Check out Cichetti #sancarlocichetti #picadilly

We checked into Cichetti one of our favourite restaurants in London as our first stop for a quick light lunch.

Winner of many food and wine awards, Cichetti is the perfect Pre- or post theatre venues but also ideal to fuel up between shopping in nearby Picadilly and Regent Sts. Filled with a fashionable crowd at anytime of the day, the atmosphere makes you feel you are at the centre of the action and the menu is a wide and varied list of Italian delights ranging from Cichetti (appetisers), antipasto, pizza, pasta, small and large plates.

With a fab wine list and great speedy service, Cichetti is an excellent and reliable pit stop for breakfast, lunch, a snack, dinner or supper!

We had buratta with Parma ham and truffles, a delicious duck salad with a balsamic glaze, apple and rocket and Italian meatballs in sauce wiped up with fresh bread.

#Spring #Soup with chicken #meatballs, leek and #Parmesan

A spring soup that combines tasty chicken meatballs with the sweetness of carrots, peas and leeks with the sharp saltiness of Parmesan. I used some quartered Brussel sprouts and spinach as well for a great result. It’s a great way to use up vegetables.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Meatballs
300g chicken mince
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
Pinch of salt
Black pepper
1/2 small onion very finely diced
1 red chilli finely diced (optional)

Soup:
1 litre chicken stock + 2-3 cups water
1 leek white and pale green part finely sliced
1/2 onion finely diced
1 carrot grated
2 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup of peas
8 Brussel sprouts quartered
Handful or two of baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and black pepper to season
Basil or parsley leaves for garnish

Method:

1. Combine ingredients for meatballs using and form into small meatballs.

2. Fry meatballs in a non stick fry pan until golden on all sides, for about 3 minutes and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy based soup,or casserole pot, add onions and leeks and sweat over low heat until tender, add garlic paste and stir through.

4. Add stock and 2 cups water to leek mixture and bring to a boil.

5. Add meatballs, grated carrots, Brussel sprouts and simmer gently for 5-8 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

6. Add peas and simmer for 1-2 minutes until peas are just tender.

7 turn off heat, add baby spinach and allow to sit for a few minutes.

8 serve in bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan, chopped basil/parsley, adding salt and pepper to taste. (serves 2-4)

Ten out of 10 William, #Paddington #Sydney

Delicious lunch at the hole in a wall, boutique Italian restaurant at 10 William on the eponymous William St in Paddington, Sydney today. 10 William is a Sydney institution which is well known for favourites such as pretzels with bottarga cheese dip and it’s tiramisu.

With leather banquettes, tiny tables and stools, 10 William combines style with an all organic, very expensive wine list and a short but spot on menu featuring fresh and interesting produce.

Excellent for lunch after shopping at the Saturday Paddington markets or the trendy boutiques in William St itself.

We started by sharing delicious globe artichoke deep fried Roman style and served with the most tangy delicious bagna cauda (garlic and anchovy sauce) and creamy ricotta and bitter green Fritto parcels with a sprinkling of chilli on top.

The parpadelle with broccoli and Jerusalem artichoke was a hit with its sprinkling of crunchy breadcrumbs as was the nettle cavatelli with light lamb ragu and chickpeas in a light divine flavoured broth.

All the wine is natural and our Gentle Folk Schist Sauvignon Blanc was rich and flavourful complimenting the food well. Check out their website for latest menu and wine list.http://10williamst.com.au

Unfortunately no room for dessert but word on the street is that the flan with vermouth caramel sauce is divine!

We’ll be back for more from talented Chef Trish Greentree and the friendly waitstaff.

Legendary lunch at Lucio’s

Lucio’s Italian restaurant in Paddington, Sydney is legendary for authentic Italian dining featuring the freshest seasonal produce and is one of Australia’s most awarded restaurants.

On a wintry Sydney day, we had a divine family lunch, warmed by Lucio’s renowned hospitality. Here are some of the photos of the delicious dishes we enjoyed. Thanks Lucio!

Stuffed tempura zuchinni flowers

Snapper carpaccio

Prosciutto with melon gel and pesto

King Prawns on raw artichoke salad

Roast duck with kale and plum “sauce”

Roast suckling pork with red cabbage and lightly pickled onions

Rolled garfish with Brussel sprouts and watermelon radish

Chocolate bomb on bed of salted caramel beads.

#organic #roast chicken #delicious

Nothing better than lemon, onion and thyme stuffed chicken, with a light gravy made with the heavenly juices from roasting, and roasted vegetables with thyme.

Indian #Thali and Sweets at #Maya Indian Sweets, #Sydney

Indian vegetarian Thali at Maya Indian Sweets on Cleveland St, Surry Hills has been a favourite comfort food spot for our family for years. As well as the famous Indian Sweets on offer, Maya offers dhosas and Thalis.

A few weeks ago on an unseasonably chilly day, when the “kids” were visiting us from Canberra, we went for Sunday lunch.

Thali means “chain” and refer to the chain of small dishes served on a tray with rice, bread, pickle and papadums. The restaurant is primarily an Indian take-away sweet shop but eating in is cheap and cheerful.

They also have traditional Indian street food snacks such as samosas, aloo boonda, chaat and vhada as starters.

At Maya Sweets you can choose from a number of Thali versions including either a South Indian or Punjabi version…the first comes with Rasam (South Indian tamarinds and pepper water soup) and Poori bread and the second with a bean dhal and naan bread.

Both are just as satisfying the variety of vegetable curries and dhals that are on offer depends on the season. They are consistently good and very filling.

This visit we also shared the Vhada which are fluffy Urad Dhal fritters served with coconut chutney and a tangy sambar on the side which were delicious.

Finishing the meal with an Indian sweet is always tempting and there is a very wide range to choose from….but we managed to resist.

Consistently good food. Doesn’t open until midday so brunch is sadly not an option. There a number of other more formal Maya restaurants including a vegetarian restaurant next door and a non-veg across the road. So make sure you fo to the right one if you are looking for the street food and Thalis.

Maya Indian Sweets

468-472 Cleveland St