July 29, 2011

Jack Snacks!... Bon Bon Fine Chocolate at The Strand Arcade

Ooh ooh! A new chocolate shop!

That was my reaction when I came across the new "branch" of the Bon Bon Fine Chocolate shop which has just opened at The Strand Arcade. It's a lot bigger than their original QVB shop, which is a tiny hole-in-the-wall that most peole know or have walked past at some point. I immediately went inside to have a look - it's got a nice chocolate shop meets library/study feel. There's shades of brown, browny-orange and cream to match the chocolate mood. The library theme is defined with old-fashioned looking books and globes on the shelves and old-fashioned looking map frescos on the wall. All under the chandeliers which hang from the ceiling, giving the room a sparkly brightness.

Mmm chocolate...

But more interesting to me are the endless packages which are neatly displayed - chocolate-covered coffee beans, fruit (muscatels, currants, sundried montmorency cherries), coconut rough and different kinds of nuts (including macadamias, pistachios, almonds). There's also a few flavours of nougat and chocolate in various forms such as thin discs, pretzel shapes and a good old plain block of chocolate. The 'fancy' chocolates are available in pre-packed gift boxes or you can select your own from the glass display at the counter - there's plenty to choose from and I've already worked out which ones I'm interested in trying!

...and more chocolate...

Bon Bon's chocolates are made using French and Belgian chocolate so it's good stuff. The abundance of small packets are the perfect trap for the CBD worker looking for a snack or as a gift. On my first visit I tasted a couple of samples and knew I would be back. So there I was the next day purchasing a packet of the Sundried Montmorency Cherries in 60% Dark Chocolate ($9.50 for 150gm). They're ugly little knobs with a dusting of cocoa powder and totally irresistable - the dark chocolate is rich and the dried cherries are soft. It's a little on the sweet side but so delicious, for me it was perfect with some hot green tea as an after dinner treat.

The only bad thing about this fabulous new shop? The risk that my whole paycheck is going to be spent here!

What: Sundried Montmorency Cherries in 60% Dark Chocolate
Where: Bon Bon Fine Chocolate - Shop 33, Ground Floor, The Strand Arcade, Sydney (02) 9232 2992
How much: The cherries were $9.50 for 150gm, prices vary for the other items

July 28, 2011

Singapore Shiok!

I wasn't planning to make a post about Singapore Shiok! because just about everyone knows and loves it already. But this is for any of my friends who aren't acquainted - such as my colleague who is also Malaysian and would probably want to try this out (you know who you are and you're on holidays so no excuses for not having time to try this!)

Their most well known dish is of course their Hainan Chicken Rice. It's deboned and so juicy and tender. The rice is flavoursome without being too oily and best of all is the chilli sauce which has the ginger mixed in - spicy and fresh - this is the  flavour kick that completes the classic meal. And it only costs $8.80. It's my favourite Hainan chicken rice in Sydney.

Hainan Chicken Rice - it sure is shiok!

Their Har Mee (Prawn Noodle Soup, $10.50) has got a good strong prawny soup - I've just noticed on my copy of the menu that it comes in a dry version too which I am now very curious about.  Hor Fun (Rice Noodle with Gravy, $9.50 for chicken or beef, $10.50 for seafood or combination) is a huge serve and really tasty, the rice noodles have got good wok-hei (breath of the wok) and the gravy is eggy sauce galore. On this particular occassion my mum ordered it with just vegies and fish cakes so that's why you can't see any chicken/beef/seafood in the photo.

Hor Fun - it's huuuuge.

Har Mee - prawny, prawny soup - good for your tastebuds but maybe not cholesterol.

This year they expanded their menu, most notable is the addition of Hainanese Roast Chicken Rice which is a nice alternative to the regular kind and also deboned. They've also got more meal set options available for both kinds of chicken. There's chicken rice with the addition of oyster vegetables (as in vegetables with oyster sauce) for $10.80, half a chicken with 2 serves of rice for $18.80 (or $16.80 for just the half-chicken) and a whole chicken with 4 serves of rice for $32.80 (or just the whole chicken for $28.80). I'm yet to try the other options on the menu but I plan to... I just have to try and get past the temptation of Hainan Chicken rice first!

