Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Change of Address!

I've moved!

Dear all,

You may have noticed that things have been incredibly quiet over here. The reason is because I have been moving! After a couple of months of pulling out my hair, stressing and subsequently procrastinating, I have finally moved into my new home over at!

Apologies for being absent for so long, but I am back in action now! All posts can be viewed at the new site, however some comments were lost in transit, so check back here for them.

Please update your links to my new site!

Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting me since I began this silly little blog! I hope you enjoy my new home :)

xx Betty

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anzac Biscuits

To celebrate Anzac Day, I decided to bake Anzac biscuits! These biscuits are an Australian tradition dating back to World War 1. They were made for Aussie troops serving during the war and these biscuits were special because they had to endure the long journey there. 

I knew that I could just buy a pack of perfectly shaped Anzac biscuits from the supermarket, but I was determined to make my own!  I found this recipe and I got all the ingredients and everything was looking a-ok! Until, I was trying to roll the Anzac biscuits into balls and they all crumbled on me!! OMG. I thought it was over. I was panicking! And then, I decided to quickly make some more of the butter mixture and then they were somewhat salvaged *phew*. 

in Fresh Living by Tracy Rutherford 

Makes 24 

1 cup plain flour 
1 cup rolled oats 
1 cup desiccated coconut 
3/4 cup brown sugar 
125gr butter 
2 tbs golden syrup 
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar. 

2. Put the butter, golden syrup and 2tbs water in a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.  

3. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined  

4. Roll mixture into balls. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart. 

5. Press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

6. Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


I had to add about 50gr more butter, 1 tablespoon of golden syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda. I'm not sure why it went all crumbly at first? Maybe I heated the butter mixture for too long the first time. After I added my second mixture, I was able to roll them into balls, but they were still slightly crumbly. 

Despite the dramas!! They still taste good. They're not thin disks, like 'normal' ones, more like fat mini balls, but they're cute (right?). I like them because they're a little bit chewy and a little bit crumbly. And the whole house smells divine :) 

Have a safe long weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Strangers with Candy, Redfern

How was it?
Food: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambience: 6.5/10
Value: $$

Banana Smoothie $6.00

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - nothing beats a great hearty meal in the morning. And it's even better when it's shared with some lovely people. On this particular occassion, Miss LV, Miss Toronto and I caught up after returning from our respective Summer holidays. We decided to head to Strangers with Candy, because I had heard little snippets about it here and there and I really loved the name!

Soda Lime & Bitters $5.00

The cafe sits by itself on the corner of an unassuming street. There is a small indoor seating area, and another outdoor section, where we were seated on this day. Miss Toronto and I ordered some drinks to fight off the heat. The banana smoothie was lovely and thick and the soda lime & bitters was refreshing, although unexciting.

Scrambled eggs $9.50
with Smoked Salmon ($3.50) and Avocado ($3.50)

Scrambled eggs $9.50
with Rosemary Mushrooms ($3.50) and Proscuitto ($3.50)

Miss LV and I both ordered the scrambled eggs ($9.50), with a choice of sides. The scrambled eggs were deliciously soft and fluffy, although not as light or creamy as the ones at Bill's. I liked the toasted turkish bread, which was crispy and soft and they were generous with the side portions. Although at $3.50 each, you'd expect them to be quite generous! I really enjoyed the fragrant rosemary mushrooms, although I thought that they could have given me just a little bit more proscuitto ;)


Miss Toronto ordered the mussels (which were on the specials lunch menu - from memory). They were cooked in a thai red curry sauce, which had wonderful flavours of basil, lime and corriander.

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake $4.50

After sitting and chatting for a while, the waitress came and asked if we'd like to have a look at the desserts in the display cabinet. Umm... yes! There was pretty much no question that we were going to leave without having dessert! We chose the chocolate brownie cheesecake which looked crazyily good! It also came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which was lovely on this hot day. I thought the combination of cheesecake and brownie was delicious although it was quite heavy and we had to really perservere to finish it off!


Strangers with Candy is a lovely little cafe with good food, helpful wait staff and it is perfect for a lazy weekend meal. We sat their for ages and didn't feel rushed to leave at all. One strange thing was the bathroom, which was lit up in dark red with toy dolls placed around.. quite bizarre! Nevertheless, I'd definitely love to go again especially to try their dinner menu.

Strangers with Candy
96 Kepos St
Redfern NSW 2016
Tel: (02) 9698 6000
Open for Dinner (Wednesday - Sunday) 6pm - 9.30pm
Open for Breakfast & Lunch (Saturday - Sunday) 9.30am - 3.30pm
Strangers With Candy on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Afternoon Tea @ The Ritz, London

How was it?
Food: 8/10
Service: 10/10

Ambience: 9/10
Value: $$$$

One of the highlights of my trip to Europe earlier this year was afternoon tea at The Ritz Hotel in London. I was quite nervous about booking as they book up very quickly, and a weekend reservation can see a wait of 3 months or more! Luckily I managed to score a table for Smurf & myself on a Tuesday morning. I booked through their online reservation and had to pay a deposit. I then received an email confirmation and another email confirmation closer to the date.

I was in awe the moment I walked in and couldn't wipe that grin off my face! First stop was the cloakroom, second stop was the bathroom. Omg! It was so pretty! I couldn't stop admiring all of it's girly victorian charm. Lots of pink everywhere and with real hand towels (I love real towels) - I have posted some photos of the pretty bathroom at the end of this post :)

The service was immaculate and I think this is what made the experience. From the moment we reached Palm Court, we were treated like royalty. All the service people were men wearing formal tailcoats! Yes, tailcoats! They were all friendly and helpful, and even assisted in taking a photo for us :) There was also a piano player, and you could request a song by writing it on the card on your table!

We chose to have the traditional afternoon tea which was £38.00 per person. It comes with three tiers including sandwiches, scones and sweets with your choice of tea.

Sandwiches: Mature Cheddar Cheese, Chicken, Cucumber, Smoked Salmon, Ham

Egg Mayonnaise and Cress Bridge Roll

The sandwiches were all light and distinct in their own way. They were perfectly cut into neat little rectangles and were a great way to start the meal. I enjoyed the soft roll as well, with the sweet egg mayonaise. They also come around with a platter of sandwiches, so even boys could come and leave satisfied. Actually, I saw a lot of men in there, about 1 quarter of the room was male - I thought that was pretty cool.

Raisin & Apple Scones and Fruit Cake

I was a little bit disappointed that they didn't have plain scones, just because I would have liked to compare them to the ones from The Tea Room. But the freshly baked raisin & apple scones were still delicious. They were made more delicious by the clotted cream and strawberry preserve - mm.. so good!

Strawberry Preserve and Devonshire Clotted Cream

I would still say that the scones from The Tea Room are the best I've had at an afternoon tea. There was also a fruit slice on the same tier as the scones. It was packed with mixed dried fruits and lots of cinammon. I enjoyed it, but I was getting quite full from the sandwiches and the scones and I still had the sweets tier to get through! Luckily there was the beautiful Elderflower tea to assist with the digestion.

Fruit Tart

Onto the sweets! There were six very cute little sweets sitting around the top tier. Almost too pretty to stop photographing and eat! The first one I tried was the fruit tart. I am a huge fan of fruit tarts, have always loved the biscuity base, the custard and fruits covered in sweet fruit glaze. This one was simple and satisfying.


The friand was gone in two little bites! It was sweet with a distinct almond flavour. It was probably the safest option on the sweets tier, but still good.

Coconut Macaron

I wasn't sure whether this was a macaron or not, but on closer inspection it was! It was a coconut macaron with a chocolate disk cutting through the cream. The macaron was very sweet and I especially loved the flavour, but the texture was not comparable to the ones I tried at Ladurée.

French Vanilla Slice

I loved the flakey pastry and sweet custard of the vanilla slice. However, it's quite hard to eat this whilst trying to be completely lady-like and having crumbs fall on you at the same time!

Raspberry Marble Cake

The marble cake was so pretty and shiny! There were swirls of raspberry and cream inside. The cake itself was light, not too sweet and a little bit tangy.

