Category Archives: Out and about foodie photos

Bali food adventures – Part 1


I recently went on holiday to Bali with my husband and two friends. I had never really tried Indonesian or Balinese food and I guess I didn’t have much of an opinion about it. I was blown away but the flavours and freshness of the local cuisine. There was so much flavour without too much spice (Unless you were like the men I was travelling with and added spicy sambal to EVERYTHING)
I have some photos and two recipes to share, in part 2 I will try to recreate some of the dishes at home and will share those as well.

I started nearly every morning with fresh coconut as part of my breakfast

They are such a great way to stay hydrated when you are skeptical of the water

This was the first Balinese meal I had, slow cooked pork curry with rice and the best bean salad. I will have a recipe for this simple salad in Part 2

Benn and I took a cooking class at Bali Niksoma Hotel. This was our welcome drink

We learn to cook two dishes, the first was Sate Tusuk (Char-Satay). These were skewers of beef, chicken and pork cooked in Balinese spices and a peanut sauce.

The lesson was outside on the grass, everything was spread out so beautifully


These were the ingredients for the peanut sauce

We diced the meat and loaded up the skewers

They were then cooked over a BBQ which was fueled by coconut husks



Another shot of all the fresh ingredients

We were taught how to make a garnish with the tomatoes and cucumber, I quickly learnt that my knife skills and attention to detail needed some work.

After the satay is cooked, we plated up and enjoyed our first dish




400 gms of meat (chicken, pork, lamb or beef) cubed
20 bamboo skewers
For the seasoning
100ml of sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
2 chopped shallots
2 sliced Kafir lime leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 stalk of lemon grass chopped
For the satay sauce
200 gms fried peanuts
25 gms fried shallots
25 gms fried garlic
3 fried, diced red chillies
25 gms palm sugar
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
50 ml water
1 sliced Kafir lime leaf

Add 3 pieces of cubed meat to each skewer. Blend all the seasoning ingredients into a fine paste. Coat the skewers in the seasoning and also season with salt and pepper. Cook the skewers over the BBQ or grill until cooked through.
To make the Satay Sauce, Grind the peanuts, shallot, garlic and chilli into a paste. Add the palm sugar, then water, sweet soya, and lime leaf, cook over a medium heat until bubbling.

The second dish we made was Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali (Grilled fish in Balinese Spices) We used snapper for this fish, but any firm white fish would be lovely. You could also use chicken or lamb.
There were 2 parts to this dish, the marinade of Balinese spices, and the Tomato dip (Sambal) that accompanies the finished dish.

The ingredients for the Bumbu Bali

The ingredients for the sambal

The ingredients in a form now which was blended to make a paste

The fish being cooked on the BBQ after being coated in the blended Balinese spice mix

More knife skills for the garnish

Our finished dishes


Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali

400 gms of snapper
100ml oil
3 Kafir lime leaves sliced
salt and pepper
For the Balinese Spices
20 gm galangal
25 gm garlic
25 gm onion
20 gm ginger
2 tsp turmeric
4 stalks of lemongrass
5 hot chillies
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp coriander seed
For the Sambal
2oo gms tomatoes
100 gms chillies
50 gm garlic
50 gms onion
40 gms palm sugar
2 Kafir lime leaves sliced
100 ml oil

To make the spice mix, cut all ingredients into small pieces and blend in a food processor until smooth. Then mix with the oil, lime leaves and salt and pepper. Marinate the snapper fillet in the spices then grill the fish on a BBQ or hot plate until cook.
To make the Sambal, dice the tomato, chilli, onion and garlic and add to a pan with the oil. Fry until half cooked. Blend together and add back to a pan with the remaining ingredients. Simmer until flavour has developed.

During our holiday we also went to a wonderful restaurant called Bali Asli
It is run by an Australian girl but specialising in Traditional Balinese Cuisine. The menu changes daily depending on what is available at the market

Spiced water

A starter of different fish and vegetable puffed chips with 3 different dips

The restaurant

The view!

