April 30, 2012

Hastag Party at Moo Gourmet Burgers, Newtown

It seems like gourmet burger joints in Sydney are a dime a dozen nowadays – so how does one hungry Don decide where to satisfy her cheeseburger cravings? Considering there are certain establishments who aren't interested in the patronage of (or free publicity from) food bloggers, I was intrigued to see that MOO Gourmet Burgers was not only specifically connecting with foodies on the Twitters, but encouraging a growing throng of them to visit to their Newtown location en masse for a #BurgerParty.

What none of us were expecting, however, was how red and plush that carpet they rolled out would be...

Last photo courtesy of @MOOGB

Our own private dining area! Chalkboard greetings! Champagne! Cheesey chips! Goodie bags (including a mezzaluna cutter and HappyLab chocolate)! Most of us were meeting for the first time, so the surprise spoiling made it a much more easy-going experience.

After ploughing valiantly through a Black & White Burger (with an egg yolk and slice of mozzarella that literally defied gravity), it was time for my favourite part of any meal – the sweets!

Strawberries & Cream and Creme Egg MOO Shakes

Fellow Mafioso Mel and myself shared the Strawberries & Cream Moo-shake. It was a blend of milk (obvz), vanilla ice cream, malt, and strawberry syrup, topped with whipped cream – and if you were thinking “Man, that sounds super thick!”, you'd be bang on the money. It took some stirring and two good sucks on my straw before I was able to finally get a taste.

The addition of malt is what sold me on this shake, as it cut through all the cream and sweetness perfectly.  I'm normally not a milkshake-drinker, but I was able to make my way though this one without any issues.

Alas, I didn't get a sample of the speciality Creme Egg moo-shake - between the other milkshake and my dessert, I imagine one sip would've trigged some kind of diabetic coma...

MOO Split

Moo's twist on the classic banana split included an additional biscuit-y topping, of which we chose Tim Tams.

The ingredients of this dessert were simple and basic (I don't imagine it contained gourmet ice cream or organic bananas, or any of the ethic-friendly flourishes Moo advertise of their burgers), but it was a thoroughly enjoyable finish to the meal. The portion size was perfect – providing a nice, pure sugar hit after all the oily richness of the burger, without making me feel sickly or too full.

And I love me a whole maraschino cherry! Yes, I'd definitely order this banana split again.

Special thanks to the MOO crew at Newtown for treating we ragtag bloggers so wonderfully. Check out the Hashtag Party blog for more foodie reports on our rolicking Burger Party!

 Moo Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

December 28, 2011

Glebe Point Diner, Glebe

hello there.
i hope you enjoyed a very merry christmas, i sure did.

last week, i (laura) met up with fellow mafia member r for a pre christmas dinner at glebe point diner. it was a delightful dinner & when we came to the dessert ordering portion, we ordered with this blog in mind. don't say we never think of you because we do.

i squealed upon seeing both mango & passionfruit on the menu, i knew exactly what i was ordering. if you don't know me then you wouldn't know about the obsession i have with fruit. i love fruit more than i should ever openly admit, fruit makes everything better in my eyes. when i'm sad i will eat a mango & all is right in the world.

the first item on their dessert menu read:
mango & passionfruit salad with pineapple granita.

sold. i ordered this dessert within seconds of being asked by my waiter, who was shocked by my excitement. i announce to him & half the diner that i loved fruit ... LOUDLY.

upon tasting this salad, i dove in deep. i wanted the mango & i wasn't coming out without it. luckily, we agreed that the mango should be on top of the granita & we did a minor swap of ingredients. this salad was summer, i looked like summer & tasted like summer. i think summer has arrived & this dessert is proof of that.

i will now hand you over to r for her description of the next dessert...

"I think the testament of a dessert’s awesomeness is when you don’t want to share it – so needless to say, I was pretty pleased when Laura let me finish this one off to myself!

This lovely scoop of mousse was super-creamy, but still aerated – each spoonful had substance, but not so much that you could feel your throat caving in with cream. The thickness of this dessert, rather, was in the flavour – a rich, sweet dark chocolate that I’d love to know the brand of.

The syrupy slices of strawberry at the bottom of the dish were also a delight. (I'm not all about the refined sugars - I enjoy fruit too!) The sliver of wafer was nothing special - obviously more there for the fance rather than the taste. All in all though, I'd definitely say that this mousse was streets ahead!"

be sure to check starloz for our dinner & their special dessert.

Glebe Point Diner on Urbanspoon

December 17, 2011

Christmas Peppermint Bark

hello mafia, how are you going?
it's laura here to share a little christmas joy with you.

i have been getting deeply into the christmas spirit recently. my house smells like christmas & is starting to look like santa's work shop, the only thing missing is the elf ... i might have to order an elf costume for my friends little puppy who is staying with us, that'd be cute right?

i made this bark recently and i've made a second batch today so i thought i'd give you a simple recipe to make from the important people in your life. this makes a perfect gift for your family, your friends, your neighbour, your doorman, your mailman, your friendly dog walker or yourself.

to see my santa picture, go over here.

peppermint bark

makes 1 kg or 2 lbs


crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup

1 kg or 2 lbs 70% cocoa dark cooking chocolate


place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller.

melt the chocolate in a double boiler. combine candy cane chunks with chocolate.

pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with baking paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces.

November 27, 2011

BSB - Heaven

hello there mob members,
it's laura. back again for another dessert post. i have been a little dessert piggy lately, yummo.

when i say BSB, you know exactly where i mean?
if you are not from sydney, then i forgive you but if you are ... i don't think we can be friends anymore. this place is that important to me.

BSB is the bourke st bakery & it is quite possibly the happiest place of earth. with four locations, i'm confident that you can find time to get to one of their locations for a quick bite. just do it, trust me. you can thank me later.my first visit to BSB was a little over two months ago. i did a purchase & dash because i was in a hurry. i lined up & wait for 15 minutes in the line on a saturday morning. however, my morning was probably their lunch rush so i can not comment on what they are like earlier in the a.m.

i ordered a dark chocolate tart with raspberry & marshmallow plus a croissant to share with my friend who allowed me to use her hands for displaying our treats. my friend grabbed a mocha & loved it, i'm trying to avoid coffee at the moment ... i'm not doing so well on that idea, oops!

my next trip back was with my family, on a week day so the crowds were non-existent. we grabbed a table & took our turns running in to look at all the possible options. i decided quickly. when you see a sign that says passionfruit meringue tart ($5) - you do not turn away & pick something else. as an egg white, passionfruit lover - i couldn't say no. my mind was made up, i had found my dessert soulmate. look how beautiful they are!

the chefette came out with a very large piece of carrot cake ($4.50). this carrot cake was delightful. as you can see there isn't much of a frosting, it's more like a crumble. that is because they baked sour cream into the cake, it's a double layer of goodness. the bottom layer is full of nuts (that's what she said), the nuts were crunchy & worked wonders in your mouth.

i personally love this place & because of where their locations are, i'm never far from a tart(twss). if you want to see me of what i had at BSB, head over to starloz.

Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

November 24, 2011

Just Desserts: The Return to Bistro 80, Pyrmont

hello there,
laura here. i'm here writing my very first post as a mafia member. just writing that out makes me feel powerful. some words just sound dangerous to me, mafia being one of those words.

i remember months ago, i received an email from a reader of my personal blog asking me if i order dessert when i'm eating at a restaurant. the answer is that 8 times out of 10, i won't. simply because i'm obsessed with fruit porn. yes, i am indeed crazy.

i bet you are wondering why i am in a group called 'the women's dessert mafia', aren't you? it's ok, i will explain myself.

it is not a health choice, it's my choice. i make the choice because i want too. fruit porn has & always will hold a special place DEEP inside my heart, don't let my love for fruit fool you ... i do indulge & boy, do i do it well? indeed i do.

after tacos last week, the bff & i left our friend. we headed to the casino, she headed to bed. at the casino, we headed straight up to bistro 80 - where we ran into peter who thought the dessert mafia had dramatically lost members but i proudly informed him that we were in fact still together, just not tonight.

my bff had no idea what was going on when peter started talking to me about the dessert mafia, she just looked at me like i was crazy. i explained the story to her & she thought it was sweet of him to remember BUT she also thought i was weird. i told her to shut it, she laughed.

the banana bread & butter pudding ($10), again ... kicked ass. the custard warms my soul & actually speeds my heart up as i swallow, i actually lust after this pudding. it is so delicious that i hate to share it but i'm the girl who gives her bff the bigger half because i heart her. the hot chocolate fondant ($10) was boiling & the chocolate sauce tastes like it is a personal gift from the heavens to your mouth ...i.die. a chocolate death. mmmmmm, incredible.
being close to the restaurant where this blog started makes me happy, i adore returning.

see you soon everyone.

July 14, 2011

Guylian, Sydney


I met up with some Uni friends the other day for dinner, where we spent the second half of it wondering about the lack of dessert cafes in the city. Two places sprung to mind as plausible options - Guylian Belgium Chocolate Cafe, and Max Brenner.

Guylian was chosen as the seemingly lighter option, and away we went!

Ice Cream Taste Pallet      Clockwise from top: Hazelnut, Pistachio, Strawberry, Belgian Chocolate

The Ice Cream Taste Pallet was basically 4 scoops of ice cream - Hazelnut, Pistachio, Strawberry and Belgian Chocolate. Was it mind blowing? Nope. But it was ok ice cream. To be honest though, I have nothing to complain about, even though I'd rather some Ben & Jerry's.


The Caramelt was really light - lighter than I thought when I saw it! - and the mousse was creamy and decadent. I felt that the tart, fruity sauce that it was sitting on went quite well with the mousse, and the toasty-tasty hazelnuts on the top really added great texture.

Passion Temptation

The dome of the Passion Temptation really brought to mind images of fussy French presentation, but the dessert was simple enough - white chocolate mousse with passion fruit. It was nice, but I can't really say that much about it since I'm neither a white chocolate nor a passion fruit fan.

100% Pure Pleasure

The 100% Pure Pleasure really delivered on its promise! The menu lured us in with the promise of chocolate mousse with almond Panna Cotta, and it didn't disappoint! After hearing that good Panna Cotta should tremble like a frightened bird, there was some hearty table-slamming in order to achieve the effect. Yes, we know that it is Panna Cotta that is surrounded by mousse, but it was still fun, and it still wobbled!

Guylian Chocolate and Banana Shake

What can I say? It's banana and chocolate - a classic combination. Although...I don't know if it was just me but the banana bit of the drink was just a bit on the light side.

Oh how I miss bananas...=(

One thing good about Guylian though, is the variety of other things that they do with chocolate. =)


I love chocolate sculptures!

We ate at:
Guylian Belgium Chocolate Cafe
Opera House, Sydney Harbour Tunnel
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8274 7900

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

July 7, 2011

The Genesis Story: Bistro 80, Star City

The outing was supposed to be about Fat Noodle, a new Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant on the main gaming floor at Star City Casino.

(Btw, the salt and pepper silken tofu at Fat Noodle?
Incredible. By far the best thing on the menu there.)

We'd organised a small meetup to try out Laura's latest eatery of choice, and it was only at the last minute that she suggested we also have dessert - upstairs at Bistro 80, the restaurant replacing Sean's Kitchen in the complex's multi-million dollar make-over.

Although Tammi seemed more intereseted in first sampling some jamon, the rest of us requested the dessert menu as soon as we were seated. Our bellies were sated from dinner, and our sweet teeth were bared!

There were seven straight-up dessert items on offer, and six eager food bloggers in attendance. Karen and I leaned across the table and poured over our options together. How could we possibly pick just one dessert each from such a tempting list? We ended up being extravagant and ordering four desserts just between the two of us - with the overall order from our table totalling twelve desserts.

Now that's what I call putting a hit on the Bistro 80's pastry chef!

Honey crème brûlée

This dessert was quite popular with our party, and with good reason. It was everything a good crème brûlée should be - from the satisfying cracking open of its caramelised shell, to the final spoonfuls of its smooth, melt-in-your-mouth custard.

Over the last few months and without any planning or aforethought, I've managed to have tried quite a selection of crème brûlée - and although I wouldn't place this particular version at the top of my list, it still ranks pretty high. I even enjoyed the accompanying compote of strawberry and rhubarb; the latter being a fruit that I have a contentious flavour history with.

I have no idea why the menu specified that this a honey crème brûlée, because I couldn't taste anything honey of it whatsoever. Still, a thumbs up from me!

Lemon and passionfruit delicious with citrus compote and lemon curd ice cream

Its name says it all: delicious! I am a big honking fangirl for any kind of citrus curd, so it's needless to point out that I loved this ice cream. The moist cake base and scattered cocoa nibs added a nice contrast to the super-sweetness of the rest of the dish. And in the dead of winter, it was so nice to taste fresh, tropical fruit again!

I also loved the presentation of this dessert. It doesn't look like your typical lemon delicious, but but as soon as I saw it, I wanted to gobble it all up (without sharing)! 

Poached raspberry meringue with raspberry sorbet and lemon verbena custard

This wasn't exactly what I was expecting (the meringue, for example, was more a mousse) but it was still lovely-tasting - even though eating the dish without completely smooshing it into the plate with every spoonful was like playing Jenga!

The combination of the aerated "meringue", real raspberry pieces and lemon custard was top-notch, but the highlight of this dessert was definitely the sorbet.

Dark chocolate tart with mandarin sorbet and crème fraîche

This baby was sixty-six percent Vahlrona chocolate and boy, could you tell! It was super-rich, but teetered pleasantly on the nice side of sickliness. To make the dish dance on your tastebuds, however, required a spoonful of the chocolate and its sour garnishes of madarin pieces and crème fraîche.

The only reason why I couldn't finish my half of the tart was because it was the last of the desserts that I got to tasting, so I was already half-full by that point. I definitely would've licked the plate clean had this been the only dessert I ordered - it was my favourite dish of the night (with the lemon delicious coming in a very close second).

(The money shot!)

I would be remiss in not mentioning Peter, our delightful waiter for this dessert-athon. He was friendly, funny, very attentive and knowledgeable about our chosen dishes - and a food blogger's dream when he turned up the mood-lighting in our section of the restaurant so we could get the best possible photos! He made our bonkers visit to Bistro 80 a truly enjoyable dining experience.

In fact, the reason this blog now exists is because of Peter - because of my favourite moment from the whole fabulous night. Flanked by his fellow waiters delivering our desserts en masse, he let us in on the kitchen's response to our staggering demand for sugar:

"The chef asked me when I gave him your order, Who've we got out there? The Women's Dessert Mafia?... Only, he said it with a lot more f-words."

And lo, a new food blog was born!

So stay tuned for more posts, as the Women's Dessert Mafia - as individuals and as a Family - take out contracts on sweets all over Sydney...

Bistro 80 on Urbanspoon