Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bistro Moulin; Monterey, USA

During my recent USA trip, I spent a long weekend in Monterey. Since I was a total noob to the area, I looked up Yelp to find restaurants. Bistro Moulin was top-rated, so we wandered down some dark streets to find the little restaurant, tucked far away from the tourist hot-spots.

Bistro Moulin is a tiny little restaurant, specialising in European Cuisine. They have a small, but creative, menu, with a longer wine-list than menu selection. The vegetarian selection was extremely limited - lucky for me the dishes were fantastic.

It's like being in Paris again!

The small but interesting menu.

Where wine corks go to die.

We ordered a local wine - a Riesling from Scheid Vineyards, Monterey.

Supporting local industry ;)

Complimentary bread. So delish I wanted more.

Betteraves Roties ~ roasted beets, mache salad, goat cheese & candied walnuts.

The Betteraves Roties was a fantastic salad - light and fresh.

Fresh fish of the day.

Gnocchi con Spinaci~ spinach gnocchi au gratin.

The gnocci was divine. Light, fluffy, and covered in thick cheese. I could have eaten double the amount - and possibly made myself ill.

Fresh berries and cream.

The berries ... ahhhh fresh berries are so much better in the US and Europe. 

Chocolate tart. 

The tart was so rich I only finished half of it. It made me sick to the stomach to leave behind such a tasty tart.

I can't recommend Bistro Moulin highly enough. It more than lived up to the Yelp recommendation.

Bistro Moulin
867 Wave St
Monterey, CA, USA

Monday, October 25, 2010

BabyCakes NYC

BabyCakes NYC makes cupcakes that are vegan as well as refined sugar-free, kosher, egg-free, gluten-free and soy-free. Thinking they must taste like cardboard? Nope! BabyCakes NYC are famous for a reason - delicious, healthy cupcakes, making them a must-see on my recent trip.

Cute shopfront tucked away in a tiny alley. Wouldn't have known it was there if we didn't have the address!

Adorable insides. The shop was packed while we were there, so it was amazing I was able to take this photo with no people in it. 

Menu - on the front of the glass.

Gluten-free vanilla. Uh-mazing. How can something so tasty be good for you?

Spelt blueberry. Similarly amazing.

I was expecting the cupcakes to be bland and heavy, but they were delicious. Moist, light, sweet and creamy. BabyCakes NYC has also released a popular cookbook which is now high on my wish list.

Haha love NYC. Sign on the street outside the store. Too funny.

248 Broome St
New York, NY

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jacques Torres Chocolate; Brooklyn, USA

When in a city as full of food as New York, it's advisable to stay with a foodie so you don't waste time and stomach space eating at the lesser food joints. I was fortunate to be staying with a trained pasty chef who made it her mission to take me to as many vego and chocolate places as possible. Culinary tours of NYC, eat your heart out.

One little placed I loved was Jacques Torres Chocolate in their D.U.M.B.O location, Brooklyn. This little shop was bustling with lovers of fine chocolate. I sampled some of the handmade truffles (or bon bons as they seem to be called here) and they were delicious - creamy chocolate and light fillings.

Hello Mr Chocolate!

Tasty treats.

Festive store.

Delish-looking cookies.

Big Daddy bar, oh yeah!

Jacques Torres D.U.M.B.O
66 Water St
Brooklyn

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Greens; San Francisco, USA

My latest trip to the US of A was filled with some fantastic food. My lovely friends looked up some great vego restaurants to take me, so I was completely spoiled for choice.

The one restaurant I did look up in advance was Greens in San Francisco. After reading a blog post about it, I was super keen to go. I invited three veggie-friendly friends, and we had a fantastic evening eating delish food and watching the sun set over the bay.

When dining on a Saturday night, you have to order from the Prix Fixe menu, which is a set price. It was $49 plus drinks when I was there, but during the off season, it includes wine. I am full of sadness that I didn't blog this sooner, as their menu has now changed and I was so jet lagged that I can't remember the names of the dishes. FAIL! The set menu included a starter, bread, an appetiser, a main and dessert.

Starter - goats cheese.

Bread. Fresh and delish. I *may* have asked for more ...

I don't remember what was in these ... epic blogger fail.

Heirloom tomato salad.

Rocket and mushroom salad.

Bean salad and ... I can't remember the rest of the dish!

Tortellini and tomato pasta dish. 

Watching the sun set over the bay. Tres romantic!

We also had some amazing desserts, but sadly the photos were rubbish so they're not here.

