Sydney Food Blogger

Everything Fine at LuMi Bar and Dining | Pyrmont

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Dining at a restaurant that’s right on Sydney’s wharf and sampling a cuisine that’s Japanese with an Italian twist is something you cannot forget. At LuMi Bar and Dining you’ll be able to maximise the experience as it has a beautiful open kitchen to watch chefs delicately construct your dishes or you can you sip on a cocktail and watch the Sydney view.

Hello LuMi Bar & Dining!

For a weekend lunch, we opted for an 8 course plus snacks which absolutely works for people who’d prefer to seat at the wharf on a sunny day and have a long lunch. First up the snacks arrived at our table with a glass of sparkling NV Rustico prosecco.

Snacks 

We kicked off with the zucchini pancake with generous sprinkles of grated parmesan. This tiny pancake of zucchini had me questioning how I was going to lift it up with my fat fingers as it looked very delicate. One sudden move and it could collapse!

Zucchini Pancake

It was quite an unusual snack but had a natural sweet taste to it. The parmesan cheese added an extra level of creaminess consistency, which I liked, a lot. Zucchini-haters will enjoy without them knowing this baby contains a vegetable in it.

Look at that delicate piece of zucchini pancake

Next up, we were surprised to see the diced tuna wrapped in a thin crispy sweet potato cone. In some cases, tuna is not always a favorite option of mine but serve it like this and I’ll be hunting the chef down. A very satisfying snack that pleases all ages. The tuna was well seasoned and the sweet potato was paper thin. I already feel healthier devouring this and you would too.

Tuna with sweet potato cone

Chanwamushi is a delicate savory Japanese dish that’s simply steamed hot egg custard bathed in dashi, soy sauce and mirin.

Moreton Bay Bug Chanwamushi

At LuMi, the flavors are quite different yet it does keep its original texture as a silky-smooth tofu pudding yet with a hint of Italian. It contained moreton bay bug juice, yuzu dashi and shellfish oil. Not a bad way to blend the two cuisines together into one as it was pure harmonious flavors in a cup.

OH MAN! This chanwamushi was super silky.

We received the housemade rye & spelt brioche. I giggled at the brioche as it looked like one of the Queen’s Royal crown. The brioche was beautifully golden, soft and perfectly puffed outside.

Here comes the Royal Crown rye & spelt brioche.

We smothered the warm toasty bread with easily spreadable burnt butter mascarpone. Add those two combinations together and we’ve created CARB HEAVEN.

I’m telling you…you’re in CARB HEAVEN after having this.

Open kitchen where you can witness the Chefs plate their food art work.

To our next course the tomato & strawberry was fresh fermented strawberries with skinless baby tomatoes. The flavours are zesty and simple, topped off with garden herbs which gave a burst of freshness.

Camouflage, can you guess which one is the tomatoes and which one is the strawberries?

Talk about bugs and everyone will start screaming but when it comes to moreton bay bug, LuMi does a terrific dish that will let you forget about the name!

Moreton Bay Bug

The edible meat was certainly something I’ve never encountered as it was served semi raw but well-seasonally cooked in texture.

Best moreton bay bug dish I’ve had so far!

It certainly brought a strong district flavor to the table which made them a perfect ingredient to marry with the seaweed crisp circular shell and heavily powered with what appeared to be green tea was seaweed powder. GODDAMN IT!!! I want to order another hundred of these.

Just look at this green beauty!

Couldn’t help but order the Yuzushu Sour ($18) just because. A very light, not overly sour cocktail as it contained a mix of Cointreau and Yuzu infused Umeshu. My tongue could feel the delicate hints of yuzu and perfect acidity to refresh my palates for the next course.

Yuzushu Sour ($18)

Here comes some pasta action and we were greeted with four mushroom agnolotti. It was overwhelming to see an oversized plate holding four delicately handmade pasta dumplings as this dish made me feel like I was giant, haha.

 Mushroom Agnolotti

Each agnolotti was thin and smooth holding a warm liquid center filled with a pool of manchego and a hint of truffle oil. Now it made perfect sense why the portion size was served as is. All four parcels delivered an incredible fantasy of pure delicate mushrooms with a surface of creaminess that tastes a gazillion times better than it looks, no offence.

Look how adorable is the mushroom agnolotti.

By now my body was asking for stomach expansion but the show must go on. For our last savory dish, we were served a piece of lamb that was nicely cooked as the meat would effortlessly part with not having to use much weight on the fork. There was an exquisite level of juiciness in the lamb and full of flavor that paired well with carrot mash.

