Monday, October 26, 2015

Launch Event @ Hellenic Republic for George Calombaris' new book GREEK

I was invited to the official launch of George Calombaris' new book GREEK last Thursday night.

The usually busy restaurant was packed to the rafters with George's family, friends and colleagues (Gary! Masterchef Family!).    

The foreword of the book was written by none other than Heston Blumental, who made a lovely and funny speech about their friendship.  I didn't get to meet him but it was pretty cool listening to him talk. 

George made a thanking his family and friends. He has remained super busy since Masterchef wrapped for the year and it's so nice to see how down to Earth he is despite his maga stardom these days.

A highlight was an amazing wall designed by the wonderfully talented Alexis Petsinis.  The brightly coloured mural was meticulously decorated with lemons, oranges, meringues, pistachios, and musk sticks, and was a whimsical montage of some of the key ingredients used in the new cook book.  Kudos to the effort that would've taken to put this beautiful creation together!

Of course it would not be an event at Hellenic Republic without some awesome food.  We had the opportunity to munch on some marvelous treats during the event.  My favourite is still the "Jimmy's Dimmies"!

As for the book, GREEK gives you some of George's best Greek recipe to be made at home, and he is proud of his heritage and the input that he's had from his family and friends over the years.  As with all of his other cookbooks, the photos are colourful and instructions easy to follow.  I love the super eye-catching yellow of the cover on this one!

Disclaimer : Eat.Play.Shop. attended the book launch for GREEK by invitation of Made Establishment and Hellenic Republic.  Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Give Away @ Cake Bake & Sweets Show Melbourne 2015

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Updated :Competition now closed, scroll below for winners!

For anyone who has come across Eat.Play.Shop. in instagram, facebook or on this blog, it will come as no surprise to you that I love to bake when I have time.  I'm a sucker for a good pastry, a nice slice of cake, a sweet dab of salted caramel, a perfect macaron, a freshly baked tart..... all with a nice cup of tea.  So I super excited this time of year because the Cake Bake & Sweets Show is on again.  I took the kids last year and they had a blast and I'm looking forward going again this year.

There will be demonstrations by world class bakers, dessert artists and TV personalities (Reynold Poermomo! Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes! Pierrick Boyer of Le Petit Gateaux!) as well as the opportunity to enjoy the tasty treats on offer, learn about the latest tools of the trade and be amazed by the entries of the Australian Cake Demonstrating Championships.  I haven't told the kids yet but there will be a 10m chocolate river and garden installation by  the Queen of Chocolate Kirsten Tibballs.  I don't know who will be more excited when we get there!

Give-away : I have 2 double passes to give away and it's all happening this weekend, so hurry up and enter.  Competition closes Thursday 22nd October at 12pm and the winners will be randomly drawn by the Eat.Play.Shop. kids (without looking!).  Winners will be announced on the blog, as well as on facebook, twitter and instagram, and I will let you know how to obtain your passes on the day.  If I can't find you by 11pm on Thursday the prize will be re-drawn.

For more info check the website :

Cake, Bake & Sweets Show, Melbourne
WHEN: Friday 23rd October 10am - 5pm
Saturday 24th October 10am - 5pm
Sunday 25th October 10am - 5pm
WHERE:Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
WHO:Duff Goldman (USA, Ace of Cakes), Miguel Maestre, Kirsten Tibballs, Reynold Poermomo (MasterChef 2015), Georgia Barnes (MasterChef 2015), Tim Clark, Pierrick Boyer, Katherine Sabbath and more...
WHY:Celebrity demonstrations
10m river of chocolate, complete with a 2.4m waterfall in the Willy Wonka Garden
Shopping and sweet treats

Competition Information :

One entry for each of the following, why not do all!

1) Commenting on this blog post
2) Sharing this blog post
3) Liking the Eat.Play.Shop. Facebook Page (comment here or on FB that you're a liker if you are already so!)
4) Sharing the Facebook Post on this Event on your Facebook
5) Commenting on the Facebook Post on this Event
6) Reposting the Instagram Post on your Instagram with #EPScakebakesweets
7) Commenting on my upcoming instagram posts on the Cake Bake & Sweet Show
8) Retweeting any of my twitter messages about the Cake Bake & Sweet Show

So many ways to enter, and only 48 hours to do so, be quick!

Competition now closed!

Such a big response!  Winners picked at random from a bag by the Eat.Play.Shop. kids :

- @eatingoffmyplate (via instagram)
- Catherine Porquier 
- Grace Koay

I will message you with instructions on collecting your prize very soon, please email back to confirm!

Disclaimer : double passes courtesy of The Cake Bake & Sweet Show and Thrive PR.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Eat. @ Sir Charles

121 Johnstone Street, Fitzroy 3065 ph (03) 9415 7077

Hubby and I are big fans of Axil so it was a no brainer for me to try out Sir Charles when I found out this was their new venture.  We've been here quite a few times and it has become one of the "regular" places we go to for a great brunch when we're not venturing out to new places.

One of the reasons for this is that the space is quite big and they are quite accomodating for our family of five and due to the number of tables we've not had to wait for more than 20 minutes (my limit of waiting for food with young kids!)

We often have our first coffee whilst we're waiting and their mocha ($3.8) is great as you would expect from its pedigree.

The kids love their little carrot cake ($4) and we've ordered this as a "snack" as well as a dessert.

The menu is quite interesting and a strong Asian influence is evident.  I think one of their signature dishes would be the Sir Charles Benedict ($18) with panko crumbed eggs, Sriracha hollandaise and bacon on roti.  The eggs are lovely and the roti is a genius twist to the good old muffin.  The hollandaise gives a tasty kick but my kids find it a tad too spicy so I usually get all the sauce (mwahahaha).

They have changed their menu quite a few times since our first visit and I'm always surprised by their new dishes and not been disappointed.  Some of these have included the corn fritters ...

The most amazing lamb ribs....

A Korean fried chicken burger.......

And a Fish Curry Special of the day.....

I can't wait to see what's on the menu on our next visit!

Sir Charles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Eat. @ Oppa Kitchen

271 Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD 3000 ph 0421 351 489

The kids spotted this new cute Korean place when we were in the city and made a snap decision for lunch there on one of our visits to the city.  I love that they are now at an age where they are keen to try out new places and new foods!  

Well since our first visit we've been there about 10 times because it's such a quick and cheery place to grab a quick meal before we head off on adventures in the CBD!  

To be honest, the food here is not your super traditional Korean fare, but the dishes are pretty cheap, fun and quick to the table, so it ticks all the boxes for my kids.  Now get ready for all our delicious pictures - we've tried just about everything on this menu!

I always get the Fried Rice Cake ($5) here, they are slightly crispy and covered with a good dose of sauce.  The serving is not huge but it's a great starter.

The Korean Fried Chicken comes in original fried, soy garlic and sweet chilli flavours ($6 Small, $11 large).  Not the best I have tasted but still quite pleasantly, and comes mixed with pieces of wedges and fried rice cake.  The kids actually quite like that!

You can also get the same deal but with chicken wings ($6 for 4 pieces, $11 for 8) and they are also quite tasty.

Their Bibimbap comes with a choice of beef, spicy pork, spicy chicken, tofu and mushroom or avocado. ($10 regular)

For the crispy rice version you can order the stone bowl Bibimbap ($12).  Call me a big kid but I am a massive fan of crispy rice!

For a bigger meal we often share a Dosirak ($10 -$12), which is a meal bucket, the equivalent of a bento box in Korea I guess!  Again you can choose a different "protein" topping like beef bulgogi, beef steak, spicy pork, pork belly and pork ribs.  The rice is topped also with a salad, fried potato hash, pickle and usually a piece of orange.  They're pretty good value for money and we quite like these, although I don't really like the pork belly one as I find that the pork is 95% fat so there's not that much meat to eat!

They also serve a Korean Curry (with Korean chicken schnitzel $11), which is quite mild and tastes much like a Japanese Curry.  Macaron Monster loves curry and we tried this once and we all quite liked it and it's not too spicy.

I went with my sister once and we tried out their Meat Platter ($26) which has a nice mix for the meat lovers with beef steak, pork belly, pork spare ribs, chicken breast and lamb ribs.  It's not bad value for money when you share! 

As a change I like their mandarin juice ($3) which you don't often see on menus.

As you can tell we quite like this place and hope that they keep up the prompt service and cheeriness!
Oppa Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato