Monthly Archives: July 2013

JACKPOT visits Me and Art

Hello readers!

Hope you all are having a great week so far and thank goodness it’s Thursday meaning it’s nearly the end of the week! Looking forward to relaxing on the weekend with some good weather, good food and catching up with friends, celebrating a 1 month for a cute baby girl and of course some basketball in between!

Last weekend I wanted to grab a few things from Thomas Dux in Surry Hills as I do from time to time when I have a chance to stock up on baking ingredients and food for the week ahead. As Mr Muscles and I had not eaten breakfast at this point in time, I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out another café on my list. I love going to vegan cafes to try out the various foods on offer whether it be savoury or sweet food.

My top vegan places in Sydney at the moment are:

  • Sadhana Kitchen – great for breakfast and lunch and of course if you feel like indulging, they do some really great raw cakes
  • Nourishing Quarter – great little dinner place serving fusion Vietnamese food with a modern take on it – love their tofu and quinoa dumplings, their quinoa rice paper rolls and their noodle salad served with crispy tofu and they also do raw cakes here if you are feeling like something a bit more sweet after dinner

I have yet to try Earth to Table in Bondi Junction which I have read many great reviews and am keen to hopefully try this vegan place out on the weekend…blog will follow shortly after of course =)

I’m always worried about taking Mr Muscles to vegan places as I am always worried he will never be full or won’t like what is on offer on the menus. Mr Muscles however happily guided me along the way as we searched for the café. We ended up walking from Thomas Dux a few blocks down in Surry Hills and finally found the café after a nice walk through Surry Hills.

Me and Art is quite a small café with some seating provided outside the café, some tables and chairs found inside the café and out back in their courtyard. As it was a nice day, we decided to sit outside their courtyard and take in the nice weather. It was chilly but the sun was shining and it turned out to be a really nice day.

The café is known for their Japanese artwork which hangs inside the café. I didn’t get to take a picture of this unfortunately but will next time I visit. Apparently these pictures are not just for show and that they are available for purchase for anyone interested with new artwork coming in every few weeks. It’s a very quirky café with even tables that have been sourced by the owner from various places.

The one thing that stood out about this café were the friendly staff who were quick to assist wherever needed. Mr Muscles had no idea what he wanted to drink as he was feeling like some juice and one of the staff decided to make something on the whim from the flavours that Mr Muscles had told them he wanted. It was this attention to detail and their great service that really makes this café different to other cafes we have been to.

Courtyard

Courtyard 2

Courtyard 3

 

Courtyard 4

Menu

Breakfast Menu

Menu

Lunch Menu

Green Tea

Lemon Water

Juice

Mr Muscles Juice – I think this had beetroot, carrot, ginger, apple and other flavours (it was meant to be some sort of detox juice – it was very delicious!)

Avocado Toast

Mr Muscles’ meal: avocado on toast: avocado with special herbs & spices heaped on crunchy sourdough $9.00

Mr Muscles wasn’t feeling too good so decided to get something small to eat. We were both surprised at how generous they were with the avocado which was lovely, ripe and smooth. The sourdough had a nice taste to it with the toast still quite crunchy despite the amount of avocado layered on top of the toast. Mr Muscles really enjoyed the dish however didn’t really care for the ground turmeric which had been sprinkled over the top of the avocado. He felt it overpowered the taste of the avocado and so decided to remove this and eat the rest of it sans turmeric. All in all a very healthy and filling breakfast in which Mr Muscles left feeling rather full.

