Greetings from Seoul

I was minding my own business when I saw a place serving cheese caramel soft serve. Naturally I had to have one. It tasted like Doritos scrunched up with subtle sweet condensed milk. Oh Korea, you crazy. 
#Seoul #softserve #dalcomhoney #food #foodie #foodblog  

   

The Loft

I had been to The Loft several years ago, we enjoyed many tapas and had a really fun night in what was a very busy establishment. Since then they have gone through a revamp, new menu and now they are even open for lunch. I’ve been keen to get there for a while and finally my friend and I went the last week. 
The Loft is located about the Duxton pub, the stairs to get up there are inside the pub.
A.baker bread with Pepe Saya butter ($3.00pp).  According to the bill this was one serve (there were six little slices of bread). The butter was on the harder side but it didn’t tear the bread and was still able to be spread.
Chickpea crepe, caramelised onion and lamb pruscuitto ($14.00). We weren’t going to order an entree but it didn’t take much to twist our arm either. There was nothing that really stood out to us so we went with the recommendation of the waitress. Chickpea crepe, lamb prosciutto… These ingredients were unfamiliar to me so I didn’t know what to expect. The lamb tasted like pastrami and gave this a nice salty hit with spices. The crepe was slight oily but retained its crispiness which I really adored. The caramel used onions were cooked perfectly and added the sweet touch which really brought this whole dish together. For something that we almost didn’t order, it was a delicious surprise.Tangier Taster a colour and fruity mix of fresh limes, agave syrup, orange juice, pineapple juice with a top of cranberry juice ($9.00). I’ve had many mocktails in my time, they usually taste like an over sweetened fruit juice with one dominating flavour but this was really nice. It was a lovely balance of pomegranate and lime.It’s not often that I choose the same meal as the other person if there is just the two of us eating but I felt like risotto and my friend really wanted it too. Two risottos please.

Lobster and fennel risotto, saffron butter ($34.00). There were four decent sized pieces of lobster in the risotto which was not over cooked and had a little natural sweetness of its own. The risotto itself was rather rich and filling, my friend thought it was a tad too salty for her but for me it was fine especially since it wasn’t served with Parmesan cheese. The fennel gave the dish a refreshing feel with a nice crispy texture contrast. It was a little on the smaller size for a serve but the risotto is filling and the flavours were very rich.I was surprised that there were only two tables during the lunch seating. I guess people just need to find about this place, the delicious food and the rather convenient location.Venue: The Loft

Address: above the Duxton pub at the Turner (stairs are inside the Duxton)

Opening hours: lunch Thursday – Sunday dinner Wednesday – Saturday          

California cafe

TimmyC has had a deep love for waffles ever since he came back from his America trip, so when I heard that there was a ‘takeaway diner’ in Mawson I took him there immediately. California Cafe has joined the many other cafes that have popped in recent years which has made Mawson a hive of activity and a location full of choice. Not as many cafes are open on a Sunday but luckily the diner was. TimmyC is a bit of a snob when it comes to waffles, he dislikes pre-made rock hard ones (but who doesn’t) and would prefer them to have deep wells so all the syrup and ice cream catch in the pockets.

There were waffles and pancakes on the breakfast menu served with bacon, banana and maple syrup, so TimmyC was set; although it was early I felt like a cheeseburger from this diner. We went to order at the counter and TimmyC’s first question was “do you make the waffles in-house?”, the waitress answered no, “do you make the pancakes from batter?” which I thought was a stupid question until it was also met with a ‘no’; he opted for an eggs benedict instead.The cake cabinet should have been my first clue not to eat here, can you see the huge chunks of carrot in the carrot cake?While we were waiting for our food, the woman next to us had ordered the waffles and she was super excited when three thick store-bought waffles topped with bacon and banana was placed in front of her. I had noticed that she shared some with her Mum and even then they only finished half a waffle each which meant there was plenty still left on the plate after they left.Caramel thick shake ($7.00). We watched them make this and it had tonnes of ice-cream in it and there was just enough topping without making me feel sick. YUM!Coffee (lge ($4.00). TimmyC said it was okay coffee. They also serve a ‘jumbo’ size here.Eggs benedict eggs with bacon on a sour dough roll with hollandaise sauce ($14.90). The hollandaise was nice enough but still tasted like it was bottled sauce and I’m a bit confused as to why there were unseasoned chips on the plate. A very underwhelming breakfast when I promised TimmyC waffles from a diner. I don’t see exactly what the kitchen is cooking when the sauce is from a jar, the waffles and pancakes are store-bought and the chips are from frozen packets.The plates that they serve on are massive.Cheeseburger with fries ($8.90). I was really disappointed with my burger, it was an okay patty drowned in tomato sauce and mustard topped with a plastic (at least melted) slice of cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love plastic cheese but I couldn’t taste much of anything other than mustard and tomato sauce. The chips were hot and seasoned with something that I couldn’t pick, it reminded me of mamee noodle snacks. The thick shake helped with washing the acidity of the sauces from my mouth.

I couldn’t taste anything other than sauce.  The diner was getting busy with lots of staff from neighbouring business coming in for takeaway so some people obviously enjoy the food here but with so much better choices in the area, I won’t be coming back.

Venue: California Cafe

Address: 4 Southlands Shopping Centre, Mawson ACT 2607

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 8:00pm

Saturday – Sunday (and public holidays) 8:00am – 3:00pm
The California Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pancake like object trial#2 aka crepes

TimmyC’s love of pancakes quickly shifted to crepes when he discovered their crispy buttery goodness a few years ago and I thought while I was trying to get a good pancake, I could probably look into crepes as well.

A wonderful Belgian friend of mine made me some crepes for breakfast the last time I stayed with her; the crepes were delicious with a subtle sweetness from the vanilla sugar she uses. I didn’t find it needed much else but a touch of cinnamon to enjoy its buttery crispy goodness but she had hers with bacon, banana and syrup. Her recipe comes from an old photocopied recipes from Belgium and she was also nice enough to translate it for me so I could try to make them when I got home.


 

Crêpes (makes 15)

I had to double check with my friend that I had written down the right type of flour, I just thought it was an odd concept for something so thin and crispy to have self raising flour.
I forgot to make a well for my wet ingredients which just meant I had to mix a bit more but it incorporated together in the end.

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 500mL milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Butter for frying

Equipment

  • Fry pan with shallow sides
  • Spatula
  • 2x Mixing bowls

Method

  1. Sift flour into a bowl
  2. Mix through both sugars
  3. Make a well
  4. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl
  5. Put eggs and milk in the well and mix until everything is incorporated
  6. Ladle the batter into medium hot buttered pan.
  7. Swirl the pan instantly to cover the bottom of the pan evenly with batter
  8. Loosen edges with spatula when bubble start to form
  9. Flip the crepe without dropping it on the floor
  10. Cook for less than a minute on the other side or until golden brown

Tips

We were eating them by the stove top because we were impatient and we liked them hot. My friend placed all of the layers on a plate kept it warm in the oven until she was done cooking. You will have to keep adjusting the heat to the pan so the crepes won’t burn.

For my own convenience, I cooked them all in one hit and just microwaved them when I wanted one; they were hot but lost their crispiness. They looked ugly at first but it takes a few tries to get them thin and flip them without breaking.

Choose your condiments and you’re on your way! Tim likes maple syrup and ice cream (you’ll see a trend) but I like it plain and simple with hints of icing sugar and cinnamon. Layers of crispy thin crepes

2 Yummy BBQ noodle house

Four foodies met up a month ago to have dinner; Michelle the foodie from HerCanberra, The Food Avenue, Food Porn Journal and myself. Where others would talk about world events, pointless gossip and the weather, it was no surprise that we just talked about food. Even after we ate dinner where we ordered so much that all the dishes took up every inch of the table and everyone but me said they were super full, we were still talking about food, especially what we were going to eat next.
Michelle had been to 2 Yummy twice before to do a suckling pig banquet. Yes you read that right, a suckling pig made into 6 courses that can have to share with at least 9 other friends. That was definitely the next place we were going to go. Fast forward a month, lots of messages and keen friends later, we had booked a table for 14 people, one suckling pig pre-ordered with a $50 deposit paid and a karaoke room booked next door to continue the fun all night long.

