Cook It : Hainanese Chicken Rice

homemade chicken rice recipe

In case you didn’t know, I’ve decided to inject more lifestyle posts into the good old blog.  Welcome to my first foodie post on this blog – this is Hainanese Chicken Rice – and I COOKED THIS from scratch!!

Fun fact :  I used to have a food blog called I Love Food Porn (original huh!) before I realised that I sucked at it because a) I like to eat my food IMMEDIATELY so snapping pics at all different angles made my food go lukewarm which I HATE and b) I was not very good at describing food – it was either “Yummy” or “Yukky”.


Mum’s Home Cooked Food is ALWAYS the Best!

Having my Mum here in the latter stages of pregnancy has been a godsend.  As you may remember, I had a crazy and hectic but fun maternity leave for 2 weeks but since I blogged about that, everything went tits up and I physically could not manage to keep all my social appointments 🙁  It kinda sucks but it’s my body telling me to slow down and rest because there won’t be any of that with a newborn!  Anyway, my Mum has been pampering me with the BEST home cooked food EVERRRRRR!  It’s simple plain Chinese cooking but there’s just something so comforting about my Mum’s cooking…and I know she has prepared and cooked the food with love.  I feel truly blessed!  #ilovemymum

So naturally, I wanted to showcase my Mum’s amazing home cooked food…except I realised that I’ve been gulping down the food more often than bringing out my camera to take photos.  Oopsie.  I’ve only got 3 photos here but oh well…  Have a look and drool…

chicken chow mein, chicken veg stir fry noodles, chicken noodles, stir fry

This was a yummy chicken and vegetables stir fried noodles (chicken chow mein).  My Mum painstakingly finely chopped all the julienned carrots and vegetables – how on earth did she get them so thin?  I said to her that she could have used the food processor to whizz it down in seconds but then she replied it wouldn’t have been made with love…  As for the pan in the picture, she actually bought me a few new pans from Scotland and brought them all the way to Melbourne!!  Even though I can easily buy cookware in Melbourne, it warms my heart to know she bought things over in Scotland just for me…means she’s thinking of me!  #ilovemymum

roast pork, roast pork crackling

This is Chinese roast pork with crackling (siew yoke) – like ZOMG!!!  It was AMAZING!!!  The meat was flavoured perfectly with Chinese five-spice and whatever herbs and it wasn’t fatty plus the crackling was beautifully crunchy.  I want to eat this again!  Mum, are you reading this??!!  She took 2 days to prep the meat…  I will watch her like a hawk next time and get the recipe so I can replicate this so that my child(ren) can enjoy MY home cooked food 🙂

ginger sweet soup, sweet potato soup

I had a Princess moment one night after dinner.  My Mum’s eyelids were growing heavy due to jet lag but I snapped her out of it by DEMANDING she make me Chinese sweet soup (tong sui) dessert.  Those unfamiliar with Chinese desserts will not like this concoction.  It is sweet potato ginger sweet soup with peanut butter glutinous rice balls (tong yune) served hot.  A lot of love is required to make this sweet soup and to get the ginger and sweet balance just right.  Plus the dough for the glutinous rice balls and to incorporate the peanut butter (Skippy Crunchy from Costco if you were wondering) filling.  It was delish!

Okay, I am not an uber diva daughter with pregnancy Princess moments because I have also been catering to my Mum’s needs too.  She LOVES carrot cake so I made her the Bourke Street Bakery version and she devoured HALF THE CAKE within 24 hours!  I baked another one yesterday with a different recipe but she (and Hubby) didn’t like it as much so I guess the BSB carrot cake will be the signature one I make from now on 🙂

best carrot cake

LuxBite Love!

luxbite review, luxbite, luxbite melbourne, luxbite menu, luxbite lunch menu

Ever since my High Tea Baby Shower, the Husband has been curious about what high tea involves.  He had a day off work last week so I said we could go and have High Tea for 2 at LuxBite – he has been slightly obsessed with this place since we came here for dessert on my birthday a few months ago.  As for me, I am not a sweet tooth nor a huge desserts fan so I wasn’t particularly keen…  But I had browsed the menu beforehand online and I was planning to order some savoury bites whilst the fat boy ate all the cakes.  When we got there, the Husband read the menu and changed his mind about having High Tea.  Instead, he wanted a 2-course lunch – savoury followed by dessert.

