Saturday 14th July
Charlie & Co. participated as guests.

Another great evening in the kitchen with Lillie, The Food Affectionist, tonight we're cooking Thai! While Lillie specializes in Asian Cooking, Thai is her favourite and in the past she's had 2-3 Thai restaurants. 

Starting off with a cucumber salad topped off with pork crackling. 

My favourite dish we made tonight has got to be the thai beef salad. 

It was sweet, sour, fresh and tangy. The textures and flavors were phenomenal! 

A green curry paste from scratch, was the base for the curry which smells amazing! Creamy and with those kaffir lime leaves top. 

I find some toothpaste brands spicy, and so we plated up some of the dish for me before adding loads of chili for everyone else - so really this class accommodates all the spicy tolerant ranges. 

We had such a fun time making our own pad thai too, tossed in a wok over a high heat, it was scary but had beautiful smokey flavors. This one I felt required the most preparation of all the dishes tonight, though no where near as much (overall as a cuisine) as much as Vietnamese or Japanese. 

Lillie's Pad Thai

My pad thai, cooked very quickly over a very high heat it was smokey and beautiful. 

Dessert was interesting, I do kinda like the water chestnuts coated in flour made into a faux pomegranate like thing. They're crunchy. Though I like the coconut jelly much more at the bottom, with the texture like the ones in bubble cup. Firmer than homemade. 

By the way, three cooking classes and only tonight did I get cut - with paper of all things in the kitchen! Like normal A4 paper the recipes were printed on. Le beau thought it was hilarious as it's totally in my fashion to get hurt in strange and ways you'd totally not expect. Like a paper cut in the kitchen.  

We've had 7 in the kitchen tonight, and Pafu assisting. 

What did we make? A green curry, cucumber salad, beef salad, pad thai and 'tub tim krob' mock pomegranate seeds with syrup and coconut milk.

Which was my favourite? The beef salad and pad thai. I swear Lillie's the Queen of Salads, whipping up amazing salads for each cuisine we create. 

The thai cooking class was the third and final one we've done with Lillie (for now) as we need to practice those new skills acquired and recreate the magic and amazing dishes at home. They're all great overall, it depends what you like, and some cuisine are more preparation (chop, dice, jubilee) intensive than others, though it's all worth it. 

Tickets are $125/100 and can be booked through Foodie Trails
The next session is in September.

We also did the Vietnamese & Japanese Cooking Classes, which were great too. My absolutely favourite? Gosh I'm not sure... I loved the salads we did in each class, and simply can't pick just one cuisine. 

Wednesday 11th July
Charlie & Co. participated as guests.

Another fun cooking class in the kitchen of Two Kings Cafe, on Wednesday night with Lillie, who we had the pleasure of meeting during our last cooking class, Vietnamese (link). This time we're back for the best selling class, and most popular cuisine (with a huge influence created by cheap fights) of the past couple years: Japanese! 

Think miso, sushi, teriyaki chicken, tempura and more! 

At 5.30pm after work/adventures on a Wednesday Night we're all a bit peckish, though it wasn't long before we started with entrees: lotus root chips, miso soup and a noodle salad. The lotus root chips were very easy to make, though a bit scary with the knife, as you'd slice them paper thin to get them extra crispy. Seasoned lightly with salt, they're the perfect snack! - And way better than the packet stuff. 

Miso Soup

Japanese Noodle Salad with Smoked Salmon

Next up was the Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake). It's all about the prep work, finely chopping and shredding ingredients. Before Lillie pops a slice or two of bacon in the frying pan, piles on top some of the mixture and pan fries them. You can make three in a pan or do a big one and cut up slices. 

Drizzled with kewpie mayo and tonkatsu sauce, it's amazing and sure to make your colleagues want to swap lunches! Fridge staples. Along with two others, but you'll have to come along to find out what they are. ;)

While chopping, slicing and dicing is a bit scary (my favorite thing to do with a knife is cut a cake or cube butter) sauces and measuring is my thing! Hello teriyaki sauce. This one we didn't really leave it in for too long, though ideally at home I'd marinate it overnight. Skewers are always fun to eat, but don't forget to prep them so they don't burn!

Sushi time! This is what people think of first when people think of Japanese food, before all the ramen places popped up. It was also one of my favourite lunches in high school, and cheap eat in the city. These aren't the ones I made by the way.

