Sandy’s Gourmet Kitchen

Foodie Finds

I have a sneaky little underground restaurant that I have been frequenting quite regularly lately. The food is always delicious, plentiful and certainly made with love.

You can’t get a reservation though, it’s very, very exclusive. The restaurant is called Sandy’s Gourmet Kitchen and it’s located at my folk’s place.

Yep, that’s right. It’s my mum’s home cooking. Every Thursday night she cooks up a three course meal for the family that always delights.

I didn’t cook it, so I’m not going to be posting recipes or anything, but those that like food porn will enjoy seeing what we ate! Perhaps it will even serve as some inspiration for an upcoming meal.

My mum, Sandy, loves cooking and has always fed us gourmet feasts. I can remember back at school opening my lunch box to sandwiches with about 18 ingredients and stupidly often wanting to swap with someone that had a plastic cheese and butter sandwich with hard bread. My lunches would generally be wrapped in paper towel to absorb moisture, followed by cling wrap, then aluminium foil folded with the precision of hospital corners to ensure the sandwich remained in optimum condition by lunchtime. And if tomato was involved, that of course was wrapped separately for just-in-time assembly.

Mum’s meals are never disappointing. Never. I actually commented last week that if I ever find a decent man (another story entirely….) that I couldn’t bring him home for family dinner night as he may expect that this talent is genetic. It is not.

But last week’s dinner was exceptional! It was Asian themed and when I arrived mum had set the table with fortune cookies, orchids and birds of paradise. Yes, even though it’s just the immediate family and we do this every week, she always makes it a special occasion.

Entree that night was Chicken and Corn Soup with Fried Noodle Cake, topped with both fresh and fried shallots.

My mum freely admits to taking short cuts here and there (she tells me Donna Hay is an advocate of this…) and the soup was a premade one by Woolworths Select, but it was so good. None of that grey looking chicken you sometimes see in the bought stuff. The noodle cakes she whipped up and they were a simple mix of egg noodles, egg and fresh shallots fried quickly in a fry pan. Easy, but so delicious. I would be happy have this as a light meal on a Sunday night.

Chicken & Corn Soup with Fried Noodle Cake

Main knocked our socks off as mum had started prep the day before slow cooking the pork for 5 hours. She shredded this and then made the pork bun dough herself with the recipe on the flour box! On advice from my sister in law who grew up eating her mum’s authentic pork buns, next time we might try it with rice flour.

I ate mine with honey & soy dressing (bought) on top of a crispy Asian salad. I had two….

Steamed Pork Buns with Crispy Asian Salad

Inside the Pork Buns

I am a real dessert fan and just when we thought dinner couldn’t get any better, this arrived on the table and it was just the accompaniments to the main event!

Dessert – Choose your own adventure!

Dad got involved at this stage doing the man’s job of blow torching the sugar of our Coconut & Lime Brûlée. I’ve rarely seen my dad in the kitchen. That’s not to say he doesn’t cook, he is a gourmet BBQer, but he and mum rarely pair up on a dish. I suggested to dad that he may have a new career in cooking. He replied saying welding felt more likely…

Mum’s top tip for brûlée is to always use demerara sugar and to use much more than the recipe says. She kind of says that second part about a lot of things though. She freestyles with most recipes!

Dad blow torching the brûlées.

And this was the end result! We assembled our desserts ourselves and I chose to have my Coconut and Lime Brûlée topped with fresh passionfruit and toasted coconut chips, the Coconut Tuiles on the side, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I squeezed the fresh lime juice into the brûlée.


Dessert – Coconut & Lime Brûlée