Monday, 27 April 2015


Since travelling through Asia many years ago I developed a love of Congee.  What is congee?  Essentially rice porridge.   Across Asia, there are country and regional variances and consistency but it all comes down to it being the bowl of comfort soup. 

This particular day, I awoke with a craving for comfort and to me this has become congee over the years. 

In China, it's typically cooked with pork and century egh,served with shallots and deep fried wonton shards.  However, the flavour combinations are endless. A fav is chicken and ginger or in Cambodia, which it is known as bobor, sundried fish and white pepper.

Today i went with a simple congee of pork mince, topped with peanuts, dried chilli anchovies, a shallot and ginger sauce with coriander and a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce dusted with white pepper.


There is no exact timing to make congee.  I use half a cup of rice with about a litre of water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer slowly until the consistency is smooth and blended. Stir occassionally.  Add water if its getting to dry and its not soupy enough.

Near the end of cooking I throw in approx 100g of pork mince to gently cook through.

Top with choice topping and spoon into a serving bowl for comfort eating.

Miss America's Diner @ Riverwood

Sydney's current craze is American BBQ and burgers and who am I to complain!  I get to indulge in some good ole fashioned American comfort food.
The best thing about this craze is that alot of new places are opening up out of the inner city area and heading to the burbs including Miss America's Diner.  By day this place is The Spot Caffe and on a Friday night it comes alive as an American Diner, complete with flag bunting and quitchy 50's Americana memorabilia.  I am instantly the smitten kitten.

Our party of 9 were sitting outside at a red and white checked table.  Jumbo playing cards are supplied for some entertainment (for the kids, however adults are welcome to play to!)

The menu is two pages long and is filled with classic's, burgers, dawg's fries, sundaes, spiders and sodapop.  Miss America's Diner is also BYO.  So adults are drinking wine while the kids opt for shakes.
 Brown Cow and Blue Cow shakes.  The flavours come in chocolate (brown), pink (strawberry), yellow (banana), black and white (vanilla).  Ask for a Fat cow and it comes thickshake style. 
These shakes are malted with soft serve and cream. I love the addition of lollies, wafers and cream atop of the shakes.

I think we ordered most of the menu!
I went with the James Dean burger.   Double beef patties separated by cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and sauce.

I have to admit the cheese melted between the patties is a revelation!  Juicy and full of burger flavour, this burg was GOOD. Really good!
I couldn't eat it all, particularly as we were also nibbling on side dishes (see below) and one of the boys polished it off on top of his dawg. Big appetites are needed!
A juicy beef patty with double cheese, lettuce
A couple tried the Love Me Tender and both said it was good.   Chicken breast, bacon, cheddar, lettuce and honey mustard burger.

Someone went with the Chilli Dog. The bun was filled with a pork sausage smothered in chilli beef, onions, peppers, spices and  was piled high with chilli and oozy melted cheesy sauce.


The tiddly winks (aka the kids) went with either a junior dawg which is a sausage in a bun with sauce or the Hot Diggity Dawg which was topped with bacon and melted cheese (hold the mustard sauce).
We could not pass up a selection of sides to share.  We ordered the chilli fries, which in my opinion some of hte best chilli fries I have ever had.  The chilli had a good kick of heat but it also was thick and really tasty.  pairs with the best cheese to come out of America and these were the bomb!

Another must try was the Heart Attack Fries and I know why they are called that and equally delicious.  Skinny fries topped with crispy bacon, two types of melted cheese (and I forgot to ask what ones) and shallots.  Let's just say 'skinny fries' is a misnomer!

These were pretty delicious and reminiscent of a cabonara sauce flavour.  Although these were very good we all decided that we preferred the chilli fries (saying that I would definitely have these again as a side if I wasn't feeling up to spicy heat).
The Buffalo Wings are something I feel in love with while I was living in Canada.  I would always meet up with one of my great friends there for a pub night once a week or so and we would have beer and wings.  Proper Buffalo wings.
So I had to try these out tonight.  6 wings fried golden and crispy and dipped in a vinegar based hot sauce and perhaps butter? (that's the traditional way).  Served with celery sticks and blue cheese sauce. 

I liked these but I reckon they could be a little more vinegar-y and spicy...but then again spiciness is subjective!

Even though we realised we had to much food we couldn't stop ourselves ordering a serve of the Corny Corn.  Boiled ears with butter and topped with crushed cheese corn chips.

Crunchy, cheesy and tasty. I love me some corn and they are the perfectly bite sized.
The kids wanted Banana Splits and these were glorified with lollies again!  Sweet heavens.....

For those adults wanting dessert they finished off with the warm Apple Pie (and we will ignore all the references to the movie made at the table). This was simply served with a glass of soft serve icecream

We had a fun night out and ate some great food.  The memorabilia is awesome and the atmosphere is great. 
The only downside thing I noticed and it's no bigger really was service was a little hit and miss, it was busy and the girls were run off their feet and we were left waiting for a few things that were needed at the table.  It happens and we weren't in any rush and mentioned no big deal.
Making the trek to Riverwood (okay I'm not to far but others might grumble) is worth the effort on a Friday night and I am looking forward to those chilli fries again.

Miss America's Diner on Urbanspoon

Friday, 17 April 2015

Foodies Street Market

For those that know me and those that read my blog would know that I have been a long time shopper and visitor to Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market.  I love doing my shopping there on a Saturday morning.  The community comes together for shopping, coffee and good food and regulars love to have a chat and catchup. I try to go every 2 weeks or so and miss it when I don't get there.

So you can only imagine how excited I was to hear that they were hosting/running a Foodies Street Market at Peakhurst in the grounds of Our Lady of Fatima Church on Friday, 27 March 2015.

Traffic wasn't to bad when I arrived but parking was a small issue, eventually finding a spot about a block away. I headed into the markets eager and hungry. The crowds were already pumping an hour into the markets.

I headed straight over to It's Not a Lemon.  It was busy but the girls were keeping up with the demand.  This lemon (aid) stand has been created in loving memory of a grandfather who battled with Motor Neurone Disease and proceeds go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association of NSW.  I have previously met Juliette but there will be more on this young teenager in a near future post!

People were lined up for gelato, but I needed savoury first.

There are so many regular faces and stalls at the markets tonight along with a few new food stalls.  I just didn't know where to start or what to eat, so I stopped by Stevensons for a glass of Meg's Sour Cherry Sangria. 

Fruity and refreshing it quench the thirst on this warm evening.
Wandering around I just couldn't decide. Fresh ears of corn being prepared. Perhaps? Always love a fresh, hot corn with melted butter and salt and pepper....

Sarazine la Creperie are here!  Offering both sweet and savoury crepes at this busy little caravan, I head over to peruse the menu. I am not usually drawn to crepes..but after seeing the menu  I realise my mouth is watering for a savoury crepe. I know exactly what I'm having.

The Bordeaux - hot smoked salmon, marinated goats cheese and rocket crepe.  The savoury crepe is made using 100% organic buckwheat flour, making them gluten free.  The combination of hot smoked salmon and creamy goats cheese is a awesome pairing and adding a peppery rocket makes this crepe awesome.

Stopping by for a chat with Creamfork.  Her wonderfully inspiring paleo, raw and vegan sweets, slices and nut butters are selling out fast.  Everyone is going nuts (literally) over them. 

Not only food on offer there are a few stalls selling beautiful candles and homewares, table decor and the like.  Along with these beautiful handmade pumpkin lights from Turkey.  They look gorgeous lit up in the evening!

However it was the chips and beer batter prawns from Mamou that won the dish of the night, selling out within a couple of hours of opening.  Newcomers to the food market scene, the man and family behind Mamou has had a long career in the food industry.  Going out on a limb and making beer battered prawns and chips may not be 'new', but using home made beer for the batter and home made stout for the sauce was spectacular.  Crunchy batter and perfectly tender prawns were fantastic.  The thinly cut chips are deep fried and are reminiscent of a potato crisp.  In fact they are a cross between a crisp and a chip.
For the $10 price tag for prawn and $5 for the chips it was a winner.
I thought I had missed out as the wait for the sold out prawns was lengthy.  I was very honoured to be given the last few beer battered prawns along with my chips that I had ordered.  Thank you!  I'm really looking forward to seeing you join the markets!
Corn Fritter House always have a following at the markets and tonight was no exception!
I hung out for awhile with some friends chatting and sharing food and listening to the band playing some great tunes and keeping the vibe happening.
It was crowded with locals who were loving that the night markets were in their area and enjoying some great food and atmosphere.  The organisers and stall owners never anticipated the crowds and unfortunately ran out of food quite early in the evening (actually perhaps fortunately for most).  Hopefully this will be taken into consideration next time!
Actually speaking of next time, the Foodies Street Market will be once again held on 24 April at Our Lady of Fatima.  My only disappointed is that I will not be able to be there!
All I can say is get down there early and soak up the atmosphere, mingle with the crowds, pull up some grass and listen to the music and get some great food into you!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Suminoya - Japanese charcoal BBQ

