January 29, 2010

Sung's Kitchen

Sung's Kitchen
118 Frankling Street, Melbourne

Recently, I had the pleasure of dining with a few special guests, it was my first food bloggers dinner. Conor from Hold the Beef had come over from Perth to watch some Australia Open action and decided to get together with some Melbourne bloggers for some action of the non-sporting kind.....eating. There was April from My food Trail, Michele from Iron Chef Shellie, Penny from Addictive and Consuming and Agnes from Off the Spork. Penny had suggested Sungs Kitchen and what a great recommendation it was.

meals on offer

It was so pleasant to be in the company of fellow food bloggers. I suspected I wasn't the only one who took photographs of menus and was extremely glad to see that I wasn't the only one who suffers from short term memory loss. Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the menu at Sung's and have no idea what each dish is except for what I suspect it is made from. I'll try to do my best to include as much detail of the dish as possible, but it might be an idea to keep an eye on some of the other blogs for more precise information.


We started with the crab. Some big old mud crab with a nice eggy noodle below. Nothing better than meeting people for the first time and flicking them in the eye with some crab shell. Luckily, it managed to keep my crab shells to myself. The crab was good, a great sign is when there is very little talking going on, and once everyone dug into their dish there was silence.

crab with noodles

We had all ordered a dish each. There was a tea smoked duck. The duck was nice and moist and the sauce was pretty delicious too.

tea smoked duck

I'm not exactly sure what type of prawn hot pot/clay pot this was, but there was a fair bit of chilli in it, just the way I like it. It packed a neat punch, just enough to get your saliva going and keep you appetite ticking over.

chilli and prawn hot pot

The description of the Hunan Pork spare ribs was pretty interesting, and Daz and I just had to order it. "if you like salt and spicy, than this dish is a must try". The pork was crispy and crunchy, the veggies were a nice accompaniment. There was massive piece of chilli flaked through the entire dish. Poor Daz must have grab the only extremely hot piece and attempt to eat it. That didn't stop him though, he was back for more straight away.

Hunan spare pork ribs

There were also some chicken wings, and a nice plate of veggies. I have no other explanation other than they were pretty good.

chiicken wings

mushrooms and vegetables

After the main course everyone was neither hungry nor full, so we tempted the true expansion of our stomachs and ordered dessert. The dessert menu was a bit of a mystery. There were desserts that had pumpkin, egg white, banana fritters that came complete with corn flakes - when a dessert becomes a breakfast item, and even Peking soffle balls. No, I didn't spell that incorrectly. We all assumed that the soffle balls were a nice play on the traditional souffle. So we had to try it. When they arrived at the table we were all a little surprised. April even said that they shouldn't be called soffle balls, but instead soft balls!! They were truly big enough!

peking soffle bals

soffle balls

They were filled with red bean paste and banana. The skins were nice and crispy with the insides fluffy. They tasted a little eggy and doughy to me, I probably wouldn't order them again, but it was a great novelty.

inside of soffle balls

Here are a selection of other desserts that were tried.

banana fritters

almond somethings

red bean and ice cream

Sung's kitchen was a great place to finally meet some of my fellow bloggers, and now I can finally say I know what a soffle ball is!!

January 20, 2010

Miso Soup with Pork Meat Balls

miso soup

Its the middle of summer here in Australia right? So what was with that cold snap earlier this week. Any time the weather gets cool and wet I always crave soups, and I wasn't going to let the middle of January stop me!! I've had miso soup many times, but never have I attempted to make it myself. I thought I would give it a go. I had some pork mince so thought that I would make some nice ginger and garlic meat balls to put in the soup. After a little Googgling I discovered that pork in miso soup is called Tonjiru, usually made with thingly sliced pieces of pork. So I guess this soup is MY version of Tonjiru.

miso soup 3

Working during the day is kinda a double edged sword. You get to make money to fuel your food loving habits, but it tires you out so that once you get home you can't be bothered cooking. This recipe is pretty easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prep and about 20 minutes to cook. So in less than half an hour you can be staring at the dishes you need to wash up....yay!

miso soup 4

For this recipe I figured I would take the extremely easy road and use a pre-made miso paste, for the base of my soup. There are plenty of recipes out there to make your own base, but the white miso paste I tried was pretty darn good. I also had a few mushrooms in the fridge that were deprived of their water content. So I thought I would rehydrate them in the soup, after a little peeling and slicing.

dehydrated mushrooms
sliced mushroom
After, they look totally normal hey?

So here is the recipe.

Miso Soup with Pork meat balls (Maria's Tonjiru)
serves 4

400g Pork mince
2 cloves of garlic, minced
small piece of ginger, minced
4 cups water
3-4 table spoons of white miso paste
5-6 mushrooms, sliced
150 gram silken tofu, sliced into rectangular pieces
2 sheets of nori, cut into triangles
sesame oil

miso soup 2

1. Combine pork mince, garlic ad ginger in a bowl. season with salt and pepper. Divide pork into eight individual portions and roll into balls.

pork meat balls

2. Boil water and dissolve miso paste into it. Reduce heat to lowest possible. Drop meat balls into soup. Allow the soup to cook very slowly, making sure that the soup does not come to the boil. The meat balls will be slowly poached for 10-15 minutes.

miso paste

3. Once meat balls are cooked, add mushrooms and tofu. Allow to simmer for 5 more minutes, until all ingredients are warmed up.


silken tofu

4. Serve in bowls with a few pieces of nori and a few drops of sesame oil.

I ate 3 bowls of this stuff to myself. I couldn't help myself, I just had to add a good helping of chilli oil, which is extremely addictive by the way! Is there anything that doesn't taste better with some good chilli oil??

miso soup with chilli oil

January 11, 2010

Random Cupcakes

This is my first post for the new year, hosting visiting in-laws and the silly season has taken my precious time away from my blog, and I'm starting to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. I thought what better way to start the year than a post about random cupcakes I baked last year. I didn't get around to posting about them for various reasons, but I hope that you will all enjoy it. There are no recipes, but if anyone is really interested I'll do a proper post on any flavour.

For one of many morning teas I made some vanilla buttermilk cupcakes with Nutella Swiss meringue frosting. This is by far my favorite frosting flavour. I'm not a fan of overly sweet frosting and the Swiss meringue is a good frosting if you have a similar sugar intolerance as me. Eating this cupcake is exactly like licking a room temperature ice cream, that is if you like to lick some of your frosting off first.

vanilla with nutella swiss meringue frosting

Last year one of my work mates welcomed her first child, a little boy named Alexander. For her going away party I made a some lemon cupcakes with two toppings. A fondant frosting that Daz seemed to think look exactly like brains, and a vanilla butter cream frosting. A the time we didn't know she was having a boy, so I chose green and purple because the colours are pretty neutral.

lemon cupcakes

vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

Next we have another set of random cupcakes. These actually came about by accident. The are chocolate mud cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting, topped with some chocolate Persian fairy floss. I sometimes throw left over frosting into the freezer, I cant bring myself to throw it away, or even worse eat it! So on one occasion when I had made cupcakes, but then couldn't be bothered making some fresh frosting I mixed two left overs together. Surprisingly it tasted quite good, except they were really sweet! Everyone else seemed to enjoy them, so that's the most important thing.

chocolate mud cupcakes

chocolate mud cupcakes 1

Lastly we have possibly the worse photo of me in existence. My good friends are well aware of my cupcake addiction, so for my birthday they got me a cupcake cookie jar. I tried to take a bite to work out what flavour it was, but my teeth lost. I'm guessing its a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting. My next task is to make a real replicate cupcake or my cookie jar.

me eating cupcake