Saturday, 24 May 2014

Possibly the best macarons in Sydney?

Renaissance Patisserie has, in my opinion, the best macarons in Sydney! They change the flavours every now and then and these things just melt in your mouth! Ever time I'm at the Rocks I make sure I get myself a box of these beautiful cookies. Or are they sweets? Doesn't matter. Either way, they are delicious!


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Friday, 23 May 2014



36 hours from door to door. 3 flights of 14, 7.5 and 1 hour and many timezones it took me to get home. I'm home! It was so good to see my parents, my sister and Hera (our beautiful Drentsche Patrijshond - dog) again. 

The trip to London was not too bad actually. A cheeky business class ticket for the trip to Dubai and I managed to sleep most of the time on the flight from Dubai to London. The short flight from London was not very enjoyable as it was very windy and a plane swinging from left to right while trying to land is never relaxing. But we got here safe and sound.

My parents have a beautiful garden surrounded by some areas with trees which they like to call 'the forest'. Well, technically it is a forest, there are quite a few trees. But when I told MrBehomeforT a few years ago and he saw 'the forest' he had to laugh. Obviously for Australian understandings the 'forest' my dad was talking about were just a few trees on a small strip of land. Compare this to Australia where a forest can be half the size of Europe.

Now and then my parents receive a visit from deer. Not the reindeer type but a lot smaller. My mum found these in the "forest", cleaned them and put them back. 

It's spring in Holland which means flowers everywhere and sitting outside on the terrace with a nice cold Heineken. I have been away for more than 5 years now, and a lot has changed. The food hasn't though. I have been craving Dutch 'junkfood' for months now. There used to be a Dutch 'snackbar' in Darling Harbour, but unfortunately it's not there anymore. When I get home one of the first things I do is go to a snackbar and order some Dutch deep fried food, loaded with mayonnaise and other toppings such as raw onions and "curry" (sweet red German curry). 

One other Dutch tradition is 'gourmetten'. The Ozzies have the outdoor barbecue and we have a large hot plate with personal mini pans. There are small pieces of chicken, meat, vegetables and a lot of sauces. There is also heaps of baguette with herb butter. Unlike the Australian version of the garlic bread, the Dutch eat their garlic/herb butter (kruidenboter) at room temperature. We don't put the bread in the oven either but rather eat it 'fresh' (not toasted). Gourmetten is so much fun and everyone is completely stuffed at the end of the evening. No space for dessert. But always for a stroopwafel. 

I'm on the way to Italy now. Cannot wait to taste every single Italian traditional dish I can get my hands on. Our first stop is Rome, and if I can find a proper internet connection, you will be able to read my next post soon. 



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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wine Odyssey, the Rocks

What's better than an Easter afternoon with a nice wine and some beautiful cheese? Sitting outside in the sun, watching people packing up their stall at the Rocks market. People watching. I cannot think of a lot of things better than that.

I have been to Wine Odyssey before, and it's a pretty cool place. Inside they have some cozy chairs where you can sit down and taste as many wines as you want. You can get a card at the reception desk which allows you to have a 'taste', half a glass or a whole glass. The wines on offer are impressive and the staff knows a fair bit about wine (as they should). 

It's difficult not to have a taste of all wines on offer inside.You can even try Penfolds Grange!  It's not cheap though... 

This time we decided to sit outside and order wines by the glass. My favourite was 'Hart of the Barossa'. Such a beautiful wine! We also ordered a nice cheese platter to go with the wines. The bread was delicious. Nice and sweet and it went well with the blue cheese. Unfortunately the place was a little understaffed and it took a while to catch the eye of someone to get us another glass of wine. 

The food menu looked delicious. You can select a few things from the menu and create your own tasting platter. The menu changes each season so you can try some new things on your next visit. And if you really enjoyed a specific wine, you can buy a bottle at the wine store next door. Perfect!

I will definitely be back soon!

Wine Odyssey Australia on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Darley Street Bistro at the Botany View Hotel

I had read a lot about this place before I went here for the first time. The reviews were very positive and I saw some amazing pictures. The food looks like restaurant food. Proper restaurant food! Not something you would expect from a pub, although nowadays more and more pubs serve nice food. You will just need to know about them.

Darley Street Bistro is on the first floor of the Botany View Hotel in Newtown. You would certainly not expect a nice bistro when you walk into the pub. They often have live music on, and the interior is just like any other old style pub in Sydney.

I have to say that the upstairs part does not look very special either. One of the negative aspects is the atmosphere. It's a family friendly pub and there are kids running around everywhere. Which is absolutely fine and it is great that families with kids can enjoy a nice dinner while their kids are playing in the corner (they have a separate area with toys for the kids), but if you are looking for a romantic candlelight style dinner, this is not the place. This is the place for an easy delicious weeknight dinner.

Kilkoy Beef Fillet Served on a Bacon and Thyme Hash Brown with Wild Garlic Spinach, Eschallot Puree, Truffle Brisket Croquette and Jus

MrBehomeforT ordered the winner of the night. The beef was so tender and the jus was amazing. The hash brown was crunchy and not too salty. The croquette was also cruncy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. I had food envy.

Confit of Duck Legs Served on Warm Persian Lentil Fetta Salad with Pickled Slaw and Hazelnut Crumbs

Not that my duck was bad. Not at all! To the contrary, it was super tasty. The lentil fetta salad was nice and fresh and the hazelnut crumbs made it nice and cruncy, a nice contrast with the duck. I had the option to order one or two legs, and I ordered one. Wished I ordered two because the duck was delicious. 

The food at this place is hardly ever a miss. It looks so pretty too. Highly recommended.

Darley Street Bistro on Urbanspoon


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Dutch Apple Pie - Hollandse Appeltaart

It has been a while since I have posted something on the blog. For good reason though. For the last couple of weeks I have been researching hotels, b&b's and agriturismo's in Italy. I have been planning our trip to Italy. I'm so excited! Only two days to go! If you want to read all about the food in Italy, see nice pics of landscapes and a lot of wine and cheese (hopefully), you're in the right place! 

I will also be visiting my family back in Holland and attend my friend's wedding. Living on the other side of the world of course has its pro's and con's, and not being able to attend weddings or other important events is one of them. This is the first time I have been able to attend a wedding, and I am so excited! I have not seen my mum, dad, sister and friends for almost 1,5 years, and some very important things have happened in this time. I got my Permanent Residency, I got admitted as a lawyer, got an amazing new job and had my graduation ceremony. My family could not be here to celebrate any of these events with me and that is very sad. Of course MrBehomeforT is family now too, but every time something exciting and good happens I am a bit sad too. Ah well, that's the way it is, and there is nothing I can do about it. Let's focus on the positive and on the fact that in a few days I will be home.

Talking about home, one of the things I miss is apple pie. Yes, they do have apple pie in Australia too, like in France, and I'm sure Japan and South Africa. Pretty much everywhere around the world. But Dutch Apple pie (well, this version) has Dutch spices in it, which makes it taste a bit different. You serve it with whipped cream (no MrBehomeforT, not with ice cream!) and cold, although I personally like it the most straight out of the oven.

- 8 Granny Smith Apples
- 250g butter (room temp) and a little extra to grease the cake pan
- 200 g white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (3 if you like vanilla)
- 2 eggs
- 400g self raising flour, white
- raisins, as many as you like
- 2 tbs cinnamon
- a lot of Dutch Cookie/cake Seasoning. (koekkruiden)

The Recipe
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius, Cut the apples in tiny cubes. Mix the butter with the sugar, vanilla bean paste and a little salt to a smooth mixture If you melt the butter it will be difficult to make the pastry, so it would be better if the butter is room temperature. Add one egg and slowly add the flour. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Wrap the doughball in clingwrap and put it in the fridge or the freezer for a while. 

Add the cinnamon and the Dutch Cookie Spice to the apple cubes in addition to the raisins and mix. Once the dough has cooled down in the fridge, take a dough roller and roll out to cover the bottom and the sides of the cake pan with, but make sure you keep 1/4 or so to make the strips for the top of the pie. 

Cut the strips and organise them diagonally on top of the cake. Do the same but from the other side so they strips are organised on top of each other in different directions. Whisk the egg and brush on top of the strips so that the pie will get a nice brown colour.

Bake for 1,5 hours but keep a close eye on the cake. Make sure it doesn't burn! You can also decrease the temperature to 150 degrees halfway if you think the pie pay burn. 

Enjoy with some whipped cream, either hot or cold. 


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