IHOP – Hawaiian Series

After what seemed like the longest flight ever, we finally got to our hotel only to be told our rooms were not ready yet, fair enough considering it was very early in the morning but that meant it was breakfast time! We dumped our bags and headed straight to IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) across the road.

It was my first trip to the US of A and I was excited to see all the franchises that I had only seen or heard about through TV and movies. I was overwhelmed to say the least. It was my first American meal, it was too early in the morning, the menu was massive and I didn’t know what I wanted to eat. On top of all this, I found a few things unusual which would apparently be the norm as I learnt throughout my trip.

  1. I would have to get used to tipping, luckily most bills have it calculated on the bottom for you and you choose a percentage
  2. The wait staff are really nice, helpful and attentive, I guess that’s because of point #1
  3. A lot of soft drinks come with refills
  4. So many meals come with a side of pancakes

Breakfast~ (I didn’t take photos of the large menu because I assumed they have one online but they don’t have prices)

Breakfast Sampler with our sampler, two is the magic number! That’s two eggs, two hickory-smoked bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two pieces of ham, two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and our golden hash browns. Being the indecisive person that I am, this is what I ultimately ordered, a little bit of everything. To be honest, I did not enjoy the savoury side at all. Everything was cold on my plate, the potato hash was oily and tasteless and everything else was a bit rubbery. The only saving grace were the pancakes, they were big and fluffy and I loved their whipped butter.Chicken Florentine Crepes two crepes filled with grilled chicken breast, mushrooms, onions, & Swiss cheese on a bed of spinach topped with White Cheddar Sauce, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. This was served hot and was ten times more delicious than my savoury plate.

2 x 2 x 2  two eggs with two signature buttermilk pancakes served with two crispy strips of hickory-smoked bacon or two savory pork sausage links. For the people who want a little bit of sweet and a little bit of savoury. I love how they have so many ways to serve an egg as well!Strawberry Pancakes our stack of four pancakes crowned with cool strawberries and creamy whipped topping. 

The service was friendly and attentive, unfortunately the food was a bit of a hit and miss. I will just stick to pancakes.

It was nice to have a variety of syrups available but my favourite was good old fashioned.Venue: IHOP

Address: 1850 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI96815-1602

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

Pancake trial #3

My lovely American friend invited me over for brunch which entailed bacon, home-made hash browns and very fluffy thick pancakes, she happily gave me the recipe and I needed to try for myself if it was as easy as she said it was. The recipe is supposed to be easy to remember: 1 of everything, although you have to remember it is only one tablespoon of sweetener or your teeth will fall out. ūüėČ

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1-3/4 cup milk (depends on how thick or thin you like your pancakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
  • Butter for cooking

Equipment

  • Fry pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup for easy pouring of the batter
  • Spatula

Method

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix only until all the ingredients have just been incorporated. Apparently it doesn’t even matter if you don’t get all the flour pockets, just don’t over mix it
  2. Let it stand in the bowl for 10 minutes
  3. Grab a measuring cup for easy scooping, I chose my 1/3 cup for smallish pancakes
  4. Heat the pan on medium heat and throw a knob of butter to oil the pan
  5. Once the butter is bubbling, scoop a portion of your pancake batter in and it should spread nicely to create circles. I was able to fit two in a big fry pan, because I only added 3/4 cup of milk, it was thick and stayed put
  6. Flip the pancake once bubbles have formed (should only take a few minutes).
  7. Once flipped, it only needs around another minute to brown the other side.
  8. Remember to adjust heat based on your stove top so the pancakes do not burn

Tips

This mixture made only 5 fluffy pancakes, it is good portions for one or two people and ensures you’re not eating pancakes for the next week.

They reheat well after a 10-15 seconds in the microwave.

You can also add some berries (frozen or fresh), after you’ve poured the batter into the pan

Throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix, rest for 10 minutes, scoop, cook, flip and eat, it is that easy.
TimmyC has his with maple syrup and ice cream, I prefer mine with Lyle’s Golden syrup.They’re so fluffy!!I think I have found a winner, these pancakes are thick and fluffy, the ingredients list is easy to remember and are basic staple to the kitchen pantry/fridge. I will just have to keep an eye on the cooking so they don’t look so brown around the edges. That is one out of five completed for my New Year’s resolution. It’s already August, eeep!

Pancake trial #1

The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that I broke the #1 rule when it comes to cooking in the kitchen- don’t do too much at once. So it probably wasn’t the best day to start frying up something new in the kitchen but it was Shrove Tuesday, I just told everyone about my New Year’s resolutions and I had to eat something for breakfast anyway.¬†Simultaneously, I also had to make two different types of lasagne to feed 6 people and two separate lunches all before going to work, not to mention I had also slept in. A work friend had given TimmyC his favourite pancake recipe, so that’s where I started first. The recipe is from the Queen of food porn herself,¬†Nigella¬†Lawson¬†and because I had zero idea, I followed it to the tee (to the best of my ability).


Nigella Lawson’s American Breakfast Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 30 grams butter (melted and cooled)
  • 300 ml milk
  • 225 grams plain flour
  • butter for frying

Method

  1. The easiest way to make these is to put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz. But if you do mix up the batter by hand in a bowl, make a well in the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk, and transfer to a jug: it’s much easier to pour the batter into the pan than to spoon it.
  2. Heat a smooth griddle or pan on the stove.
  3. When you cook the pancakes, all you need to remember is that when the upper side of the pancake is blistering and bubbling it’s time to cook the second side, and this needs only about 1 minute, if that.
  4. I get about 16 silver-dollar-sized pancakes out of this.

I had thrown all the wet ingredients in my mixing bowl before remembering to make a well in¬†my dry ingredients, which might account for the small butter clusters that I had, or maybe I didn’t cool it enough?¬†I transferred¬†my pancake mixture in a jug to allow for easy pouring and less mess, this is one thing I learnt from all the ‘pancake shake’ bottles. I found that I had to constantly change the heat of my pan to avoid burning my butter or pancake, although there was one time I was not paying attention and my pancake was a little browner than I would have liked.¬†For me, this made around 10x 10cm diameter pancakes, which was good because I didn’t want to be¬†eating pancakes of the next few days. I was amazed about how well this mixture cooked and made flipping the pancake super easy. I would definitely try this recipe again and maybe pay more attention next time. The yellow lumps don’t look promising but I’m frying them up anyway!IMG_9788Bubbles are forming, that’s a good sign.IMG_978750 shades of brown, all the various pancakes that I made that morning, you can tell which one I left on a little too long. I don’t love the look of the crispy edges, but sure do love the texture of them.IMG_9822 Of course I did the foodie cheat thing and put the prettiest pancake on top of my stack and instagrammed it immediately. 0:)IMG_9802 These pancakes tasted pretty good with just maple syrup but next time I might make cinnamon mascarpone, because everything tastes better with cimmon mascarpone. The first thing I needed to¬†do was prove to myself that I could flip a pancake without it breaking into a million shards¬†(the last pancakes I made were from a recipe I saw on instagram; tasted¬†delicious but looked like I was trying to pan fry sloppy soggy oats. Recipe: 1 banana, 1 egg, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, and some cinnamon. Blend until smooth, fry spoonfuls of batter in butter) I can only improve from here.

New Year’s Resolutions

So by now, most people¬†who had made a fleeting fitness New Year’s resolution would have given up (if you haven’t good for you!).¬†I on the other hand, have made another type of resolution that I’m sharing with you all in hopes to keep me honest and get me through to fulfilling them¬†before the end of the year.

I want to cook several things this year, wait let me rephrase that, I want to cook several things really well this year. I may or may not have made them before and it might seem like simple humble items but they make a good basis for a classic cooking repertoire.

1) a bread like object

There are so many different types of bread, I’m not going to limit myself just to one. I’ve never worked with yeast before, but I love the smell of fresh bread (who doesn’t) and tasting warm bread with real butter is absolutely divine. If you have any recipes or tips that would be great!

2) a curry

I love a good chicken curry but if I can, I want to make a flavoursome tender red meat curry that basically falls apart as you put a spoon through it.

3) pancakes

it might seem weird but I’ve never made a successful pancake outside of the pre-mixed shaker containers. It has always been my dirty little secret as a foodie, but with Shrove Tuesday coming up, there is no time like present.

4) tarts

After my love of making cupcakes and my failure of making macarons (which TimmyC has definitely made up for), my next big love was going to be making tarts. I have made some but haven’t gotten around to getting to¬†the perfect recipe. I¬†think tarts¬†are gorgeous, delicious and very instagramable.

5) ice cream/sorbet

My lovely sister gave me the ice cream Kitchenaid attachment possibly two/three years ago now and I’ve never done anything with it. In my defense, that was roughly when I met Mr Frugii and my need for ice cream was taken care of. I should really throw that thing in the freezer so when the feeling arises I can make ice cream straight away without delay.