What: Singapore Shiok!
Where: Eating World food court at Harbour Plaza. Shop 213, Level B1, 25 Dixon st Haymarket +61450286357
How much: Hainan Chicken Rice is $8.80, Hor Fun $9.50-$10.50, Har Mee $10.50

July 26, 2011

Supper Nights - Din Tai Fung

Ok, this Supper Night didn't really end up being a late night meal. But it was a good meal nonetheless! There were no complaints from anyone about the chosen restaurant - Din Tai Fung at World Square.

Most people I know have eaten here and unanimously everyone loves their dumplings. It's pricier than other dumpling offerings but worth it in my opinion.

By far the most popular drink of choice is Lychee Mint Juice ($6.50). Whenever eating at the restaurant one is bound to see one floating through the crowd en route to a table every few minutes. It's almost a dessert in itself, icily thick, sweet with lychee but a refreshing kick of mint balances it out. I do like this, but personally I prefer Soy Bean Milk ($3.00) which to me is a perfect match for Taiwanese cuisine.

Shanghainese style Drunken Chicken (chicken drumstick deboned and marinated in a blend of Chinese rice wine, $8.80) is a cold dish which everyone likes. The flavour is lovely but the serving size is a little small and we're all joking about it being a 'shrunken drunken chicken'.

Soy bean milk, the ever-popular Lychee Mint and (shrunken) drunken chicken.

Hot & Sour Soup (regular size, $9.00) is by all accounts a good version. I say all accounts because I didn't get any - thanks JC for finishing off your additional bowl which happened to be the last! But luckily I've had this on previous visits and from memory Din Tai Fung's version of the classic soup is a nice balance of tang and heat. Shrimp fried with Medium Grain Rice ($13.80) is just a fancy name for fried rice and makes for a good filler. Silken Tofu with Pork Floss & Century Egg ($7.50) is a Taiwanese favourite which is a nice combination of flavours and textures. The silky tofu is a light base for the century egg which is an acquired taste. And pork floss? I've always loved this curious food invention, strange as it is!

Hot and Sour soup (was it good JC?), Shrimp fried with medium grain rice, Silken tofu with pork floss and century egg.

Noodles are a little more substantial, we choose Braised Beef Noodle Soup ($15.80), Pork Chop deboned noodle soup ($12.80) and Dan Dan Noodles (noodles with sesame and peanut sauce, $10.80). When their noodles are served fresh they are very nice (on occassion they seem like they've been sitting there for a short while before being brought out and are a bit stodgy). I like the flavour of the beef noodle soup and the sauce in Dan Dan noodles is flavourful without being too overpowering. The pork chop is probably the least favourite - the flavour and texture of the pork not having much to recommend it.

Braised beef noodle soup and Pork chop deboned noodle soup.

But the one thing you do come here for is of course dumplings. Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork dumplings, 8pcs for $10.80) is by far the best in Sydney if you ask me. The pork filling and soup are flavourful but light enough to match the delicately thin dumpling wrapper - yum!

Dan Dan noodles in nutty sauce, and you'd be nutty not to order the Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork dumplings).

Desserts are good too. Mango Pudding ($5.80) is nice with an ample amount of evaporated milk served on the side. My choice is Green Tea Icecream ($3.80) which is a rather boring choice but it's surprisingly good - the texture is creamy and the green tea flavour is strong, and it's a decent serving size. But the favourite amongst the table is definitely Taro Gelato & Golden Taro Bread (1 roll, $6.80) and nearly everybody wants to order this! The kitchen reports back that they've run out and can't give us as many serves as we'd like and I don't think anybody wants to give up their taro dessert so compromises are made. The gelato has the tell-tale purplish-grey taro colour and the flavour to match. The golden taro bread is actually tastier than my memory's recollection with the crunchy bread holding a tasty, sticky taro filling. It goes really well with the taro gelato and we all enjoy watching NfOrCeR show us just how to enjoy this dessert (hee hee!).

Mango pudding, Taro gelato with Golden Taro Bread, Green Tea Icecream - all winners in my opinion.

It's another enjoyable "Supper Night" with good food and even better company - can't wait for the next one!

What: Din Tai Fung
Where: 644 George St, Sydney 2000 (02) 9264 6010 (there's also their food court stall at Westfields Sydney)
How much: See website for menu and prices

July 24, 2011

El Bulli del Punto

I ate at El Bulli in Surry Hills a few years ago (I think it was 2008, yes it must have been as our eyes lit up when we saw Dulce de Leche on the menu and it instantly transported us back to Argentina which we'd visited early 2008) and after we had paid for the delicious meal I noticed on the business card that there was an El Bulli del Punto - tapas at The Spot in Randwick? Perfect for me, as it's close to where I live.

Since then I've been to El Bulli del Punto a few times with the family and we always enjoy the food and atmosphere - seriously, does anyone not love tapas? It's not a huge space - there's wooden tables and chairs with cushioned seating along one of the walls (with cushions too), painted fresco walls, candles and a simple glass vase on each table holding two roses. It's warm and inviting which I like.

The complimentary bread comes with a super addictive dipping sauce - I think it's allioli, the Catalan version of aioli. It's somewhat runnier but the garlicky taste is divine. I think I could have this as a meal on it's own but I'd probably have to fight the rest of my family for it!

Lovely allioli with bread, disappearing right before my eyes!

Tonight we order the Ensalada de Tomate (layers of vine ripened tomatoes, spanish onion & fresh basil served in a vinaigrette dressing, $14.50). We don't normally order this but UK (as in Uncle K, not United Kingdom!) has just gotten a not-so-favourable cholesterol reading so a healthy salad is in order. It's simple, light and refreshing - I'd consider ordering it again. But there's always an order of Alitas al Ajillo (garlic chicken wings, $14.50) for Dylzo who is 10 years old and loves all things chicken. They are heaped with garlic which gives them loads of flavour.

Ensalade de Tomato (is that beer good for cholesterol UK?) and Alitas al Ajillo in a nice setting, perfect for tapas.

Personally, I cannot go past the Chipirones (char grilled baby squid in a salt and garlic sauce, $14.50). Oh baby - baby squid! The first time I ever had Chipirones was with Jess in Barcelona and the ones here are nearly, possibly equally,  as good. They are tender bite sized pieces that you can't stop eating.

Chipirones - if you like squid, you'll love these babies!

Cordero Adobado a la Plancha (marinated barbecued lamb backstrap fillets, $19.50) is always a favourite, juicy and full of flavour. Another favourite which is bound to be ordered is Champiñones al Ajillo (sauteed mushrooms in garlic, parsley, white wine & olive oil, $12.50) - garlic and mushrooms are like a match made in heaven that I never get tired of eating. The last savoury dish is up to me to choose this time and I've opted for something we don't normally get - Melon con Jamón (juicy chunks of fresh rockmelon wrapped in thinly sliced serrano ham, $13.50). I enjoy this classic combination, as it's a refreshing contrast to the rest of the dishes and lightens the meal a little.

Cordero Adobado a la Plancha, Melon con Jamón and Champiñones al Ajillo - están muy ricos!

Everyone is so full by the time we finish the tapas and noone is looking in good shape for dessert. I convince them to share a Crema Catalana (traditional baked custard with caramelised sugar coating, $13.50) because AA likes her creme brulees and I use this to persuade her. This version is a little thicker than some and the caramelised coating is almost a solid sheet which needs a decent whack to get through. It tastes like it's got the tiniest hint of alcohol but I can't be sure. Somewhat sweeter than a usual creme brulee, the others find it a tad too sweet and rich, so I end up eating most of it on my own. No complaints from me!

Crema Catalana. You guys sure you don't want anymore? I guess I'll have to eat it all myself... heehee.

What: El Bulli del Punto (see website for details of both El Bulli restaurants)
Where: 40 St Pauls St, Randwick 2031 (02) 9398 2027
How much: See website for menu and prices
Need to know: I'd definitely recommend booking ahead, as it can get quite busy!

