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Posts Tagged ‘Event’

Dining story, personal chef and cooking class services

I love the name because it is true, every dining has a story whether it is dining with friends, family, co-workers, it has a story. Whether you enjoy the food, the wine, the company, the reason behind the dining, there is a story.

I had the pleasure of meeting the chef and owner of Dining Story, Sachiko Marchand. Dining story is not only a personal chef service, but also a cooking lesson service at the comfort of your own home.

Sachiko found her passion for cooking from the age of three. She has worked all over the world, from Tokyo, to France, to Morocco and Sydney where she worked at both Le Pelican and No1, Tony Bilsons Restaurant. She has been to more than twenty countries to learn about food cultures and with all the experiences she has gained, she has formed Dining Story – where she would create and customise parities and dinners for customers tailored to their needs and conditions.

Tonight was a special cooking class. The menu can be found here and everything looked wonderful. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to learn so asked ‘The Mother’ and he liked the look of ‘French cooking class B advanced’ which is Quiche with spinach and bacon, ocean trout medium rare confit with warm salad with sage and lemon butter and millefeuille with cream patisseiere.


Sachiko arrived at our tiny apartment and demonstrated how to cook in my little kitchen. Not only does she demonstrate but she also encourages you to participate. I even managed to cut my thumb with her uber sharp knife which I fell in love with!

I won’t go into the details of step by step recipe and cooking as I would like to replicate it myself in the next coming weeks. However, a recipe will be given to you and Sachiko will go through step by step on how to make each dish. A couple of techniques and short cuts that she has picked up along the way which is helpful for an amateur chef like me.

We started with the quiche with spinach and bacon. She even taught me how to make my own pastry! Easier than you think so stay tuned as I will attempt to make this next week!


The pastry was flaky, thick and wonderful. The filling I loved, it was so delicious that it was hard to stop at just one slice.


I love confit ocean trout, anything confit and ocean trout really.


The ocean trout was incredible, it just melted in your mouth. It was delightful and doesn’t that look extremely professional? Let’s see if I can replicate this!


Dessert, millefeuille with cream patisserie was also easier to make than I thought.


Fluffy, crunchy pastry with creamy delicious custard was just epic! It tasted just as good as bought in a patisserie store.


Imagine serving up these dishes at your next dinner party? Dinner will never ever be the same again! Ooooh the HIGH expectations!


Home cooking classes goes for 2 hours, three dishes for 2 to 3 people at $120 per person. The more people the cheaper the cooking class. As for corporate events, Sachiko provides sushi demonstration and tasting, or sushi team building and or corporate lunches up to eight people. More details can be found on the website.

I can see this as a fun event for hens or birthday parties or event anniversary. Or even if you want to improve your culinary skills (like me!), then Sachiko is the person for you. She is incredibly talented, and friendly! Would not hesitate to call her for an event or another cooking class. Thanks again Sachiko, it was so lovely to meet you and hear about your experience. It is always overwhelming and inspiring to meet someone who are passionate about their job. Sachiko is truly passionate about cooking, it has somewhat inspired me to find what my ‘passion’ is – whatever that  maybe!

Dining Story

Sachiko Marchand

info@diningstory.com.au

Ph: +61 421 937 672

Categories: Cooking, Events, Recipe, Sydney Tags: , , ,

Truffle degustation, Cibo e Vino, Castle Hill

Truffle – ‘the fruiting body of an underground mushroom’. There are many different types of truffles, white, black, Chinese, summer or burgundy and many more. I love truffles and when my dear friend IW and owner of Cibo e Vino said they were doing a tribute to truffle evening I couldn’t resist. How can I say no to a night of truffles? The team at Cibo had sourced their stash of ‘black gold’ Perigord truffles from Majimup, Western Australia.


A not so local, Cibo e Vino serves Modern Italian restaurant in the heart of Castle Hill. It certainly has been a while since my last visit, last year I attended their spring menu and that was superb.

Two truffle-mania, C and DC attended the feast with me. Started with mushroom cappuccino with truffles with brioche and house-made truffle butter – YUM! Delicious and creamy mushroom with a rather generous serving of truffle.

