31 May 2009

Poached Egg with Bacon Crumble: Attempt #2 (31 May 2009)

I'm not having much luck with cooking a perfectly poached egg at the moment. After my first attempt I even had some helpful advice from Ellie from Almost Bourdain who gave me a link on Jenny Mac's Lip Smack which mentioned using plastic clips which I actually found in my cupboard. The problem this time was I think I didn't put enough water in the pot and when the little cling wrap bags touched the bottom of the pot they melted and split my little poaching bags. In the end I managed to salvage what I could to place on top of the toast and bacon to make it look as presentable as possible. As they say practice makes perfect so hence I'll keep trying.

Eggs wrapped up in cling wrap

Diced bacon being fried

Cling wrap bag touches the bottom of pot and starts to split

Salvaging the deformed poached eggs

Poached egg with bacon crumble on toast, Chef Leong :-)

The aftermath of operation 'Save Poached Eggs'

Croquembouche Pâtisserie, Banksmeadow (30 May 2009)

1635 Botany Road, Banksmeadow NSW 2019

After visiting the nearby Brasserie Bread on Botany Road I picked up a few more yummy treats from this large pâtisserie which also has a smaller shop in Randwick and now in Cronulla. I'm always mesmerized by fruit tarts — especially ones that can squeeze five different fruits on top or six decent sized pieces of strawberry. Both of these tarts had a coating of chocolate between the pastry and custard which made it even better. The lemon slice was also nice and fresh and I've previously tried the mixed red berry tartlette which is another good one for the fruit fans.

Mixed fruit tartlette $4.90

Strawberries Tartlette $4.90

Lemon tartlette $4.90

Lemon slice $3.80 (I think)

Cake display

View Larger Map
Croquembouche Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow (30 May 2009)

1737 Botany Road, Banksmeadow NSW 2019

There are so many options of bread to choose from at this popular large bakery and café in the midst of the industrial area of Banksmeadow but I only had cakes on my mind for afternoon tea. Everything looked so tempting and my Orange and Almond Friand was very moist and yummy. I noticed quite a few breakfast and lunch options on the menu board and I'd been keen to try their Eggs Benedict I spotted. At the time I arrived a flurry of happy kids attending a birthday were coming out of the adjoining Artisan Baking School which looked like a lot of fun.

Orange and almond friand $3

Raspberry and pistachio friand $3

Ben Ngu: Vietnamese, Marrickville (30 May 2009)

260 Marrickville Road, Marrickville NSW 2204

This SMH Good Living Review on 22 May 2009 inspired my dad to check out this place as he's always looking for a good and cheap Vietnamese beef pho. So today we venture out to try a few Vietnamese classics. The restaurant looks spacious and clean but as I sit down I detect a not so nice damp smell around our table — I'm suspecting it's possibly come from the cleaning (not so clean) cloth that's been used to wipe the table down as it's still a little wet. The young staff seem quite rushed off their feet and it takes about 10 minutes to grab their attention and ask for tea cups twice so we can pour ourselves a tea from our awaiting hot tea flask. I noticed most of customers dining were predominately Anglo. Not a promising start but I'm hoping the food will make up for these initial impressions.

The soups are quite large and very reasonably priced. I enjoy the depth of flavour of the spicy soup more than the plainer chicken soup and the side plate of salad is a generous size as well. The Vietnamese pancake is fairly crunchy and thicker than the one I've had at Thanh Binh in Newtown but it's filling seems to be dominated by too many bean sprouts for my preferred liking. I'd probably try a few other dishes if I happen to visit again.

One main gripe that annoys me with this restaurant, and many other cheap and cheerful Asian eateries, is that they've obviously tried hard to make the front of house dining area look nice and clean but when you venture out the back through the kitchen and to the toilets it's like a mine field and dirty and dusty objects on shelving and old bits and pieces lying around the back which becomes very unsightly and should at least try to be covered up. I think all customer touch points are important and making sure they're all presented at their best.

Vietnamese pancake $9

Hue style rice vermicelli spicy soup (Bún bò Hué) $8

Chicken rice noodle soup $8

Side salad which accompanies soups

My small personal eating bowl of Vietnamese pancake, spicy soup and chicken soup

Table condiments and cutlery tray

Dining area

Cool sculpture across the road on the Royal Exchange Hotel

View Larger Map
Ben Ngu on Urbanspoon

30 May 2009

Poached Egg with Bacon Crumble: Attempt #1 (30 May 2009)

When I get a chance I try and watch Masterchef but at the moment I've got so many previous episodes to catchup on. Poaching an egg has always been a mystery to me so when it was demonstrated on Masterclass - Episode 17 using cling wrap I had to give it a go. It was very tricky trying to tie a good knot with the cling wrap so next time I think I'll just use a wooden peg if it works. I thought the video said 10 minutes in boiling water but this seemed too long to me. I kept it in for 6 minutes and this ended up being way too long and the egg was a bit too firm. I rechecked the video and they actually said about 4 minutes on a 'simmer'. No wonder I got it totally wrong — but next time I'll hopefully get it right. Glad I wasn't trying this on Masterchef but I especially enjoy watching the master classes to learn lots of practical cooking tips.

Poached Egg with Bacon Crumble, Chef Leong :-)

Home Cooking: Oven Baked Fish with Tomato, Cucumber and Olive Salsa (29 May 2009)

I deboned a fillet of bream, wrapped in foil with lemon, butter and herbs and oven baked for about 15 minutes. The salsa was made with finely chopped tomato, cucumber and kalamata olives mixed with small parts of mirin, olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, rice wine vinegar, white balsamic condiment, salt and pepper. Accompanied with steamed carrots, grilled zucchini and panfried potato slices and served on a bed of buttered baby English spinach. In hindsight I should have served the vegetables separately so the dish didn't look too busy.

Oven Baked Fish with Tomato, Cucumber and Olive Salsa, Chef Leong :-)

29 May 2009

Hole In The Wall: Tempeh Burger, Sydney (29 May 2009)

Ground Floor and Level 4
229 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000

The tempeh burger is packed with so much that I doubt you could add much more to this favourite of mine. The tempeh patty made from soybeans is heated under the grill before adding a full salad including a bit of onion which I recommend. You definitely have to watch out for the drip factor with this one as the humos [hummos] tends to start flowing with the heat from the tempeh patty and toasted bread. Don't forget to grab some napkins and enjoy in the nearby parks.

Tempeh Burger: Toasted Turkish bread with Humos, Salsa (Savion) full salad & Tempeh patty $8.90

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map