the classroom take 2

so recently one of my good guy friends started going out with the sweetest girl i’ve met ^_^ as schweet as marshymellowy spread ^_^”  the boys decided they wanted to try the classroom.  I’ve been there before and the drinks were fantastic, the food could of been an improvement, but hey, I love trying places again, especially when I think they’re totally worth a second chance to amaze-balls me.

By the way a disclaimer, I promised the newbie sweethearts (kekekekeke) that I wouldn’t post any pics of them on my facebook, but hey, I never said anything about my blog ^_^

Anyways, back to The Classroom, we had the following:

From left to right: The Classroom's bucket of Kentucky goodness Hand-cut shaker chips Lightly cured Atlantic Salmon 8hr Bourbon Beef Short ribs I forgot the last dish >_<

From left to right:
The Classroom’s bucket of Kentucky goodness ($19)
Hand-cut shaker chips ($7)
Lightly cured Atlantic Salmon ($17)
8hr Bourbon Beef Short ribs ($19)
Scattered Potato Salad (to accompany the salmon)

Can I say, they definitely redeemed themselves😀  The dishes were amazing!  The Atlantic Salmon was the most exciting.  It definitely was lightly-cure and the flavors weren’t overpowering.  When you cut into the salmon, it was like butter😀  So goodddd…..

Another highlight were the finger-licking bucket of kentucky goodness.  They definitely can give KFC a run for their money.   The short ribs were accompanied with pineapple instead of roast pumpkin like my previous visit.  Still just as yummilicious😛  And not trying to be asian or anything, but I just realised the price of the short ribs went from $32 to $19😀 FTW😀😀

 

So in conclusion, The Classroom is definitely a revisit.  And the Superstar Waffles too ^_^  just for their S’more waffles and “the guy”😀

 

xoxo

♥ cupcakerist

A Long Hiatus

It’s amazing how life can take a hold of you.  Last year I graduated, got a job and started working.  A year and a bit later I’m still working and yet that is all I seem to be doing! And now we’re approaching the end of the year!  I went into the city on Sunday and was amazed that Christmas decorations are already on sale.  I’m not quite sure whether I’m amazed or shocked.

Anyways, this past year besides becoming a workaholic, I have been baking.  Not as much as I use to.  I was hit by the macaron bug at one stage and it seemed that was all I baked.  Lately though it’s been about trying out new places in Perth and revamping/reviving my blog to a foodie blog🙂  Hence why I want to talk about The Classroom.

I have fond memories of primary school.  I was the little asian kid that always sat in the front row, never said anything and had “the bowl” haircut.  Gradually as my schooling progressed it went from front row to middle row then occasionally back row.  But The Classroom in North Perth brought back memories of school.  From their alcoholic lockers to their little table and chairs, everything about The Classroom was reminiscent of primary school.  The front of their menu which is in an exercise book details the rules about behaviour and respecting each other and so on and so forth.  Then comes the fun part, picking out the cocktail.  They have an interesting list of cocktails, each with a detailed history or science behind it.  They have revamped old ones and put a “scientific” twist to it.

For example, my LN2 Espresso Martini was made the old school way, but the twist to it was they poured liquid nitrogen into my martini giving it an ice cream top and finishing it off with cream and chocolate shavings.  It was strong like an espresso but just right.  My second favorite cocktail by far.  My friend had the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, which when I tried, had a nice ginger taste to it.  I’m not a big fan of ginger, but this was like a sweet ginger.  So drinks wise, for creativity and taste was top marks, a HD😀

Clockwise from top: LN2 Espresso Martini ($22), Bad Apple ($18), Dark ‘n’ Stormy ($18)

On the other hand, the food was a hit and miss.  Whilst waiting for our other friends, my photogenic chickadee and I ordered a beetroot capaccio with grilled haloumi, asparagus and chestnuts ($15).  It was nice, fresh and simple.  We were like wow, this is nice.  Then our other friends joined and we shared the 10hr Bourbon Beef short ribs with maple roasted pumpkin and broad bean pesto ($32).  The meat was literally falling off the bone.  Miss Photogenic Chickadee was so happy, we once had a bad experience with beef short ribs, the chefs at The Classroom really did justice to these ribs.  They were sweet, but not too sweet, and the pumpkin was soft and sweet and it was really a perfect combination.  The downside was, there wasn’t enough!  Everyone really enjoyed the ribs.  At this point we were like, Yeah! the drinks are great, the food is great!  But then came the downfall.  During the course of the night we noticed other patrons ordering these round friend balls.  I thought they were drumsticks =_=’  But they were Zucchini fritters with a cucumber and feta whip ($14).  Presentation wise, it was amazing.  Taste wise, not so amazing.  Unfortunately the fritters lacked any sort of flavor and texture.  The cucumber and feta whip, I didn’t understand.  My friend told me it was a foam, which made me even more confused because then I just associated it with the Foam Burst Body Wash :S  It had no flavor either.  So the whole dish was quite flavorless.  My friend mentioned if it had some bacon bits in it to give it some flavor and texture and maybe change the whip, it might have been a great dish.  Hence food for us was a D, the only saving grace was those beef short ribs.

By the end of the night, it was pretty happening at The Classroom.  I noticed some dressed quite retro with those over the top shoulder pad blazers and short skirts and bright colored suits.  Overall, it wasn’t too bad.  Maybe I could’ve tried some more of those dishes.  But for drinks, the cocktails are worth a shot
The Classroom on Urbanspoon

xoxo

♥ cupcakerist

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day!!

 

Hope everyone’s Australia Day was as enjoyable as mine!  Although I did spend most of it under the air conditioning unit.  It was 40 degrees!!  I hope not many people took a sickie on Friday😛

We celebrated Australia Day up in the hill’s at a friend’s place.  They had just moved up there and the view is spectacular!!  Their house is pretty amazing as well.  It reminds me of a country home that I would see in the UK countryside.

Sunset and the City

Beautiful Sunset

Beautiful Sunset

 

Although at first it was hot and humid, it started drizzling, then from a drizzle it was pouring down like cats and dogs with thunder and lightning!  Talk about an unforgettable  Australia Day😛

Australia Day is on the 4th day of Chinese New Year celebrations and as celebrations go, we had yee sang … again … I think this is my 4th yee sang.  Four yee sangs in four days!  That must be a record for me.  For the record, the past 4 days I haven’t felt hungry at all!  Just full…24 hours, every single day…this is what Chinese New Year does to me >.<  Anyhow, as I was saying, we had yee sang and accompanying that yee sang is the many dishes of food that I got to sample.

Tossing the Yee Sang

By 8pm, it was still raining and the city was covered in rain and fog from where I was looking.  I soon discovered that down there it hadn’t really rained at all =_= and here we were thinking the fireworks might’ve been cancelled haha

Although I couldn’t see the fireworks well, I still had a pretty awesome lightning show.  Some of the lightning was pretty close and spectacular.  Standing out in the rain with an umbrella not only attracted lightning but mosquitoes as well.  I have at least 15 mosquito bites on my legs.  Not fun at all =_=

Lightning over the City

All in all, it was a pretty fun day, despite the weather, it was an unforgettable Australia day🙂

xoxo

♥ cupcakerist

Cream restaurant

The first time I visited Cream restaurant was about a couple of years ago for a dinner with a couple of girlfriends. I was quite amazed with the restaurant because I had never been to such a cool restaurant before. Let’s just say at that time I was only 21 and it was my first dining experience with friends ^_^ Since then nothing much has changed apart from the food and the chef. The decor is pretty much the same with a couple of booths at the back to make it seem more private and shaggy carpet on the walls. I’m sure it’s not really shaggy carpet, but it felt like purple shaggy carpet to me hehehe UPDATE: it isn’t purple shaggy carpet, but black and red faux fur. Dim lighting really does play with your eyes!

The decor isn’t too bad, the down side is it’s a dimly lit restaurant. I don’t mind dimly restaurants if it’s not too dark. But this restaurant was dimly lit and the lighting was red as well, so most of my photos were taken with flash. If it was without flash, everything would look red >_<. The lighting reminded me of a restaurant I went to a couple weeks ago. It was so dimly lit that you relied of the candle that was in front of you to see your menu! The table next to me was worse, they actually asked the waitress for a torch, which she did provide, in order to read their menus!!

