Grain Store – Grand Opening

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There’s many things I love about Melbourne. One of which is how new cafes and restaurants pops up everywhere and there will always be something new to try!  Slightly more than a month back, I was invited (with many food bloggers too!) to the grand opening of the Grain Store. Before I got the invitation, I was wowed by the pictures of their interior decoration. So I was super excited to try their food! hehe I do apologise if my photos are a little yellowish! I’m still learning hehe

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I wasn’t sure how they were going to fit so many of us, as we were allowed to bring up to 3 guests with us! But the place was really spacious and had tables all well spread out. The serving style of the evening was tapas which was perfect, so we got to try alot more things in a much relaxed environment! hehe

couscous and quinoa salad on red witlof

The first thing I had that night was a couscous and quinoa salad on red witlof. The freshness and crunch of the salad went really well with the subtle bitterness of the witlof. I definitely wanted more of this! hehe So so so good!

Black pudding on puff pastry

Next was the black pudding on puff pastry. Although I’m not a big fan, the black pudding went really well with the buttery puff pastry!  I have to admit, when it first arrived, I thought it was on a pikelet! hehe Kinda reminded me of bellini (mini pancakes), right? hehe

Potato fondant

This, my dear friends, was one of my favourite of the night. What could be better than a combination of spuds and cheese? Spuds, cheese and cream! hehe These golden and crispy potatoes are cut into cylinders and hollowed and stuffed with cheese! There were DELISH! Definitely wanted more!

Polenta chips

When the polenta chips arrive, I was grinning! One of the my favourite things ever! I’ve been addicted to it since the mr made them! hehe These were really good! Super crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside! Definitely wanted more than one!

Prawns on Crustini

These prawns were so sweet and succulent and went perfectly with the crispy crustini.

Small masterclass

In the middle of our nomming session, we were invited to the back of the kitchen, where all the magic happens! hehe Chef Ingo was going to give us a mini masterclass of how to make beef tartare! Straight away, I turned to look at Melissa (my sister-in-law who was my plus one for the night) and her face immediately lit up! She’s a huge fan of beef tartare, so I knew she would be thrilled!

Beef tartare

Chef Ingo used tenderloin, parsley, capers, french shallots, chives, gherkins, light mayo, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, a touch of cognac and seasoned with salt! For a small dish, it sure has lots of ingredients! hehe It’s no wonder it’s so tasty and it just melts in your mouth! Of course, Melissa had 2! hehe Everyone knew she liked it so they allowed her to have another! So nice of them! She was definitely a happy girl that night (:

smoke salmon on potato crisp

The house smoke salmon  was beautiful and went so well with the crisp and the slight bitterness of the witlof. Yummm!

Ginger Beer

As I was the designated driver of the night, I ordered organic ginger beer. I love ginger beer. It’s my choice of a fizzy drink (as well as lemon lime bitters)! So refreshing and just the right amount of ginger kick! hehe

Pork fritters

Just before we left, they came around with some delicious and mouth-watering pork fritters! OMGNESS. These were just to-die-for! They just melt in your mouth and the crumbs were golden brown and crispy! I’m so glad I stayed long enough to try them! YUMMEH!

Just want to thank the Grain Store for inviting me to their grand opening! I had such a good time and it was great seeing familiar faces too! hehe Absolutely loved the food and I can’t wait to try their breakfast & lunch menu! Definitely have to head down soon!

Disclaimer : I was invited and dined with compliments of The Grain Store for their launch party. 

Bosch Masterclass with Chef Ian Curley

Bosch Masterclass with Ian Curley

Good evening dear readers, hope you had a great weekend and you’re all pumped up for the new week! Time really flies, and it’s already mid-week! Before you know it, it’s the weekend again! How good is that? hehe A few weeks back, I was fortunate enough to be invited by PHD media agency and Bosch Home Appliances to have a Bosch Masterclass led by top chef, Ian Curley! If you’re thinking that Ian Curley looks familiar, that’s because he’s appeared on numerous TV shows – Masterchef and Conviction Kitchen (just to name a few). I was so so excited when I read that he was going to run the Masterclass, especially cause he’s the Executive chef of The European, a place I’ve been meaning to try! So glad I get to have a first-hand taste of some of the dishes they serve in the restaurant! Up close and personal! (:

Beautiful table setting

We were chauffeured to the venue of the Masterclass and they transformed their showroom into a beautiful dining area! I was mesmerised by all the kitchen appliances that was around me! The state-of-th-art cooking tops, range hoods and the built in … (wait for it)… coffee machine that grinds the coffee beans and makes the froth for you all in a press of a button! Of course, I couldn’t go past the different types of ovens they had to offer! I wanted all of them! hehe

Before I share the amazing night I had, be warned that there are heaps of photos to come and mostly would make you very hungry! hehe Might need to eat after you finish reading this post! hehe But hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did that night! Here we go! (:

Filleting a John Dory

We got into the kitchen (at the back of the show room) and was introduced to Chef Ian Curley! I have to say, he looks so fierce but he’s actually really nice and funny! Insisting we take nice photos of him and make him look skinny! hehe Straight after a short introduction, Chef Ian got straight down to business! He decided to cook us a pre-dinner meal of John Dory with cauliflower puree and braised witlof!

Joh dory with cauliflower puree and braised witlof

Of course, in true chefy fashion, Chef Ian filleted the Joh Dory infront of us, in the matter of minutes might I add! Just amazing!

filleting the John Dory

ingredients used

Lucky for us, everything was prepped so we don’t have to do the chopping, but just the cooking, plating and of course, eating! hehe The best part of all!

Seasoning the fish

The fish was seasoned just before it’s being cooked in a hot pan!

Plating the dish up

While the fish was pan-frying, Chef Ian started to plate the dish up : the cauliflower puree with cauliflower florets, pine nuts, muscatels and capers. I love how it could do that with his eyes closed and it still turned out looking like an art piece!

work of art

How amazing does that look? and that’s just the beginning!

the favourite ingredient of the night : bottarga

To add extra oomph to the dish, bottarga was grated onto the dish! It’s Chef Ian’s current favourite ingredient at the moment! hehe I could definitely understand why! When I saw the bottarga, the only person that I thought of was the Mr, cause he LOVES fish roe! hehe

We were then split into groups to cook different dishes and lucky me was grouped with Miss D (Never Too Sweet) and Agnes (Off The Spork) to make some amazing Beef Wellingtons! By no means was this dish quick and easy, but all the components of the dish just made this dish TO-DIE-FOR! We girls definitely did a great job! hehe Although most of the hard work was already done for us. haha

ingredients for beef wellington

We were introduced to the ingredients needed for the beef welly and look at how beautiful those eye fillets were! The rest of the ingrdients are : dijon mustard, proscuitto, salt, mushroom duxelles.

sealing the eye fillets

sealing the eye fillet (both sides)

The eye fillets had to be seasoned with salt and coated with olive oil before putting into the hot pan to get sealed on both sides! It was important to oil the meat instead of the pan so that it doesn’t smoke out the kitchen! hehe A very good tip when you cook your steaks at home too! (:

Eye fillet sealed

Once the eye fillets are sealed (nicely golden brown too!), allow them to rest on a tray and then smear a thick layer of dijon mustard and a whole heap of mushroom duxelles!

eye fillets smothered with dijon mustard and topped with mushroom duxelles

wrapped with proscuitto

It’s then wrapped with a beautiful piece of proscuitto and then instead of the usual puff pastry, the European uses brioche instead as it gives a lovely soft texture! The brioche was then brushed with egg yolk to give it a nice colour!

Wrapped with brioche and egg washed

Beef wellingtons about to go into the convection and steam oven!

The beef wellingtons were then placed in the convection and steam oven! How awesome does that sound?? The oven has a steaming function that would bake the brioche as the usual oven function bakes/steam the beef so that it will be juicy and tender! I definitely want one!

Baking in the combi steam oven

The combi steam oven doing it’s magic for 12 minutes! While it’s baking, we went over to the other groups to have a sticky beak! hehe Boy was I glad we did, cause the smell that was filling the kitchen was making my tummy grumble!

crab linguini

One of the groups made crab linguini and we were just in time to taste the dish! One of the tips that were given to us was to only add the basil leaves just before serving the pasta just so it is able to have the added freshness!

Chef Ian plating the crab linguini

Topped with bread crumbs and shaved bottarga

Before serving, they crab linguini was topped with breadcrumbs and shaved bottarga! Love the addition of the bread crumbs. It added an element of crunch to the dish! (: So so tasty! My belly was definitely happy after I finished a whole plate!

Crab linguini

After being satisfied by the bowl of deliciousness, my greedy belly led me to the next group. They were cooking saffron seafood paella!

Rice absorbing all the goodness

The short grain rice are absorbing the goodness of the stock, capsicum, saffron and chorizo. hehe I couldn’t wait to dig in to this dish!

All the seafood going in!

Especially after I saw the amount of seafood that is going into the dish! I’m sure you would want some of this too! Just at this time, the beef wellingtons were ready to come out of the oven and be plated!

Beef wellingtons done!

While they were resting, we made the button mushroom garnish.

mushroom garnish

It was a delicious mix if button mushrooms, fresh peas, pearl onions, lettuce, brussel sprouts leaves and bacon! YUMMERS!

Slicing the beef wellington

Within a circle of pea puree lay the button mushroom garnish, a teaspoon or two of mushroom broth and some mushroom froth. Then the beef wellingtons were sliced into half and served!

Beef Wellington

Fresh horseradish was grated onto the finished beef wellingtons just before being served! hehe How pretty does that look? So many components and trust me, everything works magically together! The eye fillets were cooked perfectly  medium as well. hehe I have to say though, I do prefer the flakey puff pastry but the soft brioche was a delightful difference! hehe Just like my buttery puff! hehe

Saffron Seafood Pealla

Next up, saffron seafood paella! (: Don’t you just want to dive into this pan of deliciousness?? When it was placed on our table, everyone just went “WAH” simultaneously! There was so much seafood, the rice wasn’t even visible at first look! hehe Our kind of paella. haha

close up shot of the seafood paella

We quickly snapped some shots and dugs our (clean) spoons in it! The flavours just burst in our mouths! It was so good and the seafood were all cooked really well! Plump and juicy! (: individual portions

I was already stuffed by the time I finished my wellington. So I only had a small portion! Had to leave some space for dessert! hehe For a moment, I sound like Miss D! haha

Pinot Gris Cold Pressed - Yering Station

After having the paella, we were invited back into the kitchen to have some dessert! Of course, there was a sweet dessert wine to go with it – Yering Station’s Pinot Gris Cold Press! SO SO GOOD! Really need to head to the vineyard to buy some of these to stock up! I personally love sweet wine that’s why Moscato or Reisling is usually my choice of wines. hehe I took the smallest sips so that it could last longer! hehe

plating the desserts

While we were busy enjoying our meal, the chefs were busy plating the dessert : olive oil polenta & ricotta trifle! To go with was a stick of puff pastry (YAY!) and some candied walnuts (I wanted to sneak the whole packet home haha). It was my first time having a polenta cake and I loved it! Wasn’t too sweet and added a bite to the dessert. I’ve been a huge fan of olive oil cakes of late, so this was definitely making my belly happy! hehe

Olive oil polenta ricotta trifle

I just kept digging and digging into the glass and it felt like it was never ending! At this point, I knew I was filled to the brim and definitely a happy camper!

Chef Ian making pasta

Before the night came to a close, Chef Ian wanted to show us how easy it was to make pasta from scratch and also how quick and simple a spaghetti marina could be! He whipped out the Bosch MUM86 Professional with a pasta maker attachment and started rolling out the pasta dough that he’s made prior.

Cooking spag marina

In a matter of minutes, he was able to fire up and plate an amazing bowl of spaghetti marinara! Too bad we were all really stuffed, or else I would have loved to have a taste!

spaghetti marinara

I definitely had so much fun during this masterclass! All the different techniques learnt and the delicious food we got to try and attempt cooking. Definitely a night to remember! (: Thank you so much Bosch and PHD agency for this amazing opportunity! Would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Chef Ian Curley and his team for holding such a fun masterclass! I enjoyed every minute of it!

take-home goodies

To make the night end on a even sweeter note, Bosch has generously given each of us a goodie bag filled with amazing gifts! One which I have been eyeing for the longest time : the stick blender! WOOOHOO! (: Now I can make soups, mayo and sauces in a whizz! Thank you so so much Bosch Home Appliances for everything and for the beautiful night! Couldn’t ask for more!

Hope you enjoyed the post! Sorry about the photo bomb hehe I’ve got the recipes of all the dishes that we tasted that night, so if you would like any of them, please feel free to drop me a comment with your email and I will send them through to you asap! (: Have a wonderful night ahead and I hope that your Thursday would be a happy one!

Always remember to cook and bake with love!

Disclaimer : I was invited to this Bosch Masterclass with Chef Ian Curley as a guest of  PHD agency and Bosch Home Appliances.