Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Balinese “Market Tour to Plate” Cooking Class

Turmeric galangal spiced king prawns with betel leaves and nasi goreng - Balinese 'Market Tour to Plate', Spice Bazaar

I’m probably one of the few remaining Aussies that has yet to visit Bali. It’s a place that I’m hoping I’ll get to experience in the future but in the meantime, the Balinese “Market Tour to Plate” cooking class which was part of the recent Melbourne Food and Wine Festival programme, gave me the opportunity to indulge in Balinese cuisine without physically leaving the city limits.

The event had been originally designed to meet at the Footscray market, to walk through the myriad of stalls and shops to familiarise ourselves with the key ingredients and produce used in Balinese cooking. However as luck would have it, a deluge of torrential rain was forecast during the time we were to walk from the market towards the Spice Bazaar Cooking School in nearby Seddon. So the day started a little later than previously scheduled, in the warmth of the cooking school, where we were greeted with a glass of Wood Park Prosecco upon arrival.

Our hosts, Pat and Jill, introduced the menu and proceedings for the day whilst we enjoyed sampling some traditional Balinese snacks of rice crackers, accompanied with satay sauce, spicy sambal olek and sambal hijau, and delicious, warm corn fritters served straight from the stove top.

Ingeniously, Pat and Jill recreated the semblance of a market by carefully curating the spices, herbs, vegetables and ingredients typically found in the cuisine and in the selected recipes that we would be attempting to recreate during the class.

The first dish to be prepared was the Lamb Rendang (Rendang Daging) which naturally needed the longest time to cook. Cooking in teams of four to five, we set about the task of preparing all the individual ingredients in order to create one of the first spice pastes of the day.

Lamb Rendang spice paste - Balinese 'Market Tour to Plate', Spice Bazaar
Lamb Rendang spice paste – Balinese ‘Market Tour to Plate’, Spice Bazaar

Once the paste had been processed with the aid of a blender and quickly heated in a pan, it was time to add the coconut milk and meat and leave the dish to slowly cook for the next few hours.

With the lamb slowly simmering on the stove, the next order of business was to create another type of spice paste for the Balinese spiced pork dish (Be Celeng Base Manis). Creating a simple paste of shallots, garlic, ginger and oil, the colourful paste slowly transformed into a thicker and darker colour once the pork, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and soy sauce was added to the pot.

This dish also required two to three hours of cooking time on a gentle simmer, allowing us to leave the pork to develop further and turn our hand to another recipe.

Having completed the preparation of the meat dishes in the banquet, it was time to concentrate on cooking the fish and seafood components of our meal. The next recipe also involved creating another spice paste, but as it was intended as a marinade for the prawns, there were four times as many ingredients than the previous dish. With everyone contributing to the blender with the fresh roots and rhizomes typically found in Asian cuisine, we got to work on slicing quantities of turmeric, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, shallots and chillies before adding the dry spices.

Once the paste had been processed, it required a longer cooking time than its predecessors in order to thicken and soften before being added to the prawns. While the paste was developing, we had an impromptu lesson in removing the entrails and outer shell of the prawns before threading them onto skewers and immersing them in delicious paste so as to let them marinate before our scheduled lunch.

And so we progressed onto the last but not least main dish of the day, Kaffir Lime Ginger Snapper cooked in banana leaf (Pepes Ikan). In order to prepare the dish, Pat demonstrated how to transform a rigid banana leaf into a flexible sealing agent, simply by placing it over a naked flame to release its fibres. By preparing another paste to act as marinade, each team got to work in preparing their banana leaves and fish fillings, ready to create a series of parcels for cooking. The beauty of these versatile fish parcels is that they could be either steamed, baked or barbecued as desired.

As the saying goes, “many hands make light work” and rather than individually preparing all the accompanying dishes and sauces for our banquet, the tasks of preparing the mango salsa and mango coulis, the fried Tempeh with sweet soy sauce (Tempe Kering Teri) and the green papaya salad were allocated amongst the three teams to prepare in readiness for lunch.

With the heavy rain beating against the windows and the tempting aromas of succulent lamb, pork and prawns filling our nostrils, there was one last dish to prepare before sitting down to a delicious five-course banquet – which was none other than the ubiquitous Indonesian dish of Nasi Goreng. Aside from finely chopping shallots and garlic to mix with the cooked rice, the complicated aspect of this dish was creating a thin omelette in a wok over high heat, and then dice and fold through the rice mixture.

As the time approached 3pm, everyone was well and truly ready to start plating up their dishes, commencing with the Turmeric galangal spiced king prawns served on top of fresh betel leaves and accompanied by the just-prepared Nasi Goreng. Naturally there were a lot of murmurs of appreciation as the beautifully presented prawns and nasi goreng made its way to each guest.

The beauty of this special event was being able to enjoy our prepared dishes with matched wines produced by Wood Park Wines, from the north-east Victorian wine region. The selected wine match for this particular dish was the ‘Monument Lane’ Roussanne (2015) from the King Valley. Roussanne is a French white varietal from the Northern Rhone area that few winemakers in both the Rutherglen and Alpine wine districts have been growing for the past decade. With aromas of green melon and fresh citrus on the nose, the creamy, soft texture of this wine was a welcome reward for our cooking endeavours and an excellent match for the oven baked prawns and crispy elements of the rice.

No sooner had the first glass of wine been depleted, Pat arrived at the table ready to pour the selected wine for the next dish which as ‘The Kilnhouses’ Semillon (2014) from the township of Porepunkah in the Alpine Valley. With a crisp, fruit driven character, the honeyed sweetness and creamy texture complemented the fruity sweetness and thicker texture of the mango coulis and soft fish. This dish was also visually spectacular in its colourful array and the added novelty of eating straight off a banana leaf gave it a sense of Balinese authenticity.

My heart leapt with joy as the selected wine changed from white to red when Pat started to pour the ‘Myrrhee’ Merlot (2013). Carefully matured in French Oak barriques over a twelve month period, this beautifully intense coloured purple-red wine, had rich dark fruit characteristics and a fine, medium-bodied tannic structure. The silky, smooth wine cut nicely through the soft-textured spiced pork and crispy, crunchy tempeh accompaniment. This dish was delightful with its rich, spiced gravy; melt-in-your-mouth pork; and soft bok choy and turmeric rice.

