Homemade Tacos

You can tell that summer is just around the corner, with some of the 30+ degree days we’ve had lately! The heat just makes me feel like eating something cool and refreshing for dinner, and home made tacos are a great option, with minimal cooking required.

The steak filling is marinated in some spices, lime juice and tequila, and then seared on the stove until medium rare. You can also use other meats as well – I’ve tried the marinade with chicken and it tastes just as good.

The flour tortillas are also made from scratch, which admittedly requires a little bit of elbow grease. You don’t have to make your own flour tortillas, but once I realised how easy they were to make, it was well worth the effort and now I can’t go back to the store bought kind.

Once you’ve browned the tortillas, rested the steak, chopped up some avocado and tomato and squeezed on a little bit of lime juice, you have your very own home made tacos for dinner. The best thing about this recipe is that you can really throw in whatever takes your fancy – some chopped cabbage or lettuce, Spanish onion, pickled jalapenos, some corn or cheese… The possibilities are endless!

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Good Food Month Night Noodle Markets 2013

October has come around again which means that Good Food Month is back and in full swing! I’ve visited the Night Noodle Markets in previous years but they have definitely upped the ante this year with more stalls, more seating and more colourful lanterns!

Expanded seating areas at the Night Noodle Markets; Lanterns

In terms of the food, there’s a range of dumplings, noodles, dim sims and other Asian goodies to suit everyone’s tastes, with offerings from Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants.

Huge woks of fried rice and noodles at the Span Thai stall

Roti twirling action at Mamak
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The Soda Factory, Surry Hills

Looks like an old-skool Coca Cola vending machine right? But looks can be deceiving – this is actually the door to The Soda Factory, a bar in Surry Hills which serves an array of cocktails, floats and hot dogs. Pull on the Coca Cola bottle on the right hand side and you’ll be able to enter the dimly lit bar which is pretty packed on a Tuesday night.

The reason for it being packed is most likely because it’s Dollar Dogs day! Every Tuesday, the Soda Factory puts on 4 different hot dogs from their menu for you to purchase for a gold coin. The other hot dogs and menu items are also available to order, but we dive straight into the dollar dogs by ordering one of each.

The Mob Dog

The Mob Dog is probably most classic of the four, with a pork and fennel sausage, oven roasted capsicum, and jalapenos (though the menu says ‘hot fresh chili’). The roasted capsicum gives this hot dog quite a sweet flavour, and the jalapenos some heat. I think a saucy element would not go astray on this hotdog as it’s a little dry compared to some of the others.

The Texas Redneck
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Pei Modern, Melbourne

Ok, so I don’t usually take photos of the bread basket, but how could I resist when 4 warmed slices of sourdough were swaddled up in a white napkin? This is how we began our dinner at Pei Modern, sister restaurant of Mark Best’s Marque in Sydney’s Surry Hills where I’ve had some great meals. Just before our trip to Melbourne, Pei Modern was also named Best New Restaurant of 2013 in The Age Good Food Guide so that definitely sealed the deal and we promptly made a booking.

Brandade croquettes – $8 for four

To start, there was a choice of selecting a few bar snacks or proper entree dishes. The brandade croquettes was one of the bar snacks – 4 perfect quenelles of salt cod brandade shaped and deep fried to a crisp and served with a creamy mayo-like dipping sauce.

Wood grilled prawn with pork salt – $6.50 each
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Toriciya, Cammeray

There’s something about finding a fantastic restaurant that’s in a hidden, unsuspecting location that makes it so satisfying. It might be to do with the fact that it feels like you’ve stumbled across someone’s secret, which is definitely the case with Toriciya, a restaurant that’s tucked away in an almost-residential area of Cammeray. There were plenty of Japanese people enjoying bottles of sake and yakitori in this izakaya, so we got a table and joined in the fun.

Sake was the first order of the night, and it was hard to choose with such an extensive selection available. We eventually chose a sake on the sweeter side to go with our food.

Kingfish and jalapeno carpaccio
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