 
There are probably other things that I also want to make but these 5 resolutions are a good start. If you have any ‘fool proof’ recipes that you would like to share, that would be super handy. Have you made any resolutions this year?

 

Fox and Bow

I didn’t think I would get out of my pajamas over the weekend, it was the perfect weather for sleeping in and lazing about and that we did, but then we started getting hungry… TimmyC suggested that we go out for brunch and I was eager to take him to Fox and Bow over in Farrer.

The bustling cafe had both indoor and outdoor seating and we were luckily enough to find space at the end of a long table. I was excited to browse through the menu and see the drinks on the chalkboard; the drink names such as ‘Ron Weasley’, ‘Mike Wazoski’ and ‘that’s oatstanding’ made me giggle.2015/01/img_8526.jpgSo much to be tempted by in the cake cabinet.2015/01/img_8527.jpgHere is the menu- small and precise, what would you have chosen?2015/01/img_8525.jpgI just love the decor of this cafe, so funky and laid back.2015/01/img_8529.jpgLarge flat white2015/01/img_8528.jpgEarl grey doughnut ($3.80?). Not my favourite Nookie doughnut flavour, the Earl grey taste was virtually non-existent but TimmyC just really liked dipping the doughnut in the cream that it was served with.2015/01/img_8531.jpgShake it off! vanilla infused honey, malt balls and ice cream ($5.50?). I love the name of this, it was partially why I chose it actually. I could really taste the malt and sometimes the ice cream clogged my straw but it wasn’t the best milkshake that I’ve had.2015/01/img_8532.jpgBig Kids pancakes buttermilk pancakes, raspberries, hazelnuts, maple syrup & caramel popcorn ($15.00). It wasn’t until I was comparing the look of TimmyC’s pancakes to a photo we saw on Instagram did we notice that they had given us strawberries and not raspberries; pecans and not hazelnuts. Maybe the substitutions were because they ran out of the ingredients but we didn’t get around to asking because we had eaten half of it before we noticed. It was really nice either way, I found it interesting how perfectly round and thick the¬†pancakes¬†were. Towards the end, the bottom pancake was soaked in syrup and getting a bit too sweet, maybe this would have been nicer with syrup on the side?2015/01/img_8537.jpgThis is how we roll smoked bacon, 2 free range eggs, house made bbq relish, potato hash, melted jack cheese & toasted brioche bun ($9.90).¬†A breakfast bun with all my¬†favourite things! I happen to cut this roll in half for photo and sharing purposes before¬†I spotted a short hair under my bacon and alerted the waitress who whisked my plate away. The owner (?) then came to us and was very apologetic and a new roll was made for me very quickly. He came over again to apologise and offered us both free coffees which was really nice of him. Despite a small wait for my second roll, I really enjoyed my heavily savoury breakfast as it balanced out all the sweetness of the pancakes.2015/01/img_8540.jpgThe essential cross-section photo.2015/01/img_8543.jpgI know I’m a slow eater and TimmyC having a head start to his breakfast didn’t help. A big table of 8 was heading into the cafe and we were asked to shuffle down a seat and even with only a¬†few more bites to go, I was told not to rush at all. I didn’t mind moving (it was only one seat down), I was just glad that we all fit.

Complimentary small flat white. TimmyC happen to mention that he really liked the coffee here as I was finishing off my breakfast and I asked why he didn’t mention it when he was drinking his first coffee, but he said it was because this second one tasted better.

The second coffee looked a lot better too.2015/01/img_8545.jpgDespite a few little dramas which might have annoyed me at any other cafe, I really like the set up, the vibe of the staff and how this little gem is tucked away in the suburbs. I definitely much prefer this place compared to the previous establishment¬†which made it onto my short list of ‘will not return’.

This is a family run business who are experienced with food but this is their first venture of running their own cafe and they are having fun doing it.¬†I’m excited to come back and try more of their menu and use it as a trendy meet up spot with southside friends.
There is a funky graffitied wall outside.2015/01/img_8536.jpg
An awesome fellow blogger Freak Biscuit also went to Fox and Bow recently, see her post here.

