Godiva Chocolatier – Hawaiian series

One of the many franchises that I researched to see if it was in Hawaii before my arrival was Godiva Chocolatier. I had to specify that they sold soft serve and not just their delicious chocolate biscuits because that’s what we had craved since we tried it in Japan several years ago. Luckily for us there were multiple franchises around Honolulu and we happened to visit all of them.

Mixed soft serve ($6.00 excl tax). On a warm day in Hawaii, this is exactly what we wanted. There are extras you can get on the cone etc. but you don’t need the bells and whistles, just this delicious soft serve.Salted caramel chocolate shake ($6.00 excl tax). It was okay, it had a very thick texture which made it hard work to suck up the straw, but we much preferred the creamy soft serve.All three locations didn’t have any seating which is a little annoying but the high calibre of product is consistent.

Venue: Godiva Chocolatier

Locations:

Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
International Marketplace, 2330 Kalakaua Ave Honolulu, HI 96815
Waikele center outlet, 94-790 Lumiaina St Waipahu, HI 96797

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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

I was making fun of TimmyC that we were going to somewhere called ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’ for lunch despite having booked months ahead. It wasn’t until I read the definition of the ‘dinner’ on the wall did I realise that maybe dinner didn’t mean what I thought it meant.Drinks~

Cider gimlet Calvados Domfrontais, acidulated butter, cider cordial ($24.00).Peter Pipe’s pickled lemon lemonade lemon juice, lemon brine, lemon sugar, soda ($14.00). My mouth is watering just thinking about this drink again. Man it was intensely lemony and tangy.Complimentary~

Bread and butter.Starters~

Meat Fruit mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread ($38.00). This was spectacular, visually and texturally. This seemed like the obvious choice for a photo but I really enjoyed tasting this even though I’m not a huge fan of pâté like objects. The mandarin gel covering was subtle and melted away almost at an instant when it hits the tongue. I was completely blown away by how creamy the pâté tasted and the airy light texture, which was a sharp contrast to the crunchy grilled bread.This is truly a work of art.Rice & Flesh saffron, curried kangaroo, red wine and amaranth ($38.00).Savoury Porridge garlic and parsley butter, grilled abalone, pickled beetroot and fennel ($36.00). The texture of the oats along with texture of the fennel reminded me of the snail porridge from Fat Duck. TimmyC said he thought that some of the elements of the dish seemed odd but when you put everything together, it all paired perfectly.Mains~

Slow Cooked Pork Belly Spelt, lardo, baby turnip & Robert sauce ($58.00). I have never had pork belly that was as white as the clouds that tasted like a Christmas ham. It was absolutely incredible. Even though I was thoroughly enjoying my main, I leant over and helped myself to the pork belly.Chicken cooked with lettuces grilled onion emulsuion, oyster leaves and spiced parsnip sauce ($58.00).Specials~

David Blackmore Waygu (marbling score 9+ 200g) served with mushroom ketchup and triple cooked chips ($120.00 yes you read that right). I know what you’re thinking, if a ‘special’ is so special, why isn’t it on the menu? The only reason that it isn’t usually on the menu is because the steak isn’t always available so now that it was, I jumped at the chance!

I think there is nothing more sad than when a steak sits alone on a plate but seriously – this needed nothing else because it was perfect just the way it was. I didn’t even eat the mushroom ketchup and triple cooked chips after tasting them (I hear you all gasping!). It was the nicest steak I’ve ever eaten; it was well seasoned but the meat itself was very flavoursome and it almost didn’t require chewing because it melted in your mouth. The only downside is that it has ruined me for other steak.That marbling- WOW!The triple cooked chips were really crunchy.Desserts~