So we ordered our drinks and I ordered a Berrioska ($16) which was ultimately a caprioska with a berry twist. Let’s just say by the end of the night I was drinking more vodka than berry. Maybe I should have stuck to my safe mojito, but then again I might have been drinking more rum than mint! It was a nice drink, but maybe a bit too heavy on the vodka.

Berrioska ($16)

We ordered some warm New Norcia French sticks ($10.50) to start off with. This was accompanied with the classic olive oil and balsamic vinegar, marinated olives, homemade cognac pâté and onion confit ($5.50). I like my pâté in small doses. This pâté was creamy and smooth and just downright wonderful. I could have finished the whole bowl, but I had to share with 2 other people. The onion confit was like an onion jam, sweet and soft and full of flavor. The bread was Delish. It felt like it was just out of the oven. The outside was crusty but the inside was warm ands soft, just the way I like my bread.

New Norcia French sticks ($10.50) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, marinated olives, homemade cognac pâté and onion confit ($5.50)

Homemade Cognac Pâté

If you haven’t noticed, the pâté has a layer of butter on top. This is to keep the pâté from oxidizing and discoloring when it is kept in the fridge.

While we were waiting for our mains to arrive there was a dinner party happening in front of us. It was quite fascinating to watch as it was hosted by one person for his many friends and they looked like they were having such a jolly time. One funny thing I noticed that after each course the person that had originally sat on a chair with a yellow post it note had to move 2 spaces to their left. I think it was to keep conversation flowing and to let everyone mingle with each other, which was quite ingenious of the host. I must remember that when I host a dinner party haha

So our mains had arrived. My mum ordered the Slow Roasted Breast of Free Range Chicken​, Pan Fried Mushroom Risotto & Truffle Jus ($36.50). It was nice, nothing overly special. The chicken was tender and the risotto was just nice, not on the gluggy side which you can sometimes get. What I was left wondering was if there was any truffle jus. There was definitely some jus there but I couldn’t taste any truffles. It was an ok dish, although rather bland in presentation. Everything was a shade of white or brown :S

Slow Roasted Breast of Free Range Chicken , Pan Fried Mushroom Risotto & Truffle Jus ($36.50)

My dad’s dish was the Barbecued Cutlets of Arabic Spiced Lamb, Roast Vegetable Couscous, Crispy Eggplant & Wild Fig Jus ($38.50). I managed to try a slice and the lamb was quite succulent. Being a fan of lamb I think my dad quite enjoyed his dish.

Barbecued Cutlets of Arabic Spiced Lamb, Roast Vegetable Couscous, Crispy Eggplant & Wild Fig Jus ($38.50)

My dish was Crispy Roasted Lean Pork Belly, Strudel of Pan Caramelised Apple, Leek & Goat’s Feta, & Green Apple Balsamic ($37.50). I was surprised with my dish. My pork came out as a triangle! The skin looked crispy, but when I did tuck into it, was I utterly devastated. It was the opposite of crispy, and it was chewy as well😦. The pork was cooked nicely, but the skin let it down. I was also left wondering where the leek and goat’s feta was. I could taste the balsamic vinegar, but to say that it was a green apple balsamic may be a bit of an overstatement.

Crispy Roasted Lean Pork Belly, Strudel of Pan Caramelised Apple, Leek & Goat’s Feta, & Green Apple Balsamic ($37.50)

The strudel of pan caramelized apples was ok. It tasted like a strudel without the sugar and cream. The apples were a bit tad on the sour side but it was ok. The skin though…sigh…if only it was crispy.

Inside the apple strudel

So far, the evening was like a roller coaster. The high was the New Norcia bread and pâté, the low was the not-so-crispy pork skin. We decided to stay for dessert as if was heavily raining outside so we thought we would wait it out. We ordered a Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce and Vanilla Chantilly cream ($16.50) to share. The sticky date was moist and warm with the not too sweet butterscotch sauce to accompany it. I have unsuccessfully tried to make vanilla Chantilly cream before. But this was just right. It wasn’t too heavy on the mascapone cream and it was light. It suited well to the dish. Some light to balance out the heaviness of the dessert.

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce and Vanilla Chantilly cream ($16.50)

I must say that at the end of the night it was a mixed bag of emotion. Unfortunately for me, by the time we were to leave the vodka was not reacting nicely with my food and causing all sorts of distress. I will be visiting Cream again, but maybe not for another year or so.

Highs: New Norcia bread, the homemade cognac pâté and the sticky date pudding dessert
Lows: not so crispy pork skin, the too much vodka berrioska
Decor: 3/5, it could use a bit of updating and lighting
Service: 4/5, prompt and efficient despite having to serve the dinner party as well. There was only one waitress on that night and she was pretty good considering the circumstances
Food: 3/5 the highs gave it an extra point
Price: $$$$$, it’s not a place you would go every week, it’s like a “special occasions” kind of restaurant
Overall experience: 3/5, it wasn’t terribly good, but it was terribly bad either, just average

Cream Restaurant on Urbanspoon

xoxo

♥ cupcakerist

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Happy Hari Raya

On the weekend my family and I went to a family friend’s place for Hari Raya. Hari Raya is like the Muslim version of Chinese New Year. My understanding of it is it celebrates the end of Ramadan. Now Ramadan is a month of fasting, so they fast from dawn to dusk. I think it can get a bit extreme to the point where they don’t swallow their saliva or other things as well. I remember one of my university friends did the month of Ramadan because he is Muslim and he had conjunctivitis and was exempted from Ramadan because he had to take medication for it. Nice piece of info I have in my head😛

Anyways, we went to our family friend’s place for an open house. Which kinda means that they open their house whole day for their friends to come and celebrate. I think last year we went I made chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream shaped as roses. This year, because I have mastered my macarons, I made macarons for them instead ^_^ I think I have a borderline obsession with macarons. This week for instance if my blood count is high ie I’m not too tired from work, I will try to make macarons for the Mooncake festival which is next week, according to my mum🙂 I can tell you another interesting story about the Mooncake festival. It is actually my favorite story of all time🙂 but I’ll leave that for another post🙂


So I decided this time to make pink macarons to differentiate the difference between the 4 flavors I was making. I had coffee buttercream, salted caramel, chocolate and strawberry. The coffee buttercream and salted caramel were in white macarons with the salted caramel having salted on the shells. And the chocolate and strawberry had pink shells with the chocolate one having chocolate drizzles on the shells😛 does that make sense?


I love their house, it’s very resort like and their kitchen is AMAZING and their fireplace is pretty awesome as well😛 the food wasn’t too bad, I’m not a big fan of curry, after living in Australia for most of my life my spice tolerance is extremely low, but I do like my wasabi😛. Their curry were in massive pots, it could feed 100+!!! I wonder how many people visited them!

Unfortunately, I think my stomach did not like the curry and the next morning I was suffering from what I now call it a “hangover without alcohol”😦 Not great at all and I was so dehydrated all I had for the whole day was lemonade with hot water and salt😦 At least I was well enough by nightfall to be ready for work the next day…yippee??

Anyways, this week my puppy is having a friend staying over for a couple of weeks. His name is Toby and he’s a sheep puppy. Not a sheepdog like a collie, but a dog that’s looks like a sheep and when he was younger made noises like a lamb as well :s I’m sure Bailey will enjoy his company🙂


xoxo
heart cupcakerist

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Louis Baxter

Louis Baxter

Louis (pronounced Lou-ee) Baxter is a small little cafe opened recently by Eamon Sullivan (the Australian Swimmer) and his business partner Laki Baker.  The food is simple and the coffee is to die for ^_^ And the interior of the cafe is welcoming and the painting on the wall is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G hehehe.  I went there with my parents to celebrate my birthday.  I wasn’t really planning on doing anything this year, but trying out a new cafe didn’t sound too bad😛

So we each ordered something different and had coffee as well.  Their coffee beans are Campos Coffee which is according to them a “coffee epiphany”.  To my dad, it was a coffee epiphany😛  He loves his long black strong and they gave it to him strong😛  On the other hand the coffee was a bit too strong for my liking.  Maybe I should have ordered a flat white, more milk might weaken the coffee strength😛  But all the same it wasn’t too bad after a couple of sugars😛

