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    hobart, Australia
  1. I second the recommendation of The French Shop at Queen Victoria Market. The owner gets some pretty sexy stuff in. My all-time favourite was an Italian truffle-infused cheese that we shaved onto scrambled eggs. Simply luxury. Be sure to ask for Julie. She's cool. Queen Vic is fairly accessible is you're doing business in the Melbourne CBD. Market opening hours: Tuesday (7am-2pm), Thursday (7am-2pm), Friday (7am-6pm), Saturday (7am-2pm) and Sunday (9am-5pm, Market open but French Shop closed). Jump on any tram heading up Elizabeth Street away from Flinders Street Station, and Queen Vic is the first stop after you pass McDonalds, which you'll see on your left. Tram ride is 3-5 minutes from corner of Elizabeth and Collins. While you're at Market, check out I Shed--great organic produce at three different stalls. Vic Market Organics is my favourite.
  2. The gourmet deli where I buy cheese sells jars of duck fat. I asked the proprietor what her customers use the fat for, and how much of it she sells. She said that she has a few customers who buy 10 or more jars of it at the one time, and use it to fill their deep-fryers--an exercise that costs more than $100 Aussie dollars. Apparently, they swear it makes the ultimate deep-frying medium.
  3. I also recommend going to The Grange, at the Hilton. Far from the kind of restaurant one would expect to encounter at a Hilton hotel, so don't be put off by location. My other recommendation is Star of Greece, which is maybe 25 minutes down the coast from central Adelaide, and close to the McLaren Vale wine district. It's not a Greek restaurant. It's a casual restaurant set in a former bait shop on cliffs above the beach, and is named for the wreck of a ship nearby. Great beachy atmosphere, killer views, deck for outdoor dining. Menu has seafood emphasis. Perfect spot for relaxed lunch. Featured in the just-released issue of delicious magazine, which has a pavlova on the front cover. If you've time, a visit to Adelaide Central Markets is also recommended. Stall 55 stocks a wide range of South Australia's finest produce.
  4. No kiddies, so my suggestions are based on the brown bag (or Tupperware container--how cool is the Zen collection?!) lunch options that my husband and I like. Onigiri. Japanese rice balls, as mentioned above, are excellent--our current favourite. We buy 400-500g of fresh salmon at the fish market on a Saturday. Sunday, we cook it teriyaki style, flake it. We use the seasoned salmon flakes as an onigiri filling on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The teriyaki sauce seems to improve the salmon's longevity. Later in the week, we use an all-natural umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum) paste as a filling, or bonito flakes mixed with a little soy. Shredded salad--an Asian-ish coleslaw. So quick to make, if you have a mandolin-style slicer. We use all of, or a selection of, the following: shredded carrot, shredded radish, shredded Asian-style cabbage, shredded cucumber, and shredded red capsicum. Dressed with a combination of pure (not extra virgin) olive oil, soy, lemon juice and lime juice. Lately, we've been on an onigiri and shredded salad bender, and haven't been eating much else for lunch. In the past, we've made noodle salad, roasted vegetables, Chinese-style mushroom and eggwhite soup, tabouli salad, curried sweet potato and chickpea soup (with wholewheat bread croutons stashed in a Ziploc bag), Asian-style sticky rice parcels, Asian-style vegetable buns (these freeze so well), and chirashi (sushi rice with bits of veggie and/or seafood mixed through or scattered over; must be prepared same-day, not night before). Something that works incredibly well as leftovers is last night's home-made pizza. Guaranteed, when your kiddies open their lunch boxes, they won't be thinking "Oh no, not this again!"
  5. An ice-cream place here in Melbourne makes a chocolate-chilli ice-cream (chilli being Australian for chile or hot pepper). I thought it would be "interesting" at best. But the combination is actually very good.