Tipsy cake spit roast pineapple with a freshly baked brioche ($32.00). When the waiter was describing how the pineapple was prepared by spit roasting while being basted in an apple salted caramel sauce, I was sold! What really surprised me about the dessert was the amazing freshly made brioche; it completely blew me away. I spent a lot of my time sniffing its intoxicating scent, it reminded me of stepping into a bakery. The brioche is finished off with brandy and Sauternes cream which was like an amazing bread and butter pudding on another level. I would have this every day if I could.Want a bite?The beautiful pineapples slowly being spit roasted while being basted every now and then.Chocolate bar passionfruit jam and ginger ice cream ($30.00).The Lamington cake raspberry jam, toasted coconut, rum and vanilla ice cream ($30.00).A little something something~

Just when we thought the experience was about to end, we were given an extra little something sweet before we left. Chocolate ganache with carraway seed biscuit– the ganache was extremely soft and smooth and the biscuit was the perfect accompaniment because it offset the sweetness.We found the service to be very attentive, efficient and friendly. I wouldn’t wait for a special occasion, just come here and experience fantastic food.Venue: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Address: Crown Towers Melbourne, 130/8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC

Phone(03) 9292 5779

Websitewww.dinnerbyheston.com.au/

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Biota re-run

I could not visit Bowral without going to Biota, the restaurant holds a special place in my heart because that is where TimmyC proposed to me. We have been there multiple times; the first visit was an eye widening, jaw dropping meal as we had never had that kind of dining experience before. The second time, I didn’t love it as much and I was starting to wonder if they were doing unusual things for the sake of being avant-garde and the third was a casual encounter on the bar side trying to eat as many croquettes as I could.Keen to add it to my birthday dining list, TimmyC booked weeks in advance so we didn’t miss out.Cooler months Five courses ($110.00 pp)

Snacks~Pear and cheese. This reminded me of a sheep milk cigar I had at MoVida, the outer layer is chewy and sweet which offset the tartness of the cheese.Kangaroo and Acacia jerky This was really tough jerky (but I guess most of them are), but the kangaroo flavours were subtle which is good because I don’t usually enjoy the strong aftertaste of kangaroo.Tasty Dory roe fish smoked roe with charcoal lavosh bread, garlic oil and salsa verde. I could not believe how much I enjoyed this. When I ran out of lavosh bread I started slathering it on the rye loaf.

Molasses and Rye loaf with cultured butter. I found the crust a little too tough and chewy but that is my personal preference.  The soft bready centre created a wonderful transportation system to get all the tasty dory roe into my mouth.

The bread is hiding in the fur pouch.Mains~

Creamed eggs, spanner crab and persimmon. This was perfection. The richness of this dish reminded me of the delicious crab dish from Noma but the flavours reminded me of a burnt butter sage pasta.Whipped potato, hen yolk and cabbage buds confit hens yolk, whipped potato, garden Brussels sprouts and egg white pearls. I was really surprised that the cabbage leaves were more sweet rather than bitter. The whipped potato was light in flavour and texture which went well with the rich yolk and refreshing cabbage leaves.Peek-a-boo, there is the egg yolk!Pastured fed beef cooked over coals beef cooked over coals with leeks and potato. My favourite things on a plate. The beef itself had lots of flavour but the leeks and potato it to another whole savoury level. I would have preferred a bigger portion but that’s just me being selfish.Dessert~

Sheep yoghurt and our honey. Tim was ready to hand over his plate when they said sheep yoghurt, but he was probably glad that I prompted him to try it first as he was scraping the last of his bowl while I was finishing up with my photos. There was no strong aftertaste that I usually find with most sheep dairy products. The tartness of the yoghurt was sweetened with the perfect amount of honey and I loved the abundance of the finger lime. It was so ridiculous how good this dessert was even though it was so simple, it was just a perfect balance of flavours.Mandarin and goats milk custard. The mandarin powder coating had a slight bitterness to it but it quickly dissipated as the delicate sweetness of the meringue and centre hits the palate. The softness texture of the ball with the icy sorbet reminded me of the snow egg from Quay.

