All posts filed under: dinner

The legend of “Avocado Picasso”, #Miros, #Ubud

The Avocado Picasso salad at Miro’s Garden Restaurant has reached legendary status in our family due to the fact that it is only available on the menu during the avocado season in Ubud and none of us have been able to try it despite very numerous visits to this Ubudian dining institution over many years. It doesn’t help that the definition of the “season” for avocados in Bali is a little bit vague, with most sources claiming it is between August and November when it is drier here. It has unfortunately been more unusual for us to be visiting here during those months due to work commitments at this time of the year. Hence, the availability of the Avocado Picasso to us at Miro’s has been scarce. Somehow this time, despite it being late January, we lucked in. Holding our breath we asked the gorgeous Balinese waiter if it was “on” and we were delighted to hear it was! (We actually immediately messaged our family back in Australia to alert them to it’s existence!) The …

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Tasty, Thai Thali, #Penastanan, #ubud

We are staying in a Villa in Penastanan Village just outside of Ubud for a few weeks. Of course, Ubud is filled to the brim with great restaurants, but sometimes when we are feeling particularly lazy on our holidays we love being able to just wander up the path to a local Warung in our neighbourhood. Penastanan is blessed with many of these. And now we have Thai Thali to add to the list! Just 3 days ago the newly refreshed and branded Thai Thali Warung had sprung open. (Felt like it appeared overnight!) it is just down the lane (gang) behind the D’Omah/Wayan Juice shop off Jalan Penastanan Kelod. Look/ask for the directions to Gajah Biru Villas and Spa and you will find it opposite there. Here’s a map with my rudimentary markings! We had also snuck in for a quick lunch the other day and tried items from their Indian vegetarian light meals menu. Their Puri (puffy fried Indian bread) and Alu Prantha (Indian bread stuffed with lightly spiced potato mixture) both served …

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3 Cheers for Three Monkeys Cafe, #Ubud

Three Monkeys Cafe in Ubud is set in the middle of Monkey Forest Road’s shopping strip but when you step inside it is an oasis of coolness and peace on the edge of a small rice field that has been preserved. Established by Australian Italian chef Karli Sary, it features a wide ranging menu inspired by her family heritage and travels including Italian pizza, pasta and salad Turkish and Greek favourites, as well as Balinese specialities, catering to many tastes. Recommended to us by our friend and renowned Australian chef Janni Kyrtsis with who is friends with Karli, we enjoyed the setting, the service and a delicious lunch. We had delicious Tiropita cheese pastries with a thyme flavoured honey sauce and watermelon salad with feta, almonds and mint to start. And then tried the Bebek Betutu(grilled Balinese duck) and Beef Rendang, both authentic and redolent with Indonesian spices. A great spot to stop by if you are shopping on Monkey Forest Road and only a ten minute walk from the main Ubud market.

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Superb tastes from across the Indonesian Archipelago – #Nusantara, #Ubud

“Nusantara is the Malayo-Polynesian name of Maritime Southeast Asia. It is a Javanese term which literally means “archipelago” in Old Javanese.[1] In Indonesia it is generally taken to mean the Indonesian archipelago..” Wikipedia In Ubud, Nusantara is synonymous with a super delicious menu representing the flavours and favourite dishes from across Indonesia. With a superb range of sambals to accompany the small and large sharing plates, the menu gives diners the opportunity to try many regional dishes not traditionally offered restaurants. The experience begins with a mixed sharing plate of sambals and salads to start with. The “Berbagi Rasa” (tasting plate) is accompanied by a card explaining all the different tastes on offer. I thought the Bakwan Keladi -deep fried yam with spices, padjri – grilled pineapple in a tangy tamarind sauce and Manisan Mannga – unripe mango marinated with sugar, chillies and lime juice were a standout. Great way to get our plates ready for the taste sensations to come. We followed this with 3 small plates and 4 large plates (group of 5 of us) including delicious stir fried banana blossom, …

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Go for Goreng at Bubu’s, Penestanan

Fried and roasted chicken has had a resurgence the world over. It is on menus from New York to Sydney to Bali in one form or another …southern fried chicken, chicken karaage, chicken popcorn etc… Ayam Goreng or Fried Chicken is of course an absolute Indonesian staple and classic. Unlike Southern Fried Chicken, it is not cooked in batter but marinated and most often twice cooked in a rich mix of spices. The crispy fried floss mixture known as “kremes” served with it is traditionally made by adding extra grated galangal or coconut while frying. The Ayam Goreng at Bubu’s Warung in Penestanan has a definite Balinese twist marinated in Balinese spices and with grated coconut to add crunch to the kremes…or “fried floss” that accompanies the chicken making it super tasty. Next time we go I am going to see if they will share the recipe with me! We always also ask for Balinese Sambal Matah which they freshly make – a hot and tangy combo of eschallots, lemongrass, chilli and coconut oil that …

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Lunching at The Lawn Canggu

A stunning day at Canggu yesterday so we headed to The Lawn Beach Club for lunch. The club which is now 2 years old is beautifully appointed and maintained. The menu offers an excellent range of cocktails, smoothies, and granitas as well as a range of small and large plates to share. Prices are mid-range to high by Bali standards with cocktails around IR120,000 and average price of meals about the same. However, the ambience and location make it pretty good value compared to similar beach clubs in Seminyak. The vibe is also very relaxed with guests having the choice of lounging by or in the pool and pool bar, on the “fake” lawn or in the dining areas or in the beach itself under umbrellas. We had a delicious grazing lunch of endamame, chicken karaage, split grilled prawns and a radicchio salad. The coconut mojito and pineapple granita were also tropical thirst quenching delights. If you are staying in Canggu then this is definitely a great option for beachside dining and lounging.

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Ji “Terrific” Terrace by the Sea, Canggu

Three years ago we enjoyed cocktails and dinner at the then newly opened Ji Restaurant, part of the Tugu Hotel in Canggu, in their original wooden temple building imported from Mainland China. Last night we returned to experience their newly opened Terrace overlooking the ocean and the perfect spot in Canggu to enjoy the stunning sunset over the Indian Ocean. The entire restaurant, bars and Terrace are beautifully decorated with Asian antiques and the atmosphere is quite unique. As their website describes: “Ji Terrace by THE SEA carries the spirit of Tugu properties, which celebrate the rich cultural heritage and ancient history & legends through romantic atmosphere, interior and beautiful arts from ancient Indonesia and Asia, but what is different here is that the bohemian spirit of Canggu is very much alive. Beautiful statue of goddess of Durga from Rajasthan, centuries old urn from the Babah Peranakan family in Lasem, Java, Tibetan Mahakala masks, intricate Balinese Barong heads and many more artworks transport guests to a magical world of ancient kingdoms and quixotic legends, while …

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Tomato Curry Sauce ..with hard boiled eggs

Simple but very satisfying! Having tomato curry sauce (or tomato chutney as it is sometimes referred to) in the freezer means you can quickly whip up all sorts of easy meals using the sauce as a base. Just add boiled eggs or meatballs or a tin of beans and hey presto! Dinner is served. Here’s the recipe for the sauce. Tomato Curry Sauce Ingredients: 2 large onions finely diced 5 large fresh ripe tomatoes diced 400g can of diced tomatoes 1 handful of curry leaves 1.5 teaspoon cummin seeds 2 sticks of cinnamon (preferabley cinnamon bark available in Indian grocers but quills are fine if not) 5 cloves of garlic and equal amount of fresh ginger peeled 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1.5 teaspoons cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt (or to your taste) 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups chicken stock (or water) Coriander to garnish Vegetable oil Method: Heat vegetable oil in medium size heavy based pan which has a lid Add cummin seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks and heat gently …

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Hurry into Uncle Chop Chop, NYC

Chop chop” means “hurry” and suggests that something should be done now and without delay. Uncle Chop Chop is one of the hottest new restaurants in New York that is already attracting 5 star reviews from early visitors for very good reason. Opened by two brothers from Australia, Callum and Morgan, Uncle Chop Chop is a laid-back but sophisticated take on Asian Fusion in the heart of West Village. Uncle Chop, Chop – 7 Cornelia Street, NYC https://www.unclechopchopnyc.com The atmosphere is one of a buzzy buzzy Asian “chophouse” and bar and the style reflects the charming, laid-back hospitality of Australians. Here you can enjoy great food in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Great for groups of friends! The menu is a superb mix of salads, grills, appetisers and curries with the freshest ingredients and scintillating flavours. The accompanying sauces, jams and broths are perfectly balanced and add just the right touch of spice. Dishes are generous and designed to share allowing diners to sample a wide range of the menu. Another reason why it is great for …

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Vietnamese turmeric and dill fish – Ca Ca La Vong at home –

When we were in Hanoi recently we visited the 200 year old restaurant Ca Ca La Vong to try their famed eponymous fish dish. We went to the original restaurant climbing up a ladder- like wooden staircase to reach the upstairs dining room:filled to the brim with locals and tourists enjoying the only dish offered on the menu. Fish flavoured with turmeric, ginger and garlic and then sautéed with dill and onions, it was simple but absolutely delicious. The fish is brought sizzling on a gas cooktop to the table and fresh herbs are added before serving yourself with rice noodles, peanuts and spicy sauce. Of course I had to try to recreate it at home which I did last night with some success. I trawled a few versions of the recipe online, including one from Anthony Bourdain, I settled for a hybrid. We also didn’t have rice noodles at home so I served with steamed jasmine rice …just as good. Here are some pictures from the restaurant itself: And here is my recipe: Prep …

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Brash and buzzy: Vietnam House, Saigon

Australian Luke Nyugen’s Vietnam House restaurant in the very centre of busy Ho Chi Minh City is an assault on the senses with bold Art Deco interior design featuring vivid colours and a buzzy atmosphere. It feels exactly right where it is located in the heart of the CBD surrounded by the glitz of the high end designer shops like Louis Vuitton and Gucci and 5 star hotels. The menu features Nyugen’s unique take on Vietnamese food that reflects the influences of growing up in Australia and his time spent in France through the use of imported herbs and ingredients, such as Wagyu beef, dill and salmon. We began with the much talked about soft spring rolls with sesame seared salmon and salmon caviar. The addition of the salmon caviar added delicious bursts of flavour to this entree and the flavour of the salmon went really well with the dill in the rolls. For mains we tried the much talked aboutBraised Wagyu Beef cheek in coconut juice, Phu Quoc green pepper, carrot, shallot served with …

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Home Finest, Saigon – a fine find indeed!

Managed to get a last minute booking into this highly recommended restaurant on TripAdvisor. It’s currently No 1 for Vietnamese food in Ho Chi Minh/Saigon and we can certainly attest to it’s well deserved reputation. Set in a stunning modernist French Villa and with classic interior design of dark wood/black furniture, white walls, glass and plants everywhere, the restaurant draws you in from the moment you arrive. Service is warm and welcoming. Anna who looked after us was very knowledgeable about the wine list and menu. She also told us a little about the villa and the local neighbourhood which was very interesting. The food though is definitely a stand-out. We started with a deliciously hot-sour seafood soup, which was tart and tangy but mellower than a Thai Tom Yum, served elegantly in a coconut. We accompanied this with crispy pork and prawn wontons, served with a divine dipping sauce. For mains we settled on stir fried duck with local basil and grilled eggplant with spring onion salsa with some plain rice. Both dishes were …

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Roasted Cauliflower, Orange and Baby Spinach Salad

I could just eat a bowl of this salad on it’s own, but it was also delicious with orange glazed Salmon Fillets for dinner. The various elements – the caramelisation of the fried onion mixture, bite of the chilli, crunchiness of toasted almonds and sweetness of the oranges – result in a mouth-watering fusion of flavours and textures. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes Ingredients: Roasted Cauliflower 1/2 Head of cauliflower 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Onion Mixture 1 large brown onion, finely sliced 1-2 red chillies sliced 2 cloves garlic crushed 2-3 tablespoons olive oil Salad ingredients 2 cups baby spinach 1/2 cup almond flakes 1 orange peeled and separated into segments, seeds removed 1/4 cup coriander or mint leaves roughly chopped Salt and pepper to taste Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 2. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower. 3. Mix together olive oil, cumin powder and salt. Rub this mixture all over the cauliflower. 4. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes until cooked through …

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Indian Green Pork Curry with beans

This curry is inspired by Lamb and Spinach – another “green” curry that is a family favourite. The mint and coriander meld with the pork and other spices to create a deliciously fragrant curry. I add green beans for additional “greenness” and serve sprinkled with shards of fresh ginger for added zing, with basmati rice and sweet mango chutney. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hr 10 minutes Ingredients: 500g pork shoulder diced (with or without bones) 1/2 cup white vinegar 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion diced 5 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger 2 fresh red chillies Handful of curry leaves 2 sticks cinnamon (preferably bark) 3 cardamom pods 3 dried red chillies 1 teaspoon panch phoran (Indian Five Spice Mix) 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 bunch coriander 1 bunch mint 1 teaspoon salt 2-3 cups water or chicken stock Extra ginger cut into fine strips and coriander leaves for garnish Method: 1. Place pork in a bowl and pour over vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside …

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French Classics at St Claude’s Sydney

Delicious dining and attentive service at St Claude’s in cosy surrounds in Oxford St, Woollahra. Lucky to have such top notch French menu on our doorstep now and bound to become a regular haunt. Scallop filled Zuchinni flowers, delicious soufflé, steak tartare, steak frites, and perfectLy cooked duck….we skipped dessert! Plus a great wine list and a daily Prix Fixe 3 course menu, St Claude’s is open 7 nights a week for dinner. Here’s Foodie Terry Durack’s review from the Sydney Good Food Guide https://www.goodfood.com.au/st-claudes-woollahra/st-claudes-20160125-49ix6 And here’s a link to their website http://stclaudes.com.au

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Puff pastry pot pies

This was easy as. Just cooked up a diced lamb filling with onions, tomato, garlic, white wine, pepper, mushroom, peas, spinach and herbs …then lined the little buttered ceramic pots with frozen puff pastry, filled the pots, topped with a circle of pastry, brushed with egg and popped in the 230 degrees Celsius oven for 15-20 minutes until puffy and golden. Quick and easy, perfect with salad but still warm and comforting. Reminded me of the recipe for Lamb Curry Pot Pies but simpler and …I like the puff pastry better.

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Twice cooked Szechuan Chicken

As a cold snap hits Sydney and winter settles in, this twice cooked Szechuan Chicken will give you just the right combination of heat and spice to warm things up. Whilst it might look frighteningly hot, the combination of Szechuan peppercorns, cayenne pepper, large sweet peppers, and dried chillies somehow combine into a delicious warm sweet spiciness rather than mouth-numbing torture! You can of course adjust the amount of heat by reducing the amount of Szechuan pepper, cayenne pepper and dried chillies you use but I would highly recommend trying this adapted recipe of mine to experience a more authentic version of the real thing. I also like using a combination of thigh fillet pieces with some small pieces of bone-in chicken such as small chicken wings but this is optional. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes 500g skinless thigh fillets cut into pieces 2-3 small chicken wings cut into half 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 cup cornflour 1 teaspoon cayenne powder 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, dry roasted …

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