Ritz Chocolate Cake

I left the Ritz Chocolate Cake til the end. I loved the little personalised 'R' on top of the cake! Unfortunately it was way too rich, and perhaps I was too full by this point, but I couldn't finish it!

Palm Court

Palm Court




(Reminds me of Notting Hill - the movie, everytime I see this!)

It's pretty safe to say that I had an amazing time at afternoon tea at The Ritz. I wouldn't say that the food really blew me away, but the service was great and you are made to feel very special. I think it's more of a special occassion restaurant, as we saw a lot of people celebrating birthdays etc. But it's definitely worth it and now, I'm going to aspire to be a lady of leisure so that I can have high tea everyday with my girlfriends!

The Ritz Hotel London
150 Piccadilly,
London W1J 9BR
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7493 8181
Open 7 Days

Monday, April 12, 2010

Umi Kaiten Zushi, Haymarket

How was it?
Food: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Ambience: 6.5/10
Value: $$

Yes, I am pretty obsessed with Japanese cuisine. I love it to the point where I wish I was Japanese and born in Japan, so that I could be surrounded by super cute things and eat Japanese food all-the-time. Yes, it's true. *sigh* Umi Kaiten Zushi (also affiliated with Mizuya), is 'the one with the big fish tank'. I can never remember it's name, but can always remember the fish tank!

What drew us in on this particular night was a sign board out the front promoting their summer special where all sushi's everyday (between 2.30pm-5.30pm), and Monday & Tuesday nights were $3.50. Luckily for us, it was a Tuesday night so we strolled in. I know that it is no longer Summer, however the board is still out the front and it is still being promoted on their website, although I'm not sure for how much longer!

Salmon Roll

We always go for the salmon sushi roll, so I eagerly picked this up off the train. The salmon, avocado and cream cheese roll was just the perfect combination to start off.

Seaweed Roll

I also always love getting the seaweed roll. There's something about the salty seaweed and crunchy sesame seeds that just gets me every time.

Grilled Scallop

The grilled scallops were juicy and plump, although nothing too exciting. But for $3.50, why not? right?!

Salmon Sashimi & Tuna Sashimi

The sashimi platters were $1 extra, but at $4.50, it's still a bargain. We were impressed with the fresh tasting sashimi. I love sashimi that is fresh, soft and can melt in your mouth. This one ticked all the boxes.

Salmon Sashimi & Kingfish Sashimi

Some more sashimi? Why not. We picked up the salmon & kingfish sashimi. Only recently have I started to appreciate and enjoy kingfish sashimi. Again, the pieces were fresh and soft. No Masuya, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Dragon Roll

The dragon roll passed me on the train so many times, I was so tempted to have it, but then I wasn't sure if I was should or not (argh, so many tough decisions). Until finally I just gave in and swooped it off the train. Just your typical dragon roll with eel, avocado, cream cheese etc, but it was satisfying and delicious.

Fried Salmon Skin

We saw another couple order the fried salmon skin, but I couldn't see it on the train anymore, so I ordered it from the waitress. The first time I tried fried salmon skin was actually in Cambodia (on my trip in February)! I thought it was pretty genius, so I wanted to try it again. We both enjoyed the crispy fried skin, it was something a little bit different, not really tasting of much, kind of like chips - but with salmon skin! We both got a bit sick of it after a little while though (very oily), but I finished it off anyway :)

We also ordered some items from the menu, that were not part of the promotion.

Miso Eggplant

The first time I ever tried miso eggplant was at this very same restaurant a few years ago. I was so in love with it, and I raved about it to anyone that would listen! It didn't dissapoint, and was just as I remembered. Grilled eggplant that was soft and tender, lathered in sweet miso paste and bonito flakes, I couldn't get enough of it!

(Special) Seared Salmon Nigiri topped with Tempura & Chilli Flakes $8.80

The seared salmon nigiri were so pretty! I love the lightly seared salmon and the tempura and chilli flakes gave it a nice little kick & punch.

