Tag Archives: foodie

Review: Cafe Di Stasio, Melbourne

Hey everyone,

Hope you’re all good and are enjoying your day!

Today’s post is another review (as I’m sure you saw from the title!). When I was in Melbourne in June, I was lucky enough to be able to go to some of the best restaurants in the city. One of them, that I’d heard a lot about, was Cafe Di Stasio in St Kilda. On with the review…

Be warned, the restaurant looks a bit run down and strange from the outside. Inside, however, there is a really comfortable, ‘homey’ feel and the waiters for sure seemed like they knew what they were talking about with regard to the food but it also seemed like everyone there was part of a family.

The menu was extensive. Seriously. The headings were ‘Il Primo’, ‘Pasta E Minestra’, ‘Il Secondo’, ‘Insalate E Contorni’ and ‘Dessert’. I’m sure you can imagine my face was like the emoji with hearts for eyes.

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We had gone to an Italian restaurant the night before (review coming) so I don’t really know what came over me in Cafe Di Stasio but I DIDN’T CHOOSE PASTA OR RISOTTO OR MOZZARELLA. I know. Rookie error. Looking back at the menu now, I wish we could go there again so I can try my all time favourite meal Bucatini Alla Matriciana. However, I’m not complaining because the meal I did have was seriously incredible. No regrets. … Ok, a few regrets.

 

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I had the Caprese al Forno – Oven baked salad of goats cheese, tomato and basil (first picture in the blog post). You can’t go wrong with baked goats cheese and tomato. Next, I had the Agnello all a Romana – Lamb, slow cooked with white wine, anchovies,
rosemary and garlic bruschetta (pictured above). The lamb was so tender, falling straight off the bone and the rich gravy it was in made it was the perfect warming dish for a cold Melbourne night.

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As my side dish, I got the Verdure al Forno – Oven roasted vegetables with rosemary. I LOVE roasted vegetables so for me, this was possibly the best part of the meal (sad, I know) but seriously, they were so delicious I ate practically the whole bowl to myself. Hey, I’m a growing girl! … That’s what I tell myself anyway.

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My brother actually ordered something green as his side dish, which turned out to be really yum too. Broccolini Trifolati con Acciughe – Sautéed broccolini with garlic, anchovies and chilli (pictured above). Highly rated by the other members of the family as they love a bit of chilli. Mum, a.k.a Potato Queen, very predictably went for the Patate Arrosto con Aglio – Potatoes with garlic parsley and parmesan (pictured above). I think she left a part of her heart in St Kilda that evening because those potatoes were, in her words, “probably the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten”. Bold statement, I know, but I was permitted to try (a small) one and I can agree that they were garlicky, cheesy, fluffy, crispy and potato-y. You make a mean potato Mr. Di Stasio.

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For dessert, again, the jet lag must have been really affecting me because while Tiramisu is my new favourite dessert, I didn’t pick the Profiteroles or the Chocolate Tart. Fool. I had the Tiramisu (pictured above) and it was good. Nothing to write home about but not bad either. After visiting Rome, I should never even try another Tiramisu as they are never going to live up to the ones I had there. Sorry, I’ll stop rambling now!

I would give it…

Taste: 9/10
Presentation: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Location: 8/10
Price: 7/10
Menu: 9/10
WOULD I GO BACK? Yes.

What do you usually order at an Italian restaurant? Whats your favourite Italian dessert? Let me know in the comments!

H x

My experience: Singapore

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all having a lovely day (or night) and thanks for coming over to read another post! Today I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of Singapore with you all as I recently visited on my way to Australia!

So to start, I will say that I have never been to Asia before this visit. My dad has visited Singapore tonnes of times on business but neither me, my mum nor my brother had ever been. I was really excited to go because 1. I had been told it was really clean 2. Shopping 3.I knew for a fact it was a foodie’s paradise!

  

We stayed at the Shangri-La (view of my balcony above) which is only about a 5-10 minute drive to Orchard Road (the main shopping road) so the hotel location was really good. If you want, I can do a post reviewing the Shangri-La in detail, just leave me a comment letting me know! The rooms were big and modern. The gym was awesome (pictured below from outside), the pool was really nice and the food was too notch! Overall – very impressed! 

  
The weather: My dad had warned us that it was VERY hot and humid in Singapore and that it rains everyday at around 3 or 4 pm. I can definitely vouch for the humidity – it was seriously sticky! It only rained on our first day for about 30 minutes but it was quite heavy rain (good excuse to duck into some shops!).

 

 

What we did: We only had a few days in Singapore and we wanted to not plan or book too much because we didn’t know how jet lagged we would be (it turned out – not very!). We shopped on Orchard Road (pictured above), went to Raffles (probably better to go there for a meal/drink) to look around, went to some shopping centres, ate at Dempsey hill, visited the Marina Bay Sands for dinner (100% recommended), chilled around the pool and relaxed! It would have been nice to go to Sentosa Island if we had been there longer or if my brother and I were younger but we didn’t particularly want to and I don’t really feel like I missed out!

  

FOOD: For sure I would recommend going to Naddaman in the Shangri-La for Teppenyaki for dinner! My first Teppenyaki experience and it was so yum! (Pictured above.) Also, The Waterfall restaurant (an Italian) also at the Shangri-La was probably the best Italian I’ve ever had – and that SERIOUSLY says something – and omg I still hate myself for not ordering dessert there! Ce la vie restaurant on the top of the Marina Bay Sands was one of the best evenings ever for me – the food was incredible, the view was so unique, the service was amazing, what more could you want? (Pictures below). I wanted to do more breakfast/brunch I while we were there but unfortunately we only got to go out once in the morning – to Rider’s Cafe. This is somewhere I would say you have to visit if you go to Singapore as it was a really cool location and the food was literally the stuff of dreams! (Yes. I ordered 2 breakfasts. It had to be done.)

   

 

Generally I felt really safe in Sinagpore, it was very clean, the service was very good. The city had a very cosmopolitan feel, with everything very modern and trendy. Taxis were a bit of a struggle (to call one, you need to give a Singapore mobile number, SILLY IDEA). It was for sure a foodie’s paradise as there were truffle fries literally everywhere. My idea of heaven.

  

I really enjoyed Singapore and would definitely stay there as a stopover on the way to or from Australia again. I personally don’t think I would specifically go there on holiday for a week or two but for a few days it was incredible!

Have you ever been to Singapore? If so, what did you think? What would you recommend next time I go? I’d love to know so please leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x

Review: Ruby’s Diner, Sydney

Hi everyone,

The reason for the lack of posts recently is that I’m on the other side of the world! I’m currently in Sydney, Australia which is our third stop out of six on our month long tour! Now, the great thing about australia is brunch. Yeah, the beaches are great, the wildlife is crazy and in summer its amazing weather but seriously…brunch. In Europe, breakfast or brunch seems to be more of a take it or leave it kind of thing but here in Oz its definitely treated like the most important meal of the day.

After visiting Melbourne and its many breakfast cafes, I thought Sydney’s offering might disappoint as I had heard that Melbourne is the place for brunch. I was wrong. Today, I dragged everyone to Ruby’s Diner in Waverley for something to warm us up during Sydney’s current ‘cold snap’ – AKA British summer!
  Bearing in mind it was 9.30 on a sunday morning when we arrived, we only had to wait 10 minutes for a table because we didn’t mind sitting outside (with cold little me practically on top of the heater of course).

3 freshly squeezed orange juices, a bottle of water, one flat white and one long black later and we were ready to look over the menu. I could have literally ordered everything on there as it all sounded so good but I’ve had eggs, avocado, bacon and all that stuff for the past few days, so today I fancied something sweet. I couldn’t decide between the ‘5 grain bircher muesli with seasonal fruit, nut crunch, yoghurt and honey’ or the ‘Roast pears with coconut yoghurt and buckwheat coconut crunch’ (pictured above). 

  
My dad decided to get the bircher (pictured above) so I went for the pears as it sounded like quite a unique dish (Plus, I have a thing for coconut yoghurt). The bircher muesli was delish and the fresh banana plus the crunchy stuff on top was right up my street and when I tried a spoonful, I was jealous that my dad ordered it and not me. The roasted pears were really good. Fragrant, juicy and soft, they had been cooked in vanilla and orange (among other things I’m sure) and the coconut yoghurt on top made the sweetness of the pears not seem overwhelming. The buckwheat crunch, which I thought would just be boring roasted buckwheat when I saw it was actually really yummy. It added a different texture and a nice extra cinnamon flavour. The only thing I would say is that I think three pear halves is a bit much, as towards the end it seemed a bit sickly and started to taste a bit like a candle smells. I still somehow managed to eat it all though so it can’t have been bad!

