Archive for the 'Breakfast' Category

XO Sauce fried rice noodles

Monday, May 9th, 2011

On our recent trip to Hong Kong, one new yum cha dish that we tried and adored was XO sauce fried rice noodles. Soooo simple to make, especially since XO sauce is so readily available now – even at Coles! By no means a low fat dish, but it’s just 4 ingredients! Firstly, buy a packet of those rolled rice noodles from your local asian grocer. I actually even saw them at Harris Farm too. Cut them into chunks. Then, heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok, then add the noodles and toss around until crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. Then, add one tablespoon of XO sauce, stir fry until fragrant, and then a splash of light soy sauce. If you have some, add some chopped shallots until wilted. Take off the heat, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve. Eat alone. Do not share! hehehe :)  Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner – or all of them! :)

Hyde Park Barracks – Let’s do Brunch

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I am the first to admit that I am not a patient person, totally lacking in virtue if that’s what patience is!  There is just so much to pack into weekends and evenings; and so many new places to eat and good places to return to that I just can’t spare any moment wasted, waiting!  And so it was that Hyde Park Barracks tried to grow this virtue in me….. and boy were there growing pains!  We had booked to go for the “Let’s Do Brunch” as part of the Crave Festival or Sydney International Food Festival.  Tempted by value for money, we eagerly awaited our 3 course  brunch for $25.  We easily booked online, and arrived 5 minutes earlier.  They are soooo busy, as a result of the usual weekend rush compounded with the super popular deal, I felt a bit sorry for the staff.  The poor manager was trying to kick out a party of 6 for us… unsuccessfully…. and well expletives aside, let’s just say that the people left at 12:30, which was half an hour later than we had booked, and even dared to have the nerve to snap back at the manager despite their overstaying their welcome.  argh… ok. channel anger into creative energy and I’ll keep it factual.  So, first course is the home made granola with yoghurt and poached fruit.    We got a small serving each, but boy is it filling.  Currants, toasted nuts, a dollop of yoghurt and only a tiny bit of fruit :(

More virtue growing as after one hour, we still had had only that small cold pre-prepared course!  So at 1:30, finally finally, we got our mains:  eggs three ways: Chorizo and sun dried tomato egg tart; spinach and mushroom omelette on a ciabatta crouton; and an egg benedict.  The tart was very fresh and eggs cooked still a bit runny – perfect! Would have loved some more chorizo though.  My favourite was the omelette. The spinach was very tasty, and was drizzled with a goats cheese dressing.  And finally, the egg benedict –  the sauce was universally agreed to be excellent, but the ham was disappointing, as it tasted like shaved ham from woollies, and almost on its last day IMHO.

You can see why we chose this deal as we got a third course. A waffle to share between two, with two scoops of vanilla bean gelato on top, drizzled with coulis and white chocolate sauce in the holes.  Oh MMAaaannnnn it was ssoooooooooooooooooooo nice…. the best waffle I’ve ever had!!!  Still warm, crispy on the edges from the sugar, and just the perfect amount of sweetness combined with the sauces.  This is definitely worth coming for, and in combination with the apolegetic free coffees, was almost enough to quench my annoyance at the long wait for the table (I know it wasn’t their fault, but still, 35 minutes I could have gone for a lovely walk in the park!) and the long wait for the food.

I also loved the room – however slightly noisy – which therefore makes it perfect to bring your kids!  I’ll be back to try their dessert tasting plate which we eyed off the table next to us!

Chorizo and Garlic Prawn Roll – Burwood Food and Wine Fair

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

This is no ordinary sausage sizzle.  Fetes and festivals are characterised by a charity gristle sausage smothered in sauce on a thin piece of no frills white bread. onions if you’re lucky.  This works great – yummy, cheap, maximum profits.  However, when festivals turn foodie, such a charity treat is no longer enough – not when you can get gourmet sausage rolls.  Enter the chorizo roll, or for an even more upmarket gourmet version – the chorizo and garlic prawn roll!!!   For $10, you get a halved chorizo grilled on the BBQ, and half a dozen of garlic prawns smothered in spicy tomato sauce.  And garnished with fresh parsley.

The dude at the grill – the master BBQ-er has perfected the rhythm of turning, cooking, filling, passing.  I’m sure it’s a hot and smoky job, but we appreciate you!  The result is the most amazing juicy (huge) mouthful.  These guys also make an appearance the Entertainment Quarter markets in Moore Park.  But I sure am hoping that they will turn up at tomorrow’s Burwood Festival. I am counting on it!

Fresh Espresso – Leura Cafe, Blue Mountains

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

We went up to the Blue Mountains for the KCC Engage 2010 conference, and after a solid three days of a jam packed program, my car decided to linger around in Leura to avoid the exodus of 1000 people from the conference :)  We walked up the main street, called Leura Mall, and were tempted by a beautiful stationery shop, chocolate shops, funky homeware stores as well as the gourmet deli.  It actually surprises me that food in the country is more expensive than the city, because to me, the city has hats and star ratings.  I guess what I fail to realise is that the country usually faces more overheads as food and groceries may not be as accessible.  Anyway, we stumbled upon a cafe called Fresh, which is right on the bottom of the busy part of the street, tucked behind RM Williams and a real estate agent.   We peered in and immediately saw the cake counter calling out for us.. mm…

This funky little cafe even sells coffee making wares.  It shows that they are serious about their beans! Because they even blend and grind their own!

Despite the tempting cakes and coffee machine shopping, we were here for a feed.  There is a good chalkboard menu of specials, as well as an all day breakfast menu and some toasted turkish bread specials.  The BLT arrived and I immediately had food envy.  It was stuffed with layers of crispy bacon, not dry at all, gourmet mesclun, and tomatoes – it certainly puts soggy white iceberg lettuce filled tiny BLTs to shame!  It’s served with a leaf salad that has a yummy balsamic vinegrette.

I selected something from the specials menu.  I have thing for corn fritters, and as they had the on the menu, along with garlic fried mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and grilled capsiscums, I didn’t even think twice.   It was definitely dressed up to city style standards, but what I was disappointed about was that the fritters were more like pikelets studded with some corn kernels.  Bills’ corn fritters have made me accustomed to more like corn cakes, which are chunky and barely held together with flour.  So almost 100% corn if you will.