Tag Archives: yoghurt

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 celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 2

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

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

LuxBite

Lux Bite Quote

Love this quote of theirs – so true! ;P

Desserts

How cute are the Easter Bunny Macarons ;P

Desserts 2

Easter dessert

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

Dessert 2

Macarons2

Macaron Dessert

Macarons from Luxbite

Macarons from Luxbite2

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

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

Markets

Honey

Spreads

Eggs

Nuts

Flowers

Deli

Deli

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

Cumulus Inc

Cumulus Inc Door

Tables and Chairs

Tables and Chairs inside

Interior

Kitchen

The Menu

The Menu

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

 

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

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

Beans and Egg

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

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

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

Crumpets

Crumpets close up

House made crumpets, whipped ricotta & rooftop honey $11.00

Honey

Rooftop Honey

Inside of the Crumpet

An inside shot of my crumpets

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

Granola

Toasted Honey Granola & Poached Rhubarb with Vanilla Yoghurt $11.00

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

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

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

Prahran Markets

163 Commercial Rd

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 8290 8220

Trading Hours:

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

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

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Ln

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9650 1445

Trading Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-11pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-11pm

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

Until next time Melbourne,

x

Jackie

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

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 1

Hello dear readers!

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

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

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

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

Taiwanese Dessert

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

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

Silky Tofu in Ginger Soup

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

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

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

Yoghurt

Various brands of yoghurt and Yakult

Juice

The juice table

Bread Station

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

Spreads and Jams

Spreads and Jams to go with the breads

Fruit

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

Eggs

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

Hot Food

Asian Station

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

Condiments

Various toppings to use for congee

Buffet Kitchen

Rice and Eggs

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

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

Dessert Station

Pastries

Various danishes and croissants to choose from

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Muffins

Muffins!

Biscuits

Freshly baked biscuits

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Bread

Biscuit Jars

Crunchy Chocolate Biscuits

Almond Tuiles

Almond Tuiles

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

Yoghurt Bowl

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

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

Omelette

Mr Muscles’ made to order omelette

Pancakes

Pancakes made to order topped with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar

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

Danish and Croissant

Raspberry Danish and Mini Croissant

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

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun

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

Banana Bread

Banana bread with various biscuits

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

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

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

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

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

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

cafe

inside cafe

The inside of the cafe

Freshly Baked Muffins

Freshly baked muffins

Cakes

Various cakes on offer – the cheesecake brownie looks awesome!

The Menu

The Menu

Mr D's Coffee

Mr D’s Coffee

Mr Muscles Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Ms G's Coffee

Miss G’s Coffee

Info about Coffee

Tasting notes for Miss G’s Coffee

My Green Tea

My White Peony Green Tea

Corn Fritters

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

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

side

Mr Muscles’s side: Ham Hock Beans $4.00

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

Two Birds Meal

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

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

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

Yoghurt Pannacotta

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

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

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

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

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

Collins Kitchen (Grand Hyatt Lobby)

123 Collins Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9657 1234

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

Two Birds One Stone Cafe

12 Claremont Street,

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 9827 1228

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

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

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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

JACKPOT visits EXCELSIOR JONES

Good Morning dear readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I’m definitely feeling some Monday-itis this morning and trying to somehow keep awake even though my eyes are struggling to stay open. I guess that’s what happens when you try to pack in too much into one weekend. I will be posting up one of my baking experiments soon as I was eager to try out some new recipes so stay tuned for the next recipe post on my blog.

I wanted to visit a new cafe as I usually try to visit some new cafes on my Saturdays that I have free. As I was so exhausted from the week before due to work and everything else, I woke up a lot later than anticipated so I was worried that by the time I headed out to brunch that it would be too busy as most people tend to eat brunch around 10:30-11am. I still decided to try my luck and decided upon going to Excelsior Jones as I had read a lot about this new cafe from various blogs. I had also read that their serving sizes were rather on the small size so in anticipation of this, I knew that we needed to probably order a dish to share between Mr Muscles and I to accommodate for his hunger ;P

Excelsior Jones is located in Ashfield in the corner of a street where there aren’t any other cafes in sight. Mr Muscles was telling me how this cafe was probably something that was needed around this area as there aren’t many popular cafes situated here. We got to the cafe around 11am and found the cafe to be quite full where we had to wait for a table initially but as we were about to sit down on a bench to wait, a couple were just leaving so we got shown to the table within a few minutes. One thing I must mention is that the staff are very friendly, very attentive and are always very quick to check if there is anything you need. They also quickly cleaned the dishes off our table when we were done with our plates. You can tell the service here is important and that the staff are more than accommodating to the customers’ needs.

