Modern Australian

Let’s Meat at LP’s Quality Meats

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LET’S MEEEEAT! So it seems we were all feeling a little peckish for meat and so the journey begins at LP’s Quality Meats in Chippendale. To enjoy your experience here I’d suggest to wear something super comfy for example wear fat pants or perhaps bring a pair and put it in your handbag because if you don’t you don’t you’ll be walking like a model who has a twisted stomach or something.

It’s a meat post!

We arrived 10 minutes after the restaurant had opened and already there were hungry peeps huddled up around the bar thinking about what they should for dinner. Whilst making those tough discussions it was wise to order an alcoholic beverage and soak in the the LP vibes.

The early hungry birds that get the worms

What’s for dinner folks?

Of all possible poultries to sample we opt for the chicken liver pâté ($16), which I thought would be a great starting point. To our surprise we had complimentary sea salt butter, marinated olives, gigantic green jalapeño looking all innocent next to the English mustard.

Chicken Liver Pate got me saying OOHhhh & Ahhhh.

Oddly enough I was shocked to have enjoyed the house-made sour dough with the chicken liver pâté together. The bread was soft and spongy with the heavenly spread of pâté.

House-Made Sour Dough Bread

On the face of it, the pâté looked tasty with its blushing pink colour and smooth honey coating with sprinkles of black pepper. It certainly was flavourful and wasn’t overpowering or thick in texture rather light and smooth. We all agreed that it wasn’t short on chicken liver flavour. It was a real winner for the table!

Can’t have it in any other way…

Wasn’t sure if I could finish what I had started because I could feel my soul in a ball of fire as soon as I took a tiny bite out of the green jalapeño that was at least 10cm tall, YIKES! I was on Struggle Street as the chilli range went from moderately to extremely hot, call the fire brigades guys!

Life is like a jar of jalapeños, you never knew which one is going to burn your tongue.

Didn’t want to be a party pooper and not order the gin ($18). It was a great introduction to explore this classic drink and with its acquired subtle sweet tangy taste, I sure wouldn’t mind going for another round.

Forgive me for I have ginned.

In between our starter we noticed a few undercover visitors headed towards the kitchen and gathered around the smoking machine where the meat dreams come true.

Look who we have here…is it the LP Meat Gods?

The beef tongue ($18) had awakened my tastebuds as I never knew that part of the beef with smoked beef fat vinaigrette could be so well married. This was by far the best warm starter dish to order if you fancy a twist.

Beef Tongue with Smoked Beef Fat Vinaigrette ($18)

It may look slightly frightening for some as it looked raw but flavour-wise, we all enjoyed it, especially with the bathed chopped Spanish onions and fresh parsley in the vinaigrette added that extra oomph to it.

Now that’s a really thin beef tongue slice.

I was excused for one moment whilst the Toronto Maple ($18) spun me right round, baby right round like I had entered the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy had somehow got swirled into the mystic clouds. The drink had strong notes of alcohol which I felt it had cleansed my insides so thoroughly that I could only take tiny sips at a time. On a fun note if you’re looking for something wicked on a Friday night then this is the go to.

That Toronto Maple sure made my head spin.

The smoked beef short rib ($48) deserves a special place in my heart and I think it’s important for people who like meat are made aware this badass of a rib exists. You want to know more, don’t you? Well you gotta continue reading…so scroll down!

Smoked Beef Short Rib ($48 -Left) & Smoked Sausage ($14-Right)

Hallelujah in my mouth was the smoked beef rib! I felt like I had a connection with that thick juicy piece of tender meat and it may sound like I was overreacting but surely you can agree with me if you were there to witness and taste it yourself. I was in disbelief that the rib was so tender and completely balanced with smoky flavours all around that I didn’t need the English mustard, tomato sauce or chimichurri. I couldn’t and wouldn’t stop when I had my first bite; however the only problem for us was we demanded more of it but bear in mind the price tag, so we had to end it here.

Let us meat again, pretty please?!

Time is a funny thing because when we had ordered the bread roll ($2 p.p), we had thought of a clever idea and built our own beef rib burger without any extras required. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to provide proof of this as I was in a bit of a sticky situation, but imagine having two of your favourite things – meat & carbs put together and then VOILA! You know you want it…haha.

You see me bread rolling…you’re hating.