A surprisingly satisfying meal at Umi Kaiten Zushi. I think that it's great for city workers who are looking for a quick mid-afternoon sushi hit. It's not the best Japanese you can find in town, but it's definitely satisfying. Also, you can stare at the pretty fish whilst your eating their relatives (haha). I'll be back (only on Monday & Tuesday nights!) haha.

Umi Kaiten Zushi
Shop 1, Lower Ground Fl,
477 Pitt St, (Cnr Hay & Parker St)
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9281 2006
Open 7 Days
Umi Kaiten-Zushi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bau Truong Restaurant, Cabramatta

How was it?
Food: 8/10
Service: 5/10
Ambience: 5.5/10
Value: $

I love good food, even more when it's good cheap food! And the best place for good cheap food (in my opinion) is in Sydney's western suburb of Cabramatta. I've been coming to Cabramatta since I was little with my family, it's like a mini-Asia in itself.

Assorted sauces

Bau Truong is a popular Vietnamese restaurant on the main street (John St). D* and I frequent this eatery whenever we come to Cabra. We've been loyal customers since they were in that little alleyway, pre new/jazzed up premises! We almost always order the same thing. I.e. Bun Nem Nuong (rice vermicelli noodles with grilled beef balls) and she gets the che ba mau (3 coloured drink) and I get the sam bo luong. We don't even need to look at the menu, but we pretend to anyway.

Bun Nem Nuong $10.00
(Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Meat Balls)

Bun Nem Nuong $10.00
(Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Meat Balls)

I love the fresh vermicelli noodles and the grilled meat balls, which are juicy and flavoursome. Smothered in fish sauce, you can't go wrong with this dish and it's definitely one of my favourite foods (big call, I know!).

Nem Nuong Cuon $7.50
(Grilled Meat Ball Fresh Rolls)

Despite my love of those noodles, a trip to Cabramatta with some lovely ladies (last year!) allowed me to sample a few more dishes on offer from the menu. It's always good to eat with more people because then you get to sample more and don't look like such a pig :) We ordered the nem nuong cuon, which were rice paper rolls filled with grilled meat ball and rice vermicelli. They were very fresh and tasty.

Xoi Chien Gion $7.50
(Crispy Sticky Rice)

Lili decided to randomly choose the xoi chien gion, which none of us had any idea what to expect. Luckily it was an absolute winner. Sticky rice and mung bean, fried to a golden crisp, it was so moreish!

Goi Du Du Tom Thit $15.00
(Green Paw Paw with Prawn & Pork Salad)

The green paw paw with prawn & pork salad was again so very fresh and tasty! It was a whole pile of sliced green paw paw with prawn and pork scattered throughout. Impressive presentation too, no? Lathered in generous amounts of fish sauce and chilli, I could eat this everyday!

Ca Ri De $10.00
(Goat Curry)

I had never tried goat meat before so I was anxious and excited to try the goat curry. We were all pleasantly surprised. It reminded me very much of a Cambodian style curry with the strong taste of star anise and it was more of a soup that your 'traditional' curry. I thought the addition of noodles were great and the goat meat was surprisingly tender and soft. It was delicious as it had really soaked up all the curry juices. Another surprise hit!

Sam Bo Luong $3.50

My standard drink is the sam bo luong (I'm not sure of the English name). But inside is a combination of seaweed, barley, seeds and water chestnuts. It is sweet deliciousness and always satisfying.

Che Ba Mau $3.50

D*'s standard drink is the che ba mau (three coloured drinks). A combination of red bean, mung bean and green tapioca jelly. You might think it looks funny, but it is seriously awesome! Definitely worth a try!

I love Bau Truong. The food is great, it's on the flashier side of restaurants in Cabramatta, but prices are still great. I've been to the Canley Heights one, but the original one is much better (in my opinion). Service is a bit hit and miss, but that's to be expected in this side of town! I have been going for years and will continue to.

Bau Truong Vietnamese Restaurant
Shop 10-12,
70 John St
Cabramatta NSW 2166
Tel: (02) 9727 4492
Open 7 Days
Bau Truong on Urbanspoon
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