Wednesday, November 14, 2012

i try samudra

Samudra can be found in Dunsborough, Western Australia. It's worth a visit if you find yourself in the South West. It is the kind of place where you can feel your body thanking you for the goodness. I've eaten here on a few occasions. The service is always prompt and friendly. The atmosphere always has a  certain 'have a seat, whatever, relax' kind of feel to it. On this occasion I was with Dr Gab. She was visiting WA en route to Darwin. We strolled into Samudra for lunch.

Dr Gab and I decided to share three dishes. The first was one of my favourites on the Samudra menu: The Power Pizza. It is made up of a dehydrated chia seed crusty base topped with tomato marinara sauce and spinach pesto; mushrooms, avocado, soy marinated onions and cashew cheese (pictured, $12.50).

The pizza is small but the dense dehydrated base is quite filling. The sauce is delicious and I was surprised how much I liked the soy marinated onions. It is a really fresh, tasty, light dish. Dr Gab and I also had the Kombi Kofta: Tamari soaked mushroom and nut kofta balls served on leafy greens with a tzatziki dip (pictured, $12.50). 

These were very delicious. I was sceptical but these little balls were nom nom nom. They were a little crumbly but I didn't mind. It meant I couldn't just inhale them. My only problem is that they aren't bigger. Definitely worth a try. For our third dish we got the Kombi Breakdown: A gujarati lentil dahl, with cumin, coriander, fenugreek and mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, chilli and turmeric served with quinoa (pictured, $14).

This had all the characteristics of a decent dahl, although, it seemed a little watery. I liked the addition of quinoa instead of rice. The flavours were subtle and given a little kick with a squeeze of fresh lime. Probably a good choice for the less adventurous. However, when I go to a restaurant as a general rule I tend to order dishes I would probably never make at home. This is something I feel I could easily knock up myself for less than what I'd pay for a daily newspaper.

I return to this place every time I go down south. It's always delicious, healthy, fresh food in a really relaxed, no-fuss environment.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

i try halo espresso

Dr Gab and I meandered down Angelo St in South Perth in search of some brekkie. Halo Espresso is a relatively new addition to the Angelo St strip. It looked trendy enough and seemed quite busy. We ventured in. Dr Gab ordered the vegetarian breakfast with eggs, garlic thyme mushroom, cherry tomatoes, buttered spinach, baked beans and toast (pictured, $16.90). Controversially, Dr Gab added some bacon for an extra $3.

Everything was well-cooked and aptly seasoned. The poached eggs were perfectly runny in the middle.  The bacon wasn't greasy and the tomatoes weren't over-cooked. The serving size was quite generous too. I wasn't in the mood for a cooked breakfast so opted for the home made bircher muesli topped with yogurt and honey. It was just right. Drizzled with a perfect amount of honey and sprinkled with cranberries, slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds it was very moorish. Nom nom nom.  

The service at Halo was prompt and friendly. The decor is very modern and although we didn't ordered coffees on this occasion I am told they are the best on the street. They have a cake/treat cabinet to rival some of the best cafes around too. The rest of the breakfast menu looks like this:

Halo Espresso on Urbanspoon

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

i try making vegan cheesecake

My sister rang me up and asked if I wanted to come over and help her make a cheesecake for our Ma's birthday dinner. There were two problems with this:
1. Pretty sure our mum doesn't like cheesecake.
2. Your vegan...

But she assured me that neither of these two issues where going to be a problem. She had a plan. And a recipe. She sourced the recipe from one of my favourite blogs: My New Roots. It is definitely worth a visit! My sister also highly recommends the happy crackers.

I must admit, I was sceptical at first. We sampled some of the filling before we scooped it into the pan. It was delicious, smooth and slightly zingy. I had no reason to doubt my sis.

The base is made up of almonds, dates and a wee bit of salt. The filling consists of soaked cashews, lemon juice, vanilla bean, coconut oil and honey. Half of the mixture is also whizzed up with fresh raspberries.

I was worried the mixture wouldn't solidify properly and we would end up with a goopy mess (a delicious goopy mess but still a goopy mess). However, when we took them out of the freezer several hours later they were perfectly formed.

This is a delicious recipe. Even our carnivore brothers went back for more. I love a desert that is delicious but doesn't clog your arteries or give you that I-really-didn't-need-that-chocolate-cake feeling. I highly recommend these cakes for any occasion! We did mini cakes because we were pressed for time but the original recipe is for one big cake. Both ways work equally well!

You can find this recipe at My New Roots.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

i try making raw granola

Raw Granola Recipe

I must confess I am addicted to the Samudra berry granola. It is very delicious. However, at $13.50 for a 250g bag ($15 at some places) it don't come cheap. So I decided to experiment with making my own raw granola. No offense Samudra but I like mine better :)


3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tbs oats
1 generous tbs each of sunflower seeds, pepitas and chia seeds
2 fresh dates
1/4 cup cranberries
3 tbs goji berries
50ml agave syrup
Squeeze lemon juice

1. Put cranberries in a bowl with 50ml of boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Place almond meal, protein powder, coconut, oats, seeds and dates in a food processor and blitz until desired texture is formed (i.e. if you like a more chunky granola just blitz it until it's combined.
3. Add remaining ingredients (including the water that the cranberries were soaking in). Blitz until just combined. Mixture should be slightly sticky, not runny and not dry.
4. Place on baking paper on the racks of a dehydrator and dehydrate at 45 degrees for 10 hours.

