the weekend that was


weekend away

blue skies

blue water

bluebottles… ouch

family catching up

lots of lovely wonderful food

giggles from cousins

giggles from grandparents

happy farmers market visit

brimming bags of local produce

making sure that circle of happy wonderful food continues


exhausted Monkey naps

Newcastle City Farmers Market

What have you been up to this weekend?

Red Lantern

Can you guess where I had lunch?

My belly is full, my mind content and my taste buds happily reliving each dish…

Red Lantern.

Now I don’t do restaurant reviews, so this is a plead. Please go there, the food is truly wonderful.

I was really happy with going to Aria last year, but I have to say Red Lantern, you have taken my heart. A restaurant that has two feet firmly planted in the ethical, sustainable, organic eating arena while staying within their Vietnamese origins.

A cosy table for two tucked away in the corner. Let me have one eye on the other customers, seeing what they were ordering. While keeping the other eye on Mr Chocolate making sure he didn’t take any more of the melt in your mouth chilli salted squid than he should be.

It was also really lovely to see Luke Nguyen taking plates out to tables and explaining dishes to customers. Taking the time out to explain one particular dish to me and then coming back to show what he had meant about the cooking process, with said dish in hand.

Food was beautifully presented, tasted wonderful and I’ll be thinking about those dishes for a good while to come.

 Muc Rang Muoi- chilli salted squid

 Banh Tom- rice cakes with tiger prawns, caramelized pork and pork floss

 Goat Curry

 Dessert tasting plate- Coconut Creme Caramel with Strawberries, Sesame dumpling with Black Sesame Icecream, Black Sticky Rice with Caramelized Pumpkin and Coconut Cream.

Table for two next week?….Yes please.


Red Lantern

545 Crown Street

Surry Hills, Sydney

(o2) 96984355

Capital L for Locavore


A relatively new word that was added to the Oxford Dictionary just a few years ago. Refers to some one who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius. Sometimes called the 100 mile club or for us Aussies it’s a 160km club (but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it does it.)

Encouraging people to either eat from food they have produced themselves, from farmers markets or within the radius. Locally grown food cuts down on food miles, encourages people to eat healthier, and sustains smaller independent growers that could possibly be bought out by bigger corporations. Eating fresher and seasonally are just added bonuses to eating as a locavore.

I was starting to think maybe we should challenge ourselves and see if we can eat solely as locavores for a week. I was all enthusiastic about it, and then I had a reality check. We live in Sydney, far from the wheat belt of NSW, and I’m not so sure I can convince the monkeys that they don’t really need to eat that toast, porridge, weetbix for breakfast. Or be missing out on any pasta and rice for dinner, (I think they are the only kids on the planet that don’t like potatoes.)

To be a true locavore, is it a lifestyle choice that is simply not accessable to everyday people due to budget constraints?

If I was a single person, I could easily eat as a locavore. However incorporating a budget, and two small children’s tastes, I’m not so sure. So what to do?

Try to find some locavore products that would replace our normal everyday groceries without blowing out purse strings. We already eat as seasonally, healthy, making as many things from scratch as possible. Also keeping in mind organic, locally made and fair trade options. Can I find even more alternatives that are within our locavore area?

What am I aiming for?….Locally grown

If I can’t get that….Family farmed.

If thats still tricky…..make it organic,

and if it simply can’t be organic….Make it fair trade.

First up. Lets see where 160km actually gets us.

Milk is a big thing in this household, a lot is consumed each week. I wasn’t sure I would be able to source some milk straight from the supplier, but then remembered I had seen a stall at the South Sydney Markets a while ago and decided to revisit.

Milk- bought from South Sydney Markets, each week on a Sunday. Supplier- Country Valley

At $5.00 for 2 litres, it is more expensive then your average supermarket milk. Taste wise though, milk isn’t just milk so I discovered. It was really creamy and tasted a lot different. It tasted fresher, more flavoursome, and sort of rolled around your mouth more. My husband agreed. The monkeys, they just drank it, as milk is milk after all for some.

This milk hasn’t had to be sent to another processor, so they can bottle and sell the milk from where they are located in Picton. On further reading through their website, I liked what I read and think that it would be good to support them. I also found that there were a lot more stockists about, carrying the milk. Which is great! I like milk options.

Especially locavore milk options.