Ombretta: Sail into Sardinia (wine degustation)

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Ciao and Happy Tuesday!

I love to try different wines & food of various Italian regions. My “around the corner” trattoria Ombretta on Glebe Point Road is a favourite loved by locals in the Glebe and Inner west area. Every month this little hidden Italian diamond hosts a regional food & wine degustation night, presenting a spread of about 5 courses – including dessert (note that the menu changes regions each month as whole). Throughout October we are in the region of Sardinia. Located on the west of Italy, this island has developed it’s own dialect/language, culture and cuisine. On the coast of Sardinia the fresh seafood tends to be the main attraction, whereas inland the focus is more on goat, lamb and pork.

Now let me take you on the journey of scenic Sardinia’s cuisine …Salsicetta Sarda e Pecorino Fresco: cured Sardinian Salami with fresh Pecorino cheese served with a Mini Mirto Martini.
The Mirto Martini was a perfect aperitivo (before dinner drink) that had a slight bitter yet sweet aftertaste, pairing up with the crumbly pecorino cheese & authentic salami. Pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese has a very unique taste and a strong scent – this particular Sardinian variation was quite aged with bite. The typical Sardinian salami was a little oily with a firm texture. The pane carasau crackers (which is actually a really thin crispy bread that’s been flattened), mini cured meat & cheese platter was enough to salivate my mouth palate and made me ready for the delectable degustation …
Lasagne Pane Carasau: Sardinian flat bread lasagne with goat ragu served with Lava Falanghina white wine (2010, Beneventano – Campania).
Pane Carasau is a type of flat bread that’s like a cracker. The layers of the lasagne type “sheets” were first boiled so that it was nice and soft – this entire dish was really  a”melt in your mouth” experience. Now that goat ragu – we gotta talk about that … The meat is so tender and has a strong taste (similar to lamb but next level) and as you cut lasagne with your fork, the mouthfuls of everything is just a wave of wonderful … The paired wine with this dish was a delicate white with light acidity.
Fregola con vongole e bottarga: Sardinian granular pasta with clams and sun dried mullet roe served with Valdifalco Vermentino white wine (2014, Maremma – Toscana).
Such a simplistic dish with the multi-colored pasta (reminded me of rice) had tiny infused bursts of seafood broth flavouring, alongside with the slight hints of the dried mullet roe. The clams were cooked to perfection and the dish as a whole meshed so well, rounding off with a fruity white fragrant wine.
Porceddu con il Mirto: Suckling pig roasted with Myrtle Jus w/red cabbage, pistachio and caramelised apple served with:
• Famille Quiot ‘Les Genarelles’ Ventoux Rouge red wine (2014, Rhone – France) AND
• Pirramima ‘Gilded Lilly’ red wine (2012, Grenache)

Crunchy Pork Crackling – have I got your attention?! … This suckling pig has been roasted so that it’s juicy on the inside whilst maintaining that golden brown crunchy skin … Using the back of my knife I can hear the light “tap-tap” followed by the sound of me biting into the crackly, slightly fatty goodness. The vegetable side was absolutely delicious – the cabbage had a nice fresh crunch and balanced well with the pistachios and the sweetness of the caramelised apple … Pork and apple are a classic match. Both of the matching red wines were just as incredible and had very different qualities – for those who like a more lighter/medium bodied wine (Ventoux Rouge) and more heavy bodied & rich (Grenache).
Sebadas: Pecorino sardo, ricotta and orange zest sweet fried ravioli served with Panorama wines Natasha’s Aromatic dessert wine (2008, Huon Valley – Tasmania).
Dessert … When I spotted this on the degustation menu, I can’t lie and must admit that it was the dish I was looking forward to the most. The ravioli had a beautiful, golden, buttery fried pastry – encased with a exquisite filling of dancing flavours from the melted pecorino, ricotta & orange zest – and a draping of icing sugar … My only complaint: I had to share this plate with my boyfriend! To complement, the dessert wine was not too tart & quite delicate – just enough sweetness to match the complex dish.Anyways readers – the next Ombretta blog post will be the region of Puglia … And keep your eyes out for Charlotte Olympia heaven … A cuisine visit to Ischia (Italy) … And a Swedish degustation at Norsk Dor in Sydney!

J ❤️

355 Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW 2037



Heavenly Haven tailors your needs …


Happy Long NSW Weekend readers … Another MONTH has been & gone (NOOOO) and let the new one roll in with daylight savings YEY!

