Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wagga Wagga Food and Wine Festival

I woke up this morning feeling very excited about the prospect of spending an afternoon by the Wollundry Lagoon. Today's the day, Wagga Wagga's very own Food and Wine Festival. This was my first time attending. I am also attending because I had wanted to blog about a local event. Wagga Wagga has been in the news recently, due to the major flooding and some of the proceeds from today will go to help the flood victims. 

The Wollundry Rotary Club was very kind to donate two tickets to my lucky food blog readers, they won free ticket to attend. This fundraising event is for a good cause, with most of the proceeds going to Micah House this year. Micah House is a care and support house for people in need whether through homelessness or loneliness. People who come may be in need of a good meal or a shower. The staff also offer pastoral care. The previous years recipients were Riverina Cancer Care, The Willans Hill Special school and Renal Dialysis Unit. So as you can see, it is a really fun event and great to see the Wagga community coming all out to support the fundraising. It started at midday, and will go on until 10pm tonight. When I left at 5pm, people were still coming in and I gave away my tokens. What was left of it anyway, it'll buy someone a beer.

How does this work? Well, an adult ticket is $15 dollars and you get a stubbie holder or a wine glass as you go in. I think there are family passes as well. I think I saw some children with different coloured wristband. And no, they don't get stubbie holders or wine glasses. Once you're in, you can wander off to the Beer and Wine Token stalls to purchase tokens for your alcoholic beverages. I bought five each ;) The food can be bought with real money. For a taste of a wine, it will cost you one token. So with 3 tokens, you can get a full glass of wine or for five beers tokens for a stubbie of beer, some can cost less if in plastic cup, or more pending beer brands. 

I went in search of my favourite Three Chefs Restaurant and had to buy a plate of chocolate spring rolls. The plate of four spring rolls costs me $7.00  Nom Nom Nom! Happiness!!

Wagga Thai House - it costs $5 for two sticks of chicken satay. There were several stalls that had samples for taste testing. I especially like truffle olive oil and spicy dukkah. It was my first time, I have never had truffles, ever! Not even during my flying days. It was so yum! At another stall, I thought that the kranski for $8.50 was a bit expensive, for a sausage in a bun. I didn't get that. It has veal and pork in it. I don't eat pork.

I was too full and had to give the Dutch pancakes a miss, Ladies, it looks so good! I would have exploded if I had tried to eat these Dutch pancakes as well, so much food, so little time. I had bought some Lebanese food from Nabiha's Kitchen and some chicken pastry stuff from Mario's Pastizzi. I love flaky pastries! Yes, I ate more than I drank ;) which is a good thing. 

As you can see, quite a lot of people at three in the afternoon, hanging out with family and friends, just enjoying the food, wine and listening to music. Isn't it nice when the vineyards comes to you? Love love the wines ever so much. The Australian Army Band from Blamey Barracks, Kapooka was there to provide some entertainment.

If you are interested in volunteering or being a sponsor or a stall holder for next year,
please visit for more info.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fishing Village Seafood Restaurant, Penang

When I was in Penang earlier this year, I asked my friend Karen to take us to a seafood joint. We discussed locations and sunsets and distances and "End of The World" and finally decided on Fishing Village Restaurant in Teluk Bahang.

It was only ten minutes up the road from where we were staying. We stayed at the Hard Rock Penang during our trip to Penang. That is an awesome hotel. Would love to go back there again.

So my friend Karen, who is a local by the way, took us all in her car. We listened to Kpop music as we drove to  the restaurant. Spotted another seafood restaurant "End of the World" along the way. I was most excited!! Seafood is my middle name!!! Get it? See food? Golly gosh, you guys are a tough crowd tonite!

So anyway, when we got there, I had to order the ampera juice that KC keeps talking about. It is also known as Kedondong. I don't remember it growing up. I do remember assam boi juice but not this, and after a couple of drinks later, still don't remember it.. but it was very refreshing though. But I was on the Tiger beer next  ;) heeheh..

Hahaha, can you tell from the menu that I am checking out the lobster? We ordered a dish of lobster but our main interest that night were crabs, lot of them.

Next came the claypot seafood noodles and green veges. I thought that the claypot noodles were a big let down, too much gravy, not enough seafood. Once again, too salty, I think someone is a bit heavy handed in the kitchen that night.  The lobster was a bit too salty to my liking, maybe too much butter in sauce?

So glad that we ordered the fried bee hoon, it was kind of plain, not spicy as it had claimed but it took away the salty taste. Where is that beer? God bless Tiger beer ;)

Apologies for this bad and blurry shot, probably got the shakes from too much salt...bahhahahaha. ;) Okay, all was not lost as the evening progressed. Our serving of crabs was spectacular and it was delicious! I love the black pepper crab more than the other chinese spiced/curried version. We also ordered deep fried soft shelled crabs. Mmmmmm very tasty!

So, as you can see, it all ended well, a big thanks to our foodie guide Karen for such a wonderful dinner outing and the Kpop sing along. Okay, here the secret, if you had gone to the other touristy trap restaurant, you would have paid doubled. This place is a local favourite haunt because of it's reasonable prices and affordable for a family to dine out.

The seafood is fresh, the clay pot noodle might have been a missed, but there were several other dishes that were a hit. Give it a try. Hope you have enjoyed the food porn.

Fishing Village Restaurant 
765 MK 2 Teluk Bahang 
(Jalan Teluk Awak) 
11050 Penang

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pandan Cake

This recipe was kindly brought to you by Christine from

Pandan Chiffon Cake
This cottony soft cake, with its subtle fragrance of pandan leaves and coconut, won’t let you down. I added a few drops of pandan essence so the cake is in light green. If you want a totally natural pandan cake, just skip the pandan essence. Your cake would look a bit light yellowish, not bright green though.
Prepare an ungreased 20cm (8 inch) round tube pan (removable base preferred)

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Yield: 8 serves

Ingredients of batter:
5 egg yolks
20 gm caster sugar
100 gm cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 ml coconut milk
2 Tbsp pandan juice (see below for making pandan juice)
a few drops pandan essence/pandan paste, optional
3 Tbsp olive oil
Ingredients of egg whites:
5 egg whites
60 gm caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Ingredients of pandan juice:
10 pandan leaves, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 170C (338F).
Beat the egg yolks with a balloon whisk and mix in 20 grams of sugar. Add coconut milk, pandan juice, and a few drops of pandan paste (if desired). Combine well.
Sift in cake flour and baking powder in three batches into the egg yolk mixture. Mix well. Lastly, add olive oil. Set aside.
Use a large clean bowl, making sure there’s no water or oil in it. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar. After mixing well, add the 60 grams of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Spoon out 1/3 of the beaten egg whites and fold into the egg mixture. Lightly fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites with a spatula, until just combined.
Pour into the cake pan and bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. After baking the first 15 minutes, if you find your cake gets browning, reduce heat to 150C(302F), continue to bake until cooked through. A needle comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Remove cake from the oven. invert the pan immediately. Allow it to cool completely.

To make pandan juice:
Chop pandan leaves into chunks, pop in a food processor and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Process to small pieces.
Place pandan leaves in a muslin bag and squeeze out the juice. You need about 2 tablespoons of it to make this cake. If you don’t have a muslin bag, just use your clean hand to squeeze out the juice.
Source: Pandan Chiffon Cake [Christine's Recipes]


To note: I also found out that we do not have cake flour in Australia.
So, we need to do our own mixes, info can be found here:

TIPS: For recipe measurement conversions:

2 tablespoons [Australian = 8 teaspoons] of cornflour* placed in a measuring cup and covered with enough plain flour [all-purpose flour] to make up the full measuring cup [1 cup in total]
1 cup cake flour substitute

* either wheaten or maize cornflour can also be used.

2 tablespoons [Australian = 8 teaspoons] of custard powder placed in a measuring cup and covered with enough plain flour [all-purpose flour] to make up the full measuring cup [1 cup in total]
EQUALS 1 cup cake flour substitute

Custard Powder is either based on maize or wheaten cornflour: tweaked during manufacture to produce a pre-mix powder.