When we ordered we could choose 4 dishes. I had young coconut cooked in banana leaves, a chicken salad, a bean salad and a pork broth. It was absolutely stunning, and I can’t stop thinking about the beautiful flavour combinations.
Nasi Campur
Chicken salad
Pork Broth


High Tea Club – Months of catching up to do!


I have to apologise for my terrible slackness. It has been a busy few months!

The High Tea club has been out in force, I thought I would run through them all in one blog from start to finish.

I have already written about Prohibition and Britomart Country Club, so please do read about them on my earlier posts.

Parnell Rose Gardens

This was a grab-one voucher, and overall was good value for money. The food was nice, and the tea was good. The service wasn’t spectacular.

On the day we choose, many people must have had the same plan and the room seemed very busy (and perhaps full to capacity?) there wasn’t too much room to move, and the wait staff seemed a bit rushed in their approach. Unfortunately I can’t remember what we ate here, I must get better about writing while it is fresh on the mind.

The Langham – Auckland, and Melbourne

The Langham has fast become my favourite High Tea destination. The tea selection is lovely, and you can choose several different ones to try. The dessert cart in Auckland is especially lovely, and the savouries although fairly standard are all very nice.

The layout of both the Auckland and Melbourne Langham’s is rather special, and you are always treated well. The pink themed High Tea in Melbourne had a lovely range of desserts which all looked spectacular.

Peace and Plenty Inn – Devonport

I choose Peace and Plenty Inn for my birthday as I had heard wonderful things about their High Tea. The house is a lovely old villa, and the crockery is just beautiful.

The selection of food was great, however the sandwiches had been left uncovered and were not the freshest when we arrived. They also only offered one tea (English Breakfast) and did not offer the opportunity to ask for others. We had to ask for hot water, and more tea.

The scones were fresh and lovely, and the sweet selection was extensive. The service let this location down a little. There was a large group dining at the same time as us, so we felt like we were intruding when it was time to leave and we were trying to find out where to pay.

The Wintergarden Cafe

The Wintergarden Cafe was chosen with a grab-one voucher, and unfortunately this was the only redeeming feature.

The tea selection was nice, however you did only receive one choice. The meal consisted of one sandwich, a small tart, a small scone and two small sweet tarts. This was by far the smallest selection we have received so far. The inside of the building is fairly plain, however you can wander across the road to the gardens which are beautiful.

Unfortunately we all left feeling a little indifferent about the Wintergardens and I couldn’t recommend this one.

Hectors Restaurant – Heritage

The service here again was the biggest let down, we had to ask to order our tea, ask to check where it was, and ask to see when our food was coming. The food was nice, unfortunately the sandwiches felt like they had been left uncovered and were a little stale. The sweets were nice, and the scones were fresh and soft.

The staff here seemed indifferent, and the location didn’t have the grandeur normally associated with a High Tea. The sweet selection definitely was the strong point


The High Tea Club – Britomart Country Club


This is the second post I have written about our High Tea Club, the first was from Prohibition on Ponsonby Road. I must get my butt into gear and blog all the High Teas we have done, but that will be another day.

Yesterday’s choice of Britomart Country Club came about the same way as most of our Tea dates. It was on Grabone as two for one.

The food yesterday  was excellent. The sandwiches were varied with salmon, roast beef and tomato pesto. There was also a mini savoury muffin. There was one scone per person with cream and two choices of jam but I think the sweet plate really stole the show. We had chocolate and raspberry lamingtons, a rosewater meringue (which Lana and I felt tasted a little soap-like, but that is a matter of taste) A mini cheesecake, and a little red velvet cupcake. Overall, I think the food portion was definitely a favourite from the places we have been so far.

The tea selection was ok, but you were only allowed one tea per person. My choice of Peppermint leaf was definitely the best peppermint I have ever tried. The tea was served in gorgeous vintage teacups. We also decided on a few cocktails as Britomart Country Club really does make some great ones. I had an Elderflower Collins and the other girls had a Frozen Berry Collins.

The atmosphere was great, we had a heater close by as it was a horrid day and we all had a wonderful time. A special delight was watching a wedding party arrive and admiring all of the girls’ beautiful dresses. I wish I had snuck a few photos!

I would highly recommend Britomart Country Club for your next High Tea.



Glenfield Night Markets


Firstly, I’d like to say sorry for the lack of posts, I have been busy eating my way around Sydney.

Now that we are home, we decided to check out the Glenfield Night Markets for dinner tonight. They were fantastic. The markets are held every Sunday 5:30 – 10:30 in the carpark under the mall.

There is a huge range of ethnic food, some small junk stalls, a band and plenty of tables (although a lack of chairs)

As soon as we walked in Joe spotted his dinner. It was Fritz Wieners. Lana was pretty set on the Mussel Fritters and by the time I returned with taco’s, the remains of their first course was just the napkins. We all loved our choices and individually set off for seconds. Joe chose 15 fried dumplings, Lana some crepes and I bought a hungarian style bread donut (which I am consuming as I write)

It was such good value for money with all of our (two course) meals costing under $15. The range is amazing and we have decided that the market will definitely feature in our weekend plans again. I can’t work out why we took so long to try it!

The Amazing ‘Made from Scratch’


Through another page on Facebook, I recently fell upon ‘Made from Scratch’. This is the brain child of the beautiful & talented Rachael. I instantly loved her page, her blog and all the delightful things she makes. The recipes are simple and easy but look amazing.

You can imagine my delight when I realised I was just in time for one of her classes. Tonight I attended one of Rachael’s ruffle cake tutorials. I could never imagine my cake could look so cool on my first attempt (but I will let you all be the judge!)

The classes are small and relaxed, Rachael is a fantastic teacher and we were even spoilt with a little goodie bag at the end, As well as our pretty little cake to take home (and maybe share)

Please pop over and like Made from Scratch on Facebook, I have also posted her website below. She has such beautiful ideas for your home, baking, events etc and I know she has some really exciting things coming up.

The High Tea Club – Nostalgia (Prohibition)


A few months ago, 3 friends and I started our High Tea Club here in Auckland. We all love food, enjoy tea and wanted to find a way to catch up on a regular basis that was easy to organise. The group is now

6 regulars, and the majority of High Teas have been purchased using daily deal sites. This has kept the cost down (an average of less than $20 pp)

I wanted to write about todays experience at the Heritage, but I thought I would start from the start.

Nostalgia (Prohibition) – Ponsonby Road:

The setting of Prohibition is delightful. Comfortable chairs, moody lighting and beautiful crockery and cutlery. I love the theme and envy the person who was allowed to purchase such delicious items. If it was me, I am certain some would have ended up at home! The service at Prohibition is subtle and gentle, they really make you feel welcome.

The food comes first equal (with the Langham)  There are three tiers, being ciabatta buns with various fillings (we had ham and mustard, egg, and salmon, from memory) Sweet and Savory scones with jam, butter and cream and mini desserts. The desserts here are a highlight (compared to other High Teas we have attended) There is a great range and wonderful flavours

The Tea Range, is the best so far. You choose a sweet and savoury option and have choices such as China Jasmine, African Bush Vanilla Cream and Turkish Apple Nut

Overall, Prohibition is coming first equal with the Langham – Auckland

Please note, picture below are from their website as I didn’t take any myself

Friday Fling – Today I love… Pratty’s Tea


I heard of Pratty’s tea through the NZ Herald Viva magazine and I had to try it. I have a bit of a tea fetish at the moment, a flow on from the High Tea Club (a post on this coming soon)

I was keen to recreate that special moment with a cuppa from home, so when I read the article I went online and splashed out a little.

My favourite so far has to be “Nutty Apple Crumble”. Who needs dessert when you can have pudding flavoured tea? This is followed closely by the others pictured below. I can’t wait to finish these and pick a few new ones to try