Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Merry Christmas from Roofood


Juggling a new job, health issues, a bad back, a personal life that has gone through some emotional times amongst lots of delicious food has made 2015 one hell of a roller coaster ride over here at Roofood. In fact the last 2-3 years has been a difficult period for me but I have gotten through it the best way I can and looking forward to a fresh new year, revitalised, recharged and looking at it head on!

I am refocusing my energies on renewing my hobbies, some new challenges and my health. The bucket list is going to get a work out this year too and hopefully I can plan a small foodie holiday.

2016 will also be about spending more time with my very loving and supportive family and having more time with my gorgeous niece who has just turned 8 (she is such a sweet delight). We love baking together in my little kitchen, doing craft, makeup and just spending lots of quality time together (something that we haven’t been able to do a lot of recently).

My family are also looking forward to welcoming a new baby into our family fold (a nephew)!
I am certainly not going to be making New Year Resolutions because I never follow them but will be focusing on moderation and balance in my life again this year (2015 has lacked that big time!)
So from me to you, I would like to thank you all, my readers, followers, colleagues, supporters, friends and family for the continued support, love and friendship. I hope you have enjoyed what Roofood has had to offer over the last 12 months and continue to enjoy the culinary journey that is Roofood.
I have enjoyed working and collaborating with people I now call friends.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New  Year. May 2016 be filled with love, laughter and lots more delicious culinary adventures.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Belles Hot Chicken @ Wulugul Pop Up at Barangaroo

For avid fried chicken followers you may have heard of Belles Hot Chicken in Melbourne.    Nashville style fried chicken to be precise.  It has a cult like following and it's reputation is wide spread.  Fried chicken has definitely had lift off in Sydney over the recent months (in all forms).
I missed out on Belles on a recent visit to Melbourne, so I was super excited to hear they have a pop-up in Sydney at the newly opened Wulugul Pop Up at Barangaroo.
On a hot sunny Sunday afternoon we visited, we were amongst the first visitors for the day.  After approximately 15 minute wait we were served our freshly deep fried chicken baskets.
We went with Medium spiced fried drumsticks with a side of coleslaw and are few pickles.
Three plump and juicy drumsticks with a really crunchy fried coating with a good medium kick of chilli.  Picking it up with your fingers is a little hazardous from the heat but after that first bite you don't care.
The coleslaw is one of the better coleslaws I have had with a nice amount of mayonnaise.
The other dish is the Hot Wings (yeah we were to chicken to get the Really F*#k@n Hot!).  Four big wings, again with the really crunchy fried coating with a Hot chilli coating.  These were notably spicier (I understand the spice level doubles as you get Hotter).  These are served with my favourite chip.  Crinkle cut.  They are hot and crunchy and seasoned with Old Bay seasoning (you can't get more Southern than that!)

I was not left disappointed by Belles Hot Chicken.  It was everything I had imagined and I can't wait to visit again to try some of the other items on the menu.

Just as a note, when we visited it was cash only.

Belles Hot Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sapore di Napoli @ Kingsgrove - Round 2

A week after my first visit  I am back for a birthday dinner. Sapore di Napoli @ Kingsgrove
We start with garlic bread. The dough is bubbly with a few charred bits which make it crunch and doughy at the same time.  The garlic is superb.
My Dad raves about anchovies on pizza, my Mum not so much. He requested anchovies on the pizza and was shot down in flames (by Mum) so he got his own jar!  Look at the excitement...
Okay, so we didn't really get the jar but we did get a couple of bowls of them.  They are super briny and salty and they are the delicious. 
We start with the rocket and parmesan salad drizzled with aged balsamic and olive oil.
It turns into a pizza fest.  Some of us share a couple of pizzas.  I can't even remember which this one was.
The bases of the pizza here at Sapore are bubbly, fluffy but crispy. 

