June 25, 2011

Jack Snacks!... hontou pancakes

I am back from holidays! It was altogether too short and there were some interesting moments. All in all I had a great time! There'll be posts from the trip but all in good time - gotta get over this jetlag first... zzZZz

Well as you all know I've been frequenting Teamo for their tasty teas, but there's also another interesting eat next to the Citisuper. It's Citisuper Deli by hontou. Including hontou pancakes which I've been enjoying for years. Back in the day they occupied a spot in a shop on Sussex Street in Chinatown along with my favourite takoyaki in Sydney (Colotako). I always had a dilemma choosing which to eat and usually ended up with both. You'll usually find both at markets such as the Chinatown night markets. But anyway, I digress. What I am trying to say is that they have a permanent spot at Citisuper called hontou box! There's 5 flavours - red bean, green tea, custard, chocolate and cheese. I've tried all except the chocolate and cheese which I will check out one day. My favourite is the green tea as I like the flavour and texture of the green tea custard inside. I also love the moist and doughy texture of the pancke mix. Sometimes they cook them a bit longer than usual and the outside gets a nice crispy texture. One will set you back $2 but you can get 3 for $5, 6 for $10, or 10 for $15. But I warn you they are pretty filling so sharing is recommended!

Pancake production line - headed for my tummy.
I'm keener than mustard when it comes to green tea custard!

The deli also does what I think are Taiwanese style bento lunch boxes and you can also buy side dishes and congee but most interestingly, Taiwanese pork sandwich - you know the kind where the bread is the steamed-asian-bread folded over some pork/pork belly... mmm might have to try it out!

What: hontou pancakes (flavours red bean, green tea, custard, chocolate, cheese)
Where: Lower ground floor, 580 George street, next to Citisuper
How much: 1 for $2, 3 for $5, 6 for $10, 10 for $15

June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Jess!

This is just a short post to wish Jess a very happy birthday. Happy birthday Jess! You are the best - if somewhat bossy - big sister in the whole world! I hope you have a fantastic day full of happiness and maybe some cake... and chicken... and all the other foods you love to eat. Bon Anniversaire!

happy birthday big sister!

June 21, 2011

Taste of London 2011

Good food, drink and entertainment all in one place: the Taste festival. Taste is an international food festival that is held in various UK cities plus others including Sydney, Amsterdam, Cape Town and Chicago. This was my second visit to Taste in London, held in Regent's Park. It's a great way to sample dishes and flavours from some of the top restaurants in London and also a fun day with lots of food samples, drinks to try (including a very smooth, triple distilled vodka I fell in love with called U'Luvka) and cooking and (food/wine/beer) tasting lessons. There are even promotional stands for different countries including Malaysia, Wales and the very popular Brazil stand that attracted all the crowds with their Brazilian drums and their hot dancers.

But back to the food. The dish of the festival for me was the chicken tikka pie with spiced berry compote by Atul Kochhar of
Benares and Vatika (been there thanks to Dave!) - the pie was simple but sophisticated and very tasty. There were plenty of other excellent dishes too including Michel Roux Jr's braised beef with olives and polenta, and his squid ink battered squid rings. Not to mention Gordon Ramsay's braised pork cheeks with creamed potatoes and clove sauce or the Scotch Burford Brown egg from Quo Vadis.

Taste is a great day out, a chance to sample dishes from top chefs, to learn about new restaurant or products and also take advantage of the British summer....well, at least the food and drinks are good. Highly recommended for foodies looking for a good day out.

What: Taste Festivals
Where: London and other British/international cities
How much: £22 entry or £38 with £20 worth of crowns (the currency for buying dishes)

June 7, 2011

Yakiniku Kashiwa

Aki's birthday was two months ago so this post has been waiting to be written for a while. A little bit like how I first read about this on hungry.digital.elf back in January 2010 and just knew I had to come and eat here. Yes - it took a while!

I was the last to arrive as I had been trying to find parking (parking at dinner time in Crows Nest is like winning the lottery). So the dishes had already been chosen and it was just a matter of waiting to eat! First they brought out the 'pots' of charcoal and placed them underneath the big exhaust pipes and just by looking at this we knew we were in for good bbq. You just can't go past real charcoal in my opinion.

Wagyu beef rib ($9.80) is tender and juicy just as the menu promises. The marinade is tasty as well, I find that I don't need to add any more sauce once it's been bbq-ed. Ox tongue ($9.80) is sliced thinly and good quality - so good that we order a second serve later on Apparently tongue is cholestorol-free so that means I can eat as much as I like without feeling guilty!

Wagyu beef rib - YUM! Ready to bbq, guilt-free ox tongue!

LA Short Rib (I think? I can't remember the price either) is good too, it comes in slightly thicker slices with a sliver of bone. There's a detour from cooking in the form of yukke, raw beef strips mixed with an egg yolk and sauce which is refreshing although aki and I eat most of it as not everyone is keen on raw beef.

LA Short Rib (i think), cooked meat on the grill, raw meat in beef yukke.

For non-beef dishes we had chicken thigh fillet ($8.80) which was juicy but well, it's chicken and nothing to get too excited about when there's.... pork neck! This came out to the table and I had been manning the tongs at the time. By the time I was ready to take a photo half the pork was already sitting on the bbq mesh! Pork neck ($9.80) is a fatty and juicy cut of meat so it cooked up really nicely. And we better not forget about the plate of vegies ($7.80) which was OK but nothing too exciting. BBQ cabbage? Can't say I'd ever had that before, but hey each to their own.

Chicken thigh fillet is juicy, vegies are alright (cabbage?) and gloriously fatty pork neck.

Corn (can't remember the price sorry) came in a little metal dish with a few slices of butter which is pretty cool but I didn't get to taste it, it wasn't a huge serve and we only ordered one.

Corn and butter, more ox tongue, the pork neck is on fire! Save the pork neck!

Last but not least. The waiter said that if we were bbq fans then we should try the 'Pork Tube' ($8.80). It's pork intestines cut into short little sections. I love the name! The consensus down our end of the table was that it was a bit chewy. But the other end said it was OK, maybe we weren't cooking our ones right. I'd be willing to try it again, along with all the other meats we didn't get to try. I liked that the serves are smaller portions with a proportionate price tag as it means you can try a lot of different menu items without getting a meat coma.

Pork tube, cute name but it was too chewy. I'm going to cook it right next time!
I should have come sooner. It's even better than I hoped and already I can't wait to go back again. But I really enjoyed trying it out for the first time with my Supper group friends as we always have a great time trying out new goods together. Aki - I hope you had a great birthday my friend!
What: Yakiniku Kashiwa
Where: 7A Falcon Street, Crows Nest. Check their website for phone number/opening hours and menu
How much: Meats are around $10 a plate

June 3, 2011

On the roof eating cake is on the road!

Yes, that's right - we are on the road! Tomorrow I'll be flying with our mum and extended family to meet up with Jess and Dave in London. We'll be spending about a week exploring Jess' hood and then we're heading over to France for what will hopefully be a patisserie filled week of eating and fun. More than anything else, I am really looking forward to spending time with family, especially Jess. While we're away, there'll be a few posts to keep the blog alive.

I've travelled to Europe a couple of times but only been to the UK once. That was when Dave was living in Southampton and Jess was living in Amsterdam (yes, why didn't we start this blog earlier? We've done so much eating in so many different countries, what a shame!). Anyway, the man at immigration thought it funny that Southampton was the very first place I was visiting in the UK as we had flown there directly, and knowing this he took extra special care when stamping my passport.
As for London, we made a day trip as it wasn't really up there on my list of places to go. Of all the London sights we managed to squeeze in on that single day, my absolute favourite was Borough Market - what a food lover's heaven! There's lots of fresh produce and artisan products but since I'm a tourist we're only here for eating and there was so much good food to be had including canelé de Bordeaux, raclette, an awesome roast pork roll (with just the right amount of fat and crackling) and a hot apple drink which was really good as it was a cold day. I hope we'll be going back there this time around as I'd love to try more of the foods there but in the meantime, here's a few snaps from the market.

Look at the bits of fat and crackling in that roast pork roll! And check out the melty cheese. Oh my melting-cheese heart!

Loads of delicious goodies to check out at the market.
What: Borough Market
Where: London, check the website for details
How much: Really can't remember, it's been 2yrs.. it wasn't too expensive, and worth every penny!

June 1, 2011

Jack Snacks!... Tohato Bari K Habanero Chips (the bestest and the hottest!)

Tohato. They make that awesome Caramel Corn. Which I LOVE. Especially the original flavour and the green tea flavour. But that's for another snack post.

What I wanted to talk about is that they make other snacks too, and I've discovered that there's something else they make which is awesome. It's their habanero chilli chips range. Check out this info about them, you gotta love the advertising and I have to say I'm totally in love with their chilli characters! It just screams "Rah! I'm so chilli I'm going to burn your tongue off! Rah!" - well to me anyway...

How fantastic is this packaging!

Funny thing is, I'm not super crazy about spicy food but there are certain spicy foods that I do really like. I've tasted 3 of the Tohato Habanero chips and this one is definitely the hottest and the tastiest. It's super, super spicy but it's got a saltiness and flavour that is hard to stop eating.

Rings of habanero chilli fire. The bestest and the hottest!

I liked them so much. So much so that before I even finished the first packet I went out and....


Yes, I bought 3 more packets. I might save some for Jess to try, if she's lucky....
What: Tohato Bari K Habanero Chips
Where: At selected shops selling Japanese snacks. I got mine from Conveni-8
How much: $4.30 - not a cheap chip but totally worth it in my opinion.