Chez Bruce

Looking at my recent posts as well as posts-in-waiting, it's evident that I have been eating out a lot lately, and eating at some really good places. Chez Bruce is definitely one of those really good places. It was a spur of the moment decision on a Saturday to treat Dave and myself to a night out and I decided to try Chez Bruce. The place was strongly recommended by my good mate Tess who has recommended other great places and Chez Bruce was no different.

The restaurant is quite simple from the outside but buzzing inside. We sat upstairs in the private dining room with a few other tables which was nice and relaxing. We were offered parmesan biscuits to start with which were nice and warm. I took one but on the insistence of the waitress took another. In hindsight I wish I took 2 more as they were rather moreish and made the bread that followed seem rather plain.

The menu is 3 courses for £45 which matches the quality of the food on offer. To start Dave had the poached lobster with scallop mousseline and herb beurre blanc which was amazing, albeit with a £10 supplement. I went for the thinly sliced pork with warm summer bean salad, salsa verde, chorizo and crackling which was quite nice but filling.

Dave obviously chose the more outstanding entree but luckily for mains we went for the côte de boeuf for two, with hand cut chips and béarnaise sauce so neither of us had the better dish. The meat was really high quality and cooked really well. And whilst it didn't look very big, we were both quite full halfway through the mains which was extremely disappointing as the chips were sooo good! Jack would have loved them. Our meal was accompanied with a rather pricey but amazing bottle of Spinifex red wine from back home.

We were pretty full when it came to dessert so Dave just went for a simple sorbet whilst I had crème brulee which was a tad runnier than I like it. It was a shame that we were so full as we would have loved to have ordered the cheeses from the board which was generous. We were so full that we passed up on the free freshly baked palmier biscuits but luckily the waitress packed a few for us to take home with us which was a perfect way to end our meal.

Like Tess, I highly recommend Chez Bruce. If you live in the Wandsworth area you really shouldn't pass it up as it's an extremely high quality local restaurant, perfect for groups, families and couples. Thanks Tess and thanks Bruce for a top dining experience.

Where: 2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common, SW17 7EG
How much: 3 excellent courses for £45 (plus supplements: £10 for the lobster entrée, £5 for cote de boeuf (each), and £5 for cheese)

July 20, 2011

Bentley Restaurant & Bar

C's birthday was a while ago now. But even now, just thinking about the birthday dinner makes me want to eat it again!

I thought a long time about where to take C, we've been to so many great places together and I wanted something good to impress him with. And so I decided that our destination would be Bentley Restaurant & Bar. It's a small place, cosy and with a nice atmosphere. C loves tasting menus so there wasn't much thought needed when it came to time to order. Two tasting menus, one with the matching wines for C.

I must confess, it's been so long that I have probably forgotten some of the small details but I'll do my best...

First up as always is the bread - crusty on the outside with nice squidgy insides and served with olive oil which I love. It's a good start to the meal and we eagerly anticipate the first course which is Mud Crab with Sweetcorn, Ham and Prawn. We're immediately impressed by the presentation. Quite simply, it's gorgeous. I can't bear to ruin the beautiful ensemble but at the same time I can't wait to taste it. We bring our forks down through the layers - it's even more delicate and light than it looks and the taste is.. mmm! All the components are in harmony - the sweetness of the crab and the corn with a savoury accent - we both really enjoy this.

C's matching wine, bread and olive oil, a wall of wine.
It tastes even better than it looks, hard to believe but true!

Next up is Pickled Garfish with Cracked Wheat, Celery Emulsion and Walnuts. Again, the presentation is lovely - the spiral of the plate complementing the spirals of garfish. The texture of the pickled garfish offset nicely by the crunchy components.

Coils of tastiness.

Jamon Poached Tuna with Khoi Rabi, Squid Ink and Black Sausage Crumbs is next. Somehow I can't recall the black sausage crumbs - here's my memory failing now! But I do remember the tuna - it was cooked perfectly, it's a rich tasting piece of fish and meaty with the flavour. The other components on the plate complemented the richness of the fish.

Jamon Poached Tuna? The best of both worlds.

