Friday, December 30, 2011

My Food Adventures in Vietnam - Part 1 - Ho Chi Minh City

Hi guys!

Its been a long while, I know, perhaps the longest time I went without putting up a post :( On the bright side, the reason I haven't posted for a long while is because I was on holidays overseas in Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong!!! Woo hooo hehe well and after I got back, it was Christmas after Christmas parties, finally have some free time to myself again : )

Its good to be back home in Australia. I have heaps to tell you about my trip : D One world to describe everything....AWESOME!!! Country...Awesome....Food.....Awesome....everything was awesome!!! hehe

Vietnam was my first destination on my three week trip. Home sweet home, where I was born, where my parents were born and grew up, and where half my relatives are still living. I haven't been back to Vietnam to visit for over 17 years, last time I was there I was still a kid and had no memories of anything else except my grandma's house in Vietnam (me and my five sisters had to stay home with our grandma while our parents were out "visiting their friends", which happened everyday for the whole month that we were in Vietnam that time :P ).

My first stop in Vietnam was Saigon, or better known now as Ho Chi Minh City. The city was hot, extremely humid, over crowded with people and vehicles of all kinds. Hmmm not what I'm used to here in Australia. I must admit it was very hard to adjust to the conditions there. On arrival, we took a cab to Cho Ben Thanh, and wondered around the streets till we found a decent looking restaurant called Ton Kin for lunch. Though Vietnam is all about street food, it was our first day there and we had three weeks of traveling ahead of us, I didn't want to risk eating street food so early on in the trip hehe

We shared a few small dishes:

Traditional Spring Rolls served to rice vermicelli and fresh herbs

Freshly Grilled Prawns, Cuttlefish, and Pork served to lemon, salt and pepper dressing.

Overall, very delicious and satisfying...a little pricey for food in Vietnam, but I was willing to pay that little bit extra for the clean and air conditioned environment! hehe

Next stop, a little Cafe near Galaxy Cinema, not too sure what it was called, but we ordered some fresh coconut juice served straight from the coconut, and some fried chicken wings served tossed in a fish sauce dressing to share. Mmmmmm....another yummy and satisfying meal.

After that, it was walking around the city to explore as many parts of the city as we can for the next few hours. Overall, we spent about 6 hours in Ho Chi Minh, enough to see the city central, but not enough to truly experience the best part of Ho Chi Minh, the street food served during sun down. It was a shame, but we were scheduled to fly to Nha Trang that evening and had to go back to the airport. We got hungry whilst waiting at the airport and ate 2 minute noodles....2 minute noodles always taste better overseas hehe

Till next time, I hope you guys really enjoy this post and be on the look out for my next post about Nha Trang which hopefully will be out in the next few days, its gonna be epic!! hehe

I hope you guys have an awesome New Years Eve, party like its 1999 and stick to your new years resolution this year ok....hehe im just talking about myself...gotta exercise more this year...and drink more bubble tea...

Lots of love,
Fat Pom Pom

Friday, November 11, 2011

Prawn Tempura

Hi guys,

Sorry its been a long while since I have posted, alot is going on in my life at the moment and I haven't had the time or energy to cook for a while : ( Been eating out heaps but nowhere special, just my usual favourite local restaurants hehe

During the week, I was craving for seafood and decided to make some prawn tempuras for mid week dinner. This is my first time making it. I didn't have a secret tempura recipe to follow hehe but I decided to wing it and use the same batter I use for my onion rings hehe only extra ingredient I used was Panko Breadcrumbs. I was very surprised by the outcome, it turned out better then I expected : )

Heres my awesome recipe:

1/2 kilo of large prawns peeled leaving tail, and deveined, I used Banana Prawns
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of light beer
1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to season
Lemon wedges and Japanese Mayonnaise to serve
Vegetable oil for deep frying

What to do next:

Mix half the plain flour together with the beer in a small bowl until batter is smooth. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Put the remaining half cup of plain flour in another small bowl, and the Panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl.

Heat oil on medium heat in a small saucepan.

First, dip one prawn at a time into the plain flour, second into the beer batter mix, and lastly coat plentifully in the Panko breadcrumbs. Repeat until you have coated all the prawns.

Deep fry 2-3 prawns at a time in the oil, it should take no more then 2-3 minutes to cook, it should be ready when the prawns are lightly golden brown. Adjust the heat of the oil if necessary (if your prawn becomes golden too quick, turn the heat down a tad).

Place cooked prawns on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve while hot with lemon wedges and the mayonnaise.


These are as delicious as they look : )

I had these with some rice and Miso soup for dinner, but they are awesome on their own also : )

Theses are really easy to make and are sure to impress your guests at any dinner party!! It sure feels good to be cooking again, hopefully I can bring you guys some more awesome recipes soon!

Happy Eating!
Fat Pom Pom

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cumulus Inc

My boyfriend took me to Cumulus Inc a few weeks ago to celebrate the earnings of his interest in his savings account. After years of my rambling nonsense about putting his savings into a free interest earning account, my boyfriend finally decided to open the account...a month later, he realised how much interest he had earnt in that one month. We decided to go to Cumulus Inc to celebrate.

Situated on 45 Flinders Lane, Cumulus Inc was a short walk from the main hustle and bustle of the cbd.

The interior was very contemporary and had unique decoration. I thought it had a very warm and friendly feel. We were seated at the bar table which faced the open kitchen. Being the foodie that I am, it was an awesome experience to be able to see the chefs at work. We got to spy on what they were making, and in a way, saw our meals being prepped and cooked before our eyes!

We started the night with a Slow Cooked Octopus with Aioli and Dehydrated olives (picture above). Absolutely delicious :)

Oh did I mention we had free bread also hehe

Foie Gras parfait with Toasted Brioche

Fried Soft Shell Crab and School Prawns, shredded cabage, honey and chardonnay vinegar

Grilled Yabbies, Aioli and Lemon

Mustard Crumbed pigs tail, Celeriac Remoulade and Caper berries

We finished the night on a sweet note with the Lemon Tart, blood oranges, home made icecream with meringue. Mmmmm fresh and deliciously balanced.

All the dishes were delicious, my favourites would have to be the Octopus, the Yabbies and the Lemon Tart dessert!!!
Overall, Cumulus Inc lived up to all its hype! I left with a happy and satisfied tummy :)

Fat Pom Pom rates Cumulus Inc:

Food:                     9/10
Atmosphere:      9/10
Price:                    $15 entrees, $30-$60 mains, $15 desserts
Service:                8/10

Happy Eating!
Fat Pom Pom

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Introducing the newest member of our family....Vanilla Tran!!!

 The first day...hello there

my first stick...

hello again

i'm sleepy...


and last but not least...

Vanilla meets B.B for the first time...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yumm....ain't these the cutest cupcakes you've ever seen!!

Red Velvet Cupcakes would have to be one of the most prettiest cupcakes that are out there!!! A beautiful rich red colour, fluffy yet super moist delicious chocolate cupcake, topped with a sweet and creamy cream cheese frosting....mmmm yummmmm!!! One taste and you'll be coming back for more : )

I made these over the weekends, using the new cupcake casings I purchased especially just to make these cupcakes. The casings are so pretty I didn't want to rip them apart when eating the cupcakes hehe

This is my recipe:
Ingredients (makes 30 cupcakes)

2 and a 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoon of red food colouring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
250g tub of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

4. Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and vanilla extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until smooth.

I also add a glace cherry on top to make them look super adorable!!!

So many cupcakes.....

You will sure win the crowd over with these lovely and delicious cupcakes!

Happy Eating my lovely readers!!
Fat Pom Pom

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolate Crackles!

mmmm....remember these? yummmmmm...super awesome!

The last time I had one of these Chocolate Crackles, I was in primary school, where we had one of those school fairs and our parents would cook a dish for us to bring to school to sell and fundraise for the school. There would always be someone's parents who made these Chocolate Crackles and they were sold for around 20 cents. As a kid, I remember these were awesome!!

Only until recently did my boyfriend eat theses again at Melba (Langham Hotel Melbourne) that it reminded me of how much I used to love these chocolate crackles.

This is the recipe for the Chocolate Crackles:


4 cups Rice Bubbles
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
250g copha, chopped
3 tbsp cocoa

In a large bowl, mix the rice bubbles, icing sugar, cocoa & coconut.

Slowly melt the copha in a saucepan over a low heat.

Allow to cool slightly.

Add to Rice Bubbles mixture, stirring until well combined.

Spoon mixture into paper patty cases and refrigerate until firm.

Enjoy!!! It's as simple as that : )

They are still as awesome as I remember!

Happy Eating
Fat Pom Pom

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dinner is Served!

mmmmmm.....I can't wait to eat this again!!!

Hi guys,

Over the weekend I went to a friends house and we all cooked dinner together : ) we used to do this all the time when we were growing up & after we finished high school, we had a lot of spare time and was always cooking together at someone's house or another! These days, we have work commitments, some of my friends are married and a few with little bubs on the way: D

So it's a lot harder to get all the gang together on the one day! The last time we cooked together was probably over two years ago! Me and my friends share the same passion for cooking and food, always exchanging recipes and chatting about the latest episodes of Masterchef or which restaurant to eat at for our next catch up!

Saturday night was fun! Grocery shopping, prepping and cooking all the yummy food that we did that night, and then sitting down at the dinner table together to enjoy and savor our hardwork, not to mention everything tasted awesome!! Good job team! Hehe oh and did I mention we had a super awesome dessert also? Hehe though I was seeing my gang less often these days, it feels like things haven't changed abit when we do : ) it makes me feel happy knowing that!

"Good friends are like stars, you don't always see them but you know they are always there"

So to start of our three course meal, we had home made Bruschetta! You can find this recipe on one of my older post! click here for Bruchetta recipe

For the main course we had Pan Fried Lamb Cutlets in Rosemary and Butter, Beer battered chips, Twice Baked Potatoes, Rian and Tuyen's Special Potato Mash, Steamed Corn, Mixed Salad, and a Creamy Mushroom Sauce!

I would post the recipe for all the above but that would make this post really long hehe if you like the recipe for any of the above, just let me know in the comment box below & I will send you the recipe! If you want the recipe for the Special Mash, I will have to ask my friends about that one hehe

The winner of the night would have to be the dessert! The Deep Fried Icecream with Chocolate Sauce! Everyone was pretty full after the main meal, but for me, I always have a second stomach saved just for desserts hehe

A lot of effort and hard work went into making this delicious dessert (a process of 3 days!!) so I think it would only be right that I give all the credits to my two best friends, Anna and Crystal!!! Thanks for making this super awesome dessert guys!! And with their permission, I am now gonna share with you guys how to prepare and make the best Deep Fried Icecream with Chocolate Sauce that you will ever eat!!!

Ingredients: (serves 4)
4 large scoops vanilla ice-cream
4 eggs
1 madeira cake
2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese-style crumbs)
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
250ml cream
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


To make Chocolate Sauce, melt chocolate on a double boiler. Bring the cream to the boil and add to chocolate, whisk the chocolate sauce until it is smooth.

Cut the cake into 8, 1/2cm slices.

Lay 2 slices of cake across each other to make a cross, place 1 scoop of ice cream in the centre and using your hands to mould the cake over the icecream to form a round ball.

Transfer onto a tray and place in the freezer immediately. Repeat with all the ice cream and cake.
Allow the ice cream balls to freeze for at least 1 hour, but the longer you leave it the easier it is to work with when its time to coat (my friends left them overnight)

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl and place the breadcrumbs onto a another plate.
Working with one ball at a time, roll them into the egg and coat with breadcrumbs and then refreeze again. This time for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

When it is time to serve desserts, remove the balls from the freezer, stand for 5 minutes.
Pour oil into a saucepan. Heat on high and it is ready when a piece of bread dropped in turns brown within 15 seconds.

Deep-fry one icecream ball at a time in the oil until it is golden and crispy and drain on paper towel. This should take no longer then 10-15 seconds.


 Serve with Chocolate Sauce and strawberries......


We finished the night on a chocolate high!!! You can't get better then that :D

Happy eating my friends!!
Fat Pom Pom

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Art of the Brick!

I went to The Art of the Brick exhibition by Nathan Sawaya at Federation Square a few weeks ago.

It was like a walk down memory lane, it brought back alot of my childhood memories : ) For all the Lego lovers out there, whether you played with it as child (and there is still the inner child left in you hehe) or you are the proud parents of a Lego child genius who has stepped on more then their fair share of Lego's (ouch hehe), this exhibition is definitely for you!! Its heaps of fun so check it out while its still running, last day of the exhibition is 30 September 2011.


Something extra for you guys.....there's also a permanent free exhibition at ACMI (across from Federation Square) called Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture. Amazing stuff, I could spend hours here....

Remember these guys!!!! :D

Happy Reading!
Fat Pom Pom