It is so sweet that they put a candle in for my birthday.Beverages~ I ordered the non-alcoholic juice pairing which was really good and I loved how complex the flavours were ($50.00pp?).

Lemonade, smoke apple and pear juice, red grapes with cinnamon cloves and bitters and ending with caramelised pomegranate and grapefruit. 
I loved how the menu keeps evolving and changing almost every week to encompass local fresh produce. We really enjoyed our meal and the service was perfection. Ingredients are not puréed, chopped or foamed, they appear  whole and are paired perfectly with each other. It is almost like there was minimal cooking (but a lot of talent) and it was showcasing the best produce.

Venue: Biota

Address: 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone(02) 4862 2005

Entertainment book: I’m so annoyed I forgot to use my Canberra 2016/17 book, I told TimmyC he will have to take me again.
Biota Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Around the world in 5 hours

Now that Friday incorporates more food at the Multicultural festival, I use it as a scouting mission for the next big full day.
Tonight I tried lots of new things that I’ve never eaten before and there is definitely more to try on Saturday.
Clockwise starting at 12:

Pan rolls from Sri Lanka ($2.50 each)– they taste like a spicy crispy croquette!

African cigars ($9 for 4 pieces)– I really wanted Kpuff Kpuff but they aren’t available until Saturday. This had a spring roll pastry feel but the filling reminded me of an ethiopian meat samosa. Mmmm

African feelings ginger beer ($5.00)– an intense ginger taste that left a mild burning at the back of the throat. Absolutely delicious (for ginger lovers)

Churros ($10 for three churros and dipping sauce) – well this isn’t new but it’s what we wanted at 10:45 pm complete with caramel sauce

Aegean platter BBQ octopus, tzatziki, Greek salad, olives, fetta and pita bread ($15.00) – for the first time I didn’t dive straight into the Greek doughnuts (tomorrow!). I loved everything on this plate

Lokma ($5.00) – I’ve never had a turkish doughnut. They are small, super syrupy and juicy inside. Eat it in one bite or your clothes will get messy

Plantain chips ($6.00) – I would have liked more salt but they came out super hot and fresh

Bhutanese beef momo ($2 each) – one of the better momos I’ve had at this festival. Yum!

Gozleme ($10.00) – I’ve never had one at the multicultural before but it still wasn’t anything special

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On Saturday I want to eat: Iranian, Eygptian, Hungarian, Tongan, more Bhutanese and more from the African van.

 

Akiba re-run

I did intend on returning to Akiba but not this soon, this was all TimmyC’s doing, he was super keen! Despite the bad weather, we head in with enthusiasm and we giggle when we are seated in our previous seats with the same server from our first visit (see my previous blog post here).

Here is the menu, this time complete with prices.IMG_7690.JPGNatural oyster, ume mignonette (4 pieces $10.00). All of the oysters were still anchored down in the shell so when I tried to one shot my oyster, I ended up sucking all the mignonette and then having to go back and set my oyster free, which by then was then just an oyster. Bits of the shell did break off so I had to spit them out after eventually getting to the oysters. Instead of four quick shots of oysters, it ended up being a little bit more effort than I thought it would be and the flavours weren’t particularly amazing.IMG_7692.JPGKingfish sashimi, coconut, nam jim, coriander ($12.00). We loved this dish during our first visit but this time it was much hotter and it caught TimmyC off guard. I still really liked it but TimmyC couldn’t eat much more after his first bite.IMG_7693.JPGYellowfin tuna, organic Japanese soy, wasabi panna cotta ($14.00). I had forgotten that there was supposed to be a wasabi panna cotta until I re-read the menu just now. I didn’t notice this component and to me this was just a really nice sashimi.IMG_7699.JPG