Buckwheat Pancakes

My meal: cocoa and cinnamon buckwheat pancakes topped with banana, berries, nuts & seeds served with maple syrup and shredded coconut $12.00

I ordered the pancakes as I really can’t say no to pancakes and the fact that these were healthy pancakes…this was already a win win situation to begin with. The pancakes were not as soft as I had imagined but rather a bit more dense as the buckwheat flavour was quite predominant. I couldn’t really taste the cocoa or cinnamon but I found the pancakes really lovely and not too heavy to eat that I managed to finish the whole dish. The banana and the nuts and seeds were a nice side to the dish as you got a bit of crunch, a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and banana and a bit of tartness from the berries. I felt healthier just by eating this dish. I’ve tried recreating buckwheat pancakes at home but have never been successful. Now that I have tried these pancakes I am on a mission to try and create some wonderful buckwheat pancakes that don’t taste like rubber!

Mr Muscles and I left the café feeling full and satisfied. This café is definitely an up and coming café as I’m sure that more and more people will come to visit as they also serve lunch and if not for the dining experience then to view the lovely art hanging on the walls of the café. I know I’ll be back to try their nachos with tofu cashew sour cream and vegan cheese and of course their vegan pies which I have heard are really good!

Stay tuned for a recipe post…I know it’s been awhile but I’ll be posting one soon…

Here are my recent baking pictures:

Vegan Banana Bread

A new recipe experiment: vegan banana bread made using applesauce – surprisingly turned out better than I expected and the applesauce gave the bread a lovely moist texture

Vegan Chocolate Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Chocolate Banana Donuts made with spelt flour and coconut sugar

Raw Brownie Balls

Raw Brownie Balls made with raw cacao powder, walnuts and dates

Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins

Vegan Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins made with wholemeal spelt flour and coconut sugar

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes

Recipe experimenting with Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes made with applesauce, spelt flour and coconut sugar – surprisingly tasted light and moist without too much of an applesauce taste

Me and Art

62 Mary Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Website: http://meandart-sydney.webs.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Lunch, Muffins, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot visits Three Blue Ducks

Hello readers!

It’s been awhile since I have visited one of the cafes on my list of cafes I have been wanting to visit. Whilst Three Blue Ducks is nowhere near new, I had been wanting to visit this cafe for ages now and finally a brunch date with Miss Baller and Mr Baller meant that we could all try this new cafe together. Miss Baller and I had talked about a brunch date at Three Blue Ducks for awhile now and finally we were able to pick a date to go which suited everyone.

We all arrived at the cafe around 10:30am on a Saturday and you could tell the cafe was already quite busy with most of the inside tables already full. We were in luck as there were a few tables outside that were available and so we were seated outside the cafe with a nice wooden table and wooden benches. The waitress offered Miss Baller and I a rug to share in case we got cold as it was quite chilly last weekend.

I liked the atmosphere of the cafe, everything seemed so calm and relaxing and Miss Baller and I were discussing how long it had been since we had last visited Bronte besides going to the beach back in our uni days. The cafe is nestled among some local shops and bakeries such as Iggy’s which is famous for their sourdough breads. There was an urban and modern vibe I picked up from the setting of the cafe with painted graffiti walls on the side of the cafe. The weather was very lovely that day and soon we began to feel the sun shining on us which was a nice change from the cold weather.

I had read the menu online and seen many photos on Instagram and various blogs and was keen to try their quinoa and fig bircher but come saturday I was ill with the flu and wanted something a bit warmer. There were more options on the menu once we sat down and read the menu. The online menu only shows a few dishes that they offer so I was pleased to see that there were a lot more options to choose from. I was so tempted to order the pancakes as I love all things pancakes but in the end settled for porridge.

Three Blue Ducks

Wall

Setting

Setting 2

Alley

Painted Walls

Cakes

They sell cakes, toasted muesli and sandwiches to take away or eat in the cafe – apologies about the terrible photo as I was rushing to take a photo before we left. Wouldn’t mind some of that lemon meringue tart!

Menu

The Menu

Carrot and Ginger Juice

Mr Muscles’s Carrot Apple and Ginger Juice

Ginger Cinnamon Tea

My Ginger and Cinnamon Tea

Flat White

Miss Baller’s Coffee

Coddled Eggs

Mr Muscles’s: Coddled Eggs with Chorizo, Pulled Pork and Cannellini Baked Beans $21.50

Mr Muscles ordered the coddled eggs as he wanted to order something different to everyone. It was quite a heavy and rich meal as the chorizo itself was quite rich in flavour and the baked beans were also quite heavy. This is definitely a dish for someone who is feeling rather hungry. Mr Muscles felt so full by the end of the brunch but was satisfied with his meal choice.

Poached Eggs

Mr Baller’s: Poached Eggs, Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and King Salmon $21.50

Mr Baller decided to order the poached eggs. This dish came with a nice plump serving of salmon which had been wonderfully cooked to create a crispy skin. Although I didn’t try this dish I assumed that he liked this dish as he managed to finish the whole dish. This is always the sign of a well executed dish.

Scrambled Eggs

Miss Baller’s: Scrambled Eggs with Black Sausage, Dill Cucumber Yoghurt Salad and Red Currant Jam $21.50

Miss Baller ordered the scrambled eggs and seemed to thoroughly enjoy her meal. She mentioned that the black sausage was quite flavourful and decadent. The meal itself was beautifully presented on the plate and the texture of the black sausage contrasted significantly against the tomatoes, red currants and the softness of the scrambled eggs.

Porridge

My meal: Black Rice, Tapioca, Quinoa Porridge with Poached Fruit, Yoghurt and Honey $16.00

I was very happy with what I ordered. The black rice, tapioca and quinoa combined so well together and for something that looked rich, it was actually quite light. The sourness from the yoghurt and the sweetness from the poached fruit and honey really paired well with the porridge. This was quite a generous serve as well so I didn’t end up finishing it all but it’s definitely something I would order again. Also this was just what I needed, something warm yet not too heavy. There were also bits of walnuts and nuts throughout the porridge which contrasted against the soft poached fruit. The poached pear was soft and subtly sweet against the tartness of the rhubarb. This meal was rather healthy with all the different grains that I felt good about eating this dish – something that tastes quite indulgent but that is healthy and good for you…definitely a win win situation…or at least I keep telling myself that ;P

I really want to come back and try the orange and yoghurt pancakes and of course the quinoa and fig bircher that I missed out on trying during this first visit. Definitely a cafe that I would love to come back to regularly.

Iggy's

Miss Baller and I couldn’t help but walk into Iggy’s to buy some bread. They had some sample sourdough which we tried and instantly we were swayed to buy some bread. Their sourdough was really delicious and I’m sure that if no one was looking I could have eaten most of the sample bowl. Miss Baller and I both ordered a poppyseed bagel to eat later and halved a sourdough bread stick. The bread is so addictive and I thoroughly enjoyed my bagel which I had for lunch the next day. I will be back for more bread…carbs are my weakness afterall ;P

I don’t have a photo of the bagel and bread we bought as I quickly demolished any evidence of the wonderfully addictive bread ;P

Once again great food and even better company – that’s what I call a good saturday =)

Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller for an awesome brunch date yet again…where to next?

Three Blue Ducks

143 Macpherson St

Bronte NSW 2024

Ph: (02) 9389 0010

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Friday Breakfast: 7am – 11:30am Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm and

Saturday/Sunday Breakfast: 7.30am – 11:30am Lunch: 12.00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner (wed, thu, fri, sat) 6pm – 11pm Dinner bookings only

Website: http://www.threeblueducks.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Bagel, Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Health Food, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt

Jackpot and Mr Muscles celebrate one year at Sokyo!

Hello dear readers!

I am finally back with a new post. It’s been a very long time and I am finding it more and more difficult to find time to blog whilst juggling work, basketball and baking. But I’m hoping that I can still maintain this blog and let you guys all know what I have been up to whether it’s baking in the kitchen making new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients or visiting new cafes and restaurants when I can.