Lamb

Don’t need no explanation for the kakigori as it magically looked pretty in pink on a plate. This was no ordinary simple shaved ice as it contained plum kakigori with basilvinegar custard and lime sherbet. One of most interesting palate cleanser I’ve tasted. It was tangy and a burst of aromatic citrus in my mouth with a punch of vinegar, surprisingly a wow factor and an excellent way to semi end it.

You had me at plum kakigori.

To wrap up our tasting menu the salted geranium that included salted geranium ice cream, black currant reduction and a violet mousse was phenomenal. It was sugar-crusted but not to overwhelming and the violet mousse and black currant provided a touch of sweetness with the slight bitterness from the salted geranium. Very enjoyable dessert as I had the opportunity to play with my food by karate cracking the top shell with my spoon.

Salted Geranium

After 3 hours to get through our small tasting menu all I can say is it’s worth every calorie to visit LuMi Bar and Dining, but it does come with a $120 per person price tag, however you get to eat at one of Sydney’s wharf and see a stunning view. I’d say it’s a one of the greatest ways to spend your money on! I hope this becomes a permanent part of my weekend lineup. Okay…maybe I’ll just keep dreaming, haha.

Exquisite View at LuMi Bar and Dining

 

This meal was independently paid for.

Photos by Vanny Tang

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LuMi Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Easy Homemade Honey, Banana & Walnut Loaf

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This winter bake yourself something simple and healthy with this easy homemade honey, banana and walnut loaf. Bananas are one of nature’s non-stop energy snack that have loads of health benefits. In fact, bananas have a burst of natural carbohydrates, vitamin B6 and potassium, which is perfect for balancing your healthy tummy. Make your body sing and get your tastebuds buzzing with this recipe.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (12)

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 cup (65 grams) Walnuts, Roughly Chopped

2-3 Super Ripe Bananas, Mashed

1/3 cup (40 grams) Melted Butter

1 Egg, Beaten

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract

Pinch of Salt

1 1/2 Cups of Self-Raising Flour

1/2 cup (65 grams) Honey

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (1)Someone has got to make something YUM in the kitchen this winter 😛

INSTRUCTIONS: 

Just before you start looking glamorous in the kitchen, preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 4×8-inch loaf pan with butter. In a LARGE mixing bowl, mash 2-3 ripe bananas with a fork until you cannot see any lumps.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (2)Get mashing with them bananas

If the bowl still contains large chunks of bananas, that’s okay, just use a whisk or if you wish to have chunks of bananas in your loaf, leave it as it is. Now add in 1/3 cup melted butter into the mashed bananas and continue to stir until it is blended in thoroughly. Note: Microwave the butter for about 10 seconds before adding it into the mixing bowl.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (4)Tip: You can actually use one bowl for this recipe

Add in 1 teaspoon baking soda, mix, then add a pinch of salt. Gently fold until well combined. You’ll notice the texture becomes more gooey, that’s a good sign you’re doing it right.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (5)It’s looking all gooey means it’s a good sign.

Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or if you don’t have that then vanilla extract is fine. Stir, then add the beaten egg, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup walnut and 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour. Mix mix MIX!!!

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (6)Time to make a re-MIX with bananas

Once the batter well mixed, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan that you buttered earlier. Bake in oven for 45 -55 minutes on a 180°C or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (7)Ready to bake baby

Once the banana bread has finished baking, set aside to cool completely or on a rack. You can add 2-3 teaspoons of honey on top of the loaf to add an extra sweet kick to it.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (9)Looking MIGHTY sassy banana bread

After the loaf has cooled down slice and serve. Note: I found it much easier to use a bread knife as it reduces crumbly outcomes. It’s best to eat this banana loaf warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (13)Feeling a bit naughty? Add your favourite ice-cream.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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Cooking with Kylie Kwong – Woolworths

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If you haven’t heard already Kylie Kwong who is an Australian television chef, author, restaurateur and was a guest judge for MasterChef Australia is now plating up her signature Chinese dishes to Woolworths customers. The oh so very new range of Chinese dishes includes Aussie favourites such as Mongolian style beef and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts and if you LOVE Cantonese style dumplings then there is prawn dumplings with ginger and coriander that’s ready for you to make it yourself at home within minutes.

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Let’s get the party stared.

