Address: 20 Cottmans Rd Fish Creek VIC 3959
Opening hours: Every weekend, all public holidays (except Christmas, Boxing Day and Good Friday) and daily throughout January. (11am-4pm)
Mr. D and I went to Wilsons Promontory National Park last weekend for a short break. It was a last minute decision and fortunately we were able to find accommodation nearby the national park. It was our first visit and we were awed by the scenery. We took the Tidal Overlook Circuit walk at Wilsons Prom and we were greeted by picturesque views. The scenery was simply breathtaking and we were lucky that the weather was sunny and therefore the pictures turned out really well.
Jiaozi is a Chinese dumpling and it is a hot favorite among Chinese households. Jiaozi can be steamed, boiled, or pan fried. The pan fried version is known as guotie (pot stickers) or gyoza in Japan. As the name implies, the dumpling stuck slightly to the wok at the end of cooking but it could be easily removed by nudging it using a spatula.
While jiaozi filling commonly consists of meat and/or vegetables, there’s no limit to what you can add in it. You can make the filling with the ingredients you like/have on hand. Both taste and textures are very important in dumpling making. For me, I love to add shitake mushrooms, carrots, and wombok leaves together with the mince pork to produce different textures (bitey and crunchy). The filling smells and taste wonderful with the addition of seasonings such as sesame oil, shaoxing wine, good quality soy sauce, grated ginger, and garlic. The wrapper and wrapping style for guotie is different from deep fried wontons. Guotie wrappers are white in color, round-shaped, and thicker compared to wonton wrappers. My first jiaozi attempt which was 3 years ago was unsuccessful and I ended up with disintegrated dumplings as I did not seal the dumpling properly. Make sure you pinch the edges of the dumpling firmly so that they won’t break apart when cooking.
Crispy skin on the bottom and tenderly soft skin on the top.
Japanese curry rice or karē raisu is Mr. D’s favorite and whenever I cook this dish, he’ll jump for joy like a little boy in a candy store. Japanese curry is very popular in Japan and you can easily get it in any fast food shop or cafe. Unlike Indian or Malaysian curry which are on the spicy side, Japanese curry is not spicy, has thicker consistency, extremely aromatic and slightly sweeter. It is a very appetizing dish and Mr. D couldn’t have enough of it. This dish is simple and quick to prepare as you can use store bought Japanese curry roux in block form. There are an assortment of instant curry roux which are easily available in any Asian groceries store. The major brands are from House Foods, S&B Foods & Ezaki Glico.
In our quest to search for the best instant Japanese curry roux, we tested the different range we could get hold of such as the S&B Golden Curry, S&B Tasty Curry, House Vermont Curry, House Java Curry, and House Kokumaro Curry. Our verdict: Kokumaro Curry from House is without a doubt the best curry among all the instant Japanese curry we tried as it’s seductively aromatic and tantalizing. It tastes as good or even better than the ones serve in the Japanese restaurant here. It comes in a box with 2 blocks of curry roux and each block yields about 5 servings.
Finely diced shallots, bite-sized chicken, diced carrots and potatoes, and Kokumaro instant curry roux are all you need.
Itadakimasu! Honto ni oishii desu!
Address: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.
Opening hours: 7 days a week (11 am – late)
Mr. D and I spent our Boxing Day shopping with our friends (Goon, KS and HY) in Melbourne CBD. The first thing we do when we reached the city is to fuel up our tummies at Chin Chin, a restaurant that serves South-East Asian cuisine. This place is usually very busy and crowded with long queues, a common sight at the restaurant. However, this time we managed to walk in and obtained a table almost immediately. Thanks to the shopaholics and bargain hunters who were more than willing to forgo their lunch so that they could grab the items they want before they ran out. We, on the other hand, needed to charge up first. I couldn’t sacrifice my tummy as it is equally and possibly even more important than my shopping. 😛
After studying the menu, we decided to order the kingfish sashimi for entree. We absolutely adored this dish as not only the fish was super fresh, the combination of the sweetness of the fish, the sourness from the lime with the fragrance from the coconut and thai basil were just perfect!
Kingfish sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and thai basil.
Address: 420a Wallington Road, Wallington, VIC 3221, Australia.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (8am – 5pm)
Elkhorn Roadhouse is situated in an idyllic countryside called Wallington, which is about 30 min drive away from Geelong. I usually drive to the cafe via Barwon Heads to savor the beautiful scenery along the way. You also can watch horses, herds of cows, and flocks of sheep grazing or lounging in the fields. On our recent visit to Elkhorn Roadhouse, we were fortunate to spot 4 fashionable little ponies, each with different stylish mane on our drive back to Geelong. Unfortunately, we did not manage to capture a snapshot of them. Anyways, if you’re stressed-out and looking for a short escape, driving down to Wallington might be a good remedy.
As the name of the cafe suggests, the whole place is decorated with elk-themed paintings and wall-mounted head. This cafe is cozy and inviting. The waitresses here are super friendly and they are not stingy with their smiles at all. They serve breakfast from 8am-11.45am and lunch from 12pm-3pm. I’ve tried their lunch on our previous visit and they were scrumptious, extremely fresh, and well-cooked too.
The cafe is nicely decorated with elk-themed decor.
More wall-mounted elk head decors.
Address: Western Forshore Road, Geelong 3220.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (lunch & dinner)
Fish N chips shop on a barge.
Newsflash: There’s a new floating fish N chips shop in Geelong Waterfront that doesn’t cost you a bomb. Hooray!
The newly open place is called “The Geelong Boat House” and it’s located to the west of Cunningham Pier. So far, we haven’t had any good experience with fish N chips in Geelong as either they are soaked in oil or they taste funny and horrible as they use frozen fish. There are better ones served in the restaurants up at the Waterfront but the price is quite hefty for casual consumptions. So, this new chill out place is more than welcome.
Managed to get a shot of the inside when the crowd has dispersed.
Mr. D and I went there for our lunch last Sunday and the place was really busy and crowded with customers waiting to order and collect their food. Seems like I’m not the only one who’s eager to check out this new place. 😛 This place have only outdoor seating with one function room which is not open to public. There are around 4 square wooden tables with chairs on the first level and more seating on the top. And, if you don’t feel like eating your fish N chips on a table, you can enjoy it the picnic style. You can grab a large rug from a large wooden box outside the shop and lay it on the nearby green grass and munch away while admiring the beautiful waves. Beware of the seagulls lurking around waiting for the right opportunity to steal your chips away!
For me, it’s important to obtain good quality cheese and pasta when cooking Mac & Cheese because these two are the heroes of the dish. I enjoy Barilla’s pasta more than San Remo’s as Barilla’s pasta has nice bitey texture and shorter cooking time. As for the cheese, I used Bega’s vintage cheddar and Mainland’s Gruyere. This recipe by Neil Perry calls for the addition of smoked paprika and Dijon mustard into the cream mixture. The flavor is rather interesting and all of them goes hand in hand together. I usually give it a generous sprinkle of breadcrumbs over the top and slowly grill it for better crunch and fragrance. I can assure you that you’ll be sticking to this recipe after you try it as it’s so easy, quick, and most importantly, DELICIOUS. I was pleasantly surprised at how light this dish is despite the amount of cream and cheese used in this recipe. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
These are what you need. Missing breadcrumbs as I forgot to take it out from the cabinet.