Friday, May 22, 2015

Food Tripping in Melbourne

melbourne | spicyicecream

Melbourne is one of my favourite places to visit, and it seemed crazy that I hadn't been there since 2012. I love that there are always your old favourite places to revisit, and always plenty of new ones too. While this was only a very quick trip, I was excited to try some of the new restaurants that have popped up in the meantime. This time I was travelling with my housemate K - a girly trip full of food, shopping, cocktails and exploring. So here's a collection of photos from my iPhone and camera of some of my favourite things that we ate.

doughboys, melbourne | spicyicecream
doughboys, melbourne | spicyicecream

Do you follow Doughboys on Instagram? You really should. I definitely knew that these doughnuts were something I had to try. Doughboys are available at several cafes around Melbourne, but I visited their main outpost at the Mercat Cross Hotel and got three to take home - Blue Roast, Butterscotch and Bullseye, which ended up being our favourite. You can also get a 'Doughsundae' with a scoop of Gelato Messina. Please please open up in Sydney!

Doughboys Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

Doughboys Doughnuts, 456 Queen St Melbourne

fancy hanksfancy hanks fancy sanga | spicyicecream

Also at the Mercat Cross Hotel I was happily surprised to find Fancy Hank's BBQ sharing the large light-filled space upstairs. I immediately wished I was hungrier or with a group of friends to allow me to try more of the meats on offer, and maybe some cocktails too. But I couldn't pass up the 'Fancy Sanga' with brisket, cheese, onion, pickles, mustard and sauce. I loved the barbeque sauce that I believe has a hint of coffee and the spicy mustard was perfect with the meat. And then I went back to the hotel to take a nap.

Fancy Hank's BBQ Joint on Urbanspoon

Fancy Hanks BBQ Joint, 456 Queen St Melbourne

supernormal, melbourne | spicyicecreamsupernormal, melbourne | spicyicecreamsupernormal, melbourne | spicyicecreamsupernormal, melbourne | spicyicecream

I ended up at Supernormal not once, but twice. The first night I was dining solo and the staff were amazing, seating me at the bar and explaining that the kitchen could do half serves of any of the mains or desserts so I didn't miss out on trying anything. It turned a potentially awkward dinner alone into a really special one. I loved it so much that I dragged K back there the next night to try two dishes I'd wished I'd ordered! The Prawn and chicken dumplings were quite simply, some of the best that I've ever had. I loved the chilli vinegar sauce. I wish I could buy it in a bottle and put it on everything I eat.

We also had the Slow cooked szechuan lamb with spring onion pancakes and coriander paste, which was so delicious. The sauce was spicy and flavoursome and the meat just fell apart perfectly. A great dish to share. All of the desserts sounded incredible and I had a hard time choosing. The first night I tried the Fried custard with ginger syrup, but the people next to me had the Peanut butter parfait with salted caramel and soft chocolate and it looked amazing so I had to try it the next time. It is a classic combination of flavours that is so popular for a reason. It was a rich dessert but I enjoyed every spoonful. Definitely put Supernormal on the list for your next trip to Melbourne!

Supernormal on Urbanspoon

Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane Melbourne

shortstop, melbourne | spicyicecream
shortstop, melbourne | spicyicecreamshortstop, melbourne | spicyicecream

My sole mission the next morning was to find coffee and doughnuts. At Shortstop, the coffee comes only 'black' or 'white' and I appreciated this simplicity in the age of 15 word coffee orders! As for the doughnuts, I tried the Coconut Lemon Meringue and Earl Grey glazed doughnuts, which were both almost perfect - super fresh, with fantastic unique flavours. Melbourne doughnut game is very strong, and Sydney definitely has some catching up to do.

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts on Urbanspoon

Shortstop Coffee & Doughnuts, 12 Sutherland St Melbourne

chapel st bazaar, melbourne | spicyicecreamchapel st bazaar, melbourne | spicyicecream

Chapel Street Bazaar was heaven for the vintage obsessed, housing everything from clothes to records to typewriters to toys and so much glorious retro kitchenware. I wanted to move in! Even though I wanted to buy everything and bring it home in a large truck, I was quite restrained and picked up a few special pieces that I'm sure you'll see in my posts soon. K bought some great vintage handbags!

Chapel Street Bazaar, 217 Chapel St, Prahran

kong bbq, melbourne | spicyicecream
kong bbq, melbourne | spicyicecream

One of my favourite meals of the trip was at Kong BBQ, by the creators of Chin Chin (which is coming to Sydney!!). Korean food and BBQ are both so on trend at the moment, and this fusion is popular for a reason. We wanted a way to try as much as possible, so this Bossam BBQ Tray made perfect sense - pulled chicken and pork, pork belly and beef brisket with lettuce, pickles, zucchini kimchi and walnut ssamjang. You can make your own lettuce wraps with any combination of meat and condiments that you like. So so good, and definitely worth a visit!

Kong BBQ on Urbanspoon

Kong BBQ, 599 Church St Richmond

Monday, May 18, 2015

Coconut and Passionfruit Tres Leches Cake

coconut passionfruit tres leches cake

This cake is for my dear friend and housemate K. I don't say this lightly - I am seriously lucky to have this amazing lady in my life. I knew we'd be friends when I stepped into the kitchen and saw an amazing book collection and a cupboard full of roughly a dozen kinds of vinegar! She's always ready for some girl talk over dumplings and wine, she's a great travel companion and I (almost) don't even mind that the cat likes her better than me these days.

She doesn't really go for sweet desserts, but she loves all things dairy, so when making her a birthday cake, I thought this triple hit of milk would be perfect. The cake itself is a really nice simple one that is very easy to make. The special part comes in the way of the three milk mixture. Keeping in line with the things that she loves, I used coconut milk as one of the three, along with sweetened condensed milk and regular milk.

coconut passionfruit tres leches cake

I've been much more fussy with cakes lately - I'm much more into pies and puddings just generally - but Tres Leches will always be an exception. I think it's the most delicious, moist cake ever. I love that you can get creative with the milks and flavourings you use, like my crazy Pandan version from a few years ago. I loved the slightly tropical twist that the coconut milk and passionfruit gave this version. If summer fruit is in season where you are, it would also be delicious with mango!

I'm happy to say that K loved her birthday cake, and we shared a piece while watching an especially beautiful sunset from our front window. Can't wait to share many more adventures and many many more glasses of champagne with you K!! xx

coconut passionfruit tres leches cake


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Homemade Jam + Free Printable Labels for Mothers Day!

homemade jam + free printable labels

My Mum's biggest weakness is definitely chocolate, but second to that I think it's jam. I remember her sitting down with a cup of tea and toast with jam in the afternoon and just taking some time out to enjoy a small break. I highly doubt that this happened every day - between piano lessons and homework help and dinner prep - which made it even more special for her. A few uninterrupted minutes to flick through a magazine and enjoy her afternoon tea.

homemade jam + free printable labels

I've been making homemade jam for a few years now and she is always very happy to taste test my latest effort. With Mothers Day this weekend, I thought I would make her a special homemade present. I grabbed some late season plums from the market and made a jam flavoured with vanilla bean and star anise, and also a sweet rhubarb and pear jam, with a good hit of gin. I honestly can't pick my favourite, I love them both - so we will see on Sunday which one her favourite is! And Mum, if you're reading, please still act surprised!

homemade jam + free printable labels

If you'd like to make some jam for your Mum - or just because - I have included a printable version of the label designs I created for them. I printed them onto adhesive paper, cut them out carefully with scissors and stuck to the top and side of the jars. Easy and cute as can be!

homemade jam + free printable labels
Please do not redistribute without linking to this post. If you do use them, I'd love to see! Tag @spicyicecream on Instagram!

homemade jam + free printable labels

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Bites

april bites… easter treats

April was a funny month. I can't believe it's over, but at the same time Easter feels like so long ago. I feel like winter has snuck up on us early this year - so of course I caught a nasty cold :( But there was still lots of good food and fun moments in between bowls of chicken soup and empty tissue boxes. I also booked a flight to Manila so now I have two overseas trips to look forward to this year. This weekend I'm headed down to Melbourne for the first time since 2012 for much eating and drinking and celebrating my lovely housemate's birthday! Don't forget to follow along on Instagram.

april bites… north bondi fish

I took my little sister Beth for a gorgeous birthday lunch at North Bondi Fish early in the month. Everything we had there was great, but I especially loved the citrus cured salmon bruschetta. I'll write up a full review soon.

april bites… sunflowers

You just can't look at a bunch of sunflowers and feel unhappy.

april bites… homemade bread

When I was sick at home with a cold, I got the craving for homemade bread and whipped up a batch of No Knead Bread. It made the whole place smell amazing as it was baking, and was delicious still warm with lots of good butter.

april bites… adventures

As soon as I got my strength back, I went on long walks around the neighbourhood and found this typographic gem.

april bites… sunset

This photo of an amazing #sydneysunset from my window went crazy on Instagram. I love living here. Every time you look out the window it is different. I'll never take that view for granted.

april bites… burger

The Coogee Pavilion burger is regularly included in Sydney's Top Burger lists, so I had to try it for myself, and I can say it definitely deserves a place. I wish the cheese was melted, but everything else was delicious. Super impressed with the food and decor in this gorgeous venue.

april bites… petaling street

Steph, Karen and I braved the cold and wind for a girly catch up over Malaysian at the new Petaling Street outpost in Chatswood. I was surprised to find that I loved the pippies. (Photo from citrusandcandy Instagram)

april bites… tagine

I was sitting on the couch next to a pile of clean laundry and got a fright when it started to move. I found this little terror curled up inside!

april bites… donuts

The best snacks for movie night? Sprinkle covered doughnuts. Of course we had to rewatch The Avengers and Winter Soldier before going to see Age of Ultron ;)


Inspiring Reads
  • I feel like we all need a little help with this sometimes - 8 Tips for Achieving Work/Life Balance via Random Little Faves
  • This Pink Colour Study from I Spy DIY is AMAZING.
  • These photos from Marrakech via Designlovefest have definitely sparked my wanderlust. That blue!
  • Have you ever thought about making your own gummy candy? A Beautiful Mess shows you how. 
  • These Vertical Roll Cakes from Call Me Cupcake are so unique, and as always Linda's photos are incredible. I can't stop looking at them. Would you go for the chocolate or strawberry rhubarb?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

The weather here in Sydney has been crazy. We've had record amounts of rain, a freak weekend hail storm that had the inner west building snowmen, and winds that got downright scary up here on Heartbreak Hill. Luckily save a broken window and a few umbrellas, we had no damage, but thousands of people did. The amazing volunteers at the SES deserve so much credit and appreciation for all of their hard work helping those affected. I wish I could give them all a hug and some pudding.

Chocolate self saucing pudding, one of the ultimate comfort foods. It's the perfect thing to make you feel toasty and warm on autumn nights. It's a little bit magical too - how the boiling liquid that goes on top somehow becomes the rich sauce under a layer of cake-like pudding.

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Whenever I make it now, I can't help but think of my Nan and all the times I helped her make it when I was a kid. It was a favourite then, but now I like it even more. Nan didn't use whisky in hers! You already know how much I like chocolate and passionfruit together. If you're not yet convinced of this magical flavour combination, believe me it works, and it is definitely something you've got to try out for yourself.

I've used the flavour combination before in brownies, birthday cake and s'mores - and now I've made a wonderful no-churn ice cream to go with these warm and saucy puddings. With winter seemingly starting early this year, you've got a good few months to try out this delicious recipe. I hope you do!

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday Tipples 08 / Favourite Client Work

Champagne Room - Mojito

Hope you're having a wonderful week! I wanted to share something a little different for this month's Thursday Tipples. Most days I am doing design work from home in front of my laptop, so it's always a bit exciting for me to go on a photo shoot. Photographing food and drinks is one of the things I love the most, and if it weren't for this blog and practicing my photography for every single post here over nearly 8 years, I would never be getting paid to do it for other people! I've done several drinks shoots in the last few months and I wanted to share a few of my favourites from each. Maybe if you're in Sydney, you can go and try a few of these amazing drinks for yourself :)

The Champagne Room, Surry Hills

Champagne Room - Marie AntionetteChampagne Room - PompierChampagne RoomChampagne Room - Champagne Tower

The Stables, Randwick

The StablesThe StablesThe StablesThe Stables

The Angry Pirate, Redfern

The Angry Pirate - Grog Zombie
The Angry Pirate - Fresh Mint PappleAngry PirateAngry Pirate - Bloody Mary

Manly Wine, Manly

Manly WineManly WineManly Wine

The Rook, CBD

The Rook - Thorny RoseThe Rook - Down the Rabbit HoleThe Rook - The Antidote

The Loft, King Street Wharf

The LoftThe Loft The LoftThe Loft


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