Monday. With a side of bacon.

Monday. With a side of bacon.

On Monday morning I was stopped at an inner city train station when the train guard made a lengthy announcement over the loudspeaker. It was a PSA informing us that we should blame the lady in the fourth carriage (and not CityRail) if any of the 600-odd passengers were late to work. Assumedly she had caused a kerfuffle and held up the train at the station just to get on board. To be honest I didn’t even realise there had been a delay in leaving the station. Such a lovely  greeting to kick off the work week.

Anyway. I caved and got myself a personal blender thanks to a lovely lady on my Instagram (@smeloise – thanks for enabling. Haha). I found out that the George Foreman Mix and Go was on sale at Myer, and after discounts it worked out to be something around the $32 mark. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with it so far. Not only with the blender itself but also with my self motivation in prepping the fruit/veg the night before ready for the next day. Who knew coming up with juice concoctions could be so fun? I’d love to hear your fave juice combos!

George Foreman mix and go

I discovered a new favourite brunch place over the weekend – Three Williams in Redfern. I can’t recommend the French toast enough. Seriously. If you love berries, and yoghurt, and sugar, this is for you. The coffee ain’t half bad either. I’ll be back for more. Oh the ideal time to pop by is probably between 1:30-3:00pm, which is closing time, but if you don’t mind a late lunch, you’ll avoid the queues.

french-toastThe scrambled eggs with a side of crispy bacon is a winner. I didn’t try the tasty pile of chocolate coated doughnuts (I think?) on the counter, but I’m pretty sure they taste good too.

three-williams

I’m off to dream about eating said donuts whilst thinking up some more juice combinations. And potentially consider the inclusion of black or white chia seeds…

Have a great week all!

Brunching at the Balmoral Boathouse

Brunching at the Balmoral Boathouse

Sydney has been spoiled as of late, so one sun-drenched Saturday H and I decided we’d venture over to Balmoral for a drive. Having heard much about the Balmoral Boathouse (from the same creators of the restaurant at Palm Beach), I thought it’d be a lovely spot to enjoy the sunshine.

Balmoral Boathouse

We found a parking spot a fair trek away from the restaurant, but we didn’t mind as it was such a lovely day. The Boathouse was tucked away at the far end of the Esplanade. From the outside, it looks quaint and relaxing, but as soon as you step inside you soon discover that looks can be very deceiving. It was a bit challenging to find a spot to sit. It seemed most of Sydney had the same idea. We ordered our food first before finding a side table with a couple of stools.

IMG_8576

A couple of beers and ciders made the wait a little more enjoyable. I won’t lie to you, food did take a while to arrive. I wasn’t complaining as the view from the pier was just spectacular. It was fun to just relax and people watch for a while.

Balmoral Boathouse

H ordered the beer battered fish fillets with fries. They came out so golden and crunchy with a good serve of house-made tartare sauce. The crunch factor was a definite winner . The fish was moist and fresh.

Balmoral Boathouse

I couldn’t resist the prawn roll, which was served on skewers and accompanied by a lightly toasted brioche roll. One half was topped with cilantro and avocado, and the other with a light coleslaw-esque salad. A squeeze of lemon later, the flavours were absolutely perfect together.

Balmoral Boathouse

I loved the rustic interiors. They had tables of pretty plants and flowers. And if you know me, I’m such a sucker for greenery and gorgeous blooms. The desserts were hard to resist, displayed prominently at the front counter. There was a repurposed ladder shelf that served as the kitchen’s pantry  nearby. Everything seemed  so effortless and shabby chic. It did wonders to bring together the whole experience – sights, sounds, tastes – with such uniformity.

Balmoral Boathouse

Balmoral Boathouse

Balmoral Boathouse

We got over the crowds by the end of our meal, so H and I ordered dessert to go. We spotted a nice shady place to sit near the beach, so we ordered a tiramisu to go and ventured outside. There were quite a few people  enjoying the sunshine. It was really one of those amazing, laid-back Sydney days.

Balmoral Boathouse

Balmoral Boathouse

The tiramisu was topped with vanilla ice cream and was presented in a cute mason jar. It had the perfect balance of saltiness and bitterness, and treaded the line more towards a light mocha flavour.

Balmoral beach

Balmoral beach

Besides the crowds, it was the perfect Sydney day out. I’m not sure if I’d return on a sunny weekend. Potentially a weekday with wishful thinking that 100 jillion other Sydney-siders don’t have the same idea.

BALMORAL BOATHOUSE
2 The Esplanade
Balmoral Beach NSW 2088
(02) 9974 5440

Brunching at Kitchen by Mike

Brunching at Kitchen by Mike

The weekends seem few and far between so I don’t really get much done besides bumming around. It always ends up the same story – morning sleep ins where I get little to nothing done, and before I know it, it’s the start of another work week.

Last weekend I managed to squeeze in some terrarium slash random gardening. My last basil plant turned into a flowering dried plant before it died, and as a consequence spread its seeds into surrounding pots. Little basil plants have since shot up, so I decided it was time to re-pot them. I also made another terrarium with some succulents from the garden.

H and I also managed a trip to Kitchen by Mike. Neither of us are morning people, so it is always a late lunch. This time we got the lamb with cous cous, as well as a quarter chicken with an avocado and black bean salad. I love the idea of a half avocado drenched in soy/black bean. It was absolutely moreish and I quickly craved the other half of the avocado. The lamb was so tender and bursting with flavour too. And that harissa sauce. Oh em gee.

Kitchen by Mike

All I can say is that if you haven’t yet been to Kitchen by Mike, you really need to arrange a time to go! They pride themselves on making tasty, wholesome, responsible food from seasonal ingredients. I love how the menu is forever changing. I adore the salads they have.

Kitchen by Mike

And you can’t go past coffee + cake. They have a great assortment of baked goodies, and of course I want to try them all! In this case I settle for a slice of hazelnut cake with some pretty mean chocolate icing. Love.

Kitchen by Mike

In conclusion. I’m still listening to that Mika song from the last post.

Recipe: Cinnamon buns

Recipe: Cinnamon buns

I’ve had a few requests for my cinnamon bun recipe after posting some I made for a friend’s house warming up on Instagram.

To tell you the truth I’ve tried many recipes, but not until recently did I settle on one. It was accidental really. I had buttermilk from a snickers cake I really wanted to try to make (and still do). It was expiring soon so I decided to whip up something relatively quick and easy (well, more so than the crazy snickers cake I aspired to bake).

Anyway, here’s the recipe I keep coming back to time and time again. They produce roughly 60 small fluffy cinnamon rolls.

photo 5

Cinnamon buns (makes approx 60 small rolls)
Ingredients
14g of active dry yeast (you can buy them in 7g sachets at Coles/Woolies)
¼ cup of warm water
1½ cups of buttermilk
½ cup of vegetable oil (I used canola)
4½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ a teaspoon of baking soda
½ cup of butter, melted
1¼ cups of brown sugar

1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Procedure
  1. Put the yeast into a large bowl, and dissolve in warm water. Leave this for ten minutes until it becomes creamy.
  2. Heat the buttermilk until it is just warm to the touch. Be careful not to let it boil! Take the oil and the warm buttermilk and pour into the yeast mixture to combine. cinnamon buns
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the liquid one cup at a time until a dough forms.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead all the lumps out. No need to knead it that much at this stage.
  5. Place it back into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. It should look like this:cinnamon buns
  6. Now to make the cinnamon spread – in another bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.cinnamon buns
  7. Take a quarter portion of your dough, place it onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle. I press it out into the rectangle shape I want then roll it out with a rolling pin.
  8. Take the cinnamon mix and spread it evenly onto the rectangle of dough you just rolled out. Roll it up into a log (I like more swirls, so I roll from the shorter side), and be sure to pinch the ends to secure it all in place.
  9. Slice the log into 2.5 cm pieces and place cut side up onto baking paper. Make sure you leave enough space between each roll as they will expand! Depending on how fluffy you want them you can leave them to rest overnight. (I’m too impatient for that so I bake it almost immediately!).Cinnamon buns
  10. Bake them in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a lot of gooey! They may not look very attractive when they come out of the oven, but trust me, they will taste amazing!photo 3 copy

I like to top them with some cream cheese icing, which is super simple to whip up whilst your buns are in the oven baking. I just find a generic recipe like this one with butter, icing sugar, Philly cream cheese and vanilla essence. If you wanted to be super fancy you could use some vanilla bean. But either will work!

Enjoy! Xx

Brunching at Kepos Street Kitchen

Brunching at Kepos Street Kitchen

I had a bit more of a foodie weekend than usual. It may have to do with the horrible weather Sydney has had the past few days, coupled with the fact that I’ve been sick this previous week and have been dying to escape the confines of my bedroom.

I’d heard a lot about Kepos Street Kitchen. In my head it was somewhere close to Kitchen by Mike. But that may have more to do with how they both share the word ‘kitchen’ in their title. Anyway. H and I made our way to the Alexandria/Redfern border. We found ourselves on a quaint leafy street, lined with pretty terrace houses. It was the day-after-Mardi-Gras, so the remnants of the day before were still flying proud.

Rainbow pride

The cafe is at the end of the cul-de-sac – it’s a nice little space that appears to be a converted from a residential house. It’s pretty busy when we get there at midday. We wait a little bit at the entrance as the waitress gets us a table ready. I didn’t mind the wait as much as I got a chance to stare at all the pretty pastries and cakes.

Kepos Street Kitchen

She leads us to the back of the cafe, where the rear backyard has been converted into a pergola of sorts, complete with roof shades both to keep out, and let rays of sunshine in. As a nice homely touch, each table has a pot plant overflowing with a range of different herbs.

Kepos Street Kitchen

It definitely was difficult to choose from the offerings on the menu. It all sounded tasty! Kepos offers coffee by The Grounds. I’m always partial to pretty green cups of coffee.

Kepos Street Kitchen

H had his eye on the chorizo omelette, soon realised it was no longer on the menu and opted for the falafel sandwich ($16)  instead. He wasn’t disappointed in the least with the stacked sandwich, bursting with hummus, mint and fresh tabouli. Each bite was crunchy and loaded with flavour. We were going to order a bowl of fries to share, but the waitress informed us they came with a small bowl – which was more than enough for the two of us.

Kepos Street Kitchen

I decided to try baked eggs ($15) for the very first time. I figure might as well try it first done properly than attempt to cook it myself. I absolutely loved it. They had a great mix of spices that worked really well with the tomato shakshuka. It arrived piping hot and steaming. I loved dipping the accompanying sourdough in the coriander tahini. It all was a match made in heaven. Pardon my cliche.

Kepos Street Kitchen

H had a hankering for a sugar hit, so we decided to go ahead and order the churros. They arrived enclosed in a brown paper bag, I assume for the even distribution of the cinnamon sugar. There was a huge dollop of salted caramel, which was absolutely lovely. There are no more words.

Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen

Taking a quick glance around at the other tables, I notice that the beef wagyu burger is a popular choice. I’ll definitely be returning for it one day soon.

 

Trading hours:

Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 7:30 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6:00-9:30 pm
Thursday 7:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6:00-9:30 pm
Friday 7:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6:00-9:30 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, 6:00-9:30 pm

 

KEPOS STREET KITCHEN
96 Kepos St
Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9319 3919

Kitchen by Mike in Rosebery

Kitchen by Mike in Rosebery

I adore lazy weekends. The last one was just that. H and I decided on a late lunch at Kitchen by Mike. I’d heard a lot about it but I hadn’t realised it was so close. We arrived at around 2:30pm, somewhat concerned that the kitchen would be closing in half an hour (we’d soon find out we needn’t be concerned). Breakfast is served until 11:30am, and lunch from 12pm onwards.

It is set in the most amazing converted warehouse space. Everything from the interior decor to the menus and the aprons the servers wear are so stylised. I love it all. I decide to have the crispy pork belly with a crisp Caesar salad. It is nothing short of amazing. The pork belly melts in your mouth and the skin is crisp and light. The Caesar salad is a distinct highlight for me, a halved baby cos topped with a lusciously creamy dressing and a heap of crunchy bacon.

Pork belly with Caesar salad

H chose the roast chicken with a side of baby carrots and garlic and rosemary focaccia. They give you the option of choosing your own piece of chicken from the pile. The baby carrots are perfectly glazed.

Roast chicken with garlic and rosemary bread

We finished off with two soy mochas and a very rich chocolate mud cake. We just couldn’t say no to it. It cake with a dollop of chantilly cream. Will definitely be back for the breakfast session.

Mud cake

KITCHEN BY MIKE
1/85 Dunning Avenue
Roseberry NSW 2018

Brunch at Brasserie Bread

Brunch at Brasserie Bread

I went to brunch with my mum the other day. I really should stop doing that else I’ll get fat and have to travel via rolling. I went over to Brasserie Bread for a quick one. I was hoping to try one of their chicken pies but unfortunately I was too late and they had sold out! I settled for a florentine panini which was drizzled in hollandaise sauce. My mom got sourdough pancakes with a berry compote and a dollop of cream.

Egg Panini

Berry pancakes

BRASSERIE BREAD
1737 Botany Road
Banksmeadow NSW 2019