Saturday, October 15, 2011

MasterChef Live - Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park

Last year, Cheesecake Boy and I missed out on MasterChef Live, and I thought we would miss it again this year.  However, that was until we received a call from our dear friend Mrs. G when we were in Perth, who had some complimentary tickets, and so it was decided that the very next day after returning home to Sydney, Cheesecake Boy and I would get ourselves out and about.  It was better then our initial intentions of just sleeping the day away.

We got there quite late as Cheesecake Boy and I had slept in, and it was crowded, but it was not unbearable.  However, we were too late to attend some of the classes as they were booked out, but other classes that had a first come, first serve policy seemed to have a minimum 45 minutes waiting period.  You see, we are definitely not the patient type so waiting was not going to be an option for us.  However, after a small stroll our rumbling tummies decided that it was time for a quick and easy lunch.

This led us to the outside eating area, and after reading MissChu's menu and being in need of something fresh, we were lured in by the Queen of rice paper rolls and her fresh spring roll empire.  

The line may have looked long, but the efficiency of MissChu herself prevailed, and not long after we were at the front of the line and waiting for our order.

We were in a playful mood, so no slushee was going to be refused that day.  There was a choice between either the young coconut and pineapple or young coconut and lychee.  Mrs. G went for the pineapple slushee and Cheesecake Boy chose the lychee slushee.  They were basically frozen young coconut juice that had been blended and pieces of chopped up pineapple and lychee had been added to the slushy coconut juice mix.  They were both refreshing, but both Cheesecake Boy and Mrs. G thought a spoon would have came in handy.  

Misschu crush with young coconut & pineapple, $6.50 + 20%
Misschu crush with young coconut & lychee, $6.50 + 20%

I was beyond starving and pretty easily demolished my half portion of these mini spring rolls, the menu says you get four per serving, but for some reason an extra one was tucked in.  They were hot and crispy, and though I did remember tasting pork, I don't remember tasting anything else in these spring rolls, as the salty nuoc cham overpowered the subtle flavours of the spring rolls.  However, the squishy texture of the cellophane noodles did complement the fried crunchiness. 

Traditional pork Hanoi deep fried spring rolls, $6 + 20%

The young coconut and satay chicken fresh spring rolls were nice and refreshing.  The chicken is the dry shredded kind, but it needs to be to keep the rice paper from going soggy.  Each roll had a nice balance of chicken, salad and vermicelli.  The peanut sauce for me was slightly too salty for me, but I guess it didn't help that I smothered the rolls with sauce.  However, I really had to admire how tightly each roll was wrapped.  If only my own attempts looked as good, I guess practice makes perfect.

Young coconut & satay chicken fresh spring roll, $6.50 + 20%

Cheesecake Boy put an order through for the Vietnamese warm vermicelli salad with lemongrass beef eye fillet.  I found that the beef was slightly dry and the same for the salad due to a lack of dressing.  However, there was a nice kick of chilli and lemongrass coming through.

Vietnamese warm vermicelli salad with lemongrass beef eye fillet, $13 + 20%

Between Cheesecake Boy and I, I'm usually the one who has an endlessly hungry tummy.  However, coming back to Sydney has done strange things to Cheesecake Boy, as he seems to be the one now who is constantly on the look out for food now.  A few days later, and everything is back to normal again though.  Cheesecake Boy has a soft spot for weisswurst, so when he spied that they were available at the Brot & Wurst stall, he patiently waited his turn, whilst us girls headed for some sparkling. 

Cheesecake Boy's weisswurst was served on a soft roll with a slightly tangy without being overbearing sauerkraut and mustard.  It was simply delicious, and Cheesecake Boy couldn't get enough of it.  Cheesecake Boy was completely satisfied after his weisswurst, even though I may have taken a bite too many.

Weisswurst, $7.50

Tummies all full, we were ready to start looking and shopping for all things food.  We stopped by the Shocolate stand, as we saw a sign that claimed that their chocolate macaron was voted Melbourne's best last year.  However, their award winning black and white macaron was not available.  I've read that their famous macaron is massive, and will set you back $10, just for one.  However, they were generously providing samples of their other macarons. 

We enjoyed them so much that we snapped up their special offer that included three skewers of macarons for $15, so for nine macarons altogether it was a steal.

My only gripe with the Shocolate macarons were that they were all skewered.  However, if you like your macaron shells with a lovely crisp exterior and when you bite into them the shell gives way to velvety softness, then these are those macarons.  The ganache fillings for all the macarons were superb, and they were very generous with the filling, as each flavour had a very distinct taste that just bursts in your mouth.  They were all delicious, and usually chocolate macarons do not make me swoon, but even their standard chocolate macaron was simply sublime.  Special mention goes to the particularly lovely bourbon vanilla macaron, only because I'm obsessed with all things vanilla.

Three macaron skewers for $15 (special)

The Shocolate chocolates are on the pricey side, with some slabs selling at $12 per 100g.  However, I bought a mixed sample of chocolate slabs.  The quality was definitely there, and the nuts were beautifully roasted.  They were all lovely, but the nutty white chocolate pieces were the most fragrant with subtle hints of orange coming through.

Assorted chocolate slabs, $15

My love for chips is the equivalent to Cheesecake Boy's love of ice cream, and the more chocolaty goodness in and with his scoops the better.  It was going to be hard to say no to a Maggie Beer's ice cream, so we didn't bother resisting.  My quince and bitter almond ice cream was an almond  flavoured ice cream with a generous sprinkle of almonds bits dispersed throughout.  The quince in my ice  cream came in the form of a swirl, I just wished there were more swirls.  I wasn't surprised that Cheesecake Boy's flavour of choice was the dark chocolate and orange.  I don't usually go for chocolate ice cream, but in this case I would.  I loved the bittersweet chocolate against the intense orange in this.

Maggie Beer ice creams, two for $5 or $3 each

When it comes to chocolate, Cheesecake Boy and I are weak.  You could imagine that heading into the Patisse stall was not the brightest idea we'd had all day, especially after all the non-stop munching we had been doing. 

As expected we did not walk out empty handed.  I was trying to be good, but I justified that I would be saving Cheesecake Boy a drive out to their Waterloo premises if I bought our much loved block of Valrhona then and there.  Just as I made up my mine, a fellow chocolate lover next to us egged me on  and told me that I would have no regrets.  It's great how fellow chocoholics encourage each others addictions.  Cheesecake Boy settled for the chocolate honeycomb slab, and this honeycomb really shatters.

Valrhona block, $21 and chocolate honeycomb slab, $8.50

MasterChef Live really is a fun event for people who appreciate food in all it's forms or just people like Cheesecake Boy and I, who want to sticky beak around and discover something different.  I just wished I'd remembered to head back to 2 duck trading co's stall to grab a jar of their glorious duck pate.  Oh well, we scored ourselves a heap of sweet treats, and I'll be sure to check our Shocolate next time I head down to Melbourne.

MasterChef Live 2011
7-9th October 2011
Hordern Pavilion
Moore Park NSW 2021


Anonymous said...

The lines for the cooking classes were so ridiculously long... :( when I rocked up there was going to be a 2 hour wait for the bread class!

JasmyneTea said...

What an excellent day of eating! I've been wanting to check out MissChu and your excellent pics make it pretty enticing :) I love the Maggie Beer range of icecream too!

chocolatesuze said...

naww macs on skewers! chocolate slabs! ice cream! /jealous

Anonymous said...

wow very jealous that we didn't go =( would've been an amazing day of food! maybe next time if they have another one =)

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello minibites, lucky I didn't even consider the bread class, tempted but I knew there was no chance. Two hours is crazy.

Thanks JasmyneTea :) The Maggie Beer range is just scrumptious.

Hey Suze, lol never thought of it, but it does sound right up your alley :)

Hi excusemewaiter, I'd be surprise if they didn't have one next year. It's good for a lazy weekend sticky beak.

sugarpuffi said...

omg i didnt see the macaron skewers!! how could this happen?! i bought half a doz macs at croquembouche for $15 *weeps*

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello sugarpuffi, all not lost, always next year :)