Friday, April 20, 2018

The Clean Treats Factory

Decided to go here coming back from an airport drop off. Parking here is hard to find, since I think all the street parking is pretty much taken by the people who work in the warehouses in the area. This place is so spacious since it was an old warehouse, but they redecorated it and loved the sort of open feel and relaxed decor. It’s a plant based cafe with heaps of vegetarian and vegan options.

food spread

Blue dream latte-$4
Gypsy rose beetroot latte-$4

I decided to go with the butterfly pea latte with macadamia milk mainly to have more colour on the table, even though I know the powder is pretty much tasteless. Paired it with macadamia milk, which I think is the first time for me having it. It has a slight milky/nutty flavour, but I feel like the taste isn’t as prominent compared to almond milk. The rose latte was super fragrant, but the taste is pretty subtle.

Tumeric cinnamon pancakes, walnuts, mixed berries-$17.90

I feel like these days I’ve had one too many pancakes, but when the pancakes are one of the more popular dishes on the menu, I can’t help to order it. The pancakes here I feel like lacked both cinnamon and numeric flavour. Texture could be more fluffy and a bit more moist. I feel like it’s something I could make it home if I tried, or at least just chuck in more cinnamon and numeric in it. The pancakes here weren’t too sweet and the yoghurt helped not make the pancakes too dry.

Zucchini linguine with cashew sauce, spinach, tomato-$17.90

The linguine sounded nice on paper but tasted too healthy/bland in my opinion. I feel like the creamyish dressing was just missing some herb or spice flavour. The bottom was quite oily which doesn’t help since at the end you feel like you’re just eating olive oil at the end. Even like pesto or something would have helped elevate the dish. I’ve had vegan pasta before, and I remember the pesto dressing really made that dish really flavourful.

Didn’t get any desserts to take home even though they all looked good. Didn’t feel like the food here was amazing so opted against their vegan treats. 

The Clean Treats Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cream cheese was half price at the beginning of the year, and I was like, time to make another baked cheesecake again since I have some time off in April. Decided to make it yday and initially I freaked out because I thought I broke my spring form tin cause the base wouldn't fit and I already prepped all the other ingredients which I didn't want to go to waste. Turns out I was trying to fit the lid through the top instead of the bottom groove of the pan, it's been a while since I baked...The only time I ever use my KitchenAid hand held food processor is for crushing biscuits for this cheesecake. Literally use it like once every two years...thank goodness I got it for free. That's why I'm not a big fan of fancy kitchen appliances. That being said, I can see why people do invest in a stand mixer since they chuck it in and just watch it mix, rather than holding the mixer and bowl. The actual process is really simple, just mix stuff in order. Waiting for the base to cool before adding the filling took a while.

baked cheesecake

I cranked up the over more this time, and it did burn it a bit rather than give that nice golden yellow colour. You can see how uneven my old fan forced over is. Took it out, and the right side of the over is more powerful than the other parts.

the filling sort of leaked over the side of the bottom of the base

cross section

It wasn't fully cooled down when I cut into it, so the biscuit base was quite crumbly, even though I packed it down hard. It's also hard to make the base even as well with just a spoon. Need to remember to push the biscuits to the edge more. On the day, it was quite creamy/soft compared to a slightly denser cheesecake, but not soft like the Jap cheesecakes.

Had it again today after chilling in the fridge and it's a lot better. It has that bit of 'resistance' when you cut through it. The base is a but hard in sections but not as crumbly. It tasted better last time I made it, but probably cause I made it in winter, whereas this autumn it's still hot and a bit humid, which affects the mixing and cooling process. The flavours are still nice since not too cheesy/rich (unless you have a big piece), since I put in a bit less sugar and more lemon juice than recommended. Still used the same recipe from a MC Masterclass run by Matt. Yay MC is starting again soon...but just as uni is about to get busy again...

Maccas: Wagyu buger-$10.65


I've been craving burgers for a while, and missed out on free duck burgers and half price brekkie burritos in the city (non perks of not having uni), so decided to try this burger after gym. I also fully face palmed yday cause I thought I cancelled my gym membership but didn't. First time going through a drive thru in years, like at least 4 years. I also missed a turn going in (shows you how much I don't eat Maccas in my area), and took a 3min detour/uturn back the other way around since it was a big road. Oh the things I do for food...

It's my first Maccas of the year, hence why it's on the blog lol. I don't actually taste much difference with the wagyu patty. The angus is more dry/lean/slightly rougher in texture, the wagyu is just softer, but it's not really fatty either compared to their normal beef burgers. it had crispy bacon which was quite nice. Cheese wasn't melted properly, only something you'll find in a cheeseburger or a burger joint which grills the meat with the cheese on top...I didn't really like the soft bread since I couldn't grip it, like my fingers would rip through the bread, or the filling would slide through the bread since I just couldn't have a strong grip within poking a hole right through both the top and bottom bun. I would rather a soft bun like brioche, but that is still more sturdy. Yeah, it was really just average and nothing amazing. Not much sauce and couldn't taste the tanginess as well. Also, it's 20c cheaper at Circular Quay than the hills #hillslyf. It's not cheap for Maccas at all...I guess i've just always had the impression that you can get a relatively larger burger/meals for less than $10, but that was over 10 years ago...Whereas I'm ok paying ridiculous amounts for some food, Maccas is an exclusion.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon

I've literally passed this place almost everyday on the way to uni, and decided to finally come here with BW. I feel like this is one of those 'hidden gems' in Sydney, where you can get authentic French food without it being too expensive. Of course, French food is cheaper in France haha. This place has got a more 'romantic' feel without being overly priced, with ambient lighting and many tables for 2, plus a candlelight on each table which I thought was cute.

entree food spread

Finally used my Dimmi voucher which I have accumulated point for the past 4 years. You get $20 off if you make 10 reservations on Dimmi, or 5 reservations and 5 reviews. 


Souffle aux forages: Twice cooked three cheese soufflé-$25


The cheese souffle was so cheesy, it was just so good. It’s not like a dessert souffle where it’s very airy and light. This savoury souffle wasn’t as light as a dessert one, but still quite light considering the fact that cheese is dense. There was some sauce at the bottom where you could have even more cheese. The top had that nice caramelised colour which gave it more flavour. It is a good dish to share since it would be too rich for one person. 

Escargots Bourguignons: Traditional French snails in garlic, parsley and Cognac butter (1/2 dozen)-$16

Can’t go to a French restaurant without ordering snails. I don’t think snails have much taste, as it really depends on what it’s cooked with, which is usually herbed melted butter. The melted butter tasted really nice when you dip the bread in it although you are pretty much just eating fat.

Steak tartare: "I recall Margaret Fulton lecturing me in the 1980's on how important it was to hand chop beef for Steak Tartare" so we do and serve it (raw) with condiments and toasted French baguette-$26


I think the first time I ever had steak tartare was in a small French restaurant in a local area, so nothing fancy but it tasted so good. I can’t eat raw meat or blue steak, but can do medium rare steak. I think I would only have raw steak at French restaurants since you can trust that they sourced the meat and it’s ‘clean’ and free of bugs which could make you sick…The waiter came to mix everything up after I took initial photos. I thought it was quite cute how the yolk is placed in the egg shell. All the condiments went together so well. The spice from the raw onion, mustard, and other stuff. I guess the slight acidity from the other toppings helps to slightly ‘cook’ the beef. It sort of tasted like sashimi, but with beef, so tasted like fresh beef from the ocean. It was served with some crisp bread which contrasted the texture of the beef well.  


The mains we ordered were relatively light and healthy compared to the entree.

Ratatouille topped with truffled poached duck egg and crispy basil-$32

duck yolk

The ratatouille had heaps of different veggies in it. I think it’s the first time having this dish for me so don’t have much to compare to, but it tasted really healthy. The sauce was quite light which was mainly based with tomato. Loved the crunchy bit on top which gave some crunch, but didn’t do much flavour wise.

