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Socially including the ALL NEW MINI PACEMAN

March 18th, 2013

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MINI Garage Sydney celebrated the arrival of the MINI Paceman in Sydney over the weekend to a crowd of socials, MINI enthusiasts and media at Double Bay’s Mrs Sippy.

The Paceman, a handsome addition to the MINI family, is the world’s first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium small and compact vehicle segment.

The sun was shining and the drinks were flowing as everyone was greeted with champagne, Pimms and Peroni on arrival. A variety of canapés such as roasted pumpkin tart with goat’s cheese, lemon pepper prawns and a selection of gourmet wood fired pizzas went down a treat. And for the sweet tooth, everyone enjoyed the Mrs Sippy mini mud pies.

Welcomed by the striking Paceman model parked out the front of the venue – all were left impressed with its innovative combination of sporty, extrovert design, hallmark MINI driving fun and its cutting edge interior.

Unique, yet typically MINI, the Paceman opens up a whole new market for the brand’s unique style. Two doors, large tailgate and lounge concept, with two individual seats in the back; celebrity sexologist Dr. Nikki Goldstein cheekily stated, “The spacious Paceman shows that size does count”.

 

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What’s For Lunch?

October 3rd, 2012

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I love all food. But today I’m especially loving my zucchini, fetta and mint pancakes with sautéed leeks, garlic and chilli prawns, sprinkled with crisp sugar snap peas. Heaven!

Adrian

Restaurant Review: Perama Greek Restaurant

March 7th, 2011

I was excited when my friend Kirsty organised a catch-up dinner for us. She said on the phone “Adrian, I am taking you to a restaurant called Perama in Petersham – you are going to love it. Infact, you will fall in love with it”. And that I did. In love.

What an incredible restaurant. Owner and head-chef David Tsirekas is a colourful character who is both hospitable and an incredibly creative man in the kitchen.

I’ve found it hard to know where to start with this review, as I had about 12 different meals on that night, all of them unique and absolutely outstanding.

Ok, so I’m going to start with the most delicious, as well as the strangest sounding one of all – Pork Belly Baklava. Yep – you read that correctly! Like traditional baklava, there are layers of flaky filo pastry, dates, pistachios and of course the pork belly meat. Crackling tops off the stack, with a date and mastic sauce. One of the best flavour and texture sensations I have had in a very long time, and it’s also versatile enough to please the palate of those who aren’t so adventurous. This is by far my main recommendation.

Pickled Cabbage & Zuchinni Fritters. Oh my God. Ahhh-mazing. They were served almost immediately, capturing that pleasurable exterior crunch, with the soft interior. Not that oily and sloppy experience.

We also got 3 plates of seafood – the Fried Calamari, the Baby Octopus and the Fried School Prawns. All a delightful addition to my first experience at Perama. The seafood was fresh. And it was obvious from the smell and first bite. Cooked with the right amount of time and passion and served still hot out of the kitchen. The school prawns were absolutely amazing – just the right amount of saltiness and sweetness.

I’m an enormous fan of Haloumi, and if it is every on any menu, I will get it… So Perama was no exception. It included one of my favourite additions to any meal – figs. A range of ingredients which work in unison to create an absolutely delightful dish, chopped tomato and shallots with olive paste and honey peppered figs with the char grilled Cypriot haloumi cheese. Perfectly salted and perfectly grilled – perfect.

After this delicious smorgasbord of intricate combinations of only the freshest ingredients, I knew it would be criminal to leave without trying dessert, even though I could have potentially exploded.

What do you have for dessert to top off the Perama experience? The caramel Baklava icecream of course.

Four delightful layers of smooth, creamy icecream, perfectly portioned and presented. A must! Others on the menu which I will definately be trying next time will be the Olive Oil Icecream with pistachio and figs, and the white chocolate chamomile mousse! YUM!

Now if there’s one thing I urge you do in the coming weeks, it is visit Perama. But be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment, this place is very popular!

Pros: Everything. Service is good, food is clearly amazing, interesting menu, the owner comes around and checks his guests are happy, choice. There’s something there to please everyone. Extensive wine list.

Cons: I didn’t really find much I could fault, apart from the fact it’s very noisy.

Pricing: Entreés from $13.80 – $21.50, Mains from $28.50 – $33.50 and delightful desserts from $7 – $13.50.

Final say: I couldn’t have had a better night. Great food, great company, great restaurant – perfect! So perfect I didn’t leave till 2am!

www.perama.com.au - 88 Audley Street, Petersham – 9569 7534

Perama on Urbanspoon

Sharing The Family Tradition Of Authentic Spanish Paella

November 5th, 2010

From the day I was born, I pretty much grew up eating Spanish food. My Grandmother always made typical Spanish food, as did my Mother and also my Aunt. All Spanish women, they took on my Grandmother’s fantastic cooking skills.

I remember as a child, my Grandmother force feeding me and my cousin her special soup with a huge ladle sized spoon. Making us nice and plump, constantly feeding you as most European families do. Those were the days.

Not much has changed, except for the fact we can feed ourselves. When we go to my Nona’s place, it’s all the best in Spanish cuisine, albondigas con tomate, patatas bravas, croquetas… the list goes on. But the one thing, that remains a specialty in the family is the World famous, Paella.

Again since children, we were all forced to eat it. As we got older, it became a love. It has now become a special dish that all the grown-up’s know how to make, passed on from my Grandmother. Using their skills gained of many years, they have now perfected the art of making the perfect Paella. It takes alot of time, skill and hard work to get it right.

So what is Paella? It’s a risotto-like seafood dish. Authentic recipes contain saffron, rice, chicken, peas, beans, prawns, calamari, mussels, capsicum, onions and more. But you can pretty much take out or add in anything you want. Add lobster and Moreton Bay bugs, take out the onion and peas if you wish. But the base ingredients mentioned really are required. Typically, a Paella is cooked in a paellera, a huge round metal pan. There are many sizes available, all of the families within my family have multiple sizes from 30cm up to 1m in diameter! The World’s largest is just over 20m in diameter!!

So I thought I would share with you a version of the ‘Marquez Family Paella’ which can be cooked on the BBQ or on the stove in a large pan.

PAELLA (serves 10 people)

Ingredients:

1 x large onion (chopped)

4 x cloves garlic (chopped)

A handful of flat parsley (chopped)

Juice of two lemons

Half a kilo of Calasparra rice or short grain rice (not Arborio)

1 x can diced tomatoes

Saffron

Fresh fish stock 1 litre

1 kg medium green prawns (peeled and deveined)

Half a kilo of small black mussels

2 x calamari tubes (cut into rings)

3 or 4 scampi cut in half  (alternatively, Balmain bugs or lobster)

1 x red capsicum cut into long strips

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method:

If possible, use round paella dish (paellera) with even heat all around, otherwise use a round deep frying pan, or electric frying pan.

1. Add olive oil to pan, add onions, garlic, parsley and tomatoes and make a sofrito, cook for about five minutes.

2. On another frying pan, cook capsicum strips in olive oil until soft (place aside).

3. Steam mussels and bugs for about 4 minutes or until they open (discard any unopened).

4. Add to sofrito calamari and prawns, cook for 3 minutes, add rice and stir, add fish stock and saffron, salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice.

5. Cook rice until soft (usually 20 minutes) do not stir whilst cooking, just shake Paella dish or frying pan from handles, when rice is cooked arrange, mussels and bugs as pictured.

6. Add capsicum strips on top, cover entire Paella with a tea towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with a fresh green salad and lemon wedges.

Photos by Adrian Erdedi

Agave – Authentic Mexican Cuisine and Décor

March 15th, 2010

Walking towards Agave, you notice the small shop front and warehouse facade of the block of where it resides on Crown Street, Surry Hills. When you walk in the door and you are immediately welcomed to a large split leveled, uniquely styled restaurant. A Mexican style with deep earthy colours, bright blues, oranges and greens and a pleasant maître d’.

I arrived with my close friend Alasdair who asked for a table for two. After a quick look around, the restaurant appeared to be quite busy, but there was a table waiting for us downstairs near the kitchen.

As you walk down the stairs you can’t help but to look around the restaurant, paying close attention to the collection of hand painted Talavera plates, the fabrics and this huge Aztec calendar sculpture on the left at the entrance. Owners Jo and Gerardo made a conscious effort to make the restaurant as authentic in style, as in taste.

We sat at our table quickly and got straight into it. Drinks!

As a non-beer drinker, I thought I would try a Mexican beer. The Pacifico Clara to be exact. As a non-beer drinker, I didn’t really enjoy it, so I went for a great glass of the Evans & Tate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc which went down an absolute treat!

Ordering the appetiser was easy – Queso Fundido. Chorizo, chilli and mushrooms folded through warm cheese and served with tortillas and pico de gallo (Spicy chicken). Delicious and big enough to share between the two of us.

Our mains came in good time. Enough time to digest, and enough time to not wonder where our food was. We were enjoying the environment we were in, and watching the drunken table of ten across from us.

I had the Pollo En Mole Poblano, chicken simmerd in mexican sauces, with spices, dried chillis and cocao served on green rice. Alasdair got the Molcajetes, seared king prawns, lamb, guacamole, green rice, salsa, fetta and totillas. We both enjoyed our meals very much. Suprisingly, with all the mention of spices and chilli, our meals had a really lovely subtle taste. My chicken was tender, and absoletely cooked to perfection. I stole one of Alasdair’s prawns when I told him to look up the stairs because Hugh Jackman walked in. Of course I lied. But the prawn was succulent. He mentioned he throughly enjoyed the lamb mixed with everything else on the tortilla.

We skipped desserts and went to the Dolphin Hotel next door for a drink instead.

Will I go back again? Absolutely. I need to try the desserts!

Did I think it was over-priced? Not at all. Appertisers are all $12 and mains from $22 up to $28. Wines by the glass, $6-$12.

What did I think of the atmosphere and service? It had a great warm and homely atmos, and the service was good.

Final say: An enjoyable meal and drinks, at a great Mexican restaurant, without all the tackiness of a typical Mexican restaurant with a shop-a-docket theme.

2/410 Crown Street, Surry Hills – (02) 9326 9072