Sunday, April 20, 2014

Proud Mary

Happy Easter!

How's your holiday been? Mine has been really good so far. I'm really glad that this holiday came at the right time. I do need some time for myself and away from work. Of course, being a foodie, I can't miss out on the chance to tick off my list to try for brunch!

This time, I have checked in "The Proud Mary".

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To find a nice cafe in Melbourne, I'm no longer surprised when I found out that Proud Mary is actually built in an old factory. Though without the name being shown, I do recognise the symbol of Proud Mary. Alternatively, this is the only cafe I could find in Oxford Street as there wasn't any other shops around. This has to be the one that I'm looking for. If you are taking public transport, take tram 86 and stop at 18. Less than 5 minute walking distance to reach the destination. 

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I think we got lucky to wait less than 40 minutes! When they keep calling the names on the wait list, some of them probably decided to give up on waiting and left. I was like, yes please keep going on till my name being called for next. Surprisingly, we waited less than 20 minutes. Please allow yourself to wait more than half hour if you come around lunch hour


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Latte and Cappucino. The coffees were really good. How could I skip ordering coffee in Proud Mary? IMPOSSIBLE!

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Pulled Pork Tacos- $16. 
The salad at the side- mint, spring onions, coriander and crispy onion slaw are refreshing and such a great start before getting my hands on tacos. The tacos were delicious. Good portion of meat with chimmi churri, pork crackling to add the crispness, and salad to balance out the flavours.

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Don't be fooled by only three tacos on the plate. I would have felt full after having this whole plate by myself.

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Duck and Figs - $18.50 

Pulled confit duck leg and fresh figs are the things that I never had before. But, I enjoyed this dish a lot! I love every ingredients on this plate. It's like each has own details and attention to be given.
Organic sourdough toast with sesame, spiced walnuts (I would finish it off if I have a packet of walnuts on my hand right now), fresh figs, gippsland blue cheese, beetroot, cres and crispy onion slaw.

Overall, everything is so well balanced, fresh and full of flavours.

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However, I was looking forward to try out their pork belly. My friend has been highly recommended this dish to me. It seems like pork belly is no longer on their menu list. Ahh, I was too late for it !

Anyway, glad that I waited and i think the food is totally worth the wait! We weren't able to try out their breakfast menu, and guess what?! I would like to come back and try out their breakfast on next time! Proud Mary on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 7, 2014

[Recipe] Braised Pork Belly in coconut juice

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Pork Belly indeed is one of my favourite meat. The first time I cooked it with this recipe , it turned out sooooo good and I just have to cook this again and again. Using coconut juice to cook the pork belly, is one of the vietnamese dishes. At first, I used a pressure cooker. But when I moved into another place and there wasn't any pressure cooker in the kitchen. Thus, second option is slow cook the pork on the hob for longer time. At least 2 hours.

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Ingredients: 
1kg boneless Pork Belly
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
Two can of coconut juice
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper (or less)
1 star anise
750 ml water (or more)

Method: 

  1. Slice the pork into thick rectangles.
  2. Place sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it becomes a dark golden caramel. 
  3. Add pork. Cook, turning, until coated. 
  4. Stir in garlic.
  5. Add coconut juice and water, ensuring meat is submerged. Bring to a boil. 
  6. Add salt, pepper and star anise. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
  7. Transfer to a pressure cook and cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes. Then, simmer for 15 minutes. Alternatively, slow cook on the hob for at least two hours or simmer until the pork belly is fall-apart-tender.
  8. Turn on high heat to reduce the sauce if needed. 
Recipe was adapted from Ashlee and Sophie (contestants from My Kitchen Rules 2013).

They do have other recipes to serve with this dish. Caramel dipping sauce, Steamed buns and Asian Salad. But I find the sauce itself already taste so good and I don't need extra dipping sauce!  By the way, I have also tried their recipe for making Hainanese Chicken. It was amazing! 

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Putting 1tbsp of pepper gives a strong kick to the taste. It might because I'm using 1kg of Pork Belly instead of 1.5kg. Hence, the flavours are quite strong. You might have to add less than 1tbsp of pepper to have less spicy heat.

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I use two normal cans of coconut juice and I find it's good enough Make sure it's 95-100% of juice though. It taste sweeter and add more flavours into it. Of course, you could use the fresh young coconut juice. But it will be slightly pricey.

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When the flavours were a bit too strong for my liking or lack of sauce, I will add more water and let it simmer for longer. Adjust it based on your liking. Overall, this is absolutely simple recipe!

Hope you will like this dish too!






Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chinese New Year in Melbourne 2014

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Happy belated Chinese New Year! I'm actually thought I have posted this during back then. Opssieeee, just realized when I was trying to see what I have under the draft section and I found this. Blur me!

I usually celebrate this festival back in Malaysia. Due to my work commitment, I decided to skip another year of not celebrating it with my family and stay in Melbourne. No doubt, I knew that I will be missing a lots of fun especially the good food in KL. Thankfully, this year Melbourne held few events in different locations to celebrate chinese new year ! Also, I managed to join group of friends for reunion dinner on the first day of cny! Hey, I'm not alone!

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Can't believe that we can buy Yee Sang in Melbourne!  It considers as traditional dish that we must have during CNY. It serves as a appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. All diners at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various wishes. The higher you toss, it is believed that more growth in fortunes.(copied from wikipedia =P )


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Joshua was the one who in charge of explaining what we should do with this dish. Quite a number of people had this dish for the first time! The flavour and texture of yee sang, is quite similar to what we had in my hometown.


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Her apartment was gorgeous. Really, how i wish i could stay in the city! 

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The table was full with different variety of dishes.I always enjoy having potluck dishes as people would bring different things! It's always exciting to try new new food !

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Card games ON!


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Second day of CNY, we went to Box Hill for night market. It started from 10am till 1 am. There were a lot of food stalls but the queue was so long and I can't be bothered to line up. So we went to a Hong Kong restaurant for dinner. The roast pork that we have ordered, was delicious. I could have just eat the rice with the sauce as well. Even the rice also taste fragrance. Wondering were we too hungry on that day? All we had just roast pork and rice. We almost finished the bucket of rice too!

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Sugar cane juice. We went to Vietnamese chinese new year celebration on last year at Richmond. Surprisingly, their sugar cane juice isn't the same compare what I used to have. But this one, definitely what I've been looking for!


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Third round of celebration at Chinatown.


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Dragon dance, lion dance and fire crackers - one of the best time to absorb lively performance that Chinatown has to offer.


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We also walked to Federation Square to check out Japanese Festival.


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 Walked toward South Bank and we found market too!

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Due to the extreme hot weather, the temperature is up to 35 degrees, I just have to order ICE KACANG! One of the dessert that you often find in a malaysian restaurant. I know some of my friends especially DC find it's disgusting to have corn as sweet dessert. He would always argue that corn is supposed taste salty! Is anyone find corn as dessert - something that is unacceptable?

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 Yea, he's the boss of the cafe. Hah, just kidding!

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 If anyone have chance to visit chinese new year festival in Melbourne, make sure you don't miss it! You'll definitely find a lot of interesting things to watch and eat to experience what's the celebration like.
  

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