Cafe Del Mar, Sydney, Australia

Cafe Del Mar

Cafe Del Mar

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

Café Del Mar….I had longed to go there.

One of the greatest gifts of travel…exposure to new things, new cultures, new foods, new music, different points of views, life lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom or learnt from a book.

Two years living in Europe many moons ago, and I fell in love with the idea of going to Café Del Mar, a trendy café and music emporium located in Ibiza, a party island found of the Spanish coastline in Mediterranean sea.
But truth be told……I would not have survived a day on this party island. My catholic upbringing insured I was too inhibited for such hedonistic fun.

Fast forward 12 years….times have changed…I am ready!

Armed with two of the bestest girlfriends I could ever want, Ms Kate and Ms Steph, we ascended on Café Del Mar, Sydney City.

Us girls would have a good time anywhere….location, location, location is so secondary when I catch up with these ladies.

And whilst the view was stunning, the food and drinks spectacular and the Sunday session tunes very smooth….I could not help but think that this experience was a bit dated….If I had only jumped on a plane all those years ago and dived head first into the Ibiza party scene I might have well avoided yesterday!!

No, I wouldn’t change a thing……yesterday was special, a great catch up……location irrelevant.

And it wasn’t till I reflected on the lunch later that evening that I was overcome with the strangest realisation….I had never really wanted to go to Café Del Mar at all…..rather its rival, the Buddha Bar in Paris.

For those who are curious about either place…their official website below:

Cafe Del Mar, Ibiza

Buddha Bar, Paris

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Banana Cream Pie

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

When I was growing up I was fortunate enough to have not one but two best friends.

When the Lee twins moved from country NSW to the South Coast,  we hit it off, and as a result my childhood is awash of memories of the three of us at the beach, the park and the local roller skating rink. As teenagers we found casual work together in the local supermarket, embraced the Wollongong night life as young adults and when that no longer satisfied we went on numerous domestic and international holidays.

Today, as grown women we continue to catch up….to gossip, to reminisce….a chance for a briefly escape the busyness that has become our lives…we all have day jobs, one has a family of their own, we have households, gardens and pets to attend too…but we would not have it any other way!!

I recall all three of us shared a love of baking. It was common to find us in the Lee family kitchen, making mess from one end of the kitchen bench to the other…We loved to invent, to experiment…following recipes…well sometimes…It was a relaxed atmosphere, three creative spirits having a go!!

It is with fondness that I recall a dish the three of us perfected back in the early 1990’s…Banana Cream Pie.

The taste of my childhood, our collective childhoods…This recipe is best made in the company of others and then eaten soon after with the same crew.

Did we invent this recipe? It is hard to say…I don’t recall there EVER being a recipe book, and it was well before the era of the internet and Google.

Inspired by an my earlier post this week : Taste of Childhood,  I have spent a great deal of time reminiscing about the foods that shaped by early years….Banana Cream Pie surfaced again and again.

So without further ado, let me commit to text, the recipe that will always be associated with good friends, good company and the unmistakable taste of summer.

Banana Cream Pie ( or the  ‘I am such a lucky girl to have two best friends’ pie)

1 Packet of Arnotts Nice Biscuits ( any sweet plain biscuit will do)

75 g butter

2 ripe banana

2 passionfruit

300 ml Lite Thickened Cream

200g Passionfruit yogurt

Base: Smash biscuits into a crumb consistency. Melt butter. Mixed into biscuits crumb.

Place into pie dish. Press firmly with hands into base of dish. Place into refrigerator to set.

Pie filling: Mash bananas. Add passionfruit pulp. Add passionfruit yogurt and thickened cream. Stir all ingredients together.

When pie base has set (20 mins max waiting time) remove from fridge and pour filling into pie dish.

Place into freezer for up to 2 hours to set.

Serve frozen and with fresh fruit (if so desired)

Note : The does not have to be a Banana / Passionfruit cream pie…you could use any fruit that takes your fancy…Strawberries, Blueberries, Rasberries….The falvour combinations are endless.

