Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Unblogged Files: January 2013

Yo yo, January round-up! It didn't feel particularly busy, but here I am at the end of the month with a heap o' pictures to share! That doesn't even include the things I've already blogged (Shimbashi, Spring Street Grocery) or the things that I'll be blogging very shortly (a fab Australia Day concert/lunch at Rochford Winery, my endlessly Instagrammable breakfasts, round 2 of the Lobster Dinner...)

Here we go!

It was hot this month, I got obsessed with frozen yogurt - particularly Yo-Chi in Balaclava, which we visited a bunch of times. They seem to be constantly crazy busy, but the queues move pretty quickly, and the friendly staff seem to direct the crowd and clean up efficiently. I think Cacao Green has slightly higher quality products, but it's fun building your own fro-yo at Yo-Chi and adding all the different toppings. (Although it does get expensive if you go overboard!) Worth a visit!
Yo-Chi, Balaclava
I even had these big plans to do an epic comparison post between Yochi, Cacao Green, Tutti Frutti and Igloo Zoo... but then I OD'd on froyo and am totally over it. For now...

Speaking of obsessions - GLICKS!
Glicks Challah, Challah Bagel, Normal Bagel
On one of my visits to Yochi, I realised that the Carlisle street Glicks is open til late on Thursdays. Yay! Cue me wolfing down loaves and loaves of freshly-baked fluffy soft challah, and enjoying excellent bagels for breakfast. LOVE!

We made a visit to The People's Market, which was a pleasant way to spend a weekend afternoon. I wasn't too interested in the art or shopping stands, but really liked the different food stalls/trucks. (The food stands seem to rotate too, so I want to visit again in a few weeks' time!)
The People's Market

Vegan Chilli Dog - $8
Pink Lemonade - $4
Passionfruit Iced Tea - $4
It sounds like an oxymoron, but we were really impressed by the Vegan chilli dog from South - it was fantastic, and this is coming from me (a committed carnivore) and Sandra (who is German and therefore an authority on sausages). It wasn't just good "for a vegan dog", it was good for a hot dog, full stop. Great stuff! Just quietly, we liked the vegan chilli dog from South better than the real meat meatballs from The Meatball Company, which were a little underwhelming.

We had some blistering hot days this month, which means one thing: beach! I'm loving Chelsea beach right now...
Chelsea Beach
And trekking out to Chelsea always means stopping off in Springvale for cheap and tasty Vietnamese food. Yum! I've been enjoying Pho Hung Vuong and Pho Huong Dakao - but am happy to take recommendations! What's your fave place in Springvale?
Top left: Pho Ga from Pho Hung Vuong
Everything else from Pho Huong Dakao

We enjoyed a fab BBQ at Adrian's place - so much meat and so many Filipino treats! The BBQ lamb adobo with chilli dressing was Amaaaazing!
Meatfeast
I also made some meringues to bring along...
Shiny meringues
...so that we could make bowls of refreshing sweet Eton Mess. Perfect summer dessert, amirite?
Eton Mess

And in total contrast to that meat feast, lunch the next day was at Yong Green Food. I love their Macro Dragon Bowl, all healthy and nourishing with brown rice, chunks of tempeh and a fab lemon tahini sauce.
Macro Dragon Bowl - $18

Before dinner at Shimbashi, I ducked into Ombra Salumi Bar on Bourke street for a sneaky solo Friday-night tipple. I loved the negroni bianco I ordered, and totally want to go back to try their cichetti and salumi!
Negroni Bianco - Gin, Cocchi Americano, Cynar, Doli n Dry - $18

My friend Jeremy had a Mexican-themed birthday party - Jeremy made excellent tequila cocktails, and his girlfriend Val made fantastic tacos, using these incredible white corn tortillas that she ordered online from El Cielo. (They're miles above the standard supermarket tortillas, and certainly better than the hard cracker-like things I made when I attempted making tortillas myself!) Definitely buying the El Cielo ones next time.
El Cielo Tortillas

My contribution to the party was Nigella's flourless chocolate lime cake with margarita cream... very moist and super delicious. (This reminds me that Nigella has a whole range of flourless chocolate cake recipes I should try - she certainly loves riffing on a theme! I can also heartily recommend her chocolate espresso cake with caffe latte cream!)
Nigella's flourless chocolate lime cake with margarita cream
Val also got these super cute lego cakes from Burch & Purchese. They're so cute I can't handle it! They tasted seriously good too - each colour was a different flavour and was made up of a wonderfully light mousse and thin sponge base.
Burch & Purchese lego cake
Another friend brought a ricotta cheesecake - there was So Much Cake! Phew!

For one of our regular mid-week Miranda-viewing nights (yes, we have standing dates with different groups of friends to watch Miranda on different nights of the week and no, I'm not ashamed), I whipped up a batch of Dan Lepard's Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins - wonderful stuff, especially with the crunch of salted peanuts. (The use of peanut butter in the batter is such a great idea too!) I thought they could have used a little extra sugar, but my friends seemed to like them!
Dan Lepard's chocolate and peanut butter muffins
PS I got those cute muffin cups from Daiso in Japan back in 2007. Cuuuute, right?

My friend Anna recently bought her own house - complete with pizza oven in the backyard, jealous! - and she had us over for a great pizza party. We got to assemble our own pizzas and cook them in the amazing oven. (For some reason no-one was taking the fior di latte, so I loaded up my pizza with it. Yummmmm).
Pizza party
Dessert was a make your own sundae bar (much like Yo-Chi, come to think of it), with loads of toppings (berries, Oreos, chocolate peanut butter fudge sauce...) and Anna's own homemade chocolate and vanilla ice-cream. So much deliciousness!
Sundae!

Dumplings at Luyang Dumpling House in Box Hill. They were a little rougher than, say, Mr Huang Jin, but very cheap and tasty. On this visit we only had dumplings, but I saw and smelled some cumin lamb coming out of the kitchen while we were there and it smelled amazing! Must try next time.
Clockwise from left: Pan fried pork dumplings, Xiao Long Bao, Chive Dumplings

Sandra made these incredibly cute Egg Cakelets as a weekend project. Yes, they are literally baked inside an eggshell, and they are too cute to function! (The recipe and steps are on this post at The Cupcake Project if you'd like to try them yourself!)
Egg cakelet

Chinese New Year is coming, and in preparation we've decorated the flat and stocked up on CNY cookies! Kuih kapit (centre) and kuih bangkit (right) are so addictive. I can't stop!

And finally, last night I attended the launch of Pawn & Co, a speakeasy-style bar in the surprising location of Chapel Street Prahran. (Directly above the Fitness First and opposite the KFC, for realsies).

The drinks list is inspired by the Prohibition era and foodwise, they tap into the current trend for sliders and meatballs. Their schtick is that everything in the venue is for sale. That's everything, from the decorations, to the chairs, to the bar, and even, disconcertingly, the waitstaff's clothes! Ahem!
Balls in boats with little tags. SO INSTAGRAMMABLE
That was January! My plans for February are to celebrate Chinese New Year, and to catch up on some much-needed sleep!!

6 comments:

Cindy said...

Interesting to see an omnivore enjoying South's food! I can't help noticing, every time I've visited the People's Market, that it has much longer queues than any other stall.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wow that is a lot of food! :O And it all looks really good too-love the look of those lego cakes from Burch & Purchese! :D

Ashley said...

Looks like you had a great January! :) Been meaning to pop by the People's Market!

Daisy@Nevertoosweets said...

I love your monthly round ups and love that I recognise some of the photos from Instagram hehe ~ I loveddddddd that lego cake from B&P! And the shiny meringue!!! I've never managed to make proper meringue lol they're either too sweet or too crunchy just not quite right!

Javier C said...

Hi Sarah!

Im Javier from El Cielo, just wanted to thank you for posting about us on your blog, i would like to offer you 2 packs of fresh corn tortillas for your next Mexican cooking session! let me know when you can come collect them. thanks!

Stephanie Jones said...

Can't wait to try those egg shell cakes for Easter! I would really love to subscribe by email but every time I try I get this message: The feed does not have subscriptions by email enabled.