Tag Archives: sausage

Treat 54: The Buffet title goes to…

My cousins and I give each other titles similar to royalty that claim a special skill/talent. Actually it’s not like royalty because this title is not a birthright…it is earned. For example I have the title of being the baby whisperer. I have this knack of getting kids on planes to like me or stop them from crying. Exhibit A is 4 year old Ryan on the long haul flight from LA to Sydney back when I was 16 who laughed at all my jokes. However, my title is on the line with my cousin Nat winning the affections of a 2 year old on our recent flight to Sydney. I also have stolen the title of beach person from my cousin Nen by going to the beach every day for 2 weeks but she took my title of being the person that attracts free stuff. So as you can tell these titles are taken seriously, you work hard to claim them. So what does this have to do with treating? Well as my followers would know by now my cousins and I meet regularly for breakfasts before work. We take turns deciding where to go. This time round Nen decided we be daring and branch out to Crown Perth for a buffet breakfast at Atrium. So not only do we have to wake up an extra thirty minutes early we are also competing for the title of the best buffet person. The criteria includes how many laps you can do, how much of your plate you actually eat and how many different food combinations you can make. My problem is I fill my plate to the brim and pick at things and only eat what I like. Most things on my plate have only one bite taken out of them. For my first lap I did the traditional scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms and hash brown along with some random breakfast options like steamed fish, roasted vegetables and glazed ham. The fish was discarded quite early on…my mind couldn’t comprehend fish for breakfast. The ham made me feel like it was Christmas again but it is no match to the wonderful glazed ham efforts of my Aunty Georgette and the Nigella inspired ham that my friend Nush made for Thanksgiving 2012. I was disappointed that for the premium price you pay for this buffet that poached eggs are not an option. They do make an omelette in front of your eyes but for a majority of the time this was left unattended so I didn’t benefit from this. Another criticism is that they only offer percolated coffee. You have to pay $5 extra for your standard cappuccino/flat white options. You could end up out of pocket by $45 for breakfast. It’s not the best way to start the day. Round 2 I tried the Asian offerings like gai lan, dumplings and stir fried noodles. I’m not afraid of such savoury options around 10am dim sum time but at 7am I was struggling. This round was left mainly on the plate. After the overwhelming savoury options I went for sweets in Round 3. Think waffles, hot cakes, pastries and fruit. The highlight for me was the snail raisin pastry. It was light and crunchy. The hotcakes were slightly cold…unlike the freshly made ones you get at a Hyatt High Tea buffet. Same issue with the waffles. The strawberries were out of season and sour. Overall, the Atrium breakfast buffet has a lot of options. Maybe too many because the execution and quality isn’t always there. It’s that small attention to detail that can raise a buffet from ordinary to exciting and worth the premium price. Would I go back to a buffet before work? No. I should have learnt my lesson after the Miss Maud experience (see Treat 31). But my philosophy is at first you don’t succeed pick yourself up and try it again…and again. I was wrecked for the rest of the day. I think I was in a food coma that required intensive care (a nap) rather than work. Congratulations to my cousin Nen for her five laps of the buffet tables and for scraping her plates clean rather than my poor attempt. I also liked what she did with her pancakes…great choice with the berries. She has officially been crowned the Buffet Queen of the cousins (well between Nat and I at least). If you have time on your hands (before work is not recommended) and want to enjoy breakfast at a leisurely pace with a variety of options then head down to the Atrium buffet at Crown Perth. It is a guaranteed food coma especially with a title up for grabs you will be doing a lot of laps to win. Yes the competitive Monica (from Friends) in me comes out and a buffet becomes a competition. Except I lost…I don’t how to feel. I’ll have to steal back my getting things for free title from Nen or my baby whisperer title from Nat.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

Round 1

Round 1

The sweet round - shame about the sour strawberries

The sweet round – shame about the sour strawberries

THE DESTINATION
Atrium on Urbanspoon

Treat 43: Happy Turkey Day!

I love thanksgiving.  It brings back so many happy memories for me – from my first thanksgiving with my host family in California where my host mum went all out decorating the house for turkey day to my second thanksgiving with my college roommate Rachel’s family in Carmel, Indiana.  Now the thanksgiving tradition lives on back in Australia with my friends and I getting all turkey ready for that one time of the year. It’s all about spending time with loved ones and….EATING!  Emphasis is added because really that’s all you do all day.  I could talk about the history of thanksgiving of Pilgrims and Indians but as it has no context in Australia then let’s focus on the food.  So instead I will give you a collection of all the different foods that I have experienced so far in my Thanksgiving career.

Appetisers are aka as fillers in thanksgiving because let’s face it bacon wrapped sausages is a lot of protein and fat that fills you up.  This little treat quoting my host mum is called Trailer Trash.  Other appetisers to fill the stomach can vary from pretzels to devilled eggs and Spanish dip.  My friend Kirsty fancied up our appetisers with cute cherry tomatoes stuffed with basil, feta and olive, fresh Turkish bread from a local Serbian bakery, prosciutto, beef sancho bows with coleslaw and the always welcome cheese board including blue vein and camembert.  This first round of food can be a killer of appetite so it’s all about self-control, which less face it we will automatically fail if the food is on the table.
Let’s get to the star of the show… Mr Turkey.  The hunk of meat and all the preparation involved was first evidenced in 2004 when I saw my host mum Lulu slave over this ‘damn bird’.  But the result speaks for itself – succulent white fleshy meat that will be your leftovers for a good week.  For smaller audiences you can do a simple turkey roll with creative stuffing like pistachio and cranberries.  This is what me and my friends had in our first celebrated thanksgiving in 2010.  This year we went full kilter and had a 6kg turkey to share amongst 4 people.  Could we eat more than 1kg of turkey each?  Of course not, so the leftover tradition lives on unlike Joey in Friends who had a whole turkey in one sitting and still had room for dessert.  This is just proof that there is always room for dessert thanks to the safety dessert stomach. My friend Nush did the turkey justice by bathing it in a Nigella Lawson infusion of maple syrup, honey, mustard seeds, caraway seeds, fresh parsley… there’s a lot of ingredients required to make a turkey moist and tender. Nush’s first attempt at bathing and cooking a turkey was perfection – you can’t fault a juicy turkey.
The next big tradition of Thanksgiving is sides and lots of them. The key here is whatever vegetable is on the table it must be coated in cream or at least butter.  So for this thanksgiving I made garlicky green beans that I usually coat in olive oil with his evil brother butter instead.  My favourite side is candied yams – oh how sweet potato is made a whole lot sweeter with sugar.  In thanksgiving of 2008 with my Indiana family I first learnt about canned yams and the magic touch of marshmallows on top – don’t be shocked because it’s actually a delight to eat.  In 2011, my friend Fiona made the side of the year with a smooth sweet potato bake and crunchy caramelised pecan topping.  Remember Thanksgiving happens in the USA in the fall (Autumn) so the food is warming and very orange and brown. Therefore, it’s no surprise that dessert is also orange with pumpkin pie.  I had a lovely pumpkin pie cheesecake for my Indiana Thanksgiving.  If there’s one thing the USA do well besides movies is the assortment of pumpkin things – pumpkin bread, pumpkin lollies, jack-o-lantern pumpkins…I could go on for days but I won’t.  The best part of the day is going around the table and saying what you are thankful for so I will end the treat the same way. I am thankful for family, friends and food, put these ingredients together and you have many happy memories.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

The appetisers

Trevor the Turkey!

I love Thanksgiving!

Quick Treat: The Bunnings sausage

My dad loves Bunnings, he goes there for one thing and comes back with too many things. I’m a little bit different because when I go to Bunnings, I go for one thing and that’s the sausage sizzle. So while my dad is like Tim the toolman Taylor from Home Improvement, I am more like Homer Simpson except I’m not bald and yellow. So today is a very short and sweet treat because basically it’s all about a sausage in a bun and really you can’t go wrong. The money goes to charity so you feel like you’re giving back to the community. You give the money to the cute little kid with a huge grin who passes you over a simple bun with a snag in it. I like to have caramelised onion in mine and then I top it up with tomato sauce and mustard. In a world where white bread is foe, this is definately a guilty pleasure. My mum made a good point today while we feasted on Bunnings sausages for lunch (you can feed a family of five for $10), it really opens up the appetite making you want more. It just shows how powerful a sausage in a bun can be and can also explain the obesity epidemic in Australia as we continue eating after indulging in pig fat. All I know is that I don’t go to Bunnings often so the once or twice a year guilty pleasure is made all the better because it’s for charity after all.

THE JOURNEY

It’s not a pretty picture but it tastes great. Definately worth the trip to Bunnings.

THE DESTINATION
My favourite is Bunnings Balcatta.
191 Balcatta Road, Balcatta