25 November 2013

Parlour Burger at The Morrison: Burgers, CBD Sydney (25 Nov 2013)

225 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

New $10 burgers in town

The Morrison gave away 500 free burgers today between 12–2 pm although they vanished in only 20 minutes so I had no chance of scoring one for a late lunch. $10 is still a pretty good deal for a burger so I tried the The Original Morrison Burger with Chipotle Mayo ($10). I was pre-warned by service that it's served pink in the middle. They weren't wrong. I've had medium rare before although I would have preferred a bit more colour on the surrounding meat to make it visually look a bit more cooked and more appetising to the eye. Nice fresh ingredients were used and the chipotle mayo was tasty with a pleasant hum of chilli. Bun was enjoyably soft although more toasting of the inside surface would have done wonders and a slice of melted cheese would have been great. Decor is nice and seating consisted of mostly high chairs which isn't conducive to a long comfortable stay on the small circular tables. Retro music fans might have loved the 'Valerie' by Steve Winwood and 'Fernando' by ABBA playing loudly in the background — it certainly brought back memories for me, good ones I think.

PROS: Reasonably priced menu, Service was friendly, Freshly shucked oysters next door although I don't think you can order them to enjoy in the Parlour Burger
CONS: Medium rare pattie might not be everyones preference, Pattie was a bit pale on colour to my liking, Small tables and high chairs won't allow you to get too comfortable
MUST TRY: Fish burger and sides next time
VERDICT: Another reasonably priced burger place with deep fried sides that every pub seems to be offering these days. It could be a hit if the pink centred patties and retro music goes down well with patrons. I would have preferred by pattie to be a bit more cooked though.
The Original Morrison Burger with Chipotle Mayo ($10) — quality ingredients, tasty mayo, pattie a bit pale in colour
Nice soft bun although would have liked it a bit grill toasted on the inside. If it was it was very subtle.
Medium rare probably not everyones liking
Pattie a bit pale on the outside and would have preferred more colour and grill flavour, and possibly more seasoning
Mince quite course so tended to break apart a bit too easily or perhaps because it wasn't grill charred enough on the outside. The firm curved edge of the lettuce leaf tends to push the pattie apart when eating.
Table setting and table order number

$10 burger menu — probably try the fish burger next

Tempting sides — I must try next time

Charcoal is good for you — although I've always heard differently

1000 free burgers given out but unfortunately I was too late to get one at lunch. Apparently the 500 at lunch went in about 20 minutes.

Mostly high chair seating which is not conducive for long stays

Clean toilet upstairs and excellent hand dryer

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22 November 2013

Heston Blumenthal Hidden Clementine Christmas Pudding vs Coles Mini Christmas Pudding (7 Oct 2013)

Heston's magic pudding

I would never have thought to see a Heston Blumenthal product on the shelves of Coles so when I spotted his Hidden Clementine Christmas Pudding ($7, 227g) and Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding ($18, 1.2kg) I was excited to try them. I've saved the Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding for Christmas Day with the family but was curious to compare the Hidden Clementine Christmas Pudding with the much cheaper Coles Mini Christmas Pudding ($2, 110g). I've had plenty of the Coles mini pudding in past and have actually enjoyed them for what they are with ice cream. Steaming either pudding would take 30–40 minutes so I chose to microwave them which only takes a minute. I found the aroma and syrupy moist texture of Heston's pudding more appealing over the more cake like Coles pudding. It's definitely a rich tasting pudding which can be a little challenge to eat a lot of it but having some custard or ice cream will help cut through the richness. I still didn't mind the Coles pudding although it tasted more like a cake with sultanas and was much less moist. The Heston pudding also had a noticeable texture of nuts. Heston's packaging looks more special and sophisticated and would make for a nicer gift option.

PROS: Rich flavour and moist texture in the Heston pudding
CONS: Heston's pudding apparently sells out quickly
MUST TRY: Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day
VERDICT: I enjoyed the rich flavour and moist syrupy texture of Heston's pudding. I think best enjoyed with custard or ice cream.
Coles Heston Blumenthal from Waitrose - Hidden Clementine Christmas Pudding ($7, 227g), Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding ($18, 1.2kg)

Coles Mini Christmas Pudding ($2, 110g), Heston from Waitrose Hidden Clementine Christmas Pudding ($7, 227g)

Steam for 30 minutes or microwave for 30 seconds — I choose microwave

Steam for 40 minutes or microwave for 1 minute — I chose microwave

Heston has nicer packaging — looks more special

Heston pudding is larger and visually looked more moist

Coles Mini Christmas Pudding ($2 110g) — tasted mostly of sultanas and cake, not too dry but not very moist either

Heston from Waitrose Hidden Clementine Christmas Pudding ($7 227g) — very moist, tasted brandy, fruit & nut texture, syrupy, intense flavour so balance with some custard or ice cream

17 November 2013

Campos Coffee: Coffee Cupping Session of Best of Panama 2013 Ironman Geisha, Newtown (2 Nov 2013)

193 Missenden Road, Newtown NSW 2042

Panama's best downunder

“There are only 300 jars available of this exclusive lot. Each jar is 150g. It is everything you can expect, and more, from Panama's winning Geisha for the year. We found this one works best as a filter roast to bring about the host of unique flavours.”

Thanks to Will Young for inviting me to the Campos Coffee Cupping Room in Newtown to try the award winning Ironman Geisha. Five coffees were blind tasted via a cupping session and it was interesting to taste the distinctive flavours of each and to work out which ones were most liked. Some of them more likeable than others with Ironman Geisha being one of my preferred ones in the tasting — to the relief of Will. I'm not a fanatical coffee drinker but the tea like qualities of the Ironman Geisha was one of the appealing factors for me along with its distinctive sweet and floral notes. Apparently this is the most prized and prestigious coffee ever brought into Australia and was titled ‘Best of Panama’ for 2013 so it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to try it.

At the end of the session I received a sample of the $100 jar which was recommended to be enjoyed in the following way:
• Use the ratio of 10g coffee for 180ml of water
• Use filtered water, and the water should be at 92 to 94 degrees
• Pour the water into the coffee (ground coarse for a plunger)
• Let the coffee sit for 5 minutes (anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes)
• Then, break the crust by stirring the top
• Peel off the top layer of “froth”
• Then plunge
• Drink when the coffee has reached appropriate tasting temperature. Will Young prefers the 11:30 minute mark

PROS: Coffee fanatics will most likely appreciate and enjoy (already half the stock had been purchased at the time of the tasting)
CONS: It's not cheap, Very limited supply and won't last long
MUST TRY: If you love your coffee then I'd suggest a coffee cupping experience at Campos to learn more about coffee
VERDICT: Out of the 5 coffees tasted in the blind cupping session the Ironman was one of the most preferred in the small group. For me it had pleasant tea like qualities and distinctive sweet and floral notes making it appealing and enjoyable although being an amateur coffee drinker I personally wouldn't be able to justify spending that much money on coffee beans but there's lots who do see the value.
Ironman Geisha will set you back $100 for 150g

Blind tasting five coffees

First smell and appreciate the aroma of the beans

Add filtered hot water of 92 to 94 degrees

Let the coffee sit for 5 minutes

Break the crust and smell

Peel off the top layer of froth

Take a spoonful and slurp with a lot of noise :-)

Will Young and Dimity

Roberto Brenes doing an ironman challenge

Regular cappuccino downstairs in the coffee shop before the cupping session

Babyccino for the little one

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