Top Paddock, top shelf.

[Top Paddock, 658 Church Street Richmond 3121]

Bircher muesli[The visually tantalising Bircher muesli with natural yoghurt & green tea poached pear]

Its been way to long since our last chat so best we dive straight in shall we!?

Some truly excellent friends of mine gathered to share stories of hilarity and deliciousness on this fine day whilst basking in love, sun and vibes at Top Paddock, Richmond. (I’m sure by this stage you have already had a cheeky visit, and agree it’s a pretty spesh place.)

Over the past couple of years, I have developed a rather obsessive need to order soft shell crab on pretty much every possible occasion. And just when i thought I was safe within the trusting arms of the breakfast category, not only was I confronted face-to-face with the crab itself, but it came armed with some brioche… I mean what’s a girl to do?

Soft shell crab
[Fresh soft shell QLD mud crab roll with fennel, dill & lime mayonnaise in brioche bun]

I am partial to a bit of food envy, and this was no exception.Ricotta Hotcakes[Ricotta hotcakes with blueberries, organic maple, seeds & organic marscarpone]

If you have had the pleasure of meeting Jamon, you will understand my absolute “weak at the knees” situation right here.

Jamon anchovies 2[White anchovies & jamon serrano with fried eggs, padron peppers & manchego on toast]

How you going there? Its way past dinner time here in Melbourne and let me tell you, I AM DROOLING!!!! Do yourself a favour and head on down with your loved ones to share some good times, food and togetherness.

Wishing you a truly spectacular week, and may every mouthful be as delicious as the next.

Tastefully yours,
Joanna

Light reading:
Click here for menu.

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon

Delicious & beautiful

[La Llavor dels Origens Restaurant, Barcelona]

Love it when I see a forecast like this! It’s sunny and blue skies. Even though the actual temperature is low, the sun is warm and soaks right into your skin.

So, yesterday morning [when I STARTED writing… finishing now :)] I was listening to Rosie on Triple J requests whilst indulging in some natural full fat yoghurt with honey – streaming it of course and some Live recordings of Jonsi came on – what a perfect way to spend a little blogwritn in the sun listening to that magical sound. 🙂 right?

Lets get right into it then….

Restaurant La Llavor dels Origens has 4 destinations tucked away in Barcelona – we happened to stumble along the one in the ‘Born zone’ [please click here for other locations] I think it’s always a good sign when a restaurant is filled to the brim with locals! – and this was no exception.

A lot of work has been poured into the overall ambience, menu, website and the ‘brand’ . By promoting locally produced and organic goods the restaurant holds strong and in the minds and mouths of the customers.

The vibe is adjacent with the view – its warm, inviting, relaxed and ‘organic’…if that makes sense? i.e. everything has a very natural feel including the very personable staff and the presentation. Very ‘home-cooked’ and oozing with love in every corner. Its warm and informative staff glide across the restaurant floor chatting and taking orders and laughing. I know… it sounds all very exaggerated…but it honestly just felt as thought they were merrily gliding along they merry way.

We were presented with what is essentially a magazine… menu yes, but it definitely covers all questions, if you had any, about the produce, the wine even right down to the vinegar.

Initially we were overwhelmed, but our angst was quickly lessened by the information provided – it essentially empowered the consumer to make the right choices for the evening and beyond.
As the menu seemed extensive and so very packed with useful information, the decision was becoming harder and harder to make.

The tasting platter choice was appealing, however maybe a little TOO much food… even for me. 🙂

Wine for the evening was the local speciality:

Now, the photos really don’t do the food justice… the lighting was low and all I had was my phone. But I tell you, the food was amazing! seriously tasty and simple food. Def worth a second, third… repeat visit.

We ordered a few dishes to indulge in together, starting with the Roasted zuchinni with mozzarella:

& Stuffed octopus with squid ink:
[this was delicious but were left with black teeth and mouths… so maybe dont order this on a date :)]

Slow cooked rabbit with caramelised onion and potatoes:
I’m not a fan of rabbit…so I didn’t have much of this one.

& Last, but not least, baby octopus stew type thing cooked in own juices and served with soft and delicious beans.

I felt satisfied and ‘culinarily’ loved through and through… after all that wine and gorgeous ‘homestyle’ local food – I was pretty much ready for a lie down and taking off the belt :)…BUT…we somehow found some room for gelato, which was down the road at Gelaaati di Marco.

