Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Loose Caboose Cafe, Hindmarsh ADL

Alas, one of the last few brunch places that I must try out in Adelaide. I do have a few of my favourite spots to go but every now and then, a spin to my daily routine won't hurt. Luckily for us, the mr.sunshine was up early and having arrived early, we escaped the lunch crowd.

Loose Caboose is situated right next to the train station, making it a prime spot for train commuters to stop by and having a team of friendly staff made the atmosphere all the more pleasant. The menu does list out a few traditional options as well as a few "creations" from the kitchen.

Spanish omelette ~ chorizo, pickled radish salad and tortilla. I did not mind this although a bit more seasoning would be good.



Conductor's brunch ~ pork sausage, bacon, mushroom, tomato,goats curd, poached eggs and toasted rye bread. Was disappointed with this dish. Pork sausage was pretty generic and reminded me of a home brand product and tomatoes came out cold. Was not sure if it was intentional or not but for $20, we were expecting a little more than basic fry-ups.

Caboose sliders with chips ~ I liked the look of this dish and enjoyed it although it had a little too much mustard for my liking.


The Loose Caboose Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cam Wah Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant

Asking a true blue Vietnamese about their food and culture always intrigues me. Having never been to Vietnam before, I can only wonder what the local scene must be like, noting that there are a few heritage sites worth visiting such as the Ha Long Bay river. Despite the availability of affordable flight prices, the real issue is really time and overall expenses.

One of my favourite questions to strike a conversation with any Vietnamese I am not close friends with would be about their favourite restaurant. Quite often one would get a completely different response but one day, I was directed to Cam Wah and having never been here before, I decided to give it a quick visit. The real Vietnam will have to wait, unfortunately.

Bo kho ~ portion wise, it is leaning towards a smaller portion ala true Vietnamese style and so, if you have been starving for days, I would caution you. Flip side, it's the right size for me. The soup was a lighter in comparison to other places but then again, depending on where the chef originated from, it may possibly be the speciality of their region. Northern and southern cuisines vary significantly.

Banh tieu ~ this came out piping hot from the kitchen and reminded me of something similar from back home in Malaysia. It was really fragrant and probably one of the main reasons I swing by. Fluffy soft and extremely yummy. P.s, I noticed a lot of other customers ordering this so it must have been good enough for round 2!


Combination broken rice ~ this tasted as good as the other versions that I have tried at various places. Meat was on the drier side but nevertheless, I had no problems finishing off everything on my plate:)


Cam Wah Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bistro Dom, Waymouth Street ADL

With only a few days to go, it was only fair that I pay a visit to Bistro Dom. I try to steer clear from fancy restaurants as most of the time, I will be paying extra and still be left hungry after the night ends. And the fact that my pocket is on a diet, all the more reason to have budget friendly meals.

On the flipside, I can't pass up an opportunity to pamper my tummy. I had a quick glimpse at the menu prior to entering the restaurant but the sister managed to coax me into the 5 course menu. At $85 pp, it seemed like a good chance to sample a bit of everything.

Artisan bread is a must have at these type of restaurants and admittedly, I loved the rustic and aroma of my slice of bread. I can happily have it without the butter!

Unfortunately, this 5 course menu changes quite often and sadly, I do not know what's the exact name of every dish. However, I will do my best to describe them as well as I could.

This palate cleanser had hints of nori/ seaweed in it and I did enjoy the creaminess of it. Not very robust flavoured but delicate enough to be appreciated:)

Potato many ways ~ This was an interesting entree dish. I really enjoyed the crunchy potato skin layer that compasses the buttery soft potato flesh and that bit of flavoured green sauce harmonized everything on the plate. Would have liked more.

Kingfish sashimi with pickled vegetables ~ nothing excessively fancy about this dish, just let the fresh piece of fish do the talking. Was not expecting this at all.

Pulled rabbit with poached pear and dehydrated sponge cake ~ an interesting dish although I would have preferred the rabbit meat to be a bit more warmer (as it is winter and freezing cold outside). Dehydrated sponge cake lent some sweetness and crunch to the dish.

Beef with barley, kale and beetroot sauce ~ an interesting dish in my opinion. I liked how the beef was cooked medium rare and the addition of barley was a nice alternative to your typical mash or puree. The beetroot sauce was spicy at certain points around the dish and reminded me of sriracha sauce. Nonetheless, have enjoyed this dish.

