Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Wishing you a healthy, safe and propserous 2014 to all!I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break with your family and friends. Over the break I’ve received a few more requests for the MatchaMisu recipe I made for Christmas 2013. Sharing the love and recipe based on Keiko Ishida Okashi recipe, it’s deliciously easy to make, just a matter of assembling!

MatchMisu (Green Tea Tiramisu)MatchaMisu

Although it can be a no-bake recipe, I chose to make my own biscuit sponge fingers to layer in the tiramisu but you don’t have to! You can also use the store bought italian sponge fingers too which I have done before and it still turns out well (on this occasion the store bought ones at home had expired when I was about to make this…) though I have found the homemade sponge fingers texture is more softer so able to absorb moisture better than the store-bought ones.

Biscuit Sponge
– 2 eggs (separate egg yolk and egg whites)
– 60g Caster Sugar
– 60g Self Raising Flour (sift twice)
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract

  1. Preheat oven 200C
  2. Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Beat egg yolks with half of the sugar and all the vanilla until creamy.
  3. Make meringue with the egg whites and remaining sugar.
  4. Add one-third of meringue mixture into egg yolk mixture and fold. Add sifted flour and fold. Add remaining meringue and fold.
  5. Spoon batter into piping bag (1cm tip) and pipe 7cm (or to suit your serving dish) long fingers onto a baking tray. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 7-10min. (Bake immediately after dusting the icing sugar, don’t let the sugar melt into the fingers before baking as it will burn more easily).

MatchaMisu (Green Tea Tiramisu)
– Biscuit sponge (about 20 fingers)
– Mascarpone Filling
– 2 eggs (separate egg yolk and egg whites)
– 70g Caster sugar
– 250g mascarpone cheese
– 100g pure cream
– 15g matcha green tea powder
– hot water (around 150ml)
– Matcha green tea powder for dusting

  1. Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Beat egg yolks with half of the sugar until creamy then add mascarpone cheese and mix well.
  2. Beat pure cream to make whipping cream until stiff. Fold through whipped cream in the mascarpone mixture.
  3. Make meringue with the egg whites and remaining sugar. Fold meringue into the mascarpone mixture.
  4. Dissolve 15g green tea powder with hot water in a small bowl. Dip each biscuit sponge into the green tea mixture to soak up green tea and place in a serving dish (or individual serving cups).
  5. Spread mascarpone cheese mixture over the layer of green tea soaked biscuit sponges. Dip more biscuit sponges in green tea and layer over the mascarpone mixture. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture over the 2nd layer of biscuit sponges.
  6. Dust generously with green tea powder and refrigerate (can be kept refrigerated for about 2 days…but who can wait that long?!)

If you like red bean, you can also add a layer of azuki red bean between the biscuit sponge and the mascarpone mixture. Or if you want extra green tea flavour, add some in the mascarpone mixture as well.


L’eclair Patisserie

Remember this amazing cake which was made for me for my 21st?

Well I do, and I loved every bit of it from the sponge to the fresh cream frosting. It was made for me by my dad’s colleague when he used to run his own Japanese restaurant. And now 4 years later she has finally opened her very own patisserie in Mosman, L’eclair Patisserie (672 Military Road, Mosman).

Mum and I decided to trek over the bridge to enjoy some lunch and afternoon tea on a rainy Saturday.ย It was a nice surprise to find that they also serve lunch as well as dessert. Mum ordered the Roast Beef sandwich with horseradish while I ordered the hearty Beef Stew which was perfect for winter with melt in your mouth beef chunks in a rich stew served with a freshly baked bread roll and a side salad. I was very happy with the generous portions!

Now onto the important sweet treats! I really wanted to have a piece of the signature Mont Blanc cake, however it was not meant to be, as it had already sold out for the day. Instead I had a Strawberry Cream instead which was delicious with light fresh cream, fluffy sponge, delicate chocolate leaf decoration and reminded me of my 21st cake. Mum had a Chocolate cake and was expecting this to soft but it was more of a rich decadent fudge but not overly sweet. I also wanted to try the Green Tea Latte which was delicious with a great matcha flavour, very similar to the green tea cappuccino at Cafe Cre Asion. We also bought some cakes to take home to share with the family and we received a couple of complimentary danishes too!

L’eclair Patisserie

Roast Beef sandwich

Beef Stew

Lemon Meringue Tart Assorted Danish

Blueberry Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse

Strawberry Mousse Cheesecake

Strawberry Mousse Blueberry Cheesecake

L’eclair patisserie also do an afternoon high tea, but you’ll need to book this in advance.ย  I will definitely try again for a piece of the Mont Blanc cake ๐Ÿ™‚

Luxury Travel: Malaysia Airlines

My job entails a lot of travelling, sometimes as local as Wollongong and if I am lucky, other times as exotic as Asia or as far as Europe. Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to head to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia…but what I was more excited about was travelling in business class. I would not have had an opportunity to fly in business class so soon if it were not for work, so I thought you might be interested to peek into what lies beyond that curtain separating us plebs from the hoity toity business class travellers.

