Bacon pillow

I missed a call from a foodie friend on Sunday. No big deal, I rang her back almost immediately. She asked me if I didn’t pick up before because I had armfuls of food and couldn’t get to my phone. 

My eyes widen and my heart skips a beat.

Just a few moments before, I had just been lugging bags  of oranges into my very full shopping trolley. I didn’t hear or feel my phone. A friend who I was shopping with at the Belconnen markets had gone to the delicatessen and wasn’t back yet. I reach into the shopping bag where I had just purchased warm freshly cut smoked bacon. I put it to my face; it was still warm and smelt so good. I could use it as a pillow, a delicious intoxicating smoked bacon scented pillow. I then quickly remember that I was still in public and returned my bag into the trolley.

Had my foodie friend seen me lay my head on bacon during that small glimpse of vulnerability at the market?

I nervously laughed and asked if she had seen me at the market using my ‘bacon pillow’, she didn’t know what I was talking about and it was just an assumption or even a lucky guess that I would have armfuls of food.

I then had to explain to her what I meant by my bacon pillow.

 

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Palate Pleasure Cafe

After a wonderful day of over indulging yesterday, I didn’t have a breakfast location scouted out but my friends had heard good things about the Palate Pleasure Cafe, just off the main street.

There was six of us without a booking but they were very accommodating and we were seated after a bit of a wait and a table shuffle.

Palate Pleasure chai tea our blend of organic leaf tea, exotic spices, brown sugar and honey. Regular or soy milk ($4.95). This had such a great description, I imagined a well steeped tea that was creamy and sweet. This was really watery and not sweet at all, very disappointing. I did enjoy the chocolate bullet though.Flat white coffee (regular $3.85).Eggs Benedict two poached eggs, bacon and wilted spinach topped with house made zesty hollandaise ($18.50). My friend’s poached eggs were completely overdone and the hollandaise tasted a bit funny. She didn’t eat much of her breakfast. B&E bacon and eggs, with buttered toast and roast tomato ($16.50) with a side of mushrooms ($4.40). The poached eggs were also over done but it didn’t ruin the dish because the bacon was nice.Palate speciality pancakes soft buttermilk pancakes with mascarpone cream, and a poached strawberry compote ($16.50). Even though we explicitly asked for the compote to be served on the side, it still came drizzled all over the first time and we had to send it back to the kitchen. Luckily my friend is a fast eater so he still finished his breakfast at the same time as everyone else.The Big Breaky with all the trimmings, bacon, two eggs, roast tomato, mushrooms, sausages, hashbrown and buttered toasted ($20.35). No complaints here, everything was done well and the buttered toast was a welcome treat.Banana bread with honey and ricotta ($7.70) and a side of bacon ($4.40). When a mini loaf of banana bread with placed in front of me, I thought it was adorable. I have eaten a lot of banana bread which usually come out as a slice but I’ve never seen a mini loaf. Unfortunately, that is where my good impression ended. The banana bread was dry, not sweet at all and didn’t taste like banana. Thank goodness I had a side of bacon to drown my disappointment.We had mixed reactions over brunch but no one was overly impressed. They were really busy which might have been a contributing factor, but there are many other places to eat in Bowral so we will not be back.

Venue: Palate Pleasure Cafe

Address: Shop 1-3, 350 Bong Bong Street, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone: (02) 4861 7411
Palate Pleasure Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

The Butcher, the Baker, the Merrymaker

I’m baaack!!

My friend jokingly asked  if I’m ever in Canberra. It is true that I have been travelling here and there for my birthday celebrations; everywhere from Bowral, Sydney and more recently Melbourne and Cairns. Besides heading back to Sydney occasionally, I do plan to be around for all the winter events that Canberra has to offer during my favourite season.

The fresh brisk air begs for wood fires, eating more rich hearty foods and trying to infuse everything and anything with local truffles. One of my favourite restaurants in Canberra, Pialligo Estate is getting amongst it and I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek into their winter event series 2016 – The Butcher, the Baker and the Merrymaker.

31 days days, eleven amazing events, one location.

July


Friday 1st Saturday 2nd Sunday 3rd
Midwinter Christmas Feast  7:00-11:00pm     ($150.00 pp) Kirsty’s pudding making day       1:00-4:00pm ($150.00 pp)
Thursday 7th Friday 8th Saturday 9th Sunday 10th
Sunset drinks 
5:00-7:00pm ($40.00 pp)
Feather and bone Masterclass       1:00-4:00pm  ($120.00 pp) A Feast of the beast from feather and bone                    1:00-4:00pm
($145.00 pp)
Thursday 14th Friday 15th Saturday 16th Sunday 17th
Bastille Day truffle dinner
7:00-11:00pm ($150.00 pp)
Cape Grim and Flinders Island age of meaty innocence  1:00-4:30pm ($145.00 pp)
Thursday 21st Friday 22nd Saturday 23rd Sunday 24th
Smoked, cured and grilled  1:00-4:30pm
($145.00 pp)
Pact full of surprises           2:00-5:00pm
($110.00 pp)
Thursday 28th Friday 29th Saturday 30th Sunday 31st
Wildbrumby Schnapps Banquet   7:00-11pm  ($145.00 pp) Family Market Day 10:00-4:00pm free

The Christmas
Sunday Roast
   1:00-4:00pm ($110.00 pp)

During our sneak peek we got to experience schnapps and gin from Wildbrumby, Pact beer, a bit of Christmas cheer (man that ham was exquisite) and a beautiful Christmas pudding topped with fabulous custard. Not only did it make me excited for the events happening in Canberra, it also made it very hard to choose what event to go to.To find out more information, check out their website.

Katers restaurant 

We had just booked our accommodation in Bowral when I saw the Groupon voucher that was an absolute steal for Katers restaurant at Peppers Manor House. The deal included three courses and a bottle of wine for $85.00 for two people.

We were slightly amused with our waitress. She was an older woman who didn’t seem too fussed that the restaurant was really busy and had a very blasé attitude about everything as she casually pottered about.

Groupon voucher: three courses and a bottle of wine for $85.00 for two people, but I’ve written the prices from the menu.

The white and red wine options that are included in the Groupon voucher.Complimentary bread and butter~

The bread was served warm and there was plenty of butter, the perfect combination!Amuse bouche~

Rockmelon with goats cheese, ash and prosciutto. When I asked our blasé waitress about where the prosciutto was, she simply shrugged and said she would ask the kitchen but she never came back with an answer.Entrees~

Seared scallops and Rodriquez spiced chorizo, roasted cauliflower puree, squid ink meringue, coriander oil ($24.00). These scallops were much plumper than the ones we had at lunch and it has been a while since I’ve had such delicious scallops. The chorizo was also very nice, while the puree really help meld all the strong flavours together. We were very happy with our entree and were quite excited for what was to come.Confit quail terrine, toffee parsnip, spear, watercress, cumin ($23.00).Mains~

Pan seared duck breast, kumara, hazelnut crumble, cherry glaze, whiskey coffee gel ($40.00). My friend joked and asked where the rest of his carrots were as they mostly appeared to be the tops. I jokingly replied that they were on the lamb dishes.Maugers lamb back strap, braised baby leek, roasted garlic crushed, roasted Kipfler potato, eggplant caviar, chilli fig, rosemary jus ($39.00). I was really disappointed with the portion sizes; there was just two tiny pieces of lamb for almost 40 bucks, I’m glad we came in with a voucher. Marseille bouillabaisse, today’s market fish, cold water langoustine, scallop, saffron rouille ($40.00). I loved the intense prawn head flavour throughout the soup base and it had nice meaty seafood textures to compliment but it is these same aspects that made my friend not like her main. It goes to show each to their own.Desserts~

Chestnut bitter chocolate torte, raspberry egg, espresso and hazelnut ice cream ($21.00).Lemon panna cotta, rhubarb foam, coconut parfait, lime cannoli ($18.00). This had way too much gelatin in it, we could tell from the moment it was placed down in front of us with its stiff movement.Blood orange and almond pudding, lychee sorbet, pomegranate ($21.00). We had to remind the waitress that this dessert came with lychee sorbet and she rushed back into the kitchen to have it added.Toffee apple tea cake, camomile  ice cream ($18.00). I liked how the cake looked like a cross between a toffee apple and a real apple but made the cake very messy and difficult to eat. The cake’s sweetness comes from its sticky toffee coating which was balanced by the ice cream.House cheese: aerated Manuka honey blue, lavender Bergamot, rosemary and thyme labna, local Camembert, local goat’s cheese, selection of breads and crackers ($26.00). The last cheese platter I ate/stole from was amazing (see my post here) but I left most of this on the platter. I found some of the cheese bland while some of the other cheeses were pungent, especially the goats cheese.We definitely got our money’s worth considering my three courses was more expensive than the voucher for two people. The food quality was okay, but definitely nowhere near the calibre of which they had advertised to be (it is supposed to be a hatted restaurant by the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide). It was a shame because they started the night off so strong with our entrees.

