Thursday, 29 March 2012

New nail colour.

Opi, I have a Herring problem colour.  Weird name but a nice colour on the nails with a hint of matte sparkle.
I recommend.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

I got this Moroccan tagine as a wedding present from my cousin. What a great pressie as I had always wanted one but was never really set on buying one myself. So I made this lamb tagine a few weeks ago. Couldn't find the right recipe so I merged a few together. Here it is if anyone wants to make it.

Let's call it, Bianca's Tasty Lamb Tagine!

1 large onion
lamb shoulder chunks 500gms (I couldn't find any so I just used lamb chops which makes for faster cooking anyway)
2 medium carrots
2 medium tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon and 2 strips of the rind
2 tspns cummin
2 tspns tumeric
1 1/2 tblspns of paprika
small pinch of saffron threads (mix with warm water first, then pour in)
2 red chillies
lamb stock enough to cover meat (about 2 cups, I just used beef stock)
green olives
- brown meat first, set aside
- fry the spices
- add onion, carrots, tomato, salt pepper, lemon & rind
- put back meat
- cover with stock, add the saffron threads and water
- bring to boil then turn down to a simmer until meat is soft (about an hour and half)

Serve with rice, cous cous or chickpeas, anything you like really.

If you don't have a tagine you can just use a heavy casserole pot.

Fab finds!

I have finally started a Pinterest account. It's a fantastic idea (wish I thought of it :) to share images you found on the net or you can upload your own images for all to see. It's like the Instagram on line for people like me who don't have iphones, but still a bit different as you can access and pin images from any site that allows it. So you can post professional photos from editorial shoots to the latest dress from ASOS that you love and pretty photos from the excessive amount of creative blogs out there in cyberworld.

It's great as I want to share pictures I've found and not have to write about them as I do on this blog. It is great for designers as I can trawl through everyones pin boards and create my own inspo boards for work or for any project I'm working on. It would've been great for my wedding preps as I saved so many photos for ideas but could only view them as small thumbnails together and not together as I can on Pinterest.

You can check out my boards here:

Sunday, 18 March 2012

My favourite Korean restaurant!

Seoul Ria - Level 2, 605-609 Cnr of George and Goulburn Street, Haymarket NSW 2000
Whenever my husband and I are in need of an early dinner, hungover or have an inkling of a Korean craving we head straight to Seoul Ria.  I love the fact that most Asian places are opened from lunch all the way through to dinner time, none of this shut from 3 and opening again at 6 thing.  So it’s perfect for when we have a late breakfast and then want a late lunch or early dinner and there is always a table hahaha!
Most of the time we get a hotpot to share which is really really filling.  It should feed four but if you just have that and the “banchan” side dishes it is a good meal for two, especially if you have big appetites like we do.  The banchan consists of a plate of macaroni & cabbage salad with mayo dressing, green leaf salad with a nice sweet savoury Jap like dressing, spicy potato salad, yummy kimchi and a savoury jelly with sweet soy which I think is made from radish.  All these have that buttery, sesame oil like flavour which I think is the flavour we crave as it is in all the Korean dishes here

The menu changes probably every 6 months and the last time we went we had the “Spicy beef, mushroom and tofu hotpot”.  The large but quite shallow pot that it comes in arrives on the verge of overflowing on a portable stove top with all the yummy ingredients neatly arranged.  We watch eagerly as it slowly bubbles up to a boil. The waitress comes over to check on it probably twice, giving it a stir and then as soon as we think it’s boiled enough and the meat has cooked we dig into it straight away!  This particular hot pot was seriously the best one we had had so far.  The spiciness of the marinade that covers the beef is perfect and then when it all dissolves into the buttery broth and into the mushrooms & tofu it is heavenly!  As it continues to cook and melts down the flavour of the spicy broth gets richer and everything gets even tastier.  The shallots and bean sprouts soften and melt in the mouth, oh and the eggs add another texture to the soup making it even more filling.  

We devour it.  And walk out holding our stomachs, but smiling satisfied.  I highly recommend getting a hot pot here, it’s only $45 as the banchan and water is free.  You seriously don’t need anything else.  This place is 10/10 for food and the service is sufficient for the type of restaurant it is. 
Seoul Ria on Urbanspoon

Friday, 16 March 2012

Delish pasta dish!

