Did you know you can put mustard on everything from scrambled eggs to seafood? If you knew that already, then you got me. Then let me ask you another question, did you know there is one type of mustard that effectively cuts calories in half? Bet you didn’t! In Mosman’s Bridgepoint Shopping Centre, Maille has just recently opened up their first la maison boutique in Sydney with the collaboration of an Australian local supermarket, IGA. Maille strongly emphasis on creating a “community” atmosphere, which makes it ideal for Australian market.
Maille’s intimate high tea
The venue was at Boronia Tea House
The most extravagant of mustards will be available in Sydney and Melbourne and will house 24 varieties of mustards, vinaigrettes, vinegars and including the world’s most EXCLUSIVE MUSTARD, Périgord black truffle from Provence and Chablis from Burgundy. A small 100g pot retails for $100 a pop and I’ve been secretly informed, Maille is offering 5 x 500g jar of this extravagant mustard for $500 each pot in Australia. Help, i’m hyperventilating so hard right now. This is without doubt exclusive as the mustard emporium has supplied the European royal courts centuries ago and truffles are only available in France between November to March. Want to get your hands on the 500g black truffle and Chablis mustard? Then lucky you, I found out that Not Quite Nigella is running a competition that ends 31st of August, 2014. GOOD LUCK!
This is just a small portion of Maille products.
Mustard is indeed such a fine, exquisite taste that I never had the opportunity to appreciate it, until now. There’s so many applications for mustard for instance they have a special kind of characteristic in them including a richer, creamier consistency and flavours of spice. Being invited to attend a very intimate high tea with guests like Regional Mangers and CEO’s of IGA supermarket, Manly Daily, The Telegraph and my favourite food blogger Lorraine Elliott aka Not Quite Nigella (which I had cold feet and missed my chance to flirt with her by being too shy) because I was so blown away she was standing metres away from me. This also brings a very special guest who flew into Australia from Paris and is one of the world’s ten mustard sommeliers, Elodie Charlotte-Cleria.
Be surprised for some Maille mustard tasting.
To be impressed by Maille mustard, Elodie Charlotte-Cleria expertly guides us through 15 different flavours of mustard. You should first smell the aroma of the mustard and then evenly spread it on a natural ingredient such as bread stick, a slice of bread (preferably white) or neutral crackers. After this, it is important to place the mustard on the tip of your tongue which is the most sensitive spot.
He was having fun pumping $$$$ Périgord black truffle and Chablis mustard.
Our intimate mustard tasting was followed by a specially designed mustard-inspired high tea. The experience was so authentic, in terms of mustard wise. I’ve decided to copy their recipe when I DIY my own high tea at home. Various mustard flavours have their own pairing. You should of seen my eyes as they were open wide throughout the mustard tasting. It was like each mustard flavour knew how to seduce you.
- House made scones with fresh cream infused with Maille Cognac Mustard
Second level: assortment of finger sandwiches
- Double smoked ham on multigrain bread with Swiss Cheese and Maille Honey Balsamic Mustard
- Smoked salmon and cucumber on white bread with Maille Parmesan Cheese and Basil Mustard
- Rare beef served on rye bread with rocket and Maille Chablis White Wine Mustard
- Roasted beetroot on rye bread with Maille Blue Cheese Mustard
Maille mustard-inspired high tea
English Breakfast from T2 Tea.
Can you imagine vinaigrette in your dessert?
Soon after, assortment of desserts arrived and they offered a very unique flavour. Some desserts really surprised me that it contained vinaigrette and I liked it. It’s amazing how one ingredient can change everything.
You should of seen my face when the assortment of desserts arrived.
It was my duty to start dessert with Coconut mini gelato drizzled with Maille Passionfruit and Mango Vinaigrette. I am convinced this is one ingredient you’d want to concentrate on. It utterly impressed me that Maille nailed it. You wouldn’t be able to taste the vinaigrette as real fresh ingredients are added and the fruity flavour is just overpowering. It was completely flawless.
Coconut mini gelato drizzled with Maille Passionfruit and Mango Vinaigrette
Maille Passionfruit and Mango Vinaigrette
Classic macarons with Maille Sauternes White Wine Mustard wasn’t what I expected. In my opinion, looks don’t count, it’s what’s inside that counts. The mustard did bring the white wine flavour forward and overall not overbearing in any way.
