Saturday, May 31, 2014

Voyager Estate Sparkling Grape Juice

Sparkling Grape Juice
Voyager Estate

+61 8 9385 3133

As a professional Cadbury (glass and a half, that's all it takes), I am always on the look out for a non-alcoholic substitute that isn't Coke or a lemon lime bitters. I just may have found my answer. 

Figure 1: "Made from exceptional quality fruit" 

Figure 2: Food Blogger Perk #47 - surprise deliveries from wineries!

I was super delighted this month to receive an email from Voyager Estate in Margaret River, asking if I would like to try their Sparkling Grape Juice. My little present arrived on a Thursday morning, and I couldn't help but tear open both boxes right on my front doorstep. 

Figure 3: Red and white

I love the little story behind this product. If you read the back of the bottle, the label reads:

"What do you do when you are passionate about growing grapes and making wine, but don't drink alcohol? When faced with this conundrum, Voyager Estate founder, Michael Wright, created a drink he could truly love whilst still sampling the fruits of his labours - his own sparkling grape juice. And, believing that he might be onto something, we make sure there is enough to share with anyone with a sympathetic palate."

Figure 4: Date night

I cracked open a white one first (it's been freezing in Perth lately, it didn't even need chilling). It wasn't at all what I was expecting. It was crisp on the tongue, clean, and had lovely tones of apple and honey. Light and refreshing, I think it would be perfect to take in a basket to King's Park for a summertime picnic. 

The white grapes that Voyager Estate uses is machine-harvested at around 14 to 15 Baumé (280 to 300g/L sugar). Once harvested, the grapes are crushed, chilled and pressed immediately. After filtering and adjusting, the juice is put into tanks to be pressurised with carbon dioxide to fill the juice with bubbles. The juice is then bottled under pressure and passed through an in-line pasteuriser that will sterilise the product to ensure the long life of the finished grape juice. 

Figure 5: White Sparkling Grape Juice 

Figure 6: Colour

Then I cracked open the red one. When I poured it and the light came through it, it became this crazy fuschia colour before cascading into my glass, all pink and bubbles. Slightly denser texture than the white version, and flavours more like blackberry and lemon. 

The red grape juice is made the same way as the white, but the skins are left on the grapes for 6-8 hours after crushing to maximise the extraction of the red colour and make the finished product a soft, rosy pink. Out of the two, I probably preferred the white, which was lighter and tasted slightly less sweet to me. 

Figure 7: Red Sparkling Grape Juice

If I had to sum up this product in one sentence, it's be: "Soft drink for foodies". And if any foodies out there want to try it, I have two boxes of this stuff sitting in my living room, just waiting to be given away. 

Email me here if you'd like to take some off my hands! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pearl of Shelley

Pearl of Shelley
Shop 8, 17 Tribute St West
Shelley 6148

(08) 9384 8115

Figure 1: The Battleground

I get really grumpy towards exam time. Partially because I'm trying to cram 13 weeks worth of legal theory into a 7-day study week, but also, and most importantly, because I have less time to eat well. I'm a foodie and I eat like it - but when I'm stressed out and strapped for time, my diet quickly deteriorates into McDonalds, triple shot flat whites, Shin Ramen instant noodles and Arnotts Chocolate Coated Scotch Fingers.

But not this semester. 

Figure 2: Salvation 

I have recently discovered Menulog, an Online Takeaway website that lets you search your suburb, select a restaurant, choose your items and bada-bing-bada-boom your meal is delivered to your address. Menulog recently emailed me to offer a takeaway meal in exchange for a review, which I was more than happy to accept! No trawling through Google to find a restaurant that delivers, no leaving the house half way through study to find dinner, no walk of shame through a restaurant in your study outfit to grab your take-away. Let's face it guys. Nobody likes being seen in pyjama pants. 

Figure 3: Effort required - zero

On a Wednesday night, I ordered from Pearl of Shelley through Menulog, and exactly half an hour later, my doorbell rang (didn't even have to pay the delivery guy, it's all done online when you order) and I danced to the dinner table holding the bag of goodies I'd ordered for mum and I. I'd ordered a Mango Kulfi ($4.5) for dessert but I ate it first, because life is too short. Kulfi is an Indian kind of ice cream, but not ice cream - it's much more dense and creamier, so technically it's a 'frozen dairy-based dessert'. I just love the texture of kulfi, which can vary depending on where you go, but this one had squillions of little icicles in it that crackled and snapped, like a mango party in my mouth. 

Figure 4: Mango Kulfi

Figure 5: Naanandnaan

For dinner, I'd ordered Garlic Naan ($4) and Cheese Naan ($4.5) to have with some Lamb Korma ($14.9). Mum popped the breads under the grill for a bit to crisp them up, which gave the naan just the texture I like - doughy and dense, but crisp and crackly on the outside. The cheese naan had the added ooze factor with melted strings of cheese all through it, giving it the perfect moisture and flavour.

Figure 6: Lamb Korma 

I'd order the Lamb Korma again - it was mild, sweet, creamy, nutty and had sultanas in it which went perfectly with the lamb. Lamb korma is prepared by searing the lamb meat first then braising it at a low temperature for a long period of time to prevent it from toughening. Our lamb was cooked perfectly - really lovely and tender. Gathered into a little mouthful between some cheese naan and mango chutney smeared on top, it was just delicious. Not bad for a Thursday night meal, not bad at all. 

Figure 7: Baa 

Figure 8: Menulog's user friendly interface

So if you're like me and have a hectic month coming up - maybe you should give Menulog a try - they're currently No. 1 for Online Takeaway in Australia with more and more people jumping on the bandwagon every day.

To check out some other Menulog restaurants in Bull Creek, click Bull Creek Take-Away Restaurants.