After the three courses of seafood, there's a clever transition to the meatier dishes in the form of Lobster with Lamb Sweetbread, Black Bean & Coconut Curd. We're duly impressed when it's set down in front of us. It's a unique combination of strong flavours which work so well together. The pretty piece of lobster is juicy and flavourful, the lamb sweetbread rich and meaty. The sauce and coconut curd really make this an intersting dish and I'm a little sad when I realise that I've gobbled it all up.

It's different, but it works. It works fantastically.

Pork Belly with Wattle, Garlic Milk & Rhubarb comes in the form of two cute little squares, the presentation is simpler than some of the earlier dishes but I like it. The pork is tender and rich, I really like this and it tastes lovely with the sauce.

Pork Belly.... enough said!

The last savoury dish is Fillet of Black Angus Beef with Carrot, Azuki Bean & White Sweet Potato Cake. Uh-oh, where's the sweet potato cake? I remember there being a puree type component - maybe this dish was a little bit different to the description on the menu as there are sometimes variations with tasting menus. Whatever the case, it looked darn good when it came out. I love the presentation here too. Simple but striking, the accompaniments look great but the beef is clearly the centrepiece. And so it should be - perfectly cooked and full of flavour, it is one nice piece of meat. The sauce is just so and the vegetables prevent the dish from being too heavy. There was some powder on one side that I can't for the life of me remember the name of, but the taste was very unique. C loves this dish a lot so it's a good finish to the savouries.

The centrepiece of beef is deservedly in the spotlight.

And dessert? Frozen Goats Cheese Mousse with Violet, Buckwheat Praline & Passionfruit Ice Cream. This is nice, the texture of the frozen mousse is interesting - it's like gliding through the lightest cream cheese ever, the passionfruit ice cream stops the whole ensemble from being too sweet, the cake base gives it a homely feel and violet is nice floral accent.


It was great from beginning to end. Gorgeous presentation and interesting flavour combinations all worked together to make a very memorable meal that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. C - I hope you enjoyed this more than I did, because it was especially for you. I hope you had a great birthday and even more than that, I hope we can celebrate all your birthday's together!

What: Bentley Restaurant & Bar
Where: 320 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010 (02) 9332 2344
How much: Tasting menu is $120 per person, $70 extra with matching wines (Vegetarian tasting menu also available)

July 16, 2011

Jack Snacks!... Nobby's Pork Crackle

Mmm chicken skin. Or duck skin. Or pork crackling. I like them all. And that's probably why I like Nobby's Pork Crackle. I used to see it in 7-Eleven stores but nowadays the only place where I've seen it is at Thai Kee supermarket in Market City. It's only a small packet which is a good thing, cause I really don't trust myself with bigger packs that can be found in other shops (it IS tempting though).

The Nobby's one is nice too - it's light, crispy and super scoffable. Not too salty and I think it has a little bit of vinegar to give it some tang. In short, my kind of snack!

One of these days I'm going to give in and get one of those big packets and then I'll be in trouble!

What: Nobby's Pork Crackle
Where: Thai Kee Supermarket at Market City - there must be other stockists somewhere...
How much: $1.60

Cinnamon Club

I have been eating pretty well lately and a recent dinner at the Cinnamon Club added to the growing list of good dining experiences in London. My high school friend Caro had organised a surprise birthday dinner for her husband Neill and a few friends. Although the surprise was ruined by the restaurant calling to confirm the reservation, the dinner was still a treat for Neill and the group.

The Cinnamon Club is set in the former Westminster library but feels very light and relaxed. The cuisine is described as haute Indian and the restaurant is well known in London and now in it's 10th year. We started with a cocktail in the Club Bar downstairs which was modern and served a balanced selection of quality cocktails.

We then moved to our table and started with a tasty little amuse bouche which I cannot recall the details of. I skipped entrees but the selection around the table looked and tasted delicious: Roasted plaice with Bengali spiced crab; the carpaccio of cured salmon , tandoori salmon (yum!) and green pea relish; tandoori breast of Anjou squab pigeon or the pick of the bunch: spice crusted seared scallops with squid ink mash and achari cauliflower puree.

The mains were equally impressive with both meat and seafood dishes well cooked full of different flavours and lovely spices. Having skipped an entree (regretfully), I went for the tasting plate of anjou squab pigeon, tandoori loin of lamb and ‘Oisin’ red deer - a small portion of each with a bit of mash potato for £37. The lamb was the tastiest as the meat was tender and full of flavour. Caro also ordered the lamb whilst others had the pigeon or a pork dish. Neill had the hot and spicy prawns which I'm sure he enjoyed given how quiet he was during dinner. Some of us were a bit jealous looking at the enormous size of the prawns, the thought of which is making me hungry now. (Gosh blogging is tough!) Not being much of an Indian sweets fan, I gave desserts a miss but a few of the guys shared the tasting plate of assorted desserts for £25.

All in all a great night - excellent service (knowledgable and friendly), fantastic food which I could eat over and over again, and a great setting. Add to that a good selection of pre and post dinner cocktails/drinks and good wines (we went for the reliable, easy drinking Indian red wine from Sula vineyards) and of course great company and laughs. The Cinnamon Club experience will be one to remember.

What: The Cinnamon Club
Where: The Old Westminster Library,30-32 Great Smith Street,London SW1P 3BU
How much: Starters average £8, Mains average £20, Desserts average £7.50

July 11, 2011


For my birthday this year Dave took me to Semplice, an Italian restaurant in Mayfair off New Bond Street. The decor is nice and modern but the layout of the restaurant and the position of our table made the place feel dull and uninviting.

It was a slow start as we had to wait for drinks but we were much happier once we opened the menu and found lots of tasty sounding options including lots of produce from Piedmont, my favourite food and wine region in Italy. It was a tough choice in the end and but we were not disappointed with our selections.

We both had pasta to start: a buffallo mozarella gnocchi with scampi and asparagus was much lighter than expected and extremely tasty with the sweetness of scampi and asparagus working wonders with the smooth cheese based gnocchi. Dave's trofi pasta with lobster was also tasty albeit a stronger flavour than my gnocchi; both an excellent start accompanied with a lovely caraffe of Gavi de Gavi.

For mains I had the roast milk-fed Piedmontese veal with shitake, courgettes and olive sauce; it was very good and classically simple. However the winner was Dave's sirloin of Fassano beef (from a rare breed of cattle in Piedmont). The tender steak was cooked to perfection, juicy with loads of flavour. And it went perfectly with a caraffe of Barbaresco wine.

Given the quality of the food so far, we couldn't go past dessert and it was my birthday afterall! My beautifully presented coffee tiramisu (made with Giovanni Erbisti coffee) and tiramisu ice-cream was delicious and rivalled Dave's chocloate fondant which was a perfect size, well balanced and not too sweet. Dave's expresso made with Giamaica Afribon coffee beans (by Erbisti) topped the Italian experience nicely.

You cannot fault the food at Semplice but the dining experience itself was disappointing: the restaurant atmosphere suits a corporate meal rather than for a couple or family. And whilst service is professional, it lacked personality or warmth, much like the restaurant as a whole. Your meal at Semplice will be memorable but the dining experience won't be.

What: Semplice
Where: 9/10 Blenheim St, London W1S 1LJ
How much: Starters/Pasta average £14, Mains £29

July 10, 2011

Jasmins - feasting for next to nothing

This was a meal that was had some months ago and I'm now finally writing it up - looking at the photos again makes me think "yum!". We had headed out to Campsie one day to find that all our usual Campsie haunts were closed, from memory it was a public holiday weekend. So what better than to go somewhere that I'd been wanting to try for ages, Jasmins at Lakemba.

I almost felt bad, in the guilty sense, about eating here. Why? Because the food is fresh and delicious but so very cheap. Having read about Jasmins, I knew that every table gets Lebanese bread with their meal so we decided to order a couple of dishes to start and see how we went. After we placed our order, the complimentary bread basket came out along with 2 dipping sauces and a plate of fresh vegetables and pickles. The bread basket was huge and I remember thinking that we probably wouldn't even make a dent in it because there was just so much. I had also read about the Toum garlic sauce on Grab Your Fork and couldn't wait to try it so I dived right in and it was just as good as the description I'd read. The other dipping sauce was a little spicy and tasted good too but I found it hard to resist the Toum.

Lebanese bread, fresh salad and dipping sauces - all complimentary. Note the delectable Toum garlic sauce!
Then the Baba Ghannouj came out - mashed eggplant with sesame seed paste, lemon juice and garlic. It only costs $6 but it has got the most sublime smokey flavour. We couldn't stop eating it and I began to notice our pile of Lebanese bread disappearing as we kept on dipping into the Baba Ghannouj.

Then our meat dish of Kafta arrived - minced meat, parsley, onion and spices grilled on skewers for just $9. It was cooked nicely and not dry at all, the spices were just the right level to give it a nice flavour without overpowering the meat and it went really well with the rest of the food.

Baba Ghannouj - this eggplant dip was smokey heaven. Kafta - who would have thought mince could be so interesting?
We struggled by the end, giving up on the bread basket despite having gotten close to the bottom. It really was a tasty feast that cost next to nothing and I can't wait to try some more of their dips and dishes!

Don't be fooled by the simple decor, a feast awaits you inside.
What: Jasmins
Where: 30b Haldon St, Lakemba (02) 9740 3589
How much: Baba Ghannouj cost $6 and Kafta was $9

July 7, 2011

Jack UK Snacks!... Aero bubbly Lamb

I'm usually a saver. I always save the best bit of food for last. If I get some fancy chocolates I'll save them for a special occassion or eat them when I need a pick me up. But there are times when this 'strategy' backfires.

For example - Jess went on her first European holiday to Italy back in 2002. I was in serious envy as I was still an impoverished student at the time. Luckily there were spoils to be had when she came home - including Fonzies (the Italian version of Twisties) and some Italian chocolate bars called Tronky and Duplo. Yum!

I saved the last Tronky bar but alas I saved it a little too long. It expired in April 2003 but I didn't eat it until April 2004. Chocolate expired by a year? No sweat for me usually. But this Tronky bar has wafer in it and, well.. let's just say stale wafers have never been tasty.

So now that I am back from my recent trip, I am going to try and eat all my goodies early, instead of letting them go out of date. What's the first snack from overseas? It's a cute Aero chocolate. Ok, nothing special about Aero cause we have them here, but this one is a cute lamb that Jess bought me! I was a little worried it might have got squashed in my luggage despite being careful but luckily it was still in perfectly cute condition. Taste wise, well it's just an Aero chocolate, but it's so cute I wanted to post up a photo of it for everyone to see.

Yes I still have the wrappers. It's not "hoarding", it's called "sentimental".

How cute is that!

What: Aero bubbly Lamb
Where: Somewhere in the UK?
How much: Not sure... that's the best thing about treats from Jess, I don't have to worry about the price - thanks sis!

July 4, 2011

Jack Snacks!... Premium Taro Jelly Roll and Honey Cake

One thing I quite like about 85°C bakery is that every so often they have something new to try. On a recent visit I saw two new items that looked interesting - mmm new cakes!

The first was Premium Taro Jelly Roll ($6.95). The taro flavour is light and the 'jelly' has a bit of squidginess without being too gelatinous to overpower the cake. The cake has a nice fine texture. I quite liked it and it makes for a nice snack.

The Honey Cake is described as "Soft and tender cake with rich honey, irresistible taste everyone like." and costs $2.40. I can't speak for "everyone" but I did indeed like it. Like the taro one, it too has a fine texture. It's somewhat sweeter and has a recognisable honey flavour - I think it would go nice with some hot green tea. I'll have to try remember that for next time as I gobbled it up pretty quickly.

At $6.95 it sure is premium!

Honey cake - everything tastes good with honey.

What: Premium Taro Jelly Roll and Honey Cake
Where: 85°C Coffee, Cake and Bakery Specialist (I got mine from the Kingsford shop)
How much: Premium Taro Jelly Roll was $6.95 and Honey Cake $2.40