Date Archives May 2011

Getting Cheeky!


I love cooking events.

After attending Cheeky Food Group’s marvellous Masterchef Live flambé class, I jumped at the opportunity when invited by the lovely people there for an evening of food!

The Cheeky Food Group hold lots of corporate and team building events, and also cooking classes that you can sign up for. They’ve got great, easy recipes, and you get to cook everything that you eat!

Now you know that I’m “a bit” partial to the eating side of things, and that I’ve gone home and cooked recipes that I’ve learnt from them both times tells you how good the food turns out! Easy as pie.

Mmmmm pie.

Speaking of eating, there were lots of munchies when I got there, and wine and sangria if you were so inclined. =)


Then on to the cooking.


Leona – the same Leona whom I met at Masterchef Live – showed us the correct techniques to cutting and chopping. While it may seem like a really basic skill for all food enthusiasts, you’ll be surprised at how useful her tips and tricks are!

For example, you’re meant to KEEP YOUR FINGERTIPS AWAY when cutting food. (Refer to above picture.) Use the midsection of your fingers as a glider, and keep them in contact with the flat side of the knife.

Also (something that is often neglected or forgotten by many) USE A SHARP KNIFE. Like Leona said, “A sharp knife is 10 times safer that a blunt one.” A blunt knife can cause you to slip (rather than cutting the food as you should), and you could really hurt yourself.

That’s why a good knife is so important in the kitchen. It’s not a gourmet thing, it’s a safety thing!

We were all using Santouku knives from Chef’s Toolbox that night, and they’re really handy! Great for chopping as the blade of the knife is flat, and not too curved, so it connects with the chopping board really well and doesn’t leave last little bits still connected on the bottom. (If I’m making any sense.)

I also automatically associate Cheeky Food Group with flambé, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.


I just love watching that pan catching alight with the bright fluid flames that seem to float just atop it. If you’re going to try this at home, just remember to hold the pan away from you and OFF THE FIRE when you add the alcohol! Then just let it bubble and tilt the pan slightly to allow the evaporated alcohol to catch alight.

Of course, when there’s cooking, there’s always eating!!! Half the joy is in eating the finished product don’t you think? =)


A BIG THANK YOU to the Cheeky Food Group and the PR Group for such a fun evening!! Try a class, I guarantee that you’ll have loads of fun!

Cheeky Food Group
1/65-67 Foveaux Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8217 6900

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Chef’s Gallery, Sydney


The lovely Laura turned 23, and there was much celebrating going around. =)

Laura, Mel, Marty and myself went to Chef’s Gallery for dinner, and on hindsight, it seemed like we were going for practically everything on the menu!

Clockwise from top left: Panfried Pork and Cabbage Dumplings, Chef’s Own Mini Pork Buns, Crabmeat Spring Rolls

Just because there is SO MUCH FOOD, I’m going to write about the ones that were interesting to me. There wasn’t a dish that we tried that was bad, but they were not all fantastic.

The Chef’s Own Mini Pork Buns were really good. It kind of reminds me of Chilli Crab in Singapore, where deep fried Mantou (buns) are often ordered to mop up all the errant sauce. This offering from Chef’s Gallery has a crispy outer shell and marshmallow-y soft insides. And wedged in it’s pacman-like opening is a slice of fatty pork belly. Om nom nom…

I didn’t say it was good for you. 😉

From top: Spicy Pork and Prawn Dumplings, Wok Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork

I really liked the chilli sauce in the Spicy Pork and Prawn Dumplings, but the filling, or rather, the dumplings themselves didn’t really stand up to it. Similarly, I love the mince in the Wok Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork because I have a weakness for the salty beans that they use in the mixture, but its not a dish that I’d be thinking about going back for.

Clockwise from top left: Seafood Pancake in Creamy Lime Sauce, Seared Scallops with Vinaigrette, Steamed Prawn Dumplings

Meh, this group didn’t really rock my world. It was all alright, but there was something about each that made me hesitate about that. The Seafood Pancake was quite like Prawn Toast, the Seared Scallops were…not very fresh, and the Steamed Prawn Dumplings were much like others that you can find at any establishment that does a decent Yum Cha.


Now get ready for some MAJOR CUTENESS!!!


How cute is that!!!! These Sesame Buns are shaped like little piggies, and each steamer basket gets a boy and a girl. The molten sesame filling inside is yummy, and tastes much like other black sesame desserts, but I really think that this dish is much about the ABSOLUTE CUTENESS!

There is a downside to this tale, though. When I was there, the service was terrible. First of all, they messed up the booking. It was made for 6pm on a Friday night, but Laura got a call on Thursday instead. Even after informing them that the booking was meant for Friday, they still had no records when we rocked up at the door. They did let us in, but promptly informed us that we were to leave by 7.30pm. The food was prompt, but when we requested a tray, we were ignored. When I decided that I had to ask a manager as the food was getting cold, I was met with a brusque, “I will solve your problems later”. Later, when we wanted to order more food at about 7pm, the poor waitress who took our order got absolutely yelled at by that same manager, and she came back to meekly remind us that we had to leave by 7.30pm.

So will I go back? Well, the food is good, but not mind blowing enough to risk being treated like that again. Sure, the restaurant was busy, but we had made a booking, and we went through all the proper channels in our requests. Make of it what you will, but just be wary of what you might get in terms of the service.

We ate at:
Chef’s Gallery
12/501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9267 8877

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Sitney Thai, Parramatta


How awesome are food blogger meetups?? This one was organized by the lovely Wendy of Obesebaby, and the dinner was courtesy of Food Morning Sydney.

Wendy, Mel, Sara and myself got to eat and Sitney Thai in Parramatta, which is mah ‘hood!! I really love finding out about good places to go near home – it’s great for that sudden, “let’s go somewhere for dinner” decision!

And you know what it means when there are four food bloggers? FOUR TIMES THE FOOD!!!! (And we share and care, so it’s great! Tee hee.)


We could choose four entrées between us, but two of them had to be chosen from the following: spring rolls, curry puffs and satay chicken. We chose the Spring Rolls and Curry Puffs as, as per Miss Piggy’s suggestion, curry puffs are trés bad for you.

For our other choices we picked Duck and Herb, which is really yummy duck mince, artfully seasoned and scooped onto little lettuce leaves. This dish was an absolute winner, and something that I would order again in a snap!

We also ordered Tung Tong, or Moneybags, as they are better known. The inside was hot and steamy (watch your tongue!), and tasted strongly of, well, carrots. Not that it’s a bad thing, but for some reason I couldn’t really taste much else in the stuffing.

The Spring Rolls were very sweet, and the dipping sauce, even sweeter. I personally have quite a sweet tooth at times, so I didn’t mind it, but it was sweet enough to be definitely noticed by everyone.

The Satay Chicken was…I’m sorry to say that it was just a little lacklustre. The chicken was not too dry, but not quite as moist, and the peanut sauce was just a bit creamy for my taste.


We ordered Pad Thai, Soft Shell Crab Som Tum, Massaman Beef Curry and Pepper and Lime Leaf Stir Fry as our mains. The Pad Thai was ordered as the benchmark, and was well, ok. Not too moist, but also not particularly moreish. Although, it is really good that it was not overly sweet, like some of the other Pad Thais I’ve had. The Massaman Beef Curry was quite good, though not a dish for sharing. The sweet potato strips were incredibly moreish, and the beef had a deep, meaty flavour, but the pieces were quite large and hard to split amongst us.

I have a weakness for Som Tum, which is a papaya salad flavoured with lime juice, chilli, palm sugar and dried shrimp, all lovingly pounded in a wooden mortar and pestle. I love it’s salty/sweet tangy goodness, and will most certainly order it whenever it’s available. The addition of Soft Shell Crab just sold this dish for me. The freshness of the salad perfectly balanced the creamy crispiness (I know it’s an oxymoron, but if you’ve had soft shell crab you’ll know what I’m talking about) of the crab. YUM!

The Pepper and Lime Leaf Stir Fry was also good, although just a little strong on the pepper for my taste.


And the culprit? Long strands of pepper fried with the juicy chicken and crunchy veggies. And while they make a pretty picture, don’t eat them unless you have an absolute love for pepper.

We were absolutely full after this, due to the rather large serving sizes, and actually forgot about the dessert!!


A warm, creamy salty/sweet mouthful, the Rockmelon with Sago and Coconut Milk was a mixture of tastes and textures. The sago has a texture quite similar to tapioca pearls that you can find in bubble teas, although less chewy and way smaller.

In all, it was a really good dinner. Thanks again to Wendy for the invite!!!!

We ate at:

277B Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9633 3226

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Money for Jam


Lookee what I got in the mail!!!!!!!

I love food gifts. (Note: I bet you can already tell which one’s our favourite!)

Anathoth has very kindly sent me some very yummy jam, and given that I’m not a big jam person, IT IS YUMMY. Anathoth is a New Zealand company and also makes relishes and I’ve seen them making the rounds at food festivals like Taste.


So Sean and I decided that some toast was in order.


MAN was that Cherry Berry Jam a winner! We got sent both Cherry Berry and Rhubarb and Red Berry, but while the Rhubarb and Red Berry was a good jam, there was just something about the chunky, glossy, fruitiness of the Cherry Berry jam that made us want to devour the whole tub!!! As you can see in the picture above, what started out as, “Oh we’ll crack it open and have a taste”, turned into, “Oh goodness we need to leave some in the tub for the photo!!!!!”

Martyna from the Wholesome Cook even serves up the jam as a lovely accompanying sauce!

Swedish meatballs anyone? =)

Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont, Sydney

The lovely Miss Piggy and Starloz organized a blogger’s meetup, and much MUCH food was consumed. We all went to Yum Cha at a restaurant and sat above the Sydney Fish Markets, and well, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.


Yes, that was our bill in the end. Though, considering that it was over 20 hungry food bloggers in attendance, it wasn’t a bad effort at all!!

The food, well, it was ok, but not particularly exquisite. I think that especially since I have to commute to the city, there’s no real draw for me to make another dedicated trip back by myself.

I did have a really good time though, and I think the whole experience made it really fun for me – the hustle and bustle as the trolley-pushing ladies jostled for our attention, cameras going off in every direction, plates and cups clinking…it all made for a very memorable day indeed.

A big thank you to our lovely organizers, and it was lovely to meet everyone!!! =)

We ate at:

Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant
+61 2 9660 9888
Sydney Fish Markets Gipps St,
Pyrmont NSW
Mon – Fri: Yum Cha and A La Carte Lunch – 11am-3pm; Dinner 5pm-11pm
Sat – Sun: Yum Cha and A La Carte Lunch – 10am-3.30pm; Dinner – 5pm-11pm

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood on Urbanspoon

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Mamak, Sydney


I have had my first Mamak experience!!! I’ve tried to go there before, but the extraordinary queues have always brought out the procrastination monster in me.

But no longer!!

With the lovely Miss Piggy keeping me company both in the queue and the meal, I can proudly say that I’ve eaten at Mamak.


Miss Piggy ordered the Roti Canai, which came in a fluffy, crispy ball. How cute is that?


I ordered the Roti Planta, which is something firmly entrenched in my childhood. The Planta bit at least. Planta is this kind of margarine that is widely used in Southeast Asia, and I remember the local Kopitiam (Coffeeshop) serving up crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside toasted white bread that is slathered with Planta and Kaya – which is a spread that is made from egg yolks and coconut and HEAPS of sugar.

But back to the Roti Planta. It fired off heaps of memories, but the texture of the roti left something to be desired. For me at least. It still is the closest that I’ve come to what I find at home, but there’s just a little bit of chewy lightness that I need from Roti for it to really hit the spot for me.


Miss Piggy and I had the Rojak to share. This one was a bit of a surprise to me – Rojak in my mind is chunks of ingredients covered in a salty sorta fermented shrimp sauce.

In it’s own way, it was a really nice dish. The julienned cucumber and radish offered a refreshing crunch, and it was all covered in a reddish peanut sauce. Nice enough to finish, but it sort of left me a little bit puzzled as to what rojak is. Considering that the word rojak literally means “salad”, this dish is well within the range of expectations.

In all, my Mamak experience was quite good, and I’m really excited to go back sometime soon and try the other dishes.

We ate at:

15 Goulburn Street
Haymarket NSW 2000
(02) 9211 1668

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Spaghetti and Meatballs


I’ve been contributing to The Eclectic Chef lately, so apologies that I’m not posting as frequently as before!! I’ve got a new recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs – it’s super easy and tasty! =)

Find it here at The Eclectic Chef.