IMG_7698.JPGSteamed prawn and chicken dumpling, chilli oil, black vinegar dressing (4 pieces $10.00). I thought this was a really nice dumpling and I really enjoyed the black vinegar, but I didn’t think there was anything special about this dish.IMG_7696.JPGPork belly bao, char sui, asian slaw ($8.00). Wow, what a turn around in almost every aspect. The cut of pork was much more suited to fill the bao, the bao itself was much nicer but still not perfect; they are now made in-house rather than brought in from Sydney. There was definitely a bit of everything within each bite which makes it easier to stomach the steep price attached (Ippudo buns are $4 a pop).IMG_7694.JPGThe bun is brimming with excitement and it can barely contain itself.IMG_7705.JPGIMG_7710.JPGSweet corn pancake, chilli caramel, togarashi ($4.00).

Kimchi and angasi pancake, kewpie mayo, sirracha, ittogaki (4.00). I liked how you can just order one pancake as this allowed us to explore more of the options. Both were really nice but I think we liked the kimchi and angasi pancake more comparatively because it had more bold flavours.IMG_7703.JPGIMG_7704.JPGSmokey roast potato, pecorino custard, smoked eel teriyaki ($5.00). “Here’s your one potato”, I giggled at the introduction of our dish. I’m surprised that TimmyC ate and liked this because he isn’t a big fan of cheese. The potato was super super crispy, the pecorino custard wasn’t over powering and a unique concept and the eel helped bring everything together. I really liked this and was very tempted to order another.IMG_7701.JPGWe had ordered 8 items that we requested not to be staggered out, I wanted to see how fast the service could be and TimmyC was very hungry. Between ordering and receiving our last dish it was definitely super fast; I’m going to guesstimate under 10 minutes, but my stomach, mouth and photography couldn’t keep up and I probably wouldn’t do this again unless there was a whole group of us and we were all really hungry.

Caribbean chicken bao,  charred pineapple, kewpie mayo ($8.00). We got greedy. We wanted to try a little bit more; TimmyC wanted another pork bao and I wanted something that we hadn’t tried before, so we compromised and chose this. Although the chicken was super moist and tender, I didn’t think that the pineapple was charred but more importantly I didn’t see how these flavours in the bao work together. I didn’t like it.IMG_7713.JPG

IMG_7711.JPGCharred asparagus, uni butter, seaweed powder ($14.00). The asparagus itself was nicely cooked and the butter tasted lemony and almost had a cheesey flavour. This was cooked in their very big fancy oven (which was very $$$) but I don’t see how it is any better than me cooking it at home in a pan with butter, salt and pepper.IMG_7714.JPGTea smoked duck ham, gruyere custard, umeboshi and rosemary ($7.00). This was almost unrecognisable as a duck flavour, it was more familiar in my mouth as a cured pork product that has a really nice smokey flavour. I’m not completely sold on all the flavours and compared to other menu items, I probably wouldn’t order this again but TimmyC liked it.IMG_7720.JPGTo give you a size comparison, I took a wider shot against my water glass.IMG_7722.JPGChocolate tart, pickled strawberry ($9.00). It wasn’t as great as the first time that we had it; I felt that the soft chocolate tart component had more coffee flavours with harsh bitter after taste.IMG_7724.JPG

IMG_7726.JPGHand crafted pottery is slowly coming in as the training wheels are coming off.IMG_7723.JPGAfter having eaten most of the menu, I still really enjoy Akiba but I definitely have ‘go to’ dishes and other ones that I probably won’t bother with. I cannot wait to see their breakfast menu!

Akiba

If you had asked me earlier in the day what I was doing on Saturday night, I would have told you that I was going to sleep off the food coma that I was about to be induced in after heading home from a 24hr interstate return trip.

I did not expect to drive back from Wollongong and immediately proceed to the doors of Akiba and line up for 45 minutes in the miserable weather, but that is exactly what TimmyC and I did after I had read the following Facebook post from HerCanberra:

I’m blaming HerCanberra and Eileen from The Food Avenue for enticing me to wanting to go to Akiba that night.

