C1 Cafe, Chatswood

I was rather surprised when I read all the negative reviews of C1 Cafe, which is located in prime position on the ground floor of the Chatswood Chase shopping centre. We may have just been lucky, visiting late on a Monday morning for an early lunch when the cafe was quite empty. I wouldn’t say the service was outstanding, as we did have to regularly request more drinking water but the waitstaff were friendly enough and our food came out quite quickly. As I have frequently mentioned, I love anything garlic prawns, so I was immediately drawn to the prawn linguine with garlic and chilli.

Linguine with prawns, cherry tomato, garlic, chilli, parsley, white wine sauce

Linguine with prawns, cherry tomato, garlic, chilli, parsley, white wine sauce

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Recipe Roadtest: Chicken Vol au Vents

When I was a child, I would regularly ask my parents for chicken vol au vents for dinner. I can’t explain why I was such a fan, but there must have been some reason behind it! Anyway, I eventually moved on to other dinner requests, but even now, when I very occasionally see it on a menu it always brings back strong memories. So when I had a Saturday night at home, and my mum had thoughtfully bought vol au vent shells and chicken fillets, my sister and I decided to have a go at recreating my childhood favourite.

Chicken Vol au Vents

Chicken Vol au Vents

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Tokkuri Sake Wine Bar, Cammeray

An izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food. While Tokkuri in Cammeray boasts an impressive drinks list, with over 40 sakes on their menu, their selection of food is just as notable. This local izakaya has been around for a few years now, and I love the sleek, dark interior which is dominated by the bar and open kitchen, with colourful patterned futon mattresses stacked on long benches for seating. One of my favourite dishes is the kingfish jalapeno, which really packs a chilli punch that is matched perfectly with the coolness of the kingfish and cirtus yuzu.

Kingfish Jalapeno - fresh kingfish with jalapeno, coriander and yuzu-soy

Kingfish Jalapeno – fresh kingfish with jalapeno, coriander and yuzu-soy

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Wentworth High Tea @ Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney CBD

Do you have a friend who, even though you may not have seen each other for ages, when you do eventually catch up it’s as though no time has passed and you just pick right up where you left off? One of my best uni friends and I usually only meet up once a year over high tea (it was literally a year to the day when we last met up) and spend a couple of hours catching up and it is like we’re back at uni again 🙂 The scene of our reunion this year was the Sofitel Wentworth on Phillip St in the city.

Wentworth High Tea

Wentworth High Tea

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Recipe Roadtest: Jonathan Phang’s Bread and Butter Pudding

Readers will remember my mention of Jonathan Phang’s epic bread and butter pudding bake-off on his show Gourmet Express that inspired the baking of our sultana bread pudding. Ever since I read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, I have been entranced by the old world glamour of long-distance train travel to exotic destinations (minus the murder, of course!). So when I stumbled across the first episode of the series featuring the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, I was immediately hooked – the behind the scenes look at luxurious, iconic trains, fabulous food and the effervescent humour and enthusiasm of Jonathan Phang made it a must-watch for the next five weeks.

So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when Jonathan himself commented on my post, with an offer to send over his revised bread and butter pudding recipe! The pudding he made during the bake-off looked incredible, so on receiving his new recipe, my sister and I were eager to try it out. Thanks very much for sharing Jonathan – I hope we did your recipe justice!

Jonathan Phang's Bread and Butter Pudding

Jonathan Phang’s Bread and Butter Pudding

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Café Sopra, Sydney CBD

“You’ve NEVER tried Fratelli before?”

My friend was incredulous and with five Fratelli Fresh cafés and restaurants dotted around Sydney, it is somewhat surprising that I hadn’t yet visited one of them, especially as most of my friends are big fans. To be honest, the main reason I’ve not been is because I hate lining up for restaurants. With that in mind, my more experienced friend instructed me to arrive at Café Sopra on Bridge St before 6pm to be certain of snagging a table without a wait. I dutifully turned up at 5:58pm to a half full restaurant, and as predicted, was immediately ushered to a table.

As my friend was running late, I had plenty of time to peruse the extensive menu. I have written in previous posts of my love of garlic prawns, so I was immediately drawn to the prawn spaghetti with garlic, chilli and pangrattato.

Spaghetti with Prawns, chilli, garlic and pangrattato

Spaghetti with Prawns, chilli, garlic and pangrattato

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La Grillade, Crows Nest

La Grillade has been an institution in Crows Nest for decades, however in recent years it has appeared to have gone through a few different owners and subsequently, there have been frequent menu changes. I’ve sampled the various renditions and have generally been happy with the experience, so I was looking forward to having dinner there on Saturday night.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I adore garlic prawns and will order them just about every time I see them on a menu. I really liked the flavourful garlic infused olive oil that the prawns were cooked in, however the prawns themselves were slightly over-cooked. The dish could have done with some slices of crusty bread on the side with which to mop up the lovely garlic oil; I ended up using the garlic bread we had ordered, which was also delicious and dripping with melted butter, for an extreme garlic hit!

Prawns - sizzling in butter, olive oil and garlic

Prawns – sizzling in butter, olive oil and garlic

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DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, Melbourne

“Prepare for awesomeness!”

So says Po from Kung Fu Panda and that’s what you should be ready for if you visit the DreamWorks Animation exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square in Melbourne. Celebrating 20 years of DreamWorks, this exhibition is sub-titled Journey from Sketch to Screen and demonstrates the creative process of making an animated movie from start to finish. As huge fans of Shrek, the aforementioned Kung Fu Panda and pretty much all of DreamWorks’ filmography, my sister and I were desperate to check out this exhibition on our recent trip to Melbourne.

Scenes from Shrek

Scenes from Shrek

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