Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Aqua Dining ... no pun intended!

In a previous post, I mentioned the amazing view of Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge. How appropriate then to be dining almost at the foot of the great expanse but on the north side. And with a view of North Sydney Pool from all window tables, welcome to:


Not to be confused with Aqua, another award-winning restaurant in the Ripple Group of dining establishments, Aqua Dining is accessed via a laneway just before the approach to that other icon, Luna Park. At the farthest end of the restaurant (the open balcony just beyond where we were fortunate to find ourselves seated) you can find yourself almost adjacent to the eyes of the Park's huge grinning facade, a sight which used to terrify me as a young child knowing the only way into the fun was to walk underneath it. Somehow, seeing the eyelashes in profile made the face seem a little less menacing and a touch more nostalgic. Maybe I've finally conquered my fear!

Having to select from an extensive menu, and my fellow diner and I being light eaters on this occasion, I chose two entrees and my dining companion only wanted a main.

Seared Scallops
Squid Ink Fregalone, Salmoriglio $27

Friday, April 20, 2012

1 2 3 o'clock 4 o'clock ROCK!

I hope you're ready for a little nostalgia because we can all use a little trip down memory lane once in a while!

Maybe you had to be a certain age to have grown up with them but even though there are no shops dedicated to it nor cookbooks singing its praises, the humble Rock Cake has survived. Ever since it was first made as a wartime treat in Great Britain (due to the lesser quantities of eggs required, a luxury during rationing), we have been able to buy these from almost every suburban cake store, some supermarkets and the odd patisserie.

Although this is the case, the quality of them differs from baker to baker and I have bought some truly disappointing ones. The best that I could find came from a patisserie but paying $4.50 for something the size of a flattened cupcake made my blood boil. After indulging a few times, I said to myself, they can't be that hard to make so I took up the challenge!

I searched the internet and found a recipe on that was originally sourced from Delicious Magazine's Valli Little. Hers is an orange flavoured one and there are many variations from pear & sultana to cinnamon & choc chip but to me a lemony rock cake, spread with good quality butter accompanying a cup of tea is the ultimate afternoon treat. I also don't like sultanas much so I substituted currants and was very happy with the result.

So here are my Rock Cake Jewels!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Promises, promises!


Confession: I work in the advertising industry. I recognise a unique selling benefit and I have been guilty of using them from time to time. I have seen claims which I have thought were borderline but knowing how stringently the Australian broadcasting standards are policed, was relatively confident that if a product promised to work, it would.

You will understand then, why I was drawn to this particular package:

The claim this package makes ...

 ... after claim ...