Thursday, February 28, 2008
There were about 30 exhibitors displaying their wares - half were selling beer/wine and only a small handful had the good stuff - food! The ones doing brisk business included this Turkish stall selling gozleme - a pan-fried pastry (similar to naan/roti) with cheese, spinach and meat within.
We shared the yummy gozleme, seafood paella - apparently a regular fixture at 20 years of Harvest Picnic history but sadly, the rice was undercooked this year :( yabbie burger and bisque, BBQ calamari/prawn and kebabs. One could rent a wineglass for $5 and sample the mind-boggling variety of wines :) I also did a little shopping - a homemade bottle of limoncello, spiced rhubarb jam from Tasmania and a sampler of Red Duck beer (I was sold on the cute packaging!)
Hanging Rock turned out to be a rather famous attraction in the Macedon Ranges because of a mystery novel (subsequently made into a movie) called "Picnic at the Hanging Rock" written in the early 1900s by Joan Lindsay. In it, a group of schoolgirls vanish and it certainly lent the Harvest Picnic an air of mystery and intrigue :P We decided to follow the walking trails to the summit of Hanging Rock to see what the fuss was all about... the towering rock formations did have a forbidding feel about it...
Nearly there! A fantastic view of Mt. Macedon and the surrounding plains. It was easy finding the summit although we had to clamber onto the large rocks at the top! Finding the way down was trickier and we actually got lost! "Help!"
Deb Ang at 8:57 pm
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I went for my all time favourite of Dulsot Bibimbap (tastier than the usual bibimbap as it is served in a heated stone bowl). The taste was simple and the best part - the burnt rice at the bottom :D
Deb Ang at 11:16 pm
Friday, February 22, 2008
Deb Ang at 11:22 pm
Thursday, February 21, 2008
In keeping with the Aussie love of "barbies" during summer, we decided to have one in our own backyard last Sunday :) The 35 deg C heat started to cool down after 7pm and daylight savings meant that we could enjoy two more hours of light. Out came the foldable table and chairs, gas cooker and a special hotplate - time for our favourite Korean BBQ!!
We dropped into Jireh, our regular Korean grocery in Clayton and snapped up ready cuts of pork, kimchi, vegetables and the all important soju (rice wine). I also found Melona, a sweet and refreshing ice cream by Binggrae there :D Endang prepared a tasty version of kimchi jigae (soup), kimchi pancakes and sesame/garlic dipping sauce. My contribution - eggplant marinated in miso and ice calamansi tea :P Once the meat (bulgogi/wine marinade) was cooked, we ate it sambap style.... big mouthfuls of yumminess!
Deb Ang at 10:12 pm
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I have yet to find a restaurant that only serves Peranakan food (e.g. House of Peranakan in SG) as most serve the usual Malaysian delights with Nyonya specials. Lim's Nyonya Hut is a tiny outfit with 8 mismatched tables, a funny collection of Nyonya furniture and plates for decor; even a framed lilac coloured kebaya top to match the purple walls! We happily ordered drinks from our childhood - chin chow, Kickapoo! and MJ Drink (chin chow in soybean milk; black & white like Michael Jackson!)
I wasn't craving for Mee Siam but ordered it since it was their Saturday special. It was very, very good - the sauce was unusually thick and had a generous helping of taupok. Kevin gave thumbs up for their Penang char kway teow :)
Here's Hui Yi excited about her Assam Laksa - I could smell the scents of mint, basil, hae ko (prawn paste) and onions while taking this pic!
It seems like this place makes an impressive range of Nyonya kuih too - there were at least 10 types on their dessert menu. I went for my favourite Kuih Kosui (never as good as my grandma's!) and Ang Ku Kuih (hmm... I miss the "half salty-sweet" version :P). There, the perfect recipe for an afternoon siesta.
Deb Ang at 2:46 pm
Friday, February 15, 2008
West Coast Wilderness
Our 3 hour journey was filled with magnificent west coast landscapes - here's the awesome King River Canyon cutting between mountains filled with giant Tasmanian pine and fern trees.
We continued our road trip east towards alpine country (the heart of Tassie) and the weather followed accordingly! It was pouring cats and dogs and we had to stop for directions before doubling back to find our accommodation for the night. Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village lived up to its name as we easily found native wildlife outside our doorstep :) These two pademelons were just metres away!
The famous cradle shaped peak (partly obscured!) and boathouse at Dove Lake - this was the coldest leg of our journey ... a little of the Christmas/winter feel!
Deb Ang at 3:42 pm
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
We only caught sight of the dragon making its entrance and of course, how multicultural MEL is :P
An interesting looking Chinese church held an open day with la mian (noodles) making demos!
Deb Ang at 10:18 pm
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Margie and I treated ourselves to an afternoon snack of frozen Mornthong "seedless" durian from Thailand (A$5 for a 500g packet) before the dinner prep started. Hmm.. hmmm... finger licking good!
A fun twist to the yu sheng - we took turns wishing each other something good for the new year before adding an item to the dish. Seen here - Corrine, Chris and Emi.
Check that out! Thanks to Endang (who lent us the gas cooker and pot!), we managed to stuff ourselves silly with a variety of fishballs, meat, yong tau foo, mushrooms, noodles and veggies in yummy ikan bilis and soybean broth. There was also ngoh hiang (made by yours truly!) roast duck, char siew and siew yoke from the popular Pacific BBQ restaurant in Toorak/Richmond. Dessert was a funny fusion of Emi's famous cupcakes and tang yuan (glutinous rice balls filled with black sesame/peanut). Burp :P
Deb Ang at 8:49 pm
Friday, February 08, 2008
Rated their No. 1 dish, the Beef Rendang was different from the Malay style in that they used a sirloin type of fillet cut into bite sized pieces. The gravy was also tasty and rich, with no oil whatsoever floating about :P
But the winner for both of us was the Pecel Lele - catfish marinated in yummy spices and totally deep fried to the point where even the bones were crispy enough to be devoured :D Slab on a good dose of kecap and fresh belacan... I could eat this everyday! The meal came up to $40 for two including drinks, which was pretty reasonable :)
Deb Ang at 9:52 pm
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Xin nian kuai le!
Deb Ang at 9:50 am
Monday, February 04, 2008
Deb Ang at 10:36 pm
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Munch munch, crunch crunch!
Margie and I made use of the Aussie Day long weekend to start our baking mania for Chinese New Year - it was almost mission impossible as we decided to include Kuih Bangkit and Peanut Cookies to Mini Shrimp Popiah and the ubiquitous Pineapple Tarts!! Click on the links to get the recipes. Having to spend CNY away from home, the least I could do is to recreate the second most important ingredient after "family & friends" - the FOOD :)
Our first attempt at baking these goodies were not without trial and error - we had to change the recipe after our first batch of pineapple tarts turned out too soft, buttery and crumbly (but is now melt in your mouth after a week in the fridge)! We also used macadamia and pine nuts for the peanut cookies instead, which gave them a richer texture.
The scene of our baking challenge - Margie's kitchen has a retro Malleys gas oven and our "vacuum cleaner" was none other than Harvey :D
Bake, pack and munch - we rewarded ourselves with a good helping of chicken congee (leftovers of our charcoal chicken dinner).... and started munching on our favourite CNY goodies :D
Deb Ang at 8:40 pm