Classic macarons with Maille Sauternes White Wine Mustard
Fresh mini strawberry tart with Maille Aged Balsmaic Vinegar of Modena was perfectly integrated into this dessert, though it may not be a favourite for some, as there was an intense complex sweet vinegar flavour but the vinegar slowly oxidizes under the influence of the tart.
Fresh mini strawberry tart with Maille Aged Balsmaic Vinegar of Modena
I think I had the best view in the house.
Time to cut the ribbon with IGA CEO and French Mustard Somelier, Amelia and Elodie Charlotte-Cleria .
HOORAY! Maille is open.
Having not tasted as much mustard before, my experience with Maille is unforgettable. I am salivating over the idea of so many mustard flavours that I never knew and I have Elodie Charlotte-Cleria and Maille to thank. I definitely have learnt a lot in the space of 3 hours, though there is a lot more to learn from Maille and it is fantastic they continue to educate those who have or haven’t been exposed to mustard. Its exclusive ‘mustard pump’ dispensing fresh mustard is a unique experience only available in its boutiques and we are very lucky Australia gets to enjoy this tasting experience. Overall, Maille French mustard has catapulted the world of condiments during cooking to add flavour or texture to the food and brought forward a whole new level of extravagance. It’s shocking I only discovered this now, but it’s never too late. You have to take every opportunity to exploit such an exotic condiment as it adds a subtle flavour.
Like to test your tastebuds with Maille?
The highlight of the high tea is not just experiencing the mustards but taking some home. We were each given an empty Maille gift bag with an empty black box. Our job was to fill it up with any Maille products we desired most. This is what I picked. I absolutely adore each mustard flavour as all the delicate flavours remain perfectly balanced and you’re able to appreciate it.
Excellent range of gifts from Maille.
Not only did we receive an awesome gift pack but EVERY GUEST received a 100g pot of Maille black truffle and chablis mustard as a gift. UH-BOH-LIEVABLE! That’s freaken $100!!! At the time, I was actually considering to hire two safeguards to protect me from getting truffle mugged. Teehee. Truffle is the most exquisite ingredient to have and it’s very rare to find, hence it’s expensive. Some say truffles are the culinary equivalent of sex, one whiff and the aroma will automatically turn you on. More importantly, it smells musky, earthy and pungent. The smell is so overwhelming that it infuses any meal. This truffle mustard certainly will be the golden crown on ANY dish, but in my opinion the perfect way to jazz it up is just eat it by the spoonful, a BIG SPOONFUL.
The world’s most EXCLUSIVE MUSTARD, Périgord black truffle and Chablis mustard.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
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There’s not many places in Sydney where restaurants offer hot pot buffet and doesn’t break the wallet. This winter, MINI HOT POT has just opened up in the heart of Chatswood and it is just perfect timing to visit when Mother Nature is being so damn cold. Instead of standing next to a heater all night to keep myself warm my thoughts turned to ALL YOU CAN EAT HOT POT. The hot pot buffet prices for Monday to Thursday dinner, $26.88 per person or Friday to Sunday $28.88 per person. If you’re a keen bean and can’t wait for dinner then during lunch hour from Wednesday to Sunday $20.88 per person. There’s a fair bit of novelty, so keep in mind to only bring an empty stomach. Besides all you can eat, their buffet is 2 hours limit, so you don’t have to rush stuffing your face with a mixture of foods.
Ready to take on the ALL YOU CAN EAT hot pot?
Just look how practical it is to have your own electronic stove. What’s even more cool and high-tech is there are 3 buttons for you to adjust the boiling levels (small, medium and large). I seriously wouldn’t mind having one of these at home. Teehee.
How hot is the electronic stove? They’re installed into the tables.
Spacious seating at MINI POT Chatswood
The original chicken soup base comes with the buffet package, but if you wish to challenge your tastebuds or try other soup base flavours then it will cost extra, depending on what you order. The key to a successful pot of chicken soup is adding different ingredients and making sure the chicken is properly seasoned. The chicken gives the soup base its distinctive character. Here at MINI POT, the broth is the soul of the hot pot.
Original chicken soup base
Spicy beef soup was fragrant with spiciness but the chopped chili was horrifyingly hot and can only be wanted for the chili lovers. To compare its very own sister restaurant, CQL MINI POT spicy beef soup is better as it contains more herbal elements. Overall, this soup is perfect to order when Mother Nature wants to provide a crazy windy weather outside.
