La Paula (1/9 Barbara St, Fairfield), a magical land to warm your soul with empanadas, tres leche cake, flan and pupusa’s.
Oh haiiii! So like, what’s up with this rain? I feel like I need to get an ark or something! With all the soggyness everywhere I had a mad craving for an empanada. A fried one. And one stuffed full of cheese. So off we went to La Paula (1/9 Barbara St, Fairfield) to warm our souls with empanadas and of course desserts.
Step inside, immediately look left and check out the dessert counter! YEAH BABY! Enough sweets to make my soon to be cavities drop out of my molars. I placed and paid for my lunch order at the counter and then decided to order a dessert to eat while waiting because I was bordering hangry aka angry and hungry.
A box of Flan ($3.50) is pretty close to perfect, eggy, light and with the perfect amount of golden caramelly syrup. It is my idea of the perfect comfort food/dessert and ended up buying another one to take home and eat while swaddled in blankets.
A fat wedge of Torta 3 Leche ($4) is also procured although it is not quite as tasty as the flan. The cake part itself is ahem moist and the layers of dulce de leche is of course sweet and smooth but the frosting on the outside weirded me out a tad, it was fluffy and white but had no taste! Not of cream, not of milk and not even of sugar! It was just.. white..
The first of the real food arrives: Pupusa ($3). The menu said ‘cheese and pork crackling filled tortillas” but er well I couldn’t taste any pork crackling just meaty pork nubbins making sweet sweet love with stretchy cheese and enveloped in what tasted like a corn pancake? Pretty damn tasty and hellooo charred edge goodness! The pupusa came with side bowls of cabbage salad and watery tomato sauce but didn’t really need it.
The boy has chosen the Lomito Completo ($9.80) a burger stuffed full of tender slices of pork, tomato, sauerkraut and a dollop of creamy mayonaise. I’m quite enamoured by the buns which are freakishly light and the mayonaise for some reason reminds me of kewpie mayo which isn’t bad because hey keypie mayo is awesome.
And of course, the Empanada de Queso ($3.40). Piping hot and fresh from being baptised in oil, the empanada pastry is golden and flakey and that home made cheese filling? Streeeeetchy!
Aaaand one last look at the holy land of sweets, with possibly a sweet round of Alfajorde ($2.90) for the road. I managed to not take a photo of it because it was crammed into my mouth before we had even left the store. I’m classy like that.
Parking yo. Park close to avoid the rain! Or you know, for less walking.
Ever visit a restaurant because you’ve heard so much about a particular dish? Yep. The famed Cauliflower Milkshake with Jamon & Cheese toasty($12) from Graze (182 Harris St, Pyrmont) is freaking amaaaaazing!
Ever visit a restaurant because you’ve heard so much about a particular dish? Yep. So this is the famed Cauliflower Milkshake with Jamon & Cheese toasty ($12) from Graze (182 Harris St, Pyrmont). While most of the dishes on the menu are meant to be for sharing this is one dish I would not share if I could help it. And seriously, how freaking cute is that old skool milk container! It was very tempting to nick it and take home but I resisted. If the glass was a magical container that kept refilling then yes I would totally nick it because the cauliflower ‘milkshake’ was incredible. Smooth and oh so flavourful, it is perfect alternating sips with bites of the cheesy Jamon toasty and just feels like receiving a warm hug from the inside out.
Smoked Cod Brandade Croquettes ($14) are crispy golden goodness with the perfect crumbed exterior crunch to smooth creamy innards ratio. The smoked cod flavour is not as strong as I expected with the taste of potato being more dominant. But hey it’s deep fried and just salty enough to be moreish and paired well with the extremely large glass of cider I was consuming.
While the slabs of Confit Salmon ($18) are perfectly cooked and the pea mousse surprisingly light and fluffy, the cardamon flavour in the vinaigrette is a tad overpowering and I end up passing my portion onto the boy to finish.
The Sweet Potato Cigar ($14) is a textural delight, biting through layers of flaky filo pastry to the smooth sweet potato innards with a swipe of the neon green spinach and cream cheese sauce.
Baby Red & Golden Beetroot with Goats Cheese Mousse ($12). If you’ve read my blog at all you’ll know that I have issues with beetroot. Yes I know it’s un Australian but meh whatevers man it totes tastes like dirt. And not being a big fan of goats cheese either meant this was my least favourite dish of the night.
The two tiles of Smoked Free Range Chicken Terrine ($15) are meaty and tender but are no match for the eye catching dukkah spiced hens egg which is reminiscent of a scotch egg, breadcrumbed and fried but with barely set yolks.
The Slow Cooked Short Rib of Beef ($22) is hands down amaaaazing. Ridiculously tender meat with ribbons of creamy fat and bathed in a port glaze, oh em gee I could die happy right now. We dunk the planks of crispy polenta into the remaining sauce as my brain debates with my stomach on whether it could make room if I ordered seconds.
Aaaand there was a side of Crispy Truffled Potatoes with Parmesan($8) because hey we love our carbs!
Dessert time! I always have a soft spot for the Eton Mess ($14) and with super sweet strawberries, lashings of double whipped cream and shards of meringue, what more could a girl want? Ahem more meringue for one thing but that’s because I have a sweet tooth like no other 😛
There was a vote by the table to order the Coconut Pannacotta ($12) but I have issues with coconut in desserts so stayed away from this which was lucky because it was demolished in a heartbeat.
Last but not least, the Treacle & Lemon Tart ($12). With a buttery base and a gooey lemony filling this dessert was my favourite of the lot, the dollop of creme fraiche brought the sweetness down a notch though a part of me thought a scoop of ice cream would’ve kicked this into sublime. But no matter, the plate was scraped clean.
Happy Valentines Day!
Happy Valentines Day!
Jazz City Milk Bar, Darlinghurst (Republic 2 Courtyard, Palmer St, Darlinghurst). GO FOR THE FLAVOURED FAIRY FLOSS!!! Grape! Watermelon! Apple! Vanilla! Bubblegum! Blue Raspberry!
OH HAIIIII! Oh how I love fairy floss! So when word on the street started buzzing that the awesome American style Jazz City Diner was opening an offshoot Jazz City Milk Bar (Republic 2 Courtyard, Palmer St, Darlinghurst) just around the corner and that there was an entire menu of flavoured fairy floss I knew I had to visit quick smart. I couldn’t resist ordering the fairy floss before looking at the rest of the menu and picked the Watermelon fairy floss ($5). It was freaking incredible! Slightly sour and sweet of course, but surprisingly not teeth achingly so.
It was ridiculously hot that day so we grab some beers ($7-$8) to start off, forgoing the Floats ($8) and Milkshakes ($8) on offer.
We order a round of hotdogs to share, the New Orleans Fried Oyster Remoulade Dog ($12) is the favourite of the lot, the soft bun holds a pile of shredded lettuce and a jumble of oysters which are fat and juicy beneath their cornmeal coated exteriors. There was the Texas Style Chilli Hot Dog ($12) which came loaded with cheese, jalapenos, onions and Texas style beef chili. We picked the Buffalo Wings Style Hot Dog ($7) mainly because of the blue cheese. Oh yes I have finally seen the light and moved over into the blue cheese loving camp! All the hotdogs comes with a side of fries with a choice of seasoning (Creole, Jamaican Jerk or normal) so we get a mix but the Creole is the winner of the bunch.
I had been craving for something deep fried so ordered the Buttermilk Southern Fried Quail ($22) which was very prettily presented with spheres of sweet candied yams, a pile of sautéed spinach, nubbins of salty bacon and topped with the cutest fried quail egg. The de boned quail was indeed very crispy with knobbly battered bits but alas! The size! I’m not the biggest of eaters and yet I scraped the plate clean and resorted to stealing bites of hotdogs and chips! It just felt so refined and well, not really diner or milk bar style? It was delicious but I guess I would’ve just loved a whole basket of quail piled high!