While the sushi was fun to make I think the real highlight of this cooking class, was something I've never had or heard of before - Negimaki (paper thin beef rolls) with carrots, red onion, spring onion and mushroom inside. Cooked in a flaming hot frying pan (makes for a great show too). This is the one I'll be whipping up first at home. *not plated up by me*

Anything deep fried is great :P this is the tempura veggies, served with kewpie mayo and tonkatsu sauce. Decorated with enoki mushrooms and diagonally sliced spring onions (diagonally slicing is the secretly to sexy food ;)

Tonight there were 8 in the kitchen, full house, it was a little squishy (watch those elbows) though we still got plenty of attention (me + knife = send help) and got to  participate in every dish, just as we had in our last class of 4. 

We had a great time, working on knife skills in particular for me, learning about Japanese ingredients, discovering new dishes, having another one of Lillie's amazing salads, along with plenty of other dishes. 

Lillie's an amazing instructor with plenty of knowledge and experience in asian cooking (she's been cooking for long than I've been alive :P). We learnt so much, observed speedy knife skills (where no one got hurt) and overall had an education but fun time. Jochemden (chef & owner of Two Kings Cafe) was also a great help, and mastered the stove and very big (and a little scary) but impressive flames pan frying the crowd pleasing beef rolls. 

Definitely recommended, this is our second cooking class with Lillie (@thefoodaffectionist) and Foodie Trails. An excellent gift idea or great night out, the September class has sold out, but November is still open! Tickets are $100 (if you buy 2 or more) or $125 for one person. Click here to make a booking.

Foodie Trails also offers foodie tours, and other cooking classes, mainly asian (Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese) but also Indian & Sir Lankan, and Mexican. Personally we've done the Vietnamese, Japanese & Thai ourselves, and recommend all three.

Friday Brunch @ Shanklin Cafe @ Friday, July 13, 2018

Charlie & Co. dined as guests.
Friday 7th July

The weekend started with brunch at Shanklin, located on a strip in residential street, near Pizza Religion and just a bit less than a mile away from Camberwell Junction. We'd looked up the place and found that the name came with the building, rather than being name after cheese (source).

Housed in a Terrence house (those long houses) I'm intrigued by, though have never been inside, the lighting was pretty good with sky lights, what a great idea! Though I do wonder if the true Victorians just relied on candle and then gas lighting?

Outdoor heating makes these tables pretty desirable, this spot has the best lighting.

Airy and spacious with an exposed brick wall on one side and timber in the other, it's lovely and very inviting inside (also very warm) so we abandoned our idea to sit out front. On arrival we were offered a choice of still or sparkling water, by our equally as welcoming waiter. 

 Oreo Shake - Vanilla Ice cream, crushed oreo, whipped cream & fudge sauce

Who can resist the perfect combo of pretty and practical in a milkshake? And I just love those paper straws. Andy meanwhile had an espresso milkshake served in an old fashion very large cup, that was just right with two shots, though he still eyed my milkshake. 

It was a Friday lunch and it was buzzing, though our waiter said this was actually quiet for a Friday! In the background jazzy music played creating a cool relaxed vibe, the perfect start to the weekend.

Baked Eggs Shakshuka
With red peppers, cherry tomato, chorizo & goat cheese 
served with sourdough (vegetarian option with mushrooms).

A great balance of flavors, a tomato base with lots of herbs and textures with the crunchy buttered toast, the soft goat's cheese and eggs. Delicious and healthy without compromising taste or kale. A hearty, very filling dish, the perfect truly brunch dish. - Andy

I always love getting something different, not smashed avocado on toast and sometimes not the dessert hotcakes, but something no one else offers. The signature dish was just that.

Eggs and Shanklin 
Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, spring onion, 
wilted spinach and mint, + with smoked salmon on the side

Beautiful silky fluffy scrambled eggs, with herbs and feta, sprinkled with spring onion. Added freshness from the tomatoes and mint. Your veggie serving of spinach hidden beneath a blanket of egg before reaching the toast. This dish is huge!! And probably the best scrambled eggs I've had, and I went through a crazy scrambled egg craving phase.

Andy preferred the shakshuka as it has a stronger base. I really liked them both. He went into a food coma shortly after, despite the espresso 'shake.

Tempting bakery good including ginger bread men/girls in a gingerbread bus. We couldn't resist! There was also a tip trick instead of a jar. Love the pun.

Service was exceptionally attentive, knowledgeable and friendly, think fine dining. Like everyone said on zomato. We felt really well taken care of in the hour that we were there. And no our waiter didn't know we're bloggers. Can't wait to return soon!

With small side streets and limited/timed parking - we found one 2hr spot, right out front is 30mins, down a bit more 1hr. Highly recommend tramming here, especially on weekends. 

Shanklin Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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