  6. Hi Rosie The Blue Mountains is a fantastic day trip out of Sydney. If you've not seen much of Sydney before, you might want to do just the one day trip out of town and spend the rest of your time seeing Sydney itself. Balmoral Beach, a sheltered harbour beach, is beautiful. A couple of excellent restaurants there serving breakfast, lunch, dinner. Bathers Pavillion at one end of the beach; Watermark at the other. A waterfront promenade, much of it shaded by old fig trees, connects the two restaurants. You could take a water taxi there from the city, or a 10-minute cab ride. Cliff-top walk between Bondi and Bronte beaches. Despite it's icon status, Bondi is really not that special anymore. However, the walk between Bondi and Bronte is spectacular. Bondi is maybe a 15-minute cab ride from the city. Sydney's botanic gardens are right on the harbour near the Opera House. Views galore. A harbour cruise is an option, but beware the mass-market ones with canned commentary and near-inedible buffet lunches. Bad, bad, bad. You're better to take a water taxi somewhere, or a commuter ferry ride. Round trip from Circular Quay to Kirribili affords excellent view of Harbour Bridge and Opera House and takes only about a half hour, so is time effective. Another mass-market experience to be avoided is dining at the top of Centrepoint Tower. Revolving restaurant. Bad, bad, bad. Just a few ideas for you. Feel free to PM me for other non-food-related suggestions re touring itinerary. Kind regards Heather
  7. Thanks for your bibimbap guidance. I'll give it a shot. Can I make it in a regular bowl? I'd like to see how much I like bibimbap, before making the trek out to the Korean precinct to buy the proper stone bowl. Although, it's hard to imagine not liking it. With the stone bowl, does the rice on the bottom go crunchy? And do you put hot rice into the bowl, or cold? And are you supposed to leave it on the burner for long enough to heat the toppings through? Also--sorry to have so many questions, but I've decided to go out to Korea land and do some shopping--do the bowls come only in individual serving sizes, or can you buy double-portion bowls for two? If so, which is the better option?
  8. Heather


    Broccoli orecchiette. Into a pot of boiling water, drop a heap of broccoli florets. Cook until tree-frog green and al dente. Scoop out and drain. In the same water as broccoli was cooked in, cook orecchiette. Meanwhile, puree stale sourdough bread in processor to make crumbs. Toast breadcrumbs in pan with olive oil. Set breadcrumbs aside. Saute chopped garlic in olive oil, add chopped anchovies, then chopped oil-cured black olives. Add cooked broccoli florets, toss, and remove from heat when broccoli florets are hot. Mix the broccoli mixture with cooked orecchiette. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.
  9. Jinmyo, I've noticed you've started using a photograph of bibimbap as your avatar. I read about this dish in a recent story in the LA Times' online food section. I'm wondering if bibimbap is a favourite of yours? If so, could you please explain how to make a vegetarian version?
  10. Perhaps too late an addition to be useful - given that you're doing a tasting plate for tuesday, which it now is here in Australia - but will contribute anyway. Tetsuya's cookbook has excellent recipe for oysters dressed with soy sauce-rice vinegar vinaigrette, then topped with a little salmon caviar - abundant here in Australia, land of Beluga ban. My favourite local Thai restaurant - Emerald Buddha, South Melbourne - serves a fantastic snacky-sized appetiser on their mixed entree plate. Squid ball in tamarind sauce. The squid ball comes in tiny shot glass, is doused with liberal amount of sauce, and impaled on a stick for easy removal. Squid ball, btw, is minced-up squid, seasoned lightly, but sauce carries most of the flavour. If you want to do a little sushi, can't go wrong with a spicy tuna roll. Men, especially - even men who aren't great sushi fans - seem to love them. If you want to outdo yourself, tempura-battered spicy tuna roll, served topped with a little squeeze of Japanese mayo. Has to be Japanese mayo - the stuff that comes in squishy bottle with red lid. Tuna empanadas, as served at tapas. Dough encloses a mixture of cooked tuna, green olives, maybe some mashed potato. Another tapas favourite, for a sweet finish - churros! Stick-like Spanish donuts, which could be served with choice of caramel or chocolate dipping sauce. Back to savoury - Asian style sticky rice balls. I make mushroom sticky rice parcels. The sticky rice is flavoured with a mushroom mix that includes black fungus, white fungus, dried shiitake, fresh swiss browns, oyster sauce, coriander. Would probably work as little balls, too. Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate, or provide recipe for any of the above.
