Monday, February 28, 2011


My Mum, Sister and I caught up for dinner the other week at this lovely Thai restaurant in Florey. This isn't your traditional Thai restaurant where you order a few dishes and share them amongst your group. Each dish is served for one.

I prefer sharing meals though, as then you get to taste lots of different dishes! Although if you are dining with people that normally don't like to share, then this is the place for them. I think with the entrees it would be easy to share these as the couple of items that we got came with multiple items of the same thing.

This is the second time I have come here and I must say the food is delicious. It seems to be a family run business with parents in the kitchen and kids on the floor. They are not the most professional of waitstaff, but they are really lovely and make you feel very welcome.

The prices are quite on the exxy side for Thai cuisine, but the servings are massive and very nicely presented, so I don't feel like I am getting ripped off at all.

Crab Balls - $15

I was tossing up between the scallops and the crab and in the end went for the crab balls. They seemed like they would be interesting and they were awesome. It was a fried ball of blue swimmer crab and chicken mince sitting atop a mound of egg noodles flavoured with kecap manis and chilli with pickled ginger on the top.

It seemed like a strange combination with a few different cuisines going on there, but all the elements worked wonderfully together and I could have definitely eaten a big bowl of those noodles.

Angel Prawns - $22

Mum and Laura both went for the Angel Prawns. Mum gets this every time and I had this last time I came, so I know how good it is. The 7 prawns all come in this dish which is something I have never seen before, in a restaurant or anywhere else. The prawns are coated in a red curry type sauce and are very tasty indeed. It's funny when you get down to the last couple of prawns and are not sure which spots have the prawns in them and which don't...

Angel Prawn close up

Mussamun Curry - $25

When I go to thai restaurants we always get one type of curry. I love all of them, but never order green curries, as I cook these quite often. I have a great recipe for mussuman curry, but it does take a long time, so I order this when I know I am going to get a good curry.

This curry is one of the best mussumans I have had. There was so much meat in there! Usually you get a lot of sauce in curries and not too much else, but this was packed with meat and potatoes. It came with about 4 roti's as well, of which I managed about 1 1/2. A very delicious rich meal. There is also a pork dish on the menu which sounds delightful. Next time it will be scallops and pork I think!

Huge chunks of meat and potato...

Lamb Cutlets - $25

Mum went with the lamb cutlets. I got this last time and it was nice, but it wasn't the flavour I was expecting, so I didn't enjoy it that much. There were 3 huge chops on there though with some traditional sticky rice.

Lamb Chops

Traditional container of sticky rice

Duck - $25

Laura went with the Red curry duck which looked juicy! It came on a bed of crispy rice cakes and red curry sauce with Lychees and tomatoes. I didn't try any of this, but apparently it was very good and it's a dish that dad orders every time he comes as well.

I really wanted to try their desserts, but I was so full I couldn't even think about it. We were brought out a nice coconut sorbet though on the house which was lovely and refreshing.

The restaurant is quite small and the acoustics are not the best either. There was a really loud table right next to us, luckily we left soon after they arrived. I will definitely be back here though as the food is really really good!

Morks Restaurant
Florey Shops
Open for dinner Mon - Sat from 6pm

Morks on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hummingbird Cake

Cream cheese frosting has to be my favourite icing on a cake ever. I could eat it by the spoonful. This is one of the reasons that carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes (cheesecake being my favourite type of cake, do we see a theme here...).

I had 2 bananas in the fruit bowl that were looking past their prime, and I didn't feel like making banana bread, so I consulted a baking book that I have made a few things from that have been great, and found a recipe for a hummingbird cake which needed 2 bananas!

There isn't a concrete reason why this cake has it's name, but many speculate that cause of it's intense sweetness, and how hummingbirds are attracted to sweet things, is why it is called this.

This is really a beautiful cake and I can see myself making it many times. I brought most of it into work and everyone loved it!

First lot of ingredients - I was meant to used crushed pineapple, but there was none. I liked it with the chunks in it though, so I think I will use pieces next time.

Putting into the bowl (not too much sugar there...)

Adding dry ingredients

Mixing it all together

Put in a pre lined baking tray

Out of the oven and ready for icing. It looks a bit brown, but it definitely isn't burnt.

Butter and cream cheese for the icing

Whipped with icing sugar and lemon juice

Thick layer of icing. Yum!

I had to try a piece while it was still warm. It's nice either way, but cold is better, otherwise you get icing everywhere...

Hummingbird Cake - from Commonsense Guide to Baking

2 ripe bananas - mashed
130g (1/2 cup) drained and crushed pineapple
285g (1 3/4 cups) caster sugar
210g (1 2/3 cups) self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
170ml (2/3 cup) oil
60ml (1/4 cup) pineapple juice
2 Eggs

Icing (Frosting)

60g unsalted butter, softened
125g (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
185g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar
1 - 2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease and line a 20cm (8 in) square cake tin
2. Place the banana, sugar and pineapple in a bowl, then add the sifted flour and cinnamon. Mix all ingredients well
3. Whisk together the oil, pineapple juice and eggs and then mix into the banana mixture.
4. Pour into the tin and bake in an oven for about an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Stand for 15 minutes on wire rack to cool.
5. To make the icing beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and lemon juice. Beat until thick and creamy.
6. Spread the icing thickly over the top of the cooled cake. Then eat!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chicken Lasagna

I picked up some beautiful leeks from a farmer's market the other week which were so good and so cheap and then I had a blank of what to turn them into. I don't use leeks much cause they are always quite expensive. I am always seeing recipes too that use 3 leeks and never make them. Now I had 3 leeks and didn't know what to do with them.

So I went looking in my trusty big Kitchen book for anything that had leek in it! I saw a recipe for a chicken and leek lasagna and thought that would be perfect.

I love Lasagna, but I don't always have the time to make the meat sauce, which can take hours of cooking if you want to make it properly. This is really quick, it even uses a bbq chicken which makes it even quicker.

It really was very good. I would have liked more of the filling though, cause I found it didn't cover as much as I wanted it to.

I served it with a couple of salads that I found in the Jamie's 30 minute meals book. This book has lots of ideas when it comes to salads, which I love, cause I am always using the same salads over and over again...

The first one was really simple cherry tomato salad in which you squeeze every cherry tomato into a bowl so all the juices come out and then mix in some olive oil, garlic, basil and balsamic. Although I ended up with cherry tomato juice and pips all over me! Anyone know a safe way to burst these babies??

The second salad consisted of cucumbers, baby spinach, pine nuts, and sundried tomatoes which was quite a nice combination.

Chicken and Leek Lasagna - from Women's Weekly Kitchen Book

60g Butter
1 Large Leek
1/4 cup (35g) Plain Flour
2 Teaspoons Dijon
2 Cups (500ml) Chicken Stock, warmed
3 Cups (480g) shredded BBQ chicken (I found that this was just under a whole shredded chicken, so I put the whole lot in).
Lasagna Sheets
2/3 cup (80g) coarsely grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Oil shallow 2 litre ovenproof dish

2. Melt butter in a saucepan and cook leek stirring until soft. Add flour and cook until mixture bubbles and thickens. Gradually stir in mustard and stock and stir over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens. Reserve 2/3 cup of the white sauce and stir chicken into the remaining mixture.

3. Cover base of dish with lasagna sheets and top with about a quarter of the warm chicken mixture. Repeat layering with lasagna sheets and chicken mixture, finishing with chicken mixture, then top with reserved white sauce and grated cheese.

4. Bake, covered, in over for about 30 minutes and then 20 minutes uncovered or until top of lasagna is brown

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hot Tomato Relish

I saw this relish on this wonderful site a while back and thought I had never actually made a relish before and this sounded quite easy and tasty. I love cherry tomatoes too, so anything using them is good in my opinion!

This is good to serve with steak or sausages, of I really like relishes with things such as quiches cause I find they need some oomph to them!

First you chop the onion and the garlic and saute in olive oil

Then you add the tomatoes, apple and chilli flakes

After a few minutes chuck in the balsamic vinegar and sugar and simmer for about 20 minutes

Then it ends up looking something like this! It doesn't look quite as appetising as Lisa's but it tastes great and sure is red hot!

You can find the original recipe here with all the quantities.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Arirang Korean

The other month I was walking around Gungahlin and noticed that there was no Chiang Rai Piri Piri anymore (a Thai/Portuguese fusion restaurant) and it had changed to a Korean restaurant. I was very excited about this. A few months ago we got a small but good Korean grocery store which I can now shop at to satisfy my kim chi and bulgolgi cravings and now a restaurant!

We tried going there a couple of weeks before this night, but it was packed and the service staff didn't even notice us standing there for about 5 minutes. So we headed off to somewhere else and vowed to come back after they had been open for a bit longer and had sorted themselves out a bit. I made a booking this time too as eating anywhere in Canberra on a Friday night without a booking is extremely hard.

The man that runs the place is so lovely and was fascinated by the wine cooler I had brought with me, which was one of those ones that you stick in the freezer and then snugly fit it to the wine bottle (as I expected they wouldn't have any, and I was right, and there is nothing worse than a barely cold white wine!). He even brought the chef out to have a look!

Banchan! Potato and Carrot

I was hoping they were going to have banchan (as I love free food), and they did! We first got a potato and carrot dish which was lovely.

And then they brought out the shredded fish cake, which was definitely my favourite. They replaced it too when we had finished it and also brought out a few other dishes which I forgot to take a picture of. One of them was the always present kim chi and the other I think was a kim chi radish.

We decided to go with one entree and two mains, as it's our usual way of ordering. There were only 3 choices of entrees and one of these was gyoza, so we had to go with that. These are Korean gyoza though, different from the Japanese ones. I prefer the Japanese type, but these were some of the best korean ones that I have had.

Gyoza -$9

They were perfectly crispy, but not dry and the filling was very flavoursome. I could have eaten many more of these.

Katsudon - $13.50

The first main to arrive was our pork katsu. I love katsu and will choose it over schnitzel any day. The piece was massive, which was good as we were sharing. Also good as our next dish wasn't.... It was crispy and delicious and plenty of sauce was provided. We were also brought out all these different condiments to use which we weren't too sure of what to do with it and then these 2 green chillies were brought out. I think we were meant to eat these whole, but we ended taking them home instead!

Then our next dish came out...

Pork Soup - $13.50

On the menu this was written as pork sausage soup, or something similar to this. Well there was definitely no sausage in this and the broth was reminiscent of dishwater. I tried to like it, but I really didn't. It was full of things that I had no idea of what they were, and usually I am all for trying out new things, but I will definitely never order this again.

They had lots of other things on the menu that I would love to try, like Bibimbap and Jap Chae. They also have specialities like Bo ssam which was $40, so I am guessing that this will feed a few people. The people that run it are lovely, and even though I didn't like the soup at all (I am putting it down to this isn't something that I would normally eat and everything else was uber delicious) I am looking forward to going back to try their other meals.

There is also a Zambreros opening up soon and next to that a Sushi place has opened. I am not too sure what food they sell, as I haven't gone in, but I did see some korean writing. So it's definitely not a Japanese run sushi place.

Loving all the new restaurants that are opening here. Now if only someone could open an asian grocery store to replace the much loved Hub!

Arirang on Urbanspoon