First up is Malaysian Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines Business Class

Our flight was actually delayed by a few hours which meant we had more time to relax in the plush armchairs of the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at Sydney International Airport with complimentary wifi, snack cheeses, cakes, chocolates and an abundance of drinks. Although we were flying Business, they kindly let us have access to the First Class lounge as the air conditioning was absolutely freezing in the Business Class lounge – the only difference we found were the drinks on offer at the bar counter so instead of Smirnoff they had Grey Goose, instead of Gordon’s they had Tanqueray etc. We also took advantage of the “Bistro” which offered made to order meals like nasi goreng, chicken laksa and chicken curry.

Chicken Laksa

Chicken Laksa from Golden Lounge Bistro

Stay cool, stay cool is all my colleague and I were thinking as we made the unfamiliar left turn as we boarded the plane and were greeted by the stewards, by name. Almost immediately we were offered magazines to read and pre-flight drinks, deciding to have the signature guava juice.

While my colleague was more interested in getting some shut eye, I was more interested in the food served! Malaysia Airlines “satay service” won Skytrax Best Signature Dish 2013. OMG the signature satay sticks for appetizers were lip smacking good, they offer a mixture of beef or chicken but I asked for all chicken and mopped all the spicy satay sauce up. The rest of the meal was also pretty good a prawn and avocado salad, silver cod served with potatoes and a capsicum sauce.

There was plenty of leg space for a myself at 152cm, and plenty of storage for our hand luggage which could be placed either in the overhead compartment or the compartment between the seat and the window, which I prefer to placing small bags under the seat in front of you. I was really impressed with the amenities Tumi pouch with a mini Colgate plax mouthwash and toothpaste, hairbrush, Infectiguard hand sanitizer, Clarins lip balm, Clarins hand and nail cream and Clarins hydra quench cream. Also loved the noise cancelling headphone which I could pop over my ear pain plugs while I watched Taken 2. The only disappointment was that the seat did not lie flat 180 degrees, the back reclined however the leg rest was at an angle which made it uncomfortable as I risked slipping off the seat to the floor. If I were paying for business class, I’d definitely want to be able to lie flat. The service was efficient, friendly and it was easy to communicate to the flight attendants. I could not wait for the return flight home so I could have some more of the satay sticks XP

Satay Service

Chicken Satay sticks

Prawn and avocado salsa

Silver cod served with potatoes and a capsicum sauce

TUMI amenities kit

Hey mummy, I’m being good with a guava juice!

Wayama Japanese Restaurant

Earlier this year we made a visit to Wayama Japanese Restaurant (28 Princes Highway, Sylvania) just down the road from Paul’s Famous Hamburgers voted Sydney’s Best Aussie Burger…but that’s a story for another day. If you’re familiar with the Sylvania area, Wayama occupies the same space as Masa Japanese Restaurant, just by the foot bridge. The restaurant is run by the sweetest couple, ex Azuma Head Chef Noboru Takayama and his wife Miki Takayama who is a friend of our family and they run the restaurant almost all on their own! which means the service can be slow but also great, friendly hospitality ; ) The small restaurant is cosy and homely and it looked like the locals love this place too as the restaurant was full.

For this occasion we had the Chefs ‘Kaiseki‘ Course $48pp consisting of several minimalist seasonal courses, which was exciting as the chef has trained in Japan for numerous years before coming to Australia. With a glass of umeshu we started off with a course similar to sunomono, a salad of cucumber, celery, shredded crab with yuzu dressing to whet the appetite. Followed by sakizuke, an appetiser with bite size pieces of salmon nanban, tsukemono (pickles) sushi, snapper fry, teriyaki chicken ball and sweet vinegar white radish. The snapper was delicious encased in a crispy panko crumb and I love love love sweet vinegar white radish, my mum makes the red radish at home but not often enough I say! The mukozuke course is traditionally a cold dish, usually sashimi, in this case we had seared salmon and thick slices of fresh tuna on a bed of ice, the presentation was so pretty but the portion was so small, wish I had more! Yakimono, is a grilled dish, rich slices of roast duck with pine mushroom sauce, ruby grapefruit, snow peas and red capsicum, the roast duck and subtle pine mushroom sauce was the highlight of this dish, as the side was julienne vegetables. My favourite course was the shiizakana, melt in your mouth wagyu beef and vegetables in a red miso and red wine stew. This dish is perfect for winter, a hearty dish warming the soul, wagyu beef flaked as you cut into it and I really enjoyed the red miso sauce as the red wine was not too overpowering. The rice (gohan) was a mixture of potatoes and abura-age (deep fried tofu sheet) which is served at the end of the meal along with red miso soup. For dessert or mizumono a trio of homemade cheese cake, green tea ice cream and seasonal fruits.

Wayama Japanese Restaurant

Salad of cucumber, celery, shredded crab with yuzu dressing

salmon nanban, tsukemono (pickles) sushi, snapper fry, teriyaki chicken ball and sweet vinegar white radish


Roast duck with pine roast duck with pine mushroom sauce, ruby grapefruit, snow peas and red capsicum

Wagyu beef and vegetables in a red miso and red wine stew

Homemade cheese cake, green tea ice cream and seasonal fruits

I’d definitely recommend trying Wayama if you’re in the area and in the mood for Japanese, it really is a great local gem (my other favourite local Japanese is Kazuki, Hurstville). If you’re interested in the Kaiseki course, book one day ahead, it also changes often and seasonally. As the owners ae both Japanese, they have items on the menu which are traditional Japanese foods we would enjoy at home and aren’t usually found in Japanese restaurants like traditional tonjiru (pork soup) or tsukemono (pickled side dishes). Be warned, parking can be painful, there are lots of ‘No Stopping’ signs in every which way of the surrounding streets which are terribly confusing ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Wayama Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Brickfields, 2013 SMH Good Cafe Guide Best Small Cafe

Congratulations to Brickfields, 2013 SMH Good Cafe Guide Best Small Cafe!

On the way to the city one Sunday morning, a small crowd caught my eye outside a tiny bakery and we decided to spontaneously make a stop. The cafe was Brickfields (206 Cleveland St, Chippendale) which in fact is a half a bakery by Luxe head baker, supplying bread to the likes of Cornersmith and half espresso bar by Mecca Espresso – with a collaboration like that you know it’s going to be great.

Though Brickfields appears to be in a very small space, they definitely make great use of it, making the cafe feel open and airy with hanging plants, large windows and a peek into the working bakery behind the counters. Even smarter use of the space are the industrial looking swivel stools which can be hidden under the counters. There are several large tables outside however, luckily for us it wasn’t too busy this particular morning and we grabbed a couple of counter seats by the large sacks of flour and grains.

You would expect great coffee by Mecca Espresso and Brickfields did not disappoint, the coffee was smooth and one of the creamiest I’ve had. Just a note ladies, they don’t offer skim milk, but they do have Bon Soy! They also serve carafes of homemade mint sodas and lemon sodas which most tables were enjoying. Bill likes to judge eateries based on how well their bacon roll is, and he didn’t have any complaints, bacon, lettuce, mayo sandwiched between a freshly baked roll. I opted for the Breakfast Plate which was as satisfying as it sounds, a piece of sourdough toast beneath layers of fried eggplant, tahini, a halved boiled egg perched on top with zhoug (a green paste made with spices and coriander) served with a wedge of lemon. The entire dish as a whole was so delicious from the zhoug to the zing of the lemon, I forsee many breakfast stopovers here just for the Breakfast Plate.


Breakfast Plate

Bacon Sandwich

Brickfields is located on Cleveland Street but it’s best to find parking around Balfour Street. The menu is quite limited but you won’t be disappointed by their freshly baked goods and if you don’t happen to grab a table just sit by the wooden planters under the trees with a take away croissant and coffee.

Brickfields on Urbanspoon

I’ve Moved! Welcome โ™ฅ

Hello and Welcome to my new home on the interwebs!

I promise to try and get back into it…so please update any links/bookmarks as this will be my new address โ™ฅ

Thanks for visiting, let me know what you think!

…and Here’s a taste of what’s to come…


Three Blue Ducks

Treating ourselves and wanting some fresh air and sunshine before Autumn comes along, Bill and I took advantage of our Day in Lieu and made the drive to Bronte. Three Blue Ducks (141-143 Macpherson St, Bronte) led by former Tetsuya head chefs, has been on my list for a while for a brunch session after sampling their foods at The Paddington Markets, we hoped to beat the weekend crowds and visited on a Friday.We arrived there just in time for breakfast which ends at 1130am (lunch starts at 12pm so don’t get caught out in beween these times and starve) and were seated in the bar side of the cafe where we watched the bartender juice fresh fruits and admired the quirky teapots hanging on the wall. The menu was exciting and initially I had my eye on the Quinoa and fig bircher with caramelised peaches, fresh fruit, yoghurt and toasted nuts but sadly they were already sold out. We started the morning right with an organic latte, fair trade and roasted by Single Origin Roasters for me and a freshย  and instead opted for a seemlingly simple bowl of bircher muesli with seasonal fruits. This was the perfect bowl of muesli, each spoonful was delicious, the crunch of apple slices, toasted nuts, berry compote, natural smooth greek yoghurt, sweet fig and the bursts of fresh passionfruit – so amazing and satisfying that Bill and I were fighting for each mouthful.
Three Blue Ducks
Needless to say the food was fresh and of a high quality making you feel good from the inside and absolutely delicious. It may be because the produce used is local and as organic as can be. They even have a cute garden at the back (just keep walking down the corridor) making use of all the space.
After brunch we took a short stroll to Bronte beach which in turn led to a full on coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee and back to Bronte.

P.S Victorians, you can also get a piece of Three Blue Ducks gorgeous foods at Falls Creek XP

Three Blue Ducks on Urbanspoon