To celebrate Kylie Kwong’s partnership with Woolworths guests partied hard at Billy Kwong. The purpose of adding a new dedicated section in Woolworths stores is providing delicious Chinese meals in the space of your own kitchen at home. The experience of the meals will be the same fresh flavours you get at a restaurant with added authentic recipe secrets from Pauline Kwong’s unique approach to cooking Cantonese cuisine.

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Such a long LONG LIST for dinner. *Grins*

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Table is set!

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Billy Kwong’s open kitchen

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Started with a few glasses of white and red.

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Guess which object is Kylie Kwong’s instagram image?

Before we started our long-crazzzzzy tasting menu, Kylie tells us her stories of how she started her passion for Cantonese food and it’s all thanks to her mother, Pauline Kwong. Kylie jokingly tells us a story of when she use to attend Epping North Public School and how after school she’d go to her Russian friend’s house to eat their cuisine food and the very next day in exchange Kylie would bring her friends over to eat her mother’s cooking.

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Kylie tells us the history of how her passion started in her mother’s kitchen.

One Chinese classic dish that can grow better and richer over time would be the master stock eggs. Bathed heavily in pork stock you can tell these half sliced golden eggs have been soaked for what it seems to be hours, but really 45 mintues, said Kylie.

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Master Stock Eggs

We move on to the food kit that can be cooked from scratch and that is great value for money is the prawn dumplings with ginger and coriander. This is a great Cantonese style dumpling that combines a filling of seasoned chopped prawns and secret sauce. My mouth kinda fell open a little when this plate arrived looking so awesome. The sauce had an aromatic smell of fresh grated ginger and chopped coriander and it tasted exactly what I  had smelt.

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Prawn Dumplings with Ginger and Coriander 

Next up we deep-fried silken tofu squares with black bean sauce. The superstar ingredient of this dish was of course Kylie’s black bean sauce. This custardlike deep-fried tofu was simultaneously rich, creamy and light and married so well with the powerful taste of the black bean sauce. The sauce was a deeply savoury taste which had a pungent salty flavour.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (12)

Deep-Fried Silken Tofu Squares with Black Bean Sauce

I had a weakness for the seared prawns when there was only one left remaining on the plate. It was crazy insane to see the perfectly tender prawn that’s been sweetly caramelised with honey and ginger sauce disappear and devoured in record time.

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Seared Prawns with Honey and Ginger Sauce

It was lovely guests had the opportunity to meet Pauline Kwong who is Kylie Kwong’s mother. She’s one beautiful lady who knows how to tell jokes. Pauline explains how every Chinese New Year and Christmas she’d be in her own kitchen for hours stir-frying or deep-frying to cater over 50+ relatives.

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Kylie introduces her mother, Pauline Kwong.

This fried rice is overloaded with nutritious vegetables that includes carrot, mushroom, buk choy and tofu. The fried rice is really simple and traditional, however I found it to be a tad soggy, but that didn’t matter because flavour was more important for my tastebuds.
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Vegetable Fried Rice

A popular Chinese stir fry with a spicy edge would be the stir-fried beef with black bean and chilli sauce. This was my least favourite because I can’t handle spicy food as much as I want to but I am trying. But if you enjoy the sharp, pungent and spicy flavours then you go for it because I did feel a punch to the mouth. Besides that wild flame on my tastebuds I really liked that somewhat syrupy flavour of the black bean sauce. I tell you this dish totes goes well with a bowl of plain rice.

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Stir-Fried Beef with Black Bean and Chilli Sauce? 

Something really simple yet I rarely see these days in Asian restaurants is the stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts. I was so easily distracted eating the cashew nuts because of its crunchy texture and the chunks of juicy tender chicken that I had forgotten my bowl of rice. It just shows how this dish can be on its own.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (17)

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts

The stir-fried eggplant with black bean sauce was dangerously tasty. I mean WHOAH that black bean sauce goes so very well with eggplant. The slices of eggplant was evenly covered in the sauce and it contained a sticky outside and as you bite into it it was warm and gooey.

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Stir-Fried Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce

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Action shot of Kylie Kwong in her Billy Kwong kitchen.

It only takes seconds to notice the crispy chicken with sweet and sour sauce. The sauce are a deep red in colour and if you dunk a piece of the chicken into it then it’s going to be a satisfyingly sticky situation.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (20)

Crispy Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Now Mongolian style beef is something I don’t often cross paths with but I do like the savoury flavours of the soy sauce and sweetness from the hoisin sauce. This dish is another perfect example of having it with a bowl of steamed rice. There’s a lot of bright colourful vegetables in this dish like carrot, red capsicum and spring onion.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (21)

Mongolian Style Beef

Stir-fried chicken with honey and ginger sauce was really mind-blowing with chicken with thick strands of spring onions. And might I add that sauce was pure perfect comfort with rice as well.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (22)

Stir-Fried Chicken with Honey and Ginger

Incredible fragrant of the pork belly soaked in master stock arrived soon after. It was hard to believe nothing was added into this dish for instance any extra spices or sauce because it tasted like it has been marinated for days.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (23)

Master Stock Pork Belly

Even the vegetables in master stock provided the same full flavour. Kylie suggested if you use her ranges especially the master stock, it is best to let the meat, vegetables or egg soak for 30 minutes before cooking.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (24)

Master Stock Vegetables

For our final savoury dish we were introduced with stir-fried mussels with black bean sauce. There was a lot of flavours going on with the fresh mussels and sauce. I was overjoyed for the first time to have black beans and mussels together.

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Stir-Fried Mussels with Black Bean Sauce

Not only was I super happy to meet Kylie Kwong but I also got to meet Lorraine Elliott from Not Quite Nigella. If you don’t know already I am such a FAN GIRL of her blog. Lorraine and I have crossed paths before at Maille High Tea, however I was sooooo nervous to introduce myself to her and plus it would have been freaky to go up to her and say I stalk your blog. Haha. Moving on! Lorriane is an incredibly talented food writer. She tells me her stories about her blog, her husband and how she started Not Quite Nigella. It was truly jaw-dropping to finally have a lonnnng conversation with ONE-OF-A-KIND full time food and travel writer. OH MYYYY GODDDDDD somebody pinch me I really can’t believe we took a selfie together 😀 😀 😀

Not Quite Nigella

Selfie time with the beautiful Lorriane from Not Quite Nigella

Photo credit: Lorriane from Not Quite Nigella

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Guess who’s got her very own personalised chopsticks?!

I had to take a photo with Kylie Kwong just to prove I wasn’t dreaming. But before a happy snap, Kylie was super-excited as she grabs my hand and gives me a personal tour of Billy Kwong’s open kitchen at Potts Point. Kylie is one passionate Chef who revealed her secrets and rewards of hard work. She gave us a glimpse of her family’s Australian-Chinese festivities and taught me how to use her NEW Cantonese cuisine ranges available only at Woolworths. I cannot wait to give these products a go at home. 

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (28)

Kylie Kwong with Nessy Eater Girl. 

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Kylie Kwong’s Woolworths tasting menu, thanks to One Green Bean.

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 😀

My Food Bag- Weekday Meals Made Easy at Home

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“What’s for dinner tonight?” seems like the most important question on everyone’s mind every night. Dinner ideas can be really frustrating especially when you just finished a stressful long day at work. When you finally figure out a dish you want to cook (usually the same idea: chicken and broccoli or steak with chips), then comes the chore of having to purchase the ingredients and lining up in the supermarket queue. By the time you finish unloading your groceries onto the kitchen table, you’d be ready to jump into bed. Rewind everything you just read and let’s just order seven days of take-out food for dinner. Luckily there is a solution for this and here is how: My Food Bag. Full stop!

My Food Bag was born in New Zealand in March 2013. After a huge success and support from their kiwi fans, it hopped on to a plane to Australian soil and launched in Sydney, Melbourne and soon to launch in other Australian cities. What My Food Bag offers is a selection of healthy recipes, AND EVERYTHING you need to whip up to make a 5-star dish (minus a fraction of pantry staples that you may already have at home e.g. egg, salt and or pepper).

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (1)

Food rainbow 

There are three different Food Bags to choose from to suit different households and tastebuds, unfortunately this does not include pets if you count them as family, sorry. Delivered on a Sunday so you’re all prepped for the week ahead:

  • The Family Bag, designed for a family with 2 adults and 2-3 young children ($169 for 5 people for 5 days)
  • The Classic Bag, designed for a family of 4 with 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 older children ($129 for 4 people for 3 days)
  • The Gourmet Bag, designed for two people ($149 for 2 adults for 4 days)

The first thing I noticed about My Food Bag is that they are great with communicating with their hungry customers. For instance we received an email on Friday informing us what recipes we’d be cooking the following week. I must confess all recipes for my week looked MOUTH-WATERING. On Saturday they send us a text telling us time slot for our delivery. And on Sunday it felt like Santa popped by because as promised My Food Bag-Classic arrived right on our doorstep. As we unwrapped our presents, everything seems to be top notch. The organic meat and free range chicken to spices and brown rice was meticulously labelled. Fruits, vegetables and herbs smelt ridiculously healthy. Totes give My Food Bag a HUGE TICK of APPROVAL for freshness.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (2)

What’s in the My Food Bag Classic?

For your first delivery My Food Bag gifts you with a mini folder where you can store your deepest darkest secrets of your favourite recipe cards. All recipe cards are seasonally based and are created by their top dog Head Chef, Miguel Maestre (from Channel 10’s The Living Room), as well as Zoe Bingley-Pullin who co-host of Channel Ten’s Good Chef Bad Chef and 2011 MasterChef New Zealand winner, Nadia Lim.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (3)

Time to unwrap the recipe bag…what’s cooking good looking.

Get ready to be rescued from starvation in your own home! What are you waiting for…keep scrolling for more healthy home cooked meals.

Day 1: SALMON WITH SALSA VERDE, SMASHED POTATOES AND SPINACH

Taste: Great start to a Monday with a fat piece of salmon that smelt like it just had been caught from the ocean before it was then pan fried. I loved how the salsa verde from The Cooking Room made the warm salad much more tastier. The downside of this dish was the salmon flavour seemed to be super strong in freshness that it didn’t blend so well with the salad. Maybe I should have marinated the fish with the salsa verde….note to self for next time.

Verdict: I was absolutely stuffed eating this dish and had half a plate of leftovers. It was a fantastic warm-up exercise to get started in the kitchen. I noticed there was vegetables on my plate and I cooked it (GASP).

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (4)

OH EM GEEE! What am I cooking?

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (4B)

Salmon with salsa verde, smashed potatoes and spinch

Day 2: ZA’ATAR CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH LEBANESE FATTOUSH

Taste: This dish was pretty darn addictive. The Lebanese fattoush was enough to send me running to the nearest farm and pick up the same ingredients to make it again. I did not know mint and parsley can go so well together with salad, it tasted refreshing. The chicken was so flavoursome like it had been marinated for hours but really it was max 10 minutes, so applause to za’atar. As for the pieces of Lebanese bread I made a new batch right after demolishing this dish. So much goodness in this recipe!

Verdict: To my surprise I now know how to make a fattoush salad using herbs and learnt how to use za’atar spice with chicken thighs. Also what an excellent idea of substituting deep fried chips with baked Lebanese bread and it’s served hot. Great for winter snacks that’s just around the corner and doesn’t increase your waistline.

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Gonna make the most delicious dish on the planet! Can you guess?

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Za’atar crusted chicken with Lebanese fattoush

Being oh so childish as always and pretending to be creative in the kitchen, I thought it would be fun to make a fattoush boat. This would be great for the kids as it was served in a small portion. Do you like my work of food art?

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Nessy Eater’s fattoush boat (Please don’t judge me!)

Day 3: PORK STEAKS WITH SWEET POTATO ROSTI, MANGO SALSA AND CURRY MAYO

Taste: There was plenty of vegetable element in this dish and all ingredients married so well together even the curry mayo. Life’s too short to just have one serving. Teehee. The pork steak bathed in curry powder was beautifully paired well with the salsa and had the perfect sweet/salty balance as well as a bit of tanginess from the dressing. LIP SMACKING DELICIOUS RECIPE!

Verdict: I am gobsmacked that I made a sweet potato rosti. Never knew sweet potato can be used like that before and that’s why I never buy sweet potatoes at the supermarket, but that’s going to change from now on. Besides the rosti the salsa was screaming summer all over the plate. Not only did this dish bring happiness to my belly but it kept me dreaming about it the next day.

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I think I can smell a healthy meal coming soon…

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Look how fabulous my sweet potato rosti looks before pan frying it.

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So weird to admit I made this…

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Pork steak with sweet potato rosti, mango salsa and curry mayo

Day 4: ZOE’S LAMB, TAMARIND, PUMPKIN AND YOGHURT CURRY WITH BROWN RICE

Taste: Get punched in the mouth with Zoe’s lamb with flavours of modern India. This curry was easy to make and sang with flavour, I wish it was a never ending pot. The lamb was tasty enough with the curry and wasn’t overpowering. I may have had a bigger appetite than Zoe with this dish, so thank goodness for leftover Lebanese bread.

