food

Review: Elyros Restaurant, Melbourne

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Cretan Cuisine in Camberwell

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my colleagues, the lovely G, at Elyros Restaurant and Wine Bar.

It’s refreshing to come across a restaurant serving niche dishes from the Mediterranean island of Crete. Cretan cuisine is seasonal, and remains true to its natural sources.

Our bread basket featured a variety of savoury and sweet breads, complete with a healthy dose of olives, olive oil, creamy yoghurt and chunky dip featuring a hint of chilli and capsicum.

The wine list is extensive, organised by country or region, and comes complete with maps.

Elyros has a $45 set lunch menu on Sundays from 12pm-3pm. It’s filling and hearty yet light at the same time. A lovely introduction to a quaint little island I’d love to visit someday!

xo Tasneem

Magnum Pleasure Store – Pop Up Store @ Emporium

***There’s a magical place where you can create your own Magnum ice cream!***

Upon discovering its existence on Monday morning, I knew that a pilgrimage this weekend was essential. However, on Tuesday, I decided I couldn’t wait that long.

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Interesting fact: that ‘M’ on the ceiling is actually made of hanging Magnum popsicle sticks!

Being there on a Tuesday just after lunchtime, I only had to wait in line for about 10 mins. Once I placed my order, service was SUPER fast – I received my Magnum in under 60 seconds!

You get to choose what kind of chocolate you would like your vanilla ice cream dipped in (I chose dark chocolate). Select up to three crunchy/crumbly toppings (I chose roasted hazelnuts, roasted almonds and vanilla crumble). Then choose what kind of chocolate you’d like drizzled over the top (milk chocolate for me)!

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The Magnum Pleasure Store is located on level 1 at the Emporium, and closes on 10 August 2014 – so make a date!

xo Tasneem

Photoshoot: Queen’s Birthday 2014

The Queen’s Birthday public holiday in Victoria is the last public holiday until November! I made the most of my long weekend, and met up with my dear friend Luster, who is a part-time photographer and nurse extraordinaire. She brought her amazing camera, and I offered my curious and humbled self as her model on a leisurely stroll through the streets and laneways of the Melbourne CBD.

First stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. The back entrance and courtyard was shaded, which gave us ideal lighting conditions.

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Then, after a change of costume, we walked over to Hosier Lane. Did I say Luster’s camera is amazing?

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We had lunch at the Pankcake Parlour (this is my Best Breast of Chicken – “Tender breast of chicken, crumbed and crowned with our original hollandaise sauce, resting on a buckwheat pancake, or spiced up with Cajun spices topped with lemon parsley butter”):

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DELICIOUS 🙂

Then, it was time for a final costume change before heading off to GPO and exploring some laneways. We met up with Luster’s friend and fellow photographer, Marg and had some AMAZING hot chocolates at Chokolait!

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Dark hot chocolate, affogato and jaffa 🙂

Winter days are all too short, and time flies when you’re having fun! We decided to hop on a tram and head to Parliament before the sun set.

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This is my favourite photo by Marg. She suggested I point my toes towards the centre of one of the heart-shaped tile motifs outside the main Parliament doors. I was afraid it would look awkward, but it turned out just fine! She clearly knows what she’s doing 🙂

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The photos on Luster’s and Marg’s Google+ profiles are inspiring for novices and pros alike, so check them out! It was a brilliant day out with a couple of truly talented ladies, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the full edited albums!

xo Tasneem

Tas’ (Rare) Culinary Creations: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is the day on which we thank our mothers and/or mother figures for their seemingly superhuman abilities. I chose to treat my supermum with a little homemade nosh. Can’t take credit for the incredible dessert, though!

Crispy Cauliflower-Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli

I wanted to make something that could double as a meal and a snack. Something light and not too rich, seeing as dessert was so decadent. Oh My Veggies‘ vegetarian recipe caught my eye – it’s easy and oh-so-healthy! Plus, I love aioli and smoked anything! And so does Mum (I think, ahem). Win win 😉

I drifted from the original recipe somewhat – instead of cutting the carrots into ‘matchsticks’, I grated and then boiled them for about 2 minutes. I also replaced ‘green onions’ (which in Australia we call spring onions) with brown onions, roughly sliced. This is how the melange looked after adding salt, pepper, flour, grated parmesan, and egg (no cayenne pepper):

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I fashioned some oval fritters and fried each one for 4-5 mins on medium heat.

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Ended up making way more than the recipe’s estimated yield:

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But that was definitely a good thing 🙂

Fritters with Rice

 

Yum! Then there was the aioli…which wasn’t really aioli, in the end. I soaked my cashews for about 1 hour instead of at least 4, so they hadn’t softened enough to be processed into a paste of mayonnaise-like consistency. It ended up turning into a delicious smoky dip instead!

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I’m absolutely smitten with smoked paprika. It goes smashingly with chicken and fish; infuse savoury bread/chappatis with it for some extra pizzazz!

Now, for dessert…

 

The Messinetta

Layers of crisp tempered dark chocolate sandwiching  layers of wild strawberry gelato, rich tahitian vanilla egg custard gelato and dark chocolate gelato sitting on a bed of chocolate sponge surrounded by hand piped Italian meringue and coco dark chocolate ganache.”

Who can resist that? It’s Gelato Messina‘s take on the classic Viennetta ice cream dessert.

Love at first sight…

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And love at first bite (although the strawberry gelato was a tad sour for my taste)!

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Happy Mother’s Day 🙂