Monthly Archives

July 2015

In Australia, Bakery, Dining, Travel on
July 31, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: Baxter’s Bakery

Although we’ve ticked off the ‘eating a meat pie in the outback’ off our list of things to do whilst we’re here in Broken Hill, we’re not sure last time counted since it was in a cafe instead of a bakery and we did get the fancy flavours which technically doesn’t count as a ‘meat’ pie.  So this called for another meat pie for lunch, and we sneak out to the bakery around the corner to have a real meat pie.
 
Cheese and Bacon Pie ($5)
 

From what we’ve heard, there’s two main bakeries in Broken Hill- Mac’s and Baxter’s. We’re keen to try both but Baxter’s is much more convenient for us, with their bakery just round the corner from where we’re working and their cafe in the only major shopping complex.

The bakery itself is a small building sandwiched between a couple of houses. Blink and you’ll miss it. It’s a tiny bakery with only one pie display cabinet and one cakes display cabinet, but business is good as we notice plenty of locals driving over just to purchase pies and pastries for takeaway for lunch. It’s more of  a takeaway style business but we’re lucky enough to snag the only table outside the bakery to chow down our treats!

Cheese and Bacon Pie ($5)
 

They close quite early so when we arrive at 1pm, there’s only about 3 different varieties of pie to choose from. I almost ordered a normal meat pie but couldn’t resist the cheese and bacon one, with the delicious layer of melted cheese on top.

I’d imagined the pie to have a bacon filling, but it makes much more sense the way they’ve done it, which was to have the normal meat filling with bacon bits dispersed within. The filling is quite tasty, although a little too salty for me (as was my friend’s meat pie!). The pastry was extremely light, flaky and crispy, although it was also quite oily!

All in all, a pretty solid pie though I think we prefer the ones at The Caff!

And although we’re here just to try the pies we couldn’t leave without trying at least one of their many tempting cakes and pastries. Choosing only one was the difficult task, as there was plenty of delicious looking options on display! I eventually settled on the mocha cheesecake and was glad I had a spoon in my bag as they didn’t have any plastic forks or spoons at the time!

The cheesecake itself was a little blander than I’d expected- there’s only a hint of coffee flavour, and it’s not too sweet either. The sweetness is just right when you combine it with the rich chocolate layer (my favourite part of this cake!) and the cheesecake layer was nice and light, though I did wish there was a bit more coffee flavour!

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In Australia, Café, Dining, Lunch, Travel on
July 30, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: Charlotte’s at the Grand

We’ve been busy the past few Sundays either lazing about at home or going out for short trips out of town, so we hadn’t had a chance to explore Broken Hill on Sunday. Not that there’s anything exciting- we already knew it, but the town is ridiculously quiet on a Sunday morning, with every shop on the main street shut except for two cafes, the newsagents and a couple of small stores.

And we thought Saturday was quiet!

Mocha ($5)


We’ve ridden past this cafe a couple of times and it always seems quite busy so when we notice that it’s actually open on Sunday, we were excited to give it a try. Located just under the Grand Guest House, Charlotte’s is a small corner cafe though there’s also seating (with blankets provided!) outside.

Order at the counter, pick yourself a seat and food will be coming out in no time. We take a seat by the window, watching a few cars go past every once in a while. It really is a quiet town!

The mocha was great for warming me up in this cold winter weather, and it comes with a mars bar too! It was a little on the bland side, not quite chocolatey enough for my liking, as is the hot chocolate that my friend orders.

Chicken Schnitzel Burger ($11)

We love that the wait staff are very honest when we ask them what they think of some dishes so I don’t hesitate to order the chicken schnitzel burger under their recommendation. I’m surprised that it comes in a roll rather than a burger bun.

I can’t say I was too fond of the plastic cheese in the burger, but it is a tasty roll, with a crispy chicken schnitzel filling, a nice balance of tomato, onion, salad and a good squeeze of barbecue sauce and mayo. And it’s a pretty filling serving size too!

Lasagne with salad ($15)

My friend’s order of lasagne was not so exciting. The slice of lasagne was tasty though not amazing, and the side salad of grated carrot and onion left much to be desired.

Overall, we’re not super impressed by the food but the cafe is quite nice, and the staff are friendly- and I wouldn’t mind returning to try their scones and cakes that everyone else seemed to be having!

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In Asian, Recipe on
July 26, 2015

Orange Chicken

Having worked in a Chinese restaurant for almost 4 years, I can’t say that Westernised Asian food is my favourite cuisine. Although anything but authentic, our restaurant does everything it does well so I’d choose anything else over anything in the same category as sweet and sour pork, honey chicken and mongolian lamb any day.

But there is one dish that we don’t do and it’s orange chicken (well actually there’s more than one,  but let’s not go into the details…..), so I still enjoy it enough to want to attempt this at home.

