It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for June, 2013

Thai Creme Caramel and Chocolate fruits

Thai Creme Caramel

Thai Creme Caramel

This little dessert is a real winner. It is dairy free (unless you use milk chocolate) and gluten free too, and it tastes amazing.

The quantities given here will make enough to fill about 6 ramekins – it depends on the size of your ramekins. If you have too much you can always make an extra ‘tester’ portion.

You need:

500ml coconut cream

approx 6 tablespoons of golden syrup (or maple syrup, or sugar syrup made with brown sugar and water)

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

1 to 2 tablespoons of caster sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)

4 eggs

a pinch of salt

200g Dark good quality chocolate e.g. Lindt 70%

Fruits – I used strawberries and lychees

Cocktail sticks

Method:

Heat the oven to 180 deg C.

Prepare a roasting tin which is large enough to contain all of your ramekins. The roasting tin will be a bain marie, so boil the kettle.

Grease the ramekins very lightly with a little oil or dairy free spread – just a very thin smear on a piece of paper towel.

Put approx a tablespoon of syrup at the bottom of each ramekin so that it spreads out and thinly covers the bottom of the ramekin.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they are light and fluffy – approx 2 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, salt and coconut cream and whisk again.

Pour the mixture gently into the ramekins (I used a ladle for mine), leave a gap at the top of the ramekin, don’t overfill them.

Place the filled ramekins in the roasting tin and pour some boiled water into the roasting tray so that it comes at least halfway up the side of them, bit don’t fill it up too much because you don’t want water to splash into the mixture.

Bake them in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until they are lightly set.

Cool them at room temperature, then put them in the fridge.

While they are cooling, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan with some water in it or use a double boiler.

Wash the strawberries and dry them on kitchen towel. Remove the leaves. If using tinned lychees, drain them well and pat them dry with kitchen towel.

Coat some of the strawberries and lychees in chocolate by dropping them into the chocolate, turning them with a spoon and using a cocktail stick to lift them out onto baking parchment. Place them in the fridge to harden.

To turn the creme caramels out, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, place a plate over the top and invert them. Tap lightly until they fall out onto the plate – they will spread a little.

Serve with some natural fruits and some chocolate fruits. Dust with a little icing sugar or cocoa powder.

For variations you can flavour the custard with something other than vanilla e.g. almond, hazelnut, pandan paste.

 

 

La Patisserie / La Galette de France – Mends St South Perth

La Patisserie South Perth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

I am a bit confused to see this cafe called ‘La Patisserie’ on Urbanspoon – I have always known it as another outlet of La Galette de France, so not sure if it has changed hands in the past year.

Anyway, naming aside, this is one of the few cafes in Perth that consistently delivers good coffee and good pastries.

Known for their almond croissants, they produce simply the best almond croissants that you will find in Perth. I have tried to reproduce them at home, and although I have made a good attempt, I cannot make croissants with the same crispiness and flavour.

Almond Croissant

Almond Croissant

When you ask for coffee in a mug, you get a decent sized mug, the iced coffee is amazing, and the hot chocolate is pretty awesome too. They managed to make me a lovely soy hot chocolate, and every hot drink comes with a little sweet palmier biscuit.

The coffee is always good quality – not always the same brand though – I have known them to use blends from Antz inya Pantz as well as Five Senses among others. For the uninitiated, Antz inya Pantz is a coffee shop in Vic Park on the Albany Highway which was opened by a guy who just loves good coffee – he really goes the extra mile to source the best beans.

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

As for pastries, it is so hard to decide because they all look delicious, danishes, macarons, tarts etc., and if that wasn’t enough they have a crepe menu too.

The staff are mainly young and French, their lovely accents adding an extra touch of delight to the whole experience.

I can’t praise this cafe enough, I have been coming here for years, making the journey down to South Perth, and I truly believe that this is the best of the La Galette outlets. It is just a short stroll from the South Perth foreshore, and parking is relatively easy, there are usually a few ‘1 hour’ spaces in the next street – Harper Terrace.

If you make the journey too, you won’t be disappointed.

Mahsuri Satay Restaurant – Victoria Park

UPDATE – Mahsuri is now permanently closed.

Mahsuri Satay Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have been to Mahsuri before and it has always been reasonably good. It seems to be a friendly restaurant, always full of Malaysian families, and always fairly busy. The food is halal.

The speciality is the satay – at the back of the restaurant is a large indoor barbecue which is constantly on the go, processing satay sticks with production line efficiency.

Satay chef

Satay chef

We chose chicken and beef satay to start – the sauce is delicious and really authentic, the chicken sticks were really good and the beef were good but a little chewy for my liking. As always they were accompanied by compressed rice cubes, cucumber and onion.

Chicken and Beef satay sticks

Chicken and Beef satay sticks

Next we had murtabak, which is a thin bread style pancake filled with minced lamb and served with a curry sauce. This was authentic and very tasty.

Murtabak

Murtabak

For the main course we chose Eggplant Sambal, Prawn (udang) Curry and coconut rice.

Eggplant Sambal

Coconut Rice

Prawn curry

Prawn curry

The Eggplant sambal (Terong sambal) was very tasty – it is always a rich deep red curry and looks like it is going to be exceedingly hot with chilli, but it is not really that hot, just a nice rich flavour, and the eggplant is not overcooked, it still holds its shape.

The rice was lovely, but the prawn curry (kari udang) was disappointing considering that it was a house speciality. The curry sauce was thin and it tasted as if the spices were still raw in the sauce and had not been cooked long enough. I know that I can make better curries than this at home, and I really didn’t have more than a few spoonfuls so found this a waste of money.

I also had a soda gembira, which was a drink with rose syrup, condensed milk and lemonade – very nice and refreshing.

Soda gembira

Soda gembira

So will I go back to Mahsuri ? I’ll definitely go back for the satay and murtabak, maybe it is better as a lunch venue.

How to make a terrine

I had a party this weekend and decided to make terrine for the food table. I thought it would be difficult and take ages, but it was surprisingly easy and it turned out really well.

Pork and chicken terrine

Pork and chicken terrine

I discovered that you can really make it up as you go along, you can use pretty much whichever meats you like, and you can also add herbs that you like. If I were to make this again I might add some vegetables to it for a change of texture.

I made the terrine from the recipe on the BBC Good Food page but adapted it by adding chicken. I found that the quantities were enough to make one full sized terrine and one smaller one. I used standard loaf tins to make it.

You need

300g pork tenderloin

2 medium sized chicken breasts

2 packs of sausages or an equivalent amount of sausagemeat (if using sausages, remove the skins)

a bunch each of thyme, parsley and chives, finely chopped

approx 12 rashers of streaky bacon (or use long cut bacon and save the meaty part for brekkie)

a splash or two of port or brandy

100g pistachios – shelled

a bag of dried apricots (or you could use prunes or sour cherries)

1. Chop the pork tenderloin and chicken into bite sized pieces and soak in the brandy for a while – just use a few tablespoons of brandy and stir it occasionally. Add a little salt but not too much because the bacon and sausages will add salt.

2. Heat the oven to 180 deg C.

3. Lightly butter two standard loaf tins.

4. Line the tins with the streaky bacon, try not to leave any gaps. If found that my rashers were too short to wrap right around the terrine but it still worked out ok.

5. Sprinkle some of the mixed herbs on the bacon, then line the bottom with pork fillet.

6. Sprinkle with more herbs and some pistachios – you can actually use quite a few pistachios, I was a bit sparing with mine.

7. Layer some sausagemeat on top, sprinkle with herbs again, and place a line of apricots down the middle.

8. Now layer with chicken, add more herbs, and finish with another layer of sausagemeat.

9. If there are any ingredients left just tuck them in where you can – you can do another layer of apricots or pistachios if you like.

10. Wrap the bacon over the top of the terrine and squash it down firmly – I covered it with foil and pushed the foil down quite hard with my hands.

11. Wrap the loaf tins in heavy duty foil, use a few layers and wrap them tightly.

12. Half fill a roasting tray with hot water to make a bain marie, and place the loaf tins in the water. Don’t overfill the roasting tin, the water mustn’t get into the terrines. My water level was approx 2/3 the height of the tins.

13. Place the roasting tin containing the terrines into the oven and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You can test them with a skewer or a meat thermometer to see if they are done.

14. Take the terrines out of the water bath and let them cool completely. While they are cooling place a few large cans on top to weigh down the meat. This will give you a more tightly packed result.

15. Now transfer then to the fridge – still weighed down and leave overnight.

16. My terrines kept ok in the fridge for a few days before serving. When you turn them out, run a knife around the outside of the bacon, tip them over and tap the tin. The surface will be covered in a thin layer of meat jelly which is quite nice.

Terrine

Terrine

Fuku – Glyde St, Mosman Park – Teppenyaki restaurant

UPDATE – Fuku now appears to be called Tsunami ko.

Fuku is a fairly new addition to the Perth restaurant scene. It has been open since October 2012 and is an annexe to Tsunami restaurant next door.

tsunami ko Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Fuku

The restaurant offers three set menus: “Good” is $100 per head for 4 courses, “Better” is $135 per head for 8 courses, and “Best” is $220 per head for 10 courses. It also has a very comprehensive sake list. The restaurant seats 16 around a long teppenyaki bar which is divided into two grill plates. It is a smart restaurant with a  fabulous array of sake bottles adorning the wall, and the friendly staff are very welcoming and helpful.

Chef Jaymon

Chef Jaymon

We had the 8 course “Better” menu, which started with a fabulous textural dish of Kawa ebi (crispy freshwater river shrimp) and sun dried crispy nori sheet. The flavour of this dish was excellent, and the crunchy feel of the ingredients was a real taste sensation.

Kawa ebi and sun dried crispy nori sheet

The second course was a plate of ‘small morsels’ containing Wagyu beef with white sesame sauce and zucchini, snapper and octopus, with yuzu and basil, a tempura oyster with a ginger salsa, and deep fried green tea noodles.

Small morsels - otsumami

Small morsels – otsumami

Each item on the plate was skilfully cooked, the presentation could have maybe been a bit more precise – Japanese food is usually beautifully and perfectly presented, and this plate lacked a bit of presentation finesse. The flavours were delicious, and the quality of the ingredients shone through, but I did feel that the ginger salsa overpowered the oyster a little, and maybe a smaller amount of salsa would have been better.

The next course was sashimi. This was faultless – the quality of the fish was amazing – tuna, salmon, tobiko (flying fish roe), prawn, and rolls of snapper with japanese pickles. The wasabe was hot, just how I like it.

Sashimi

Sashimi

The fourth course was quail. The quails were spatchcocked and grilled, and served up in buckwheat pancakes with beetroot relish and cucumber. This reminded me very much of a Japanese version of ‘aromatic crispy duck’ which is often served in Chinese restaurants. It was a very nice dish, but a bit tricky to eat with chopsticks as the pancakes were very loosely wrapped, so I ended up using my fingers.

Quail pancakes

Quail pancakes

The fifth dish was my favourite dish of the whole menu. Scallop, prawn and crispy prawn head. Chef Jaymon cooked them on the grill in front of us, carefully removing the more inedible portions of the prawn head and grilling the rest of the prawn with a perfect amount of charring. The scallop was cooked to perfection. The whole dish was then dressed in sea urchin butter which Jaymon melted and browned on the grill. The ingredients were top quality.

Scallops and prawns

Scallops and prawns

Scallop, prawn and crispy prawn head in sea urchin butter

Scallop, prawn and crispy prawn head in sea urchin butter

The next course was the fish of the day, which was red emperor, with an aubergine cut and shaped like a mushroom, a slice of lotus root, and miso and rosemary sauce. The fish was very good quality and the whole plate worked really well. After this dish I started to feel very full, and was hoping that I could manage the last two courses.

Red emperor

Red emperor

The next course was Wagyu steak grade 9+ with fried rice. The chefs put on a real performance, juggling spatulas and forks, then juggling eggs and breaking them  on the edge of the spatula. They made onion volcanos by separating onion rings on the grill, building them up into a tower and then igniting them. The chef display kept everybody entertained and amazed.

Making fried rice

Making fried rice

Onion Volcano

Onion Volcano

Chef pyrotechnics

Chef pyrotechnics

Cooking wagyu

Cooking wagyu

Wagyu and onion

Wagyu and onion

Fried rice

Fried rice

The wagyu tasted like no beef I have ever tasted before, it melted in my mouth, and matched perfectly with the spicy miso sauce accompaniment and grilled garlic.

The final course was a Yuzu cheesecake with mountain peach and chocolate drink.

This dish was not sickly sweet, the chocolate drink was warm and very drinkable, the mountain peach looked like a small raspberry and had a stone inside, and the cheesecake was baked with a hint of citrus from the yuzu.

Dessert

Dessert

Chocolate Drink

Chocolate Drink

It was nice, but not the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. Because dessert is usually the last memory of a restaurant it is really important to finish with a flourish, and I probably found this dish a little disappointing after the lovely courses that had gone before.

With my meal I had a lychee non-alcoholic cocktail which was really good.

Lychee cocktail

Lychee cocktail

Other aspects of the restaurant were quite interesting. The ladies toilet had a light up mirror and a toilet/bidet with a control panel and a warmed seat – very entertaining. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly, the chefs Jaymon and Gary were talented and entertaining. Fuku is a place that I would take friends to if I wanted them to have quality food with entertainment thrown in.

Will I go back to Fuku regularly ? Probably not more than once a year – the main reason being that it is quite expensive. I know why Fuku charges those prices, because the quality of the ingredients is clear, however, I can go to Nobu and have a meal for less, and Nobu is world-renowned for it’s menu choice, finesse and quality.

I thoroughly enjoyed Fuku and I would like to thank the staff for a fabulous evening.

Voyage Kitchen, Hillarys

I have been to Voyage before for breakfast, I remember it being a smaller restaurant so wondered if they had extended into the shop next door.

The staff were lovely. It was exceedingly busy but we were assured that a table would be available within 20 minutes, and they were right, we didn’t have to wait long.

The menu contained most of the regular breakfast options, including bircher muesli, buttermilk pancakes with mixed berries, an interesting breakfast board containing a choice of options, full breakfast, mushroom bruschetta, eggs on toast and herby braised beans.

I chose a local favourite called Norma’s Salsa, which is poached eggs on ciabatta with truss tomatoes, avocado, wilted spinach and marinated fetta:

Norma's Salsa

Norma’s Salsa

 

Wow this was really good, everything on the plate was packed full of flavour and the eggs were cooked to perfection, just dippy enough to run over the bread – I enjoyed mopping up the egg with the other ingredients. The fetta was very flavoursome and probably the nicest fetta I have tasted. Voyage use only genuine free range ingredients and you can taste that on the plate.

The coffee was perfect, not a hint of bitterness, and probably the best soy latte I have tasted in a long time.

Voyage coffee - soy latte

Voyage coffee – soy latte

Will I go back to Voyage – you betcha. It’s right on the coast road, just south of Sorrento beach – there’s nothing like having breakfast just a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean.

Bouchon Bistro, Wembley – revisit

UPDATE – Sadly, Bouchon is now permanently closed, the owners decided to retire.

The last visit to Bouchon was thoroughly enjoyable, so it was time for a return.

The menu was as inviting as ever with all dishes sounding appetising, so I could have happily chosen anything.

Choices of starters were a Linley valley pork terrine, a duck confit croquette, a sardine escabeche, and pan fried tiger prawns with gruyere custard.

We were served an amuse bouche of terrine with rhubarb – I didn’t catch the name of the meat that was in the terrine, but it tasted quite strong and gamey so could have been venison. This was very nice.

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

I chose the sardine escabeche with lemon, olive oil and basil sorbet, and a goat cheese bavarois.:

Sardine Escabeche

Sardine Escabeche

This was a lovely starter, nice and fresh tasting with the bavarois perfectly complementing the acidity of the sardine dressing.

My companion chose the duck confit croquette with tomato, mushroom and coriander marmalade:

Duck confit croquette

Duck confit croquette

This was packed with duck, the crispy coating being a nice contrast to the soft duck meat, and the mushrooms and jus were rich and delicious.

The choices of mains were Tasmanian salmon, braised beef cheek, panfried spatchcock breast, and veal tournedos.

I chose the veal tournedos with chestnut crust and sesame and orange condiment:

Veal tournedos

Veal tournedos

The veal was perfectly cooked – medium rare, the crust was exquisite and the citrus accompaniments balanced the meal well.

My companion chose the beef cheek in lemon grass and espelette with white bean ragout:

Braised beef cheek

Braised beef cheek

This was also perfectly cooked, melting in the mouth – the beans were nice but tasted similar to standard baked beans, and an alternative carbohydrate would have been better, such as a potato cake or some mash.

Accompaniments were green vegetables:

Green vegetables

Green vegetables

A nice mixture of beans, sugar snaps and broccoli. We could have had gratin dauphinois, but decided to keep my dairy consumption to a minimum to avoid too much of an intolerance reaction – I had already spotted my dessert, and knew that I wanted to have ice cream.

The choice of desserts was spiced fruit tagine with rice pudding, poached pear and poire william chibouste with shortbread, chocolate mousse with peanut caramel and sambuca ice cream, and a cheese plate with crackers, fruit compote and bread.

We both chose the mousse:

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse

It was advertised as a dark chocolate mousse, but for my taste it could have been darker. It was delicious though, and the sambuca ice cream was sublime and complemented the dish perfectly. The peanut caramel was a little too sweet and cloying, I would have preferred the caramel to be taken further so that it was darker, and poured over roasted peanuts to form a peanut brittle. It was a very nice dessert though, and one that I will attempt to make in my own style at home for one of my dinner parties.

The whole meal was a real treat, but on this occasion the service was a bit on the slow side. The waitress did apologise a few times and I wondered if they were short staffed. I thought that it was good value for the quality of the food, and will be happy to return again.

Tag Cloud