Devon on Danks: BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA'S

Devon on Danks

Hello Everyone and welcome back to yet another Review Sunday on the blog! Devon Café is one of those that I’d never fail to go back to for a nice Sunday brunch, well besides the Potting Shed at the Grounds though – I can’t pick between the two! So recently, I think somewhere in mid-November, Devon Café expanded their brand and opened up a new venue over on Danks Street in Waterloo. I quite honestly did not get into the hype of it until late December, after Christmas, before New Years – not that I wasn’t into it, but I just wanted to wait until the hype died down a bit. Knowing that this is Sydney, the hype never dies down! The first time I went here wasn’t that bad though, we managed to get a seat straight away but even so, the place was pretty packed. If we had arrived any later we could’ve easily been standing outside waiting for at least 10 minutes or so for a table for 3. Don’t even get me started on how packed it was on ‘Straya Day, but lucky again we managed to get a table for 2 with ease, but I did feel sorry for the others who had to wait out in the rain for a table.

Devon on Danks: 'STRAYA DAY SPECIAL
‘STRAYA DAY SPECIAL
Medley of tomatoes, avocado, olive oil, and soft-boiled egg, on toast ($16.50)

As mentioned above, this dish was only available during Australia Day. I ordered it because it’s one of their specials and it won’t be on their menu ever again (maybe)! It was a difficult decision because I was eying their ‘Naked’ Bruschetta at that time as well. I actually have no regrets going for this dish because it blew my mind. Yes I know, some tomatoes and avocado on toast – really? The dish was just so flavoursome and fresh at the same time. The crusty white bread added that crunch texture to the palette and was excellent for soaking up the olive oil. The disappointment in this dish though was that my egg was not at all soft nor runny liked I’d expect it to be. Would’ve loved a runny yolk to compliment the crusty bread to soak it all up. Also, $16.50 for this dish? A bit too much in my opinion.

Devon on Danks: BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA'S
BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S
Miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63˚ egg, radish petit salad, and kewpi mayonnaise ($24.50)

This dish is probably Devon’s signature as it appears in both menus at the original Devon and Devon on Danks. My Instagram newsfeed always features this dish from other people’s brunches. I never really had this dish for myself to consume, but I did manage to have a bite from my friend’s plate. According to her, the salmon was cooked to perfection and I can definitely vouch for that statement. The egg was perfectly cooked, and flavour combinations worked well together. She overall liked the dish.

Devon on Danks: LITTLE LOST BREAD
LITTLE LOST BREAD
Brioche French toast, fresh and freeze dried strawberries, balsamic and strawberry gastrique, strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and Arnott’s biscuit crumble ($16.50)

Again, I did not have this dish to myself, but I did manage to have a small bite. My friends, who at that time share this dish as a dessert, really loved this dish, but it was a bit sour for my liking, which I think mainly came from the balsamic. But otherwise, the brioche French toast was amazing, and so was the ice cream that topped it. What I found interesting was that at the end of the description for this dish it said “add bacon $4.00”. BACON? I was so confused and intrigued at the same time, but my friends didn’t want to get the bacon with it.

Devon on Danks: DR SEUSS's GREEN EGGS AND HAM
DR SEUSS’s GREEN EGGS AND HAM
Thick cut bacon, crispy potato, 63˚ egg, green tomato ketchup, pea purée, soybeans, pea tendrils, and jus ($19.00)

This again was a dish that was predominately popping up on my Instagram newsfeed. I think what is attractive about this dish is its name. It brought back many childhood memories and this was a dish that I really wanted to indulge in, but unfortunately lost the battle with Marissa. She told me to order the same thing but I was like NO that’s not point! Because I write a blog, I actually hate it when people order the same thing, because then that means that I have one (sometimes two) less dishes to write about. Which also means that I have to again visit the café/restaurant so that I am not just reviewing two or three dishes. Anyway, tangent aside, the bacon was delish, cooked to perfection, and paired well with the other components in the dish. Marissa seemed to love it too!

Devon on Danks: SOFT SHELL CRAB SALAD ala JAPANOIS
SOFT SHELL CRAB SALAD ala JAPANOIS
Crispy soft shell crab with sichimi pepper, wasabi mayo, tobiko, nori, pickled cucumber, daikon, carrot, and shiso ($19.90)

Originally, this dish was meant to be a soft shell crab roll. I don’t know what happened, like whether they ran out of rolls or whatever other reason, this time when I came back with Tara, they had blacked out the ‘roll’ on their menu and changed it to a salad. Despite it not being a roll anymore, the dish was beautifully presented and was very flavoursome. The soft shell crab was crunchy and was packed with a lot of spice, quite possibly from the wasabi. That was on point for me. The salad was flavourful, but in the end I kept thinking that the dish looked really small, and for roughly $20.00, it almost seemed that you didn’t a good value for your money. I’ve had soft shell crab salad elsewhere before at a Japanese restaurant and it was about $11.00 for more than just ONE crab.

Devon on Danks: LUCKY DUCK
LUCKY DUCK
French buckwheat crêpe, crispy duck leg, duck liver parfait, fried duck egg, and blueberry preserve ($24.50)

This was the dish that I had that time I was out with Marissa and her friend Karina. Duck is one of my favourite meats which is why I had no doubts when having to select another dish after not being able to have my way with what I wanted in the first place. I regret nothing. This dish was top notch for me, despite me having doubts about the liver parfait. It actually tasted good together with the blueberry preserve and the other elements to the dish. I could not fault this dish, and unlike most dishes, this definitely was a great value for money.

Devon on Danks: CRONUT
CRONUT
Green tea matcha cronut with red bean filling ($7.00)

This was by far the best cronut I’ve had to date (not that I’ve had many anyway), but the flavour combinations happening in this one tiny cronut was to die for. The amount of red bean filling in this cronut might I add was very generous! It just oozed out every time we sliced into it for a bite. Though I did feel that by the 5th or 6th bite, I could feel that the red bean filling was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Devon on Danks: SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
Pandan soft serve, banana, rice and coconut krispies, kalamansi cream, palm seeds, and gula melaka ($11.00)

What I love about Devon is the Asian fusion that they bring into their cuisine. This ice cream, though Asian inspired based on ingredients and flavours, is nothing that I have seen at all in Asia. Pansan, kalamansi, palm seeds, and gula melaka, are all flavours that I am familiar with, but never did I think that they’d all work so well together as an ice cream sundae! Loved the flavour combinations in this sundae, better than the salted caramel soft serve. I only wished that it had been a very hot day instead of a gloomy ‘Straya Day the time I shared this with Tara because the cloddish weather and really cold ice cream did not feel right!

Devon on Danks: DD's SPECIAL SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
DD’s SPECIAL SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
with salted caramel ice cream, black salt, and hot chips ($10.00)

Ever since the opening of Devon on Danks, I have seen this pop up on my Instagram feed one too many times! It brought back a lot of memories of when I was a kid and how I’d use to dip my order of fries into my soft serve ice cream on a cone from McDonalds. I think it was everyone’s childhood memories for everyone had written about how they did that when they were kids when talking about this sundae. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this, there was too much salt going on for me. I was fine at first, but I struggled to finish the rest. Salted caramel ice cream, TOPPED with black salt, AND salted fries on the side. Salt overload!

I’d rate the food probably an 8 on a scale of 10, just cos of some minor issues I had with some of the dishes that were served. Service was on point and the waiters/waitresses were always smiling, friendly, and gave great recommendations when it came down to having to make a decision on what cronut we wanted to have for dessert. The ambiance was sort of like modern meets industrial which by the way is what I like most about cafés around Sydney who embrace this interior design style fusion. Value for money is variable – some dishes I feel were reasonably priced while others I felt that they were a bit overpriced for the amount of food that was on the plate. Then again this is my opinion, and I’m pretty sure others will have a different say to this. But overall, be it the original Devon Café or Devon on Danks, I will always pay a visit when I am in the mood for a pretty epic brunch date.

Devon on Danks
2 Danks Street
Waterloo, New South Wales
Australia, 2017

– Ally xx

The Ultimate Brekkie

The Ultimate Brekkie

Hello Everyone! Back with a quick one since I feel like you guys deserve another upload after being away for so long. Today I wanted to make a really filling and unforgettable brekkie where I can just sit down and enjoy it instead of packing it with me to bring to the office or even just skipping breakfast altogether. Well okay, I ended up having these for lunch after a deserved Sunday sleep in, but breakfast for lunch (even for dinner) is just the best thing ever!

So after my visit to Paper Plane Café 2 weeks ago or so (again as I mentioned in the previous post, I will do a review soon-ish), I really wanted to recreate their breakfast board at home. It looked simple enough to be able to do so just by glancing at the board and even pin-pointing the obvious ingredients. I must say that it was a huge success in the kitchen this morning, even though I may have burnt my balsamic reduction and the other side of the toast, oops! But nonetheless a brekkie so worth the time and effort spent in the kitchen. I invited my housemate Lydia as well for breakfast/brunch/lunch, so basically today’s lunch was a joint effort between the two of us. She’s now a professional chef! Under my guidance and supervision, as well as the Taste recipe being read to her, she made the Hollandaise Sauce all by herself for the very first time to go with the poached eggs. Her sauce was to die for! Apart from that, she helped wash and cut up the tomatoes, mushrooms and chorizo sausages, and also did a fair bit of the cleaning up. I took care of the rest. (This note is for Vidhya – don’t stop reading here, there’s a small paragraph/story at the end of the post!)

The Ultimate Brekkie

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 hash browns
  • 2 hickory-smoked bacon rashers
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 slices of Country Grain bread
  • 2 field grown tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally
  • 250g cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Handfull of rocket leaves
  • Small thumb-sized ginger, grated
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Olive Oil

For the Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place the hash browns and slices of bread on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle the slices of bread with a bit of olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to about 50C to keep the food warm while you prepare and cook everything else.
  2. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you are a hopeless impatient person like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess – basically what I did for the first batch of balsamic reduction. I was also stupid enough to try it and see if it was still edible, and it ended up sticking to the front of my teeth (not a very pleasing experience might I add).
  3. Meat, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms: Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add the bacon and chorizo and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Place the bacon, chorizo slices, and tomatoes in the oven to keep warm. Add the mushrooms to the grill pan with a bit of olive oil and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and lemon juice, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and then set aside in the oven to keep warm.
  4. Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  5. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  6. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
  9. Assembly: While the Hollandaise Sauce and Poached Eggs are almost done, assemble your dish, this part is entirely up to you on how you wish to present it. Drizzle your balsamic reduction over your rocket leaves. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the eggs from the saucepan. Place on top of the toast and bacon. Then top with a generous amount of sauce to your poached eggs. Crack a little salt and pepper and serve immediately!

While having our lunch, all Lydia could talk about was how good it all tasted. She was already full, but she still wanted to eat more. We also talked about how in cafés you’d get an average dollop of hollandaise sauce, which is sometimes not enough with the amount of serving your get from the rest of the food. We had a whole bowl of it and basically drowned our eggs in them, and had them with everything basically. Also, the best thing about eating at home is that we get to be barbaric in a sense that we didn’t care about using our forks and knives, we ate our toast with our hands and weren’t afraid to have them smothered over the sides of our mouths or dripping down the side of our fingers.

The Ultimate Brekkie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Steamed Whole Snapper

Steamed Whole Snapper

Hello Everyone! My fridge (or should I say, my part of the fridge since I share a house with about 20 other people) has been looking a bit lonely for the past week. Nothing makes me happier than going to Paddy’s Market, and coming home with bags of fresh meat, seafood, and vegetables – and a bonus development of arm muscles from carrying heavy shopping bags, but probably not good for my back in the long run. My part of the fridge is looking happier now with all that food!

Steamed Whole Snapper

I probably bought more than 5 kilos of meat ranging from beef, chicken, and yummy pork ribs. I also got 2 whole snappers for $15, one of which will be featured in today’s post, and the other probably later in the week, as well as some prawns and salmon portions. I know that this sounds like a LOT of food for a tiny girl like me, but all this will probably last me a month or so. Paddy’s is not difficult to get to from where I live, but it is quite a bit of a trek and time consuming to go to every week to shop especially when there are a few other supermarkets close by. The reason why I go to Paddy’s at least once a month is because of their meat, seafood, and vegetables – cheaper and definitely fresher and of better quality than your local Coles or Woolies. I once got sick from meat that I got from Coles… That’s all I’m going to say.

Anyway, onto the recipe – this is a dish that my mom would always make for dinner, using a different fish of course and a different method of cooking. She usually cooks it over a charcoaled barbecue and I don’t know, there’s just something about it being cooked that way that made it so much more tastier. I obviously wasn’t going to start a barbecue for just one fish, plus, I don’t actually have a barbecue in the house (well I do but it runs on gas and I kind of blew it up towards the end of last year – don’t ask). So I stuck to steaming the fish today, but if you do want to give this a try, I highly recommend my mom’s way of cooking. Lip-smacking goodness I tell you!

Steamed Whole Snapper Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole snapper, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced

METHOD

  1. Nestle the snapper on a large piece of foil and scatter the red and white parts of the onions, ginger, tomatoes, peppercorns, and salt. Drizzle the lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil over the fish.
  2. Loosely seal the foil to make a package, making sure that there is enough space at the top for the steam to circulate while the fish cooks.
  3. Steam for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can place the parcel on a heatproof plate, or a stainless steel wire steamer rack, over a pan of gently simmering water, cover with a lid and steam.
  4. Garnish with the remaining green onions and chilli slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Steamed Whole Snapper

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Hello everyone! So I realised that I haven’t actually posted any Filipino recipes since starting this blog. For those of you who don’t know, a big part of my diet consists of delicious homemade Filipino food cooked by my Mama while growing up. Her food was always the best. And today I want to share with you a nice sour soup that’ll definitely warm up your insides during a cold winter. Well, growing up in the tropics didn’t stop us from having a nice bowl of this soup! I’m actually quite proud to be Filipino because there is nothing that I love more than Filipino food.

Sinigang is characterised by its sour and savoury flavour that is traditionally tamarind based. There are other base variations where the soup obtains its sourness from such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or unripe mango. Seasoning powder or bouillon cubes based on tamarind is also used in place of natural fruits. This dish can be made with any type of meat ranging from fish, pork, beef, shrimp, or chicken, stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, and onions as its base. The dish is then accompanied with various vegetables such as okra, gabi (baby taro), daikon (white radish), kangkung (water spinach), snake beans, and eggplant. Often, chillies or peppers would be added to the dish in order to enhance the taste while adding a little spice.

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINS SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg pork spare ribs
  • 2 small spanish red onions, quartered
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium sized daikon, peeled and sliced
  • 5 small baby taro, peeled
  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soup base
  • Ground salt
  • Fish sauce (optional)

METHOD

  1. Add the pork ribs into a large pot with water filled to about halfway. Boil the ribs on high heat for 30 minutes, then add the chillies, onions, tomatoes, and season with salt. Boil for another 30 minutes.
  2. Add the baby taro and let to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the daikon in. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove 2 of the baby taro and push them through a sieve. Return to the soup to thicken the base and make it richer (this is optional).
  3. Add the tamarind soup base, if you want your soup a little less sour, add in a teaspoon at a time to adjust to your liking (I love my sinigang soup really sour!). Add a few drops of fish sauce if the soup is tasting a bit bland.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the kangkung in. Serve immediately with rice.

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Filipino is not a very famous cuisine as that of its Thai and Vietnamese neighbours. I only know of one Filipino restaurant here in Sydney, and only 1 grocer in Chatswood that sells all things Filipino. Otherwise there are only a small selection of Asian grocers that carry Filipino ingredients like mang tomas sauce, bagoong, tamarind soup base, etc. There’s more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo) as we are blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks. Also, with more than 7,000 islands and a colourful history, we have some delicious dishes of our own.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

First off let me be the last to wish everyone a glorious Good Friday! Welcome everyone, to my very first blog post ever! I have been meaning to start up a food blog of all my kitchen adventures, well more like I have had other blogs before but I never kept up with it. So I decided to start fresh!

I just went through a hard week of procrastination and a 2500-word essay that was due yesterday and I’m so glad that it’s the Easter weekend and mid-semester break! So to celebrate the end of the first half of the semester, and of course Good Friday, I wanted to whip up a special BIG brunch for myself – though I think my eyes were way much bigger than my tummy, I only ate half of it and kept the rest.

Today’s recipe as the blog title says is: Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach:

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the Omelette:

  • 4 regular-sized Swiss Brown Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 gourmet tomato, diced
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Handful of shredded parmesan cheese
  • Knob of butter

For the Avocado Yoghurt:

  • 1 small-sized avocado, roughly mashed
  • 1 cup regular greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of loose-leaf baby spinach

Just note that I sometimes work without measurements in the kitchen, so some of the measurements in the ingredient list may not be very accurate. I’ve tried to remember roughly how much of each ingredient I’ve added in, but please feel free to adjust to your liking! Also, I don’t work with timers very often (unless it’s for baking or cooking with seafood and other meats). For this recipe I used my eyes to tell when something is cooked – probably not to perfection like Masterchef and all, but definitely cooked.

METHOD

  1. Combine all the avocado yoghurt ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. In a large fry pan on high heat, melt the butter. Then add in the onions and stir until soft. Add in the mushrooms and stir until colour changes. Add in the capsicum, tomatoes and 1 sprig of the thyme leaves, stir for about a minute and transfer to a dish. We don’t want to over cook the capsicum and tomatoes, so that they still retain a slight crunch.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add oil to the same frying pan. While waiting for it to heat up, beat the eggs in a bowl with the milk and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan.
  4. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and let the egg cook until the egg starts to set. Top half of the egg with the mushroom filling. Fold omelette in half, and cook for a further minute or so. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the spinach to the same frying pan and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the plate.
  6. Garnish by sprinkling fresh thyme leaves over the omelette, avocado yoghurt and wilted spinach.

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

I remember when I was chopping up all the ingredients, my housemate came into the kitchen and she said, “Wow it smells so fresh in here!” And again we met again when the meal was cooked and ready to be devoured by me, she said “THAT LOOKS AMAZING!” She’s so adorable 🙂

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com