Lots to catch up on as always, so it’s time for a roundup.
The Roll Shop
Bahn Mi Rolls. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Since returning to the Big Smoke for work, there haven’t been too many lunches coming along in the Tiffin Box. Instead, I’ve been having a grand old time checking out new places (well new to me) and enjoying lunch sized adventures each day. A favourite is The Roll Shop. Directly across the road from my building in the ‘fake laneway’ behind the NAB, The Roll Shop is one of a breed of new generation snack bars, selling street food to the hungry office worker masses. The Roll Shop specialises in Bahn Mi, those tasty snacks filled with pork, salad and Asian herbs, crammed into a crusty Vietnamese bread roll. They have half a dozen options including traditional BBQ Pork, Lemongrass Chicken & Pork Belly. The rolls are made fresh to order and take no time at all, no matter how busy the shop is.
I particularly enjoy the crunchy, lightly pickled carrot and cucumber combined with the warmed filling. They also do a roaring trade in Vietnamese cold rolls including traditional prawn and pork as well as vegetarian options. Both the cold rolls and Bahn Mi are only $7 a pop so they won’t break the bank and given they are a version of a salad roll, the guilt level about buying lunch is somewhat mitigated. The ‘frequent roll buyer’ scheme is a bonus too.
The Roll Shop
Shop 2 Gresham Lane
88 Creek St
Brisbane Qld 4000
A Weekend In Sydney
It had been over 12 months since I visited Sydney so I decided to take myself there for a weekend, to recharge the batteries. I had many bite (and drink) sized adventures with my partner in crime, my brother Sean, but there was also time to catch up with other friends. After many years of chatting on social media and joining In My Kitchen, I was finally able to meet my blogging friend Celia, face to face. When cyberspace becomes real! We kicked up our heels in her stamping ground of Haberfield, or Haby as she affectionately calls it. There were visits to the cheese shops, patisseries and delis as well as lunch with both Celia and Pete (Mr Fig Jam) at a favourite spot, Bistro Cocotte. What a wonderful afternoon it was!
I’m so glad to have crossed paths with Celia. Her blog, Fig Jam & Lime Cordial and her general attitude towards life has enriched my own life significantly and I look forward to visiting her again and hosting her should she ever venture north of the border (and she really should!). I must say that after a weekend of re-charging the batteries in Sydney, I needed a little rest on the plane home ; )
Dan Lepard Thinks I’m Tops
Dan Lepard is an expat Aussie made good in the UK. He has a recipe column in The Guardian and any number of fantastic cookbooks focused on baking. You may also recall him as one of the experts on the Great Australian Bake Off, affectionately known as #GABO. I’m a bit of a fan. As a regular reader of The Guardian Lifestyle section, I spied Dan’s recipe for Middle Eastern Sausage Rolls. In what was quite a coincidence, I had published my own recipe for Middle Eastern Sausage Rolls that same week so I left a comment on newspaper’s website about this. I was thrilled when Dan responded.
My little brush with fame. These are the things that keep a writer going! Who have you met in person or talked to in the digital world that’s given a little frisson to your day?
Going Palm Oil Free
Spring is here and with it comes the start of the social season. The days are getting longer and there’s finally a chance to relax after work whilst there is still some daylight, with a glass of wine and some snacks. Now that I am baking sourdough, I have an almost continuous supply of crackers made from the stale ends of the bread but sometimes I’m after a different texture or something a little more sturdy. Kurrajong Kitchen make lavosh, in small dipper sized bites as well as a larger version packed into convenient ‘snack packs’. Poppy Seed is my favourite. I find these crackers are strong enough to withstand the rigours of Middle Eastern dips such as hummus or when spreading on goat’s curd.
Kurrajong Kitchen are an Australian company, their lavosh are palm oil free AND their products are made in Australia. What’s not to love about that? Make sure you look out for them on shelves and support a local company that are taking their social responsibilities seriously.
Is there anywhere I should be visiting or things I should be trying and reporting back on? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to my list.