Category Archives: Lunch

Jackpot visits Brooklyn Hide

Hello dear readers!

Welcome back to my blog! After a long period of not blogging about my various baking experiments and my new café/restaurant visits, I have finally come back with a new post and I am super excited to be back! I definitely went through a period where I wasn’t sure if I could sustain blogging given my workload and the amount of basketball I have been playing recently but I hope I can keep this up from now on. It’s nearly my one year anniversary of blogging and I would like to continue sharing with all of you Jackpot’s eating adventures and much much more!

The sun came out on Sunday and what a great way to spend the weekend catching up with friends over good food. Miss Baller and Mr Baller wanted to catch up for our occasional Sunday brunch before basketball. Miss Baller and I usually try to find a new place that we all haven’t been to so we can try out the food. I suggested Brooklyn Hide to Miss Baller and immediately at the sound of “bagel”, Miss Baller was in. Miss Baller and I love our bagels – I think there is something about a freshly baked bagel that really gets us excited or freshly baked bread for that matter ;p

Brooklyn Hide’s theme is all about NYC and each menu item on offer is named after a district in New York City: Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Midtown to name a few. Although I’ve never been to New York myself, if this is anything to base the whole NYC theme, I definitely can’t wait to go! Even the atmosphere inside Brooklyn Hide is meant to be reminiscent of Brooklyn. Miss Baller and Mr Baller were recently in NYC, so I’m sure this brought back memories of their trip together.

We got to Brooklyn Hide in Surry Hills around 11am and there was plenty of parking available on the street. The place itself is quite small but cosy. There are a few communal tables available or you can sit beside the window sipping on your coffee and reading the newspaper while you indulge in some bagels. We ordered our meal at the counter and sat on one of the communal tables as there was one free at the time.

I found the staff to be very friendly and easy-going which made the eating experience even more enjoyable.

Brooklyn Hide

Brooklyn Hide1

Brooklyn Hide2

Brooklyn Hide3

Artwork

Counter

Bagels

The display of bagels

Menu

The Menu

Menu 1

Specials of the day

Menu 2

Menu 3

Menu 4

Coffee

How nice does the coffee look!

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

Midtown Bagel

Midtown Bagel – Corned Beef, Gruyère, Sauerkraut, Mustard Mayonnaise (Our Reuben) $10.00

Mr Muscles and Miss Baller both ordered the Midtown Bagel and were both very pleased with their bagel sandwich selection. The bagel itself was very moreish and quite filling but did not leave you feeling too full i.e. there was still room for dessert ;P This was Brooklyn Hide’s take on the Reuben which so many cafes are serving at the moment. This one however was slightly different and of course served in a bagel. Definitely a great take on the Reuben and Mr Muscles seemed very satisfied after.

Brooklyn Hide Bagel

Brooklyn Hide Bagel – Braised Pork, Dill Pickles & Apple Jam $10.00

Mr Baller ordered the Brooklyn Hide Bagel so that Miss Baller could also try a different bagel sandwich. This bagel sandwich looked really great and Mr Baller was not disappointed with his choice.

Bagel with Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon

Seeded Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese and a side of Smoked Salmon $8.00

I decided to order something different from the group and went with the traditional bagel with cream cheese with a side of smoked salmon. I was really loving the seeded bagel which coincidentally every one of us chose. The toasted bagel was crisp in texture on the exterior but lovely and chewy in the middle. Just how I like my bagels. Also the cream cheese and smoked salmon combo whilst simple choices, paired really well with my bagel selection. I was full but not overly full which of course meant Miss Baller and I could enjoy and indulge in some oh so good but no so good for us cake ;P

I’d definitely come back to Brooklyn Hide to try out their other sandwiches and even their granola.

A great way to chill out and relax on a Sunday while indulging in some yummy bagels – I can’t think of anything better!

Miss Baller and I were keen to get our sugar fix so we dragged our significant others to Kurtosh after to try some cakes and take some home. Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller – always fun hanging out having our ritual Sunday brunch + indulging in dessert…until next time!

Card1

Card

Stay tuned for my Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe ;P

x

Jackie

2 Comments

Filed under Bagel, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Lunch, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Western

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

2 Comments

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

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’s Melbourne Adventures…

Hello Dear Readers!

Hope you all had a great weekend! I know I certainly did however lacking plenty of sleep in the process.

I decided to go to Melbourne last weekend to catch up with Miss Teepot and while I was there Mr & Mrs Papparazzi happened to coincidentally also be in Melbourne for a birthday so it was great to catch up with everyone in a different state exploring what the Melbourne CBD had to offer. Miss Teepot was our tour guide for the day showing us all the small laneways of Melbourne with plenty of interesting graffiti art spread across all the walls. We definitely had a blast taking numerous photos, doing silly poses and taking various panoramic shots with our trusty iPhones.

We headed out to lunch together and decided to eat in one of Melbourne’s popular laneways. Miss Teepot decided on eating in one of the cafes in Degraves Street. The street was packed with people as it was around lunch time and a lot of people were lining up for the cafes situated in this street so it was very difficult to get a table in one of the cafes. We settled on eating at “The Quarter” as we were in luck and found a free table and their lunch service was just about to begin as we sat down so it was good timing. I was saddened at first as I was really looking forward to having some breakfast/brunch food but was in luck when they handed us a menu with a few items they do for all day breakfast..I will always pick breakfast food over lunch food any day just like I will pick dessert over dinner ;P

Photos are courtesy of Mrs Papparazzi…I figure I should let her take all the photos as she is more professional..thanks again Mrs Papparazzi! Stay tuned for her new upcoming blog for all her photos..definitely a must see blog!

Lamb Backstrap

Mr Papparazzi’s meal: Lamb Backstrap served with roasted potatoes and beans

Rib Eye

Mr Muscles meal: Rib Eye served on a bed of fetta and olive oil mash accompanied with spinach and Portobello mushrooms with a beef jus.

Tandoori Chicken Salad

Miss Teepot’s meal: Salad Special: Tandoori Chicken Salad

Spaghetti Special

Mrs Papparazzi’s meal: Pasta of the day: Spaghetti in a tomato based sauce with an array of flavours (I think there was chorizo, corn and many other flavours)

Smashed Avocado

My meal: Smashed Avocado – Poached Eggs, Avocado, Fetta served on rye bread

I enjoyed my meal however I found the bread to be a bit soggy due to the poached eggs and avocado which had been sitting on the bread for too long. The avocado paired well with the eggs and the fetta gave a nice saltiness to the dish.

Little Cupcakes

We decided to get Miss Teepot a cupcake to celebrate her birthday (belated). How cute is this cupcake! It’s a cookie monster cupcake with a chocolate chip cookie, Oreo frosting sprinkled with blue sprinkles on a chocolate cupcake.

Cookie Monster Cupcake

Cookie Monster Close Up

Mr Muscles wanted to visit “Wonderbao” after lunch as we had both heard so much about this bun shop in the Melbourne CBD. As it was about a 15 minute walk there, we explored a bit of the Melbourne CBD along the way and of course this gave us a chance to burn off some of lunch before we continued to eat and indulge in more food.

I was very excited to finally try “Wonderbao” as I had read a few reviews and knew exactly what I wanted to try before I got there. Since I have a sweet tooth and I had just eaten lunch, I knew that I wanted to try some sweet dessert buns. The others all tried out the savoury buns and were quite happy with their choices.

The place is hidden in a small arcade which leads to more laneways with graffiti walls. The shop itself is quite small featuring many bamboo steamers for the assortment of buns they sell. There are a few stools where you can enjoy your buns with a cold drink from the fridge but mostly this place has a lot of customers who come in and take away the food to eat elsewhere.

Mr Muscles really loved Wonderbao and couldn’t stop raving about it when we got back to the hotel. We both agreed that it was a great concept with many places trying to imitate the famous Momofuku pork buns and as you all must know by now, I love all things to do with steamed buns so I know we will be back to visit again on our next trip to Melbourne.

Wonderbao Menu

Wonderbao’s menu

Wanderbao Map

A map of how to get to Wonderbao

Bamboo Steamers

The array of bamboo steamers filled with plentiful amounts of steamed buns

Braised Pork Belly Buns

Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao with pickled mustard, coriander and crushed peanuts $3.80

Roast Pork Belly Bun

Roast Pork Belly Gua Bao with cucumber, pickled carrots & daikon and hoisin sauce $3.80

Taro Bun

Taro Bun $1.70

Taro Bun inside shot

An inside shot of the taro bun I ordered

I really liked the taro bun as it was not too sweet and you could tell that they used fresh taro for the filling as it had more of a savoury taste to it.

Egg Custard Bun

Nai Wong Bao (Egg Custard Bun) $1.70

Inside shot of custard bun

An inside shot of the egg custard bun – look at that lovely yellow custard!

Mr Muscles knew I wanted the egg custard bun as well so he ordered it and split it in half to share with me and I was not disappointed. The bun was soft and the custard was smooth almost melting in your mouth. I love egg custard buns and if my stomach could have fit another bun, I would have ordered another.  I was already in quite a heavy food coma so I had to settle with the half that I ate. I will definitely order this again next time I visit this place.

Graffiti

A panoramic shot from my iPhone of one of the laneways with graffiti on the walls

After a heavy food coma, we decided to retreat back to the hotel and have a bit of a nap being grandmas and grandpa after all. After a quick nap we woke up and got ready for dinner. We chose to eat dinner at the Crown as we were planning to try our luck at the tables after. I had never been to Bistro Guillaume before but had read quite a lot of reviews on this place so was eager to visit this place.

The atmosphere of the place is very vibrant with green doors, a green bar and green menus contrasting to the bistro feel of the restaurant with dark wooden chairs and tables, lantern like lights and a chalk board for the specials.

Door

The entrance of Bistro Guillaume

The Bar

The green bar

Bar Stools

Inside the Restaurant

Lights

Menu

The Menu

Menu Part 2

Daily Specials

Bread

Complimentary Sourdough Bread which was crispy on the outside and light and soft on the inside

Oysters

An assortment of Freshly Shucked Oysters served with Shallots and Red Wine Vinegar $3.50/ea

Steak Tartare

Mr Muscles entrée: Steak Tartare with Pommes Gaufrettes $24.00

Up close Steak Tartare

A closer view of the steak tartare

Pork Belly

Miss Teepot’s Main: Berkshire pork belly with pickled cabbage and apple salad $36.00

King Salmon

Mr Muscles Main: Chargrilled King salmon with fennel puree and a herb salad $36.00

Crab Salad

My main: Spanner crab salad, avocado, cucumber and coriander $24.00

Paris Mash

Paris Mash $9.00

I have such a weakness for potatoes and I couldn’t resist. The mash was so smooth and creamy that I had to keep going for seconds and thirds ;P

Creme Brulee

Miss Teepot and my dessert choice: Vanilla bean crème brûlée $15.00

This dessert was really delicious with the right consistency not being too thick or too runny. You could see speckles of vanilla bean throughout the whole dessert. The dessert was served with a lovely vanilla shortbread but by the time I had devoured my creme brulee I was feeling the food coma again and could only eat half of the shortbread. A really wonderful dessert which I plan to order again when I visit this restaurant next time.

Happy Birthday

Miss Teepot’s plate of dessert – Happy Birthday again! Hope you had a fun time indulging in a plentiful amount of food!

