First batch of Year 4 Food

As you may know, I have gotten into the habit of keeping a photo diary of food I’ve been making since coming to Australia from Canada 3 years ago.

Going across the world was my first time moving away from home, and I hardly ever cooked before that because my mom’s food was too fabulous to bother trying. Curse of living at home? 😛

I am proud of myself for continuously trying and improving my skills in the kitchen. I am most certainly not the best at anything, but I am enjoying trying my hand at new things, and most importantly, it brings me happiness that people (especially Michael) enjoy the things I make. Being in the kitchen is my ‘relaxing activity’ believe it or not. And I especially love to cook and bake when I can share.

Annoyingly, I still have family members that ask, “So… how do you feed yourself when you’re living in Australia?” and are so surprised when I reply, “I cook for myself.”

“Really? You can cook?!” Why yes, yes I can. Did you really think I have been eating just take-out and salads for 3 years? Come on!

And the way I see it. Anybody can, they just have to want to try!

You’ll notice there’s no meat in anything below. Mike and I wanted to go meat-free for a few weeks, especially after indulging so much over the holidays.

First ‘hot meal’ after we finally got groceries on arriving back to Brisbane. Breakfast for dinner, a favourite.

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Creamy cauliflower soup, with onions, potato and sweet potato. Definitely a new favourite!

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Trying my hand at gnocchi from scratch for the first time. Sweet potato gnocchi (can you tell I was really lazy with the shaping of it) with a butter garlic rosemary sauce, fennel and apple salad and some grilled haloumi. Quite an odd combination, I know. But hey, it works! We shop the sales and then decide on the menu, not vice versa. Life of a student, you know? 😉

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Ricotta lime cookies with a lime glaze. Made these for “Friday Bake Day” at the hospital, which were enjoyed by many. Will definitely be making these again.

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Pasta salad with green beans and carmelised onions with a greek yoghurt dressing. Side of cucumber and tomato salad.

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Coconut basil shrimp!

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Peanut butter cookies with caramel chips. Made these for another Friday Bake Day

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Had some basa fillets that I cooked up…

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To make delicious fish cakes for the first time! What an easy method to serve fish in a totally different and flavourful way!

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And 2 dishes that I made when back in Canada

Quiche with mushrooms, onions and bacon. Cheated with store bought crust though! 😉

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Cream of (wild) mushroom soup

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Late breakfast at Eurovida

After tennis with the boys, Xuan drove us to Paddington for a late breakfast at Eurovida –  mmm, so hungry!

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There were no free tables when we first arrived so we were invited to sit at the bar and order drinks to start. Didn’t have to wait long and we were soon seated at a table by the window.

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Xuan and Kee Ping

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Re-hydrated with some water and then ordered some drinks for breakfast.

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Missing pictures, but a chocolate milkshake for Kee Ping which he said was not bad. Along with a cappuccino for Xuan and a flat white for Mike – coffees were apparently quite good!

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A house made iced tea for me. Refreshing and I liked the fresh mint.

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Loved the wooden chandeliers. Very rustic and would look great in a cottage by a lake.

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And then the wait for food… which took a lot longer than we expected. The service was very pleasant but luckily we weren’t starving and grumpy!

Simple Eats for Mike: 2 poached eggs, toasted sourdough bread, Italian sausage and grilled haloumi cheese. Tasty sausages although not spicy as expected!

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Simple Eats for Xuan as well: scrambled eggs with sourdough bread and grilled haloumi. Nice fluffy scrambled eggs and large side of not-too-salty haloumi!

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Kee Ping got one of the specials of the day: Belgium waffle with poached pear, maple syrup and cream. For $17, we all expected a much larger serving, with at least 2 waffles. The dish was also too sweet.

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I got the Grilled haloumi with poached eggs, sautèed spinach, beetroot relish, sourdough toast. Nicely poached eggs and interesting beetroot relish which had good texture but I wish it had been a little more flavourful! The spinach could use some seasoning too, a hint of garlic would’ve been very nice. Also, I love watercress salad and find it such a shame when it’s sprinkled haphazardly as garnish (as seen with all 3 of our savoury dishes). A little bit on the side with a spritz of vinaigrette would make the dish much more tasty!

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We also got a side of fries with aioli sauce to share. The cut and taste of fries reminded me of McDonald’s fries, although slightly healthier if that’s possible. Aioli sauce was nice and garlicky – yum!

On the way out, I saw these huge banana chocolate pecan muffins and had to get one for later. It was big and looked very appealing but unfortunately didn’t taste exceptional. Very tough consistency for a muffin and not strong in flavour. Oh well!

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Overall we enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. We don’t live near Paddington but if it were more convenient, we would probably visit again.

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Eurovida on Urbanspoon

50% off @ The Greek Club

We had the opportunity to dine at The Greek Club – Odyssey Taverna + Bar for 50% off – thanks to Urbanspoon’s Weekly Flash Specials! I received the promo email because I’m an Urbanspoon member, but these deals are open for everyone! 🙂

Our dinner reservation was for March 04 at 5:30pm. We were initially a little confused when we arrived because it was completely empty but turned out we were just the first guests to arrive. The Greek Club has a nice outdoor seating area with a view of the kitchen and out to the park. Since it was a rainy evening, we opted to sit indoors and check out the restaurant ambiance.

Our server, Vincent, was friendly and prompt with his service. He advised us which options were not available that night as he gave us the menus, which we appreciated. He also confirmed that our 50% off special was applicable to any food item on the menu (drinks are regular priced), which was great because we were expecting to only be able to choose from a selected number of choices.

We started off with a glass of Greek wine each. Rose for me and a red for Mike. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the brands we chose and they don’t have their drinks list online.

Without much hesitation, we decided on the Greek Delight platter for two (reg price $35/person). Delightful indeed, it included a selection of: grilled haloumi cheese, calamari, dolmades, chicken souvlakia, lamb cutlets, spanakopita, pita bread & dips, and Greek salad. Vincent explained that the pita bread and dips would come out first, followed by the salad and everything else on a large platter.

Warm, thick, chewy pita bread – delicious! Loved that I could taste the fact that it was heated over a charcoal grill. The homemade three dips were (left to right) eggplant, taramosalata (made with fish roe) and tzatziki sauce (yogurt & cucumber) – all of which were tasty!

By now there were other patrons in the restaurant and 2 more servers looking after the diners. We noticed that the servers would check up on us from afar to see how far along we were with the pita bread and dips to alert the cook to start on our platter.

We were not disappointed. The platter was piping hot when it came out. And huge, there was so much food!

  • The lamb cutlet was cooked beautifully – so nice and tender.
  • I always love grilled Haloumi, but I especially loved the fact that this was not intensely salty like I’ve had at other restaurants.

  • The calamari (I think was actually baby squid) was the best I’ve had in Brisbane, really! The batter was nice and crisp (not overly greasy or salty) and the squid soft and tender. Yum!
  • Chicken souvlakia was well seasoned and perfectly grilled – so moist!

  • Dolmades – warm, very flavourful filling!
  • The salad was very fresh but underdressed for my tastes. However, the feta cheese was nicely seasoned and the kalamata olives were delicious!

As much as we tried, we couldn’t finish the platter AND have any sort of room for dessert. So we decided to have some of platter packed to take home in order to try some of their desserts.

I chose Baklava…

And Mike chose Poura (phyllo pastry filled with almonds and honey) and a side of icecream (only $0.50 extra! Haha).

Although the desserts were good, I did not think they were great. I have had the pleasure of eating lots of delicious Baklava in the past, and this one just didn’t measure up.

By dessert, we agreed that plating and presentation at this restaurant was not that great – but overall, the food most definitely was.

Two glasses of wine, the Greek Delight platter for 2, and 2 desserts cost us a total of $55. 🙂 Considering the platter is normally $35/person, what an awesome deal!

A really great evening with amazing food (we left so stuffed that our lungs couldn’t fully expand when we breathed) and wonderful service. The menu is also quite reasonably priced and I would definitely recommend coming back with friends. Apparently, they also have live entertainment during the weekends, so we’ll have to come back then! 🙂

         

Odyssey Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon