Taste of Sydney 2012

I had to come back to Sydney for two weddings early March (one in Melbourne). It was perfect timing to come back since it was Taste of Sydney that weekend too yay! For the past two years I usually went to taste of Sydney by public transport. Since we decided to go on Friday night we drove into Centennial Park. It took forever to find parking, it was very difficult walking back at night. Overall not too keen on attending at night again and will have preference for going to the daytime next year.

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Went we arrived I quickly spotted chobani, since I heard they had free yogurt. I haven’t tried it before so I was really looking forward to it.

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The mango is very delicious, you do have to dig for the mango layer but once mix it together it’s heaven. Can’t believe it took me this long to try this. Best yogurt I have ever tasted

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The blueberry was just as good.

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Piggy outside Four in Hand

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Four in hand: Roast suckling pig, coleslaw, onion rings – I love how tender the pork was with the tangy zingy sauce. But what stumped me the most was where is the SKIN? You can’t do suckling pig without skin. Perhaps I am being overdramatic with the issue but I really looked forward to this dish the most. Sure it delicious but I would pay extra for that skin!

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As usual there is nespresso sampling.

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A tavola: Cremino al cioccolato, Amedei gianduia chocolate crema, salty caramel gelato, Italian meringue. This was such a great dessert you got to mix all the layers well. We were tempted to go back and line up for another but decided to use it on something else

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Charlie and co: wagyu beef and cheese slider. We really wanted something a little more filling so the option of the burger was decided. The burger was average nothing amazing.

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Hot dog from Charlie & Co, as above not bad

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Braised should of Lamb with polenta and green sauce from Montpellier public house, was told it had a very “lamby” taste, Miss V didn’t like it at all 😦

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Quarter twenty one: fried Hawkesbury School prawns, prosciutto Rouille. The School prawns are very crunchy but you can’t go too wrong with school prawns 😉

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Quarter twenty one: slow cook and caramelised short rib with bone marrow persillade. This was the dish of the day. The beef was so tender but you could even swallow it. We all agreed between four of us that this was the best dish.

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Sake restaurant and bar: Hiramasa Kingfish ceviche. Mr himself found it was too overloaded with herbs and think it took the fish taste away. I was perfectly happy eating this.

Love Taste of Sydney, it’s always great to sample food from all different restaurants before making a decision on which place to dine at. Looking forward to 2013!

Check out my posts for previous Taste of Sydney
Taste of Sydney 2010
Taste of Sydney 2011

White wine Sangria

I Dream in Chocolate turns four today. I can’t believe this tiny blog of mine has grown to four years. I want to thank you to my fellow food bloggers and all my readers for your support along the way, I am ever so thankful.

I wanted to bake a cake for the occasion but as previously mentioned in my Shanghai Street post the oven is broken. Instead I made a white wine Sangria. I love the red version but once I tired the white wine version at Flying Fajitas Sisters I was completely sold.

This recipe is quick and simple. It is also so much cheaper when made at home.

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White Wine Sangria
recipe adapted from “Delicious” more please by Valli Little

Ingredients
1 bottle of 750 mls of dry white wine such as Sauvignon blanc or Chardonnay
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1 peach chopped
1/2 an apple chopped
1/2 an orange sliced
about 4 strawberries
about 10 mint leaves
1/2 cup of peach schapps or peach flavoured wine (pre-mixed peach drink will work)
ice to serve

* Red Sangria – replace white wine with a dry red wine such as pinot noir or cabernent savignon
* To make this nonalcoholic you can use a sparkling grape juice such as white fronti in replace of white wine, to replace peach wine/schapps add apple juice or peach tea.

1. Combine sugar an wine in a jug or jar. Mix until sugar is dissolved
2. Add the fruit, mint and peach wine/schnapps
3. Stand Sangria at room temperature for 2 hours to infuse
4. Serve Sangria over ice or chill until cold.

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I don’t have much to offer my readers but I will be giving away Nigella Lawson’s How to be a domestic goddess.

If you ask me why I choose this book? Because it has been with me ever since I started to bake. It is a book I keep on referring back to – time after again. Although I am not too fond of Nigella’s TV show I am quite fond of her cookbooks especially domestic Goddess. Out of all my cookbooks I have, I seem to cook/bake from domestic goddess the most. I guess it’s pretty much sentimental to me.

To enter:
* You must follow me on twitter @idreaminchoc. If you do not have twitter please subscribe on right hand side
* Please include the right email address. If no response after 14 days. I will redraw the prize.
* Please answer in the comments what is your favourite cookbook and your favourite recipe from it.
* closes 25th of February 5pm. My friend Miss C will pick the best response from her point of view. Sidenote: I am avoiding random comment due to some legal issues surrounding lucky draws.
* It will be shipped from book depository, so please allow time for it to get delivered
* Open to worldwide readers

Once again a big thank you ❤

Eat drink blog 2011

I attended the Eat Drink blog 2011 – food bloggers conference over the weekend in Sydney. It was an amazing day full of informative sessions and lots of food/snacks.