  11. Heather

    Love Lime!

    An all-natural organic lime cordial for making refreshing lime-and-soda drinks, when fresh limes are out of season. Here's an idea that borders on being a bit weird-sounding. If I have a recipe that calls for only the juice of a lime, I always zest the lime first and store zest in the freezer. That's not the weird part. What I use this frozen zest for most often is to flavour breakfast oat porridge. I've discovered that banana-raisin-lime is a wonderful porridge combo. Might taste a bit strange in a creamy porridge cooked with milk, but I cook my oats in water only. The salad dressing below includes lime, albeit not a whole lot: 6 tablespoons pure olive oil (not virgin or extra virgin, as you want neutral flavour) 1.5 tablespoons of a 50-50 mix of lime and lemon juice 1.5 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman is a decent, widely available brand) 2 teaspoons roast sesame oil Whisk all of the above together. Tastes brilliant on shredded salad of carrot, cucumber, red capsicum, radish, and Chinese cabbage Let me know if I've used an Australian-ism anywhere above, and you're trying to figure out what I mean. Obviously, flavour = flavor. Um, red capsicum = sweet red pepper. Not sure what you guys call Chinese cabbage. It also goes by the name "wombok" here. Sometimes Asian cabbage.
  12. Heather

    Brown Rice

    I've yet to have great success cooking brown rice in a rice cooker - or by the absorption method in a pan on the stove. For me, both rice cooker and stove-top absorption method produce sensational results with white rice. However, I find I prefer brown rice cooked using the rapid boil method. This is what I do: Bring large pot of water to boil. Dump in brown rice. Boil (as opposed to simmer) for 19-25 minutes, depending on variety of brown rice (brown basmati cooks quicker than brown long grain cooks quicker than short grain brown). Dump boiled rice in colander and rinse well. Brown rice cooked this way has a delicious nutty flavour and slighly chewy texture. However, as brown rice grains cooked this way are total separate - no sticking together - you can't use this rice for sushi. I've heard of there being specialised "brown rice cookers" available, for around $US250. I've not used one, or seen one, but apparently they're good. (As they would want to be at that price.) Hope this helps. Cheers H
  13. Vogue E & T frequently features worthwhile restaurants. Although, as Polly says, the powers that be do have their favourites. Also, so as its content is super-fresh and visually appealing, Vogue E & T often goes with that kind of very new restaurant that is a victory of style and hype over substance. You know, a place that looks terrific in photos, has name-value chef/backers that writer can ooh-and-ahh about, is momentarily restaurant of choice for "it" people, thanks to well-connected publicist. By the time issue comes out, place has often been re-staffed or made-over because previous (featured in magazine) incarnation "wasn't working". So, international Vogue E & T readers using the magazine to plan Aussie culinary adventures are advised to do a little research (the easy way: post here on eGullet's Down Under board) on places that Vogue E & T champions. And to be sure not to overlook some terrific Australian restaurants that have been doing great things for long enough that their excellence is old news, and therefore rarely covered in sexy foodie mags.