I love brioche, it was toasted and rich and smothered with truffle butter – oh my – sinful but yet delish!


Next, the slow cooked egg with black truffles.

The slow egg cooked egg which sat on a mountain of salt, and again topped with truffle. Eggs and truffle – perfect combo!

I was a little hesitant about the tartare of NZ scampi with smoked mullet roe and mixed salad with truffle dressing. I am not usually a huge fan of raw scampi but I was pleasantly surprised and this turned out to be the highlight of the evening, for myself and the diners.

The scampi was magnificently fresh and I love the smoked mullet roe (more of it would have been good though!) and the mixed salad with truffle dressing a wonderful complement.

No hesitation there – gone! I could have easily eaten another serving… or two! Thanks to the Chef, Shiman Wu for giving me some to take home!

Linguine with confit of pork neck and shaved truffles. Generous serving of tender, juicy pork which has been ‘shredded’ and topped with shaved truffles. It was oh so truffle-y and oh so delicious!

I was getting really full by this stage, didn’t finish the all the linguine but as IW said ‘you ate all the important stuff’ – yes the pork and the truffle!

Palate cleanser – watermelon and blood orange granita. Refreshing, however, I couldn’t taste any of the blood orange.


Last of the savoury, poached beef fillet with foie gras, truffles and truffle mash. Extremely pink and tender, I noticed both C and DC savoured the best bit of foie gras, I on the other hand ate it first! The truffle mash – OMG – melt in your mouth fantastic!

Dessert, rice pudding with truffles which sat on a bed of biscuits crumbs. I am still undecided about this dessert. C loved it, he said it ‘tastes like ice cream the more you eat it’. DC said it was too truffle-y, and I have to somewhat agree with him.


Don’t get me wrong, it was deliciously creamy, and truffle-y and different in a good way, but I don’t know if I would order it if seen on the menu. The crumbs I loved and complemented the rice pudding well.

Overall, it was a wonderful evening with friends, who share the same passion for truffles as much as I do. The degustation costs $110 pp for six courses and $160pp if you wanted matching wines.

Below, a couple of photos that are on their menu. Uncle took the photos a while back and no doubt his pictures looks absolutely fantastic! I (and two other hungry girls!) had the pleasure of tasting it.

The crab cake with a  salad of onions and baby herbs ($18) – one of the nicest crab cakes I have had.

The market fish with fennel and pomegranate salad and herbed breadcrumbs ($31).

Parpadelle with wild mushroom ragu ($26), a favourite of ours, different types of mushroom, el dante parpadelle – YUM!


I never really had a ‘good’ brussel sprouts until I had it at Cibo. Now I won’t hesitate to make it at home or order it at the restaurant. Brussel sprouts with bacon ($7). If you like squid ink linguine, then Cibo has one of the nicest squid ink linguine with prawns, calamari and scallops ($29).


Their shoe string fries with herbs, parmesan and chili ($7) is my favourite.

Unfortunately they have taken the beef short rib off the menu and replaced it with beef cheeks, but this was ONE UNBELIEVABLE red wine braised Riverina beef short ribs with mash and gremolata ($31). So GOOD!

Mash potatoes ($7) – creamy and oh so delicious.

Cibo would definitely be a ‘local’ for me if I didn’t live so far away. However, still manage to go a few times a year as the food is tremendous! Sorry DC – I know I got us lost a couple of times. If you haven’t been, definitely a must! Excellent Modern Italian cuisine, both IW and Chef really do put effort and soul into it! Service super friendly and definitely worth the trek!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Cibo e Vino

301 Old Northern Road

Castle Hill 2154

Ph: +61 2 8002 0912

Cibo E Vino on Urbanspoon

Malaysian Kitchen, Private Dining

Malaysian Kitchen Australia is part of a global marketing campaign to promote Malaysian cuisine. They had their first campaign in Sydney in February, where Malaysia Kitchen was set up in the narrow alley behind the State Theatre. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to go but it did look like a fun event!

