There seems to be a big craze for Taiwanese desserts in Sydney at the moment! After having a very delicious dinner at New Shanghai in Chatswood, we headed over to ZenQ Desserts where just getting a table was a 40 minute wait! Lucky for us, it was well worth it!

As we were standing outside looking into the restaurant full of very happy people sitting and indulging in their dessert, we saw some people order from the ‘honey toast series’. It looked seriously indulgent! It appeared to be cream, ice cream, chocolate and fruit drizzled over half a mini loaf of bread! Definitely a ‘to share’ dessert.

Hmmm what to choose?

Grass jelly with red bean, taro mash and pearls– a bowl full of delicious traditional Asian flavours with a very chewy texture (between all the grass jelly, red bean and pearls).

Matcha snow ice with red bean– the green tea was very addictive (I kept stealing spoons fulls), it had a lovely texture like a thin ice cream ribbon and definitely melts in your mouth.

Passion fruit shaved ice with passion fruit, mango jelly and ice cream– a seriously summery and refreshing dessert! Highly recommended and is a great option for people who don’t like green tea, red bean flavours etc.

Find your nearest location– Sorry Sydney siders only ūüė¶

Zen Q on Urbanspoon

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Recently at the handmade market saw the return of ‘The Curious Chocolatier‘ (I even emailed them beforehand to ensure they’d be there). I made sure I went earlier this time as previously I saw nothing but my sad reflection in the empty display units. As it turns out they were much better prepared this time around with dozens upon dozens of macarons with 11 flavours available.

They were selling them for $2 each or 6 for $10. Naturally with 11 flavours I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to taste all them with a double up on one- can’t go wrong with salted caramel I thought.

They kindly let me take photos of all the flavours as I knew my poor memory wouldn’t serve me well once I take 3 steps away from the stall.

Two thumbs up- all of them were amazing but a special mention to these flavours in particular: salted caramel (so delicious), lemon, passionfruit, lime and coconut and raspberry cheesecake. These are some of the most delicious macarons I’ve ever eaten (which includes almost everywhere in Canberra, Pierre Herme, Sydney and Melbourne).

Looking forward to trying their fancy blocks of chocolate next!

Impeccable food @ Imperial Peking

People might think I eat out a lot but so does my sister! So when she asked me what I wanted to eat while visiting in Sydney, of course I said yum cha, she knew exactly where to take me. Though the sports club looked a bit dingy and going up countless escalators made me dizzy, it was well worth it.

It was busy so there’s a high turn over of food, there is a lot of staff to cater for the size of the restaurant so finished plates were taken away promptly, tea was refilled constantly and it didn’t take long to wait for a table.

I’m ready to go!

Here comes the trolley!

Congee- pork with century egg

Stocking up!

Combination dumpling-  nice and crispy with a perfect balance of salty and sweet.

BBQ pork bun- no yum cha is complete without one (or more) of these.

Chicken feet– not for me but I guess I can’t eat everything

ūüėČ

BBQ pork rice roll

Pork ribs with rice– YUM! My favourite!

A pot of ‘Puerh’ tea to wash it all down.

Food was delicious with good service. Would go here again if I knew how to get there/if I was in the area. 

Imperial Peking at Souths Juniors on Urbanspoon

Old favourites at New Shanghai

Being interstate from my family means I don’t get to go to as many family gatherings as I’d like but I was able to attend a double birthday dinner @ the ‘New Shanghai’ while I was visiting in Sydney recently. There are several locations of this franchise but we went to the one in Chatswood.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, I started drooling over the dozens of dumplings that were being made fresh and steamed in the front window of the restaurant.

Keep in mind I was eating with a table of 10 people and not by myself (we ordered multiple things so we didn’t miss out on anything).

Shallot pancake- slightly oily but still tasty.

Deep fried crispy skin chicken with special garlic & chilli sauce

Hot, spicy and sour soup with shredded pork and bean curd

Drunken chicken

Stewed beef shank in five spice sauce

Shanghai noodle stir fried with shredded pork & vegetable- mmmm I love me some noodles!

Duck- ¬†I can’t exactly remember what this dish is called and I couldn’t find it on the online menu either. Sorry!

Pan fried pork dumpling– this is one of my favourite things to eat! These were SOOOOOOO nice and a good size too! The only bad side is that as I was taking a bite out of one (out of many) dumpling, it’s juices exploded¬†onto my dress ¬†

Combination stir fried in hot & spicy paste served with cold noodle- this was rather quite hot and I couldn’t eat too much of it.

New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao- Steamed mini pork buns-¬†delicious but not the nicest ‘xiao long bao’ I’ve eaten.

There were juices inside though!

Everything came out rather fast and hot! All the food was delicious, in particular their pan fried pork dumplings (I’m getting hungry just writing about them!).¬†Just ordering bits and pieces for the whole table meant lots of variety and it didn’t cost very much either (and then the bill was even less again aided by a NSW entertainment book voucher- yay!). I would just come here again (even if by myself) and just order lots of dumplings.¬†

NEW SHANGHAI HOME

http://www.newshanghai.com.au/splash.php

Chatswood Chase

Shop B-038, Chatswood Chase
Chatswood, NSW 2067
+61 2 9412 3358

Chatswood

Shop 20, Lemon Grove Plaza
Chatswood, NSW 2067
+61 2 9415 3536

Ashfield

273 Liverpool Rd
Ashfield, NSW 2131
+61 2 9797 7284

Bondi Junction

Shop FC04, Level 5, Westfield
Bondi Junction, NSW 2022
+61 2 93864623

Charlestown

Shop L01 1035, Charlestown Square
Charlestown, NSW 2290
+61 2 4943 5857

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

How do you like your chocolate? It doesn’t matter they’ve got you covered!

I have never had their cakes but they look nice.

I  churros

The macarons were disappointing and not worth $3.50 a pop (I chose vanilla and caramel). They should just stick to spanish doughnuts.

I came here especially for coffee beans for a friend who absolutely adores their coffee so much I had to ship it to central Australia to him.

over the hill and down the street we go

——-27/09/11——-

Bourke St bakery has been on my ‘to go’ list for a while and with me going back and forth from Sydney so much I figure I could squeeze in a little trip. Now with four locations there is no excuse for me not to get there. My friend picked me up and off we went to where the all the magic started, Bourke St in Surry Hills.¬†


Me peering through the shop window at all the gorgeous breads and pastries wondering what to get.

Then I went inside and realised there was more to choose from… Oh dear, I’m not great at making decisions¬†especially¬†when everything looks so good.

What I ended up choosing: pan au chocolat, lamb, harissa and almond sausage roll, apple galette, chocolate tart and fellow blogger Shimmy shimmy coconut grabbed a coffee with soy milk (at a bargain price of $3!).

I don’t know why I ordered a¬†pan au chocolat, I don’t¬†usually go out of my way to eat them, I think I just like saying it. I didn’t think there was anything special about it and¬†I was started to wonder what all the hype about the bakery was all about, but all my disappointment was shattered when I started eating the lamb sausage roll. It was delicious! I don’t know if I could taste all the different ingredients but it was definitely nicer than a ‘normal’ sausage roll.¬†

I had saved the apple galette and chocolate tart for when I got back to Canberra and I’m surprised it survived the trip! I can easily say that the apple galette is easily one of THE most delicious pastries I’ve ever eaten. I wish I got more than one¬†¬†¬†The chocolate tart was also mouthwatering and it wasn’t overly sweet that I wanted to eat some ham or cheese afterwards (for people who know me, I do this often).¬†They use milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate and it had a lovely velvety texture.

 

I loved the pastries so much that once I saw the book I knew I had to have it (after I checked that everything I ate was in  there of course). I bought it at Costco for $32.49- bargain!

Definitely check it out for a lazy weekend breakfast if you’re in the area. I would love to go back and try some breads, more pastries and of course more tarts!


Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

I have gone crackers for cheese platters

So this is my fourth cheese platter in a week. I must be loving my cheese or overly social- maybe both! Yum! Today’s cheese platter occasion is for the ‘Big Cake Bake’ in support of the Australian Red Cross (I made Portugese tarts« will post about later, the cheese is for my savoury side).

What’s on the board: strawberries, crackers, cabanossi, olives, South cape fruit and almond cheese, Jindi triple cream Brie, Mersey valley club vintage cheddar and Maggie Beer’s quince paste.

Great to see an Australian triple cream brie as I’ve been eating lots of French ones. This big 500g baby was only $12.99 @ Costco!

Other things to try:

Maggie Beer Spiced Pear paste + Mersey Valley vintage cheddar– my friend got me hooked onto this combo! So evil but so good!

Red seedless grapes– currently imported from the US but they are oh so sweet

French Triple cream brie– available @ the Fyshwick delicatessens, a bit more expensive but very good

A good dessert wine– loving the Brown Brother’s whole wine collection!

