Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Meatball & Wine Bar, CBD

Meatball & Wine Bar
135 Flinders Lane
CBD
(Formerly Breadwell Cafe)


"Wanna go for meatballs for lunch?"

Is it possible to answer this question in a negative way? Do you really want to be friends with someone who doesn't like meatballs? (there are fish and veg options, so there are no excuses! =p )

Luckily, Ms K was happy to come with to Meatball & Wine Bar for a quick lunch during the week. We sat on long benches at a communal table - look, I love sharing food and the communal approach, but these long benches seemed a little impractical for both diners and waiters. However, I also love to see what other people are ordering and if they are enjoying their food, so thumbs up for spying ability on the shared table/bench.

Enough griping, onto the food: choose from different type of meatballs (beef, chicken, fish and veg - some with more trimmings in the fillings than others) plus a tomato, creamy or herby sauce. You can then pick an accompaniment - such as pasta or greens as below, or you can have them as mini burgers (sliders) or as a hero sanger.

We shared the Chicken, Pistachio, Muscatel and Parmesan meatballs with the tomato sauce and homemade pasta. Great flavours - with the minor quibble that the meatballs could have had a little more fat to make them a bit silkier? Altogether, a great combination - you can't really go wrong with a good tomato sauce!

We also shared the Fish, dill and lemon meatballs (which possibly contained potato too). These were made with shredded fish meat (rather than cooking minced raw fish - as a fishball in a noodle soup might be made for example), and were delicate and light. Great with the asparagus too.

Since the meatballs were smaller in size, we opted for the Whoopie Mac dessert, essentially an ice cream sandwich. Again we were given choices of macarons and icecream, here we have Chocolate macs with Cherry Icecream and Pistachio macs with vanilla.

Yes, they are MASSIVE. We laughed and laughed when these humungous sandwiches appeared. They are bigger than the glass of water (refer pic below). It was waay too late to Abort! so we soldiered on.

Ice creams pretty good. Macs less so.
Our advice, skip the desserts, stick with mains!

Spy report: the cured meats and giant mozarella balls are next thing to try here! Looked pretty awesome at the next table. I am also keen to try the jerky (what is ninja jerky do you think?) and breakfast balls are coming soon, curiouser and curiouser.

The Meatball bar filled quickly during our time there, and it was a 90 minute wait the Friday night before, so be prepared to wait at peak times or head out for an early lunch.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Station Hotel, Footscray

Station Hotel
Cnr Hyde and Napier Streets
Footscray


We've been visiting the Station Hotel in Footscray for a few years now and, living up to its fine reputation under the helm of Sean Donovan (now also of Wayside Inn in South Melbourne), it has never disappointed. Whether in the lovely dining room or watching the footy in the bar, the atmosphere, service and food has been consistently excellent.

There is a famously impressive meat selection here - it seems a crime not to have a steak. (Maybe it's just in our minds, but we swear that now and then we can smell meeeaty aromas as we pass by). Despite a lucklustre promise to stop eating too much - we had to make exceptions for birthday celebrations right?!

So, we celebrated a birthday or two with a delicious Wagyu X Holstein rostbiff steak - cooked to perfection and accompanied with simultaneously crisp and soft chips. 

We also chose one of the market fish - a baby snapper with with a light and tangy Tuscan cabbage, fennel and daikon salad. I'm yet to fully embrace the bulbous fennel, but this crispy, tart salad could just about tip me over.
We can't wait to come back in summer for the 1/2 price oyster and wine/beer deal - can you think of a nicer way to spend a sunny afternoon? See you there!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ajitoya, seddon

ajitoya
82 charles street
seddon
open: tues - sun, 11am-9pm (3pm on sun).

we have recently moved out west, and i'm afraid to say that with updates from eky and her wefo* mother's club (these guys know everything that is going on in the west, seriously!), as well as keeping up with footscray food blog and consider the sauce, we have simply been tucking in and forgetting the pics (sorry m's!). it's bit like the tree falling in the forest, a modern dilemma: can you post on a food blog without photographic evidence? were you really there? =p

so we are proud to post that we had the lovely pleasure of dining at ajitoya in seddon for lunch (is 11:30am technically lunch?). previously, we were unlucky and the premises were being renovated, and seeing ajitoya open, being greedy and pretty much always hungry, we immediately decided to lunch early.

 Karaage set from Ajitoya

there were plenty of starters, sushi and rice dishes to choose from the menu. we ordered the karaage and sashimi lunch sets, which arrive with salad options, rice and miso soup.  the karaage were tender and juicy, and the sashimi was melt-in-your-mouth fresh and delicious. oftentimes, miso soup can often be quite salty, but ajitoya's version was sweet and soft - perfect for the meal. elmo was very pleased to see a selection of japanese craft beers available too (is 11:45am too early for a beer?). 

luckily, elmo has the patience to take pics, i'd already started tucking into the sashimi (yum!). we were treated to lovely service and excellent food, and look forward to returning and tasting some of the beers!

note: ajitoya are closing for two weeks in october for renovations, so get in while you can. or enjoy your japanese beers in summer!

* that's west footscray to us plebs

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just another day? Give yourself a love bite!

To every organism out there who's in love, looking or lost, give yourself a little love with these cranberry cashew love bites and enjoy a delicious pick me up on an otherwise average day.

Cashew and cranberry love bites and coffee

For the cookies: Take a handful of chopped cashews and dried cranberries. Mix with a cup each of plain flour and oat/muesli mix. Combine together with 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 egg and 75g of melted butter. Form into dough, roll into small balls. Pat to flatten partly and pop into 180C oven until golden brown ~15-20min. In microwave, melt 50g of dark chocolate until smooth stream. Take bamboo skewer, dip into chocolate and flick over cookies to create chocolate drizzle pattern. Cool and pop into air tight container. Feel free to substitute any nut/dried fruit combination. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Middle fish- new thai temptation near Melbourne University

7am-5pm on Monday to Friday
10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday
122-128 Berkeley Street, North Melbourne

Just before the Christmas break serenity later and I headed over to Seven Seeds for a caffeine fix and noticed rumblings next door. Peeking in we saw a large warehouse set up with hip furnishings and a very enthusiastic couple welcoming us to dine in. Unfortunately, it was too early for food but we promised to return. 

Now that work's started up for the new year and I'm back in the hood, I took the opportunity to check out Middle Fish (lots of other folk have already given it the thumbs up but at least we can add to the recommendations).  Unfortunately we were only in a grazing mood this instance but found a few  light and tasty treats.

vegetable spring rolls

 Hot and sour apple, shrimp and strawberry salad

Banana Roti with condensed milk

We also tried the Green Curry and Tom Yum soup with rice on a different occasion, both delicious and very tasty. The only drawback is because it's a new, hip place-the lunch rush leaves you waiting awhile for your food, so best ot check it out before noon or after two.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sydney seafood school- BBQ seafood lesson

 For Magic G's birthday last year I got a seafood BBQ voucher from the Sydney Seafood School, held at the Sydney Fish Markets. We used it over the weekend and discovered some tricks to making some simple and other more fiddly seafood meals. Altogether the cooking lesson runs for half the day- there's a 2 hour cooking demonstration with a Q and A session but by the time you get around to cooking yourself, the smells are almost enough to make you want to ditch and grab some fish n' chips from the stalls outside!  

We made five different dishes, exploring step by step different methods of preparation. For the prawns we were shown how best to remove the stomach/nerve track and peel them for maximum absorption of  tangy chilli marinade. They served to temper our appetite while we spent the next ninety minutes preparing the rest of our meal. We were shown how to de-bone and butterfly garfish, peel and clean squid, dry and salt salmon to make it crispy and perhaps the most frustrating part of the lesson de-beard mussels. The results are shown below. Overall it was enjoyable and practical for anyone wanting to learn how to properly BBQ seafood and the best part was eating the results at the end of the session. 

 
 butterfly BBQ garfish and rocket salad

 BBQ salmon steaks with creamy lime and garlic mayonnaise

garlic butter mussels

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tiramisu

If you look through the archives of this blog, you'll find a more summery take on the traditional tiramisu. This version is taken from Italian Food Safari but there are many more .... and a lot of those are more straightforward than this one!! I found the timing can get a bit tricky, especially when it comes to making the meringue, so have a think about the logistics before embarking on this step. I also tried this using my handheld mixer, and must admit that I really did think that my flimsy whisk attachment was going to break at one point. So if you have anything like a stand mixer (I wanted a KitchenAid before, but now I really want one!) then by all means use it!! That said, this did turn out really well.

3 egg yolks
60g castor sugar
500g mascarpone (but Philadelphia cream cheese works fine)
70ml Kahlua
1 packet savoiardi biscuits
80g dark chocolate, ground
hot espresso coffee

For meringue
100ml cold water
250g castor sugar
125ml egg whites

Whisk egg yolks and castor sugar on high speed, until fluffy and pale in colour. Add the mascarpone/cream cheese and whisk until mixture thickens. Once it has thickened, add Kahlua and keep mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. Set aside.

Add water to a clean saucepan. Slowly add castor sugar such that all grains get wet and there aren't any on the walls of the saucepan. On a medium heat, bring to soft ball stage. What this means is that if you take a spoonful of the sugar mixture and drop it into a cup of cold water, the sugar mixture should form a small ball.

Whisk egg whites until fluffy and forming peaks. At this stage, start adding the hot sugar mix. When all sugar added, keep whisking until cooled.

Fold the meringue into the mascarpone/cream cheese mix.

Briefly dip the biscuits in hot coffee (don't want them soggy). Line a baking tray with the biscuits alongside each other.

Add a layer of the mascarpone/cream cheese mix, then sprinkle generously with ground chocolate. Cover this with biscuits and repeat the layering of the cheese and chocolate.

Keep in fridge at least 2 hours before serving.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

when in Seoul...

enjoy a good ole Korean BBQ

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Ottolenghi- Pear and Cranberry upside down cake

Sunday afternoons can seem lonely sometimes, so it's good to forget yourself with food. Awhile back came across this recipe from one of Ottolenghi's online recipe offerings (we're big fans here of the simple and easy recipes- thanks to jfox for the introducing us!)


The recipe can be found here on the Ottolenghi website along with a much more foodperve worthy photo of the cake. My only note would be to ditch the caramel step and just sprinkle same amount of sugar on the bottom of cake tin and then add small knobs of butter before adding the fruit. Also if you feel the mixture is too wet add a bit more almond meal, if you think it's too dry add a few teaspoons of the poaching syrup.

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