Want to get a headstart on your Easter menu AND add something a little different to blow your mates’ hair back AND avoid basic chocolate eggs? Spice Temple has you covered with this swish little number: jasmine tea egg with smoked chicken salad. Eggs and chicken? Sure. Eggs represent new beginnings and also represent fertility and the joy this brings to families. Chickens make eggs. Circle of life, friends. Enjoy.
You will need to prepare the jasmine tea eggs a day in advance.
For the jasmine tea infused eggs
2 eggs, room temperature
2tbsp jasmine tea leaves
1 cup dark soy sauce
2 cloves star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water
For the smoked chicken salad
2 smoked chicken marylands (a cut of chicken which contains both drumstick and thigh), store bought
ó bunch spring onion
ó bunch coriander
2tbsp crispy chilli oil, Laoganma brand
For the black Vinegar Dressing
75ml black vinegar
45ml chilli oil
25g caster sugar
5g table salt
For the eggs
1. In a cooking pot over high heat, combine dark soy sauce, water, star anise, cinnamon stick and jasmine tea. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Take the mixture off the heat and cool down to room temperature.
3. In a separate pot, bring water to the boil and gently place eggs into the pot.
Cook for 7 minutes. Remove and place into a bowl of ice water immediately.
4. Once the eggs have cooled down, gently tap the sides with a spoon to create even cracks.
5. Place eggs in a separate bowl and pour over the tea infused dark soy until submerged. Leave eggs to rest in the fridge overnight.
For the salad dressing
1. To prepare the salad dressing, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well until chilli oil and black vinegar and fully combined.
2. Cut cucumber and spring onion into fine long strips.
3. Then, roughly chop coriander.
4. Shred chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a salad bowl.
5. To serve the dish, peel the tea infused eggs and cut into quarters.
6. Combine cucumber, spring onion, coriander and crispy chilli oil with your smoked chicken, and then dress well with black vinegar dressing.
7. Serve the egg along with the smoked chicken salad.
BAR/D UP Video Feature // Dexter // PrestonIn collaboration with Hawkers Beer
Unless you’re a vegetarian, you probably froth for meat. And if you froth for meat, then you have to go to Dexter. This Preston eatery has been making locals gaga since 2015 and has gained a reputation across the city for its non-traditional take on the classic American BBQ with inventive twists and very satisfying results.
We know that southern-style slow-cooked meats are popular, but these guys have taken it to the next level. And then there’s the buns…. beautiful, heavenly soft brioche designed to be a vehicle for the meat. Think pulled pork, beef brisket, fried chicken or maybe even a pig’s head croquette. Vegetarians and vegans aren’t forgotten, either, with the choice of corn fritters, the Kentucky Fried Cauliflower or the BBQ eggplant, all absolutely delicious. Make sure you add sides like the bone marrow mash (not if you’re plant-based), fennel & apple salad, and probably some burnt Sriracha corn.
So why did we come here?? Because where there’s meat, there must be alcohol. Hawkers Beer on tap goes down a treat, but one won’t be enough and, if you love wine, then co-owner Sam Peasnell, who is a bit of a wine freak, has selected some choice offerings that match the food perfectly. Cocktails are pretty much made to order and it’s kept quite simple here, with a nice range of spirits on offer but just enough to get the job done. When you arrive you should definitely order a round of picklebacks made with equal quantities of bourbon and pickle juice to prime your tastebuds. Throw in a starter of fluffy hot meat doughnuts, guaranteed to make you smile and leave you wanting more.
The question that we often ask is why do so many places these days have to complicate things? Humans are simple beasts. We get hungry, so we eat and we get thirsty, so we drink. It’s all about feeding the most basic cravings. Best to take Dexter’s carnal approach: First take a nice big gulp of that icy cold beer, then put juicy meat in between those warm buns and feel the wave of pleasure wash over you as you wipe the drool from the side of your mouth. Saucy, sensual, satisfying….just how it should be.
It’s summer(ish), it’s getting warmer(ish) and it’s Prosecco time. Well, it’s always Prosecco time but right now is like THE PERFECT TIME. And by perfect time we mean this Saturday, February 23, at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre.
We’re not really big on listicles at GRAM, but what the hell. Let’s do this: five reasons to go to the Prosecco Festival in Melbourne this year.
