Celebrating a Marriage : Anada

Karen's big day!

A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to attend a friend’s special day and it was beautiful (: After the ceremony, we went for a small celebration and I was asked to find a place that would be fitting for the occasion. I think I found the perfect place!

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Anada has been on my to-go list for the longest time, and I was so glad we headed there to celebrate their beautiful day! It’s such a cosy place and the ambience was perfect! Not to mention how delicious the food was! I’ve not had spanish food ever since I came back from Barcelona, and that was almost a year back! How time flies!

We were seated at the long table by the window and I was seated at the sofa seats, facing the restaurant. I love being able to see the hustling & bustling of the kitchen, staff and the bar. Just makes the night even more interesting!

Drinks of the night

Of course, I couldn’t have any drinks that night. I stuck to my water. But our friends ordered a couple to try! You can’t really go wrong with ordering Sangria at a Spanish restaurant. The cava sangria had a good balance of cava and citrus, just what a sangria should be! The newly weds ordered the cocktail – papa doble. It was refreshing and had a really good citrus flavour! Definitely something I will try once I can have a drink (or two haha)

As for the food, we decided to order some tapas, a main and a couple of paellas to share among the 6 of us. We were actually quite filled up by the end of the night!

fried cauliflower

The first tapas we had was the fried cauliflower with zataar and house yoghurt. This was my favourite tapas of the night! The cauliflower was nicely caramelised on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. Together with the tangy house yoghurt, it was absolutely delicious!  Wanted to order one all for me (and bub)! hehe

fried aubergine

Next up, the fried aubergine with a dollop of labne, chilli and mint! This was really flavourful but would have been even better if the aubergine was slightly warmer. It went really well with the labne though!

Bone marrow on toast

The last tapas we ordered was the bone marrow on toast with wagyu cecina. I’m not a huge fan of bone marrow and I couldn’t have the cecina, so I gave this a miss. However, everyone else said that it was a very delicious small treat! They definitely enjoyed this a lot cause they were still talking about it at the end of dinner!

Crispy pork belly

This, ladies and gentlemen, is hands down the best dish of the night! Crispy pork belly with meat that melts in your mouth, sitting on a bed of smokey aubergine. I was definitely in pork heaven after my very first bite! The crackling was so crispy and perfectly seasoned, I wanted more!

Chicken and seafood paella

After all the tapas and pork belly, we were definitely looking forward to the paellas! Haven’t really had good paella in Melbourne so I was really hoping this place would be it! And it sure didn’t disappoint! The chicken and seafood paella was flavoursome and the rice was al dente, just the way it should be!

arroz negro paella

The squid ink paella was also really delicious, and there is just something sexy about the black rice against the seafood. haha but it might just be me thinking that! I have to admit though, I do prefer the chicken and seafood one. I think it might be because I have a constant craving for tomatoey food! hehe

Anada

We definitely enjoyed ourselves at Anada, and I can definitely say that I will be back again for the fried cauliflower and the crispy pork belly! Can’t wait!

Añada on Urbanspoon

Would just like to congratulate Karen and Patrick on their beautiful marriage. May you have endless years of love for each other, and may it continue to grow every single day! (: Hope your week is going well dear readers, remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx

Postcard from Barcelona : Tapas Heaven

Hola Barcelona

Hola ! (: How I wish I was back in Barcelona, basking in the sun! Going through the photos is making me miss Europe heaps and there are some places that I travelled to and delicious food that I had I really want to share with you!

La Boqueria Market

Markets. Don’t you just love them? I can’t get enough of them! While I was planning my itinerary for Barcelona, the first place that got on my list was the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria! The moment you enter through the La Rambla entrace, you are greeted with fresh juice, colourful fruits, plethora of nuts and more juice! Walking through the aisles was like a kid walking in a toy store, I wanted to get everything!

Fresh juices of different combinations

There were so many different combinations of juices and even smoothies! Was so amazing! What’s even better is that some stalls (along the sides) were selling them for €1! How cheap is that! We would drink at least one every time we were around the area! hehe

Fruits

Fresh fruits were all arranged so neatly and the colours just popped! All of them were seasonal and oh-so-fresh! You just wanted to buy some and bite into them immediately!

Sliced watermelon

These caught my attention as I was walking through the aisles! The watermelons were sliced and served with a fork for the convenient of visitors!  I was in awe with how much pride and care they took with their produce. Amazing!

pistachio stuffed dates

I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw how huge the fresh dates were! I immediately bought a couple to try and they were so good! Plump and sweet! Some were even stuffed with pistachios. YUMMO! hehe Have you fallen in love with this market yet? hehe There’s more to come!

Jamon heaven

We were totally in Jamon heaven!! Everywhere you walk to, every turn you make, there would be a stall with legs of jamon hanging around and packets of beautifully sliced ones. They smelled heavenly, and you wouldn’t be able to resist buying a packet or two. hehe

Bottarga and tuna jerky

Don’t eat meat? How about fish? hehe These definitely reminded me of my brother and I couldn’t not get him some! The fish jerky was delicious and it went perfectly with some table water crackers. hehe And of course, the beautiful bottarga. Wished I could bring it back to Melbourne! Would love to use them in my cooking!

shrooms heaven

SHROOMS! I was in heaven. So many different varieties. You name them, they have them!

wild strawberries

These made my heart skip a beat! Wild strawberries! hehe The first time I’ve seen them and within my reach! Of course, I bought one. haha I remember Jamie Oliver using them in a dessert, so I couldn’t wait to try them! Some were like sugar, but there were some that made my face cringe. haha But they all had an intense strawberry flavour though! hehe

By now, you would be wondering, where is the tapas? Or the cooked food??

fried delicious

Here it is! Just next to a stall that sells fresh seafood, they have a stall that fries them up and we can have it piping hot! hehe Even my mum who doesn’t usually have fried stuff or baby squid, couldn’t resist!

fried feast

We didn’t stop at one! haha Crispy golden crunchy deliciousness! Everything was fresh with a subtle sweetness. The only thing I didn’t dare to try was the barnacles.

Barnacles

The Mr was super excited to try these. But just how it looks makes me take a few steps back! haha To give it credit though, the mr said it tastes quite like crab meat! hehe In fact it has a outshell that you have to pop and pull the flesh out. hehe Till now, the picture is making my hair stand!

Pinotxo bar

Even after all those food, we still needed to have lunch! hehe I read many reviews and there were lots of people recommending the Pinotxo Bar, so the tummy led me there! hehe

baguette

Friendly staff greeted us and told us what was on the menu today. It changes according to the freshest catch they can get that day!  hehe Of course there are a few signature dishes that would be be constantly on their menu.

Bubbly and beer

They only had bar seats or high tables, and we went during the peak hour so there were only the high tables left. The high tables were out in the sun, so we ordered bubbly and beer, which were perfect to cool us down.

croquettes

The good thing about tapas is that we could order lots of varieties and try almost everything on their menu! First thing we had was croquettes! They had many kinds : mushrooms, ham, mince and cod ! Mushroom was my favourite. A really strong flavour of porcini in every bite! Crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside – DELISH!

Mussels

Mussels! So fresh and sweet, and goes so well with a tangy salsa.

steamed clams

The steamed clams were also really fresh, plump and sweet! They were more like cockles, but I think they call is clams here. hehe Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Perfect!

Fried peppers

The Mr couldn’t resist ordering a plate of deep fried peppers. They were sweet but leaves a hit of chilli in our mouths after! Accompanied by crackles of salt with every bite. I have only one word to describe this – ADDICTIVE! hehe

Cod and lentils salad

This is their signature, and a must order! Their cod and lentils salad was drizzled with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The cod had the right amount of saltiness, and we just couldn’t stop! Such a good balance of flavours! Wish I could make it at home!

Baby squid with cannellini beans

This was one of my favourites! Baby squid with cannellini beans and black ink. So tasty and lip-smackingly good!

chickpeas with meat

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the chickpeas with meat. It was absolutely delicious and every single chickpea you bite through is tender and just full of flavour. I can see why it was highly recommended by many! Absolutely loved it!

Picture with the boss

And just before we left, the staff told us the boss wanted to take a picture with us! How cute is that? hehe He came out from behind the bar to snap a shot with us (: You must be wondering, where is the Mr? He was at his conference, but don’t worry, we went back and ate all the same dishes with him another day! hehe I sure as wasn’t gonna let him miss out on this! Too delish!

So you can definitely see why I love this place! Endless food opportunities and you can let your taste buds run wild! hehe So the next time you’re in Barcelona, definitely head down to the La Boqueria market! I assure you, you won’t be disappointed!

¡gracias Barcelona. You are a memory I will always treasure and one trip my belly is very grateful for!

Till the next adventure, xx

Josie Bones

This would be my second visit to Josie Bones but this time, we had the mr’s cousin join us so we could try more of the menu, so I was really excited. I have to admit, we wanted to have Huxtaburger that night, but silly me didn’t check their opening times and they were closed on Mondays. But it was like a blessing in disguise, cause we got to dine at Josie Bones again!

We were first introduced to Josie Bones by my mr’s client who gave raving reviews about the food and the vast number of different beer/alcohol they offer. This comes as no surprise, because it is opened by Chris Badenoch and Julia Jenkins, who were contestents of Masterchef Season 1 and Chris was known as the beer merchant. And the Mr purchased Chris’ cook book because he loved how he uses the whole animal when he cooks, like the whole pig, sheep or cow. Nothing goes to waste, which is awesome!

Josie Bones

Address : 98 Smith Street, Collingwood 3066

Telephone : 03 94171878

Absoutely love the outlook of the restaurant. It has a long bench top which customers can sit and enjoy the food and have a chat with the most friendly staff! Josie Bones is a tapas style restaurant that serves heaps of unusual but delicious food. It’s definitely not your usual dishes, but trust me they are awesome! There was alot of oohs and ahhs the moment the plates were placed on the table. Just couldn’t wait to dive in, but as usual, our cameras ate first. hehe

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the beverage menu. haha Yes. It’s that thick. They do bring in lots and lots of beers from all around the world, and most of which we’ve never seen or heard. The staff were all very knowledgeable about every single beer and they are more than willing to help if you get lost in the ocean of beer choices!

The mr told him what he usually likes (which is whiskey, of course) and the staff actually recommended a beer that tasted like whiskey and totally suited his taste buds! I, on the other hand, prefer something fruity. And the melon gibson, which was more on the sweet side and tones of watermelon, was highly recommended. It was delicious and not overly sweet! Kong Seng had the raspberry beer which was really yum as well!

We ordered two entrees to start our meals. One of which is the crackling of the day ($4). Every single piece of crackling was super crispy and its served with a side of seas salt which was so good! It went from the a plate full of crackling to an empty plate in less than 10 minutes. And yes, we ordered a second serve of it as well! haha Whoops!

Our second entree was one of the specials of the day : mini sliders with braised pork belly and kimchi in freshly baked brioche buns. These were the BOMB! SO good! I could just have that all night long to be honest! The brioche buns were freshly made and cotton soft! and the braised pork. oh what can I say? Melt-in-your mouth goodness! The kimchi added a crunchy texture to the slider and also cut through the richness. AMAZING!

Yes. It was really really good. Would love one now. hehe

hehe that’s how small it was. Small but mighty, I have to say. hehe Can you tell how much I really like it?

So then come our mains. We ordered three to start with and the staff recommended we order a side of greens to balance our meal out. hehe It totally slipped my mind to order some greens! hehe Oops. Totally focused on all the meat dishes! But can you blame me? hehe I got overly excited when I saw the menu.

Our first main was stuffed trotters with black pudding, with braised lentils and crispy pigs ear. As you already know, I love dishes with different textures and this just ticks all the boxes in my list! The soft and tender pig trotters that were stuffed with black pudding was tasty but not overpowering! I was a little apprehensive about the black pudding at first, cos it wasn’t something I usually enjoy. But this was really good. The deep friend pigs ear was so good! I saved that to the very last bit and had it all slowly, savouring every bite. *crunch*

This was my favourite dish of the night! We had it the first time we came as well. But had to have it again, cause it was so good! It’s rolled pigs head with sauce gribiche and crackling. Yes. More crackling! haha This is just one of the examples of not wasting any part of the animal! In fact, the meat from the pig’s head (for example pork cheeks) are the best bits! Super tender and super tasty. Melt-in-your-mouth kind of goodness. The super crunchy outer layer covers the most tender piece of meat (and fat). But I’m really glad we shared, cos it might get a bit too rich. But the sauce gribiche helps cut through the richness as it is a tad bit sour and tangy.

This zucchini salad with fiore di burrata, toasted almonds, grapefruit and saffron pickled shallots was recommended by the staff and I must say it was a perfect in between dish to be served as it was really refreshing and acted almost like a palette cleanser, preparing us for our final main dish. Fior di burrata is actually an italian cheese made of mozzarella and cream. The texture was exactly like a fresh mozzarella. So good!

The mr’s cousin have never had rabbit, so he requested for us to try this dish : Braised rabbit with chorizo and creme fraiche jus. The rabbit pieces were really tender and the chorizo added a mild spiciness which was good! and what’s better? The staff offered us a basket of bread to go with the gravy! DUNK!

Of course, we couldn’t leave without having sweets. Although we were all quite full, but like the mr says. There is always space for dessert! hehe When we looked at the dessert menu, our choice was made up almost immediately. haha

Pear tarte tartin with beer caramel and bourbon & raisin ice cream. The puff pastry was still crispy-crunchy and the pear was really tender, all these yumminess covered with an intense beer caramel which was sticky and gooey. This hot tartin was paired perfectly with a boozy bourbon and raisin icecream. It was so good! Although we did wait 30 minutes for it, but I think it’s well-worth the wait! hehe

So after all the rich and delicious food, we were of course super stuffed but we had happy bellies at the end of the night! hehe I have to say that every single dish was really well balanced in terms of flavour and textures. Almost each dish had a a mix of tenderness and crunch! Plus you pair them with beers of your choice! Definitely really happy we went there that night.

So go ahead,  hold on to those hooves and give them a push! I know you would want to! (:

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