Progressive Foodie Tour in Sydney Round #1

Some foodie friends and I decided to do a trip to Sydney. We listed a bunch of eateries and although we knew we couldn’t fit in all the deliciousness that Sydney had to offer, we were damn well going to try. With dates locked in for the next trip, let’s call this post Progressive Foodie Tour in Sydney Round #1.

Stop #1 Mother Chu’s Taiwanese Gourmet 

I’m a sucker for fried dough sticks at any time of day, so when we could order them for breakfast at Mother Chu’s I was like ‘heck yes!’. We ordered a small selection of delicious Taiwanese treats to ease us into our progressive foodie tour around Sydney city, but I really wanted to eat more.

Green onion cake ($3.50). This was my favourite pick of the dishes as it seems deceptively simple but had an amazing crunchy flaky texture.Flaky pastry with You Tiao ($5.50 each).Glutinous rice roll with pork floss ($5.00 each)Cold soybean drink ($3.00).

Stop #2 Emperor’s cream puffs

If you can stop yourself at one, they are 35c each but who really has that much self control. For 5 bucks you get a container full of 18 cute little puffs in the shape of a walnut filled with hot custard. CAUTION HOT! It is not as good as Beard Papa, but I’ll take what I can get.

Stop #3 Niigata city

We were on the search for O-san ramen down in Dixon food court only to be met by an empty store. We stood there in disbelief as we didn’t have a plan B. We immediately took to google to find out that the ramen store is safe and well in another location after a kitchen explosion. We headed to Niigata City beating the lunch rush. Knowing the delicious road ahead, we had to opt for half serves ($9.00) but it was very tempting to want more. The broth was slightly thick, very rich and went down a treat with the delicious char sui and bouncy chewy noodles. This place quickly became one of my top 5 places to eat ramen in Sydney.

Around us everyone ordered beautiful bento boxes, I will have to come back and try more of the menu.

Favourite pick: Tonkotsu ramen (which has always been my favourite, although the black garlic did catch my eye). The addition of raw onions did catch me a bit off guard.

Stop #4 Hakkaido baked cheese tarts

This was initially one of our first stops until we realised that they weren’t open yet and we were too hungry to wait around. The opening times were a little unclear, it appears they open around 11:30am until when they sell out (roughly around 4pm). There is a limit of 6 cheese tarts per customer at $3.90 a pop.

After taking a million photos around the stall without annoying other patrons, I took a bite of the luke warm wobbly tart. It instantly reminded me of an oyster mornay (without the oyster of course), it tasted like a bechamel sauce with the burnt spots which then after a subtle aftertaste of a cheesecake. A subtle sweetness that I could get used to.

Knowing that there were still many stops along the way during this hot day, I decided not to order a roadie to see what it tasted like cold. I will definitely be back!

Stop #5 Holy Shake

Next stop – Gimmicky-ville

Did I just buy a honey milk tea with pearls ($6.40) just so I could get a cute light bulb that flashes rainbow lights? Perhaps, but if TimmyC asks, it was purely essential for my hydration levels on a hot day.

At least the milk tea wasn’t too sweet which is how I like it.

Stop #6 Just Fry

We needed something to take the edge of all the sweetness we had been having and Just Fry’s sign had been staring at us, nay TAUNTING us that we had to get something fried. We opted for the Taiwanese chicken nuggets ($6.50), which came in a pre-weighed amount, deep fried and then doused in garlic (amazing!). A handy little savoury snack to keep us going until our next stop.

Stop #7 i-Creamy Artisan Gelato

I had first come across gelato flowers when I was in Europe a few years ago. It appears the craze has finally hit our shores but this time with the option of Asian flavours. My first picks of flavours (raspberry yoghurt and French vanilla) were sold out so I ended up with salted caramel and taro ($6.90), not because the flavours particularly compliment each other but because I had chosen two brown flavours as my second choice and it was pointed out by my server. I panicked and threw in purple into the mix. Some flavours are more suited to the outer petals depending on the ‘hardness’ of the ice cream.