Adam Liaw is the ambassador for the Malaysian Kitchen in Australia and I was fortunate enough to take part of this special occasion thank to S (theheartoffood) for asking me to be his plus one and of course Annabel from Ogilvy PR.

As most of you know, the Good Food and Wine Show is currently on in Sydney and will be until Sunday 3rd July which is held in the convention centre in Darling Harbour. The Malaysian Kitchen has a stand and if you have yet to go, check it out, you might see both Adam Liaw and Alvin Quah doing some cooking demonstrations.

It was a private dinner, seven people including Adam and Annabel. The ‘private’ dining area was set up just behind the Malaysian Kitchen stand. It was like a fish tank, people peering to see the action and we got the odd ‘oh it’s Adam’ and girls shrieking and asking for a photo. However, despite that, it was quite intimate and we got up, close and personal with Adam himself. We (especially me) were all keen to hear what life was like before and after Masterchef. It was interesting to hear what life was or would be like in the Masterchef household and of course what Adam is doing right now. He has a couple of projects coming up so very keen to see how it all pans out!

Thanks to Aidan Gan at Kaki Lima, Kensington for the wonderful dishes! All the entree, main and dessert was especially made by her and trust me, everything on the menu sounds divine!

Aidan would explain each dish that was served, and Adam would then elaborate. If we had questions on how to make it or what is in each dish, he was more than happy to share.

To start with, we had the chicken curry puffs and prawn fritters (udang bakwan).

I am a huge fan of prawn fritters so this was a win win for me. Crispy and thin batter with juicy prawns, it was wonderful – not too oily and not too fatty. The chicken curry puffs was another favourite of mine, succulent bite size chicken pieces and eaten with chili was excellent. A great way to start.

The mains, started with beef rendang (spiced beef in coconut) and a side of roti canai. The beef rendang was good but I think the beef could have been a little more tender. It was a little sweeter than normal I thought and wasn’t as coconut-y as I had expected but still quite tasty! (Secretly though, I still like Mum’s will have to get the recipe of her I think!)

The roti canai – excellent! This is what ALL roti canai should look and taste like! It was thick, fluffy, moist and we all couldn’t help but use our hands, rip it apart and dip in the rendang… ah, how I love good roti canai! A visit to Malaysia is definitely in order.

Acar Jelata (Malay tangy pickle salad) I loved! It is a tangy, pickle-like salad consisting of cucumber, pineapple, spiced up with a touch of red chili and a hint of red onion. It was deliciously fresh, refreshing and I love the spice and tang! Definitely one of the nicest acar jelata I have had in a long time!

The ayam masak merah (fried chicken with tangy, sweet and spicy sauce) reminds me very much of my holidays in Malaysia as either our friends, or relatives would make this. I love the sweet, tangy and spice sauce. The chicken again could have been more tender but still very good.

It was served with tomato rice which had sultanas, and nuts and was oh so very yummy! The perfect combination, red chicken and red tomato rice.

Now dessert – when Aidan brought the plate out – it was one of the most colourful dish I have ever seen! Different types of luscious dessert placed before us – I wanted one of each but I KNEW my eyes were bigger than my stomach!

Baked tapioca cake – this is Mum’s favourite and the tapioca (the yellow looking one), the steamed sticky rice pudding with pandan custard (seri muka), I didn’t have as I was full but wished that I had brought some home.

The layered cake (kueh lapis) is a favourite of mine, like a child, I peeled each layer off and eat them separately! The baked pandan cake with sesame seeds was deliciously rich and had a strong pandan flavour.

We learnt a great deal about Malaysian food, the different types and ingredients. It is very close to Indonesian food and very close to my heart! Quite similar in fact and I realise how much I have to learn from Mum in terms of cooking these dishes.

Thanks again S (truly appreciate it!) and of course Adam, Annabel and Aidan for the private dining. Truly had a wonderful time and loved the food!

Gastronomous Anonymous dined as a guest thanks to Ogilvy PR and Malaysian Kitchen Australia. 

