If you’re a fan of matcha, and live in Sydney, you’ll no doubt have heard of Cafe Oratnek (or Cafe Kentaro) in Surry Hills and their matcha lattes, lamington, tiramisu, donut etc etc etc.
Let me try again. If you’re a fan of matcha, you’ve probably visited Cafe Oratnek and tried them all.
Unless you’re like me of course, and tend to like visiting after the hype has died down, once everyone’s moved on to visiting other new and exciting places, in hopes of there being less of a crowd!
So I did eventually visit this cute little cafe, although I still didn’t avoid a bit of a wait around the busy lunch period (but I guess that’s a sign that it’s actually good!). And I did manage to try their delicious looking Matcha French Toast, which was every bit as amazing as I had imagined it to be!
Cafe Oratnek’s version is quite a unique creation- thick slices of rye sourdough dipped in a matcha egg batter, served alongside a creamy dollop of matcha cream, strawberries and banana chips, all sprinkled with a layer of matcha coconut.
I thought I had posted about Tawandang a couple of years ago but looking through my posts apparently not, so here we go!
If you’ve ever been to Chinatown, chances are you’ve probably walked past Tawandang although you might not have noticed it. It was pretty hard to miss for myself, as my bus stop was right across from the restaurant when it opened, but otherwise you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just your average Thai restaurant. It’s not until you read their menu and realise that it’s so typical afterall- offering not only some more traditional Thai dishes, but also their almost signature dish of German Pork Knuckle. How’s that for something different?
According to their own description, the German component of the restaurant comes from the fact that they are no only a restaurant, but also the first Thai – German micro-brewery in Thailand. I’m not too big on beers so no comment on the drinks, but the food alone is well worth the visit.
We walked past their newly opened Chatswood branch a week ago and would almost have missed it were it not for their big 3rd anniversary banner with their 50% off their pork knuckle dish offer. I was immediately sold and we wasted no time in making a booking…..two consecutive days in a row!
Going by the restaurant’s history, which makes up the first spread of their menu, the restaurant has been quite successful not only in Thailand, but also with its branches in Singapore and now two in Sydney. Whilst the Chatswood branch is not nearly as large as their Thailand branches (which apparently seat 2000+ diners!), but it does span across two levels and is much larger than it first appears. Make sure you ask for a seat upstairs, as it’s a lot more spacious and comfy!
As I mentioned in my last post, I still have a couple of summer recipes up my sleeve which I’d love to share with you, and although the majority are salad recipes, summer food doesn’t only have to be salad!
One of my favourite ways to cool down in summer is with cold noodles, with Naengmyeon, or Korean cold noodles, being my go-to in summer. I always have mine served with plenty of ice, so it’s perfect for those 40+ degree days.
With the scorching summer behind us and Autumn bringing in much cooler (albeit wet and humid) weather, it’s time to crank up the stove and welcome some warmer Autumn dishes. I’ve still got a handful of summer salad recipes up my sleeve, but I thought I’d give the blog a break from salad, and share this delicious laksa recipe instead.
Perhaps more of a winter sort of comfort-food, but hey- it’s not salad!
I’m usually the type of person who prefers to make everything from scratch, but this is one of the few recipes which I haven’t even wanted to try making completely from scratch. Why would I need to when my trusty go-to brand of laksa paste in this recipe gives me exactly the results I’m looking for?
The recipe is quite simple- blitz together some onions, mix it with the laksa paste, then boil it with plenty of coconut milk and you’ve got yourself a tasty laksa base which you can add your noodles and other ingredients to. The only time consuming part is pureeing the onions, but apart from that it’s super simple and quick!
The recipe uses a considerable amount of coconut milk, which I do shy away from using too much of. Coconut milk is quite high in saturated fats, and although there are numerous reported health benefits, there is still yet to be enough solid scientific evidence to recommend using it in large amounts. Until then, here’s a handy substitute I learnt back in uni (feels so long ago now!): replace a cup of coconut milk with a cup skim milk mixed with a teaspoon or two of coconut essence. It’s not exactly the same, but you’ll be surprised how well it works in sauces (especially curries), and it works perfectly in this recipe.
Give it a go and let me know what you think!
Quick Chicken Laksa
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2- 3 tbs vegetable oil
- 10 shallots or 1 large red onion, chopped and blitzed to a paste
- 230g laksa paste (Tean's Gourmet is my go to brand)
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 heaped tsp sambal oelek or chopped red chilli
- 300g prawns
- 500g Hokkien noodles, blanched and drained
- 200g rice vermicelli, boiled until soft and then drained
- 8 bok choy
- 4 handfuls of bean sprouts
- 1 bunch of coriander, leaves picked or roughly chopped with stems
- 1 bunch of mint, leaves picked
- 2 limes
- Poach chicken breasts and shred.
- Heat oil in saucepan. Add shallot paste and fry until caramelised. Add laksa paste and fry until fragrant. Add coconut milk and water. Bring to the boil.
- At this point, if the soup is not spicy enough for you, you can throw in a heaped tsp of sambal oelek or chopped red chilli to taste.
- Add prawns. When they are almost cooked, turn heat off.
- Pour hot water over the bok choy and sprouts to blanch. Drain.
- To serve, place Hokkien noodles and rice into four bowls.
- Distribute chicken and remaining ingredients evenly between each bowl and finish with a cheek of lime.
- For a lower fat alternative, substitute the coconut milk for skim milk and add 2-3 teaspoons of coconut essence
Berry Nutritious http://berrynutritious.com.au/