Saturday, October 28, 2006

Good Food & Wine Fair 2006

I'm officially on holidays (for the next few days anyway) and we were suppose to drive up to the Central Coast for a long weekend, but after last year there was no way that I would miss the Good Food & Wine Fair for 2006.
The organisers of the event lined up more than 100 food stalls boasting names like Wildfire, The Bathers' Pavilion and Longrain. They expected over 40,000 people and hoped to top last year's efforts of raising f $277,000 for the AIDS Trust of Australia.

I arrived early to see which restaurants were present and to work out what I wanted to buy before the popular items sold out.

Hyde Park got crowded pretty quickly

We bought $90 worth of vouchers ($50 for Jacky and I and the remaining $40 for Mum and Sophia). The girl selling the vouchers thought that we had made some mistake and kept saying "that's 36 vouchers!" and we were like "yes we know...".

One of my favorite items from last year was the mushroom beef burger by the Australian Mushroom Growers. After trying their burger, I ended comparing every single other burger that I had during the year to theirs and nothing came close. I ended up craving for their burger (in particular their creamy mayonnaise) for the rest of the year.
I was so pleased to see that they were doing burgers again this year. The beef had been replaced by chicken and the patty was topped off with a generous serving of pesto mayonnaise (just the way I like it). I thought the burger was excellent and my craving was satisfied for another year.

Next we moved on to Longrain for a Thai Noodle salad with BBQ Pork

Followed by a salad by a salmon salad by Scolarest
The description at the stand read: 'A nicoise salad of herb crusted salmon carpaccio served with oven roasted potato, asparagus, tear drop and grape tomato, kalamata olives, eggs, a roast garlic dressing and dijon mustard dressing'.

How do you say no to that??

Whilst lining up for the salad we noticed people walking past with a delicious looking seafood risotto. We headed in the direction that they came from and soon arrived at Industrie-South of France. The line was massive and got longer as we waited, it was obvious that it wasn't just us who wanted to try their risotto. Jacky gave it the big thumbs up.

Lucio's marinated bbq Quail ....finger licking good!
Jacky was still hungry so he bought a 'Famous Thai beef noodle soup' from
Arun Thai Restaurant.

I on the other hand was ready for dessert and had learnt a big lesson from last year i.e. if you see something you like buy it straight away or risk it selling out by the time you come back. Bill's had a joint stand with Delicious Magazine and were selling Bill Granger's raspberry & mascarpone tart. This was the perfect dessert for me because everyone knows my love for anything creamy (yummmm...). The dessert was divine; I knew it was bad for me and with each bite I could feel my cholesterol creeping up (high cholestrol runs in my family) but I just couldn't resist. I figured that if I died, at least it could be said that I died doing the thing that I loved.
There was also a passionfruit pavlova that I had my eye on, but we were running out of vouchers and by now some of the lines were crazy.

I had 2 vouchers left and wasn't quite sure how to use it...I eventually settled on a bottle of Sangria by iDrinx. Personally I thought this drink tasted nothing like Sangria and I wish that I spent my last vouchers on a sparkling grapefruit juice instead.

I also came home with a Delicious show bag, it was such a bargain! It had this great dessert cook book filled with the favourite dessert recipes of all these famous chefs (I think it retails for $30 in the shops?). Mum also scored a healthy drink ideas cocktail book from the Breville's stand.

I'm so sad to see good food month coming to an end, but what a great way to end it! Till next year...happy eating!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I know there's bigger issues but...

It's my cousin's wedding is in 2 weeks, it's going to be another full day event where I will be there from Tea ceremony right through to the reception. Jacky needs a new suit and I need something to wear!
So the important question is what do you think, straight hair or curly? (keep in mind my hair is a lot shorter now)

Something must be in the air I've been invited to 8 weddings this year!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Night Noodle Markets - # 2

The 2nd last night of the Night Noodle Markets, I couldn't imagine a better way to spend it than with food blogging friends old and new. In total there were about 11 of us (Jacky, Julia, Helen, Rebecca, Kathryn, Jen, Nicky, Ben, Tiff , Anna and I).
I got there straight after work and helped Helen and Rebecca save some good seats while we waited for the others to arrive. I know that some people are of the view that the noodle markets are a bit expensive for what you get, but at the end of the day this only happens once a year and is something a bit different.

I didn’t mind the crowds tonight; it was great to see the park filled with so many people. The music, lanterns and smells created an electric atmosphere.

At 10 past 5 seats were already starting to get filled

I think these were from Bungalow 8?

There was also a pie shop with pies full of Thai fillings

Wagamamas sweet potato chips with a basil, mayo & wasabi dressing

I bought an entree box from Thai Power which had a fishcake, satay stick & the biggest curry puff ever

Julia had this unusual little tube of bamboo that was filled with sticky rice and then steamed, she said that it was quite nice but difficult to eat because the fork given was too big

I took Lils advice and tried the Thai style pork sausages with papaya salad and fried sticky rice from Banana Blossom. Helen highly rated the rice ball but the papaya salad was the big winner for me! (you have to try look beyond the gigantic lettuce leaf jumping out of the box).

9:00pm - Sugar Hit @ Sofitel Wentworth:

At 8:30pm the 6 remaining foodies headed off to the Sofitel Wentworth for a sugar hit.

We started with a glass of Brown Brothers Botrytis Reisling

Chocolate assiette - a delicious tasting plate consisting of:

white chocolate crème brulee, a berry & milk chocolate terrine and a Valrhona bitter chocolate parfait and praline.

The Verdict? It was well worth the wait and $15! We finished in record time and contemplated on doing another 2 sugar hits in the same night (but decided against it....maybe next time).

I even tried to scrape the chocolate off the plate

Thank you for such a lovely evening ladies, I enjoyed your company immensely (you all have such bubbly personalities!) happy eating and keep blogging.


I ended up getting home pretty late and instead of sleeping I stupidly stayed up to post photos. I think Hoi caught me sleeping on the train this morning (I assure you I don't do it often! haha but I could barely get out of bed).

Thank Goodness tomorrow is Saturday and Clerkship season for 2006 has come to an end.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This post-it note makes me laugh

My Mum's so cute, I asked her to leave me the name of her plumber so that I could get a quote on installing some new toilets. I assume the plumber's name is actually “Jeff Robinson” and not “Jiff Ronbanson” but considering her English isn’t very good I think she was pretty close.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Farmers Market @ The Entertainment Quarter

With the Grower Markets becoming so crowded I find that I’m starting to love the Farmers Market at the Entertainment Quarter more and more. I come here to buy flowers for the house every fortnight, whilst it's a relatively small market a lot of what I buy at the Grower Markets is available here (such as fresh bread, butter, jams and olives).

The flowers here are such a bargain! From my observations you easily pay double the price at any City flower shop. The pink roses were just stunning today.

There's also this bread shop that specialises in all different types of cakes and tarts. There seems to be something different on offer each time that I come. There is a large variety of breads to choose from but they don't do tarts every week. When they do, most of the popular ones sell out just after lunch time.

It sure beats shopping at Coles

Farmers Markets
Entertainment Quarter
Wednesday & Saturday 10am to 4pm

Merchandise Markets
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Sunday 10am to 5pm

The best thing is that parking is free for the first 2 hours in the car park next door, you never have to worry about wasting time looking for a park!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Noodle Markets

I'm not having much luck with avoiding crowds at the moment, I'm not usually so pedantic about it but work has hit a critical point and I’ve found myself rather anxious and tense lately. Going to places where I have to avoid bumping into people as I walk is not really helping (I am so needing that holiday!).

On Thursday I met up with a few of the girls after work for a spot of dinner at the Night noodle markets in Hyde Park. I had heard from friends that the markets were smaller than previous years and it was easy to find a seat. By the time we got there it was already 6:00pm and the park was absolutely crowded with people! The lines were long and when I went to say hi to my friends people gave me dirties because they thought that I was trying to push in.
I had a look around but couldn't decide what to get, I just wasn't prepared for the long lines at each stall. I ended up stealing a prawn from Lisa's peking duck noodle box from Zilver.
I'm coming back again next week with a few foodie friends and this time I will be well prepared and back with a vengeance. I'm rather excited! See you then.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We're going away

I had originally planned to take some time off at the end of clerkships because the last 3 months has been mentally draining and physically exhausting! My manager pulled me aside the other day and told me to have 3 bonus days off (at the end of October) for working so hard – Sweet!

The timing was perfect because 2 days later I ended up (jointly) winning ‘Employee of the Quarter’ for last quarter and won $250 to be put towards a weekend away. As much as I love our new house I really REALLY need some time away from gardening, painting and general house work!
As usual Jacky did all the research and we've booked a short break (4 days & 3 nights) to Ettalong Beach Resort. I'm so excited because other than a long weekend away at Terrigal earlier in the year, I haven't had annual leave in almost 2 years due to having all my leave paid out when I changed jobs.
In a little over 2 weeks I will be here.....

We booked the 1 bedroom suite

For some reason I own 5 bikinis, I expect to get good use out of them & to come back with a tan
Then there's the local markets, seafood, restaurants and we're just across the road from the beach...I can't wait!