Related post: The Taste of Childhood

Banana Cream Pie...ready to eat

Banana Cream Pie…ready to eat!

The Taste of Childhood

Wednesday night tv got me thinking….What were the tastes of my childhood?

The show, Myf Warhurst’s new doco titled ‘ NICE’  celebrated just that… not the fantastic or the life changing…but the nice… things that had a presence in your life story, played a small role, and to this day continue to bring a smile.

In the short, the show was about  simple foods that prompt childhood memories. The show focused largely around items sold in local milk bars and fish and chips shops, and the two food types that evoked the strongest memories were the chicko roll and deep fried dim sum.

Chiko Roll-is an Australian savoury snack, inspired by the chinese egg roll and spring roll. It was designed to be easily eaten on the move without a plate or cutlery. The Chiko roll consists of beef, celery, cabbage, barley, corn, onion, green beans, and spices in a tube of  egg, flour and dough which is then deep-fried ( Wikipedia)

English: Low quality Hand holding a Chiko roll...

Chicko Roll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deep Fried Dim Sum– a  Chinese- inspired meat dumpling-style snack food popular in Australia. The dish normally consists of a large ball of pork or other meat, cabbage and flavourings, encased in a wrapper similar to that of a traditional dumpling.  Usually deep fried ( Wikipedia)

The show explored the phenomena that despite both foods playing an important role in Australia’s  culinary history, they are often overlooked…You won’t find these food types in fine dining establishments, they are cheap to make and cheap to buy…in other words, they aren’t cool.

Myf’s show gave both the humble chiko roll and dim sum is rightful recognition…She celebrated both, interviewing top chefs and food critics, who spoke ever so highly of both foods as being both ingenious and tasty. Her guests gushed as they recalled scrapping together loose change as children, walking to their local fish and chip shop, and indulging in a bag of deep fried goodness.

It prompted me to act…All the joy surrounding the deep friend foods was contagious….Having never tried a deep friend dim sum, with lashing of soy sauce and a sprinkling of salt, the following evening I indulged in a serving of four.

Whilst it was not the taste of my childhood, I grinned from ear to ear from the moment I took my first bite….The crunchy, salty goodness…the calories…the soft pork centre….soy sauce oozing down my chin

The show got me thinking, the taste of my childhood? The first of many things that came to mind…

Tinned Beetroot Sandwiches

My first year at Primary School. I was 5 years old and allowed to order my lunch from the canteen once a week. Don’t ask me how this came about, but somewhere along the line I developed a taste for tinned beetroot sandwiched, on white bread with butter.

I remember one of the canteen ladies explaining to me that they had to make my sandwich as close as possible to the lunch bell ringing, as the tinned beetroot would soak through the white bread, if they made it too early.

And I loved the canteen lady for it,  I NEVER ate a tinned beetroot sandwich that was soggy from beetroot juice.

I do however remember feeling of embarrassment associated with this food type…Perhaps that is an Australian quality ever-present when something is deemed’ daggy’!! I would eat my sandwich quickly, careful not to get any of the content on my face or school uniform…. I did not want to be known as the girl who ate tinned beetroot sandwiches….on our playground only peanut butter and vegemite sandwiches were tolerated.

I don’t know when I stopped eating tinned beetroot sandwiches…the indigestion I got from eating at such fast pace probably began to outweigh the joy I felt on eating the crimson red centred sandwiches..

But to feel like a kid again, perhaps I should have forgone the dim sum meal, cracked open a tin of beets, and put them between two slice of bread!

What is the taste of your childhood?

I’d love to hear which food evokes memories of your childhood…..The good, the bad, the ugly…heaven forbid…. the embarrassing

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Mum’s home-made muesli

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

A few months back I was having a post work whinge over a cup of coffee whilst visiting my Mum and Dad in their South Coast home.

