Product Review: Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n

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We seem to be a huge fan of Gardein products and Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n is no exception. This one in particular has a unique flavour that we so like. Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n Ingredients Water, soy protein … Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Manjit’s at The Wharf

Manjit’s at The Wharf is overlooking Sydney’s darling: Darling Harbour. They do a modern Indian cuisine style of food here which means they have a contemporary take on classic Indian dishes. It’s open kitchen so you get to see where your food is cooked and how it’s cooked. I must admit, it was quite an experience. Here’s how the night went for us:

First, we ordered our drinks as Manjit’s is not BYO. We both had TWR Toru which is a blend of Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris. It’s from a certified organic, biodynamic producer in Marlborough, New Zealand. It was a great choice as it complimented spicy food very well.

The service at Manjit’s is quite friendly. We had more than two different waiters and they were all happy to wait on us, talk to us and explain all the dishes.

As for starters, we ordered Gol Gol Gappa and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Khumb.

Gol Gol Gappa
A contemporary twist on a classic street food delight. I believe it’s pani puri. They are tiny, crunchy, puffed bread filled with spiced chickpea, potato, onion, herbs and flowers. It’s served with tamarind and amchur (mango powder) caviar. You pour it into the puris and eat it all in one go. It was very fresh and spicy. It tickled the back of my palate. Just the way I like it.

Manjit's

After Gol Gol Gappa, we were served complimentary poppadums and they were rolled! Please refer to the photo below.

Manjit's

Our second starter of the night: Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Khumb
Grilled whole organic mushrooms filled with paneer, spiced corn and water chestnut.

Manjit's

As for the mains, we shared Phool and Kaju Ki Sabzi. Vegetarian dishes are marked with a V on Manjit’s menu and Kaju Ki Sabzi is one of their vegetarian signature dishes.

Manjit's

Phool is described as cauliflower pan cooked with coriander seeds, served on potato espuma and toasted cumin on the menu. Espuma is Spanish term for froth or foam, by the way. So, if you are expecting aloo gobi kind of dish here, you are in for a surprise.

Kaju Ki Sabzi (Signature)
Kaju Ki Sabzi is described on Manjit’s menu as “a preparation of cashew nuts sautéed with mixed spices, served with caramelized onion” but there is a surprise there. This sabzi is topped with a spinach kofta stuffed with paneer. It looks like a saag paneer scotch egg!

Manjit's

Desserts from Manjit’s
The dessert menu is actually a lot bigger than most restaurants offer. They do rasmalai, mango pistachio kulfi, kaala jamun, shahi tookra and more. When I saw jalebi on the menu, my decision was made. Even though, I was warned that it wasn’t like the classic jalebi, I still wanted to take my chance and hire the fat girl. It was different! I could taste jalebi but it was different. It’s actually made of thinly sliced green apple, dipped into jalebi mixture and fried and stacked up. At the top, there is a ball of white chocolate with rose cream inside.

Manjit's

Apple jalebi was my dessert, John, on the other hand, decided to have chai creme brulee.
Crispy green apple fritters coated in a fragrant saffron and rose flavoured syrup.

Chai Creme Brulee 
A soft, creamy creme brulee with a delicate hint of spicy chai finished with a caramelized crunch of toffee.

Manjit's

Manjit’s at the Wharf can be found at this address:
49 Lime Street, King Street Wharf
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9279 3379
Email: info@manjits.com.au
Website

Product Review: Caroline’s Vegetarian Fishless Tuna

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Caroline’s Vegetarian Fishless Tuna looks and tastes like tuna. I’d say very close to the real thing. It is a vegan product which now can be purchased in Australia. It is also very practical: you just open the tin, drain … Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Yellow, Potts Point – Sydney

Restaurant Review: Yellow, Potts Point – Sydney
When I did Bentley’s Bar and Restaurant review, I promised to go and try their sister restaurant, Yellow and tell you all about it. I am keeping my promise.

The Place
Even though it was our first time, Yellow has been around since 2013. However, in early 2016 it became exclusively vegetarian. The décor is quite contemporary with deliberately unfinished areas on the walls. Yellow is in Potts Point. Is there anything yellow in this place, you may ask? Yes. The walls outside.

The Wine
The wine list at Yellow is quite eclectic with a range of natural, bio and organic vintages from around the world. And, they complement the menu nicely.

The Food
The menu at Yellow is exclusively vegetarian. Peter, the assistant manager was kind enough to let me keep my copy of their menu so that I could match my experience with the dishes properly. It always helps when I write about it. Here, I typed in their 5 Course Tasting Menu for you:

5 Course Tasting Menu

Fennel + Fresh Curds + Apple
2014 Weingut Dr Salomon ‘Kogl’ Reisling from Kremstal, Austria
Grapefruit Spritz

Heirloom Zucchini + Pepitas + Juniper
2015 Partida Creus VN Blanco Field Blend, Catalunya, Spain
Turkish Apple Tea

Spaghetti Squash + Shimeji Mushrooms + Salted Egg
2015 Ruggabellus ‘Fluus’ Grenache Blend, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Pear + Yuzu

Forbidden Rice + Butter Beans + Smoked Yoghurt
2014 Moranza Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain
Apple + Beetroot + Carrot

Blood Plum Sorbet + Toasted Buckwheat + Wattle Curd
2014 Domaine Delevaux Coteaux Du Layon ‘Passerille’ Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Nectarine + Kombucha

Before the menu above was served, our dinner started with complimentary bread and butter, followed by Mexican Cucumber and Baby Turnip in Buttermilk and Toasted Black Sesame Seeds (see photo below).

Yellow

Fennel + Fresh Curds + Apple
This is a contrast of textures with the softness of the fresh curd, creaminess of the sauce and the crunchiness of the fennel and unexpected sweet bursts of cured and fermented apple. The dish was paired with 2014 Reisling from Austria. We are a huge fan of Austrian wines. This one is young and crisp with a touch of acidity and residual sweetness. Quite well balanced and it works well as a great aperitif. Perfect match!

Yellow

Heirloom Zucchini + Pepitas + Juniper
Zucchini, zucchini flowers: all the best of the zucchini family. Zucchini flowers are the male ones and the stem was used in this dish as well, not just the flowers. They were cooked to perfection; totally melted in my mouth. The dish was paired with 2015 Partida Creus VN Blanco Field Blend from Catalunya, Spain. And, it’s an interesting one. It is quite funky on the nose, almost like an orange wine. It is cloudy because the wine maker does not like filtering his wines very much. Fully biodynamic winery and this one in particular, almost sulphur free. Glen, the manager, told us that the little amount of sulphur which is added is in there for the sake of lasting the journey. This was my favourite wine of the night; it is vibrant, fresh with complex flavours. I will be talking about this wine for many days to come. However, our waiter, Ryan, was kind enough to give us the details of the wine company’s importer so we may be able to get some.

Yellow

Spaghetti Squash + Shimeji Mushrooms + Salted Egg
With this dish, you are moving on to more savoury notes and the portions are getting bigger, too. It is also the time that you feel you need to slow down. I absolutely loved the salted eggs and the sauce in this dish. It was paired with a blend of Mataro, Syrah and Grenache from Barossa Valley, South Australia. The first Australian wine of the night and the first red wine of the night, too. With its 13% alcohol, it is almost like Pinot Noir. And it complemented the savouriness of the dish very well.

Yellow

Forbidden Rice + Butter Beans + Smoked Yoghurt
This was quite filling and rich. The dish has black rice crisps on top (which you cannot see in the photo because I ate them) and cabbage powder around.

Yellow

Because the dish is quite rich, it was served with a palate cleanser: Heirloom Tomatoes + Grains of Paradise + Fresh Basil (photo below).

Yellow

The dish was paired with a 2014 Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain.

Yellow

Blood Plum Sorbet + Toasted Buckwheat + Wattle Curd
As you can see in the photo, this is the dessert of the night. It was quite refreshing after two savoury dishes. I personally loved the contrast of textures. It was paired with a 2014 Domaine Delevaux Coteaux Du Layon ‘Passerille’ Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France.

Yellow can be found at this address:
57 Macleay Street
Potts Point NSW 2011
Website
Phone: 02 9332 2344

Product Review: Gardein Golden Fishless Filets

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Gardein Golden Fishless Filets are an absolute life-saver in the kitchen. They are so practical; I stopped making my own vegetarian fish and chips from scratch. There is nothing fishy here, just great taste and 0mega-3s without cholesterol. Dip in … Continue reading

Chatkazz Indian Street Food, Harris Park, Sydney

Chatkazz

I have been hearing about those places selling authentic Indian food in Harris Park but it was only last night I actually had a chance to experience it myself. And place turned out to be Chatkazz.

Our friends Madhu and Kushal took us to Chatkazz for a night of Indian street food. Chatkazz is exclusively vegetarian with Jain options, by the way. Being Indian themselves, they know what they are doing. Naturally! And, the whole experience was truly fantastic!

Chatkazz is such an incredibly busy place. With all the hustle and bustle, it actually feels like you are in India! You have to wait for a table, though. However, they have this system: they have chairs, menus, order slips and pens outside where you wait for a table. While you are waiting, you choose what you want to have and scribble it down on the order slip. Once you have a table, you hand over your order and fantastic Indian street food starts coming.

Chatkazz

Here’s what we had at Chatkazz:

ChatkazzSabudana Vada (above), also called sago Vada is a tapioca (sago) patties which is served with spicy green chutney and a yoghurt/curd based one. It is a traditional snack from Maharashtra. In certain parts of India, sago is a very common ingredient to make foods during fasting period. You can get it from street vendors in Mumbai. So, I’m told.

Chatkazz

Dahi Puri (above) These are small crispy puffed bread mixed with boiled potato, chickpeas and topped with chilled yoghurt and various chutneys.

Chatkazz

Chole Bhatura (above) comes from Punjab. Chole and bhatura are separate dishes that are eaten together and it is absolutely divine. It is served with mango chutney, raw onions and chana masala.

Chatkazz

Pani Puri (above) is one of my old time favourites. I was introduced to these at the time we were living in Melbourne. There was a Gujarati restaurant down the road where we had enourmous amounts of chaat. I still miss Smita’s pani puri.

Chatkazz

Khaman Dhokla (above) is another old time favourite. These are savoury cakes made out of besan (chickpea flour) and are served with sweet & spicy chutney.

Chatkazz

Chinese Bhel (above) was everyone’s favourite. I must admit, I LOVE Indo-Chinese dishes. I am so determined to make this one. This morning, I tracked down a recipe. The moment I put together all the ingredients, I am so making this.

Chatkazz can be found at this address:
Shop 4-6/14-20 Station Street East,
Harris Park NSW 2150
Website

Chatkazz

Chatkazz has a separate sweet shop, by the way. We thought the colours were so inviting.

Chatkazz

We came home with a great selection of sweets.

Product Review: Authentic Turkish Gozleme

Product Review: Authentic Turkish Gozleme
I have discovered a new product at Costco a few weeks ago: It is the Authentic Turkish Gozleme with Feta and Spinach. You know those traditional Turkish pastries filled with spinach and feta cheese? That’s them.

Gozleme

It is a big pack of Gozlemes I must admit. There are 4 Gozlemes in 1 pack, weighing 1.2 kg. altogether. However, each Gozleme is 300 gr and pretty much handkerchief size. I believe they are produced that way because you want them to fit in your frying pan, right? Traditional Gozleme is very thin and large as they are cooked on top an inverted wok like cooking implement and our frying pans we use in our home kitchen can never be that big. I used to have a very big, square, electric frying pan that I mainly used to make Gozleme. It got old in the end and I quickly realised that they do not make them that big anymore. I bought the biggest one available but it is still tricky.

Because Authentic Turkish Gozleme is quite thick, it takes longer to cook. The other problem its thickness is the moment you cut it, it spills its guts out. That is probably the only negative comment I can say about it. Other than that, Gozleme is becoming very popular in Sydney and these ones are incredibly practical.

Ingredients for Authentic Turkish Gozleme
• Wheat flour (Vitamins: Thiamine, folate)
• Feta cheese (30% milk): milk, salt rennet (non-animal), culture
• Water
• Silverbeet (16%), actually this is English spinach basically
• Iodised salt

Allergen information:
Contains gluten and milk products.

How to store Authentic Turkish Gozleme
Keep frozen. Once thawed, do not refreeze. Keep refrigerated, cook and consume within 24 hours.

Cooking instructions for Authentic Turkish Gozleme
• Remove Gozleme from its bag.
• Place it on oiled hot plate or non-stick fry pan and fry until each face is golden brown.
• Serve hot with a slice of lemon (optional).

Product Review: Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Sliders

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Gardein, you’ve done it again! Guys, I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am with Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Sliders. You know every time I see a new Gardein product at one of those places where I … Continue reading

Product Review: Gardein Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips

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Gardein Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips is one of my favourite products. It is hearty in a delicate way. I have made beefless strips and broccoli stir-fry to go with it and it turned out very delicious. Just like any Gardein … Continue reading