I think everything sounded really fancy on paper but the execution missed the mark and therefore the prices are too high for the actual food quality. I wouldn’t come here again considering there is so much good food around the Bowral area.

Venue: Katers restaurant

Address: Kater Rd, Sutton Forest, NSW

Phone: (02) 4860 3102

 

Katers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gumnut patisserie is a must!

I will stop and talk to anyone who will listen to rave about Gumnut Patisserie. The last three things I’ve eaten from there was phenomenal. Sorry about the price uncertainty, I was too excited about my baked goods to notice.

The award winning vanilla slice ($6.00?) was fabulous, ticking all the boxes by having great pastry, a rich custard topped with a sweet marbled icing.Caramel and macadamia tart ($30.00?). My great friends took a stab in the dark when choosing my birthday cake but little did they realise that this is my favourite tart from the patisserie. The whole tart is generously studded with macadamias, embedded in a not too sweet caramel which leaves you wanting more.Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce ($32.00?). I asked how to serve it and they said to microwave each individual slice and just to spoon on a helping of sauce and it just melted perfectly. The pudding wasn’t dense and overly sweet like you would  get in a Sara Lee version, it was more of a tall fluffy cake studded with dates.Catch them at their various locations in Bowral, Berrima and Mittagong.
Gumnut Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Playing Tourist and Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice — shenANNAgans

This is really to serve as a reminder for me to make this, but hopefully it inspires you too! shenANNAgans is so talented, go check out her blog.

Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice takes hours to cook and the smell of it stays in the house for days, it is a very fatty, high-calorie dish and certainly not something you eat every day, but it is TOTALLY worth the indulgence!!! Working in the hospitality industry is sometimes like traveling the world, it seems to attract adventurers…

via Playing Tourist and Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice — shenANNAgans

Da Bronx

The smell was so intoxicating from Da Bronx as we left Frankies at Forde, that all company involved didn’t mind skipping out on a fancy restaurant to stay in for a delicious pizza gorge session at home.

Finding the menu took a bit of googling and Facebook stalking but we were surprised to see that there was no garlic bread/pizza option. When I rang on a Saturday night, I was asked if I wanted fish and chips or pizza and after confirming I was ordering pizza, I was warned that ordering more than one pizza was going to take 1 hour. We were willing to wait.

Taken from their Facebook Page.All 18 inch jumbo pizza ($19.90)~ I didn’t know how big 18 inches really was (#gometric) but when TimmyC brought the pizzas into the house, the pizza boxes barely cleared the doorways.

A hand posing as a size reference.Roast vegetable supreme roasted peppers, zucchini, chargrilled eggplant, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella. I didn’t think I would enjoy this because I usually want something greasy, meaty and cheesy on my pizza. So I was surprised when I enjoyed the refreshing flavours of the vegetables, in particular the zucchini.Tomato and basil fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella. This is usually my pick of topping, it is a great combination of flavours and when done well, it is perfection. Unfortunately I thought the basil was over cooked and lost all its strong flavour. I think this would have been brilliant with buffalo mozzarella.The Bronx special mild pepperoni, cabanossi, beef sausage, shredded beef, mozzarella. Not only did I want to try their signature pizza (that they named after themselves), it also had everything I like on a pizza. As expected, I enjoyed this pizza but nothing really wowed me.BBQ Chicken oven roasted chicken breast, onion, mozzarella with BBQ sauce. I’m not usually a fan of chicken on pizza, but the chicken pieces were shredded small enough that they weren’t dry. For some reason I was really drawn to this pizza between all the different toppings.In no way is this authentic Italian pizza, this is Australianised take away thin crust pizza done really well and I think there is a novelty to the enormous size. It’s a shame it is so far away from my house.

Venue: Da Bronx

Address: 21 Francis Forde Blvd, Forde ACT 2914

Phone: (02) 6162 2933

Current opening hours: 12:00pm – 8:30pm Tuesday to Sunday
Da Bronx Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato