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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Clearly the “back in business” post in April was premature because here we are in September (what!? September!? It’s almost Christmas) with not a sign of a post in between.

So I’m cutting myself some slack. I have a life. I have a family. I have a full-time job where I use up my best words every day and then some. Maintaining a blog as well as a social media presence – I haven’t gone dark on Twitter or Instagram – takes time.

So rather than long, ambitious posts like the ones that have been stuck in my drafts for weeks and months, I think I’ll try to keep them short and sweet. Or savoury if the mood suits. A picture says a thousand words, so I’ll try to post more photos.

In the meantime, here’s a link to a feature from The West’s Travel pages that ran last month about my culinary adventures through Sydney’s Surry Hills in June when I was a guest of Destination NSW and Vivid Sydney.

A selection of images ran in the print version including IMG_1912 this one, or a variation of this one, that I took outside the ever-popular Bourke Street Bakery.

I sat on a park bench on the other side of the road eating a chicken, sweet potato, pea and lime pickle pie out of a paper bag.

And just as I typed this, I realised, I ate a #dirtystreetpie before that hashtag was coined this month on reality series #thebachelorau after Laurina had tears and a tanty for being taken to the legendary Harry’s Cafe de Wheels!

Which is also a neat segue into partially explaining my blog absence, because I have been addicted to watching The Bachelor Australia every Wednesday and Thursday and tweeting, possibly a little over-enthusiastically.

Even though I am tweeting in Perth real-time, ie two hours behind the east coast, a selection of my tweets have ended up on news.com.au much to my colleagues’ amusement.

Anyway, must go, have some ACTUAL pies to make before the footy finishes!

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Where is 125 St Georges Tce?To the casual observer this looks like a pretty boring photo. Part of a building facade with the number 129.

However if you have read this blog lately, you may have noticed a slight obsession with the redevelopment of my old workplace, Newspaper House, formerly of 125 St Georges Tce.

Well, if you take a stroll past the revitalised buildings (Newspaper House, WA Trustees, Royal Insurance) that house restaurants The Trustee and The Heritage, plus assorted pop up shops – you will find there is no longer a 125.

So I did what any good journalist would do, and Googled for the answer.

It would appear that 125 is now the address of the Brookfield Place redevelopment featuring the City Square tower, home of BHP Billiton.

It will also soon be home to The Print Hall restaurant and bar complex which I simply cannot wait to visit, partly for the food and partly for the view of the Swan River which we never truly appreciated from our old canteen.

Somehow I doubt I’ll hear anyone calling out “salmon sammich ready” or that any restaurant will be serving chips and gravy.

St Georges definitely looks like it will be the place to be this spring and summer.

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On Friday I developed a bad case of Friday-itis. Post holiday blues. A reality check.

We had been home for a week after a month on vacation in the US. The bags were unpacked. The washing was done. The credit card bills had arrived. I was back at work.

So where was I going to find time to download and organise my photos? Print the photos? Scrap book all the receipts, menus and flyers? Post reviews on Trip Advisor? All the things I still haven’t done from our 2009 trip (or any small trip since!?!?)

Aarrrrrrgggghhhhhh…

Life guard station, Venice Beach, California

Life’s a beach

So here is my first step, which, embarrassingly, is also my first post for the year. Lucky I didn’t make a public new year’s resolution to post more often!

I’m going to post a couple of photos a week (that’s the aim) and a few snippets. And I am going to make a conscious effort to post reviews of all the hotels we stayed at on TripAdvisor – a site to whose members I shall forever be indebted, having used their reviews to choose pretty all the hotels we have stayed in since 2007.Pastry counter, Jean-Philippe at the Bellagio

Of course it wouldn’t be a post without the obligatory food photo. This one is of some of the delectable sweets at the pastry shop of Jean-Philippe Maury at the Bellagio in Las Vegas – home to the world’s biggest chocolate fountain. Somehow, if I can work out what I ate over 28 days (by looking at my iPhone) and document it all, a sort of travel diary may write itself!? I take my hat off to all the food and lifestyle bloggers who hold down day jobs and manage to post regularly. Most nights I slip into the familiar family dinner and TV groove and time disappears. However I am determined not to let all my photos, observations and notes go to waste. I also owe some reviews to Urban Spoon, Yelp! and OpenTable – all sites (and apps as the case may be).So between, here, there and everywhere (let’s not forget Instagram and Pinterest) – I look like being quite busy…hope I have enough words to go around!

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Marina Bay Sands Chocolate Buffet

Marina Bay Sands Chocolate Buffet

 
Anyone who knows me is well aware that while I love film, television and music – I am really passionate about food. Cooking it, eating it, taking dodgy photographs of it.
 
Last week in Singapore I visited The Club on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The Sky Park has a commanding view of Singapore city from one side and the harbour from the other.
 
If you’re a guest of the hotel and not afraid of heights you can even swim in the infinity pool. Non guests such as my friends and I can pay $38++ (everything in Singapore is plus plus for GST and service charges) each evening after 8pm to indulge in the chocolate buffet.
 
I will pad out this post at a later date but for now here are some photos of the 57 types of chocolate decadence on offer. I reckon I managed about 20 – and didn’t vomit (though we did all need to walk back to our hotel).
 
 
Chocolate Buffet, Marina Bay Sands

Chocolate Buffet, Marina Bay Sands

Some of the dishes I tried included churros, chocolate pudding, individual baked chocolate fondant,  profiteroles, cheesecake lollipop, white chocolate pannacotta,  67 per cent chocolate ganache truffle…and of course, macarons.

Marina Bay Sands Chocolate Buffet, Singapore - a taste

Marina Bay Sands Chocolate Buffet, Singapore - a taste

 

I think this was my second plate, though I could be wrong…as eating only dishes derived from chocolate for dinner is bound to alter your brain function in some way.

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Last week was a great week. How often do you get to meet your literary and culinary heroes in the space of seven days?

On Sunday March 6 I finally met author Armistead Maupin, creator of the Tales of the City series. I own all of his books and have been lucky enough to interview him twice. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Armistead when he visited Perth in 2007 due to being overseas, so the chance to hear him speak at the Perth Writers Festival about his latest book Mary Ann in Autumn was not to be missed.

Nor was the chance to have a book (or two) signed – and a photo.

 

Meeting Armistead Maupin

 

I’m re-reading the original Tales of the City book for book club this month. It has been a long time  – close to 20 years, since I first became acquainted with Mary Ann Singleton, Michael Tolliver and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane, so I look forward to renewing their acquaintance.

In my dream world, I’d get to see the musical of version of Tales that opens in San Francisco in May.

On Saturday March 12, I got to meet Nigella Lawson, whose cooking I adore. While some may focus on the fluttering eyelashes, sultry looks and flicking of the hair, all I really care about is Nigella Lawson’s food.

How to be a Domestic Goddess is probably my most used cook book. Nigella’s blueberry muffins, jam doughnut muffins, Victoria sponge, dense chocolate loaf are all favourites that never fail to appeal and to impress friends, family, kids and colleagues. Simply delicious.

Although I may have been able to organise an interview with Nigella through her pay-TV connections, the weekend trip to see her Masterclass with the supremely funny muso turned celebrity chef Anna Gare was pure pleasure. A chance to head to Melbourne for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and for a short while forget about TV.

 

Meeting the domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson

Meeting the domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson

 

My husband wasn’t entirely thrilled to be attending the Masterclass (tickets were hard to come by so when I managed to get through back in October I snapped up two) but he quite enjoyed himself.

He reckons he may even cook Anna’s Persian fillet of beef. I said I’d do the scallop ceviche, upside down potato salad and trip of tarts to go with it.

It has been a great month for foodies, with March featuring both #eatdrinkperth and #mfwf (I’m so used to those hashtags) and plenty of opportunities to eat.

I’ll soon, hopefully, get round to posting a few pix from the places we ate in Melbourne including Movida Next Door, Cumulus Inc, Bistro Vue and Circa The Prince. I may not have made it to many official #mfwf events but I did my best to eat in as many Age hatted restaurants as I could.  And we walked just about everywhere so that helped keep the extra kilos at bay!

