Monday, June 26, 2017

Keto Friendly Italian Bangers and Cauliflower Mash

As cauliflower is in season, there is no better time to indulge in some low carb mash topped of with some double smoked Italian Kranskies.

Final plated dish topped with some shallots
Start with two heads of cauliflower

Remove the core and chop into small pieces. Place in a suitably sized pot and fill with water. Add two teaspoons of salt for flavour if desired.

Bring water to a rolling boil and cook till tender.

Other ingredients: 600ml Pouring cream, Double cream (if needed), Butter (I highly recommend Kerrygold brand), Some shallots (or spring onions, depending on what you call them), several cloves of garlic, salt and pepper for seasoning.

Peel and squash garlic to unlock its aroma, clean and trim shallots and soak in cool water to make them extra crispy ;)

Brown garlic in desired amount of butter with a generous pinch of salt over a low flame. Try and aim for an even golden brownness. 

When adequately cooked, drain cauliflower THOROUGHLY using a colander if need be.
Toss in your caramelised garlic and heated butter.
Get a potato masher and squash everything up, then switch to a hand-blender and blend till smooth whilst adding in your pouring cream a splash at a time. Remember to heat up your pouring cream in the mircrowave (30 second intervals whilst stirring in between for a total of 2~3 minutes) prior to combining with the cauliflower.
Add more unsalted butter for extra richness.
Sprinkle over salt and pepper to taste.
The final product should resemble something like this. It should result in a smooth consistency without any grit or graininess upon coming in contact with your palette and tongue.

Score your sausages and pop them under the grill mean while, grill on low flame for 10 minutes on each side. (The option of having sausage is entirely up to the individual)

Spoon mash onto plate, place sausage and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Using 2 heads of cauliflower, 600ml of pouring cream and 250grams butter ensures that I will have enough mash to last me a couple of meals (yay!)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hot Wok Kitchen, Anzac Parade, Maroubra

It was a rather lazy late morning start, we just finished a great workout and were craving some Chinese food. A little drive down Maroubra brought us to Hot Wok Kitchen. We've always wanted to try this place out and boy were we impressed with their quality.

Very Ordinary looking fa├žade, the magic lies within though.
A display of their recommended dishes.
Specials for the season as listed from top to bottom (i'll try my best to translate as my Chinese is not the best):
1. Some mushroom, tofu and ???? stir fry $12.00
2. Salt and pepper fish fillet $15.50
3. Goat/Lamb braised in a hotpot $16.80
4. Roast duck w/rice, $15.00/$9.50
5. Mushrooms with bracket fungus steamed chicken (???) $14.80
6. Some beef on rice dish $9.00
7. Salt and pepper Eggplant $12.50
8. Age Bean paste braised pork trotters w/rice $13.50/$9.50
9. Erm... some pork rib dish $14.50
10. Xo sauce stir-fired clams $11.80
11.Salt and pepper soft shell crab $18.80

We decided to go with the following dishes today.
Yin Yang Chicken: Both steamed and crispy skin fried chicken served in a superior soy sauce.
XO sauce stir fried clams: plump and juicy pipis stir fried in chinese XO sauce
Flounder steamed in superior soy sauce garnished with braised mushrooms
The flounder came packed with fish roe! Speak about hidden treasures!
Belachan (prawn paste) stir fried beans. The smoky Wok-Hei (Breath of the wok) was evident in this  dish however, it would have benefited from some sambal chili I reckon.
Salt and Pepper fried chicken wings. Batter was light and crispy, wings were adequately marinated.
Last but not least, Phoenix Talons (aka braised chicken feet :P) as recommended by the lady boss as their top secret off-menu item of the day.

Verdict: If you're looking for top quality no frills Cantonese food in a homely family ran environment, please give this place a try. P.S: I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews on zomato/urbanspoon/tripadviser. The food is really good and i'll definitely be back to try out the other chef specials another day!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bar Reggio, Crown Street, Darlinghurst

After a long but satisfying day at work, I decided to treat myself to some Italian grub.

Kind of an institution at Darlinghurst, Bar Reggio serves up a delectable fare paying strict attention to detail and quality control over all these years.

Putting the entire meal together

Interesting how an Italian restaurant has it's own home-made Sambal Chili that just might give me the "Pacific Rim" of fire tomorrow morning.

Looks can be deceiving. This is not the gritty sand-like cheese of a questionable origin you find in supermarkets. It is actually real Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) 

Slow Braised Osso Bucco. This dish needs no introduction. With a melt in your mouth consistency and bone marrow to suck off the bone, this could arguably be the ideal dish for a cold winter.

Bar Reggio's famous BBQ octopus salad. Char-grilled till smoky and tender, this should satisfy most seafood lovers out there.

I opted to go for grilled vegetables to accompany the meal. However, people who are not low carbing can choose to have mash, chips or even pasta as a side.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Durian Cheesecake, Kin Senn Thai Street Food and Bakery - Pitt Street, Sydney CBD

Walking along Pitt street, we came across this typical Thai restaurant. However what caught our attention was the type of cakes that they offered. Especially their Durian Cheesecake.

Being a big fan of the king of fruits, I could not say no to this slice of heaven. In a east meets west fusion fashion, the pastry chefs managed to unite durian and the traditional cheesecake in holy matrimony.
Interesting how they used a sliced Pandan leaf as garnish despite not being incorporated into the flavour profile.

The slice of cake comes with a little tub of durian cream for kicks and giggles.

Various items being offered for the season

Other cakes in their fridge

Durian dessert that actually looks like a durian fruit. Absolutely love this place!

Shinara Korean Buffet - Sydney CBD

Anyoung haseyo!

Tucked away unassumingly along Pitt street is this restaurant offering you the all time favourites.

And yes, it IS a buffet so you can go stuff yourself silly as well.

Every sitting comes with a complimentary hotpot of either spicy kimchi, bean paste and beef or Ginseng chicken soup. We decided to go with the Bean paste beef hot pot today.

As with most buffets, the hot food are all situated on the Bain Marie. As the turnover is brisk during lunchtime, the items are refreshed very often and piping hot too.

Cold salad section with the Obligatory Kimchi

Various other hot food items

Pretty random Bread pudding being offered as dessert if you're into that kind of thing.

JokBal - Braised pork leg with all the congealed collagen

The bean paste and beef soup from the complimentary hot pot

KFC (Korean fried chicken) and some beef bulgogi

Selection of salads, pickled and fresh

Battered and deep fried flounder and more KFC

Spicy pork belly and fish cake


As usual, they try to charm you into purchasing soju to go with the meal by means of advertising with Korean celebrities who probably underwent plastic surgery upteen times before showing their faces in public.

Random Soju advertisement again with yet another walking advertisement for plastic surgery perhaps?