Lemon yellow leaves in Orange

There’s something so clean and crisp about country air first thing in the morning when the only thing lingering is the faint smell of smoke coming out of nearby chimneys after a fire has been smoldering all night warming up the heart of a home.
I’m in Orange this weekend, thankful to Mr ELG who has whisked me away with MM in tow for a surprise getaway.
Up and about early we stopped in at Byng St cafe; a block away from where we’re staying.
The sun is out and the leaves of the trees above are lemon yellow in colour. The bright rays are streaming over the balcony as I eat my yummy brekkie roll. It’s the perfect balance of egg, crispy bacon, Swiss cheese, rocket and tart chutney. A hot cappucino tops off the taste.
Love, love, love

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Published in: on April 28, 2012 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Time out on a Thursday

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First time out moment today at Cafe Sofia in Erskineville with a Blondie cupcake, Mint, Lemon and Ginger tea and In Style magazine…it was MM’s first day at child care. It was definitely me with all of the tears. And after sitting with MM for most of the day making sure he was settled, I really take my hat off to the Carers at Explore & Develop Alexandria. So much patience and enthusiasm all day in such a demanding job. I am so enjoying this moment for me…

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Chiswick

I have been wanting to book a table at Chiswick since I heard it had opened on the old Pruniers site in Woollahra on Ocean Street. So this week was my second wedding anniversary with Mr ELG and Chiswick was the location of course to go to celebrate.

I lived in Centennial Park for a number of years and often drove past the low, flat, white building where Pruniers used to be located. Set a bit back from the street and surrounded by tall, elegant palm trees; it always stood out for me in amongst all of the nearby grand mansions on Ocean Street. Many months ago, I heard that Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan were building a new restaurant on the site and with their experience and combined savoir faire in the food industry, I was more than intrigued to discover what the result would be.

And on Tuesday night, I was not disappointed.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again; Sydney is fickle and rarely loyal to its restaurants. So many new ones pop up every month and barely last the distance with only a handful defying the odds. I think Chiswick will rise above and emerge as the latter. Chiswick has forged its beginnings as a “neighbourhood” restaurant with a well-stocked garden onsite providing its kitchens with crisp seasonal produce. A gorgeous fountain greets you as you walk up the pathway and into the restaurant. It’s a Tuesday night, the day after Easter Monday and at 8pm, this restaurant is booming with no signs of any looming financial crisis on its second wind. The big kitchen is open for customers to see directly in and right beside it, a long “shared” table full of chatter and laughter is busy with different patrons enjoying their food and plonk.

We are shown to our table inside the main dining room and at once given some sparkling water on request and menus to start the night. Cecilia introduces herself and urges us to take our time reading through what’s on offer from the kitchens at Chiswick. Deferring away from the traditional three course meal, Chiswick offers an alternative tying in with its table sharing notion, of small plates to share. And as I pore over the menu, I see large lamb racks being placed on the table beside me as the table of eight get ready to all dig in together. After a little bit of discussion and advice from Cecilia, Mr ELG and I order the Veal Sliders x 2, the Kingfish and Steak tartare. A Crab and pea risotto and some of the Moran family beef will follow accompanied by a plate of hand cut chips. A friend of mine had been to Chiswick only days before and on her orders the Veal Sliders were a must, not that I knew at that stage what was to come! Mr ELG also ordered a divine French wine from the Rhone region and the celebrations were off to a great start!

As we sat there chatting, I looked around the room and realised that we have become such a food-forward bunch. With cooking channels taking over our television viewing, cook books topping the best-seller lists and cooking apps taking over our iPads, everyone around me including ourselves know what we want, want the best and are happy to pay for it. And then afterwards we chat about it, share it, pin it, tweet it and the excitement continues. The Veal Sliders arrive and they are mini burgers with brioche buns, tart tomatoes and gherkins and tender veal. Super tasty that I fight to savour the taste slowly over eating it so quickly to immediately enjoy! The Kingfish is a fresh pink and the lemon aioli is like a squirt of fresh lemon on your tongue. And the Steak tartare is heaven; finely diced with an egg yolk and such a memorable marriage of flavours.

Our mains come quickly and as we share these plates too; Chiswick is living up to all expectations.

The one thing that can often let down a restaurant like Chiswick is its staff as often they are too snooty and arrogant to realise that they’re not the patron but the one serving the patron. Tonight this was not the case. All restaurants need to have a Cecilia. Someone who is knowledgeable without being pretentious, someone who loves food and loves to eat it and someone that can smile and actually have a conversation.

Never to pass up dessert and on Cecilia’s recommendations and detailed break down of the plate; I ordered the Caramelia Eclair. When it came out, and I looked at the plate, I immediately thought I was looking at a photo of the woods. On the right was a log and on the left were some Autumnal leaves. On the right was actually the Eclair with a creamy chocolate filling and on the left were slices of poached plum with roasted almonds scattered over.

Matt and Peter, your neighbourhood restaurant is a winner and I hope you are paying Cecilia well because her effort was priceless.

Chiswick @ 65 Ocean Street Woollahra, NSW 2025

Published in: on April 13, 2012 at 1:07 am  Comments (1)  
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A giant’s hot cross bun

Oh and forgot to tell you about breakfast as here at ELG central, Easter is one of our most loved holidays and the three of us decided to get a head start on the hot cross bun intake. I bought this yesterday at another love; Bourke Street Bakery. Their bakers have obviously had a bit of fun in the kitchen and may have taken some inspiration from James and the Giant peach as this hot cross bun is certainly not small. It was the size of a standard dinner plate and after warming it in the oven, the waft of cinnamon and nutmeg filled my home and with some butter; breakfast was a big slice of heaven. If you’re in Sydney and love a good hot cross bun, this one doesn’t disappoint so go and grab one today!

Bourke Street Bakery @ 633 Bourke Street Surry Hills, NSW 2010

 

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Easter bunny is almost here…

Three days before the Easter Bunny arrives and I am still busily planning my menu for Easter Sunday lunch. If you could just see my dining table…I have open Donna Hay magazines strewn everywhere, a Nigella cook book on the floor, Gary Mehigan’s book flipped open to his crazy delicious brownie recipe and a carton of colourful rubber eggs that I picked up from Bed Bath and Table; perfect for MM’s first Easter egg hunt on Sunday as I’m trying to be a good Mummy and go steady with his chocolate intake! I’ve definitely decided on a starter to get the palate salivating but deciding on what’s to come…wish me luck!

For a while now, I have been enjoying making goodies to give at Easter, just like at Christmas too when I made a big batch of my Gourmet Chocolate and Apricot muesli and bottled portions of it up in glass bottles to giveaway. The smiles from people who are on the receiving end are so much bigger especially when they realise it’s homemade! And so I add this to my Thursday madness as while I am not attempting to make chocolate eggs, I may be planning to make something gooey which involves chocolate of course and maybe a bit of peanut butter…I will keep you posted 🙂

And yesterday out of all of the chocolate shops in Sydney, I paid a visit to the one I love best – Scrumptious on Cross Street in Double Bay. Quite close to another love; Papier D’Amour and two doors down from an endless love; Simmone Logue, Scrumptious is just as its name describes…utterly scrumptious. It is a small shop filled to the brim (especially around this time of year) with so many goodies; both edible and ornamental that it’s an overload on the senses. The scent of chocolate is amazing and the collection that the owners, Nicole and Briar, have amassed of glassware, bunnies, biscuits, eggs, vases, birdcages and baskets is truly extraordinary. On this particular visit, I picked up bits and pieces to decorate my Easter Sunday table and of course some chocolate to top it off.

I must now stop procrastinating and make some important decisions as to what to cook so I wish you all a beautiful Easter and hope you spend lots of time with family and friends relaxing over this long weekend, eating lots of chocolate and also taking some time out for yourself!

Happy Easter!

Scrumptious @ 4 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Simmone Logue @ 2 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Papier D’Amour @ 8 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eat Love Go dream…no pizza involved!

Saw this on Saturday and thought Huh??? Thought I might have to go and have a chat to the owner about some copyright issues… 🙂

But as I walked away; my mind began to wander and maybe this whole blog thing could one day lead to a little shop that I would love to own and run. Called Eat Love Go. A little cafe with vases of fresh flowers everywhere…where I could make my favourite ricotta hotcakes with chocolate honeycomb butter or on every second day I could alternate and make my apple pancakes with cinnamon yogurt and golden syrup….whatever I love to eat! There will be the Barossa Breakfast blend by Scullery Made Tea of course, as that’s another love. And if pancakes are not taking my fancy then I will always whip up some of my Chocolate and Apricot gourmet muesli inspired by another loveFarmer Jo.

And don’t worry I do see there to be more than just breakfast on the menu but I need to do some more thinking and dreaming…

And what about the GO? Well, I’ve recently taken up some freelance writing in Travel (have a look at Travel Hunch if you’re curious) and if you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that on my travels here and there, I do like to pick up things which remind me of where I have been. So it might be some Carthusia perfume from Capri on the shelves next to some hot pink Pretty Ballerina ballet flats from Cannes, placed next to a shantung silk scarf from Launceston….a small selection of loves evolving over time!

Well…just a thought of mine and thanks for reading!

 

Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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