i am susan thye. aka chocolatesuze. lives in sydney, australia. born 30.5.83. married to noods. works in social media. this is a food and lifestyle blog. i like cheeseburgers, cake, fried chicken and macarons.
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PERSONAL DISCLAIMER. this is a foodblog; a personal journal where all opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions. Although it may claim otherwise, this blog does not offer legal, medical, psychiatric, veterinary, logical or any other kind of professional advice. all text+photos by me - S. Thye, unless otherwise noted. i will hunt you down if you steal or hotlink any of my images and/or text. have a nice day!
16 June 2013, 13:28
C is for cookie! And ahem, ChocolateSuze hahaha lame I know I’m sorry! But I’m not sorry about these cupcakes! Guaranteed to put a smile on anyones face no matter the age (HI SOF)! Super easy to make but takes a tad longer than my usual recipes because you gotta bake the cookies first. Ok ready?
Bake some cookies! Chocolate chip of course! I used my Super Easy Chocolate Chip recipe which makes enough for your cupcakes and a whole pile left to eat :P
Bake cupcakes. I used this recipe from Exclusively Food. Whip up some icing and slather onto cupcakes- I made cream cheese icing but feel free to make buttercream. Tint it blue. I used food colouring gel to get it super blue.
I hate desiccated coconut but it’s the easiest thing for ‘hair’, I used about 100g of McKenzie’s Moist Flakes Coconut which worked pretty awesomely. Dropped in a couple of drops of food colouring liquid (not gel) and shook the bag. Don’t even attempt to stir this, shake it baby!
Roll iced cupcake onto plate of coconut, pack on more so it doesn’t look bald.
Marvel at the blueness.
For the eyes I used white chocolate melts and chocolate chips. Melt a couple of choc chips and swipe the choc chips with a bit of the melted choc and place on the white choc melts.
While the eyes are drying cut your cookies in half.
If your cookies are soft they won’t be able to be shoved into the cupcakes so grab a knife and cut lines for where the mouths will go so the cookies will fit.
Ditto with the eyes.
Aaaaand tadah! Pile o cookies in the middle and you’re done!
8 June 2013, 17:20
Continuing on from Part 1 of Kangaroo Island Feastival! Continuing on after the dairy farm that same night was also the KI Feastival Gin Masterclass and Dinner at KI Spirits (856 Playford Highway, Cygnet River). John and Sarah Lark have a ridiculously infectious enthusiasm as they gave us a little history on gin and guided us through some blind tastings and whipped up some incredibly delicious cocktails.
Then onto a gin inspired meal prepared by Jon’s son Louis (a chef at Southern Ocean Lodge), starting with Oyster with Gin Bloody Mary Granita.
Gin and Beetroot Cured Atlantic Salmon and Gin Spice Cured Snapper.
South Rock Lamb wrapped in Prosciutto with Celeriac and Mulberry Gin Jus
Lemon and Gin Tart.
Haha damn right I’ve got issues :P
The next day we hit the road bright and early to travel to Seal Bay Conservation Park.
Originally I wasn’t too peachy keen on travelling halfway across the Island to see some sea lions but boy was I eating my words when we arrived! We chose the self guided boardwalk tour ($15) and ambled down the ramps and took in the breathtaking scenery at our own pace. There were plenty of placards and signage every couple of meters with information on the area which was ace.
It is just freaking incredible how the sea lions are so close to the boardwalk!
ChocolateSuze travelled and stayed at Kangaroo Island as a guest of Tourism Australia
2 June 2013, 13:26
Danger Will Robinson. There’s a new ramen joint in town! And when I say ‘town’ I mean the general area of Sydney. Manpuku (482 Anzac Parade, Kingsford) has only been opened for less than a month and already it’s popular with the locals and especially the UNSW students. The first time we rocked up we managed to arrive at 2.05pm and they’d completely sold out of ramen. SOLD OUT. We were sad. And all the more determined to return.
So our next visit we deliberately arrived early around 12ish and waited approx 15mins which gave us plenty of time to ogle those inside and debate our choices. The system is basically you’re only allowed into the restaurant once a table is free, once you get the go ahead aim straight to the front and pay and grab your table number and then back to your table you go. Chilled water is free and is self service from the water keg out front or there’s soft drinks available. We were also very amused by the constant cries of “sha, shaaaa!” thinking they were doing a hadouken cry and fireballing out ramen. Turns out we weren’t too far off and they said it when a bowl of ramen was ready for pick up lol
I have chosen the Manpuku Black ($13.90), a garlic flavour soy based pork soup (minus the bean sprouts because I hate bean sprouts with a firey passion). The garlic flavour isn’t too intense and doesn’t completely overpower the soup which is tops. I’m not sure why but I prefer ramen with garlic that isn’t too strong but just enough that you can taste it though I prefer El Jannah’s garlic sauce to smack me in the mouth with garlic potency. That was a little off topic but anywhos! Loved my ramen but I think next time I’d ask for no mushrooms. Ramen lovers- is it normal to have mushrooms in ramen?
