Zesty Lemon Bars

The annual food blogger meet up is here and each one will need to bring a dish or drink, last year I have made dumplings and the tray was cleaned up in 10 mins, also because maybe I was only one out of 5 person doing savoury dishes. This year I wanted to make a sweet dish, as I am such a beginner in making dessert, this is the perfect chance because I am always having difficult sharing my dessert to my family as none of them like sweets, hence I don’t have much opportunity to practice.

Summer is here I have chosen lemon as my core ingredient to make this dessert, perfect for lemon lovers! These cute little bite size bars has a crust on the bottom and a beautiful and silky filling, it is also easy to make too!

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Ingredients:

For the base

225g unsalted butter, soften

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

For the lemon later

6 large eggs at room temperature

2 1/2 cups caster sugar

2-3 lemon zest

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (pulps and seeds removed)

1 cup flour

icing sugar for dusting

 

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 30cm X 20cm baking tin with foil.

2) For the base, cream the butter and sugar until light, combine the flour and salt to the butter until just mixed. Knead with a hand until flour and butter is combined. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking tin using thumb and index finger, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides, then put it in the fridge to chill for 10 mins.

3) Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack, meanwhile switch the oven to 160C and make the fillings.

4) For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lastly sieve in the flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until just set when feel with your fingers.

5) cool down for about an hour, cut into rectangles  and dust generously with icing sugar right before serving.

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when pressing down the flour dough, take you time to do it. The more even the better consistency

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This is what I mean by lightly brown

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Ingredient shot

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Pouring lemon juice into egg mixture

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Make sure no flour lumps in the egg mixture

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ready to be bake

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Don’t forget to dust with heaps of icing sugars!

 

 

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Cheeky Chocolate, North Strathfield

 

North Strathfield is definitely a growing suburb, not long ago another Pancakes on the rocks was open and now a new creation of Adriano Zumbo – Cheeky Chocolate has opened in North Strathfield. With about 100 free parking right opposite the dessert place, you never need to worry about finding a car spot (free parking on weekend only). I think this is certainly a good addition to the inner west. Without travelling to the City CBD, you can still find a place for a chat and sweets after dinner with your friends.

 

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Value: 6.5/10

 

Average Price
Entrée: N/A
Main: N/A
Dessert: $10 – $18
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: N/A
Cakeage: N/A

 

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Normal
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Dark
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins – 20 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

 

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Upon our arrival at around 8:30pm on a Saturday night, the place was already packed. We waited for about 15 mins before we get a seat and the waitress kindly offer us to go inside to have a look at the cake display and the menu. The menu is not an extensive one, and 3 out of the 7 dine in dessert menu wasn’t available on the night. However, the service of staff was super friendly and also allows me to take as much picture as possible! (Exactly what a food blogger would love to hear!) Absolutely love the Victorian décor inside Cheeky Chocolate, chandelier crystal lighting hanging from the ceiling and wooden furniture are just beautiful.

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After spending a considerable amount of time choosing what to order finally we opted for one dine in dessert and one cake from the window display.

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Will you pash or dash – chocolate fondant with passion fruit centre, toasted white chocolate & orange soaked pineapple, $18

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Fondant was served on a long slim plate which the white chocolate foam was about to spill out, both JC and me agreed that it would be better if it was served on a round plate. We cut the fondant in half and the passion fruit chocolate just oozed out like how it should be. I enjoyed the fondant a lot because it was moist and not overly sweet. I especially love the orange soaked pineapple, as you can see there was lots of vanilla bean in the mixture and that just offsets the richness of the dark chocolate. But what I don’t like about is the ice-cream on the left, it was a bit bland and icy.

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Apricot jelly, white chocolate mousse, almond crumble, apricot and yoghurt creamy and pistachio, $11

I don’t want to be chocolate overdose, so I opted for a fruity dessert on our 2nd options. This dessert was refreshing and tangy. Almond crumble and biscuit on top gives a nice crunchy texture to the dessert.

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Chai latte, $4.90

The chat latte here is soothing and aromatic. The silky smooth texture went down easily, the cup was so big that I struggled to finish it.

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Skinny Cappuccino, $4.90

Coffee here is not bad too!

Overall, this is not a bad place for a called in to get some take away dessert and the service was great even though they were very busy on a Saturday evening. Beautifully presented cakes and dine in dessert.

 

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Address:

11 George St, North Strathfield  
Ph:+612-9764-5966
Web: www.cheekychocolate.com.a

Getting There:

Parking: George Street 
By train: North Strathfield

 

Sitney Thai Restaurant, Parramatta

www.sitneyrestaurant.com

Ratings
Food: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Value: 8/10

Average Price
Entrée: $7 – $15
Main: $15 – $20
Dessert: $7.90
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: $2.5 p/p
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Normal
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Dark
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins – 20 mins
Booking time require: 1-2 Days
Child friendly/High Chair: No

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Sitney 1

Out of all the the south East Asia cuisine, Thai is one of my favourite. The reason being is the fresh ingredients, spicy yet sour, lovely curries and lovely stir frys in Thai food. They don’t use a lot of ingredients but yet the flavours are complicated and delicate.

Thanks to Food morning, I scored two vouchers to dine at Sitney Thai Cuisine in Parramatta. It’s always such a lovely feelings to be having a good dinner with some lovely food bloggers that live in the same area like Mel and Tammi. But I am even more honoured that Sara made it all the way from South to attend the dinner.

There was endless chatting involved so I went straight in to the menu and said “hey let’s order food I am starving!!” A bit embarrassed by my own words but hey what’s the purpose of a food blogger dinner if there is no food right? Hehe

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Duck Herbs – Popular Thai mini dish of finely chopped roast duck tossed with red onion, mint, sliced shallot, roasted rice and chilli-lime dressing served on cos lettuce leaves.

The vouchers entitle us to order four entrees, four mains and four desserts. At first I thought we must have a lot of leftovers but at the end we cleaned all the plates. As part of the condition of the voucher for entrée, two choices out of the four needed to be either curry puffy, spring roll or satay chicken. We opted for the duck herb, spring roll, Satay chicken and golden money bag.

Sitney 2

Tung Tong – crispy fried pastry and fillings of chicken, crunched peanuts, green peas and served with sweet chilli dipping

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Springs Roll – Golden crispy vegetarian springs rolls filled with mixed veges and served with plum sauce.

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Kai Satay – Grilled marinated chicken skewers served with toasted peanut sauce and cucumber relish.

We all agreed the duck herb was a very good dish with the presentation similar to that of a San Choy Bow. There were heaps of spice and herbs that have been chopped finely mixed in the duck mince such as red onion, mints, shallot, chilli and garlic. I found the chicken was just cooked as I can still see a tiny little pinkish in the middle but I still enjoy it a lot because the meat used for the skewer is a thigh rather than a breast. It was juicy and succulent. Money bag and Spring rolls were piping hot which nearly burnt my tongue. The pastries wrapped outside were both crispy and flaky. I really enjoyed every entrée on the table.

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Pad Thai with seafood – Stir fry of thin noodle tossed with mix of textures including dry shrimp, diced tofu, bean sprouts, garlic chives, crushed peanuts and sliced red onion.

I’ve eaten a lot of Pad Thai including the authentic one from Thailand. A good Pad Thai should not be overly sweeten and soggy. Sitney Thai’s Pad Thai was certainly not one of those. It was generous in portion and tasty.

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Massamun beef curry – with sweet coconut broth and completed with sprinkle cashew and fried red onion

I choose this curry as a main because the weather on that night was cold and windy, the Massamun beef curries was hearty and chucky. It goes well with the steam rice. It wasn’t overly sweet or heavy, strong taste of herbs like star anise and cinnamon really boosted up my appetite.

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Stir fry chicken with limes leaves and peppercorns sauce

This was the dish I thought that is not spicy, but turns out to be the most spicy. I like the vegetables and the flavours but the let down for me was the chicken meat. It was a bit dry and tough to chew.

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Som Tum – green papaya salad with carrot, tomato, green bean, roasted peanut and dry shrimp drizzled with chilli-lime dressing

I actually learnt making this salad in Thailand when I went to Bangkok last year and joined a cooking class. It is simple yet packed with a lot of flavours. The one I made doesn’t have soft shell crab. But this one here certainly is an icing on the cake. It was crispy and fried to golden brown.

Sitney 4

Coconut milk with sago and rockmelon

For dessert there is only one option so all of us had the same thing. This was a familiar dessert to me because in Chinese dessert we cooked a lot with sagos. The only bit I wasn’t used to is the slight salty taste of the coconut milk. It is similar to mango sticky rice where salt will be put into the sticky rice.