FB

What happened next was quite embarrassing, I hopefully will eventually learn to laugh at the situation, but for now I’m cringing every time I think about it. I accidentally stood at the front of the line thinking it was the back. The lovely people who were actually indeed in front of the line and had started waiting before 5pm, were very sweet not to swear at me as I innocently stood in front of them and started chatting to another 101localhuman as well as star food blogger Eileen (The Food Avenue). It wasn’t until I asked Eileen ‘how many people do you think are in front of you?’ did I realise my mistake. I proceeded to then squeeze in with Eileen and her partner who were second in line and I didn’t stop feeling guilty until I knew that everyone that was in line before the opening, was easily within the first 100 people *phew*. I think the weather put off a few people because 45 minutes after the opening, people that just came in were still within the first 100 people, which meant they got 6 dishes for free.IMG_7617.JPGWe could see the staff being briefed inside and as it rolled around to 6pm, the door was slowly opened and we were greeted with loud applause, lots of high energy and chants of ‘Akiba’ by the staff. It all felt a bit strange and surreal but it pumped me up before our meal.

There was some confusion with the menu about the portion sizes and prices. First of all there were no prices written on the menu and they had ‘special discounted prices’ on the night for the desserts so I couldn’t tell you if the dumplings were a bargain or if you were better off buying a packet of frozen ones at home. Secondly, some dishes come as a serve (regardless of how many are on the table) and some come as per person, so it might not have been advantageous for the very generous Eileen to allow me to sit at her table.  The food menu is divided into the following headings: raw, dumplings/bao/pancakes/buns, meat and fish, veg and dessert.

A look into the menu of Akiba.IMG_7531.JPGOne of the first to be seated with other patrons followed closely behind, the restaurant fills up fastIMG_7527.JPGA close up of the oyster bar.IMG_7612.JPGDrinks~

Snap, Crackle and Pop punch Ketel One vodka, Rice bubbles infused milk, pineapple and lemon Note: contains no milk ($20.00). This sounded like a really cute drink and I love how the rim of the glass was coated; everyone who tasted it thoroughly enjoyed it.IMG_7538.JPGFukushima Zombie Secret blend of Rums, triple citrus and ginger. For when you need to blow off steam! ($18.00 but we were charged $15.00). This was someone else’s drink but I think the alcohol was very strong in this cocktail.IMG_7540.JPGLychee cider ($10.00). I was surprised to see that this was a local product but I think TimmyC was expecting something a little sweeter.IMG_7539.JPGFood~ With only six dishes for free and no idea about portion sizes, we decided to choose our top 6 and then order again if need be afterwards.

Kingfish sashimi, coconut, nam jim, coriander (one serve 4 pieces). As soon as I took my mouthful, my palette went on a flavour journey, it was rather amazing really. There were so many flavours in the mouthful and I really liked the addition of the coconut cream. It’s a shame that it was the first dish to come because nothing much could compare; this was definitely one of my favourite dishes of the night.IMG_7544.JPGIMG_7545.JPGBeef tartare, pink peppercorn, pickled cucumber, fried egg puree, sweet potato crisp. I wouldn’t have chosen this one personally, but I’m really glad that someone did. The crispy sweet potato acted like a sandwich cover and made it much easier to eat in a few simple bites. You wouldn’t have thought that it was raw meat; dishes like this goes to show that you should try something new and you might be pleasantly surprised.IMG_7548.JPGIMG_7549.JPGIMG_7552.JPGBeef short rib dumpling, preserved lemon, shiitake mushroom, star anise broth (one serve 4 pieces). The filling was very tender and almost like a pulled beef. I was impressed with the size of the dumpling, how thin the wrapper was and the addition of the star anise broth gave it the sauce that it needed to not dry out.IMG_7555.JPGSpiced pork jowl, pan cake, pickled white peach, cucumber, negi. This was oily, potato-ey and salty but I loved every bite. The white peach gave it a sweetness and crunch that helped with the oilyness and it reminded me of my Mum’s potato scallop when I used to wedge it into my hamburger.IMG_7557.JPGIMG_7558.JPGPork belly bao, char sui, asian slaw (one bun per person). This was one of TimmyC’s favourite dishes but I didn’t like it as much. I thought that the filling should maybe have been more uniform across the bun (maybe a wide slice rather than little thick pieces) as there were some mouthfuls that had zero filling and the bun wasn’t as white and fluffy to what I’m used to. The sauce on the pork was salty but well balanced by the asian slaw.IMG_7561.JPGIMG_7563.JPGA closer look of the inside of the bao.IMG_7564.JPGUntil this point, food was coming thick and fast from the kitchen, but they finally must have hit a breaking point because it was a loooooooong time before our last dish arrived. We didn’t mind as we were happily conversing but eventually our chicken arrived.IMG_7543.JPGJ.F.C., lemon braised onions, parmesan (one serving 4 pieces). J.F.C stands for ‘Japanese Fried Chicken’ and as soon as we found that out, it definitely made it to our top 6 dishes. I found it a little disappointing that they didn’t take it to another level like the other dishes and it was actually in fact… Just fried chicken.IMG_7567.JPGHaving two keen bean foodies on the table, it was no surprise that we wanted to order more dishes outside of our 6 free ones; it was for multiple reasons: 1) we wanted to suss out the prices of the meals 2) we wanted to try more from the menu and 3) we weren’t really full from the food so far. We asked our designated waiter how much the dishes were before we ordered them and he came back with the answer of ‘keep it hush hush but if you order two more dishes we’ll also give them to you free’, which really didn’t help us with our first point but we were happy enough to order another two.

There was another long wait before we got our final two savoury dishes and our very kind waiter was profusely apologetic but we didn’t mind at all as we were still happily talking. They gave us an additional complimentary serving of beef short rib dumplings as an apology for the slow kitchen and not long after, our dishes arrived.

It was starting to get really busy inside Akiba.IMG_7569.JPGBeef short rib, tamarind caramel, thai basil (one serve). This was so tender that I’m pretty sure if I sneezed it would have fallen apart. A big chunk of meat that super tender with great savoury flavours.IMG_7611.JPGSoft shell crab bao, pickled baby gem, creamy ponzu (one bun per person). I think in their haste they forgot the creamy ponzu and it definitely needed it. I don’t think I’m in love with their bun because I’ve had better but the soft shell crab itself was crunchy, had a nice meaty component (not just all the crispy legs) and was seasoned well.IMG_7613.JPGThere wasn’t much on one side of my bun.IMG_7616.JPGDessert~ They were giving us a special discount price of $8.00 each but they were unable to tell us how much the desserts would be charged after the official opening.

Chocolate tart, pickled strawberry. There were two parts of the chocolate tart: the hard part which tasted like solid chocolate and a soft velvety part which had delicious caramel coffee notes that everyone wanted to end on.IMG_7621.JPGTofu cheese cake, anzac crumb, pandan jelly. Don’t be put off by the tofu in the cheesecake, it is more for the texture. As non picturesque as it is (comparatively), I really enjoyed it, it was light on the palette and you could really taste the pandan in the jelly; it was a very small serve though. Between the two desserts though, I would probably prefer the chocolate tart because of soft velvety component.IMG_7620.JPGI thought stomach wise, I was just on the borderline of being content but the longer I sat there afterwards, the ‘fuller’ I felt, but admittedly that was after sharing NINE savoury dishes and a dessert. Maybe if you don’t go from brunch straight to dinner (or eat like a normal person), you’ll require less food.

I would like to thank the lovely Eileen (The Food Avenue) so so so much for letting me hijack her table and allowing me to order more food than if it was TimmyC and I (he is useless).

The restaurant sits 152 patrons with outdoor seating eventually to come with another 60 person capacity.

I wouldn’t have minded to sit in a booth; my bum was feeling a little sore after sitting on stools for over two hours.IMG_7626.JPG

IMG_7628.JPGI really liked the food here, despite a few hiccups which is to be expected during the opening of a new restaurant. Akiba has an exciting menu with lots of variations; I will be returning very shortly and I will be keen to find out some prices.

Venue: Akiba

Address: 40 Bunda Street, Civic ACT 2600

Website: http://www.akiba.com.au/

Opening: The official opening is Monday (8th Dec) night. They envisage being open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen will close around 10 ish and the place will transition into a bar serving interesting cocktails until early hours of the morning.
Akiba on Urbanspoon

The Forage

To keep me happy and distracted, TimmyC took me to The Forage out in Hangar #47 that was on today between 3 – 8pm . He is so sweet to me.IMG_7169.JPGNothing perks me up more than a market and a variety of food. I haven’t been out to The Forage since they have moved out to the Hangar but now there is a lot more space to move around, 2000 car parks and access to ATMs. I think it is an improvement to being squished in the New Acton area.

Pop up barber shop, how cute!IMG_7170.JPG

 Mr. PapaIMG_7145.JPG

Chanchito Peruvian pork belly sandwich with sweet potato ($12.00). We added extra sauces to all that tasty pork belly which was all melty in our mouths. I thought it was funny when the gorgeous server looked at TimmyC and I when passing our food and said “Hey I was in your house!“, hahahaha. This never disappoints me.IMG_7155.JPGChicken wings ‘Alitas’ ($10.00). These were really tender and the sauce complimented the lovely smokey flavour really well.IMG_7149.JPGInca Kola. Carlos was sweet enough to treat us to a couple of Inca Kolas which washed everything down really nicely.IMG_7147.JPG

NookieIMG_7141.JPG

Iced Chocolate ($7.00). It was a little bit of an extortion price (like everything else) for something that was mainly ice but it did the trick of being refreshing without being overly sweet which is what I really wanted.IMG_7177.JPG

Maple and Bacon glazed doughnut ($4.00). This sounds OTT and crazy but it was really nice. The maple sweetness was evident but not too sweet and the doughnut had a really nice texture without being oily.IMG_7159.JPG

Gelato Joe’s

Two scoops mango and strawberry ($7.50). I was hesitant to try their gelato as their store left me really disappointed before they shut down, they had really gritty textures to their product. This time the texture of the gelato was much smoother but the flavour themselves were slightly disappointing, I think Frugii has ruined me for life. I tasted mango, strawberry, salted caramel with macadamia and Cassata Siciliana.

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Street Bites

This guy’s shirt made me giggle. I appreciated the display food because you then know what you’re expecting.IMG_7167.JPG

Fried calamari tempura calamari with shallots, chilli and Asian rock salt ($10.00). The calamari pieces were crispy and the thicker pieces weren’t too tough and chewy. It had good flavours of salt, shallots and chilli but eating the whole thing without sharing would have been too oily.IMG_7161.JPG

Strawberries ‘n’ cream vanilla soft serve combined with frozen strawberry yoghurt topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, coulis and mint ($9.00). After being disappointed with Gelato Joe’s, TimmyC was hoping to finish on a high and was wanting a second dessert so he went back to Street Bites to get this. The flavours were the perfect marriage, I don’t recall tasting any mint in it though, maybe they forgot about it. The strawberries were very sweet and all of it was gobbled up before it melted.

They also had other indulgences sweets like chocolate sundae, sticky date pudding and banana split.

Honourable mentions

I wish I had a chance to try these other places, maybe next time but their stuff looked amazing,

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IMG_7172.JPGThere was also New York Minute, Dinner rush and a pork place that I didn’t take a photo of but I wanted to try.

I like their new location and I look forward to many more delicious adventures out at The Forage.IMG_7178.JPG

 

Cow and the Moon

Our friends had been telling us for years to go to Cow and the Moon but whenever we dined in Newtown, we get excessively full and can’t fit any more in.  So this time, we decided to have gelato as our ‘meal’ so we could definitely fit it in. Since Cow and the Moon won best gelato in the world, yes the WORLD(!) with their flavour Mandorla affogato, everyone else also had the same idea on this gorgeous (border lining hot) Spring day.

It can be a a bit daunting when you see the line but it didn’t take too long to zoom through to the front (15-20 minutes?).IMG_5289.JPGCow and the Moon has been around for ages but only now is it getting recognition for their delicious gelato.IMG_5291.JPGA window glimpse into the future, we are getting closer!IMG_5290.JPGI love their upcycled tin holding gorgeous poppys.IMG_5292.JPGThey also have other sweets and cakes but I don’t think anyone is here for that.IMG_5294.JPG

IMG_5293.JPGA price list for cups, drinks and take home packs.IMG_5295.JPGYou would not believe what happened next, you couldn’t even make this stuff up, but the last of Mandorla affogato was scooped up by the person who was served just before me. I gave a hopeful look to my server and asked if there was any left but she informed me that there was going to be a 20 minute wait til the next batch was ready. Tim wasn’t willing to wait (or line up again), so I had to go with a quick plan B.

I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, I was disappointed with the lack of Mandorla affogato but I didn’t want to taste test replacement flavours so I just chose names of gelato flavours that I would think I would like. It was slightly frustrating not having a menu on the wall and having to actively bustle through the crowd to get a glance of the other flavours but we managed to get an interesting array. Other interesting flavours that I did not get to try included: baby beets, which had a gorgeous colour, pomegranate and strawberry and balsamic vinegar.IMG_5296-0.JPGThe flavours I was able to taste were banana and salted caramel; vanilla; sticky date and merango tango. All the gelato flavours were smooth, creamy and sweet but the one that really stood out for me (which I didn’t think I would like) was the banana and salted caramel. I felt that the other flavours were sweet but not identifiable as their stated flavour.IMG_5300.JPGFor those who follow my instagram and read my blog regularly, you know that I went back to try my luck with Mandorla affogato again. The line was much shorter on a week day but still very busy since it was the school holidays. Mum and I were browsing the flavours and I had noticed that the flavour choices had changed. I held my breath when once again, just inches away the empty stainless steel tray where the Mandorla affogato once was, was taken away. Before I could even start to pout, it was replaced with a full tray straight away. Phew! That was close.

I also chose dulce de leche as my other flavour, again it was sweet but not distinguishable. Mandorla affogato really stole the show. The coffee flavours were strong and smooth but was complimented by the sweetness of the caramelised almonds which also brought the texture to another level.IMG_5390.JPGIs it worth the line up? Well no one likes to line up for things but it was really good if you like coffee/almond/caramel flavours. Mum and I personally really enjoyed it. Other people may not have enjoyed their flavours and complained that it was all hyped and not worth waiting for, but what you need to remember is that a particular flavour won the world’s best gelato and it just happened to be made in Newtown, Sydney, you can’t just taste any willy nilly flavour from Cow and the Moon and then disregard the competition results when you didn’t eat the Mandorla affogato *end rant*.

Venue: Cow and the Moon

Address181 Enmore Road Enmore, NSW

Phone: 02 9557 4255

Cow & The Moon Artisan Gelato on Urbanspoon

il carnivale do Gelato Messina – twisted hotdog

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Yeeeah dawgs! A twisted hot dog – milk chocolate gelato hot dog, served in a warm finger bun with essential condiments passionfruit ‘mustard’, raspberry ‘ketchup’ and buttercream ‘mayo’ and coconut ‘onions’. Definitely played tricks on my mind. #gelato #messina #sydney #willywonkastyle #carnivalfun #food @gelatomessina #foodie #foodblog #hotdog