sydney food bloggers picnic

Isn't blogging a funny thing? I consider so many bloggers to be friends just because I regularly read their little corner of the internet, when in actuality we might never meet in person. While some of my IRL friends that blog are exceptions, I've never actually met anyone through blogging or attended any blogger events... That is until Sunday, when I attended the 6th Annual Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic! Myself and over seventy other bloggers risked melting in 40ºC heat for the occasion, but it was so worth it. I had lots of fun chatting to likeminded people who love food as much as I do (if not more) and understand the all important habit of taking pics before eating, haha.

With so many people attending, there was no doubt that the spread would be HUGE. I've seriously never seen a more impressive picnic feast in my life, and didn't even manage to eat or take photos of everything. Some special mentions include these strawberry Nesquik cheesecake shooters by Crystal Noir though, which were oh so cute (and not to mention tasty)! Not to mention the macarons brought by Ramen Raff, which were pretty much gone in a flash. I managed to snag a Thai milk tea one though hehe.

There were so. Many. Sweets. This strawberry and chocolate tart was super good, but unfortunately it escapes me who made it!


Ham, mini quiches, empanadas, kale chips, and baked egg boats, just to name a few! The croquettes were my humble contribution, yay.

So afterwards we played Secret Santa, and it's probably the biggest one I've ever been involved in. Within my group of friends there is literally no point in keeping a secret, so the whole thing's usually lost on us! Anyway, we played evil Secret Santa which has a twist. When it gets to your turn you can basically choose to unwrap a pressie or steal some unwitting person's one, and it can literally go on forever. There were sooo many hotly contested items, with stuff like mason jars, cheese boards, and tea pot sets (many of them) passing hands multiple times. I gave up trying to play the game though and ended up with this adorbs egg mould!

Anyway, apparently I had so much fun chatting that I completely forgot about taking photos of people. As in real, live humans. So this group pic (thanks Rosa!) will do just fine. Crazy to think that this wasn't even everyone, considering half of the attendees went home at this point... Anyway, shout out to Suze and Helen for organising such an epic picnic, it was heaps of fun! Until next time!
Posted by : Mani

snag stand

Oh, hey hey! So I definitely didn't plan on dropping off the radar, but two words pretty much sum up the reason: blogger's block. In fact, it took an overdue catchup with friends to snap me out of my inspiration drought, and I think the change of scenery made all the difference. Anyway, we grabbed lunch at the Snag Stand, which is actually one of my favourites that I've never gotten around to reviewing. Every time I'm in Westfield Sydney, it's just so darn convenient to have a haute-dog after a long day of shopping. It also doesn't hurt that these are arguably the most legit hotdogs you can get in the CBD, plus service is pretty fast despite the lunchtime rush.

So I got the Wagyu Beef, served on a rustic roll with butter and garlic mash, gravy and topped with sautéed onions. DROOL. I've actually had it before, and it was just as good as I remember. The mash is super creamy and adds amazing texture, plus it doesn't make the bread soggy like you'd expect it to. The fried onions also add a nice crunch factor, although I could swear they are the same ones that you can get from Asian grocery stores! It doesn't bother me though, I love onions and there are even more softened onions below the sausage anyway.

Jen got the Spicy Cheese Kransky, a impressive-sounding affair with sun-dried tomatoes, Sriracha mayo (!!) and cheddar cheese topped on a toasted brioche roll. She really enjoyed it, and mentioned that it wasn't overly hot despite all those spicy components.

Carmen opted for another popular item, the Spicy Spanish Chorizo. It basically involves the chorizo with sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle aioli, baby rocket and Spanish goats cheese all on a glorious brioche roll. Her review? She said it was nice and spicy but not overwhelmingly so. The cheese also seemed to be a hit, and did a good job of mellowing out the strong flavours.


Aaand last but not least, those chips. Not quite a normal chip nor a wedge, these are super crispy and salted to perfection. Plus, they're pretty much compulsory whenever I visit the Snag Stand! Maybe it's the 100% Tasmanian Russet potatoes, but I really need to learn the secret to whatever makes these so good every time. I'm eager to try the chilli cheese fries on my next visit, but maybe as a snack because the hot dogs are already quite filling as is. I completely missed the onion rings too, so those are definitely going on my never ending list...


After lunch we had time to kill and hopped down to My Sweet Memory, aka Sydney's answer to indie Korean coffee shops. All of the branches I've been to have really cute interiors, as well as a nice casual feel to them! Naturally we all got the ice blended green tea drink, which were on par with most of the other ones I've tried. There are also a range of other hot and cold beverages on the menu, as well as a varied selection of cakes. Plus, free wifi! I mean, if that's not a deal breaker then I don't know what is.
Snag Stand on Urbanspoon
Posted by : Mani

night noodle markets

When it comes to major events, no matter how much I complain about crowds I always seem to give in to the hype eventually. Last week I visited the Night Noodle Markets and it was no exception, although in theory it shouldn't even be that exciting for me! I eat Asian food all the time at home (and in the city, for that matter) but I guess the novelty of eating outdoors is too tempting, albeit at ridiculously inflated prices. I digress though – if anyone tries to tell you about the food, it's not really. I'd say it's worth visiting for the atmosphere alone, and the abundance of Instagram-worthy things to see!

So my friend and I got the much coveted ramen and rice burgers, and honestly? I'd say it was underwhelming at best. Maybe it was because it was ridiculously hard to eat, maybe it was the lack of typical burger fillings but it just wasn't that satisfying, which is a shame! I'm just glad we got there right when the markets opened at five, and before the lines got really crazy. I'll definitely be trying this out at home though, I think it'd be a lot nicer if the patty was just a tad softer.


On the flipside there was also a huge line for chicken and pork skewers from Hoy Pinoy, and holy moly. People were literally buying them by the armload, and I can see why! The BBQ pork belly with banana ketchup glaze was to die for, despite my usual aversion to anything banana flavoured. To be fair though you could hardly taste it in the marinade, and that succulent pork belly definitely ended up being the star of the show.


Aaand we decided to skip out on Messina at the markets and got gelato from Westfield Sydney instead. My green tea ice cream was pretty much like every other one I've had (pretty good), and the berry cheesecake flavour was really nice and zingy, for lack of a better word!

It's a bit of a shame that I didn't stick around the markets in time for it to get darker, but after a day of uni laziness got the better of me. Plus there was no way in hell that I was sticking around for the crowds at seven, which is when the sun sets nowadays! If that's a sign that summer's well and truly on its way, I don't know what is.
Posted by : Mani