Bondi Chai

There is often so much gloom and doom surrounding Australian industry (food or otherwise) and sometimes it feels very difficult to buy Australian made foods, never mind about the company being Australian owned.

When the press release dropped in the inbox, announcing that Bondi Chai was now available retail my first thought that this was not for me, or Eating Adelaide. The most exotic I get with my tea is matcha and if I’m out I will always drink coffee because cups of tea in cafés are just never the same as the ones you make at home.

However, the word “Australia” was mentioned a few times which made me dig a little deeper. The good news is that Bondi Chai is 100% Australian owned (it’s a privately held company) and 99% of its ingredients are sourced from Australia.

You may be familiar with Bondi Chai from café menus but you may not know that in April this year it became available retail. Packs of eight single serve sachets are available from Woolworths for $6.99. It comes in two flavours: club cinnamon and vanilla honey.

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits

Today (25 April) is ANZAC Day. Alongside Australia Day it is easily the most important national holiday here. It commemorates the first military action fought by Australian (and New Zealand troops). Australia was only federated in 1901 so when the First World War broke out the nation was a baby. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops were deployed to Turkey and they landed at Gallipoli on this day.

In theory, it was going to be a quick strike, but that single campaign was to last eight months and by the end of the year the allied troops had to be evacuated. Over 8000 Australians had been killed.

Today, ANZAC Day commemorates all Australian servicemen and women, and the national holiday and dawn services give everyone an opportunity to reflect on the commitment that those who serve give to their fellow countrymen.

Anyway, history lesson over. Let’s get to the biscuits (note, biscuits, NOT cookies). The story goes that these egg free biscuits were sent to troops by loved ones back in Australia. Food historians may wish to argue this point, and while I am normally a really tedious stickler for facts, in this instance I think we should let accuracy slide and just go with the collective wisdom.

This is my recipe for ANZAC biscuits. It’s not a tried and tested family recipe but one I created back in 2006. It is egg free but not dairy or gluten free. Apologies in advance for the imperial measurements and the mix of volume and weight measurements!

It’s a really simple recipe – so simple in fact that I made these biscuits this afternoon with my toddler.

Just remember – these are ALWAYS biscuits!

ANZAC Biscuits

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • ¾ cup dessicated coconut
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (convention).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. On the stove, melt the butter and the golden syrup. Then add the bicarb and boiling water. The mixture will froth a little.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. You may need to add a little extra boiling water.
  5. Make large walnut sized balls of mixture and flatten on baking trays (lined with baking paper). The biscuits will spread as they cook, so ensure you leave ample space between them.
  6. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Less cooking leads to chewy biscuits, more cooking: crunchier biscuits.
  7. Makes approximately 18 biscuits.
https://eatingadelaide.com/anzac-biscuits/

 

Mantra

 

MANTRA HAS CLOSED. THE SAME BUILDING IS NOW FARAJA

date of visit:  Saturday 14 November 2009

As 12 of us sat down to dinner at Mantra on Saturday evening, our host (the birthday boy) turned to me and said “so, will I read about this on Eating Adelaide?”.

This is a tricky question.  Someone else has chosen the restaurant and organised the evening.  If the dinner is chaos and I write about it, how does that person feel – particularly if they don’t share my point of view?  If I only write about places I enjoy, then my silence on others speaks volumes.  So, as a rule, I don’t write about venues that have been a part of a group outing.

And then, occasionally, I do.

Mantra is at the Goodwood end of King William Road – away from the stretch full of bars and restaurants and situated on a corner which is almost suburban.  The exterior is dominated by a huge door (which, rather spookily, swung open, as if by magic, when we approached) and the restaurant shares its space with a large bar as well as sofas and a coffee table.  For larger groups, there’s a comfortable space (not quite a private dining room) at the rear – which is where we were seated.

The food at Mantra was good (and I will expand on that) but the truly remarkable thing was the considerate nature of the service.  Our reservation was for 7, yet the party was not complete before half 7:  not a murmur.  Andy had left his cigarette lighter at home and one was found for him without hesitation.  There were some complicated food orders that were accommodated.  We wanted a side door unlocked so a pram could be ushered into and out of the restaurant when a (generally well behaved) six month old baby had a grizzle.  I suspect we were the type of party that, were we not unfailingly polite (!), give staff a headache.

While terrible service is enough to put me off returning to a venue, good service alone won’t guarantee that I’ll be back.   So, what was the food like?  Well, there was no garlic bread for the guest of honour, but we started with some good bread and olive oil and followed that with a selection of entrées. At Mantra, entrées are done tapas style so we ordered 10 plates between the 12 of us. Hummous crusted liver excited comment (the most excited from those who hadn’t realised it was liver), the carpaccio was excellent, I missed out on trying the scallops with Spanish blood pudding and the mussels, the sardines stuffed with feta and wrapped in prosciutto were lovely, and we also enjoyed crab cakes, chipolatas, something involving beetroot and goat’s cheese …

With a large group I could really only focus on my own main course, which was veal with sweetbreads (ooooh, one of my favourite things) served with a saffron, deep fried gnocchi. The gnocchi were odd – not in a bad way as they were tasty, but not what you’d expect from gnocchi, and both Andy and I found the sauce a little salty, and I thought my sweetbreads a little over cooked but … it was a lovely dish. The veal was perfect, the portion the right size … I also had a taste of someone else’s duck which was just as good.

No one was hungry enough to order dessert although a few of us wrapped up with coffees. With a small tip it worked out at $60 a head. This covered generous shared entrées and mains, beers and a couple of bottles of wine. That’s probably not the cheapest night out and I’m sure Andy and I could spend more money there if we tried.

And, do you know what? I’m pretty confident we will. I rate a restaurant where the food is good, where casual doesn’t mean sloppy, where offal appears on the menu and where the menu on the website is representative, rather than the week in, week out, fixed in stone offering.

Mantra on King William on Urbanspoon

Confident, delicious Modern Australian

Rating:4.0 stars