This was some seriously delicious gelato with the usual and the very unusual flavours : eg Avocado, croissant, Rice…

You can never really be too full for amazing dessert like this…. really 🙂
Hopefully this cleared the bad taste in your mouths after reading ‘a huntsman abroad‘… sorry about that :/ 🙂

. . .

Tastefully yours,

V a l e n c i a : d e l i c i o u s !!!

[Valencia, Spain]

In search of the best Paella….

Day 1: Coast side restaurant in Valencia

Paella is always served for a minimum of 2 ppl, its always best enjoyed together in other words 🙂

‘Paella (Spanish pronunciation: [paˈeʎa]) is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, alagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.[1]

Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain’s national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.

There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanishpaella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanishpaella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanishpaella mixta), but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white ricegreen vegetables, meat (rabbitchicken), land snailsbeans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans.

Most paella chefs use calasparra[2][3] or bomba[3] rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.’

Seafood Paella + Sangria + hot night = trouble!… I think I shortly fell into a food coma after this meal!

Day 2: something different 🙂

Entree was a local potatoe and egg dish, I’m not the biggest fan of sunny side, but it was a very interesting meal nonetheless.

It was a bit heavy for entree, but I think for a breakfast – it would be lovely after a big night out or on a cold sunday morning.

then, we tried NOODLE Paella! that was VERY interesting. Apparently it was a local speciality, it was surprisingly salty but very tasty and bursting at the seams with seafood! 🙂 yummm!!!

Day 3: Amstelleria, Aqua shopping centre.

We were staying accross the road at Hotel Melia Valencia (which was an absolute treat at a bargain price), and we ventured towards the new shopping complex to see what it was all about.

It was an interesting space – all very open and no use of air-conditioning in the foyer area because it had been designed with the environment in mind – it used the natural flow of air as ventilation.

For lunch, we decided to try something different, and I think we both agreed this place was amazing!

Beer on tap on you table!!! – what a seriously cool idea!!!

I ordered a salmon bocadillo and we were on our merry way to becoming a little tipsy 🙂

[Last day brunch]

At the only place that seemed busy on the Sunday we were leaving, we were treated to a massive brunch including drinks and coffee for only 10 Euros each!

Paul got an amazing roast entree and lunch…I think it was a bunny rabbit (:( )

and I got this pan fried egg and potatoe thing again – with patee this time.

I’ll have to say, I probably wouldnt go back to try the same, but Paul’s roast was seriously melting off the bone type deal. yum!

It wasn’t the best service, as there on only one woman pretty much running the front, but she did the best she could.

And given the circumstances, it was all very quick and filling.

Desert was also simply, but fresh and delicious.

[strawberry sponge cake & fresh melon]

Overall a pretty ‘delicious’ Spanish summer holiday, and would definitely go back to try the other parts of Spain’s specialities.

…………………………………………

tastefully yours,

Joanna

R a i n b o w s : i n : m y : t u m m y

[ Trier und Luxembourg city]

I turned another year older last month, but may in Trier was so cold and unfriendly I wanted to be a June baby (only in the northern hemisphere) and so I moved my bday a month later just to mix things up a bit. 🙂 It’s just the way I roll. 😉

I spend way too much of my time (awake and alseep) thinking about food and all it’s glory, but often I think about what these so called ‘non-food’ items would taste like.

From time to time, I flirt with the idea-resulting quite unsuccessfully…

But seriously, another universe away trees might be edible- like chocolate stumps with peppermint icing….and/or fluffly cloud flavoured fairy floss…. Gnom gnom gnom…. 🙂

Wow… What a wonderfully diabetic world that would be. I wonder if mr w.wonka came from a world just like that?

( pause to drool )…

Sooo, in the spirit if all things edible and bday related, Paul picked out all the colours of the rainbow from a little macaroon place in Luxembourg for a tastebud tickling sensation…..party in my mouth!!

I truly believe if rainbows were edible, they would taste just like these….. simultaneously soft & lightly crunchy exterier, creammmmmmy and decadent filled centre and a colourful treat for your visual senses.

(Red and yellow and pink and greeen, purple and orange and bluuuuuuue….)

………………………
Tastefully yours,

Joanna

M e l b o u r n e : f u n : t i m e s

[ My house, Melbourne ]

Once upon a another hemisphere ago….

Twas the day before autumn, and all through the hood,

my tum tum was stirring,

all because it was all out of food…

I made my special meatball recipe that day as I listened to Sia and wrapped the bouncy meat treats into puff pastry for the oveny warm goodness to wrap its puffy arms around.

Served on a bed of cherry tomato salad and consumed in the warm afternoon sun daydreaming of a time I would be another hemisphere away…

………………………….

tastefully yours

Joanna

Dear Mr Oliver…

[ 15 Westland Place, London N1 7LP ]

I think to be quite honest, the food in London isn’t one to sing ‘n’ dance about… and as a Melburnian, you can’t help but be a little picky about the food you eat- as we are so very blessed to have so many talented chefs and cafes. So… going to a place like fifteen, was an absolute treat! [and a half! ]

We went for dinner their the previous night, and I seriously haven’t had such yummy scrummy moorish culinary treat since I’d left home sweet home…. sigh…even the the lush olives were ‘burst- in- your-mouth’ freshness and flavour like your can not believe an olive can hold…

We walked accross the road from the appartment to indulge in some yummies for our tummies before we farewelled LDN to start our adventure in Trier, Germanland.

Fifteen in the morning light gave way to the jovial and light atmosphere. It was bathing in freshness and glistening with new day aura.

I ordered poached eggs/grilled tomatoes/ portobello mushies [I like to judge a breaky cafe by its poached egg quality]

and I think he ordered ‘a mountain of scrambled eggs accompanying pretty much a whole smoked salmon… well it wasn’t exactly what he ordered, but it sure as hell looked like it. [photos don’t even do it justice yo!]

oh!, and I ordered something different to drink, as fresh juices with a hint of ginger isn’t as readily available as it is in melbourne town. I committed to a marriage of ‘apple, english cucumber, mint and yoghurt in the form of a smoothie’…at first taste, I was shocked at the unusual flavour, but after the second, but tastebuds and I aggreed it was a HIT! yummo-land!!!

Eggs were poached to absolute perfection, and the whole plate was pretty much devoured before I could even offer him any. This breakfast had turned me into some sort of breaky animal…. awkward…!!! 😉

One thing I really did forget to mention is the service, MY LORDY, truly unlike most customer service I have been ‘so fortunate’ to receive- they were polite, helpful and actually around. Excuse my cutting remarks, but you have to agree London has many amazing things to offer…customer service aint making that list…

Overall, I truly enjoyed the experience, as dining isn’t 100% about the food – lets dust off ol’ Pareto, and borrow his rule: I would say 80% delicious 20% delivery. voila! a recipe for dancing tastebuds and a super satisfied tum tum!

…………………………………

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

 

Fifteen London on Urbanspoon

U n s e r e : W o h n u n g

[ Trier, Germanland ]

so… here, on the other side of the world the sun shines in the middle of the year and snows in the beginning and end… the water turns the other way down the drain, and the sun moves in a different direction…so I am told. It makes a lot of sense b/c a lot of the times I feel like I’m upside down.

I can not begin to tell you how fresh the air is here, and how vivid all the plants are – Melbourne is truly amazing, but its hardly the greenest city.

Here we are graced with the most fertile soil in Europe. And the water quality in Trier is something out of a dream. I mean Melbourne water is pretty ok, but coming from London [lime scale central] it was a dreamy dream come true.

As a result, the produce here is just ‘happy’. Happy cows, happy schweine [pigs], happy fruit & vegies.

Riding my bike through the town and the vineyards is an experience, I don’t think these feet of mine have touched pedals since….. well since Italy, but before that… well that was a lifetime ago!!

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh grass and flowers tickling your nose whilst the beautiful spring/summer sun dances on your skin as you glide through one of the enchanting Trier bike trails…

I slow down and hop off, oh so gracefully… NOT!!! – I am such an unco, I keep falling upon take off and landing…. pretty much ALL the time! fun times for my fanny!

Anyway, as I ‘gracefully’ slide off my bici, I meander through the fresh food and produce market in the city square. I purchase fresh German Erdbeeren [that’s strawberries for those of you playing at home 😉 ] and duck into Aldi for some fluffy brioche.

The warm oveny sweet sweeeeet result isn’t friendly for the thighs, but truly a delight for my tum tum and eyes.

enjoy 🙂

………………………….

tastefully yours,

Joanna