Hong Kong Style Soya Chicken

Before I post the recipe of this HongKong Style Soya chicken, I just want to share with you guys two things that I cherish this December. First thing is of course celebrating my favourite festive season; Christmas and New year. But what will the second thing be??? The second thing will be the launch of my sister's food blog. Have I ever mentioned that I have a super talented sister? whom I consider to be an absolutely brilliant cook? If I haven't, now you know....When my sister posted her link in Facebook, one of her friends actually commented that for my sister to have a food blog is like Picasso having a blog about painting. I have to say, it's the perfect way to describe my sister's passion in cooking. Her blog, 'DinewithLeny' is going to be filled with many great home-cooked recipes. So, do check it out if you need to look for new food ideas or simply just for a read! 

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm sure I'm not the only person busy wrapping the Christmas gifts and looking forward to celebrate with family and friends. Sadly, me and my husband don't have any family here to celebrate Christmas with, but I look forward to share some great times with my friends on our Boxing day trip to Hunter Valley. Christmas is such a beautiful season, it's a season of giving. Every where I go, I see people breathing with joy and happiness, people hopping from shop to shop looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones and people busy planning for their Christmas meal.

Anyway, I think I should stop talking about Christmas and back to the recipe. Today, I prepared this Hong Kong Style Soya Chicken for dinner. When I go to Hong Kong restaurant, my husband's utmost choice will be the steamed chicken where as mine will be the soya chicken. Since, I've always cooked his favourite at home, tonight will be my turn to relish my favourite. So, if you like Soya Chicken too, this recipe is worth trying because it's simple, quick and most of all, delicious!

Hong Kong Style Soya Chicken

- 4 chicken Marylands (I didn't buy Maryland, so I used 8 drumsticks)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup of Lee Kum Kee premium soya sauce
- 3 star anise
- 1 cup brown sugar (or more according to your preference)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 5 cm of ginger (smashed)
- 6 cloves of garlic (smashed)
- 1 tsp five spice powder

1) Clean the chicken and set aside.
2) In a deep pan/pot add in everything except the chicken.
3) Bring the sauce to boil, then add in the chicken, leave the chicken to simmer in sauce for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
4) Once chicken is cooked, remove  from pan/pot to cool.
5) Chop chicken into smaller pieces if you prefer.
6) Enjoy the chicken with steamed rice.

Tips: Pour some of the sauce on steamed rice will sure give you an extra kick to the meal!

If you don't hear from me before Christmas, I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas 2010 
Hope you guys have a Healthy and Happy New Year 2011

Montparnasse, Randwick

Discovering A French Treasure In Randwick

I visited Montparnasse for a farewell dinner early September this year. So it's pretty obvious that this post has been long delayed. This hidden gem in Randwick was highly recommended by a friend of mine. He described the place as having a mixture of modern and classic French design, a place where Marilyn Monroe will be happy to dine in. So based on such wonderful descriptions, I immediately made a booking for 'a table for six' that week.

'Wonderful' seems like an underrated survey of this place, it's beyond wonderful for me personally. I love the place, I love the service, the food and among other things, I love the price too. I was the first one to arrive at this intimate restaurant, while my husband and friends were looking for a place to park. Sitting on an empty table with only silence accompanying me, a very thoughtful and friendly staff actually offered me a glass of complimentary champagne to start with.

Once everyone arrived, we quickly flipped through the extensive French menu. We finally settled with 3 entrees to be shared among us and a main dish for each person. We were served with complementary breads as well, but I do have to apologise because I actually forgot what exactly was it, but as far as my memory serves, it was a delicious savoury bread with toppings.

Entree 1: Brochettes Saint Jacques et Crevettes  $18.00
Despite the impossible name of the dishes, we managed to make up our mind quickly with the help of a knowledgeable staff. The first entree we had was a cripsy shrimp served with avocado , orange and balsamic vinegar. This got to be the best entrees of the night, the sauce was a killer, it was sweet and tasty. What a luscious sauce to bring out the best in the shrimp.

Entree 2: Moules Gratinees a l'anis (6 pieces) $10.50
The second entree was a plate of six mussels stuffed with a farce made of pastis (an anise flavoured liqueur), garlic, parsley, cream. The mussels were crumbed and oven baked. I found the mussel oddly bitter, I guess it must have come from the liqueur. The taste of the garlic was very strong, which for me felt a little bit too 'biting' on the tounge.

Entree 3: Feuillete de Saumon  $14.50
I like this entree, simply because it's served with a pastry puff. Sandwich between the French puff are salmon, melted leeks, lemon and dill sauce. It was a pleasant 'crispy on the outside and meltingly soft in the inside' moment for me.

Main 1: Cote de Boeuf  $29.00
My husband and another friend had the Rib Eye Steak. With any selection from the grill, we are allowed to choose a sauce and two side dishes to complement the steak. My husband chose the green peppercorn sauce, french fries and their Gratin Douphinois (which is a thinly sliced oven baked potatoes with cream and garlic) to go with his steak. The steak came in huge serving and beautifully cooked, however in comparison to the premium beef fillet which my other friend ordered, we found  this one was not as tender.

Main2: Fillet de Boeuf  $30.00
The premium beef fillet was smaller in size compared to the rib eye, but without doubt it was a better quality meat...it's juicy and tender in every bite.

Main 3: Magret de Canard au Calva et Pommes Caramelisees   $29.00
I love duck! especially French duck...I constantly crave for one, so whenever I see a 'duck dish' on a menu, I will most likely order it, so it's no difference this time.
This main of mine was a duck fillet, which is normally served medium to rare in France. I have no problem of having rare meat as long as it's a recommended way of serving. Of course, for those who prefer their meat cooked, I'm sure the kitchen will be more than happy to serve as you wish.  Because it was mostly rare, the meat tasted slightly chewy. However, you can taste the distinguish flavour of the meat very well. The dish was served with an appetising red wine sauce, vegetable mousse and some delicious caramalised apples.

Finally, Like I always say...A meal is never complete without desserts. 
We ordered a French Classic Creme Brulee, a Fondant au Chocolat Glace and a Tarte Tartin to share.

The creme Brulee ($14.50) was pretty good, it has the right texture and it's reasonably sweet.

The Fondant au Chocolat Glace ($14.50) came up to be a chocolate mousse type cake. It's your typical rich and creamy chocolate mousse cake.

Finally, the Tarte Tartin ($15.00). It was different to the normal French apple tart that I know. Over here, they placed the whole poached apple on top of a small piece of pastry, served with ice cream and a thin butter biscuit on the side. Despite the different approach, it was an enjoyable light dessert to close the meal. 


Overall, I think Montparnasse is a great neighbourhood restaurant where you can find tasty French dishes without being pretentious. The service is a delight too. Overall, I was really satisfied with my experience there, although it would have been better if their dessert's serving is as generous as their mains. 

Bon Appetit!

The Spot in Randwick
30 St Pauls St  
Randwick NSW 2031
Ph: (02) 8084 6290

Four Ate Five, Surry Hills

An Artsy Fartsy Saturday Brunch

Before heading to NSW Art Gallery for the First Emperor exhibition, me and my husband decided to head down to the Artsy Fartsy Surry Hills for a nice brunch. Without having any place in mind, we somehow ended up parking in front of Four Ate Five on a really busy crown street. The long queue convinced us perhaps this is a place to try. So we put our name down and we waited patiently for about half an hour before scoring a table.

We were seated comfortably inside the cafe and like most cafes along Surry Hills, this place has some nice pieces of paintings and drawings that fit right to the ambience and trendy patrons.

Although they have a pretty wide selections of breakfast and lunch menu to choose from, but me and my husband stick to our typical breakfast choice. I ordered the smoked salmon and mushrooms in addition to my favourite scrambled eggs served with organic sourdough. Where as my husband had the poached egg also served with organic sourdough. He also had an additional sausage, bacon and mushrooms to complete his big meal.

Omelette served with organic sourdough $8.50
Additional: Smoked salmon $4.00 and Mushrooms $3.00

Omelette served with organic sourdough $8.50
Additional: Bacon $3.50, Sausage $3.50, Mushrooms $3.00

We thought the mushroom was brilliantly cooked! It was juicy and it has a sweet after taste that made it so different and the sourdough was perfectly crusty and they were well complemented with the melting butter.

Overall, I think Four Ate Five is worth giving a try and definitely worth coming back. It will be even better if we do not need to queue.

485 Crown Street
Surry Hills - Sydney
Ph: 02 9698 6485

Chilli Tomato Pasta Recipe

I finally made it back to Mydatewithfood!

Hi all, it feels like it's been ages since I last updated Mydatewithfood.  When you are away for too long, people will start asking you questions like: "How come you never update your blog anymore?", "What happened to your blog?" or "When are you going to update your blog again?". Ok, let me take this opportunity to answer your questions...First, it's because I was away overseas for three and a half weeks, then after I came back I was busy running errands for my parents.
And lucky for me, things are slowing down and I thought to myself...since I'll be 'home alone' today, why not update mydatewithfood (because my husband is out for his company Christmas party). So, I've decided...today is the day to start updating my blog again =)

So...why did I post this pasta recipe on my come back? It's because me and my friends are planning for a Chirstmas trip out of Sydney next month and I will be in charge of preparing pasta for our dinner, while my blog buddy (Sydney Indulgence) will be in charge of desserts.

I originally made this pasta specially for my husband...because he loves his Asian food. So, I always try to add an asian touch whenever I cook western food. So is this recipe an Italian recipe with Asian influence or it's an Asian recipe with Italian influence? I'm not sure myself...I guess it works either way. To make sure that my friends could accept this Half Italian Half Asian pasta, I decided to post it up on my blog so they can use their imaginary taste bud and see if their stomach could digest this humble creation of mine.

Chilli Tomato Pasta Recipe

There are actually 3 parts that u need to prepare in the recipe, it might looks like a long process, but trust me... it's really easy:
1) The chilli tomato paste
2) Preparing the sauce for pasta
3) Fried egg - sunny side up

Measurement below is approximately for 4 servings.

Chilli Tomato Paste Ingredients:
- 12 big red chillies
- 2 fresh tomatoes (sliced)
- 4 Garlic cloves (half for chilli paste and half for cooking)

Pasta Sauce/cooking Ingredients:
- 2 fresh tomatoes (diced)
- 1 onion (diced/sliced)
- Fresh chives (chopped) - set aside some for garnishing   
  (when I cooked the pasta this time, I forgot to buy fresh chives so I substituted with dried chives)
- Button Mushroom (diced/sliced)
- Thickened cream ( I use less fat)
- For the meat and seafood I used minced chicken and Fish fillet
  (feel free to add any type of meat/seafood of your preference)
- Salt, black pepper, sugar
- Olive oil for cooking
- Chilli sauce Sambal abc (optional) - can be found in Asian grocery

- Your choice of pasta (cooked until al dente)

Fried Egg Ingredients:
- Fresh Eggs
- Oil for frying

1) Making the chilli tomato paste
- Blend the ingredients in blender then set aside

2) Cooking the sauce/ingredients:
- Heat up the wok/pan with olive oil
- Add in the chilli paste, stir until chilli is dry and fragrant
- Set a side

- Heat up the same wok/pan with olive oil (is okay if the wok/pan still has some chilli paste)
- Add in garlic, stir until fragrant
- Add in the onions, give it a quick stir
- Add in the minced chicken, stir until chicken is almost cooked, then add in fish fillet, give it a quick stir, add in fresh tomatoes, lightly stir until minced chick and fish are cooked
- Add in the chilli tomato paste, give it a stir
- Add in mushrooms and stir
- Add in some fresh chopped chives
- Add in sugar, salt and black pepper until u get your desired taste (you can add sambal abc now if u like)
- Once u r happy, add in the cream according to your taste, mix well.
- Served hot on top of  your choice of pasta

- You can cook your pasta (until al dente) while you are cooking the sauce/ingredients or you can cook it after you finished cooking the sauce/ingredients.

3) Fried Egg
- Prepare a sunny side up egg, MAKE SURE the yolk is still raw, then add it on top of the pasta, add some chopped chives.
- Mix them before eating it!
- Yummo!!!!


Sushi-ya, Artarmon

Sushi-ya is a hidden gem tucked under Artarmon train station. Even though the restaurant is quite small and squeezy but luckily, the tasty food compensate for it. This place offers traditional Japanese cuisine with an affordable price.

I love the sushi here, the ingredient is fresh and the sushi rice is sticky.

 Unagi Sushi (Grilled Eel Sushi 8 pcs)  $18.80

Potato Croquette Sushi

My friend said the miso soup was the best he has ever had. The broth was thicker than usual.

Complementary Miso Soup

The thinly cut battered calamari served with hot chilli sauce was a great entree too.

 Spicy Calamari Tempura $13.80

One of the most popular dishes here is the Chicken Teriyaki. The chicken was really crispy marianted in a sweet dark soya sauce.

Chicken Teriyaki $15.50 (Main) and $17.50 (Set) 
All set menu is served with Miso Soup and Rice

The generous serving of Teriyaki Beef was another delicious dish worth ordering. The sliced prime beef was marinated in teriyaki sauce serve with side of salad.

Teriyaki Beef $ 15.50 (Main)  $17,50 (Set)

We also had the Unagi Rice, where the grilled eel was served on top of a bead of rice.

Unagi Rice $17.90

Being a Teriyaki lover, we had the Teriyaki Salmon. The fresh salmon fillet was perfectly grilled and marinated in teriyaki sauce.

Salmon Teriyaki $17.50 (Main)  $19.50 (Set)

Of course, I won't be fully satisfied without dessert to close the meal. This place is very famous for their green tea tiramisu. This is also one of the reasons I came here for dinner. But, I can't remember how much exactly the dessert, if I'm not mistake it was around $9 each.

Green Tea Tiramisu

We also had the Taiyaki (Fish Shaped Pancake) with red bean filling. This reminded me with what we had in Japan. I wanted to have green tea ice cream on the side but they ran out of it (very disappointing), so we went for lycee ice cream instead.

Taiyaki (Fish Shaped Pancake)

Overall, I love the food here. With their amazing value and generous serving, this lovely little restaurant definitely worth a visit. They also have another branch in Chatswood.

10 Wilkes Ave
Artarmon NSW 2064
Ph: (02) 9411 1377  

174 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW 2067
Ph: (02) 9413 3300  

Salmon Mushroom Rice & Chawan Mushi

Cooking For a Lazy Day

There might be some days when you are tired and all you want to cook is something really simple and quick. These two recipes are perfect when I'm having a lazy day. The ingredients are simple and  it takes no time to prepare them. So, if any day you need something easy but still tasty, try these! It's so good and easy, you won't believe it.

Salmon Mushroom Rice

Ingredients (Please measure your ingredients accordingly):
- A handful of Shiitake mushroom (soaked and chopped into small sizes)
- IMPORTANT: keep the water used to soak the mushroom as we need it to cook the rice.
- 2-3 Salmon fillets
- Japanese soy sauce + sake (I actually replace with Teriyaki Sauce)
- Salt 

1) After soaking the mushroom, use the water to cook the rice.
2) Add in the mushrooms and some Teriyaki Sauce or soy sauce  and sake accordingly. Don't add too much, you can always add more sauce after the rice is cooked.
3) Cook the rice in rice cooker.
4) While the rice is cooking, prepare the salmon by placing it on baking tray.
5) Add the Teriyaki sauce or soy sauce
6) Bake the salmon for 10 mins or until cooked
7) Once salmon is cooked, pick out the bones and add the salmon into the cooked rice and mix well.
8) Add Teriyaki sauce/ soy sauce/ salt according to taste

Chawan Mushi

Ingredients (The measurement is enough for 4)
- 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
-1 1/2 tsp Mirin
-1 1/2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
- 2 cups of dashi stock
- 4 Shiitake mushrooms (soaked until soft)
- Add any seafood that you like (like prawn, fish cake or scallop). I added prawn and scallop this time.

1) Mix the beaten eggs with mirin, soy sauce and the dashi stock.
2) Divide the rest of the ingredients into 4 small bowls and pour in the egg mixtures. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil.
3) Steam the egg mixture on a high heat for about 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and steam for another 15 minutes or until they are set. Serve immediately.

Glass Brasserie, Hilton Hotel - Sydney

My Perfect Weekend Celebration at Glass Brasserie

Last weekend, my husband and I celebrated my birthday at Glass Brasserie in Hilton Hotel. Upon arriving the restaurant, we were greeted by a beautiful attendant who then walked us to our table. Once I sat down, I was enamored by the stunning interior of the restaurant, I actually took a good 10-15 minutes to appreciate the elegant dining room. The service was absolutely excellent here. There was one particular staff that look after us, who was really attentive and constantly checking us out making sure we had everything we needed. For me, this place is truly a five star dining experience.

For starter, we were served with some complementary breads. The bread was really nice, the crust was amazingly crispy! There were four breads in one serving. After we finished, the staff actually offered us another serving. We made an intentional mistake of having two servings of the breads. Not to mention the full of flavour Luke Mangan olive oil to dip in.

First entree we had was the Organic Egg Omelette ($30) filled with blue swimmer crab meat, enoki mushroom and herb salad with miso mustard broth. The taste of the mustard was quite subtle which really enliven my appetite. 

The second entree we had was the Seared Sea Scallops ($28.00). The were 5 scallops in one serving, served with cauliflower cream, black bean and tabouli dressings. The scallop was undeniable fresh. This dish has a clean taste that is great to get the taste bud ready for main course.

For main, I had the Port Lincoln Jewfish & Prawns ($42), cooked in XO sauce and served with spicy sausage snake beans and king brown mushroom. I was a bit surprised when I had my first mouth, it's obviously an asian influenced dish, the spicy sauce  taste very similar to those you find in Asian restaurants. If you eat alot of asian food, I would not recommend this dish, but if Asian food is not on your daily menu, this dish is worth a try.

My husband originally wanted to have the rib eye, but on that day the rib eye has been replaced with 500g T-Bone steak, of course he wouldn't mind the T-Bone ($59). The T-Bone was fantastic! It was definitely the winner of the meal! The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare as requested. Even without the BBQ sauce, the meat was flavoursome by itself.  My husband absolutely mad about the brown mushrooms, bone marrow and parsley on the side. 
I have to say it was indeed very tasty! My husband even confessed that he has not enjoy a steak so much lately.

When I was browsing through the menu, my eyes were set on the Parmesan & Truffled French ($12). It was the best decision I've made that evening, the truffle infused french fries was to die for. The perfectly thin and crispy french fries with the earthy truffle flavour was divine!

It's pretty unusual for us to finish our meal without dessert, but we were too full that we couldn't stomach anymore dessert (Must be the two servings of bread). What a shame, cos I heard/read good reviews on their desserts. I guess, now I have another reason to come back.

Overall, me and my husband truly enjoyed our meal here! Not only the food was good, we were really pleased with the service too. We promised we will come back again. But like all restaurants, there are always mix opinions with different people, as food can be pretty subjective. Personally, I would recommend this place to everyone, especially if you have an entertainment card, buy one get one free is a steal for such delightful meal!

Level 2, 488 George St (Hilton Hotel)
Sydney - 2000
Ph: (02) 9265 6068