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According to an email I received from WordPress at the end of 2010, my blog is doing really well based on traffic/stats. That’s pretty amazing since it hasn’t been updated in about five months.

So whoever has been visiting (Twitter followers?) I thank you.

If I did an audit on the number of blog posts and tweets about food versus television or entertainment I think food might win.

On that note, I’d like to post a photo of a macaron from the famed Adriano Zumbo –  “Patissier of Pain” as he came to be known on MasterChef Australia.

macaron from Zumbo, Rozelle, Sydney

Salted caramel macaron from Zumbo, Sydney

The Rozelle cafe outlet is much smaller than I imagined. It sells a selection of hot pies and sausage rolls, the ubiquitous macarons, tarts and assorted pastries like croissants. There are perhaps eight to 10 stools to perch at while having a nibble and a coffee. As a bonus, there are windows into the commercial kitchen where the macarons are being made. And yes, Adriano was at work the day we visited.

There were perhaps a dozen flavours on offer the afternoon of our visit including peach tea, apricot and rosemary, raspberry licorice, banana but alas no chocolate. Actually the macaron pictured may have been salted butter caramel.

I’m looking forward to the documentary series Zumbo coming to SBS next month where Adriano sets out to create 60 flavours.

Zumbo macarons

Zumbo macarons, a little worse for wear after flying Sydney to Perth!

I also hope to return in search of a chocolate or hazelnut macaron to benchmark it against my favourites in Perth from Choux, Rochelle Adonis, Jean Pierre Sancho and Globe.

The best bit about the Zumbo macarons is they are only $2 each – in Perth most are anywhere from $2.30 to $2.80 and I’ve even heard reports of $3.50 a pop!

It was a relief to finally try the real deal, having grabbed a macaron from a Sydney cake shop in October that was oversized, too sweet and ended up in the bin. Ditto the one I picked up on the run at a Sydney wine bar/cafe last month, which was more like a meringue.

Last but not least, here’s a hazelnut macaron with banana icecream from the dessert menu at Rockpool Bar & Grill. No, I didn’t order it.

Hazelnut macaron wiht banana ice cream filling

Hazelnut macaron with banana ice cream centre from Rockpool Bar and Grill

What did I order you might ask.

Well, there are two things I Tweet about a lot.

Macarons

and

Donuts.

Voila:

Donuts for dessert

Dessert donuts at Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney

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There’s no point having a blog if you don’t update it regularly so on my recent track record, I should be thinking about closing this site down.

Working full-time, watching preview DVDs at night, doing interviews as early as 6am and raising a family leaves me with little time to update this but I am going to have another crack.

There’s also the issue of public versus private. How much do I reveal here now my face is in the paper most days of the week? Do I even need this as an outlet?

For starters I am going to post a few links to stories that have been in The West.

Last week I chatted to Dr Andrew Rochford for The 7pm Project’s special report on the state of mental health funding.

I also recently chatted to Bondi Vet and all round nice guy Dr Chris Brown

Chaser performer and writer Chris Taylor took time out from shooting to talk about The Chaser’s new series Yes We Canberra! although my byline seems to have fallen off this one.

All in all it has been a busy couple of months, with a flying set visit to Melbourne in June that allowed me the opportunity to squeeze in a meal at Grossi Florentino.

Over the coming months this blog is likely to become more food focussed as I leave my TV commentary to the newspaper and Twitter.

So, having just backed up my iPhone, let’s start with a few foodie pics.

Inspired by MasterChef and my sweet tooth I have been trying macarons from just about everywhere, though I am still hanging out to get to Sydney to visit Adriano Zumbo’s patisserie.

Here are some recent purchases, top to bottom, from Jean-Pierre Sancho in Perth and Cafe Vue in Melbourne. I can’t seem to find any photos of macarons from Choux so will add them later. And I was about to upload one of Rochelle Adonis’ chocolate macarons when it disappeared.

Photos backed up from my iPhone seem to be appearing in totally random order, not by date taken. Frustrating!

Macaron Madness - macarons from Jean Paul Sancho, Perth

Macaron Madness - macarons from Jean-Pierre Sancho, Perth

Macarons from Cafe Vue, Melbourne

Macarons from Cafe Vue, Melbourne

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