Mr Muscles and I celebrated our one year a few weeks ago. Mr Muscles decided to take me to Sokyo to celebrate our anniversary as he had never been before and was eager to try the food. I have been a few times and always thought the food was really well executed so I was excited to come back and try other dishes which I hadn’t tried before. Japanese food is also our go to food when we don’t know what we are in the mood to eat so we know that we will always enjoy our meal regardless as we both have a love for Japanese food more so now than we ever did before.

We booked dinner for a saturday night and the restaurant became quite full quite quickly despite us having a very early dinner booking. There were birthdays celebrated that night, a hen’ s night dinner and lots of families with their little children.

Mr Muscles and I decided to order various dishes that both of us had never tried before and we were really happy with the selection of dishes we chose as each dish did not disappoint.

Scallop Sashimi

Scallop Sashimi served with assorted tomatoes and herbs

This was a really nice dish and usually I don’t eat a lot of raw food but the scallop sashimi was cut very finely and the tomatoes paired wonderfully with the scallops.

Tamago

Tamago

Mr Muscles knows how much I love eating tamago (egg omelette) whenever we go to Japanese restaurants so he ordered this for me. This was unlike anything I had eaten before mainly because it reminded me of a soft fluffy cake almost and not the firm texture in the omelette that I am used to eating. It was soft and melted in your mouth with each bite and I ended up eating most of this as Mr Muscles gave me his share.

Sashimi Salad

Sashimi Salad

Mr Muscles wanted to order a salad so we ended up getting the sashimi salad. I don’t really eat raw food so Mr Muscles ended up eating most of this. The salad itself was quite spicy from the chilli paste but I enjoyed the cherry tomatoes in this dish nonetheless.

Beef Short Rib

Robata – beef short rib, caramelised eschalots served with teriyaki sauce

I don’t usually eat much meat but this dish was really good. The beef melted in your mouth with each bite and it was so tender that Mr Muscles and I ended up eating this dish really quickly. It was rich in flavour but so wonderfully moreish.

Miso Cod

Caramelised Miso Cod served with Japanese Salsa and Cucumber Salad

I had heard that the Miso Cod was one of their stand out dishes so I knew I wanted to order this dish. We were not disappointed as the Miso cod was rich in flavour and also melted in your mouth with each bite as each piece fell apart easily. The cucumber salad cut through all the richness which paired really well with the fish. It was a really well executed dish which Mr Muscles and I enjoyed thoroughly.

Queensland Roll

Queensland Roll

We ordered the Queensland Roll which came out last for the savoury dishes and we were not disappointed by this choice. The sushi rolls were covered in rice paper instead of the normal seaweed which I thought was a really nice change and topped with avocado. It was such a wonderful dish that I really probably could have eaten two plates of this. Definitely something I will order again when I visit the restaurant again next time.

Tasting Plate at Sokyo

The Dessert Sampler: Yamazaki Caramel Macchiato (coffee ice cream, cocoa nibs and whisky foam), Sokyo’s Mochi Ice Cream (Yatsuhashi Kyoto mocha with frozen strawberry milkshake), Goma Street (black sesame ice-cream, caramelised white chocolate mousse sandwiched between 2 pieces of chocolate and nutty brittle pieces and a panacotta with tapioca sago pudding layered on top with tropical fruit served in a glass jar.

Mr Muscles decided to order the dessert sampler as if I had the choice I’m pretty sure I would have ordered 5 plates of dessert but by this time we were both getting quite full and I couldn’t decide between some of the desserts so the sampler was picked in the end.

