Posts Tagged 'food'

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.

Watercolour Illustrations

So in the last 2 weeks I’ve been practicing with watercolours since I’ve never been that great with traditional media.  A couple of weeks back I asked a friend of mine (who is rather good at watercolours) to teach me how she does it.  After a  lesson of showing me techniques and what materials to use I haven’t stopped banging out these illustrations since.  Hopefully I’ll make these into a series and sell some prints once I get enough illustrations finished *crosses fingers*, here’s hoping :).  Just a short post this week on some illustration stuff which I haven’t posted about for a while, hope you enjoyed it and will see you next time (not literally) :).

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 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.

Easter times, food and birthdays

During the easter holiday I went back home to Perth to visit friends and family, whilst there I was invited to my friend’s restaurant/cafe called Marumo which does both fish and chips and a special Omakase (Chef’s Selection) menu.  Now the Omakase is only available through bookings so for your reference be sure to book in advance by at least 2 days if you decide to dine here.   Below are some pictures of the courses we received along with the menu of what they were offering on the night.

Besides catching up with awesome friends and eating great food a friend and I who celebrate a mutual birthday date were surprised when out comes a belated birthday cake.  Green tea flavored of course so not to break the theme of the night :).

So after only a few sun filled days of spending time with family and friends I hopped on back to Melbourne, welcomed by 13 degree weather MAXIMUM mind you, pelting rain, cold nights and chilly mornings.  Oh Melbourne, Y U NO HAVE even weather pattern?!

For more information on Marumo please visit their facebook page or check em out on urbanspoon.com.  Also I’ll be going back to normal updating times so no more irregular postings through out the week guys.

Food review: Burch and Purchese

I had heard about this place from a view bloggers and was recommended by a couple of friends to visit this place.  Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip of Chapel Street in South Yarra, I made my way there and was greeted by the friendly staff keen for me to sample some of their latest creations.  I struck up a conversation with one of the sales attendants and from what the she told me is that Burch & Purchese do a seasonal menu, so not all the deserts will always be there.  However they do have some items which are always on the menu so don’t be frightened about an always changing menu just in case you develop a favorite.

Inside Burch & Purchese

Selection of gorgeous cakes

I think I have already pointed out the absolutely wonderful customer service they have, with staff ready to help you with any enquiries about any of the cakes, chocolate or ice creams they stock.  Or even provide you with suggestions of cakes or confectioneries if you are buying for friends or family as a gift.  The place is lovely and small with no seating so heads up for those that want to sit down and have a coffee, it’s not that kind of place.  The cakes and chocolates are all crafted exquisitely with some amazing and definitely different flavour variations so be sure to be adventurous and try some of the lesser common combinations.

Smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed and lemon cake

Coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint dessert

Since it was my first time I decided to try their cakes first so I bought a coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint dessert (this wasn’t quite a cake) and a smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed and lemon cake.  The first one I tried was the smoked white chocolate.  What really interested me about this cake was the smoked chocolate, I had never tried it before and was curious to see if it really had the smokey flavor.  I took my first bite and it was DIVINE!!  This cake was amazing, the smoked white chocolate was there but only slightly so it’s not overpowering the rest of the intricate layers of the cake.  Everything they had claimed that was in this cake was in it!  Each layer was different, a lemon curd, brownie sponge,crunchy almond meringue, aniseed syrup it was all absolutely beautiful and the combination of it all was sheer bliss.  Not only is presentation impeccable but also the favours were just amazing.  Words cannot describe how good this cake was I can only highly recommend you go to this shop as soon as possible if you’re an avid cake lover such as myself.  As for the other dessert the coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint dessert it had several layers (not as many as the smoked white chocolate cake) and just like the previous one tasted incredible.  The textures of the coconut caviar (as they called it) gave a wonderful texture combined with the ginger and salted oat crumble on the bottom leaving me almost refreshed with the tart passion fruit curd in the mix as well.  Truly when I ate this I cried a little because it was just so darn good.  So my overall opinion for Burch and Purchese is that it is one of the best places for desserts I’ve been to in a while.  I highly highly HIGHLY recommend you give this place a go I know I’m definitely going back again for seconds, thirds, fourths and more.

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/71/1589023/restaurant/Melbourne/South-Yarra-Toorak/Burch-Purchese-Sweet-Studio-South-Yarra”><img alt=”Burch &amp; Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1589023/minilink.gif&#8221; style=”border:none;padding:0px;width:130px;height:36px” /></a>

Food in Perth review: “Beluga”, “The Avairy” and “Sherbert”

For the holidays this season I went back home to Perth for a while to spend some time with the friends and family.  Once I returned I was lucky enough to be invited to dine at some new restaurants, well new to me at least :).  One of them was called Beluga located within the Claremont Quarter quite close to KOKO black.  A fine dinning restaurant with a lovely interior, top notch staff and food which was to die for.  We went in a group so we ordered a few entrees to share so we could try all the different varieties.  We ended up ordering the gnocchi, braised clams, stuffed zucchini flowers (which were amazing!) and the tortellini.  The stand out was the clams and stuffed zucchini flowers however the gnocchi and the tortellini was good but nothing to scream about.  Mains were a bit touch and go, some were incredibly delicious and some just didn’t make the mark.  For example the Pork Belly which I ordered was not crispy, meat was dry and the crackling was chewy.  A chilli mussle broth, whilst the mussels were tasty the sauce was watery and bland.  If you were to order a side of bread to dip into the sauce I honestly wouldn’t bother as the bread itself would taste better by itself.  A lamb shoulder which was mouth-watering, seasoned nicely with herbs and lemon rind, marinated, slow cooked to perfection and was just divine.  A Duck confit with a lovely salad which I thought was the best dish of all, and some Barramundi fish sticks accompanied with celeriac on top.  Don’t be perturbed by the name of the dish, it was a lovely, tasty and light, although the serving size was a bit small it was still very nice.  All in all it was a good experience, I would say definitely give it a go, prices average about $30 for a main and about $20 for an entree depending on what you order.

Gnocchi

Stuffed zucchini flower

Tortellini

Clams

Lamb shoulder

Pork belly

Duck confit

Chilli mussles

Baramundi fish sticks

Next place I tried out was the fairly new ‘The Avairy’, a roof top bar and restaurant. Very nicely designed so extra points from me (I’m a sucker for a good interior) , unfortunately I only partially saw some of the Aviary as my friend and I decided to eat on the roof top bar area.  Lovely setup with faux grass, colourful stools, undercover bar, plenty of room and a great view the atmosphere and ambience of the place is ideal for some drinks after work and/or lunch date.  We sat down and proceeded to look through the menu, although alot of dishes didn’t seem to stand out it seemed it was your typical run of the mill kind of stuff.  Alot of pizzas, steak sandwiches, salads, the usual but a little more directed to the upmarket crowd.  We decided on a salad and a pizza in the end and got ourselves a lovely pear cider to sip on in the 35 degree weather.  Our salad came out first, an apple smoked chicken with mixed lettuce, candied walnuts, crutons and prosciutto and an array of other ingredients, it was quite delicious and surprisingly filling although my only qualm would be the presentation of the salad could do with some work.  Next came our chorizo with rosemary, and potato pizza garnished with fresh rocquette on top.  A lovely thin pizza with what tasted like a white sauce for a base instead of your usual tomato base, with sparing ingredients the pizza was also a tasty dish.  My overall opinion of this place is good food and great atmosphere although a little pricey for what you get.

Rosemary and potato pizza

Smoked chicken and candied walnut salad

Last destination was a bakery located in Maylands called Sherbert.  I met up with another friend at this quaint little cafe with cakes leaning more towards your older traditional and simpler styled baked goods.   I had the lemon and carrot cupcake and my friend had a nice cake with a passion fruit icing on top (I couldn’t remember exactly what cake she bought).  The cupcake itself was quite nice although the icing on top was a bit too sweet and overpowering, when i bit the 2 together all I could really taste was the icing and not the cupcake base which was quite nice by itself.  My friend’s cake was very good, even though the icing is spread thin it still has a definite kick to it.  The ratio of cake to icing was just right making this a perfect cake for a cup of tea.  Extra points for serving on cute little decorative plates and cudos to the excellent and fast customer service.

Lemon and carrot cupcake

Perth food, you did not disappoint and I look forward to returning to you to try more of your delicious delights, plus friends and family are a good thing too 🙂


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