Spicy beef soup (additional $2)
A variety of fresh greens
Continue the veggie madness!
Not every day you get to see kelp and black fungus on the menu.
So like, how many frozen scrolls of thinly sliced lamb, beef or pork can you handle? I mean these cook ridiculously fast that you’d question if you ate some or not. It’s super easy to cook and goes so well with any sauce. It seems every single time I try to refill my plate, the meat section seems to never end.
MEATASAURUS Vanny is here!!! (Lamb, Beef, Pork)
Are you ready to make your own sauce? If you don’t know where to begin, I think it’s vital to at least grab a small bowl of soy sauce. There is no secret to creating an awesome sauce as MINI POT provides friendly advice to create your own mixture. There’s so many sauces to choose from such as peanut butter, black bean, soy sauce, sesame, hoisin and many many more.
Create your own sauce at the sauce bar.
My plate was full and it’s so great you have the opportunity to try a bit of everything. Starting from left we have sliced lamb, fish, clams, bean curd, quail eggs, pork blood jelly, handmade noodles and mushroom.
Round 1 tray
Quail eggs and clams are great for hot pot.
If you’re feeling thirsty, they have really traditional Asian drinks that I highly recommend giving a go. The Chinese prune drink ($4) is a very mysterious beverage in many restaurants. It’s not your ordinary prune juice as it provides a tangy flavour to it but it does contain a sweet after taste. For the Wang Lao Ji ($4), it’s one of the super popular drinks in mainland China. It’s a drink that you’ll love forever as it has a unique sweetness with just a mildly characteristic herbal taste.
Prune drink and Chinese traditional (Wang Lao Ji) drink ($4 each)
Got to pace yourself with buffet hot pot.
Must try the handmade noodles, so tasty.
Noodles are ready to eat.
Almost reaching halfway through to my hot pot, the owner of MINI POT, Simon greets us with dessert. A massive bowl of tofu pudding with red bean ($6.80) arrives at our table and it’s just so satisfying to see dessert was ready and waiting for me.
A HUGE bowl of tofu pudding with red bean.
Rice cake at the hot food section
Spring onion pancakes are ready to eat.
Besides hot pot, noodles is on the menu. You’d be head over heels with the Dry Noodle with Minced Pork ($12.80) as the noodles was a perfect cradle for the porky sauce. This dish radiates with the vibrance of spring with the green bok choy and chopped spring onions. Oh boy it is filling when you’re having it with hot pot as well. Please note: the portion we ordered is not the exact one as we requested a smaller version.
Dry Noodle with Minced Pork ($12.80)
It’s such a brilliant way to spice up boring tofu with noodles. So the Noodle with Tofu Pudding ($10.80) is remarkably delicious and it will leave you satisfied. It’s a triumph of textures and flavours and a touch of sweetness from the tofu. Please note: the portion we ordered is not the exact one as we requested a smaller version.
Noodle with Tofu Pudding ($10.80)
The tofu pudding is so silky and smooth.
Feasting for close to 3 hours is FUN.
At first glance, herbal jelly for some people might scrunch up their nose to eat this, but the taste is pretty unreal. With a mash up with fresh cut watermelon and bite-sized pieces of herbal jelly it is a great way to end a Chinese hot pot meal.
AGAIN, Simon surprises us with a large bowl of fresh cut watermelon with herbal jelly.
Table for one ? Sure, MINI POT can do that.
OH MY GOD! It’s…it’s dessert hour. (Excuse the facial expression) 😀
Don’t feel like hot pot? Then there’s plenty of seats for À la carte diners.
Outdoor and function seating is available at MINI POT.
The service at MINI POT in Chatswood is attentive and friendly. It’s so close to the station that if you’re belly is extremely full and you don’t feel like driving, then training it home is the safer option to go. For dinner, I think $26.88 per person on weekdays or $28.88 per person on weekends is pretty reasonable, so it won’t hurt your wallet too much. I’ve come across some hot pot places and they charge by the plate for the same kind of foods for $5 or more. Don’t forget this buffet package also includes hot food and desserts which is WIN.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended with a guest thanks to MINI POT Chatswood.
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?