Recent Recipes

Vitasoy vs St Ali

Comments (9) | Friday, July 30, 2010

This funky invitation arrived in my inbox and it sounded like a fantastic event!
There were so many things that made me squeal with excitement:

- St Ali; I've never been but heard amazing things. I had experienced Outpost (St.Ali's sister cafe) as it was near my old work

- Cocktails by Der Raum; I have been there once with Katie and it was such a fantastic venue for cocktails. Bottles hanging from ropes from the ceiling, cocktails served in paper bags, syringes, and other funky ways.

- Desserts by Philipa Sibley; seeing her make that caramel parfait glace with salted peanut caramel and milk chocolate mousse on Masterchef make me drooooool. *sigh* if only I had an ice cream maker, I would attempt i.

- Circus acts also had me thinking of how amazing this night would be. And being able to take home part of a graffiti soy milk wall had me intrigued.

    Lighting inside was very dark, with DJs pumping out tunes whilst the crowd mingled. The other bloggers got some pretty amazing shots of the food and cocktails, their links are listed below for you to check out AFTER you have finished reading my post!

    All fingerfood and cocktails served included the Organic Vitasoy, from the chicken wings, to the amazing desserts.

    At the end of the night, the grafitti wall was dismantled and we could all take home a slab. It was a bit of a challenge to get the first slab out, but once they managed, we wondered on home with 2 slabs of Organic Vitasoy!

     A souvenir from the night.

    Check out what the other bloggers thought of the night, with more pictures of what we ate and drank!

    Thanh from I Eat Therefore I Am
    Sarah from Sarah Cooks
    Penny from Jeroxie
    Agnes from Off the Spork
    Maria from Gourmet Challenge

    Iron Chef Shellie attended Vitasoy vs St Ali as a guest of Fiona Brook from Harvey Publicity

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    Asian Burgers

    Comments (13) | Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Living out of home means I'm trying more recipes from my ever growing cookbook collection.
    I had been struck down with the plague/man flu for most of last week, and didn't really give much thought to dinner. I knew I had chicken mince in the freezer, and I did buy it a few weeks ago for this particular recipe. So I knew it was time for "operation Asian burgers" when Hamsley requested I make them!

    I served it without the ribbons of cucumber as me and cucumber don't really get along. I think the cucumber would have been nice and refreshing, balancing out the flavours a bit more.
    The sauce is quite rich, maybe it's the simple of ingredient of peanut butter included int the sauce that makes it rather rich in flavour.
    The pattie is packed full of flavour, and we still really enjoyed the burgers. These would be great at a summer BBQ with a couple of ice cold beers or ciders!

    Asian Burgers

    1 teaspoon peanut oil
    10cm stick (20g) finely chopped fresh lemongrass
    1 small red onion (100g), chopped finely
    1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
    1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind
    140ml can coconut cream
    2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
    500g chicken mince
    1 cup (70g) stale breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
    1 egg
    1 medium carrot
    1 lebanese cucumber
    4 hamburger buns

    1. Preheat grill.
    2. Heat oil in small frying pan; cook lemongrass and onion, stirring, until onion softens. Add five-spice, chilli, sauce, rind and coconut cream; bring to a boil. Boil sauce mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half; cool 5 minutes.
    3. Combine half of the sauce with peanut butter in a small bowl. Combine remaining sauce with chicken, breadcrumbs, coriander and egg in a large bowl; use hands to shape chicken mixture into four patties.
    4. Using a vegetable peeler; slice carrot and cucumber into thin strips.
    5. Cook patties in heated lightly oiled large frying pan, uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
    6. Meanwhile, halve buns horizontally; toast, cut-sides up, under preheated grill. Spread peanut better mixture on base of ban, top with cucumber and carrot ribbons and top with chicken patties.

    Serves 4.

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    Eating Out In Tasmania: Mures

    Comments (5) | Friday, July 23, 2010

    My notes on Mures were so brief 8 months ago, this will be more like a photo diary... this is what we ate:

    Fisherman's Basket (main meal size) $15.00

    The scallops were a good size and the fish had a curry flavour to it, possibly in the batter?
    Everything was hot and crisp, perfect on a chilly day.

    Seafood Chowder (soup of the day) $6.50

    A blended liquid of mixed seafood, had a lovely smokey flavour.

    Mures Pizza $19.90

    A nice crispy pizza base, full of fresh seafood, including; scallops, prawns and fish.

    I remember it all being delicious, and the place having a lovely atmosphere. It is more like a pub where you order you meals at the counter, but there is nothing wrong with that! A lovely variety of fresh seafood also on offer. I wouldn't hesitate going back again.

    Victoria Dock Hobart
    Hobart Tasmania 7000
    Phone: (03) 6231 2009

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    'Tis the season.. 5 months early! Fa la la la la, la la la la

    Comments (12) | Thursday, July 22, 2010

    I was lucky enough to be invited to the Langham's kitchen for Christmas in July, to make my very own Christmas pudding, along with 5 other food bloggers, media and other personalities.
    I love the Langham. I did alot of my year 12 photography folio based on the fountain the grand entrance. I have also come various times for the buffet. I unfortunately missed out on the bloggers high tea as I was moving house, but am making a special trip there with Miss A at the end of next month to indulge our taste buds.

    We all met in the Little Collins Room. It has a lovely warm feeling with a giant wooden table in the centre of the room, tea candles, and Christmas decorations. We were doted on with champagne and a fantastic array of canapes. 

    After a bit of a mingle, we donned on our Langham aprons, chef hats and headed down to the kitchens. There were two kitchens, both decorated in the Christmasy style; one making truffles and various chocolates, the other kitchen making puddings. We were split into two groups, and my group started off with truffle making.

    Pastry chef Zara told us all about tempering chocolate, and showed us how to dip the perfect truffle, as well as how to get the fancy spiky pattern. The white chocolate truffles had raspberry ganache and elderflower liqueur, they were simply divine.
    When tempering chocolate, to check the temperature, you put the back of the spoon on your bottom lip. You shouldn't feel a difference in temperature.... this makes tempering chocolate a delicious exercise!

    Then we had the rum truffles coated in Lindt milk chocolate and topped with cocoa nibs.
    Needless to say, it was awesome!

    We ran out of time to learn how to make the nut clusters, but us bloggers sampled quite a few of clusters on display. You can't let good chocolate go to waste!

    Butter anyone?

    We then changed over kitchens and headed in to pudding making 101 with Chef Anthony Ross. Anthony was a fantastic entertainer, and really made the group come alive as they squished their hands into the dough.

    We started with pretty much all the butter in the world, mixed with hazelnut and almond meal. No flour in these puddings, they are gluten free! It is tipped all down the bench for everyone to get involved and start mixing. Anthony jokes "this is what you do when you don't have a mixer!". He then pours over a mass mixture of dried fruits that have been macerating in St Remy brandy with a mixture of spices, citrus juice and zest; the smell is phenomenal. The group then makes a well in the mixture and Anythony proceeds to pour in two cans of Guinness to give it a rich flavour.

    We each then chose a charm, wrapped it in aluminum foil, and put it in our puddings. The puddings will be steamed for 2 hours and matured at the Langham for 5 months. We will then be delivered our puddings just in time for Christmas. I can't wait, it's my first pudding!

    Luckily for us the canapes and champagne kept following when we were in the kitchens, making the whole night a blast.

    The Langham Melbourne Christmas Pudding Recipe

    315g butter
    185g almond meal
    185g hazelnut meal
    250g sultanas
    250g raisins
    320g currants
    65g mixed peel
    190g brown sugar
    50ml water
    135ml brandy
    65g chopped figs
    30ml water
    8g mixed spice
    1.5g salt
    155ml eggs
    1 large lemon (zest and juice)
    1 large orange (zest and juice)
    80ml stout
    30ml milk

    1. Make a syrup with the brown sugar, water and brandy.
    2. Add to the fruit and let fruit soak for up to a month.
    3. Mix butter, hazelnut meal and almond meal.
    4. Mix spices, salt, eggs, zest, juice, stout and milk together, then add to nut and butter mixture.
    5. Finally, add figs and brandy soaked fruits and mix.
    6. Grease pudding moulds with butter.
    7. Fill in pudding mixture.
    8. Cook in water bath for 4 hours.
    9. When cooled, remove from the mould and store in a cool dry place.

    To cook when serving:
    1. Place 1 layer of baking paper and 1 layer of foil around the top of the pudding and tie securely with kitchen string.
    2. Lower into a saucepan of boiling water (pudding needs to be 3/4 submerged)
    3. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow to boil for 2 to 3 hours.
    4. Top up water if required.

    Serve with hot custard.

    Makes 1, 2kg pudding.

    I would like to thank Caryn and Tina from Media Moguls for letting me attend such a fabulous event!

    Check out what the other bloggers thought about the night:

    Joyce from MEL Hot or Not

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    Ah McCain... you've done it again!

    Comments (5) | Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    It's a slogan that's been going on for yonks, and still rings true.
    I was offered to sample the new sweet potato chips from McCain. Since I have a love for sweet potato chips, this seemed like a delicious offer.

    The chips come in two varieties; crinkle cut and thin cut.
    I took the crinkle cut variety over to my parent's house to share with them and my cousins. I figured crinkle cut is more fun and got everyone to help me sample.

    Hamsley thought they tasted a bit like pumpkin; and since he and pumpkin aren't the greatest of friends he didn't pile the chips onto his plate like he would have with potato chips. The rest of us rather enjoyed them, although I will agree to a slight pumpkin taste initially, but after a few chips, it tastes more like sweet potato.
    They take only 20 minutes in the oven, but due to oven tray shortage, I put two bags of chips on the one oven tray, and it took more time in the oven for them to crisp up nicely.

    Then we tried the thin cut a couple of days later. We had been sent some tomato chutney, tzatiki and aioli as suggested condiments to try with the chips. I cracked open the aioli, and Hamsley was like a totally different person compared to the previous chip experience. The aioli was a fantastic accompaniment to the chips and we both couldn't stop gobbling them up. He didn't comment at all of a pumpkin taste and we almost had to fight for the last chips in the bowl!

    The new McCain Sweet Potato SuperFries available in Thin Cut and Crinkle Cut varieties are available in your supermarket freezer, RRP $3.89 for 450g. 

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    Eating Out In Tasmania: Ashmore on Bridge Street

    Comments (8) | Friday, July 16, 2010

    Another blogpost from the Tasmania archives!
    Never more have I craved scones and a cup of earl grey tea, then I did when we arrived in Richmond. After a morning at Cascade, and a trip up to Mount Wellington, I had a nanna moment and put in my request for Devonshire tea to the rest of the car.

    After wondering around the small town of Richmond, we ended up at Ashmore for a spot of afternoon tea. Whilst the orange cupcakes and chocolate chip pancakes did sound nice; I was there for one thing, and one thing only.

    Devonshire Tea $9.50
    (2 scones and a pot of tea)

    We got 2 servings between the three of us, as to not spoil our dinner… and I guess not to be pigs. We had the option of raspberry or plum jam; so I ordered one of each.
    The scones were piping hot, and superb. Light and fluffy

    Dad got an ice-coffee. He was given the option of espresso or instant coffee. Not a question we have ever been asked before when ordering an ice-coffee. Espresso seemed the obvious choice.

    The waiter was incredibly friendly, and couldn't go more out of his way to make sure you were alright.
    Thanks Ashmore curing my nanna craving for scones and tea!

    Ashmore on Bridge Street
    34 Bridge Street
    Richmond, 7025
    Phone: (03) 6260 2238

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    Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Masterclass

    Comments (16) | Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Thanks to a competition on twitter, I ended up with 2 tickets to the Lindt Chocolate Masterclass at this year's Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne. Tickets were valued at $50 each and included entry to the show, which was fantastic since I hadn't yet gotten around to buying my tickets.

    I had no shortage of volunteers that wanted to come and join me. Hamsley was the lucky one though, as we both needed a day off as the event was on the weekend we moved house.

