Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! Before I begin, I hope you’ve been enjoying the recipes produced by my guest bloggers, my one true love, Jialing Mew, and of course my new friend Brendon D’Souza, for the past two weeks. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with them and cooking with them in the kitchen before I left to come back home to Brunei. Stay tuned for the next two weeks, I’ve got another friend who will be guest blogging, and a special someone whom without her, this blog may not even exist!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

So anyway, for those who have been following my blog for a while now, or those who just know me personally, will know that The Ground of Alexandria is a place I keep going back to for the food and just the overall vibe of the place… oh and for the cute waiters at the Potting Shed as well *cheeky grin* If I did not already mention this in my previous review on the Potting Shed, there is another café/restaurant as well as various food stalls in and around the Grounds. I’ve been to and had food at the Garden Bar three times now and the food never fails to impress my tastebuds and fill my tummy up with delight. The first time I was here, I went alone for the Christmas Markets back in 2014, shopping for gifts for my friends, eating food, and meeting Santa Claus! Would you believe that that was the very FIRST time I ever got to meet Santa and sort of sit on his lap? Yeah, what a childhood I’ve had right? Anyway, Santa said to me “it must be my lucky day!” referring to the fact that he’s had a couple of women taking photos with him before me.

The Grounds of Alexandria

The second time I came back to the Ground and had food at the Garden Bar was with my family when they came to visit for a holiday and my graduation ceremony in early May of this year. I decided to take them to the Garden Bar and enjoy the eats of the various food stalls. There were a lot of people, as usual, and it was difficult to snag a seat for four, but luckily we were able to find one under the lovely winter sun within 15 minutes of arriving. My Mom and my sisters fell completely in love with the food, as well as the atmosphere and overall vibe of the place – just like me. The third time I came back and had food from the Garden Bar was during a catch up session with Vidhya – well, I had been stalking the Instagram page of the Grounds and found out they were selling waffles that weekend so I HAD to go (and drag Vidhya along of course since we planned to hang out that day). Vidhya, if you’re reading this, correct me if I am wrong, I think I made you fall in love with the Grounds as well!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria


Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR BREKKY: BRUNCH BURGER
THE GARDEN BAR BREKKY: BRUNCH BURGER
with halloumi, caramelised onions, and rocket on a brioche bun ($10.00)
add chorizo (+$3.00)

I ordered this burger before when I went to the Grounds by myself during the Christmas festivities. I ordered it with the chorizo, but then completely forgot to add on that as an extra when I ordered it for the family to share. So instead it was a vegetarian burger with extra garlic sauce; nonetheless, it tasted great without, but still would’ve been even better with the chorizo! I think I’ve mentioned this before in many blog posts, and many of my friends know this – I’m not a huge fan of burgers, and even though this tasted pretty good, I am still not a fan of them.

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: JUMBO SALT & PEPPER PRAWNS
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: JUMBO SALT & PEPPER PRAWNS
crumbed and dressed with garlic, lime, coriander or chilli ($15.00)

THIS. That’s all I pretty much need to say about these prawns really; cooked, crumbed, and seasoned perfectly. The prawns melted in your mouth at every bite and tasted so well with the extra chimichurri sauce I drizzled on top! The prawns were by far my favourite dish from the Garden Bar – was sad to find out that they weren’t on the menu when I returned with Vidhya for round 2! (Side note: extra sauce comes at no price! They’re at the collection counter in massive bottles waiting to be drizzled onto your food!)

