Tag Archives: savoury

Afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency Perth

Hyatt-elephants

My friend A joined me yesterday for a spot of shopping in Perth, and a leisurely afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

Afternoon tea starts at 3.00pm, and is served from Cafe at the Hyatt, with seating in the lovely surrounds of the Observatory Lounge.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Cold desserts – including passionfruit pannacotta, lychee and coconut pudding,
mango pudding, Eton mess, chocolate mousse and tiramisu

We were shown to a table for two, and our host Yvonne gave us a quick rundown of what was on offer.

The friendly servers visit each table and topping up our glasses (and cups) with as much sparkling wine, tea, coffee as we like. This suits us just perfectly, as shopping and walking is thirsty work ;)

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

There’s a comprehensive dessert bar – which features cakes and other sweet treats, gelato, freshly cooked Belgian waffles, biscuits, meringues and cold desserts (puddings, pannacottas and mousses).

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Meringues and biscuits

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Finger sandwiches – egg and mixed greens, front
and salmon with chargrilled eggplant, back.

The servers also join us tableside and present us with a selection of finger sandwiches. They’re deceptively substantial, despite their positively dainty appearance.

Fillings included salmon and chargrilled eggplant, egg and mixed greens, and salmon cream cheese with cucumber.

I particularly liked the subtly smoky chargrilled eggplant with the rich salmon spread. An unusual combination, but one I think would be excellent for future lunchtime sandwiches.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

There’s also an extensive section with hot finger food, including crispy goat’s cheese fritters, eggplant and zucchini frittata, curried savoury muffins, brie and mushroom tarts, filo tarts, and chicken and vegetable curry puffs.

We find ourselves immediately obsessed with the curry puffs – the filling is spot on, with tender chunks of chicken, potato, peas and a fragrant curry sauce, which even includes fresh curry leaves!

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

Curry puff innards shot

They’re wrapped up in bubbly crisp pastry, and fantastic dipped in sweet chili sauce. It’s difficult to stop at one. (I had three :))

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

After our savoury stomachs are taken care of, we move on to sweets. There’s a lot on offer, so we opt to share a plate of cakes and fruit.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

A was immediately impressed with the strawberry cheesecake as it reminded her of her Mum’s strawberry shortcake.

I was initially attracted to the layered green cake, thinking it was pistachio flavoured.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it was subtly flavoured with a creamy lemon-lime filling. Not what I expected at all, but lovely!

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

As soon as I spotted this bowl of chocolatey goodness, I knew we would be friends. A large bowl of chocolate ‘bark’ has a prominent place at the dessert bar, next to the gelato section.

There’s milk, dark and white chocolate bark, which has a gnarled rough appearance. I was delighted to realise the bark was made with puffed rice – like fancy chocolate crackles for grown ups!

We all suddenly lose our sense of decorum around this bowl and I spy sophisticated ladies who lunch gleefully destroying the beautiful display to get to the goods.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

It wouldn’t be afternoon tea without freshly baked scones, and the scones at the Hyatt’s high tea certainly deliver.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

There’s a generously filled bowl of thick whipped cream, and a sweet selection of jams available at each table.

We enjoy our scones topped with thick cream and strawberry jam, which hails all the way from Austria.

The scones look pretty standard, but they proved to be impressively feather-light and fluffy, despite their crunchy exteriors. I’m really more of a soft-sided scone kinda gal, so I guess this experience proves – never judge a scone by its exterior!

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

I wasn’t content to stop there. Oh no. I’d been staking out the waffle section, watching with eagle eyes from our seats by the fountain.

The piano man probably thought I was giving him the eye – but I was actually checking for signs of freshly cooked Belgian waffles.

I’m very pleased to report my weird waffle watching paid off. They were light and tender-crumbed with a fantastic crisp exterior. A and I shared this one with a dollop of thick cream and a drizzle of maple syrup – but there was also an evil looking chocolate sauce and fresh fruit sauces on offer.

High tea at the Hyatt Hotel

As we neared the end of our afternoon, I realised we hadn’t sampled any of the cold desserts. Food blogger fail.

It would have been remiss of me to leave without trying at least one of the options available.

I tried the Eton Mess, which was a lovely take on this traditional Brit dessert (I know I’m supposed to say ‘pudding’ but that seems like a misnomer).

This version featured layers of sweet chantilly cream, strawberry and passionfruit coulis, a drizzle of dark chocolate and crumbled vanilla meringue.

Happy birthday A!

This afternoon tea gets A’s seal of approval

My partner in crime A declared the afternoon tea at the Hyatt a major success. We both had a lovely afternoon, and really enjoyed the selection of food available.

The surroundings are calm and relaxed (no struggling to hear the conversation you’re having with your friends), and the staff are friendly and attentive making it a comfortable dining experience.

Afternoon tea is served on Saturdays and Sundays between 3.00 – 5.00pm, for $48 per person, and includes tea, coffee, free-flowing sparkling wine (or soft drink).

Reservations are recommended. You can book online at the Cafe at the Hyatt website.

Cafe at the Hyatt Regency Perth on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: we enjoyed this afternoon tea courtesy of the City of Perth, as part of Eat Drink Perth.

Zucchini Slice

Every summer I hit a bit of a cooking slump. It’s hot. Unbearably hot, and the last thing I want to do is stand around in the kitchen, tending to the stove. 

Simple mix and bake recipes are perfect for the seasonally affected cook, particularly when they make great use of one of summer’s most prolific vegetables – the humble zucchini.

I picked up three huge beasts for a dollar at the Subiaco markets – making this not only a delicious meal, but also a total bargain.

Zucchini slice

Ingredients

  • 375g zucchini, grated
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 rashers bacon finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup cheese grated (I used a mix of vintage cheddar and parmesan)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius.
  2. Combine zucchini, corn, onion, bacon, flour, oil and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour into a lined rectangular baking dish. I like to use my pyrex lasagna dish which I line with baking paper.
  4. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden and set.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Notes about leftovers and freezing…

The leftovers make a perfect cold lunch or, if you’re in the mood to stock your freezer, you can double the recipe, and make one for dinner and one for later!

Just remove the freezer-bound slice after baking for about 20 minutes. Cool, and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge, and reheat at 180 celsius for about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how ferocious your oven is!

Meat Monday

Dinner tonight involved a sneaky way of “recycling” the extra roast beef I’d made last week. Last night, before I went to bed, I cut up the remaining roast beef into strips (along the grain), and placed it into my very handy 5-in-1 Multi Cooker, along with a cup of water and the leftover jus I’d made from the roasting juices. I turned it on to slow cook for about nine hours. It was all done by the time I woke up (and smelled amazing). I turned it off before heading off to work for the day.

This evening, I finished off the beef by shredding it and turning it on to simmer for about 45 minutes, adding a good slug of my Homemade Barbecue Sauce and a generous pinch of Old Bay.

The beef was delicious on crusty bread rolls, served with my German-style potato salad (just because I love it!)

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

 

The perfect condiment to go with my 14-hour pulled pork, in true Southern-style, was a homemade barbecue sauce. I decided to go with my gut, by adding my favourite herbs and spices with a generous hand, and perfecting the sweet-sour-salty balance using my favourite Spanish sherry vinegar for tartness, and black strap molasses for the perfect sweet bronzed colour.

Juji’s barbecue sauce

  • 1 bottle passata (Italian tomato puree)
  • 1/4 cup black strap molasses
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup verjuice
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 – 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 large onions, chopped roughly
  • 2 tb smoked paprika
  • 2 tb sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper (to taste, add at the end)
  • 1 tsp summer savoury
  • large pinch cumin
  • large pinch allspice (powdered pimento berry, not mixed spice!
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.
  2. Add approx 2 litres water.
  3. Bring to boil, and stir all ingredients well (breaking up any spice lumps)
  4. Turn down the heat to medium low, and let the pot simmer for about an hour.
  5. Keep checking it frequently and stir, to ensure there’s no burning.
  6. After an hour, remove from heat, allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then blend using a stick (immersion) blender. This should thicken the sauce considerably.
  7. Return to a medium high heat. Continue simmering until you’re happy with the thickness of the sauce.
  8. Check the seasoning – you’ll need to add salt, pepper and possibly some extra sugar and vinegar at this stage.
  9. Remove from heat, allow to cool.
  10. Pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge until ready to use. Enjoy on your oh-so tender pulled pork, homemade burgers, or on anything that takes your fancy. Actually, I reckon it would make a wicked glaze for meatloaf. Good thinking, me!
Barbecue sauce over pulled pork in a soft white bun. Perfection.
Want to try making my 14-hour pulled pork to go with your fantastic Homemade Barbecue Sauce? Read my blog post about making pulled pork.
Photos courtesy of TFP!

 

Cheese and bacon scones

Juji seeks:
The perfect carb, capable of working independently or in a team. Versatile – available for meals morning or evening. Hard on the outside, yet soft and yielding on the inside with a golden exterior. Yummy extras are an advantage (cheeses preferred). Bacon, always a must.

Cheese and bacon scones

Makes about 14 – 16

Ingredients

  • 6 rashers streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 90g butter, cubed
  • 100g tasty cheese, finely grated
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (plus extra for glazing)
  • paprika, for dusting
  • butter, extra, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a roasting pan with baking paper.
    Note: I like to use a high-sided pan to ensure soft-sided scones. If you like yours crispy, use a lined baking sheet.
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Cool completely.
  3. Sift flour into a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer).
    By hand: Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
    Using stand mixer: Turn mixer on lowest setting, add cubed butter gradually, beating well after each addition. Mix until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.Add bacon and cheese. Mix well (by hand if you used a stand mixer).
  4. Make a well in centre of mixture. Add buttermilk slowly. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until mixture forms a soft dough, adding more buttermilk if required. Turn dough on to a lightly floured, clean surface. Knead dough gently until smooth (take care not to knead too much, you’ll just need to work it enough to bring it all together).
  5. Pat dough until 2.5cm thick. Using a 5cm cutter, press gently and cut rounds from dough. Place in roasting tin, ensuring that scones are placed next to one another (for soft sides) or spaced apart on your baking sheet 3 – 4 cm for crispy sides.Brush tops of scones with extra buttermilk, sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden and well risen (may need to vary depending on your oven).

    Serve scones hot with butter.