My uni friends and I loved coming here between classes (though they could eat a bigger serve than I ever could)! It’s taken me a few trial and errors but I think I’ve finally found my ‘go to’ flavour.¬†What are my favourite mix ins? Lychee and mixed berry in vanilla! YUM YUM!

Sorry folks, it’s only a Canberra thing.

Goodberry’s Erindale

2/20 Gartside St, Erindale, Wanniassa, ACT 2903

Trading hours:

Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm

Fri-Sat 11am- 11pm

Public holidays 12 pm – 10pm

Biota- dining

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† bio¬∑ta noun: ‚ÄúAnimals and plant life of a particular region.‚Ä̬†

Ta-da! Like I promised, my Biota-dining in Bowral post. This restaurant is spacious and lovely inside. We were warmly greeted and seated near the kitchen area where we had prime seats to see the chefs preparing our dishes. They have a private dining room at the other side of the restaurant where they have TVs set up so you can watch the kitchen preparing the plates and not miss out on the action.

It was inspiring to see so much care was taken on presentation. Each leaf/vegetable/ garnish was placed onto the plate deliberately in a particular way with large forceps.

Before I had even started looking at the menu (I was too busy taking photos and taking in the lovely setting) we were served with fresh warm bread

‘eggs on toast’- compliments from the kitchen. How lovely, while you‚Äôre browsing the menu you get to eat delicious fresh warm bread served with a quail egg dusted in garlic ash sitting in a creamy sauce. Not a bad way to start the dining experience. ¬† ¬†p.s. love the bowl!

This was my entree– banana prawns, cured scallop broth, cucumber with green tea and dill seeds. Wow this was very delicious and everything from the prawn to the cucumber tasted so fresh!

My partner’s entreeРbarbecued calamari, tuna ham dressed with sugar snap peas, celery and kohlrabi. This looked beautiful like artwork! I didn’t mind his entree but much preferred my own.

Pinapple with snow- compliments from the kitchen. Lovely palate cleanser.

Crackling pork neck, broccolini, amaranth cooked with blackened onions and licorice- the pork meat is very caramalised and sticky which made the inside a little dry but it was still very nice.

Lamb rump in olive caramel, baked carrots, oat milk, hazelnut and garlic ash- The oat milk and hazelnut made this a very unsual dish but delicious none the less. It takes great skill to get me to eat brussels sprouts so hats off to the kitchen.

After our mains were taken away, a waiter came to ‚Äėde-crumb‚Äô out table with a folded napkin bound together with a sprig of rosemary and cute tray to capture the crumbs. It made me giggle because I‚Äôve never seen that before in a restaurant.

Dessert time! Caramel pear, raw cacao ice cream, warm buckwheat and malt-¬†The chocolate chunks were so light and airy- almost like homemade ‚Äėaero bars‚Äô. The creamy ice-cream was a refreshing contrast to the sweet caramalised pear. The wafer log was unbelievably light and delicate.

Cold infusion of eucalyptus, blood plums, rhubarb and hibiscus preserve, native lime- A very unique dessert with all flavours being very floral and fresh. A dessert for the adventurous at heart.

Traditional italian thick hot milk chocolate (left)Рwhen I saw the size of the hot chocolate, I knew it was going to be strong! Just imagine stirring cocoa into hot milk at a 4:1 ratio. I couldn’t finish it, it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to sweet and it was also a little lumpy.

biota ‚Äėfairtrade‚Äô coffee (right)– my partner said that the coffee was a bit bitter and not the best he has had.

The warm atmosphere at ‚Äėbiota-dining‚Äô

The relaxed atmosphere of the ‚Äėbiota-lounge‚Äô with a more ‚Äėdown to earth‚Äô menu. I would love to come back and try the ‚Äėbiota-lounge‚Äô menu, the croquettes and mini wagyu burgers sounds delicious!

The lovely tranquil surroundings makes it an ideal nice stop/overnight stay/day trip from Sydney/Wollongong/Canberra.

They even have their own vegetable garden at the side, no wonder everything tastes so fresh and delicious!

Their menu often changes so check out the website (which is very lovely btw) for the current menu. The photos on there are stunning.

Biota Dining on Urbanspoon

In a nutshell

If you happen to be walking around China town in Sydney you’ll bound to see or smell ‘Emperor’s puffs’.¬†They look like a walnut and are approximately the same size as one.¬†

Available during: 12:00pm – 9:00pm 7 days

They’re ok, the inside was very hot and it was made fresh. Its outer casing was like a¬†dough/pancake with custard in the middle. It would have been much better if it was more crispy like a wafer cone.