Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Product Talk: Maggi Stir Fry Creations

This post has items provided by Nuffnang's Product Talk. You can read more information about Product Talk here.
I have recently started this food blog and seeing that many like-minded bloggers signed up to the Nuffnang Community, I decided to join in as well.  
With a 9-5 job working in the CBD and commuting to and from work via public transports, I don't often get home until at least 7pm or so. By the time I get home, feeling mentally drained and exhausted, the last thing I would be thinking is to prepare dinner.....from scratch Smiley

I am a fussy eater [sad but true] and even though I do eat out quite a bit, I preferred not to eat fast food where possible and definitely no greasy food in my book. So came along Maggi Stir Fry Creations, a Nuffnang Product Talk Opportunity and the possibility to try something new [well.... new to me that is] for free!!!
Being a newbie on the blogger world, I was lucky enough to be selected as a small group to try out the new Maggi Stir Fry Creations, which was launch into the Australian market in March this year.
Please note I was not paid to conduct this review, but Product Talk by NuffNang Australia kindly provided the product for me to sample.
I am usually quite sceptical about pre-mixed packages for fear of the lack of flavours in them. I am the kind of person that prefers to cook/make everything from scratch as much as possible, because I know for sure what the finishing product will be like once I am done with it.
My Initial Thoughts:
The packaging is very eye catching; the descriptions are easy to read and understand; the instructions are short and simple, very quick and easy to prepare - it is possible for anybody to do it, even for the poor time cook or the mere male in the house are able to do it too.
So what is Stir Fry? Stir fry is an older cooking technique, most often seen in Asian cooking. It has gained popularity over the past 30 years or so, as its advantages of fast, healthy cooking have become apparent. This technique is also easy for the beginning cook to learn.
As people are learning to eat healthier foods, they are also learning healthier ways to cook. One way is to stir fry, is a technique that cooks foods quickly, using only a small amount of fat. Anyone with a large skillet and a spatula can master this technique.
Stir fry is a great mid week meal for the family, it is quick to prepare and you can use whatever meat or vegetables you've got in hand.
The new Maggi Stir Fry Creations range is easy to use, involving just two steps. Each product comes with an Infusion Paste – so that the meat infuses with flavour as it cooks – and a Finishing Sauce which is added as the final step to complete the dish.
So let's get started shall we?
I received the little parcel of goodies from Nuffnang on Friday evening, after I got home from work and upon opening the parcel; I saw these delightful packages that got me instantly excited to trying them out!
The new Maggi Stir Fry Creations uses a two-step process to create a quick and easy stir fry at home.
1. You TEAR IT - Pull apart the two sachets, using the perforation down the centre of the pack.
2. INFUSE IT - In a medium size bowl stir Infusion Paste thorough beef, set aside for 2-5 minutes while you prepare vegetables.
3. COOK IT - Heat saucepan or wok over high heat, add 1 tbsp oil. I like garlic in my stir fry, so I minced some garlic to fry until golden before I added in the beef. Add beef to pan, cook for 5 mins. [I preferred the meat to be medium rare so only cooked it for 3 mins].
I prepared the vegetables beforehand. If you are tight for time, frozen vegetables are ok to use as well.
Add vegetables to pan, stir through & cook for 3 mins.
4. FINISH IT - Pour Finishing Sauce into pan, stir through, cook for a further 2 mins and serve. Serve with rice or noodles.
Wow! A quick and simple dinner in less than ½ hour that you'll be proud to take to the table, especially when you are short for time and energy - I know I did.
Availability & Price - Maggi Stir Fry Creations comes in 5 flavours (Honey, Soy & Garlic; Teriyaki & Sesame; Sweet Chilli, Ginger & Lemongrass; Chinese Five Spice & Soy; Garlic & Ginger Chicken) and they are ranged nationally in Coles, Woolworths & Independent supermarkets for $3.29 RRP.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Little Làng Nướng

Like Trà Vinh, I have been here so many times that I have also lost count! I usually frequented this place on the weekend, as I am working in the CBD, the only time/day I am free to visit is at the end of the week.

I like the service here, the owner is very friendly, sometime too chatty for me but it's a good vibe nevertheless.

This place reminded me of Hải Âu Làng Nướng in Canley Vale NSW, that a friend of mine has taken me there when I visited her last. Like HALN, the food here is amazing and unique too. How often do you go out to eat and get to DIY your own meal, unless of course it's Korean BBQ like Arirang or Tong 86, where you'd get to BBQ your own food at your table.

As this place specialising in BBQ/Grill dishes, it's best to order anything on the menu that is BBQ or Grill, because it is their specialty of course and you can easily order a dish for as little as $10.00 - bargain!

I have took a few friends here and they've all liked it. Some have since returned with their friends and friends of friends'. Most of the dishes on the Làng Nướng menu are good for 'sharing' with friends, especially the DIY dishes Smiley

One of my favourite dishes here is the Nem Lụi Huế Cuốn Bánh Tráng [marinated pork grill Huế style served with seasonal vegetables and rice paper - DIY]. Serving may look small but it is very filling, I struggled to finish the last Nem Lụi stick each and every time!!!
Nem Lụi Huế Cuốn Bánh Tráng $15 

Other dishes I like are...
Bún Thịt Nướng [marinated grilled pork served with vermicelli and fresh seasonal herbs] $10 ツ
Bánh Xèo $12 ツ

Little Làng Nướng on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trà Vinh

I have been to Trà Vinh so many times that I have lost count! I usually go to their Brisbane Street location and a few times to their Roe Street one when they used to have that one open.

Nowadays, with the opening of U & I Cafe in Northbridge and Mama Tran in the CBD, I find that I don't go to Trà Vinh as often as I used to anymore.

I like the decor of Trà Vinh's latest establishment, a lot of red, makes the place a very vibrant place to be in and because red is also one of my favourite colours fondly

One of my all time favourite dishes here is the Bún Riêu, which is a Vietnamese rice vermicelli soup in crab and tomato broth. I don't know what it is about this particular dish, but this is the only thing I would eat whenever I go out... second by Bánh Canh or Bún Mắm whenever possible. I am not a Phở gal, maybe because Phở originated from the north of Vietnam, while I am from the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, hence I tend to like the food around this region more  

So on this particular day, my best mate and I chose our dishes. His usual favourite of Hủ Tiếu Trà Vinh and mine was Bún Riêu. I am always hungry with my eyes, so I ordered a dessert as well.

Trà Vinh, like many typical Vietnamese restaurants, are considered to be an Asian equivalent to MacDonald's "fast food" for Westerner. It is simply a "no fuss" eating house. Don't expect 5 stars services here. Just go in, take a seat, order, eat and then go. Simple as that.
Hủ Tiếu Trà Vinh ツ
Bún Riêu ツ

Tra Vinh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Restaurant D'Nyonya Penang

Jul 25: Having met quite a few Malaysian foodies last weekend, I am now craving for a taste of Malaysian food, in particularly Asam Laksa, which I have not eaten for quite sometimes now.

There are two basic types of laksa: curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a spicy-sour fish base noodle soup that is known in Penang, an island state in northwest Peninsular Malaysia. It's mouth-watering and delicious!

Anyhow, I walked past this place the other day on my way to Restaurant Jun and saw the sign for Cheap Eats lunch under $10.00 (take away only), so I decided to drop in today and taste their food.
$6.50 for Take Away only!
Dine in menu

I looked through the menu but did not see my favourite dish [Asam Laksa] - I was quite disappointed so to speak, so decided to go for the Penang Char Koay Teow instead and what a delicious plate it was and the drink that I ordered was just divine
Sweet Drink: Air Bandung (cold) $3.50
Rose syrup drink with evaporated milk and grass jelly

Restaurant D'Nyonya Penang on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Terrace Hotel

Jul 20: I attended the first day of the two days Food Photography Workshops with Billy Law, at The Terrace Hotel on St Georges Terrace and what a delight it was to have met so many Food Bloggers there too, especially the ones that I have been "followed & admired" for quite sometimes now

Day 1 started out with Food Photography for Beginners..... aka me  the workshop was really fun, interactive and jams packed with information for all of us to learn from.

Lunch started at around 1pm, time to put all those information we've just learnt into practice.... photos FIRST of course and then....... EAT
Turkish Bread & hummus ツ
Gourmet Tasting Platter - Duck wontons, San Daniele prosciutto, chicken liver parfait, pork rillettes, squid cones ツ

Some more theories and slideshows before the main arrived....
Pan fried salmon, shitake mushroom broth, soba noodles, Asian greens, cucumber & coriander salad $40 ツ

Next was learning about "Telling a Story" and White Balance.....
Bitter chocolate & orange tart, creme fraiche, honey comb $16 ツ
Day 2 is about Styling the subject with props and colour combos etc...

Lunch served at around 1:30pm
Macadamia & herb crusted Amelia Park lamb rack, sweet potato fondant, spinach puree, confit shoulder,
white wine & rosemary jus $40 ツ

Follow by the delicious plate of.....
Trio of house made ice cream with wafers $9 ツ
Delicious cup of coffee for only $3 to finish off the meal ツ YUM!

Besides having heaps of fun learning new tricks of the trade from Billy, I also met a great bunch of people who are also into foodie....licious like me. What a fabulous weekend it was for a very memorable birthday celebration, doing the things I  {eating & photography} + making new friends! 

I thoroughly enjoyed the two days workshops at the Terrace Hotel and especially thankful for the fantastic service from Rhys, who looked after us over the two days weekend. Thank you for the fantastic hospitality! Can't wait to come back and try out other things on the menu, especially High Tea on the weekend and that yummy-licious coffee I tasted .

The Terrace Hotel on Urbanspoon Smiley