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Bits and Bites

2010 December 7

Things are staring to settle back into a routine, and I’m getting used to my new kitchen. This has been helped immensely by the purchase of an Ikea kitchen trolley on which to store the kitchen electricals such as the toaster etc since there’s only a teeny tiny amount of space next to the only powerpoint in the bloody kitchen! Not to worry, we are working around it, and getting used to it. The oven however is a joy, and so far, so accurate.

There should be a post on the weekend from a cookbook, but in the meantime I wanted to post some pictures of some things I’ve made and things I’ve eaten, and places I’ve been:

How gorgeous is this? This is the Orange cake with Persian fig and quince from Black Star pastry in Newtown.  This is my new Bourke St Bakery, and I have to walk further for it. This is not a bad thing!

Some of you may know that I have a little weekend job working for my mate Tim at UrbanFood Market at the Kings Cross Markets. I love my Saturdays there, getting to know our regular customers and seeing their reactions when they try the bacon or this amazing Thirlmere duck! This duck breast is simply lightly oiled and cooked on our bbq. Succulent, juicy boob.  Come see us, and get some yourself!

One of my new favourite things this year has been #spitbucket organised by my mate Dan and the team at Coast Restaurant. This informal, no bullshit wine tasting event, held once per fortnight is a great way for people like me who are clueless about wine to learn more without feeling like a numpty. This last Christmas Edition also happened to be all about Champagne! Woohoo! Looking forward to this event’s return in the new year.

My new obsession: Oysters! These babies were devoured quick smart recently at a lunch at a friend’s place…along with this mango tart I made:

The host had requested a custard based dessert but I wanted to do something tropical and summery. I found this recipe in Greg Malouf’s book Moorish, and though it was delicious, the pastry recipe was a total disaster, turning to mush; and even though I put in more mango than the recipe called for, once baked it became quite a subtle flavour. I had so much filling I made a second tart the next day and took it to work.  The pastry recipe I ended up using was from Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion.

Thanks to Electrolux I was invited along to a cooking class at Fratelli with Andy Bunn of Cafe Sopra. We got to try out a couple of the menu staples which were delicious. Above is the barramundi with witlof, and the ridiculous Banoffee Pie. What I loved about the recipes we tried is how damn simple they were. It’s true you know, if you use the best ingredients, with the simplest methods, you will have a damn fine meal.

Since being the owner of a brand new mortgage, I have been trying to curb my expensive nights out. Also, the cost of  getting to and from work these days is equal to a beautiful meal out once per month. Something I’m quite unhappy about.

A little while ago I won a competition on Twitter for a restaurant voucher at Catalina.  I was thrilled! I rarely, if ever win anything, [years later I’m still trying to win one of those Boys Town house lotteries!] and also it was for a restaurant I’d always heard of but never been too.  I took the Queen of the Twitterverse and we headed off last night to use the voucher.

Such a beautiful spot, and such a lovely space…

More Oysters!This time with Lime, Chilli and Tobiko (roe)

This entree of house smoked salmon, soft boiled duck egg, truffle mayonnaise and brioche was a feast for the senses..such beautiful buttery textures..we loved the entrees and the dessert tasting plate..shame it got too dark to take pictures! I can see why Catalina is a place to be seen by the Eastern suburbs ladies who lunch..gorgeous spot

Coast Restaurant + Rooftop Bar
The Roof Terrace
Cockle Bay wharf
02 9267 6700
Coast on Urbanspoon

Lyne Park
Rose Bay
02 9371 0555
Catalina on Urbanspoon

Fratelli Fresh Cooking Classes
7 Danks Street
1300 552 119

Black Star Pastry
277 Australia Street
02 9557 8656
Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010

    Reem, I wish I could walk to Black Star every day for a little treat! Congrats on starting to find your kitchen feet in the new place 🙂

  2. December 7, 2010

    It’s great that you’re settling in to your new place. It sounds like you haven’t let the mortgage stop you from enjoying some lovely eats (the duck looks really delicious).
    OohLookBel´s last post..Chorizo haloumi skewers

  3. December 7, 2010

    Hooray for new kitchens, accurate ovens and trolleys which double as storage. We have a couple more powerpoints than you, but all in corners of small, segmented bits of benchspace. Not much continuous space to work with but better than none at all, I guess.
    mademoiselle délicieuse´s last post..Playing tourist in your own city &amp Bakers Delight winners

  4. December 8, 2010

    You have been busy! Must check out black star pastry in newtown…and funnily enough I’m always entering those Boystown Lotteries as well…LOL!

  5. December 8, 2010

    Loving your inner-west adventures! Black Star is the shiznit, you MUST try one of their eclairs, posthaste!!! x
    felixexplody´s last post..Painting the town purple

  6. December 8, 2010

    What a busy thing you’ve been! I’ve been meanign to visit you at the markets – I’m hoping the new year may be less hectic and I’ll have more time to eat & see people! The spitbucket sounds great – just the thing for wine tards like me. And couldn’t agree more on oysters. Could do with a dozen now. Easily.
    Forager @ The Gourmet Forager´s last post..Competition- Win a Blurb photo book!

  7. December 9, 2010

    They are some damn tasty bits and bites you have been enjoying!

    I have recently started eating oysters too. I stayed away for years because of a horrible first experience when I was 16. Cannot claim to be obsessed with them like you, but they do make it to my plate now and then!

  8. December 9, 2010

    Ooh look at all of those oysters! the best thing about loving them is that others often don’t like them so if you get them on a platter, you’ll end up with loads donated to you! 😛
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last post..Win 1 of 2 Ferrero Christmas Chocolate Hampers!

  9. December 13, 2010

    I am in love with Black Star Pastry. Utterly besotted. I’d fly from Melbourne to eat their yummy pastries (and just as well someone else I’d travel for lives just around the corner!).
    another outspoken female´s last post..solstice giving update

  10. March 22, 2011

    OMG how good is the house smoked salmon and that egg!

  11. November 25, 2011

    Love the views and freshness of the seafood here 🙂

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