Miss B goes with a Clasic Margherita which is topped with the tomato, fior di latte and basil.
No 6 Pizza Capriccosa - double smoked ham, artichokes, mushrooms and olives.  This was a very tasty pizza!
My brothers own pizza.  No 15 fior di latte, beef mince, italian sausage, spicy salami, caramelised onion (added olives)
He devoured it! 
Again another successful visit at one of our local restuarants. 
Sapore Di Napoli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 14 December 2015

Kujin @ Elizabeth Bay

I adore little neighbourhood restaurants.  They speak comfort and 'home'.  When Washoku Lovers and Chef Naoki invited me along for dinner at Kujin, I was excited to see what being dished up. 
Elizabeth Bay was like a second home to me as a youngster.  My Grandparents lived down the road from Kuijin and I spent many a day exploring the area.  I  had seen various uses of this space over the years.  I hadn't been in this area for some time and it brought back some great memories!
Kujin specialises in Teppanyaki and were treated to views over the teppan grill with Chef Naoki at the grill.
We start with a Yuzushu (Yuzu Sake) and Arogoshi Ringo (Apple Sake).  A blend of juice and sake served on the rocks.  A great little aperitif to tantle the tastebuds.
Dishes are served as they are prepared.  We start with a new menu item. Chilled tomato slow cooked tomato stuffed with tempeh? swimming in a bowl of soy dashi sauce (this can be made vegetarian by omit the fish stock).  This was a superb! Cool, fresh and light. 

A selection of kushiyaki - chicken thigh in teriyaki sauce, salmon with green tea salt and lemon and prawns with green tea salt and lemon

The chicken is very moorish.  The teriyaki is thick and sweet and the chicken has been grilled tender and juicy.

I would say the prawns were my favourite out of the 3 with the earthy green tea salt and a squirt of lemon.

The salmon was good too.

Chef Naoki is manning the teppan grill tonight making his speciality tamagoyaki, which is a Japanese style omelette with dashi and soy. 

Here Chef rolls sheets of delicately cooked egg and the roll has multiple layers.  He makes it look so easy!  It definitely is a work of art and watching Chef cook it was fun!  Fluffy layer dipped in dashi soy and freshly grated daikon radish. 
Another grill selection is the chicken wing served with salt and cajun spice.  The spice sprinkled on the chicken is tasty.


Sampling some sake.  Here we start with the Otokoyama "Man's Mountain" sake from Hokkaido and has a +10 scoring (which is better).  It's dry and a nice sake (remember I have only recently discovered a like for cold sake).

A large skillet of ok Seafood okonomiyaki Seafood prawn, squid and octopus with tartare sauce on top with bonito flakes and seaweed sprinkled on top.  This had a good amount of seafood through it but I found it was smoothered in tartare reminiscent of a filet-o-fish and it wasn't cooked all the way through.  It was a little mushy for my liking.  Our least favourite dish of the evening.

 We have a serve of very tasty teppan pork hot off the grill served with asparagus and baby corn spears and bean sprouts.

I fall in love with this cold sake set.  The pourer is absolutely devine and and ingenious way to keep the sake cold without it being watered down.  The ice is in a glass bowl inside the bottle.  I loved it so much I even asked where they found the glass pourers...unfortunately they come from Japan.
The sake served in this is Masumi "Genuine Pureness" from Nagano and is a +5.  This is light and lovely and on the dry side.
We finish off with a bowl of chilled udon summer style soup from the specials - house made udon noodles in cold soup with cherry tomato, okra, eggplant, shallots and wakame seaweed.  Everything is chilled and fresh and delicous and there are dashi icecubes floating in the cold dashi broth to keep it colder even longer.  this was a lovely summer ending to a lovely meal.
The full bowl above and my serving below. 
Ending to the meal? there is always room for icecream.  Green tea ice cream in fact.  With a lovely toffe like sauce and a dollop or red beans this is the way to end the meal. 
If you are a member of Washoku Lovers then you can flash your card a get the ice cream for free.  Sign up to Washoku Lovers here.
*roofood and friend dined as guests of Washuko Lovers and Kujin.  Thanks for the invitation!

Kujin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Taste of Shanghai @ Hurstville

Months ago (yeah I have a bit of a back log), I headed to Taste of Shanghai in Hurstville to meet a friend for dinner.
The restaurant is busy and after a 15 minute wait we are seated at a two top wedged in amongst a noisy dining room. 
Pots of tea delivered quickly and ordering is smooth and efficient.
An array of Shanghai style dumplings and other delectables are on the menu along with a few dishes from other regions of China including Hu Nana, Beijing and Gungdong
We start with a steaming basket of the classic and most famous dumpling, the Xiao Long Bao.
Soft skins around steaming pockets of tender pork mince and soupy insides. 

Be careful biting into these.  They spurt soupy (but delicious) liquid so hot it will burn the tongue (and lips and chin).

We also have a serve of the Grilled onion pancakes.  Crispy shell laced with fresh shallots.

Shanghai crispy spring rolls.  From memory these were okay.  Crispy but not to hot and the filler was on the average side. But of course this is just my opinion.

The other speciality is pan fried pork dumplings.  These are soft and pillowy with crispy bottoms.

Overall, this was a lovely dumpling dinner.  It's convenient to my home and good venue to catch up for a casual dinner with a friend.

Taste of Shanghai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 4 December 2015

Travel Photo of the Month - December 2015

Bali February 2013 - you can read all about that day here in and around Ubud.
This was a wonderful day exploring the rice terraces, gardens and sampling lots of local foods.  Here I am pounding some spices.
It's definitely a good work out for the arms!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Dexter - Meat & Buns @ Preston, Melbourne

On a recent quick visit to Melbourne, which was all about friendships and catchups and celebrations, I knew I would have time for only one meal out.  But how does a foodie choose just one restaurant in a city that has a plethora of amazing places and one I never get to visit very often?
As I was staying in Preston, a quick search on the area led me straight to Dexter (just up the road from my hotel). 
Minimal signage. X marks the spot.
Brothers Sam and Tom Peasnell along with friend Adam Goldblatt, who collectively have careers that include infamous Pitt Cue and Homeslice, both in London, Chin Chin, Movida, Auction Rooms and Three Bags Full and they have collaborated to bring  this 'non-traditional meatery' (their words) to Preston, a North Melbourne residential melting pot that is on the up and coming.
Once inside the space is well lit with sky lighting and lots of light wood and white walls.  There is a communal table/bar running the length of one side with tables and bench seating on the other.  There is also another space out back past the open kitchen.  I love this minimalist, airy, light fitout.
So, let's talk all things carnivore first up.  Dexter is all about the meat.  Southern style American BBQ in fact. Here the guy's choose optimal cuts of protein suitable for smoking, low and slow braising, sous vide and chargrilling. 

Their lunch menu is a condensed version of their dinner menu but still plenty of meaty goods to choose from.

The menu has me drooling and a serve of scratchings  is needed to start (because well as you know crackling is my crack!) and a Pickle Back.

it was a 'I need a moment to myself' moments

What the hell is a Pickle Back you ask?  The perfect aperitif!  A 30ml shot of Makers Mark bourbon and a shot of Pickle Juice (house made by the way).  The bourbon is truly a remarkable drop and the house made pickle juice is sweet and savoury all in one.  I was close to ordering a second!

There may be buns on the menu but definitely no burgers or meat patties here.  Brioche buns are made in house to accompany the pulled and smoked meats.  There are so many delectable offerings but I go with the most popular choice.  The Pig's Head Bun.

A slow braised pulled pigs head meat rolled into a croquette and deep fried topped with pickled pineapple, vinegar slaw and pickles. Soft chewy bun encases this crispy delight.  The rich jowl and head meat is tender and juicy and comforting. The pickled pineapple is juicy and tangy and the vinegar slaw is tangy. 
I cannot pass over a side of the Bone Marrow Mash.  Yep!  A swirl of super smooth mash floating in a bowl of light gravy with gelatinous dots of delicious bone marrow.  Topped with a gremolata.

This is decadent and rich and so inspiring.  I mean bone marrow in gravy on mash...I'm lost...
As a side note, I did have a small slight issue with something but the boys and their staff handle it perfectly as expected.  They are friendly, welcoming and clearly passionate about what they do and what they are producing in the kitchen.  That enthusiasm rubs off a little on me.
Couldn't have had a nicer lunch!

Although I was already bursting to the brim with meaty goodness, I was kindly offered up a taste of another popular side. The KFC.  Kentucky Fried Cauliflower.  A spicy, nutty batter coating pieces of cauliflower.  Perfectly dipped in siracha sauce.  These were so fabulously delicious! 
I understand that Dexter is a welcoming place in the neighbourhood and as I make my departure I am already planning a return for dinner.  Their night menu offers a larger range of meats including short ribs in caramel sauce and  pork ribs and trays of meats plus yet another popular item, the meat donut!  Burnt brisket ends stuffed inside donuts and laced with icing sugar.  HELL YES!
Thanks for such a great meaty lunch Dexter.  I will be back next time I'm in Melbs. 
Dexter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato