i am susan thye. aka chocolatesuze. sydney, australia. gemini. married to noods. this is a food and lifestyle blog. i like cheeseburgers, cake and fried chicken.
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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!
29 September 2013, 22:42
Caramel on toast ($4.50). Say whaaaaat? Just look at it. Gaze at its beauty and rejoice in happiness that Henri Marc (438 High St, Penrith) has brought this creation to the lucky peeps out west. A fat slice of sourdough is drowned in the most incredible salted caramel sauce and it was just so delicious that it just blew my mind. And seriously only four and a half smackerooneys? Totally worth the trek guys! I am totally in love with this place!
I first heard rumblings about a sexy new cafe from Mike Eggert and after a quick google search I was drawn to the beautiful photos over on tea-vie.com. My first visit to Henri Marc was with Ramen Raff for a long overdue catchup and then because I was dying to try more of the menu I dragged Noods along over the weekend hehe so don’t freak out that this post has heaps of food :P
On my first visit I was intrigued by the Rabbit Hole Organic tea ($4.50). I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of tea, I mean, I’ll drink it and oddly I prefer drinking tea if I’m eating cheese but yeah I just couldn’t resist ordering the Banana Split tea and freakily it smelled exactly like perfectly ripened bananas with a hint of vanilla! Noods tried the Licorice Allsorts tea and while he loved the smell he thought it tasted a little too much like Sambuca and had to order the Salted Caramel Milkshake ($7) which I immediately fell in love with and ended up sneakily downing the contents.
Duck eggs, prosciutto and toast ($10). Tee hee the eggs are looking at meee! I much prefer the taste of a duck egg to a normal hen egg as it’s richer and creamier and made for the perfect breakfast slathered onto the buttered sourdough. Oh and that prosciutto baked to a crisp pretty much disappeared within seconds and I may have asked for another slice to nibble on later..
Egg and Bacon ($12). Gooey eggs + crispy bacon = amazing. Together forever! And much <3 to the sourdough bread that Henri Marc sources from Bakehouse On Wentworth in the Blue Mountains.
The Braised Brisket Roll, Mustard, Pickles ($13.50) was stuffed full of smoky juice dripping meaty goodness and it was all kinds of tasty though I kinda wished for a bit more fat because hey once you’ve tried Texan brisket you just don’t go back man!
We couldn’t resist the Roast Pork Belly, Apple & Cabbage Slaw ($16) which was beyootiful! The tile of crackling could have been a bit more cracklier but other than that it was pretty close to perfect with tender meat alternating with thin layers of delectable creamy fat.
Market fish, Chorizo Puree, Pickled Celery, Farro ($17). The fish of the day was sea mullet and it was phenomenal. Several bites later and the crispy skin fish with flakey flesh is destroyed and sitting happily in our stomaches. Noods loved the Chorizo puree but did say the amount under the fish slightly overpowered the delicate fish and I normally hate celery because I think it tastes like sadness but pickling them had me happily munching away.
A basket filled with sugar crusted donuts was sitting in direct line of sight on the counter and proved to be too much of a temptation at only $1 each. $1 each yo!! There is always room for fried dough! Freshly baked, these babies were light and was perfect to mop up any caramel sauce remnants.
Absolutely loved Henri Marc! From the quirky Surry Hills feel layout, to the down to earth and friendly service and of course the amazing food at ridiculously good prices, I know I will be back as soon as possible before word gets out and there’s queues around the block!
23 September 2013, 01:12
Prices on the website are a bit off for some of the menu items we ordered but other than that our visit was awesome! Service was tops, food was spectacular and the atmosphere was cheery and bright in the light filled restaurant. I will return for you my beloved lobster rolls!
16 September 2013, 00:26
Zomg you guys what is up with the price of strawberries? They’re so freaking cheap it’s insane! Strawberries just makes me think of summer and this bundt cake is ridiculously delicious and best of all you only use one bowl!
I followed a recipe from Ryan Bakes and have converted the below recipe to metric. Instead of the cream cheese icing I made a simple lemon + icing sugar glaze and tinted it with pink food colouring to get it as close as I could to my pinkalicious Kenwood Kmix which is still my best friend in the kitchen.
226g salted butter, room temp
2¾ cups sugar
3 cups plain flour
¼ tsp bi carb soda
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 punnets of strawberries (about 500g), diced
Preheat oven to 165C. Grease a 12 cup bundt pan. Cream the 226g butter and 2¾ cups of sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, two at a time, beating and scraping mixture from sides of bowl after each addition. Add in the sifted 3 cups flour, ¼ tsp bi carb soda, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup sour cream and beat for 2 minutes or until ingredients are mixed well.
Fold in the diced strawberries until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake at 160C for 1hour-1 hour 15mins until cake is golden and leaves the sides of the pan. Allow cake to cool in pan before removing. Invert onto a a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
For the drizzle glaze, mix together the juice of ½ a lemon and 150g icing sugar. make sure the glaze isn’t too thick or it won’t be able to be drizzled. Food colouring optional :P
This bundt cake is the perfect cake for little lunch with some tea.
Aaaand an innards shot :D
9 September 2013, 01:56
5 September 2013, 00:47
I love the beach. Normally I do not venture across town to go to the beach in the dead of winter but I was going to Learn To Surf With Bondi Locals thanks to MasterCard’s Priceless Sydney! Sure it was cold but hey at least the sun was out and best of all less humans to watch me fall over!
But first, some coffee to warm our souls at Bondi Icebergs.
The experience also includes a bit of a tour around Bondi to discover some secret spots from the surfing instructors and learning about the history of the area.
Then it was time for Grace and I to pull on wetsuits and hope Tim from Let’s Go Surfing could keep us afloat!
All too soon our time was up and we dry off and head to a nearby cafe as sustenance was required. If you would like the chance to win this Learn To Surf With Bondi Locals experience for you and a mate jump on over to Grace’s competition now! And don’t forget the 8 course degustation dinner with matching wines at Ormeggio at the Spit competition which you can enter here!
2 September 2013, 00:32
Ever been on a blind date? Would you agree to go on one if you knew that dinner would be at famed 2 hat restaurant Ormeggio at the Spit, (D’Albora Marinas, The Spit, Spit Rd, Mosman) seated at a window seat with picture perfect views across The Spit waterway and Middle Harbour? Thanks to MasterCard’s Priceless Sydney offer, I found myself sitting down to an 8 course degustation dinner with matching wines with my lovely date for the evening- blogger Grace from With Some Grace. For the next couple of hours we were pretty much blown over by the food and service at Ormeggio and the gorgeous wines helped any first date jitters :P Keep on reading to find out how you and a friend could win an 8 course degustation dinner with matching wines at Ormeggio at the Spit!
It was great to chat with Grace who was super down to earth and gave me the low down on the mummy blogger community. I’ve always found it interesting to hear the more nerdy details like what cms a blogger uses, if they bother using analytics and pros/cons of social media platforms! Fascinating for me, maybe not so much for you so let’s move onto the food! I love bread. Carbohydrates and I are best friends. We dove into the toasty warm sourdough and slathered on the freshly churned sour butter. But then a plate of “snacks” arrived and I was immediately distracted. The homemade ling baccala (salted cod) fritters were amazing with the schmear of herb mayonnaise and the mushroom tapioca crisps were crazy awesome, it shattered everywhere of course because I am the worlds messiest eater but the parts that made it into my mouth just dissolved on the tongue. The dabs of salty parmesan mousse and sweet tomato powder exploded into a party for the senses.
Octopus – jerusalem artichoke – cavolo nero – pancetta glaze – paprika. Ok so normally I’m a major sucker for anything crispy and while the jerusalem artichoke was earth shattering crisp, the single tentacle of octopus was just perfect and freakishly tender.
Flinders Island wallaby battuta – watermelon rind – amaranth – chorizo powder. This was freaking incredible. I was worried when I heard that it was wallaby that it might taste gamey but surprisingly the entire dish was light and moreish. I loved the crunch of the amaranth seeds against the tender cubes of raw wallaby with bursts of sweetness from the chopped watermelon rind. The chorizo powder made me want to pick up the plate and lick clean had no one been around to judge..
Tortelli filled with burnt eggplant – spicy pistachio – pyengana cheddar – mint. This whole dish was just brilliant, the parcels of tortelli had a super light pasta skin hugging smokey eggplant innards and the cheese sauce was just creamy enough without being overpowering.
Carnaroli risotto – marinara. Props for the interesting presentation! Rows of dehydrated calamari, mussel, prawn and smoked bottarga powders lined up on a bed of risotto with the perfect bite to each grain and dotted with dabs of squid ink.
Mulloway – macadamia – leek – jalapeno – salicornia powder. Unfortunately after the risotto I was starting to get full and while the mulloway was flakey and tender I was struggling to get halfway through the dish thanks in part to my failness with all things spicy and the richness of the macadamia cream.
Braised lamb – cauliflower – silverbeet – horseradish. Now isn’t that the most perfect silverbeet you have ever seen? Is it possible that I’m about to describe it as being draped sexily over the braised lamb? I’ve changed.. Occasionally I find I’m lacking in vegetable matter and will go on weird vegetable only meals for several days straight. So yeah the silverbeet disappeared first and then I got smacked in the face with the horseradish powder but oh boy was it worth it. The lamb shank was juicy and tender as was expected but I’d hit the savoury wall and was looking forward to dessert.
Pomegranate – yoghurt – rye biscuit. The pre dessert was so pretty in pink! It was a little on the tart side and oddly missing the sweetness that you would normally get with fresh pomegranate seeds but it made for an effective palate cleanser.
Carrot – fennel seed ice cream – farro cream – vinegar caramel. I wasn’t fond of the texture of the farro cream which was a bit grainy and while every ingredient for this dessert screamed savoury to me, oddly all the components worked when mixed with the slick of vinegar caramel and basically tasted like a less sweet version of carrot cake.
Coffee and a cardamom truffle later, Grace and I roll out of the restaurant but not without a quick stroll along the marina. It was absolutely freezing that night but we didn’t mind thanks to the nights wine consumption + the soothing sounds of the waves against the pier. We had an awesome time getting to know each other and exchanging tips and ideas, I’d say this blind date was a success!
Want to know how you and a friend could win window seats and an 8 course degustation dinner with matching wines at Ormeggio at the Spit?
All you gotta do is: Read more about the Ormeggio Dinner for two here and leave a comment in this post telling me WHY you would like to win! You can enter as many times as you like (with different reasons), but you must be an Australian resident and able to visit Ormeggio at the Spit. Accommodation or transportation is not included in this prize and you must be over 18 years old to receive the matching wines. Winner must dine at Ormeggio at the Spit before 20/12/13. Not available Saturdays/Sundays. Please enter a valid email address, it will not be made public and you will only be contacted if you win. Competition closes 16th September 9am AEST. Good luck!
Edit: Congratulations to Peter! I will emailing you shortly to arrange your booking! Thank you to everyone who participated!
25 August 2013, 17:36
It’s very rare for Noods to willingly wake up early on a weekend but if there is the promise of cow he’ll be the first one out of bed.
We’d driven past Wagyu House (668-670 Parramatta Road, Croydon) so many times this year that we’re now kicking ourselves for not visiting earlier cos hot damn this is Korean BBQ at its delicious best with the added bonus of wagyu!
There’s a handful of car park spaces available if you’re early and beat the rush but first make your way to the butchery and gaze into the fridges holding shrink wrapped packages of meats and seafood.
The deal is you pick out all the meat you would like to eat and then pay like a normal butcher duh.
If you’re staying then you pay $5 per head and you’re led to your table where a whole bunch of banchan (side dishes), sauces and salad leaves await. Gotta love the variety! Brownie points went to the ridiculously spicy but addictive kimchi and the slices of pickled radish.
We had picked out a meat combo pack ($39) which came with a whole slab of pork belly and different cuts of wagyu which was just enough for the 2 of us. There’s also an ala carte menu in case you don’t feel like cooking and would rather someone else to do it for you heh
There’s just something about the smell of meat cooking that brings out the caveman in all of us…
The pork belly was pretty awesome, we left it on the grill until all the fat had caramelised into deliciousness.
And then I got greedy and went and bought some more meat for the hell of it- helllooo Wagyu chuck tail ($22)
The wagyu is amazing, fatty, tender and melt in the mouth but unfortunately we were starting to suffer the effects of meat sweats and I had to resort to wrapping morsels of meat in lettuce leaves. It seems my meat eating training in Texas has deteriorated.
The restaurant is decked out with exhaust pipes hanging above each stove and they’re pretty hardcore which is tops so we don’t leave smelling like smoke. We’ll definitely be back soon for our next protein hit!
19 August 2013, 10:03
OH HAIIII LOOK AT THE STRETCHY CHEESE!!! So my time at GYG was coming to an end and some of the Colombian’s from the office wanted to take me to try Colombian food at Cafe con Leche (104 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills).
We start off with drinks, I had to skip the famed hot chocolate but instantly fall in love with the soursop juice (minus the milk) which is refreshing and is similar in taste to custard apple.
Arepa time! One corn and one cheese filled arepa (two for $12) served with little plates filled with toppings of fresh guacamole, salsas, ropa vieja (shredded beef) and sour cream.
The corn arepa was tasty but I absolutely loved the cheese filled arepa! Because I mean hey, stretchy cheese! Oozy, gooey cheese! Controlling my toppings on the arepa was all part of the diy fun though I did struggle about 3/4 of the way thru the plate because damn it was filling!
The soup of the day was the Caldo de Costilla ($15), a hearty and warming beef rib soup with potato and coriander that was perfect for the tail end of winter.
A second visit to Cafe con Leche and the soup of the day was the Ajiaco ($15), a comforting chicken and potato soup with a corn cob bobbing about. There was also a side dish of avocado and cream which made the soup richer and tangy with the addition of capers.
And then there was the South American Eggs ($14), ridiculously light scrambled eggs with a spicy chorizo and a cheese arepa with a side of guacamole.
The cafe is quite small but the food comes out hot and fast. Service is super friendly and they know all the locals by name, Cafe con Leche is definitely a keeper!
11 August 2013, 22:27
I love pavlovas. I mean, who doesn’t?! Crispy sugary sweet edges and gooey marshmallow centre, topped with fruit and enough whipped cream that negates any healthiness from the fruit… Strawberries were strangely ridiculously cheap at the shops so several punnets were procurred. Into the basket they went, along with a tub of cream as I wanted a simple dessert and strawberries & cream is always a winner with me. Ooh or strawberries and ice cream. But then I was in the baking aisle and a packet of brown sugar was calling out to me and so it was decided: brown sugar pav for afternoon tea!
The brown sugar makes the meringue awesome and tastes like caramel! This recipe from Taste is ridiculously easy but it does take a couple of hours to bake and cool. The pav only needs 3 ingredients for the meringue and then it’s up to you to decide what to top it with! Ready? GO!
Ingredients for meringue:
4 egg whites
200g brown sugar
Pinch of cream of tartare
Oh and hey guys I’d like you to meet the new love of my life: Ken, my pinkalicious Kenwood Kmix! My old mixer carked it about a month ago and I’ve been making do with the puny muscles in my arm and then the awesome peeps at Kenwood heard my plea and like magic this sexy beast arrived and I can’t wait to show you guys some pink creations in the next coupla months! If there’s anything you’d like to suggest email me :D
Preheat oven to 120C. Whisk the 4 egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartare until soft peaks form. Add the brown sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking until just combined after each spoonful.
After the last of the sugar has been added, continue to whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and glossy, all the sugar has dissolved and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted.
Spoon the mixture onto lined baking tray. You can make one normal sized pavlova shape or about 6 mini pavlova nests. Once the tray is in the oven immediately reduce temp to 90°C and bake for 1 and a half hours or until the meringues are crisp and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Turn the oven off, leave oven door ajar and allow the meringues to cool in the oven – this will take 3-4 hours.
Store your meringue in an airtight container (for up to 3 weeks) until you’re ready to eat and then whip up some cream, dollop on top, chuck on some fruit and awaaaay you go!
Oh and just a lil sprinkle of icing sugar can’t go wrong :P
5 August 2013, 01:00
Aaaand last post of our epic trip of the US of A with Helen and Lex! I’m combining our eats from Chicago and Kansas City in the same post because I was a tad fooded out and stopped taking photos of everything haha can you believe it? The above Hadouken pic at Cloudgate aka the shiny jellybean in Chicago was the worst one we took thanks to many uncoordinated jumps in epic 35C weather which actually led to me on the verge of heat exhaustion looool not fun.
There were heaps of donut places I’d wanted to visit in Chicago but sadly all the good ones were closed on Mondays so we headed to Nightwood Restaurant (2119 S Halsted St, Chicago) for brunch. This my friends, is the Bacon Butterscotch Donut (US$5), gaze at it in all its glistening beauty! Chortle at the trio of super cute sugar crusted donuts on the side! Weep at its perfect balance of sweet glaze and salty bacon nubbin deliciousness!
And then there was the pretty in pink Vanilla Custard, Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze Donut (US$5) which was a bit on the too sweet side but still, tasty.
We were curious to try the crazy dipped Italian Beef sandwich from Al’s Beef (1079 W Taylor Street, Chicago), a mound of beef nestled in an Italian bread roll, a couple of slices of Provolone cheese and peppers, and then the whole shebang is dunked into gravy aka the beef juices. Not sure if I was the biggest fan of this because I generally have issues with all things soggy…
Of course we had to try a Chicago style deep dish pizza! Unfortunately we arrived at Gino’s East (162 E Superior St, Chicago) smack bang in the middle of the dinner rush and were put on an hour long waiting list. We ate buffalo wings and dip at the nearby bar and returned later only to realise we’d have to wait another 45mins for the pizza to be cooked. So by the time our Cheese and Sausage Deep Dish Pizza (US$17/small) arrived we were pretty over it haha it was cheesy and there was slices of sausage layered within and a bready crust to hold everything together.
Sustenance was required after a massive shopping spree at Oak Brook Shopping Mall (875 North Michigan Ave, Chicago) so dessert was had at the Cheesecake Factory. The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake is pretty intense and the whipped cream doesn’t do much to cut the richness but instead adds another layer of… richness.
Another visit to Whole Foods to stock up on summer fruits in the hopes of feeling slightly more healthy.