Tuesday, April 21, 2009

15 hours of food: The afternoon tea

Adriano Zumbo's chocolate patisserie in Balmain got a rave review in good living a few months back. My sister asked me: "Have you heard of Adriano Zumbo's patissierie? Sooooo good. "
Thus we sauntered into Balmain for an inspection. First up: the patissierie. I was amazed at the creations, too shy to take a picture, and ended up with two macarons - one blue cheese flavour, and the other mango.
We headed to the actual chocolate cafe, and ordered a dark hot chocolate, a salty caramel macaron and an earl grey tea macaroon. The macaron range was different in the cafe than to that of the patisserie, but everything was most definitely chocolate based.
The dark hot chocolate was wonderful: rated higher than the lindt version. Very dark and rich, but not sickly sweet or overly creamy. The salty caramel was yummo... I wanted another one. I forget how salt can bring out other flavours, such that the caramel wasn't sickly sweet. The earl grey macaron was also lovely: scattering of tea leaves on top, and a delicate tea flavour. I couldn't swear that it was that of earl grey, but it was very moreish and tasty. I would head there again... and "settle" for the lindt if I only I was in town. :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

15 hours of food: The lunching

After spending a few hours grazing, sampling, nibbling at the markets, we were hungry for something more substantial.
I had only ever tried Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crispy Pancake) at Pho Le a few years ago, whilst it was still with the previous owners. So when good living did a special on the three best places in sydney to find them, I wrote it down in my little black book.
We went to Thuy Huy Coffee Lounge, and ordered (1) Banh Xeo, (2) a small bowl of broth, (3) Congee, vietnamese style. "Are you sure you want that? It's very different to chinese congee. You add bean sprouts and lemon, and there are animal bits." asked the waitress. I can't remember her exact wording.
So here it is: the banh xeo. Very crisp and tasty, loaded up with bean sprouts and prawns and also very messy to eat! Lurking up the back is the Vietnamese style "pork" congee.
Both were very tasty. I managed to finish the pancake, but the congee was a bit of a struggle, and we had to pay an additional 30c for a takeaway container to take the remainder of the congee with us. It was quite interesting, lemony (added to your taste, like pho) and basily, and a very strong blood/liver type flavour throughout. It was also a little bit salty.