Tag Archives: brunch

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

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

Jackpot visits Three Blue Ducks

Hello readers!

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

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

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

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

Three Blue Ducks

Wall

Setting

Setting 2

Alley

Painted Walls

Cakes

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

Menu

The Menu

Carrot and Ginger Juice

Mr Muscles’s Carrot Apple and Ginger Juice

Ginger Cinnamon Tea

My Ginger and Cinnamon Tea

Flat White

Miss Baller’s Coffee

Coddled Eggs

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

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

Poached Eggs

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

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

Scrambled Eggs

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

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

Porridge

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

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

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

Iggy's

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

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

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

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

Three Blue Ducks

143 Macpherson St

Bronte NSW 2024

Ph: (02) 9389 0010

Opening Hours:

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

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

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

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

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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

JACKPOT’s eating adventures of late…

Hello readers!

I haven’t been posting regularly for a while now due to a busy schedule so I figured I would pack everything into one post. My eating adventures during last month and the beginning of this month have been really fun as I try to explore and try new and different foods…there’s still so much to try and yet I still feel like I haven’t tried enough of the places in sydney especially all the new brunch spots…I’m sure I’ll get through my ever-growing list soon enough ;P

CORNERSMITH

Mr Muscles and I had a lovely catch up with Miss Baller and Mr Baller over a brunch at Cornersmith. This was my second time visiting this cafe and I was not disappointed. The food is fresh and always uses such great produce that it makes you want to try everything from their menu. The menus have changed since we last visited and I was disappointed to find that they did not sell the same types of jams I purchased from my last visit as I was ready to stock up on more jams and preserves. I definitely know I will be back again and hopefully there will be some more variations of jam for me to try =)

Poached Egg Roll

Poached Egg Roll 2

Poached Egg Roll

Miss Baller and Mr Muscles both ordered the poached egg roll and they both really enjoyed their meals. Mr Muscles had a similar meal the first time we visited Cornersmith but this time the poached roll had sliced radishes, and a mint salad. The ingredients were fresh and the crispy bun contrasted to the crunch of the salad and the softness of the poached egg. Mr Muscles and Miss Baller had no complaints and devoured their meal shortly after.

Poached Eggs on Sourdough

Mr Baller’s Meal: Poached Eggs served with Sourdough Toast, Pickled Beetroot, Buckwheat and Horseradish Labna

Mr Baller decided to order something different from everyone else and opted for the poached eggs served with sourdough toast with an accompaniment of various fresh ingredients. The meal looked really good on the plate with a variation of ingredients so that you could make your own sandwich or top your toast with all the different ingredients on the plate.

Carrot and Hazelnut Loaf Slice

My meal: Purple Carrot, Hazelnut, Ricotta & Honey Loaf Slice

Me being me had to eat something sweet compared to everyone else eating something savoury. Miss Baller pointed out this menu item to me when she was reading the blackboard and immediately I knew I had to order this. The loaf slice was so delicious I wish I had eaten two of them. The purple carrots paired really well with the hazelnuts and the ricotta which it was served with. Each bite crumbled and melted in my mouth and every so often you would get a piece of hazelnut which gave the bread a nice crunch. It was that good, that I decided to eat it more slowly towards the end, only to savour all the flavours. It was such a great meal that I definitely would go back to Cornersmith just to eat this again. And because it had carrots in it, I didn’t feel as guilty consuming it whole but of course anything that tastes this good can’t be good for you ;P

We had a lovely time catching up with this lovely couple, that we have discussed another double date brunch soon…can’t wait! =)

THE WEDGE ESPRESSO

Mr Muscles and I visited the Wedge Espresso in Glebe finally last weekend as I had really wanted to try out their breakfast plate after seeing so many pictures of it on Instagram (this is what I do lately, stalk food pics on Instagram and hope that eventually I’ll get to visit all these awesome cafes in Sydney one by one…here’s hoping ;P).

The Wedge Espresso is quite a small cafe situated in a small narrow street in Glebe close to the Glebe markets. The cafe itself is not set up in the type of setting that a cafe usually is in. This cafe is narrow and long with a few tables and chairs inside with the option of sitting on stools and eating on a bench off the side of the cafe. The cafe is cozy and small but is known for its sandwiches.

Mr Muscles and I got to the cafe around 11:30 and by this time there was one other group in front of us waiting for a table. We waited about 5 minutes and we were able to grab a table inside. Although everyone was ordering sandwiches as it was nearing lunch time, I knew I had to try the breakfast plate. In my mind, I knew I would come back to try the sandwiches again at a later date.