Notes: You can easily adjust this recipe to suit your taste. Add dried apricots or sultanas. Try using hazelnut meal instead of almond meal. You can use honey instead of agave syrup if you prefer it. You may need adjust the level of liquids in order to get the right texture.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

i try instagram

10 Must-have Photos in Your Instagram Arsenal

1. Pet Pic
It's very favourable if your pet is new. Puppy's tend to pull a lot of 'likes' but if all you have is a goldfish that's cool. Just borrow someone else's puppy.

2. Sunset
An absolute instagram staple. You might call this the bread and butter. Make sure you suss out some other sunset shots and make sure yours is more orange/pink/intense. Over water is preferred but not essential. Adding "#nofilter" to your sunset shot is very important. Do not forget.

3. Food Shot
This can be something you have baked (cupcakes, biscuits etc are good options) or it can be some food you've purchased at a restaurant. Make sure you say where you got your goods from because it's important that you share your restaurant choices with the world. Be sparing with your food photos. They get old quickly.

4. The Selfie
Good excuses for selfies include, but are not limited to, the following: new hair cut, some sort of razzle dazzle make-up job, to show some ridiculously amazing sunglasses or because you feel the need to put a photo on instagram and, dangit, there aint nobody or nothing around. You can make your selfie look like it's possibly not a selfie by strategically cutting the arm that is holding the phone out of shot. Noone will know the truth but you.

5. Beverage Shot
It's better if it is an alcoholic beverage like some exotic beer (the name of which you wouldn't be able to pronounce if your life depended on it) or a nice glass of vino because, oh, how you just love a glass of vino on a weeknight darling. Or shots cos you a party animal.

6. Plant Close-up
Rain drops. Rain drops will make your plant shot killeeeeerrrrrrrrr. Doesn't matter what kind of plant it is. If you can get really close to it and it has raindrops on it you are winning. Watch the likes roll in.

7. The Big Leap
Jump off something and get a mate/bystander to take a picture. Again water is preferred in this scenario, but not essential. You want height, you want mid-air, you want flipping. Just keep jumping off stuff till you get the shot! Commitment is key.

8. The View
Get yourself up a mountain or building or something. Snap that view and Instagram it pronto. Are you still here? Shouldn't you be climbing? Go!!

9. Words
Words that you have written down, words someone has spray painted on a wall, words, words, words. It kind of defeats the purpose of a photo but it is a very crucial element of your Instagram arsenal. Make sure they are funny, inspiring and/or motivational. But mostly funny. Yes, go for funny.

10. Beach
Now it needs to sunny. If it's not sunny it better be a crazy-stormy-shit-blowing-everywhere kinda shot. But, really it should be sunny. Blue water too please. White sand preferred. If there is any sort of seaweed, seriously don't even bother. Unless it's a mountain of seaweed. In that case get climbing and get shot number eight sorted. Oh, and don't forget your "no filter" hashtag cos dangit that sky really is that blue!

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i try the raw kitchen again

Since my initial visit to The Raw Kitchen in Fremantle I have returned numerous times. If you have read my first post on The Raw Kitchen you will know the first visit didn't go so smoothly.

The sister and I visit fairly regularly now and they seem to have got themselves together. We have had nothing but impeccable service on every visit. The food is always consistently good. We have now tried almost everything on the menu except the raw soup. Love getting a mix of the three salads and a piece of pizza ($17.90, pictured). It's always loaded with fresh herbs, veggies and delicious cashew/macadamia nut cheese. Be warned it's very filling!

And, I know the felafel balls ($16.90, pictured) look small but you won't need to go back for seconds. They too are very filling. Nutty little balls of deliciousness.

As good as the cashew cheese is on the nachos we find entree size is more than enough! The spicy 'refried' walnut and pepita corn chips are delicious. The fresh tomato and avocado balances off the spiciness of the chips nicely. Sadly, they do tend to go soggy quite quickly, so grab some utensils. Don't worry they are still yum ($18.50 for entree, pictured).

I must say I am sad they no longer sell the raw florentines. We were told they were too time consuming. Although I do love everything I have tried on the menu (side note: mango lasso = so so so good), it would be nice to see some new additions at some point. Having said that, I will remain a regular regardless.

The Raw Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 16, 2012

i try the smiths beach to wyadup walk

When I want to get away from people this is one of my favourite walks/runs to do. The coastal scenery of the south-west in WA is stunning at anytime of year.
This walk is part of the Cape to Cape trail and this particular section starts at Smiths Point in Yallingup, WA. It follows the coast up to a lookout just passed Wyadup Beach. I ran most of the way and it took me about 45 minutes (although I did stop to take a few pictures along the way). If you park near the Canal Rocks Beach Resort you will notice the road continues on past the resort. About 150m up the road you will reach Smiths Point and this sign. This is the start of walk.