What have I been up to?! … Shopping and eating no doubt … On the Instagram rummage for foodie finds … This place I recently tried out was spotted on Instagram but also a recommendation from my sister.

Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously in Surry Hills is located at the back of Central Stn Sydney … The spacious, cool & nautical feel of the place alludes a hip and chilled mood. It’s the place where you turn up for an all day feed & coffee fix at your own leisure … No need to rush. This is every coffee lovers dream – unfortunately this is not for me however I can always try out other tasty delights …
img_2476I started my morning brunch with an iced tea – sweet & refreshing (sorry readers I couldn’t quite recall what the concoction was) and my boyfriend enjoy his morning coffee: a long black with extra aftertaste. The coffee here is apparently the standout served with dried currents.img_2479Next … Here arrives the food! …
Signature Pork Belly Kimcheese Burger: roasted pork belly, kimchi, cheedar cheese, apple, spinach, sesame omelette, radish on a milk bun and garnished with coriander. Milk bun burgers are the BEST – the bread is not too bready & soft … And this burger is packed with multi layered flavours. An asian fusion … from the tenderly cooked pork belly … the packed kimchi punch … freshly grated radish & sprigs of coriander … melted cheese … interesting sesame omelette. Such a WOW dish and the burger has to be split up because there is no way you can top this together without the filling spilling out! It just drips in flavours …img_2480img_2481Fried Chicken: deep fried chicken thigh & drumsticks, sweet potato & quinoa salad, avocado & spinach puree, spicy devil sauce and house baked corn chips. The fried chicken golden crust on the outside was very unique whilst leaving the chicken cooked well (not oily so it doesn’t feeling heavy) alongside with the crunch of the corn chips … The salad adds a freshness alongside with the smooth puree & sprigs of coriander. Only comment would be that the sauce could have been much spicier – you can never have enough heat!img_2482Lastly the signature foodie choice on the menu is the –
“Egg Waffle Series” (authentic Hong Kong recipe)  … “An egg waffle is a spherical egg-based waffle popular in Hong Kong and Macau and is an eggy leavened batter cooked between two plates of semi-spherical cells.” Incredibly tasty when it’s freshly cooked and in this case we tried:
Sexy Me: black sesame ice-cream mochi, black sesame sauce, sesame chips, vanilla bean ice-cream, lemon zest, mint & plain waffle.
This was soooo incredible and I want to try them all … The melting ice-cream on the hot waffle that’s so eggy & delicious … Black sesame everything (very delicate in taste) and I loved the mochi (Japanese type glutinous rice cake) and rounded off with the sesame sauce.
img_2483Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously is HEAVENLY experience and a MUST TRY. For the coffee lovers out there … For the curious eats … For the chilled & cool vibe … Note – best to book on the weekends otherwise there will be a wait especially around brunch time.
img_2486Stay tuned for the next blog post readers and have a fantastic evening!

J❤ xo

Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously
30-34 Chalmers St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone: (02) 9281 9300

Cat & Mouse Game with Kate Spade


Hello Readers and hope everyone has had a great weekend so far!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post about shopping & fashion … This is a not-so-secret obsession of mine and it brings me as much fulfilment as food.

Kate Spade has been my ultimate favourite for a long time – from wallets, to dresses to handbags & shoes – OH MY! In particular: shoes – if I could eat shoes I probably would, but more delightfully would love to place ever work of art on display … I love shoes for their interesting shapes … I love shoes for their fresh leather scent … I love shoes for the way they make me feel … Walking in style brings a zest of excitement – but to clarify, I am also more than happy to chill in my Kmart slippers at the end of the day.Cat Vs Mouse – who will win?! … I LOVE cats (aka. crazy cat lady) so for me this was a must have … When I saw that Kate Spade released “cat” & “mouse” flats, 2 things came to mind:

1. Which one do I choose?

2. Would it be terrible if I bought them both?

Shopbop has been my shopping app haven for as long as I can remember. I tend to ride shopping waves and it happen to be that day I couldn’t decide and bought both pairs … These shoes are rolled in with a splash of art! … All about the cute detailing – simple flats … Kate “Spade” animal noses, whiskers, suede faces, white cat paws & a gold toe-cap cheese! The best things about flat shoes is that they are simple, comfy and easy to match … Cuteness factor turned up! … Photos to satisfy the visual hunger!Anyways readers please stay tuned – more food to keep you freaking out for more!

Jen ❤️ xo

The Tiny Giant’s Big Brunch


Hello to all my readers Australia-wide & beyond! Hope your bellies are filled with deliciousness treats & here we have finally arrived to the Sydney Spring Season! As the weather warms up we feel a little bit more motivated to pry ourselves out of bed for the most important weekend meal: brunch.

I love finding new places in Sydney to try and to the relief of my boyfriend I have been recruiting new “partners-in-foodie-crime” which includes my beautiful sister (and I admit that dragged my boyfriend here too haha). We have decided on a new mini tradition of trying a new place once a month … Trawling all over Instagram we came across Petersham’s The Tiny Giant.
The little corner nook of heaven is simple, eclectic, rustic & cool. As I probably have mentioned in previous posts, I am allergic to coffee (sigh) but the aroma fills my senses as I walk in and take note of the cronuts in the far back window.
img_1809img_1802The menu is concise and I immediately am drawn to the “Something Sweet” option Famous Brioche Toast: served with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, maple syrup, figs, cinnamon ricotta & topped with fairy floss and a side of aged prosciutto … Now this pretty piece of heaven has the height and heart of a harmonious dish. The brioche is soft and airy & partners well with the lightly whipped cinnamon ricotta … Then you have dabble of various fruit pieces that add a boost of freshness … Finalise this amazement with a perfect pyramid of melt-in-your-mouth fairy floss. I really enjoyed taking small elements from the dish & pilling them on my fork for the “full favour hit” … I added the prosciutto as I am a sucker when it comes to Italian cured meat – the saltiness from this balanced out all the sweetness – however, I could have easily done without.
img_1817Savouring savoury dishes & keeping up with the prosciutto theme, I recently tried out … Pea Smash Parmesan: sourdough toast, burrata cheese, aged prosciutto, basil pesto, parmesan crisp & micro mint. This dish is so creative, complex & captivating! If you want “Something More” this is the dish for you … Building a foundation with toasted sourdough that’s laying on top of the fresh pesto … The big ball of burrata cheese oozing all over … The parmesan crisp as a standing ovation … A perfect pour of peas & the cascading prosciutto pieces. A lavish & generous portion of this dish is a fulfilling feast on the eyes and tummy. It’s an adapted Italian festival of flavours – with the classic match of burrata cheese & prosciutto … distinct taste of the delicate parmesan crisp & the freshness of peas, mint & basil pesto.img_1837Feeling like a burger bun?! Want “Something More” but of a decent, more manageable size portion? … Pulled Pork Bun: slow cooked pork on a brioche bun with fresh slaw, sweet chilli, aioli, confit onion jam & kumara crisps. This dish is of standard size & very amazing … Well balanced and delicate in flavour, all ingredients mesh well without any particular component yelling out … The pork was tender & juicy, the slaw had a nice crisp freshness, the onion jam contributed a slight hint of sweetness – all enveloped in a light brioche bun. The kumara crisps were delicious & crunchy and the aioli had a good hinting of heat.img_1812img_1814Lastly – after trawling on Instagram I realised that the 2 options of “Something Sweet” look delightfully decadent and a MUST try … Famous Belgium Waffles: served with fresh banana, strawberries, blueberries, figs, maple syrup & persian pink fairy floss … For me this was another OMG moment as I tasted a continuous wave of wonderful mouthfuls. This dish felt a little heavier with the waffles & it was exactly the right amount for sharing with my boyfriend … Once again the waffles bite size pieces were enjoyed with various fruit pieces, a zing of toothsome maple syrup & the beautiful rose tasting fairy floss.I cannot wait to go back again to try more of their unique eats – Petersham is really growing in terms of the small “gems” of cafes. Next time I will need to try some of the appetising cronuts hidden in the back window by the counter. Good food is a fabulous combination where the tastebuds meet the eyes – both visually & deliciously pleasing and The Tiny Giant Petersham ticks all boxes.
img_1803The Tiny Giant
110 Audley St
Petersham NSW 2049
Ph: (02) 8065 4684

Anyways readers, thanks for dropping by again and hope you enjoyed this eye-pleasing post … More food and fashion are coming your way soon!

Have fabulous week!


Glebe Spanish Tapas tapped into my heart


Happy Wednesday everyone & hope my readers are well!

Now … I am channeling into my “foodie” mode and today I wanna mention a Tapas place in my local area of Glebe: Spanish Tapas. This place is rustic, chilled, casual & a local FAV in the area. For those suffering with Mondayitis, they have 1/2 price tapas with a Flamenco show in the evenings. This post is rich in photos and visuals so I will have my whimsical words but shall predominately let the foodie photos speak for themselves …What I really enjoy about tapas is that you can just try a lot of little bites that end up filling your tummy completely. They have recently added a woodfire oven for your Italian pizza fix! … Tapas is such an “easy fulfilling feeling” for a seafood, meat or vegetarian hunger.

No Tapas-fest feast isn’t one until you kick start with Sangria translated as “Bulls Blood.” This is a mixed drink containing a concoction of red wine, sparkling, fruit juice, chopped fruit such as orange & apple plus spices – and whatever else you want to thrown in! I always love Sangria as it’s refreshing & sweet with the dancing hint of red wine.Sashaying over to the food menu, after starting off with drinking Sangria for breakfast (it’s always a wise idea right?!) … I needed to order some carbs to weigh the floating morning vibes. Garlic Bread & Spicy Pizza Bread (white base, olive oil, chilli flakes and salt). Garlic bread is good but pretty standard – the shining star was indeed the mini-pizza! … Cooked in a woodfire oven, the dough was perfect in it’s Italian tradition: it was light, fluffy with a slight non-crunch. Simple ingredients is what my boyfriend always tells me … Because just a few can create a magical dance for your tastebuds.One of my foodie criteria is that the item of food to be eaten is breadcrumbed & deep fried … In this case, Croquetos de Champinon (mushroom croquettes) & Croquetos de Jamon
(ham croquettes). These little piping hot bites either contain flavourful mushroom filling or traditional Jamon Spanish Cured Ham. I always love to order these as the outside have a nice golden crunch (without being too oily) with have a heavenly creaminess inside.Huevos Rotos (poached egg built on thinly sliced fried potatoes and Spanish ham) … Meaning “broken eggs” this dish reminded me a lot of having breakfast with the freshness of the cherry tomatoes … Tastiness of the Spanish ham balanced out so perfectly and the crunch of those potatoes – they remind me of tiny fries & hash browns! … But one of the most important ‘must do’ with this dish is to break the egg so the yolk spill freely.CURED MEAT … I shall and never will be vegetarian sorry! … Jamon Serrano
(spanish curred ham) served with manchego cheese. I would never decline a board of cured meat & cheese … This is my ultimate choice – the saltiness & dry flavour of the ham co-mingle well with the creaminess of the soft cheese – it’s airy pockets, unique taste & subtle bite.Adding a dash of seafood to this mix … The Calamares Fritos (deep fried calamari) are light with a golden fried batter & some tangy side of aioli-mayonnaise sauce. Usually I am reluctant to order calamari as they are often chewy & stringy however this is soft, delicate & has a perfect bite.Alas de pollo al ajillo (chicken wings cooked in garlic and white wine sauce) – these golden glazed pollo have the juicy & tender chicken meat on the inside and the crunchy golden skin on the outside. Lastly on the savoury menu we finished with the Paella Valencia (a unique Spanish dish – rice, chicken & seafood). Paella is a rice dish originating from Valencia (Spain) & can have a mixture of different meats & veges. In this case very tasty seafood, some spices, peas & a squeeze on lemon. Cooked & served directly from the pan, the rice at the bottom has formed a rice crust with a slight crunch.img_1241-2DESSERT – yes please … Creme Brulee de Naranja (Orange Creme Brulee) and Flan
(Creme caramel) … Both desserts were very enjoyable & exactly as what you would expect. The Creme Brulee had a hinting of orange & the creme caramel had a smooth silky texture.img_1250img_1242Keep an eye out for the next blog post readers and hope you enjoyed this photo-filled imagery … Have a fab-end-of-week!

Spanish Tapas
26 Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW 2037
Phone: (02) 9571 9005


Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Part I and II


Hello Readers!

I thought a Monday post would be what is in order … One thing you may not know about me is that I love to read! Who doesn’t love a good book – a blogger who reads – who would have known?! I guess for me I must admit that I am really time poor … When do I find the time to blog, work fulltime, cook, clean, trawl on Instagram, fiddle with Snapchat, spend time with my fam/friends/significant other, shop, think about exercising (intention is better than no thought right?!) – all whilst continuing my love affair with Netflix.

