Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

Billu’s and Sweetland Patisserie, Harris Park

I am no expert on Indian food and for a very long time in my life, I really wasn’t a huge a fan of Indian food. Last year I went to India twice! Once for a friend’s wedding in Chennai and the second time with ‘The Mother’ to Mumbai and Sri Lanka. I thought I would struggle and I have to admit, the first couple of days yes, but afterwards wasn’t so bad. I had my real first taste of Indian food and surprisingly enjoyed it more than I thought.

Billu’s originally opened up in Harris Park, however, they have ventured out and opened a another branch in Epping. I remember going to Epping a while back and enjoyed it but both my parents and brother, F, informed me that the original Billu’s in Harris Park is infinitely better.

I love the bright lit restaurant, it was so colourful and pretty. I love the cricket memorabilia on the walls, cricket bats, balls, and photos. ‘The Mother’ could spend hours just staring and looking at each thing. Billu’s Harris Park is highly spacious, lots of large and small tables, there’s takeaway and also sweets for those who have a sweet tooth.

We started with the mix platter for two ($21.90) – two pieces of lamb chops, saffron chicken, seekh kebab, and cocktail samosa. The saffron chicken deliciously tender and succulent. The seekh kebab I loved, made of minced meat with spices and then grilled on skewers, served with mint sauce it is deliciously yummy!

The lamb chops were surprisingly juicy and the cocktail samosa filled with potato and peas were wonderful.

I love eggplant so ordered the punjabi baigan ($11.90) – dry eggplant with potatoes cooked in punjabi tarka. The eggplant was roughly mashed, I love the tenderness that it just melted in my mouth and I loved the spiciness, the flavours and definitely one of my favourite curries.

My parents wanted the goat masala ($14.90) – succulent pieces of goat sautéed with onion pepper and fresh herbs and indeed it was succulent! Large tender chunks of goats and who doesn’t like masala? The curry was rich and flavourful and we all couldn’t help but get our naan and mop up all the curry.

The chicken tikka masala ($14.90) – boneless chicken roasted in tandoor cooked with chopped onions, capsicum tomato sauce with herbs and spices was also a favourite amongst the diners. In hindsight, we probably should have ordered the butter chicken but this was just as good!

F wanted the masala dosa ($9.90) – rice pan cake stuffed with potatoes cooked on a hot plate. Crispy, paper then rice cake, rolled into a tube with potato filling and dipping sauce. It was scrumptiously good!

Here’s a view of what’s inside… YUM!

Of course you can’t have Indian food without naan ($3.00 each)! Ordered two servings of butter naan – deliciously buttery and fluffy – probably our favourite.

Garlic naan and cheese naan, F loved the garlicky naan, I didn’t think it was garlicky enough, however, the cheese naan was good but more cheese would definitely have been better.

We didn’t have any desserts here, but we did all have a mango lassi, which was made from yogurt, water and mango pulp. It was thick, creamy and deliciously mango-y (if that’s a word!).

We had a stroll on Wigram Street, every second house was an Indian restaurant. I have never seen anything quite like it – it reminded me a little of Little India in Singapore! Whilst strolling, we noticed Sweet Land Patisserie – a delicious Lebanese patisserie selling baklava, polenta cake, sweet filo-wrapped and lots and lots of other sweets including cakes, profiteroles, eclairs and cookies.

We were STUFFED but couldn’t help but buy some sweets to take home. We had the baklava the next day and OMG – super sweet filled with chopped nuts and then sweetened with syrup and honey. Sugar overload!

The cookies, 70c each or $10 for half a kilo, $20 for a kilo, Mum couldn’t help but get half a kilo – so pretty much one of each. Biscuits are sweet, some were flaky, some were chewy but overall, awesome! Definitely worth going back to get more biscuits if we are in the area.

The man behind this lovely patisserie is El-Kadi, service super friendly and staff lovely. Diners can definitely dine here and have coffee, but we were all just too full! Next time.

GA’s rating Billu’s: 7 / 10


64 Wigram St

Harris Park 2150

Ph: +61 2 9687 7785

Billu's on Urbanspoon

GA’s rating Sweetland Patisserie: 7 / 10

Sweetland Patisserie

55 Wigram Street

Harris Park 2150

Ph: +61 2 9891 6048

Sweet Land Patisserie on Urbanspoon

The Tea Room, QVB, Sydney

Have you ever met someone and just connect straight away? Have long conversations about everything and anything? This is how I felt about this wonderful gorgeous girl, N. We met at a wedding through our husbands, ‘The Mother’ works with her husband, we connected and well the rest is history!

I was catching with the gorgeous, N, for lunch and thought we would have lunch at The Tea Room. The Tea Room, which is situated in Queen Victoria Building, is known for its high tea. I love the high ceilings, elegantly decorated with wall paper, the light fixtures and the velvet texture. It is such a lovely wedding venue, and a wonderful place for high tea.

Unfortunately, we didn’t feel like high tea, so decided for lunch and perhaps dessert. N opted for the Roast barramundi, lemon, herb and spinach risotto, Mediterranean broth ($29). The fish was moist and the skin was crispy and crunchy. N loved it, it was delicate and tasty.

I opted for the snapper fillet, prawn filled zucchini flower, summer vegetable broth ($29) – it had me at zucchini flower. The prawn filled zucchini flower was outstanding. The fish was firm but moist and the mixed vegetables of eggplant, zucchini, and carrots were excellent. It was simple and well executed.

For dessert, N, opted for the twice cooked chocolate soufflé, vanilla and hazelnut foam ($12). Unfortunately the chocolate soufflé collapsed from the kitchen to our table. The chocolate soufflé was deliciously rich and deliciously moist. I loved the hazelnut foam and the vanilla ice cream was a great complement. It was just fantastic.

I had the dessert special – buttermilk pannacotta with raspberry coulis and peanut brittle ($12) and WOW! I have really taken a liking to pannacotta, it was wobbly, soft and just melted in my mouth. The raspberry coulis was a little rich, however, the peanut brittle was unbelievable tasty. Who doesn’t like peanut brittle? Wish there was more of it though!

It was a wonderful lunch, not only the food was stupendous but the company was brilliant. We sat there for hours talking, laughing and conversation just flowed. I had such a wonderful girlie chat that I didn’t want it to end!

I remember coming here with ‘The Mother’ for high tea, and the traditional afternoon tea is excellent, assortment of sandwiches, scones, pastries and sweets. I love the scones, and the finger sandwiches, it certainly has been a while since I had high tea, and will definitely come back for it.

Service was excellent, waiters were tentative. It was certainly a relaxing and wonderful lunch.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

The Tea Room

Level 3, North End, QVB

455 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Ph: +61 2 9283 7279

The Tea Room, Queen Victoria Building on Urbanspoon

Chocolaty goodness at Lindt Café, Darling Harbour

We had a delicious meal at Kensington Peking, but some of us (believe it or not) were still hungry, including yours truly! ‘The Mother’ was also a little pekish. You would think after the big feast we wouldn’t be!

It was our cousins last night, and before winning at the casino, we thought we would go and have dessert. My brother, F, LOVES and I cannot emphasis on the word LOVE Lindt café.

There are three branches in Sydney, we opted to go to the Darling Harbour one, limited sitting area inside the café, but there are seats outside. It was a warm evening and was very lovely to sit outside whilst people watching and soak up the ‘view’.

F and O always get the chocolate waffle! The Lindt waffles are made to order, and they were AMAZINGLY delicious. One generous serving of waffle covered with icing sugar and a large scoop of chocolate ice cream with a small jug of Lindt chocolate – talk about chocolate overload! The waffles were fluffy and a little on the rich side with all the chocolate, but it was one of the tastiest waffles I have had thus far.

‘The Mother’ opted for a hot chocolate drink, milk chocolate. Very different to the one from Max Brenner – where you get a candle on the bottom of your cup and you place chocolate bits in it whilst your milk is ‘boiling’. At Lindt, you get a little jug of milk and a jug of your favourite chocolate – white, milk or dark. This was deliciously rich and creamy and went down extremely nicely!

We then shared a plate of profiteroles – one of ‘The Mother’s’ favourite desserts. I have tried making profiteroles and have failed miserably! The profiteroles were delicious, filled with cream and covered with milk chocolate – what more can you ask for? I have to admit though, it was a little rich, all the chocolate, but it was seriously good!

My cousin Ir, ordered the molten chocolate cake. Unfortunately the centre didn’t ooze with chocolate, however, there were enough chocolate on top that it drizzled inside.

Served with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream, this was heavenly! The chocolate cake was warm and moist and totally and utterly way too rich for my liking! Ir demolished this, so I can assume he enjoyed it!

My other cousin, H, ordered a mocha drink, which I didn’t take a photo of. I find mochas too rich, and I don’t like the combination of chocolate and coffee – weird I know. However, H seemed to have enjoyed it and said it was one of the best mocha’s she has ever had.

It’s not every day that we get to hang out with cousins, so it was very lovely. Look forward to seeing you guys again soon!

If you have a sweet tooth and love chocolate then Lindt café is the place for you. They have different types of cakes and macaroons, and if you don’t feel like cakes, then they have a variety of ice creams which are just as nice. I have purchased many different cakes here for birthdays and they have been absolutely delightful! My favourite though would have to be the Tiramisu. Delightful!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Lindt Cafe

104 – 105 Cockle Bay Wharf

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 8257 1600

Lindt Chocolat Cafe on Urbanspoon

Half baked, Stoner degustation, Darlinghurst

I first heard of this through a friend. She thought I would enjoy it, but she herself couldn’t make it. The description didn’t really say much, I have heard of the chefs and have eaten at their restaurants, Dan Hong (Lotus), Thomas Lim (Duke), Mitch Orr (Duke). I love Lotus, especially THE CHEESEBURGER and also love Duke for its CHICKEN WINGS.

Here is the a little blurb about the ‘stoner’ degustation “If it’s deep fried, filled with cheese, dipped in cream or covered in chocolate you’ll be able to find it on the menu, with courses so inspired and over the top that even the most chronic, dutchie induced munchies will be satisfied! Smokers who want to get their drink on too will be able to, with The Dude’s cocktail of choice, a White Russian, free flowing all night plus a few other beverage options. Expect to hear a non stop mix of smoke anthems on the jukebox just to get your mind right. Anyone who’s ever dreamed of a STONER DEGUSTATION should stop dreaming and buy a ticket now!”

The event took place at Duke, which is becoming a favourite and local of mine. The chicken wings are finger licking good – better and ‘healthier’ than KFC. The drinks are awesome, and well, who doesn’t like chicken wings?

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it will deep fried, cheese type, cream and chocolate – hopefully not all mixed together, but I knew I was in for a treat. A ‘Stoner Degustation’ and it was just that, mind blowing and a ‘stoner’!

I went with a dear friend, S, whom I haven’t seen for such a long time. M was there too, and we sat next to each other which was tres cool. As soon as we sat down, we were presented with ‘arizona stoner punch – mint, gin and peach ice tea’. You could definitely taste the gin, it wasn’t strong, it was refreshing and absolutely delicious. Best part, it was refillable! After the day I had today at work, I couldn’t help but drink the first glass fast! Like water it went down quickly, smoothly and absolutely nicely!

First, chip and sambos and it was just that! Two loaves of bread with spread and a bowl of potato chips. Sounds weird? Don’t knock it until you try it.

The potato chips, thin and crispy.

The bread was warm, and had some sort of cheese spread, it was creamy, cheesy and topped with potato chips it was crunchy and burst into all sorts of crunchiness and creaminess. It reminded of something my brother used to eat when he was young, burger rings with rice – its surprisingly good!

Next corn flake milkshake with deep fried corn and bacon pancake – obviously not both together. The corn flake milkshake was weird, it was pretty much just milk with corn flakes, like something you would eat for breakfast. I was definitely not a fan.

The deep fried corn and bacon pancake on the other hand reminded me a little of jagung goreng, corn fritters, and something I grew up with. The corn and bacon pancake was crunchy, and I love the sweetness from the corn (although I don’t think they put enough corn) and the saltiness from the bacon.

Cheese, bacon, sauerkraut spring rolls with butterscotch mayo – you heard that right – BUTTERSCOTCH MAYO! Three words, OH MY GOD!

The spring rolls were cheesy and stringy.The bacon and sauerkraut gave it that extra flavouring. M’s comment ‘Who would’ve have thought bacon, cheese and sauerkraut would go so well together’ – exactly! The butterscotch mayo was just to die for! M wanted to marry it, because it was so fricking good! If she was ‘half-baked’ she would have walked home and licked the damn thing out of its container! Butterscotch mayo – you had me at butterscotch!

Deep fried pickles with ranch. I’m not a massive fan of pickles, I am one of those people that would take out the pickles in burgers, however, this was surprisingly good. Lightly battered, then deep fried, the sourness was a ‘kick’. Dipped in ranch dressing, it was heavenly! Wasn’t my favourite but it was interesting to say the least. S seemed to enjoyed it though and ate majority of it.

The next dish by Mitch is very clever – instant noodles with bong water. Bowl of instant noodles, with fried egg topped with fried onions.

Bong water – soup (which I think is shiitake mushroom) in a bottle in a shape of a ‘bong’ – it was cleverly done. As M would say ‘it was homage to mie goreng, Mitch style!’ It was M’s favourite of the night, the shiitake mushroom broth was absolutely wonderful. The fried egg oozed with yolk, and it was full of flavours and complemented the instant noodles.

Mac and cheese fondue with fried chicken and French onion toast. Oh My God – fried chicken!!!! I squealed like a girl when I saw it. The fried chicken, as always, were sensational! I was tempted to eat all four, but was saving my stomach for what was to come. The French onion toast with crushed doritos was absolutely superb. I loved the crunchiness, the onion flavour, the taste, the dollop of cream cheese on top, it was wonderfully sinful! The mac and cheese fondue I didn’t enjoy as much – it was a little too salty for my liking, and extremely rich! I tried dipping my fried chicken into the fondue and it just made it too salty, which I didn’t enjoy.

Next drink, vodka, kahlua, milk and cream with milo rim. This brought back memories from my uni days, kahlua with milk, or baileys with milk. Again, it was so easy to drink that it was dangerous! I love the milo rim – chocolaty goodness!

The moment I have been waiting for – Juicy Luther by Hongy (Dan Hong) himself. This was utterly sinful, calorific, and frigging evil. So wrong but at the same time, so very right! THE CHEESE BURGER with an evil twist! A tower of wickedness goodness.

Beef patty, bacon, cheese, tomato sauce, pickles and mayo (and other delectable delights which I can’t remember) on a KRISPY KREME donut bun! Yes, you heard me, it was a krispy kreme donut bun. The bun glistened with sugar and gave it that extra sweetness. I had to cut it in half as it was messy, and you know my thoughts on messy burgers. The cheese oozed out of the burger that I had to scrape it back (can’t have a burger without cheese!), the beef patty was tender, and juicy, the bacon, tomato sauce and pickles were great complements. Like last time, sauce trickled down my hands, it was seriously messy, it was seriously sticky, it was seriously wicked, and pure genius. I would like to say that I could probably have eaten another one on my own, but I think I would have had a heart attack! It was THAT FULL ONNN! I am also proud to say, that I did finish the whole thing (probably not something to be proud off!), every single bit of it. If no one was looking, I would have probably licked the plate as well! However, that I believe tipped my fullness right over the edge! Dan – It was heart stopping but pure brilliance! I LOVED IT!

The sinful cheese burger came with a serving of crinkle cut French fries. It was crunchy and crispy, and well, who doesn’t like crinkle cut deep fried French fries? Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the French fries, my hands were just sticky, messy and well dirty!

The food did not stop there, there were more! Desserts! Oh dear god, my poor stomach and liver! Us diners needed a 10 minute break after that mind blowing burger! M went for a walk, and I probably should have, but could not move! So happily sat there absorbing all the delicious goodness I just consumed.

Next the fanta, campari, spider – this had to be my least favourite drink, only cause I am not a fan of campari at all! For me, the campari was strong, couldn’t really taste anything else but I know ‘The Mother’ who didn’t come with me, would have enjoyed this drink very much.

First of the desserts: peaches, ice cream and zomp – that’s right, zomp chocolate. I was getting extremely full by this stage, but couldn’t help but try some of it. The ice cream was deliciously creamy, and the zomp brought back so many childhood memories! It was simple but yet tasty.

And lastly to top it all off deep fried banana split with peanut butter ice cream, peanut brittle, hot chocolate fudge strawberry cream. Oh dear god, my arteries, liver and cholesterol! One mouthful, I just wanted to try one mouthful – infamous last words. The peanut butter ice cream was to die for, large chunks of peanut brittle, sweet, gooey and crunchy were divine – I ate ALL the peanut brittle! So much for just one mouthful! The hot chocolate fudge was thick and chocolaty and the strawberry cream just topped it all off. The deep fried banana was not what I expected, I was hoping it was battered and deep fried, but no batter, just the banana itself. It was ok but the ice cream, brittle and chocolate fudge outshined it all. So good but so bad.

I was ‘half-baked’ and on a high. All that deep fried, the sugar, the cheese and the chocolate – I could feel my heart rate racing. Walking to the car yesterday was difficult, and even worse, the next morning when I got up, I felt light headed. As I walked to the bus stop I could feel my heart rate zoomed and I wasn’t even running, it was a casual walk! Thankfully I am not one of those people that counts calories, cause if I did, I would have probably reached my weekly limit on that burger!

It was a memorable evening, with frigging awesome food, great music, and wonderful friends. I couldn’t do it back to back again but will definitely like to be there for the next one!

Well done Mitch, Thomas and Dan – look forward to the next stoner dinner!

The event cost $100 plus booking fees through mosh tix.

GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10

Half-baked ‘Stoner Degustatoin’

Duke Bistro

63 Flinders Street

Darlinghurst, 2010

Ph: +61 2 9332 3180

Marie Antoinette’s high tea at Westin, Sydney

I was organising my sis-in-law to be, O, hen’s day. She wanted something ‘girlie’ to do, and what better way than to have high tea? 7 of her closest friends, including myself, talking, eating, drinking tea like true ladies!

I haven’t been to the high tea at the Westin, but have heard many good things about it. As part of the SIFF event special, the high tea includes unlimited tea with a glass of rose wine from brown brothers for $45. However, if you have missed the SIFF event, don’t fear, they still do have high tea on weekends, however, prices are slightly different. There are three options, the tea / coffee option ($44), sparking rose ($51) and for the indulgent, Moet & Chandon champagne option ($61).

As we sat down, we noticed there were masks, for each and everyone one of us; it was part of their theme. We sat there, swapping masks to match the colour of our outfits and took photos – of course we didn’t eat with our masks on, I would have been happy too if everyone else did. However, no one wanted too!

Our brown brothers rose wine – delicious! I could have easily had another glass – it just went down smoothly!

The moment we have been waiting for, three tiers of towering goodness.

The bottom tier, savoury, from left to right: starting with avocado and shrimp tartar, blt and deviled egg finger sandwich, kiwi and orange croissant with mascarpone and finally, slow cooked roast beef with crème cheese stuffed with baby belle peppers.

The slow cooked roast beef with crème cheese stuffed with baby belle peppers were delightful! It was a shame the bread was a little hard.

The kiwi and orange croissant with mascarpone was not savoury I thought, but it was delicious. I loved the flavours of kiwi and orange together.

The avocado and shrimp tartar were too cute to eat, however, it was good but nothing to rave about.

I loved the blt and deviled finger sandwich which was served in a heart shaped bread – adorable!

As soon as we have finished the bottom layer, they brought out the scones as they are served warm. There were two types, plain and sultana – both awesome!

I love good scones, fluffy, and moist and they were just that! Mini warm scones with good cream and jam are just divine!

Second tier, starting from the left, lemon curd meringue tart, macaroons with fresh blue berries and beetroot cherry cup cakes.

The lemon curd meringue tart was incredibly rich. It was way too overpowering, sweet and tangy! I wasn’t a huge fan. I did like how a Marie Antoinette portrait was printed and placed on each tart. I thought that was quite clever and adorable!

The beetroot cherry cup cakes did not taste like beetroot and cherry, however, they were probably my favourite. They were seriously cute, and as unladylike as this is, I managed to ‘pop’ one in my mouth! Classy I know. It was light, fluffy and moist.

I am not a huge fan of macaroons but had a bite of this, it really didn’t do anything for me. The other girls, including my sis-in-law loved it!

Last but not least, the top tier, chocolate cream with exotic fruit caramel and candied walnuts. It had a passionfruit flavour, although I am certain there was banana in it also. The chocolate cream was quite runny, it was a tad sweet for my liking, however, underneath it all lays walnuts. Don’t think most of the girls liked this, it was definitely too sweet for all of us!

Aside from the from the food, there is unlimited tea, I lost count how many teas I had, but definitely the green tea, the white tea and lychee tea.

The high tea was served in the Westin Lobby bar and lounge, opposite the reception. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, chatting, giggling, and gossiping. It really had that ‘relax’ atmosphere. A common topic of food, shopping, jewelery, and tv shows will always bond a group of girls together, regardless whether or not they have met before.

Welcome to the family sis-in-law to be! Looking forward to the wedding – it will be a great day!

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

Westin The Lobby Bar and Lounge

1 Martin Place,

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 8223 1111

The Lobby Bar & Lounge on Urbanspoon