On and on I ranted…having survived another week of office warfare all I wanted was some understanding, for someone to say ‘ What a horrible week…I understand your frustration and disappointment’

Instead, as I finally stopped to draw breath,  my Mum uttered the following words, with the tone of voice every parent calls on from time to time

‘ Aren’t you eating breakfast?’

In an instant my anger and frustration just grew 10 fold!!

Looking back on that discussion…and Mum’s classic summation of my whinge…I can’t help but think that perhaps she was right….

For indeed, on that fateful day , I had forgone breakfast….And if I am honest, more often than not since that day I have eaten a single piece of toast on the run, relied on a large coffee to provide me with all my breakfast nutritional needs…

As days have turned to weeks, weeks into months, my morning energy levels have dwindled….and over and over in my ears rings I can  hear my Mother’s concern ‘ Aren’t you eating breakfast?’

On the weekend  I came to terms with the fact that I could no longer ignore my Mother’s pleas….I shopped up a storm, dusted off an old recipe book  and took the time to make her ‘Famous’ home-made muesli.

As I child, and teenager, young adult, it was my breakfast cereal of choice. It was its simplicity that won me over…no sugar, all natural grains and oats which I would spruce up with the all essential chopped dried apricots and cold milk.

Home-made muesli with dried apricots and cranberries

Home-made muesli with dried apricots and cranberries

When I first left home to live in the UK for 2 years in 2001, it was the first recipe request that I had Mum write into my travel journal….And it is this travel journal which I turned to on the weekend, turned to the well worn page and got to work.

It felt ‘just right’ to set aside time to eat breakfast this morning. Sitting down at my breakfast table to a bowl of childhood memories, complete with chopped apricots.

Lesson learnt….Mum knows best.

S.M.Boyle’s Famous Home-Made Muesli- Guaranteed breakfast happiness

1 packet ( 750g) rolled oats

1 packet ( 100g) sunflowers

½ ( 75g) packet sesame seeds

1 packet ( 100g) of slivered almonds

½ cup coconut

½ cup of bran OR oat bran

½ cup wheat germ

Bake in large tray in very slow oven 90 Celsius for ¾ hour – 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave until cool.

Serve with array of chopped dried fruit and milk

Sweet Treats: Chocolate Spiders

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

On Tuesday night I caught up with a mate ( it is what I do best!!)

Mel and I met at The Spot in Randwick, for a quick bite to eat and to watch ‘ Dark Shadows’, the new Johnny Depp / Tim Burton film collaboration.

Many words, many posts indeed could be devoted to the actor Johnny Depp….for he is someone I have longed admired…but this is not THAT post…

After pizza and wine, we queued in the line for the ‘ candy bar’ at the Cinema….neither of us capable of fitting another morsel of food in..but when one goes to the cinema…one must buy candy!!

Umming over what to purchase…a Kit Kat?  Mars Bar? Toblerone?

Uninspired by the usual choices….something caught our attention is a small display cabinet next to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cabinet….

Home-made  chocolate spiders.

Chang's Chocolate Spiders

Chang’s Chocolate Spiders

‘ Chocolate Spiders?’ queried Mel ‘ What are they?’

Looking puzzled, Mel could only presume that because she had grown up in Western Australia, the Chocolate Spider recipe had been not  embraced with the same gusto as in the East Coast.

Astounded that my friend had never eaten a Chocolate spider, I took on an advisory role, reverting back to my childhood years when, as an amateur master chef, I would melt milk chocolate over low heat,  add a 2 tablespoon of peanut butter and mix in a bag of Chang’s Original Fried Noodles.

My chef hat would remain on whilst I heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lined baking tray and pop into the refrigerator.

Chocolate Spiders….a crunchy, chocolate and peanut butter treat…

Mel and I made our decision there and then,  we parted with a $5.00 note and carefully cradled the sweets as we walked into the cinema.