The Wedge Espresso

Wedge Espresso1

Wedge Espresso 2

Wedge Espresso 3

Menu

Food Menu

The Menu

Drinks Menu

Drinks Menu

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate: Avocado, Toast, Tomato & Basil, Boiled Egg, Prosciutto and a Mini Toasted Muesli Cup $14.00

I ordered the breakfast plate and was surprised at the size of it. I think in my mind I had imagined it to be a lot bigger though this did not deter me from trying out the food. The food was nice but difficult to eat as I found myself trying to bite the toast continuously with great difficulty. I think that the toast was just a tad bit too hard for my liking and the extra crispyness made it hard to eat.  The ingredients all went well together but I was hoping for more. The muesli on the otherhand, was a nice bircher style muesli – chai soaked oats, green apple, dates, figs and cinnamon. What I liked about the breakfast plate was that I could try a bit of everything and I was able to create my own toast and its toppings to what I liked. However the difficulty in eating it made me wish I had ordered a sandwich instead. I definitely want to try the smashed egg and ham roll or the poached chicken sandwich on my next visit. I ended the brunch feeling slightly peckish still so Mr Muscles took me to the Glebe Markets where we shared some dessert together there. Dessert always fixes everything! ;P

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich: Spring Onion, Mint, Coriander, Plum Sauce and Black Sesame $9.00

Beetroot Salad

Beetroot and Goat’s Curd Salad with Rocket, Walnuts and a Red Wine Vinaigrette $14.00

Mr Muscles ordered a sandwich and a salad on the side. The pulled pork sandwich looked pretty good when it was served in front of Mr Muscles and he was really keen on trying it. Once he bit into it and ate a few bites he didn’t seem to enjoy it as much. He said that the plum sauce seemed to be a bit too sweet which made the sandwich too sweet overall so that that was all he tasted. It really overpowered the pulled pork and the savoury flavour he was expecting. He regretted not ordering the poached chicken sandwich so I’m sure that we will be ordering a few different things next time we visit. The beetroot salad was nice and fresh and a good accompaniment to the sandwich.

Mr Muscles and I left the Wedge Espresso feeling that the food was a bit of a hit and a miss. The food had lovely flavours but nothing that left us wanting more. We definitely will have to try the cafe again to try out all the other sandwich offerings for next time.

KURTOSH

After the Wedge Espresso, we visited the Glebe Markets and found that Kurtosh had a stall there. I was extremely excited as I had read a lot about this and wanted to try the food at their Surry Hills store so I was in luck when we were wandering the markets that we were able to find this. Mr Muscles and I decided to share 1/2 a kurtosh which had roasted hazelnuts on the outside of it. Kurtosh are basically round circular chimney like rolls reminiscent of a donut/bread and baked in a special type of oven. You can get all different types of flavours and toppings such as cinnamon sugar, almonds and even nutella inside the actual kurtosh. We shared the kurtosh as we walked around the Glebe Markets and I wished we had ordered more as it was extremely addictive and we couldn’t stop eating it. It had a nice crisp texture but it was really smooth on the inside like bread and I loved the novelty factor of tearing apart each part of the “chimney”. I didn’t take a picture of the kurtosh we ate because we ate it too quickly…you know me and desserts ;P

The next day I was determined to go and visit the Surry Hills store to buy us some more Kurtosh fresh from the store.

Kurtosh

Kurtosh 1

Kurtosh 2

Kurtosh 3

Kurtosh 4

Kurtosh 5

Kurtosh 6

I was in awe of all the cake slabs and various desserts on offer at Kurtosh that if I wasn’t in a rush I would definitely take my time to see which cakes I would like to try. There were a few cake samples on the top of the counters for customers to try and also some kurtosh samples to try as well if you do not feel like having any of the other desserts.

At Kurtosh, everything is weighted so you can cut as little or as big of a slice of the cakes to your preference. I will definitely be coming back to this cafe to try out their cakes but I was on a mission at this stage and that was just to buy a kurtosh.

The Kurtosh are made fresh to order and the dough is rolled out and placed on a mould to rest there before it is baked in the oven. As soon as you order, the Kurtosh is placed into the oven to bake and once baked, the toppings of your choice are placed on the kurtosh.

Once again I don’t have a picture of my kurtosh (see photo of one I found on the net below) as Mr Muscles and I quickly ate it on the car ride to basketball and back. I did manage to get a few photos of the Kurtosh on display before it has been baked and the ones that have been baked already. Definitely will be back for more Kurtosh soon enough so hopefully more pictures to come ;P

Kurtosh 7

Kurtosh 8

A picture of what the Kurtosh looks like and the one I ordered – a cinnamon sugar Kurtosh…YUM!! ;p

So as you can see, the eating adventures have been plentiful as always…I’m thinking I need to cut back on the sweet food at some point in time…perhaps next time ;P

x

Jackie

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Filed under Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, 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 eats at Orto Trading

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! My weekend consisted of indulging in a lot of wonderful foods in celebration of Chinese New Year which resulted in a large food coma and some basketball to balance things out as always. I feel so exhausted this week but no matter how tired and exhausted I am, I always feel the itch to want to bake and experiment using new ingredients and flavours. Stay tuned for more recipes and more baking experiments.

