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Nadia Lim’s My Food Bag “Easy Weeknight Meals”‏ Book Launch + Lamb Recipe

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Glad the stormy weather from last week is finally over. During the crazy mother nature being oh so harsh to Sydney, I decided to have a lunch date with 2011 MasterChef New Zealand Winner Nadia Lim to celebrate the launch of her third cookbook, “Easy Weeknight Meals“. This book showcases Nadia’s passion for everyday good food cooked at home. The book includes a delicious, well-balanced, nutritious, yet simple recipes that anyone can follow, including myself. Teehee.

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Easy Weeknight Meals Book Launch

When I mentioned to my Kiwi friends that I was going to see Nadia Lim…they went ballistic. Nadia Lim is seriously a household name in New Zealand. She’s basically like Poh Ling Yeow in Sydney, except based in New Zealand (I hope I didn’t offend anyone). Nadia hosts her own TV show on the Asian Food Channel and has her own online healthy food community called The Healthy Food Channel.

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Congratulations to Nadia Lim and My Food Bag 

Arriving super early to the My Food Bag Head Quarters, I managed to have the whole charcuterie platter to myself…well almost.

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Charcuterie platter

Nadia Lim is not only an award-winning cook and champion of Master Chef NZ but she’s the Head Chefdietitian and co-founder of My Food Bag. My Food Bag has just been recently landed in Australia as it originated from New Zealand 2 years ago. The idea of My Food Bag is making healthy eating as simple, easy and delicious as possible at home. So I heard from a birdie that you don’t have to do the grocery shopping because My Food Bag does that ALL for you and they deliver straight to your door on Sundays. WINNING on saving time and carrying all the grocery bags to and from the car.

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My Food Bag Sample Bag

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Loved the decor

When I was told that I was going to be sitting next to a MasterChef winner you should have seen the look on my face…it was like someone had just asked me to their school formal. My hands were all sweaty and my heart was beating so fast. I couldn’t contain my excitement.

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Can you guess who was Nessy Eater Girl sitting next to?

But before my date sits next to me, Co-Founder of My Food BagTheresa Turmeric Gattung and Nadia Lim tells us more about My Food Bag and asks us all to give ourselves a nickname with our favourite fruit or vegetable. I named myself Vanny Mango Tang causes I love mangoes. I mean who doesn’t like mangoes?! If you don’t then I don’t think we can be friends…KIDDING!

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Co-Founder of My Food Bag-Theresa Turmeric Gattung and Nadia Lim

Did you know? Nadia Lim started her passion for food when she was 12 years old and all because of one guy, Jamie Oliver. In the television series The Naked Chef, Nadia truly believed she would one day write her own cook book and perhaps call it “Foodie in a Nudie“. Although all three books did not have the word foodie or nudie in the one sentence, I’m sure it will be coming soon. Fingers crossed her fourth book would be called that.

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2011 MasterChef New Zealand Winner Nadia Lim

Time for lunch and we have a delicious green mix salad with slices of shepard avocado, sprinkles of pomegranate seeds. Did you know? Shepard avocado have a smooth green skin and golden buttery flesh which doesn’t turn brown when cut like a hass avocado. Crazy! I think I’m converting to a shepard avocado from now on.

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Eat your greens kids!

It’s pretty intense seeing Nadia cook in the My Food Bag Head Quarters Test Kitchen. Was awesome to see her in action whip up the Chermoula Chicken Drums with Moroccan Couscous and Yoghurt Dressing. The chicken was ridiculously flavoursome and married so well with the couscous. I had to sneakily grab another piece of chicken because it was just everything a girl could ask for.

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Chermoula Chicken Drums with Moroccan Couscous and Yoghurt Dressing

After graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science in Human Nutrition and Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics, Nadia spent a few years as a clinical dietitian. When MasterChef NZ came up, she thought she’d give it a go and BAM 2011 MasterChef New Zealand Winner. Fast forward a few years Nadia is now writing recipes and nutritional articles to developing and testing recipes for My Food Bag. She jokingly tells us that “My Food Bag saves marriages” and for the adults “Better sex life too“. I can’t confirm or guarantee that because I’m not married nor am I an adult. HAHAHA!

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Nadia making our DESSERT

Our next dish was awesome too that it blew my mind. My face went blank when Nadia told me what was in the Chocolate Mousse. Only three ingredients she tells us and they are dark chocolate that’s 70% melted, coconut milk and avocado. Whhhaaaaaat?! Are you reading it wrong…AVOCADO in chocolate mousse. No sir you are not reading it wrong. There was avocado in my chocolate mousse and I couldn’t even taste it at all! It was light and I would certainly re-eat this again.

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There’s avocado in this chocolate mousse!

And I thought meeting Nadia Lim was enough…nope there was more dessert. She offered all of us a slice of her easy peasy pear tart that’s made with puff pastry, maple syrup and bosc pears. I admit this dessert lingers on the palate and in a good way off course. Before we all waved our hands to say good-bye to Nadia and the My Food Bag Team, each guest received a My Food Bag mystery gift bag (see first image) that contains a variety of herbs, spices, fruits, veggies and two thick pieces of lamb. The My Food Bag team challenged their guests to cook something using these ingredients. Keep scrolling to see what I made…

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Pear tart

Applause for scrolling down. Well we all know Australians love their lamb and for me to be honest it’s never been easy cook lamb. I’ve always had difficulty trying to find the right recipe and luckily I managed to cheat my way through using only the My Food Bag mystery gift bag (see first image). Yes, I cheated…using herbs and spices. I hope you all enjoy this dish.

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Nessy Eater’s Easy Peasy Lamb Recipe Challenge

The following ingredients you will need for Nessy Eater’s Easy Peasy Lamb Recipe:

10 mins to prepare

30 mins to cook

2 servings

100 grams of Cherry Tomatoes

60 ml Olive Oil (3 tablespoons)

300 grams Lamb Striploin

3 Tablespoons Red Meat Spice (Prefer Sami’s Kitchen)

2 Tablespoons Rosemary (Chopped)

100 grams French Style Lentils

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

4 Fresh Mint Leaves

2 Sage Leaves (Chopped)

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Challenge Bag thanks to My Food Bag

 Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Cook 100 grams of French Style Lentils in pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or until medium-soft.
  2. Meanwhile rub lamb with 2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary and sage, then add 2 tablespoons of oil. Continue to rub until the oil and herb is absorbed to the lamb. Add 3 tablespoons of red meat spice. Continue to rub until lamb is covered in spice. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the meal.My Food Bag Book Launch _Nessy Eater (14)
  3. Toss 100 grams of cherry tomatoes in 1/4 tsp, season and wrap tomatoes loosely in foil. Place foil on baking tray. Roast for 10 minutes until soft. Make sure to check every 3 minutes.My Food Bag Book Launch _Nessy Eater (15)
  4. Cook marinated lamb in a frypan over medium heat for 3 mintues or until browned. Turn and cook for a further 4 minutes.My Food Bag Book Launch _Nessy Eater (16)
  5. Rest the lamb, cover tightly in foil and place it in oven for 12 mintues for medium, or until done to your liking. My Food Bag Book Launch _Nessy Eater (17)
  6. Drain lentils and toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season.
  7. To serve, scatter lentils in the middle of the plate, top with slices of lamb. Scatter tomatoes and 4 mint leaves. Drizzle the remaining lamb juice from the foil onto the plate.

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Final product of Nessy Eater’s Lamb Recipe. What do you guys think?

It was a fantastic experience meeting the one and only Nadia Lim and celebrating her launch of her new cookbook “Easy Weeknight Meals“. I learnt a lot about My Food Bag using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to create delicious, healthy meals that are not only good for your body but at the same time should also look and taste great. I really look forward to seeing My Food Bag bring energy and enthusiasm to Australian couples and families.

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2011 MasterChef New Zealand Winner Nadia Lim

 Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended “Easy Weeknight Meals”‏ Book Launch thanks to Porter Novelli.

Nessy Eater received challenge bag thanks to My Food Bag.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

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Taste of Sydney 2014 – Recap

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With an enviable line-up of Sydney’s tastiest restaurants on offer, it was a mission to try ALL 60 + dishes, wines, beers and spirits. Well at the time, I thought I was capable of accomplishing this. But with only little time to eat, I had to give up a few things. Taste of Sydney 2014 located at Brazilian Fields, Centennial Park, Sydney had a few sessions a day- either the lunch session from 12-4pm and the dinner session from 5:30-10pm. I picked the night session as I believe that’s were all the fun begins. Before tantalising your taste buds with signature dishes, you must load your Crown Card ($1= 1 Crown). Otherwise you won’t be able to pig out as all restaurants don’t accept cash or credit cards except for some stalls. 

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The GIGANTIC TASTE BANNER.

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O-M-GEEEE Media Pass!!!

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Crown Card loaded with Crown Money

My first stop, I decided to redeem my FREE CIDER that Rekorderlig Cider offered to me. It’s not hard to miss this massive tent as shades of red and white really stand out.

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Rekorderlig Cider Tent

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All the Rekorderlig Cider I could ask for!

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Bean bag seating

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Ping pong anyone?

It was a glorious day and having to walk an additional 20 minutes because you couldn’t find parking means you need a drink. A LARGE fruity drink, particularly eyes on the Strawberry & Lime Cider (6-8 Crowns). The cup is half full of ice and to garnish a squeeze of lime makes this beverage even more refreshing.

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Strawberry & Lime Cider

Next stop Dilmah Chef’s Skillery features chefs who bring a unique skill to the table. Flavio Carnevale from Popolo demonstrates his perfection in knife skills. Plus, we had the opportunity to ask burning questions during an intimate Q & A session.

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A range of Dilmah tea flavours

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Martin Dulke telling us some funny jokes.

Did you know Popolo means people? I know right. I learnt something new at Taste of Sydney.

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Flavio Carnevale from Popolo demonstrates his knife skills.

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Tasting Dilmah’s Rose with French Vanilla and Ceylon Spice Chai.

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Free Dilmah Goody Bag

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Freebie from Maille

After chilling with Martin Dulke and Flavio Carnevale, we end up in front of Chow Bar & Eating House, which is a Chinese eats. I ordered Beggar’s Chicken (12 Crowns) that consists of silken lemon tofuvinegar and red peanuts. That chicken was pretty moist, smokey and contained enough spices to go with a bowl of rice.

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Beggar’s Chicken (12 Crowns)

For the Dongpo Veal Rolls (6 Crowns) this contains pickled black fungus and hot mustard. I quite like the fun-size presentation. The roll is best eaten in a hands-on manner and I encourage you to just dive right in.

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Dongpo Veal Rolls (6 Crowns)

These kissable sliced baguette bread smothered in Lurpak butter is incredibly tasty. I may have had seconds and thirds…and so on… 😛

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Sampling Lurpak butter

It was time for me to take a break from food and enter the Bundaberg Truck. It was very intelligent of Bundaberg to place a flashback theme from ancient furnitures to collecting  Bundaberg bottles through the years.

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Bundaberg shaped pistol bottle

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Got to taste the molasses…SUPER SWEET!

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It’s not everyday you see a boat inside a glass bottle.

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More Bundaberg bottle displays. This time the focus is on football players.

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Let’s go back to the historic times.

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Another freebie!

When it comes to olives, be sure to visit Salt Meats Cheese. I was surprisingly hooked on all their olives. And there’s plenty more where they came from. This is no ordinary olives, as they are drenched with fresh herbs and vegetables. I managed to discover the difference between each colour olives and hearing the delight of how they are marinated by one of their staff.

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Salt Meats Cheese- Harvest Olives – Sicilian Olives, lemon chunk, carrot, celery, onion and parsley.

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Salt Meats Cheese- Healthy Olives containing Green & Black Olives, Chickpeas, quinoa, pinenut, barley and fresh garlic.

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Salt Meats Cheese- Almond Olives- Green Olives, almonds, fresh garlic, lemon zest and fresh basil.

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A whole almond inside an olive

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Salt Meats Cheese- Green olives, chilli, paprika, cinnamon and fresh garlic.

It’s not before long I jumped straight to their combo – Just Awesome (22 Crowns) with handmade Salami, Cacciatore Salami, Serrano Ham, handmade Bocconcini, aged Pecorino, Asiago served with Sardinian flat bread. This is one icon box no one should miss. I should of probably got a glass of wine with that…

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Salt Meats Cheese- Just Awesome

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Salt Meats Cheese- BONUS Free tub of olives with every awesome plate. Normally (6 Crowns)

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Yogurtland – Tasting Dutch Chocolate

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I was on paparazzi mode and Alice in Frames spotted me taking a photo of her.