Noods has deliberately chosen the longest ramen name on the menu not caring what it was: Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou to Jonetsu Komete isshoukennmei Tukutta Ochirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku shiawase Ramen ($12.90). Basically the menu explains it’s a Northern Japanese style soy based pork soup. Not too sure why the long name.. anyone? Noods’ bowl looked smaller than ours but it’s a deceptive looking bowl and seemed to never end which was good for Noods because when he has to wait in line for food he gets hangry.
Jabs has gone for the Sia Tonkotsu ($12.90), a salt based pork soup. IT IS AMAZING! Intense porky flavour, though not as thick as Gumshara (though really, who else is) and so freaking incredibly satisfying from our sneaky dips into his bowl. Noods and I end up returning the following week to order this and added extra pork ($3 pieces $4.70) because the pork? IT IS ALSO AMAZING! Fatty and melt in the mouth amazing. The extra pork comes out in a side dish and while initially not as melty soft all it needs is some time to bathe in the tonkotsu soup.
If you’re coming from the west like us, the travel time is a killer. But I reckon Manpuku has knocked off Ryo’s from it’s #2 position on my ramen list and is a close contender with Gumshara and Ippudo :P
26 May 2013, 22:31
A weekend trip to Kangaroo Island was just what the doctor prescribed. Thanks to the peeps at Tourism Adelaide I was here for the Kangaroo Island Feastival, now in its second year to experience ‘all things delicious’ at the Island.
John and I had a bit of time after dropping off our luggage at the Aurora Ozone Hotel and dinner seemed so far away so we hopped into our car and drove up the road to family owned seafood harvester Ferguson Australia (48 Kohinoor Rd, Kingscote). Massive snow crabs and lobsters are kept in tanks on the side of the warehouse with picnic tables scattered around the area for those wanting to order freshly cooked seafood platters. We kinda only wanted a snack so decided against ordering lobster and instead went with a dozen oysters $12, a kilo of prawns ($23) and a tub of aioli (7.50). The oysters were freshly shucked and beautifully briny but unfortch the prawns were a frozen and defrosted mess of salty soggyness.
Dinner time rolls around and we head down to the Kingscote wharf for the Sealink Launch Night.
George Calombaris co hosted the event and was surprisingly entertaining! He spoke earnestly about the ingredients that were going to be used in the dinner, a bit about the producers and bantered with the crowd during Q&A.
KI abalone and whiting, native Tetragonia salad, sprouted red lentil dressing.
Goose in pastry, roast breast, buttered KI cabbage and Samphire salad, olive puree.
KI granola, sheep’s cheese and honey parfait, KI flowers, honeycomb.
Just so happened to spot George at brekky
We hit the road!
And arrive at Clifford’s Honey Farm (1157 Elsegood Rd, Macgillivray).
A quick tour and some info in the display area, honey ice cream available for purchase and best of all free honey tastings.
Next stop, Emu Bay Lavender (203 Emu Bay Rd, North Coast). It wasn’t quite the right season for lavender but it was just down the road. I’m not the biggest fan of lavender buuut ehh there’s lavender milkshakes and lavender scones…
I’ve always loved road trips and it was cute spotting this couple pitching a tent.
What’s the time? Winery time! Yale from the Islander Estate Vineyard has got to be the most cheerful guy I have ever met! He showed us around the winery and we got to taste their range. I’m not the biggest red drinker but I freaking loved each and every one of them tho my fav by far was the Old Rowley ’08 and had to grab a bottle back for Noods.
In need of sustenance we head towards Stokes Bay and have lunch at the Rockpool Cafe (North Coast Rd, Stokes Bay). There was battered fish and chips galore, garlic prawns, scallops and a token thai noodle salad.
Why hello there little fella
Last stop of the day before dinner was the Island Pure Sheep Dairy (127 Gum Creek Rd, Cygnet River) which is a true farmhouse dairy in that Island Pure grows the grass, milks the sheep, manufactures the milk and packages the products from the property. The sheep were so clean and well looked after! The staff were incredibly passionate as they spoke about what they do and we ended our tour with tastings and moaned that we wouldn’t be able to bring anything back with us.
Part 2 to come soon!
