Yearly Archives

2012

In Dessert, Recipe on
December 20, 2012

Coffee Ice Cream

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I’m terrible at decision making, but if there’s one thing that will always take me ages to decide, and I mean ages, it would definitely be choosing an ice-cream flavour at an ice-cream shop.

Because there’s never a flavour I don’t fancy!

Choosing ice-cream flavours at the supermarket is much easier, as I this is one of the few areas where I do have a clear-cut favourite. It’s a coffee ice-cream with chocolate coated almonds (Connoisseur ice cream, if anyone wants to know)- it’s amazing! The almonds are coated in a perfect layer of decadent chocolate and the ice-cream itself is beautiful and smooth with deep, rich coffee taste. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like coffee! Read more

In Asian, Dining on
December 17, 2012

Taste Gallery, Parramatta

Salted Duck

I feared for the fate of one of my favourite Asian cheap-eat joints in Parramatta when Taste Gallery opened right next door to it. Occupying the space that was previously a harmless Italian take-away, Taste Gallery offered a similar Shanghainese menu and had a much more modern design, and of course, a pricier menu to follow. And I didn’t like the sound of it.

Interestingly enough, the restaurant caters to a much different group of diners, and its existence does not have as great of an impact on its neighbour as you’d expect. I know this, as I’m sitting at Taste Gallery, browsing through the menu, whilst a continuous stream of customers enter both restaurants.

Chicken in Chilli Sauce 
 

We’re here to check out the competition, because of a great Groupon deal, though at $65 for the four of us, it’s still more than what we’d normally spend next door. This offers much more than we’d normally order, with an entree, main and dessert each and we don’t hesitate to pick our own favourites, starting with the salted duck, which is a little bland and boring.

The chicken in chilli sauce is the polar opposite, with a strong hit of flavour with every bite from the chilli sauce, which is not actually as hot as it may look.

Pork Aspic

The pork aspic are cubes of gelatinised shredded pork sandwiched between two layers of jelly like substance. It’s a delicious dish, though we find the jelly to be a little softer than most versions we’ve had, having the texture of solidified pig fat rather than that of a stiff jelly. 
 
Pig Ears and Stomach

Rather large for an entree, we had trouble finishing this pig ear and stomach dish which, like the chicken, is packed full of spiciness(thank-goodness of takeaway containers!). I’m personally quite a fan of pig ears, with their delectable crunch, like the texture of the rind I love of bacon, only without the fat!

Salt and Pepper Prawns
 

We’ve barely had a chance to even make a dent in the entrees when, unexpectedly, the mains start arriving as well!  There isn’t really enough space to fit all the entrees and mains on, and by the time we do, we look like we’re having quite a feast!

The basket of salt and pepper prawns are a slightly different version to the ones we’re used to, the punch of flavour mostly coming from the added sprinkle of deep fried garlic and shallots. The prawns are not as crispy as we’d hoped, though still tasty but are definitely overshadowed but what came to the table next…….

Sweet and Sour Squirrel Mandarin Fish ($24.8)
 

The Sweet and Sour Squirrel Mandarin Fish is one of those ‘must order’ dishes, and with almost every table one it’s difficult to miss! Unfortunately, the conditions of the groupon did not include mains over $20.80, but we were told by the waiter that we could still order it and just pay the difference.

The de-boned fish is sectioned into small cubes, deep-fried and covered in a sweet-and-sour-like sauce. The balls of fish can easily be picked off- the batter is incredibly light, though still having a slight crunch. And though it’s delicious enough to be eaten as is, it’s even better with the sauce, slightly sweet and sour, though with a heavier tomato taste and greater depth than your average sweet and sour sauce. It’s amazing. The best fish dish I’ve had for a long time. So good infact, that we ate everything on there that could possibly be eaten, I even had a go at the head!!

Prawn and vegetable in Tomato sauce with crispy rice



The crispy rice is light and crispy, with a slight resemblance to corn thins (but definitely better!). We find the tomato sauce to be quite similar to the sweet and sour sauce on the fish, only a tad more tomato-y- we much prefer the sauce on the fish and attempt to dip into that instead- not that there’s much left!
Deep Fried Duck

 
The deep fried duck is surprisingly small, considering the size of the other dishes, but just as well as we wouldn’t have had space for it anyway. The duck is crispy and tasty, though not the most exciting of dishes tonight.
Clockwise From Top-Right: Sweet Sago With Coconut Cream, ?? , Pawpaw with White Fungus Soup, Walnut Buffet
 

Though the dessert menu offers a wider variety than your average chinese restaurant, most of our first options were not available on the day (fried ice-cream, and mango based desserts). Apart from the ice-cream, there were only about 4 dessert options left, so we had a go at each of them. All were rather bland and not sweet enough, even for our Asian palates. On a subsequent visit, we ordered the deep fried ice-cream instead which turned out to be a much better way to end the meal!

Taste Gallery on Urbanspoon

In Cake, Recipe on
December 7, 2012

Chocolate Bavarian Cake

Having taken a break from any cooking for the past few months, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer to take over the role of making lunch on Saturday, when my mum started complaining how difficult it was to cater to our tastes everyday. With all these saved links of delicious food ideas/inspirations I’d compiled during the exam weeks, you would have thought that it’d be a breeze, right?

We ended up eating instant noodles for lunch.

And I wasn’t even the one who made them! Read more

In Asian, Cute Food, Dining, Recipe on
November 30, 2012

Bunny Sushi, Chedi Thai

It’s this time of the year again!

Marked by the burning of books and notes (nah, I’ve never actually done that), crawling out of my shell for the first time in weeks (okay, so that’s not so true either) and doing basically everything fun that comes to mind……….. it’s the holidays again!!

And it means that I finally have time to blog again, though I have to admit it’s not the most exciting of all my post exam activities…

During this time last year, I got into sushi making, and was rather obsessed with the idea of making cutely shaped sushi characters. Though they looked alright (a far cry from the professional ones in the book I used), they tasted too bland for my liking. The latest addition to my (rather small) collection of sushi brings me a little closer to making a better tasting sushi, being the first of the character sushi rolls which isn’t completely made out of rice!

The design itself is quite simple, with only a nose and mouth (as in the cat sushi) and some pretty straightforward crabstick ears to make. Oh, and plus two eyes which I was originally going to make with nori but didn’t have enough time so I photoshopped them on instead

And onto my post-exam celebrations:

(well the first part of them anyway) Read more

In Dessert, Recipe on
November 7, 2012

Chocolate Tofu Mousse Tarts

In Year 7, I took my friend out to yum cha. Not being accustomed to the yum cha culture, I sneakily managed to get her to try (and enjoy) beef tendons and tripe before letting her know what she had actually eaten. And laughing my head off, of course.

As I was making these chocolate mousse tarts, I could help but to think how I could pull of the same trick again with these tarts- presenting innocent looking chocolate mousse tarts to an unsuspecting tofu hater and waiting til they’ve devoured half of it to let them know what the mousse is made out of! But of course, I’m much too mature to be pulling silly tricks like that now.

Nahhh…..I just couldn’t find a tofu-hater in time! Read more