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FINALLY met the one and only Alice – Masterchef Australia in 2012

Take me back to this Crispy Pork Belly (8 Crowns) from Chur Burger. It is stunningly delicious and the promise of a better bite each time. It’s a magical sort of burger that is best to be kept to yourself and yourself only. The gooey chilli caramel, aioli and mint slaw was spot on with flavours. As for the thick slice of tasty pork belly, tender.

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Chur Burger – Crispy  Pork Belly (8 Crowns)

Off to the Cut Bar & Grill and we ordered Seared Kingfish (10 Crowns) including green beans, olives, tomato and egg. The dish is definitely colourful, however it was upsetting to not be able to share the fish among two people. A tad tiny for 10 crowns but what saves this sort of thing is partly the intensity of flavours that comes out of this plate.

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The Cut Bar & Grill – Seared Kingfish (10 Crowns)

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Pineapple Coconut Cocktail (10 Crowns)

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Couldn’t help but take a photo of a pineapple. It looks so much better in sunnies.

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Sensology– Espresso martini (10 Crowns)

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Cointreau Fizz- Strawberry Mint (10 Crowns)

Talk of the town is Cooking classes with Julia Taylor for (8 Crowns). And not to mention limited spots! Luckily I bumped into the organiser whilst walking and he just happened to yell out “Lurpak Cookery School”.

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Patiently waiting outside the Lurpak Cookery School.

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For (8 Crowns) Julia Taylor shows us how to make Ravioli with Salmon in Nut-Brown Butter

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As for dessert we have Salted Caramel Tarts.

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My half cooked salmon ready to be flaked.

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Tarts waiting to be filled with salted caramel.

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Pipping hot caramel.

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The glory of pouring hot sticky caramel onto the tart is magical.

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Presentation ain’t so great but taste is fantastic. I did not know butter can be an ingredient to a pasta dish.

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Julia Taylor  MasterChef 2012 runner-up

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You spin me right round baby, right round… Teehee.

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Customer service at 4Fourteen/ Four in Hand is FANTASTIC!

After seeing that piggy, well you know what I ate next… Suckling Pig (12 Crowns). The rich, complex flavours surprise my tastebuds that accompanied by smoked potato salad and crushed apple. The key to this dish is the drawing together of many elements onto the fork.

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4Fourteen/ Four in Hand – Suckling pig with smoked potato salad and crushed apple (12 crowns)

To end all savory dishes, we get a Peanut Butter Popsicle (6 Crowns) – Enriched with honeycomb crunch and dulce de leche. It is an intimate time with this coma induced treat. A great pick for those who fancy peanuts.

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4Fourteen – Peanut Butter Popsicle (6 Crowns)

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Flinders Island Slow-cooked Lamb chop (4 Crowns)

Have you ever been keen to try insects for dessert? Because at Edible Bug Shop there’s plenty of bugs for you to try. I mean yes, it sounds creepy crawly but it’s edible! Plus it contains more proteins than chicken, I think. I went for the most “appetising” and interesting flavours that included Guava and Ant Sorbet (8 Crowns) and Pistachio and Chocolate Crickets (8 Crowns)

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Edible Bug Shop

You see those tiny black spots? That’s ANTS alright! Plenty of Guava and ants in this cup. I guess if no one mentioned there’s ants in this ice-cream and instead chocolate sprinkles, then this could be more appealing.

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Guava and Ant Sorbet (8 Crowns)

In an exciting first to try Pistachio and Chocolate Crickets, I was pleasantly amused how the crickets are coated in milk chocolate. It contains a crunchy and nutty flavour that satisfies or perhaps upsets some stomachs. I could only fit one chocolate cricket in my mouth and that was it for me. But overall, a great way to end the evening with some insects in my mouth.

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Pistachio and Chocolate Crickets (8 Crowns)

Taste of Sydney is a worthy day out to sample chefs who bring a unique dish to the festival for an acceptable price. Though quality and presentation may not meet some viewers but you do get to see upfront what these culinary masters do.

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Taste of Sydney as a guest (opportunity provided by Exposure PR) and paid for the food independently, unless stated otherwise

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / NewsLoop or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment  😀

 

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Chow Bar and Eating House on Urbanspoon

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NE’s 1st Blogiversary – Easy Homemade Popcorn Chicken

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I can hardly contain my excitement because it’s Nessy Eater’s FIRST BLOGIVERSARY. I can’t believe this food blog still exist and I’m still blogging. I was for certain this wouldn’t even last for 1 month. It took me a weekend to realise it has been one amazing year to be a food blogger. Making lots and lots of new friends, who have the same interest as me feels like home. Nessy Eater motivates me every day to be inspired, enjoy life and share the joy of eating. I like to THANK YOU friends and family, who have the patience when I’m preparing my ritual- feeding my camera first before meals are then served to them. Looking back on the past year, I’ve been very grateful to be invited to many delicious eats and events. I will try to discover more about food, recipes and drinks. I am looking forward to improving this space and hope you will enjoy it. So like…the other day I came across bite-size homemade popcorn chicken at the table, one bite and I was HOOKED! It is a recipe that is so wrong yet soooooo good not to resist. It has been tested and APPROVED by amature cooks, like me. Even our friends who have impeccable taste were amused and are super keen to see this again without a doubt. I bet you won’t touch KFC popcorn chicken again for years!

The secret to this absolutely amazing recipe are two important ingredients that not many minions would want to share, however I managed to mastermind it THANKS to Tall Tommy and they are chicken powder and cayenne pepper. You’ll go C-R-A-Z-Y if you are missing either one or both of these ingredients whilst making these TASTY chicks.

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Gimme me popcorn chicken NOW.

Let’s BEGIN! Easy peasy steps just in case you peeps out there want to make this. You’ll need:

Homemade Popcorn Chicken

Credits to LOL Couple – Tall Tommy.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (Chopped in small pieces ranging 1.5 inch in size)

Flour mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups  plain flour or self-raising
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp chicken powder
  • 3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp potato starch or sweet potato starch or cornflour

Deep fryer:

  • 3-4 cups vegetable oil

Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour

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Before starting, prepare 3-4 cups vegetable oil into a wok or small skillet and place on medium heat.

Then mix 1 1/2 cups  plain flour1/2 tsp potato starch and 1/4 cup water in small mixing bowl.

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Add 1 1/2 tsp chicken powder, stir.

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Add 3 tsp cayenne pepper, stir.

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Double check the consistency of the flour mixture, not too runny, not too thick.

( Too thick= Add water, Too runny= Add flour).

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Dunk the chicken pieces into the flour mixture (If time isn’t an issue, piece by piece) , fully coating the chicken.

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Dip pieces of chicken into 1 1/2 cup plain flour batch, being sure they are fully covered.

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To test if the oil is ready simply fry a few pieces of chicken into the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready! Now, slowly place the chicken into the oil. After 4-5 minutes depending on heat flip pieces over. Pieces of chicken should be ready when it turns golden brown. (Best to take one out and cut it in half to see if the meat is fully cooked).

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Once the chicken is ready, scoop out the chicken pieces and make sure oil is drained as  much as possible. Use 2 paper towels or more  to excess the oil so the popcorn chicken is super duper crunchy.

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Homemade popcorn chicken is READY TO EAT.

Notes:

  • Tastes just like KFC popcorn chicken with the secret ingredient: cayenne pepper and chicken powder
  • Smaller pieces of chicken = crispier and crunchier
  • For awesome results use deep fryer
  • Use paper towels/ tempura sheets to excess oil

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It ain’t Ba-Na-n-a minion. Tee hee.

Nessy Eater and I have come a long long way. I appreciate the time and effort for sharing the the past year with me. Each comment, email or message has given me encouragement to keep doing what I love best- EATING.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / NewsLoop or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar – Crown Metropol Continental Breakfast

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My first visit to Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar was on a sweet matter and now the ultimate ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT breakfast (from $38.50 per person) is calling. With the simple smart casual interior approach, one of its unusual highlight is the extravagant wooden bird-cage light fittings. Near the entrance you will be pleasantly surprised by the wine wall and at the dessert bar, shelves decorated with crystal clear glass jars that are filled entirely with house-made candies. On a relaxed day, I somehow managed to skip Melbourne’s famous breakfast hotspots and zombie my way down to Mr. Hive.

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Entrance

The quirky elegance of this spacious long dining room is set to be inspired by Middle-Eastern sense- quite a contrast from the usual bright earthy colours.  Properly furnished in fine black wooden tables are set with soft snug leather chairs. Bizarrely I kept track of the number of waiters who served us, at least five, who are very eager to help you with anything.

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Mr. Hive dining area

Found my own little happy place – this is just one section of our continental breakfast- fresh fruits and cereal is displayed on a HUMONGOUS wooden table, right in the middle of a sacred room.

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Secret fruit room with Bird cage like lamp

Something nutritional and healthy to munch on whilst having a bowl of crunchy cereal with milk.

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Selection of fruits

Never ending table filled with sliced watermelon, grapes, sliced rockmelonpineapplebananaapple and if you are feeling lazy to peel or cut then fruit salad is an option.

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The other side of fruit selection

Contemplating on which cereal to eat first… it may take a while…

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Can pick any cereal! Which one would you want to try?

I downed several glasses of fruity drinks before I started my next food hunting. It feels like paradise when they offer a tropical selection of orange, mango, apple and pineapple juice.

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Juice Station

Dishes are replaced at a crackling pace once a plate is near to being empty. The pink grapefruits are a catch to the big kids, whilst dried fruit such as apricots and sultana and nuts like almond are superb nibbles while I stroll a merry-go-round a few times at the fruit section. Teehee.

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Breakfast typically consists of just cereal, right? WRONG. Mr. Hive Kitchen serves smoked salmon for a starter. We were most impressed with the flavours and texture- very smooth and complex. A cold dish that doesn’t disappoint the salmon lovers.

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Smoked Salmon

If you much prefer an Aussie start of the day breakfast, don’t fear because pan-fried crispy bacon (top left) is here. Grab a few chicken (top right) or pork (bottom right) sausages or maybe a sunny-side fried egg?

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Bacon, Sausage and fried eggs

We are whisked over to the freshly baked pastries area that is too irresistible to not be in my belly. Seriously a pastry haven here in Mr. Hive Kitchen. They offer apricot Danish (top left) with custard for added squishy-ness, light flaky buttery mini croissants (top right), solider of oat muffins (bottom left) and basic bread rolls. Slab on some butter and enjoy it while it’s warm!

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Please pack me some pastries to take home.

I am a sucker for the low fat thick Greek yogurt (bottom right) with seasonal mixed berries in a jar. An easy peasy way to finish a luxurious continental breakfast.

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Greek yogurt with seasonal mixed berries.

Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar features a rustic dining area, complete with a very relaxing atmosphere for any occasion. With a delicious range of house made pastries, pan fried bacon and selection of fresh fruits, I wouldn’t mind accepting an invitation if they offered to let me grab something for road to go.

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Mr.Hive bar area

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic 2013- A 25KG Crackling Shock

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God must be a food blogger when the Sydney Food Bloggers 5th Christmas Picnic 2013 event started to take place at Centennial Park and just 2 hours before the event occurred,  it was raining cats and dogs, incoming thunder, lighting and a warning of hailstones. Where was I in those 2 hours? Boarding a 3.5 hours delayed plane from Melbourne. I was feeling very helpless and agitated whether to skip my flight or not. The only useful thing I could do was stare at the cloudy skies and hope, really hope, the sunshine would chase those winter blues away.

5 MINTUES TO GO before boarding and I was constantly texting and Facebook chatting to see if any recent announcements were made. Nothing. OH-NO! What was I going to do??? Luckily, I was determined to still go ahead even if it was a rainy day of fun.

Fast-forward 1.5hrs, I landed on Sydney soil with my two feet and the first sign of weather I witnessed and felt were sweet, springtime breezes. I paused and questioned myself, if I read the messages incorrectly that Mother Nature planned to have a go of taking in the beauty of the season?

After a 30 minute taxi ride I saw a landscape of bare trees and golden brown leaves that became my home for next few hours. I admit I was pretty shy like a zebra without stripes whilst walking towards a huge group of 71 strangers food bloggers that I never met in my entire life.

Thank heavens Suze from ChocolateSuze comes in my direction and screams out “I love your minion phone cover”. *Phew* that was the best start up conversation I’ve ever encountered. 😛 And thanks to minion Phil for being my Iphone cover.

After a few mintues of mingling and meeting the one and only Helen from Grab your Fork. And AND food-porning with phones and cameras, it was time to hunt for FOOD!!!

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Let the Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic BEGIN!!! 😀 😀 😀 And if you think that wasn’t enough for a food blogger? Then…

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I guess  GIGANTIC pieces of Mr. Crackles Pork Crackling sure made its way to the WORLD’S BIGGEST BOX OF CRACKLES.

 ENORMOUS Sheets of Pork Crackling by Mr Crackles. Total weighing of TWENTY-FIVE KILOGRAMS.

You heard me 25KGS !!!

How did Helen and Suze managed to lift 25kgs of pork crackling, I wonder? Well, nothing is impossible when it comes to food 😛

Here’s just a tiny selection of the delicious food that WILL tempt your taste buds:

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Santa Deco-Roll by Absolutely Ayana

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Vegetarian Marshmallow with Chocolate Crackle and Milo by Spoonfuls of Goodness

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Pesto and Tomato Puffs by The Adventures of Miss Piggy

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Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes by Love Swah

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Deep Fried Brie by The Heart of Food Wait what? Deep fried CHEESE?! OH YES PLEASE!

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Cheese Pizza by Next Stop: Food

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Homemade bread wreath with seeds by Crunchy Tiger

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Oh no, I forgot to take a quick snap of what I brought to the picnic. Luckily, thanks to Simon from Simon Food Favourites he captured my Krispy Kreme Xmas Theme Donuts

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Pork & Fennel Sausage Rolls by The Lamstock

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Rice paper rolls with fried tofu and roast chicken by Food is Our Religion

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Lemper by Irene’s Getting Fat

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It may just look like a ordinary pillow sticky rice ball hugged by a banana leaf but it’s Irene’s from Irenes Getting Fat that introduced this Lemper to me and I have to confess you’ll die and go to heaven with every single bite.

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Photo credit to Amy from Milkteaxx for capturing my moment with Lemper. Teehee. Oh yes, my leg flicked up in the air as I NABBED the LAST LEMPER that day. :p

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Besides a generous banquet of food that the waterproof tents hosted for us food bloggers, I had the opportunity to try Simon’s super duper popular pop up bar. He is one handsome photogenic guy. ;P

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Grapefruit and ginger fizzy and mint & lavender lemonade by The Littlest Anchovy

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Simon double shot my Pink Tonic Lemonade

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Mangomisu by Soft & Stiff Peaks

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So lucky I grabbed a mangomisu before it was too late.

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Insanely clever idea of not just eating mangoes alone.

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Kris Kringle time! But this one was slightly special and involved an EVIL SANTA. Mmuahahaha!!! For Billy from A Table for Two  he pretty much unwrapped 3 presents within 10 minutes.

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Before the Kris Kringle had finished, I stole asked Helen’s Desobry chocolate biscuit tin box because an evil elf had stolen my red 3 tier cupcake stand, also I had to leave ASAP to catch my next plane back to Melbourne to continue my food adventures. I am certainly glad this was the end result! Thanks to Sherrie from Crystal Noir  🙂

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*Faints* It’s It’s…Billy Law, contestant on MasterChef Australia 2011.

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I pinched my chubby cheecks a few times before taking a photo with  Chocolatesuze . She is REAL! 😀 😀 😀

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Three Cracked Heads. Hahaha

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And if you haven’t seen this on my Instagram, I covered a JUMBO sheet of pork crackle over my head just in case it started to sprinkle but I can happily say I managed to stay super dry. Thanks Mr Crackles!

I certainly didn’t go home feeling hungry or disappointed as Suze insisted ALL of us to take away a pork crackle. Off course I’d go for the biggest piece. 😛 Mr Pork Crackle I’ve been head over heels for you since we made contact. It puts a twinkle in my eye and a smile in my heart when I devour you.

In a weather nutshell, the Sydney Food Bloggers Xmas Picnic 2013 was an awesome memorable fairy food-tale experience I will NEVER EVER EVER forget. I am now currently counting down the days to next year’s Christmas picnic already!

Big shout out to Helen and Suze for organising this fantastic picnic. You guys FOODIE-ROCK! 😀 😀 😀

Photos by Vanny Tang unless otherwise stated .

Check the hashtag #sydfbxmas2013 on twitter and Instagram to reveal more pictures and post.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