Tofu has long been known as vegans’ ultimate protein source. However, it is also severely underappreciated as an ingredient on its own, despite its great taste and versatility. Tofu is not only nutritious, but it also can be used in every dish, from appetizer to (seriously) dessert. Here are a few recipes to get you started…
Silken tofu has been a substitute to cream in vegan recipes for a while now, but it’s definitely not inferior. The mixture of tofu and agar agar flakes creates the perfect wobbly texture that would please every panna cotta enthusiast.
The team behind The Grounds of Alexandria is set to open a new Sydney CBD outpost soon in The Galeries.
The new place, named The Grounds of the City, will diverge from Alexandria’s style, inspired by the 1920s hospitality.
“The Grounds of Alexandria is all about bringing families and the local community together, so we started off thinking about who it is that we want to bring together and connect in the city,” said The Grounds co-founder and creative director, Ramzey Choker. “We really got inspired by the 1920s, a time when the inner city was a place for real social gathering and connection between professionals.”
The open-plan kitchen will be serving brasserie-style food from breakfast to dinner, with an option to takeaway. Alongside this, there will also be a barista’s bar with “coffee sommeliers” to guide patrons in their individual coffee experiences.
The new venue will also feature old-fashioned gimmicks such as shoe-shining stations and custom-made cake trolley.
Design studio Acme & Co. is again in charge of the interiors, after working on both The Grounds of Alexandria and Potting Shed. Decors include cast iron doors, pendant lighting, up-cycled timber floors, stained glass windows and marble details.
“We want to create a place that becomes like a city home away from the office and somewhere you want to go that is just really comfortable,” said Choker. “It’s going to be really different, really unique and really special.”
The Grounds of the City is set to open in late May/early June.
Pastries: great breakfast food, wonderful companion to coffee, a snack to unstuck you from afternoon rut. Not only are pastries versatile, but there are also a range of types to choose from, varying in texture and taste. Here are eight pastry recipes that you can try at home:
Weekend yum cha sessions are always something to look forward to – there’s a unique kind of excitement in waiting for the yum cha trolley lady to pass your table as well as choosing from the plethora of dishes available.
For those who have no idea what ‘yum cha’ means, it’s basically about eating dim sum dishes (dumplings, steam buns, and more) and drinking Chinese tea.
But how do you know which restaurant has the best dim sum dishes? I’ve chosen the top yum cha spots in Melbourne just for you – check it out!
Not only does Oriental Teahouse have tasty dim sum dishes ranging from steamed siu mai to fried wontons, but it also offers a wide range of tea for you to choose, from herbal-infused hot tea to tea cocktails!
Ever imagined what white chocolate dumpling tastes like? Me neither, but you no longer have to imagine at David’s. You can enjoy this chocolate dumpling with every other thing that David’s offers at the all you can eat feast. Don’t forget to try their pork belly as well!
A Melbourne institution, Shark Fin Inn offers classic Chinese menu. Along with its variety of dumplings, don’t forget to also try the Deluxe Bird’s Nest (chicken, pork and seafood sautéed with mushrooms and vegetables).
Andy’s Yum Cha House
13 Napier St, Essendon VIC 3040
The place may look small and unassuming, but once you try their fried calamari, you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from grabbing more. The place also serves your classic yum cha range such as pan-fried pork dumpling and steamed buns.
112-114 Little Bourke Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC
The place would probably be the best if you’re looking to get more bang for your buck. The place is pretty crowded, but the service is quick. The succulent xiao long baos (dumpling with soup filling) are not to be missed. For vegetarians, the choice of ‘mock duck’ is available for you.
189 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 | http://www.westlakerestaurant.com.au/
The place is another Chinatown institution, and there’s a reason why they have stayed for decades. Make sure to try the cheong fun (rice noodle roll) and braised chicken feet!
HuTong doesn’t necessarily have trolleys going around the room, but don’t let that change your mind. You can watch the chefs make the dumplings live as you enjoy your xiao long baos and scallop dumplings.
Located in Southbank, you can eat your dumplings in the terrace overlooking Yarra River and Melbourne skyline. Feeling a bit hungrier than usual? You can also choose all you can eat yum cha for $45-55 per person.
That’s my top eight yum cha picks. Where are you gonna go this weekend to taste some dim sum dishes?
As described by local residents, Surry Hills is ‘a melting pot of cultures’ located in the inner city eastern suburb of Sydney. Picture a second cousin of Newtown fused with a few industrial, commercial and residential areas. It’s also a creative hub where hipsters from all around the city gather to Instagram their visits. From the borders of Elizabeth and Chalmer’s Street to the outskirts of Crown, Surry Hills is a thriving destination for food with its many choices of restaurants and cafés and a fantastic place to go shopping. To kickstart your own visit, I’ve crafted a short list as a guide to help you explore the best of Surry Hills:
1. Firedoor, Mary Street (https://www.firedoor.com.au/):
If a community of pyromaniacs were to come together and create a restaurant, that restaurant would be the Firedoor. A place dedicated to cooking premium Australian food in the purest form using, you guessed it, fire.
2.Bishop Sessa, Crown St (http://bishopsessa.com.au/):
For an affordable pseudo-fine dining experience, Bishop Sessa offers a delightful dinner with a choice of an a la carté menu or the degustation course (six dishes for only $77 pp), a recommended place for a romantic date.
3. Porteno, Cleveland St (http://www.porteno.com.au/) Porteno is a popular Argentinian restaurant in the heart of Cleveland St that only produces the finest culinary creations with variations that cater to meat lovers, vegetarians, and seafood lovers.
4. Suzi Q Coffee & Records, Hutchinson St (http://www.suzieqcoffee.com.au/): For the musos of Sydney, Suzi Q is your sanctuary for tune-age and great food. It’s not only an homage to musical artists and jazz players but also a fine place for a cup of coffee.
5. Bills, Crown St (http://www.bills.com.au/): Bills is the ideal place to take your friends for a great brunch on a Saturday morning. I would highly recommend trying their infamous Scrambled Eggs or Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter.
6. Bodega Tapas, Commonwealth St (http://www.bodegatapas.com/): Bodega is Porteno’s trendy little sister – an experimental latino restaurant that is well known for its top-knotch plating and stylish variations of tapas.
7.Blacksmith, Chalmers St (https://www.facebook.com/blacksmithsurryhills/): Blacksmith is a local watering hole for Surry Hill residents – from the workers to the creatives. A great place for coffee, lunch with friends or even a place for a few beers after work.
8. Beresford Hotel, Bourke St (http://merivale.com.au/theberesfordhotel): The Beresford Hotel is more than just your average pub on a Saturday night. It’s a gorgeous venue with a courtyard with food served at the front and a whole lot of partying in the back. A great place to bring your friends for a bite to eat, a few drinks and maybe a post-dinner dancing sesh.
9. Mum’s Table, Elizabeth St (http://www.mumstablesh.com/):For a cheekyVietnamese fix, Mum’s Table on Elizabeth gives you an authentic home-made style lunch filled with an array of Vietnamese staple dishes such as pho and vermicelli. Take your friends there, it’s almost un-PHO-gettable.
10. Shakespeare Hotel, Devonshire St (http://shakespearehotel.com.au/):To eat or not to eat, that isn’t really a question at the Shakespeare Hotel. It’s a quaint little antique space offering a choice of reasonably-priced daily lunch specials and cheap drinks during happy hours.
Thanks to social media, breakfast has become more than just a basic plate full of bacon and eggs. Thanks to our smart phones, we have redefined what it really means to eat our first meal of the day. We find ourselves tediously poaching our eggs, peppering our smashed avocado, toasting our sourdough bread before documenting and posting our food on Instagram like some sort of weird scrapbook hashtagging our way to popularity. But whether we like it or not, we are all part of that food culture now.
From my own foodie adventures, I’ve gathered a list of examples which celebrate that Instagram culture:
The Grounds (Alexandria) http://thegrounds.com.au/ The Grounds Of Alexandria is a hipster paradise where everyone takes flatlays of their food. It’s a gorgeous place split into three unique districts: “The Cafe”, “The Potting Shed” and “The Garden” where you have a choice in where you want to eat. You can wonder around the garden, purchase a few (expensive) beautiful pastries and home-grown flowers at the market place and even stop by the petting zoo to pat some animals because why not.
Dr Faustus (Surry Hills) Eating at Dr Faustus cafe is like eating at a vintage roadshow. The interior is filled with antique furniture and quaint baubles and you find yourself travelling back in time as you enjoy your morning coffee in what appears to be similar to grandpa’s basement.
Devon Cafe (Surry Hills/Waterloo) http://www.devoncafe.com.au/ Tucked inside the heart of Devonshire street, Devon Cafe is an adorable spot to enjoy strong coffee and good food. Recommended for a quick feed with friends or a place to bring work colleagues for meetings.
The Usual Cafe (Cabramatta) http://www.theusualcafe.com.au/ Cabramatta is the last place you’d expect to have an “aesthetic” brunch date with your friends. But The Usual Cafe does breakfast and coffee with style and for a very affordable price.