Monday, August 18, 2014

[GIVEAWAY + REVIEW] My Tandoori Indian Restaurant, Green Valley via Menulog Food Delivery

Don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post! :)

It's August so the weather is having its mood swings. One week it's bright and sunny with clear blue skies. The next week it's cold, windy and rainy. Then there's a sudden blackout on your street and you are having post-gym hunger cravings (true story). That's where Menulog Food Delivery comes in to save the day. With its own mobile app, you can easily order takeaway online without needing to wait for the electricity to turn back on (though I would recommend eating with a torch or candle next to you). 

Long time readers may remember that I have previously reviewed Menulog late last year which was an enjoyable experience getting food delivered to my workplace - apart from a minor mishap with the delivery date from the restaurant (but it was still on the dot). However, I am one of those people who believes in second chances especially when Menulog resolved it immediately without any added burdens.

Menulog has been expanding its list of more than 3500 restaurants offering online delivery and takeaway across Australia. You can use it anytime, anywhere and it's free to use! You can even pre-order in advance if you wish. If you do not have the Menulog app on your phone, it is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play.

Simply type the postcode or the name of your suburb on the app and you can access countless restaurants available within your area whether it's takeaway or delivery. For a suburb as obscure as Sadleir, I was surprised to see a decent selection of restaurants in the area offering Italian, Lebanese and Indian cuisines. 

Since the weather was cold and wet and I already had pizza a few days ago, I decided to go for Indian food this time with My Tandoori as my restaurant pick based on ratings, reviews, specials and the delicious selection of dishes on the menu. Though be mindful of the Minimum Delivery cost!

Select your dishes from the menu and make your order. There are options for certain types of dishes like curries such as the level of spice whether it's mild, medium or hot.

After you made your choices, review and confirm your order then enter your contact and delivery details and voucher code at the checkout. Finally you enter your payment details and away we go! 

After the order has been processed, you receive an SMS confirming your order and expected delivery time. Get your stomach ready!

This time, the friendly delivery guy arrived on the dot which has definitely put a smile on my face. Imagine our excitement when we opened up the large bag afterwards.

We started out with the vegetable samosas with slightly spicy mint chutney on the side. The vegetable filling had lots of unusual flavours and seasonings which were crumbled and mashed together inside layers of crispy pastry. Despite the delivery time, the samosas still remained crunchy.

Vegetable Samosas ($6.90 for 2) 

There was actually many different types of naan bread available on the My Tandoori restaurant menu including plain, garlic, cheese, Keema (stuffed mince) to name a few. Because the folks enjoy eating garlic bread on the side in the past, I opted for the garlic naan. It did not have that strong garlic taste but was still light, fluffy and perfect to dip with the curries.

Garlic Naan Bread ($2.50) 

Finally we dug into the curries starting with the Beef Korma. While the beef was not too soft (but not too hard), the curry had a mild, rich, nutty and creamy taste with a hint of coconut milk which balances everything out in this dish. In fact, the beef helped to soak up the curry juices especially once the milky and creamy taste took over the taste buds. Really liked that the beef cuts used in this curry had no fatty parts attached.

 Beef Korma ($15.90)

The Chicken Tikka Masala was a favourite for me and the folks out of all the dishes. It was a tad spicier than the beef korma since it was cooked in various spices but still mild enough to handle if you aren't a fan of spicy food. It was also incredibly flavoursome and aromatic with loads of soft and tender tandoori chicken. Perfect for dipping with naan bread. The thick and rich curry was so good that we nearly finished this off before the food coma took over. 

Chicken Tikka Masala ($15.90)

Really enjoyed the dishes I've had tonight even though it's pricier compared to other local restaurants especially in South-West Sydney. The minimum delivery cost was $35 so I had to order a few more dishes than my stomach could handle but at least there are left-overs to eat again on a later day. After this experience, I am definitely keen to order from My Tandoori Indian Restaurant again at a later date to discover more essential Indian dishes whether it's by delivery, takeaway or dining in. 

Thanks to Menulog (and because I'm a nice girl), I've got 1 x $25 Menulog voucher to giveaway! For your chance to win the voucher, use the Rafflecopter app below to follow the prompts:
1. Like The Random Foodie on Facebook
2. Follow randomgrrl on Twitter
3. Leave a comment on the post below answering the following question: What's your favourite dish or cuisine to eat on a rainy night? 

Terms and Conditions:
1. This giveaway is open to Australian residents.
2. Giveaway closes at 12:00am AEST on Monday 1st September 2014.
3. The winner will be notified by email and announced on the blog and relevant social media sites on Monday 1st September 2014. 
4. Voucher is valid for delivery, credit card payment and one-use only.
5. The voucher will be emailed to the winner as supplied by Menulog and expires 1 month after winner selection.

Good luck everyone!

Disclaimer: The Random Foodie received a voucher courtesy of Menulog. Opinions are however, my own.

My Tandoori Indian Restaurant
Shop 6, 170 Green Valley Road, Green Valley NSW 2168
(02) 9608 8023
Tue-Sun: 4:00pm-9:30pm
My Tandoori Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Menulog Sydney:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Taste the Mediterranean with Bakers Delight and De Bortoli Wines Launch

Recently I was invited to the launch night promoting the new Meditteranean Delights Turkish breads from Bakers Delight and exploring a broad range of wines from De Bortolli Wines. This event was held inside a intimate dining room at Cafe Nice in Circular Quay. When you stepped inside, it feels like you have been transported to the Mediterranean or even an exotic place somewhere in Turkey especially with the cushions, lamps, aromas and a tray of various herbs and spices to taste.

For a limited time only, Bakers Delight has released a new line of Mediterranean Delights Turkish breads which are Sea Salt Flakes and Chilli and Garlic. Both types of bread were soft, chewy, light and flavoursome. The Chilli and Garlic did have a slow and spicy hit after a few bites while the Sea Salt Flakes was mild and not too salty though it was still flavoursome on its own. We got the chance to sample both types of bread from this range with a variety of dips including the delicious olive oils from River Flats Estate and La Barre plus La Barre's special blood plum vinegar.

Sea Salt Flakes Bread with Olive Oil and Vinegar 

Chilli and Garlic Bread

Throughout the evening, we were treated to a selection of canapes served with bread from the Mediterranean Delights range. My personal faves that got me grabbing for seconds were the creamy, sweet Pate de foie de canard with fig paste and the simple yet tasty Prosciutto di parma and Reggiano. 

Antipasti platter with a selection of dips and vegetables

Baby peas with goat's cheese and mint 


Prosciutto di parma and Reggiano 

Pate de foie de canard with fig paste

Braised peppers and white anchovies

There was also the chance to try a couple of dishes from Cafe Nice including the succulent and creamy duck pate accompanied with a couple of slices of sourdough bread. It was tough sharing this one plate with a group of us but we managed to sample enough to enjoy the taste and flavour of this classic French dish. And this is coming from a former fussy eater who avoided pate during her childhood.

Duck pate with sourdough bread

The other dish we tried was a Salad Nicoise, a healthier alternative after eating a dish like duck pate. There were loads of fresh ingredients to take in with this colourful bowl of greens though the star would have to be the soft boiled egg. 

Salad Nicoise

There was also a selection of wines from De Bortoli Wines available for tasting that night. While we sample each glass, there was also a sommeliere who explained the differences between each wine from this brand. Personally I'm not a wine expert so here's some notes I was able to gain from each glass on the night, courtesy of De Bortoli Wines.

2013 BellaRiva Pinot Grigio - this white wine (seen above) was light and aromatic in flavour. It has a fine, pear-like, fruity and nutty taste with a bright colour and good texture and complexity. Perfect to drink on its own.

NV Rococo Yarra Valley Premium Cuvee

NV Rococo Yarra Valley Premium Cuvee - this was served as a sparkling wine on the night and was noted for its pale colour with green tinges. It had a biscuit-like aroma with citrus and white pear type of flavour with a soft creamy textured palate. It wasn't as light as the Pinot Grigio but it had a sweetness that complemented well with the canapes served that evening. 

2013 BellaRiva Merlot

2013 BellaRiva Merlot - this had a dark red with purple appearance. The overall palate was a soft, smooth and juicy texture with rich flavours where you could sense black fruits in the ingredients. This was personally my favourite from the night with its smooth, fruity yet balanced flavour. I can imagine this would be ideal to have with red meats.

2011 BellaRiva Sangiovese Merlot

2011 BellaRiva Sangiovese Merlot - this was a red wine with good garnet edge. Unlike the Merlot, this wine had a rustic, complex and earthy aromas. It has a dry, brooding, autumnal and savoury palate that would be suitable for a meal on a cool night paired with rich dishes such as red meats and pasta.

All in all, it was a cozy and fun evening catching up with other fellow bloggers as well as meeting the team from Bakers Delight and De Bortoli Wines. While I wasn't hopping on a plane anytime soon, the event really felt like I was back in Europe exploring the classic Mediterranean dishes and sipping lots of wine especially with the lovely, vibrant atmosphere. 

Bakers Delight's Sea Salt Flakes and Chilli and Garlic Turkish breads from the Mediterranean Delights range are currently available for four weeks only so remember to head to your local Bakers Delight branch for a sample before its too late. 

Disclaimer: The Random Foodie attended the Taste the Mediterranean Launch event, courtesy of Keep Left PR. Opinions are however, my own.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SoCal, Neutral Bay

A while ago, one of my friends commented that I should cover restaurants from different regions of Sydney such as South Sydney like Hurstville or Beverly Hills or up north like Crows Nest, Chatswood, Epping, Eastwood and Neutral Bay. Recently, I was invited to check out CaliMex restaurant bar, SoCal, in Neutral Bay for their first ever SoCal Sydney Social event with many other fellow Sydney food bloggers. I was very excited about this event as it has been on my wishlist for a while especially for their Southern Californian-inspired dishes and drinks.

SoCal is owned by Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll from Applejack Hospitality, the same company that also managed The Botanist at Kirribilli and Bondi Hardware at Bondi Beach. It was their first social event hosted by head chef, Zac Smart, and bar manager, Joe Worthington where we got the chance to delve into a 6-course degustation of Mexican dishes and matching glasses of wine or cocktail. Since the bar was located upstairs, it was initially hard to find until you spot a SoCal sign on the door. Inside there was a buzzing, noisy vibe with a packed out floor. And it was only a Tuesday night! While most of the venue had dim lighting, the lighting at dining room at the back (where we were all seated) was not too bad despite the pink and purple lighting.

Corn Chips with pico de gallo, guacamole and corn salsa

Upon entering the dining room, there was already a bowl of corn chips with a trip of tantalising dips. Although this was made to share, it was no surprise how addicted I was with this starter plate - especially the zesty guacamole.

Classic Margarita Carafes

Each course of meal this evening was paired with a glass of wine or cocktail so it was no surprise how tipsy I was by the end of the night. When I stepped inside, there was already a glass of classic margarita handed to me as I dig into the corn chips and salsa.

Before the six course degustation was served, we got to check out SoCal's Bar Manager, Joe Worthington, working his magic with his cocktail creations. Here, he demonstrates his signature "Joe's Super Amazing Mystery Interactive Cocktail Experience".

Crab and Sopressatta Tostadas

And now the feast begins! I was really excited about the crab and sopresatta (cured Italian dry salami) tostadas especially after trying similar ones at other restaurants and loving each one. This was no exception. Thin and crispy tortillas topped with a generous amount of creamy crab and sporessata. The filling was slightly spicy from the chilli mixed inside though it was quite mild in my opinion. Would definitely order this again just for myself.

Joe's Super Amazing Mystery Interactive Cocktail Experience

After watching the cocktail demonstration, we were geed up to taste the final product. Quite sweet with a decent layer of egg white foam on top and a citrus scent from the peeled oranges.

Chicken Sliders: marinated chicken breast with avocado and chorizo

Next we had the chicken sliders which had a generous amount of creamy avocado and chorizo packed inside the soft, glazed brioche bun. There was plenty of flavour coming from this slider especially from the tangy sauce and the juicy chicken breast. The taste was definitely worth the messiness. 

Frisco Pisco

The sliders were paired with the Frisco Pisco which was chilli-infused and mixed with egg white, elderflower liqueur, lime, sugar and muddled cucumber. With its strong and thick texture, this drink was quite a mouthful to handle when I tried to slurp it down.

Seared Salmon with broccolini, chilli and coriander salsa verde

The seared salmon was well cooked with crispy skin and topped with thin sweet potato chips, a bed of broccolini and small dollops of salsa verde. While the salmon was a bit mild until you add the salsa verde, it's an ideal option to have on your own if you are looking for a fresh and healthier dish.

Dry Creek, Fume Blanc, Sonoma CA

The next three dishes were paired with white and red wines made from different regions of California. It's like getting a taste of the Golden State without the plane ticket.

Slow roasted Lamb Shoulder with Faro, Freekeh, Quinoa and Kale

Lamb shoulder, quinoa and kale. Who would have thought they tasted so good together? It was juicy, soft and incredibly tender to the point where it pulls apart so easily. Even with the unusual ingredients and the abundance of grainy textures, the whole dish was full of flavour to the point when I was keen for seconds. If you love lamb, I would certainly recommend this dish. This was paired with a glass of Pinot Noir from Mendocino, California.

Bliss, Pinot Noir, Mendocino, CA (sorry for the pic)

Scotch Fillet with Chimmichurri

The savoury dishes ended with a plate of scotch fillet with chimmichurri and a side of mushroom salad. The scotch fillet was cooked medium rare which delivered a chewy yet tender texture. Lots of fatty bits. What impressed me was the amount of chimmichurri salsa coated on top of the fillet which added lots of colour and flavour to the overall dish.

Mushroom Salad

With all that meat and seafood, it was nice to dig into a bowl of veggies to balance everything out. There was a decent amount of various mushrooms, salads, nuts and mixed beans which worked well to deliver crunchy and chewy textures. It was also surprisingly spicy though it's mild enough that it won't put off those who can't handle it. 

Dry Creek 'Heritage' Zinfadel, Sonoma, CA - full bodied and rich that complements well with the meat

Chocolate, Pistachio and Tequila Brownie with Chipotle Cream 

Lately I've been obsessed with baking brownies so I was very excited about indulging into SoCal's version of this classic dessert. With all the spices and unusual ingredients from many of the dishes, you would expect that the dessert will sooth your taste buds with a sugar hit. While the brownies do have an intensely sweet taste, there was a hint of spice coming from the chipotle cream. I admired the soft gooey insides with the crunchy pistachios as well as the crispiness from the outside layers though it was rich and decadent to handle especially after all that food. You can imagine that with tequila hidden inside, this was not your usual brownies.

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

To round off the night, everyone received a glass of Salted Caramel Espresso Martini which includes a mix of Ketel One, Galliano Ristretto, salted caramel and a double shot of espresso with honeycomb dipped in the middle. Personally, I thought that this was one of the stand out drinks especially with the intensity of the liquor and epsresso and the sweetness and salted flavours from the caramel and honeycomb. Would love to order another glass if I wasn't feeling very tipsy at this point.

While Neutral Bay isn't a place that I would go to that often, there's so many CaliMex dishes from their regular menu that will encourage me to make another trip over the bridge. The service was very friendly and attentive and the atmosphere had that vibrant yet laid back feel throughout the evening. While the prices aren't cheap, the dishes are made to share so bring a few friends to try as many dishes as possible. If you live or work around the North Shore area; I would suggest SoCal for post-work dinner and drinks, special occasions or even a casual night out up north since it opens late. 

Disclaimer: The Random Foodie dined as a guest of SoCal, courtesy of Pendulum Communications. Opinions are however, my own.

1 Young Street, Neutral Bay NSW 2089
(02) 9904 5691
Mon-Tue: 4:00pm - 12:00am
Wed-Thurs: 12:00pm - 1:00am
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Sun: 12:00pm - 12:00am
SoCal on Urbanspoon