Tag Archives: dessert

Jackpot and Mr Muscles celebrate one year at Sokyo!

Hello dear readers!

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

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

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

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

Scallop Sashimi

Scallop Sashimi served with assorted tomatoes and herbs

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

Tamago

Tamago

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

Sashimi Salad

Sashimi Salad

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

Beef Short Rib

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

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

Miso Cod

Caramelised Miso Cod served with Japanese Salsa and Cucumber Salad

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

Queensland Roll

Queensland Roll

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

Tasting Plate at Sokyo

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

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

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

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

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

Sokyo

Level G, The Darling, The Star,

80 Pyrmont Street

Pyrmont, 2009

Until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

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

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

JACKPOTEATS instagrams…

Hello all!

If you are all interested in seeing more of my food and baking experiments you can come view my pictures @jackpoteats on Instagram or you can come visit my facebook page and like my page to see more delicious food at www.facebook.com/jackpoteats. ;P

My instragramming of late…

Vegan Baked Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Banana Donuts

Pandan Marbled Sponge Cake

Steamed Pandan & Vanilla Marble Cake – second attempt

Healthy Almond Cookies

Healthy Almond Meal Cookies

Steamed Banana Sponge Cake

Steamed Banana Sponge Cake

Oat Bran Muffin

My Oatbran & Banana Muffin eaten for breakfast

Cous Cous Salad

Cous Cous Salad made with Spanish Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Danish Fetta, Coriander, Mixed Herbs & Capsicum for my weekday lunch

Thomas Dux

Some ingredients I picked up from Thomas Dux from the Weekend – Loving Earth Coconut Sugar, Loving Earth Dark Agave Nectar and some Medjool Dates

Black Star Pastry

Some Black Star Pastry Treats I picked up for Miss Puff from the other weekend ;P

Kit Kat Green Tea

Obssessed with Green Tea Kit Kat – so small but soo delicious!

Chanoma Cafe

Finally visited Chanoma Cafe for some Japanese Sweets – Anmitsu with green tea soft serve, red bean paste & jelly – think I have a new place to eat dessert and just when I thought I was going to cut down ;P

More photos to come…

x

Jackie

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Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Cake, Dessert, Health Food, Healthy, Instagram, Muffins, Snacks

JACKPOT visits the Tea Salon at the Victoria Room

Happy Monday dear readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend filled with plenty of rest and relaxation! I feel like the weekend has gone by in the blink of an eye and if anything I feel more exhausted than ever trying to pack everything into the weekend before the week starts again. I’m hoping to catch up on some sleep this weekend.

Besides playing a lot of basketball over the weekend, I managed to catch up with Mrs Papparazzi yesterday for lunch. It’s been awhile since we last caught up so it was a good to catch up on what’s been happening. We decided to try our luck and see if there were any tables available at the Victoria Room Tea Salon in Westfield Sydney as usually it’s quite busy. We were in luck as we were able to get a seat not long after we queued in line for a table. We were seated in the corner so it was good to get a somewhat private area to just chat amongst ourselves without being too disturbed by the other customers.

There is the option of having the normal high tea menu or ordering from the main menu. Mrs Papparazzi and I were quite indecisive that day so we chose to go for the easier option and opted for the Classic High Tea to eliminate any decisions and choices that had to be made. However the choice of scones was difficult in the end for me…so many to choose from and with only the choice of one scone ;P

Menu

The Menu

Tea Menu

The Tea Menu

Green Tea

Plate

Love the old fashion teacup and plate designs

High Tea

The Classic High Tea Set for 2 $38.00 pp

Sandwich Tier

The Sandwich Tier – Chicken & Wild Herbs, Smoked Salmon, Rocket, Lemon & Capers, Cucumber, Creme Fraiche & Dill and Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream & Baby Cress

Mrs Papparazzi and I started off the high tea with the bottom tier of finger sandwiches. There is quite a few variations of finger sandwiches made with either white bread or wholemeal brown bread. I loved the chicken & wild herbs sandwich despite it being on white bread and the smoked salmon on brown bread. Mrs Papparazzi loves white bread whereas I love brown bread so in the end it worked out as I ended up eating most of the brown bread sandwiches except for the roast beef as I have never been a fan of it since I was young. I liked the lightness of the sandwiches so that there was still room in my stomach for the rest of the sweet treats and scone.