Now … Harry Potter -2  familiar  & ground breaking words that makes me giddy with excitement! Just when we thought the story is over, it’s far from! 7 books later an 8th one is released based on the play collaborated with Jack Thorne (play writer), John Tiffany (director) & under the supervision of J.K Rowling.

Let’s set the scene – especially for the the Potter Fans out there … Harry is working at the Ministry of Magic & is married to Ginny Weasley whom he has 3 kids with: Lily, James & Albus Severus Potter (the black sheep) … Hermoine is married to Ron Weasley with a daughter called Rose (who is very much a mini-Hermoine) … Draco Malfoy was married (bless his late wife) and is essentially a single parent to Scorpius (rumoured child of “he who shall not be named – Voldemort”). Throughout the book there is an ongoing storyline of forbidden friendship between Scorpius & Albus – they are like “best bros” as it seems but the tables have somewhat turned with Scorpius being the more responsible wizard & Albus taking on a rebellious streak … The story takes you along both young wizards “the new generation” & their journey, perils & angst growing up & attending Hogwarts for a few years – this is fast tracked to where the juicy life events take place.Overall there is everything you want in a story – suspense and intrigue, smidge of romance, history, action and fun … If I was to be honest I can mention a few points …
The book is lacking the flourish & detailed flair that J.K Rowling had injected in all Harry Potter books – all due to the fact that it’s because this is a play script. If any fan knew this from the get go, then you should know what to expect or possibly not expect & just slightly adjust your expectations. For any die-hard Potter fans, the idea of a story “post” Voldemort’s final battle is very exciting and obviously Voldemort (predictably) must make a reappearance – surprise!!! … No book would also be without additional cameo appearances such as the late departed Professor Snape & Dumbledore plus many more. The addition of the “time turner” throws the story into a tailspin adjusting past events – very much like the Homer Simpson episode with his time turner “the trusty toaster” – all centralising around the preventing the death of Cedric Diggory (Triwizard Tournament) & how the “best bros” could reverse the past. The consequences are dire from seeing a world where Ron & Hermoine are not married to a world where Voldemort won the war. As for the Curse Child – everyone has their own opinions and at first thought I thought it was Albus but part of me feels as though it’s actually still Harry. That years later his scar haunting hurts once again … He revisits people from his past in dream form and that he is still damaged and lashes out wishing that Albus wasn’t his son (brutal). Harry is not going to win “father of the year.”

I read this in less than 1 day – as a play it’s such an easy read so as dialogue only with minimal description. This is targeting fans as with the lack of any descriptive detail, you are relying on the previous books & movies for visual reference – hence this is not suitable for a newbie. I actually enjoyed the time travelling references “flashbacks” (took me back in the previous books). There has been a lot of negative reception around this release but for myself, although it can lack the depth of “Potter” that I am use to, I already had an inkling of this AND a story extension fast tracked decades area was already a treat for me. It can’t have been an easy task to condense & convey these characters in such a short amount of time and limited wording. I am very aware of the flaws in this book but it’s best to take it on for what it is … Enjoy it for what it is – I’m not here to tell you it’s perfect or horrible … It’s a play script adapted into a book & if you feel like you have a shitty imagination, then you should probably stick in graphic novels.

Pronto Post: Marketplace @ QVB


Hi All!

Pronto post (quick, necessary & impulsive) is in order on this horrid rainy week … Hope all you Sydneysiders are staying dry! … One of the things that I love about Sydney are the little random food events that pop-up!

Thank god for my regular Broadsheet emails & social media as a whole … I recently found out that there is a “Marketplace” pop up in QVB building to warm up Sydneysiders – in their heart & bellies. Located on Level 1 in the QVB there is an open space hosting for a short period til Sunday 7th August.
img_0998As you walk through, the space is light & airy … Filled with mini foliage trees, hanging waterfalls of flowers, musical tunes & filled with the scent of food … The feel of the decor is vintage meets garden party + a pretty rustic style. This really pairs so well with the elegance & style of the QVB building. As you walk in, the large space has a feeling of airiness … Divided into 2 areas there is an open shared seating area … corner window nooks …  high tables stools … to long rustic tables suitable for casual meal settings. I love the electric colouring of the chairs that match (but don’t match if this makes sense) – there is a flittering of dark oaks, browns, fresh white, boosts of greens, wide arches and expansive windows which flood with an abundance of natural light.Now I know you want to know about FOOD … Let’s cut to the cheese here … Salt Meats Cheese. They are passionate about providing gourmet & fresh Italian food products & bites! The CHEESE was the ingredient that deserved the standing ovation … 3 CHEESES – melted cheese … Is your mouth watering already?! … I had the wintery warmer: Cheese & Mushroom Toastie: provolone, cheddar, mozzarella & truffled mushrooms. Simple food with simple flavours – melted Italian cheese (check!) and truffled mushrooms (check!) The mushrooms had enough hint of truffle & were bathed in the glorious melted cheese party. Speaking to my boyfriend, the combination of mushroom & truffle are the usual flavours of Autumn in Italy (during a slight cooler temperature) … Just like the weather here – after all, it’s not really THAT cold in comparison to other parts of the world throughout Winter. At this stand they had a small assortment of truffle products like pasta, oil & chips!Vanto was another stand in the amazing space … With a eye pleasing ladder of hanging cured meats, salami & produce – I had to make sure I didn’t launch myself and grab them all. Vanto had a cute little hot-food stand with arancini, pizza slices, croquettes, Italian fried mix of seafood and foccacia/piadina-bread filled delights! I have taken note of this place (yet to try & dine in) and had managed to try a few little samplings … Right next to this stand was the “bar” and I was curious to try the mulled wine however unfortunately none was available at that time *sad face*SWEET TREATS – who doesn’t love them right?! … COOKIES – I am the cookie monster. Give me buttery shortbread-type cookies any day & everyday for the rest of my life. Spoon & Fork is a cute little shop in the Inner West (suburb of Croydon) specialising in custom made cookies & cake – loads of creative cuteness! The cookies here are PERFECT – the ratio of cookie to hardened icing create a bite that teases the tongue – not an overload of sweetness but the right amount that the doctor has order.The QVB Marketplace has been a uplifting surprise on a very blah weather average week … You will surely find something that will attract your foodie senses like coffee, nuts, chocolate, bread, butter & so much more! … The event continues until Sunday 7th August on the 1st level (pretty much next to Vanto). Open from 10am til 4pm … CHECK IT OUT if you can, it’s truly a treat!img_0989Enjoy your weekend Sydneysiders, thanks for joining me on my fast-pronto-post and keep your eyes peeled for a Harry Potter book review …

J❤ xo

Peckish over pizza at Cavallino’s


Ciao Everyone!

One of my food passions is PIZZA … Who doesn’t love pizza?! Just to make it clear, I am not taking about Dominoes or Pizza Hut or Crust … This is real Italian pizza with the scent of woodfire-oven-cooking with melted mozzarella cheese. Recently I received quite possibly one of the best gifts – a pizza cooking class at Cavallino in Terrey Hills.Cavallino is a traditional Italian restaurant run by the same owners of Ventuno in Walsh Bay. The rustic decor is adorned by “cavalli” (horse) references from little horse hooks, paintings, horse statues, lamps, saddles … The warmth of the place is very inviting & dabbles in the modern theme as well. There is also a mouth-watering fridge filled with cured meats and salami, cheese & a trolley selection of Italian alcoholic spirits. img_0732Both owners (Lido & Roberto) are present at the Pizza Making class – and it’s led by chef Roberto for the step-by-step demonstration. As the class commences, we are taken on a journey explaining how pizza can vary from various regions and how the margarita pizza was inspired using the Italian flag colours of red (tomato), white (mozzarella) & green (basil). Seated in a small semi circle facing the adorned woodfire oven, the small class is intimate enough to feel like you are personally hanging out with good friends.

We are given a folder with all sorts of goodie recipes when it comes to making pizza dough, sauces, suggested toppings and oven tips. As pizza dough does need to be made in advance (for the yeast to go through the proofing process) Roberto had some ready-to-go to create a nice light & fluffy pizza base with a perfect pillow crust.

Commencing with the on hands approach, Roberto shows us the technique when creating the pizza base …  Using a prodding technique, push the dough out using your fingers ensuring that you leave a crust. Then place your pizza base on top of a mountain of flour and gently stretch out the pizza dough base with curved hands and a slight turning motion – making sure the base is not too thin & breaks (this happened on my first attempt hahaha). Add some tomato base sauce in the middle and spread it out in a circular motion,  making sure you stop just before the crust … Lastly finish off with the topping of your choice and in the demonstration with Roberto he went with simple mozzarella & tomato base with the first tasting sample … And the second sample was olive oil & salt – in Italian this is called “schiacciata” (literally means pressed – like a flat & crispy bread). Both of these were tastily fresh, hot & simple in flavour.img_0742img_0750After my fun attempt of topping my pizza with ham, mozzarella cheese, olives & mushrooms, my boyfriend & I both had the chance to learn the techniques or putting our creations in the woodfire oven … This included turning the pizza around to be evenly cooked and taking it out – which for me is ensuring that I don’t clumsily drop it on the floor! You can see the cheese melting & bubbling up in the oven and lavishly spreading it’s melted goodness all over. The delectable ham is from QLD (& apparently is as close to the quality of Italian ham) … There is no better satisfaction than cooking your own pizza & eating your own creation with a glass of wine. img_0752-2img_0854The class ends with a sweet dessert Nutella Pizza with strawberries & crushed white chocolate. So uncomplicated and so heavenly! Imagine a freshly cooked pizza base from the oven …  Nutella lightly spread all around the hot pizza base – because of this the Nutella has a slight melt … Crushed white chocolate is sprinkled all over … And then conclude with an afterpiece  of fresh strawberry chunks. As you take a bite, you experience the  melted Nutella goodness, sweet white chocolate bursts and fresh strawberries.As we say goodbye to Lido & Roberto we are all given a little goodie bag containing our aprons, jar of sauce, flour … I would highly recommend this class for any home chef and pizza lover! Both Lido & Roberto are friendly and have all the knowledge for any hungry pizza foodie … Classes take place once a month for about 2 hours usually on the second Saturday of each month:

Next time I plan to head over the Cavallino, I plan to dine in and enjoy the menu … In the meantime, keep an eye out for a mini-blog-post on Ventuno and many more delights! Til the next blog post, stay hungry & happy … thank you once again for reading & hope you enjoyed another visually pleasing post!Cavallino
Corner McCarrs Creek Road & Yulong Avenue
Phone 02 9450 1777


Terrifically Torta Tenerina – Chocolate Cake


Ciao Readers!

Being in the midst of a Sydney Winter – what does people take comfort in? … Well FOOD and specifically for me it’s cake – CHOCOLATE CAKE! I always love reading up and hearing about new sweets or foods to try … And I must admit that I am not the best baker *sigh* … I always longed to bake a chocolate cake or brownie of some sort. Instead I fail miserably …

One amazing day I came home to a “surprise” – as a slowly entered the apartment, the scent of dark chocolate enveloped my taste buds. My boyfriend had baked me a cake … Best surprise ever and that had made my day! This cake – has a tantalising layer of delicate broken cake crust on the top (like a brownie) and moist, soft and buttery dark gooey chocolate goodness on the inside – chocolate elegance.

Originating from Italy, the Torta Tenerina famously comes from the city of Ferrara in Emilia Romagna. Upon my first visit to this city, the ongoing dessert theme was this cake! … Served alone hot or cold, served with panna (cream) or even strawberries. Some takes on this cake were thinner and some were taller. The recipe remains the same but there can always be a slight tweak.

The history and original name of the Torta Tenerina was once called “Montenegrina” or “Queen of Montenegro cake” back in early the 20th century. This aristocrat food pampering refers to a lady whom this cake was once inspired by & named in honour. This sweet decadent dessert was named after the Queen of Montenegro: Elena Petrovich. Elena met Vittorio Emanuele III at the theatre “La Fenice” in Venice and it was love at first sight and soon after they were married on the 24th October 1896. Elena was known to be a spouse/wife with a “cuore tenero” (literally soft heart). Torta Tenerina was inspired by Elena – sweet with the soft centre.

I have baked this at all times of the day and even 1.30am after a night out haha …

Here are the ingredients & steps towards your chocolate Torta Tenerina cake heaven:

* 200 grams dark chocolate 70% cocoa
* 3 medium size eggs
* 120 grams unsalted butter
* 150g sugar
* 60g flour
* 3 tablespoons of milk
* icing sugar for dusting

1) Separate 3 eggs in 2 different bowls – egg whites & egg yolks.

2) In one bowl with the egg yolks add half the sugar and beat until it’s a pale yellow colour.

3) Add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and beat for a while until it forms fluffy meringue peaks.img_04534) Over a pot of simmering water, add a heatproof bowl or smaller pot – slowly melt the chocolate stirring gently.

5) Add cubes of the unsalted butter to the mix & stir in each piece to melt in. Once all pieces have been melted, allow to cool down for about 10-15 mins. In the interim you can preheat the oven to 180 degrees.img_04546) Add the cooled chocolate mix to the egg yolk mix and stir until combined.

7) Add the milk (I used almond milk) & flour and keep gently mixing.

8) Lastly gently fold in the egg white meringue peaks.

9) Pour into a baking tin that has been lined with baking paper & greased.img_045510) Cook for about 20 mins until a cracked crust has formed at the top surface. I find that it’s best to slightly undercook as it does set once it cools. This cake is so simple and delightfully decadent that usually only a light dusting of icing sugar is needed to finish off the look & taste – maybe some cream & berries if you want to inject fruit freshness.img_0702Anyway readers – thanks for tuning in once again and I hope this post inspires you to do some much necessary baking! … Coming up soon will be my Pizza Making Class – an incredibly tasty & salivating experience.

Enjoy the week and keep your eyes ready to the next visual eye-pleasing post.

Hello Hem Nine Nine Vietnamese Fun


Hi All and welcome back to “I am Very Busy.”

There are very many countries where the cuisine is traditional & so amazing that there would be no need to sample other cuisines of the world … But this is Sydney – city of multiculturalism.

I’m always about supporting local small & family type run businesses and “Hem Nine Nine” in Glebe is just another new fav of mine that recently opened earlier in the year. Hem Nine Nine is a spin off restaurant that propelled from the food truck … The cute, quaint, fun & charming bar/restaurant is now a local fav of mine. Seated in a cute nook on Glebe Point Road there is a cozy courtyard area, mini upstairs stool seating & some surrounding the entrance for a street view & conveniently located next to the bar. Just recently I found out that they do home delivery as well (amaze) …img_0354img_0365I’ve been a few times now and rave on about Hem Nine Nine foodie treats but in the meantime let me take you down my memorable food lane …

You know when you go to a place and they have a dish that is a MUST order and what you are addicted to?! Well this is Hem Nine Nine’s Crispy Netted Spring Rolls. Either filled with vegetable or seafood (I’ve had both) – the dish arrives presented in a cute basket set, one filled with a generous amount of spring rolls and the other with mint & lettuce leaves. You take a spring roll & wrap the mint & lettuce around, dip it in the sauce and take a bite. The cool & freshness of the leaves envelope & embrace with the crunch of the spring roll coating and the warm tasty filling is a wonderful balance of flavours. I could & have eaten a whole serving …Need a Winter Warming dish?! Well Hem Nine Nine have a great selection of PHO – sorry there are no photos of this & it will be Part II soon. But I did have a tasty Duck  & Mushroom Wonton Ravoli – it was actually not what I expected being in the broth but very tasty and hearty. The ravioli were very generously sized & soft.I am no stranger to trying different and unique dishes. Tasty dishes are often happen when you least expect it. Grilled Ox Tongue in XO – twice cooked Ox tongue marinated in spicy XO sauce & a squeeze of lime. This “special” dish is not chewy at all but more “melt in your mouth” tender bite, more-ish dish – it’s just not enough! Next are the Steamed Baos – soft, steamed bun, pickled cucumber and baby radish with the options of pork belly, crispy skin chicken, spicy tofu. Look at this Bao … You can already see how the bun looks – so soft & just airy. With just a few fresh ingredients sliced to perfection and a juicy helping of pork belly it’s the delightful dance or fresh vs mouthwatering mix.
Last but not least – alas there is no dessert as I already over ordered but I had one of the most prettiest dishes I’ve seen! Pork Chop Slider – fried lemongrass pork chop, pickled cucumber, lettuce and baby radish, chilli mayonnaise. Served on a crispy shallot mantou bun. WOW as a visual it’s just so colourful and eye pleasing. The pork chop is juicy, tender & flavoursome and chilli mayo has the right amount of tantalising heat! … Now to talk about that mantou bun – usually they are steamed in Chinese tradition but in this case it’s been crisped & fried with a crunch – yet still soft on the inside.Anyways readers, all this take about food is making me immensely hungry for this tasty Viet treat! I will actually be heading there this Saturday night so I’m sure I will be taking note of more delectable dishes … Sydneysiders – pls trek down to the Inner West & try Hem Nine Nine in Glebe! img_0352READERS: please stay tuned – there will be a chocolate cake post coming up and my adventures when doing a Woodfire Pizza Making Class!

Jen  <3

Hem Nine Nine
99 Glebe Point Road
Glebe NSW 2037