Thursday, July 31, 2014

A New Favourite - Table by S! ♥

I found a new modern Korean restaurant which I absolutely ADORE and as much as I'd like to keep Table by S a secret to myself, I figured sharing is caring. Plus, good things are meant to be shared anyways.

And I want the world to know how amazing/fantabulous/brilliant (...you get the drift) Table by S is, simply because they deserve it.

From the moment we (when I say we, I meant The Boyfriend, The Brudder, The SIL and I) arrived, we were welcomed so warmly by Corrine, the loveliest waitstaff ever.

Corrine was so bubbly, helpful and engaging, she made us feel very very welcomed! Needless to say, service was top notch the entire night. If I ever open a restaurant of my own, she'd be the first person I'd poach. That's how amazing she is!

Table by S takes on an industrial-like design, and was set up very beautifully. I loved the cool, funky touches on the decoration around the restaurant, like for instance this piece of 3D art.

Even the serving wares caught my attention! Our ban chan (sides) were served in these cute little ramekins. That pink with polka dots ramekin is so cute I want to steal it home lol! (No, I didn't.)

The menu at Table by S is fairly complex - it is broken down to Korean tapas, danpum (like soups/noodles/rice dishes), mains to share and stone grill BBQ, but there are a lot of options.

There was no need to fret though, because Corrine did a fab job with explaining the menu and putting forward recommendations that works for everyone at the table.

It was so hard to decide what to have, I wanted to try everything! Although we eventually managed to narrow down our options, I think we still did over-order... just slightly... but everything was so good, it was way worth it!

They also have an extensive drinks menu with a range of craft beers and wines, so we got some mocktails whilst perusing the menu.

I went for the Virgin Ja Mong Kojito (virgin mojito mocktail) which was oh-so-refreshing and thirst quenching.

김치 아란치니 - sauteed kimchi, cheddar, mozzarella, vegetable, rice balls
The first tapas that we had was these beautiful fried kimchi aranchini balls. Crispy on the outside, soft and cheesy on the inside. I loved the addition of kimchi - it was amazeballs!

호박 지짐이 - sweet potato zucchini pancake, and salad
The sweet potato and zucchini pancake arrived with roasted pumpkin and fresh green salad. I've never had pajeon (Korean savoury pancake) with these ingredients before and boy, it was very tasty. The only thing missing is the soy dipping sauce - it'd be a great little addition.

치킨 - buttermilk marinated chicken pieces (half)
And of course, there's always fried chicken when The Boyfriend is around haha! Buttermilk marinated deep fried chicken in garlic soy sauce, served with wedges in this beautiful gigantic spoon.

The chicken pieces were fried to a crisp perfection, without too thick of a batter. What I loved most about the KFC is that it wasn't too greasy and the garlic soy flavour was just right.

And then it was time for our stone grill barbecue! I appreciate that they serve the dishes, one after another, to ensure that we ate it straight away whilst it's still warm.

미소 삼겹살 - miso pork
We started with the pork belly marinated in white miso. Whilst the meat was cooking, I just sat there, very impatiently, just staring at the meat because it smelt so so good!

AND OMG, IT WAS SO TASTY!! The meat was so well-marinated, you don't need any dipping sauce. It was remarkable!!

I also appreciate that there was a fair amount of meat to go around the table. We thought the portion was comparatively generous considering the price of $27.90.

The Boyfriend and I were at a different K-BBQ last weekend, and we paid $30 for two miserable piece of meat which did not even taste good. But I shall not name and shame. I'll just have to go back to Table by S whenever I crave K-BBQ.

And finally, the stone-grilled aged wagyu scotch fillet which was out of the world delicious! The meat was cooked to perfection at medium, at your table, with a blow-torch over stone grill.

Sorry all I have are action shots. No "after shot" pictures because let's just say it was too incredible that all I wanted to do was eat. I was too busy devouring it all!

Wagyu Scotch Fillet 250g with house pickles & dipping sauces
Every bite was heavenly! The meat was so succulent, tender and juicy plus the good marbling evenly distributed on the meat... oh dear me, melt-in-your-mouth goodness! THE BEST I'VE HAD, I kid you not.

I also loved that they put up a little "fire show" for us at the table too. I was like a little kid, very amused by it all - the beef, the fire, everything. I kept going, "OMG SO GOOD!" over and over again.

I'm sure everyone else was not annoyed at me repeating myself, because it was true. It was so good and we were all so satisfied.

After such a great meal, we simply had to try the dessert platter even though we were all bloated. And like everything else that we had that night, the dessert platter also did not disappoint.

The platter consisted of a moist dark chocolate cake with cranberries, vanilla ice cream with rice puffs and almond praline, and lastly, fried chocolate dumplings. For $7.90 a platter, that's a pretty good deal hey!

Yes, I even took a picture of the bill. 
Like I said, I loved all the little touches here and there. Even the bill was delivered in such a cute manner. That screwdriver was such a great fitting to the shop's industrial design and decor.

You can tell how much effort and thoughts the owners put into this business, and I would love to see them flourish and succeed. If I ever get to meet the owners, I'd thank them for such a great execution.

Table by S on Urbanspoon
What can I say? Table by S is perfect and flawless - from the food, to the service, down to the ambience. Everything was soooooo good! I can't remember the last time I felt THIS satisfied. I give them 10/10.

I cannot recommend Table by S enough! I've never had food with flavours that Table by S offers and I really love the fusion twist that they take on my ultimate favourite K-food.

At the end of the night, I rubbed my food baby gleefully as I walked out the door and I was already planning my next trip back!

Just trust me and make your way down as soon as you can, because I'm sure they're going to get really busy in no time.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Little Big Sugar Salt Cafe (LBSS)

I am starting to realise a new trend in cafés these days - and that's healthier menu options offering meals with superfood as well as dishes that supports different types of diet, such as gluten-free for example.

LBSS is one of the cafés that has jumped onto this bandwagon, and as I have heard, are doing exceptionally well at that.

I've never actually noticed LBSS even though The Boyfriend and I drive through Victoria Street twice or thrice a week. It's easy to miss, with it being surrounded by all the Vietnamese stores. I wished I've found out bout them earlier, but y'know, it's not too late now. ;)

The café's menu works just like how its name suggest - Little, Big, Sugar and Salt. So the menu is categorised into Little Sweet and Big Sweet for those with a sweet tooth, and Little Salt and Big Salt for those who prefer savoury.

I particularly like how they have a healthier take on the menu with gluten free and dairy free dishes for those who are a little more health-conscious, and on the other end of the spectrum, something as indulgent as the triple deck cheesy Croque Monsieur for the rest who just want good food regardless.

So, you see, LBSS really stands out in comparison to other cafés because there's something for everyone. Anyhoos! Let's get started with the food!

It's not often you get to enjoy a cuppa guilt-free hot chocolate that actually taste this good! LBSS make their hot chocolate without sugar; just cacao, dates and almond milk that they make in-house.

Everything in there is good for you, although to be honest, I was a little sceptical at first when I studied the ingredients... But all it took was one sip, and I was sold.

We decided to go with a big savoury dish, and the 'Dr Ron Swanson' really stood out for me - a triple decker Croque Monsieur with a bacon wallet (!!!) of gruyere cheese, bechamel sauce and slow roasted pork hock, then finally topped with a sunny side up.

It was so amazingly good, I simply have to share this close up shot I took of The Boyfriend just digging right in. A generously serving that will definitely fill you up, and tasty at that too.

Of course I'd want something sweet, and considering how generous the Dr Ron Swanson was, we decided a little one would be enough.

Whilst I am not usually a crumpets person, The Boyfriend did seem like as though he had his eyes locked on them so I erm, reluctantly agreed.

I'm glad I did though. These beautifully presented crumpets, served with grilled banana, ricotta, pistachio and orange reduction might have just changed my mind about crumpets.

Little Big Sugar Salt - LBSS Cafe on Urbanspoon
All in all, a great experience in LBSS for The Boyfriend and I. We are giving them two thumbs up for their great food and friendly service. This was our first visit to LBSS and it will definitely not be the last.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Childhood Fav - Mini Sausage Buns

When I was a young girl, I loved following my Mum to bakery stores so I could pick out the buns I like to have during recess at school.

I am rather boring; I pick up the same few ones time and again. Sausage rolls were one of them, and I've missed eating them.

There are Asian bakery stores here in Melbourne such as Breadtop or Breadlicious (my favourite two) but the buns can be a tad expensive for at least $2 each.

So, when I came across this mini sausage rolls recipe by Sonia at Nasi Lemak Lover, I was ecstatic!! They were so cute in size to start, and they did look very much like what you'd get at the bakery. And well, they cost a lot less too; I probably spent about $7 in total for 15 buns.

I made The Boyfriend drive me to the supermarket at 9.30pm (and spent an hour there lol lol thank God for 24 hours Coles) to get all the ingredients so we could bake first thing the following morning.

And this is the final result! How cute are they? These buns were also soft and delicious. Both The Boyfriend and I really enjoyed them! 

They were not difficult to make and having the bread maker knead the dough for me definitely made it much easier for me. ;) 

Mini Sausage Buns
Recipe adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover & modified by The Bakeanista

Ingredients
  • 200g bread flour
  • 130g milk 
  • 35g sugar
  • 3g instant yeast (1/2 tsp+1/4 tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 25g butter, softened at room temperature 
  • 15 mini cocktail sausages, washed & pat dry
  • Sesame seeds (for garnishing)
  • Egg wash 

Super cute mini sized dough balls! (Step 3)

Method
  1. If using stand mixer, combine all ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl, mix and knead till smooth. Add in butter, continue to knead till elastic and smooth dough. Keep aside to rise till double in size.
  2. Alternatively, if you're using a bread maker machine, simply put all ingredients in and using the dough-knead-only function, knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth. Then add in butter, without stopping the machine. Let the bread maker finish its round, then set aside to double in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 15 small round balls at 25g each then let rest for 10 mins.
  4. Take a small dough, use a rolling pin to flatten it, then close two ends and look like a cigarette then keep aside to rest for 10 mins. Take a dough, use hand to roll one end to shape it like a cone. Use a rolling pin, roll it flat. Place a sausage at the bigger end, and start to roll like a swiss roll. Place sausage rolls on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the rest till finished. Let it to proof for another 30-45 mins.
  5. Apply egg wash then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake at a pre-heated oven 170°C (fan-forced) for 15-20 mins or 180°C (no fan) for 15-20mins.
Photo credit to Sonia, from Nasi Lemak Lover
Sonia was very lovely to share the step-by-step pictures on how to roll the buns, which I found very convenient, especially as a first timer.

I love popping by Nasi Lemak Lover as I often find recipes that reminds me of home - I've bookmarked the link as one of my favourites and I highly recommend you pop over too. ;)

Anyways, back to the buns!! These buns make a good breakfast, and they're even perfect as an afternoon tea snack with a hot cuppa. I stored them in an airtight container, and they lasted me 3 days.

I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as I did! And if you're a Mum, it'll be fun making these with your kids. Good luck! ;)
Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)