Chocolate with salted caramel sauce and popping candy ~ I am not a fan of mousse or ganache so this was not one of the favourite dishes of the night for me. Chocolate creme was not overly sweet and the salted caramel added a nice punch of saltiness to the dish. A little small for my liking but if you're not a big fan of sweets, this might be sufficient for you:)

Bistro Dom on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Herman the German fruit cake and Sherman the chocolate brownie recipe

Barossa valley is known to be one of the early places that German settlers have ventured into (aside from Hunter Valley in NSW) and so, it's not a surprise that German heritage runs through the veins of some locals here. We are fortunate to have bakeries like Apex that still bake their goods in a traditional oven and butchers that houses a good variety of traditional German sausages.

I may have been to Germany in the past but that memory is a vaguely faint to me and so, living in the Barossa gave me an interesting opportunity to have a teaser of what to expect from the winner of FIFA 2014. When I first tasted Herman, I thought it was one of the best cakes I have tasted so far which prompted me to grab a box of it and get straight into the recipe, in an attempt to recreate this delicacy.

Although I did not start making Herman myself, here's the recipe for making the starter. It is a lengthy waiting process but it is well worth it. Trust me;)

Herman the German starter mix ingredients:
5oz plain flour
8 oz caster sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast
Half a pint of warm milk
2 fl oz of warm water

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water for 10 minutes before slowly mixing in the flour and sugar
2. Slowly stir in the warm milk. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a cool place for 1 day.

The next 10 days will be the waiting time:
Day 1- 3: stir well
Day 4: Add 1 cup of plain flour, sugar and milk each. Stir well
Day 5 -  8: Stir well
Day 9: Add 1 cup of plain flour, sugar and milk each. Stir well and divide into 4 equal portions (pass this on to someone!)

* I have shortened the days to 8 days as I got impatient and I halved the ingredients added for day 9. I NEED to bake the cake hehe.

Cake ingredients (for 2 round cake tins)
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of plain flour
Half tsp salt
2/3 cups of cooking oil (could substitute with melted butter)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 granny smith apples/ pears, chopped into smaller chunks
1 cup raisins (used my leftover soaked raisin mix as seen here)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 portion of Herman starter mix

Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix cake ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a lined cake tin. Pour your topping mix over the top (or add a crumble mix if you like) and bake at 160C for 1 hour or until done.

Verdict: loved every bit of it and I thought that using leftover raisin mix that had been soaked for at least 6 months in rum made the cake a lil more fragrant. Herman mix already had a nice boozy aroma and I think its best served warm:)









And because I had "adopted" another box of Herman as nobody wanted it, let's call it Sherman and make him into a chocolate cake. Have read that Herman is a very forgiving type of cake to bake and can be used to create any cake varieties that you  can imagine:)

Chocolate Sherman cake ingredients (makes 2 round cake tins or 1 long rectangle brownie tin):
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp kahlua (or vanilla if you prefer a non boozy option - I just had some in the fridge!:)
1 cup mix of dark and white chocolate chunks
1.5 cups of Herman starter mix

Mix everything together and pour into your lined baking tins. Bake at 160C for about 1 hour or until it appears almost done.

*as this is akin to a brownie recipe, I decided to bake it until it is about 90% done and left it to cool in the oven. I like my brownies to have a slightly fudge-y cake texture.



Do give this a try and let me know how you went. I am sure you won't be disappointed:)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eggless in july, Goodwood Road ADL

Been awhile since I last came to Eggless, mainly because its a bit far and the idea of queue-ing outside in winter sends chills down my spine. But alas, I caved into my sweet cravings for some homemade sweets. Eggless has a good variety of sweets to choose from be it a cake, pudding, jelly or even just a drink; there is always something for everyone.

Iced chocolate drink ~ yummmss

Avocado mousse with chocolate and peanut butter ice cream ~ the mousse was surprisingly good! I am not a fan of mousse but this was not too thick for my liking and had a subtle sweetness to it. Hands down for peanut butter ice cream.

Chocolate brownie with caramelized banana and vanilla ice cream ~ warm decadent chocolate brownie is always a winner for winter in my books.

Turkish delight tiramisu ~ a little dry for my liking but was a nice alternative to tiramisu.

Thai creme brulee with caramelized coconut flakes ~ this was a really good one and was glad it was included in the tasting platter. Creamy and bursting full of aromatic flavours.

Sticky date and chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream ~ Can't say no to warm desserts, especially when its made ready to order:))

Mont blanc cheesecake ~ chestnut puree taste was a tad faint but still a pretty good cheesecake.

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