Modern Australian

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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Devon Cafe- Sydney’s brunch kept secret

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Devon cafe is no stranger to the suburb of Surry Hills and is lead by two double trouble ex-Guillaume couple. One from Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne and the other Guillaume at Bennelong.  It is fascinating to see how this cafe is merged between casual laid back setting with a taste of fine dining. The cafe is bright and airy and we’re immediately welcomed by a friendly face the moment we stepped into their doors. I love their hospitality. Throughout our meals service is highly attentive.

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Gorgeous basket of fresh fruits adding a colourful flourish to the shared table.

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Fresh flowers makes any customer smile. 

I decided to start my day with one of their drink specialities that I found very interestingly unique is the COKE CHINO ($5.50) – Truly one wicked beverage that contains sparkling coke and a shot of strong espresso.  Its definitely a night owls best friend when it comes to super early mornings. You will be surcharged with full of energy in no time.

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COKE CHINO ($5.50)

Superbingly delicious is the ICE MOCHA ($6.50) – This mocha is perfect in terms of aromatic, deep rich intense flavour with a smooth consistency and a light sweet aftertaste. This is equally impressive as Circa Espresso in Parramatta.

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ICE MOCHA ($6.50) 

Beautifully presented is the OGRE ‘HAPPY MEAL’ ($21)–  There is a slight crunchy laciness around the edges to the fried egg, its yolk still runny. The golden cube hash potatoes deep fried surface is crunchy and moist. The tender ox tongue so simple yet so good, with the flavour of the cauliflower puree and crunchy fried pickled onions really coming through in this dish.

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OGRE ‘HAPPY MEAL’ ($21)

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Well hello there close up shot.

The perfectly indulgent dish is the BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S ($24.50)– A glorious colourful summer dish that is still currently on their menu due to popular demand. The miso grilled king salmon is just too good it can be served on its own. It is incredibly smooth , light, fresh and wonderfully flavoured. Cutting little chunks off with a knife makes it even more eager for what is next to come. With the kewpi mayonnaise droplets adds a whole new flavour to the dish. This decadent dish also include smoked eel croquette that is coated in breadcrumbs.

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BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S ($24.50)

For the 63 degree egg, it seductively oozes out slowly, adding a yolky sauce to the dish. With the yolk being a bright sunset orange with a creamy texture. I would’ve considered ordering additional egg. Its amazing what a 63 degree egg can do to someones emotions, especially when it is prepared for an hour in a sous vide aka water bath.

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Miso grilled salmon– A harmonious marriage of decadent fresh flavors.

And if you sense a guilt trip whilst eating , don’t worry the radish petit salad knows how to disguise itself as being healthy. This dish is generously oozing with yolky goodness!

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 Radish petit salad

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Inside of smoked eel croquette.

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This dish is so good you’ll want to order it again. Just look at that yolk puddle.

Aside from their savoury dish, GONE BANANAS ($16) is absolutely a real treat to end all meals. You may curse aloud when you taste this soft buttery banana pancake splashed with heavily caramelised palm sugar syrup set aside with pieces of half sliced banana fritters that is deep fried golden on the outside and deliciously hot and gooey in the center. At the same time briefly dunk the pancake in the pandan ice cream and there you have it, an episode of gone bananas expression appearing whilst you devour this dish.

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GONE BANANAS ($16)

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“Cry me a pandan river”.

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Each bite delights with rich banana flavours and sweet palm sugar syrup.

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This guy makes the best coffee at Devon.

So does the hype of Devon match the reality? Happily can nod my head and scream out “IT SURE DOES”.

Devon offers a lot of luxury in their menus and I am overjoyed to see what they have installed for my next visit. I seriously can’t stop talking about the BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S dish! Its a perfect excuse to roll out bed.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

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Rainford Street Social, Surry Hills

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Surry Hill, a suburb of wonders . For the weekend night life and the nearby restaurant distances of each other you may stumble to a wine bar called Rainford Street Social (500 Crown St Surry Hills, NSW2010). It is one of many places to socialise, offering modern Australian cuisine. The fresh flowers sitting on the blue checkered table cloth and old school chairs don’t give much away.  But once you walk in the music’s on vinyl and the crowd is loud. Everyone is having a good time.

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The tables and chairs take you back to school. The menus are simple and straightforward but the table was a bit confused whether it was Autumn or Winter as the top right corner of the menu stated “Autumn 2013”.

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They have quite a spacious open bar and kitchen where couples or groups can sit and watch bartenders show off a few skills or two. Service can be a little neglectful ( there were only two ) but it’s nice and friendly.

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We started with a few cocktails Mai Tai Circa 2012 ($14) chunks of crushed ice cubes with a blend of spirits, lime, bitters, and Rainford Mai Tai mix garnished with a wedge of lime.

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The Julep de Normandy ($11) is simple and balanced with The Hills Cider, cloudy apple juice, Poire William Liqueur and pressed mint. Refreshing, sweet and tangy. Spotted most tables ordering this cocktail therefore without thinking ordered it straight away.

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Unfortunately White Rabbit Shake ($10) was unavailable because they were out of banana cream pie ice cream and so we ended up with Spiced Corn & Oil ($10) which is probably one of the best choices.  It consists of Havana 7yr Rum, Velvet Falernum, Pimento Dram served in huge ice cubes.

Rainford (7)First up our bites- Lightly fried whitebait, aioli, lemon ($7) probably one of the worst fried whitebaits I’ve come across. Served slightly warm, nor tasted freshly fried.  However upside they did well with presentation.

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We tried BBQ pork throwdown, lettuce & pear chutney ($4) the taste and texture of the meat  was average and the bun, well it felt like hard bread that’s not suppose to be served together with the meat. It  was a disappointment they ran out of Rainford burger throwdown ($4) .

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Highly recommended to have a few rounds of cocktails before you except to have your mains to be served to your table. Our table waited patiently for 32 minutes and witnessed one of the table across the restaurant came in after us and was served mains before us.

During the wait for our mains we also witnessed and eavesdropped a lot of their dishes ran out for the day. It was quite odd over hearing the conversation as we scanned with our eyes to see if it was really that packed and the answer is no not really. A few empty tables across the room and throughout the early evening  many people walked in to hope they can dine, unfortunately waitress kept declining because it was a full house. We didn’t believe so and it was only 7:40pm on our watch…

Finally our mains arrived Pan Fried John Dory , mussels, curry sauce ($28) a really nicely conceived dish . The John dory crisp that it crackles whilst it’s being sliced into pieces. Mussel tastes fresh.

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The Braised Lamb Shoulder, polenta, red capsicum ($29) wasn’t as good as it looks. It’s just a disappointment we waited a very long time for a lamb to taste so bland and the mash potato usually buttery and mouth-melting, sadly this one tasted undercooked and raw.

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Our last main arrived moments later, Classic Fish Pie ($19) plated on a lovely floral plate. The mash potato was somewhat slightly better than the previous dish. Good mixer of  seafood – prawns, mussels squid like a seafood marinara mix and vegies. It’s a delicious group of textures but the creamy sauce had no flavour whatsoever.

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By the end  of our meals we appreciated our cocktails ,the venue and the atmosphere more than the food. The main dishes are a let down. Perhaps a little more flavour added on every plate.

Photos by Vanny Tang

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