May13foodpics 044

The Scones Tier

Date and Orange Scone

Date and Orange Scone

White Chocolate and Cranberry

White Chocolate and Cranberry Scone

Jam and Cream

Scones served with Cream, Strawberry Jam and Orange Marmalade

I decided to try a different scone this time as I had tried the Lavender scone on the previous time I visited and wanted to try something different. There were so may choices from savoury to sweet scones with various different flavours. I ended up picking the orange and date and was hoping that the orange wasn’t too overpowering and I was in luck as the orange flavour was subtle but paired well with the sweet dates. Mrs Papparazzi ended up choosing the white chocolate and cranberry scone which I have heard is really lovely. There is also a rose scone that they serve with bits of turkish delight inside the scone or if you have gluten intolerances, there is also a gluten-free scone which you can request for. I think I will try the gluten-free scone next time I have high tea here. My scone came with some orange marmalade however I’m not a fan of marmalade and ended up eating my scone with the classic strawberry jam instead…tasted really good! Scones and Jam – I can’t think of anything better!

The Assorted Sweeties

Assorted Sweeties – Dark Chocolate Cup with Chocolate Mousse & Strawberries, Seasonal Fruit Short Crust Tartlet (Rhubarb), Classic baked lemon cheesecake with Pistachios & a Vanilla Cupcake with Fresh Passionfruit Topping

Fruit Short Crust Tartlet

Rhubarb Fruit Custard Tartlet

Dark Chocolate Cup with Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries

Dark Chocolate Cup with Chocolate Mousse, Cream and a Strawberry

Cheesecake

Classic Baked Lemon Cheesecake with Pistachio Pieces

Vanilla Cupcake

I loved all the sweet food on offer. My massive sweet tooth ensured that I sampled each and every one of the desserts…yes I know I really need to stop eating so much dessert..I’m planning on eating healthy throughout this week hopefully ;p I loved the taste of the cheesecake. Rich and decadent and luckily served as a small portion because I’m pretty sure I could have eaten 10 of these in one sitting! Also I really loved the texture of the cupcake…it wasn’t dry and the frosting reminded me of the cupcakes I used to eat when I was a kid. I have to thank Mrs Papparazzi for taking some of the photos for me on my camera as I had eaten the sweet food before taking any close up photos of them…yep my big sweet tooth once again! ;p

It was a good catch up over a lovely high tea…I’m sure that I’ll be seeing Mrs Papparazzi again for another food adventure soon!

The Victoria Room Tea Salon

Westfield Sydney

Level 4 (Designer Gallery), Cnr Pitt Street Mall and Market Street

Sydney CBD NSW 2000

Phone: 02 9357 4488

Website: www.theteasalon.com.au

The Tea Salon Hours:

Monday – Sunday: 9:30am – 6:30pm (except Thursday 9:30am-9pm)

Light Refreshments served all day & Lunch and High Tea from 11:30am-4:30pm

So until next time everyone!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, High Tea, Restaurant, Scones, Scones, Sydney, Western

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 2

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

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

LuxBite

Lux Bite Quote

Love this quote of theirs – so true! ;P

Desserts

How cute are the Easter Bunny Macarons ;P

Desserts 2

Easter dessert

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

Dessert 2

Macarons2

Macaron Dessert

Macarons from Luxbite

Macarons from Luxbite2

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

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

Markets

Honey

Spreads

Eggs

Nuts

Flowers

Deli

Deli

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

Cumulus Inc

Cumulus Inc Door

Tables and Chairs

Tables and Chairs inside

Interior

Kitchen

The Menu

The Menu

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

 

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

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

Beans and Egg

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

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

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

Crumpets

Crumpets close up

House made crumpets, whipped ricotta & rooftop honey $11.00

Honey

Rooftop Honey

Inside of the Crumpet

An inside shot of my crumpets

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

Granola

Toasted Honey Granola & Poached Rhubarb with Vanilla Yoghurt $11.00

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

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

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

Prahran Markets

163 Commercial Rd

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 8290 8220

Trading Hours:

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

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

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Ln

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9650 1445

Trading Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-11pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-11pm

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

Until next time Melbourne,

x

Jackie

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

JACKPOT bakes gluten free paleo carrot cake muffins

Hello dear readers!

Happy Wednesday! Wednesday means it’s time for a new recipe post. Sorry for the delay in posting but it’s been another busy week and after all the birthday celebrations, I have come down with the cold and flu so have been trying to overcome the sickness despite lacking quite a bit of sleep.

I baked some gluten-free paleo carrot cake muffins for Mr Muscles last week for his birthday. Mr Muscles loves carrot cake so I knew I wanted to bake carrot cake and I thought why not make them into muffins as then he could share them with all his friends and workmates on his birthday. I searched on the net for a few recipes as I’m only starting to bake paleo as I can see a new trend towards this and more and more people seem to be interested in eating paleo. I found this recipe at Multiply Delicious (http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2011/08/gluten-free-carrot-muffins/) and adapted the recipe from this. I wanted to bake the muffins using my natural blanched almond meal so I just subbed this in for the almond flour in the recipe instead. Mr Muscles put these on a plate for his co-workers to try and he told me that once he went back to the kitchen, they were all gone. Always a good sign when a plate full of muffins disappears in no time at all. I can safely assume that his coworkers enjoyed the muffins. Mr Muscles even checked the rubbish bin to see whether anyone had chucked out the muffins but upon inspection, he noted that there were no appearances of muffins in the bin. I’m definitely going to keep trying different paleo recipes to mix things up a bit and Mr Muscles seemed to really like the muffins so I was more than happy that they were enjoyed by the birthday boy himself =).

Gluten Free Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins (adapted from Multiply Delicious)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of natural blanched almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1-2 tsps of cinnamon (I like the taste of cinnamon in carrot cake so I added a lot more) + additional cinnamon for the topping
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 2 tbsps of organic coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana mashed with a fork
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (I used more maple syrup as my banana wasn’t that ripe and I was scared that the muffins wouldn’t be sweet enough)
  • 3 medium-sized carrots grated
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts broken into pieces

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line your muffin tray with muffin cups and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients together: almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients: eggs, oil, mashed banana and maple syrup and whisk until combined.
  5. Add in your grated carrots and walnuts into the wet ingredients mixture until just combined.
  6. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  7. Using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon, fill up your muffin cups 3/4 full and then add a bit of cinnamon to the top of each muffin.
  8. Bake your muffins for around 25 minutes.
  9. Take your muffins out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
  10. Enjoy!

Grated Carrots

Dry Ingredients

Mashed Banana

Wet Ingredients

Wet Ingredients Combined

Carrot Mixture

Carrots and Nut Mixture

Carrot Cake Muffin Mixture

Muffin Mixture

Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins2

Carrot Cake Muffins 3

I think the banana really helped with keeping the muffins moist. The muffin itself is packed full of goodness with the bananas, carrots and the almond meal. I think this muffin is perfect for a hearty filling breakfast or a small snack on the go. I’m definitely going to try and tweak this recipe a bit more. I was a bit concerned at one stage because I thought I had put in too much carrot as the mixture was very orange but luckily it didn’t affect the end product. My only qualm about this recipe was how long it took to grate the carrots. I didn’t realise how long it takes to grate one carrot let alone three carrots and by the end of it, I think I had covered most my benchtop in orange grated carrot as some of it kept falling over the bowl and after all that grating,  I really felt I got a good workout done in the process. I love using almond meal as well especially when I’m making banana bread or banana muffins. If you weren’t doing the whole paleo diet thing, I’m pretty sure you could sub the almond meal with spelt flour or wholemeal flour, obviously bearing in mind the texture would be a bit different but I’m sure still tasty nonetheless ;p

So dear readers, what’s your favourite type of cake? Are you a carrot cake lover like Mr Muscles? Happy to hear some comments from all of you! =)

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Healthy, Muffins, Nuts, Paleo, Recipes, Snacks, Western

Happy Birthday Mr Muscles!

Hello Readers!

Sorry for the delays in posting lately but it’s been another exhausting week! My mixed basketball team won the grand finals this week so I was super excited and lacking sleep over the joy of winning my first grand final and the fact that it came with a cool little trophy which I have not stopped looking at since we won ;P

But back to what this post is really all about…Mr Muscles birthday! Mr Muscles birthday was a few days ago but due to my basketball final coincidentally falling on the same day of Mr Muscle’s birthday, we decided to do a belated birthday dinner the next day to celebrate. Mr Muscles and I had never dined at Quay before so we decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate his birthday dinner there. I really couldn’t wait as I had seen so many people visit this restaurant and obviously hearing about the infamous snow egg, I knew I had to try this to see what the hype was all about.

We arrived at Quay on time and we were seated in a lovely isolated area over looking the Rocks area. We had been seated here due to a massive cruise ship blocking most of the view that you usually get when you dine at Quay. We were seated next to another couple who were celebrating their anniversary so there were definitely celebrations all around.

I thought the service at Quay was really impressive. We had a wonderful waitress who was very attentive and informative about certain dishes. She really made the night that much more enjoyable and even offered to take our photo a few times with our desserts. We were given a complimentary box of chocolates for Mr Muscle’s birthday which I thought was very nice and thoughtful.

Quay Restaurant Outside

View

View 2

Quay Menu

Back to the food…

Mr Muscles and I decided that we wouldn’t go for the tasting menu of 8 courses and instead we opted for the 4 courses at $175/person.

Cocktail 2

Cocktail

Our cocktails we ordered before the night – they were quite strong so Mr Muscles finished most of it off for me

Butter

Butter & Salt for the bread

There was a large selection of sourdough bread to choose from but since I didn’t want to end up being too full once the food started coming out, I just settled for the one piece.

Wholemeal Sourdough Bread

Wholemeal Sourdough Bread

Grain Sourdough Bread

Grain Sourdough Bread

Complimentary Starter

Complimentary Starter – forgot what this was but it had such lovely flavours and texture

Poached Chicken Entree

Mr Muscles’ First Course: Fragrant Poached Chicken, White Radish, Sea Scallops, Pea Blossoms, Smoked White Eggplant Cream & Virgin Black Sesame Oil

Mr Muscles chose the poached chicken for his first course. He really loved the dish as it reminded him of a modern take on Hainanese chicken. The chicken was wonderfully poached and soft that melted in your mouth with each bite. The scallops worked wonderfully with the chicken. I tried a little bit of Mr Muscle’s dish and agreed that this was really a lovely dish. The ingredients just all seemed to work well together and each component provided a different taste and texture with each bite.

Congee

My First Course: Congee of Northern Australian Mud Crab, Fresh Palm Heart and Egg Yolk Emulsion

I really loved this dish and definitely thought that this was the stand out of the savoury dishes I ordered for the night. It really reminded me of congee from childhood but with a bit of a modern twist to it. The crab was lovely and soft against the firmer and crunchier palm heart. The egg yolk emulsion just brought the whole dish to another level. I only wish that there had been more of this congee for me to eat. In a matter of minutes, the congee disappeared right in front of my eyes and I only wished I had eaten it at a much slower pace. The waitress mentioned after she was clearing the plates that this has been a signature dish on the menu at Quay for more than 10 years and I can understand why. Definitely a must order when dining here.

Abalone

Mr Muscles’ Second Course: Squab and Abalone, Rare Cultivated Greens, Young Garlic Cream with an Anchovy and Seaweed Broth

Mr Muscles ordered the abalone for his second course and what looked really interesting on paper somehow translated into something he wasn’t really expecting. Mr Muscles probably enjoyed this dish the least out of all his dishes. Though I didn’t try this, he told me that the flavours were all very unique but somehow didn’t really go together. What I did love was the way the dishes were presented for our second courses where a tea-pot was filled with each of our broths and consommes and it was poured onto our dishes at the table. I thought that was a really nice touch in terms of presentation of the dishes.

Mushrooms

My Second Course: Eight Mushrooms, Truffle Custard with a Chestnut Mushroom Consomme

I really enjoyed my second course. The waitress poured the consomme onto the picturesque layers of mushrooms. Everything worked so well together and I loved that each mushroom provided a different taste and a different texture in contrast to the smooth silky custard that was found at the bottom of the dish. The Mushroom Consomme was light but really flavourful and you could really taste the mushrooms throughout the whole dish.

Beef

Mr Muscles’ Third Course: Poached Rangers Valley Beef, Bitter Chocolate Black Pudding, Morel, Ezekiel Crumbs and Shaved Mushrooms

When Mr Muscles’ dish came out we thought it almost resembled some sort of chocolate dessert. Mr Muscles cut open the beef and inside you could see the very pink innards of the beef. It was really amazing how the various flavours worked together to create such a clever dish. The chocolate, the crumbs and the mushroom all paired so well with the beef. Mr Muscles gave me a piece to try and I was so surprised at how tender and soft the beef was and how the crumbs on the outside of the beef gave it a really nice crunch.

Inside of the Beef

An inside shot of Mr Muscles’ beef dish

Snapper

My Third Course: Roasted Snapper, Japanese White Turnips, Barletta Onions topped with Sauce made from the Roe

I really loved my third course as well. I usually love ordering fish for my main as I like eating a less heavy main and it provides me with more room for dessert naturally ;P The snapper was wonderfully cooked and it really melted in your mouth with each bite. The top of the fish was crunchy and the sauce added some lovely flavours to the dish. I liked that there was the crunch from the white turnips and the softness you got each time you bit into onions. All in all, I thought this was a really wonderful dish.

But now to the most important meal of the night: DESSERT!!!

Mr Muscles ended up choosing the eight texture chocolate cake as he thought he should order something different to me. The snow egg had my name written all over it from the minute we sat down! ;P I think Mr Muscles had serious food envy when my snow egg came out and realised he probably should have also just ordered a snow egg.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake 3

Chocolate Cake 4

Mr Muscles’ Dessert: Quay’s Eight Texture Chocolate Cake

I loved the presentation of the chocolate cake where we watched the waiter pour in more chocolate to add to this already rich and indulgent cake. Mr Muscles dug into his dessert but stated that this dessert was very very rich and that it was hard to finish due to the richness of the cake and all the various layers of chocolate. I tried a bit of the cake and agreed that it was very rich and quite bitter from the dark chocolate.

But drum roll please…..THE INFAMOUS SNOW EGG!!!

I had read about the snow egg on so many various blogs and seen pictures of it from people who had visited Quay and had major food envy every time I saw a picture of this snow egg. I really couldn’t wait to try it! I know that each time the fruit flavour changes so it’s never the same. I’ve heard people eat snow eggs with peaches, nectarines and cherries so I was curious to see what plum would taste like.

Snow Egg

My Dessert: Plum & Vanilla Snow Egg

I thoroughly enjoyed my dessert from the lovely cold hard texture of the granita outside of the egg to the crunch of the outside layer of the egg to the inside of the egg which had a light meringue and some really seriously addictive ice cream. I really could have eaten two of these snow eggs in one sitting. Mr Muscles had a taste of my dessert and really regretted not ordering this for his dessert. As Mr Muscles excused himself to go to the bathroom, I continued to eat my dessert in silence in awe at how wonderful all the flavours were. I couldn’t really taste the plum but I didn’t really care as I was busy demolishing my dessert bit by bit and soon enough as Mr Muscles returned to the table I had literally licked the bowl clean. He was laughing at me at this stage because I had finished the dessert so quickly but YES it was THAT good! ;P I would seriously go back to Quay just to eat their snow egg again but hey that’s just me ;P

Inside of the Snow Egg

An inside shot of the snow egg once I had cracked the top of the egg…dreaming of this right now as I type this!

It was a really wonderful dinner with great food and even better company! I hope you had a wonderful birthday Mr Muscles and that all your wishes came true on your birthday! Let’s go eat a snow egg on my birthday ok? ;P

Quay Restaurant

Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal

5 Hickson Rd  The Rocks NSW 2000

Ph: (02) 9251 5600

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

Trading Hours: Lunch: Tues-Fri 12 Noon-2:30pm & Dinner Mon-Sun 6pm-10pm

Until next time all!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Birthday, Dessert, Dinner, Fine Dining, Restaurant, Sydney, Western