Balinese spiced pork, wilted bok choy and crispy tempeh - Balinese 'Market Tour to Plate', Spice Bazaar
Balinese spiced pork, wilted bok choy and crispy tempeh – Balinese ‘Market Tour to Plate’, Spice Bazaar

Believe it or not, there is still another dish to be served as Pat pours a unique offering of ‘Reserve’ Zinfandel (2013) from the King Valley wine region. Zinfandel (or ‘Zin’ as it is more affectionately known) is a red grape varietal that is commonly grown in North America although it is starting to gain some traction in Australia. In warmer climates, this grape exhibits blackberry, star anise and peppery characters although in cooler climates (much like North-East Victoria) the wine displays rich red fruit flavours of cherry and raspberry with hints of spice. What was interesting about this wine was its rich, syrup-like consistency, similar to that of a  fortified wine. The multi-faceted and complex wine was a perfect foil for the spiced and meaty flavours of the slow cooked Lamb Rendang. Accompanied with steamed rice and a flavourful green papaya salad, this dish was my highlight for the afternoon. The flavours and textures in the salad were a total revelation, from the inclusion of roasted peanuts and crispy shallots, to the finely shredded, fresh fruit which instantly became a match made in heaven with the rich lamb and full bodied wine.

After consuming four beautiful dishes over the course of an hour, a few people were starting to flag, unaware that the final dessert dish of Black sticky rice with palm sugar and salted cream (Burbur Injun) was also just about to be served. It makes sense that a fortified dessert wine of “Rutherglen” Muscat should be selected as a match with such an elegant dessert. With luscious aromas of raisins, dried figs and candied peel (think rich Christmas pudding), the syrupy, sweet texture of the wine matched the creaminess of the rice pudding and the thick coconut cream. I’m very much looking forward to attempting to cook this dessert for my next dinner party.

Black sticky rice with palm sugar and salted cream - Balinese 'Market Tour to Plate', Spice Bazaar
Black sticky rice with palm sugar and salted cream – Balinese ‘Market Tour to Plate’, Spice Bazaar

And just like that the party was over, with everyone fully sated from the numerous but delicious Balinese dishes consumed over the course of an afternoon. This class was an excellent way to gain an unique insight into a lesser-known cuisine and to also enjoy a select offering of some excellent wines from a regional boutique wine producer. Truth be told, this event has more than piqued my interest in exploring Bali as a potential culinary destination and I’m looking forward to perhaps discovering more of what this place to offer on one of Pat and Jill’s specialty food tours to the area.

Athens Walking Tours: Greek cooking class in an Athens tavern

Spanakopita

I like to try and take a cooking class whenever I travel, endeavouring to learn and understand more about the cuisine of the country that I’m visiting. But I must admit that after holidaying around Europe and eating at numerous restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the past eight weeks, I’m not entirely sure if I can remember how to cook. So with an equal sense of trepidation and excitement, I arrived at the Diavlos Tavern in the heart of Athens, eager to escape the late-afternoon thunderstorm and ready for my three-hour cooking lesson in Greek cuisine.

After meeting cooking instructor Fofi Olympidou outside the restaurant, our group of seven participants who were all coincidently international travellers like myself, went upstairs into a private room where the table had been laid with our individual workstations and aprons. I must admit that this is only the second cooking class that I’ve undertaken where you are seated for the entire session and my relaxed holiday vibe loved it!

Fofi started the session with an introduction to Greek cuisine and challenged us as to what our own understanding of traditional Greek fare was. For as long as I can remember I had somehow associated baklava with Greek food, probably because I see it served in Greek pastry shops and Greek restaurants back home in Melbourne. Fofi corrected that perception by commenting that baklava was actually a legacy from the Ottoman Empire, which has been assimilated into Greek cuisine, but is not considered to be traditionally Greek.

The traditional Greek menu for the evening was to be zucchini balls, tzatziki, dolmades, Greek salad, spanakopita, roast lamb with potatoes followed by a Greek yoghurt dessert. I’ve never prepared any of these dishes at home so I was really looking forward to participating in the end-to-end cooking process, all the way from the beginning to eating and enjoying the final result.

As per Greek tradition, we started with an aperitif of raki made from grapes, complemented with mezze, which is a term used to describe small serves of food to accompany drink. It was rather nice to begin the evening with something other than ouzo as aniseed is not my favourite flavour and I’ve been served quite a few glasses of this aperitif during my time in Greece. The raki was quite smooth to drink but with a powerful finish that you typically get from beverages with 45 per cent alcohol volume. I took note of Fofi’s advice to take small sips and enjoy with the mezze of bread, feta cheese, tomatoes and olives served on the table.

The dish taking the longest time to cook was the roast lamb with potatoes, which needed to be baked in the oven for approximately an hour and a half, so this naturally was the first recipe to be prepared for the evening. Fofi explained that sheep and goats are quite prevalent in the mountainous areas of Greece, therefore lamb is a meat that features predominantly in Greek cuisine. With one portion of lamb given to each one of us, we carefully followed Fofi’s verbal instructions by making several cuts into the meat and then filling each hole with a sliver of garlic, pinches of dried oregano, salt and pepper before placing back into the baking tray. Take careful note of the container of olive oil in the photos above which is almost full at this point in the evening.

Rather than getting up and washing our boards and utensils in the kitchen, there were bottles of vinegar and paper towel on the table that we could use to wipe down our individual preparation areas and knives, before starting to peel and cut potatoes into small portions for the next part of the dish. Topped with a dressing made from lemon juice and mustard, Fofi generously added more salt, pepper and oregano to the baking tray before liberally applying olive oil over the lamb with a little water and then covering in preparation for roasting.

With the lamb whisked away to be cooked in the oven, the next part of the lesson was to start the spanakopita which is a classic Greek dish not dissimilar to a cheese and spinach pie. Most of us are typically accustomed to buying and using ready-made sheets of filo pastry to make spanakopita at home, but Fofi assured us that it was relatively quick and easy to make our own pastry for this recipe.

Combining a simple mixture of flour, water and olive oil together in a large bowl, the dough began to take form and surprisingly a KitchenAid or Thermomix was not required other than some old-fashioned elbow grease. Most of us were given a small ball of dough to roll and then flatten into a circular shape that would be used to cover the base of the pie dish, which I must admit wasn’t an easy feat to achieve sitting down.

The next step was to start to chopping the herbs and vegetables for the filling and then spread over the pastry base before covering with the two remaining discs of pastry that had been set aside. One of the key ingredients of spanakopita is feta cheese which is traditionally made from either sheep or goats milk. Rather than cutting the cheese in preparation for the filling, Fofi gave some excellent advice on how the cheese should be grated instead so as to control the residual liquid content, in addition to some great tips for removing the excessive salty flavour typically found in purchased feta cheese.

Fofi demonstrated everything so beautifully, including cutting the top pastry layer into equal portions neatly without breaking through into the filling beneath. With a quick milk wash before being placed in the oven, another dish had been completed and all in the space of 15 minutes. Many hands make light work but I’m pretty positive it would take me five times as long to achieve a similar result in my own kitchen, but definitely worth a try at home.

The next dish to be prepared on the evening menu was the ever popular dolmades which I enjoy eating but have never made from scratch. Dolmades, or stuffed grape vine leaves, can be made with meat and rice, however the traditional version we were making had a rice and herb filling. Fofi first demonstrated how to lay the leaf on the board followed by the wrapping process before letting us reciprocate. My first dolma wasn’t too bad considering but the quality improved markedly with each new attempt. Once the saucepan had been filled with our own contributing efforts, Fofi added water and a few glugs of the obligatory olive oil to the dish before sending it downstairs to the kitchen to cook during the remainder of our lesson.

While there is a lot of meat in Greek cuisine, Fofi explained that stuffed vegetable dishes and the use of vegetables as an accompaniment to each meal, are also key to traditional Greek cooking. The next dish of zucchini balls is a popular inclusion on mezze platters and entrée courses and relatively simple to prepare. Apart from grating a few zucchinis and chopping spring onions, it was a matter of adding eggs, flour, herbs and cheese to create a dough-type mixture. The hard part of rolling the individual balls and deep-frying in olive oil (of course!) was best left to the kitchen staff down below!

The perfect accompaniment to crispy zucchini balls is naturally tzatziki, which is a mixture of thick Greek yoghurt, shredded cucumber and garlic. Because of its cool, creamy texture tzatziki is often paired with rich meat dishes or fried foods for added flavour and to assist with digestion, however it is also commonly served as a dip. The most identifiable ingredient in tzatziki tends to be the presence of finely minced, raw garlic and so for the quantity we were preparing to be served with our evening meal, everyone at the table was each given a glove of garlic to peel and chop for the bowl. When all the ingredients had been included, Fofi poured a very healthy amount of olive oil into the bowl before combining everything together into a smooth consistency. As if by magic, the first batch of zucchini balls arrived at our table, in time for us to try with the just finished bowl of tzatziki.

While we were busy devouring the zucchini balls and tzatziki with a glass of Greek white wine, Fofi started to prepare and cut the ingredients for horiatiki, or what we commonly refer to as a traditional Greek salad. This dish is essentially a meal in itself, consisting of tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, sliced red onion and capsicum (bell pepper), topped with feta cheese, dried oregano and olive oil, although variations of this salad will occasionally include capers.

Fofi explained that horiatiki served in restaurants should have a large slice of feta cheese on the top, as a way of demonstrating to the patrons that the cheese served in the salad has been freshly cut from the block and has not been recycled from a previous dish. Good to know!

Olives and olive oil are essentially the heart and soul of Greek cuisine. Olives are generally served at every single meal in Greece, even breakfast! Greece is the third largest producer of quality olive oil after Spain and Italy but is largest consumer of olive oil in the world. This fact has been well and truly demonstrated throughout the entire evening, as the olive oil container is now empty with Fofi continuing to generously pour any remaining liquid over the salad as a dressing.

And so now we had arrived at the final dish to be prepared for the evening, a Greek yoghurt dessert. According to Fofi, a good quality Greek yoghurt must have at least 10 per cent fat content – if it doesn’t, its not Greek yoghurt! Greek yoghurt is considered to be good for the digestion, particularly after consuming rich meat or fried foods, therefore it tends to be served with fresh or preserved fruit (which is also referred to as spoon sweets in Greece) for dessert.

This dessert is also a simple dish to prepare – strained Greek yoghurt, a can of sweetened condensed milk, grated rind and juice from a lemon, all combined together with a whisk. I don’t think I’ve ever made such an easier or tastier dessert in less than 10 minutes.

It’s hard to believe that three hours have already flown by and while the class was fun and informative, the real action begins as we head downstairs into the restaurant terrace to consume all the dishes that we had helped prepare.

Our banquet-style dinner started with the freshly made horiatiki, followed by the zucchini balls and tzatziki dip, and the dolmades. The new batch of zucchini balls were more crispier than our first sample, no doubt from having benefited from a longer stint in the deep-fryer, matched nicely with the sharp and creamy tang of the tzatziki.

Fresh out of the pan, the warm dolmades were glistening in the candlelight, with a sleek sheen from its prolonged olive oil bath. The texture of the cooked rice combined with the moist grape leaves and the soft, subtle flavour of dill was absolutely delicious and I started to question whether I would ever consider purchasing dolmades again.

The same could also be said for the next course of spanakopita, with the crispy, thicker-style pastry that we had helped to prepare. The crunchy and crisp texture of the pie pastry was definitely more flavourful than its commercial counterparts and almost a complete meal in itself.

Then the main course of roast lamb and potatoes that I had been eagerly anticipating arrived at the table. The slow-cooked meat and soft, lemon and herb-flavoured potatoes was definitely a highlight but it was certainly a struggle to consume my allocated portion of lamb following all the previous courses. And by way of demonstration that Greek yoghurt is the answer to all digestive ailments, the chilled sweet yoghurt dessert was served at the conclusion of the evening.

I can’t remember attending such an informative cooking class and preparing a range of delicious recipes with a simple list of ingredients and relatively easy cooking processes. With everything demonstrated and explained so effectively, I’m looking forward to going home again and preparing my own traditional Greek dinner for my friends and family.

http://www.athenswalkingtours.gr/Cooking-Lessons

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/AttractionProductDetail?product=2906COOKING&d=265865&aidSuffix=xsell&partner=Viator

 

My Big Fat Greek Waistline – A culinary odyssey around Greece from A to Z

I love Greek food. One of my fondest childhood memories is smashing plates on the floor at Albury’s only Greek restaurant with my family. And while that restaurant’s existence was unfortunately unable to rival that of the Parthenon, my love for Greek cuisine continues to endure.

The Parthenon, Acropolis in Athens
The Parthenon, Acropolis in Athens

I recall on my previous visit to Greece sixteen years ago that there was a lot of pastitsio on the daily menu, primarily because it was cheap and ready made. On this trip however I was intent on reacquainting myself with some of Greece’s other well known dishes, and looking forward to trying new ones. The following is not a definitive list of Greek cuisine but just a small foray into the food I enjoyed on my holiday, using the Greek alphabet as my guide:

A is for Anise which is the predominant flavour found in the traditional Greek aperitif of ouzo. Whilst my palate is still yet to appreciate the distinctive taste of anise, in many of the restaurants that I visited during my holiday, legendary Greek hospitality ensured that a shot of ouzo was placed in front of me before I started my meal. It feels somewhat appropriate to begin with an aperitif before I eat my way around Greece. Opa!

B is for Bougatsa. (You probably thought that I would say baklava and yes, I definitely ate plenty of that as well, but I’ve been reliably informed that baklava is not traditionally Greek but rather a legacy from the Ottoman Empire).

Bougatsa is a pastry that can be either sweet or savoury, consisting of warm semolina custard or soft creamy cheese between layers of filo pastry. If I was down to my last Euro, I would probably buy a tray full of this … or a glass of wine. It’s a tough call. Let’s just say that my heart would skip a beat whenever I saw this at the breakfast buffet.

C is for Cheese. Whilst there are many varieties and differing textures of cheese found in Greek cuisine (Feta, Haloumi, Graviera, etc.) my favourite cheese dish would undoubtedly be saganaki. Traditionally served as an appetiser, this dish derives its name from the small frying pan in which Kefalograviera cheese is quickly cooked over a high heat and served with fresh lemon. Have your knives at the ready so you can successfully fight off your friends for a portion while it’s still hot.

D is for Dolmades. Served hot or cold, dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with rice and fresh herbs (usually dill, which is my favourite herb) although they can also be filled with minced meat and rice. Deceptively small, dolmades are almost a meal in themselves and are always a hit when they appear on a mezze platter.

Dolmades
Dolmades – stuffed grape leaves

E is for Eggplant which is the main ingredient in one of my favourite Greek dishes, moussaka. Moussaka is a layered pie made with sliced fried potatoes and eggplant, tomato-based sauce, spiced minced meat topped with béchamel and cheese. The more memorable versions of moussaka that I enjoyed had identifiable hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the meat filling. But not even the best Greek chefs can compete with my sister Nicole’s version because hers is always made with love.

F is for Fava. Fava originates from the island of Santorini and is a warm purée of cooked yellow split peas topped with finely chopped red onion. It can be served as an appetiser, mezze or accompaniment to the main meal and is really quite tasty. Although be aware that it is made with a healthy dose of garlic, so in conjunction with the fresh onion topping, you are guaranteed to repel any vampires and gypsies in your immediate vicinity for at least 48 hours.

Fava - a puree made from yellow split peas
Fava – a puree made from yellow split peas

G is for Gyros. Pronounced with a “Y”, the word “Gyro” means “turn” in Greek referring to the meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie (generally pork or chicken) which is then carved from the spit and served wrapped in pita together with cucumber, tomato, onion, tzatziki and chips inside. Gyros are the ultimate Greek version of fast food and I found a couple of great places selling these in Athens for only 2-3 Euros a piece.

H is for Horiatki or what you and I commonly know as a traditional Greek salad. This is essentially a meal in itself, consisting of tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, sliced onion and capsicum, topped with feta cheese, dried oregano and olive oil. Sometimes variations of this salad will also include capers. I recently learnt that Greek salad served in restaurants should have a large slice of feta cheese on top in order to show the patrons that the cheese used in the salad is freshly cut from the block and not recycled from another dish!

I is for Ithaka, which is a poem written by the Greek poet, Constantine P. Cavafy. While you can’t physically eat the Ithaka, if you read this poem and digest the words you will find your soul nourished and your perspective renewed, particularly if you are still travelling. I had the privilege to hear the Ithaka at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, beautifully narrated in English by Sean Connery and accompanied to music by Greek composer Vangelis. It was especially poignant being in the final days of my holiday and feeling somewhat fatigued, listening to the Ithaka revived me again.

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National Archaeological Museum in Athens

J is for … The letter “J” in the Greek language doesn’t actually exist as it originates from the Latin or English alphabets. It has a few different sound variations when incorporated into the Greek alphabet but many Europeans pronounce “J” as “Y”. Therefore my “J” equivalent is “Yamas!” which is an abbreviation for the Greek phrase “To your health!” or “Cheers!” which I ended up saying quite often on this trip. Yamas!

K is for Kebabs which is a general term describing skewered food such as souvlaki, a popular Greek fast food consisting of grilled small pieces of meat such as chicken or pork (or vegetables). It can also be served on a full plate with chips or fried potatoes and pita. One of exciting things about ordering souvlaki is that no two dishes are ever the same!

L is for Lamb. One of my favourite movie quotes comes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding – “What do you mean he don’t eat meat? That’s okay. I make lamb”. While there are many variations on how lamb is cooked in Greek cuisine, I found it very hard to pass by the oven-baked lamb (kleftiko) with potatoes whenever I saw it on the menu.

M is for Mezze or a Mixed Grill platter. Why settle for just one dish when you can try new things and enjoy smaller samples of all your favourites? Better still, food always tastes better when shared and enjoyed with friends.

N is for Nutella … or is it? The Greeks have their own version of chocolate hazelnut spread called Merenda and many of the hotels in Greece have large bowls of this available on the breakfast buffet. My friend Julie was accustomed to mixing spoonfuls of hazelnut spread into her yoghurt each morning while I just ate a spoonful of it every now and again because it’s awesome.

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Greek hazelnut and cocoa spread

O is for Octopus. The Hellenic Republic, which is another name for Greece, is surrounded by four different bodies of water (the Aegean, Ionian, Cretan and Mediterranean seas) so it’s little wonder that fish and seafood play a prominent role in Greek cuisine. Octopus is usually served grilled or marinated and features as part of a mezze or main meal. Squid (or calamari) is also a favourite often arriving on your plate battered and fried, but there is also plenty of fresh fish, mussels and shrimp readily available at most restaurants. It’s not unusual to see a multitude of sardines and anchovies as well as whole bream, snapper and mullet trying to avoid eye contact as you pass by the display case.

P is for Pita. There is something unique and special about Greek pita – a little smaller and softer in texture than its foreign counterparts – it tastes more like bread and is usually my downfall when brought out to the table, especially accompanied by eggplant dip or an olive tapenade. Some Greek restaurants in Australia also lightly fry the pita in a pan with olive oil before serving … extremely dangerous for the waistline.

Q is for … actually there is no such letter in the Greek alphabet! There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet as opposed to the 26 letters in the English alphabet. A big thank-you to my friend Kiri for being my online Wiki expert for all things Greek!

R is for Rizogalo or rice pudding. When I first saw small bowls of this at the breakfast buffet, I thought “Seriously?” and avoided it like the plague. Then one particular morning I decided to try some and didn’t look back. Commonly sprinkled with cinnamon, the version I bought at a local bakery in Athens tasted like a cross between a warm baked custard and cream brûlée. Yummy!

S is for Spanakopita. My Mum makes spanakopita regularly at home in Australia, which essentially is a savoury pastry or pie, very similar to a borek, with spinach and feta cheese filling. The handmade filo pastry often used in Greece is a little thicker than the commercial version bought from my local supermarket back home in Melbourne, but no matter where you eat spanakopita, it’s delicious especially when eaten with a salad.

T is for Tzatziki which is a mixture of yoghurt, shredded cucumber and garlic that often accompanies grilled meat dishes or is served by itself as a dip. It’s cool, creamy with a bit of a tangy, sharp finish from the added vinegar or lemon juice but like most things, a little bit goes a long way.

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Tzatziki with zucchini ball

U is for Ubiquitous and what could be more prevalent in Greek cuisine than olives and olive oil. Travelling around Greece, you will see olives on the breakfast buffet; olives and olive oil in your salad; olive groves as far as the eye can see; your food swimming in a sea of olive oil; souvenirs made from every conceivable part of an olive tree; olive motifs on every menu, napkin and tablecloth in addition to the cans of olive oil and vacuum-sealed bags of olives in gift shops just begging to be taken home. Greece is the third largest producer of quality olive oil after Spain and Italy but is the largest consumer of olive oil in the world. So embrace your inner Greek and immerse yourself in the olive universe!

V is for Vegetables. Don’t be fooled by the plethora of meat and seafood dishes in Greek cuisine as there are a number of excellent vegetable dishes on every menu. Tomatoes and capsicum (peppers) stuffed with rice is known as Yemista and is not only delicious but also filling. Another one of my favourites is stuffed cabbage rolls which is called Lahanodolmades, although it does contain minced meat so not strictly vegetarian. Typically there is also okra, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes served as a side to every meal.

W is for Wine (not Windex!). Greece is known for producing some excellent wines and the house wines served in most tavernas and restaurants is not only drinkable but also extremely cheap. Wandering around Athens over the weekend, I happened to discover some very chic and beautifully designed wine bars hidden in the backstreets near my hotel, serving amazing wines by the glass. Make sure you try assyrtiko which is a white grape varietal indigenous to the island of Santorini. The 2011 Karipidis Syrah from the Thessaly region was also a standout favourite of mine. Yamas!

X is for Xynotyri. Erin, our tour director, ordered this for us to try in a lovely little taverna on the island of Rhodes. Xynotyri, which literally means “sour cheese” is an unpasteurised whey cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk. The fresh goat’s milk cheese which we enjoyed had a creamy, thick yoghurt consistency and was used as a spread although as this cheese matures, it becomes hard and flaky but supposedly has great health benefits.

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Xynotyri from Oionos Greek Taverna, Rhodes

Y is for Yoghurt. All thoughts of going on a diet are dismissed when you see very large bowls of Greek yoghurt containing at least 10 per cent fat content every morning for breakfast. Usually the yoghurt is so thick and creamy that you need some serious muscle power to shake just a dollop into your own bowl. Greek yoghurt is apparently good for the digestion particularly after consuming rich meat or fried foods. Often served as a dessert with preserved fruit or whipped together with cream, good Greek yoghurt is one of those universal substances that seems to appear at every meal.

Z is for Zucchini. Whether it be deep-fried zucchini balls (kolokythokeftedes), pan-fried slices of zucchini or stuffed zucchini, the Greeks know how it make this vegetable taste just that little bit better.

And so now I have come to the end of my own culinary odyssey and time in Greece. Although I’m looking forward to going home and practising some of the recipes I learnt at a cooking class in Athens, a recent visit to the historic site of Olympia and hearing about the ancient gymnasium and athletic rituals has inspired me to start training for the 2020 games!

Lellama Fish Market Visit and Cooking Experience – Jetwing Beach Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka

Jetwing Beach Cooking Experience - Negombo, Sri Lanka

Monday 7th December, 2015

Ever since my Year 7 geography class and learning about the capital cities and countries of the world, I’ve had a yearning to travel to Sri Lanka (or Ceylon, as it once was known) to see the tea plantations with my own eyes and learn more about Sri Lankan culture and cuisine firsthand. I was determined that this was going to be the year to actively try and make that trip become a reality.

Knowing that my trip was indeed a “once in a lifetime” experience, I researched a number of places to stay on Google and TripAdvisor, looking for something that would give me an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, and somewhere luxurious to rest and recharge for a few days, but which also offered a unique culinary programme. Sounds impossible? And after a bit of clicking and surfing, I stumbled across the Jetwing Beach website which had a link offering a trip to the local fish market and hands-on cooking experience with the chef for US$45. After sending a few email enquiries to confirm that the culinary experience was still available, I booked my accommodation and eagerly anticipated my impending holiday adventure.

Persistence and a little dash of tenacity are the key ingredients in securing this activity. Despite having a copy of the original email response from the Restaurant Manager, I enquired with the front desk on three separate occasions on the morning of my first day at the hotel as to when this would be taking place, more so that I could plan when to drag myself away from the pool, alcoholic beverages and palm trees and be ready for some knife-wielding action.

A lot of nodding ensued, a few casual “We will ask” responses and then in the afternoon, I called by the reception desk to ask about the activity once more. After a little wait, I was asked if I would be willing to go downstairs to the hotel kitchen and meet with the Executive Chef in his office to discuss my culinary adventure in more detail. Talking briefly about what I wanted to learn, see and do, a trip to the fish market was arranged for five a.m. on Monday morning, where I would be escorted by a couple of hotel chefs to visit one of the oldest fish markets in Sri Lanka and select the fish I wanted to cook with.

I think after that initial meeting with the chef, most of the restaurant and hotel staff recognised my face and were keen to talk to me about my visit, with a few short greetings of “Madam, you are going to the fish market in the morning. No?”. The manager on duty in the restaurant on Sunday night came to my table to introduce myself and ask if I was still okay to start the next morning at five a.m. Yep, bring it on.

Granted, getting up just after four a.m. at a resort to go and pick the catch of the day isn’t everyone’s idea of relaxation or fun, and it’s not something I’ve succumbed to doing at the markets back home. However, travel makes everyone embrace adventure, even jumping into a swank black car with tinted windows and four guys I’ve never met before, in the dead of night without a second thought, to go and look at some fish.

The avenue of neon palm trees - Negombo, Sri Lanka
The avenue of neon palm trees – Negombo, Sri Lanka

On the way to the market, we drove through an avenue of fluorescent glow sticks that symbolically resembled a grove of palm trees. I wasn’t sure if it was part of the town’s Christmas decorations but it was spectacular to behold. I was a little slow getting my camera to capture the image (the photo here was taken on the way back as the sun was coming up) but in truth, I’m glad I made the effort to get out of bed a little earlier than usual.

When we arrived at the market just after five a.m., trading was in full swing with tuk-tuk’s, bicycles, cars and even small motorboats, all jostling for a position around the perimeter of the building. To one side was the local fish sales and the opposite side housed the commercial enterprise, with large trawlers docked against the jetty.

I was led through the smaller market to look at the stalls selling a variety of mullet fish, tuna, shark, swordfish and crustaceans. My chef friends were asking me what fish I wanted to try, and to be honest, at at hour of the morning I did not have a definitive menu planned in advance. The difficult thing though was that once the vendors knew that I was the purchaser, the price seemed to escalate tenfold and so I needed to wander off and become somewhat interested in someone else’s stall in order to secure some of the chef’s recommendations.

Across the other side was the fishing co-operative and large portions of tuna and other fish captured in the night’s haul were being cut, weighed and sold. We came across a few men struggling to lift a massive shark onto a set of scales to be weighed, and there were a few shouts when the final reading came to a staggering 232 kilograms.

The 232 kilogram catch of the day - Lellama Fish Market, Negombo, Sri Lanka
The 232 kilogram catch of the day – Lellama Fish Market, Negombo, Sri Lanka

It was fascinating wandering around the market, watching the dawn slowly break, seeing the trawlers head back out and other boats come back in. Yet in all the frantic hustle, my appearance did seem to be a little out of the ordinary, with one fisherman quite keen to ensure that I took a picture of him and some of his catch for prosperity.

Lellama Fish Market, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Lellama Fish Market, Negombo, Sri Lanka

With my fish portions secured and also fresh fish purchased for the hotel’s daily menu requirements, we headed back to the hotel and arrived just after six a.m. My chef companions went to the kitchen to start their day and gave me instructions to meet them outside the hotel restaurant at eleven a.m., ready to start my hands-on cooking lesson.

Having fortified myself with a few cups of coffee during the morning, I arrived early before the appointed hour, looking forward to learning the secrets of Sri Lankan fish curries and a few new culinary skills to add to my repertoire.

A cooking station had been set up outside for my lesson, with portable gas stoves and barbecue plates primed for action. The first order of business was to get my apron and chef’s hat on, which in the heat and humidity kind of gave me the same hairstyle as Krusty the Clown, but given the idyllic setting, I just had to go with it.

Armed with a sharp knife, my chef demonstrated how the vegetables were to be cut and I got to work on prepping the onion, green peppers, tomatoes, ginger, limes and lemongrass for our different curries.

It was a little disconcerting to have an audience ratio of four staff to one amateur cook to begin with, but once it became apparent that I can listen and follow instructions, chop vegetables without losing body parts and know a little bit about cooking in general, I had a one-on-one professional and highly enjoyable cooking experience.

The lunch menu consisted of a Vietnamese style steamed fish (mullet), fish curry (another variety of mullet), another fish curry (swordfish), grilled tuna, prawn curry and a dahl curry. I received a couple of recipes presented in a folder for a fish curry and the dahl curry to take home with me, but essentially the lesson was hands-on, cooking by instinct and taste.

The steamed fish was seasoned with salt, light soy sauce, sesame oil and fresh ginger, coriander and lemongrass. Whilst it was similar to what I prepare at home, what shocked me was that it is generally accepted that fish is steamed flat, yet our version was tightly wrapped in foil and bent in such a way to ensure it was snugly placed around the circumference of a small steamer and left to cook for 25 minutes.

We then progressed onto preparing the first version of the fish curry by slicing the mullet fish into thick slices and marinating the pieces in a combination of curry powder and chilli powder, before sautéing a mixture of the vegetables and coconut milk with the prepared fish.

While the pot was boiling, I was slicing pieces of swordfish for another fish curry and another flurry of spices, vegetables and coconut milk ensued to create another exotic dish. The chef asked me what I wanted to do with the piece of yellow fin tuna that was purchased, and with the midday sun beating down on us, it was perfect weather for seared tuna cooked on the grill plate, served rare. My little suggestion earnt me a winning smile from my teacher who then taught me to slice the tuna correctly and then create a simple marinade of cracked black pepper, sea salt and lime juice.

With the tuna set to one side, I then stepped up to the hotplate again to create the dahl curry from pre-washed red lentils, in much the same manner as the fish curries; a pinch of this, a dash of that, a spoonful or two of coconut milk, season, stir then sit. My chef also thought that the meal would be incomplete without the inclusion of prawns so I was set to work on creating a dry curry (sans coconut milk) on the strove top.

After an hour or so of learning, listening and instinctive cooking, I had made and prepared my own lunch to now sit and enjoy with the stunning view of the beach before me.