Ballotine de Saumon et Crevettes: Atlantic salmon and prawn roulade served with crab beurre blanc and rice Pilaf-$38

This is something I normally won’t order since I usually go for a more ‘safe’ option like a piece of meat, but didn’t feel like having steak here, and the only duck on the menu was in the form of a pie which doesn’t look that great in photos. The salmon was wrapped around a prawn mousse. I wasn’t a massive fan of this dish since it reminded me of bland asian fish cakes that my mum tries to make. The prawn mousse was firm whilst the salmon was soft. I loved the crab sauce since it was so flavourful, wished there was more of it. The salmon skin was really crunchy and loved how it gave the dish some height. If you look really closely towards the bottom half of the roulade, you can some glad wrap holding the roulade. They didn’t completely take it off when they plated this dish. Initially me being me and wanting to try everything I was like is this edible…? But then it was definitely glad wrap when trying to cut into it. During the meal the waiter came over and asked if everything was all good and I said yes, but then at the end I’m like might as well tell them. So after I finished the meal and showed the waiter the glad wrap on my plate, he was super apologetic with a French accent. They ended up giving one complimentary dessert.

dessert platter options

Mont blanc w/ macaron and grand mariner ice cream-$18


I think because there weren’t heaps of people so they didn’t have the dessert trolley, but they had a sample of the desserts on a plate which you could choose. I decided to go with the Mont Blanc since I didn’t feel like chocolate or creme brûlée (which I can make at home). The dessert was nice but not amazing. Glad it wasn’t overly sweet but more chestnut flavour would help. One of the best mont blancs I’ve had is from Angelina, and it’s just as good in the original in Paris and also in Hong Kong. The dessert came with a scoop of ice cream and a macaron. The ice cream was a grand orange liqueur flavour, so a sweet dessert orange. Normally I don’t like dessert orange flavours, but it was nice in the ice cream. The macaron was choc mint flavour, again my least preferred flavour combo, but my love of macarons outweighed my dislike of choc mint.

petit fours

Wasn't expecting petit four, but yay for marshmallows. 


They have a lot more seating inside and upstairs as well, so this place is bigger than it actually looks. 

this clock reminds me of the clock at Musee d'Orsay in France

It’s a really nice place to go to with good food and service, with a nice ambience. 

Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk

I'm actually not a bit fan of coastal walks because it's usually sunny, hot, and skin gets tanned, but I do like coastal walks cause of the views, and the non-fenced cliffs where you can lookout from above the ocean/cove. It was really nice weather to go walking. It's roughly a 10km walk, and stuff online says it takes about 3-4 hours. I think we took around 3.5 hrs including resting/taking photo time. We didn't do the walk all along the coast though.

Started at Spit Bridge, and majority of the walk is in shade which is a major plus. I've done Bondi to Coogee three times now, and cause it's proper coast, there's no shade, whereas along the coves/harbours, you're walking under the trees. This route has quite a lot of stairs, some stairs made of stones/rocks, but majority is relatively well paved. It's narrowish at times, so single file walking through the bushes.

Spit Bridge

Ended up walking up until this parkas Clontarf Reserve, and there's no actual track, where we realised after you could walk through the sand as the faster way which then leads back onto the track, rather than going through the streets. Then again, it's sandy and I don't like sand in shoes, esp sneakers, so I'm glad we took the longer way.

I like looking at views from cliff tops, and esp the gradient of the water

relaxing at some rocks and watching rich kids jump of fancy boats

Hornby lighthouse in the far distance

Ended up skipping the middle of the track through the bush and walked on the suburban streets until the track started again when it went horizontal (east) on the map, and was a lot more well paved and spacious, and not walking through bush. Didn't walk to Many Beach since we saw the ferry coming and went straight to the wharf. Manly Beach has this Gold Coasty vibe to it. There is a crazy amount of people catching the ferry on the weekend around sunset, never caught a ferry this full before.

I've feel like I've been on Sydney harbour pretty much weekly the past few weeks haha.

I like the orange glow from the sun (but wished the person's head wasn't in the way)

I love the purply/pink sunsets, if only there wasn't anyone on the train station

I always wish there was more time for walks, or when I do have time to do walks it's not hot/sunny/humid, but I'm still grateful to spend time with BW.