From top, clockwise: 12 hour Crispy pork belly slide with fennel and apple slaw; Slow roasted lamb sandwich with caramelised onion and chimichurri; Chocolate and Strawberry macarons; Poached chicken baguette with avocado, tomato, danish fetta and salad

The food on the other hand was quite nice.  Never got to try the pork slider as my mum didn’t leave me any to try😦  But my poached chicken was cooked to perfection.  Unfortunately they didn’t have a baguette so I had it as a sandwich and it was just as yummy.  I love how they come on wooden boards.  Quite nifty I think ^_^  The roasted lamb sandwich was just as nice.  I love toasted sandwich when you bite into them they have an instant crunch and the insides are soft and yummy ^_^

The macarons on the other hand are a different matter.  I think I’ve tried so many macarons that I’m quite finicky with the taste.  You don’t want macarons that when you bite into it all you taste is sweetness and unfortunately the strawberry macaron was like that.  I don’t think I tasted any strawberry flavor in there.  Whereas the chocolate macaron was extremely chocolatey.  It reminded me of leftover chocolate mixture I use to lick from the bowl after baking a chocolate cake😛

Overall I enjoyed the lunch.  It was quite yummy and I would definitely visit them again with friends ^_^  On a side note, check out my birthday present ^_^  Now I don’t have an excuse to be late anymore😛

Tissot Classic

Louis Baxters on Urbanspoon

 

xoxo

♥ cupcakerist

Birthday Macarons

Macarons

For my birthday, instead of baking a cake a bringing it to work, I decided to make some macarons instead ^_^  Macarons and I have a good working relationship😛  I am patient in measuring out the ingredients to the tee and mixing it well and patiently waiting for it to “dry” and it will bake me yummy macarons without fail ^_^  Although, that night I decided to try which level of the oven worked best, whether to do 2 trays or a single one and for long long and at what temperature.  So my first few batches were, let’s say, disastrous.  But once I figured out a rhythm to it, there was a 100% success rate ^_^  No half risen macarons or bubbling macarons or macarons with funny lumps on the top :S

The Process

As promised, I have two new flavors.  My current flavors that I always have are the coffee buttercream and the new salty caramel that has been out for a couple of weeks. I find that they are my addiction.  I could eat the caramel all day long!! It’s like a tequila shot.  Not that I can drink tequila all day long, unless I want to suffer from ascites or cirrhosis.  But the whole salt, shot then lemon/lime.  But for a caramel shot its caramel, salt and macaron.  I just usually go for the caramel and salt, no macaron ^_^

Flavors of Macarons

Anyways, my 2 new flavors are strawberry ganache, dark chocolate ganache and vanilla chantilly cream.  Ok, that’s 3 flavors.  I already have a chocolate buttercream filling, but the dark chocolate ganache is seriously dark.  Like 70% dark chocolate, and with a macaron it’s like eating chocolate but the macaron provides a bit of sweetness to the chocolate which is REALLY dark.  I like dark chocolate, but not THAT dark.  Although I think the doctors  liked it.  It fits into the whole “dark look” they go for.  Doctors eating dark chocolate macarons in a dark room hahahah.

The vanilla chantilly cream is still a work in progress.  It can get a bit watery or soft, so I think I need to experiment a bit with that one, although my colleagues did mention it was like vanilla custard.  To me, it was too soft.  I always find macarons need a thick filling.  Not too thick that it’s hard, but like “sludgy” hahahaha

The strawberry ganache is tangy.  I like the strawberry flavor.  It’s not too sweet, but has a lovely flavor of strawberry which I pureed and then sieved, because I don’t want seeds in my ganache.  The chocolate and strawberry ganache fillings were sandwiched in between chocolate macarons whereas the salty caramel and vanilla chantilly cream were with vanilla macarons.

All in all, I was pretty happy with my new flavors and discovering what works best for my oven and for me.  I think that night I made about 100 filled macarons.  I must admit, by the end of the night, I smelled like a macaron, which to me is a sweet sugar smell, so I’m not quite sure whether that was a good thing, because it was like sickly sweet smell :S

Rows and Rows of Macarons

xoxo

♥ cupcakerist