    The class we attended was at 10:30am, and since we were going to a food expo, we didn't have any breakfast. So essentially, it was chocolate for breakfast. Our chocolate guru was Thomas Schnetzler,Master Chocolatier for Australia and a Lindt Ambassador.

    Lindt & Sprüngli is the full name of the company, but as not alot of people know how to pronouce Sprüngl, they just shorted it to Lindt. 

    When you eat chocolate, you need to use your 5 senses:
    • Sight: is the chocolate glossy? does it have an even surface?
    • Touch: is it silky and smooth? The chocolate should be below body temperature, so when you touch it, it leaves a mark.
    • Sound: do you hear a crisp, clean sound when it breaks?
    • Smell: can you smell the bittersweet cocoa beans?
    • Taste: (the best part): take a small bite, chew a couple of times, then allow it to melt in your mouth. Experience the texture consistency, and subtle flavours undertones.

      Some history notes I jotted down in between munching away:
      • Chocolate was used as a way to pay taxes, and debts. 
      • It was the Spanish that introduced sugar to chocolate to make it taste less bitter.
      • Chocolate was introduced into Switzerland in 1696.
      • The first solid block of chocolate was made in 1828.
      • Milk chocolate was invented in Switzerland in 1875.
      • Lindt & Sprüngliwas established in 1899.
      The ideal temperature to store chocolate is 16°C.

      We also tried the new varieties: Sea Salt and Blueberry Intense.
      Both were both amazing. Whenever I tell people about the sea salt chocolate I tried, they scrunch up their face and in a high pitched voice ask "SEA SALT?!?"
      Lindt uses the finest quality seasalt in the world, Fleur De Sel, and it provides just little bursts of salty flavour which just goes down so smoothly. The same people that shriek at the thought of salty chocolate are pleasanlty surprised, then ask for more.
      The blueberry intense is just as amazing as it sounds, and with flaked almonds, it's like a magical explosion to your tastebuds. Don't believe me? TRY IT.

      Hamsley ended up winning the door prize; the Lindt chocolate cookbook. I'll be making good use of that, don't you worry!
      And since people would have paid $50 to attend the masterclass, we got showbags on the way out. So between us, we probably came home with about 1kg of Lindt... never a bad thing.

      For more information about chocolate or the Lindt range: http://www.lindt.com/au/

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      Week 31 - The Cookbook Challenge: Coq Au Vin for Bastille Day

      Comments (12) | Wednesday, July 14, 2010

      Week 31
      Theme: French
      Cookbook Used: The AWW Cooking School
      Author: Australian Women's Weekly

      Ideally, I would like to try and cook something relevant for major celebratory international holiday; but it just never happens. I decided to embrace my inner French mademoiselle this year and cook up a coq au vin for Bastille Day. It turns out I missed the "French" theme in the cookbook challenge, so this is my late entry.

      The recipe calls for 800g of spring onions. I didn't have that much, so I topped up the rest with a red onion I had sitting in the fridge, as well as a brown onion. Luckily for me, the recipe still turned out simply formidable!
      The chicken was incredibly tender and juicy, which you definitely wouldn't get if you used breast meat. The lovely rich sauce with the bacon and mushrooms makes it a lovely comforting winter meal.

      Relatively simple to make as well, and with such tasty results, this won't be the last time I'll be making coq au vin. Hamsley came home before a work dinner and said it smelt so good he didn't want to have dinner out. Luckily for him.... and me, there are plenty of leftovers for us to eat today, on Bastille Day; followed by a soufflé.

      Coq Au Vin

      800g spring onions
      1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
      6 rindless bacon rashers (390g), chopped coarsley
      300g button mushrooms
      2 cloves garlic, crushed
      8 chicken thigh fillets (880g)
      1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
      2 cups (500ml) dry red wine
      1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
      2 tablespoons tomato paste
      3 bay leaves
      4 sprigs fresh thyme
      2 sprigs fresh rosemary

      1. Trim green ends from onions, leaving about 4cm of stem attached; trim roots. Heat 1 tablespoons of the oil in large frying pan; cook onions, stirring, until browned all over. Remove onions from pan.

