Elounge, Glebe

NOTE:  Elounge has now closed down.

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There is so much choice along Glebe Point Road that sometimes it is hard to decide where to eat. However, on this particular night, my friend suggested Elounge as she claimed they did the best Calzones.

Since I had never tried a Calzone before (but had always wanted to after that Seinfeld episode), we headed off to Elounge.

The name Elounge suggests there will be decor along the lines of soft cushy chairs, maybe some soft fluorescent lighting - I thought it would look like that Blue Ice place in Market City.

Couldn't be further from the truth!


Inside the Elounge

The tables and chairs were hard, and exactly the same as you would find in any casual eatery. There was some graffiti art on the walls and other knick-knacks which created some ambience.

Poster on the wall



We decided to order one savoury and one sweet calzone to share.

After placing our orders, we waited. And waited. Am I cursed or something? Lately it seems like all I've done is wait eons for a meal after ordering.

But maybe it wasn't just my unluckiness because I noticed the table next to us were frequently glancing at their watches and craning their heads to see if their order was coming.

Finally the food arrived.



V Calzone - fresh Napolentana sauce, filled with mushrooms, eggplant, artichoke, pineapple and onion, finished with parmesan & mozzarella cheese, & a dollop of basil & pinenut pesto ($15.95)



The inside of the Calzone


After the long wait, not to mention the essay of ingredients on the menu, I have to admit that I was expecting something spectacular. I imagined that they were secretly cooking away a masterpiece in the kitchen.

So I guess I was a little disappointed. The filling was not flavoursome and tasted exactly like what it literally was - a bunch of vegetables inside a hard shell. It wasn't cheesy enough for my liking either, the vegetables fell out of the shell, not bound together by strings of cheese like I had hoped. It may have been the winter air, but the filling inside also rapidly became cold.

In any event, we polished off the savoury calzone and began to wait out the next interval before our dessert calzone would arrive.

Service was somewhat lacking at the Elounge, despite the fact that the place was fairly empty for the Friday night. We were initially given small plates which became covered with the savoury calzone crumbs and sauce remnants, but did not receive clean ones for the dessert calzone. *(Side note: I looked up Elounge on eatability and other reviewers have complained about the lack of service, but then again, as a friend of mine once pointed out - reviewers on eatability always seem to complain..)


Apple Calzone - Sweet folded pastry, filled with caramelised apples & Californian walnuts with marscapone cream cheese served with creamy vanilla ice cream, cinnamon & icing sugar ($10.50)




This was much better than the savoury calzone. It was deliciously sweet but not overpoweringly so. Though now that I've reread the menu description, I don't actually remember there being any walnuts on the inside.

For more info on Elounge, you can check out their website HERE
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Krispy Kreme

It was a sad day when the line at Max Brenner was 20 people deep and we decided to go to Krispy Kreme instead. It reminded me why I haven't had a Krispy Kreme for about a year.

Despite the free wifi instore, the decor leaves much to be desired and indeed, most of the patrons sitting in the 'eat-in' section looked gloomy and depressed.

I ordered a small chocolate milkshake ($3.25) when the cashier asked me if, for $6.95, I would like two donuts to go with it. When told that I could choose from any of the donuts, not restricted to the original glazed, I decided to go for it since it seemed like a good deal.

Krispy Kreme Chocolate Milkshake



The milkshake sucked. It tasted like I was drinking flavoured milk. Maybe I was also a bit biased since I saw the staff member pump in copious amounts of Cottees chocolate flavouring into the mixture. Hmm...

Apple Custard Crumble


This was sugar to the max!! I've tilted the donut so that you can see the sugar crystals glinting off the top. Add the sweet apple and custard filling, and biscuit crumble, not to mention the sweet fluffy donut dough and you have a toothache waiting to happen.

After washing down the Apple Custard Crumble with the milkshake, I felt positively sick and couldn't even begin to eat my second donut.



So I took it home and ate it the next day, straight from the fridge.


Tiramisu donut


This was much better than the Apple Custard Crumble. It just tasted like an original glazed but with a light chocolate coffee flavoured filling. Obviously not a good substitute for a real slice of tiramisu but at least it wasn't sugar packed.

I think that I will wait another year until I revisit Krispy Kreme.

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Eating at Birkenhead Point

Recently I made my first trip to Birkenhead Point shopping centre, and to be honest I was a bit disappointed. The stores were all bleh, in particular, the David Jones outlet - where do they even get the stuff that they sell in there??

Anyway, I thought I would share what I had for lunch that day. I'm didn't pay attention to what the place was called, but it was a fresh seafood place outside Coles.

I ordered a Fisherman's Basket, which was fish, chips, calamari rings, prawn cutlets served with salad and tartare sauce.

Fisherman's Basket ($10.95)


Closeup of the large piece of fish



It took about 15 minutes to cook, which was a bit of a wait. But when it came out, my first thought was that there was a LOT of food in the box for $10.95!



There was a self-serve chicken salt flavour and unfortunately I went a bit crazy with it since I love chicken salt. I accidentally drenched everything in it, even the salad. Oops.

The prawn cutlets were different to what I expected, I thought it would be a square shape but it was simply frozen prawns coated with bread crumbs.

It all got a bit too greasy in the end and I ended up scraping the crumbing off the calamari and prawns, and left most of the chips in the box.

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Easy Snacks: Curry Pasties

Remember those leftover puff pastry sheets from making the chicken sausage rolls? Well here is another easy, GFC-friendly snack that you can make yourself at home with the leftovers.

What you need:

- Puff pastry sheets
- One egg

What you need for the filling:

- curry or satay powder (if you want the inside to be flavoured this way)
- anything that you want to put in: I used potatoes, onions, peas, roast chicken, carrots and mince.

STEPS

Slice your puff pastry into even squares. Choose the size of the square depending on how large you want your pasties to be. Here, I've sliced them into four and they will make large ones, about the size of your hand.




Cook your ingredients for the filling. Add salt to taste

Cooked potatoes, lightly mashed


Cooking the meat, carrots, onions


Then adding the peas next because they only need a quick stir through



Lastly adding the potatoes. They will help hold the other ingredients of the filling together.




Take your egg and lightly whisk it with a fork. Using a cooking brush, dab the egg along the edges of the pastry squares. This will make the pastry stick together when you fold it to make the pastie.




Place a large spoonful of your filling mixture into the middle of the puff pastry square.


Fold the square to make a triangle. Use a fork to press down and seal the edges.



Use the cooking brush to lightly baste the squares with the beaten egg. This will help prevent them from burning and instead turn golden brown.



Place them into a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius. Wait for the pastry to turn golden brown, and then take them out. This should only take about ten minutes or less. You don't need to worry about cooking the inside filling , as you have already cooked it.


The end result: a lovely, golden brown pastie with a nice, flaky exterior.



The inside: A hot, curry flavoured combination of your favourite ingredients.



There you have it. Using the leftover pastry sheets made 12 big pasties, similar to what you would find at your local bakery. A GFC-friendly solution for those days when you want more bang for your buck.

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Shanghai Night, Ashfield

Food bloggers always rave about Shanghai Night. So after I tried Chinese Fast Food (another Shanghai restaurant), I was eager to try its competitor down the road.

Shanghai cusine restaurants in Ashfield - all located about a door away from each other!



Shanghai Night street sign


Shanghai Night entry



When I walked in the door, I was immediately disappointed. I wasn't expecting fancy but the floors were very dirty, chairs were haphazardly strewn around tables and there were only two waitresses servicing ten tables.



Menu


Menu sample page


Specials written on the wall


A bundle of cutlery was placed on the table by the waitress, set your own table.



We had to wait a while before a waitress was free to take our order. She kept rushing around, distributing the dishes coming out of the kitchen before she finally had a moment to jot down our orders.


After placing our order, it was ages before our first dish. We sat, twiddling our thumbs, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Finally, the first dish to come out was:

Steamed lamb and onion dumplings ($6.80 for 12)


I wasn't a fan of these. The reason? I took one bite, and these blood red juices came out. I looked at the others eating their dumplings and there were no blood red juices. I could only conclude that I had the misfortune to eat a rare one.

See the juices?


The dumplings were quickly followed by the next dish, the famous xiao long baos.

Xiao long bao ($6.50 for 8)





These were quite good, but I would have preferred them without the large pieces of whole ginger that I bit into.



After these two dishes, it was a long, long wait until the rest of our meal arrived. We looked enviously at other diners, and got excited when dishes left the kitchen, only to skip by our table. We stared at the specials on the wall. We watched life go by.

FINALLY, the rest of our dishes arrived.

Pan -fried pork buns ($8.50 for 10)



The bottom of a bun


These weren't the best that I've had. The dough was a bit too sour for my liking, and the filling was quite skimpy.

See the skimpy filling?



Pan fried pork dumplings, Shanghai style (8 for $6.80)


I didn't like these. The bottom was overcooked, to the point where it was hard to bite through the outside. Also, there was no soup inside the filling like there was at Chinese Fast Food! :(

The bottom of a pan fried dumpling





You can't really fault the prices here. They are about a dollar or two cheaper than Chinese Fast Food. But as a matter of taste, I prefer Chinese Fast Food which is just a few doors down.

Service is also lacking here, it took ages for us to order, to receive the food (this isn't really a fault I suppose, if the food is taking time to cook), to get tea refills and the place was understaffed during a busy lunchtime.

I probably wouldn't return, but I am eager to try New Shanghai which is just next door!

Shanghai Night on Urbanspoon
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Bankstown Brasserie, Bankstown

There is a lot of pho in Bankstown. In fact, I don't know what you would eat in Bankstown except for pho?

I don't really mind, because I love pho. But I have noticed that most Vietnamese pho restaurants are cold and sterile, where the floors are slightly dirty and the tables usually have a drab, grey plastic surface that can be quickly wiped away.

So it was with some surprise that I discovered this new place called the Bankstown Brasserie. It is on Greenfield Parade, and is a part of a pub.



What drew me in was the large tables of families enjoying their food, and how BRIGHT it was inside! The sunlight shone through the large windows on the chilly winter's day and bathed the tables in golden light.

Happy families enjoying their lunch





I was pleased to discover that the prices are quite reasonable, in fact, a dollar or two cheaper than the other places nearby!

Menu





We place our orders at the register and carry back a number to our table. There is a self-serve station in the corner where you help yourself to hot tea, condiments and cutlery.

Self-serve station in the corner


Complimentary tea



The food comes out very quickly, and the servings are BIG!


Bowl of pho ($7.00)


Generous bowl of bean sprouts, basil and lemon that accompanies the pho


Stir fried beef with vegetables on vermicelli ($8.50)


Crispy-skin chicken ($6.00)


The chicken actually wasn't on the menu by itself, but we requested it without the tomato rice that would usually be its companion. It was absolutely delicious, piping hot and the meat was tender and juicy.

We leave almost reluctantly since it is so nice and warm inside, and as we leave, the staff speedily come to clear away our table.

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