Until next time!

x

Jackie

The Quarter

27 – 31 Degraves Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9650 6156

Trading Hours:

Mon-Sat: 7am-late

Sun: 8am-5pm

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

Wonderbao

Shop 4/ 19-37 A’Beckett St

Melbourne VIC 3000

Bistro Guillaume

Crown Entertainment Complex

Southbank, VIC 3006

Phone: (03) 9292 4751

Trading Hours:

Lunch & Dinner 7 days a week noon until late

Website: http://bistroguillaumemelbourne.com.au/

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Filed under Asian, Birthday, Breakfast, Brunch, Buns, Cafe, Dessert, Eggs, Lunch, Melbourne, Melbourne, Restaurant, Toast, Western

JACKPOT visits The Pie Tin

Hello all!

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend.

With every Monday that comes around, I am always regretting the amount of food I have indulged in over the weekend and this weekend was no different.

I decided to go to The Pie Tin in Newtown on the weekend with Mr Muscles as I had never been before and had heard good things about this cafe while catching up with Mr Papparazzi & Mrs Papparazzi for lunch. The cafe itself is rather small to the point of cosy with a few tables surrounding the larger share table in the middle of the cafe. As you enter into the cafe, you get an almost rustic, canteen type feel where you select the pie you want: either savoury or sweet from the display cabinets and then you pick your sides for your savoury pie if you decide on going with the savoury option. You are then given a pie tin case with a number on it which is called once the pies are ready. You can also choose to have various sauces to go with your pie if you do choose the savoury option. As seating is limited and a no reservations policy in place, it’s really based on luck and the time you go to the cafe. We turned up at the cafe at around 1pm and the cafe was quite busy but we were in luck when a table freed up and we grabbed it quickly so that we could sit down and enjoy our pies.

I was amazed at how many pie variations that the cafe had to offer both sweet and savoury. Everything looked great but I knew my stomach could not handle two pies as the pies looked rather large and filling. I definitely will go back to try a sweet pie as I opted for the savoury option this time round.

Some photos are courtesy of Mrs Papparazzi =)

The Pie Tin

The Pie Tin Interior

Pie

Inside the cafe

Inside the Cafe 1

Sweet Pies

Various offerings of Sweet Pies

Sweet Pie

Pecan Pie

Savoury Pies

Various Offerings of Savoury Pies

Pie Signs

Sides

Sides on offer

Mr Muscles

Mr Muscles ;P

Pie Tin

Pie Tin Order Number

I ordered the Cauliflower & Zucchini Pie with Cheesy White Sauce served with a side of Coleslaw and Kumera Mash. I found the pie to be very filling and large in portion that my attempts to finish the pie were thwarted by my ever growing food coma. The pie itself was nice with a crisp exterior accompanied with a soft vegetable filling. I think the cheese sauce made it more heavy and thus I found it pretty difficult to finish off the pie as a result. I loved the coleslaw so much so that I ended up eating all of it. The kumera mash had a nice softness to it but I was expecting it to be hot but was served cold instead. I didn’t end up finishing the kumera as I was already full by this stage. I definitely want to try a sweet pie next time I visit here – Malteser Pie, Pecan Pie, Apple Pie…there are so many variations of sweet pies…I definitely will need to visit when I am super hungry ;P

Cauliflower & Zucchini Pie

Cauliflower & Zucchini Pie with Cheesy White Sauce accompanied with Coleslaw & Kumera Mash

Cauliflower & Zucchini Pie

Inside Shot

An inside shot of my pie

Mr Muscles ordered the Creamy Chicken with Hot Seed Mustard & Mushrooms Pie accompanied with a side of Boston Baked Beans with Speck/Bacon and Coleslaw. Mr Muscles really enjoyed his pie and was probably the most successful on the table in finishing their pie. He also agreed that the coleslaw was really tasty and would come back just to eat more coleslaw. His only qualm was that his pie was a lot more spicy than he would have imagined.

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

Creamy Chicken with Hot Seed Mustard & Mushrooms Pie accompanied with a side of Boston Baked Beans with Speck/Bacon and Coleslaw

Mrs Papparazzi ordered the classic mince pie with a side of classic mushy peas and kumera mash. Mrs Papparazzi enjoyed her pie despite how filling it was. She agreed that it was a pie that was very difficult to finish given its portion size.

Mince Pie

Classic Mince Pie with a side of Classic Mushy Peas and Kumera Mash

Mr Papparazzi on the other hand was the only one who decided to get a sweet pie though with a bit of savoury flavour inside it. Mr Papparazzi ordered a Fig & Proscuitto Pie with Pistachios. When he told me what he ordered, I kept repeating Proscuitto? with Fig? as I had never heard of this combination before but he seemed to enjoy his pie and did well by nearly finishing it off.

Fig & Proscuitto Pie

Fig & Proscuitto Pie

Fig and Proscuitto Pie Whole

A pic of the fig and proscuitto pie in the display cabinet – looks so pretty!

I really enjoyed my lunch at The Pie Tin but definitely will ensure that I am very hungry when I visit next. The Choc Raspberry Mousse Pie & The Oreo Cookie Pie have my name written all over it!

Mrs Papparazzi provided me with a valuable lesson on food styling and food photography during our catchup. Here are some of her photos of my pandan donuts that I made for the couple. Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for the photos =)

Pandan Donuts

Pandan Donuts 2

I received some cupcake salt & pepper shakers from Mr & Mrs Papparazzi for Xmas along with some other cool gifts to do with cooking. Thank you! I will definitely put them to good use =)

Salt & Pepper Shakers

The Pie Tin

1-1A Brown Street (Off King St)

Newtown NSW 2042

Phone: (02) 9519 7880

Trading Hours:

Mon-Wed: 10am – 8pm

Thu-Sat: 10am – 10pm

Sun: 10am – 6pm

Website: www.thepietin.com.au

 

Till Next Time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Cafe, Lunch, Pie, Restaurant, Sydney, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT eats lunch at: Gowings Bar and Grill

Hello Readers!

I found myself back at Gowings Bar and Grill yesterday for lunch to celebrate Mr FOB’s birthday. I had never tried lunch or dinner here so I was keen to see what the food was like and whether the standard was as good as the breakfast was the last time I visited this restaurant. I was not disappointed and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. The food was beautifully presented and each plate that came out was full of flavour and each ingredient in each dish complemented each other well. There were light options if you weren’t feeling too hungry where you could opt for an entrée size salad or main size salad or if you were feeling a bit more peckish you could order various meats and seafood from chicken to steak to fish. And if you still have some room, there is always dessert and it’s always hard to say no to dessert especially with the various options available such as Profiteroles, Creme Brulee, Hot German Doughnuts, Cheesecake and plenty more.

So onto the food…

Bread Roll Pepe Saya

My brown bread roll accompanied with Pepe Saya Butter – was very crunchy and a little hard on the teeth but I still enjoyed eating it regardless of this factor

Spanner Crab Cakes

Hot Spanner Crab Cakes with a salad of Hearts of Palms, Aioli & Hot Sauce $19.00

Ms Pen & I were hinting in a not so subtle way for someone to order this starter so we could have a little taste to see what it was like. I really liked this dish as it reminded me of flavours and spices from my childhood growing up. When you broke the crab cake apart you could see all the crab meat inside along with other various seasoning and spices. Although it was fried, the filling was quite light and the salad accompanying the crab cakes gave a nice contrast in flavours and in textures. Definitely something you must order when you visit Gowings.

Innards

A shot of the innards of the crab cake…look at all that crab meat…

Clams, Mussels, Vongole, Periwinkles

Raw Live Clams/Mussels/Vongole/Steamed Periwinkles served with a light dressing of Parsley, Coriander Stalks, Rice Wine Vinegar & Lemon $32.00

The birthday boy ordered the above starter to share with everyone. Although I didn’t have any of this I could hear that everyone at the table enjoyed this thoroughly. I liked that the seafood served was fresh and served with light dressing and simple herbs and seasoning to accompany it.

Mahi Mahi

Mr M’s meal – Mahi Mahi cooked pink and rubbed with Fennel, Coriander Seeds & Rosemary served with a Chopped Salad of Grape Tomatoes, Fennel Confit, Young Coriander MP $34/$44

Mr M told me that he really enjoyed his fish. I loved the use of bright ingredients and fresh vegetables to accompany the grilled fish. It was really well presented and looked like it had been cooked nicely with a bit of char from the grilling. It’s nice to see that even something so simple as a fish can be presented so beautifully on a plate.

Duck

Mr Kecap Maniis Boy’s meal – 1/2 Crisp Spiced Duck served with Paris Mash Potatoes, Steamed Warrigal Greens & Salt Bush $44.00

Chicken

Mr Muscles meal: 1/2 Organic Herbed Chicken served with Paris Mash Potatoes, Steamed Warrigal Greens & Salt Bush $33.00

Mr Kecap Maniis Boy and Mr Muscles both enjoyed their meals served from the wood rotisserie. They both decided to get something different even though they were served with the same sides to see the difference. Both of them finished their plates shortly after it was placed in front of them. Always a sign that it was a good meal.

Rock Flathead

Mr FOB’s meal – Whole Line Caught Rock Flathead served with Lemon and a Caper Butter Sauce $37.00

Mr FOB enjoyed his meal thoroughly however his only gripe was that since it was a whole fish he had to spend time picking out all the bones from the fish.

Chicken Salad

Ms Pen’s meal – White Cooked, Chilled Organic Chicken Salad served with Quail Eggs, Steamed Kipfler Potatoes, Asparagus, Chervil, Baby Cos & a Black Truffle Dill Mayonnaise $28.00

Ms Pen and I were feeling like something a bit lighter especially as the weather was quite hot yesterday so we both opted for salads. Ms Pen opted for the chicken salad and she really enjoyed her meal. The truffle mayonnaise was served separately to the salad so that you could dress your salad with however much sauce you wanted either with only a little of the mayonnaise or poured over the salad quite sparingly. The boys at the table were all eyeing her salad as it contained mini quail eggs. The salad looked light and fresh with simple ingredients. Ms Pen offered me a bit of her salad and indeed it was very light and refreshing with the flavours all complementing each other.

Crab Salad

My Meal – Hand Picked Spanner Crab Salad served with Avocado Mousse, Pickled Asparagus, Mild Jalapeno, Coriander and Sliced Radish $35.00

I really enjoyed my salad and it was exactly what I was hoping for. The crab meat was soft and tender contrasting the crunchy radish slices, the mild heat from the jalapenos, the coriander and the soft and light avocado mousse. The salad was placed on top of sliced avocado pieces which gave it a different texture to the avocado mousse which was a lot smoother and soft once you took in each mouthful. This is a dish that I will definitely order again especially when I feel like something light and not too heavy.

And a meal cannot be complete without ordering some dessert. Mr Muscles knew I wanted some dessert so ordered a Mango Mousse for us to share. We ended up ordering another dessert as the birthday boy whilst not so much into dessert deserved to eat something special for his birthday so we ordered him an apple crumble to share with everyone.

Mango Mousse

Chilled Mango Mousse topped with Mango Jelly, Meringue Drops & Baby Basil Salad $15.00

I really enjoyed the mango mousse as it was really light and airy as a mousse should be. There was a nice contrast with the diced mango jelly and mango pieces on top of the mousse. Mr Muscles didn’t care for the basil garnish so he took that out and put it aside. This is a nice and refreshing dessert if you want something not too heavy and dense for dessert. It also wasn’t too sweet or rich which I liked.

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble Flavours – Sweet & Sour Apple Empanada, Peanut Brittle, Salted Caramel Ice-Cream, Apple Pickle and Caramel Cider $19.00

I only tried the ice cream and a bit of the peanut brittle from this dish but everyone on the table seemed to really enjoy this dessert. It appeared as a deconstructed take on a classic apple crumble but twisted in a way to make it very modern. The ice cream was rich and decadent and usually I’m not a fan of salted caramel but this was really delicious. The brittle was very crispy and light and tore apart very easily. If you are wanting a dessert that is a bit more decadent, this is definitely the perfect dessert to order.

All in all, I was really happy with the lunch we had at Gowings. The restaurant really cares about its plating and presentation and each dish is packed with lots of flavour utilising fresh, organic ingredients. Although the food might be quite pricey, the food does not disappoint. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meals. I definitely will be back again most likely for breakfast and lunch to try out all their other menu items.

It was a great lunch with great food and even greater company! Happy birthday again Mr FOB (even though you probably won’t read this ;P)

For details of their breakfast items and restaurant details, please see previous post.

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

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Filed under Birthday, Lunch, Restaurant, Sydney, Western

These are a few of my favourite things…

Hello all!

Since the year is coming to a close, I thought I’d write a post on some of my favourite foods I have eaten over the past year (of course you will only see photos of sweet desserts or breakfast foods i.e. non-savoury foods ;P).

I honestly feel like this year has flown by really quickly and it’s nearly 2013! Where did 2012 disappear to? It feels like this year has already gone within a blink of an eye and while I’m one year older, somehow I feel like all the goals and resolutions that I set out to achieve at the start of the year have still not been fulfilled. Perhaps 2013 will be the year where all my plans, goals and dreams come to fruition…one can only hope!

But back to my favourite things…

My favourite foods of 2012 are as follows:

Pyrama’s Ricotta Pancakes served with Maple Syrup and Berries – Pancakes + Ricotta + Maple Syrup = heaven on a plate! These pancakes are so so good but quite on the heavy and rich side due to the use of ricotta so definitely a dish that you would want to order if you are feeling extra hungry or just feeling like being a bit naughty which is usually what I always say to justify eating them ;P

Chef Gallery’s Piggy Buns filled with Sesame Paste – nothing better than a soft delicate bun with sesame paste oozing out of it as you bite into it and there is the added cute factor to these buns…always too cute to eat but yet somehow always ends up in my tummy!

The Sweet Spot’s Mango & White Chocolate Mousse Cake – Layers of sliced Mango with white chocolate…so more-ish! You may even want to buy another slice because it’s just that good! ;P This place in Randwick has many other wonderful cakes to admire and indulge in ;P

Lynn Shanghai’s Steamed Pumpkin Glutinous Balls – Steamed Glutinous Rice Flour moulded in the shape of a pumpkin with golden lotus seed paste…I love all desserts with lotus seed paste (did I mention I also love mooncakes) …quite filling even though they look quite small in size. I literally could eat a few of these in one sitting (*insert guilty face*)

Birthday Peach Buns – something I need to order every year for my birthday…once again white lotus seed paste in a steamed bun…yummmmm! I’ll never get sick of this!

 

Frozen Yoghurt aka Froyo – still loving froyo especially from Noggi (Strathfield) for their green tea froyo and from Cacao Green (Swanston St, Melbourne) for their original flavoured froyo, wow cow for their black sesame and original flavoured froyo, Azuma for their green tea frozen yoghurt and recently loving taro flavoured froyo…who knew such flavours could work so well…

Anmitsu – Mochi glutinous dumplings served with seasonal fruits, sweet bean paste, clear jelly and green tea ice-cream with homemade brown sugar syrup – nothing better than green tea ice cream and mochi dumplings – soft and chewy and oh so delicious…if only they gave more mochi with the ice cream but I think that’s just me being greedy! This is my go-to dessert at most Japanese restaurants and I will usually always eat lighter so that I can indulge in desserts like this after my meal ;P

Homemade low-fat spelt buttermilk pancakes served with pure maple syrup and berriesalthough I like ordering pancakes as my choice of food when I go to breakfast/brunch, nothing beats homemade pancakes made just the way you like it and with the good wholesome ingredients…Mr Muscles made the ones pictured above…not a bad job and they tasted yummy too!

Cafe XXii’s Strawberry Crunch – Layers of Natural Yoghurt flavoured with Strawberries and toasted muesli…yoghurt and toasted muesli…can’t really go wrong with this combination!

Bread & Circus’s Buckwheat & Quinoa Pancakes served with biodynamic yoghurt and orange maple syrup – as seen in my previous post, these pancakes are so addictive, contain great natural ingredients, so more-ish and definitely something I will always order if I go to Bread & Circus for breakfast/brunch.

Sake’s Buttermilk Pannacotta with Berry Coulis – one of the best pannacottas I have eaten…so smooth and delicate just the way a pannacotta should be…I definitely could have two of these!

Sokyo’s Goma Street – A dessert definitely worth trying consisting of caramelised white chocolate mousse, sesame candies, thin paper-like chocolate and sesame ice-cream on top of some biscuit crumbs – if you love all things sesame and black sesame then you will love this dessert!

Homemade Vegan Coconut Creme Brulee – so decadent and rich that you only need a few bites yet very addictive that you feel you want to eat more at the same time…definitely a dessert I will be making again and again when I’m feeling in the mood for something a bit richer ;P

Luke Nguyen’s Red Lantern Pumpkin Cheesecake – a really wonderful dessert combination of pumpkin, cinnamon and cream cheese with vanilla bean ice-cream however I don’t think it is on the menu anymore but since it was such a memorable dessert, I had to post a picture of it for all of you to see.

Kawa’s Toasted Muesli with Yoghurt and Poached Fruit – I am quite addicted to this breakfast item and often order this when I go to Kawa (see previous post) when I’m feeling like something light.

My most favourite of cupcakes at Ghermz: Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry icing…the cupcake itself is moist and not dry like most cupcakes I have tasted and the icing isn’t the usual buttercream but reminiscent of the icing on cupcakes I had when I was a kid. Remember Dobinsons anyone? It really reminds me of these cupcakes from my childhood.

Homemade Steamed Sponge Cakes – Over the year I have made many variations of steamed sponge cakes and I love the fact that they are very light and airy, they are very simple to make and don’t take long to steam…the variations I have made over the year consist of: brown sugar & coconut, pandan, chocolate/vanilla marble, green tea and dark chocolate. You can store them in the freezer and steam them when you want to eat them for breakfast or as a snack.

Homemade baked donuts – these are so easy to make and don’t take long to bake. I like to make them in small donut pans and regular sized donut pans. I have made many variations of donuts over the year consisting of banana, vegan Krispy Kremes, chocolate using applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon and blueberry.

High Tea – I have been to a few high teas over the year and some of my favourites are: The Westin Hotel, QVB Tea Room and Victoria Tea Salon in Westfield (pictured above). Nothing better than little finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and a plentiful array of sweet treats and desserts.

Boiled Glutinous Rice Balls in a sweet ginger soup (read previous post) – nothing better than having this on a cold and dreary day or when you are feeling slightly under the weather! The ginger gives a much added kick to the dessert…yum! ;P

Homemade muffins: I have literally made numerous muffin recipes over the year experimenting with different flavours. Some of my favourites have included: cinnamon sugar donut muffin (pictured above), green tea banana muffins, almond and honey muffins, banana and date wholemeal spelt muffins, strawberry buckwheat & spelt muffins, mango & macadamia muffins…the list goes on…what I love about homemade muffins are that they are so versatile and you can make them sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free and add whatever ingredients you like in them…I have even made many successful batches of protein muffins…the possibilities are really endless!

I’m definitely sure the list could go on of all my favourite foods but I figure I should stop at some point…

Hope you are all enjoying your week so far! Nearly the weekend! It’s about time!

Till next time

x

Jackie

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Filed under Asian, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Frozen Yoghurt, Fruit, Lunch, Pancakes, Snacks, Toasted Muesli, Western, Yoghurt