Tim Ho Wan #michelin #dimsum #hongkong

After reading much about Tim Ho Wan’s baked bbq pork buns and homemade dim sum, we were on a mission this morning to find the original store in Hong Kong of what is now a very popular chain of restaurants.

True to the reviews the pan fried and baked bbq pork buns are absolutely delicious, with tasty pork filling encased with a light, fluffy and slightly crispy pastry. Very different to the palate binding texture of traditional pork buns.

We also tried their congee with preserved egg, steamed chive and shrimp dumplings, steamed beef brisket with turnip and steamed pork spare ribs with black bean. It was all very tasty and well executed.

The restaurant itself is unassuming and was packed with locals enjoying Saturday morning brunch/breakfast.

Definitely worth the short trip from Tsim Sha Tsui up to Olympian City 2 in Tai Kwok Tsui, West Kowloon.

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.

Durban-style Lamb and potato curry

The smell of curry leaves frying in oil with spices and onions is one that always transports me to the kitchen of my Aunt Vimala. Even though it was a regular occurrence in our own home, there was something very special about staying over at Uncle Pat and Aunty Vim’s with all the cousins. She was a wonderful cook and inspired my love of cooking. This traditional lamb and potato curry is a staple in many South African Indian homes and now in the homes of my family and many friends in Australia.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time:1.5 hours
800g diced lamb, preferably lamb chump chops with fat removed and diced so that there are some small bones but plain diced lamb can be used too
3 teaspoons ginger and garlic ground together into a paste
1 large brown onion diced finely
1 tomato chopped
1/2 bunch coriander including stalks
2 pieces cinnamon bark
5 cardamom pods
Handful of curry leaves removed from stalks
1.5 teaspoons cummin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1.5-2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1.5 teaspoons cummin powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium size potatoes quartered
2.5-3 cups water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
4 dried chillies(optional)

Ginger, garlic, cummin seeds, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, turmeric, cummin powder, fennel powder and chilli powder Ginger, garlic, cummin seeds, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, turmeric, cummin powder, fennel powder and chilli powder

Heat oil in a heavy based, medium sized casserole pot
Add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves
Stir for a minute until fragrant on medium heat
Add onions lower heat and cook slowly until translucent
Add ginger and garlic and stir fry for 1 minute still on low heat
Add turmeric, cummin, fennel, salt and chilli powder and stir fry for 1 minute ensuring the spices don’t burn – take off heat if necessary.

Onions cooking with curry leaves and dry spices Onions cooking with curry leaves and dry spices

Add tomatoes and chopped up coriander stalks and stir fry for a minute, then add lamb and increase heat to medium high
Cook lamb to seal it, adding 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock if sticking
Once lamb is sealed, add enough water or stock to just cover, bring to a boil and then lower heat to low and cover with lid to simmer for 35 minutes
Check lamb every ten minutes or so stirring and ensuring there is suffient liquid for the meat to stew
After 35 minutes add potatoes and 1/2 cup of water or stock if necessary so potatoes can cook in liquid for another 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender
Taste to see if extra salt needed
Take lid off and I crease heat to reduce liquid if necessary without allowing potatoes to disintegrate
(If potatoes are too tender and you want to reduce liquid, take the potatoes out, reduce liquid to a viscous gravy consistency and then add potatoes back in.)
Remove cinnamon bark and excess curry leaves when transferring to serving dish.
Garnish with coriander and serve with roti and/or basmati rice and salad and red lentil dhal.

Lamb and potato curry served with basmati rice and red lentil dhal Lamb and potato curry served with basmati rice and red lentil dhal
Lamb and potato curry garnished with coriander Lamb and potato curry garnished with coriander

Zesty stuffed artichokes with orange mayonnaise sauce

Inspired by traditional Sicilian fare, these rustic stuffed artichokes have been a family favourite for many years. When the kids were young this dish fitted into the category of “interactive eating” – as it entails using your hands to pulling off the steamed and stuffed leaves, dipping them in the sauce and then inelegantly sucking the stuffing off them. Messy but definitely worth the effort as you make your way to the tender artichoke heart – the jewel in the crown. The zesty orange flavoured stuffing and unique artichoke flavour team with the semi-sweet Orange mayonnaise sauce to make a delicious entree that never fails to surprise and delight guests.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

4 fresh artichokes
1 onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic crushed into paste
Olive oil – 2/3 tablespoons to thinly cover base of small frying pan
Half a bunch parsley finely chopped
6 stale slices white bread torn into fresh breadcrumbs
Zest of one Orange
Juice of half an orange
Half a cup whole egg mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Large heavy, flat bottom pot with lid
4 cups water


Heat oil in small non-stick frying pan
Add onion and cook slowly until transparent
Add garlic paste and cook through with onions for 2-3 minutes
In a seperate bowl make breadcrumbs and then add onion mixture, parsley and orange zest and mix all ingredients well allowing breadcrumbs to absorb the oil and flavours of onion mixture
Cut off stems from artichokes to form a flat base for artichokes to sit in pot
Wash artichokes well, gently spreading leaves without breaking them off, to make room for stuffing mix
Stuff artichokes leaf by leaf working from inside out. The aim is to have a little bit of stuffing on each of the leaves.
Place 2-3 cups water in a flat heavy bottomed pot with a lid and bring to the boil.
stand artichokes flat side down in pot. Water should just cover about 1/4 of the artichokes. You are aiming to steam leaves but have enough water to cook hearts at the bottom.
Cover with lid and allow water to boil on a gentle roll for 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the Orange juice with the mayonnaise and let stand in fridge agin to slightly thicken again. The consistency will be saucy.
Remove artichokes from water and allow to stand and drain for 2 minutes.
Serve with orange mayonnaise in seperate small bowls for each person. Have a seperate bowl at hand to discard the leaves in as you go!