      2. Add bacon, mushrooms and garlic to pan; cook, stirring until bacon is crisp, remove from pan.

      3. Coat chicken in flour; shake off excess. Heat remaining oil in same pan. Cook chicken in batches, until browned all over; drain on absorbent paper.

      4. Return chicken to pan with wine, stock, paste, bay leaves, herbs, onions and bacon mixture. Bring to the boil; reduce heat, simmer, uncovered about 35 minutes or until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly.

      Serves 4.

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      Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple

      Comments (13) | Tuesday, July 13, 2010

      I hadn't even heard of Nyonya cuisine until my last few trips to Malaysia. Mum was on the hunt for cookbooks, and I remember looking out for them when wondering into book shops.

      I never thought I would be able to cook any Nyonya recipes, but after seeing a tempting curry on a recent episode of Poh's Kitchen, Hamsley and I were both dying to try this particular curry.
      I didn't add all 20 chillies as listed, as I didn't know how spicy Hamsley could handle; as Nyonya food is usually quite on the spicy side.
      It seemed easy enough on the show, but the recipe on the website failed to include tumeric in the ingredients list. It did list tamarind pieces, but failed to say when to add them. So I got the end of my cooking then released I didn't add them in.

      I ended up shelling the prawns as I knew Hamsley wouldn't really be a fan of getting his hand all icky whilst eating, but left a few shelled for presentation. I found the prawns that stayed shelled to not be as spicy as their un-shelled companions.

      Unfortunately our "blender" didn't grind my spice mix as fine as I would have liked, but it did a good enough job. I'll be picking up a Sunbeam foodprocessor/blender sooner rather than later after that experience. 

      The smells coming from the kitchen as I fried the spice mix were amazing! I was immediately transported back to Malaysia. The taste was also fantastic. The spiciness of the chilli, mixed with the sweetness of the pineapple; which helped to bite through the spiciness; then all brought together with coconut cream. So lucious!

      Can't wait to cook this for my family when they come down from the motherland!

       To learn more about Nyona: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peranakan

      Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple
      Chef Florence Tan

      1kg big prawns - cleaned
      500g pineapple - cut into 6mm triangle shapes
      175ml Carotino oil (or organic palm oil; I used vegetable oil)
      2 dried tamarind pieces
      5 Kaffir lime leaves
      350ml thick coconut milk
      700ml water

      Pounded or blended Ingredients
      20 dried chillies - soaked well
      300g shallots
      3 garlic (big)
      5 candlenuts (or macadamia nuts)
      3cm fresh galanga
      4 lemongrass
      2 ½ tsp belachan (shrimp paste granules)

      1 ¼ tbs salt
      3 ½ tbs sugar
      1 tbs anchovy granules (available from your Asian grocer)

      1. Heat oil and fry pounded ingredients until fragrant. (About 10 minutes or until the oil starts to separate)

      2. Add pineapple. Cook for a few minutes then add the sugar. Continue cooking for five minutes. Stirring occasionally.

      3. Pour in water and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add Kaffir lime leaves and tamarind pieces.

      4. Increase heat, then add the prawns and seasoning.

      5. Bring to boil. Pour in the thick coconut milk. Leave it to boil for a few minutes, then serve with white rice.

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      Product Review: Sirena Tuna

      Comments (7) | Monday, July 12, 2010

      Let's talk tuna.
      If you don't want to talk tuna.... maybe go find something else to do, cos I'm about to talk tuna, and nothing but tuna.

      So I was asked to sample the new range of tuna from Sirena. I had used Sirena tuna before in my cooking, so there was no hesitation when asked if I wanted to try the newest flavours: rosemary infused, dill infused and basil infused.

      Looking for a time to photograph and sample the tuna was rather hard with moving house; but we recently indulged in tuna for dinner.
      Hamsley loves his tuna, so requested tuna on toast for dinner, which I was happy with since I had spent all day in the kitchen trying to get it into order.
      I toasted up some bagels, smeared them with a little mayo and avocado and topped them with tuna for us to try the different flavours.

      I found the tuna to be quite salty on it's own, so I was a bit scared that it was going to be too salty on the bagel.
      Luckily they weren't, and you could really taste the flavours of rosemary, dill and basil.

      Of the 3 flavours, rosemary was our number one pick. In fact our pantry is stocked with many cans of the rosemary variety at the moment. I rather liked the basil, and dill was probably my least favorite, but still delicious!
      The flavours weren't overpowering, nor were they really subtle. It was just the right balance to make you want to keep eating.

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      Tomato-Braised Lamb Shanks

      Comments (14) | Sunday, July 11, 2010

      Having looked at recipes for lamb shanks for as long as I've had this blog, I decided it was about time I made them. I picked up 4 for $16 on a trip to the South Melbourne market, as well as a variety of other ingredients I needed to make this recipe.

      I chose this recipe as I love tomato based sauces. I probably should have cut the tomatoes a bit smaller though, as Hamsley isn't the world's biggest fan of cooked tomato. However, he thought it was delicious, and happily ate the leftovers.

      I started cooking them at about 1pm in the afternoon, and just LOVED the smell coming from the kitchen as they simmered away.

      I served the shanks with a creamy, smooth mashed potato. I picked up a drum sift near the markets, and passed my potatoes through it before adding milk and butter.

      Tomato-Braised Lamb Shanks

      1 tablespoon olive oil
      4 french-trimmed lamb shanks (1kg)
      1 medium brown onion (150g), sliced thinly
      2 medium carrots (240g), chopped finely
      2 stalks celery (300g), trimmed, sliced thinly
      2 cloves garlic, crushed
      1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine
      1 3/4 cups (430ml) beef stock
      4 medium tomatoes (600g), chopped coarsely
      410g canned crushed tomatoes
      2 tablespoons tomato paste
      4 sprigs fresh thyme

      1. Heat oil in large saucepan; cook lamb in batches until browned. Remove from pan.

      2. Cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic in same heated pan, stirring, until celery softens.

      3. Return lamb to pan with wine, stock, fresh and undrained tomatoes, paste and thyme, bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncovered, simmer about 1 hour or until lamb is tender.

      Serves 4.

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      Eating Out In Tasmania: Fish Frenzy

      Comments (6) | Saturday, July 10, 2010

      So I know I went to Tassie about 8 months ago, but on a quite day at work sifting through my USB stick I found some photos I intended to blog about, but just forgot lacked motivation to blog about.

      My dad had eaten at Fish Frenzy on a recent trip to Tassie before we all went down together. I had read about it in a tourist guide, and made the executive decision what night we were going to check it out.
      Voted the best fish and chips in Tasmania and displaying an "I <3 Food Award" sticker on it's door, I had high hopes for this place.

      No doubt it was the busiest place on Elizabeth St Pier. All other restaurants/cafes seem to be non-existent next to this place.

      We ended up sitting outside as there were no tables left inside. The seagulls provided entertainment; as people would leave, the seagulls wasted no time swooping in. Wait staff promptly ran out to clear the plates, and the annoying seagulls!

      Fish Frenzy $16.50
      2 pieces of crumbed fish, 4 scallops, 3 calamari rings and chips

      Mum and Dad both went for the "Fish Frenzy". There was an excellent batter to fish ratio. The batter was so crisp, yet the fish inside was so light and flakey. I'm drooling just remembering it. It was a good serving size, however Mum complained that the scallops were only as big as your thumbnail.

      Fish Burger and Chips $16.00

      I went for something different, for the food blog's sake of course. I wasn't expecting the burger to be so huge!
      I ended up emptying my little tub of tarte sauce into the burger for added moisture and flavour. It was epically filling, and fantastically good; especially for the price.

      This place is perfect for the whole family.
      A great range of salads as well on offer, and alcohol for those of legal age.

      Menu can be found on their website: http://fishfrenzy.com.au

      Fish Frenzy Hobart
      Elizabeth Street Pier,
      Sullivans Cove,
      Hobart, Tasmania 7000
      Ph: (03) 6231 2134

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      All images and text is property of Iron Chef Shellie. These reviews are based on my opinions and experiences.
      Permission must be granted before using any images or text from this website.

      Feel free to contact me:
      ironchefshellie [at] gmail [dot] com