Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Unblogged Files: March 2013

It's time for the Unblogged Files: March 2013! It was, like February, a pleasantly quiet month with lots of friends, family and food. Just the way I like it! Let's roll.

We had a celebratory family dinner at Choi's, in Hawthorn. It was rather fancy, and the food overall was tasty and clearly made of high quality ingredients, although quite expensive, and there were very few other Chinese families around. (It was Hawthorn, after all!) I'm hoping to blog our visit, but in the meantime please enjoy this picture of a bacon and spring onion pancake. It was hot and flaky and very very good.
Spring onion and bacon pancake at Choi's

I tested out the coffee at Prospect Espresso in Camberwell. Coffee was good, and the food going to other tables looked very appetizing (especially the fries!). Def wanna go back for a proper meal!
Cappuccino at Prospect Espresso - $3.80

I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Abla's with my parents. Again, this is a meal I'm hoping to blog, but for now I'd like to show you my favourite dish: kibbeh nayeh. This is a raw lamb dish, served with mint, raw onions and pita bread. It was so delicious, just like my beloved Bratwurstfilzl.
Kibbeh Nayeh

How early was Easter this year? I haven't eaten a crazy amount of hot cross buns this year, but I've really enjoyed the Hot Cross Buns from Cafe Vue - they have a lovely denseness to them, with lots of rich spices and moist dried fruit.
Hot Cross Buns

I've been cooking more Chinese food this month for quick meals (following Fuchsia Dunlop recipes, obviously, but I've also been improvising a bit and mixing up my flavourings). I really enjoy buckwheat noodles with sesame-chilli sauce, simplified dan-dan mien (I haven't got the preserved vegetables so it's not technically proper dan-dan), and stir-fried potato slivers with chilli and Sichuan pepper. I've never been in the habit of cooking several dishes with rice, Chinese-style, but I'm really developing a taste for it! It's nice to have variety.
Top row: Buckwheat noodles w/ chilli sesame sauce, peanuts and sesame seeds; stir-fried cucumber w/ Sichuan pepper & chilli
Second row: Dainty leftovers, stir-fried cucumber; Dan-Dan mien
Third row: Egg-fried rice, homestyle eggplant, bok-choy in stock, stir-fried beanshoots w/ chives; Dan-Dan mien with bok choy
Fourth row: Dan Dan mien; Stir-fried potato slivers w/ chilli & Sichuan pepper, Dan-Dan flavoured pork mince, stir-fried bok choy w/ chilli and garlic

Speaking of Chinese food, we caught up with the lovely Billy for lunch at Dainty Sichuan one weekend. Mega chilli overload! I can never get over how big the portions at Dainty are - we took leftovers home and were eating them for a week!
Clockwise from top left: Gong Bao chicken; green beans with minced pork, Chongqing chicken, fish-fragrant eggplant; cumin lamb skewers
We had a brunch catch-up with the lovely Daisy and April at Coffeehead in Camberwell. The coffee and company was wonderful, as expected, but I felt a bit bad choosing the venue - the food didn't seem to be as good as normal (although the pulled pork burger was very popular!), and there weren't any sweet items on the menu that day. (Sorry Sugar-Queen Daisy!).
Clockwise from top left:
Pulled pork burger; Yolkporn; Corn fritters; Baked eggs; Pancakes with mushrooms; Fruit salad with yogurt; Latte

That night, we hit up yet another Paul Mathis venue: Firechief Pizzeria, with some other friends. I had been planning to cook, but it was like 38 degrees that day, and my kitchen was boiling hot! No thanks! We wanted to go somewhere with good food, where it would be easy to park, and for which we didn't need a booking. Firechief fit the bill! We shared three pizzas and a bowl of fries between the four of us, which was a perfect amount.
Clockwise from top left:
Margherita d.o.p the authentic - san marzano tomato, bufala mozzarella, fresh basil & extra virgin olive oil - $20.50
Funghi - fior di latte, wood-fired baked mushrooms w porcini, taleggio & fresh parsley - $21.90
Calabria - fior di latte, parmesan, calabrese salami w green olives, chilli & fresh oregano - $21.90
Shoestring fries w rosemary salt flakes - $7.50

Speaking of hot weather, we made the most of one of the last hot days of summer by going to Chelsea Beach and getting some fish & chips. So much love!
Chelsea beach

Fish and Chips

One night, at a loose end in town, we visited Neapoli for dinner. A new restaurant from the same owners of Spring Street Grocer, they serve different pastas, rotating salads and homestyle dishes like chilli con carne (with a deep-fried cornbread stick!). They also do Spring Street Grocer gelati for $3 a scoop. Bargain!
Clockwise from top left:
Chilli con carne; Barley salad; Yogurt gelato; Mango & orange gelato

I dusted off the old blowtorch one night, and made crème brûlée! It's easier than you'd think, and soooo delicious!
Burn baby, burn!

Tap tap crack...

We caught up with April and hubby again, this time in North Melbourne. We'd wanted to go to Beatrix, but they were chockers, so had lunch at nearby Elceed, before returning to Beatrix for cake. Elceed's breakfast dishes were great, and I loved their iced mango green tea!
Clockwise from top left:
Baked eggs with feta, carrot and eggplant kassundi
Poached eggs on sourdough toast w candied prosciutto and feta
Field mushrooms on sourdough w/ balsamic glaze
Corn fritters

Beatrix seems to be crazy busy on Saturdays now that they're closed on Sundays, and a lot of cakes had sold out by the time we'd gotten there. Next time I'll sacrifice my Saturday-morning gym session and go super-early!
Orange chiffon cake with sour cream glaze

Lamington

I made Nigella's crustless pizza for lunch when I was home sick from work one day and could not even face leaving the house. Doughy yummness.

Nigella's crustless pizza

Just before the long weekend, a lovely coworker of mine shouted us Cupcake Central red velvet cupcakes! My fave!
Red velvet cupcake - $4

And that was March! I feel this post was a bit shorter than normal, because I've been pretty good about blogging things quickly - Captain Melville, the Fig Almond and Pine Nut Tart, my Chocolate Mini-Loaf Nut Cakes and my Miranda Party were all visited/baked/eaten/hosted and blogged in March. I've also got a few completed posts sitting in my drafts and thus not included in this post... stay tuned for Rockwell & Sons, The Mess Hall, White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins, and a Magic Custard Pudding Cake!

Plans for April - got a few parties and events coming up, but trying to keep my weekends free for relaxation. I know we're in the middle of a long weekend, but I'm already looking forward to Anzac day and my birthday! Yay!

5 comments:

Ashley said...

What a delicious month! Prospect Espresso is great, but a bit pricey for a meal in my opinion. But worth trying at least once!

Ack! Can you believe I still haven't been to Dainty?! Keep getting so much shit for it, must rectify one of these cold nights!

msihua said...

Mmm a new place for brunching! ooh lala!

Hannah said...

Deep-fried cornbread! That's exciting enough that I'll forgive you for assaulting my eyes with that orange chiffon cake. :P

Coffeehead said...

Hey Sarah

I am loving your blog post round ups! I just wanted to drop you a line that we have seen your feedback and waned to get back in touch with you as we now have a new Head Chef on board at Coffeehead - Oscar - we brought him over from Journal Canteen on Flinders Lane and will be implementing his new menu frin the next 2 weeks. Before Journal he came up Ћ ranks in Church Street Enoteca, Da Noi and Tea Rooms of Yarck.

We hope to have you back to give the new menu the once-over.

- CH

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Spring onion and bacon pancakes! Hubba hubba! And homemade pizza is guaranteed to make anyone feel better, right? Although better if someone else makes it for you. lol