Back but to my actual reason for posting…I wanted to visit a new cafe and I had read a lot about Orto Trading from various food blogs so I was eager to try and see what the food was like. I got up early Saturday morning to ensure that we could get a table while the cafe was not too packed. We arrived at the cafe around 9:30am and there were quite a few tables available. Orto is located in Surry Hills but away from the busy crowds of Crown Street. It was hard to find because it is located on a corner and the signs are only visible once you pull up closer to the cafe. I liked all the simple but bright signs located in front of the cafe and on the door of the cafe which contrasted dramatically with the modern interiors of the cafe.

I found the cafe to be very spacious and a lot of natural light filled the cafe through the glass windows. You have the option of sitting outside or indoors where there are plenty more tables and chairs. The counter is full of daily baked desserts such as homemade muffins, cookies and bread. The vibe of the cafe is a cross between rustic and modern at the same time.

Orto

Plants

Orto Sign

Orto SIgn2

Bar

Bar 2

I thought this was quite cute – hanging old drink bottles filled with water and flowers on top of the bar

Kitchen

Tables

Table Setting

Menu

Menu

The Menu

Juice

Apple juice with mixed berries

I really loved the juice with the mix of apple and berries it was so light and refreshing! The flavours all worked well together. The appearance of the juice was really pretty even with the paper straw however the only drawback was that once you had drank a bit from the straw, the straw slowly softened as it was paper and after awhile it was not as pleasant to drink from.

Coffee

Mr Muscle’s Coffee

Eggs Benedict

Mr Muscles meal: Eggs Benedict with Berkshire Gypsy Ham and Hollandaise served with a side of house made Boston beans  $20.50

Mr Muscles enjoyed his meal however he felt he had eaten better eggs benedict at other cafes. While the presentation was very visually appealing with fresh ingredients, the food was lacking the wow factor in terms of taste. The baked beans which he ordered as an accompaniment to the dish however were quite enjoyable as they added extra spicyness to the dish to add a whole new flavour to the beans and give it a little kick.

Muesli

Orto’s house made muesli served with fresh fruit, organic Meredith’s sheep yoghurt and organic honeycomb $12.50

I had read about their signature waffles on various blogs and wanted to this dish but was not feeling too hungry at the time so decided to go for the healthier option. I will definitely have to try the waffles if I come back to visit next time. I decided to order the muesli that came with fruit and yoghurt instead. Unfortunately, I didn’t really think the muesli was that great. Once again, while the food was very visually appealing, I found this dish super difficult to eat with all the fruit planted on top of the muesli with fruit that I thought while they were trying to showcase fresh produce, the fruit didn’t really pair well with the dish. I would have preferred berries or apples compared to the massive amounts of figs that were used for the dish. Also, I found that the honeycomb was a nice addition to the yoghurt but was difficult to eat as it was hard to break through it. I think this dish would have been better if they had served toasted muesli instead of natural muesli as even with the yoghurt and milk served on the side, the dish lacked a lot of flavour. I think I hyped up the dishes well before coming here as well so I was hoping for a lot of great dishes but somehow they fell short. Perhaps it was the wrong menu choice as well on my behalf so I’ll definitely have to try something else next time.

Date Cookies

Muffins

Muffins 2

Assorted homemade cookies, cakes and muffins at the counter

I took away the sticky date cookie after my meal to try some of their homemade baked goods. I unfortunately didn’t really like the taste of the cookie as well so did not end up eating much of the cookie in the end.

I’ll have to try Orto again and order some other dishes to see whether this visit was just a one off with wrong choices in menu items. Orto provides a vast range of brunch and lunch options so next time I might try some savoury options instead. What I love about the cafe is that they use fresh quality ingredients in their menu items which I am seeing more and more in new and upcoming cafes that are opening around Sydney.

Orto Trading

38 Waterloo Street,

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Trading Hours:

Ph: 0431 212 453

Trading Hours:

Breakfast and Lunch: Tues-Sun 8am-3pm

Dinner: Tues-Sat from 6pm

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

Stay tuned for some baking adventures in the kitchen in my upcoming posts ;P

Until next time

x

Jackie

 

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Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Fruit, Natural Muesli, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Toast, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT’s eating adventures at: Cornersmith Cafe

Morning all!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend especially with the weather getting a lot warmer now. I definitely felt the heat yesterday and while it’s nice change from the unpredictable weather Sydney has had recently, I am pretty sure we are in for some even hotter weather by the end of the week…I’m told it’s going to hit 40 degrees by Friday! Better pack on that sunscreen if you plan on heading to the beach!

