It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Samson’s Paddock – Mosman Park

Samsons Paddock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We chose Samson’s Paddock on a bit of a whim. I received an email to tell me that it was included in the Entertainment Book, and the pictures looked nice, so I booked.

It is in Glyde Street, Mosman Park – an interesting building with comfy armchairs, an upper deck and lots of nooks and crannies. We were seated on a high shared table – which I didn’t mind too much as we had booked fairly late, given the choice I prefer a regular height table.

Samson’s serve every drink that you could imagine, and also craft beers – we chose our favourite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine – and had a nice variety called Lone Goat.

The menu has tapas style sharing dishes and bigger dishes too. We went for the tapas style.

The first dish we chose was panko crumbed whiting and prawn with a daikon salad and spicy aioli dip. The prawns and fish were good quality, a nice size, and everything on the plate tasted good. The salad was nicely coated with dressing – a very nice dish to start.

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Next came wagyu rib fingers with kimchi. These were the star of the meal – beautifully spiced, boneless, rich, melt in the mouth – full of flavour and very very moreish.

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Third we had a citrus salad with oranges, radish and cucumber. It had a nice selection of different oranges, but I would have liked some more slices. Again, every leaf was coated in dressing and it was a salad that had been prepared with care.

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Next came a confit duck leg with kasundi (an Indian tomato relish), ginger and cabbage. Again, presented and prepared with care, the duck was melting and tasty and everything on the plate went well together.

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We did choose another dish, but it was so tasty that we didn’t have time to take a photo. We chose a cheeseboard with brie – it arrived with fruit bread, grapes, figs, and craisins. The brie was perfectly ripe and oozy but the bread was a little stale and I would have preferred some fresher slices.

All in all with our $34 Entertainment book discount, it was a lovely meal and we will definitely be returning.

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Duende – Leederville

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

It had been more than two years since my last visit to Duende – always a nice spot for tapas, a lively atmosphere and an extensive drinks menu. It is on the junction of Carr Place and Newcastle Street, just off the main Oxford Street strip, but still in a lively position.

Our waitress was very knowledgeable, and gave good advice on wine, drinks and the food and portion sizes.

Our first dish to arrive was a sharing plate of longaniza, chorizo, jamon Serrano, caperberries and pickled chillis with bread and olive oil. Everything on the plate was tasty and good quality – the caperberries added a wonderful savoury piquancy.

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Next we chose a ceviche of white fish with orange and grapefruit jelly with ribbons of cucumber, radish and aioli. Again very good quality and a plate of nice fresh flavours.

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Then we had a salad of baby cos lettuce with roasted cauliflower, manchego and chorizo crumb. An unusual dish but a nice combination of flavours that went well together.

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Finally we chose whitebait and patatas bravas. Both simple plates but extremely well executed. The whitebait were plentiful, crispy and served with a chipotle aioli.

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The patatas were cooked traditionally with paprika and smoked tomato aioli. Absolutely delicious, perfectly crispy with just the right amount of spice.

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This visit to Duende proved that the standard has got better and better. Always a favourite, it is now one of Perth’s finest eateries, producing quality food cooked with thought and precision. I can’t wait for the next visit.

Fruit Sauce

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Sometimes you need a nice fruity sauce or compote to go with a dessert. This weekend I made a vanilla cheesecake and decided to make both raspberry and blueberry sauces to go with it. I made them the day before and they ‘gelled’ quite a bit in the fridge overnight to give a set texture. I have adjusted the recipe here to use a bit less cornflour so that the sauce will be a bit looser than my picture.

You can use any fruit – I think frozen fruits work quite well – I used frozen raspberries and frozen blueberries separately, but you could mix them, and you could also use mango, peach, cherries, blackberries, strawberries or other fruit.

You need (for a small bowl of sauce – enough to accompany 6 dessert portions):

1 cup of fruit (frozen or fresh) chopped and peeled, seeds removed

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup of caster sugar

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

the zest of half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of cornflour mixed to a loose paste with a little water

Method:

Place the fruit in a saucepan with the water, sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Boil gently until the fruit breaks down a little and softens.

Add the cornflour mixture and boil a little faster until it thickens. Stir in the lemon zest and vanilla and remove from the heat when the desired thickness has been achieved.

Serve warm or cool and store in a refrigerator in a covered bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Thomas, 50 Eagle Terrace, Sandgate QLD

Matthew Thomas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Matthew Thomas is a lovely little art cafe on the coast road overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Sandgate.

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We arrived for brunch on a Sunday and it was fairly busy. The menu was full of nice choices and it was difficult to decide, but I opted for a mt classic which is eggs, bacon, tomato and sourdough while my companion chose the grande breakfast.

Other options on the menu included pancakes, waffles, muesli, salmon, and eggs benedict.