My key takes out of the day:

Law session – I think the one comment that stood out the most was “you need to control what appears on your blog when a comment appears, if defamatory you might be opened to be sued.” I tend to leave most comments as they are as I respect my readers thoughts, now I’m quite worried and might have to moderate comments. Check out Dominic Villa’s blog post about further law regarding food blogging.

SEO – I was looking forward this session, I think Michael Gall did the best he could in explaining SEO. It’s not easy trying to explain the idea of a type of “vote” in terms of backlinks. Side note I work in SEO, I was looking forward to it so I can steal his tips (hehe :P) for explaining it to people who don’t understand what SEO is

Writing with Valerie Khoo – I realise I was breaking and every tip she mentioned. I am constantly speaking on my blog in a passive tone and realise I need to change to a more active tone.

Simon Marnie on Media – he was honest and came across very warm. I love his perspective from his media side. He mention know he had the most amazing auckland dining experience thanks to bloggers. I dislike the media negative thoughts on food bloggers (and even bloggers as whole). I love how he mention that all media and bloggers just can work alongside each other. He was very engaging as a person.

Ethics – Make sure to mention about being completely transparent about restaurant reviews.

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A camera war? It’s on!

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Dominic Villa

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Valerie Khoo in action, so much passion for writing.

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Lunch was Lamb, you can tell how horrified I was. I fully detest Lamb with every bone in my body. I went with the vegetarian option which was the zucchini stack, which ended up being delicious. I was so hungry so I went back for another plate of vegetables (Hey no one was eating it!)

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Lamby baaa baa

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My zucchini stack lunch, sorry out of focus.

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The lamb Masterclass just about to start. How gorgeous is Nonie? All the males were all swooning towards her! Don’t blame them. I love how she took out a saw and just hacked into the lamb.

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Lamb in action

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Gotta love them food bloggers in action. I took this photo for Lols. Is your back famous here? I can “link” you if you like 😉

There were 4 workshops occurring during the afternoon and you could only attended two. In the end I went up picking the food styling and food photography class. I struggled with both so I was thinking of picking up new tips and tricks.

Styling – Peter was leading the Food Styling workshop, he mentioned he picks most of his props from op shops and Ikea. I love his collection of food props. I’m slowing trying to build a collection as well.

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Cake styling

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Styling a salad

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Photography – Quentin Jones was teaching the photography class. I am afraid I didn’t learn much things “new” but I reckon he did share a few great tips for newbie photographers, especially in the photoshop department.

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What happens when you just miss out on chilli crab, no more!

A BIG BIG thank you to the amazing conference team, Without you guys we wouldn’t have such a fantastic day. Big thank you ❤ to Reemski, Simon, Trina and Jennifer.

It was lovely to meet so many fantastic bloggers who share a passion and love for food as well. Looking forward to next year!

Azuma Kushiyaki Sugar hit 2011

It’s Crave month finally! You know what that means right? Sugar hits is back. Time to hit those desserts during 9pm-11pm. Once again I have chosen to have sugar hit at Azuma Kushiyaki. Please see my Azuma sugar hit 2010 from last year to refresh your memory.

Azuma Kushiyaki offers East meets West dessert tasting plate. I struggled to finish the dessert last year. This year I have polished off every single item. My lovely other fellow dinner companions pretty much polished off the dessert as well. I guess this speaks for itself. The dessert this year is damn good. I am not a big fan of sweets so this was a surprise.

You can choose either hot green tea or the brown brothers orange muscat and flora as a drink.

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Green tea

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Assorted seasonal fruits with tapioca pearls and shiratama rice dumplings covered with kinako power (back) and white sesame ice cream (front). I found the ice cream a bit nutty in taste, the ice cream was a little bland but i quite like the blandness of it as it completes the overall dessert. The fruits are fantastic and make probably one of the best fruit salad I ever had. The rice dumplings are similar to mochi in texture but prefer these to mochi 🙂

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Up close of the fruit salad

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Yuzu sake, green tea tiramisu – shochu soaked sponge with mascarpone, cream and matcha, sake sponge bites – butter cake soaked in sake and chocolate with pop rocks. The star of the show, was the yuzu sake, lemony in flavour and sweet. The green tea was probably the heaviest item due to the cream. The sponge cake was very fluffy but I can’t taste much of the sake. Miss R on the otherhand picks our the alcohol clearly.

Dear Azuma Kushiyaki, I think I might visit you again before this month ends, otherwise I hope its another great Sugar hit next year.

Regent Place, 501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
phone: 0292677775

Azuma Kushiyaki on Urbanspoon

New layout

Hello readers!

I am back from my holidays and will update you shortly on my trip! This is just a quick blog post about the new layout. Hope it’s more easy on the eyes than the last :). Love to hear your feedback and any other ideas!