Whereas the lemon sauce for lemon chicken in Chinese restaurants is mostly made of sugar, water and lemon essence, I prefer my homemade orange sauce to be made of fresh orange juice- it’s so sweet it doesn’t make too much of a difference, but there is a freshness that comes through. Read more

In Australia, Breakfast, Café, Dining, Travel on
July 24, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: Thom, Dick and Harry’s

In our quest to try all the restaurants and cafes there are in Broken Hill,  we end up at Thom, Dick and Harry’s on the weekend, which we’ve heard good tings about. It’s a cute little shop which is a bit of everything- homewares store, florist, gourmet grocer and cafe.

We’d been in the weekend before, browsing their homewares and did notice their menu seemed quite enticing so we were quite excited to try the little cafe up the back. There’s not much seating- two tables at the back, a larger high table up the front and a couple outside though no one wants to sit outside in the current cold weather!

Mocha (Lge $4.5)
 

Cold weather calls for warm drinks, so I order a large mocha. Interesting, they tell us to give it a good stir before drinking, which we realise is because the chocolate powder has not been completely dissolved yet. I can’t say I was too fond of this coffee- tastewise it was alright, but the froth was not quite fine enough for my liking.

Scrambled Eggs With Chorizo ($14.90)
 

The food was definitely the highlight of this cafe- they offer a breakfast menu, a baguette menu and a small display of tarts and quiches. 
 
We weren’t too hungry as we’d just had breakfast so we chose to share the scrambled eggs with chorizo. It’s a rather small serving, but quality is the key here, not quantity. The scrambled eggs are enjoyably light and fluffy, the chorizo tasty, and the addition of spinach and capsicum add a nice touch of freshness to the dish. The two toasted baguette slices are also enjoyable, being of the softer type and not overly crunchy either. 
 
Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding ($5.95)

We had considered going for dessert afterwards, but their dessert menu also seemed quite enticing so we ordered the chocolate pudding as well. A warm chocolate pudding is always welcoming during winter, and their version was nice and warm with a delicious rich chocolatey sauce, paired well with a nice creamy vanilla ice cream and some fresh strawberries. We did find the pudding a little floury, but overall we quite liked this dessert!

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In Australia, Café, Dining, Lunch, Travel on
July 22, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: The Caff

 Mocha (large, $4.5)

We’ve been told that most of the food in Broken Hill is pretty good- the reason being that the town is so small that anything that isn’t can’t last for too long. We haven’t been here for long, but we have tried three restaurants/cafes so far and are yet to find one we don’t like.

Right across from Broken Hill hospital, where we are based for my placement is The Caff, which we’d been hearing rave reviews about since the day we got here. So naturally, we had to make time for a visit to check it out.

 Red Wine Beef Pie with salad, $10
 
Their coffee is apparently very good, but not being much of a coffee drinker myself, I can’t comment on that, though I did enjoy my mocha which was a good balance between the sweetness of the chocolate and bitterness of the coffee. 
 
The menu mostly consists of sandwiches and breakfast/brunch options, but as exciting as they seemed, we’d been having eggs for a couple of days so had to give that a miss. We’ve had ‘eating a meat pie in the outback‘ on our list of things to do whilst we’re in Broken Hill, so when we saw the homemade pie display in the cafe, we were sold. 
 
 Red Wine Beef Pie 
 
There’s about six different varieties of pies when we visited, each of which sounded delicious but I settled for the classic red wine and beef pie. It was surprisingly differently to how I’d imagined it, as it tasted really fresh, as there was quite a bit of tomato in the filling and not an overly strong red wine flavour. 
 
The housemade tomato chutney it was served with was also great, with the freshness of tomatoes and a little bit of sweetness from the addition of sultanas. It was just a bit unfortunate that it tasted so similar to the filling that it didn’t compliment it too well, but my friend did enjoy hers with her pie! We also quite enjoyed the shell as they use puff pastry for the base and the top, which was nice, buttery and flakey. 
 
Tandoori Chicken Salad 
 
The tandoori chicken salad comes with a generous serve of tasty tandoori chicken. There’s no dressing in this salad, as there’s plenty of spice in the chicken sauce to flavour the whole salad. The pairing of tandoori chicken with the pearl couscous was quite interesting with the couscous playing the role of the rice I’d normally have with the chicken, except softer, creating much contrast between with the texture of the meat.
 
Chicken and Leek Pie with Greek Salad

The chicken and leek pie is equally as delicious as the beef one, though not as leeky as we’d imagined. The greek salad was a little bit of a disappointment though, as its serving size was rather small, and the cheese was a little too hard and salty.

Quiche with Linguine Salad ($10)

We’re back the next week to try their quiches which we heard were pretty good too. Similar to the pie deal, you can get yourself a slice of  quiche with a side salad for just $10. The quiche is quite tasty, with a nice smooth eggy filling, and a nice mix of bacon, spinach and tomato inside although we would have preferred it to be heated up a little more. There’s only two salads on display today, so I chose the linguine salad.  It’s quite similar to my pesto pasta, except with linguine instead and served cold. It’s definitely enjoyable, although I would have liked a little more spinach leaves so that it’s more like a salad!

With its location being so convenient for us, we’ll definitely be back over the next couple of weeks to sample more of their menu!

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