Category Archives: Granola

JACKPOT’s visit to Bills and a recipe for healthy banana bran muffins

Hello dear readers!

I apologise for the long delay between blog posts but between extended family visiting from overseas, celebrating mum’s big birthday and getting the flu as well..it’s definitely been a long few weeks and I’m still feeling under the weather…must be the constant cold changes that I’m still not getting used to. I hope I can post more regularly but hopefully you all can wait patiently for everything to go back to normal =)

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I thought I’d merge a cafe visit and recipe in the same post due to my lack of posting lately.

So as my cousin was visiting from Singapore, my family and I decided to take my cousin to eat breakfast at the infamous “Bills” in Surry Hills. I’m amazed at how packed Bills gets around 9-10am and that the lines are still like this after many many years of being established and with many new cafes opening in Surry Hills. The lines always seem to be quite lengthy but we were lucky to have arrived at a time where a table was available. We were seated next to the window and we had a good view of the street with the sun shining into the cafe. It was a lovely farewell breakfast for my cousin eating scrumptious food while discussing potential trips to visit Singapore sometime soon.

Ricotta Hotcakes

Ricotta Hotcakes, Banana and Honeycomb Butter $19.50

My cousin and I ordered the infamous ricotta hotcakes for our breakfast and I was not disappointed by my choice. Such fluffy joyous soft pillows of goodness demolished in seconds. I wish that there had been many more stacks of pancakes for me to devour but alas I had to settle with the 3 that were served. The hotcakes are a very popular choice at Bills and I saw that most people were ordering this dish on each table. I have always had a massive sweet tooth so I knew that the sweeter option was the best way to go rather than the savoury one although I must admit the scrambled eggs at Bills are quite delicious as well.

Full Breakfast

Full Aussie Breakfast: Scrambled Organic Eggs, Sourdough Toast, Bacon, Roast Tomato, Swiss Mushrooms with a Pork and Fennel Sausage $24.50

Mr Muscles ordered the Full Aussie Breakfast as he prefers savoury food over sweet food. This dish is quite filling with loads of sides to go with the toast and eggs. Mr Muscles soon devoured this dish till there were no remains left. He was satisfied entirely and left the cafe feeling quite full at this stage. The eggs are cooked so well and so very fluffy and was definitely the highlight of this dish.

Me being greedy, noticed some nice looking bran muffins sitting on the table in the middle of the cafe. I knew I wanted to try one so I decided to order one takeaway. The muffin was a ricotta, apple, coconut and bran muffin. At first after hearing the flavours I wasn’t sure how this would taste but after tasting a bit of it, I fell in love with this muffin. It was quite a filling muffin but had a lovely taste to it. I didn’t taste too much of the ricotta but more so the coconut and the bran. After I ate this muffin I knew I wanted to try and replicate the flavours I had tasted in this muffin so hence the recipe post.

I decided to make my own version of Bill’s bran muffins but obviously adapting it to make a bran muffin without using eggs and without using any butter or oil. I was surprised at the results of my muffins and how well they turned out so much so that I’m going to be making another batch quite soon. I didn’t really follow any set recipe as most of it was kind of based on feeling but here is what I used to make healthy banana bran muffins.

HEALTHY BANANA BRAN MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup of oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 generous teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic honey (you can replace this with agave, coconut sugar or another type of sugar substitute to make them vegan)
  • 2 tsps of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas mashed (I used 4 bananas)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside.
  3. Mash your bananas in a small bowl using a fork until you have a rather smooth consistency. Doesn’t matter if you still have some small banana pieces left in the mash.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) into a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  5. Combine all your wet ingredients together (honey, vanilla extract, soy milk and mashed bananas) in a smaller bowl and whisk for a few minutes.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and using your wooden spoon mix the muffin batter till combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  7. Fill each muffin liner using an ice cream scoop or spoon and fill the muffin liners about 2/3’s full.
  8. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown on the top.
  9. Take the muffins out of the muffin tray and set on a wire rack to cool.
  10. You can enjoy them as they come out of the oven or freeze them to be eaten later on.
  11. Enjoy!

Mashed Bananas

Oat Bran

Flour Mixture

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients

Combining Wet and Dry

Filled Muffin Liners

Baked Muffins

Banana bran muffins

Banana Bran Muffins 2

Banana Bran Muffins 3

Banana bran muffins 4

I loved these muffins and was really surprised at how good these muffins tasted. I think the oat bran gave it a really nice texture and I was even more surprised that they weren’t dry. Usually I have to cook muffins for 25 minutes approximately but these were done in 20 minutes. The batter was also very easy to whip up so hence why I will be making another batch soon. The best thing about these muffins is that they freeze well and you can just heat them up in the morning for quick go to breakfast. You definitely get a lot of fibre and nutrition from the oat bran and the wholemeal spelt flour but the soft bananas and the sweetness from the honey really work well together. I love how this recipe doesn’t use any eggs or oil or butter and yet the result was still really delicious. Also I knew these muffins had to taste somewhat nice as Mr Muscles had 2 in one go and that usually means that he really likes it if he asks for seconds ;P

I thought I’d also share with you all some other photos of my baking experiments over the past few weeks.

Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes

I made these Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes for my brother while he is visiting however I think I need to work on the texture as they came out a little dry and there was not enough sweetness to it as my brother mentioned a few times. I will definitely need to keep experimenting further with this recipe.

Anzac Cookies Vegan

I also made these Vegan Anzac Cookies on my day off on Anzac Day however was slightly disappointed as they didn’t really taste of anything. I think using rice syrup instead of the usual golden syrup really changed the taste and the texture of these cookies. There was definitely not enough sweetness in the cookie.

Granola

That same day I also made some of my own granola/toasted muesli filled with plenty of ingredients such as chia seeds, coconut, dried apricots, raw blanched almonds, pumpkin and pepita seeds and of course rolled oats. I used honey this time to sweeten the granola and some coconut oil for baking. I was really happy with how these turned out as it had a lovely crunch and I loved the bits of muesli that had stuck together in the process to make big granola clusters.

So until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Cafe, Eggs, Granola, Health Food, Muffins, Oil Free, Pancakes, Pandan, Recipes, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Toast, Toasted Muesli, Western

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 2

Time for part 2 of my extra long blog post about my Easter in Melbourne.

Miss G and Mr D took us to Lux Bite after lunch so we could have a look at the desserts on offer there. I had read a lot about Lux Bite so I was really eager to check out all their desserts plus their macarons which I had heard were the best in Melbourne. All the desserts looked so intricate that they almost looked too pretty to eat. I could tell that these desserts were nothing but indulgent and rich. I was super sad that by the time we got here I was still so full that I couldn’t fit in any dessert. I’m going to have to come back next time on my next trip down to Melbourne. Everything looked so delicious as I gazed intently on the cabinet full of desserts. Mr Muscles knew deep down that I wanted to try one but I showed some self-restraint and said no this time…I regretted it about 10 minutes later after we walked out of the shop ;P

LuxBite

Lux Bite Quote

Love this quote of theirs – so true! ;P

Desserts

How cute are the Easter Bunny Macarons ;P

Desserts 2

Easter dessert

I really wanted to get this but my stomach was still suffering from a massive food coma =(

Dessert 2

Macarons2

Macaron Dessert

Macarons from Luxbite

Macarons from Luxbite2

Lux Bite’s infamous macarons – how cool does the freckles one look on the very far right hand side – definitely trying one next time!

We visited the Prahran markets for the first time as Miss G and Mr D needed to get a few things from there. Going to the markets was such a wonderful experience and I only wish that there were more markets like this open for longer in Sydney. Most the markets I go to on the weekend usually close early so I never get a chance to go to some of the markets. There were so many stalls at this market ranging from people selling honey, organic foods, a deli, fish and meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, flowers and the like. I honestly probably could have spent a lot longer at this market i.e. all day because there was just so much to look at. And what was even better was at the back of this market, I found an Essential Ingredient where I dragged Mr Muscles with me to go exploring in the shop. I spent ages looking around trying to find new baking equipment and recipe books. In the end I picked up a really cool asian dessert recipe book which I plan to filter through and draw ideas from.

Markets

Honey

Spreads

Eggs

Nuts

Flowers

Deli

Deli

To finish off our Melbourne trip Mr Muscles and I decided to have breakfast at Cumulus Inc the next day as I had really wanted to try one of Melbourne’s popular breakfast/brunch places. We got up quite early so we were the first customers for the day and had preference to sit anywhere in the cafe. The cafe is modern and has a large kitchen where you can view the chefs in the kitchen preparing your food. I had read about this place in many blog posts and was keen to try the crumpets and madeleines that a lot of people had blogged about.

Cumulus Inc

Cumulus Inc Door

Tables and Chairs

Tables and Chairs inside

Interior

Kitchen

The Menu

The Menu

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

 

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

Mr Muscles wanted to eat something a lot heartier for breakfast as he had a big night and was feeling under the weather so to speak so he decided to order the beans and egg dish.

Beans and Egg

Grilled Lyonaisse sausage, smoked hock, braised beans and 65/65 egg $19.80

Mr Muscles didn’t really enjoy his breakfast. He thought the food was ok but didn’t really like the sausage they used for the dish. I think he was expecting something different and so it didn’t really satisfy his hunger. Also he thought it was quite a pricey meal for what he got.

I decided to order the crumpets instead of the madeleines as I wanted something slightly savoury and the madeleines take longer to make so I figured I should stick to something that didn’t take too long.

Crumpets

Crumpets close up

House made crumpets, whipped ricotta & rooftop honey $11.00

Honey

Rooftop Honey

Inside of the Crumpet

An inside shot of my crumpets

I was very surprised when my crumpets came out. It looked so different to the crumpets I used to eat when I was a kid that you get from the local supermarket. Not at all soft but rather crunchy on the outside and chewier on the inside. It was a very different experience of eating crumpets. I loved the honey and ricotta as they both paired wonderfully together with the savoury taste of the crumpets to give that slight savoury sweet flavour that I was after. I think I prefer the softer version of these as I thought these had been fried a bit too much in the pan. The crumpets itself were not filling however and Mr Muscles could see I was hungry still so he ordered the granola for him and I to share.

Granola

Toasted Honey Granola & Poached Rhubarb with Vanilla Yoghurt $11.00

I really loved this dish and probably should have ordered this instead of my crumpets as this is my usual go to breakfast when I dine out for breakfast or brunch. The granola had a lovely crunch with various nuts, seeds and sultanas and it paired really well with the yoghurt and the tart flavour of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries.

I would like to go back to Cumulus to try out their dinner menu as I know this place gets really packed out for dinner. Also, I have yet to try their madeleines with lemon curd so that’s something I will come back for when I have more time.

All in all, it was a great way to spend most of the long weekend before Mr Muscles and I had to work on the Easter Monday. Great catching up with friends, exploring new places to eat and indulging in various foods which meant massive food comas for most of the trip ;P

Prahran Markets

163 Commercial Rd

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 8290 8220

Trading Hours:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 7am – 5pm
Wednesday  Closed
Thursday 7am – 5pm
Friday 7am – 6pm
Saturday 7am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 3pm

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

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Ln

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9650 1445

Trading Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-11pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-11pm

Website: http://cumulusinc.com.au/

Until next time Melbourne,

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Markets, Melbourne, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 1

Hello dear readers!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far especially given the Easter long weekend meaning that this week is just a little bit shorter =)

I spent some of my Easter in Melbourne catching up with friends, playing a bit of basketball and of course indulging in various foods. As soon as I stepped into Melbourne it was as if I had gained the capacity of two stomaches and I could eat nearly twice or three times as much as I usually would in Sydney…yes food coma indeed…most times were spent clutching my stomach after over eating and although I knew I was full most of the time, the lure of the oh so yummy desserts on offer in Melbourne pulled me back in each time…I’m definitely guilty as charged when it comes to over eating this Easter…and did I mention Mr Muscles bought me an Easter treat which consisted of Lindt Easter Eggs (one large one and some small ones) which as soon as I received it I devoured most of the large easter egg…damn my sweet tooth again…I never learn for some reason! ;P

I will most likely be splitting this blog post into two parts as I realised I took a lot of photos from my Easter trip in Melbourne so stay tuned for Part 2.

Mr Muscles and I decided to get some dessert on the first night we arrived in Melbourne so we took a nice stroll down to Chinatown in search of some Taiwanese desserts. I wanted to go to Dessert Story as I had heard a lot about this place but as soon as we got there the place was packed and people were queuing outside the place. Dessert Story seems very similar to Meet Fresh offering the usual grass jelly and tofu pudding desserts. As I didn’t want to wait in line, we decided to go searching for other dessert places to kill my sweet tooth craving. Meet Fresh was just down the road but as we passed it, we noticed how busy the lines were as well. I didn’t realise how much of a mission it was to find a dessert place to eat at in Melbourne on Good Friday. Clearly everyone had thought the same thing and wanted to indulge in some dessert on the public holiday hence the masses of people lining up for these asian desserts. In the end Mr Muscles and I found a small Taiwanese dessert place which had a table available so we decided to try it out. I thought the desserts were ok but wasn’t as good as Meet Fresh back in Sydney. The sweet potato and taro balls were not of the same texture or consistency that Meet Fresh tastes like.

Taiwanese Dessert

Mr Muscles ordered Grass Jelly served with Sweet Potato and Taro Glutinous Balls along with Green Tea Jelly and Noodle Jellies.

I was feeling a bit cold from the weather in Melbourne so decided to get a hot dessert instead of an icy one. I chose the silky tofu pudding in ginger soup. I was hoping that this would be similar to what they serve in yum cha but the consistency again wasn’t really there. However it did the job of warming me up. I still rather enjoyed the dessert despite not being what I had expected. It was lovely and gingery. Definitely something I would eat during winter.

Silky Tofu in Ginger Soup

Silky Tofu Pudding in Ginger Soup with Brown Sugar Sprinkled on Top

The next morning, Mr Muscles and I couldn’t quite work out where to have breakfast. Initially we had planned to eat somewhere near the basketball courts for convenience but as we got up relatively early we decided to eat downstairs of the hotel and splurge on a buffet breakfast. Grand Hyatt (Collins Kitchen) have a very lavish buffet breakfast on offer with various foods to suit everyone’s taste buds. I was in awe of all the food and couldn’t quite decide what to eat at times but knew that I wanted to try nearly everything. It’s quite pricey for $40 a person but it’s definitely a one time thing that you have to experience. I can’t even remember the last time I had a proper buffet breakfast but I was happy that we tried this out as this was definitely an indulging weekend for the both of us. Though I started regretting the choice of a buffet breakfast after I started playing basketball not long after as I managed to overeat. My plan was simple: do not overeat (on the basis that I knew I was about to play basketball)…somewhere along the way my plan failed miserably as my stomach got the better of me and everything I saw I just wanted to try…fail indeed…

Thanks Mr Muscles for taking all these photos for me…I felt slightly shy about taking so many photos of the buffet whilst there were cooks looking over each time I had my camera in my hand, so Mr Muscles decided to go around taking photos instead.

Yoghurt

Various brands of yoghurt and Yakult

Juice

The juice table

Bread Station

Various breads to choose from where you can slice the size of bread you want and on the other side there was already pre sliced bread which you can toast and eat with various jams and spreads

Spreads and Jams

Spreads and Jams to go with the breads

Fruit

Various fruit to go with yoghurt or to make your own fruit salad

Eggs

The hot food station with sausages, crispy bacon and a chef who made omelette and eggs whichever way you wanted and with the ingredients of your choice (think he didn’t realise Mr Muscles was trying to take a picture of the hot food station)

Hot Food

Asian Station

This was the Asian food section consisting of steamed dim sims and dumplings and congee which you could make with various toppings.

Condiments

Various toppings to use for congee

Buffet Kitchen

Rice and Eggs

More Asian food: Noodles, Fried Rice and some scrambled eggs which was placed in the Asian section for some reason.

And to my most favourite station of the buffet: DESSERT!

Dessert Station

Pastries

Various danishes and croissants to choose from

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Muffins

Muffins!

Biscuits

Freshly baked biscuits

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Bread

Biscuit Jars

Crunchy Chocolate Biscuits

Almond Tuiles

Almond Tuiles

I started off my buffet breakfast with healthier items to not make me feel so bad when I started to indulge in all the sweet food. I realised that I didn’t eat much savoury food and stuck to all things sweet whilst Mr Muscles chose to eat all savoury foods not indulging in anything sweet.

Yoghurt Bowl

My yoghurt bowl consisting of natural yoghurt, strawberries, pineapple, crunchy nut granola and leatherwood honey

I really loved the do it yourself yoghurt, granola and fruit that I ended up getting 2 servings of this as it was really tasty.

Omelette

Mr Muscles’ made to order omelette

Pancakes

Pancakes made to order topped with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar

I was quite disappointed with my pancakes. They were dry and not very fluffy.

Danish and Croissant

Raspberry Danish and Mini Croissant

I chose the Danish and croissant because it looked quite tasty but upon eating it, I was disappointed as it was again dry =(

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun

Since it was Easter I decided to try their hot cross buns. There were the standard hot cross buns and then a chocolate and cherry one. I decided to go with the chocolate one. Again the bun was quite dry so it made it difficult to eat.

Banana Bread

Banana bread with various biscuits

I loved their banana bread and you had the option of toasting it which really made a difference. It was so good that I was tempted to get another one but since I had eaten so much and had chosen to eat this last I couldn’t fit another one in. The biscuits were really lovely as well with a nice crunch to them. I really adored the almond tuiles and definitely could have gone back for seconds, thirds…but alas food coma was getting the better of me.

I realised I didn’t take too many photos of the savoury food that Mr Muscles ate. He also thought that while there were plenty of options for food at this buffet, the taste of the food was lacking in some areas. It was a bit of a hit and miss with various foods. Mr Muscles tried out some of the Asian foods such as the steamed dumplings and the fried rice. He quite enjoyed the fried rice and he also got a portion of scrambled eggs so that we could share. I quite enjoyed the scrambled eggs and that was perhaps the only savoury thing I ate apart from some bread I sliced for myself and toasted.

I really loved that there was a whole station dedicated to dessert. You could either choose pancakes or waffles. Because my pancakes were dry I wasn’t sure what the waffles would taste like so I didn’t order them. I wish I had chosen waffles instead of pancakes looking back though. Also, I loved that there were various bircher muesli on offer in the cabinet of the dessert station which were presented in glass cups.

The buffet itself was very pretty, very lavish and with so many options, it was hard to try everything without feeling over full. I didn’t even get to try everything and I still felt quite full. All in all it was a good breakfast to start the morning and that yoghurt and fruit with their crunchy granola was really a highlight for me for the buffet =)

After the buffet and basketball we caught up with Miss G and Mr D over lunch. Miss G and Mr D have been living in Melbourne for a while so know the best places to eat. They took us to eat at Two Birds One Stone as Miss G was telling me that they serve a yoghurt pannacotta for breakfast (which is served all day) so I was keen to try this out.

Two Birds One Stone is a lovely little cafe located in a small street in South Yarra. There are tables inside and outside of the cafe and when we got there the cafe was quite busy. We took a seat outside as there was no space inside and each time a waitress would come out with various people’s dishes I was having serious food envy. All the food looked so good and delicious and whilst I wanted to eat something savoury I knew my inner sweet tooth was craving the yoghurt pannacotta so I decided to go with that instead.

cafe

inside cafe

The inside of the cafe

Freshly Baked Muffins

Freshly baked muffins

Cakes

Various cakes on offer – the cheesecake brownie looks awesome!

The Menu

The Menu

Mr D's Coffee

Mr D’s Coffee

Mr Muscles Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Ms G's Coffee

Miss G’s Coffee

Info about Coffee

Tasting notes for Miss G’s Coffee

My Green Tea

My White Peony Green Tea

Corn Fritters

Mr Muscles’s meal: Corn Fritters with house smoked salmon, avocado & snow pea tendrils $17.50

Mr Muscles ordered the corn fritters which looked really lovely on the plate. These corn fritters were a little different from the usual type of fritters we have eaten before. The texture was a lot softer instead of the usual crisiper ones that we usually order from other cafes. Mr Muscles enjoyed his meal however he stated that the serving size was rather on the small side and had hoped that there would be more on the plate.

side

Mr Muscles’s side: Ham Hock Beans $4.00

Mr Muscles ordered an extra side of Ham Hock Beans to go with his corn fritters. He enjoyed his side of beans as it was gone not long after he had eaten his first spoonful.

Two Birds Meal

Mr D ordered the Two Birds meal consisting of scrambled eggs on toast with mushrooms, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, homemade sausage and bacon, haloumi, ham hock beans and an extra piece of toast for Miss G.

When the plate came out I was surprised at how large the serving was for this big breakfast. Mr D and Miss G really enjoyed sharing this meal together. Definitely something to eat when you are feeling extra hungry or just want to indulge in some savoury goodness!

Miss G and I both ordered the yoghurt pannacotta and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Yoghurt Pannacotta

Yoghurt Panna cotta with Kaffir Lime, Fresh Fruit & Nut Cluster $12.50

The yoghurt pannacotta was soooo good! It was like eating dessert but in a bit of a healthier way and that you could eat this for breakfast or lunch. The nut clusters gave it a nice texture compared to the smoothness of the panna cotta and I liked how you could taste the tartness from the yoghurt. In no time at all, I finished the whole dish and had wished there was more but once again, food coma came into play and I was soon clutching my stomach as I felt that I was still quite full from the breakfast but I really couldn’t say no to pannacotta.

I really want to try a lot of the other dishes next time I go back to visit Melbourne…I saw a few customers order the charred polenta with mushrooms and the smashed avocado and feta on toast…definitely something I’m coming back to try!

Thanks Miss G and D for showing us this place…it’s a great find for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

To be continued with a post on the Prahran Markets and a breakfast at Cumulus Inc….so stay tuned!

Collins Kitchen (Grand Hyatt Lobby)

123 Collins Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9657 1234

Website: http://www.melbourne.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-melbourne-grand/index.jsp?null

Two Birds One Stone Cafe

12 Claremont Street,

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 9827 1228

Trading Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm and Weekends 8am – 4pm

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

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Lunch, Melbourne, Melbourne, Pancakes, Restaurant, Toast, Waffles, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT visits YOUENI FOODSTORE CAFE

Hello dear readers!

Hope you all are having a wonderful long weekend! Happy belated Australia Day as well – I hope you all celebrated by doing something Australian whether it be indulging in various Australian foods such as Pavlovas, Lamingtons etc or having a bbq to celebrate with friends and family…I hope you all had a good time celebrating!

As the weekend is usually the time I like to really indulge in foods, I decided to visit a new cafe that I haven’t been to before. I had read a lot of reviews online from various food blogs about Youeni Foodstore and I saw various instagram photos circulating around displaying all the wonderful foods on offer from the foodstore cafe and I knew immediately that this was a cafe I needed to visit. Youeni Foodstore have 3 locations: Surry hills, Darlinghurst and the newly opened cafe at Castle Hill. I decided to try the cafe at Surry Hills as it was the closest to home.

The cafe is situated among various warehouse like buildings nestled in the middle. It is a cosy atmosphere with a few tables and chairs which have been placed outside the kitchen space/counter where you can peer into the kitchen to see what the staff are cooking inside. If you aren’t feeling like eating in, you can easily takeaway coffees, homemade baked goods such as muffins, scrolls and toasted muesli if you are feeling peckish. Outside of the cafe, the owners have placed various boxes of fruits and vegetables to emphasise their use of fresh fruit and vegetables in their dishes. We got to the cafe around 9:30 and it was not very busy so we were able to get a table but as we were leaving, there were a number of customers who were starting to sit down and eat breakfast. It’s probably best to go earlier to this cafe so that you don’t miss out on all the wonderful pastries on offer.

Specials board

New menu items at Youeni

Fruit and Veg

Fruit and Vegetables displayed outside the cafe

Youeni Cafe

Tables and Chairs

Kitchen

The Kitchen

Muffin of the Day

Muffin of the Day: I think this was blueberry

Scrolls

Scrolls

Menu

Menu2

Menu

They didn’t have any green tea on their menu (usually my choice of tea) so I settled for a white peony tea instead.

Tea

My Peony Tea

Coffee

Mr Muscle’s choice of coffee

Mr Muscles decided to order the scrambled eggs as he usually tends to pick the savoury items while I pick the sweeter items on the menu. He was not disappointed by his choice as he raved on about how the very creamy scrambled eggs worked well with the giant kale leaves that accompanied the dish. You could tell the vegetables were fresh. Mr Muscles also ordered an extra side of avocado which had been seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. I tried a bit of his scrambled eggs and it was really rich and creamy. It was definitely a hearty meal and probably best eaten when you are feeling really hungry.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs, pan-roasted tomatoes, kale, olive oil, toast $12.00

Avocado

Side of Avocado $3.00

I ordered the breakfast crumble which was served with natural yoghurt as I was feeling like some toasted muesli. The breakfast crumble was a lot more dense and heavy than I expected as they had stewed the oats with dried fruits such as figs and fresh fruits that had been slow cooked including peaches and blueberries and hazelnuts and toasted coconut. Although being slightly on the heavier side for a breakfast item, I thoroughly enjoyed my choice of breakfast. I felt that the yoghurt cut through all the heaviness of the breakfast crumble and the softness of the fruits paired well with the crunch of the oats and nuts.

Breakfast Crumble 1

Breakfast Crumble, Seasonal Fruits, Natural Yoghurt $9.00

Crumble

My breakfast crumble close up ;P

After we finished up breakfast, I couldn’t stop eyeing the pastries at the counter so Mr Muscles ended up buying me a cardamon and cinnamon scroll to takeaway. I couldn’t wait and decided to eat it on the spot. It was really delicious and I gobbled it up in a matter of seconds. The scroll was unexpectedly quite light and had some sugar sprinkled on the top of it and I liked that it wasn’t very large in size so I didn’t feel so bad eating it all up. I almost didn’t get a photo of the scroll close up as I was about to bite into it until Mr Muscles reminded me that I should probably take a photo of it before I demolish it whole ;P

Cardamon and Cinnamon Scroll

Scroll close up

 

Youeni Foodstore

Shop 3, 8 Hill Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Phone: (02) 9380 7575

Website: http://youeni.com/

Trading Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am-4pm and Saturdays 9am-4pm

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Cafe, Eggs, Granola, Muffins, Toast, Toasted Muesli, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT eats breakfast at: Gowings Bar and Grill

Hello dear readers!

Anyone feeling the Monday-itis this morning? I certainly am! This weekend feels like it literally passed me by and it’s already Monday again! I miss by bed and during this change in weather…nothing would feel better than lazing in bed and keeping warm under the bed sheets…guess I can just dream about it for now…

Yesterday morning, Mr Muscles had told me he was taking me to breakfast…i.e. a new place that we both could try and that I could blog about of course! Mr Muscles had heard a lot about this place called “Gowings Bar & Grill” situated in the old Gowings building in the city opposite Myer. So previous to him telling me that we were going to go to breakfast at this place, I decided to look up the menu and read up on people’s reviews. The menu looked quite extensive and there were many options to choose from ranging from sweet to savoury and many other things in between. Unfortunately however, I could not find any blog reviews on breakfast at this place. Most people had done many reviews on having dinner at this restaurant. I’m more a breakfast person than I am a dinner person so I was still quite keen to try out their breakfast menu.

Gowings

Gowings Bar & Grill is situated in the QT Sydney Hotel building. The atmosphere and decor of the building as soon as you step inside the 1st floor of the building provides a quirky and modern feel. You instantly feel like you have transported yourself into a club/cabaret style place. Gowings Bar and Grill presents itself as a “European style brassiere with an edgy contemporary design”. The website says that the restaurant offers “the freshest produce from Australia’s best artisan providores”. As you walk up the stairs to the restaurant, you instantly see into the big kitchen with the chefs cooking the meals and preparing the food. The restaurant is quite big with simple but contemporary furniture. The staff were attentive and quick to come to the customers’ aid where necessary. Also, I found that the food came out very quickly as there was not a long wait time even for things such as baked eggs. I’m not exactly sure how busy this restaurant gets as we only came for breakfast. I would assume that during lunch and dinner, would be when their most busiest times were. We booked breakfast for 8:45 and there were only a few customers at the restaurant at the time, and most were hotel guests.

gowings 1

gowings 2

Gowings 4

Gowings 5

Gowings 6

Menu

Menu 2

Menu 3

The Menu

There were so many options to pick from for their Breakfast menu that Mr Muscles and I had a difficult time deciding what to eat. The waiter came around I think twice to ask us if we were ready to order and we were still undecided (I curse my libran traits for being so indecisive even when it comes to ordering food) To eat sweet or savoury? To eat healthy or slightly more indulgent? If only my stomach could fit in more food I would have ordered so many more dishes. This just means that I will have to go back and try other things. On this occasion however, I had over indulged in too much dessert the day before so I was not feeling like anything too heavy (Yes my sweet tooth made a big appearance on saturday and now I am in much regret for eating too much dessert…must cut back…soon ;P). The blueberry spelt flour pancakes had my name written all over it but unfortunately my mind had concurred already that I should not eat any more sweet stuff due to my over indulging. The worst part about it was the customer sitting next to me ordered these said pancakes and all I was doing during breakfast was eyeing her food…terrible I know! I decided to go for the healthier option ordering the Organic Yoghurt Hit which came with Granola, Oats and Almonds and marinated poached plums. Mr Muscles on the other hand was feeling quite hungry and as usual ordered a savoury dish. He ended up choosing the Wood-Fired Clay-Pot Free Range Eggs served with Sourdough Bread and because he was feeling extra hungry he also ordered a bagel on the side as well.

Green Tea

My usual green tea (organic tea hand-made by Penelope Sach) $5.50

Coffee

Mr Muscles usual coffee $4.50

Pepe Saya

Pepe Saya Butter

Mr Muscles had ordered some toast and a bagel so the restaurant had given some Pepe Saya butter to accompany the bread. Mr Muscles could not have been happier. He had heard so much about this butter and couldn’t wait to try it on his bread. He kept raving on about it so I assumed that the butter was good ;P

Yoghurt and Granola

Organic Yoghurt Hit – Topped with Spelt Toasted Granola, Oats, Toasted Almonds and Marinated Plums $9.00

Bowl of Muesli & Yoghurt

Marinated Plums

The yoghurt and granola were just what I needed that day for breakfast. It was light and not too heavy and the poached plums were nice and soft against the crunchy toasted almonds that were sliced and slivered. The granola tasted strangely familiar and I pinpointed it to be the same granola that I had eaten at Sonoma cafe previously before. I assume that they source their granola from here. The portion size of this breakfast item was on the smaller side and for people who want something light and refreshing for breakfast. The yoghurt was placed below the granola in the bowl so as you delved further into the bowl you would get a good mix of yoghurt and granola. As usual, I found many sultanas in my granola which I ended picking out and putting it on the side of my plate. I still have quite the aversion to sultanas and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs 1

Sourdough Toast

Wood-Fired Clay-Pot Free Range Eggs – Baked on Cannellini Beans, Pancetta, Shallots, Parsley, Tomato served with Sourdough Bread $17.00

Mr Muscles really enjoyed his breakfast as he loves baked eggs. The sourdough toast paired really well with the baked eggs dish as you could dip your bread into the tomato mixture. With each spoonful, there was a lovely combination of flavours from cannellini beans to pancetta to tomato to the soft liquid like eggs. There are many other egg breakfast items to try and Mr Muscles has already said that we would be visiting this restaurant again for another breakfast in the future. I saw on the menu that they do a 64 degree biodynamic egg served with a warm brioche and a 3 Free-Range Egg White Omelette served with Asparagus, Kale, Swiss Chard and Shiitake Mushrooms cooked in Flax Seed Oil. Definitely a lot of items that I will have to try on my next visit ;P Also I noticed that there was a selection of warm mini pastries that you could have for breakfast that included a fruit sweet cheese Danish style pastry, a custard duck egg tart, croissant, pain au chocolat, custard fruit brioche served with butter, marmalade and jam. If only my stomach could fit more in…that assortment of pastries sounds so delicious!

Bagel

Hand made Bagel (Natural Leavened Stone Baked Bread) $6.00

Inside of the bagel

Inside shot of the bagel

All in all I really enjoyed breakfast at Gowings Bar & Grill. The menu clearly showed that the restaurant uses really good ingredients and there is a wide variety of food items to choose from. The restaurant also do lunch and dinner so I will be keen to go back to try their lunch and dinner menu on my next visit.

Gowings Bar & Grill

QT Sydney

49 Market Street,

Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 8262 0062

Website: http://www.qtsydney.com.au/food-drink/gowings-bar-grill/

Open Breakfast 6.30am – 10.30am | Lunch from 12 noon | Dinner from 6pm | Bar 12 noon – 12 midnight

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Health Food, Restaurant, Sydney, Toast, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT’s Weekend Eating Adventures at: Bread & Circus

Hello Readers!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! My weekend consisted of a delightful brekkie at Bread & Circus, a housewarming party with plentiful amounts of food and good company, watching NBA endlessly (Go the Houston Rockets!), a baking experiment and a basketball game (where we won!) and some much-needed R&R.

But back to my breakfast on Saturday morning at Bread & Circus. Mr Muscles decided to take me out for brekkie on Saturday morning and despite having a large endless list of breakfast/brunch places that I have still yet to go to, I opted to visit Bread & Circus again because the food is always consistent and great tasting. We have been here for breakfast quite a few times as we always enjoy the breakfast dishes on offer and I like the fact that the ingredients they use are all organic and healthy for you and I always leave this place feeling very satisfied having had such a wholesome and nutritious meal.

The food and drink items on the menu are considered to be quite expensive however it is justified as they use good ingredients and the serving size is quite big so you will always leave feeling quite full and satisfied. The cafe is situated in Alexandria in a warehouse shared with Campos Coffee. Most of the new cafes are situated in similar settings and it gives the cafe a nice atmosphere and feel to it compared to typical cafes you might frequent. The cafe is always busy especially around 9-10am so we always like to get there around 8:30am to ensure that we get a seat. The tables are all long tables where you sit with other customers and share the tables. It gives this cafe a cozy feel to it as the cafe itself is not very big and does not occupy too much of the warehouse space. On each table are various potted plants, plates of cutlery, and quirky looking bowls and drink dispensers. The setting almost resembles a home like appearance with a somewhat rustic and urban feel to it at the same time despite being set up in a warehouse.

On this visit to Bread & Circus, I decided to get the “Morning Jumble” (Full Plate)” – a tasting plate of all things breakfasty. I opted for the crunchy granola with organic soy milk alongside fresh fruit and biodynamic yoghurt. However you can get as an alternative, dairy free bircher muesli, cooked fruit and even vegan coconut yoghurt depending on your taste buds and dietary needs. The granola was really delicious with packed full of oats, dried fruit and plenty of various nuts including walnuts and almonds. I enjoyed it throughly and the fruit and yoghurt was a great accompaniment to the dish. I will definitely be ordering this next time I visit. The dish was served with a side of soy milk however I don’t usually eat my granola with milk opting usually to have it with yoghurt. Next time I might try the cooked fruit and the vegan coconut yoghurt to see the difference.

Mr Muscles on the other hand, decided to get “Jude’s very particular pancakes” mainly because I couldn’t decide between the granola and the pancakes for ages so in the end ordered the pancakes to ensure I would eat a few bites to satisfy my pancake cravings for the day. I love the fact that their pancakes really taste wholesome and nutritious but not too dense. The quinoa and buckwheat work really well together and this is the only place that I have seen where such a combination of pancakes exist. I truly do love their pancakes and wish I could somehow replicate these at home. I will let you know how I go in my attempts.

On a previous occasion, I ordered those same pancakes but Mr Muscles ordered the “Parmesan not-so-scrambled eggs” with real truffle oil and a side of preservative free free-range ham with a side of sourdough toast.” I could tell Mr Muscles really enjoyed this dish as the plate was demolished in a matter of minutes and the plate was left clean albeit a few crumbs. This is definitely a dish to order if you are in the mood for something a bit more hearty and fulfilling. But as always, me having such a big sweet tooth can never resist a sweet breakfast so pancakes is always what I usually order if I’m feeling extra hungry and wanting to treat myself for the weekend.

Photos from Bread & Circus:

Drinks Menu

Breakfast Menu

Drink Special of the Day: Ginger Spiced Chai Tea

Large Daily Juice Organic Orange Juice $8.00

Silver Jasmine Green Tea $4.00

Morning Jumble – tasting plate of all things breakfasty (Full Plate) with crunchy granola served with soy milk, finicky fresh fruit (kiwi, green apple, mango, orange and passionfruit) and biodynamic yoghurt $16.00

Jude’s very particular pancakes – pre-soaked buckwheat, black quinoa, coconut-rapadura wholefood pancakes with maple orange gloss served with a side of orange slices $16.00

Orange & Poppyseed Muffin – I ordered this muffin to take away as they were baked fresh that morning. The muffin however was a bit too orangey for me with bits of orange rind found within the muffin. I also felt the muffin was quite heavy and dense and therefore could not finish most of it.

On a previous visit:

Parmesan not-so scrambled eggs – biodynamic eggs under shaved parmesan with real truffle oil, something green, preservative-free free-range ham and a side of sourdough toast $23.00

Same pancakes as above but served with maple biodynamic yoghurt and grapefruit – nothing better than pancakes and maple…mmmmm ;P

Bread & Circus

21 Fountain Street

Alexandria NSW 2015

Ph: (02) 9698 2939

Trading Hours: Opening 7 days 8am-4pm

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

 

Now to see if I can replicate those pancakes…

Till next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Health Food, Muffins, Toast, Toasted Muesli, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt

Jackpot eats at: Kawa Cafe

Hi all!

I love brunch because it always gives me an excuse to eat breakfast food or lunch food if I’m in the mood for it. I’m a big fan of pancakes, baked egg dishes, sourdough toast, muesli with fruit and yoghurt…so many choices! I still have so many places I want to go to on my breakfast/brunch list and would like to try as many brunch places as possible to see which one is better in comparison to others I have been to.

One of my favourite places to go to for breakfast/brunch is Kawa Cafe in Surry Hills. I have frequented this cafe on several occasions and have always been happy with the food I have eaten here. Kawa is a small cafe which is quite packed and crowded on the weekends so if you want to get a seat inside or outside you need to get to the cafe a bit earlier. The lines aren’t as crazy as Bills which is just down the road and while they don’t have any ricotta hotcakes or corn fritters, there are so many options to pick from such as the Vegan big breakfast which consists of: ripe avocado, roast pumpkin, slow roasted tomato with basil, sautéed mushrooms, homemade baked beans, hommus and toast or classics such as Eggs Benedict, french toast, porridge and much much more.

I have often had the 5 grain sourdough toast when I visit Kawa as I have a weakness for bread and like to indulge every so often on weekends for breakfast. I love all things sourdough but the grains and seeds in this bread really make the bread that much more nutritious to eat (at least that’s what I keep telling myself ;P)

On my previous visit to Kawa, I was feeling like a light brunch meal so I decided to order their home-made granola with stewed rhubarb and natural yoghurt. It was really good! Muesli/Granola is my usual go to food for breakfast and I loved the combination of the tart rhubarb with the yoghurt and the crunch of the granola which was studded with lots of dried fruit and nuts. This rhubarb was so memorable that I went home and tried to replicate the dish without the granola. I bought some fresh rhubarb from the markets and stewed it in a small saucepan with lemon and honey. It went very well with my low-fat plain yoghurt. I find myself doing this a lot whenever I come back from cafes and restaurants, I always seem to want to try to make their dishes but using healthier ingredients. Some have been met with success, others have been a bit of a miss but all in all I guess that’s the fun of baking and cooking – the whole experimenting and learning from your mistakes and doing better the next time round.

On our most recent visit here, I decided to have the omelette with shaved ham and mushroom. I usually ask the waiter to make it an egg white omelette. The omelette is served with a simple garden salad which is a light and refreshing side to the meal. This time when I had my egg white omelette however, I found it to be a bit more oily than what I have had previously. This was the only let down I found. Mr Muscles was feeling hungry so decided to order the Big Breakfast. He quickly demolished his whole plate clean and could not stop raving about how good the baked beans were and the fact that they were home-made.

Homemade granola with stewed rhubarb and natural yoghurt – from the specials board

Egg White Omelette with Ham and Mushroom served with a side of Garden Salad $15.50

Big Breakfast: Organic poached eggs served with balsamic roasted tomato, homemade baked beans, sautéed mushrooms, avocado and toast $16.50

Kawa Cafe

348 Crown Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Ph: (02) 9331 6811

Hours:

Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

Sat-Sun 8am-4pm

Till next time

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Health Food, Healthy, Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt