Sunday, July 27, 2014

Advertorial: Menulog food delivery

This post is dedicated to all the hardworking individuals in the workforce. With a job that requires me to work from 8.30 to 6pm on a regular basis, I am left with not much time on hand to deal with my house chores (cleaning?? pffftt..). I may procastinate doing the laundry or vacuuming the lounge area but I can't escape eating. I am not a meal skipper although every now and then I may skip a meal just for the convenience.

I was recently contacted by a representative from Menulog and was provided with a voucher to give this online food delivery service a go. I have only done home deliveries for pizzas before and this website opened up a whole world of food deliveries for me.

Ok, so here's a quick guide on ordering via this website. Firstly (and most importantly), select the right area that you are living in be it in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart or Adelaide. For me, it had to be good ol Adelaide, as seen here. Then, you can choose to order food from either your suburb or another suburb. It all depends on what cuisine you are after. Chinese, Indian, Italian, Thai and the list goes on.

I am really pleased that I can use Menulog when I am out and about and one of the plus points is *drum roll* there's a timer to let you know when your food would be delivered or ready for pick up. How simple is that? I could order my dinner before I leave my work place and drive home just in time for tea!

We ordered pizza from San Antonio's in Norwood and boy, were we spoilt for choices. Each restaurant or cafe have special deals like 10% off your first order or even a value deal that will feed your family within budget.

Seeing as it was just my sister and I for dinner, we had a yiros wrap which was still warm and such a treat to have after a long day at work. We also ordered a family pizza to share whilst we lounge around that night.

Overall, we were really pleased with the entire process as it was absolutely fuss-free and such an easy way to reward ourselves after slaving away at work. Lots too choose from and affordable for everyone. Do give it a crack!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ding Hao restaurant, Gouger Street ADL

Yum cha sessions are an option in my books whenever I am not very hungry and in need of a treat. Prices for each dish may range from $4 to $8, depending on what you order and most of the times, this can be frustrating as you don't know how much it costs until the waitress puts the dish on the table and circles the correct code. And if you are hungry, this is not good for your wallet.

Despite my attempts at avoiding yum cha in any Chinese restaurant, it is almost undeniable that every now and then, I won't mind having this for lunch (not usually served at dinner time). There are not many restaurants in Adelaide that serves good quality dim sum dishes. Perhaps I am a difficult eater?:)

So anyways, if you are in town and craving for dim sum, I strongly recommend going to Ding Hao in Gouger Street. Service is prompt, efficient and attentive, a good feature to have in busy establishments. I have a few must have dishes to order but feel free to order anything that tickles your fancy.

Siew mai ~ pork filling wrapped in wanton wrappers. Not bad at all.

Har gao aka prawn dumpling ~ the dumpling wrapper is a little thick for my liking but aside from that, the filling is generous and flavourful. Yums

Tea duck with plum dipping sauce ~ not something I would usually order although I did not mind it at all. Would have liked to have a slightly bigger portion:)

Rice pastry with prawns ~ thin layers of rice pastry that is drenched in semi-sweet soy sauce.

Baked pork buns ~ these buns were a must have. How can I say no to shiny, golden buns that look so pillow-y soft? The well marinated pork filling was too good to resist. MUST order this if you are around!

Ding Hao Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Le Carpe Diem Cafe Creperie, Grenfell St ADL

Been yolo-ing whenever I am in Adelaide, just to round up the weekend which gave me a good reason to indulge in sweets. And so, without further ado, here's yet another sweet post from yours truly:)

This place had probably appeared in quite a few publications and conveniently located near Rundle Street, I did not see a reason to not pop by for afternoon tea. Yes, I have been growing fond of afternoon tea sessions aka a great pick me up moment.

Menu wise, everything consisted of crepes (as indicated by the cafe's name) and diners have a choice of having two crepes or a single crepe with their choice of filling. Both sweet and savoury options are available and prices do vary. Oh, and there is also a selection of pastries and tarts sitting at the front counter, just to tease;)

Lemon meringue tart ~ sufficiently tart to my liking although the bits of piped meringue were a bit err....whipped off? Nevermind that.

Le Augustine aka crepe filled with nutella, banana, chocolate and topped with strawberry ice cream. This is heaven for any nutella lover out there. So much nutella enclosed in that crepe and I like how the crepe appears on our table warm, a good indication that it is made fresh to order but not too overwhelmingly hot that it cooks everything it touches.

La Adele ~ chestnut puree, chocolate and whipped cream. Chestnut puree taste was a bit faint although it was probably not a heavy option when compared to the other crepe we had. This was just enough for me. Yums.

Overall, Le Carpe has a good location and probably one of the more comfortable cafes around in Adelaide. I wouldn't mind sitting around with a book or magazine on hand!:)

Le Carpe Diem Cafe Creperie on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Andre's Cucina and Polenta Bar, Frome Street ADL

Everybody knows how much I love my gnocchis and risottos, both are something that I must have at any Italian restaurants or cafes. When I was asked for tea here, why not? Having said that, I have not had polenta before so it could swing favours eitherways.

Service here is efficient and friendly. Our lovely waitress took care of our needs and recommended us to have the Menu Fisso aka a tasting menu from the kitchen. Seeing as it was our first time, we went for the option that allowed us to sample as much as we could. The menu changes quite frequently so one would need to order from the blackboard (a lil hard to see depending on where you sit but just ask the staff if needed:)

The atmosphere was just buzzing with happy chatter despite the heavy downpour outside.

Kingfish carpaccio ~ carpaccio's seems to be a trend these days but admittedly, it something that can appear on your table within a few minutes of ordering. Fresh and thin slices of fish with a good drizzle of olive oil on bread. Taking fish sandwiches to a new level I say:)

Please forgive me for my lack of food description (I don't recall what I had and I have nowhere to refer to!). This was akin a cheesy fondue with some capsicum, garlic and onion spread on top. We used the crusty slices of bread that it came with and slapped some of the cheese onto it. Cheese and toast levelled up!

Gnocchi with braised meat ~ yum and yum. I love gnocchi and this made me squirm with excitement. Yes, the gnocchis were pillow-y soft and when paired with the robust flavoured braised meat, I could easily finish the entire dish myself.

Polenta with mushrooms, pesto and pinenuts ~ first time having polenta and I can say that I am a fan but it does have an interesting taste. Not grainy but rather, smooth in texture and spreads quite easily.

Steak with a side of roasted potatoes ~ not much flamboyant flavours needed here. Jusst a good cut of steak seasoned well. Won't hurt to have a smashing serve of crunchy potato cubes next to it too! Roasted potatoes are a must have in my books!

Chocolate gnocchi with hazelnut shards and vanilla anglaise ~ more gnocchi but with chocolate. This has got to be one of the yummiest gnocchi variations that I have tasted. Dark chocolate was incorporated into the gnocchi and that made a lot of difference. So good and although a bit quirky, I will definitely order this again.

Can't go by without a bottle of Italian dessert wine. I must be unleashing my alcoholic side lately haha.

Overall, we had an excellent time here despite the rain and a bit of problems finding parking. Parking in the city can be a pain so make sure you plan ahead or even carpool. This made it to my list of must try Italian food in Adelaide so don't be surprised to see me here more often! Big love:)

 Andre's Cucina & Polenta Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Artisans of Barossa: Stage 2 Tour de France menu

This was THE event that may or may not happen in the future and noting that it is a French inspired food menu at a scenic spot in the Barossa, the sister and I jumped straight into bookings. Artisans of Barossa is a little spot that showcases a few individual winemakers under one roof and quite possibly, some of the wines may not be available in your local bottle shop.

I love the view from the cellar door, especially on a sunny bright day where one could easily see the majestic greenery and vineyards of the Barossa. Not much to see at night but still easy to fall in love with the modern interior that couples well with the relaxed warmth that greets you upon entry.

Back to this dinner's story, it is held in conjunction with the Tour de France event and at $40 for an appetizer, two mains and a dessert, surely we can't say no. Both of us eat a healthy portion of food (no more, no less) so be warned if you are expecting a big, fine dining feast. Remember, you are not paying exorbitant prices.

Reservations are done online and you can definitely treat yourself to a glass or bottle of wine at the venue. Reds and whites are both available. The concept of this dinner is akin a long lunch table where you basically sit with people you may not know and start practicing your socializing skills. So let's start with our Stage 2 Dijon a Orleans menu!

Rillettes de Lapin ~ rabbit and pork rillettes served with a bit of chutney on the side. We were a little confused as to whether this would be served at our table but it seemed that it was placed at the front counter, probably as an ice breaker:) A little messy to eat but we managed not to make a mess!

Truite Saumonee au Beurre Blanc ~ salmon trout with white wine and shallot butter sauce served with potatoes. Yummo! My cut of salmon was very moist and tasted fantastic with the butter sauce. As you can see, this piece of salmon is a decent portion size.

On a side note, staff were constantly refilling our table's bowls with slices of baguette bread. Most of us took a few pieces to lap up the remainder sauce on our plate.

Poulet Saute aux Champignons ~ chicken sauteed with fresh mushrooms and served with slices of baked potatoes. I had two and a half serves of this, mainly because everyone else was too filled from the previous main and I would hate to see food get wasted! The mushroom sauce was not gluggy and overly creamy but rather, a lighter accompaniment to the chicken. Some of the other guests found the chicken meat a tad dry although I thought mine was done well:)

Tarte Tatin ~ caramelised upside down apple tart. Can't claim to be French with a tart tatin. The apple pieces were compacted pretty well prior to getting baked. Not overly tart nor sweet and I found it to be the right size for a dessert. Would have liked more but have to admit that sugar is something I need to cut back on;)

Overall, it was a good dining experience that is so worth every penny and I highly recommend going for the remainder two stages if you have not already booked yourself in! Stage 4 looks tempting so you may see an overzealous camera clicking character there;)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nosh, Tanunda

"Go to Nosh for a good brekkie", said a local who I dined with over a long table dinner event (more details to come). I have passed Nosh numerous times before but that thought never did struck me. Perhaps the exterior did not project the image that I was surprised to get once I stepped into this little cafe. It was a lot more spacious and cozier than expected.

The entire place was brightly lit with a loud orange colour wall and lots of reading materials to browse thru whilst waiting for your meal to arrive. Staff were extremely friendly and at 9am, I was pleased to see a good turnout of locals here (a sign that a place is worth the morning wake up call!).

Our coffee was good. I am no caffeine connoisseur but I do know a good one from a meh one. The cups of coffee that we got had a strong coffee bean aroma and immediately woke us up from our morning slumber.

Apex panini bread with ham and egg ~ a simple panini done well. Thick layers of ham were just overflowing with every bite and although a tad messy, it was good:) Apex bakery do produce some of the best breads that I have tasted thus far and it's no surprise that most cafes use their products. For more Apex bakery varieties such as traditional German cakes to pies, Apex is opened every day except for Sundays but be sure to rock up early or be disappointed because they do sell out fast!

Waffles with ice cream, fruit and maple syrup ~ reminiscing the past I was when the kitchen staff brought this out. I had the honour of drizzling the waffles with the maple syrup, just like those good ol' A&W days in Malaysia. I was a bit disappointed with the waffles as it was not as fresh as I would have liked. On the flipside, having lots of ice cream and fruit compensated for this fact and that smile is still plastered on my face.

A word of advice? Listen to the locals. They take their food (and wine) seriously. Gotta love the chatty and friendly community here!:)

 Nosh on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Greek on Halifax, Halifax Street

No big fat Greeks or weddings happened that day but we did walk into a comfy Greek atmosphere with lots of sweets displayed at the front counter, easily tempting bypassers. Resistance paid off but I will be back one day for an evening dessert splurge:p

There are not many options to choose from for breakfast which made it easier for us to quickly select what we wanted. Service was efficient and in terms of food portions, let's just say I struggled to finish the remaining 20% on my plate.

Greek breakfast with spinach leaves, poached eggs, sourdough bread, haloumi, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon pieces. A pretty standard breakfast choice that allows you to have a bit of everything.

Halifax scrambled eggs~ Eggs scrambled with potato, mushroom, spring onion and diced bacon. Pinched some of this off somebody's plate and I found it interesting how the chef was able to fit all those ingredients into the scrambled eggs. Definitely a different scrambled eggs version that fills you up and is not excessively creamy.

Saganaki eggs ~ poached eggs in a tomato sauce topped with crumbled feta cheese. First time having eggs in a skillet and I am impressed at how it managed to keep my food hot/warm throughout the meal. Mind you, the weather was freezing cold that day! Ah but having warm food in your belly was satisfaction beyond description.

A little something out of the ordinary routine to which I don't mind tucking in at all. Am still keen on heading here for a dessert crawl, because I am too darn curious of their sweet delicacies and I am allowed to:)

 The Greek on Halifax on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

L'Atelier Gourmand, Goodwood

I am one of those typical girls whom dream of leading a Parisian lifestyle. However, let's just say that may not be happening until *possibly* next year, if all goes well. Even so, it will only be for at most a week due to the travel financial concerns attached.

On the flip side, I am excited to see a French bakeries and cafes pop around Adelaide. Having hear so much rave about this place, I had to drop by after a little pastry binge from the Adelaide Farmer's Market which I tend to frequent if I need a good piece of baked pastry.

Coffee here is loaded with the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and definitely a good wake up call if you are needing a coffee fix:)

French style bacon and eggs ~ a very pretty plate of food that put a smile on my face. The bits of bacon were mixed with slices of sausages and topped with a runny poached egg. As you can see, the slices of bread were generously seasoned with a rosemary rub which made it a really fragrant treat to have.

French toast with walnuts, poached pear drizzled in sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream~ I was glad that this did not turn out to be a massive slice of bread and was even happier to note that the chef poured on extra sauce for me. The bread was dipped in a caramel-ish sugar coating that, once sliced, quickly absorbs all the sauce. Very sinful dish to have on a late afternoon but not something that I regretted. Ice cream had visible vanilla bean spots that can only mean that this is homemade and not a manufactured product. Well done!

Good food, well decorated dishes and a serene environment to spend a lazy day at. What more can I say? If you need a little French atmosphere, why not pop by?:)

L'Atelier Gourmand on Urbanspoon