One lucky winner can pick up 2 x VIP tickets ($200 value) to Festival Session #1 from 11am. We’ll post the details on our account at Insta, @gram_magazine, and Facebook. Make sure you use the @TheProseccoFestival handle in your post. More details there.
There will be stacks of Italian and Australian Prosecco. Stacks. And there will be food from Milk The Cow, 400 Gradi, Yarra Valley Caviar and Eat Cannoli.
A Prosecco gelato pop-up. Yep. A beautiful conjoined baby of a gelato using the fusion of Dal Zotto and Tenuta 2 Castelli Proseccos. All mastered by The Prosecco Queen and Gelato Papa.
Oh yeah, that ticket giveaway. What about it also includes: entry into a Masterclass AND the VIP area where there is free-flowing Prosecco, grazing tables from Milk the Cow and a Plumm glass per guest to keep
And lastly, maybe you’ll see two gals or guys doing this to Prosecco…
You don’t do that to Prosecco. If you see this, you know what to do.
This is my fourth year writing this little review and I still love discovering the connections between the roaster and the cafe where I choose to drink their coffee. Owners often make a decision on what to serve based on personal preference and because it suits the demographic in the area. This time, with Equilibrio Espresso, I discovered an even stronger relationship: one built on shared values, passion and understanding.
Our Little Secret (OLS) in Camberwell was started by David Winiata, Jarrard Botting and Katrina Moreland, all from a hospitality background, working at venues like Il Bacaro, Sarti and Philippa’s Bakery. Their combined experience in food and beverage service led them to open this beautiful space together at the end of 2013. When it came to the coffee, David, who comes from a cocktail bartending background believed that an understanding of the classics creates a solid foundation to innovate in the present. He chose Equilibrio because it is a progressive specialty coffee business born out of Coffee MIO, a driving force behind Melbourne’s now institutional coffee culture, providing our city with classic Italian espresso since 1965.
He also went with Equilibrio because roaster and grandson of the co-founder, Steve Berra, is his brother-in-law. Together with Sabrina Maier and her father Edmund, who has been with Coffee MIO since the mid 1990s, they are drawing on years of experience and proving that tradition doesn’t prevent you from evolving and crafting a superior product.
The fact that there is a family connection is obviously important and it’s wonderful that David in particular has chosen to support his wife’s family business. However, the reason why the OLS team uses Equilibrio’s The Honest Few blend is because their patrons love its syrupy, bold, complex and full-bodied nature, with a crisp citrus mouthfeel upfront to challenge the tastebuds just a touch. This has become the new norm in a lot of espresso house blends because many roasters have realised that Melburnians still love the profile of a classic medium roast Italian espresso, but want that little twist that makes you stand up and pay attention. The Honest Few uses Colombia Supremo, Indonesia Gayo Mountain, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Natural and India Kaapi Royale and is mainly Arabica, but uses a small amount of speciality Robusta for its creamy rich malt chocolate finish and a bit of punch.
According to Steve, Equilibrio doesn’t just source coffee classified as ‘specialty’, basing their choice not solely on its score, rather procuring beans that encapsulate certain flavours and characteristics found when cupping at origin or back in their cupping room. Taste is always the deciding factor in order to produce a good honest cup of coffee and that’s where the name of this four bean blend comes from.
Sure, it’s basically the last day of the current Lunar New Year celebrations. And, yep, we basically have been very quiet (there’s a reason) but we can’t let this time pass without posting a smashing recipe from our friends at Spice Temple. Plus, pork is another staple for any Chinese banquet, not just Lunar New Year, so get into it at any time in 2019. Pork symbolises strength and abundant blessings, and the sauce here is the perfect balance of acidity and spice to cuts through the fattiness of the pork belly.
You will need to prepare pork a day in advance in order to properly dry out the pork skin. This helps to achieve a crisp crackling. And you want the crackling crisp.
1 serving of pork belly, skin on
50g black fungi
1/2 bunch spring onion
Table salt, for basting
For the green chilli dressing
1tbsp minced garlic
1tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp chopped green chilli
100ml rice wine vinegar
50ml black vinegar
30ml light soy sauce
50ml chilli oil
1. Score the pork skin, 5mm deep, using a very sharp knife.
2. Preheat oven to 220°C. Sprinkle a good amount of table salt over the skin then transfer the pork to a wire rack in a roasting tin. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 175°C and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
3. Check the internal temperature of the pork with a thermometer. It should be59°C. Remove from oven and leave to rest.
4. Soak the black fungi cold water to rehydrate for 1 hour. Once it has rehydrated, or is soft and squishy, cut into small bite sized pieces.
5. Then, slice spring onion into fine long strips and leave aside.
For the dressing
1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together and whisk well until combined.
1. To serve the dish, cut the pork belly into 2 cm sized cubes and place them neatly on a plate.
2. Dress black fungi and spring onion with green chilli dressing, and then place on top of cubed pork belly.
As 2018 comes to its inevitable end, you know what you need most? Yep, another wrap of the year that was. And now it’s GRAM’s turn. We’ve gone deep analytics (not really) to discover for you, our top ten most-read recipes of 2018. We’re going to work backwards from 10 like that truly shit 20 to 1 show on Nine and really amp up the drama. Because drama. So buckle up, Barbara, you’re in for one hell of a ride (probs not).
Transformer in Fitzroy’s Olivia Oldfield-Beechey has re-purposed the meat-like texture of haloumi to woo any vegetarian with Sichuan goodness. Don’t whimper at the ingredients and the process, Tina, it’s a lot easier than it looks. Pour yourself a champers and smash out some for your guests at your NYE soiree.
Pine mushrooms are the orange fungi goodness that pop out at the end of winter and early spring. They’re basically heaven and they belong in a marriage with fresh pappardelle and parmesan cream. Or basically how D.O.C Deli’s Alberto Biscaro does it.
That classic French dessert popular in the ’80s and a perennial favourite among boys of that era who would agitate the plate to make them wobble like “boobs” (sure, it happened). Equally popular in Vietnam (formerly part of the French colony of Indochine – history lesson) Windsor’s Saigon Sally puts another twist on the old fave with a goji berry caramel, coconut praline and yuzu jelly (citrusy-flavoured little jellies).
This recipe has been in the top ten of GRAM’s most-read recipes every year since it was first published in 2013. You’re going to need to plunder the spice drawer for this and, FFS, make your own chicken stock. Love you.
The bride looked fabs. The pastor was berko. The choir was ace. Zara lost her shit. But the cake, well, it was an elderflower masterpiece and you can make it yourself in cupcake form. Because you don’t need the whole cake, right? Right.
Another score for Vietnamese cuisine! This time a simple-ish dish where the pork belly can be easily subbed out to leave the focus on the hero ingredients of eggplant and tofu. You need to be organised for this one, Brodie.
Another perennial fave, who doesn’t love white wine and white fish? This little recipe has been popular since first published three years ago. Maybe it’s the recipe, or maybe we got lucky with SEO. Who cares, it’s delish.
And here we are… number one. The big numero uno. The big cheese. And, guess what, it is cheese! Well, almond feta. So not really cheese, but vegan cheese. And, tell you what, ANYTHING vegan is hot right now. Like it ranks its virtual tits off. This recipe by St Kilda’s Sister of Soul brings the Balkan’s most delicious cheese to our plant-based-only cobbers and then goes one step further by giving you a gnocchi combo (including gnocchi recipe, to boot).
So, there you go. Make them all. Dare ya.
And Happy New Year for 2019. May this year be the first of your very best years.
Ah Christmas, that special time of year when everyone seems to feverishly froth to catch up with you before Old Mate’s birthday on December 25. And why the earnest need to meet up before JC’s big day? It’s not like Santa’s going to throw you into his sack and dash through the snow back to his North Pole hideout.
But, we digress. Christmas. What’s better than decking the halls? Chrimbo drinks and food, that’s what. Plus, chances are you’re off work for at least two days (hopefully. Soz if you’re not. Love you) so this is the best time of year to get experimental and try all the new things.
It could be a type of cuisine or a specific type of food you’ve never tried. There are more and more ways to get your hands on new foods and flavours, particularly if you don’t have the time. In fact, you can even have pre-portioned ingredients delivered to you for use in healthy recipes that are easy to make, which can be really convenient. Especially if you’ve had a gutful of people this 2018 and you just can’t people any more.
But you’ll probably have to people. And while food makes it easier, drinks makes it even easier still. So, let’s check out some
If there was a continent more poorly represented in Melbourne’s restaurant scene, it would have to be Africa (yeah, we’re not counting Antartica; c’mon). And, despite a growing, dynamic and active community, good African cuisine is found, well, barely anywhere outside of some south-eastern suburbs and western Melbourne.
