Sunday, 27 January 2013

Brunch & Co Event #15 - Chris' Cycle Themed Birthday Brunch

Brunch & Co kicked off 2013 with a very special birthday celebration. A serious fitness enthusiast (he runs his own gym), Chris is also a keen cyclist - hence our fun theme for today!  We indulged him along with 11 of his, mainly cycling, buddies & their better halves with lots of bike-inspired foodie treats.

We decorated our table with freshly baked double chocolate chip cookies (along with a bicycle tyre patch). Incidentally, these cookies are also known as "World Peace Cookies" due to the fact that the creator, Dorie Greenspan's neighbour, was convinced that a daily dose of these cookies was all that would be needed to ensure global peace & happiness - nice!

The first stage of our journey was inspired by two of the greatest cycle competitions in the world - Tour de France & Giro d'Italia - our interpretation was sharing platters of delicious antipasti & charcuterie made up of homemade chicken liver paté, ricotta cheese drizzled with basil oil, a gorgeous celeriac remoulade served with slices of prosciutto & peppery salami.  The obligatory wedge of creamy French brie & cherry tomatoes, crusty slices of ciabatta & lashings of French Echiré butter rounded things off nicely.  As a special treat - we also served hand sliced Iberico Pata Negra - amazing 24 month cured ham from acorn fed Iberian free range piggies - one of those amazing tastes you have to experience at least once in your life! 

The next stage, the hilly section, we dubbed "Communing with Butterflies"- this apparently is cycling lingo for "slow uphill climbing" which we redefined in a foodie context as "slow cooking".  So together with slow roasted pork belly, sourdough toast topped with a fennel & apple slaw and apple & onion soubise, we also served each guest a slow cooked egg. Bathed in a 63 degree water bath for 60 minutes - these eggs had silky whites and unctuous yolks, supposedly the texture of something similar to sweetened condensed milk/mayonnaise.  (To get really geeky, read more here and here

After an obligatory tummy break/pit stop, we served our palate cleansers - today's flavours were raspberry sorbet and a green apple sorbet.

We took inspiration for the final stage, dubbed "Free Wheeling", from Mount Faber - our nearby hill which is very popular with cyclists keen to put their leg muscles to the test. We made a mountainous Valrhona chocolate cake topped with a dome of homemade vanilla bean ice cream swirled with butterscotch sauce and topped with a cocoa meringue.  We decorated our "mountain" with cute little cyclists at various stages of ascent & descent!

We also finally got to crank up our espresso machine for a round of coffees made from some delicious organic Mexican beans brought back from our recent trip to Melbourne - my fledgling barista skills were put to the test with 10+ orders all at once!

Speaking of drinks - alongside our homemade lemongrass & mint cordial & chai spiced iced tea, today's guests also had the chance to savour some delicious speciality beers from New Zealand.  These beers were brought by two of Chris' friends who import them into Singapore and sell via "The Beer Bach" (

Thanks to Chris & his buddies for such a great event - we loved hearing the laughter & seeing everybody enjoying the food & each others company - that's what it's all about at Brunch & Co!

Until next time, happy brunching!

Lou & Mark xx

PS. Our next event promises to be super-duper! We're still taking names for our waitlist so please don't be shy.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Brunch & Co's Festive travels update

Well here we are in steamy Singapore - it's nice to be back after 3 weeks of Christmas & New Year fueled indulgence & overdoses of my Mum's amazing home cooking.  Added to these, my attempt to visit as many awesome Melbourne cafes as possible (my list of must-visit cafes kept on growing) has lead to us having had quite a bit of excess baggage to deal with - not just the suitcase variety!!

Looking through photos of our trip back to Australia, I thought I would share with you some of the pictures that literally made my mouth water, a bit of food porn if you will!  My new year's gift to all of you - please enjoy at your leisure!

Gorgeous sushi rolls overlooking Wategos Beach,
Byron Bay with Margie

Amazing charcuterie platter shared with Mum & Dad up in the Dandenongs

Three Bags Full with Lisa, Bea, Mikie, Mark & Sarah
Amazing poached egg oozing all over glistening slices
of smoked salmon & a zucchini fritter

Tutto Bene Restaurant with Lisa, Bea, Jen, Mark & Sarah
Delicate & punchy at the same time - beetroot salad with
stuffed zucchini flowers

Spout with Jen
Perfectly scrambled eggs with pastrami encrusted salmon & sourdough toast

Hawk & Hunter with Jen, Mikie & Mark
Mexican corn & black bean fritters with chimichurri, avocado & oozy poached egg

Cafe Vue with Mum, Dad & Mark
Coconut poached chicken wrap

Backstreet Eating with Mikie & Mark
Delectable, earthy braise of goat shoulder with soft baked eggs

Backstreet Eating with Mikie & Mark
Luscious slices of salmon gravlax, creamy scrambled eggs & herb quark on toast

Backstreet Eating - with Mikie & Mark
Macerated berries atop granola & creamy yoghurt

Chez Tong Seniors - with Mum, Dad & Mark
A-mazing thick cut steaks grilled to perfection by Mum on their new Barbie!

So as you can deduce, our tummies are now a tad on the "bulgie" side, albeit very happy & well fed!

We're looking forward to cooking up a storm in 2013 with lots of fun & exciting events planned - stay tuned on our blog events page and/or "Like" us on Facebook to be the first to hear what's happening.

Hope to see you all at Brunch & Co soon!  Happy New Year!

Mark & Louise xx