ChocolateSuze travelled and stayed at Kangaroo Island as a guest of Tourism Australia
22 May 2013, 23:30
(Click to enlarge) So like, if you spotted a familiar crackling I mean, face in the paper the other day that would’ve been me… Ever wanted a vintage makeover? How about winning a gorgeous De’Longhi Icona Vintage collection? Well this Sunday is your chance! Sydney peeps come say hi and visit me at Level 1 of the MOORE PARK SUPACENTRE (Corner of South Dowling Street, Todman and Dacey Avenues, Kensington) this Sunday 26th May from 10am-5pm!
After your free vintage mini makeover just take a pic of or with the Icona Vintage range. The person who has taken the awesomest pic by the end of the day and posted it on my app will WIN and entire Icona Vintage set for themselves in the colour of their choice!
19 May 2013, 20:47
I heart bread. Soft pillowy innards and crusty golden edges? How can you not love bread? With butter of course :P
And the best thing about bread? The smell as it bakes and fills the whole house. Zomg best!
13 May 2013, 03:22
Bill worked out to be $400/6 people which was a bit pricey but well, we are in the touristy area and everything was delicious and I guess in hindsight we should’ve gone with the degustation menu as the prices would’ve worked out the same. I’m always wary of special menus on those celebratory days but the service at Sake was spot on and it was nice that they gave each mother a bouquet of flowers. So in the words of Rove, say hi to your mum for me!
5 May 2013, 23:19
26 April 2013, 01:20
21 April 2013, 23:32
So like, it was Noods and I wedding anniversary a while ago and the very awesome people at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour offered us a weekend stay to celebrate where we could eat, drink and be merry without worrying on getting home. While we both work in the city we tend to not stay out very late due to the lack of public transport past the bewitching hour to our area out west. We had a fabulous time and it was good to unwind and explore the area nearby but hang on, PARKROYAL Darling Harbour are also running the competition Trade for a Trip on their Facebook page so keep on reading to find out how to enter!
After checking in, we start the weekend off with breakfast in the newly refurbished Barkers restaurant.
Baked good galore! This station always makes me pause as my stomach struggles with the concept of taking ‘just one piece’..
Noods heads straight for the omelet station, pushing to see how many eggs he can eat before the chef starts recognizing him.
Staying right smack in the middle of Sydney means we don’t worry about transport and take a walk over to the Sydney Fish Markets to ogle at the fresh produce. Even though we’d had a massive breakfast we can’t resist a tray of Sydney Rock oysters and some salmon sashimi.
After a walk back to Chinatown and a couple of hours shopping at Paddy’s Markets and Market City it’s time for lunch. Gumshara’s Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen in Eating World Plaza is always a winner for us especially with the cold weather creeping up on us. The thick, rich broth and fatty slices of melt in the mouth pork will make anyone instant converts.
We were staying in the PARKROYAL Club Room which has the sweetest perks like free wifi aaaaand meant we got access to the Club Lounge on the 10th floor. Helloooo free drinks and canapés!
Chillaxing with a glass of champers while watching the sunset = BEST
Speaking of canapés, while I dug into the platter of cheeses Noods chortled with glee at the mussels in white wine sauce. His last meal on earth would be those mussels.
Best seat in the house to watch the fireworks show every Saturday night!
The night was still young so a Roti Tissue from Mamak was ordered. With a side of condensed milk and kaya of course :P
The Grasshopper Bar was a bit of a walk but because we weren’t in a hurry we didn’t mind and made sure to drink many delicious beverages from bear jam jars so we wouldn’t mind the walk back!
Buuuut then we got the munchies. Naruone has the best Korean fried chicken in Sydney bar none and best of all? They’re open to 3am on Sat!
The next morning was hard to roll out of bed so we decided to try the Club Lounge breakfast to avoid the humans. While there was no chef to make omelettes we preferred the selection of food here and especially the low noise level!
I’m very easily amused and absolutely had to get the pancakes. I totally want this for my kitchen and get pancakes at the push of a button!
I freaking love honeycomb!
We ended up heading back to our room for a nap after breakfast to sleep off the night’s beverages lol but our grumbling stomachs woke us up mid afternoon so off to Fuku Restaurant in World Square for seafood hotpot! Filled with noodles, vegetables and seafood, the hotpot warmed our souls and all was right with the world.
Knowing our weekend was almost over I may have strongly suggested we stop by Emperor’s Garden for a quick round of desserts at yum cha. Flaky egg tarts and custardy buns, I heart you.
And that my friends, was our weekend! Want to win a delicious weekend at PARKROYAL Hotel? Hit the jump here to enter the Trade for a Trip comp! All you gotta do is trade your city’s best kept secrets for the chance to win a stay at a PARKROYAL Hotel of your choice!
ChocolateSuze received a complimentary weekend stay at PARKROYAL Hotel