Finally for the smoked sausage ($14) the texture and smell were promising, as was the enticing glossy smoky look. Without being overpowering with spices it was a taste we’d all enjoyed as the texture was neither too firm nor soft and tasted gourmet.

You’re looking smoking hot LP sausage!

A highlight at LP Quality Meats was everything on their menu are all hand made in- house, which means what you pay for is what you get. The MUST HAVE I’d recommend include chicken liver pate, beef tongue and smoked beef short rib. Everything on their menu is for sharing and it would be best to go with no more or less than 4 hungry humans, just so you can try a bit of everything. To the LP Meat Gods out there, please take me with you on your journey to the meat land as I really enjoyed all the dishes we ordered.

Watched the LP Boys Work Work Work Work

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Finding my inner Flower Child at Westfield Chatswood

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The first thing you’ll notice about Flower Child Café is the ambience and the decor as everything is so florally. I just couldn’t help but smile as it just looks so peaceful. And what a stunning place to eat at with their brekkie, brunch or lunch menu options available all day.

Just on Anderson Street in Chatswood Westfield entrance you’ll easily spot a crowd full of hungry humans waiting around for a table. One thing I’ve noticed about brunch places is that if there’s a line it must be good. And boy I am glad my hungry instincts got this right.

Flower Child Cafe Entrance

As soon as we scored a table we quickly knew what to order and after a short conversation, everything had arrived. What drew me to the Flower Child French Toast ($19) was the lovely garden of fruits which included a scoop of banana mascarpone, freshly sliced banana, crumbs of dark chocoalte, baked peacan pieces, fresh mixed berries and a spread of salted toffee & maple syrup ($19). The toast looked evenly fried on the outside and soft and fluffy inside which made me think this could easily be on my comfort food list.

Flower Child French Toast ($19)

For the benedict fanatics the Eggs Benedict ($19) was quite a cheat day treat with two poached eggs covered in burnt butter hollandaise served with espresso & house made tomato jam with proscuitto. What was fun about this dish was it came fashionably buttered and toasted on a freshly baked croissant. I had a ‘moment’ alone with this because it was hitting all the right notes with the butter and creamy flavours. With the croissant it had the perfect layered crisp and crunch that married so well together with the savoury prosciutto. This is really something you shouldn’t be sharing folks.

Eggs Benedict ($19)

Feeling thirsty for something fruity? Well the freshly squeezed Pineapple Juice ($7) was a summer pleaser as it had a mix of pineapple, pear, apple, mint and a hint of ginger. We were trying to pretend to be healthy…haha.

Pineapple Juice ($7)

Next up the Barramundi Burger ($19) that came with a thick piece of crumbed barramundi schnitzel, red cabbage slaw and was drenched in kewpie mayo sauce on a sesame seed milk bun served with a basket of salty French fries.

Barramundi Burger ($19)

The burger grabbed my full attention as I could easily taste the freshness of that evenly golden crumbed barramundi. It was beyond my expectation and certainly a burger I’d like to order again.

 B…Burrr…BBarramundi Burger

Trust me when I say this burger is worthy for your tastebuds to enjoy. The red cabbage slaw with mayo combined flawlessly with the burger as it had bold cruciferous and peppery flavour.

Side view of the Barramundi Burger

In between meals you might want to give their coffee a try as all their coffee beans come from The Grounds of Alexandria. So we opted for Moccamaster ($4) which was a batch brewed filtered coffee resulting in a heavenly clean sweet taste. You won’t get your usual bitterness but great option for filter coffee starters.

Moccamaster ($4)

And if your heart is set on the traditional brekkie dish then look no further because Breakfast Plate ($21) can sure be a real hearty meal as it includes two poached eggs, grilled chorizo, chunks of avocado, goat’s curd, roasted truss tomato, sprinkles of pomegranate, quinoa salad and on the side sourdough toast. I don’t think you need to eat dinner after this as it was an endless spread of all things nutritional.

Breakfast Plate ($21)

I could happily look at the Acai Bowl ($16) all day as it was just too pretty to eat. This so called bowl but served on a plate contained half sliced strawberries, generous sprinkles of blueberries, a piece of banana, chia seeds, crushed almonds, shredded coconut & the most importantly granola. It was all high in antioxidants and incorporated into this sugar-free and healthy breakfast. Winning for the health junkies out there!

Acai Bowl ($16)

At Flower Child Café on the weekends you’re best off dining in groups of two or four as it’s quite a train long wait. As for service it was surprisingly efficient and hassle free when ordering. Now for the food and beverage it was reasonable for what you pay for and I was quite surprised how the Barramundi Burger tasted, thumbs up.

 

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Vue De Monde – Personality on a Plate – Round 2

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The last time I had visited Vue De Monde I was crazy impressed to know that my belly could not eat the next morning. Maybe it was because we had devoured an entire degustation menu, who knows. I was so convinced this time round that I’d know the menu off by heart but I was entirely wrong.

The adventure begins

Flashbacks appeared when I walked into the restaurant and was welcomed with Melbourne’s CBD view, but this time the night sky. Photos don’t do this restaurant any justice!

That view

We were first greeted with the pumpkin and all. Simplicity was a key for this course. Texture was whipped to perfection like I was eating air with hidden gems of walnut pieces to bring you to the crunchy side of things. The dip had a creamy outcome with a whiff of Indian cuisine and a tinge of curry taste. It went pleasantly well with the bite-size house made naan bread.

Pumpkin and all

So this is what it feels like again using top notch fork and spoon. This was the only time I would appreciate and carefully use utensils as I was told by the waiter it costs hundreds and thousands of dollars. I did my Google research and yeah I can confirm I would need insurance if I ever snapped these babies…YIKES!

Them baller cutlery

For our second course we had turnips with fresh milk curd and emu which had a variation of Asian herbal flavours that was topped with a few petite pieces of chicken skin crisps. This dish had a heavy fragrant of turnips and blended so heavenly with the milk curd

Turnips with fresh milk curd and emu

The third dish had arrived in a raw manner that I thought we were eating beetroot but I was fooled by the looks and only discovered closely that the dish had charred seasonal greens and buried underneath raw squid with smoked chicken fat, and fermented Davidson plum as a intriguing sauce. It was fascinating munching on these strings of charred greens as it somehow reminded me eating those packets of Korean seaweed snacks and the noodle like squid played well with the plum dressing.

Raw squid with charred seasonal greens, smoked chicken fat, and fermented Davidson plum

Full speed ahead and VDM train brought us Western Australian marron. The three ingredients ran and swirl so well together, amplifying each other’s flavour of pine mushrooms, macadamia and glued so well with the tender piece of marron sure got my belly squealing for some more, I almost shouted out “ENCORE”.

Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

Uncovered the Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

The world is your oyster when our cleansing plate of moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle had arrived. I was fueled by the tangy, sour and vinegar flavours on my taste buds.

Moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle

One would weep just to touch the crusty curves of the beer and fennel bread as it was still warm, crunchy and brown. Sitting beside was a rolled up cultured butter that compliments so well with the bread. Ahhh….Breaking Bread.Haha.

Beer and fennel bread with cultured butter

Next up was the Mark Eather kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs, which I personally wasn’t a fan of due the the acquired taste of the beach herbs that had overtaken the spanner crab. On a happy note I was amazed by the tiny froth bubbles surrounded the greens which seemed like this dish was living on the wild wild side.

Mark Eather Kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs

By now you can almost hear my expandable dress burst it’s last stretch but the show must go on and we had the bright and beautiful Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and a mountain of marron coral. This was seasoned to savoury perfection and made good friends with the beer and fennel bread.

Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

Close-up of Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

My eyes fell instantly to the Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers. It sure was a promising delightful taste. Picking up my silver spoon, I spooned out a dollop of sweet, tangy plum sorbet which was bathed in liquid nitrogen. The pleasant smoothness of the sorbet blended perfectly with the bitter-sweet taste of sorrel and flowers.

Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers

A unique flavor experience was tasting the raw kangaroo with figs and muntari berries.It wasn’t a typical dish you’d have on the menu but an eye popping experience for your tastebuds. I felt the figs and muntari berries overpowered the chunky cube pieces of kangaroo meat, however it’s a taste you’ll need to try it yourself to explore.

Raw Kangaroo with figs and muntari berries

Just its aroma won me over was the sizzling wallaby snag and how can I not include the part where a chef comes out to greet us and cooks right on our table with a transferrable hot stone pot. We’re big fans of a good sausage (no sexual jokes intended ;P) but have you tried a wallaby snag before?

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

Wattleseed damper being cooked

After all the condiments had arrived at our table and the snags and damper were cooked, we had the opportunity to get our hands dirty and participate in DIY snag roll. And if you’re wondering do we get to eat it? The answer is YESSSSS!!!!

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

It’s hard to dislike this Aussie fusion snag because well…I’m a sucker for theatrical presentation. I was quite intrigued with the flavours of the sausage and the damper bread.

The finished result of a Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper 

It wasn’t long the waitress returned to our table and greeted us with a very sharp knife to let us know the next course was about to arrive. Hmmmmm I wonder what do need this knife for?…

Have you seen this knife holder before?

Most desirable meat dish was the David Blackmore wagyu striploin. Each pain-steakingly selected ingredient contributed to the greatness of the dish. Wagyu melted in my mouth even before I could chew and the marron coral and cabbage puree had me salivating.

David Blackmore wagyu striploin with marron coral and cabbage

And oh did I mention during the entire degustation we had this spectacular 180 degree view of Melbourne CBD. Nothing special…haha.

Melbourne’s CBD Night View

What a way to start the dessert course was the moment a clay pot bursting with flames comes arriving at our table and I knew we’d be served with entertainment. I’ve got my fun goggle cap, have you?

Roasted marshmallows

You just could not go wrong with eating the roasted marshmallow with frozen pear hidden in the center. It tasted naturally sweet and matched so well with the warm fluffy marshmallow cover. The only sticky situation I had was it easily fell apart, but overall I was pleased with the flavours, it was pear-fect.

Roasted marshmallow

A tantalizing treat was the tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes. You cannot go wrong with something tangy towards the end of the degustation as it loosens up the bloated feeling I got after having a non-stop fulfilling meal.

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

In between my desserts I got distracted by another roasted marshmallows but this time filled with cho cho choooc…you guessed it CHOCOLATE.

Roasted marshmallows filled with chocolate

The squiggly chocolate pieces were easy to crack into with my front teeth and the squishy soaked lime sponge cake had a refreshing taste, texture and fragrant of all things citrus.

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

A chocolate treat guaranteed to make any chocolate lover beg for was the chocolate soufflé. You just can’t go wrong with chocolate especially if you are eating it in front of an amazing Melbourne view.

Chocolate soufflé

Couldn’t contain my excitement when the lamington and gumnuts had arrived. Oh I have missed my petite fours and there was no way on Earth I’d share this with anyone else besides me, myself and I. Each velvety bite of the lamington reveals chocolate mousse swirled with fresh raspberry compote.

Lamington and Gumnuts

It was a superb finish with the gumnuts as it was served frozen and it had a powerful minty flavour that was refreshing with every bite. This reminded me of an eclipse after every meal but a classier way to have it. Haha.

Gumnuts

Vud De Monde Lights

For the second time in a row the real star for the evening was when I was being farewelled with a paper bag of goodies called “For the next day”. I couldn’t contain my childish excitement when the waitress tried to explain what she’d be handing out to me at the very end. There’s a reason why this bag is called that because after we had exited the restaurant, we waddled back to the hotel in 9 inch heels. The bag contained freshly tea leaves, two fun-size croissants and muselli, which are all housemade from Vue De Monde.

Overall this was my second visit and again Vue De Monde is a very sophisticated theatrical fine dining restaurant with a sweet little price tag between $250 -$300 per person. Surprisingly this restaurant never ever ever fails to bore me and made me feel like a kid in an adult body. I have yet to visit other similar restaurants like VDM, but in the meantime I’d say it’s still my favourite fine dining place to eat in Melbourne.

“For the next day”

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Take 2: My Food Bag- Healthy Recipes‎ Made at Home

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What a surprise we are halfway through winter. With this cold season making feel a little insecure about my eating habits, we’ve become attached to My Food Bag, so that we can ease our way through to eating healthy again and reminding ourselves that there’s FRESH fruit and vegetables options for when we cook at home. 

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That healthy rainbow spread right at your door step.

There has been some recent improvements that My Food Bag product and experience made. 

New Monday AM delivery time – Enjoy delivery while you sleep! My Food Bag now offers their foodies the added convenience of a NEW delivery window, Monday 2:00am – 7:00am. Win back your weekend and wake up to a delivery on your doorstep! It’s all part of continuing to offer a convenient service to suit the busy lives of their foodies.

New planet-friendly packaging – My Food Bag is committed to delivering their foodies only the freshest seasonal produce available, in packaging which is planet-friendly. They’re now delivering the goodness in their 100% recyclable Chilltainers and Brown Paper Boxes, all kept cool by their new recyclable ice bricks. This new packaging has replaced their traditional bags to continue to ensure the best quality delivery service.

New suppliers – My Food Bag has teamed up with a number of new local suppliers to continue to bring their foodies only the best! While of course remaining free-range, organic and sustainably sourced (wherever possible)

Reduced recipe times – A team of nutritionists and dietitians have been working hard to reduce their recipe preparation time, while retaining variation and a healthy balance of ingredients

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No kidding about freshest local Australian produce, meat and fish.

Let’s experience first-hand the following changes… 🙂 Excited (*Insert* happy dance)

Now let’s start with delivery…I must say My Food Bag does keep you informed through email and text, even days before your order, so that you are aware your groceries are coming. Thumb up for that top quality service. Whilst I was in bed dreaming about the things I’m going to cook for that week I did receive 2 alerts on my phone; one for when they deliver and the other saying my groceries are in front of my door.

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Delivery came on time just before I head to work. Many ticks for that!

Unpacked my goodies around 8am and they were still nice and chilled. I could smell all the ingredients even before I had opened the brown box. Now that’s another thumb up for quality food supplies.

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Didn’t need to waste time hitting the markets to find fresh meat. Thumbs up for that effort!

I dare you to take a peek at the latest scrumdiddlyumptious creations from Nadia Lim and her team for easy recipes cooked in your very own kitchen.

Day 1: MEXICAN FISH & SWEET POTATO NACHO BOWLS

Taste: An old-fashioned favorite made with the freshest of ingredients. Enjoyed tasting the blend of vegetables with the marinated spice mix fish. It seriously was fresh from the fields to my dinner table. My tastebuds could separately taste the cubes fresh fish and veggies. The only thing that bugged me was my sweet potato wasn’t cooked as I followed the recipe. Other than that this was an earth friendly meal.

Verdict: Let’s taco bout this recipe baby, it felt like a fun Friday night meal that was super perfect for my boring Monday night in. I spiced up my nacho bowls with edible Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff soft tortilla bowls instead of using the suggested homeware bowls. I mean life is easier when everything is edible, right? Muahahaha. Saved myself from cleaning more dishes by adding my own idea to this dish and yes I was completely stuffed with two nacho bowls.

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There’s something fishy about this dinner…haha.

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Mexican Fish & Sweet Potato Nacho Bowls

Day 2: PARMESAN & BASIL CHICKEN WITH LEMON POTATOES & CHARRED GREENS

Taste: Might I say fresh, generous, and prepared to perfection, this chicken stuffed with parmesan and basil will leave you wanting more. I was stunned that I made this all by myself. It truly had extraordinary flavours that I never knew it was possible. Don’t normally eat chicken breasts because it always turns out dry for me whenever I cook it, but nope not these breasts. Super juicy because of the parmesan. Loved the fragrant of the basil, garlic and red onion whilst it was cooking in the oven. Gold medal for the rich and hearty flavour.

Verdict: I’m really not sure what to say because I have never been in this kind of situation before, but HEAVENS YES I’d make this again, any day. First time stuffing these breasts with an intriguing filling that I could not have imagined. A delicious and easy-to-prepare chicken breasts that makes a great presentation and fills up any big stomach. Felt guilty (NOT) eating parmesan for a Tuesday night but when it’s mixed with red onion, basil and garlic, you know you have to let the guilty card slide. Thank the veggie gods for arriving on time to balance this meal. So far so good! I think this has become my signature dish for when friends come over to eat.

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There’s there’s THERE’S parmesan in this dish 😀

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This is new for me…parmesan, basil, garlic, lemon and red onion mixed together…

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 Using toothpicks for this recipe. Don’t pick on my breasts! Haha

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Just winged it. Teeheehee.

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Parmesan & Basil Chicken with Lemon Potatoes & Charred Greens

Day 3: GARAM MASALSA BEEF WITH MUSHROOMS RAGOUT SPINCH & FLATBREADS

Taste: Sadly this dish was my least favourite (insert sad face) because it didn’t blend so well together. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sourness taste of the tomato base dish, then moving on to the creamy mayo flavour from the spinach and finally the garam masala beef strips. Don’t get me wrong, all 3 dishes had a full burst of flavour, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. On a much happier note I enjoyed dipping my Lebanese slice bread into the mushroom ragout.

Verdict: It’s a great destination meal for those who heart mushroom and cherry tomatoes. Would suggest to substitute the spinach with cos lettuce so it would marry so well with the garam masala beef strips. I had plenty of leftovers and decided to mix the mushroom ragout with brown rice and as for the gram masalsa beef it turned out to be a kebab using the bread and adding with spinach.

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Garam Masalsa Beef with Mushrooms Ragout Spinch & Flatbreads

Day 4: LAMB LEG STEAKS WITH CORIANDER PESTO LEMON KALE & RICE

Taste: Silver medal for this dish as there was no game smell of the lamb and who knew you could cook kale. I was shocked you could mix lamb with sweet chilli sauce. It was a great steak that was so juicy that you accidentally bursted the water pipe…well almost. Loved the subtle hints of sweet, chilli from the lamb and as for the kale…OH MY! Incredible flavour that I wished I found this sooner. As for the rice I totally forgot about that being there because I was so distracted by that lamb leg and veggies.

Verdict: I am very like VERY sensitive to wanting to cook lamb  in my own kitchen and eating kale during dinner time because both don’t mix so well in my books, but I was wrong. A winning pair of kale and lamb leg bursted intense flavors and alluring aromas. Loved the serving of solider carrots and mountains of kale.

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There’s lamb leg and kale on the menu…first time cooking these ingredients.

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Lamb Leg Steaks with Coriander Pesto Lemon Kale & Rice

Day 5: BACON & ZUCCHINI RISOTTO WITH PEAR & PARMESAN SALAD

Taste: This dish didn’t go bacon my heart…thank the food gods, instead it was warming my heart. This risotto covered in a decadent creamy texture and dusted with parmesan made me lick my plate clean. A healthy pile of greens with the added pear fruit as a side salad offered a bright crunch when paired with the risotto.

Verdict: I must say I’m surprised with this recipe. Risotto is something I don’t normally whip up in the kitchen because rice doesn’t cook properly, but it turned out very smooth and creamy.  As for a salad that has slices of pear in it, impressive. I do like pear salad now, thanks to My Food Bag!

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It’s so hot inside, I’m bacon!

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Bacon & Zucchini Risotto with Pear & Parmesan Salad

Thoughts about My Food Bag

Regards to the following changes that was mentioned at the beginning of this post, let’s see if it approved on the Nessy Eater radar.

  1. Delivery time – Spot on with timing and they text you before and after to confirm delivery to your home 
  2. Packaging – Can’t blame if it’s recyclable and helping the environment 
  3. Food Products – Still impressed with the high quality and fresh ingredients. I’m still intrigued with lamb leg steaks! YUM! 
  4. Reduced recipe times – 4 out of 5 recipes was super easy to assemble as it only required chopping and assembling the ingredients into one pot, so yes it did reduce 5-15 minutes. 

Other notes

  • My Food Bag menus use only fresh seasonal produce, so there’s nothing frozen and they choose free-range and sustainably farmed products
  • Nutritionally balanced meals for all 5 nights
  • Read more here

When it comes to purchasing a week’s worth of groceries, it’s frightening to try new things for example purchasing new meat parts, spices or vegetables because it’s very costly and it takes so much of your time thinking about what to make out of it, but with My Food Bag they’ve done the dirty work for you.

Overall my view on My Food Bag hasn’t changed even for my previous review. My Food Bag does an excellent job with providing fresh ingredients and delicious recipes that can cater for those who cannot cook (that’s me).

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater received a trial of My Food Bag-Classic, thanks to My Food Bag.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Check out other My Food Bag post I did. Click here.

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Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont + Interview

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Keen to decorate dessert like a Master Chef? Then head along to Celebration Cooking on the 1st Floor 720 New Canterbury RoadCanterbury and join Jessica Pedemont in this hands on class to explore the colourful and vibrant world of of decorating cakes and desserts. Learn the art of pastry from the industry’s finest. We always seem to see those celebrity chefs on TV and they make it all look super easy by taking a pinch of this and adding a cup of that. Then transforming the ingredients into something that makes our mouth water like as if we saw a supermodel walk across the room. At the Celebration Cooking they do the same, by providing step-by-step process at an absolute beginner or seasoned level from $220 a class and then turn you into a patisserie decorator master.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (0)Guess who made this?! Hint it’s someone who cannot cook and is VERY messy 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (2)Now which door will you choose today? 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (3)There is so many types of cacao in different processes. Check out the mini museum hidden at the corner.

We are first welcomed with our own individual notes, ganache, chocolate cake and tea towel in class. Yes did I mention you get your very own CAKE…no need to share for those who like it all to themselves *raise my hand*.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (7)Getting the wafer party started 

Starting her own business called Chocolate Artisan 8 years ago and just launched her very own Sydney based cooking school early this year AND happen to be the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015“- Jessica Pedemont, a Muay Thai Kickboxer who is highly regarded pastry chef with over 18 years of experience, runs a cooking class most weekends and offer personalised class. Classes are an ideal way to learn the basics of sugar craft and with a house-made coffee made by Jessica herself on arrival and the opportunity to take home the treats you create, who wouldn’t want to participate? Not only does this bad ass chef uses her fists and elbows along with various wrestling techniques in her own cooking classes just so she can score more points, but she already won the match for being the most sweetest chef you’d ever meet.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (9)HEY it’s Jessica Pedemont in her PINK Chef uniform.

We start off with cooking some cake lace in decorative moulds and my oh my am I impressed with how easy this looks. You so can do this at home if Jessica was next to you.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (11)DIY cake lace moulds

Spotted an EDIBLE “Food Scenepainting made by Jessica who was nominated to make an art work for Australian Cake Decorating Network gallery at the Cake Bake Sweet Show “Sydney in Cake” exhibition. The theme was “What inspires me about Sydney?”. It is clearly evident a lot has got to do with edible ingredients…and mostly sweets I believe. It’s a NO BRAINER that there is royal icing, chocolate, modeling chocolate, rice papericing, gum paste, edible paints and wafer paper. Yeah you name it kiddo.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (13)This painting is edible kids!

I knew straight away this girl LOVES her CHOCOLATE as she is so passionate and detailed about explaining the right ingredients for each type of chocolate cake. Who knew I found my chocolate soul mate. Teehee. Stepping away from the kitchen and kickboxing scene Jessica spends her time writing for the Australian Baking Business that offers an inside look at the news and views affecting today’s baking industry.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (16)True face of a chocolate lover.

All cakes and ganache are provided and made from scratch by Jessica using Swiss ‘Felchlin‘ couverture Chocolate, ‘Pepe Sayabutter and buttermilk and free range eggs.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (19)Time to set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and create sharp edges.

Tough love was seen here as we carefully place the warm gooey ganache that was re-heated to the surface of the cake. It felt like a lifetime smoothing the surface as I tried not to remove sweat off my face when dealing with something so delicate in front of me.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (21)You need steady surgical hands to create smooth surfaces for this cake. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (22)SUCCESS for Nessy Eater Girl!

We now move on to colour and handling techniques for fondant. We decided sunset orange and with confidence the cake will look even brighter.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (23)I can see a rainbow 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (24)During the roll of sugar fondant icing, we somehow created Mr. Blob. Teehee.

Minutes before we started our class we had the pleasure to meet Tommy Prosser, who worked at the 1 Michelin starred Gravetye Manor and 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn. Tommy tells us he dreams of one day eating in all the world’s best restaurants. Not just a man who knows how to cook though, it turns out Tommy’s quite the fighter as well…the sporting kind of course.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (25)Sneaky shot of Jessica Pedemont and partner in crime Tommy Prosser.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (26)I spy C-A-K-E!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (27)SPOTTED another cake display.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (28)Best quote ever for hard workers 🙂

NOW it’s time to cover with ready to roll sugar fondant icing. Be prepared to work-out your arms as it requires all strengths from  your upper body.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (29)

We set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and created a magnificent smooth edging. The beauty of this cake is its simplicity. Crisp orange edges and a comfy icing fondant are a solid go-to cake.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (30)I think my ego just boosted for making this cake look so smooth…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (31)There may have been a competition happening between four of us students in the wafer class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (32)Time to make wafer rose.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (34)Our cake lace moulds are set.

Personally the most difficult part of this class was having patience. We spent a generous amount of time outlining the shapes of the leaves, cutting out and brushing with edible glue. Sadly that wasn’t the hard part. It was making sure you didn’t glue your fingers to other wafer paper leaves. In the end we pulled through and below is what we ended up with. What do you guys think? 😀

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (37)*Woo-hoo* Made a wafer paper from scratch

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (38)Did you know that this decorative lace mould is edible?!?!

We are almost finished with making our own wafer rose paper cake and now our eyes pay close attention to Jessica as she demonstrates the final steps. I swear I was DEFEATED with Jessica’s 18+ years experience as it looks easy from here as she sticks on the cake laces within seconds.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (39)Jessica teaching us the handling techniques.

Okay…I may not be the best cake decorator but the smell of the cake was astonishing. MUST not eat this cake till it is complete…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (40)Steady now…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (41)Now that’s a wrap folks of the wafer paper rose cake class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (42)WOAHZA! How simply was that? Hehe

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (43)It’s impossible to ignore these cakes…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (44)Incredible hard work has been put to these wafer rose cakes. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (45)You don’t leave empty handed at Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (48)Top view of Nessy Eater’s Wafer Paper Rose Cake. Suspense is killing me to show you!!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (49)But FIRST let me show you “behind the scenes” …#Sorrynotsorry…yeah I am childish 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50)We did it GIRLS! Totes can be a pastry chef any day…*coughs*

Jessica Pedemont has an enormous range of cooking and decorating classes to choose from including Brioche Nutella Star, Macaron Mayhem, Handbag cake and Christmas Fruit Cake just to name a few. They are perfect for all ages  even catering some of her classes for the wild kids you may have. Jessica’s classes are also an excellent  gift to give or if you are impressing the family or maybe someone special *wink wink*. With less than 4 weeks to go till Christmas i’d be be scheduling classes before they all book out. Just make sure you don’t mess with her otherwise she’ll organise a Muay Thai match and we know who will win this one. Teehee.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50 B)We had to do kawaii poses just for the sake of it 😀

Tell me about yourself Jessica Pedemont

I started Martial Arts when I was 15, mostly kickboxing and Muay Thai. I’ve always been athletic. I progressed to mixed martial arts, competing on a professional world level, then eventually was asked to do freestyle wrestling for Australia and competed at Oceana. As a kid, I was a national gymnast. I’m always game to learn new things. I love to travel, meet new people, different cultures.

When did you realise being a Pastry Chef was your passion? And do you have any passions outside of cooking?

While I still also do work as a savoury chef, my passion for pastry was a natural progression. I’d trained in both, as you do. Other passions, as above, include sport, well-being and travel.

How did the opportunity at Celebration Cooking come about?

Andrew, the owner of Celebration Cakes, is someone I’ve known in the industry for many years and he offered me this space where I’m current teaching. It’s been a great opportunity to have a dedicated facility so close to my home.

Tell me about being in the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015”? What was rushing through your mind when you received the news?

It was a pretty unbelievable as I’d only just opened. It’s been a great privilege to be recognised for our work.

What personal quirks does your team tease you about?

Since fitness is important to me, I still like to balance all my cooking with a good workout…

What’s your process for coming up with a new cooking/decorating classes?

We do take a lot of student feedback, recommendations…I’m always open to new ideas. Often my students will ask for things…which is really encouraging. Classes for kids, water colour cookies, marzipan, etc.

Is there a chef that you admire?

I admire chefs who are hard-working, who have a sensitive palette, who have skill, talent, poise…who are deeply passionate and elegant to watch work…oh and and a sense of adventure, a great pedigree, amazing experiences in kitchens…it makes me think of my partner Tommy Prosser. He’s also very humble, which is a killer trait, so I don’t mind mentioning him here. I also like what Jaime Oliver has done. Doing a lot to help communities, get people to think and act, love his fresh approach to food, even making good/healthy eating easy and quick where appropriate.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (51)

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Wafer Paper Rose Cake, thanks to Celebration Cooking.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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