When the Chocolatey one asks you, “Want to eat burgers?” you know it’s not going to be an ordinary night. We head to Pub Life Kitchen, the land of Tropic Thunder burgers, mango and coconut shakes and PB&J burgers. Sadly, these specials are only on Wednesday nights, but that doesn’t stop us from going wayyyy over the top with our ordering.
We nurse crisp and fruity Sydney ciders, or in Suze’s case, a Coopers longneck, while we point excitedly at the menu. “Bone marrow on toast!” “Fish fingers!”. But when we try to order these, we’re told that they’re no longer serving them… sadness.
That’s ok though, because we console ourselves over several servings of fried food, like the deep fried potato scallops which are more deep fried than potato, and the super crispy chicken wings. Continue reading →
I do love a good deal but when it comes to purchasing group-buying coupons, I’m usually quite picky. When I saw a voucher for a degustation at The Devonshire – a place I’ve wanted to try for a while – it was too good to pass up. It was good to see that they were busy because they were booked out for Friday nights several weeks in advance! We settled for an early dinner on Thursday night and even then the restaurant filled up quite quickly.
The 8-course degustation menu (normally $80pp) begins with a salt fish brandade that is formed into a little sphere, crumbed and deep fried. It’s a two-mouthful affair that is a little salty and creamy from the dill and caper sauce.
I normally don’t bother with photographing bread but my ears perk up at the mention of house-churned honey butter! The butter is soft and ever so slightly sweet from the honey.
Sir D loves cocktails – both drinking them and making them. We have an ever-growing liquor cabinet at our place with god knows how many varieties of vodka and tequila. It seemed only fitting to make a boozy cake for his birthday – and so the mojito cupcakes were born.
If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I don’t drink mojitos because I don’t like mint. The mint part still remains true, but after having a perfectly balanced mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio with just the right amount of fresh mint, zesty lime and sweet sugar syrup, I was a convert.
These cupcakes require you to cut the tops off after the cakes have cooled so you can soak the cake in some boozy syrup. I decided to make mini cupcakes so this proved a little difficult but with some patience and some careful pouring, you can get most of the syrup onto the cakes rather than all over the benchtop.
So how did they taste? Just like a mojito! I was worried that the rum and mint flavours wouldn’t come through but they both came through nicely. I think it could have done with a little more mint so I would perhaps put a few more mint leaves into the syrup or add some sliced fresh mint leaves to the top of the cupcakes. They were a hit at the party though so I’ll take that as a good sign!
I’ve mentioned before that Thai is not my favourite cuisine, but it’s hard to ignore when someone avidly recommends a restaurant to you. Queen Chu once mentioned that Papaya Thai served some pretty delicious food, so I got together a few friends to see what the fuss was about. The restaurant itself looked great with nice lights and candles (which sadly also made for a dark restaurant and dodgy photos), brightly coloured flowers and comfortable cushions for the wooden bench seating.
I left Queen Chu in charge of ordering and we started with tung tong (moneybags). These are filled with a mixture of chicken, crab meat, peanuts, peas and corn, wrapped with a wonton skin and tied with a shallot. The wonton skin is fried to a crisp and it shatters as I bite into it. The moneybags are also served with a sweet plum sauce on the side.