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Thai Passion, Newtown

Reviews September 18, 2013

There are so many Thai restaurants to visit in Newtown that sometimes the choice can be a little overwhelming! Recently a group of friends and I ended up in Newtown for dinner and wound up at Thai Passion and really enjoyed the food, service and great prices!

Coconut Juice $3.50.
I really enjoyed this start to the meal – coconut juice is always so refreshing and the coconut meat slices were perfectly tender and soft.

San Choy Bow (Chicken mince with shiitake mushroom and young corn in a crisp lettuce cup) $7.90
I really enjoyed this light choice for my dinner. The chicken filling was very flavoursome and was accented well by the crispy rice noodles in the lettuce cup. If you’re after a light meal, this would be a good choice as it was surprisingly filling eaten solo!

Vegetarian curry puffs (4pcs) $6.90
Crisp pastry surrounding curried veggies – this is a tough choice to go wrong with!

Chicken Laksa (Thai style curry noodle in a coconut milk soup) $12.90
The diner who chose this dish commented that the laksa was quite good quality with a hit of spice to it, but in general he prefers flavours of a Malaysian laksa to a Thai version, as it tends to feel more authentic.

Crying Tiger (grilled marinated beef served with thai nam jim jaew) $13.90
Tender slices of grilled beef marinated in Thai spices – this dish was a good pick of the evening.

Vegetarian Thai Fried Rice with egg $12.90
I sampled a spoonful of this fried rice and was surprised at the fantastic flavour that Thai Passion managed to bring out in such a simple dish. It had an almost saucy texture to the rice that made me seriously wish I had ordered this as well! Definitely would come back just to try this dish, as I have sampled many Thai fried rices over Sydney and really felt this one stood out of the crowd.

My dining companions were looking for some gluten and dairy free dessert options, so opted for the sticky rice cooked in banana leaf (minus the icecream). It looked like it had that chewy consistency that you can only get from sticky rice baked in banana leaves, and was a pretty good serving size for only $5.90. Might have been able to do a better job with the presentation (although this was served minus the usual addition of ice-cream, so maybe it looks better with that?)

There is a lot of stiff competition for Thai food in Newtown but I think that Thai Passion is definitely holding its own with good quality Thai food with great prices. Best dishes of the night were definitely the fried rice and the coconut juice. Service was friendly and helpful, which always makes a meal more enjoyable. We really enjoyed our meal and it’s definitely somewhere I would come again in future. It’s a short walk from Newtown station which is another plus for convenience. I also noted that they do $7.50 lunch specials which seem worth checking out (if only Newtown weren’t so far from my workplace!) Please note also (like many places), that they do not do split bills.

Thai Passion on Urbanspoon

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rice pudding

Rice Puddin’

Uncategorized September 5, 2010

I have always loved rice pudding. When I was at Mac Uni, it was one of the staple snacks I would grab from the SAM Shop (SAM Meaning Students At Macquarie.. They changed the name while I was still there, but I never bothered to try and remember the new name.. It will always be the SAM Shop to me!)

It would come cold in a plastic container sprinkled with cinnamon on top. Mmm. That probably doesn’t sound appealing but it was always good. I like that rice pudding is awesome hot or cold. It’s handy if I wanna take some of it to work, or whatevs.

I’d never made it before, but the other day, my boyfriend and I got some pretty crappy food poisoning and really didn’t feel like eating at all. I figured that we should try and at least eat something, but neither of us felt particularly bothered to cook or eat out (especially since we had gotten the nasty bug from a nearby thai place), plus we were running low on groceries. Feeling sick also left me feeling particularly non-creative to whip something up, but then I realised…. rice pudding.

It occurred to me that rice pudding consists of basically three ingredients, those being rice, sugar and milk, which we luckily had. Apparently arborio rice (which I usually use for risotto) was a great rice for rice pudding which was excellent news because I always buy a huge packet to make risotto with and almost always have a half packet rotting away in the cupboard (figuratively, not literally, rotten rice – prolly not too useful.. plus dry rice would probably be difficult to rot). I love finding new uses for groceries that lost their usefulness a long time ago.

I basically followed the recipe for Vanilla Rice Pudding (With Poached Rhubarb) – although I skipped the rhubarb for sliced fresh strawberries.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 4 cups gluten-free soy milk I used regular whole milk, about two cups? Although I noticed that I had to add maybe another cup during the cooking, that arborio rice certainly soaks up liquid well…
  • 1 cup arborio rice I halved the recipe for two, it was a pretty large serving, bigger than a regular dessert serve probably, but it was the only thing we had eaten all day
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar I just added 1/4 cup of caster sugar. I also had a ripe banana lying around and decided to be experimental, mashed it and added it to the mix. it was quite sweet, I think next time i’ll definitely lessen the sugar content, even minus the banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract I didn’t have any extract on me, but I keep used vanilla bean pods in my caster sugar which helps to add a vanilla flavour anyway.
  • I added: Sliced fresh strawberries to serve


Combine milk, rice, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring every 5 minutes, for 25 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy.

This actually took a lot longer to cook than I thought.. I used my cast iron saucepan and left it over a higher heat than i intended and the bottom started to burn.. So i took it out and put it into a pyrex bowl and microwaved it until it was done – didn’t affect the texture or taste. Next time I’ll keep a better eye on it.. but this time… sick. (That’s what I’m blaming it on, anyway.)

So my consensus? The pudding was lovely and very creamy. I like that it has a lot less sugar than most desserts and next time I’ll definitely reduce the sugar content. You could probably also use lite milk to reduce the fat content and it was great with the strawberries. Definitely try it with the mashed banana, it gives it a great flavour and adds sweetness. If I was making baby food, I would make this with whole milk, no sugar and just mashed bananas. Pretty healthy and tastes great!



Quick Tips: Cake Decorating & Rice Shapin’

Recipes June 28, 2010

Every once in awhile, I’m hoping to post up quick tips to help you guys around in the kitchen.

This post is the first of it’s kind in the Quick Tips segment.

On today’s quick tips segment, we have ………Cake decorating tips and our fabulous rice-shaping technique, guaranteed to make your rice look well, as pretty as a picture. Remember those Sunrice ads when we were little – the rice used to shape itself into all kinds of magical shapes? Well.. this is sorta like this… but not as cool. Sorry.

Ok starting off with cake-decorating tip of the day. This isn’t anything special or complicated. In fact, it only involves 1 decorating tool – strawberries.

I made this cake for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday. I did *attempt* to try and make swirly patterns in the icing, but it wasn’t the right consistency, so it kinda fell out. You can kiiiinda see them in there. That’s a lesson for another day, folks.

Ok, so after you ice your cake, wash and halve strawberries. You can remove the leaf part at the top if you like, but I think the green and red go together very prettily and its easy enough to just pick off. Then place your strawberries, leaf side up on the cake in a pattern around the cake until you have reached the other side of the cake. If you have some spare strawberries, you can arrange them in the centre, as I have done. If not, it still looks equally impressive. Super-super easy. This goes just as well over a cheesecake or any other cake of your choosing – but I think it goes quite well with a chocolate cake. The best thing is how easy it is and it seriously makes the cake look way better than just plain (or my usual decoration of……sprinkles. lol.)

Next up is our rice shapin’. This one is in the shape of a heart. I was lucky enough to get these adorable heart-shaped Maxwell & Williams bowls for Christmas from my boyfriend’s grand-parents. I love them. They come in three different sizes and I use them all the time. They’re handy for dips and snacks when we have people over, but I also like to use them for this.

(Sorry this photo is a little dark. I took a couple with the flash but it overexposed and you couldn’t see the outline of the rice as well, boo.)

Anyway, getting back to the post…

Making this rice-heart shape is so incredibly easy. You don’t have to use a heart shaped bowl either. My mum uses small round Chinese bowls to shape the rice to a perfect round bowl-shape, like they do at some Chinese restaurants. Just pack the rice into the smaller bowl that you are using (you can use a the rice paddle or just a metal spoon) until it is quite compressed. Then place the bowl gently down on your plate and bam, pretty rice. It’s important to pack the rice into the bowl so you don’t get stray grains going everywhere. You could also make shapes with fried rice, which also looks quite good.

Hope these tips have helped! What kind of handy or special tips do you have in the kitchen? I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