luxbite high tea, luxbite high tea for 2, luxbite high tea $42

For LuxBite virgin-istas, there is a large marble communal table and a couple of small side bench tables.  I plonked myself on one of the stools at the edge of the large table whilst he went to order.  And then I slowly brought out my Canon DSLR from my bag.  I felt like a total gimp snapping pics.  I’m a faux food blogger yo!!!  To test the lighting, I took photos of the remnants of these two girls who had just finished High Tea.

luxbite flowers, luxbite table, luxbite south yarra, luxbite melbourne

Out of the corner of my eye – to the far right at the end of the table – a girl spied Bernard Chu (owner / chef who has appeared on MasterChef Australia) working on his laptop and asked to take a photo with him.  I missed that MasterChef episode so I didn’t fangirl over him and instead, I took a photo of the flower arrangements on the table.

close up photo of Husband

The Husband sat down next to me and I decided to take an extreme close-up photo of him mid-yawn and unflattering up-the-nostrils pic because I am mean like that 🙂  Check out that double chin y’all!

luxbite lunch, luxbite menu, luxbite savoury

My lunch arrived!  I ordered the Slow Braised Beef (with caramelised bacon & spring onion mash, fried egg) $15 AUD and specifically asked for the fried egg to be well done so I could eat it.  However, the egg yolk was just slightly underdone and being a paranoid pregnant lady, I passed it to the Husband to eat.  The beef was melt-in-your-mouth chunky beef goodness!!  And the mash was creamy, buttery and smooth… (could not detect any bacon nor spring onions BTW)  As I am lactose intolerant, I shouldn’t have ate the creamy mash, but I couldn’t stop!  (Suffered a bit later with the milky-flavoured nauseating burps!)


As for Hubs, he ordered the Satay Marinated Roast Chicken (with creamy polenta, caramelised garlic, anchovies, peanuts) $15 AUD.  It was lovely as the chicken was delicately flavoured with satay and the meat was extremely moist (why do people not like that word?) and the crunchy anchovies and peanuts added a great textural component to the dish (gosh, not only do I think I am a food blogger but now I’m a MasterChef judge too??!!!).  The polenta didn’t do much for me though.

Onto the desserts…

luxbite macaroons, luxbite macaron flavours

At first, I wasn’t going to order dessert.  But then, I thought I would get a macaron as I liked the Kaya Toast flavour they had last time…  Sadly, it was a Limited Edition flavour and it has now been replaced with Champagne & Griottine Cherry (my response – grio-what??!) – and no flavours screamed EAT ME!

Luxbite Lolly Bag Cake Masterchef, Luxbite lolly cake, luxbite cakes

I did more browsing and although they looked really pretty, it was either “I have lots of E numbers and sugar which will rot your teeth!” or “I contain dairy which will kill you even more after that creamy mash you had earlier!”.

“I’m not going to order anything.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t want to!”
“Come on!  We can share!”

And he did the “puppy dog eyes”…!!!  Clearly, the Husband wanted ME to order something so HE could polish it off!  So I did…

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Both of the desserts looked so pretty (let’s chant together – #foodporn #foodporn #foodporn).  In the front is Endless Love (lychee ganache, rose cream, lychee, fresh raspberries) $9 AUD.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Behind is Epic Chocolate Cravings (rich belgian dark chocolate with hazelnut crust & salted caramel sphere) $7.50 AUD.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Endless Love was just so pretty and pink and I couldn’t stop taking photos of it.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

The Husband was just gagging to eat it so he took the first bite.  I was surprised the whole thing didn’t squelch together and collapse.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

We LOVED it!  I didn’t think I would like the rose cream but it just goes so well with the juicy raspberries.  Here’s a photo of the lychee lurking in the middle.  OMG YUM!  I would love to eat this again and again…  No wonder it is aptly named Endless Love!!!

luxbite cakes, luxbite

I was under the impression that Epic Chocolate Cravings would be epically sweet, but it was well-balanced.  I really enjoyed it too.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Our favourite bit was the salted caramel sphere.  We are big salted caramel fans!!

luxbite cakes, luxbite

I’m really glad we ended up ordering these two desserts because it was great to alternate between them – one bite here, one bite there.  We devoured it all in a matter of minutes!  The lactose-intolerance-induced-nausea I suffered later was really worth it!!!  The Husband and I are officially Luxbite lovers!!!

*tummy rumbles whilst blogging* Now if only I could lick my computer screen…  I mean, I could lick it but it won’t taste the same as these LuxBite delights 😛

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

For The Love Of Fried Rice…

road trip from Canberra to Sydney

Earlier this year, the Husband and I went on a wee road trip from Melbourne to Canberra.  After spending one night there, we decided to hit the road again and head to our favourite foodie city, Sydney, to pig out!  Yes, I know we live in Melbourne and some say that we have better food here…  But bizarrely, we prefer the food in Sydney… possibly because it reminds us of our dating days (in case you didn’t know, we met during my six month stint in Sydney).  Anyway, we already knew where we were going to eat dinner that night – Chefs Gallery – simply because the last time we were in Sydney (last year October I think…?), we fell in love with the fried rice!!  More on those glorious grains of rice later…

chefs gallery sydney

By the time we got to Sydney, it was peak time for dinner.  We were hungry and so were all the Sydney-siders as the queue to get seated at Chefs Gallery was long.  Luckily, we got seated within 10 minutes as there were only 2 of us and we didn’t need to sit round a table and were happy to sit in front of the glass screen to see into the kitchen.

lychee and mint juice at chefs gallery in sydney

Deciding what delicious food to order is thirsty work so we ordered our favourite drink (one each, no sharing) – Lychee and Mint Juice $5.90.  Ahhh, it was SOOO refreshing because it is almost like a virgin lychee mojito thick slushie which is not too sweet and just perfect… I so want one right now!!!!

chefs gallery sydney

After we ordered our food, I took the pleasure of taking photos of the Husband staring at the chefs in the kitchen.  Oooh, I hope he picked up some cooking tips 😉

Macanese Style Mini Burger filled with Pork Fillet, Lettuce, Pork Floss and Mayo at Chefs Gallery Sydney

The first dish that we got served was Macanese Style Mini Burger filled with Pork Fillet, Lettuce, Pork Floss and Mayo $13.90.  My Husband loves all things pork floss so he chose these cute wee burgers.  The burger buns were deep fried making them extra calorific and oh-so-good!

Shredded Peking Duck with Cucumber and Hoisin Sauce rolled inside a Fluffy Chinese Roti at Chefs Gallery Sydney

Next up, the dish I chose came along – Shredded Peking Duck with Cucumber and Hoisin Sauce rolled inside a Fluffy Chinese Roti $15.90.  They were yummy but not as good as old fashioned Peking Duck with the more delicate pancakes.

chefs gallery sydney cooking fried rice

We both stopped eating when we realised that one of the chefs was cooking our fried rice.  We knew it HAD to be ours because we saw him put in 3 eggs.  We were totally mesmerised!  You can tell that it’s gonna be awesome fried rice when there’s fiery stuff happening in the wok – so much “wok hei” = wok breath.


And there you go – Wok Fried Medium Grain Rice with 3 Kinds of Eggs – Chicken, Salted Duck Egg and Century Egg $14.90.  Cooked to perfection.  We enjoyed every grain of rice which were coated with eggs – smooth fluffly omelette egg pieces, a bit of saltiness and graininess from the duck egg and some briny flavours from the century egg.  TOTALLY YUM!  If you know anywhere in Melbourne which do a similar fried rice, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!

We were SO HAPPY to eat there, but kinda sad because there’s so many other things we want to try at Chefs Gallery including the noodles… if only we had more room in our tummies…but we had more places to go and eat after Chefs Gallery so we had to save space 🙂

The total bill was $56.50 which is expensive for us since we usually try and keep it to $15 per head when we eat out.  And yes, I know it was way more expensive considering the amount of petrol it took for us to drive from Canberra to Sydney…  But boy, it was worth it!

Now with our bubs coming along in 11 weeks or so… I wonder when we will get a chance to visit Sydney for more foodie adventures…  Oh well, at least I have plenty of food porn pics to keep the memories alive!  Will share with you more Sydney foodie adventures at another date.  Gosh, I feel like a food blogger, yo! 😛

Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon

Currently Craving : Dduk-Gahng Jeong from Seoul Metro

Dduk-Gahng Jeong from Seoul Metro

Everyone keeps asking me if I have any weird pregnancy cravings and the simple answer is – NOPE!  I am eating more or less the same foods I ate pre-pregnancy EXCEPT for my favourite – SPICY FOODS!!!  I miss spicy food oh-so-much!  However, if I eat anything remotely spicy, I will have severe heartburn and acid reflux all night long resulting in less sleep than my current 4 hours broken sleep situation.  Le sigh.

Dduk-Gahng Jeong, Seoul Metro, Seoul Metro Melbourne, korean fried chicken, spicy korean fried chicken

Anyway, I am currently craving Dduk-Gahng Jeong – an amazing spicy and yummilicious dish from Seoul Metro, a wee hidden Korean gem we stumbled upon in Melbourne city a few months ago.  It is deep fried chicken – who doesn’t love some good old Korean fried chicken? – with Korean rice cakes which are chewy doughy pillows of yum, covered in this sweet chilli and sticky honey sauce – it has a great chilli kick and fantastic textures to chow down on.  *drools*


The last time we visited Seoul Metro, we just ordered the Large portion of Dduk-Gahng Jeong and two bowls of steamed rice and ate till the plate was licked clean and our bellies were full of happy food 🙂

Seoul Metro banchan I also took a picture of the Banchan that was offered at Seoul Metro.  (For the Korean food newbies, Banchan is the little Korean side dishes they serve you alongside the meal.)  I can’t remember whether I liked the kimchi or not – but right now, I would love to eat some of that spicy fermented Chinese leaf!!!

Oh…and did you know that pregnant women should not eat beansprouts because they carry a Salmonella risk?

Anyway, I really shouldn’t blog about food before going to bed.  It is making me very HUNGRY!!!

Seoul Metro on Urbanspoon

Food Porn Friday – Grossi Florentino

After yesterday’s rant about some person / people, I talked it through with one of my besties and I am officially over it because he/she/they are living their lives like I don’t exist so why let it bother me?  Think it was just a hormone thing.  Yes, just blame it on the good old female hormones!  Anyway, today’s Food Porn Friday is courtesy of Nad’s, an Australian hair removal beauty brand, who invited me for their newest product launch at Grossi Florentino, a swanky restaurant in Melbourne city.  All the lunch menu options sounded pretty yummy and I was torn.  My Husband always encourages me to choose more adventurous options so I did!

Grossi Florentino scallops, review

For Primi (starter), I went for SEARED SCALLOPS, HOMEMADE MUSTARDELA, PIEDMONT’S BLACK PUDDING, PUMPKIN.  This was totally an adventurous option because I have never eaten black pudding…as it looks SO unappealing.  Surprisingly, it was quite tasty – like a spicy sausage.  The seared scallops were not fully cooked through, but that’s a Western thing.  They were okay…nothing memorable.  There was something in the dish which tasted a bit rank…but I am not sure what it was…  But I gobbled down everything because I hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning.

For Secondi (mains), I went for CASTRICUM LAMB RACK, PRESSED BELLY, TARRAGON, HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES – and requested NO GOATS CURD because I am a cheese-phobic.  I was quite excited to try the lamb because the Husband had made lovely lamb rack a few days before this event.  Sadly, the lamb rack here did not measure up to my Husband’s cooking.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.  There was this huge chunk of unrendered fat – which you can clearly see in the photos.  The pressed belly was a lot tastier.  And I enjoyed the vegetables.

The meal was SUPER filling.  In fact, it was TOO rich…and my tummy was not accustomed to all that fine dining and I actually could not eat dinner that night!  Crazy!!!

Would I return to Grossi Florentino?  Only if it was another product launch 😉  Product events in proper restaurants are the ultimate experience.

However, for normal day-to-day life, it’s just too posh for a simple cheapo un-classy girl like moi!  Don’t get me wrong because the restaurant is beautifully decorated and looks very fancy.  The toilets were lovely too.  Some of the staff were very friendly, but some weren’t…and I shall say no more!  I also felt very out of place in my cheapo Target shoes when everyone else was decked out in designer gear!  But at least I know which cutlery to use unlike some people…

Grossi Florentino on Urbanspoon

Food Porn Friday – TGI Friday’s, Forest Hill

Happy Friday y’all!  It has been a hectic week and I am physically exhausted with a sore back (from work) and sore thighs (from the gym).  Thanks for all the positive feedback from #30daysofsharing and love how everyone loved my posts on Penis the Pillow and the pubic hair.  There’s something weird about that last sentence…

Anyway, moving along to today’s Food Porn Friday post.  It’s my Husband’s favourite – TGI Friday’s.  We didn’t actually eat here on a Friday but that’s okay because… (just in case you don’t understand, read the end of this sentence from the photo – this is directed to my Mum!)

There are few branches in Melbourne but the nearest one to us in Doncaster Westfield Shoppingtown is currently under reno (that’s renovation for the non-Aussie readers – again, directed to Mummy dearest) so we trotted along to the Forest Hill branch.

TGI Friday’s is not cheap but the ONLY reason why we ate here is because of the BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) Meal vouchers that we have – 2 from The Entertainment Book and 2 courtesy of our lovely food blogging friend, Minda { her blog }.  Anyway, the voucher gives you a free meal up to the value of $35 and what do we do?  Of course, we choose $35 meals to get our money’s worth!  It’s the only way!!!

I went for my usual which is JACK DANIEL’S HALF RACK RIBS & SHRIMP $34.95.  It never fails to satisfy me and my belly.  I love love love the big fat juicy shrimps (6 in total) with the crunchy coating dipped into the deliciously tangy JD sauce!  YUM!  As for the ribs, I am generous with them and offer half of my half rack to the Husband.  We sit there for ages gnawing every smoky bit of meat off the bones!!!  The chips were fried beautifully this time (but sometimes they are old and limp just like something old and limp!) and the only thing left on my plate after I am done is the limp lettuce garnish.

TGI Fridays JACK DANIEL'S STEAK, food porn, steak
As for the hubs, he chose JACK DANIEL’S STEAK $34.95 – a 300g Porterhouse steak cooked medium rare and serve with cheesy mashed potatoes and veg and of course, JD sauce.  I like the presentation of the steak with the criss crosses.  And I had a few bites and it was VERY good…but not as good as mine!  😛

Usually, being the cheapo Asians, we are quite happy drinking Australia’s finest eau de tap (that’s TAP WATER, Mum!) but we were celebrating our 2nd year wedding anniversary so he egged me on to order an alcoholic cocktail.  I umm-ed and ahh-ed for ages before settling for TGIF’s SIGNATURE MOJITO $14.95 (yeah, don’t choke at the price, please!)  I don’t think I’ve ever had a mojito till now and well…I LIKED IT!  And I want more!  But before I even drank half the glass, I got the Asian flush and I felt oh-so-tipsy!!!  (The picture does NOT do my red face justice!)

TGI Fridays dessert, Food porn, dessert, brownies
He got a good laugh out of watching me slur my words!  And because it was a special occasion and he had to wait till I could finish my mojito, he went for the kill and ordered dessert – BROWNIE OBSESSION $12.95.  I don’t have a sweet tooth like he does so I ate a tiny corner – it was sickeningly sweet and the pecans had a stale taste (but I think it’s a normal pecan thing..?)  Obviously, he loved it!  I liked the ice cream so we ordered another scoop (not pictured and can’t remember the cost of a scoop) which took FOREVERRRRR to arrive.

Even though, it is more than we would usually pay for a meal out, it was fantastic food all around.  Fantastic but highly calorific, unfortunately!!  The alcohol finally wore off around 10pm and then I got extra hyper but luckily, no hangover at work the next day!

If you’re wondering whether TGI Friday’s in Australia tastes different from TGI Friday’s in UK, then the answer is YES!  It is MUCH better in Australia so come on over UK family and friends, if we still have a spare voucher going, I’ll shout you a free meal! 😛

T.G.I. Friday's on Urbanspoon

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