[TOYS] Collective #5: Ballz Deep at Ms G, Potts Point

I have wanted to go to [TOYS] collective event for a while now. I missed their previous events for various reasons, but I was determined to go to the next one. It was held at Ms G’s, the theme was ‘Ballz Deep’ which as Dan described ‘something the chefs can all relate too’. It’s a degustation showcasing the talents of four of the upcoming hot young chefs in Sydney. It costs $120 per head which includes matching alcohol with each course.

I went with the gym enthusiast, S. My dear friend, M was also there with her friends. Unfortunately we didn’t get to sit together. Once seated, we were presented with a cocktail each, created by Charlie Anisbury – he made 100 individual cocktails – I don’t think I even know 100 cocktails! Mine was the ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ – vodka, orange juice galliano and it was refreshingly delicious and light that it went down quickly and nicely.

S on the other hand had ‘Planter’s Punch’ – dark rum, lemon, sugar, angostura bitters. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one unfortunately, only because I don’t like rum!

We started with four different canapes, the first being deep-fried prawn balls, yuzu mayo by Dan Hong himself. This was absolutely delicious – pop in your mouth size, the prawn balls were crunchy on the outside and soft moist on the inside and the yuzu mayo was deliciously creamy and wonderful. I could have easily eaten half a dozen of this.

Next, banh mi of tete de porc, kim chi by Jowett Yu. Similar to the banh mi at Ms G, this was probably my favourite amongst the canapes. Served on a soft fluffy bun, the pork was crunchy and moist and the kimchi was subtle but wonderful. It was scrumptiously good!

Lamb’s balls, shiso pistou by Thomas Lim was nice but probably my least favourite. It was bite size thankfully, and I popped it in my mouth. I didn’t realise at the time, but upon biting, the lamb-y flavour burst into my mouth. It didn’t last long, as it was tiny but the shio pistou was a wonderful complement.

Lastly, steamed pork bun, miso, apple by Nic Wong reminded me so much of the Chinese dish that I love – pork with man tao. Tender, succulent shredded pork served with ‘soft bun, the apple inside was a nice crunchy surprise’. It was magnificient. Each bite was better than the next and the next thing I knew, I was eye-ing S’s pork bun!

Now the shared mains, first course was by Dan Hong entitled deep sea balls – sashimi salad of scallop, fish, tapioca, trout roe, crispy rice and finger lime matched with bishonen junmai ginjo shu sake. This was the dish of the night for me. Fresh sashimi, octobus, scallop, fish with different types of ‘balls’ – ocean trout, tapioca, and crispy rice. I love the subtle spiciness and the crunchy crispy rice balls and as M said ‘such perfect combination of flavours and textures. AMAZEBALLS’.

Jowett Yu combination balls soup – ‘balls’ of scallop, prawn, fish, pork broth served with ramen was probably my least favourite. The flavours didn’t work at all and the ‘balls’ were nice and moist but it really didn’t appeal to me. It was served with 2008 Dveri Pax ‘sivi pinot’ which I didn’t have as I am alergic to white wine (yes weird I know!).

110% Woman by Thomas Lim – chicken breast, oyster and seaweed. The inspiration came from his girlfriend. I know a couple of people didn’t enjoy this dish, they thought the chicken was tasteless and undercooked. The people around M’s table had to use Sriracha sauce to give it some taste. She could see what he was trying to do but it just didn’t work. I thought the chicken was soft and succulent, I enjoyed it and I love the combination of the red cabbage, mushroom and white fungus. Served with 2010 Foster e Roco Sangiovese Rose, Heath cote – Victoria – not my favourite but it did complement the dish.

Lastly, beam’n bone by Nic Wong – smoked pork ribs, chili, bourbon, pickled green tomato. The ribs were tender and had a strong smokey flavour which I loved. I noticed no one used cutlery – they were ‘seriously yummy and the smokiness and stickiness worked perfectly with the watermelon balls’. Two small ribs were defintiely not enough! I wanted more but was getting full by this stage.

The salad I loved. Pickled green tomatoes which was wonderful along with sweet ‘ball’ size watermelon. It was served with macs ‘Sassy Red’ Bitter, Nelson New Zealand.

Before our desserts came, we were presented with iced coffee. Even the iced coffee had a ‘ballz’ theme – PEARLS!!!! It was ridicolously sweet – so sweet that I had to pour water in it and even then it was still too sweet! The pearls were a nice surprise though – bit chewy and hard but a pleasant surprise.

To end, Great balls of fire (and ice) by Bernard Chu and Yen Yee – fried chestnut ice cream, salted egg yolk, liquorice and sour plum was one of the nicest deep fried ice cream I have had. I love good fried ice cream and this exceeded expectation.

The thin crunchy exterior oozed with ice cream and in the middle, a wonderful delight – salted egg yolk and WOW! EPIC! I loved it! I think this was a winner and the perfect way to end the delicious meal.

I am not sure if I liked the liquorice though, it reminded me too much of pi pa gao(Chinese cough medicine)! It seemed as though they have just poured it into a bowl – I was definitely not a fan! But the sour plum was incredibly sour and absolutely wonderful. M on the other hand though LOVED the liquoirce but then again, she loves the cough medicine!

Overall, it was a fun evening, S and I sat together but M who sat on the communial table got to meet new people. It was fun talking to the chefs and meeting their girlfriends, wives and others invovled in [TOYS] collective.

M thought it was a bit weird that they didn’t or couldn’t do anything about her prawn allergy – even if its an extra serving of something else to make for it, given it’s a set menu. She couldn’t eat any of the deep fried prawn ball – which was a shame, and the combination balls soup but don’t think she was missing out there.

I found out later on that each course had its respective music selected by the chef. I did enjoy the music – lots of different types of genre, some I even swayed and dance too!

Overall, it was a wonderful evening, though the delay between the dishes was a tad long. Especailly between the canapes and the shared main. It was still a fun night though and looks forward to the next one. Thanks to the chef and to Mel for a wonderful evening!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

[TOYS] Collective

Ms G’s

155 Victoria Street,

Potts Point, Sydney NSW

Sydney Food Blogger Christmas Picnic

It was the 2nd Annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic (now that’s a mouthful!) last Saturday. It was my first food bloggers event and I was a little hesitant but was also eager to meet and greet fellow bloggers and to put a face behind all the food blogs that I read.

Unfortunately I was running late, I had breakfast with ‘The Mother’ which was a rookie error! I went for a long run in the morning prior to the picnic and was absolutely ravenous and couldn’t wait till lunch time. I probably ‘should’ have eaten something light, I didn’t expect that there would be SO MUCH scrumptious food at the picnic. Then my Mum came over, with her martabak pan, to teach me how to make martabak manis, which is Indonesian thick pancakes!

The event took place at Centennial Park, and it was a perfect day for it. Being directionally challenged, I was a tad lost, but all I had to do was look for a group of people with lots of cameras, and of course, lots of delicious looking food, and rightly so, I found them! It was a sunny day with a light breeze, and lots of food bloggers! 50 plus people, most with intimidating cameras that made my ‘point and shoot’ quite pathetic!

Check out all the incredible food.

As I was quite late, I didn’t get to taste possibly one of the tastiest and most snapped up dish that day – Billy’s (A Table for Two) ribs! GOD DAMN IT! I didn’t even see what they looked like, as I only saw an empty baking dish! *sigh*. The problem with arriving late!

One blogger, whom I met but forgot the name – SORRY! Made this amazing tower of macaroons! Watch out Adriano Zumbo! I can’t believe the amount of time and effort put into this, she said it took her a good couple of days! Well done! I am not a massive fan of macaroons but couldn’t help but try one of these, and it was good, seriously good! Not as sweet as those from Adriano Zumbo and didn’t have weird flavours – yes, I like plain simple macaroons!

I was full but did manage to try a couple of things, mainly sweets though! I love these melting moments – lemony tangy flavour which just melted in your mouth! It would have gone down so nicely with coffee!

I love the Christmas theme desserts, check out these cute Santa made from Strawberries – it was cleverly done and absolutely awesome! Big juicy strawberries with cream – who doesn’t like strawberries?

And these Santa and little elf cupcakes – I didn’t have any of these, but probably should have taken one home.