Excelsior Jones Sign

Excelsior Jones

Door

Kitchen

Inside

Specials Board

Diners

Diners 2

Counter

The inside of the cafe is simple with simple furniture and accessories used for each table yet modern at the same time. You can see inside the kitchen from the side of the restaurant and each time the waitress would pass our table, I would eye out all the food that passed us by. There were some great looking dishes and you can tell that they emphasise the importance of presentation for each dish to really enhance the fresh and flavourful ingredients that they use.

Pork Hash

Mr Muscles Meal: Pork Hock Hash with Pearl Shallots, Fried Buckwheat, Poached Egg & Fresh Herbs $16.00

Mr Muscles really enjoyed his meal. It was similar to a deconstructed hash browns. The flavours were rich and the ingredients were fresh. The meal itself was rather on the heavy side despite it being quite small in size. Mr Muscles finished his dish in no time at all. I saw other customers eye down his food as he was eating it and asking the waitresses what this dish was so you could tell that this dish seemed very appealing to customers. This was the most expensive item on the menu however the dish itself really combined flavours and ingredients you probably wouldn’t think went well together but somehow mixed well together. The best part was once you poked the poached egg, the yolk just oozed out on top of the rest of the ingredients in the dish. I think Mr Muscles would definitely order this dish again.

And because he was feeling extra hungry, he ordered a side of toast with butter.

Toast

Toast with Butter $5.00

Pikelets

My meal: Sourdough Pikelets with Stewed Strawberries and Custard $13.00

Close up

A close up of my pikelets – look at how juicy those strawberries look! I kinda wish I had some right now ;P

I had been wanting these pikelets ever since I saw them on various food blogs so I knew I really wanted to order it for my meal. I was surprised at how light these pikelets were and that they didn’t leave you feeling heavy. The portion size was rather on the small side for me as I was hoping that I could have more after I demolished the dish whole. The pikelets were also surprisingly not that sweet like usually pikelets I have tasted which I liked. The stewed strawberries were very soft and melted in your mouth with each bite. The custard was nice but very thin almost more to the consistency of milk. I really enjoyed the dish and definitely will order these pikelets the next time I visit this cafe. I however was not full after eating this so Mr Muscles decided to order me a side of fruit and yoghurt to accompany my meal.

Fruit

Shared dish: Poached and Fresh Summer Fruits with Sweet Oats and Yoghurt $10.00

The fruit and yoghurt accompanied with some oats was very fresh and tasty. I liked the contrast between having fresh fruit in the dish alongside poached fruit (I think pear). The dish is simple and not complicated. Definitely something to have if you are feeling like a very light meal. I really want to try the House Made Granola next time along with the Sautéed Field Mushrooms on Toast. I’ve also heard that their lunch menu is nice too where they serve Cheeseburgers with Angus Beef and Gruyere.

All in all I enjoyed my visit to Excelsior Jones. This is definitely an up and coming cafe as more and more people are finding out about this cafe and visiting more frequently. I like that the service is attentive and that the turn around for a table is quick and efficient so you are not waiting too long. I think this cafe is definitely a hidden gem in a street that really needed a cafe like this.

Excelsior Jones

Excelsior Jones

139A Queen Street

Ashfield NSW 2131

Ph: (02) 9799 3240

Website: http://www.excelsiorjones.com/

Trading Hours:

Tues-Fri 7:30am-4pm

Sat & Sun 8am-4pm

Until Next Time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Fruit, Pancakes, Restaurant, Sydney, Toast, 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 eats breakfast at: Gowings Bar and Grill

Hello dear readers!

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

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

Gowings

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

gowings 1

gowings 2

Gowings 4

Gowings 5

Gowings 6

Menu

Menu 2

Menu 3

The Menu

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

Green Tea

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

Coffee

Mr Muscles usual coffee $4.50

Pepe Saya

Pepe Saya Butter

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

Yoghurt and Granola

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

Bowl of Muesli & Yoghurt

Marinated Plums

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

Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs 1

Sourdough Toast

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

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

Bagel

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

Inside of the bagel

Inside shot of the bagel

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

Gowings Bar & Grill

QT Sydney

49 Market Street,

Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 8262 0062

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

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

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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

JACKPOT’s homemade maple and coconut toasted muesli

Hello readers!

I thought I would share with all of you my homemade toasted muesli I made the other night.

I usually go through weeks of eating the same breakfast foods day in and day out and then the next couple of weeks I’ll change it up and eat something else for a few weeks day in and day out. My usual breakfasts consist of: Egg white omelette with mushrooms, low-fat yoghurt with raw organic honey and fruit or with toasted muesli, homemade banana bread or muffins I have made earlier on and frozen for future breakfasts. So lately, I have been feeling like muesli for breakfast and while it’s nice to go out and eat muesli at some of the cafes I frequent, during the weekdays I prefer to eat breakfast at home and leave the breakfast/brunch outings for the weekend. I decided to make my own toasted muesli with a wide variety of ingredients. The best part of making your own toasted muesli is that the possibilities are endless and you can tailor the ingredients to what you like eating. I usually find that when I go out to cafes and eat muesli I end up picking at it as I am not a huge fan of sultanas or raisins in my muesli. I’ll usually finish most of the muesli but you will often see a large pile of sultanas or raisins left behind. You definitely won’t find any sultanas or raisins in my toasted muesli ;P

I was really happy with my toasted muesli. It had all the ingredients that I wanted. Whilst toasted muesli has a lot of good fats and is loaded with nuts and seeds, it is quite high in calorie so you only should be eating a handful. I like the fact that it makes you feel fuller for longer so you don’t need to eat too much of it. I love to eat my muesli on its own or with some yoghurt. You could also make a yoghurt parfait with the toasted muesli and plate it up in a tall glass with layers of yoghurt then muesli then yoghurt again and then top with muesli and fruit. You can even serve the muesli with some poached fruit: poached pear or poached rhubarb would pair nicely with the muesli. I know the muesli must have been nice as most of it is now gone and I thought I had might quite the big batch but somehow the muesli monster appeared and demolished half of it already!

Jackpot’s homemade maple and coconut toasted muesli

NB: This makes quite a large batch of toasted muesli as I only used the measurements as an approximation i.e. you can put in more or less depending on your preferences

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Organic Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 cup  Almonds (Skin On)
  • 1/4 cup Walnut Halves
  • 1/4 cup of Pecans
  • 1/4 cup of Pepitas
  • 1/4 cup of Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup of Fine Coconut
  • 1/4 cup of Dried Apricots
  • 3-4 tbsps of black chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut.
  4. Mix in the coconut oil and maple syrup into the oats mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the wet ingredients have combined with the dry ingredients
  5. Pour batter onto a lined baking tray spreading across the whole tray (you may need to use 2 trays as I found I had a lot of oat mixture in my bowl)
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, turning the toasted muesli frequently so that it does not burn. (I turned up the heat to 180 degrees Celsius in the last 5 minutes to brown my muesli more but you do not need to do this if you would like your muesli lightly toasted)
  7. Take out of the oven and let the muesli rest until cool.
  8. Transfer your toasted muesli to an airtight container for storage.
  9. Try not to eat it all at once!

Notes:

  • I found that my dried fruit burned a bit too quickly during the time in the oven. So you can opt to bake your dried fruit a bit later on by adding in the dried fruit 10 minutes near the end of baking.
  • Also, I have read on sites that many people like to put the nuts in a bit later so that they do not get that burnt bitter taste. I didn’t notice this when I baked my nuts in the muesli during the baking time however you can try this and see the difference.
  • You can add other ingredients: next time I plan to make this with gogi berries, dried cranberries and coconut flakes
  • You can also make the toasted muesli with fruit juice instead of the maple syrup to sweeten the muesli. I didn’t use much oil so my muesli mixture was quite dry but it didn’t seem to affect the results of the toasted muesli.

Photos:

 

I paired my toasted muesli today with some honey and almond yoghurt…mmmmmmm….nothing better than muesli and yoghurt ;P

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.”  Ernestine Ulmer

Till next time guys!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Fruit, Health Food, Nuts, Recipes, Toasted Muesli, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt