Posts Tagged ‘olive oil’

Margaret River – Olio Bello Olive Farm + Cafe

When in Margaret River, it’s not just vineyards that you can visit. If you’re a teetotaller or just want to see more of what Margaret River has to offer, check out Olio Bello Olive Farm and Cafe. Apparently the hot summers are great conditions for the olives to grow and you will notice olive platters on many a restaurant’s menu.

I happen to love olives and had been gorging on them (like an entire platter to myself for 2 consecutive days since the Partner doesn’t like olives although he loves olive oil) so it made sense to visit the olive experts and see if I could stock up on olive oils and olives.

Olio Bello employs sustainable, organic food and farming systems, and everything that is grown on the farm is untainted by synthetic chemicals or fertilisers. Commercial olive oil makers use heat and chemicals for faster extraction of the oils from the olives, but not so for Olio Bello. Their extra virgin olive oils are unfiltered and allowed to naturally settle in stainless steel vats over a longer period of time.

Olio Bello Olive Farm (2)

You can visit their 10,000 olive tree grove to roam around on your own. I don’t think they do official tours on a regular basis, but if there’s a truckload of you arriving, they just might show you around the place.

Olio Bello Cafe - Augusta crumbed whiting, salad and beer battered chips $27 (1)

Augusta crumbed whiting, feta salad and beer battered chips $27

I highly recommend that you stop for lunch at the Olio Bello cafe like we did. Their fish & chips use Augusta whiting (a type of fish sourced from Augusta, which is like a 1/2 hr drive from Margaret River town) and it was simply delicious. We tried whiting in a couple of other places, but in my opinion, Olio Bello serves the best version. The fish was tender, piping hot and crispy. Dip that in the olive oil based mayo and you have a match made in heaven!

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Dean and Deluca

Dean & Deluca, I finally made it there last week, after the maddening crowd had died down. Only waited 5 minutes for my seat, and by the time i finished, at least 1/4 of the seats were empty. This was 3.30pm btw.

I love looking at their display case. So many pretty cakes and breads calling out to me. I tried to remain very focussed, and ordered my chocolate croissant and latte. I’ve been consuming far too many chocolate croissants in the last 2 months, all in the name of research! I’m trying to find out where the best croissant can be found in Singapore. Truth be told, a lot of those I tried are all good. They are all different in their own way, some are very flaky, some are very butter, some are more dense yet somehow still good!

Dean & Deluca - Croissants

Nice shapely croissants. Did you know that a lot of the pastries sold at Dean & Deluca are not made in-house but sourced from other purveyors like Maison Kayser and Baker & Cook? It’s interesting that they do so, because most brands want to create their own in-house goods. That they don’t have their own products can be both a good and bad thing. The benefit is that you get to order products from a few bakeries and sample them all in one location. The bad thing is, freshness can be an issue especially if the deliveries are not done everyday.

Dean & Deluca - Cheddar Scallion Scone

It’s not often you find a scone with savoury ingredients in it. I only saw this after I’d ordered my croissant or else I would have ordered the cheddar scallion scone!

Dean & Deluca - Flat White

The flat white was so so only. Definitely not the 3rd wave coffee standard. And look at the latte art, or the non-existence of it. The croissant was not bad. It didn’t taste freshly made, and was a little stiff, but nevertheless it was still nice, in part thanks to the chocolate inside it.Dean & Deluca - Honey Bears!

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New Zealand foods

Ok so the steak’s not going to be ready until 8pm. To keep me quiet, the Partner decided to prepare some cheese on crackers first. Our friend who recently returned from a holiday in New Zealand brought back some cheese for us from Hawkes Bay Te Mata Cheese Company. I was there exactly 2 years ago. We carted back so much cheese, chocolate, honey and olive oil that we busted the 20kg limit by several kgs and had to smile very nicely at the lady manning the check-in counter.

If you are planning to visit New Zealand’s North Island, you have to make a trip down to Hawkes Bay. That where you can find a lot of their wineries, olive oil and cheese producers. You can have a field day just going to winery after winery, cheese factory, mushroom farm, olive oil plantation and more.

Don’t forget to bring a huge ice-box to keep all your stuff cool, especially if you’re going in the summer time. I highly recommend staying at lodgings which have cooking facilities. Cuz it just totally sucks when there’s so much fresh and cheap produce to be bought and you can’t buy them if you’re not cooking. Just to let you know how affordable food is in New Zealand, in season produce that is, meat costs less than half what it costs here. A whole bag of apples can be obtained for SGD$2. I once paid SGD$2 for half a kg of brown mushrooms.

Okay, there. A plug for NZ! …and back to my cheese on crackers story….

Pakipaki Goats Milk Cheese from NZ Te Mata Cheese Company

This is the white-rinded goats milk cheese that our friend got for us. It has a texture some what similar to brie. It has less of a milky buttery flavour, but it is quite pungent!

Slices of Pakipaki Goats Milk Cheese on Ritz Crackers

We had it on Ritz Crackers. The Partner likes Ritz crackers but I find them too savoury to fully enjoy the flavours of the cheese.

Bakerzin Artisan Bread - Cheese Display

It’s hard to find New Zealand cheese in Singapore. There are lots of French and Italian types, but no New Zealand soft cheeses. I know you can get the NZ brand Mainland here, but that’s only for cheddar. Just 2 days ago, I discovered that Bakerzin at MyVillage has also started selling cheeses. They have cheeses like Manchego, Reblochon, Pecorino Sardo to name a few, but all from France, Spain and Italy only! I wonder if they would like to consider bringing in some New Zealand cheese as well? I’d surely be their 1st customer! Okay maybe the Partner would be the 1st and I would be the 2nd.

Feijoa from New Zealand

And since we’re on the topic of New Zealand food, here’s a photo of a Feijoa. It’s the Partner’s favourite fruit, and apparently only grows in Southern Hemisphere countries such as New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Tastes like a combination of Pineapple and Guava, and has a texture of a soft, somewhat gritty guava. If you go to New Zealand, you can even find Feijoa flavoured vodka! As usual, it’s not sold in Sunny Singapore.

Seriously, I’m beginning to wonder what foods from New Zealand are exported here? I used to think that milk was, but if you check, there is no Fresh Milk (the chiller section type) from New Zealand. They are mostly from Australia, Malaysia and Japan! The only NZ milk you can find here is the UHT type and the milk powder type from Fernleaf and Anlene.

And now, I’m going to check if the chef has fainted. It’s almost 8!!!

Homemade Bruchetta

Homemade Bruschetta

 

Homemade Bruschetta (2) 

The Partner is a good cook! We recently procured some good extra virgin olive oil, so he decided to make some bruschetta for lunch. The toppings are diced tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic. He also made some without the garlic. The difference is amazing. The bruschetta tasted so much more alive with just a few extra bits of garlic! Also a very nice way to go meatless for a meal.

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