Just had this handmade pasta dish, "Ravioli Funghi" from Bravo Trattoria in Crows Nest for dinner and it was soooooo good!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Rest of Tokyo Eats . . . .

--> So it has been a while since this Tokyo trip so I’ve decided this is the last post as I have forgotten what everything  was, well not really but I want to blog about different things now.  There is still one lot of pics I can’t seem to find at the moment of our first meal in Tokyo and that was great, it was the best chicken karage of the entire trip, in fact the best I had ever tasted.
We literally walked a few steps to the right of our hotel for this traditional Jap restaurant as everyone was tired and still a bit hung over.
We sat in a booth with a touchscreen to order our meal from.  It was only in Japanese but lucky it had pictures!  First up we ordered a cold ramen salad with pork which was huge!  It was the first time I had cold ramen and mixed up with the dressing lettuce and egg it was really nice.

Then we had to order sashimi.   It was beautifully presented.  Salmon, octopus, tuna, squid, some type of white fish and conch meat.  The little purple leaves on the squid in the picture were really nice and peppery; in fact it’s called “Tade” water peppers to be eaten raw with sweet fish  because they have alkaline properties and can balance the acidity of the fish in the same way as other raw vegetables do.

Pretty much everywhere we ate I wanted to try the chicken karage to compare to the first lot I ate.  This one was pretty good, not the worst and not the best.  The skin wasn’t crunchy enough.  I think the next dish was beef?  Not sure.  Then good old agedashi tofu, which was really silky inside and crunchy on the outside and dumplings which were tasty as always.  Was pretty full so I didn’t order dessert, but the others did.  Crème brulee was really yum and then the Japanese style cheesecake which I didn’t taste.
In contrast to this delicious meal, there was one night where we were struggling to find a place to eat open late on a Sunday night.  This place was opened and looked a bit busy so we walked up to a find a grumpy fat man as the only staff there.  We ordered off a Japanese menu and a few pictures.  It was a yakitori joint so we couldn’t really go wrong with charcoal cooked meat right?  

Within the mixed yakitori plate we ordered two of were liver bits, possibly heart bits and some type of tubular innard from an animal.  Lucky one of them was normal chicken meat, one was chicken skin, and maybe the third edible yakitori stick was beef. . . .  It was a fun experience nevertheless.  The accompaniment dish was conch meat and some type of roe which was really fishy and not nice.

This lovely picture above was of another chicken karage we ordered at an Izakaya in Shibuya.  This is also like a tapas place.  You order lots of side dishes to share while you drink.  I had this with sake and the others had beers.  If I remember correctly this chicken karage was pretty good.  Next to is yakitori of pork and shallots which were also very tasty.
And ramen!  How can I not write about this delicious, tasty, salty, broth of goodness and noodles?  I think in the 6 days we were there I ate about 6 bowls of ramen!  I ate mostly the chilli pork one which I had never had in Sydney before.   It came with a round mound of mince pork, shredded shallots and spinach.  The broth was the perfect balance of oiliness to I guess clear brothiness, chilliness and saltiness.  It didn’t make you really thirsty afterwards either.  It was so good and for only 800yen, $9AUD you get a whole set of the ramen, a bowl of rice and dumplings!  Such good value on all levels!!   At this one place where we had this ramen, it was a vending machine restaurant.  We had a bit of trouble working the machine and matching up the pictures on the wall to the button, but it all worked out and by the last bowl, we had it down to a tee!    

We also had tempura udon for lunch one day at a traditional noodle house.  This prawn was the biggest fattest tempura prawn I had had.  So meaty and juicy! 
Here are my last pics,  the combination chow- mein I had at the airport ( by this stage we all felt like something non Japanese), it was pretty good, the grilled fish with rice and veges on the plane.  Not very nice, the fish was too fishy.   And then for another meal on the plane I had  these soba noodles which were really nice.  Mixed with the sweet soy, wasabi and shallots it was a good last Japanese meal of the trip.

I think I have already said this but Japanese food is really a cuisine that one can never get sick of. . . .
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