I ended up eating most of this dessert sampler as Mr Muscles knows how much of  sweet tooth I have. I didn’t eat any of the Macchiato dessert as I am not a fan of coffee so Mr Muscles ended up eating all of this. Goma Street is the best dessert in my opinion at Sokyo – it never disappoints and all the flavours of black sesame and white chocolate pair wonderfully together that it leaves you wanting more each time. I devoured this whole that Mr Muscles didn’t end up tasting this except for a few left over scraps that I didn’t end up eating. The mochi ice cream is always a nice choice for dessert however I find the strawberry milkshake filling to be quite overpowering and sweet.  I was disappointed with the pannacotta that was not really reminiscent of a pannacotta. The texture was quite different than usual and more reminscent of liquid rather than being firm as if it were missing some gelatine. I felt that this dessert was a bit of a hit and a miss as the tapioca pudding layer also didn’t seem to really suit the dish.

All in all we had a wonderful dinner celebrating our anniversary. Good food and even better company – what more can you ask for?

Happy 1 Mr Muscles! Here’s to many more to come ;P

Sokyo

Level G, The Darling, The Star,

80 Pyrmont Street

Pyrmont, 2009

Until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

2 Comments

Filed under Dessert, Dinner, Fine Dining, Japanese, Restaurant, Sydney

My recent baking experiments…

I’ll be back soon with a blog post but for now I thought I’d share with you all my recent food pics….

Paleo Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Crinkle Cookies made with raw blanched almond meal, raw cacao powder and pure maple syrup

Protein Muffins

Chocolate Protein Muffins made for Mr Muscles – one topped with chia seeds and the other topped with walnuts made with protein powder, spelt flour, raw organic honey, mashed bananas and applesauce

Marbled Chocolate and Pandan Steamed Sponge Cakes

Steamed Pandan and Chocolate Marbled Sponge Cakes made with white spelt flour, raw cacao powder, pandan paste and coconut sugar

Healthy Almond Meal Cookies

Been trying to perfect my healthy almond meal cookies recipe lately until I get the right consistency: made with raw blanched almond meal, whole wheat spelt flour, coconut oil and pure maple syrup

Chocolate and Vanilla Spelt Donuts

Baked some vegan chocolate and vanilla spelt donuts for some friends made with whole wheat spelt flour, raw cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, coconut sugar and coconut oil

Paleo Cookies

A big batch of Paleo Cookies: Chocolate Paleo Cookies and Coconut Paleo Cookies using raw blanched almond meal, pure maple syrup

Coconut and Chia Seed Paleo Cookie

Paleo Coconut and Chia Seed Cookies made with raw blanched almond meal, pure maple syrup, chia seeds and dessicated coconut

Vegan Matcha and Chocolate Muffins

Vegan matcha (green tea) and chocolate marbled muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, matcha powder, raw cacao powder, coconut sugar, almond milk and coconut oil

Vegan Banana and Date Muffins

My vegan banana and date whole wheat spelt muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, dates, mashed bananas, coconut oil, almond milk and walnuts

Almond Butter Cookies

Paleo and Vegan Almond Butter Cookies made with organic almond butter spread, coconut sugar and a bit of almond meal

Vegan blueberry and banana muffins

Vegan blueberry and banana whole wheat spelt muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, mashed bananas, almond milk, date syrup and blueberries

Paleo Coconut Macaroons

Paleo Coconut Macaroons made with dessicated coconut, egg whites, and agave nectar

Vegan baked banana donuts

Vegan baked banana cinnamon whole wheat spelt donuts made with whole wheat spelt flour, cinnamon, mashed bananas, coconut oil, coconut sugar and almond milk

Paleo banana muffins

Paleo banana muffins made with raw blanched almond meal, eggs, mashed bananas, some pure maple syrup and coconut oil

Chocolate and Vanilla banana muffins

Vegan chocolate and vanilla banana muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, mashed bananas, raw cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, coconut oil and almond milk

I think I can conclude that I am seriously a little too addicted to baking and trying to develop new recipes and experiment with new ingredients for various diets whether it be gluten free, vegan or paleo…there’s definitely something for everyone!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Cookies, Dessert, Donuts, Fat Free, Health Food, Healthy, Instagram, Matcha, Muffins, Nuts, Oil Free, Paleo, Pandan, Recipes, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western