Saturday, December 27, 2014

Garuda Indonesia Food Experience

I can’t really tell you what it is like to fly on Garuda Indonesia as I have not yet stepped foot onto that airline but what I can tell you is a bit about the food you will experience on board a Garuda Indonesia flight.


Did you know the airline, Garuda Indonesia was named after a Dutch poem? In 1949 the first Indonesian President, Sukarno cited the poet named Noto Soeroto on the occasion of the naming and foundation of Indonesia’s national airline Garuda, “Ik ben Garuda, Vishnoe’s vogel, die zijn vleugels uitslaat hoog boven uw eilanden”, which translates into English to:

"I am Garuda, Vishnoe's bird which spread its wing high above your archipelago."

I was invited to experience and photograph Garuda Indonesia’s new inflight business and first class dining at Mascot airport recently. The new menu is in line with Garuda Indonesia’s new service concept under the title 'Garuda Indonesia Experience' which sets out to combine friendliness with strong atmosphere of Indonesia hospitality that roots in the culture of the nation. It is also fair to say that the meals onboard a Garuda Indonesia flight do not feel like you are eating typical ‘plane food’, which is pleasing change and it was such a pleasurable and delightful experience.



An interesting fact is that there is a chef on board each of Garuda Indonesia’s flights (about 125 of them). Garuda Indonesia brought the head chef of Garuda Indonesia’s in flight meal services to Australia, along with the VP of Inflight Services, to showcase to us what has earned Garuda Indonesia the accolade of World’s Best Cabin Staff for 2014.

Garuda Indonesia, the airline of Indonesia, has signed a five year contract with Alpha Flight Services to cater all of the airline’s Australian ports (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane). Alpha Flight Services chefs will work with the airline to offer the cuisine within its recently introduced new service concept across Business and Economy Class from Australia to Denpasar and Jakarta.



Signed at Sydney airport, the contract is unique in the industry as most catering contracts span a maximum of two to three years, demonstrating the two company’s commitment to premium quality in flight food service.

Garuda Indonesia VP Inflight Services Luigi D’Alessio said “One of our biggest concerns when developing our world class new service concept was that we needed a catering company that could match our vision; with our chef on board and multiple menu choices. Alpha is one of only two companies worldwide that we are signing five year contracts with, so this shows the level of confidence we have in Alpha’s expertise”.

Commenting on the contract, Pak Uun Setiawan, Vice President for Garuda Indonesia Australia and SWP agreed with D’Alessio, saying “The highest level of service and quality is required of Garuda Indonesia inflight products, and we are happy to partner with a company as dedicated to excellence as Alpha”.

Pat Osborne, Alpha Catering sales manager agreed with these sentiments, saying: “It’s fair to say it’s unusual and really exciting to sign a five year contract, both companies are committed to delivering on the new menus and meal service initiatives put in place by Garuda Indonesia”.


The partnership was celebrated with a tasting event in which media and travel trade guests enjoyed a full long haul First and Business Class menu, sampling aspects of Garuda Indonesia’s three menu choices; Modern European, regional Indonesian and Japanese Kaiseki.


The new service concept developed by Garuda Indonesia includes such touches as a chauffeuring services, assisted check-in, on-board chefs in both Business, award winning luxury amenities kits and First and a First Class Butler. 


Garuda has been awarded 58 awards in 2014, including Best Cabin Crew by Skytrax, Passenger Choice Award in both the Asia and Australian regions, and Indonesian Customer Satisfaction Award 2014 for the best airline to achieve total customer satisfaction, and Service Quality Award 2014, among others.


I will now leave you with more photos of my food photography from Garuda Indonesia’s Food Experience.

 
 
 
 
 



 
 




For further information, call Garuda Indonesia on 1300 365 330 or visit

www.garuda-indonesia.com

About Garuda Indonesia

Presenting a new level of service excellence in air travel, Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, seamlessly connects more than 60 destinations worldwide to not only one of the largest economies in Southeast Asia, but also a plethora of exotic locations in the beautiful archipelago of Indonesia all at once. With approximately 500 daily flights and a fleet of around 130 aircraft, Garuda Indonesia proudly serves our passengers with the award-winning "Garuda Indonesia Experience" service, which highlights Indonesia’s warm hospitality and rich diverse culture.

After receiving the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate in 2008 and becoming a registered IOSA Operator, Garuda Indonesia implements security and safety standards that puts it on par with other leading IATA member airlines. The airline continuously strives, through its ongoing transformation program, to provide better and more convenient services with one of the youngest fleets in the sky, which should grow to around 194 aircraft by 2015. 


In line with improvements in various aspects of its performance and service, Garuda Indonesia has won a number of accolades and recognition from both national and international institutions, including “The World’s Best Economy Class” award from Skytrax and the “Best in Region: Asia and Australasia”, by the “Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)”. 

For further information, please log on to www.garuda-indonesia.com or follow @GarudaAustralia on Twitter, @GarudaIndonesiaAus on Instagram and Garuda Indonesia Australia on Facebook.

Monday, December 8, 2014

See.Taste.Do Collaboration with Mudgee Premium Fine Food Producers

Want to give something a bit different this Christmas? I have collaborated with premium fine food producers of regional NSW to bring you See.Taste.Do Blog's limited edition Christmas hampers of local produce direct from Mudgee, all 100% Australian made.

Throughout the year, I have blogged some of the finest quality food produce from regional Australia, in particular Mudgee. You won’t find these premium produce in supermarkets. Mudgee NSW is home to some of Australia’s premium fine food produce and wines and is synonymous with quality in the food industries.


In this collaboration, I have joined forces with Lomondo, Bee-Power, Luciano A Bit On The Side to create See.Taste.Do's limited edition Christmas hampers exclusive to the Blog.



Each hamper contains: 

  • Bee Power’s 100% Australian Natural Honeycomb, a premium quality honeycomb produced from unique Australian native trees. All natural honeycomb cut straight from the hive. Honeycomb contains many nutrients, which are beneficial to overall health and well being. Spread it on toast, stir in porridge or cereal, or put it on cheese.
  • A choice of either Lomondo Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Lomondo’s Aged Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar. Lomondo has been recognised with medals around Australia for its early harvest: cold pressed, extra virgin oil. Family owned and operated, Lomondo is dedicated to delivering a premium all natural versatile olive oil. Rich in anti-oxidants and cholesterol free this mild yet flavoursome oil is the perfect accompaniment to any meal or salads. Lomondo’s Caramelised Balsamic is a labour of love, handmade from Mudgee and wine grapes and aged in oak for 3 to 5 years. Regarded as one of Australia’s finests, this well balanced balsamic is perfect for salads or with crusty bread. In addition, Lomondo Extra Virgin Olive Oil was recently awarded 'Best in Class' at the 2014 Hunter Valley Olive Awards where the judges comments described Lomondo's Olive Oil as:
    "Lovely fresh fruity varietal nose. Tropical fruit salad notes, green tomato, nice and complex. Palate medium intensity bitterness, lasting but late to arrive. Medium pungency, nice oil."
  • The award winning premium mustard, Luciano’s Bit on The Side, Garlic and Rosemary Mustard. ‘Luçiano’s Bit On The Side’ was started in 2008 in response to a demand for premium mustards. The mustards were the first to be released, followed by their horseradish products. Many of the key ingredients are grown on Kathryn & Michael's own property and within the region. This premium mustard is delicious with grilled lamb.

See Taste Do’s Christmas hampers come in jute bags with See.Taste.Do's Christmas label custom designed by a local Australian designer and artisan Amity Created and contain these three premium fine food Mudgee produce.

The hampers are limited edition only until Christmas 2014 and retails for $65 including delivery across Australia. These are not your ordinary run of the mill hamper packs - all produce tried. thoroughly tested, blogged and recommended.

Please email me at seetastedo@gmail.com if you would like to purchase one.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

3 tips I learned on food photography from Milano Torino

“Too many good restaurants put up bad photos”, Dario Milano, our instructor, food stylist and photographer says to us at a food photography class I attended on Saturday morning at his newly opened restaurant, Milano Torino in Rosebery, NSW. That’s true. I know when I’ve done ‘not too bad a job’ at my food photography when my readers leave comments on my Instagram posts like “Your pics make my tummy rumble” (Instagram: @mattng) or one follower recently left a comment that left me glowing, “Your photos look sooo delicious that I literally want to take a bite out of my phone every time I see one (Instagram: @matthewjphotos)”.

Dario Milano, with his Northern Italian background and a chef has a new creative concept of food photography. Dario conducted his food photography classes in his new restaurant just opened in Rosebery to share not only his love for food photography but also his love of his food straight from the kitchen of his establishment. I attended Dario’s class as I wanted to refine my food photography skills to ensure consistency. I find restaurants that are not well lit the most difficult locations for good food photography. That’s probably why some photography posted on social media don’t do justice to some good restaurants. This is something that I definitely have room to improve on. After attending Dario’s classes, I also learnt new tips on taking photos during daylight.



Located on the busy Epsom Road in Rosebery, Milano Turino is both a restaurant and a studio for food photography. As you walk in, you will notice it is a well lit open plan space, with the kitchen area to the right and the bar and dining area to the left. You can also see well manicured gardens at the back from the entrance with a fish pond containing carps that are also ‘foodies’ as they will follow you as you stroll up and down the pond. By the windowsill facing south near the kitchen space is a rustic table set up along with vintage and antique homeware utensils that can be used as props to beautifully display and style the food we were to photograph. Dario sources these props for food styling all over the place around the world from flea markets and antique stores. Using good props for food styling always adds a little bit more character to the food, letting you imagine the setting in which you are dining in.


3 tips I learnt to create exceptional food photography include:

#1 Good lighting is everything. The food should be positioned by a window sill facing south to create soft even light that’s not harsh.

#2 If you are in a restaurant in the evening that is not well lit, use a spot light to create the equivalent of natural light. Don’t shine the spot light directly on the food otherwise you will have one side that is bright and another side with shadows. Try and find a wall (preferable white) where the spot light can bounce the flash light onto the food, creating softer lighting.

#3 Carry a grey card (which you can get from camera stores) so you know where mid grey is to ensure your whitebalance of your photos are correct.



It pays to get your photos right the first time and minimise post photo processing time. Food photography should be appetising and make your stomach grumble the second you glance at it, shouting out “eat me”. It is also a lot more rewarding where you have posted a photo you have taken rather than regramming someone else’s photo (with appropriate credit of course). Your followers will appreciate you for it. This will shine through in the number of people who are engaged with your posts.

Contact:
Dario Milano, Photographer & Food Stylist
0411 566 264
www.dariomilanophotography.com

Restaurant:
Milano Torino
2/33 Epsom Road
Rosebery NSW
www.milanotorino.com.au



 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bastille French Dining | Sydney

Bastille restaurant under new management offers a simple, yet elegant and modern French style fine dining experience in the heart of Sydney’s Inner West. Even if you don’t live near Drummond, you should try and visit this restaurant at least once. Ideal for a first date, a small group of 3 or 4 get together or a quiet night with a loved one, Bastille offers modern haute cuisine cooked using traditional French techniques and an exhibition of creative flair thanks to Head Chef Kay’s beautiful art of plating.

The décor in this establishment is understated with a soothing grey-green scheme. We were seated at a dressed table against a backdrop of tall windows. There was a small bar area opposite to where we were sitting. We were given a glass of champagne which sets the mood whilst you contemplate entrées. The setting is elegant, with a slight air of formality, but not intimidating allowing you to relax and go with the flow. There is even a chauffeur service for diners if they live within a 10 minute radius from the establishment.

I am greeted by Head Chef Kay following a busy period on a Saturday evening which generally is around 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Chef Kay tells me he has been trained only in French traditional cooking techniques for many years and Bastille, being under new management for only two months, brings a fresh, elegant and modern experience to French dining with Australian hospitality. You won’t find escargot or beef tartare in Bastille’s menu…some of you are probably thinking ‘phew’ with a sigh of relief, mainly because the Australian palette is not really accustomed to these types of dishes. Chef Kay wanted the menu to comprise only 5 mains, 6 entrées and 3 desserts so that each dish is prepared consistently and to high quality standard. With a small dining menu, you can rest assured that any dish you order is handled with confidence, delicious and with beautiful artistry on the plates in which you are served. You will pause a second to admire the beauty on your plate before the aroma of freshly made French cuisine hits your nose, signalling to your stomach to look to no further and to lunge into your meal...it’s time to eat.


The wine list is of a calibre to match the food and includes a high quality selection of wines and cocktails. I generally have a preference over French wine as the taste is subtle, dry and woody. I had the 'Fat Bastard' Pinot Noir 2013 from Languedoc, France.

As we were sipping our champagne, we browsed through the entrées and chose Sydney Rock Oysters with lemon, mignoette sauce and 3 Scallops each with iceberg, cauliflower puree, finger lime, almond emulsion ($16). Like good seafood, there is no other way to have it other than ‘fresh’, which these were. The marshmallow sized scallops were fresh and soft which were served on top of a celery slice. When eaten, they were cool and refreshing, ensuring you devour each piece in your mouth. It’s the perfect palate cleanser. The oysters were delicious with the lemon mignonette sauce.


Entres: Scallops each with iceberg, cauliflower puree, finger lime, almond emulsion
The main dishes present broader flavours. Though dish descriptions run long, you’d be hard pushed to find a flavour out of place in the impressively executed French dishes. When you ask Chef Kay what his favourite pick would be from the menu, it would be the swordfish without hesitation. Chef Kay told me that the meat of a swordfish allowed him the versatility to embellish the dish with his own unique sauces. The saffron infused tomato sauce added a beautiful tang to the swordfish meat.

Mains: Swordfish with scallop tortellini, capsicum, crushed potato, white fungi, saffron infused tomato
I had the swordfish which came with scallop tortellini, capsicum, crushed potato, white fungi, saffron infused tomato ($32). It is rare to see swordfish on any menu in a restaurant probably because it is such a large fish. Swordfish is meaty and dense. It has a similar texture to a snapper. We also had the Smoked Duck Breast with white chocolate, king brown mushroom, pear and pea cream ($36) which I believe took centre stage. The texture of the duck meat with wonderfully tender, infused with a delicious sweet - savoury juices.

Mains: Smoked Duck Breast with white chocolate, king brown mushroom, pear and pea cream
Though you may be quite full after entrées and mains, it would be hard to say ‘non’ to Blood Orange Cake with pistachio sauce, vanilla ice cream, mango sorbet, cherry sorbet ($16) and the Meringue chocolate brioche, strawberry sauce, pineapple sphere, raspberry crisp $16. Beautifully presented plate of fine desserts. The Blood Orange Cake had a delightful hint of a popping candy which you can hear go 'pop' in our mouth, in a similar way to the sound of effervescence in drinks.

Dessert: Meringue chocolate brioche, strawberry sauce, pineapple sphere, raspberry crisp
Bastille offers an accomplished range of flavours and textures of traditional French cuisine. The beautiful artistry of each plate is simply astounding. Thumbs up from me, go and try it!

Dessert: Blood Orange Cake with pistachio sauce, vanilla ice cream, mango sorbet, cherry sorbet

Location: 105 Victoria Road, Drummoyne
Contact: 02 9819 7713
Website: www.bastilledining.com.au

Bastille Dining & Terrace on Urbanspoon
 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

See.Taste.Do collaboration with Fragrant Flame Soy Candles on Signature Fragrance

I am pleased to announce the launch of See.Taste.Do Blog’s new signature candle fragrance ‘White Wave’ developed in collaboration with Australian handmade artisan and small business owner, Lisa Zois of Fragrant Flame Soy Candles.



I support local artisans across Australia through my Blog who have unique ideas and have created some incredible things that standout because they are just a little bit different from the rest. I support local artisans across the country particularly if they have launched an exceptional product, deliver excellent customer service and can share their goodies across borders through delivery online. These local businesses deserve recognition and I ensure the good word is spread. If there are new products or services on the market, then I am passionate about giving these new businesses a go.
 

After months of testing, ‘White Wave’ 100% natural soy candle is the first product launched by my Blog through a partnership with an Australian artisan that I have tried and recommend. Fragrant Flame Soy Candles was selected as my signature scent soy candle supplier because their candles standout. Fragrant Flame Soy Candles standout because they are handpoured (as opposed to manufactured) using 100% natural soy, burns very cleanly (with no or minimal residual wax left after burning) and have a range of pleasant fragrances that resonate and will have you craving for more.

The name ‘White Wave’ has a meaning derived from my Western name, ‘Jenny’ and its fragrance, with a unique fusion of various tropical scents, will take you on a journey to a tropical island with coconut and palm trees, where you soak in the sun, sip a cocktail with pineapple sangria, whilst you close your eyes and listen to soft white waves crash against the warm wet sand…

The fragrance is also a symbol of connecting people by creating things together. Why? This quote from The Blue Man Group has always resonated with me in almost everything I do. I have met so many people and forged lasting friendships in the journey of ‘creating’:

"If you would like to establish a connection with people from another culture, it's always good to offer a few gifts as a gesture of friendship. But, an even better way to forge a lasting bond is by creating something together. Whether it's a meal, an art project or a spontaneous dance party, when you create with others, you create a connection that lasts a lifetime."

The fragrance is not available anywhere else and unique to my Blog developed by Fragrant Flame Soy Candles, which also create a vast array of other fragrances too that you can check out on
www.fragrantflamesoycandles.com. Try Caramel Vanilla and their new Amazon Sugar Apple Fragrance – they’re delicious!

Each soy candle is handpoured into beautiful vintage Mason Jars and decorated in lace and pearls, shabby chic, rustic style in line with the Blog’s look and feel. When the candle has finished burning, the beautiful vintage Mason Jar can be recycled into a vase for flowers and used as décor for your home.

White Wave Soy Candle is a limited edition fragrance until Christmas only and retails for A$35 each (plus $10 with postage and handling in Australia). It has a 70-80 hour burn time. If you would like to purchase See.Taste.Do’s signature soy candle fragrance, email me at
seetastedo@gmail.com.
 
 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Daisy Dining Daylesford

“Someone from Instagram wants to try my food…and what’s more, she invited me to dinner”, Rachel from Daisy Dining Daylesford relays amusingly to her uncle of a crazy Instagram follower last week, who just so happened to be me.

Yes, I met Rachel from Daisy Dining Daylesford through Instagram. I had planned a trip to Daylesford as I have heard so much about the hot mineral springs in the beautiful country town of Victoria about an hour away from Melbourne CBD. It's funny how you set a goal and you come across things or people unexpectedly along the way.

Daisy Dining Daylesford is a private catering service in Daylesford and you will need Rachel when you get there. When you arrive at Daylesford, whilst there is an awesome fine dining establishment like The Argus, you can’t really have that every night and takeaway places are scarce (or non-existent). Given you are in the country, it seems fitting to try home baked meals made from local produce. Daisy Dining offers high quality privately catered meals for lunch or dinner.



Rachel told me how Daisy Dining Dalyesford was inspired by her mother’s love and passion for cooking and Daisy Dining was born in memory of her. Rachel grew up cooking with her mother who did many cooking classes including Cordon Bleu and Di Holuigue and spent most of her life asking for beef bourguignon and souffles.

All catering is freshly prepared from local, free range and happy farms. All dishes are homemade, from the stock to the crème anglaise. One of our travelling parties had dietary requirements and Rachel was able to accommodate for this.



We had a party of four and we ordered the following (the servings are very generous):

Vegetable Salads with Meredith Goats Cheese


Green Salad with Jonai Farms Bacon

Beef with Holgate Ale

Lamb and Barley braise with Citrus

Bake free range Chicken with porcini and Cool Country Dutch Cream Potatoes

Basmati Rice

Apple and Berry Crumble with Harcourt Apples

My Eton Mess

Pears poached in Vanilla, Cinnamon and Des O'Tooles Honey

Free Range Vanilla Ice Cream.

 
 

You can’t fault Daisy Dining’s service. The food is exceptional quality and Rachel delivers all your food to your door piping hot.

Rachel, Thanks for accepting our invitation to dinner. Your food is amazing and your mother would be so proud of you! Well done. It was a pleasure to dine
with you in Daylesford and to try your delicious cooking. We loved it! Jen xo.

Contact: Rachel at www.daisydiningdaylesford.com.au

 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Asia Town comes to Sydney for Good Food Month sponsored by Cathay Pacific

David Thompson, Australian born Executive Chef, restauranteur, cookery writer is in town. David is known for his skill and expertise in Thai Cuisine and thanks to Cathay Pacific I had the pleasure of meeting David this afternoon at the Asia Town, a festival of street food held at The Star in Pymont as part of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month.

David Thompson, who now lives in Bangkok, made his name at Darley Street Thai in Sydney in 1992. He then opened Sailors Thai in 1995. Nahm opened in 2001 in The Haikin hotel in London and received the Michelin star within 6 months. In 2013, Nahm was listed in Asia's 3rd best restaurant and was recognised as one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the world.

3 things I learnt from David Thompson when chatting with him today include:

1) Did you know street food was not the norm in Thailand or the old Siam as it was once called (for those who have seen The King and I musical). Thai people were farmers so usually brought the food, once harvested, back home to prepare and eat. It was not until the Chinese came to Siam that things like, noodles, chopsticks, street-food, spring rolls started to influence Thai food and cuisine.

2) David also predicts that Asian food with its rapid pace in development in quality, variety and fusions and what he has seen living overseas will become even more popular than European food in the coming years. Hmmm... I still like my European food so there should be enough room in the world to cater for both palettes hopefully!

3) Some of the best Asian food is in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's dining scene is rapidly progressing, where quality and various fusions are giving people much more choices in dining experience.

I watched David cook up his stir fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (neua pat bai grapao). For those who like and can eat spice this dish certainly turned up the heat. Delicious for my palette!

Cathay Pacific are airline sponsors for the Asia Town event held today. If you love taking pictures of your food, you have a chance to win tickets for two to any Asian destination of your choice in Cathay Pacific's vast Asian network. All you have to do is take a pic of your favourite Asian dish or spice then share it with hashtag #tasteasiawithcathay and the destination you would like to visit. That's a tough one but I'd like to visit South Korea, Taiwan, Japan (again), Malaysia, or Hong Kong if I were given a choice.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some mouth watering pictures from today's Asia Town event held at The Star's Sky Terrace on a gorgeous Sydney Sunday.







 
David Thompson at his cooking demonstration at the Sky Terrace at The Star in Pyrmont.
 
 
The above dish was David Thompson's stir fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (neua pat bai grapao) that he cooked up during his demonstration at the Asia Town, Good Food Month festival. Very spicy.
 

 
Me and the man himself, David Thompson.
 

 
The above dish is by Chef Benjamin Cooper from Chin Chin & Kong Restaurant in Melbourne, also specialising in Thai cuisine. Will we see Chin Chin in Sydney soon? Hopefully, it seems! This is Chef Benjamin Cooper's Nahm prik gupi with crispy school prawns against Sydney Harbour backdrop. The best of both Melbourne & Sydney fused together.
 
 
Ramen Ikkyu chef master cooked me up this delicious ramen to try (sbove). So fresh, soupy ramen noodles. Love it! Thank you Master Haru. Visit Ramen Ikkyu - they are based on 401 Sussex St, Haymarket in Sydney. 
 

 
One of my all time favourites. The above dish was cooked up Hung Leung of Golden Century (393-399 Sussex St, Sydney). This is the Signature XO pippies and prawns with vermicelli.

 
The above dish is the Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake of cuttlefish & beef) by Chase Kojima of Sokyo.

An amazing and rare event where culinary talents gathered to share some of their tantalising and exotic food with the crowd and it surely set the Sydney dining scene buzzing at the Sky Terrace at The Star today. We were lucky to sample some of the finest Asian street food made with passion by the finest chefs in the world.