Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dragonfly, Collaroy

A couple of weeks ago my sisters and I decided that it was time for a sisters night out. Occasionally life gets busy and passes us by so we try and have girly catch ups every now and then. I feel very fortunate that the 3 of us are so close, and regardless of what the world throws at us we are always there for each other.

Tonight we opted for one of Loris local restaurants; Dragonfly, in Collaroy, Northern Beaches. Her husband was left in charge of Baby Ash and off we went for our girls dinner, armed with a bottle (or a couple) of wine, as they are BYO. Dragonfly is located directly across from the beach, offering South East Asian Cuisine. They are great for takeaway but also fantastic for dining in.

There is no gluten free mark ups on the menu however there are a large variety of dishes which can be made gluten free and the staff are very knowledgable about the topic.

For entree we decide on betel leaves topped with smoked trout, chilli, garlic, galangal and fried shallots. Betel leaves have to be one of my favourite Asian starter dishes. And the addition of smoked trout makes this one extremely flavoursome.

As the salt and pepper prawns are also gluten free we can’t turn these down now can we? These are also very tasty and crunchy, the way they should be!

For main, we tried a new dish of stir-fried roasted duck fillets with bok choy, shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and five spice. This dish did not disappoint and the five spice made it extra yummy.

One of my favourite mains from Dragonfly would have to be the Malaysian barramundi fillet curry with okra, tomato and chilli. So needless to say, I could not go past this dish tonight. The flavours are jam packed into this curry and the barramundi just melts in your mouth.

Although we were quite full from dinner, there is always room for dessert. Our favourites are the Tapioca Shots, with coconut milk, palm sugar syrup and sesame seeds. They are the perfect way to end the meal with the right amount of sweetness. The only complaint is that I wanted more!

Dragonfly is a great casual eatery. The staff are very friendly and are so accommodating with our gluten free diet that we love going here time and time again. The food is always fresh and full of flavour. If you are ever in the area be sure to give it a go.

1073 Pittwater Rd Collaroy, NSW 2097
02 9982 8808

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Monday, April 27, 2015

An exquisite gluten free lunch at Jonah’s, Whale Beach

I stare out the window, rain slapping against the window, cold air creeping through the cracks of the house. I’m on my brand spanking new Macbook Pro (eeeeep!) and decide that it’s time to catch up on writing some posts. It’s been a while in-between chats my dear friends, apologies. Time just seems to have slipped away. 

As I sift through photos I come across my photos from Jonah’s. Oh what a glorious day it was. Lu and I were lucky enough to receive a voucher for Christmas from our very kind sister and brother in-law.

We booked a lunch seating, as we were told the views were breathtaking. It was a perfect summers day, blue skies and a warm summer heat. We make our way through the Northern Beaches, past Avalon and then through the windy roads to the top of the hill, until our car pulls up at the front of Jonah’s. Walking through reception we are greeted by friendly staff and lead to our table. We are seated by the window and wow, they were right, the view is absolutely magical. Situated at the top of the cliffs, Jonah’s overlooks Whale Beach. Waves crashing in the sea. Spectacular blue water only dotted with swirls of sand.

As we are seated we start with a cocktail each. Lu orders the Raspberry and lychee martini, while I order the Lemongrass and ginger martini which is refreshing and perfect for the summer heat.

Unfortunately we were unable to order the degustation menu as we had hoped, as they only serve this at dinner (there’s one good reason to return!). Jonah’s is a hatted restaurant serving contemporary Australian cuisine. The entire menu sounds delicious but we decide on the Jonah’s ‘fruits de mer’ for two. A selection of fresh seafood served on a three tiered timber and slate piece.

Majority of the menu can be created gluten free, and the very friendly and professional staff assured us that they had informed the chef of our food allergies. The seafood platter would be amended to be gluten free and accompanied with a selection of gluten free sides and bread. 

We start our lunch with the ceviche which is small but melt in your mouth and very tasty.

Next comes out our exquisite looking seafood selection on a three tiered wooden platter. The presentation is impeccable and we can’t wait to get started. We eat slowly taking in the views, sipping our wine picked by Jonah’s very own Sommelier, and enjoying every mouthful of tasty food.

Starting from the bottom we work our way up; freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, house smoked ocean trout and sashimi served with a light red wine vinaigrette.

On the second tier; Seared scallops, cooked prawns and fillets of barramundi served with a garlic aioli, and salmon remoulade - a little jar bursting with flavour! Smoked salmon, mixed with aioli and fresh herbs, which we spread onto gluten free bread. This was definitely the stand out dish of the platter.

The top tier comprised of freshly cooked prawns and grilled scampi served with a homemade seafood sauce.

We are served sides of deliciously crispy chat potatoes and a radicchio and orange salad, which balances out the flavours of the fish perfectly.

And then comes the dessert. To start a pre dessert of fluffy white mousse sprinkled with freeze dried berries on top. Perfect to cleanse the palate.

Lu orders a chocolate mousse cake served with a berry sorbet. It looks beautiful on the plate, like a piece of art, and tastes amazing (I may have sneaked a scoop or two - for research purposes of course).

For my dessert the chef whips together a special gluten free dish of tropical flavours. I craved something with coconut ice-cream (this is my favourite flavour) so he put together a dessert of layered ice-cream and mango. It sounds simple, but let me assure you the flavours were delicious! With our desserts we sip on perfectly matched dessert wines to enhance the flavours.

And then when we think we are done, out comes a plate of gluten free petite fours; one shot glass is filled with diced dragon fruit and orange, the other a sweet strawberry jelly, and in the centre of the plate a fluffy and delicious strawberry marshmallow.

Sadly this was the end of our fabulous Jonah’s lunch. The location of Jonah’s is magical, the food is fresh and delicious, the presentation impeccable and the service 5 star. Jonah’s is a great idea for a gift or special occasion. I highly recommend Jonah’s and would love to go back one day, perhaps even to stay overnight in one of their gorgeous rooms!

Jonah’s, Whale Beach
69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach, Sydney, Australia 2107
02 9974 5599

Friday, November 14, 2014

Barilla lunch at A Tavola, plus WIN a Barilla pasta pack!

Recently Two Silly Sisters had the pleasure of attending an exclusive bespoke Barilla lunch, hosted at A Tavola, in Darlinghurst. A Tavola Owner and Head Chef Eugenio Miaile created the menu using the new gluten free range of Barilla pasta. Established in 2007, A Tavola is well known for its authentic Italian pasta, so to be able to enjoy the delicious flavours of chef Eugenio Miaile was a treat! 

Barilla gluten free pasta is made from a combination of natural gluten free flours – white corn, yellow corn and rice, and is made in a dedicated gluten free facility. 

Today the menu comprised of three courses of pasta, to test out the three different pasta shapes – Elbows, Spaghetti and Penne. 

The first gluten free pasta dish was Elbows con Vongole e Cannellini – a lovely dish of Barilla gluten free Elbows, served with vongole and cannellini beans. The Barilla Elbows are a small range of pasta (shaped like little elbows) perfect for entrees, soups or pasta salads. 

Our second dish was Spaghetti dell’Ortolano – a vegetarian dish of Barilla gluten free Spaghetti with organic vegetables. This pasta dish was delicious and fresh. The gluten free spaghetti tasted fantastic and held together well without breaking when served. 

The third and final gluten free pasta dish of the day was Penne con Salsiccia e Carciofi – Barilla gluten free Penne with pork sausages, artichokes and parmesan. The ingredients in this dish were simple but flavour intensive. Again, the gluten free penne held together extremely well and did not break apart when eating. 

The recipes created for this lunch reminded us a lot of our mothers traditional Italian cooking – simple and fresh ingredients. Growing up in an Italian family food was very important to us, especially our pasta, and it still is. So finding a gluten free variety that we can trust for taste and texture means a lot. 

But no lunch can be complete without dessert, and today was no exception. This dessert was absolutely amazing – I am still salivating just thinking about it. We were served A Tavola’s most popular dessert, the Creminello. Served in an espresso cup, this dessert is made up of layers and layers of pure indulgence – Chocolate and hazelnut, amaretti, salted caramel gelato, and Italian meringue! 

So what did we think of the new Barilla gluten free pasta range? Overall we thought it was fantastic. The taste is great and it holds together when cooked. We have tried it out at home since and the whole family, even those without gluten intolerances enjoy it! 

Thank you to A Tavola and Barilla for a yummy gluten free lunch! We left with happy pasta loaded bellies, and even goodie bags to take home with us! Gluten free pasta is available at A Tavola as part of their standard menu, plus many more gluten free options. 

The Barilla gluten free pasta range is now available in Woolworths nationally and in independent grocers. 

Do you want to try out the new Barilla Gluten Free pasta range for yourself? Well today we have a Barilla pasta pack to give away to one lucky winner! 

The Barilla pasta pack is valued at RRP $60 and includes: 
2 x Gluten Free Spaghetti 
2 x Gluten Free Elbows 
2 x Gluten Free Penne 
4 x Sauces: Napoletana, Basilico, Ricotta and Arrabbiata 
2 x Pesti: Pesto Genovese and Sundried Tomato Pesto 
Pasta server 
Barilla Apron 
Pasta Tin 
Gluten Free Recipe Book 

For your chance to WIN this fabulous Barilla pasta pack simply LIKE us on Facebook & email and tell us your family’s favourite pasta dish. 

Terms and conditions
The draw will result in 1 prize winner (prize value: RRP $60). Competition is open to Australian residents only. Competition closes Sunday 7th December 2014 at midnight. This is a game of skill. Winner will be drawn on Monday 8th December 2014 by 8pm and will be notified by email. By entering this competition you are subscribing to Two Silly Sisters Newsletter. Upon receiving emails from Two Silly Sisters you may opt out at any time. 

A Tavola
348 Victoria Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010 

All images © TWO SILLY SISTERS 2014

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Escape Haven Chocolate Bliss Balls

I bite into a Chocolate Bliss Ball that I have just made and am instantly transported back to Bali. I am now at Escape Haven sipping on freshly brewed ginger tea and nibbling on Bliss Balls relaxing on the comfy lounges at Villa Jupun. I am happy and completely Zen. It’s funny how your senses can transport you back to a place in time – the taste of these Bliss Balls, the smell of ginger tea, the tunes of a song – they all take me back to my recent trip to Bali (read previous post here).

Today I want to share with you the recipe to Escape Havens specialty, Chocolate Bliss Balls. They are delicious and easy to make, and best of all they are gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. They are a healthy treat and a great nourishing pick-me-up. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Stay Zen.

{Gluten Free Recipe} Escape Haven Chocolate Bliss Balls
2 cups walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut, shredded
8 fresh dates, pitted
2/3 cup cacao powder
1⁄4 cup of water
Pinch of salt

1. Combine the walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and dates in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are combined.

2. Add the cacao powder, salt and water to the mixing bowl and process until the mixture forms a dough (the mixture may look too crumbly but trust me, it will work!)

3. Take tablespoons of the mixture and squeeze and roll it between your palms into medium sized balls.

4. Place the finished Bliss Balls on a tray lined with waxed paper and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Makes approximately 27 Bliss Balls, depending on size.

All images © TWO SILLY SISTERS 2014

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