When Mel experienced a  Chocolate Spiders for the first time, I swear I saw a single tear roll down her check…a single tear for all the chocolate spiders she missed out on during her childhood.

So it would only seem fair to share the Chocolate Spider recipe….so as to prevent another person, child or adult, being denied this delightful sweet treat….

After all, it is in the spirit of this blog, to share that which brings joy, not only to oneself, but to those you hold dear…

Click here for recipe :

Chang’s Chocolate Spiders

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Buscuits

Anzac Buscuits

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

The Anzac Biscuit….A fitting time to bake them really,  given that tomorrow is Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia, which commemorates and honours the lives lost, the sacrifices made by men, women and children in the First and Second World War.

As I mixed this humble mix of kitchen staples together on Sunday afternoon, the flour, the oats, the sugar…I thought of a time gone by, when food rashions were in place, when eggs and dairy products were priced beyond the means of the average family income…The result…the emergence of  the Anzac buscuit…A sturdy, chewy, sugary, oatey treat….

The Anzac Biscuit was economical cooking  AND  it  kept well. Wives, mothers and girlfriends could whip a batch of oatey goodness  and send them to their men, their boys serving in the war…A cheap treat, that not only tasted good but was guaranteed to taste good for months on end.

Anzac Day, the 25th of April…a time to pause, a time to reflect….If I am honest, if was not till my early 20’s that I began to register the significance of this day….And not till after I returned, aged 24, from a 2 year UK adventure, that I took any interest.

Both of my Mother’s parents served in World War Two….this much I know…My Nan marched in the George Street Anzac Day march for 34 consecutive years….only recently hung up her marching shoes, opting to watch the march on television.

There is something about this day that I find intrinsically sad…I have watched the Sydney march, even walked arm in arm with my Nan one year…and I am forever struggling to hold back tears…A combination of bag pipe music ( gets me EVERY TIME!!) , crowds, and the immense pride shown by those marching, each step often a conscious effort, one foot in front of the other territory…. time has crept up on the those who served in World War 2,  the Vietnam war, they are old, aging….Yet the Anzac Parade brings out their super hero qualities…and we , the audience,  have to accept that this is something they want to do, they need to do…All you can do is cheer, clap and applaud  these brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our country….

So tomorrow, why not bake a batch of our national biscuit: the Anzac?… Chances are you have all the ingredients waiting to be thrown together and baked at 160 degrees!!

Anzac biscuits Makes 24

Preheat oven to 160 degrees

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup of coconut

1 cup plain flour

1 1/2 tspn bicarbonate soda

2 tbspn boiling water

1 cup sugar

125 g butter

1 tbspn golden syrup

Combine rolled oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Combine butter and golden syrup, stir over gentle heat until melted.

Mix soda with boiling water, add to melted butter mixture, stir into dried ingredients. Spoon dessertspoonfuls of mixture on greased oven trays, allow for room for spreading.

Bake in slow oven  for 20 mins. Loosen on trays while warm, allow to cool.

Eat , Enjoy…Share with those you love and treasure….

Lest we Forget

xxx

Friendship Fire Starter: Dinner Date Part Two

Anatomy of an Evening / Location : Stitch Bar, York Street / Jamie’s Italian, Pitt Street, Sydney

If you have asked me in 2008 if I would be prepared endure a 3 hours waiting period for a table vacancy at a Sydney city restaurant the answer would have been a stern NO. The likelihood of me having a group of friends willing to partake in such lunacy four years ago…also highly unlikely.

But transport to the year 2012…not only was I willing, able and above all determined to partake it this culinary endurance test, I had 3 other friends keen to join in the proceedings.

Let me introduce them:

Dinner Guest S

Jamie’s Italian….Jamie Oliver’s Italian…Opened in Sydney 6 months ago….and the buzz surrounding this eatery is alive and well.