  
Both my mum and brother ordered what I would have ordered if I had gone for something savoury, the ‘House-made baked beans with manchego and oregano on sourdough’. My mum got it plain and the competitive eater brother ordered a poached egg, avocado and bacon to go with it. They both loved the beans and the toast and my brother (who has probably eaten more avocado than anyone I know) said the avo was really nice and fresh. My mum is the most selfless person in the world and to prove it, all I need to say is she spooned a big heap of beans on the crunchy toast and gave me the first bite. My thoughts? Aaaah, how nice of her… F*$#!!! Yep, I burnt the roof of my mouth. Its blistering as I type this. The beans were worth it. The perils of being a foodie.

The service was probably one of the worst out of the places we’ve been for breakfast but that could be because we were seated outside, on the very end and it was very busy! The atmosphere was nice, although as I said, we were outside so it would have felt different inside but it seemed to be a very popular, buzzing, family friendly neighbourhood cafe, which I liked.
Taste: 9/10

Presentation: 9/10

Service: 6/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Location: 3/10

Price: 7/10

Menu: 9/10

What’s your favourite breakfast dish? Let me know in the comments! 

Thanks for reading, 

H x  

Review: Tahini Mallorca

Hey everyone,

Hope you are all doing well! Today I’m reviewing the restaurant Tahini in Puerto Portals in Mallorca. It was my first proper Asian/Japanese restaurant experience and I have to say it really impressed me!

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When I was younger I swore I would never eat fish (apart from fish fingers because… well fish fingers are great). The smell of it used to really put me off, but now I know that was only the smell of smoked salmon and tinned tuna and my life has changed ever since! I have recently started enjoying fish in all forms, fish and chips, grilled, baked, in fish cakes, you name it! I didn’t think I was ready for raw fish yet, but wanted to try Tahini as my parents thought I would like it, so we went! I know, sushi isn’t necessarily raw fish, as sushi actually means the sticky rice that holds it together (you learn something new every day!) but I was still not expecting to love Japanese food or sushi because of the strong flavours that I thought would overwhelm a foodbie (foodie newbie – I just made that up so now it’s a thing) like me. Anyway, enough rambling and on to the food!!

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To start, we ordered the Veggie Sushi, Edamame, Miso soup with Foie Gras and Truffle, California rolls and the VEAL AND VEGETABLE ROLL WITH TRUFFLE AROMA. Yes, you read that right and yes it was as good as you are imagining. The Veggie sushi was not my favourite but I think thats because it had quite a lot of either miso or soy on it, so I much preferred the avocado rolls which came on the side of the Veggie sushi. The California rolls were awesome, as always. Unfortunately, there is no picture of the star of the show, the Veal rolls, as I scarfed them down too quick to even contemplate taking a picture!

image1-11For our mains, my dad and I got the Halibut with saikyo miso, which comes with green beans and a carrot puree that I literally licked off the plate (no joke). The halibut was cooked perfectly, all soft and flaky and had a lovely but not overpowering flavour. My brother got the Teppinyaki Tahini style – a steak, of course! He also had the Fried rice as a side. My mum went for the Tahini noodles with king prawns and chicken and she said it was really tasty (I can vouch, as I may have had a forkful…or four… but it was purely for the review!)

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We requested a seat in one of the ‘boxes’ outside. Each box houses about four tables, with a fireplace for the winter and glass walls so you can see the Japanese inspired decor of the gardens around you. You would honestly not know you were in a famous Port in Spain! Service was very good, they were very happy to bring me a knife and fork and recommended the amount of things we would need as well as what we might like. Overall, very impressed! They also do takeaway (but you cant get the veal rolls to take away – which is kind of good because if you could, I would end up looking like a veal roll!)

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Taste: 9/10
Presentation: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Location: 9/10
Price: 7/10
Menu: 7/10

Whats your favourite Japanese restaurant? Whats your favourite sushi? Have you ever had sushi with meat instead of fish? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x

Healthy Instagrammers

Hi everyone,

Today’s post is a little bit different as I wanted to share with you some of the accounts I spend a lot of time procrastinating browsing through in my valuable  spare time! You may not know this already but although I’m now a foodie, I also consider myself a healthy foodie! As much as I love chocolate, desserts, bread, takeaways, eating out etc. etc. I’m also really into health and fitness. I will do more posts about this in the future and I will be sharing some of my favourite healthy recipes but for today I wanted to keep it short and sweet (she says finishing the first rambly paragraph!).

In no particular order, here are some of the instagram accounts I love to go to for inspiration! (These accounts will inspire anyone, not just health conscious people as I can promise all of the food looks amazing and the recipes I have tested definitely live up to the expectations!)

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@superfoodsiobhan – A 20 year old vegan from England shares her quick and easy meal ideas. (Pictured above)

@deliciouslyella – Famous for her bestselling book ‘Deliciously Ella’, so many amazing recipes with so many nutrients packed in!

@Thebodycoach – Really funny videos from Joe who shows you how to cook your favourite meals ‘Leanin15’ style!

@Fitmencook – Innovative ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner that would fool anyone who didn’t know they were healthy.

@Cleaneatingalice – Simple meal ideas from Alice who shows that eating clean isn’t boring and isn’t rocket science!

@Zannavandijk – With a really good philosophy on food, Zanna shows that life is all about balance, so indulge every once in a while!

@livingthehealthychoice – Mouth watering meals made by German Pauline, featuring fresh, in season fruits and veggies.

@livinghealthywithchocolate – Chocolate! But no sugar, refined carbs or processed ingredients in sight.

@lorrainepascale – Lorraine is a chef, so understands how flavours work but tweaks her recipes to ‘healthify’ them!

@honestlyhealthy – Based on an alkaline diet, Natasha posts healthier family favourites as well as unique, creative dishes.

@hemsleyhemsley – Sisters who aren’t afraid to include meat in their diet, show how feeling good comes from eating delicious, healthy food! (I recreated one of their dishes, as seen below)

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Leave a comment below letting me know what Instagram accounts you love to have a browse through – healthy or unhealthy!

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x

Review: The Ivy L.A

Hi everyone,

Last summer, I went on a trip to the West coast of America with my family. One of the places we visited on our month long journey was L.A, of course. Most of the restaurants we went to, we picked while we were there but there was one or two that we knew in advance that we wanted to visit. This included The Ivy. If you don’t already know, The Ivy is probably one of the most famous restaurants in L.A because it is always packed with celebrities. Of course, the one time I went there, no celebrities showed up. Typical.

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We started our day with a Warner Bros. Studio Tour, which was amazing! My brother is really into movies so this was his choice but I have to say it was so cool to see all the fake streets where things are filmed, the trailers where the actors take breaks and the sets of different t.v shows. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting L.A. IMG_1425-1IMG_1395

But onto our dinner at The Ivy. We were sat inside, which was nice as the inside is decorated with ‘homey’ things – cookbooks, strings of garlic and lots of cushions – so it felt like you were sitting in someone’s posh living room (in a nice way!). The table was quite small for four people, but I do like a lot of space to stretch out! Two of us were sat on a bench and two on chairs but the chairs weren’t particularly comfortable as they were wooden garden chairs, but hey ho. The food made up for it.

The waiters were fine, nothing special, but they were attentive and the service was quick, which always earns brownie points in my book! One thing I would say is that the restaurant doesn’t have a specific theme, the menu includes mexican inspired dishes, italian dishes, burgers, the lot. There were a lot of things I fancied though. To start, we got the Made to Order Guacamole with Tortillas (yum), the Fresh Wild French Fried Calamari (yum) and the Fresh Burrata with Roasted Baby Beets, Pine Nuts and Wild Arugula (again…yum). I would recommend all three as neither flavour nor presentation disappointed. As my main, I had the Penne with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Imported Bufala Mozzarella, Garden Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (one of my favourite dishes ever, and I can confirm it did live up to my high expectations). Sorry I don’t have photos of the first two courses, they came out way too dark!

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The starters and mains seem to have faded into the background though because all I can seem to remember from that evening was the desserts. I don’t even know where to start. My dad ordered the Key Lime Pie and my mum and brother got the Homemade Profiteroles with Homemade Pistachio, Caramel and Praline Gelato with Hot Fudge Sauce (A.K.A heart attack on a plate). I won the dessert round, however, because I wisely ordered the Homemade Banana Split which involves Homemade Vanilla, Praline, Chocolate Brownie & Chocolate Chip Gelato, Fresh Berries, Pineapple and Banana, Hot Fudge Sauce, Butterscotch Sauce and Freshly Whipped Cream (can you feel the diabetes ready to pounce?). All I can say is wow.

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The light and fluffy profiteroles (pictured above) were generously filled with different ice creams and the contrast between the hot chocolate sauce and cold ice cream created this involuntary ‘mmmmmm’ sound to come from somehwere within. The two chocolate chip cookies on the side were probably the best cookies I have ever had… and I’ve had a LOT of cookies. Crunchy, chocolatey, soft in the middle and so, so moreish!

image4My banana split was more like a banana drowned in… well, everything… but I’m not complaining. Ice cream, berries, banana, cookies, banana, fudge sauce, whipped cream… what more can you ask for? I’m going to stop rambling about this dessert now because I think the proof is in the picture. My photography skills literally went out the window (along with my health) the minute this showed up (and they were already on par with a five year old, so that’s saying something). I will end on this though, just bear in mind you can order 1 pound worth of the aforementioned chocolate chip cookies to take home. Two words for you: DO IT. They still tasted incredible for the next three days.

Taste: 8/10 (desserts: 10/10)
Presentation: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Location: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Menu: 9/10

What restaurants would you recommend in L.A? Have you ever been to any of The Ivy restaurants? If so, what did you think? Leave me a comment letting me know!

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x

 

Review: Choccywoccydoodah London

Hi everyone,

Today I’m reviewing the famous Choccywoccydoodah cafe on Carnaby Street in London. For those that don’t know, they specialise in all things chocolate (in case you couldn’t guess) and cake. ‘Choccywoccydoodah’ is also a television show, revolving around the lives of the people at the stores and the things that go on there. Their flagship is in Brighton but I was in London and fancied a sweet treat, so decided to pop in.

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The interior of the cafe is really unique and funky, with a kind of black, gothic, chocolate theme running throughout. (Don’t know if chocolate is usually considered a theme, but here it definitely was!) The downstairs is the shop, where you can order cakes and buy all sorts, from marshmallows to chocolate statues!

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Upstairs is the cafe part. All of the cakes are on display for you to choose from and oh my god they are so tempting! I wanted them all! Although the tables and chairs are a really trendy gothic style, they are quite uncomfortable…but I doubt you would be sitting for long because how long does it actually take to scarf down a slice of cake? The menu consists of tea, coffee, cake, various other baked goods, hot chocolate, various soft drinks, and desserts such as banana split or ice cream sundae. So its really a case of choosing between sweet, sweeter or sweetest. As long as you know what to expect before you go, then I’m sure something will appeal to you!

We ordered one piece of Chocolate Cake, one Milk Hot Chocolate and one Americano. The presentation of the cake and the hot chocolate was very impressive, as it definitely made my mouth water. The cake comes with ice cream, drizzled with strawberry coulis and chocolate sauce and the hot chocolate arrived at the table with lashings of whipped cream, chocolate chips placed on top and marshmallows hidden under it all! You definitely get a lot for your money as a slice of cake was only £4.99 and it was more than enough for two people!

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As for taste, I didn’t particularly rate what I had. The hot chocolate was far too sweet for me and I could only stomach a few sips. The cake was nice… nothing special, but again, too sweet! I would have much preferred it without the sauces and perhaps with less icing. For someone with an extremely sweet tooth, it would be ideal, but for me, someone who has a very sweet tooth anyway, it was way too much!

The service was good and the location was perfect, as its just off of the crowded Carnaby Street, a 5 minute walk from Regent Street and Picadilly Circus. Its nice to be able to watch everyone rushing around outside in the cold as you sit relaxing amongst the cake!

Taste: 6/10
Presentation: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Location: 9/10
Price: 9/10
Menu: 8/10

Hope you enjoyed this post and leave a comment letting me know if you’ve ever been to Choccywoccydoodah and if so, what you thought! Also, what are the best places for cake in London? I’d love to have to do more cake reviewing. Oh the hard life.

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x