Friday, July 5, 2013

Winter Holidays

My friend and I tried Passion Tree's fondue on a prior visit and we were underwhelmed.  The pretty crockery set-up of two half-moon shaped dishes holding the dipping bits surrounded the fondue burner in the middle but the hazelnut chocolate and white chocolate seemed a little runny. Perhaps they got the ratio of milk to chocolate wrong but it wasn't spectacular and the pair of us are familiar with Max Brenner and San Churro's fondue chocolate which we think is nicer. The variety of dipping choices is more diverse at Passion Tree, with brownies, fruit and the sweet-tooth sucker- ice truffles. The 'ice truffle' ice cream balls were a new brain-freeze-inducing, impractical concept that was nice to try. We went back again to try the Honey Bread, which came with a mountain of whipped cream piled on top, sprinkled with flaked almonds, laced with honey syrup and a blueberry compote. It was good- not deep fried Hong Kong-style but with toasted, crisp crusts and a fluffy middle to soak up the syrup and cream. It's a massive hit to the waistline that my Italian friends would call una bomba

The froyo craze continues- Noggi twice last week. I keep calling it Noogi by accident. I've tried almost all the flavours they offer, bar Taro, which I can't stomach even on the best of days. I've found my favourite combination in the photo above, with Watermelon and Biscotti yogurts, pearls and white chocolate chips. Green Tea is good too but not sweet enough for me.

Arrived at work early and ordered ice-cream crepes with chocolate fudge sauce for indulgence's sake. The choc fudge sauce poured over warm crepes draped over three scoops of vanilla ice-cream pooled on the plate and with the beautiful weather we saw last week, it made work seem that little bit better.

On Friday we set off road-tripping up to the Sunshine Coast armed with bags of potato chips, Snickers Pods and Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars on the iPod to church camp- this camp was for high schoolers and Uni students. It was only short, three days and three nights, but I had a great time getting to know people better. The tranquility of Caloundra was the perfect setting for us to get away from everything for a breather. 
I hadn't worn one of these wristbands in about 7 years. 

Today we went to Baguette on Racecourse Road in Ascot for lunch and had the regional lunch set menu. This month's region is Rhone-Alpes and among the six of us we had every one of the options (four savoury, two sweet) and it wasn't too niche for the mainstream palate. We started with bread (baguette, harhar) and unsurprisingly, the butter was a standout. I didn't photograph the French Onion Soup or the Prawn and Chorizo Orecchiette pasta because they weren't as visually appealing and I forgot. I'm glad I tried the soup- it was good traditional technique. For mains I had the roast chicken leg with speck, chat potatoes and red wine jus and my sister had the minute steak with shoestring fries and Cafe de Paris butter. The chicken was good, juicy with crisped skin, but the steak was nicer. 
The menu only offered two dessert options: creme brulee and chocolate walnut cake with ice-cream, berry coulis and chocolate sauce. I had the creme brulee and it was just as good as I remembered it to be from our last visit about four years ago (when I tried creme brulee for the first time- eep!), smooth, delicately flavoured with vanilla and not too sugary. The brulee crust was thin and crisp and the serve was generous. My sister tried the cake and she preferred it to the brulee- it was rich and chocolaty but balanced out by the walnuts in the warm cake, the berry coulis and ice-cream. The three courses were $46, which is a darn good deal.
Induced a food coma.

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