But back to my eating adventures from the weekend. I really wanted to try a new cafe on my list of breakfast places that I have yet to visit. I had read many great things about Cornersmith Cafe at Marrickville on various blogs and I knew that this was somewhere that I had to visit to see what the food was like and I definitely was not disappointed. The food was fresh and light and you could tell that the kitchen used a lot of good produce to create their various dishes on their menu.

The cafe itself is quite small so if you want to get a table you will probably have to get there early. Mr Muscles and I got there at 8 on the dot when it opened and we noticed that there were already some customers sitting inside. By the time we had sat down and were sipping our coffee and tea, the cafe was already quite full with most of the tables full. I can only imagine what lunch would be like as I can tell this place gets packed pretty quickly and that you most likely will need to wait in line if you are trying to visit here for lunch. I know I definitely will come back to try their lunch menu as I have heard that their Ploughman’s Plate is really good using fresh ingredients. The menu is written on a black board that has been mounted on the walls of the cafe. After you decide what you want to order (I took forever as there seemed to be so many choices) you then order at the counter.

Mr Muscles decided to order the Poached Egg Roll with Pasture Raised Ham, Garlic Aioli, Apple Chutney, Watercress and Red Cabbage upon my recommendation after reading various blogs and he was not disappointed by his choice. He could not stop raving on about his roll saying that the roll was really delicious and that the apple chutney (which you can buy in a jar from the cafe and is homemade) provided an extra flavour texture that made this roll less than ordinary. His only qualm about the dish was that the poached egg was not really poached and slightly more cooked but he overlooked this as he said that the flavour combinations worked well together regardless. Also, the watercress and the red cabbage provided a nice crunch with the ham and egg. The roll itself was crispy but soft in the middle as a good roll should be. Mr Muscles said that he would come back just to have this again.

Cornersmith also offer sides to go with your toast and eggs so as a side, Mr Muscles also ordered the Yellow & Green Beans with Quinoa, Nuts & Orange. The Quinoa salad looked very appealing and bright with the contrast of the oranges against the beans. I looked at his salad and wondered how Quinoa might work with Orange but somehow the flavour combination worked well together. The citrusy tang with the crunchy but soft quinoa and then the extra crunch from the nuts and the blanched beans. This is definitely a dish that you would want to order if you are feeling like eating something light and not too heavy.

On this visit, I decided to order the Open Toast – Local Ricotta with Mulberry & Rhubarb Compote with Nuts & Seeds served on Organic Harvest Grain Toast. This was sooooo good! So much so that I demolished the plate clean within minutes. I loved the contrast of the savoury ricotta against the mulberry & rhubarb compote jam (which is homemade as well by the cafe). The flavours all worked really well together. I loved that they had served this dish with sunflower seeds and flaked almonds as it paired well with the ricotta and jam. I will definitely order this when I come back to visit for breakfast again. I loved this so much that I bought their mulberry & rhubarb compote jam to take home with me so that I could try and replicate this dish at home. Whilst mine was not as fancy and did not really look the same, I was able to recreate and replicate my own homemade version of the dish and I was not disappointed!

All in all I thought that the cafe was really great and that the prices for the food justified what you got: good produce, fresh ingredients and quality food. The service was also very good with friendly staff who were always attentive to the customers’ needs…so much so that when Mr Muscles accidently left his sunnies at the cafe, one of the staff ran out of the cafe to bring back his sunnies to him.

Photos from my visit to Cornersmith:

 

The blackboard menu

 

Homemade Condiments & Jams

Cornersmith’s Mulberry, Rhubarb & Apple Compote $12.00

My drink of choice: Green Tea

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Poached Egg Roll with Pasture-Raised Ham, Garlic Aioli, Apple Chutney, Watercress & Red Cabbage $12.00

Open Toast: Local Ricotta with Mulberry & Rhubarb Compote with Nuts & Seeds served on Organic Harvest Grain Toast $10.00

Side: Yellow & Green Beans with Quinoa, Nuts & Orange $5.00

My demolished Plate – Yes..it was that good ;P

After our meal, I decided to also take home some cakes that I saw on display (pictured above). I ordered a gluten free chocolate & rhubarb cake and Mr Muscles ordered a carrot cake. The chocolate cake was light and airy surprisingly and not too dense however the same can’t be said for the carrot cake which I found to be very dry and difficult to eat as a result.

I thought I’d also post a dessert I ate over the weekend while catching up with Mrs Papparazzi before we went to watch the last Twilight movie. Nothing better than green tea pudding. Sushi Tei’s Green Tea Pudding is smooth and creamy with a slight bitterness from the matcha. I wish there was more of it…it was demolished very quickly! ;P

Cornersmith

314 Illawarra Road

Marrickville NSW 2204

Ph: (02) 8065 0844

Trading Hours:

Tue – Fri: 6:30 am – 3:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

 

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Eggs, Gluten Free, Health Food, Seeds and Grains, Toast, 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