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Monday, July 18, 2016

i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney

Blue bubblegum and pinky milky flower gelato from i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney

Scoops of gelato? Ptooey. Who wants a boring old hemisphere jammed onto a cone when you can have a lovingly shaped gelato flower instead? Sydneysiders can't get enough of these rose-inspired artworks, judging by the crowds each night at i-Creamy. The gelato itself is serious business too. i-Creamy founder Ben Chitmitrechareon learnt the trade from Gelato Messina legend, Nick Palumbo, at Carpigiani Gelato University. i-Creamy scooped (pun intended) a dozen of gold and silver awards at the 2014 and 2105 Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Show.

Gelato counter and display cabinet at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Gelato counter and display cabinet

The original i-Creamy opened in Bondi Junction in late 2012 but their move to the city - and the new flower gelato offering - has opened up a much wider legion of fans.

The display cabinet holds 24 different flavours, rotated from a total menu of 96 flavour options. You can order by the scoop or pay an extra 30 cents to have them shaped into a rose. The majority of customers choose novelty presentation over the standard scoop.

Gelato prices: 
1 scoop $4.60
2 scoop $6.60
3 scoop $8.60
9 scoop gelato platter $22.90

2 flavour flower gelato $6.90
3 flavour flower gelato $8.90

Beer artisan gelato at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Beer artisan gelato

There's a definite Asian bent to a lot of flavours - hello Thai milk tea, palm sugarblack sesame and durian - but there are plenty of standards you'd find in an Italian gelato cabinet, including hazelnut, tiramisu and pistachio. They're not afraid to raid the supermarket confectionary aisle either, with riffs that include Kit Kat, Tim Tam, Bounty and Milo. Quirkier flavours include popcorn, white chocolate miso and beer.

The sorbets are all dairy- and gluten-free, in flavours that run from lemon lime and bitters to blood orange to mojito.

Green tea gelato flower petals at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Shaping green tea gelato flower petals

Creating a rose out of gelato is mesmerising to watch. A small scoop is wedged into the cone to create a foundation then flattened curls of gelato are carefully pressed and curled over it to create petals. The curls get increasingly larger as the rose extends outwards.

Durian crunchy flower gelato at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Durian crunchy flower gelato

It takes several minutes to complete each one, and then voila! A gelato rose.

Kid waiting for gelato at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Watching and waiting

This does mean a significant wait during peak hours. If you're in a hurry, the plain scoop gelatos seem to get prioritised.

Blue bubblegum and pinky milky flower gelato at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Blue bubblegum and pinky milky flower gelato

A lot of customers also seem to consider not just flavour matching, but also colour combinations when ordering. And it's no surprise that every kid wanted blue bubblegum. Maybe a few big kids too.

Young coconut and durian crunchy flower gelato at i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney
Young coconut and durian crunchy flower gelato

I can vouch that the young coconut gelato is incredibly good, tasting less like coconut cream and more like that young coconut flesh you get in coconut juice drinks. I'm glad that staff were wise enough to put the durian crunchy gelato at its core. By the time you start to hit the durian section, your tastebuds are overwhelmed with its pungency. The durian gelato uses real durian flesh imported from south east Asia. It's unrepentant in its intensity. We love it, although the crunchy bits - smashed up smithereens of durian chips - are a little weird to get used to.

Eating gelato in winter has never been so enticing. And getting a rose has never been so sweet.

i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Sydney


i-Creamy Artisan Gelato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

i-Creamy Artisan Gelato
Skyview Plaza, Shop 13
537-551 George Street, Sydney

Open daily 11am-10pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Gelato - Ciccone & Sons, Redfern
Gelato - Cow & Moon, Enmore
Gelato - Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Gelato - Gelato Messina HQ, Rosebery
Turkish Ice Cream - Hakiki, Newtown

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/18/2016 01:03:00 am


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Casa do Benfica Portuguese Restaurant at Marrickville & District Hardcourt Tennis Club, Marrickville

Garlic prawns at Casa do Benfica, Petersham

Here's one reason to go to a sports club. The food. Sign in, ignore the courts and park yourself at a table for a generous feed and drinks at club prices. You can even rock up in your sweatpants and sneakers. Win.

At Strathfield Sports Club, my favourite way to burn earn the calories is Korean fried chicken. At Marrickville Tennis Club, your digestive system will get a workout courtesy of Portugal. We're talking bacalhau salted cod, grilled seafood and hunks of beef speared on skewers that could double as a sword.

Dining room at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Football memorabilia in the dining room

Pull up in the car park and follow the path towards the sound of thwacking tennis balls. Behind the chairs of huffing and puffing tennis players between games you'll find the club dining hall. The walls are littered with jerseys, photos and memorabilia from Sport Lisboa Benfica, the football/soccer club based in Lisbon after which this house (or casa) is named.

Complimentary bread and olives at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Complimentary bread and olives

We're immediately greeted with a basket of complimentary bread and a bowl of olives. The double-sided laminated menu is more expansive that it first appears. You'll find eleven entrees (from $4 for garlic bread and up to $20 for grilled king prawns) and 26 mains, 12 of which are meat and 14 of which are seafood. These start at $19 for a steak with egg, rice, chips and salad and top out at $60 for the mixed grilled seafood platter that serves two.

Garlic prawns at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Camarão com alho $17
Garlic prawns 

It doesn't take long for our entrees to arrive. Be warned. Portions are massive. Our terracotta dish of sizzling garlic prawns holds about 8 prawns for $17. The prawns are plump and sweet but it's the caramelised garlic oil that's the real winner. Our waiter is quick to replenish our bread basket as we soak up the last sticky remnants of oil.

Vongole clams in lemon and mustard sauce at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Ameijoas $18
Vongole clams in lemon and mustard sauce

The vongole clams are listed as an entree but it's more of a main in portioning size. Some of the clams do have a little grit and sand, but otherwise they're cooked masterfully, tender and succulent in their dousing of tangy lemony sauce.

Bife a Portuguesa steak with round chips and egg at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Bife à Portuguesa $23
Steak, round chips and egg

If protein and carbs are your thing, then Portuguese steak and chips is for you. A massive steak comes with added protein in the form of a fried egg. And forget about the paper-thin discs of finely shaved radish spotted in fancy restaurants these days. The original protein camouflage is the chip, sliced thinly and fried until golden, draped over the steak in a blanket of modesty.

Bacalhau no tachinho fried codfish with tomato sauce and round chips at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Bacalhau no tachinho $25
Fried codfish, tomato sauce and round chips

The promise of round chips is the clincher for our next dish. There are five different ways you can order the bacalhau or salted cod, one of Portugal's most revered dishes. We choose fried over grilled or boiled. The bacalhau no tachinho comes smothered in a saucy mix of onion and tomato, adding a terrific tang to the cod that flakes apart with ease.

The chips are great too, like the original hand-cut potato crisp. That surface area to thickness ratio is ideal for maximum crunch.

Grilled cuttlefish with boiled potatoes and salad at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Chocos grelhados $22
Grilled cuttlefish, boiled potatoes and salad

Grilled cuttlefish is probably my favourite dish of the day, another gargantuan serve for only $22. The cuttlefish is fresh and tender, imparted with a smoky kiss from the grill. A handful of boiled potatoes and a simple garden salad make ideal accompaniments. You could almost picture yourself eating this dish in a little seaside town on the coast of Portugal.

Creme caramel flan at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Pudim de caramelo $6
Creme caramel flan

The display fridge on the counter provides a preview of the day's desserts on offer. We go with the classic creme caramel, a wobbly baked custard drowned in bittersweet caramel sauce.

Molotof meringue dessert with egg and almond lemon custard at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Molotof $6
Meringue with egg and almond lemon custard

And we can't resist the Portuguese favourite, molotof. You could call this a distant cousin of the Aussie pavlova, a pillowy soft ring of meringue that's like the soft innards you find inside the pavlova shell. The meringue is sandwiched with a lemony custard.

Dance floor and dining room at Casa do Benfica, Petersham
Dance floor and the dining room

We exerted ourselves simply by trying to eat what we ordered, but if you're feeling particularly energetic, the weekend band manages to get several folk onto the dance floor.

Good food. Great prices. Huge portions. Game, set, match.

Casa do Benfica, Petersham


Casa Do Benfica Portuguese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Casa do Benfica Portuguese Restaurant
Marrickvill & District Hardcourt Tennis Club
1 Centennial Street, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9569 1966

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 11am-3pm and 6pm-9pm
Sunday 11am-3pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts
Portuguese - Sydney Portugal Community Club, Marrickville
Sports clubs - Red Pepper at Strathfield Sports Club

Marrickville - Eat Fuh
Marrickville - Gelato Franco
Marrickville - La Cocina de la Abuela
Marrickville - The Yeeros Shop

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/13/2016 12:59:00 am


Friday, July 08, 2016

Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Canterbury

Farm fresh vegetables at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney

Inner westies have a new farmers market to wake up every Sunday with the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Markets. This is the third market venue for the Organic Foodies Markets, adding to its current markets at Ramsgate and Peakhurst. I went along in its second week of trade (the markets started on June 26 this year) and was amazed by the number and variety of stalls.

Daffodils at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Daffodils

The market set-up alongside Canterbury Racecourse works well. There's a huge car park for customers and the sprawling grounds mean there's plenty of space to walk and wander between stalls without feeling hemmed in.

Trampoline bungee at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Trampoline bungee

There were slides, trampoline bungee and Shetland pony rides for the kids but we were more fascinated by the fresh produce, baked goods and food on offer. I was impressed by the variety of food stalls, that extended far beyond the usual bacon and egg rolls and gozleme.

I'm also loving that they're open relatively late, trading from 9am until 2pm - allowing you a good sleep-in and a market run!

Almond croissants by Brickfields at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Almond croissants by Brickfields

Sourdough bread by Brickfields at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Sourdough by Brickfields

Persian love cake, orange blossom semolina cake and black sesame and coconut biscuits by Brickfields at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Persian love cake, orange blossom semolina cake and black sesame and coconut biscuits by Brickfields

Apples by Yuri's Sustainable Product in Orange at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Apples by Yuri's Sustainable Produce in Orange

Organic kestrel potatoes at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Organic kestrel potatoes

Fresh beetroot at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Fresh beetroot

Organic onions and lemons at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Organic onions and lemons

Gourds at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Gourds

Radishes at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Radishes

Chocolate tarts from The Bakehouse Co at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Chocolate tarts from The Bakehouse Co

Rhubarb and pistachio tarts from The Bakehouse Co at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Rhubarb and pistachio tarts from The Bakehouse Co

Orange blossom from The Bakehouse Co at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Orange blossom loaf from The Bakehouse Co

Pretzels by Neus German Bread at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Pretzels by Neus German Bread

Organic Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Organic Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac

Sariwa Fresh Foods organic fruit and vegetables at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Sariwa Fresh Foods organic fruit and vegetables

Live band music at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Live band enertainment

Damaskos Greek souvlaki at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Damaskos Greek souvlaki

Alexander's Bakery Burek at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Alexander's Bakery Burek

Gozleme at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Gozleme

Chevapi at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Chevapi

Chilean street food by Pochito at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Chilean street food from Pochito

South American chorizo and egg roll by Pochito Chilean street food at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
El Chato South American chorizo roll with onions and egg from Pochito $9

South American chorizo and coriander salsa by Pochito Chilean Street Food at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
South American chorizo and coriander salsa from Pochito $6

Honeycomb cronuts from Queens Pastri House at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Honeycomb cronuts from Queens Pastri House

SaCrepe Bleu crepe stall at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
SaCrepe Bleu crepe stall

Bubblegum fairy floss with popping candy confetti by Fluffy Crunch at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Bubblegum fairy floss made from organic sugar with popping candy confetti by Fluffy Crunch

Organic sugar fairy floss with salted caramel by Fluffy Crunch at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Fairy floss with salted caramel

Caramel custard donuts at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney
Caramel custard donuts 

Iced donuts at the Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market, Sydney



The Canterbury Foodies and Farmers Market
Canterbury Racecourse
Corner King Street and Cheviot Street
Every Sunday 9am-2pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts
Every Saturday: Orange Grove Market
First and third Sunday: Brewery Yard, Central Park

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/08/2016 06:08:00 pm



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