A fan of the Naked Chef for many years, my excitement was clearly visible as I waited eagerly for my chariot, the 339 bus to take me to the city

‘You going somewhere ?’ asked the local corner store owner upon seeing me at the bus stop

‘Yes, I am going to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant tonight’

‘ Wow’

‘ I know, at least it is not McDonalds’ ( such was my enthusiasm that I really can’t recall why I even said that)

Luckily, the bus turned up and I was whisked off, city bound.

I meet S, A and B in the queue for the eatery at 6.30pm. A queue some 20 people deep….interesting, slightly unnerving….My posses reached the restaurant lobby, our request was placed : ‘ Table for four please’

‘It will be a 2 ½ hour to 3 hour wait guys’

That is fine’ remarked A

‘Can I have a contact number for the booking?’ and A recited 10 digits quickly, perhaps in the hope it would reduce our waiting time by 15 minutes.

I could not help myself…I had begun to feel slightly responsible for arranging a 6.30pm dinner party that would not touch a morsel of food it seemed, till close to 10pm.

I gathered the strength….and whimpered to the host taking our reservation details: ‘ What time to you open on Saturday night’

The response…’ We don’ t close…we open in the morning and close at midnight’

My brain slowly processed this concept…So to get a 6.30pm booking on Saturday night we really should have placed our names on the list at 3pm that afternoon…Interesting…I would not thought of that….

But the looks on A, S and B’s face said it all…we were in it for the long haul…If the host had said: ‘ Guys, there is a 5 hour wait, is that ok?….More than likely we would have replied ‘ No worries, we’ll just head home, take a nap and when you call us for our 11.30pn reservation we will be here!!’

For as you might have realised…Jamie’s does not take reservations…for bookings under 6 people any way….This was a slight setback, the concept of 10pm dining… but all four of us regrouped and took to the streets, to a nearby watering hold that came the highest recommendations ( You will feel like you are in Melbourne!!)

Stitch Bar on York street…Wow Wee….I do love thee…A cute little basement bar, with a wonderful array of cocktail….So wonderful that my posse helped themselves to three each over the next 2 ½ hours….My fear that the night would not so much be about the food, it would seem, was to become a reality….the cocktail I chose to kick start the night ‘ Elegantly wasted’…I will say no more…It was there and then that the dining experience looked set to take a back seat….

But what was that I heard…the sound of a phone ringing….It was Jamie…He was ready for us….Saving us from certain death by liquid dinner….we took off in the direction of dinner….

Jamie’s Italian…Wow Wee….I do love thee… We were seated upstairs, on the mezzanine level, which enabled us to take in sweeping views of the kitchen, the chefs and the controlled chaos as they pumped out dish after dish, military style…it enabled us to spy on all the other restaurant patrons, but with the clock fast approaching 10pm, our eyes were firmly planted on the menu.

Fast talking, and super enthusiastic Sebastian, was our waiter…I was almost overwhelmed by this guys passion for his job, that I found it difficult to focus on the array of dishes on offer….But as luck would have it, a colleague from my office job, had printed off the menu and scribed down words of advise, wisdom on just about every dish….So really the job was already done for me!!

Sebastian thought this was rather  amusing …here was a group of people who had researched there dinner date….Hilarity aside, we got down to business and ordered…and before you could say, ‘ Wow, it is 10.05pm’ our dinner had hit the table!!!

Pictures tell a story….so I will let the three pictures I managed to take do just that…..I realised in hind sight that I should have taken more, this was after all, meant to be a review….But I think back to the time spent at Stitch bar and the cocktail ‘ Elegantly Wasted’….enough said.

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The food was fresh, flavoursome and at times inspiring in terms of the combination of texture and taste.

All dished looked authentic to the style of Mr Oliver…they were not pretentious….they were simple good quality dishes served with passion and love.

The restaurant layout, décor and design complemented the cuisine perfectly…Throughout the meal, as I gazed around, I was often had to pinch myself that I was still in Sydney…the buzz inside was suggestive of New York, Berlin, Paris, London….as a result I feel in love with the place just that little bit more….

Was it the best meal I have ever had? Was it worth the long wait?

I am yet to make up my mind.

Will I go back for second.

Yes I will, but I might try a mid week lunch…or mid week dinner

At the conclusion of the evening, B and I made up a rating scale, scribbling over the menu with a pen supplied by Sebastian, rating the dished we had tried. I will share it with you, the reader, for I think it will help you to decide whether you will embark on this food odyssey, a dining experience, which at its very heart, remain true Mr Oliver’s mission : love, passion and verve for food, family and life.

Rating Scale

* Not worth 3 hour wait

* * Consider waiting 3 hours

* * * Amazing, worth 3 hour wait

PASTA Reveiws

Prawn Linguine * * *

Truffle Risotto * *

Buffalo Ricotta Raviolo * * *

MAIN Reviews

Tuscan Wild Boar Sausages * * *

Veal Saltimbocca * *

DESSERT Reviews

Tiramisu *

Italian Bakewell Tart * * *

Affogato * * *

WAITER review

Sebastian * * * * ( in a category all of his own!!)

Friendship Fire Starter: Dinner Date

08 Mar 2012 Leave a comment

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

And this weeks ode is about two of my favourite things in life….Eating and Friendship…Put the two together and you get a dinner date..

This weekend I am planning on dining out with one of my most treasured friends…half of a twin combo….that I was fortunate enough to befriended at 10 years of age…How could I have been so lucky?…to have not one but two best friends…Someone was smiling down on me when the Lee twins moved to the sleepy South Coast town in NSW many moons ago…

So I have mentioned the friend and now for the eating part.

I cannot remember a time in my life when food or the art of eating was not at the forefront of my mind….Not only have I always loved to eat…But I have loved to cook, to bake…As a 10-year-old I used to play ‘cafes’, turning the family kitchen into a commercial business, making menus and insisting my parents and brother sit down at the dining table and order breakfast items of the order board. My Dad would roll his eyes as I prepared his cereal bowl of corn flakes with muesli….My brother would complain at the time taken to perfect bacon and eggs….But I could not have been happier…

At age 12 I took to holding cake stores street side, selling  cupcakes, slices and biscuits to just about anyone who would part with cash for my humble homemade treats….At age 16, with both Lee twins in tow and one other recruit, the delightful KS, I turned an idea of running a monthly restaurant in a community centre into a reality……Yes, eating, dining out, call it what you want…My love affair with food has stood the test of time.

And it is with must anticipation that this weekend I will ascend onto the newly established restaurant in Sydney’s CBD: Jamie’s Italian….I could, as the song inserted below implies, not be any more excited!!

Jamie Oliver…I am a fan, a groupie….call me what you like….I admire you whole heartedly.

But if I am honest, and this is a quality I want to live by, I was not always a fan…I truely thought of you as just another celebrity chef….But all that changed for me when you launched your Ministry of Food campaign in 2008…then I really started taking notice….Your passion, belief and determination to get everyday people to change bad eating habbits….suggesting change in ways that were both simple and managable…Yes, you won me over.

And then I took time to go back and look and all the other wonderful things you had done thorughout your cooking career…. and my admiration for you just grew and grew and grew…

So it is true to say that I can’t wait to dine with fabulous friends at your Sydney restaurant this coming weekend….Fabulous friends and one of life’s great pleasure, food ( and a couple of glasses of wine)

Next week I will follow up with a review of the dining experience….I will do my best to capture the essence of the restaurant, the flavours of the food, the wine…and of course relay some of the quality conversation that is bound to flow.

Bubble O’Bill Ice Creams

21 Feb 2012 3 Comments

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Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

This week, I am paying homage to an Australia ice cream, Streets Bubble O’Bill, an iconic ice cream on a stick, a sweet treat that flavours many of my childhood memories.

A Bubble O’Bill ice cream is best enjoyed with friends….summer or winter, autumn or spring…Season’s don’t really matter, but the company you share whilst devouring the combination of chocolate, strawberry and caramel ice-cream + bubble gum ball  is MOST important.

The fable begins, when as a young girl, aged 10, my Father and one of his best mates, would relieve their respective wives of a weekend of child raising duties, and head South…as far south as they could handle with a bunch of kiddie-winks under 10!!

The place we ascended on, time and time again, was Bream ‘ Beautiful ‘ Beach. As the eldest of the pack of rug rats, I was taken on these weekend trips as a glorified baby sitter, some-one who could look after the ‘youngster’ whilst the Dad’s took their tinnie far from shore, for spot of fishing.

Hours later they would return, and the kids, including me, would be OVER  it….Hungry, tired, hot, exhausted….the only thing that could redeem our Dad’s after a morning of seaside torture was the promise of an ice cream…not just any ice cream…a Bubble O’ Bill

We would sing on high as our car, towing the boat would near the Errol Bay New agency…singing made up tunes about ice cream, putting extra pressure on our Dad’s, making it near impossible for them to do a drive by without an ice cream purchase.

And when the sweet chocolate, caramel and strawberry goodness hit our lips, ALL was forgiven….The pain staking hours in the morning sun, the tears and tantrums as our Dad’s boat neared the shore, only to swerve back out to sea, signalling that the waiting game would continue….running out of food rations, water and ideas to keep everyon entertained, happy….Everything was ALWAYS forgiven when we received a Bubble O’Bill.

********************

As an adult, it is with fondness that I look back on those times in the summer sun, so much so that only last year, the original gang assembled at Bream, 15 years had passed, and there were new ‘gang’ members;  a few husbands and a girlfriend…eager to experience the legend that has become a weekend away at  Bream Beach.

And a legendary weekend require a legendary ice cream…So true to form, we stopped by the Errol Bay newsagency ( there was no need for a sing along this time…we had control of the wheel!!) and purchased 8 Bubble O’ Bills.

That evening, after a few wines, and a lovely dinner…in what was truly chilly conditions…we indulged in our favourite childhood ice cream….Time may have passed, but dessert transported us back to childhood ( it took the Bream Beach first timers were as well)….Smiles spread across our faces, ice cream dripped down our chin and in an instant…we were kids again!!

So do yourself a favour, grab a Bubble O’ Bill and be a big kid again….thats an order!!

Yum Cha

31 Jan 2012 1 Comment

Yum cha is a Chinese style morning or afternoon tea, which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes-Wikipedia

What is not to love about small portions of food, magical combinations of flavours, sweet and sour dipping sauces, steamed vegetables and jasmine tea?

What is not to love about a restaurant the size of a small football field, packed to the brim with hungry patrons,  with street style hawkers pushing food carts up and down the carpeted floor, stopping at your table to tempt you with their product?

Yum Cha at the Marigold, George Street, Sydney….It might not be high-end dining, but it is fun, fast, flavoursome and a sensory experience that you will not be able to forget in a hurry.

A meal that is this much fun is bound to unite those who sit around the table, and today I was privileged to dine with my Mum, Dad and Aunt ( I am hoping for brownie points with this post!!)

My parents had never experience a Yum Cha meal, but my Aunt was at east with the rapid pace at which our lunch appeared, the bartering, the refusing, the sampling and the down right weird ‘ No, we won’t take a serve of pigs ears or chicken feet’

We ate, and ate and ate, the soy sauce was dripped from one end of the table-cloth to the other, dumpling were devoured and pork buns gobbled up.

Yum Cha is food made fun, you get to sample an amazing array of dishes, some which you will like, others you will work out aren’t for you….And for a small amount of money you walk away a couple of kilos heavier, with a  smile stretched from ear to ear.

So grab a group together, take to your local Yum Cha restaurant and let the food circus begin…

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