Chillipadi and Chef Lagenda being covered, Cam and I decided that Laksa King had to be next. On the day we went to the Royal Melbourne Show, we decided to stop off and have lunch at Laksa King instead of buying underwhelming food at ridiculous prices at the show.
After being awakened to the fact that there are lots of popular malaysian eateries in Flemington/Kensington, I knew I would have to try the three most popular ones out. Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam was first on my list, then Chef Lagenda (in no particular order, mind you). I knew the popular Laksa King would have to be tried as well, but I had heard some better things about Chef Lagenda so I decided to go there first.
A few months ago Cam and I ate lunch at Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam on the way home to Ballarat from our regular Melbourne family/friends visit. I had heard about Chillipadi from other bloggers and was curious to see what the hype was about.
This is my first (and possibly last) post on restaurants in Ballarat! At the beginning of the year Cam and I moved here for my uni course. The thought of living out of home in a friendly town was really exciting, until we got here.. Social isolation from friends and family (inc. all new uni friends commuting from Melbourne), terrible drivers, rude people, and a complete lack of good food! Sure, there are a few places in Ballarat that I’m sure are great – but honestly there is nothing here that you can’t find in Melbourne.. In your own suburb, even. This sounds a little harsh, and maybe if I didn’t have a love for foreign foods it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the fact that there is no Asian grocery here (the tiny shop with about 10 Asian ingredients in which you can get at the supermarket anyway does not count) says a lot. Anyway, I thought it was about time I be more positive and try out some of the local dining here in Ballarat, in particular one place which I had an interest in for a while. Food blogger Winnie from Biting Travels was in Ballarat so we decided to meet up and have lunch together. My first food blogger friend, yay! See here for her lovely version of this post!
The Turret, located in an old, charming building.
Being a Taste of Melbourne virgin, I felt it was an absolute necessity to attend this year… and not only once, but twice! Taste of Melbourne is a festival where restaurants and other food and alcohol producers exhibit their goodies! There are food demonstrations by some of Melbourne’s most renowned chefs, food and wine tastings by a range of producers, an abundance of exhibitors selling almost anything and everything food related, and not to mention copious amounts of free samples, yes people, I said FREE samples. Tickets range from $25 to $125, allowing entry into the event as well as additional perks such as VIP entry and access to the exclusive VIP lounge (if you’re willing to pay the extra, of course).
Cam and I had our two year anniversary recently, and while we celebrated early by taking a trip to Daylesford, we still wanted to do something on the actual evening of our anniversary. I had heard mixed reviews on Cafe de Kikaku, however their menu really intrigued me and seemed like a nice low-key place to go for dinner (not to mention just down the road from Cam’s work). Cafe de Kikaku is a pan-Asian restaurant located in a side street in Docklands.
I’ve been a bit
lazy busy with uni lately, thus the lack of posts, but I thought it was definitely time to write up this post! In my recent trip to Daylesford, Cam and I went to a local smoke-house in Musk called Istra Smallgoods. The smell upon entry of the place was just phenomenal, it took me back to my childhood days of being dragged along to continental butchers and the like! We bought a few things from Istra, some of their Salami (can’t remember the type, but it was the plain, non-spicy version), prosciutto, and raw chorizo sausages. I wish we had have bought more, but we were saving our money for other decadent things on our little holiday.
I frequent Grain Express when I’m craving a laksa, and don’t want to risk being disappointed by a mediocre dish. Yes, it is in a food court, but it’s in a food court at Box Hill. Enough said. Haha, but no, seriously, Grain Express does one of the best curry laksas I’ve had (and I’ve had more than a few). I recently enquired about what brand of paste they use for the soup, but was informed that the chef makes his own, this did not surprise me. When I look for a good curry laksa, I look for a few things..
A while ago now I visited Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street. I hadn’t been there in years, in fact not since I was a kid! Mum always used to take me there for lunch after we got our routine hair appointment across the road. Back in the day, Vegie Bar was located in a different position on Brunswick Street and they offered a slightly less sophisticated style of dining - albeit still classy for the majority of takeaway venues in that day and age. Instead of the standard menu and specials board they offer now, they had a simple bain-marie with only a few options for the day with the names and prices of the dishes written in chalk-pen on the glass. I was quite fond of their food, and I always opted for whatever eggplant and/or tofu dish they were serving (oh, and one of their lassis).
Anyway, I was quite surprised to see how the place had changed, both in location and style. The reason for all of this rambling about Vegie Bar is that I had a pizza there that day, and was really surprised and intrigued by it. It had a beetroot sauce on the base, with some greens and blue cheese for toppings. I made a mental note of the flavours and promised myself that I would recreate something similar at home. That is where this recipe came from! Please note that this is not the same pizza as the one I ate at Vegie Bar, it is simply inspired by it.
So enough of all that, here is the recipe!
This is a very basic recipe for beetroot pesto. It was my first attempt at making it, and I felt like something was missing, and that the flavours could have been a bit better encorporated and slightly less bitter. Nonetheless, it worked a treat for what I was making it for (see more recent posts haha). If anyone has any suggestions on what to add/subtract/change to make this better, feel free to comment below!
- 300g cooked, peeled beetroot
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 50g grated parmesan or pecorino
- Sea salt
- Pinch of sugar, to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Roughly chop the beetroot (be careful to chop it on a surface that won't stain!)
- Add the beetroot, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and salt into a blender and pulse until all ingredients have roughly been combined.
- Now add in the oil gradually, while continuing to blend the ingredients together.
- Taste the mixture, and if a little bitter (like mine was), add a pinch of sugar to taste.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge until needed :)