I had an almond and nutella shake which was delicious, and the coffee was also very good.

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Every element of the mt classic was done well. The bacon and eggs were full of flavour, the sourdough nicely made and not too crunchy like some sourdoughs can be.

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The grande was equally flavoursome with delicious corn and vegetable fritters, succulent mushrooms, eggs and bacon.

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This is a nice location and everything is served well and nicely presented.

Matthew Thomas could be a brunch favourite for me.

Later photos from Matthew Thomas (yes we go back regularly):

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Salmon with corn fritters

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Bean Dream with cheese toast

Gurkhas – Nepalese Restaurant – Kallaroo

Gurkhas Nepalese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I went to this restaurant on a whim on a Saturday night. Fancying something a bit different from the usual Japanese, Chinese or fish and chips, I scoured Urbanspoon for something local and came across this restaurant.

It is BYO and right next door to a bottleshop which is very convenient. The staff are gentle and welcoming, and the restaurant is modern with a clean, elegant ambience.

The menu is  unsurprisingly very similar to an Indian menu with the usual favourites like samosas, pakoras, tandoori etc.

We were given cumin poppadoms while we read the menu – it would have been nice to have some pickles to go with them.

We tried to choose something that we wouldn’t find in an Indian restaurant and opted for the Gurkhas special chicken curry, served on the bone, and the Prawns Makhani which is a creamy tomato sauce. To accompany this we chose pilau rice, mushroom bhaji and keema naan.

Mushroom Bhaji

Mushroom Bhaji

Keema Naan

Keema Naan

Prawn Makhani

Prawn Makhani

Gurkhas Special chicken curry

Gurkhas Special chicken curry

Pilau rice

Pilau rice

Curry on the plate

All of the dishes were really good, certainly better than most Indian restaurants in the northern suburbs. My only improvement would be to add more seasoning to the mushroom bhaji.

I would be very happy to go back to this restaurant.

Pan Pacific Hotel, Marina Bay, Singapore

This post is not really a recipe or a restaurant recommendation – it’s a suggestion of something brilliant to do.

If like me, you want to do something different for Christmas, or something special for a birthday, go to Singapore – don’t just stay in any hotel, stay in a nice hotel like the Pan Pacific, and then don’t just stay in a regular room, stay in a Pacific Room. Now before you gasp and say ‘too extravagant’, here are some reasons of how it can turn out to be both special and affordable.

1. Book in advance – you get the best flight deals this way, and join the airline loyalty scheme so that you can get some free flights or benefits later (even if you fly only once with a particular airline, you can sometimes reap the benefits – I flew once with Emirates and ended up with a $50 gift voucher). Join every free airline loyalty scheme going.

2. Join the hotel loyalty scheme too – in this case GHA Discovery. I joined the hotel scheme before booking – it was free – and then managed to get a special deal of 4 nights for the price of 3 – an immediate saving of hundreds of dollars.

3. With the money that you save by getting a free night – upgrade to a Pacific room. It’s well worth it. You get champagne breakfast included every day, either in the main restaurant, your room, or on the Pacific Club Floor. The Pacific Club Floor is circular – you get 360 degree views of Singapore, the staff know your name, and they can not do enough to help you. You can choose from the breakfast buffet or order anything you like. The breakfast buffet includes breads, pastries, dumplings, Japanese fish and noodles, hams, cheeses, yoghurts, cereals, freshly squeezed juices, and you can order cooked breakfast to your liking. The club rooms also include afternoon tea with sandwiches and cakes between 3pm and 5pm, and canapes and cocktails between 6pm and 8pm. Basically, you can fill up on the 3 complementary Pacific Club sessions, and then you don’t need to spend much on eating out – just some hawker food will usually suffice. The evening canapes are particularly nice and very cheffy, and usually include 4-6 different savouries with another 4 dessert options. The wait staff keep your glass topped up too, and it is quite easy to drink a whole bottle of champagne (Mumm Cordon Rouge) and a few Singapore Slings.

4. In addition to the complementary Pacific Floor dining options, all soft drinks in your room are included, as well as 2 laundry items per day, you get a Nespresso machine in the room, free wi-fi internet access, secretarial services, and a 24 hour butler service. Like me, you may be a little embarrassed to call on the butler, but they are perfectly happy to make restaurant reservations, unpack your case, run you a bath etc. The room will be serviced several times per day – so after your morning shower, you will be given fresh towels for the evening. The bath toiletries are Elemis, and the shower has a ‘side shower’ option as well as the normal ‘shower from above’ version. It really is very luxurious.

5. So by upgrading to a Pacific Room, you save lots of money on food and drinks. Marina Bay is fairly central to a lot of attractions like the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Esplanade, The Flyer, Orchard Road, and is walking distance to an MRT station.

Nespresso machine in pacific room

Nespresso machine in pacific room

View from the Pacific floor

View from the Pacific floor

Orchard Road Christmas lights

Orchard Road Christmas lights

Pan Pacific – Pacific Floor goodies:

Champagne at the Pacific floor

Champagne at the Pacific floor

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling

Chicken tikka ball with mint yoghurt sauce

Chicken tikka ball with mint yoghurt sauce

Spring rolls and spicy indian potato patty

Spring rolls and spicy indian potato patty

Oreo cheesecake, raspberry meringue, chocolate orange cake, blueberry tart

Oreo cheesecake, raspberry meringue, chocolate orange cake, blueberry tart

Papaya salad in shooter glass, spring rolls and salmon with caviar

Papaya salad in shooter glass, spring rolls and crispy pork

Panko prawn

Panko prawn

Soft shell crab

Soft shell crab

Pear and caramel tart, strawberry macaron, strawberry cheesecake, apricot tart

Pear and caramel tart, strawberry macaron, strawberry cheesecake, apricot tart

Salmon quiche, prawn with mango salsa, tuna on pumpernickel, scallop

Salmon quiche, prawn with mango salsa, tuna on pumpernickel, scallop

Prawn with mayo

Prawn with mayo, tuna on pumpernickel, fish ball with wasabi

Raspberry danish, chocolate danish, pain au chocolat

Raspberry danish, chocolate danish, pain au chocolat

Trout with wasabi, pork

Trout with wasabi, pork, tuna and sweetcorn tart

Other good food in Singapore:

Chocolate and peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly at Twelve Cupcakes

Chocolate and peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly at Twelve Cupcakes

Satay from Boon Tat Street (Lau Pa Sat) - Best Satay stalls 7 and 8

Satay from Boon Tat Street (Lau Pa Sat) – Best Satay stalls 7 and 8

Satay from Boon Tat Street

Satay from Boon Tat Street

Apple pancake dessert from TWG tea shop

Apple pancake dessert from TWG tea shop

Iced hibiscus tea from TWG tea shop

Iced hibiscus tea from TWG tea shop

Satay from Gluttons bay hawker market

Satay from Gluttons bay hawker market

Gluttons Bay (Esplanade)

Gluttons Bay (Esplanade)

Best fried kway teow from Raffles City food mall (The Food Place)

Best fried kway teow from Raffles City food mall (The Food Place)

Food Intolerances

Hi everybody. Sorry that my blog has been a bit quiet lately. Firstly, I have had visitors staying for the last 3 weeks, and secondly, I have had some news that has turned my diet upside down – I am intolerant of cow’s milk.

I first noticed a few years ago that ‘normal’ cow’s milk made my skin a bit dry, so I switched to soy milk for my cereal, but I didn’t worry too much about it, and if I went out I still ate cream and ice cream and other dairy products. However, I have always had sinus problems which were made a lot worse this year by a nasty sinus and lung infection and I started to wonder if there might be a particular food which affected my sinuses. I dithered over paying for a food intolerance test, and when my tax rebate came through, I decided to go for it. I used Imupro, which tests almost 300 different food types. I eat absolutely anything, with no obvious ill effects, so I wasn’t really expecting more than a few intolerances.

The results come back in 4 categories of intolerance, ranging from 1 (mild) to 4 (severe), and I have a total of 72 intolerances.

The good news is that I have no intolerances to fish or shellfish whatsoever, and I am ok with most meat although I have a mild (category 1 ) intolerance to chicken.

I have a severe intolerance to cow’s milk, guar flour (or gum) and quail’s eggs.

I had another 13 foods in category 3 with some surprises such as carrot, kiwi, pineapple, ricotta, mandarin, red cabbage, radish, oats and leek.

I also found that I have a category 2 intolerance to gluten containing cereals, but I am ok with maize and corn.

I have therefore decided to completely eliminate my category 3 and 4 foods from my diet, as I figured that 19 foods to remove would be easier to deal with than 72, and with the others, I am just aware that they are a problem, so I am only eating them in minimal quantities.

My biggest challenge now is to find replacements for dairy products that I usually eat which contain cow’s milk. I have decided to try rice milk for my cereal (which will now be cornflakes with strawberries), I have found Nuttelex a good butter substitute, but I haven’t yet found an alternative for cream, yoghurt and ice cream.

The problem with yoghurts and ice creams is that most of them, even if they are dairy free contain guar (E412) as a thickening agent or a smoothing agent to avoid ice crystals. So it looks like I might have to make my own sorbets and ice creams so that I know exactly what goes into them. It is going to be tough – but it’s a challenge that I find interesting, so look out for some quirky recipes in the future where I work out how to make chocolate mousse, tiramisu, bread and butter pudding etc all within the confines of my new regime.

The motto is still that ‘It just has to be delicious’, but now it has to be delicious and good for me too, and the good news is that my breathing is the best that it has been in ages. My recipes will still show you how to make good food using dairy products, but I will include my optional milk-free variations too. It’s going to be interesting….

The Red Herring, East Fremantle

UPDATE – sadly this lovely restaurant has now permanently closed.

I went to the Red Herring for lunch today. What a delight. This is what I love about living in Perth – you can go out for a casual Sunday lunch in a fabulous setting, you don’t have to dress up too much, the produce will be local and good, the sun will shine (although it was a little showery today), and afterwards you feel fabulous – it’s like being on holiday, then you remember that you live here and you have to pinch yourself.

This was my second visit to the Red Herring, last time was fabulous, so I knew what to expect. The restaurant is right on the swan river, just on the south side of the estuary East of Freo. It has a large car park, and there is a wealth of activity going on in the river. Cruise boats chug past, it is next door to a small mooring area where the boats bob gently up and down, joggers and their dogs trot past on the footpath, and the local seabirds go about their business outside. There are mooring posts right outside where the restaurant has it’s own private jetty, and a pelican usually takes up residence on top of a post. Today was no exception and the pelican was there preeening his feathers and resting in the sunshine. Guillemots and seagulls whizz around from air to perching spots, and we watched a diving bird (which looked like a kind of white throated grebe) dive down and catch a sizeable silver fish.

Our waiter Grant, informed us that there were dolphins around, and earlier five of them had put on a display for the customers.

When you book, ask for a table by the window, then you will not miss out on the river activities.

The restaurant is fully licensed, but I chose a non alcoholic cocktail called a Drink and Drive which contains strawberries, lime and ginger ale:

Drink and Drive

The restaurant has a range of items on the menu, but I know that the fish here is very good so I chose fish and seafood courses.

For starters I ordered half a dozen oysters, but they brought me a dozen by mistake. I was allowed to eat them all for no additional charge. I like my oysters natural, with just a squeeze of lemon, but did try some with Tabasco (they brought me both varieties of Tabasco) which made a nice change.

Oysters

My companion chose scampi with a verjuice and kohlrabi remoulade and a scampi bisque.

Scampi

For main I had the special Red Emperor which was served with a salad of potatoes, radishes, peas and spring onion. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked – I really enjoyed it.

Red emperor

My companion chose another special of barramundi which was served with a tomato and fennel risotto.

Barramundi

We shared a side dish of peas with speck ham and lettuce which was delicious.

Feeling nicely full, we were not sure if we would need a dessert, but decided to look at the menu and were tempted by two triumphs, firstly Apples, Apples, Apples which was a dutch apple cake with caramel sauce, an apple sorbet and a Granny Smith Apple jelly. The items on the plate complemented each other perfectly.

Apple jelly, apple sorbet, dutch apple cake.

I chose an ice cream sandwich with chocolate mint ice cream and chocolate sauce, held together with hazelnut meringue biscuits.

Choc mint ice cream sandwich

The whole meal was very enjoyable, and as I left, I asked myself why I don’t dine here more often. I’ll be back very soon.

WELCOME

Pancake with honey, cream, strawberries and blueberries.

Welcome to my blog!

It’s mainly going to be about food, about food that I cook, food that I eat in restaurants and cafes, and food that I have eaten around the world that I love and want to replicate.

I live in Perth, Western Australia, and Perth has lots of good restaurants – it just takes a bit of research to find the really excellent ones. I plan to include a list of my top ten Perth food spots – it might turn into a top fifty !

My philosophy on food is simple – it has to be delicious. If you are going to eat something, it should be good and tasty and nourishing – not boring and dull – we spend a lot of our lives eating, so it should always be the most pleasurable experience it can be. I don’t care if it is a complex cheffy dish with multiple flavour combinations, or a simple cheese and onion toastie – it has to be good and it has to be delicious, or I don’t want it.

I have researched all of my dishes with care – I have searched Perth for the best coffee, the best cakes, the best burgers, the best high tea, the best curry, the best breakfast, the best vietnamese soup, the best dim sum etc.

In my blog I will be bringing you the results of my research. I would love you to try the places that I love and see if you agree, and I would love your feedback so that I can try new places that you love. I will also be sharing recipes of my favourite dishes. If there is a dish that I miss from England or elsewhere e.g. Pizza Express Pollo ad Astra or Hornchurch Charcoal Grill Kofta Kebabs I will try my best to recreate it in my own kitchen – this usually takes a bit of experimentation, which is fun, and there is nothing quite like getting the recipe just right and bringing back those memories of good food, good company and laughter.

So there we are – this is my blog – I hope you like it. No…. actually, I hope you love it, and I hope you find new deliciousness that changes your food choices for the better.

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