Archive for the 'food' Category

Food photography shoot with Sab and Chisa

A few weekends ago I had another food photography shoot with the 2 incredibly talented photographers, Chisa from chigarden and Sabrina from Sabatomic.  The subject we shot was a variety of tarts which we prepped, styled and photographed on location at Chisa’s lovely light filled home.  The tart shells were premade a day before so shooting time was much shorter than our last group shoot.  Fillings included a lemon curd made by Sabrina, a light cream cheese filling made by myself and a dark and white chocolate ganache made by Chisa.  We had a creme anglaise (pouring custard) but unfortunately that one didn’t work out but we still managed to get a variety of shots on the day.  For decoration we used a series of mixed berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with some mint for garnish which went well with all the tarts.  Overall a successful and fun photo shoot not to mention delicious!  Here’s some of the shots from the day and hope you enjoy them.

Food Photography shoot with Sab and Chisa

A few weekends ago I had a food photography shoot with fellow bloggers Sab from Sabatomic and Chisa from Chigarden.  I had never done food styling before and had wanted to do a shoot together with these 2 for a while.  We finally managed to get a free weekend where we all weren’t busy and spent the day making cupcakes from scratch and styling them for the shoot.

Sabrina has been taking photos of food and has been styling her shoots for a lot longer than I have so seeing how she works was a real eye opener.  With many props provided from both Chisa and Sab we managed to get a variety shoots utilising most of the natural light and creative critique from everyone to get the best shots we could on the day.

Besides taking photos I shot behind the scenes and made a BTS video so you can see what work is required when shooting food photography.

Thanks goes to Sab from her great tips and advice on food photography as well as Chisa for letting us use her house as our personal studio and cudos to both for their advice and creative critique on the day :).

Shane Quade Dessert Degustation

I actually went to eat this a while ago but life just took over and I hadn’t had the chance to do any food posts till now.  Since this did happen quite a while ago I can’t remember everything in exact detail, but from what I can remember from the night was that it was incredibly memorable.  All desserts were very different from one another and in some desserts nothing was ever as it seemed.

The desserts were intricate, well presented and quite different to anything I had tried before.  Elements had been dehydrated, items were not what they seemed, like a yolk was actually a constructed sugary sac filled with a rich creamy sweet pumpkin sauce or what appeared to be nutmeg was instead a chocolate shell disguised as a nutmeg shell and once cracked oozed a luscious chocolate filling, and so on.

The evening staff were well informed, describing each dish and the elements that made them.  The desserts overall weren’t overly sweet and had  subtle flavours and best of all each dessert always kept me guessing and piqued my curiousity to what and how some of the items were made.  I’m very happy to have experienced such as event and if I get another chance I will definitely attend another one of Shane Quade’s dessert degustions.

Review: Penny Farthing Expresso

Located in Northcoate I decided to give this place a go as I hadn’t tried too many cafes outside of the city area.  The place is located on a busy street amongst a collection of other cafes that looked equally delectable so I must definitely return to this area to sample the other offerings the Northcoate suburb has to offer.  Upon approaching the cafe it was quite busy, it was a beautiful day so it looked like alot of the locals had the same idea as me and decided to venture out into the beautiful weather.  After approaching the counter (because no one greets you or indicates to you to have a seat) I was made to wait for the waiter to finish his conversation about micro brewery beer and what he had been listening to most recently with his coffee drinking friend.  After awkwardly standing there for a good couple of minutes I was finally welcomed with a “Can I help you?” and I asked him if there were any seats available as most of the place appeared to be packed.  He said he would check the back and upon returning went about his business making coffee.   After a few moments of waiting he looked up confused and asked me “If everything was alright?” I reminded him about the table for me and he replied casually “Yeah there’s some in the back go on through”.  Noting down the awful service in the beginning of the day I decided to plod on through, maybe all the other waiters and waitresses weren’t this awful.  Finally after dodging other wait staff through a narrow corridor I found myself a seat and flagged down a waitress to request the menu.  The waitress was not as bad as the first one but struggled with some questions I had about the coffees.  I made my order and after a few moments received my coffee and breakfast.

I ordered the fig, caramelised onion and bacon chutney served on sourdough with poached eggs and roquette with one of their special blend coffees.  The roquette was of poor quality not offering the bitey nutty flavour that usual comes with it.  The chutney was not what I was expecting and was overall much too sweet and dry for a chutney.  A single lemon wedge offered, provided to lift the dish was pathetic and all dried up.  Bread and eggs were nice but where it counted it didn’t deliver.  

Overall the combination of ingredients could have worked better if more thought and care was put into it.  Coffee was nice but I won’t say it was anything special as I can get just as good a cup at anyone of the other cafes I frequent with much better service provided.  Cost wise in my opinion is a little over priced, I didn’t feel as it was worth the money I spent and ambience was loud and felt as I needed to hurry up, eat and get out.  Spacing is an issue in this place as there isnt much of it especially in the back where I was seated and the overall noise and confined space left me feeling uncomfortable and far from relaxed.

I usually don’t recommend to not attend a place but if you do end up in the Northcoate area I would recommend trying some where else.  If you do go into Penny Farthing Expresso maybe just get a coffee for take away.

Food Review: Luxbite “Apple of my Eye” dessert.

I went to Luxbite over the weekend to try their latest creation, their “Apple of my Eye” dessert. It was a chamomile cream cheese mousse with a spiced apple compote inside, over the top was a kiwi jelly with a green apple glaze, and to finish it off a caramalised apple skin for the stalk. On appearance it is beautifully presented, the glossy glaze and the apple appearance leaves you thinking it would be a tangy delight with that tart bitiness that green apples usually offer. I asked a young sales person about their newest creation and she told me that it was one of her favorites and that she liked it because of it’s subtle flavours and the combination of ingredients was to die for. I myself am a fan of more contrasting textures and strong flavours, but I didn’t want that at the time so I thought that this would be a perfect light dessert without it being over powering or too dense on the palette. After the initial discection, all the flavours are subtlely different. Each component which makes up the dessert has its own taste, however the chamomile cream cheese mousse did not grab me as well as the other flavours. I tasted no chamomile or detected any scent of it and the cream cheese left an oily residue in my mouth.

If the cream cheese was done in a different way or perhaps done a little better I think the combination of flavours would have been more successful. The combination was something I was looking forward to as the sales person had nothing but high praise for it, but since the flavours were so mellow everything sort of just combined together leaving my mouth feeling greasy and searching for flavour. The base itself appeared to be a sort of crust but the crust itself was slightly soggy, most likely it had seeped up the juices of the spiced apple compote. I thought maybe my palette was used to strong flavours that it needed time to settle into it but after several bites and more dissecting unfortunately my opinion did not change.  After trying several more bites I decided to try it with the caramelised apple skin as the “stalk” to see if the component added some sort of flavour to it.  Unfortunately their “caramelised” apple stalk was a dried, tough, hard apple skin with no sugar what so ever and was almost inedible so I discarded it and kept on eating. After finishing the dessert I was left quite disappointed from the whole experience, essentially I spent 15 minutes eating what seemed like a “mellow mush”, it sounds harsh but I honestly don’t know any other way to describe it. Most of the components separately were quite nice with their subtle flavours (except for the mousse) but overall as a dessert there was nothing that stood out when eaten as a whole. Textures were mostly boring, everything felt the same (thus the mush reference) and I couldn’t say that I actually enjoyed the dessert all that much.

I would have liked it much better if the base was like a cheesecake base, crumbly that breaks apart in the mouth (adding to texture), and would have liked the apple compote to be less mushy and the apples to be slightly more firmer to add to texture. Also if they were to add chamomile I would have liked to taste that a little more in the mousse or even have the smell of chamomile if they could not achieve the flavour. The apple glaze and kiwi jelly was perfect, providing a very slight tang to the dessert.  My conclusion, not my cup of tea however if you really really REALLY like very mild flavours I would suggest giving this one a go. Happy trials!!! 🙂

P.S I didn’t bring my big camera this time round so mobile shots it is.

Luxbite review


Luxbite is a small cafe located in South Yarra and is known for their gourmet macarons and cakes.  I got there around 4pm on a Sunday afternoon and the place was packed!  Seats were fully occupied by happy customers chit chatting over coffee and there was an eager looking line of people waiting for a table.  I decided to wait it out and shortly after a few minutes I was placed in a slightly awkward spot near the counter and the cake display area.  To be fair it was really crowded and they did ask me if it was okay if I wanted to sit in the spot or not.  Not wanting wait and since it was only myself I told them I wouldn’t mind.  After some pondering on what I should get I requested my order at the counter (since I was so close to it anyway) and took my seat and soaked in the atmosphere.  The cafe is bustling, if there was any music playing you definitely couldn’t hear it amongst the yums and exclaimed oh’s.  If you are looking for a quiet and calm experience I’m sorry you’ll have to go else where as this place was buzzing.

In the end I decided on a Mocha and a Bread and Butter Pudding with a Pandan Anglaise, service was quick and not 10 minutes later my dessert and coffee arrived.  Presentation for the bread and butter pudding was simple, not as impressive as their other desserts but really I don’t think you can do much with a bread and butter pudding.  It looked rather small and seemed to be swimming in a lot more sauce then I thought was necessary, but in the end the flavours, consistency and amounts were just right.  Don’t be fooled by this desserts mediocre appearance, it is a rich and very filling dessert.  I’m usually very reluctant to leave food on a plate, especially if it’s good food but after several attempts I could not finish this miniature monster.  Coffee was rather bland, it’s not terrible coffee but it’s nothing great either.  A little on the watery side I would probably stick to tea if I was going to go for a hot beverage.

I decided to take away another cake for later on in the evening called the Stoned Meringue Monster, a little work of art consisting of a 2 flavoured mousse on the inside (apricot and raspberry) and a pistachio base, covered in a luscious meringue, sprinkled with slithers of pistachio and what I think was a raspberry powder.  The cake was a delicious combination of tarty fruity flavours combined with a creamy sweet and slightly bitter meringue.  The texture of the slithered pistachios and base combined with the creaminess of the mousse and meringue keeps your palette wanting more with every bite.  As delicious is each element on its on is when combined equals something simply delectable.

Prices for this place were reasonable, I only had a dessert so I’m basing my judgement on desserts only and not the rest of the menu.  In future I will definitely be coming back to try more of these delectable treats especially some of the macarons and other items on the menu such as some of the breakfast’s and savoury items.  Oh yes FYI they don’t just do cakes and macarons, so if you’re not a big fan of sweets but your friends are there is an option for the non sweet tooth people out there.  Hope you found this review helpful and hope you have a wonderful experience if you ever make your way to Luxbite.

3 Bags Full Breakfast

Over the weekend I went to ‘3 Bags Full’ for breakfast with some friends of mine.  We arrived at the place around 11’oclock (I know late breakfast) and it was quite packed as we went during the peak period.  After a short wait we were escorted to our seats and decided on what we wanted to order, my friends decided on a big breakfast and avocado over toast and I decided on a cured beetroot salmon with dill sauce and some sort of fritter (sorry I couldn’t remember the name of the fritter).  We were told that the wait time for food would be about half an hour, understandably as they were really quite busy so we ordered coffee and tea and waited for our food.  True to their word the food arrived about 30mins later although by this time my friend who had wanted to drink her hot tea with the meal had gone cold.  Presentation wise it was nothing to scream about, it’s pretty standard looking and as for taste it’s good, but for the amount you’re paying not that good.  Meals are substantial and will fill you up however with prices averaging about $15, in my personal opinion I think it is a tad high for what you get.  The atmosphere is great having quite a hustle and bustle feel to it, however conversations may be a bit hard if you sit inside.  The wait staff are wonderful, always asking if everything is okay and checking up on you and as for coffee and tea, not a large selection of tea and their coffee was good but didn’t quite win me over.  Overall I had a good experience, I wouldn’t say I’d visit there again any time soon but give it ago and you can be the judge.

Beetroot cured salmon dish

Big Breakfast

Avocado on toast

Congratulations, you made it all the way to the end and are rewarded with a pic of my friend's very cute shoes 🙂

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