TRIVIA: [totally irrelevant}
Custard powder was invented by a man for his wife who was allergic to eggs - the major ingredient of custard.

Corn in cornflour refers to the fact that corns are the grains, kernels or seeds of cereal crops such as wheat, rye, barley, and maize. Subsequently, Australian cornflour can be either maize or wheaten in origin.

pandan cake

And there you have it....NOM NOM NOM

Happy St Pat's Day all ;)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pearl City Chinese Restaurant

Today we bid farewell to another member who is going over to greener pastures, to Canberra! We gathered at the local Returned Services League aka RSL in town to celebrate and farewell Mick.

The Chinese meals here at the RSL was not the best, but it wasn't the worst either. I can think of lots of other places in Wagga that served terrible Chinese meals, so I can't complain. Meh!! Just drooled, daydreaming of  a ten course wedding banquet... you should see some of the wedding dishes in Chinese restaurants in the big cities, the presentation and the dishes itself are to die for. I need to gatecrash a Chinese wedding banquet soon!

Meanwhile, back to my story, for a $8.00 lunch special, you get a hot meal served in a "I no complain" as Con the fruit seller would say on TV....Sounds good to me. I had the honey chicken with fried rice, yes, it's boring old stuff I know but I was craving something sweet. I don't mind it, I think it's edible, not like some places with old rehashed fried rice. The deep fried chicken in batter covered in honey sauce tasted freshly cooked. That's always a win. And after lunch, we can play a little pokies and drink beers all afternoon. Humph!!! By the way, I lost ten bucks... Tony said to me, "it was not lost Jackie, it's in the pokie machine"... such a wise man he is! Sigh!

Pearl City is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinners, for eat in or takeaway. Lunch specials are $8 from 12 - 2pm daily.

Our lunch specials, I did not get carried away snapping everyone's meals this time, there were twenty of us.. hehehe... you can't take me anywhere....
RSL Front -photo courtesy of RSL Wagga Wagga
Oh yeah, and before I forget, Wagga RSL now have rooms, the motel side is on the other side of building. I have not seen the insides of rooms so I can't tell you if it's good or bad, but it is fairly new building and so rooms should be clean and decent looking. A courtesy bus is also available for members to and from club.

This is not an advertorial for RSL Wagga and I paid for my own lunch and drinks. Cheers!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chicken Stirfry with Black Fungus

It was one of those days when you had to go shopping even though you don't want to because it has not stopped raining for four days and you really don't have any food left and you think you are going die from starvation or something......but hey, guessed what? I found black fungus in the supermarket and I haven't had that for ages.. like forever!

So today's dinner just had to be a chicken stirfry with black fungus!

Sigh, when will this rain stop? On the plus side, my grass is green..the furkids don't like the rain. Oh well. I have both of them snuggling, under the table now, keeping my foot warm while I write this blog.

Okay, let's begin, this is a very simple dish, anyone can cook it.


1 bunch of baby Buk Choy
1 punnet of black fungus
2 chicken breast meat, skinless and boneless
2 Tablespoon of vege oil
2 Tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 teaspoon of soy sauce
20 ml of water
Chopped baby chillies - optional.

  • Cut the buk choy to separate the leaves and the stem. Wash it and drain. Be sure to get the dirt off the stem.
  • Cut chicken breast to slices.
  • Heat up your wok to high heat.
  • Heat the oil in to the wok and brown the slices of chicken meat. Turn over and ensure meat is cooked.
  • Add the buk choy stem to the wok and stir fry the stem first. We do this because they take longer to cook than the leaves.
  • Add the leafy green next.
  • Add the fungus and toss it around the wok. Mixed it in with the chicken and buk choy.
  • Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce into the wok. Stifry on high heat very quickly and turn off heat. 
  • Add 20 ml of water, if too dry.
  • Served on plate with Jasmine rice.
Do not overcook Buk Choy, we don't want a sad limpy green. A little bit of crunch never hurt anybody. It's good for you ;)
From wok to plate; should be ten minutes tops.

See what I mean? Delicious!
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