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