These orange, pistachio and cardamom cupcakes were absolutely delightful! That I believe was the last sweet thing I ate at the picnic.

Mental note for next time, do not eat before hand, so many mouth-watering dishes, and I only had a handful of things.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of photos of the food, I was eager to meet and greet with fellow bloggers. I noticed there were fried white chocolate wontons, yup that’s right, fried white chocolate wontons! Keftedes, greek beef meatballs which were yummy, and chicken rolls cut into halves which was also awesome.

After we stood around eating and mingling, we all relocated to our picnic rugs. It’s not a picnic without some sort of games. Helen organised a food blogger Olympics! There were three games, first being a race to see who can pick up all the soy beans with a chopstick and put them in the other bowl first.

Second, blind fold taste test – it was pretty easy, and they all got it right.

Lastly, ‘plating and food styling’ challenge where you had to use whatever food was leftover and creatively plate it up. Then you had to take a photo of it, and posted it on twitter.

Everyone who attended the picnic had to bring a present, buy something food related and quirky for a total amount of $10. We all got a number, and when your number was called out, you could either pick a present from the centre of the rug or steal someone else’s.

Being last to pick a present is probably best, you can ‘steal’ them from others. The most wanted gift was these ninja bread cutters, they were seriously awesome!

I wanted them, but I got my present really early, started with these ice cube makers but was stolen, and ended up with these bacon drink tabs, bacon gum balls and Mr bacon – ‘bendable and lots of fun wherever fun is needed’. Haven’t tried them yet, but I am sure I will blog about it.

Thanks Helen (Grab your fork) and Suze (ChocolateSuze) for organising, had heaps of fun and it was finally great to have met you both! I look forward to seeing you guys next time!

My contribution was Chocolate and Cheese Martabak manis, also known as thick pancakes – unfortunately you had to eat them hot, if cold, it does get a little stringy. My ultimate must have Indonesian snacks when I go back. My mother learnt how to make them on her last visit to Perth and it has been the best thing ever! Mum even bought the pan for it! Brilliant!

Ingredients:

250 gram all purpose flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
150 gram granulated sugar
375 cc warm coconut milk
2 eggs
¼ tsp. baking soda

Filling Ingredients:
Sesame seeds
Granulated Sugar
Chocolate Sprinkler
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Condensed Milk

Instructions:

  • Pour in the yeast into the warm coconut milk, stir until well mixed and foamed up, set aside.
  • Mix flour and sugar, then pour in the eggs in the middle of the batter. Keep stirring the mixture until all ingredients are well dissolved. Then put in the baking soda and stir the mixture again until well mixed. Set it aside in a room temperature for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat up the non-stick pan that has been smeared with butter/margarine. Pour the mixture in and let it cook until the surface dried up and the outer layer become crispy brown.
  • Remove the thick crepe and put on a cutting board.
  • Pour granulated sugar on the crepes as well as the condensed milk. Up to your liking, you can pour grated cheese, chocolate sprinkler or sesame seeds on the crepe. You can also combine the filling.
  • Fold the crepe in to two then cut the crepe into 10-12 pieces.

And I had a tiny piece prior to going – no wonder I was STUFFED! It was good though, chocolaty, cheese, and oh so sinful!

I didn’t get to meet everyone, but for those that I did – it was great to have finally met you – finally a face behind all the blogs! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and happy eating! It is the silly seasons after all – lots of food, lots of alcohol and lots of catching up with family and friends!

Half baked, Stoner degustation, Darlinghurst

I first heard of this through a friend. She thought I would enjoy it, but she herself couldn’t make it. The description didn’t really say much, I have heard of the chefs and have eaten at their restaurants, Dan Hong (Lotus), Thomas Lim (Duke), Mitch Orr (Duke). I love Lotus, especially THE CHEESEBURGER and also love Duke for its CHICKEN WINGS.