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: CHICKEN WINGS (feast for one, 8 wings)
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: CHICKEN WINGS (feast for one, 8 wings)
crumbed and accompanied with fiery chilli or BBQ basting sauce ($12.00)

Another one of my favourites from the Garden Bar; we ordered the fiery chilli wings and though it wasn’t the fiery that we’re used to, it was still deliciously good, juicy and tender! If you’re tastebuds don’t fancy some spicy wings, I’m sure that the BBQ won’t disappoint. There’s also another option if you want more wings, which is 20 wings for $20.00!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: BBQ CHICKEN ROLL
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: BBQ CHICKEN ROLL
spit roasted over ironbark & charcoal, served with salsa and your choice of sauce ($12.00)

This Vidhya had when I took her to the Grounds; you have the choice between chicken, beef, or lamb as your meat, and you can either have it as a roll or a salad. Vidhya of course, only eats chicken, thus the chicken roll. I can’t remember if I had a little taste of the roll or not – I’m guessing I didn’t since I can’t remember, but anyway, I’m sure the roll tasted really good since pretty much everything on their menu had been spot on for me. Vidhya seemed to enjoy it 🙂

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: SMASHED AVOCADO
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: SMASHED AVOCADO
with tomato, feta, dried chilli flakes, and fresh mint from the garden ($9.50)

I’m usually not a fan of ordering smashed avocado when it comes to eating out. The reason being is that it’s basically just a piece of toast with smeared with smashed avocado and topped with feta, tomatoes, etc. Something that I can easily whip up myself at home to be honest. But alas, I knew that going out with Vidhya for “brunch” would turn into late lunch – and surprise surprise! We ended up getting to the Ground at 1pm when we decided to meet up at 11:30am. Anyway, yes so my instincts were right to have something to eat before meeting up with Vidhya to eat again 😛 So since I wasn’t overly starving, smashed avocado was the only light thing on the menu besides the roll/salad, or burger. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the smashed avocado – I mean, you can’t really stuff that up I guess.

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - SIDES: SWEET POTATO FRIES
SIDES: SWEET POTATO FRIES ($8.00)

When you see sweet potato fries on the menu, how can you ignore it?! Drizzled with extra garlic aïoli sauce ❤

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - ORGANIC JUICES: TROPICAL FLAIRORGANIC JUICES: TROPICAL FLAIR
watermelon, pineapple, apple, lime ($8.00)

Refreshingly good!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - GARDEN SMOOTHIES: MANGOGARDEN SMOOTHIES: MANGO
fresh ripe mango, dried mango, and natural low-fat yoghurt with the goodness of chia and flax seeds ($8.50)

Though it wasn’t mango season the time I ordered the drink, it tasted heavenly!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - CHOCOLATE AND RED VELVET WAFFLES
CHOCOLATE AND RED VELVET WAFFLES ($9.00)

THIS IS THE REAL DEAL HERE; basically the main reason why I keep going back to the Grounds. I cannot stress out how many times I’ve been to the Grounds for the waffle stall that left me disappointed on so many occasions. I say disappointed because no matter when, and every time I find myself at the Grounds, the waffle stall was ALWAYS closed. There was one time I even waited around at the Grounds for 2 hours for the stall to open and kept pestering the lady at the dessert stall, asking when the waffle stall would open. I got tired of waiting, and eventually just had food from the Garden Bar and then left. When the Grounds posted a picture of their Chocolate and Red Velvet Waffles on Instagram, I knew I had to make a trip over for them; I was overly happy! Even though I was already so full from all the food I had that day prior to waffle eating, I finished all three waffles (with the help of Vidhya who took one or two small bites because she too was already full). Definitely worth my 9 bucks!

The Grounds of Alexandria

Once again, the Grounds of Alexandria never fail to disappoint me every time I visit. Each time I visit is a different experience; also because I’m with different people whenever I pay a visit to explore the gardens, the markets, indulge in the food. and of course say hi to the various farm animals such as Kevin Bacon the resident pig. The atmosphere and overall vibe of the place is a sure 10 out of 10 for me – it can get very crowded during sunny weekends, but nevertheless, it’s all part of the experience really; I mean, it’s crowded for a reason! Food I’d give a 9 out of 10 (only because I feel I’d be too biased if I gave them a 10 out of 10 for food even though they really deserve the 10). Seating can be a bit of a hassle to find especially when the Grounds is packed with people and kids. Vidhya and I ended up sitting on the ledge of one of the garden beds along with other people, but if you’re okay with that, I see no problem here. The Garden Bar has a good value for money, definitely much cheaper than the Potting Shed for reasons that are apparent anyway in terms of the quality of the food served and the ambience of the Potting Shed in comparison to the gardens. If you haven’t seen my review for the Potting Shed, or want to recap on the dishes from there (the menu might be different from my review and now since seasons have past), click here.

The Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds
Building 7A
No. 2 Huntley Street
Alexandria, New South Wales
Australia, 2015

– Ally xx

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Hello Everybody! Short post today as I have no long-winded back story for this dish. I just wanted something fresh on the plate to accompany my wings and this came into mind! Please do check out the original recipe here though by allrecipes once again.

Corn Salsa Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (420g) sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Handful of rocket leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss together until well combined. Chill until ready to serve. Simple as that!

Corn Salsa

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Hello Everyone! Another simple recipe for you that has already probably come up in a few recipes as an accompaniment to a main dish, but I thought that I’d separate the recipe from a post I did two days ago. I love mashed potatoes. I still even remember the time I “made” them – a cringe-worthy experience I must say! I was THAT inexperienced that I “made” mashed potatoes by simply buying those pre-packed ones where you would just add water and violà! Can’t believe I did that for a year.

And you may think that mashed potatoes are simple and easy to make? Well somehow I still managed to stuff them up one time – it had a glue-like texture to it… It was just awful in texture but at least the taste was somewhat still there. I seriously had NO idea how that happened until I came across a Masterchef Australia’s Masterclass on TV where Gary showed how to make the perfect mashed potatoes. I then understood where my mistakes were and they were mainly to do with temperatures and process of mashing (I used to use a potato masher, but for a smoother consistency…you’ll find out below). Nonetheless, I can say that I’m pretty much there with my mashed potatoes – some days more creamy and some days more fluffy because I pretty much just eyeball the amount of milk and butter. Also always inconsistent with the number of potatoes that I use. So for this recipe, just adjust the amount of milk and butter to your liking.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium-sized white potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed but not boiling
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Steam the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until tender (check by piercing a fork into the chunks of potatoes). Drain and pass the potatoes through a sieve back into the pot with the heat turned off. Work in batches if needed.
  2. Add the warmed milk, potatoes and ground salt and pepper, and mix until a smooth and creamy texture. Serve as an accompaniment to a main dish.

Mashed Potatoes

Also note the waterlily bowl that I used to hold my mashed potatoes in! If you’re a new follower or have not seen my blog before, head on to a post I did a while back on my Lovelily Tableware Collection where I hand-built plates and bowls for my introduction to ceramics course as part of my degree elective.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Honeyed Dutch Carrots

Honeyed Dutch Carrots

Hello Everybody! If you read yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned that I would be posting the recipe to these lovely honeyed Dutch carrots separate from yesterday’s recipe – so here it is now! Don’t worry, I’m not going to write another long-winded post as I have no back story to this. I just wanted some vegetables to go with my steak au poivre yesterday and I looked up some ways that I could make my Dutch carrots a little more fancy than just having them just steamed.

I came across Julie Goodwin’s recipe for honey carrots and they are just divine! Instead of using just regular honey, I decided to go for a fusion by Capliano which is a blend of honey and ginger (recently getting into these honey fusions, if you remember from a few posts I used a honey and maple syrup a couple of time in various recipes). Also, apparently these carrots are in season in Australia around July time (though I am one week into August already), but if you do want to keep on your budget, you can make do with ordinary carrots, just remember to cut them into small batons to cook through well.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 12 MINS SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 bunch baby Dutch carrots, peeled and tops trimmed to 2cm
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp Capilano honey and ginger blend
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Steam (or microwave) the carrots for 3 minutes until tender but not soggy.  The time will depend on how big that carrots as smaller ones may need even less than 3 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium frypan over medium-high heat. When it starts to froth, add the carrots and cook for about 1-2 minutes, browning the carrots slightly before adding the honey in. Then toss in the pan for 5-6 minutes or until the honey becomes a lovely dark brown in colour.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately as an accompaniment to any dish. In my case, I served with yesterday’s Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine dish.

Honeyed Dutch Carrots

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com