July 17, 2015

Bamiyan, Dural

Mantu (beef dumplings)
Kabab Daggy

Garlic naan
Kabuli Pallow
Traditional pistachio ice cream with icy noodles
Ras Malai (homemade soft cheese in a cream sweet sauce)

Date night has become a rarity now that there is a toddler in the house. So whenever we get the opportunity to dine out toddler free I like to dine somewhere good.

After hearing positive reviews from my bestie and in laws about an Afghan restaurant by the name of Bamiyan in Dural, Mr FPL and I decided to give it a try.

Entering the restaurant we were met by an amazing aroma of spices in the air. I was excited! Going through the menu we decided to order two of the Chef favourites, the Mantu (beef dumplings) and Kabuli Pallow (rice and chicken korma) and the Kabab Daggy.

First to arrive were the beef dumplings. Topped with yoghurt sauce, chickpeas, tomato, mince sauce and mint the dumplings were amazing, I wasn't lying in my Instagram caption when I said it was the tastiest dish I had in a long time.

Next to arrive was the kabab. Expecting lamb on a skewer served with a side sauce I was surprised to see the meat off the skewer and in a sauce of onion and capsicum. With the right amount of spice it was another tasty dish that was just as enjoyable with the rice from the Kabuli Pallow as it was with the garlic naan.

Last to arrive was the chicken korma, not as creamy as expected it was more tomato than cream based, the chicken tender as can be fell off the bone.

With enough room for dessert each I choose the traditional pistachio ice cream with icy noodles and Mr FPL choose the Ras Malai, a homemade soft cheese in a creamy sweet sauce. With an icy lime gelato within the noodles the dish of pistachio ice cream was refreshing and was the perfect dessert to end a wonderful night of eating.

Overall it was a great dining experience, the service was good, the food was fantastic and the bill not too expensive. My taste buds and I are looking forward to the next time we dine at Bamiyan. If you live or are visiting the Hills district check it out!

12/829 Old Northern Road
Dural, NSW

July 10, 2015

Slow roasted lamb shoulder, Chiswick, Woollahra

Lime and basil cordial and Bourbon with fig and thyme

Starters: Thyme bread, Prawn popcorn, Pumpkin arancini
Prawn popcorn $16.00
Pumpkin arancini $11.00
Thyme bread $7.00

Main and sides: Lamb for two, Carrots, Hand cut chips
Lamb for two $75.00
Carrots $12.00
Hand cut chips $9.00
Dessert: Quince crumble $17.00
  •  Slow roasted lamb shoulder $75.00, number 83 on the top 100 Sydney dishes to die for list (The Sunday Telegraph Dec 14).
A few weeks ago, for my birthday Mr FPL surprised me with a night at the Shangri la and dinner at surprise, surprise one of the restaurants on the list.

Choosing well he choose number 83 on the list, the slow-roasted lamb shoulder aka lamb for two from Chiswick in Woollahra.

Cold and dark outside, the inside of the restaurant, was warm and cosy. The decor was beautiful, I loved the french doors, communal tables, timber floors, white tiled bar, open kitchen and exposed ceiling beams.

Starting with something to drink I choose the lime and basil cordial which was very refreshing given I was fighting a very nasty cold. Mr FPL had a bourbon with fig and thyme.

To start we ordered thyme bread, prawn popcorn and pumpkin arancini. All were quite delicious.

To accompany the lamb for two we ordered a side of carrots and hand cut chips. Decieving to the eye the lamb for two didn't look that large but in all honesty we couldn't finish it. The lamb was beautifully cooked. Falling off the bone, it melted in the mouth. Topped with a sauce and side of chickpeas and yoghurt there was enough on the plate for three. The carrots and thick hand cut chips, also a struggle to finish were quite good too.

With little room left for desert we decided the share the quince crumble. It tasted as amazing as it looked. Served with a generous portion of custard provided in a jar and surrounded by roasted nuts we didn't leave any of this dish behind.

Despite having a nasty cold and not feeling so well, the dining experience was pleasant. The service was friendly, the atmosphere warm and the food was great. If I could do it again I probably would order one less starter or invite another person to help share the lamb.

65 Ocean Street
Woollahra, NSW

July 3, 2015

Lovers Market, Parramatta

Coconut coffee and The Whisk and Crumb doughnuts
Kayter Co coconut water

Miguel Maestre cooking paella
Alek and Luka

Eatabella - Pork 2 ways and Coconut chicken Banh Mi

One sunny morning + last Saturday of the month + Parramatta = Lovers Market

After weeks of seeing fancy looking coconuts and indulgent doughnuts on Instagram, I couldn't resist any longer and had to head to the Lovers Market held on the last Saturday of each month in Centenary Square, Parramatta.

Visiting the markets with Mr FPL and Gabby, our morning and part of our afternoon was spent eating, watching a cooking demonstration and checking out the stalls.

Our eating adventure started at The Whisk and Crumb. Selling doughnuts topped with naughty treats we opted for two for $10. Choosing one covered in chocolate with a milkway and pod in the centre and another topped with caramel popcorn and salted pretzel held together by chocolate my favourite of the two was the milkway and pod one which was deliciously gooey and chocolately.

To accompany the doughnuts a coffee was needed, spotting a van selling coconut coffee we thought we would give it a try, after all it must be good if there was line. Tasting like coconut, the coffee was good, smooth and not burnt it was a nice change from my regular skim cap.

If coconut coffee wasn't enough we had to try Kayter Co's coconut water. Served from it's shell, the coconut was cracked open than topped with our selected topping of fruit. Gabby was a huge fan, after giving her a sip, I couldn't take the coconut away from her, who thought a nineteen month old would be such a big fan!

Needing a break we watched a cooking demonstration by Miguel Maestre for Moro. Miguel made a giant paella, luckily Mr FPL joined the line early so we were able to sample a small plate of  paella. It was yummy.

Checking out some of the stalls I spotted a stall named Alek and Luka which sold baby blankets, bunting and soft toys. For the bargain price of $10 I bought a cute stuffed giraffe, pictured above.

Ending our little adventure at the Vietnamese food stall Eatabella we ordered a pork two ways and coconut Chicken Banh Mi. A little fancier than the Banh Mi I usually order for lunch they were delicious.

If you are looking for something different, keep the last Saturday of the month free and check out the Lovers Market in Parramatta for a morning or afternoon of eating and shopping!