Tucked away in Hosking Place is a Japanese yakiniku restaurant called Suminoya.  Until I was invited for lunch, I would never have known that it was there, regardless of the fact that is's been around for roughly 10 years.  It is always nice to find hidden away gems in the Sydney CBD and discover something new, yet it has been around for many years with a great following.
We arrived for 1pm and were seated at a table in a little nook.  Each table in the restaurant is set up with an exhaust fan over each table. High tech! 
We decide on sharing a three choice charcoal BBQ set and the Suminoya lunch box B.  It took sometime for our charcoal BBQ to come to the table, but when it did arrive the charcoal bricks were glowing and ready to go.  Our food followed pretty quickly.
table laden with BBQ and bento
The three BBQ dishes come together on one plate.  Squid, duck and wagyu beef harami (which is a cut from around the diaphragm). The set also comes with a side of rice, a small bowl of miso soup and a small side salad.
beefy treats await
We had asked specifically for the squid to be served separately (for a particular reason) but it came on the same plate separated by a lettuce leaf.  Okay, slight issue but nothing that we couldn't deal with.
gettin' ya sizzle on
There is something rustic about cooking at your own table. I enjoy it and it's always a crowd pleaser and gets everyone into the spirit.  I ensured the squid was cooked on one side of the grill and didn't touch any other meats. 
The sizzle and pop of the meats as the fat started to render and drip onto the hot coals beneath soon had smoke wafting around and straight up the exhaust fan!
The squid was soft and tender.  I only had one ring because I was going for the duck and beef today.  the duck was good.  Enough time on the grill to not overcook the duck and render some of that layer of fat is a very fine line but if you get it right, it's rewarding.  It took a couple of goes to get it right.
 I hadn't had a harami cut before.  This is found around the diaphram of the beast. The wagyu beef harami was flavourful but on the tougher side, more likely coming down to my cooking skills rather than the cut itself.  Perfection takes practice I suppose and it might take a few more goes to get it right. 
I ordered a side of chinese cabbage kimchi for a bit of crunch and heat to accompany the grilled meats.  It had a light fermented flavour and was crunch and definitely hot!
packing some heat this here kimchi

The Suminoya lunch box  is served on a tray with your choice of main meal. We opted for the teriyaki fish. the lunch set also is served with a 'today's special', a 'today's special side dish', salad, rice and miso.  Turns out the 'today's special' is tempura gyoza and the 'today's special side dish' is a crab claw with mayonnaise.

bento box
Me being the only one that can eat meat and dairy at the table (my friend was fasting for Greek Easter so was eating no red meat or dairy, hence the request for the squid to be separate) got to have the the specials.
I was surprised by the tempura gyoza.

tempura gyoza...yes please
It's literally a pork gyoza dipped in tempura batter and deep fried.  This was a novelty.  The crispy tempura batter was light and encased a soft gyoza wrapper with a lovely moist gyoza filling. These were good, but filling. 

crab claws
The crab claw was just as good as any takeaway shop crab claw and it was perched on top of a dollop of thick kewpie style mayonnaise.  No sure what the sauce was though but it was thick and sweet(ish) similar to a very thick teriyaki sauce.
The teriyaki fish (and I only had a small taste) as she was eating the seafood today was terrific.  Moist, perfectly cooked and the teriyaki was not overly sweet.  My friend remarked that she liked the fish saying she wasn't a a big fish eater and wasn't a fan of salmon.  When I told her this was salmon she was surprised! 
teriyaki sauce

As for the miso soup, salad and rice, they were hardly touched. Not because they were not good, just that we were so full from the other main dishes. The rice was fluffy and hot and the miso soup was full of flavour.  The salad was refreshing with corns scattered through it.

As a member of Washoku Lovers I also showed my card for a free drink which was a coke, however there are many other options on the menu for drinks.

*Roofood dined as a guest of SD Marketing and Suminoya


1 Hosking Place, Sydney
NSW 2000 Australia
Tel: 02 9231 2177
Fax: 02 9231 2110

Suminoya Japanese on Urbanspoon

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tasting the new menu @ The Norfolk

I recently attended a food bloggers event at The Norfolk in Surry Hills to partake in a tasting of the new(ish) menu.
I have never been to The Norfolk before but
I arrive early, so I start with a Tommy's Apple Crumble, a delicious concoction that reminder me of a cool autumn nights dessert...but of course, this was anything but....a mix of Herradura silver tequila, pomme verte, lime, agave with a jam and biscuit rim. 
Finally everyone arrived and we were all chatting and catching up and speculating and perusing the enticing menu.  I'm excited.
I must remind myself to PACE new Tantra!
We start with a special...Chicken Waffle on a stick!
I'm a fan of the fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup....yes maple syrup is a must. 
This reminded me of America's State Fair food - something that is on my bucket list.   A waffle wrapped around chicken, deep fried topped with sauces.  Yeah this works.

This cheeseburger however blew me away.  Sydney's burger craze is rampant at the moment and there is some high stake contenders in being the best burger.  This perfect little starter wow'ed me!
Monterey cheese burger - ezy cheese and jalapeno salsa.  This was deceptively delicious!.  It looks simple but OMG...I love spray cheese....yes it's overprocessed and fake...but you gotta love it!  The jalapeno salsa has some heat but blends well with the cheese....

Time for another round of cocktails.  Next choice is the Cowgirl Bubbles.  A blend of Jack honey, strawberry liqueur, lemon, ginger, sparkling wine.  I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous one.  It was nice, just wasn't pairing as well with the food.

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!  So many tacos.  In fact there was 3 each.  I'm glad I'm wearing my stretchy pants.
We sample the Asado Beef (above front), Pulled Pork (mid left) and the Jalapeno Popper (mid right).
the Asado Beef taco had coffee, avocado cream and arbol chilli salsa.  It was very tasty.  The Pulled Pork taco was served with smoked adobo pork, aji chili and pineapple salsa.   The pulled pork was smoky and tender but it was the pineapple salsa that pulled it through (no pun intended).  In all honesty, and my own opinion, I think I am over pulled pork.  I think I have overdosed on it over the past year, so I wasn't so keen on it....not when there was a jalapeno popper taco to be had!
Breaded, fried, cheesy hot peppers wrapped in a soft tortilla topped with pumpkin mole, queso and salsa rojo.  I yes, folks we have a clear winner!

getting up close and personal with an asado beef taco
Chef Jamie Thomas and the kitchen crew were still pumping out the dishes.  Not only for us but also being a Tuesday night, keeping up with the demand for Taco Night!
I think I went into deep fried heaven here.....
Mole Fried Chicken Wings with mole spices, crema and chilli vinegar.

The mole spices shine through this fried chicken and the chilli vinegar gives it a nice flavour that cuts through.  The sauce was unusual.  We all commented on it an and we worked out that it was the coffee (we think that's what it was) on top of the sauce that was giving it a a unique and unusual flavour. I wasn't a fan of it...but others loved it.
Next fried dish up was Deep Fried Pickles with ranch sauce.  I have loved Fried Pickles since I started travelling through the States years ago.  They are a dish that can be fantastic or terrible.  These were crispy with a light batter and dipped in ranch...mmmmm
However it was the Mac n Cheeseballs with spiced ketchup that blew most of us away.  These deceptively (yes I use that word again) simple looking balls were just awesome orbs of cheesy carb laden fried bombs!

Fried food in all its glory!
Thankfully we had a small break before the onslaught of more tastings.  The menu is packed with delicious snacks and tacos (many we have sampled tonight) but there is also salads, burgers and mains (which we didn't see).  More reason to come back and do some more 'sampling'. 
the last round of savoury dishes makes it's way to the tables with the San Jose Choy Bow which has grilled chicken, green papaya, lime, peanuts and salsa rojo.  These were refreshing, crunchy and delightful.

Another wow factor dish was the BBQ corn with ancho mayo topped with bacon and pretzel furikake

Furikake is traditionally a Japanese dry seasoning that is sprinkled atop rice.  It comes in various flavours but mostly with a base of dried ground fish, seaweed and sesame seeds.  Tonight we see it with bacon and pretzel crumbs too.  The corns wins the dish of the night for me (big call, I know) but really I love corn and this was top notch.

Last but not least was the K Town Burrito with short rib, smoked frank and kimchi rice wrapped in a torilla.  This was a fusion of Mexican and Korean and it worked.  I just wish I could have enjoyed it more (but the belly was full).

We cannot finish off any meal without dessert.
Deep fried banana taco with peanut butter icecream, ice magic, peanuts, 100's and 1000's and fried corn taco.  This is a fun, childlike dessert in all it's glory and it was good.  Anything fried will win right? and who can resist 100's and 1000's?

I really enjoyed dinner at The Norfolk.  The menu is extensive and fun, particularly if you love American fried foods.  It has a unique atmosphere, a fun court yard for al fresco drinking and dining.  The staff are friendly and helpful and overall just a great pub to spend some time in.
Thanks for the invite! 
*Roofood dined as a guest of Drink n Dine.  All opinions are expressly my own.

The Norfolk on Urbanspoon