strip of Victoria St as the pho shops and offers an alternative to the usual noodle shops.  

Shizuku Ramen on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Lucy's Divine Cafe

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

P has introduced me to Lucy's Divine Cafe for a fix of Mauritian cuisine.  The cafe part of Lucy's is an off shoot from their already well established bakery.  We would typically buy a selection of home style foods as a take away for Sunday lunch and have enough for leftovers at night.  Here is an idea of what they serve:

Gateau arouille and gateau piment

Interior of gateau arouille (taro fritter)

Interior of gateau piment

I love their gateau arouille which are taro root fritters.  They are super crunchy with a hint of ginger and sweetness.  Kiddo loves their gateau piment which are spicy chickpea fritters.

For mains, we order the usual suspects:  beef briyani which came with boiled eggs (love this way of serving), fried rice with chicken and a curry.


Fried rice

Beef curry and roti
To accompany the mains, we got mango and mixed vegetable achar which was more than plenty to keep for the remainder of the week.

Mango achar

Mixed vegetable achar
Most of the mains are less than $15 and the serving sizes are generous.  The briyani and the gateau arouille are definitely a drawcard.  If you are curious about Mauritian food, this is a good place to try.

Lucy's Divine Cafe on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

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