For dessert we share a slice of the German Chocolate Cake ($10). It is not your normal chocolate cake, wiki explains that it’s the common name of an American chocolate cake topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. It’s not bad but I was hoping for a more chocolatey flavour with the cake but it’s a tad lost in the frosting.
Aaand I decided to order one last fairy floss for the road so it’s back to the counter again to stare in fascination while it’s being made. I totally want a commercial sized fairy floss machine!
I chose grape flavour and it kicks the watermelon to the curb, it tastes exactly like grape Hubba Bubba bubble gum! The cloud of fairy floss is much bigger than the pic but because it was so warm that day it had started to melt everywhere eep! I will definitely be back to try the rest of the flavours of fairy floss (apple, vanilla, bubblegum, blue raspberry) and I hear the breakfast menu on the weekends is pretty damn awesome too.
Service was lovely and friendly but food did take a while to arrive. There aren’t many tables available so get there early or be prepared to wait!
Chinese New Year Pineapple Tarts Recipe. So buttery and freakishly moreish!
MY PRETTIES! I freaking LOVE pineapple tarts! I mean, what’s not to love? The buttery crumbly shortbread-like base, the sweet pineapple jam with just a hint of spices. It’s my most favourite Chinese New Year snack! I haven’t made them before but it was surprisingly easy though it does take a while (like, 3 hours) to make which is why I didn’t name them ‘super easy’ haha I followed A Table For Two‘s awesome recipe but made a few adjustments because I was making open pineapple tarts not the pineapple rolls.
I could eat them all! But seriously, double or even triple this recipe! (DEAR FUTURE SELF: TRIPLE THE RECIPE!!!) The amount of stirring means you’ll definitely want to make an extra batch. Oh and wear long sleeves- if any of the pineapple filling gets on you it will be very hot and it will burrrrrn!
For the pineapple filling:
2 x 825g cans of pineapples (either sliced or pieces)
200g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 star anise
150g (1/2 cup) liquid glucose
1 Tbsp plain flour
For the pastry:
250g salted butter, room temp
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
350g plain flour
50g corn flour
1. Strain the pineapple and dump into processor
2. Pulse until shredded.
3. Drain pineapple (if possible strain overnight)
4. Simmer pineapple in saucepan or wok until the juice has dried up.
5. Add the 200g sugar, star anise, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 cloves and stir till the pineapple has thickened and dried.
6. Add the 1/2 cup liquid glucose and groan in despair as strands of liquid glucose goes absolutely everywhere. Stir until the pineapple filling is thick, sticky and dry.
7. DON‘T DO WHAT MY PIC LOOKS LIKE I DID! I had to remake my jam because dumping in the flour will cause flour lumps so SLOWLY SPRINKLE the flour a bit at a time while constantly stirring the mixture. If you start seeing flour lumps don’t add any more flour and use a whisk to stir the lumps!
8. Continue to stir for about 10 minutes or until filling is dry and pulls off the sides. Place in freezer to cool mixture down while making the pastry or place in fridge if baking the pastry later.
9. Cream the 250g butter and 50g icing sugar together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
10. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, scraping the bowl in between and add the 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until well combined.
11. Add in the 350g plain flour and the 50g corn flour and beat until mixture is only just combined.
12. Roll out dough to 0.5cm thickness. Cut dough with pineapple tart cutter, if you don’t have one just use a flower cutter and indent the middle with your thumb where the pineapple jam can sit without rolling off. If the dough is too soft to handle when transferring the flowers to your baking tray stick it in the freezer for 10mins to firm up.
Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced). Line tray with baking paper and place pastry 3cm apart. Grab your chilled pineapple jam and roll tsps of jam into balls and place on pastry. Alternatively you can roll the balls of jam in one go so it’s faster for you when you bake them. I chose to not glaze my tarts but to glaze just whisk 1 egg yolk with some milk and brush the flowers. Bake for 8-10mins or until edges are JUST lightly golden. Makes about 50-60 tarts.
Aaand tray of tarts!
You don’t want to know how many I can eat in one sitting 😛
But of course sharing is caring! Leave to cool before packing in air tight container. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!