Venue: Fox and Bow

Address: 4 Farrer Pl Farrer, ACT

Phone: 0422108713

Website: http://www.foxandbow.com.au/
Fox and Bow on Urbanspoon

Brickworks- Spendelove Bistro & Bar

—–31st Dec 2013 —–

A wonderful cafe; chocolate sweets store; coffee shop that sells aromatic beans from around the world; a trendy store that sells all my favourite brands like elk, polli and Aesop; a florist; fresh seafood store with a Japanese sushi store attached; a butcher; a baker; (a candlestick maker?) a deli; an ice-cream store and Wheel and Barrow all in one area. Needless to say, if I lived in QLD I would be at Brickworks all the time.

The first stop before we bought all the essentials for a NYE BBQ was breakfast at¬†Spendelove Bistro & Bar. It is best not to buy food when you’re really hungry, so it is the smarter way to shop.¬†I browsed for something a little different on the breakfast menu and our friend reminds us all before we order that we are going to Sizzler for lunch so this was just to whet our appetites.

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Chai latte ($4.20). A really smooth and creamy chai latte topped with a lot of nutmeg.

20131231-172500.jpgBanana pancakes caramelized banana, maple syrup ice cream ($17.90). I don’ know how long the pancakes had been sitting at the counter for, but needless to say it was a while judging by the melted ice-cream puddle.

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20131231-172520.jpgZucchini and haloumi fritters with lemon, smashed avocado on turkish bread ($16.90) mushrooms ($4.00 extra).20131231-172531.jpg

Cheese souffle three cheese souffle tomato chutney, spinach, chargrilled bacon, crispy speck, confit tomato ($19.50). I have never in my brunching years have ever seen a menu item like this. The soufflé was warm, delicate and cheesy. Mixing the soufflé with spinach and some salty pork was a really good mouthful. I preferred the speck over the bacon because it was something different and was much crispier. Even though the aim was not to get full, I would expect to at least be a little full after paying almost twenty dollars.

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The cheesy interior.20131231-172556.jpg

Kids pancakes¬†buttermilk pancake topped with maple syrup and ice cream¬†($12.00). The pancakes were nice and I would probably prefer the kid’s pancake over the OTT adult version which was $5 more for some banana.

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I really love the space here and while I was at the cafe, the staff were really friendly. They had a great extensive breakfast menu but some items will fill you more than others.

Venue: Spendelove cafe

Address: Shop 11, 107 Ferry Road Market, The Brickworks, Southport, QLD

Phone: (07) 5527 0255

Website:http://www.spendelove.com.au/

Spendelove Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon

Breakfast at Podfood

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ-16/09/2012‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ-

Pod Food had a really narrow window for breakfast, but I got the motivation to get up and get there. I was lucky enough to book that morning for a table for two but when we got there, they were completely booked out for the morning.

A bit cold still to happily eat outside, but it would be beautiful during the warmer Spring.

A few hot beverages to warm us up.

Chai tea ($4.00) with soy milk (50c extra) and flat white (one size only $4.50). I was too busy talking to the waitress while Timmy went ahead and destroyed the pattern that was so lovingly created by the barista.

One more coffee because the first one wasn’t large enough.

So many things I wanted to try, I found it so hard to choose that I narrowed it down to four options and asked the waitress to surprise me.

Vanilla bean pancakes, rhubarb, butter caramel sauce (usually served with maple but they ran out that day), white chocolate ice-cream ($15.00). The white chocolate flavour must have been really subtle, so subtle we couldn’t realy taste it. Not much taste in the pancake itself but the crumb and the butter caramel sauce definitely made up for it.

Free range fried egg, crumbed pork belly, fried cherry tomatoes, caramelised onion and sourdough ($16.00). The first thing you could smell was the caramelised onion, it made my eyes widen with excitment. The next thing I notice was that there was only one small portion of the crumbed pork belly. ‚ÄėI‚Äôll have to eat this sparingly in every bite‚Äô I thought to myself. The bread was delicious, it had¬†a crunchy crust without being chewy or hard. A bit on the small side but it was really good.

A inside look into the amazing crumbed pork belly. It’s so sad that there was only one.

Venue: Pod food

Address: 12 Beltana Rd, Pialligo Plant Farm, ACT

Phone: (02) 6257 3388

Opening hours:

Tuesday & Wednesday – 12pm – 2pm Lunch Only

Thursday & Friday Lunch 12pm – 2pm, Dinner 6.30pm – 8pm

Saturday Breakfast 8.30am – 10am, Lunch 12pm – 2pm, Dinner 6.30pm – 8pm

Sunday Breakfast 8.30am – 10am, Lunch 12pm -2pm

Entertainment card: Yes! And it makes a difference!

Podfood on Urbanspoon

Brunch @ Urban Pantry

——-03/06/2012——-

Some friends and I decided to meet up for a lovely Sunday brunch.¬†We had been to Urban pantry before (also for brunch) and thoroughly enjoyed their great menu and awesome coffee, so logically that’s where we wanted to go again.¬†

Everyone else had the same idea too.

Coffee was really good the last time we came, so much so that everyone got seconds. It wasn’t great today which was a shame.¬†¬†My friend got a coffee so bad that she sent it back and the new one only came back mildy better. Timmy’s flat white was weak and fairly milky.

Free range eggs benedict with bacon and¬†hollandaise sauce ($19.80)¬†A delicious sauce with eggs poached to perfection but alas we found the bread really ‘tough’ and hard to chew.

Sour dough bread (no butter) with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. More hard bread with simple sides.

Ricotta pancakes with bacon & maple ($17.60) This was perfect for me- sweetness of tasty pancakes with the saltiness of delicious bacon. Served nice and hot too. 

Staff were really polite and attentive. They did come to our table several times with coffee orders that weren’t ours, but that is easily forgivable when they are so smiley and nice.¬†

I really want to come back and try their dinner and I think that’s when I’ll make my Entertainment card worth while.

Venue: Urban pantry

Address: 5 Bougainville St, Griffith ACT 2603

Phone: (02) 6162 3556

Website: http://urban-pantry.com.au/

Entertainment card: Yes, it’s on there!

Urban Pantry on Urbanspoon

Pankcakes on the Rocks

——-13/05/2012——-

We felt like pancakes in the morning before we left Sydney so we with a quick monorail ride away we headed to Pancakes on the Rocks. The original restaurant called The Pancake kitchen was started by Mr. Meadmore who was had a partnership back in Adelaide and after they split and headed different ways, Pancake Parlour and Pancakes on the Rocks was born. I can see the similarities between the two while looking through the menu.

We were lucky enough to beat a massive Mother’s day rush backing up the queue out the door and around the window.

Flate white ($2.95) and English breakfast tea ($2.50)

Short stacktwo pancakes, maple syrup and ice-cream ($6.95)

Strawberry Patch- Buttermilk pancakes with fresh strawberries, cream, vanilla ice-cream and strawberry coulis ($12.95)

Thick pancakes but they weren’t really that fluffy.¬†

Mediocre food but a big thumbs up to the staff who were dealing with a hectic booked out restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised to find despite the grand location of being Harbour side all the prices were very reasonable. That might be why they have won best casual/family dining restaurant from 2003-2011.

Venue: Pancakes on the Rocks

Address: 229-230 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour

Trading Hours: Sunday – Thursday 7am – 1030pm

Friday and Sat 7am – 12midnight

Phone: (02) 9280 3791

Pancakes on the Rocks on Urbanspoon

The Pancake Parlour Restaurant

——-11/12/2011——-

I have been to the Pancake Parlour¬†for dessert, afternoon tea and late Saturday nights to get away from all the clubbers but never for dinner and after seeing the ‘Spicks and Speck-tacular’ tour, it seemed like a good time to have something hot and filling away from the rain and cold.

When you walk down the stairs, you’re surrounded by quirky and interesting decor and you would never think that the hustle and bustle of civic was just above you.

 

Yes, like I said, we came here for dinner, apparently that means a ‘short stack’ for some.¬†

Short stack (two pancakes) with ice-cream and maple flavoured syrup ($9.70) Two pancakes were just enough! They were fluffy and hot but I wish we ordered the organic maple syrup.

I on the other hand, went for a savoury potato pancake which I’ve been wanting to try for a while!

Cheese and potato pancakeour highly acclaimed potato pancake with a crust of golden melting cheese and topped with whipped butter. Served with salad ($19.50) with added bacon bits ($3.00 and so totally worth it!!). This smelt sooo good, I kept lifting up the plate and sniffing it. Mmmmmm, it smelt like a delicious ham and cheese melt and was very filling.

What did I think of it? Lovely!

People do say this is over priced, but I don’t think it’s too bad when everything is pretty filling. I would love to come back and try the the ‘early bird special’ or the ‘sample night’, it sounds like an interesting experience.

Venue: The Pancake Parlour

Address: Corner of East Row and Alinga St, Civic, ACT

Phone: (02) 6247 2982

The Pancake Parlour on Urbanspoon