Jetwing Beach Cooking Experience - Negombo, Sri Lanka
Jetwing Beach Cooking Experience – Negombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan’s take their hospitality very seriously and strongly recommended that my meal could not be appreciated without a bottle of Chardonnay to complement the fish and spices. Really, after getting up at an ungodly hour and cooking up a storm, who was I to argue? I was treated like royalty throughout the whole experience and the personal attention continued with my dishes served onto my plate, cold wine poured and steamed rice, coconut sambal and pappdums brought out to compliment my cooking. The head pastry chef suddenly appeared at my table to introduce himself and ask how I enjoyed my morning.

I was perfectly content and grateful that I had persevered in ensuring that I didn’t miss out on enjoying this unique experience, just absentmindedly gazing out to the sea when the chef approached my table with a gift of spices from the hotel kitchen, as a thank-you for participating in the culinary experience.

And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly eat any more, a beautiful palate-cleansing fruit platter arrived to revive me. Truly, great holiday memories are undoubtedly created from doing the things we love and learning from those who are willing to share their love of food and culinary heritage with new-found friends.

Foodie Trails – Gourmet Indian Masala Trail, Melbourne CBD

It’s funny how we are prepared to try new experiences on holidays, but rarely undertake similar adventures in the places in which we live. One of the first things that I do when planning a holiday to a foreign destination, is to sign up for a culinary food tour or cooking class in that country once I arrive, so that I can get a greater appreciation of the cuisine and culture. Although I live in a beautiful city with a rich and diverse offering of foods from many different nationalities, I rarely take the time to discover the edible treasures readily available on my own doorstep.

When I saw an advertisement for a walking tour around the Melbourne CBD with Foodie Trails, sampling authentic Indian cuisine combined with the opportunity to discover wonderful new places to source spices and obscure food items, it was a journey of discovery that I didn’t want to miss.

The starting point of the journey was the Visitor Information Centre at Federation Square where we met our guide Himanshi, before setting off on our gourmet adventure. What was exciting was that we only needed to walk a couple of hundred metres down Flinders Street before arriving at our first location on the tour, an Indian restaurant and café called Flora. I actually walk past this restaurant every day on my way to work but never had the courage to actually step inside and discover what lay beyond the glass doors.

Seated at a large table towards the back of the restaurant, Himanshi treated our group to a narrative of her love of food and travel stemming from her childhood upbringing in India. With maps of the states and provinces before us, we learnt about the origins of popular Indian dishes and spices, and how centuries of various rulers and empires from around the world had contributed to and influenced, what we know as Indian cuisine today.

The best part of any food tour is being introduced to new dishes under the guidance of someone who knows how it should best be eaten. Himanshi had arranged for servings of a traditional South Indian breakfast dish called idli, a savoury cake or dumpling, served in a warm red lentil and vegetable soup flavoured with chilli and mustard seeds known as sambar for everyone to try, served with a cold coconut chutney as an accompaniment. After watching Himanshi demonstrate how to eat the dumpling with the soup and coconut sauce, we all reciprocated and tried it for ourselves. Yum! It was absolutely delicious, and I particularly loved the coconut sauce which had fresh coriander through it.

No breakfast is complete without a hot beverage and Himanshi obliged by ordering chai masala tea for us to enjoy with our soup. Vastly different from a chai latte, masala tea is made from loose leaf tea, fresh ginger, various herbs and dry-roasted spices such as cardamom and cinnamon, which has been boiled and strained before served with milk. The warm spiced tea had a lovely taste and was very easy to drink, and although I could have happily indulged in another cup, it was time for us to leave and head towards our next destination.

After a short walk through the Melbourne city centre, we arrived at a small shop located in Russell Street called Ceylon Curry Corner, which is in close proximity to Chinatown. I must admit that one of the main motivators for joining the tour apart from my love of Indian cuisine, was to discover a place in the city that sold spices and traditional Indian foods. Once we walked into the shop, I knew that I had found that place.

With walls laden with packets of dried herbs and spices, and shelves stocked with jars of various foodstuffs, Himanshi took the time to explain the traditional elements and key ingredients found in Indian cuisine by passing them around our group. We then had an opportunity to buy our own spices to bring home and incorporate into our own cooking. I had been searching for a five-seed spice blend called panch phoran to use in a recipe for a Sri Lankan curry for quite some time, and I was excited to finally get my hands on a packet for only a couple of dollars.

Our last destination for the afternoon was a well-known Indian restaurant located at the top of Bourke Street called Red Pepper. Red Pepper has a contemporary, modern interior and our group was looking forward to enjoying what Himanshi had ordered for our lunch. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed an authentic mango lassi and didn’t hesitate to order one to accompany the food, but I found that it was so delicious and refreshing that my glass was empty within only a few minutes.

Soon after, several individual platters of food were served, containing large portions of warm butter naan, and smaller bowls of goat curry, raita, butter chicken, chicken curry, lentil soup , rice and a small salad. Thankfully I had brought my appetite with me on the tour but where to start? Butter chicken is always a favourite and a dish that I have mastered making at home in my own kitchen, so naturally I started there. Everything on the platter was beyond compare – fresh, delicious, full of flavour, the meat dishes were tender and succulent, the sauces were beautifully spiced and not unbearably hot to taste. Naan bread is always wonderful and this was no exception yet somehow I had some left over to mop up the left over remnants of the curries at the end of the meal.

Just when I thought I couldn’t eat another mouthful of food, our gulab juman dessert arrived. These delectable dumplings are made from cottage cheese, immersed in a sweet sugar syrup with a touch of cinnamon and absolutely yummy, even on a full stomach.

This marked the end of a wonderful tour of the Melbourne CBD area, sampling a fantastic selection of culinary delights at popular Indian cafés and restaurants within its locale. Himanshi surprised us all with a little goody bag by way of thank you for participating in the tour which contained a lovely key charm and a packet of spice mix to make our exotic Indian creations at home. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in the city?

http://foodietrails.com.au/

Flora Indian Restaurant & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ceylon Curry Corner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red Pepper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mr Hendricks Café, Balwyn

As much as I love the art of decluttering and adhering to organising and minimalist principles, I must admit that my iPad is in complete disarray; absolutely chock full of saved bookmarks from newspaper articles and random, unfiled notes on cafés across a multitude of apps, highlighting places that I should potentially go and visit for breakfast. Somewhere in all that mess, I happened to come across something that recalled to mind that there was a café called Mr Hendricks Café located in Balwyn on my must-go list. With the added bonus of staying in Kew this week and discovering that the café is also directly located on the #109 tram route, it would seem like a wasted opportunity to be in such close proximity and not make an effort to go there for breakfast.

Finding the location was easy enough and I seemed to arrive in the nick of time to be able to secure a table, because within fifteen minutes the place was busy and a small queue had started to form. It’s so exciting to see a unique breakfast menu with a number of original signature dishes, not often seen or replicated elsewhere. I’m always a sucker for French Toast at the best of times, particularly when it’s of the brioche variety, but I had already consoled myself with a couple of images from Instagram and moved on. The Francophile in me particularly warmed to the thought of indulging in a Cassoulet with braised beans, smoked ham hock, lamb shoulder, toulouse sausage, confit duck leg, persilade and fried egg. The description of the Prawn and Corn Fritters was beyond compare and even the Avocado on Toast sounded extraordinary with the inclusion of wekame, sesame, pickled cucumber salad and lemon gel as key elements within the dish. My coffee arrived and someone was keen to take my order, but inexplicably I needed another couple of minutes to arrive at a decision. After much deliberation, I finally settled on the Crispy Eggs with sweet potato puree, ham jock, salad of fennel, radish, red onion and candied walnuts.

The café fit-out is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity and elegance, almost a refined industrial décor that made the frustrated interior designer in me just sit back and admire the room’s composition in jealous admiration. Soft tan leather cushions on the banquette seating, attractive pendant lighting, glossy black Thonet chairs, elegant gold lettering on every door and window and beautiful polished wooden bench tops and tables in rich warm tones ticked all of my aesthetic boxes.

Coffee is available in a standard cup size, although after my spree of ordering larger versions, the glass seemed to have shrunk. My latte was creamy and delicious but after a couple of sips, another glass was definitely in order.

Crispy Eggs with sweet potato puree, ham hock, salad of fennel, radish, red onion and candied walnuts - Mr Hendricks Cafe, Balwyn
Crispy Eggs with sweet potato puree, ham hock, salad of fennel, radish, red onion and candied walnuts – Mr Hendricks Cafe, Balwyn

Trying to capture an appropriate image for my food chronicle was no mean feat – there were so many colours and items on the plate that trying to fit them into one frame was a frustrating task. Photographic duties aside, I went straight for the ham hock which was simply delicious, slightly crispy yet soft and salty at the same time. There was plenty of meat on the plate, yet it was something I found myself wanting more and more of. The crumb on the boiled eggs came away easily and delicious with the sweet potato puree, but made for a bit of sport trying to scoop a mouthful onto my fork. “Slippery little suckers”, one might say.

I’m not a huge advocate of salad for breakfast yet surprisingly, I loved it and would say it was absolutely my favourite part of breakfast. From the crunch of the candied walnuts to the finely shaved fennel, the entire salad was beautifully dressed with a silky, smooth and slightly sweet honey mustard dressing, with every leaf glistening with the sheen of olive oil.

Completely satisfied with my breakfast, I even ordered a third cup of coffee just so I could sit and prolong the indulgence for just a little bit longer. A way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, and Mr Hendricks, I’d have to say that you have certainly captured mine.

Mr Hendricks Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Adeney Milk Bar, Kew

When I first signed up for a brief sojourn to Kew, my friend Alison took me on a quick tour of her neighbourhood and the first place of interest was Adeney Milk Bar Café, just a short walk around the corner. So with the promise of warm weather, blue skies and birds either tweeting or swooping, after many months in seclusion I was so eager to get to Adeney that I almost skipped all the way there.

Naturally with the sun out, all the outdoor seating beneath the front verandah was fully occupied but thankfully there were a few tables near the front window that were still available. The interior of the café is so inviting and homely, making me feel that I was almost indulging in a breakfast in someone’s home.

Perched on the banquette seating along the wall, I had a wonderful view of the street outside and full view of another separate dining space towards the rear of building. It’s quite cosy in the seating department and not long after arriving, a family with very young children sat down at the next table alongside me, which was in such close proximity that I could have helped myself to their breakfast as well. It was no laughing matter when the little girl then proceeded to keep yelling repeatedly in my left ear, “Mummy, what can I have to eat?” for what seemed like an eternity.

The coffee machine was in full throttle with a constant flow of both in-house and take-away orders coming from all directions. Believe it or not, there is a dedicated walk-up sliding window behind the counter, available for those wanting to order take-away coffees without having to step inside. When I had a sip of my large hot skinny latte once it arrived, I immediately knew what all the fuss was about. The Fitzroy Street house blend sourced from Industry Beans was incredibly smooth, creamy and delicious that I found myself just staring absentmindedly into space, nursing the warm glass in my hands and taking lots of long, slow sips.

The Winter menu at Adeney is fairly typical of most other cafés with all the usual suspects present. There are two smashed avocado options available, and after a lot of deliberation, I landed on the Winter Smash with avocado, chilli, coriander and fresh lime on toasted sourdough ($14) and added the poached egg ($3).

Winter Smash: avocado, chilli, coriander and fresh lime on toasted sourdough and poached egg - Adeney Milk Bar, Kew
Winter Smash: avocado, chilli, coriander and fresh lime on toasted sourdough and poached egg – Adeney Milk Bar, Kew

Although it’s called the “Winter Smash”, the bright green colours of the avocado, coriander sprigs and fresh lime were decidedly reminiscent of the approaching Spring season. There was quite a substantial amount of the avocado mixture on the plate to devour and while I thought that the inclusion of the red chilli would be the standout ingredient, after the first mouthful it was apparent that someone had been heavy-handed with the lime which had unfortunately left a slightly sour aftertaste. Although the flavours were a little out of balance, it was still extremely edible and enjoyable when paired with the crusty sourdough toast and soft poached egg. I had once again underestimated how restorative and satisfying a good dose of creamy avocado and bread can be.

Having finished another delicious cup of coffee along with my breakfast, all was good and right in my own little world and even more so when I realised that Adeney was going to be my new “local” for the next few weeks, which might also be just enough time for me to be able to stroll around the corner again and try their new Spring menu.

Adeney Milk Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato