Little Darling Diner— A French Inspired Patisserie.

One of Balmain’s top eatery, Little Darling Diner. If you ever want to go to Rozelle’s Saturday markets, then you certainly have to visit this place. At least just for tea, that is good enough.   Breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner were all catered for—- each have different menu. It had been known for its  gourmet high tea selections of delicacies and patisseries.

Bonus: the comfy sofa chairs that you can sink into and enjoy your tea and bites, together with your favourite people.

Little Darling Diner is widely spaced with two levels in total (so, they definitely expect big crowds!). 

Their furnitures are picked especially to fit the parisian theme and enhancing the french-home-kinda-feel.

Grilled Schiacciata bread with mussels

Escargot with garlic butter and grilled sour dough

Tuna Fillet with wasabi avocado and tomato confit

Duck confit, roast fennel, duck fat potatoes, watercress salad

 The FOOD

  • Grilled Schiacciata bread with mussels— Probably a wise choice for sharing but not worth a second try individually.
  • Escargot with garlic butter and grilled sour dough—Number 1 scored appetiser!!!!
  • Tuna Fillet with wasabi avocado and tomato confit—First of all, it does not look like a tuna fillet (looks like beef steak, I swear). Okay, so the idea of combining cooked tuna with wasabi sounds pretty interesting yea?
  • Duck confit, roast fennel, duck fat potatoes, watercress salad—Best duck breasts I had ever tasted so far in Sydney! With the combination of the sour citrus and sweet sauce, it is just perfecto~
  • Mini Tarts (chocolate, strawberry and lemon meringue)— The tarts have a special crusts that taste different from other tarts that I had tried. They are good but not as fantastic as bourke street’s. But still, it’s incomparable as it is unique in its own way.

The PRICE
It might be a tad too expensive for some of you. For example, the duck confit  and tuna is about $20++ for each dish. 6 Escargots were about $10. However, as a big foodie, I dont mind paying a little bit more for good food in my tum tum! HAHA! What about you? 😀

The AMBIANCE
Cosy chairs, wooden floors, french-styled wall decos….I love everything French!!!

 

 

 

Little Darling Diner 

485A Darling Street Balmain, NSW 2041
(02) 9810 5255
dine@littledarlingdiner.com.au

Trading Hours
Breakfast and Lunch: 7am- 4pm
Dinner: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 6pm-10pm

http://littledarlingdiner.com.au/

Rokeby Cafe— ‘Sip. Savour. Repeat.’

To be back from Sydney to my hometown, Singapore, for a week is more than just a SURREAL feeling. Well, but I just had to continue my cafe-hopping here since there are so many new cafes that I’ve yet to explore and taste! This time, I am meeting my second batch of favourite girls and one of them suggested ROKEBY!

Rokeby, located in the heart of Serangoon, is another neighbourhood, quaint cafe that to gather your girlfriends over. Be it just for brunch or an artisan coffee to spice up your gossip session, it is still worth the visit!

Rokeby’s homemade biscuits in a jar!


Truffled Parmesan Fries


Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil


The Yuppie Burger


Spaghetti Carbonara

Kurobuta Pork Belly

Molten Lava Cake

Fruits and Nutella Waffles

The FOOD,
[S]- Starters, [M]-Mains, [D]-Dessert

  • [S] Truffled Parmesan Fries— The Fries just tasted norm? Except that it is rather cripsy. Other than that, I felt no difference with all other truffle fries that I had tasted so far.
  • [S] Mushroom Soup with Truffled Oil— I did not personally gave this starter a try. But in accordance to my friend, this soup is particularly smooth and creamy. To her, it is a-must-order! So, you might want to trust her opinion, idk? haha.
  • [M] The Yuppie Burger— This patty has curry taste! It is a unique flavour that I think it’s worth giving it a go!
  • [M] Spaghetti Carbonara— As I was rather deprived from a restaurant-cooked spag, this was my choice of main. Yes, it is fantastic and as a carbonara lover, I will not give this one a miss. However, just a tip, it will best to share this main, as the cream will turn into something you call, Sick. 
  • [M] Kurobuta Pork Belly— No specific comment for this main. Just see that it is fat and oily. LOL!
  • [D] Molten Lava Cake— One of my favourite dessert! Oh damn the chocolates just melts…… >.<
  • [D] Fruits and Nutella Waffles— the appearance of their waffles does not appeal to me as it seems to be just waffles and nutella spread on the plate, along with variety of fruits. Hey, I can do this at home! Plus, with the fact that Wimbly Lu is just next door, I would suggest that you get waffles there instead. BUT, I need to emphasize that it depends on personal perference. Wimbly Lu’s waffles are FLUFFY but Rokeby’s is CRISPY! So, which do you prefer?

The PRICE
Fantastic! Besides being priced at the range similar to all cafes, Rokeby offers NO GST and NO SERVICE CHARGE instead! YAY!

The AMBIANCE
Rokeby, an Australian bistro had an ordinary atmosphere- just like most cafes that I had visited. The use of silver steel chairs and wooden serving plates seem to be a norm nowadays. However, I am impressed with the corner that utilised the guitar as a decorative aspect (see image above). It certainly enhanced this cafe to be more ‘Outback’— Now, that’s an aussie style we are talking about!

Rokeby Cafe
15-9 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987

Tel: +65 9106 0437

http://www.rokeby.com.sg/

Pancakes on the Rocks— It is just a SLAB on your plate.

Pancakes on the Rocks has been heard and spread widely across Sydney and even other states of Aussie as one of the must-try pancakes.
Having heard all about it, along with the positive comments and reviews written for this place, I told myself that I have to give it a try. (huge disappointment!)

Overrated, Cliché and overcrowded.

The massive long queue for this place is just due to (I reckon), the overuse of compliments that many tourists had given. Fluffy pancakes? I don’t think so. It’s more of pancakes that is overloaded with sweet syrups and fruits, charged at a price that is seemingly affordable but not worth. Okay, enuff said. Correct me if I am rong, but maybe ‘Ribs on the Rocks’ will be better named?  Yea, I might consider giving them a second chance and try their ribs because it looks so damn delish! 

The Interior/ AMBIANCE— Cowboy and Mexico-style concept, designed with the choice of brown and wooden furnitures and tints.

The FOOD

Tabriz– at the left side of this image


Farmers Brunch

Potato Au Gratin

The savory dishes are just ‘plain-sick’ after like 3 mouthful of them. Maybe its more suitable for dessert menu instead of lunch/brunch/dinner. I’ve tasted pancakes 100 times better than this place. But of course, I am not changing your perceptions and perspective if you really love it, so be it. This is just an honest critique from me :).


Coco Berry

Tips: Their food are good for sharing! If you know what I mean. 

 

 

Pancakes on the Rocks

DARLING HARBOUR
227 & 229-230 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour
Phone: 02 9280 3791

Trading Hours:
Sunday to Thursday 7:00am – 11:00pm
Friday / Saturday : 7:00am – Midnight

http://www.pancakesontherocks.com.au/

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie—Macarons Fever.

Macarons, a french confection that is meringue-based, have been ranked as one of the top dessert choice world wide.
Having said that,  many cafes/bistro/bakery had attempted to make these colourful and lovely-looking sweet. Even Mcdonalds have their own macarons!

Besides Ladurée (paris), there are many good competitors that sells macarons at much more affordable prices.
For example: in Singapore— TWG tea, housed with  a variety of macarons that are of unique tea-based flavour.

So, in Australia there is…..

Discover Sydney’s best Macarons—- ADRIANO ZUMBO
Zumbo, shot to fame from reality TV show, Masterchef, is now a country-wide known chef for his exotic sweet creations. Exotic, as in literally crazy, unimaginable and unexpected flavoured macarons, or to be exact, ZUMBARONS

PRETTY MACARONS— IRRESISTIBLE~

Wide Selection of exquisitely designed cakes and tarts…

Lemon meringue tart~


From left to right: Hazelnut Praline, Lime and Mandarin, Choc pop, Salted Butter Caramel, Malted milkshake and Toasted marshmallow.

My favourite—- MALTED MILKSHAKE! Trust me, its the best among all!


Zumbo provides tutorial classes as well! Learn how a bake perfect macarons and  marvelous desserts and pastries! Read more on: http://adrianozumbo.com/

Adriano Zumbo
Shop 1, Cafe Court

The Star 80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009

 Opening Hours – Patisserie Monday | 11am – 10pm Tuesday to Thursday | 11am – 11pm Friday & Saturday | 11am – Midnight Sunday | 11am – 9pm

 

10 steps to plan the perfect 21st Party.— #C.Faith’s 21st

Three years back, if you asked me ‘how are you going to celebrate when you turn 21?’ My answer to you will most likely be,’Probably travel with friends…’
However, now that I’ve finally reached the ‘prime’ year of becoming an official adult, somehow, there will be a drive within that will have the desire to want to open the best 21 party of my life! #YOLO

In my case: I’ve brought my 21st party exactly 4 months in advance to gather and celebrate my last few moments of youth as well as farewell with all my loved ones…

Trust me, organising a party yourself is crazy madd and stress, especially on that exact day! It is quite a hassle, but you will appreciate this hectic process and know that the amount of unconditional love and help you get from your friends are nothing else but a sparkling gem etched in your heart. ❤

1. Start Early—Set a Date.

Planning a 21st birthday party isn’t just about planning a party. IT IS A BIG PARTY. A MASSIVE PARTY. It may probably be the last party of your life (unless you are getting married then wedding party will be a much more grand and magnificent one). Hence, setting a specific date early would be good so as to notify your guests early as everyone is busy with their own life happenings. It will be good for them to know early so that they can block out and draw a huge circle on their calendar stating: _______ 21 Birthday Party!!

You might end up feeling that this first part is already a pain in the ass because you will want all your important people to attend but at the same time, worried that they might not be able to make it on that day. Weekends are usually the best days to hold a party—Either a Saturday or a Sunday.

A word of advice: Saturday is usually best for night events as some people do have to work on a saturday such as hospital jobs.. etc. Sunday will be best for a whole day event such from morning till prolly 10pm as it is a public holiday, so the probability of turn ups will be much higher. 

People that actually do care about you, will definitely attend your party, no matter what circumstances. So, just select a date that best suits you! 

2. Theme
The first part of planning a party is the THEME. Now, this is probably one of the more crucial part as you will want your party to be memorable to yourself as well as others. Most importantly, it must be unique and extraordinary! So, be creative, and think of whatever ideas and inspirations that comes to you. Let your inner artsy-fartsy character out (no one will judge you even if its the worst colour combination ever, its your party)! Eg. wild & crazy, quirky & fun, sexy & naughty, dainty & flowery, pinky & barbie… etc.

Well, one thing is to do tons of research online. Your best friend in this period will probably be Google. HA! 

Theme for #C.Faith’s 21st: Parisian style, together with Tiffany Mint Green as main colour. Well, my theme is chosen out of love! Because it is how I love paris so much and also, Tiffany mint green 🙂

3. Budget
So now that you are all set for your date of your party and the theme, you can start thinking about the cost.
This section is subjective. It depends on the how important this day is for you and how you want it to be displayed to your guests. You can be simple and nice, expensive and glamorous or just average but still look as awesome.

Budgetting fora party is typically about $500 and above (including the venue). Ultimately, it all depends on yourself, number of guests and how many sponsors you can get.

Budget set for #C.Faith’s 21st: $1000 nett. (including venue and food)
As I am not a filthy rich person, my budget is rather tight. So this is my breakdown of the cost of my party:
1. Birthday cake— approx. $250 (sponsored by my brother)
2. Decorations— $150
3. Food and drinks— $600
4. Venue— $0 (condo function room)
5. Photo Booth— approx. $300 (sponsored by my sister)

Since my cake and photobooth are sponsored by my siblings, I actually spent less than 1K for my party! Also, note that my venue is FOC because I already had plans to host my party in a function room. The approx. amount of people I invited was 80 guests, turn up was about 60plus? (More people = more money have to be spent on food and drinks—bear this in mind). Having to pay for a venue on your party is really expensive. Eg. Chalet— run down and not unique but yet it is still about $300 per night?! 

5. Venue and Environment
At this section, I need to stress and emphasize that, if you want to get a good venue, or rather the BEST location to fit your theme party then you must start planning at least 6 months in advance. The fact that you are not the only 21 years old baby of the year, there will be lot of other people that might had booked the place way ahead of you!

Top list of birthday venues:
-Condo function room
-Hotel (eg. marina bay sands, studio M, etc.)
-Chalets (eg. costa sands pasir ris, east coast park)
-NSRCC at changi

Well, from the list above, the only one that is FOC is condo function room. Others are just too costly or too small like opening in a hotel (unless you host in a suite).

Venue for #C.Faith’s 21st: Marina Bay Residence 
Because my party is parisian-themed, to find a venue that is able to fit my theme had been a real challenge for me. With my wide social networking and connections, my bf and I managed to get a function room at Marina Bay Residence. It is a huge space and could cater to just the amount of people I invited— 80+ guests.

The breeze up there is soothing, the mind blowing infinity pool, the gorgeous sight of Marina Bay sands right in front of your eyes and the choice for my guests to choose to sit indoor or outdoor~ impressive! The whole level is literally mine!

Thank God for the  existence of nice and kind  people in the world~ 🙂

6. Decorations
At this stage, everything is more or less set, move on to decorations—the most interesting and fun part of planning a party! It is also very important as it is a showcase and impress your ‘dream’ party to all your guests.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on decorations, it will be highly recommended that you make them out of your bare hands and not just buying off the racks.

Besides, your DIYs will definitely be exquisite, special and EXTRAORDINARY.

Decoration breakdown:
a) Invitation Card/ Facebook event page
Now, this is the very start and beginning of your party. You want this invitation card to look good so people will actually be of significance to them.

Since your theme had already been selected, you can go ahead and create that collage of words and pictures to entice your guests. MAKE THEM EGGCITED FOR YOU!
This card/image should include every details of your party (so you don’t have to spend too much time answering questions about details of your event).

Invitation card/ image for #C.Faith’s21st: 

FYI: Easily made with iphone apps such as vscocam, doodles, picarts….

b) Backdrop
Parties are all about taking photos… Therefore, the backdrop must be the one that displays exactly what your theme is, by just a glance at photos.

Backdrop for #C.Faith’s21st: Mint Green-Dyed Streamers with  Eiffel towers.

In my case, as mint green streamers are not commonly sold (either buy them from extremely expensive online stores and ship from america, or can just forget about it).

I have a budget so I made my backdrop from scratch, literally. & I can say, the backdrop is my proudest part of my party. It took me a whole long of one and a half month to finish it, apart from my busy schedule. And I am so happy that the finished product look so fantastic and dreamy…


TIPS–How I made this beautiful streamer that I love so much :

  • Step 1: Use green white board maker inks and mix with ethanol. The use of alcohol is essentially because apart from the fact that it evaporates faster than water, it will not disintegrate your streamers and retain the crinkly crepe paper effect still.
  • Step 2: Find the picture (eg. eiffel tower) and paint ’21’ on the lace baking papers.
  • Step 3: Paste the lace paper and eiffel tower alternatively on sewing strings that are so thin that it is not visible from far.
  • Step 4, tie the streamers individually on a rafia string or normally rope and alternately, string the lace papers and eiffel tower. Repeat as many time as you want to make it as long as you want.


FYI: It is easier for me since I work in the lab. Do not attempt unless you know how to handle ethanol!

c) Miscellaneous decoration goods for the venue
Party goods such as balloons are definitely a must! I chose 21 helium balloons of colour combination of yellow, pink, blue and white. Wall streamers were made of white lace papers (folded into halves) and tied with balloons in between. The colour combination complimented my photobooth backdrop so well!
My guest book shown below is DIY by my talented sister.

You can purchase balloons from: PARTY JOY  http://www.harvestwell.com.sg/party.htm
– highly recommended and is the cheapest among all party shops in Singapore that I know.

You can also get decorative papers and glitter powders from paper market to enhance the ambiance of the venue.
Eg. ‘Welcome to my party’ (as shown below)

7. Food l Appetisers l Dessert Table
The highlight of all parties–FOOD/DESSERTS/SWEETS. This practically what your guests anticipates and look out for. Who doesn’t love desserts? Not only must it taste good, it must look IRRESISTIBLY TEMPTING too!

Appetisers for #C.Faith’s 21st:

Mini Tart Canapes by Delifrance.
Delifrance has a wide range of mini party delights to choose from! From sandwiches to quiches and tarts…etc.
Make your order at: http://www.delifrance.com.sg/deli-cater/mini-party-delight.html

Mains for #C.Faith’s 21st:

Dessert Table for #C.Faith’s 21st:


Cheesecake in shot cups by Yours truly.


Jelly Shots by Yours Truly.


Choco-dipped marshmallow by Yours Truly.


Best Macarons ever by TWG Tea.
Chocolate sugar cookies with royal icing  by Afternoonsinthekitchen (she baked my birthday cake too)


Luxurious Cupcakes by the High Society.


My super GLAMOUROUS eiffel tower-laced chocolate cake by Afteroonsinthekitchen. Check out her website at http://afternoonsinthekitchen.wordpress.com/tag/21st/ .

8. Dress code
Typically, a party is a time where everyone gathers to celebrate a joyous occasion with you.
Usually, most of people will just sit and talk, catch up on one another’s life happenings, but this is no difference from celebrating Chinese new year, clubbing… where it is all about mingling.

Therefore, to make things more interesting, since it is a themed-party, there should, obviously, be a DRESS CODE/ COSTUME to fit the theme. This, not only makes photos to look nicer, and also it makes your whole party like a ‘perfect package’.

Dress code for #C.Faith’s21st: Lace and Leather.
While most parties that I had attended are commonly based on colour dress code, I did not want my party to fall in the same category of colours…

Knowing that my party is a French-Paris style party, it is impossible that people will be spontaneous to actually dress themselves with stripes and berets. I did a whole lot of research and finally got inspired by Maria Antonietta.– the classic, vintage concept of using LACE. Lace and leather is therefore decided.

I am really happy that eventually many of my guests did turn up according to the dress code!
Some of the best outfits:



Of course, not everyone will be bothered to dress up as well, which is why, I organised a BEST-DRESS COMPETITION, so as to encourage people to actually bother to dress up for my party.

FYI: It is a cash prize. 😀 As a token of appreciation that you actually did dress up by going through your messy closet to find that perfect look!


My two lovely judges- Jessilyn and Mavis.

9. Photography l Photo Booth
For such big parties, an instant print photo booth is no doubt, A MUST!

A photo booth is always fun and most importantly, the instant printout for your individual guests will be a piece of ‘memory’ for keep sake.

Some fun ideas could be adding props such as:

Paper straws are great crafts for props!
I purchased them from TAOBAO, which is so much cheaper!!! Not to forget, the pattern and colours of the paper straws are prettier on TAOBAO~ ^^

Photo Booth for #C.Faith’s 21st: Photolux Singapore.

I love how Photolux personalised and customised the border of the printouts to fit the theme of my party!

To engage photolux, visit their page at: https://www.facebook.com/photolux.sg

10. Don’t Panic! Just KEEP SMILING and be PHOTO-READY. BE THANKFUL.
Because you are the host and you are the limelight of the day, you do not want your candid shots to be a sulking and frowning face.
The first thing to tell yourself is to NOT PANIC. Alright, this might sound impossible since you are the party-planner and you won’t want to afford any forms of mishaps or screw ups.

But in order to really enjoy your big day is to calm down and go with the flow, remember that your family and close friends will always be there to clean up any mess for you and help make sure that everything runs smoothly. So, the only thing you have to do, really, is
to SHOW THAT WIDE BIG SMILE OF WHITE, SHINY TEETH.

Overall, my party was a success. Even though there was quite a few hiccups, but still, everyone enjoyed themselves! I am really thankful for all who had sacrificed their time to attend my party and also the ones that really put in 100% effort to help me! Really, THANK GOD for all these wonderful people that I had met in my life. ❤

Ending this post with my quirky ladies~

Baffi and Mo Espresso.—Eggs Affair: Poached or Baked?

Redfern, known to be a rather ‘dodgy’ area, it is such a surprise that there is an existence of  this small, but classic and vintage kind-of feel cafe.

Baffi and Mo Espresso, easily recognised with their ‘moustache’ logo, makes the cafe outlook more quirky I suppose? Maybe ‘Mo’ means moustache? I wonder…

Oh well~ not the main point here. So, have a look at the Interior,

I can say, what I love most about this cafe, not just the food but this holy-messy layout of the counter that gives the vibe of classic and vintage. I mean, of course most cafes have counters that might be similar to this. But till, I just love this particular one!!

And the CAKES, ERMAGERD!

Good choice of wallpaper too!

An antique pot of sugar!

Coffee anyone?

Aerial View of our Awesome Egg-gie Brunch!Side View 

Baked Eggs with sobrasada, roasted tomato, roasted capsicum, mozarella and grilled bread

Potato hash stack with smoked ham, topped with coleslaw, poached egg and asparagus

Corn and pea fritters with grilled haloumi and oven roasted tomato sauce

The FOOD

  • Baked Eggs with sobrasada, roasted tomato, roasted capsicum, mozarella and grilled bread: MMMmmm.. Doesn’t the name itself makes you salivate? This is one hell of Eggs OVERLOAD. I think there is about 4-5 eggs in the pan! Literally. If you love eggs, you will definitely fall in love instantly. The tomato sauce that they blend with….YUMs.  And I can say this is probably one of their specialty?! It goes so well with the grilled bread.
  • Potato hash stack with smoked ham, topped with coleslaw, poached egg and asparagus: This is one interesting dish. It is similar to Kakiage (A japanese tempura veggie dish). Exact same texture and taste, except that they uses sliced potatoes and coleslaw with a poached egg on top. Poached egg was cooked os perfectly that the egg yolks drizzles out…. =P
  • Corn and pea fritters with grilled haloumi and oven roasted tomato sauce: Probably not one of the best dish on our table, but still, FANTASTIC. Healthy choice I would say. Its just a typical corn fritters with peas. However, the combination with grilled haloumi is a brilliant idea tho. Without it, I don’t think it will be as fantastic.

The PRICE
Regular cafe with regular pricing. But, the portion served was indeed huge. So, it’s good if you come in groups so that you can share. For all the three dishes we had, I only paid $13+? That’s a pretty  good deal, I suppose. Well, for me that is.

The AMBIANCE
Summed up with the word: ‘ Classic and Vintage’. ME LIKE!! Although, it is small and maybe squeezy if you are to come in a big group, but there is still a choice of chilling outdoors instead! So, all good!

 

Baffi and Mo Espresso 
94 Redfern St.
Redfern NSW 2016, Australia
+61 2 8065 3294

FYI: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baffi-Mo-Espresso/131871963528671

BREWTOWN.— The Art of Coffee Culture.

Well known for their cronuts, Brewtown is yet another beautifully designed coffeehouse that is usually lined up with long trains of people waiting to have a taste of their signature dishes.

The Interior

The cafe has installed a brew bar for patrons to sit and enjoy their meal while watching the friendly baristas working behind the espresso machine, blending the perfect latte/mocha/capuccino/flat white, etc.

Brewtown is built with two floors as they have a collaboration with O’Connell Street Merchants— where browsing of  unique household goods, designer apparels and even getting an affogato ice cream as dessert after brunch is made possible! 

Flat White.—the happiest moment when having a cup of coffee is getting to enjoy the piece of art seen on the milkfoam from bird’s eye view.

Elvis burger. ground beef, savory cronut, canadian bacon, gruyere and mayo served with chips and relish

Meatball, tomato, basil sauce and mozzarella baguette
Beetroot cured ocean trout, avocado smash, rye sour dough toast, dill, persian feta & beetroot relish. 
Brewtown Newtown
6-8 O’Connell Street
Newtown 2042
Official website,  http://brewtownnewtown.com/

For more detailed reviews on Brewtown, Check out this person’s blog: http://heneedsfood.com/2013/12/brewtown-newtown

P.S. Sorry, but I am just too lazy to write my usual ‘theFOOD, thePRICE and theAMBIANCE’ critique part! But overall, this cafe is worth second visit!