It may be because I’ve been spoilt by Frugii for so many years but I didn’t think the flavours were very strong (I had high expectations and hopes for salted caramel) and within minutes of receiving my ice cream, it started to melt very fast (it was a particularly hot day) and with each lick, the pretty petals melted away to give a brown/purple melded concoction.

I’d keep your money for a better ice creamery, this seems to be purely gimmicky (but very instagrammable).

Stop #8 Uncle Tetsu

Well since we tried one cheese tart, it would only be fair if we wandered across the road and tried the other cheese tart. I was surprised to see that Uncle Tetsu had expanded into three areas; the front main stall was selling Japanese cheesecake with other baked goods, the entrance at the back sold cheese tarts exclusively and down stairs you could find sweets including their matcha range with limited seating.

Uncle Tetsu’s cheesetart ($3.90). Looking at the shell of the tart, I knew it would be more hard and crumbly than the previous one we had tried. This tart had more of a custard tart vibe and didn’t have that light wobbliness to the texture. I didn’t love the crust although the filling was nice but overall I think I prefer Hakkaido cheese tarts. The matcha tart had a nice flavour with a subtle tea bitterness aftertaste.

Stop #9 Black Star Pastry

My foodie friends wanted to try the raspberry lychee cake and it is one of the better cakes to eat on a hot day. I really love raspberry paired with lychee and it did taste a lot like their famous watermelon as they share the same filling, but I think the watermelon version is more refreshing.

Stop #10 Koi Dessert bar

This one deserves a post of its own. Be on the look out for my next post but until then here is some food porn.

Storch for days 

Storch for days. Between the six of us we mixed, rolled, folded and fried these beauties. We each took a bucket load and I’ve finally finished my share. I wonder when we will make these again 🤔. 
#italian #storch #crostoli #storchfordays

Golden syrup apple pie – taste tester


Most people would cook something and then think of the sides or accompaniments, but I’m not most people.

I had a craving for Tilba real double cream and since eating straight from the tub would be frowned upon in society, I decided to make an apple pie to go with it. My craving would double up as a dessert that I would take to TimmyC’s family dinner (Sunday treats), so winning all round!

I was sure that I had all the ingredients to make an apple pie at home and all I would need from the other side of town while I was there was the elusive Tilba double cream. When I sat down to browse the countless recipes, I found myself on a lot of American sites. The humble apple pie after all was almost their signature dessert, but most if not all recipes included shortening in the pastry… This I did not have, so I found myself back at the good ol’ taste.com.au. You might think I have a golden syrup addiction (and I do but you don’t need to worry about that) considering my previous taste tester post also featured this ingredient.

I really liked the texture of the apples in thin slices and the pastry really held well together while cutting it all up. I didn’t really adjust anything in the recipe except for using more apples as I had more laying around than required.

Golden syrup apple pie

Prep time: 45 minutes + chilling  Cooking time: 45 minutes + cooling

Ingredients (in Australian units)
Filling
  • 10 granny smith large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup golden syrup
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 170g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg straight from the fridge
  • 2 tblsp chilled water
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
Pie topper
  • 1 lightly beaten egg white
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
Equipment
  • a good knife or mandolin
  • food processor
  • pie tin (I used a fluted quiche plate)
  • cling wrap
  • baking paper
  • oven
  • rolling pin
  • non-stick Dutch oven or deep frying pan
  • mixing bowl
  • baking tray
Method
  1. To make the filling place the Dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter. Add in the sugar, syrup and apples and cook until they start to soften.
  2. Mix the cornflour with 2 teaspoons of cold water thoroughly and add it to the apples along with the cinnamon. Stir and cook until the sauce begins to thicken and coats the apples. Pour the apple mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, butter and caster sugar into the food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add the egg and water and pulse until just incorporated (the dough will appear crumbly). Place the dough mixture on the bench and hand knead until the dough comes together.
  4. Divide the dough into thirds. Take 1/3 of the dough and shape it into a 2cm thick disc. Combine the other 2/3 into another 2cm disc and wrap each piece in cling wrap and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced and move the oven rack to the lowest shelf
  6. Between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the 2/3 portion disc until 4mm thick and the shape of your pie tin with a bit of overhang. Line the pie tin with the pastry and sprinkle almond meal on the base before putting in the pie filling.
  7. Between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the 1/3 portion disc until 3mm thick. Place the pie lid on and fold up the excess pastry. Cut a few slits into the centre of the pie lid. Brush a bit of egg white all over the top of the pie before sprinkling the white sugar and cinnamon
  8. Place the pie tin on a tray on the lowest shelf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes before reducing the temperature to 160C fan forced and baking for a futher 25 minutes
  9. Leave the pie to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving
Tips
It is a really sweet pie with all the sugar and golden syrup so you really need to pair it with a good double cream, custard or ice cream.

My rustic looking pie with Tilba double cream.
The pastry cut really well and I love the texture of the apple slices.
Warm apple pie with cream, is there anything better?

On Flinders

I saw on Canberra food geek’s instagram that On Flinders does a mighty fine pizza, so when I found myself looking for dinner before an early movie, I knew where I wanted to go. I don’t go to Manuka very often but On Flinders’ name is pretty indicative of its location and it is right next to Public.
Pizza~ Monday – Saturday 12pm – 9pm  Sunday/Public holidays 12pm – 3pm
Flinders mozzarella, bocconcini, prosciutto and basil ($20.00). Finally, someone that understands that every slice should have all the ingredients and you don’t need to fight to the death for a slice that has a tiny bit of meat on it. This was a really good pizza, not the absolute best that I’ve had but man, double points for the generous toppings. It makes me smile that almost every bite I took had delicious prosciutto.
Basil and prosciutto on every slice and all topped off with lots of cheese. YUM!

The service was polite and efficient; just be mindful that they only make pizzas during certain times. I’m definitely going to be back to try more of their vast menu.

Venue: On Flinders
Address: 5 Flinders Way, Griffith ACT 2603
 On Flinders Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

OTIS Dining Hall

It seemed like a particularly long week at work, so I convinced my friend that we should deservedly go to have lunch at OTIS to celebrate surviving the first week back.

We had the 3 course deal for $64.00 pp but I’ve listed the à la carte prices.

Starters~

Spaghetti no. 5, pecorino, pepper and truffle ($18.00). This is definitely a dish best eaten hot. I couldn’t really taste any truffle because it was so pepper dominant, but I love pepper and cheese so this worked really well for me. The serve was small so the taste didn’t become monotonous.Mains~

Baked ocean trout, hollandaise, spring vegetables ($32.00). My friend really enjoyed her main. I tried the hollandaise sauce and it had a wonderful zesty kick to it.OTIS pepper steak, silk-wood brandy jus, side of frites ($42.00). If you know me, you know I love my steak and now you know I love my pepper, so you mathematically I would love this dish (and I did!) but what made me take my breath away was the jus. It is so rich that not long after pouring it onto my plate, it started to form a skin. Not only did it give a great flavour enhancement to the beef, it made for the best dipping sauce for my fries.Desserts~

Magnum and meringue, lemon curd, shortbread ($16.00). A great combination. The perfect amount of sweetness with the perfect amount of zest, served within an array of textures.Crème caramel, whisky, smoked sea salt ($16.00). This was so smooth and rich and while I did really enjoy it, I found myself having to flick back and forth between the lemon curd of the other dessert to break up the intense sweetness.The staff were very friendly and attentive. We had long lunch to enjoy to the whole experience and we left feeling full and very satisfied. My friend was so impressed that she already decided when she was going back (without me too!).

Such comfy comfy seats!Venue: OTIS Dining Hall

Address: 29 Jardine St, Kingston ACT 2604

Phone:  (02) 6260 6066