Monday, August 30, 2010

le petit dejeuner

Nobody ever makes me breakfast.

It was a very nice feeling.
Merci :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

perfect night

"Queen of Hearts" Univeristy of Western Australia Blake-Dawson Law Ball 2010 at Perth Convention Center, Friday 20th of August.


"White Queen" Prawns, Horseradish dressed Asparagus, Apricot and Cumin Slaw, Caper Aioli

Main Course
Mad Hatter Spiced Chicken, Basil and Pine "Nutter" White Semolina and Bell Pepper Beurre Blanc

Forest Chocolate Cupcake, Raspberry Allusion Shot, and Wicked Cookie Ice Cream


I'm sorry to say that this is the first cafe I've gone to in a long time where I was mostly disappointed. Thank god the company, my primary-school buddy Desiree, was 5 star!

My blog is my happy place, so I don't really feel like putting up pictures of things we had that weren't quite up to scratch... but I had Japanese Quince green tea ($5.5) which was a rip off, quite frankly. But I did want to try something new. So I guess... mission accomplished? It was definitely not strong enough and seriously just tasted like a teabag with a squeeze of lemon in it or something. And the best thing about my friend's mocha ($4.5) was the cool glass it was in. And the fact that she let me scab her marshmallows.

The Tiramisu Slice ($3.8) was dry and had a cardboard-ish consistency (I think it was old) and the Raspberry Lemon Cupcake ($3) we had was ok, but nothing special. Worst of all, the staff seemed pretty snobby and I'm pretty sure she was giving me this look because I was wearing a plaid shirt.

The ambience was alright though, nice setting and interior design with a funky waterfountain and a map of the world on the ceiling. It was lacking something though. I think I prefer places with soul. This place really didn't have much personality or passion/enthusiasm for what they were doing.

Loving the boutiques that surround the cafe area there though, lots of cosy little homeware and gift stores for middle aged ladies and clothing stores to suit. Not that I'm into middle aged ladies clothing but it's just a nice change.

On a happier note, me and my friend bailed to Garbs before I started work and decided to lose our Dreamy Donuts virginity together. I think there's many types of deliciousness, and one of those types is where what you're eating just has SO much sugar in it that it just overrides your tastebuds as they go into shock and sends signals to your brain that whatever is in your mouth is overloaded with glucose, and therefore, it is yummy. That's what it was like when eating this donut. We split it of course, so that we wouldn't feel so guilty.

But I gave her the bigger half so I'd feel even less guilty. Crafty, eh?

P.S: Miss Maud with Mangie was Marvellous.

Things that are baked with apple in them were just made for vanilla ice cream. It's like a law in physics or a mathematical equation. It always gives you the same result. Delicieux.

Gotta love that 20% staff discount. Chyeah.

la galette de france

'Ow can I 'elp you, madamoiselle?
By sweeping me off my feet and marrying me, you gorgeous french boy, you.

I can't decide what I'm more addicted to whenever I take my almost weekly trip to a new french bakery or cafe: the croissants or the cuties?

Ah, but that's the beauty of french culture - you don't have to choose.

This place is tucked away under a staircase in South Perth. A stone's throw away from the foreshore across from the city skyline, in the middle of a busy cappuccino strip but concealed just enough to allow some peace and quiet. All of the waitstaff were French, very polite, very animated, eager to give advice about which baguette or tart was the best today. And I loved the Parisian photos and little ornaments around the shop.

They seemed to have a lot of regulars.
I want to be a regular.

Yummy frenchboy #1 recommended that I get the croissant aux amandes ($4.5) and then I decided to be daring and asked Yummy frenchboy #2:

'Quelle chose est-ce que votre favourie?'
'C'est ca. Aimez-vous des baies?'
'Oui, bien sur. D'accord, je prends une tarte, s'il vous plait.'
'Vous etudiez le francais ici?'
'A l'universite, je suis etudiante.'
'Ah, tres bien, vous etes charmante.'

And then I blushed like an idiot and went away with my little petit-four ($2.7). Which was gorgeous by the way, with custard vanilla inside a sweet pastry case.

The almond croissant - was - a - m - a - z - i - n - g. No wonder it's their most popular item. I am never, ever, buying croissants from brumby's or coles or woolworths or any other unworthy, second-rate, inferior, commercial bakery ever again. I can't explain how beautifully flaky, fresh, sweet and light it was. You'll just have to go there and try it yourself cause I just ain't doin it justice here.

My usual extra-hot soy long mac ($4.5) was excellent, nothing less than what I had expected after one look at their coffee machine. I've worked in cafes since I was 14 so it's easy to tell whether or not they take care of their shit. I didn't see a shred of evidence to point towards the dirty-frenchman stereotype: this place was impeccably clean and spotless. The barista was a thin, dark girl with a blindingly white smile and that grace that all french women seem to have. Jealous.

When we left, she was standing at the coffee machine, humming to herself and carefully polishing the silver instruments on it with this lovely, contented smile on her face. Her black collared top was covered in flour and there were a stray curls that had fallen out of her ponytail but she was still glowing - that's what I strive for. That unmistakable glow that can only come from inside of you because you're doing what you love.

La Galette de France  on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

banana pancakes

"But baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you
this song It's meant to keep you
From doin' what you're supposed to
Like wakin' up too early
Maybe we could sleep in
I'll make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now."

- Jack Johnson

There's something about banana pancakes that just scream 'weekend'. Actually, they don't scream, they kinda say it. In a sugar coated, baby-you-love-me, irresistable kinda way... Weekend... you know?

I was supposed to use creme fraiche for the cream, but it was 6 dollars at IGA so I used whipped cream with some lemon in it instead. Stole the recipe from delicious. magazine, there's coconut milk in it but I think it'd still taste just as good if not better with normal milk.

The caramel sauce was from scratch: it tasted roughly 2500 times better than any caramel sauce I've ever tasted out of a bottle. If you've never made caramel sauce before, do it. It IS life changing.

Coconut banana pancakes with Caramel sauce.
Serves 3-4

4 eggs, separated
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
3 ripe bananas
Melted unsalted butter, to grease
Creme fraiche, icing sugar and shredded coconut, to serve.

Caramel sauce:
50g unsalted butter
1/2 firmly packed cup brown sugar
3 tbs golden syrup
150ml thickened cream
1tsp vanilla extract

Stir all sauce ingredients in a pan over low heat to dissolve sugar, then simmer for 5 mins until thickened. Set aside.

Place yolks, coconut milk and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk until combined. Gently fold in the sifted flour and baking powder. Mash 1 banana and ofld in to combine. In another bowl, whisk eggwhites to stiff peaks, then fold into the batter.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat and brush with butter. Using a heaped tablespoon of batter for each pancake, add 3-4 spoonfuls to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until golden and cooked. Keep warm while you continue with the remaining batter to make a total of 9 pancakes.
Slice remaining bananas. Arrange the pancakes in stacks on serving plates, alternating with banana slices and creme fraiche. Drizzle with caramel sauce, then dust with sugar and sprinkle with coconut.

I have a dream

Gingerbread Men Women.

The subliminal message of supposed male superiority is embedded into our society in so many ways. Here, it is surreptitiously disguised in an innocent childhood term: Gingerbread Men. I hereby make a proposal that we abolish the term Gingerbread Men altogether, and replace it with a more politically correct word of 'Gingerbreadians'.

I have a dream where Gingerbread Men and Gingerbread women are baked equally. Yes! I have a dreaaaammmmm today! LET FREEDOM REIGN!!!

But seriously, these were acutally delicious.

Gingerbread is curious stuff. It's not crunchy enough to be a biscuit, and definitely nothing like the consistency of bread, but something in the middle without being soggy or chewy or dry. When you bite into it, your brain tells you it's going to snap like a cookie but it doesn't - your front teeth sink into it, like laying your head down in an extra-soft, extra-fluffy pillow. And the sweet and slightly hot ginger taste just makes you feel right at home.

This was my first batch ever - next time I make Gingerbread, I'm making a house out of it and going to bake a spongecake car and make a little diorama to celebrate the getting-of-my-licence. It'll be epic.

Friday, August 6, 2010

j'adore le fremantle

Today I went out to Fremantle with $11 in my pocket. Here is a list of things I ate:

  • 1 Vanilla Chai Cupcake
  • 1 Vegan Thai Mung Bean cake
  • 1 Vegan Thai Sweet Potato cake
  • 1 Vegetarian Bombay Samosa
  • Oranges, pears, apples, pineapples, strawberries
  • *Spanish Churros for 1
  • *Spanish Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows
  • *1 Tandoori Chicken Wing
  • *Spinach and Ricotta Sausage Roll
  • *Spicy Tofu-Fish kebab

    *Note: Asterisk denotes items I stole a bite off my friend. But she offered first, so it's okay :)


    The Spanish hot chocolate ($5.9): like liquid gold. It's almost like alcohol: drink it too fast and you'll probably yak and get a huge headache. I wouldn't be surprised if it gave you some kind of hangover. And we all know that chocolate is full of that chemical that makes you happy. Churros makes you love-drunk, chocolate-drunk. Imagine going to a party and bringing a flask of churros hot chocolate while everyone else gets wasted on Jack Daniels. I bet you would be able to have just as good a time as everyone else!

    And as for the Churros ($7.9). 'Donuts' is such a crass word for something so delicious and delicate. I'll admit it. I licked the bowl of chocolate sauce afterwards. You can judge me all you like, but you only live once.

    The Yummy Vice Cupcakes.

    I plan on structuring the next few months of my life around returning to this cupcake stall in the Fremantle Markets so that I can try the tiramisu, cherry ripe, turkish delight and rocky road cupcakes.

    I will commit blasphemy and say that the Vanilla Chai cupcake ($3) was divine. I love chai, but I've never had it in anything but a beverage.


    Fruit and Veg Market.

    Love the atmosphere here. There's this crazy intense vietnamese lady who's there without fail every time I'm there and tries to force fresh produce onto me, (BEE-YOOOOOOTIFOO FRESS STOBELLY!) everything actually smells like food, unlike when you go to the supermarket sometimes and everything just smells like wax, chemicals and refrigerators... plus, there are more free samples than you can manage whilst still being able to look polite.

    Bakeries and stalls.

    I HAD to take a picture of this cake. But no photography of any kind could ever encapsulate its grandeur, it's sheer size, it's irresistable pull and its undeniable pompousness that it knew it was the best cake in that display cabinet.

    Also got my Vegeterian Bombay Samosa ($3.5) from this stall: the indian owner joked that he would charged $5 a photo in a stern face before breaking into a big toothy grin and laughing at me and gesturing all over the place. I liked his stall because the stuff in it didn't look like it had been made at like 6 in the morning and had been sitting there on a wire draining rack for hours on end, slowly becoming drier and drier. Yummo. And I've tried those sweets before, they're delicious too.

    I was SO TEMPTED to get one of these German Pretzels. I'm never going to Pretzos at Garden City again. And I was highly amused at how the guy at the "Healthy Donut Store" insisted that the reason his donuts were better for you was because the oil was less fatty... sure thing, buddy. I still sorely wanted to try the dark chocolate one. Damn this diet to hell.

    Gourmet Italian Store.

    Awesome. Very keen to try that turkish delight next visit, but by the time we got there we had eaten so much and I would have died from sugar overdose if I'd eaten anything else. I love these dark european foodie stores. They kind of remind me of libraries in the way people are so absorbed in something, and there's this nice kind of quiet inside in such a way that you can hear people bustling around outside doing whatever.

    And how much did I spend today?: $8.50.

    I think the best thing about never having enough money is that you end up finding the best possible way to spend it.

    P.S: Bright blue marron. Weird.

  • Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    lovely leedy

    I love cafes. Two of my favourite ones are in Leederville.

    One of them are a top pick mostly because of the awesome decor and funky vibe, and barely anything to do with the actual coffee or food there. And then there's the irresistable appeal of the many connect-four sets at your disposal. The huge selection of decadent, bohemith cakes and the quirky staff who all wear those weird Amy Winehouse head scarves just tops it all off.

    Then there's the hidden French Cafe owned by the heavily-accented couple who are as sweet as their hand made pastries and hand-crafted mousses. Or meese. Plural of mousse, whatever it is. I went for the Walnut and Toffee Tart ($4.5), after about 15 minutes of agonising over my decision between that or the Tarte de Fraises or the Chocolate Brownie. I came to the conclusion that I made the right choice shortly after my first bite where I had to rest my forrid on the coffee table so that I didn't pass out with joy. I think I scared my companion, the poor darling. But it was just so intensely sweet, sticky, slightly salty. The pastry casing was crisp, and snapped in a satisfying way when you broke it with the fork, like when you snap pork crackle. I could have licked the plate, but I think the lady at the counter was already watching me, intrigued at my eating processes so I decided to spare her. Me and my friend also bought two hand made truffles before we left: an Espresso truffle ($1.3) for her and a brandy Dark Chocolate ($1.4) for me. Delicious. Plus my usual Soy Long Mac ($4.3) was lovely and velvety as usual.

    save the planet

    I have a friend who is vegeterian. Not because she loves baby cows. Not because she can't stand the thought of innocent white lambs at the abbatoir. Nor for any religious reasons whatsoever.

    She is vegeterian because to produce 1kg of meat:
  • it requires 10 times more water
  • it produces 20 times more CO2, and
  • it generates 15 times more environmental pollution.

    I'm all for saving the planet, but as far as I'm concerned, I just love the way vegeterian food tastes. Fresh, wholesome, clean, yummy, and it just digests better because there's not dead bits of animal in your tummy working with your stomach acids. All good stuff.

    Vegeterian Panch Phoron Curry Puffs <3

    Panch Phoron is my favourite five spice mix used in Bangladesh:
  • Fenugreek
  • Nigella seed
  • Cumin seed
  • Radhuni
  • Fennel seed