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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ms G's, Potts Point

Gosh I seem to be dining out alot these days! It's so hard not to when there are sooooo many great places to eat in this wonderful city :). AND, you don't wanna wait too long to go eat at some places, since there are restaurants coming and going ALL THE TIME. It's so sad :( Just recently I found out a whole bunch of restaurants I wanted to eat at had closed down - Etch (already been there but didnt get to review it), Becasse, Berowra Waters Inn, Bilson's (Although this closed a while ago)....so devo :(. So don't wait! Who knows how long a good thing is going to last ;)


Hahah, double entendres aside, I headed over to Ms G's a couple of weeks ago - a place guaranteed to be around for a quite a while, judging by the mad reviews and blog posts going around about this place. It's actually been around for a while, and I've been meaning to go there for a looooong time (like every other place lol). I went with my best friend, and we actually missed the building the first time we went past =P. Its a small shop front, nothing that impressive. It's when you go inside that the magic begins... I LOVE how they have fitted out the place! LOVE the decorations. LOVE how it's multistory, and I LOVE how they utilised the space. AND the bathrooms were SO COOL! I pretty much spent 5 minutes just reading the walls hahaha =P. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we were able to be seated right away, so we didn't get to head up to the bar to chill a bit. I really wanted to try one of the drinks cos they come in those Easyway containers! But I was driving :(. Ah well next time!


I sorta knew what I wanted before I was given the menu - having read so many reviews it's hard not to know which dishes are the standouts. Because it was only the 2 of us we didn't get much. I should come here with a whole bunch of people next time to really take advantage of this menu.

Unfortunately lighting wasn't that great where we were seated so I had to use my flash :(.

Mini bánh mì - Chicken Katsu & Crisp Pork Belly
I loved the little burgers! I got the pork and Kalli got the chicken, and both were quite nice! However, I do question the $6 price tag...

Ms G’s Maple Bacon, Chicharron, Sichuan Apple & Fennel Salad
The salad was so-so. I liked it, but it wasn't spectacular. I couldn't really taste that much maple.


Egg Noodles with XO Sauce, Braised Duck, Soft Poached Egg
I REALLY DID NOT like this dish. There was no flavour whatsoever, couldn't taste any XO sauce, the noodles didn't taste like anything actually, and I didn't like the texture of them either. I took one bite and I knew I couldn't go back for another....by this point I was sorta wondering why there was so much hype about this place...

Ms G’s Fried Chicken “Chops” 2 ways: Naked with jerk mayo and spicy Korean
But then came the fried chicken!! I LOVED this stuff ahaha. The Jerk Mayo was SO GOOD! I couldn't stop eating it!! I remember seeing the poster outside in the window about "cheap-ass" chicken on Tuesdays and vowed to come back on a Tuesday to devour some more haha!

Stoner’s Delight 2.0 - Doughnut Ice Cream, Peanut Butter, Raspberry Jam, Candied Bacon, Potato Chips, Mars Bar Slice, Banana Fritter
We got 2 desserts because we weren't that full from the meal - I got the Stoner's Delight 2.0 and Kalli got the Dirty Passion. I heard ALOT about Stoner's Delight 2.0 so I had to try it. It was pretty cool! I liked it, but there was ALOT on the plate, it was such a confusion of flavours that surprisingly worked.....probs because It was just an amalgamation of sugar haha...and after a while it did just end up tasting like. I fell in love with the doughnut ice cream!! I need to make this!!

Dirty Passion - Passion Fruit Custard, Chocolate, Coconut
I had a taste of Kalli's dessert....O.M.G. I almost regretted getting the Stoner's Delight!! It tasted like a pavlova or something like that...I love passionfruit so this tasted amazing to me! Omg I NEED to get that one next time!! And it looked like a little garden ahaha. Incidentally all the passionfruit goodness is underneath what looks like a pile of dirt ahhaa

My verdict on Ms G's? I'm still left wondering why this place is THAT popular. I dunno, maybe we didn't get enough dishes to fully appreciate what they have on offer, maybe there's just so much hype I had really high expectations. But I'm defs open to going again and exploring the menu further. AND I really want some more chicken and jerk mayo!!

Ms G's
155 Victoria Street
Potts Point, 2011
Ph: (02)  8313 1000
http://merivale.com.au/msgs/

Ms.G's on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Monday, 24 September 2012

Melting Moments (Round 2)

Julia's Melting Moments from this year's season of Masterchef Australia were something of a legend. They kept popping up in various episodes and we kept hearing from contestants and judges alike about how amazing they were. And finally, we were given the recipe. Oh. My. God. They are in fact amazing.


I've made these about 5 times now. They are THAT good. And so easy to make! I just follow the recipe exactly every single time and they turn out the same every single time. I worked out what shelf and temp they bake best at in my oven as well. Insane! I've made melting moments before but this recipe is WAY better! Mum requested a batch to take to work, and apparently they are now wowed by my baking prowess ;).

YOU SHOULD ALL TRY THIS! Even if you don't bake often or at all! They are so soft and melt-in-your-mouth amazing....I could eat them without jam and icing even. Wow. One of the BEST biscuit recipe I've ever come across I reckon!! Thank you Julia! You may not have been my fav but you redeemed yourself with these in my eyes!

You know what? I might just go make some now.....;)


Melting Moments
Recipe by Julia Taylor

Ingredients
Biscuits
180g unsalted butter
60g icing sugar, sifted
60g custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
180g plain flour
 
Vanilla buttercream
100g butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 cupicing sugar, sifted
Jar of jam (any kind - I prefer raspberry)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.


2. For biscuits, cream butter for two minutes in an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Add icing sugar and custard powder and mix until combined. Sift the baking powder and flour together then add to the dough and mix well. Roll dough into 40g balls, place on a baking paper lined baking tray and press each ball with a fork to leave an indent. Bake biscuits for 16-18 minutes or until light golden. Stand on trays 5 minutes to cool then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


3. For buttercream, whisk butter and vanilla until smooth. Add icing sugar and beat until mixture forms a paste, the consistency of thick icing. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. (I actually just spooned it on - cbf =P)

4. To assemble, place a spoonful of jam on the base of half the biscuits. Pipe (or spoon) buttercream in a circle onto the base of the other half of the biscuits. Gently press one of each biscuit together to form a melting moment. Dust with icing sugar before serving.



Enjoy =D xx

Lacey Nails

I've always wanted to do a lace like pattern on my nails. However I could never find the right pattern for it. And then I was perusing one of my fav blogs Cosmetic Cupcake and I saw her gorgeous lace nails manicure (actually inspired by Emerald Sparkled). And when I realised I had the same pattern I just had to do it myself!


I used similar colours, China Glaze Sunset Sail, and black for the pattern. I also added some black gems like Chelle just for a bit of flair. It reminds me so much of the sleeve detail on my Louise Lace Top from Saboskirt!

Lol my nails are all different shapes! Tsk tsk


I don't think mine turned out as refined as Chelle or Deniz's, but it still looked ok! Defs another one I would consider doing again, maybe not on all my fingers like the others :). And defs with other colour combinations!

=D xx

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Melbs Again :)

Ahhh I love Melbourne too much not to go back there again..and again...and again. I might as well move there, since it is the most livable city in the world!

Last weekend a went with a bunch of friends for a getaway. It was so much fun! Dining out at some of the best restaurants, shopping every chance we got, partying like no tomorrow.....ahhh miss it!

I headed down Thursday morning so I could spend some quality time with my gorgeous friend Lucy who is lucky enough to live there. Another friend of mine was down for the weekend from Canberra, so we had a merry old time :). Had a great time shopping down in Brunswick. After burning some cash we had a fabulous lunch at Green's which seems to be a popular local joint. We also visited a Mediterranean food wholesaler...I got so excited omg. They have the BEST pastas, sauces, fresh cheeses, charcuterie....omg I nearly cried that I don't live near such a place. To compensate for this fact we stopped for a few nibbles, which made me want to stay even more :(.

Just the pasta aisle alone got me excited

Say CHEEEEEESE

Italian Wine heaven

Yummy chocolate filled heart <3

Fruit and Nut Twist - Love Italian pastries!
At night we went out for cocktails early on, just chilling while indulging in a few (DELICIOUS!) Apple Martinis ;) Luce also took me to Rooftop Bar for some mulled wine over fantastic views! Wish I could have stayed up there forever...

Apple Martini time!!

Catching up with long-time friends :)

Rooftop Bar <3
 
Our (blurry) mulled wine

We ate at some preeeeettty hot places throughout out trip! Luce took me to dinner at Cookie, and they had THE BEST PRAWNS I HAVE EVER HAD. EVER. Dining at Chin Chin was defs a pleasurable experience. Loved their drinks menu!! We also got the opportunity to go to Cumulus Inc. for lunch! Gorgeous concept of sharing plates and all the dishes complemented each other (I've got some posts lined up for all these wonderful eateries). Little Cupcake Bakery was also on the must visit list. I don't normally like cake but these were so adorable and light! Couldn't leave without a few macarons from Brunetti, a Melbourne institution. AND a visit to Burch & Purchase for my Salted Caramel fix!

Yuuuuuuummm!! Best chocolate EVER

The Little Cupcake Bakery!

Brunetti Macaron-fest
Actually, we ate quite alot of macarons on this trip ahah. Everywhere we went they were selling them...

Blackcurrant (tastes like RIBENA!!), Passionfruit, Blood Orange, Vanilla
And I just HAD to go to Queen Victoria Markets again! Grabbed some of my favs like the eggplant dip and roasted garlic sourdough. And I nabbed a Bubblegum Macaron (again lol) which I have fallen in love with!

Best feast! Sooooo good!!!

Dining with a panda =P
 Every trip has a drunken night followed by a midnight snack....(incidentaly those are all my shoes hahaha)


But my fav part was hangin with my girls =). I couldn't think of a more gorgeous, fabulous, crazy, fun-loving, emotional, soul-bearing bunch of ladies to go with <3. I still laugh at the memeory of us sitting in shock in Fed Square as Nadi serenaded us, and most of Melbourne, with One Direction. Ahh love you guys!



Can't wait to go again! =D xx

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Ladurée, Sydney

SO, if you read my last post you're gonna think I'm the biggest hypocrite hahaha. BUT as you read on you'll see it was pretty much by chance I ended up at Ladurée! I know I said I reckon I'd head over to the newly opened Ladurée in Westfield in the City, AFTER the hype died down....well, I found myself in the city early this morning to pick up some stuff from Victoria's Basement, and I thought "Hmm I might as well just go see what Ladurée looks like", and I had my camera on me so I thought might as well. So, I headed off to Westfield to check the place out.


When I got there, there were a couple of people milling around, just looking at the displays as I had intended to do. To be honest I was expecting like some sort of huge line outside the place, but maybe it was too early, since it was like 9:15 or something. So I took my snaps of the place - it's pretty cute, set in the open space of the shopping centre's 3rd floor, the little dining area looks like a cute garden haha.

Love how cute this place is!!
The macaron towers were adorable, and it seems they sell lots of other products apart from their macarons, such as milk chocolates, jams + preserves, even a cookbook!




The macaron menu was placed on the counter to show which flavours were on offer, and there were 14 flavours listed.


I was looking at the macarons on display, just taking my time....and then I looked over my shoulder and realised a QUEUE had formed behind me! Hahaha I was like WTF, and then I turned to ask one of the ladies behind the counter what time they opened, and she said 9:30....so I looked at my watch, to see it was like 9:25am! Hahah I was like "OH. Well. Since I'm apparently the head of the line, I guess I'm OBLIGED to buy some now =P".


I was surprised how quickly the queue grew actually! Like I said, one minute I'm just milling around just looking at displays 15 minutes before the place opened with no one around....10 minutes later and I'm heading a queue of about 10 people. And once I had finished ordering more and more people had joined. Crazy!

Anyways, I picked out quite a few....actually, I got a box of all the flavours on offer haha (lol they're not for me ;) - I pick out a few extra for myself). The minimum you can purchase in a box is 8. And you can also get different box designs which cost (alot!) more.

One thing I will say, before I ordered, the lady that looked like she was in charge said there were 13 flavours on offer. I noticed there were 14 listed on the menu. So when I asked for a box of all the flavours, I asked another lady which flavour was missing. Now, I should mention that while I was looking at the displays earlier, there were staff running around everywhere, talking to each other in fast paced French. When I asked this lady which flavour was missing, I'm pretty sure she didn't understand what I had said, and mumbled something back which I didn't understand at all. I clarified the questions and she chose to pretend she didn't hear. I get it, keeping with the standards of a brand name is important, but if your staff can't communicate with customers you have a problem. Lucky I'm not the fussiest person, and they are a newly opened store so not everything is perfect, otherwise I would have mentioned it to the lady at the register who looked like she was in charge. Instead I asked her, and she said that the strawberry marshmallow macaron SOLD OUT over the weekend and they weren't getting any for another month! WOW! Crazy Sydney-siders eating up all the macarons!

Also, I believe Ladurée was meant to open a couple of months earlier, however obviously things must have happened to cause the opening date to shift. The staff on hand (well, at least behind the counter, I can't speak for the waiters in the dining area) didn't look like they were trained, and they were quite slow. Shouldn't they be showing them things like how to pack the macarons BEFORE they opened the shop? Or even before they open for the day? There were plenty of them around before 9:30....

Despite these little set backs, I was happy to leave with ample bounty. Although I was slightly put out with the dent in my bank account - $3.20 per macaron ain't cheap!

Now! Onto the macarons! The verdict - I'm slightly disappointed. Firstly, they are sorta small for $3.20. Secondly, most of them look a little wonky don't you think? It looks like the shells are all uneven! They don't have flat bottoms, like they weren't baked on a completely flat surface.... I'm not sure if its because they're shipped all the way from Switzerland, or if that's how they make them at Ladurée....hmm.

Left to Right: 1st Row - Lemon, Lemon Lime Marshmallow, Licorice
2nd Row -  Orange Blossom, Vanilla, Violet Marshmallow
3rd Row - Blackcurrant Violet, Almond Marshmallow, Salted Caramel
4th Row - Raspberry, Strawberry Poppy, Pistachio
5th Row - Ghana Chocolate, Coffee, Salted Caramel
HOWEVER, they do taste quite nice!! The flavours are quite traditional, with the small exception of the marshmallow filled ones. My favs were the Ghana Chocolate which was really chocolatey and not very sweet, and also the Strawberry Poppy. They were really soft and delicate and like I said, tasted really nice. Nothing too amazing though. So yea, verdict is so-so. I don't think they are worth $3.20. But I would go back again just as a treat, or if they brought out different flavours.

Left to Right: Blackcurrant Violet, Lemon Lime Marshmallow, Violet Marshmallow, Salted Caramel
Strawberry Poppy, Raspberry, Ghana Chocolate, Lemon
Hopefully, like I said in my last post, as time goes by they'll get into the swing of things and the staff get a bit more experienced and the place will run like a well oiled machine =). In the meantime, I'll probs be getting my macaron fix from Cafe Cre Asion.

Ladurée House
Level 3 Westfield
100 Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
http://www.laduree.com/

Ladurée on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Café Cre Asion, Sydney

Macaron fever is high in Sydney atm. Well, it has been for a while now, but more so at the moment with the opening of a branch of French macaron giant Ladurée in Westfield last week. I heard queues were massive, with a wait of up to 2 HOURS! Insane! I haven't heard the best of reviews, but I think once the hype dies down and the branch eases into it's groove I'm sure the kinks will be smoothed out.


I, on the other hand, decided to visit another macaron haven in Sydney, tucked away on Alberta street, just a 5 minute walk from World Square. Café Cre Asion may be situated down a dodgy alleyway that could easily be missed, but it's macarons are probs the best I've had in Sydney. They are on the slightly smaller side, a tad more exxy than your average macaron ($2.80) but they taste damn delicious and technically & texturally exactly what a macaron should be like. They have a range of flavours which change daily, and I was lucky enough to go on a Monday morning just before lunch when the best of the batches were out and the cafe was pretty much empty, so I took my time selecting my bounty.

From Left to Right - Top Row: Bamboo Charcoal, Buerre Noisette, Yuzu, Buerre Noisette
Bottom row: Blood Orange, Oreo Coffee Cookie, Caramel, Green Tea
The cafe itself is modern and simple, with large glass windows that make the place look larger. It sorta looks outta place down an alleyway with just back entrances to business buildings, and I felt a bit dodgy taking out my camera and taking photos by myself ahhaa. But I did snap some of the macarons of course!

Left to Right, Top to Bottom - Yuzu, Oreo Coffee Cookie, Blood Orange, Bamboo Charcoal, Green Tea, Buerre Noisette
I tried to pick some flavours I wouldn't normally pick, and also some more unusual ones just to try. Got two of the Buerre Noisette (burnt butter) because I love them =P. I think my fav had to be the Oreo Coffee Cookie and also the Blood Orange. But they are all soo yummy! The most unusual was defs the Bamboo Charcoal, it had a weird taste I couldn't identify.

They also sell a range of other baked goods such as dark chocolate and sea salt cookies and vanilla bean shortbread, which I'd love to go back and try, along with some of their other macaron flavours.

Definitely hit this place up if your not keen on a 2 hour wait for frozen Swiss imported macarons (I'm not that patient), and want good value for money. I'd rather wait for the hype to die down on Ladurée. Home grown (made?) all the way!

Café Cre Asion
21 Alberta Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 0404 941 528
http://www.creasionmacaron.com/

Café Cre Asion on Urbanspoon

=D xx
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