The dishes at Greens are devine. Some really creative ideas and fresh produce = an amazing night out for any food lover, vegetarian or not. The restaurant was packed - but considering it's in SF, that's probably not surprising. If you're planning a visit, book ahead in plenty of time, especially for a Saturday night. Ask for a table by the window so you can be romanced by the view. SF, I <3 you.

Greens Restaurant
Fort Mason, Building A
San Francisco

Brunch at Di Bella; North Melbourne

While in Melbourne, we took the opportunity to meet with a friend who lived locally. She recommended we have brunch at her favourite cafe, Di Bella, in North Melbourne.

Lucky we had her advice, or we wouldn't have noticed this awesome little cafe. The cafe is also the roasting house for the Di Bella coffee beans. Inside you can see the beans being roasted and on their way to becoming your next beverage.

Inconspicuous front.

While dining with locals, I like to adopt their customs. My friend and her boyfriend's breakfast custom is to order brekkie and a slice of cake at the same time. They eat the cake while waiting for breakfast to arrive. Unorthodox, but worth a try!

Cheesecake!

Some kind of blueberry slice.

An unidentifiable pastry ... cherry perhaps?

Pear and chocolate scroll - super tasty!

My actual breakfast - muesli with strawberry yoghurt. The muesli was amazing - full of grains and nuts.

Porridge!

Eggs benedict.

Beans!

Many kinds of beans!

Visit Di Bella for an authentic local breakfast. Do the double breakfast like we did, it's worth the taut stomach afterwards.

Di Bella Roasting Warehouse
19 - 21 Leveson St
North Melbourne

Koko Black; Melbourne

I'm so lazy. This post has been sitting as a draft for over two months. I visited Koko Black when I was in Melbourne in August. I'd been to the Koko Black in Canberra and was keen to revisit the chocolate heaven in another state. We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table - popular!

Deliciousness lies inside!

Fancy hot chocolate. It was ok - not as good as French hot chocolate. I'm guessing it's the power they use?


Chocolate Moelleux: this was a kind of chocolate cake specific to the Melbourne store. It was uh-mazing. 

Chocolate mousse. It was incredibly rich, so could only eat about half of it.

Lots to chose from on the menu.

I selected a few items to take back as gifts. They had several blocks with things like fruit and nuts in them.

Handmade chocolates - delish!

What I like most about Koko Black is the staff clearly love chocolate. The very helpful girl at the counter  gave me a flier with the recipe for the chocolate moelleux when I commented how much I liked it. When are you opening in Sydney Koko Black?!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brasserie Bakery Cafe; Banksmeadow

I met a dear friend at the Brasserie Bakery Cafe in Banksmeadow for brunch/lunch today. I've been wanting to go for yonks as I love love their bread.



The store is kinda in the middle of nowhere, and has a very factory-like appearance. The cafe is attached to the bakery, where I'm also super-keen to try a class.



We arrived at 12pm and the cafe was packed. There was a long line to get a table, and another line to order and pay for food at the bottom counter. In this photo the crowd has thinned somewhat.

Sourdough hotcakes with stewed berries and honeycomb cream.

We both ordered the hotcakes, and they were just amazing. Amazing, amazing. Fluffy, light, fabulous texture (how exactly are they made with sourdough?), with the berries the perfect tartness against the hotcakes, and the sweet cream topping off the deliciousness. Sigh ....

The cafe also sells take-away pastries. I bought three to try back at home, more on them below.

The retail outlet attached to the cafe.

Bread, my friend. How I heart thee.

I bought a loaf of white sourdough to take home. It was just delish.

Cute little dinner rolls.

More gorgeous bread sticks.

Medieval bread-making device?

Gentlemen's Marmelade - love the name.

Seeded beauties.

Prize-winning bread.

Chocolate and caramel tart.

The chocolate and caramel tart was divine. Thick, dark chocolate covering a layer of sweet caramel on a buttery shortbread crust.


Lemon curd tart with meringue top.

The lemon tart was fabulous - soft, creamy meringue with bite-y lemon underneath.

Peach tart.

The peach tart was actually my favourite as I just adore anything with peach in it. The peaches were perfectly cooked, the tart soft with crunchy edges - amazing.

The Brasserie Bakery Cafe definitely lived up to its reputation. I will be back again soon!

The Brasserie Bakery Cafe
1737 Botany Rd
Banksmeadow
NSW 2019
Ph: 1300 966 845