Friday, 25 April 2014

Orange FOOD Week trip

A few weeks ago, I went on a little road trip with a friend to Orange. Enticed by the stalls at the recent Hyde Park festival, we decided to visit during the FOOD week (which held on the 4th-13th of April)

The Orange region is known as the 'food basket' of NSW, and FOOD week aims to showcase local produce, fine food and wine with this event. There's a lot on, from wine tasting to dinners, picnics and markets. Unfortunately, Forage was sold out by the time we had heard about it - apparently, it's their most popular event and sells out straight away!

We arrive in time for our first event at The Twisted River wineries, a 2 course lunch with jazz. The venue and jazz were lovely, but the food was nothing memorable - a shared nibbles platter, followed by a slow cooked beef and sticky date pudding. It was still nice to relax with a wine in the sun after the long drive though.

We then made a little trip to the bottle shop in preparation for our BYO wine dinner later on, and had a ball checking out all the local wines.

Philip Shaw 'The Idiot' 2012 shiraz

How cute is this Philip Shaw label?

The next day we went to the Sunday markets at Cook Park, not before getting a coffee at Bill's Beans (amazing coffee!)

I also had this fabulous honey pannacotta with the tastiest strawberries & hazelnuts. 

It's remarkable how much more flavoursome fresh and homegrown fruit and vegetables taste, we could not stop raving about the simple roast vegetables we had at dinner. 

Next stop was a cider making workshop at Small Acres Cyder, a boutique premium cider maker. Small Acres are the first producers of locally grown and made cider in the NSW Central West, and have won a number of awards.

The workshop was fabulous - very informative and hands-on. James Kendall explained to the group a bit about cider apples, and went through the different tastes (bitter, bitter-sweet, sweet, sharp) and we were given samples of various cider apples and had to try and guess which category they fell in. Not as easy as it sounds! Some were easily discernible, but others not so much. 

Then it was time to pick some apples to go into the basket for washing. This was probably the most fun, the apples ranging from adorable cherry sized ones, to the typical size. We threw out any of the bad apples.

Excitement

After washing them, the apples go into this mulcher like machine to be crushed. 

Then scooped into these 'cheeses' layer by layer and wrapped up

And then wheeled over to this contraption to be crushed, and then put through the fermentation process. We had a taste of the fresh apple juice (cloudy was an understatement) and it was absolutely amazing. 

We then had a tasting of all the different cider products, with a cheese platter, plus terrine, bread & the most delicious cherry relish. I left with a couple of bottles of apple cider and pear cider. 

Overall, highly recommend this workshop, it was very enjoyable.

During our dinner the previous night, this lovely couple that we were seated with, recommended that we visit Borrodell Winery for the beautiful sweeping views of the lush countryside from the hill.






Places to visit in Orange

6056 Henry Parkes Way, Manildra NSW 2865
Ph: (02) 6364 5447

148 McLachlan St, Orange NSW 2800
Ph: (02) 6361 1611

12 Akhurst Road, Nashdale NSW 2800
Ph: (02) 6365 2286

298 Lake Canobolas Road, Canabolas NSW 2800
Ph: (02) 6365 3425

Shop 2, 200 Anson Street
Orange NSW 2800

Open 7 days

Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm 
Saturday 9am to 3pm
Sunday 10am to 3pm


Thursday, 24 April 2014

GoodTime Diner - The Eastern, Bondi Junction



GoodTime Diner, located on Level 1 at The Eastern, is inspired by the lively underground Old New Orleans Bar scene. Here it's all about the quality cuts of meats, smoked and slow cooked for up to 18 hours by head chef Matt Fitzgerald.

There's a cute little burger diner downstairs, GoodTime burgers. You can also get the burger menu at GoodTime diner, in a more luxurious setting. 

GoodTime Diner menu

The menu has a range of gourmet salads, side dishes and of course, the star of the show - the southern smoked meats and burgers.



Smoked apple side car

First things first, some cocktails! I choose the delicious sounding smoked apple side car which is a mixture of apple jack, Cointreau, smoked apple compote, apple juice & lemon

Texas old fashioned

Bacon infused bourbon, bitters, smoked maple syrup and scorched bacon. Who can refuse a cocktail that is infused with bacon?!

Cajun charred corn

The corn side dish comes with the meat platter for two, and has a light dusting of cajun spice.

Quinoa, charred baby carrot and pomegranate

This salad is a visual feast with the orange of the carrots and pretty pomegranate seeds. The flavours are lovely and fresh, and is a great accompaniment to the heavier meat dishes. I would have liked the carrots to have had less of a crunch to them, but that is personal preference.