  14. Hi Lisa Welcome to our Australia board. Thanks for posting. One of my favourite Perth restaurants is an unassuming little Japanese place - Shige of South Perth. Skip the sushi. It's nice enough, but teriyaki seafood is what they do best. Fifteen dollars buys a hearty portion of teriyaki salmon, or mackerel, or dhufish, with rice, veggies and a side salad drenched with tasty house dressing (which Shige now bottles to go, as per his famous teriyaki sauce). Shige of South Perth isn't fancy, but it's fantastic. Other top choices include sauted scallops, grilled squid tentacles and salmon-bone soup. The small restaurant has a warm, friendly atmosphere and lots of regulars, who seem as comfortable here as in their lounge rooms. I've enjoyed some very good vegetarian options and local seafood at Frasers (expensive, by Perth standards), in Kings Park. Brilliant location and view; variable service, but the good more than makes up for the bad. A fresh, zesty gazpacho and flat bread with smoky eggplant dip were both memorable, as was a fillet of ocean trout, served on stir-fried exotic veggies, with a mandarin-soy sauce. It's simple food, well done, using top-quality produce. Frasers also serves breakfast (cheaper option than lunch or dinner). A la carte menu on weekdays is preferable to weekend buffet. Open throughout the day for coffee and cake. Cake is very good idea. Especially the chocolate number, served with chocolate sauce and chocolate ice-cream. Maya Indian Restaurant in Fremantle makes a delicious vegetarian dhal from their "Legume of the Week". (They're very proud of their legume-rotation program.) The best Indian restaurant in Western Australia, Maya also does a very good pea and potato curry. Eat in, or order to go. Shige, Frasers and Maya Indian are all reviewed in the Western Australia section of our website. For a weekend yum cha spread with bountiful seafood and vegetarian options, head to Genting Palace, at Burswood Casino. Highly recommended. Conceived for the pleasure of Asian high-rollers, Genting is ornately fitted out. Somewhat imperial atmosphere, attentive service, very moreish fried squid. Lamonts food store cum deli cum take-away, in Perth's CBD, is a choice option for a casual meal, or picnic supplies, or a reheatable dinner. Salad bar might include spiced fish with couscous, or Italian pasta wheels with roasted tomatoes and goats cheese. Take-homes might include eggplant parmigiana, Thai curry, pumpkin soup. Chocolate brownies are amazing (recipe in Kate Lamont's book "Food and Friends"). Kaiten sushi chain Jaws is the go for sushi. Turnover is high, so fish is super fresh, and choice belly parts are sold at the same price as regular cuts. Now that Kirin beer company has closed its casino sushi bar Edo Kirin, Jaws offers Perth's most satisfying sushi experience. For Perth's best fish and chips: Groper and His Wife, at City Beach. Choose your fish, choose your cooking method (deep-fried, pan-fried, grilled, whatever), choose from an expansive salad smorgasbord. You can have traditional fish and chips, or a lighter option with lots of veggies. Wide range, reasonable prices, friendly service. Eat in or order to go. We've heard from reliable sources that both Altos, in Subiaco, and Jacksons, in Highgate, serve superb food. Have not personally visited either. A couple of produce sources for DIY seafood and veggie meals: Innaloo Seafresh. Purveyor of Perth's finest seafood. Shop here once and you won't want to buy your seafood anywhere else. Huge range, helpful staff. They offer sashimi-grade fish and salmon roe, too. Mr Organic, at Fremantle Market. Perth's freshest and cheapest organic veggies. He takes his delivery each Friday. If you can't get there first thing Friday, you can phone Mr Organic and he'll pack you a box to collect on Saturday or Sunday. Other local organic produce suppliers: Earth Market, at Subiaco (which has a great healthy cafe attached, tofu cream pie highly recommended); and Manna Wholefoods, at Fremantle. While you're in Fremantle, check out the local Coles, which has a massive health food store-within-a-store; and, also, grocer Kakulas Sister, which stocks a huge range of legumes and dried fruit. The Asian grocer across the road from Coles is a real find, too. New Norcia Bakery. Outstanding woodfired breads. At weekends, calzone and pizza bianca (flat bread, basted with olive oil and scattered with sea salt and rosemary). Phone ahead and ask the bakery when their next batch of pizza bianca will be ready - it is never so good as when eaten fresh out of the oven.
  15. Hi Hasmi The ANA hotel is in the Rocks district, and many rooms have excellent harbour views, encompassing the bridge and Opera House. Very handy to Sailors Thai and Rockpool. On the hotel's top floor, there's a Japanese restaurant, Unkai, which also offers excellent views. Quality of the sushi is variable enough that I'm not inclined to recommend eating dinner at the restaurant. However, if you're planning to eat breakfast at the hotel, I do suggest avoiding the downstairs buffet (average) and enjoying a Japanese-style breakfast on the hotel's top floor, with the Japanese guests. I haven't stayed at the ANA for a year, but I assume they're still serving Japanese breakfasts on the upper floor. Regards, Heather BTW, I second Andrew's recommendation re Pier. Eaten there only once, but it was a memorable meal.
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