This is the menu of all the dishes that one suckling pig turns into.  Some of us made a face of doubt when we were presented with the suckling pig, how will this small pig feed all fourteen of us?First up were suckling pig pancakes. This is usually served with duck but the crispiness of the skin provided a perfect candidate for substitution. I would have preferred more meat underneath the skin but I assumed it was being used in another dish.

There were two servings on either side of the table and there were enough for two pancakes per person. Yum!Start with a pancake, smear on some hoisin sauce, choose a nice piece of meat and a slice of cucumber and you’re ready to roll.Next up was suckling pig with jelly fish. This is how Chinese people usually have suckling pig so my eyes lit up. For those who haven’t eaten jelly fish before, it is cold, chewy with a texture unlike anything else; it usually also has a bit of spice to it. Add a bit more of hoisin sauce and you’ve got an awesome mouthful between the chilli of the jelly fish, the crunch and fat from the pig and some sweetness from the sauce. There’s a bit of meat under the skin and this would have been ideal for the pancakes.   Deep fried suckling pig meat with lemon grass flavour. The courses had been staggered until now, once the two ‘entree’ portions were served, the rest of the banquet just flowed out from the kitchen and I found it very hard to keep up because I am a slow eater/was taking photos. This was deep fried but not oily, the lettuce served underneath it paired perfectly well to give a refreshing watery crunchy with the deep fried meat. It reminded me of peking steak with subtle hints of lemongrass.Stir fried suckling pig meat with house special sauce. The odd thing about this dish was the broccoli was stone cold and obviously pre-prepared around the plate while the meat was extremely hot (in both senses). I didn’t expect that the dish would be so chilli hot and it took me by surprise when I ate some and then I shoveled a lot more rice into my mouth. It was still tasty I just wish I had some warning.Suckling pig meat cooked with bean curd in a hot pot. It didn’t exactly come out in a hot pot but everything retained its heat really well still. Despite being a huge meat eater, I really enjoy bean curd and I found this particularly delicious because it soaked up all the sauce from this dish. I ate more of this than the suckling pig meat (but I guess I am also having pig in every other dish). Stir fried suckling pig with handmade noodle in OX sauce. This was one of the dishes that I was looking forward to the most. I love handmade noodles and I love suckling pig so this was a winning combination, but I found it one of the most oddest dishes I have ever eaten. The texture and the taste of the noodles reminded me more of pasta than noodles. OX sauce has a strong and distinctive taste that I didn’t feel that this dish had. Overall it was more bland in comparison to other dishes, so I ended up piling other dishes and sauces on top and mixed it through to help it a little.With 14 people at the table, I was the last one eating. I wasn’t crazy full like everyone else when I  stopped eating, I just got bored eating the few dishes were left. So basically if you’re anyone else you’ll leave being very satisfied and regretting your last two mouth fulls because it pushed you over the edge.

Despite having four more people that we needed for the banquet minimum, there was plenty of food to go around and it was all delicious and diverse. I would easily grab another 9 people and do it all over again very soon.

Venue: 2 Yummy BBQ noodle house

Address: 3/114 Emu bank, Belconnen ACT 2617

Suckling pig banquet: $40.00 pp, you need to order a head and pay a $50 deposit and a minimum of 10 people to participate

Phone: 0262516622

Foodie seeks person with private plane

Fly me to Modena in September and we could be bestest of friends. Will pay for my own meal, although if you’re nice enough to fly me there I could probably pay for yours as well. Neat and tidy person with a valid passport. Can fly with 24hrs notice.

It looks like a ‘wanted ad’ in the newspaper but I would love for someone to fly me to Modena, Italy and back just so I can dine at Osteria Francescana. I am headed to Europe for the first time (very) soon but the world’s #2 restaurant only has some reservations for lunch in September available.

So I’m just putting it out there, if you have a private plane and would love some lovely company over an incredible meal, PM me 😉