Verdict: The curry was seriously amazing because well I cooked it. Haha. However I failed to cook the brown rice accordingly to the recipe card, but that didn’t stop me from eating it. On a much happier note I now can make lamb curry. This pot of curry would be pretty high up on my list for winter meals. To my shock I used curry leaves, tamarind puree and Bombay curry powder for the very first time in one dish. I think I’m ready to apply for the next MasterChef.

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Need curry in a hurry? Make this!

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May need to work on cooking brown rice a little bit more…

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Zoe’s lamb, tamarind, pumpkin and yoghurt curry with brown rice

Day 5: VIETNAMESE BEEF SALAD WITH RICE NOODLES

Taste: The rice noodles was fully coated with fish sauce and there was completely no sign of lack of flavour. I quite enjoyed the slices of beef sirloin steak that combined so well with the super refreshing salad. It was very juicy and tender that it was pretty impossible to share. Pretty impressed with using Thai herbs and eating 3 vegetables. Can be easily served hot or cold because that sweet sour flavour doesn’t vanish.

Verdict: This was so easy to make that I could do this blind-folded. Most of the time spent was chopping up my vegetables into different shapes. Again I am still overwhelmed of using herbs in any of My Food Bag recipes.

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Bring on the next My Food Bag recipe!

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Vietnamese beef salad with rice noodles

Aaaand that’s a wrap up of My Food Bag Classic. I have definitely gained a lot of skills during these 5 days and instead of eating my beloved steak and fried repeatedly during the weekdays, I have now got 5 recipe cards to use. It was great that every day was a mix of vegetables and meat so it wasn’t boring at all for me to be in the kitchen. There was plenty of left over spices and herbs that can be used for other recipes you can try at home. I love the idea of having not to use my brain to plan ahead of what to eat for dinner and go to the grocery store to buy each ingredient. My Food Bag is super duper convenient for families.

Top 5 Reasons to Try My Food Bag

  1. The ingredients you pull out of the paper bags is 110% fresh, you can smell it from miles away. All My Food Bag produce is organic and free range that is straight from the farmers. There is definitely a difference to the taste when it comes to organic vs. purchasing at a supermarket.
  2. Delivered straight to your door for FREE. This means fewer trips to the shops. No need to battle the supermarket queue on weekends- I know how frustrating that can get!
  3. Don’t need to menu plan because My Food Bag has already planned 5 days of delicious recipes for you and the family.
  4. Great family activity and bonding time with kids and or loved ones.
  5. You’ll be eating healthy for dinner. There are at least 2 vegetables or greens for each recipe without you even knowing!

Final Thoughts about My Food Bag

  • Felt like a 5 star chef in the house
  • Never knew I can use spices and herbs in my own kitchen
  • Had leftovers = YUM
  • Never ate 2-4 vegetables on one plate in one night before
  • Great family activity
  • Learnt a few new tricks

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 Photos by Vanny Tang

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

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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

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 😀

Long Luxurious Night at La Grillade Crows Nest

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Tucked away behind the Lower North Shore terrace, La Grillade has been the gourmet retreat for the social set and often the romantic dinner spot. This iconic venue is operated by husband and wife team, George and Ann. You may be familiar with this couple at The Little Snail  where French style cooking combined with friendly service meets personality and charm for each table.

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Such a cosy restaurant at La Grillade

Dining at La Grillade you will expect food as being exotic and sophisticated at realistic prices. For instance we opted for a set priced menu at $63 for 3 courses (for an entrée, main and dessert) with the full a la carte menu to choose from including snails and prime steaks, which are a key feature of La Grillade’s menu. But if you fancy something a little more meatier than it is your mission to order the 14 hrs slow cooked lamb shoulder for two (additional $20).

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What’s on the menu?

For entrée I was happily digging in to the platter of garlic-drenched escargots. The snails in the shell came in one dozen and sizzled in garlic parsley butter that may have overpowered the the red wine. My personal recommendation is to also order a few slices of plain bread so you can watch the puddle of butter and bread marry together like a edible sponge.

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Snails in the shell

I was busted for taking a small scoop of someone’s duck liver pate that contained green peppercorns, port jelly and croutons. That teeny tiny bowl of pate had us glancing at each other. Port jelly was one of my absolute favourite things. The flavours was sweet and very aromatic with red wine. As for the pate it was super SUPER SMOOTH.

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Duck Liver Pate 

If you are not so keen to ordering a duck liver pate then perhaps the rillettes of pork is an option. Traditional rillettes of pork with a hint of orange and tarragon fell far short of doing the generous quantity. The rillette was tasty and it was stuffed with a lot of shredded pork meat and cooked slowly in fat until it was tender enough to be easily served to form a paste.

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Rillettes of Pork

I thought I’d have issues with this entree but it was alllll good with the a generous portion of crispy pieces of croutons to balance it off the taste of pork love making in my mouth.

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Our starter wasn’t complete till we chosen the golden fried calamari which came with chilli, salt and pepper with garlic aioli. I love the calamari’s strong flavour and utterly unique texture; it’s nice and meaty but soft in the center, and when the coating is lightly fried, it is utter perfection on a plate.

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Golden Fried Calamari

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Love the setting at La Grillade

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True French style courtyard dining

Moving on to mains came this sexy ENORMOUS piece of lamb shoulder (for two) (additional $20 for set priced menu) that’s been slow-cooked for 14 hrs straight. It looked like a GIGANTIC slab of meaty goodness, just sprinkled with deliciousness from the crispy herb bits which then drowned in the Junee’s finest lamb sauce. It may look small in the photo but oh boy was it filling for three dinosaur stomachs. If you are not in a rush and want to spend the final minutes with this shoulder then now is the time to order a glass of red to accommodate this dish. A lovely falling-off-the-bone moment was witnessed and for the taste and texture it developed a deep, rich flavour that melts in the mouth.

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14 hrs Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder (for two) 

And because we love meat so much it is very important to decorate your main with some glossy steamed vegetables that has been generously tossed with olive oil.

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Steamed Vegetables

Say goodbye to boring duck breast because the one in La Grillade was pretty damn tasty as it has been twice cooked and decorated with pink flesh then glazed with sweet and sour cherries. The duck breast wasn’t a challenge to eat as I believe it’s the meatiest and best eating part of the duck. Okay…there may be some signs that these breasts were dry, but that didn’t stop me! This dish was easily finished because of the sauce, delicately sweet.

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Duck breast

To complement any meaty mains we ordered the creamed potato ($8). The texture was mild, thick and creamy, and this was a pleasant change from vegetables. There was no river of gravy in sight but I totally approve how delicious this was because none of us wanted to share.

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Creamed Potato ($8)

The rib eye (400gm) was just so mindblowingly good here that it was only right to have it cooked to medium rare. You can tell this slab of prime beef, dry aged was lightly smoked and grilled. It was seductive to see the pool of beef juice and served with Paris butter and veal glaze. There was so much tenderness in this beef that I managed to sneak a few more slices back to my own plate. Oh that evil grin begins!

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Rib Eye (400gm)

Can you handle dessert after all the above?! Well YES FOR ME. We chosen the baked lemon cheesecake because we saw the word “cake” at the end of cheesecake. Teehee. I must say this was a very ordinary dessert, nothing that fancy my pants other than the slight sour lemon flavour and silky smooth texture of the cheese.

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Baked Lemon Cheesecake

If you can’t handle a super heavy dessert then the coffee profiteroles Kahlua anglaise would be a good pick, which are stuffed full of sweet coffee creme covered in a profiteroles patissière and are placed over a small pond of mild Kahlua sauce.

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Coffee Profiteroles Kahluaanglaise

We weren’t going to leave a French restaurant without having the crème brulee. Although for some reason, a bowl of custard isn’t seen as an appropriate dessert for a grown adult, but stabbing our way through a perfect golden sugary layer and into the smooth custard can be an excuse to having this.

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Crème Brulee

Can you see how this decadent dessert is with the vanilla custard and tops it with a layer of crisp caramelized sugar…Hmmm I feel fat.

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That brulee…

By now I’ve reached exploding point and it felt like I was ready to roll out of here, but first let me just finish our last dessert- rich chocolate mousse. It was a perfectly fine mousse even though it wasn’t anything super special. Not only did it manage to convey both indulgence and comfort it was a heaven in a dish for all you chocolate fans out there.

Well I was feeling a tad heavier than I was before I visited La Grillade. Best to go for the set menu as I feel it’s more worth it when you calculate in your mind the original price for each dish. I will definitely come back for dinner again an try my luck on the rest of the menu.

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Rich Chocolate Mousse

Photos by Vanny Tang

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