Conclusion: Great food, service, and beautiful decor-dim mood light with a modern funky interior. The menu is extensive and their foods are packed with lots of authentic flavours.

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Address:

277B Church Street, Parramatta
opening hrs: Mon – Fr: 11:00 to 15:00, Sat – Sun: 12:00 to 17:00, Dinner everyday: 17:00 to 22:30
Ph:+612-9633-3226
Web: www.sitneyrestaurant.com

Getting There:

Parking: Church Street or Phillip St
By train: Parramatta Station

Map picture

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Temasek, Parramatta

 

Ratings
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 7/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5 – $10
Main: $13 – $36
Dessert: $5 – $7
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: $1.50
Cakeage: N/A

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Normal
Ease of finding the restaurant: Hard
Brightness of restaurant: Normal
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins – 20 mins
Booking time require: A week in advance
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

 
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Every year on father’s day we come here and sometimes his birthday too, because dad loves this place, even though we ordered almost the same thing every time and we still love it. I almost try out 90% items on the menu and only ordered the best out of the best. Despite I hear lots of good feedback about Ginger & Spice in Neutral Bay, which is a sister restaurant of Temasek, I still stayed loyal to Temesek.

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Hainanese Chicken (whole boneless), $38

Back in 5 or 6 years ago Hainanese chicken was less than $30, price increased every year but still couldn’t stop myself from going there. Hainanese chicken seems like an easy recipe but infact it requires hundreds of steps such as leaving the chicken in the boiling water standing then lifting up the chicken and repeating this process to create a tender and juicy result. The Hainanese chicken at first glance looked pleasing to the eye as I really hate those Hainanese chicken that has the skin falling apart and watery on the plate. The bird, sunken in sweet soy showing a little tenderness when combine with the fragrant rice.

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Chendol drink, $4.50

This sweet drink with coconut milk, green noodle and palm sugar is one of my favourite drink. Not the best I’ve tried in Temesek but still good.

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Coconut drink, $3.50

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Sambal Balacaan Kang Kong, $16.80

When I was in Thailand last year I eat this dish almost everyday. I can’t explain how much I love kang kong. As you can see, we ordered two serving here because when it comes to Kang Kong we fight like in a battlefield. The spicy chilli paste is so addicting with white rice.

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Singapore Chilli King Prawn, $19.80

If you ordered Singapore chilli crab in here the sauce is basically the same as the Singapore chilli king prawn dish. So have a try at this one first and see if you like it. The foundation of the sauce is made with tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, water and lime juice. You will be surprise how flavoursome these combination turn out to be. This dish is quite spicy and the egg is smooth and just cooked.

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Kecap Manis Sotong (Fried Calamari in sweet sauce), $19.80

This is my favourite dish hence why it is on the chef’s special,  squid is battered and deep-fried, stirred into a sweet honey soy coating. You cannot stop eating rice to go with it.

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Gado Gado (Combination of french beans, bean spout, cucumber, boiled eggs, and tofu served with homemade peanut sauce), $11.80

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Sambal Fish, $23.80

Fish fillet with aromatic Asian herbs, onion in rich coconut gravy. The dish was not spicy and it was very different to my expectation. I was expecting more chilli and veges in this dish.

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Chicken Flat rice noodle with egg white sauce, $17.80

Chicken flat rice was very bland and oily. I reckon this was a wrong dish to order for dinner. Maybe it would be better if it is for lunch. The egg white sauce was way too gooey, almost felt like the noodle was drowning in the sauce calling for help.

Conclusion: For some of the most authentic Malaysian / Singaporean in Sydney, head to Parramatta. Fantastic chilli prawn and chicken rice to be had here.

 

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Address:

The Roxy Arcade 71 George St, Parramatta 
opening hrs: Tue – Sun: 11:30 to 14:30, 17:30 to 22:00 
Ph:+612-9633-9926
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: George Street or rear parking
By train: Parramatta

Map picture

Temasek on Urbanspoon

Mango Sago Dessert

 

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Stepping into autumn but I still misses the mango. This is such a refreshing dessert to have although I was having problem finding mango. A Sweet mango is crucial is this dessert as it will effect the taste of it. After a stressful week, nothing is better than sitting back on the coach and enjoy this beautiful and fragrant mangoes dessert straight from the fridge.

This is a very typical HK dessert and meant to have Pomelo in it, but I couldn’t find any pomelo on sale, or probably it wasn’t the season for it now, so, I decided to substitute with Mango sorbet instead.

Ingredients:

2 sweet mango  
1/2 cup of sago pearls ( can get in any Asian grocery)   
120 ml evaporated milk
120 ml coconut milk    
3 – 4 small piece of rock sugar (can get in any Asian grocery)   
3 cups of water (to cook with the rock sugar) 

A tub of mango sorbet/ice-cream of your choice 

Directions:

1) Bring about 4 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add in sago pearls and bring it up to boil. Once it boils, continue to stir for a minutes and then turn off the heat and cover the saucepan. Leave it for 20 minutes. At this stage the sago pearls should be transparent. (Do not attempted to overcook it because it will become mushy, when you turn off the heat you should still see a dot of white in the centre of the sago)

2) Drain the sago from the hot water in a strainer, rinse under cold running water until it cools down and water runs clear and set aside.

3) Peel and cut mango into cubes. Set aside one of the cut mango for garnish

4) Using a blender or electric mixer, blended the rest of the mango to a thick smooth mixture. Combine it with the evaporated milk and set aside.

5) Boil 3 cups of water and rock sugar until sugar dissolved, add in the coconut milk and taste with a spoon, add more rock sugar if you would like it to be sweeter. Turn off the heat once it reach the boiling point.

6) In a mixing bowl, mix the blender mango, cubed mango, coconut milk mixture and sago pearls. Stir well until well combined.

7) Chill for few hours.

8 ) Before serving, scoop a ball of ice-cream/sorbet and place in the middle of bowl, then using a ladle pour over the mango mixture over the ice-cream/sorbet.

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I couldn’t find a ripen mango, should have done this during summer time.

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Rinse sago under cold water to get rid of the starchiness

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I wish I had a blender…

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When you add the sugar it is ok to be sweeter because you will be adding other liquid to it

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Ta da…

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Serendipity Ice Cream Factory Outlet, Marrickville

 

www.serendipityicecream.com.au

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Ice-cream or cake? Which one you like more. I really can’t under-estimated the number of people who is a super ice-cream lover in this planet. I personally like cakes more than ice-cream but I don’t mind a scoop of ice-cream next to my cakes especially a good quality one.

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Serendipity is an Australian family business producing super premium natural ice cream and sorbet for hotels, caterers, and restaurants since 1966. Using fresh milk & cream, ingredients are carefully sourced and blended creating multi award winning products. They used to be the supplier for ice-cream in Passion Flower years ago offering Asian-infused flavours like red beans, taro, black sesame, even durian.

Serendipity factory in Marrickville allows you to buy your vice straight from the source. The stuff is cheaper than your average IGA. It comes in all shapes and sizes. So come and grab one in this hot summer!!

There are over 40 flavours to choose from not including those freaky ones. We went for the extraordinary like black sesame, taro and pear & rhubarb crumble.

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The shop is small with only a counter and all the ice-cream are store behind, it is best to decide what you want on the website first and just order and go. Their price are fixed depends on size; little tub $3, 500ml $6, 2 litre $20, 5 litre $45. If you are first timer, it is worth to get several 500ml for different flavours than one a 2 litre. At the end you only pay $4 more but gets to try more flavours. The bad things about Serendipity is they don’t do 1 litre, damn it!

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From top to bottom, left to right: Black Sesame (bought for mum), Fig, Honey & Pistachio, black sesame (again for us), Black sesame (us again because there is no more 2 litre), Taro, Pear & Rhubarb crumble.

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right: Pear & Rhubarb crumble, left: taro

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top: black sesame, bottom left: taro, bottom right: Fig, Honey & Pistachio

My personal favourite are black sesame and the pear & rhubarb crumble. Black sesame are so rich and smooth and you can see real pieces of black sesame in the ice-cream. For the pear & rhubarb crumble, I just can’t get enough of it because of the real fruit piece and crumble in it. It is not overly sweet and made me feel like I am having ice-cream and a real crumble dessert all in one bowl.

 

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come again b&w

 

Address:

333-339 Enmore Rd, Marrickville 
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 9:00 to 17:00, Sat : 10:00 to 13:00 (Summer only)   
Ph:+612-9557-8986
Web: www.serendipityicecream.com.au

Getting There:

Parking: Enmore Rd or Llewellyn Ln
By train: St Peters

Map picture

Serendipity on Urbanspoon

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