Come to the guts of the CBD, though, and you’ll find your own little savannah: polēpolē (267 Little Collins Street. It means ‘relax’ or ‘slowdown’ or ‘calm the farm, Sharon’ in Swaheli) where you can get your neo-colonist/hero big game farmer on (not really) and eat all the goodness of the world’s most-bullied continent without being a dick and shooting it yourself.
Climb the narrow staircase to the first floor, hang a left and you’re there. Snare yourself a table near the windows for the evening northern light for the best ‘grammable shots (if you’re that girl, Wendy), exhale, examine the menu, order the wine (do that first; good list) and go. Wednesdays are typically your Big Game nights. Polēpolē claims to be Melbourne’s only African-Australian fusion restaurant (and, let’s face it, who’s going to knock their claim?)
Inspired by extensive travels through Eastern Africa, owners Dean and Jeanelle Mariani fell in love with the vibrant cuisine and rich culture of Tanzania and Kenya.
“The ethos behind polēpolē was to blend our love of African flavours with Melbourne’s stylish Food and Wine culture – the result has been something incredibly unique in Melbourne’s thriving restaurant scene,” they said.
Brazilian born Head Chef, Felipe Bley, is fresh off the tails of a one-year culinary adventure in Switzerland and is delighted to be back with the team. Felipe, who was behind the original bar menu, is excited to lead the venue’s new chapter, evolving from a bar serving delicious, African-inspired snacks to the double offering it is today: two lively and cohesive venues in one, offering everything from after work drinks to unique restaurant dining and events (yeah, Glamp is upstairs. Think a big-arse African tent where you can imagine you’re Karen Blixen trying to reach Bror and his unit in WW1. OK, fine, excuse the obscure Out of Africa reference. Anyway, look it up, find a fabs hat and sit there, memsahib, after dins. You look divine).
Chef Felipe will be busy smoking many of his meats in-house, including the wildly-popular smoked goat curry (eat this. Eat all of this; it’s fabs). With each dish designed for sharing, polēpolē provides the perfect opportunity to take yourself on a culinary safari through the plains of east Africa, across the Nullarbor and back to Little Collins. By bringing a fusion experience, the polēpolē team have been able to get creative and be inspired by places and ingredients.
Aside from the curry, get stuck into the water buffalo steak and savour every goddamn morsel. Deadset, you can taste the laziness of this beast. Better than wagyu. Like, always better than wagyu.
The crocodile tail is a must-try, but imagine it poached in a laksa where the meat can slowly loosen into the milky curry goodness. Points to polēpolē if they can fuse the cuisine of three continents into one (and don’t start, puritans, on the Indo/Middle Eastern/Indian influence on East African cuisine. Just don’t).
So drop your basic bitch Italian, and your eye-roll “everyone’s eating Korean BBQ, Karen” and take your tastebuds on a safari. For once in their lives. Love you.
It’s cold and it’s not getting warmer any time soon. You know what makes winter go and behave quietly in the corner? Mulled wine. Delicious mulled wine, Corey. And you know what makes mulled wine even better? Brandy.
So, with big love and thanks to Jacob O’Connor, Beverage Director of mobile bar legends, Liquid Infusion, here’s his Brandy Mulled Wine recipe. So stoke a fire, make a batch, grab a lover and bring the heat back to your evenings. And don’t use the word ‘hygge,’ Erin, it’s lame AF. We’re not bloody Copehagen.
And, if you CBF making your own, head on down to Madam Brussells Lane for the last European Night Market for 2018 this Friday night. Liquid Infusion will be slinging cups of hot mulled wine from 5pm.
Brandy Mulled Wine
2 litres of Shiraz (Penfolds 74)
2 cups water
1 cup vanilla-infused sugar syrup
24 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 x nutmeg, crushed
2 tablespoons of sultanas
1 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of lime juice
4 x orange peels, 4 x lemon peels
French brandy 200mls
1. Heat water and add vanilla sugar syrup, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, sultanas and peels
2. Boil for 5 minutes and rest for 5 minutes
3. Strain into large pot and add citrus juices, heat gently until bubbling
4. Add 2 litres of your favourite Shiraz! And heat stirring well for 20 minutes
5. Serve with a shot of brandy or simply on its own and garnish with a lemon peel.
And don’t use the word ‘hygge’ not even at the European Night Market. Don’t be those people. K? Love you.