Smoked meat platter for two

For the indecisive, this is a fabulous option to get a taste of everything. The meat platter for two comes with 12 hour beef short ribs, 18 hour pulled pork and southern spiced free range chicken (the side dish of corn comes with the platter)

The meats were melt in the mouth tender, with my favourite being the beef rib. It barely needed any cutting with the knife! 

For desserts, I couldn't go past the sundaes. I choose the option that included salted caramel ice cream, dark chocolate, almonds and sesame. GoodTime Diner also have a selection o Gelato Messina ice creams on offer. 

New York cheesecake

A super generous slice, served with berry coulis on top. 


A great spot for cocktails and some fabulous meat. I'll definitely be back to try out GoodTime burgers and the tempting burger menu!

missklicious and guest dined courtesy of GoodTime Diner & Adrian at umm...communications

GoodTime Diner on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Brewtown Newtown - Newtown, Sydney

There's been a lot of hype behind new cafe, Brewtown Newtown. The space that used to be Berkelouw Bookstore, is now a bustling cafe with some familiar faces around, namely Simon Triggs of Gnome and Charles Cameron from Single Origin Roasters (my beloved work coffee pit stop!)

Brewtown Newtown is tucked nicely off the main drag of King Street, on O'Connell street. The staff are enthusiastic and friendly, keen to offer any suggestions. 

The venue itself is pretty cool - a touch industrial, with brick walls and exposed beams. 

Mocha

Machiatto

The coffee is tops and multiple macchiatos go down a treat. One of the best coffees in Sydney. 

Thought the lounging gnomes on the saucers were a cute touch!

Corned beef hash

The corned beef hash is comfort food at it's finest. Served with perfectly poached eggs, peas and parmesan crumbs. 

Baked polenta

The baked polenta is absolutely delicious, served with grilled asparagus, poached eggs, and mushroom topped with shaved parmesan. 

Glazed cronut

After seeing a zillion posts about it, o f course I can't resist getting a cronut for dessert. It definitely lives up to it's reputation - served warm, it's buttery, flaky and sweet.

Overall, I couldn't fault this place & I can definitely see why it's so popular - the coffee and food are both fabulous.

Brewtown Newtown on Urbanspoon

Monday, 21 April 2014

Rushcutters - Rushcutters Bay, Sydney

During this Easter holiday, it's been all about having the time to slow down and enjoy the scenery, catch up with loved ones and enjoy some great food. 

Rushcutters was my first point of stop for a fuel up for a city to North Bondi hike via the very beautiful Rose Bay & Watsons Bay route.

Rushcutters is a delightful food hub located on Neild Avenue in Rushcutters Bay. It places a high emphasis on creating a community, and aiming to support farmers in the Hawkesbury region, working with seasonal produce sourced within the local region.

Rushcutters menu

Their focus really shines through on their menu, with some simple items that allow the produce to be the star of the show.

Mocha

Macchiato

Coffees are always a must at the start of the day - my first macchiato is nice and smooth, though this does not follow through with my second order.

The space is lovely, light and open with a huge dining space in the converted warehouse. Rushcutters also have a all day menu, which is handy for those lazy weekends where eating times are generally thrown out the window.


The poached eggs, flaked smoked trout, green apple, capers, parsley on rye is lovely - so healthy and light, with a generous dose of greens. The plate was initially brought out without the rye bread, but this was quickly amended once we let the staff know.


I opt for the buttermilk pancakes, with berries, hive honey and goats curd. The three mini pancakes are the perfect portion for me, and I absolutely loved the super sweet berries. The goats curd added a nice tang, but was quite strong for my tastes, so I used it sparingly. 

After breakfast, I couldn't leave without checking out the pastries on display, and also the cute little co-op marketplace that is on Friday to Sundays. 

Pastries

Fresh product on offer at the marketplace

Co-op produce

Fresh rhubarb

Couldn't possibly leave without some goodies, with the assistance of the super helpful lady at the counter of the marketplace. She gave me a taste of this amazing Neila almond, chocolate and banana jam sauce (which I ended up buying!) and also picked up some Zokoko cocoa powder for copious amounts of hot chocolates during the winter seasons.


Rushcutters - definitely well worth a visit for a weekend wander :)

Rushcutters Bay

Pretzel

Ended up getting a pretzel to have as a snack later. It definitely hit the spot after lots of walking - dense and salty. 



It was such a glorious day for a walk too - sunny but not too hot. Hope everyone has had a lovely Easter break! (with loads of delicious food and chocolate)

Rushcutters on Urbanspoon