pear, pistachio and chocolate cake

So I am back! And cannot believe it has been two years since my last blog post.

Am actually fast-tracking my return to blogging because my lovely colleagues at work have been badgering me for the recipe for my recent baking triumph.

I didn’t think I could find an easier cake recipe than my Flourless Chocolate Cake but I think we have a new contender with this tasty number.

Continue reading

Da Orazio Woodfire Oven

da orazio, bondi beach

You probably haven’t even noticed but I’m not exactly built like a Gazelle.  I’m one of those people, as good luck would have it, where my size makes me relatively close to the earth.  This is great for lots of things.  Skiing* and snowboarding*.  Plane flights. Squeezing to the front of the mosh pit without getting the stink eye from your fellow festival goers.

What it isn’t so good for is the bar stool. If the name of the game is anything but downing martinis ’til you nearly backward flip off said bar stool, I can’t stand them. When a waiter says we have a table available on the bar they might as well be saying can I set you a table on the pavement out front. Continue reading

Nomad Interiors

nomad, surry hills

Oh Sydney, you funny thing. You sure know how to get excited about a new restaurant. No sooner have the doors swung open on a shiny new restaurant and you’re queuing ‘round the block or hanging desperately at the bar panting for your table.

The challenge, as I’ve discussed before, is maintaining that level of excitement. True staying power seems seriously difficult as the caravan of diners move onto the next shiny (or beautiful concrete) surface. Continue reading

new shanghai, chatswood

I’m not sure what is better. Securing Egyptian Cotton Sheets at 30% off or securing a table at New Shanghai Chatswood Chase in less than a half an hour at lunchtime.

Shepherd's Purse Dumplings

Shepherd’s Purse Dumplings

New Shanghai Chatswood Chase

New Shanghai Chatswood Chase

If you manage both it is truly a red letter day. New Shanghai is my favourite place to grab a dumpling. Better than Din Tai Fung. Better then Chef’s Gallery. And the Chatswood version, though not as authentic and down home as the Ashfield version, provides the perfect reward for a successful morning’s shopping.

New Shanghai Chatswood

New Shanghai Interior

I really haven’t actively worked my way through the menu as much as I probably should have, but after a hard day’s shopping, I generally seek comfort in old favourites and crowd pleasers as I’ll do today.

The Sous Chef kicks off with a favourite of his, the Hot, Spicy & Sour soup with Shredded Pork & Bean Curd. This hearty and flavoursome starter is thicky and gloopy in the best possible way. If you love an Asian soup but are after something a little lighter the Wontons or Mini Pork Short Soup will leave room for incoming dumplings.

Hot & Sour Soup

New Shanghai Hot & Sour Soup

I have a soft spot for a good fried rice and the generous serving at Din Tai Fung is the perfect accompaniment with today’s order of Crispy Chicken with a Chilli Soy Sauce. The chicken is perfectly tender on the inside and crunch on the outer with the sweet almost sticky sauce providing the perfect compliment.

Fried Rice & Shallot Pancake

Fried Rice & Shallot Pancake

New Shanghai Crispy Skin Chicken

New Shanghai Crispy Skin Chicken

The Shepherd’s Purse Dumplings served with a Chilli & Peanut Butter Sauce provides every reason to be cautious as the breakfast spread is not exactly the expected ingredient on the menu. I encourage you to give it a try as the dumplings are delicious and the spicy sauce works surprisingly well. It’s a favourite.

Shepherd's Purse & Pork Wonton Tossed with Sesame Butter, Red Chilli Oil & Spice

Shepherd’s Purse & Pork Wonton Tossed with Sesame Butter, Red Chilli Oil & Spice

Pan-fried dumplings of Pork Dumplings are juicy. With a splash of black vinegar and the unstoppable chilli sauce (you’ll need to request this) you will be in dumpling heaven.

Pan Fried Pork Dumpling

Pan Fried Pork Dumpling

If you can manage to get a gang together your experience will be all the better as you can sample a broader range of dishes. The signature New Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Bun is winner and the Lamb & Leek Dumpling is pretty special also.

Chatswood is bursting with so many incredible Asian restaurants to try. Unfortunately New Shanghai is so reliably good that if I’m in the neighbourhood, this Shanghai favourite is my lunchtime default setting. I encourage you to make it yours – you’ll never love Christmas shopping more.

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

American Pork Ribs & Apple Slaw

american pork ribs

There are many things I would never do on a first date and pork ribs is one of them. Call me old fashioned but finger lickin’ food consumption is something best saved for that familiar more settled stage in the relationship.

Lucky for me my relationship has graduated from those impressionable early days to the sleep in your eyes Sunday mornings ‘staring-at-the-papers’ stage so seeing each other up to our elbows in ribs is the least of our problems 😉

In fact for the established relationship, this hearty, sticky, Flintstonian style meal might just be a perfect primal heart starter for when the romance side of things may be showing some signs of wear and tear. Continue reading