Here is the a little blurb about the ‘stoner’ degustation “If it’s deep fried, filled with cheese, dipped in cream or covered in chocolate you’ll be able to find it on the menu, with courses so inspired and over the top that even the most chronic, dutchie induced munchies will be satisfied! Smokers who want to get their drink on too will be able to, with The Dude’s cocktail of choice, a White Russian, free flowing all night plus a few other beverage options. Expect to hear a non stop mix of smoke anthems on the jukebox just to get your mind right. Anyone who’s ever dreamed of a STONER DEGUSTATION should stop dreaming and buy a ticket now!”

The event took place at Duke, which is becoming a favourite and local of mine. The chicken wings are finger licking good – better and ‘healthier’ than KFC. The drinks are awesome, and well, who doesn’t like chicken wings?

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it will deep fried, cheese type, cream and chocolate – hopefully not all mixed together, but I knew I was in for a treat. A ‘Stoner Degustation’ and it was just that, mind blowing and a ‘stoner’!

I went with a dear friend, S, whom I haven’t seen for such a long time. M was there too, and we sat next to each other which was tres cool. As soon as we sat down, we were presented with ‘arizona stoner punch – mint, gin and peach ice tea’. You could definitely taste the gin, it wasn’t strong, it was refreshing and absolutely delicious. Best part, it was refillable! After the day I had today at work, I couldn’t help but drink the first glass fast! Like water it went down quickly, smoothly and absolutely nicely!

First, chip and sambos and it was just that! Two loaves of bread with spread and a bowl of potato chips. Sounds weird? Don’t knock it until you try it.

The potato chips, thin and crispy.

The bread was warm, and had some sort of cheese spread, it was creamy, cheesy and topped with potato chips it was crunchy and burst into all sorts of crunchiness and creaminess. It reminded of something my brother used to eat when he was young, burger rings with rice – its surprisingly good!

Next corn flake milkshake with deep fried corn and bacon pancake – obviously not both together. The corn flake milkshake was weird, it was pretty much just milk with corn flakes, like something you would eat for breakfast. I was definitely not a fan.

The deep fried corn and bacon pancake on the other hand reminded me a little of jagung goreng, corn fritters, and something I grew up with. The corn and bacon pancake was crunchy, and I love the sweetness from the corn (although I don’t think they put enough corn) and the saltiness from the bacon.

Cheese, bacon, sauerkraut spring rolls with butterscotch mayo – you heard that right – BUTTERSCOTCH MAYO! Three words, OH MY GOD!

The spring rolls were cheesy and stringy.The bacon and sauerkraut gave it that extra flavouring. M’s comment ‘Who would’ve have thought bacon, cheese and sauerkraut would go so well together’ – exactly! The butterscotch mayo was just to die for! M wanted to marry it, because it was so fricking good! If she was ‘half-baked’ she would have walked home and licked the damn thing out of its container! Butterscotch mayo – you had me at butterscotch!

Deep fried pickles with ranch. I’m not a massive fan of pickles, I am one of those people that would take out the pickles in burgers, however, this was surprisingly good. Lightly battered, then deep fried, the sourness was a ‘kick’. Dipped in ranch dressing, it was heavenly! Wasn’t my favourite but it was interesting to say the least. S seemed to enjoyed it though and ate majority of it.

The next dish by Mitch is very clever – instant noodles with bong water. Bowl of instant noodles, with fried egg topped with fried onions.

Bong water – soup (which I think is shiitake mushroom) in a bottle in a shape of a ‘bong’ – it was cleverly done. As M would say ‘it was homage to mie goreng, Mitch style!’ It was M’s favourite of the night, the shiitake mushroom broth was absolutely wonderful. The fried egg oozed with yolk, and it was full of flavours and complemented the instant noodles.

Mac and cheese fondue with fried chicken and French onion toast. Oh My God – fried chicken!!!! I squealed like a girl when I saw it. The fried chicken, as always, were sensational! I was tempted to eat all four, but was saving my stomach for what was to come. The French onion toast with crushed doritos was absolutely superb. I loved the crunchiness, the onion flavour, the taste, the dollop of cream cheese on top, it was wonderfully sinful! The mac and cheese fondue I didn’t enjoy as much – it was a little too salty for my liking, and extremely rich! I tried dipping my fried chicken into the fondue and it just made it too salty, which I didn’t enjoy.

Next drink, vodka, kahlua, milk and cream with milo rim. This brought back memories from my uni days, kahlua with milk, or baileys with milk. Again, it was so easy to drink that it was dangerous! I love the milo rim – chocolaty goodness!

The moment I have been waiting for – Juicy Luther by Hongy (Dan Hong) himself. This was utterly sinful, calorific, and frigging evil. So wrong but at the same time, so very right! THE CHEESE BURGER with an evil twist! A tower of wickedness goodness.

Beef patty, bacon, cheese, tomato sauce, pickles and mayo (and other delectable delights which I can’t remember) on a KRISPY KREME donut bun! Yes, you heard me, it was a krispy kreme donut bun. The bun glistened with sugar and gave it that extra sweetness. I had to cut it in half as it was messy, and you know my thoughts on messy burgers. The cheese oozed out of the burger that I had to scrape it back (can’t have a burger without cheese!), the beef patty was tender, and juicy, the bacon, tomato sauce and pickles were great complements. Like last time, sauce trickled down my hands, it was seriously messy, it was seriously sticky, it was seriously wicked, and pure genius. I would like to say that I could probably have eaten another one on my own, but I think I would have had a heart attack! It was THAT FULL ONNN! I am also proud to say, that I did finish the whole thing (probably not something to be proud off!), every single bit of it. If no one was looking, I would have probably licked the plate as well! However, that I believe tipped my fullness right over the edge! Dan – It was heart stopping but pure brilliance! I LOVED IT!

The sinful cheese burger came with a serving of crinkle cut French fries. It was crunchy and crispy, and well, who doesn’t like crinkle cut deep fried French fries? Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the French fries, my hands were just sticky, messy and well dirty!

The food did not stop there, there were more! Desserts! Oh dear god, my poor stomach and liver! Us diners needed a 10 minute break after that mind blowing burger! M went for a walk, and I probably should have, but could not move! So happily sat there absorbing all the delicious goodness I just consumed.

Next the fanta, campari, spider – this had to be my least favourite drink, only cause I am not a fan of campari at all! For me, the campari was strong, couldn’t really taste anything else but I know ‘The Mother’ who didn’t come with me, would have enjoyed this drink very much.

First of the desserts: peaches, ice cream and zomp – that’s right, zomp chocolate. I was getting extremely full by this stage, but couldn’t help but try some of it. The ice cream was deliciously creamy, and the zomp brought back so many childhood memories! It was simple but yet tasty.

And lastly to top it all off deep fried banana split with peanut butter ice cream, peanut brittle, hot chocolate fudge strawberry cream. Oh dear god, my arteries, liver and cholesterol! One mouthful, I just wanted to try one mouthful – infamous last words. The peanut butter ice cream was to die for, large chunks of peanut brittle, sweet, gooey and crunchy were divine – I ate ALL the peanut brittle! So much for just one mouthful! The hot chocolate fudge was thick and chocolaty and the strawberry cream just topped it all off. The deep fried banana was not what I expected, I was hoping it was battered and deep fried, but no batter, just the banana itself. It was ok but the ice cream, brittle and chocolate fudge outshined it all. So good but so bad.

I was ‘half-baked’ and on a high. All that deep fried, the sugar, the cheese and the chocolate – I could feel my heart rate racing. Walking to the car yesterday was difficult, and even worse, the next morning when I got up, I felt light headed. As I walked to the bus stop I could feel my heart rate zoomed and I wasn’t even running, it was a casual walk! Thankfully I am not one of those people that counts calories, cause if I did, I would have probably reached my weekly limit on that burger!

It was a memorable evening, with frigging awesome food, great music, and wonderful friends. I couldn’t do it back to back again but will definitely like to be there for the next one!

Well done Mitch, Thomas and Dan – look forward to the next stoner dinner!

The event cost $100 plus booking fees through mosh tix.

GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10

Half-baked ‘Stoner Degustatoin’

Duke Bistro

63 Flinders Street

Darlinghurst, 2010

Ph: +61 2 9332 3180