Sunday, 8 September 2013

Mojito, Vodka Martini and Bloody Mary

Here is how you can make these three cocktails in an innovative way.



·         45ml White Rum
·         1 fresh lime
·         8 mint sprigs
·         2 bar spoons of white sugar
·         Soda Water

  1. Cut a lime into six wedges. Roll the lime to make the membranes release the juices 
  2. Squeeze and drop the lime wedges into the mixing glass.
  3. Put 2 bar spoons of sugar and 45ml rum into the mixing glass.
  4. Muddle the ingredients.
  5. Put the crushed ice into the mixing glass along with 8 mint sprigs.
  6. Place a mixing tin on the glass and shake.
  7. Pour everything into a highball glass without a strainer and top up with soda water.
  8. Put a half slice of lemon for garnish.
  9. Squeeze and clap the mint leaves and place it as garnish.
Vodka Martini
·         60ml Vodka
·         10ml Vermouth
  1. Pour Vodka into the mixing glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 10ml of vermouth on a martini glass, swirl it around the glass and dispose.
  3. Stir the vodka on the mixing glasses and pour on the martini glass with a Hawthorne strainer.
  4. Use a straw to twist the lemon zest or have olive in a toothpick and place it into the drink as garnish

Bloody Mary

·         45ml Vodka
·         15ml fresh lemon juice
·         4 dashes of Celery salt
·         4 dashes of Black pepper
·         4 dashes of Tabasco sauce
·         4 dashes of Green Tabasco sauce
·         4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
·         Tomato juice
  1. Pour Vodka into the mixing glass with ice cubes.
  2. Squeeze half a lemon into the mixing glass.
  3. Put the dashes of celery salt, black pepper, Green Tabasco sauce, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce into the mixing glass and top up with tomato juice.
  4. Shake and strain into a highball glass full of ice.
  5. Cut a thick slice of lemon and a long strip of cucumber as garnish.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Food safety 101

If you think a chef only just cooks and plates up the food then think again. Safety is vital with food and cleanliness. Lack of safety means food poisoning and can make the business lose money due to declining amount of customers. As more people go out and eat, food safety is vital.

The most common word in this topic is cross contamination which means bacteria from a dirty source can transfer to clean source.

The worker

Every employee (both chef and waiter) must have clean clothing and bathe daily to keep up the good hygiene. Wearing clothing from outside to work can transfer bacteria to the food and there are establishments that have changing rooms and lockers. Not only should the clothing be clean but also be light coloured to see clearly whether is it needs washing or not. A professional chef has clean ironed uniform unlike a lazy worker with dirty uniform. Dirty uniform can contaminate the food.

The hands carry the most bacteria as it is used to touch EVERYTHING so it must be washed at all times. Most establishments have a hand wash basin that provide hot water and soap. The reason is because the main sinks are used to wash or used for soaking or defrosting food and not for washing dirty hands at which the bacteria might stick onto the surface. Hands must be washed before starting work and after toilet, handling rubbish, smoking, coughing/sneezing, touching face/hair and handling raw food/dirty items. Always wash hands after smoking as the hand is in contact with the mouth which can transfer bacteria when making food afterwards.

Tasting food requires a clean spoon and avoid double dipping by cleaning the spoon after tasting. Using fingers to taste is seen as unprofessional.

Jewellery is not recommended as the skin underneath is warm and harvests bacteria. There is also a chance the ring might fall off and end up on the customer's plate! Nails should be short as bacteria can harvest underneath and nail polish is not allowed as it can flake off into the food.

If injured during work like having a cut, wear a coloured waterproof bandage so it can be seen if it falls out. To be safe, wear a disposible glove over the coloured bandage. If the wound makes contact with the food, the customer could potentially get sick. If you're sick, quickly call the manager/supervisor that you cannot make it. Don't be a hero as the sickness can spread to the food and onto the customer.


When storing foods in the fridge, cooked food is ALWAYS stored above raw food. If raw food is stored on top or on the same shelf as cooked food, the dripping liquid from the raw food can cross contaminate the food underneath or on the same shelf.

Foods stored in the fridge is at the temperature under 4c. Hot foods must be cooled before storage otherwise it will rise the temperature of the fridge and the foods inside and cause bacteria to grow. Foods with strong smells like onions must be sealed otherwise other foods will absorb the smell. Overcrowding the fridge will cause the lack of air flow making it difficult to keep all the foods chilled. Freezers have the temperature of under -18°C.

The dry store should be a cool and dry environment with no moisture and heat as it cause the sealed/dry foods to go off. Food should be stored at least 20cm above the floor as storing on the floor is unhygienic.


Fridge storage is under 4c while freezer storage is under -18°C. When defrosting food, place the food in a fridge overnight, run under cold water or use a microwave. Using boiling/hot water will start the cooking process or make bacteria grow. Poultry must be cooked fully at 75°C (or 82°C to be safe) with no pink juices visible as it contains a deadly bacteria called salmonella. Mince must also be cooked at 75°C while pork is cooked at 72°C to retain the juicy flavour. Food reheated must be at 70°C to 75°C. When being kept warm, the temperature is at 63°C. If it is any hotter, the food will continue to cook and will become dry and overcooked. The temperature between 5°C to 60°C is the danger zone which bacteria can grow. Steak can be served while it is raw in the inside as bacteria only exists on the outside and a  well done steak however, becomes dry and chewy.


Food being on display have the maximum time of two hours. Bacteria will grow after that time frame and will multiply as time goes. After a long period of time, bacteria will turn into spores which is to protect the bacteria. Toxins are waste produced by bacteria. Spores cannot be killed by normal cooking and can only be killed by cooking at 100°C for 4-5 hours while toxins can be killed while cooking at 100°C for 30 minutes. Of course, boiling food for hours will waste time, gas and end up turning the food into mush/soup which is inpractical. So the best thing to do is to discard the food. Spores also exist in dirt and soil so when cooking vegetables (e.g. potatoes), make sure you wash it fully. Chefs fill a sink full of water to clean a large load of vegetables in preparation for service.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Sprite fusion cocktail

30ml Vodka, 30ml colour of liqueur of your choice and topped up with sprite. Enjoy with a cherry garnish
Blue – Blue Curacao
Yellow – Banana liqueur
Gold – Kahlua
Red – Strawberry liqueur
Purple – Cassis liqueur
Green – Melon liqueur

Alternatively for a sweet flavoured sprite fusion, put 60ml Vodka, 30ml of Shott Honey Blackcurrant syrup or Shott Spiced Berry and top up with sprite.
By offering a variety of colour, the customer has not only has choice but also be able to choose the colour that represents him or her. For example girls would prefer red or purple while guys prefer blue or green. With a cherry garnish, Sprite fusion is quick and easy to make while at the same time, customers can still enjoy the alcohol’s fusion with sprite.



Saturday, 1 June 2013

Melbourne facts


Melbourne Cricket Ground

·         Stadium capacity of over 100,000 located in Richmond

·         Home of the National Sports Museum located in the Olympic stand and provides stadium tours

·         Cricket during the summer (e.g. Boxing Day test) and AFL during the winter

·         Located in Richmond, east of the CBD. Jolimont and Richmond are the nearest train stations.

·         Tram number 70 can be used to get to the MCG from the CBD to stop 7C.

·         Location of the grand final for the AFL and the host of the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 1956 Olympic Games.


·         Rugby and football stadium with capacity of 30,000

·         Hosting football’s A-League, rugby’s Super 15 and the NRL.

·         Home of the Melbourne Heart (A-league), Melbourne Victory (A-League), Melbourne Storm (NRL) and Melbourne Rebels (Super 15).

·         Tram number 70 can be used to get there at stop 7D. Richmond train station is the nearest station.  Located in Melbourne’s Olympic park.

·         Well known for its Bio-frame roof using lightweight steel and a combination of glass, metal and cladding.

Hisense Arena

·         Capacity of 11,000 located in Olympic Park.

·         A multipurpose stadium hosting the ANZ netball championships, Australian Open tennis, track cycling, NBL basketball and concerts.

·         Home of the Melbourne Vixens and Melbourne Tigers

·         Set to host ice hockey matches between USA and Canada on June 14 and 15.

·         Next concert will be the Boomtown Rats on May 23

·         Tram number 70 can be used to get there at stop 7C. Richmond train station is the nearest station

Rod Laver Arena

·         Capacity of 14,000 and located at Olympic Park

·         Hosted basketball in the past but now only hosts tennis and concerts

·         Upcoming concerts = Robert Plant (April 3), The Script (April 6), Aerosmith (May 4), Pink (7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16 & 17 July, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22 & 23 August), Rihanna (September 30, October 1) and One Direction (3, 16, 17, 28, 29 & 30 October).

·         Tram number 70 can be used to get there at stop 7B. Richmond train station is the nearest station

Etihad Stadium

·         Capacity of 53,000 located at Docklands

·         Hosts cricket, concerts, NRL, AFL and football (A-League) and the Lions tour (29 June)

·         Tram numbers 48, 11, 31, 70, 35 and 70 can be used to get there. The stadium is located right next to Southern Cross train station.

·         Corporate suites provide good views for up to 16 guests, VIP car parks and a buffet. At the price of $3500 to $7800 per game.

·         The Diamond Club is a two storey suite providing an excellent view, luxury comfort, 3 course meals and a bartending service.


Flemington Race Course

·         Home of the Melbourne Cup. The 2013 race will be on 5 November 2013

·         A train line dedicated to the venue is used during race day via the Craigieburn Line.

·         Upcoming events are the Winter Race Day on August 1, Community Race Day on April 13, ANZAC Day race on April 25 and Green Fields Race Day on May 4.


St Kilda Beach

·         St Kilda is a bay side suburb not far from the CBD. It is famous for its beach and sun.

·         Can get there through tram numbers 96, 79 and 112.

·         Also an area for 94 restaurants, cafes and bars.

Luna Park

·         Family theme park full of rollercoaster rides, bumper cars and Ferris wheel

·         Can get there through tram numbers 96 (From Crown), 16 (From Swanson), 3, 67 and 79 (From Richmond).

·         Entry is free. Unlimited rides cost $33 (kids) and $43 (adults). Single rides cost $7 (Child) and $9 (Adult)

Melbourne Museum

·         Located at Nicolson Street north east of the CBD. Can get there through tram numbers 86 and 96. Nearest train station is Parliament.

·         Showing a variety of displays from biology to science to historical Melbourne and Victoria.

·         Latest exhibits include Afghan treasures showing until July 28, Bunjilaka showing until June 16 and James Bond 007 showing at November 1.

·         Opens from 10AM to 5PM. Adult tickets cost $10 while kids and concession is free.

·         Museum cafe and car parking available

·         IMAX cinema has the third largest screen in the world (32x23 metres) showing world class 3D. The latest educational films showing are the Flight of the Butterflies, The Last Reef and Born to be Wild. Blockbuster films like Top Gun and Oz the Great and Powerful are currently being screened.

Immigration Museum

·         Located in Flinders Street. Can get there via the City Circle Tram or from Flinders Street train station.

·         Showing exhibits and stories of how all immigrants came to Australia for a new life and to escape war and poverty.

·         Latest exhibitions include Leaving Dublin showing until August 25, Sweets showing until June 2 and IKONA portraits showing until May 12.

·         Adult tickets cost $10 while children have free entry.

Science works

·         Science museum located south west of the CBD. The nearest train station is Spotswood via the Werribee/Williamstown line.

·         Showing exhibits, facts and the fascinating world of science and engineering

·         The latest shows like the Moon, Earth’s climate and the Black Hole are showing until May 19

·         Adult tickets cost $10 while child and concession tickets are free

Eureka Skydeck 88

·         Located on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, Melbourne’s tallest building located in Southbank; south of the CBD

·         The lift travels from the ground to the 88th floor at the speed of 9 metres per second

·         Have a magnificent 360 degree view of the entire Melbourne.

·         30 minute helicopter rides around Melbourne are available for $199 per person

·         The edge experience is being in a glass cube sticking out from the building at 300 metres above the ground. Not for people who fear heights.

·         Adult tickets are $18, kids are $10 and concession is $14

·         Cafe available

Melbourne Zoo

·         Located north of the CBD. Can get there via Tram 55 or stopping at Royal Park train station via the Upfield line.

·         A huge variety of animals on display like birds, carnivores, herbivores and sea animals.

·         Adult tickets cost $23, concession costs $20 while kids under 15 get free entry

State Library of Victoria

·         Largest and oldest library in the state located in CBD with Melbourne Central the closest station.

·         The La Trobe reading room is famous for its dome and structure.

·         Paintings, old documents and Ned Kelly’s original armour are on display

Chinatown Melbourne

·         Located in Little Bourke Street in the CBD. Parliament train station is closest.

·         Home of 24 restaurants, mainly Chinese

·         Also the home of the Chinese Museum showing the heritage and generations of Chinese Australians

Queen Victoria Market

·         Located at the corner of Peel and Victoria Street; north of the CBD

·         Trams number 57 and 55 can be used to get there

·         A thriving market selling fresh produce and meat, deli products, clothing and merchandise.

·         Opens on Tuesday, Thursday (6am – 2pm), Friday (6am – 5pm) and Weekends (6am – 4PM).

Royal Exhibition Building

·         Located at Nicolson Street north east of the CBD next to Melbourne Museum. Can get there through tram numbers 86 and 96. Nearest train station is Parliament.

·         One of the oldest remaining pavilions and the site of the 1901 Federation of Australia.

·         Now used for cultural and community events, fairs and trade shows.

National Gallery of Victoria

·         Located in Federation Square next to Flinders Street train station and at 180 Saint Kilda Road

·         A huge display of artworks from both Australia and around the world

·         Free entry along with guided tours and art exhibits showing for a limited time

Melbourne Theatre Company

·         Two theatres = Southbank Theatre located at 140 Southbank Boulevard and Arts Centre Melbourne located at 100 Saint Kilda Road.

·         Can get there by tram or from Flinders Street Station

·         Showing world class plays. The upcoming plays include Beached, True Minds, Zeitgeist, Rupert and The Mountaintop.

Melbourne Aquarium

·         Located at the corner of Flinders and King Street in the CBD. Can get there from a city circle tram, Southern Cross or Flinders Street train stations.

·         A display showing a vast variety of sea animals like sharks, fish, penguins and eels. Fish feeding and diving activity is provided.

·         Adult tickets cost $35, concession costs $29 and children tickets cost $21.50

·         Also has a cafe providing fresh food and coffee.

Yarra Valley Vineyards

·         Located north of Lilydale. After stopping at Lilydale Train Station, take a bus to Yarra Glen, Healesville or Warburton.

·         Tours provided by Yarra Valley Winery Tours, Top down Tours and Link Tours.

·         Two restaurants Bulong Estate and De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate offer quality foods with fresh produce and to provide a good wine experience

·         Wine tasting sessions available

Point Cook Museum

·         Located in Werribee. Take a Werribee Shuttle Bus to get there from CBD.

·         An Air Force museum showing exhibits and history

·         Free entry. Opens on Tuesday to Friday 10am to 3pm and on weekends 10am to 5pm.


·         Taxi service is mostly active around Melbourne. The biggest taxi company is 13CABS and you can arrange pickup on their website.

·         To use public transport, you must have a Myki card. It can be purchased at a city loop station, a retail store or online for $5. Don’t forget to keep it topped up, touch on and touch off to avoid penalty fare. The old Metcard has already been phased out. 

·         Melbourne transport has been divided into two zones. Zone one is the CBD and inner suburbs. Zone two is the outer areas. This helps determine an appropriate fare.

·         Nightrider bus services are provided between the CBD and outer suburbs after midnight every 30 minutes during the weekends.

·         V/Lane provides train services to rural Victoria. They mostly start at Southern Cross train station. Alternatively, they provide coach services. They provide easy travel to gold rush towns of Bendigo and Ballarat, the second largest city Geelong and rural Gippsland.

·         Catering is provided on the Albury, Bairnsdale, Swan Hill, Shepparton and Warrnambool lines.

·         Skybus provides a bus service between the airport and Southern Cross train station 24 hours a day every ten minutes. They also provide minibuses to pick you up from your hotel in the CBD. One way costs $17 while return costs $28.

·         A City Circle Tram (35) is provided for free that runs every ten minutes

Car rentals

·         There are many companies and the main one is Budget that has 46 locations around Melbourne

·         Companies provide a variety of cars from hatchbacks to SUVs.

·         There are special offers like $40 off or happy hour.



·         7 Alfred Place, Melbourne CBD

·         Three course French Cuisine meals and a variety of wine available

·         Awarded One Chef Hat -The Age Good Food Guide 2012


Flower Drum

·         17 Market Lane, Melbourne CBD

·         Awarded 2 Chef Hats - The Age Good Food Guide 2007-2013

·         Chinese restaurant offers both A La Carte and Banquets.


·         187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD

·         The Age Good Food Guide Diners' Choice Award 2013

·         A La Carte three course meals along with a huge variety of wine and cocktails

II Bacaro

·         168-170 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD

·         Italian and European cuisine. Gluten free foods are available.

·         Awarded One Chef Hat - The Age Good Food Guide 2012


·         1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne CBD

·         Awarded Two Chef Hats - The Age Good Food Guide 2009-2013

·         A variety of Spanish cuisine and Tapas.


·         6 Russell Place, Melbourne CBD

·         Awarded One Chef Hat - The Age Good Food Guide 2013

·         A variety of Italian cuisine and wine. New head chef Paolo Masciopinto recently arrived

Cafe di Stasio

·         31 Fitzroy Street, Saint Kilda

·         Awarded Two Chef Hats - The Age Good Food Guide 2012-2013

·         Offering Italian cuisine along with a huge variety of wine

Steer Bar and Grill

·         641 Chapel Street, South Yarra

·         Awarded One Chef Hat - The Age Good Food Guide 2013

·         New York style steakhouse using Australia’s best steak



·         1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD

·         Japanese Bar offering a variety of alcoholic beverages

·         Also includes Japanese dining


·         1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne CBD

·         Monday to Saturday 5pm to 1am

·         The bar offers a huge variety of alcoholic beverages from a beer to a nitrogen chilled martini


Bar Americano

·         20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne CBD

·         Opens Tuesday to Saturday from 8am to 11pm

·         Professional bartenders able to make a huge variety of cocktails and coffee