Apologies if the sign is no longer there. I should point out that this is not a well worn trail. I have done it many many times and still find myself straying from the path and having to double back. It is rocky, sandy and narrow in places. The signs you want to follow for this trail are these:

So, if you haven't seen one for a little while it may be time to retrace your steps. Towards the beginning of the trail there is a steep escarpment. Most of the rocks on the escarpment are loose and it's worth taking your time. 

You'll follow the coast and eventually the track will open up onto the Wyadup Beach car park. Just before the car park you'll notice a track leading off to the right. This track leads to a spring. The small boardwalk down at the spring is a bit dilapidated but can still be crossed with care. I have filled up water bottles from the running spring and lived to tell the tale. The water has always been crystal clear and deliciously refreshing. However, drink at your own risk.

Once you arrive at the Wyadup Beach carpark veer off to the left, cross over the road and you will see the track continues on the opposite side. The track then goes for another 500m or so before a set of steep steps take you up to the lookout.

At this point I would usually turn back but you can double the walk and keep going to Ingidup Beach. Happy trails.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

i try organicus

Where: Organicus Kitchen and Pantry, Manly

Who: Dr Gab and I

What I ate: Chickpea, quinoa & vegetable tagine w/ prunes, goji berries & saffron yogurt ($16.50/$24.00, pictured)

The verdict: I have to be honest. It looked like chunky vomit with a dollop of yogurt, and I was worried the generous sprinkling of saffron on top would overpower (and ruin) everything. Turns out Mum was right again: never judge a book by it's cover. The dish was full of flavour and the big chunks of zucchini, pumpkin and carrot were all cooked perfectly. This is my kind of meal, that is, loaded with veggies, not drenched in cheese or oozing oil everywhere. I could feel my body thanking me with every mouthful.

What Dr Gab ate: Zucchini, quinoa, mushroom & walnut veggie burger w/ tzatziki, tomato, rocket & homemade chips w/ truffle salt ($16.50, pictured).

The verdict: There is no graceful way to eat a burger. The challenge was made even harder for Dr Gab due to the tough sour dough. Apart from that Dr Gab was pretty happy. She let me have a bite and it was delicious. The patty was a little on side but it was moist and flavoursome. The chips looked a lot better than they actually were. They seemed a little underdone. I don't recall tasting truffle in the salt either.

Overall: The service was friendly and swift. The atmosphere was very casual and cool. Great spot for people watching. Nice little indoor green wall installation and plenty of room for everyone! Doggies welcome too! Definitely worth a visit!

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Organicus Kitchen & Pantry on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 16, 2012

i try organic markets

I'm not a morning person. On a Saturday there's got to be a jolly good reason for me to get out of bed earlier than that time of day when breakfast starts to morph into lunch. Two words: Kylie Kwong.

It was one of those days when the sky is so blue you wish you could put some in your pocket for the drizzly, grey days. We went to check out the Organic Markets, held every Saturday at the Carriage works, Eveleigh.

People casually perused stalls, dogs were meeting and greeting. It was so casual and easy. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, no-one rushing, no pushing. There was fresh fruit and veg, flowers, cheese, juice, muesli, yogurt and lots of other delicious produce. Oh, and there was Kylie Kwong, the genius behind Billy Kwong.

Mama Bear (who you might remember from The Armchair Collective) and Tall-Jess had been saying all morning that Kylie's steamed pancakes were a must-try. After strolling around for a short while we went to the Billy Kwong stall. There front and centre was Kylie busily filling the steamed pancakes with an omelette, shredded carrot, bean sprouts, fresh herbs and dressing (pictured, $10).

Before I go on, I would like to point out that i am not a big fan of pancakes. It's not that i don't like them it's just that if i have the choice between pancakes and anything else I will choose anything else.

These pancakes were worth getting out of bed for! The steamed pancakes themselves were light, the omelette was fluffy and the crispy carrot and bean sprouts provided a nice textural contrast. Mama Bear said some chilli would've made them perfect but given i am still on my chili training wheels to me they were perfect. I am now a fan of Kylie Kwong pancakes. Not pancakes. Kylie Kwong pancakes.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

i try milk caramel spread (dulce de leche)

Dulce de leche translates to 'sweet of milk' or milk's sweet'. Sweet is a good way to describe this. Not the sweet that makes you feel sick. The sweet that makes you feel like you're eating happiness.

I love condensed milk. This milk caramel spread by Classique Gourmet tastes like condensed milk after you've put in a pot and heated it up for a couple of minutes, so it gets that slight caramel taste. It's smooth, delicious and best eaten straight from the jar. Best of all, this brand is made in Australia and contains just four ingredients (none of which contain numbers or crazy names like lecithins).

I'm yet to try the butterscotch spread but when i find it...

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