Date Archives September 2010

Nuffnang Blogger Meetup

I went to the Nuffnang food blogger’s meetup on Saturday!! It was so exciting that I finally get to meet other food bloggers. Never have I had such a thoroughly enjoyable time listening to and taking in the atmosphere of food conversations all around me, punctuated by the sound of clinking cutlery and the roll of the lazy susan, the humid steam rising off steel trolleys permeating the air.

It was so interesting to see two full tables of people taking endless photos of the food as it arrived. I think the lazy susan went round a couple of times before the food was even touched. It was so cool!! Everyone had their turn to get their shot, and no one got impatient. I’m still bowled over by the understanding.

First came the dessert tray (remember, dessert spelled backwards is “stressed”), and we got some custard buns off it.

The custard was sweet, but not egg-y, and I really liked the crumbly topping that they put on the buns. It reminds me of this coffee bun that you can get in Singapore and Malaysia, that has a similar crumbly, buttery topping that absolutely melts in your mouth.

And speaking of melt in your mouth, the Cheong Fun is my must-order at any Yum Cha restaurant.

As loathe as I am to admit it, the glutton in me sometimes lies awake at night dreaming of those smooth, silky sheets of steamed rice noodles encasing plump sweet prawns, all basking in a pool of dark sweet-salty sauce. MUST. HAVE. MORE.

I didn’t have the Char Siew Buns, but they looked so pretty with their sweet glaze that I had to snap a photo of them.

And then the steam baskets arrive.

I love LOVE chicken feet. (Ok, that sounded a bit odd, but in my defense, in Mandarin it’s 凤爪, which means “Phoenix’s claw”.) The wrinkly skin slide off and taste of the rich, spiced broth that it’s been cooked in. Heavenly.

What I truly love about a good Har Gow (prawn dumpling, if literally translated) is the skin. The translucent encasement lovingly clings for a brief moment as you bite into it, before tearing off into a succulent mouthful with a good amount of bite. The filling has to be good too, of course, but to me, the art is in the skin. It can’t be mushy, but it can’t be too resistant to a hungry mouth either.

The mango pancake was creamy, with a good amount of juicy mango. I’m sorry I can’t say too much about them though, I haven’t yet had a mango pancake that completely blows my mind.

Now the 豆花 (Douhua) is truly lovely. Warm silky layers of toufu drizzled with a ginger laced sugar syrup. It looks so deceptively simple too!

On a side note, I just realised that I was so pre-occupied in taking photos of the food that I completely forgot to take some photos of the people. -.-

In all it was a really nice time meeting people of like mind. It’s lovely to see other foodies like Cate, Suze, Simon and many others!

Thanks to Nuffnang for organizing the meetup!!

We ate at:

The Regal Restaurant
Tel: 92618988
Levels 4 & 5,
683-689 George Street, Sydney

Marigold Citymark on Urbanspoon



I caught a glimpse of Junior Masterchef the other day, and boy did it make me feel old. I remember when I was in primary school and tailing my mother in the kitchen, forever getting in her way, and always wanting to “help out” (although I think that I was more a bother than a help). At that age, I was helping to stir things, and whisk things, never going near a stove or knives.

But the kids on Masterchef? Chopping and whizzing away like there’s no tomorrow! What is this? How can it be that it took me 20 years to get truly comfortable in the kitchen and there are these 8 year olds doing amazing things. Where did all those years go?

It also makes me wonder, though, about my kids (if I have them). How early should they be introduced into the kitchen? How should they be exposed to food? I have this constant nightmare that a glutton like me is going to have a kid who just genuinely doesn’t like food. What then?


This calls for some comfort munchies. Cheese platter ahoy!

Blogger meetup!

Just a quick post to say


I’m going to a food bloggers’ meet-up in Sydney tomorrow!!

So glad to be meeting other food bloggers. =) =)

Oh my Manu!

Sean brought me to L’etoile for my birthday. So excited!! We spent the whole day trying to figure out what we were going to order, and upon arrival, we had no clue. We wanted to try everything!

Before the Entrées arrived, there was a bread basket. Now I’m not much of a fan of bread (but I do like a good sourdough on occasion) but this baguette was good.

…and that was it really. It was just really good, chewy, crusty bread, and I thought it was worth a mention.

So yes, on with the Entrées.

I had the terrine of rabbit rillettes and fois gras, with prune jam and toasted brioche. The terrine was incredibly creamy and light, and went well with the soft brioche. The prune jam was a dark seduction that added some bittersweet notes through each bite. At the risk of sounding incredibly plebeian though, the texture was incredibly reminiscent of tuna spread. I had no idea why, but I was reminded of it. Still good though, but not as good as the quail.

Sean had the pithiviers of quail on a bed of savoy cabbage and speck, drizzled with madiera and roasted chestnut jus. This was the god of everything you can call pies. The crust was a flaky dream, and the filling…oh the filling! Juicy pieces of quail, mingling with the sweet/salty jus…and cabbage had never tasted so good. This one is a must-try.

For his main, Sean had the butcher’s steak with a black peppercorn and cognac sauce, and a gratin dauphinois. The steak and a good amount of marbling and fat, and the creamy pepper sauce was divine. The gratin was well, a gratin. No biggie. But the steak…mmm. I love a good, fat piece of meat, and this was exactly that. Not for the dieter. 😉

I had the bouillabaisse, and it was served with croutons and rouille.

The bouillabaisse was hearty, with chunks of white, flaky fish and fragrant crayfish. Now I love me some crustacean, and you can really taste the base in this bouillabaisse. The scent made my insides tingle, in a good way! The only way crustaceans can get any better (IMO) is if they could also get up and sing and dance the way Sebastian from the Little Mermaid can. =)

The rouille seemed like a garlic and capsicum flavoured emulsion, and went really well with the aftertaste of the stew lingering in my mouth. Not crazy about the croutons though – I would’ve been much happier with more baguette.

Just after the main, we were served a watermelon granita with champagne as a little before dessert sweetener. It was alright, although I think someone ODed on the sugar syrup.

And finally, for dessert we had a rum raisin baba with a scoop of prune and armagnac ice cream. I really liked the prune and armagnac ice cream, and the whole thing just reminded me of a christmas pudding. The baba was alright, but the ice cream was the memorable bit of the dish. It was neither overpowering nor cloyingly sweet, and was light and delicate. The sugared blueberries on the side didn’t make much sense to me though, it didn’t seem to contribute very much to the dish.

Overall it was a nice experience, with the soft candlelight creating a cozy atmosphere. The staff were cordial and pleasant, and didn’t make us feel out of place at all. The food was good, but nothing I walked away really craving. Although I could do with more of that quail…

We ate at:

Manu at L’etoile
211 Glenmore Road, Paddington
+61 2 93321577

L'Etoile on Urbanspoon