Recipe Roadtest: Spicy One-Pot Quinoa and Chorizo

We usually go out for dinner on the weekend, so I tend not to do much cooking on Saturday or Sunday. However, this particular Saturday night, my fiancé was invited to a corporate event at the footy, which meant that I had a rare night at home. I decided to use this chance to cook up something new; and flicking through the pages of a Christmas present – Donna Hay’s Simple Dinners – I found a recipe for one-pot chorizo and cous cous. Continuing my healthy eating attempts, I substituted quinoa for cous cous and added in mushrooms for extra nutrients – but don’t worry, it still tastes delicious!

Spicy One-Pot Quinoa and Chorizo

Spicy One-Pot Quinoa and Chorizo

Continue reading

Flight Plan: Emirates First Class Private Suite

“Would you care for a shot of Grey Goose vodka with your caviar?”

Caviar with a traditional selection of finely chopped onion, chopped boiled egg, sour cream and lemon, served with crisp melba toast and soft blini pancakes. And a shot of vodka!

Caviar with a traditional selection of finely chopped onion, chopped boiled egg, sour cream and lemon, served with crisp melba toast and soft blini pancakes. And a shot of vodka!

Such is life as a passenger in the Emirates First Class Private Suite. Nothing is too much trouble for the cheerful and friendly flight attendants, who introduce themselves as you board and explain the many features of your suite and the extensive menu, from which you can order anything at any time. Continue reading

Contrabando, Sydney CBD

I first came across Contrabando when I was invited to a work lunch for Taco Tuesday, which featured $3 tacos all day every Tuesday. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but I did check out the menu and was keen to go at the next available opportunity. A couple of weeks later, after a little confusion finding it, my boyfriend and I eventually arrived at the upside down Noble House sign and made our way down the dimly lit stairs. I wanted to try just about everything on the menu, but had to settle for the sensible option of only ordering enough for two people. We began with the crab tostadas – the shredded crab was sweet and creamy, with a hint of chilli, and was perfect with the crisp tostadas.

Spanner crab tostadas with avocado puree and chilli & ginger mojo

WA spanner crab tostadas with avocado puree and chilli & ginger mojo

Continue reading

Attimo, Northbridge

I’ve often written about my love of garlic prawns and I have to tell you, I had probably the best garlic prawns I’ve had in a long time at Attimo, an Italian restaurant in Northbridge. The garlic and chilli infused olive oil was still bubbling when the iron dish was placed in front of me and the balance of flavours was incredible. Many restaurants either have too much oil or not enough garlic, but Attimo’s was the perfect blend of smooth, garlicky, spicy goodness and I ended up mopping up every last drop of the lovely sauce with the provided bread. The prawns themselves were juicy and tender and my only complaint was that there were not enough!

Garlic Prawns - Sizzling prawns cooked with garlic, chilli, shallots and parsley

Garlic Prawns – Sizzling prawns cooked with garlic, chilli, shallots and parsley

Continue reading

Kingston & Co., Chatswood

One of the newer restaurants to pop up at Westfield Chatswood is Kingston & Co., which offers quite an extensive range of food choices in a lovely garden bistro-like setting. The outdoor area was already packed by the time we arrived on a Friday night, so we settled for a comfortable booth inside and ordered a few starters to share, beginning with cheesy ham and potato balls. The creamy potato mash mixed with ham and cheese, encased in a crisp crumb is the very definition of comfort food.

Crispy ham & cheese potato melts, aioli

Crispy ham & cheese potato melts, aioli

Continue reading

La Capannina, Milsons Point

The family behind La Capannina previously ran a fantastic Italian restaurant in North Sydney before they set up at Milsons Point, round the corner from the train station and with gorgeous views overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge. My family will follow good food anywhere, so once we found out where they had moved to, we were quick to visit and have since returned a number of times. On this particular Saturday evening, I began with the entree special of tuna carpaccio.

Yellow fin tuna carpaccio with pink salt and coriander

Yellow fin tuna carpaccio with pink salt and coriander

Continue reading

Via Alta, Willoughby

As mentioned previously on this blog, High St Bistro in Willoughby was taken over by Alessandro Pavoni’s team and has recently been re-branded as Via Alta with the menu being largely ‘Italianised’. It seems that the people of the North Shore have been quick to welcome this updated edition, as it is almost impossible to get a booking on a Saturday evening without calling days ahead and when we did eventually manage a late table on a Sunday night, the place was packed. Having checked out the menu prior to turning up, I had already picked out the crostini with lardo and truffle honey to start.

Crostini - lardo - truffle honey

Crostini – lardo – truffle honey

Continue reading

Mordeo Bistro and Bar, Sydney CBD

The Deutsche Bank building is one of the most striking office blocks in the city, with the glass elevators shooting up the interior of the heavy glassed walls, reminiscent of those found in the chocolate factory of Roald Dahl’s imagination. The food court located within is a cool haven from the bustling streets, a huge, airy space dominated by long, rectangular water features. I had first eaten at Mordeo Bistro and Bar during a work lunch and was so pleased with my meal, I dragged my boyfriend along at the next possible opportunity. I was fascinated by the jamon and pineapple cocktail (I’m a sucker for unusual combinations) and that impression was not lessened on the drink’s arrival.

Jamon & Chargrilled Pineapple Sazerac - Jamon Prosciutto & Pedro Ximenez Butter infused Hennessey V.S.O.P. Cognac, chargrilled pineapple syrup & a dash of bitters served with a Jamon & Sage Sugar Crisp

Jamon & Chargrilled Pineapple Sazerac – Jamon Prosciutto & Pedro Ximenez Butter infused Hennessey V.S.O.P. Cognac, chargrilled pineapple syrup & a dash of bitters served with a Jamon & Sage Sugar Crisp

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading