A BBQ breakthrough - Heat Beads® Chimney Booster

We come with news of a BBQ breakthrough *drum rolls* … the new Heat Beads® Chimney Booster.

Heat Beads®, Australia’s leading BBQ fuel and equipment specialists have recently launched a revolutionary product which heralds the arrival of the very latest in BBQ convenience, cutting BBQ lighting time for cooking over coals down to a record 12 minutes (the days of heating coals for up to an hour to get that authentic BBQ flavour are no longer!).

Heat Beads® is proudly Australian owned and operated and has been satisfying Aussie BBQ needs for over forty years. 

We’re a nation of BBQ’ers, and BBQ season is certainly not over just because summer has finished. In fact, March is actually the driest month of the year, so now is the time to be BBQing most! 

We recently indulged in some real, authentic BBQing with Heat Beads® Chimney Booster and were excited to receive our shiny new Weber kettle BBQ, premium meats and a Heat Beads® accessories pack (including the new Chimney Booster) to make our BBQ cooking experience super quick, easy and fun. 

What you need:

Heat Beads® Firelighters

Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes

Heat Beads® BBQ Starter Chimney

Heat Beads® Chimney Booster

We lit the Heat Beads® Chimney Booster with firelighters, filled the BBQ Chimney with briquettes and placed the BBQ Chimney on top of the Chimney Booster. 12 minutes after turning the Chimney Booster on, the briquettes were hot and ready to BBQ with (yes, it’s



We used the 12 minutes to whip up a salad and do a little marinating of our meats and veg…

Soon it was time to pop on some oven mitts and transfer the briquettes to the BBQ!

And it was  time to get cookin'!

Recipe: Smoky rib eye fillets


Handful of Hickory woodchips for smoking

Rib eye fillets



Olive oil


  1. Soak the hickory woodchips in water for around 30 minutes before cooking

  2. Marinate the Rib eye fillets with salt, pepper and olive oil.

  3. Sprinkle the soaked woodchips directly over the briquettes.

  4. Start cooking! It took us approximately 4 minutes on each side for the beef to come out medium.

  5. Enjoy!

We loved the results. It was such a quick and easy way to enjoy authentic smoky BBQ tasting meats.

The Heat Beads® Chimney Booster is an exciting addition to Heat Beads® existing range, cutting the time needed to fire up the BBQ to a mere 12 minutes - this made it so easy and convenient to BBQ the real way!

Where to buy:

Heat Beads® products are available from all major grocery and hardware retailers.

CherryHill Orchards’ Pick Your Own is Back this Summer

CherryHill Orchards’ Pick Your Own is Back this Summer

The summer cherry-picking season is almost here and CherryHill Orchards’, Pick Your Own season is set to start on November 24th with an abundant crop of sweet, ripe cherries to pick, eat on the spot and take home by the bucketful!

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Product review: Para'kito | Win a Para'kito pack!

Nothing beats some outdoor fun with mates. Whether you’re camping in the Northern Territory, fishing off the coast of Western Australia, or simply enjoying a BBQ in Brisbane, it's always handy to have mosquito and insect protection devices on hand. 

We were recently at a BBQ at Ruffey Lake Park and thought it would be an opportune time to try out Para'Kito -  a 100 percent natural eco-friendly mosquito and insect protection device.

A European quality product, we liked that Para'Kito is both lightweight and completely waterproof, making it really easy to use. 

A natural and safe alternative to other products on the market, Para’Kito is ideal for adults, children, babies, pregnant women and allergy sufferers alike, as it has no direct contact with the skin, leaves no unpleasant odour and offers 24 hour protection from mosquitoes and insects.

A unique blend of seven essential oils including; lavender, geranium, citronella, pine tree, patchouli, clove and peppermint is infused into the heart of a polymer pellet, which slips easily into your Para’Kito wristband or clip.

These patented oils mask the presence of humans from mosquitos for 15 days effectively making the wearer invisible, even when coming in contact with water, eliminating the need for reapplying sticky chemical sprays.

The Para’Kito clip is particularly handy (it easily attaches to a back pack, belt, or can be hung inside a tent when sleeping) as well as for babies – just hang it from their pram or stroller. We found the clip useful to clip near the tables where we sat at the BBQ as it kept the mossies at bay. The kids on the other hand really liked the neoprene wristband as they could choose from a range of colours available.

Competition Now Closed. 


[23/12/2018] Announcement: Winners of the Blog Giveaway: 

Para'kito pack

Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winner is…

Jessica L. with the following entry:

"My favourite outdoor recipe is a simple and fresh salad. All I do is mix a pack of rocket, canned beetroot (sliced), goats cheese and a handful of walnuts with a juice of half a lemon and drizzle over some good quality extra virgin olive oil. It's easy, fresh and yummy. I love a picnic outdoors and this recipe is always popular."

… Congratulations, the winner will be contacted via email.

Competition Now Closed. 

Recipe: Twice Cooked Pressed Belly of Murray Valley Pork with parsnip puree

Recipe: Twice Cooked Pressed Belly of Murray Valley Pork with parsnip puree

Nothing is more festive than a juicy piece of pork belly with the perfect crackling. Here is our favourite pork belly recipe - Perfect to celebrate Christmas or ring in the new year and celebrate what has passed and all that is to come!

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At a glance: Fugazza

Go to Fugazza and order the eggplant parmigiana Fugazza. That's pretty much all you need to know.

 Tucked away on Hardware Lane, this delicious little lunchtime secret is a delight. Delicious fresh toasted focaccias are their specialty and although they come in half sizes, trust us, loosen the belt buckle and opt for the full size. Then have a nap when you get back to work.

Fugazza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

At a glance: Bagelworks

Bagels are undergoing somewhat of a resurgence lately as Melbournians discover the delicious, affordable simplicity of fresh bagels.

With bagel shops popping up all around Melbourne, Bagelworks is a welcome addition to Little Collins Street. Of course offering fresh bagels made daily and cold pressed juices, we were most surprised by the high quality of coffee on offer - which we honestly didn't expect from a bagel shop. Worth a visit on your next lunch break.

Bagelworks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

At a glance: Krimper

In true Melbourne style, Krimper is tucked away in a little alley way.

The decor is deliberately kept simple, resulting in a rough and rustic industrial warehouse vibe which creates a very unique character. 

The menu has great options and also includes an all day breakfast. We opted for 2 items from their lunch list which set us back around $20 each. We thoroughly enjoyed our dishes of Barramundi and Purple Carrot. Both were cooked well and presented beautifully.

Krimper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

At a glance: Raw Trader

Raw Trader is a café specialising in, wait for it, organic, raw, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free desserts and treats. Oh, and coffee. 

We were therefore very keen to head down and see what impact abiding by all of these "restrictions" would have on the treats on offer. The raspberry and white chocolate cake we sampled was very pleasant with a low level of sweetness and wonderfully smooth texture - it definitely tasted natural and nutritious. Although on the pricey side, worth a try. 

Raw Trader Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar NYC

Gastrology joined Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar NYC for an evening of fun, mayhem and very chocolatey journey at the store's launch party back in July.

We delighted our senses with some chocolate goodness, a hint of spice, chocolate shots and some savouries to round off our experience. 

Chocolate Bar is a concept from New York that is about art, style and sophistication. Its a chocolate store for grown ups unique in its offering of a wide range of drinks, sweets and savouries. 

The celebrations commenced with candy floss, hot popcorns and chocolate fountains. We also got to taste a range of their cookies and hand crafted chocolate. In the evening we had Melbourne's iconic 5 senses coffee roasters ensuring we were all buzzed up with caffeine. 

Alison Nelson's first Australian store offers cacao goodness in a modern vintage setting with a touch of NYC style. Chocolate truffles, signature cakes, brownies and bonbons are complemented by a theatrical view of chocolate making in the bar area. 

Chocolate Bar New York Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Christmas A La Malaysia

Malaysian Trade Commission (MATRADE) celebrated Hawker Melbourne yesterday, a Malaysian hawker style market incorporating Christmas and celebrating Malaysian food, flavours, spices and culture. 

Hosted by Malaysian chef Jackie M, the event showcased the full, bold and authentic flavours of Malaysia and saw classic Australian Christmas dishes transformed with a Malaysian twist. During two demonstrations, Jackie M showed guests how to incorporate Malaysian flavours and spices into Christmas dishes and every day meals. 
With delicious Malaysian food available, guests were taken on a journey through Malaysia, tasting bold, authentic flavours and learning  how the flavours and spices of Malaysia tie in Western dishes. 
Malaysian cuisine offers a rich melting pot of flavours, ranking amongst the most delicious and tastiest in Asia. With a palate underpinned by a wide diversity of influences including Chinese, Indian and Portuguese, not to mention the many spices characteristic of South East Asian food, Malaysian cuisine is rightly emerging as a favourite of food-lovers everywhere. 

Here are our top five flavours of Malaysia that work perfectly to up the ante on your traditional Christmas feast… 

Bring life to your seafood. 

We all know that seafood is a staple addition at most Australian homes during the festive season. This year, wow your guests with a decadent prawn Laksa. Laksa is one of Malaysia’s best known and most popular dishes, with its rich coconut curry base. The veritable minestrone of South Asia, Laksas can feature anything from tofu puffs, fish shrimps through to chicken pieces and of course, noodles and lots of delicious Asian vegetables. It’s typically served with a generous spoonful of chilli paste or sambal, and garnished with coriander, or kaffir lime leaf. Laksa is the perfect way to start your Christmas meal with a bang and is the ultimate go-to dish that provides fresh, spicy flavours. 

‘Ham’ up your glazed ham. 

Tired of the same old glazing on your Christmas ham? Why not incorporate delicious Malaysian flavours and give your guests something to talk about. For a unique taste that is sure to impress, add palm sugar and tamarind peel or a Malaysian curry paste for a chilli taste that will be sure to fire up your Christmas lunch. Serve slices of the ham with sweet pineapple pieces and roti to tone down and balance out the chilli factor. 

Tantalise with your Turkey. 

Roast turkey is the veritable star of any Christmas banquet. This year, the proof is in the stuffing, and we encourage you to utilise the vast flavours of Malaysian cuisine when stuffing and basting your bird. Spice up your stuffing with a wide range of spices like cardamom, cloves, turmeric and chilli, or coat your bird in some nyonya curry paste or chilli sambal that are sure to make your turkey flavoursome and exciting this festive season. 

Turn it up a couple of notches in the trifle stakes. 

You can’t go past a classic Aussie dessert at Christmas. A summer trifle is a light sweet treat that is guaranteed to end your festive banquet on a high. Take your guests on a culinary journey, and give it an exotic makeover this year by adding in some traditional Malaysian flavours including some mango, coconut cream and pandan for a truly refreshing indulgence. 

To help you discover the delicious Malaysian products available and to find a store near you, visit www.matrade.gov.my

A Porky Christmas: Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin

With Christmas only a month and a bit away, we thought we would share one of our Christmas dinner plans with you.
We have a tradition in our household of celebrating Christmas with decadent comfort food, all washed down with plenty of wine.

This year, we have a “crackling” pork recipe that is sure to impress. 

Roasted Pork Loin with perfect crackling
Serves 6

3.06 kg Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin, rind on
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
boiling water
  1. Pour boiling hot water all over the pork.
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels.
  3. Rub and massage liberal amounts of olive oil into the skin.
  4. Sprinkle salt all over the surface of the skin.
  5. Place the pork on a roasting trivet.
  6. Roast the pork at a temperature of 220 degrees celcius for the first hour.
  7. After an hour, reduce the temperature to 185 degrees celcius and continue cooking until the pork is ready (e.g. for a further 30 minutes).
  8. Transfer the meat to a warm plate. 
  9. Remove the strings from the pork.
  10. Serve!

The pork came out of the oven looking absolutely perfect. Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this roast pork was winter comfort food at its best. Golden brown, blistered and crunchy, the pork crackling had us fighting for the last piece.

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!
Or if you would like to find other porky recipe ideas, check out our posts about Murray Valley Pork's Rindless Scotch here or Murray Valley Pork's Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast here.

Gastrology bloggers tried the Rolled Pork Loin courtesy of MVP.

The return of the much-loved Din Tai Fung lamb buns for spring

It’s Spring, the lambs are born and to celebrate the warmer weather, Din Tai Fung, arguably the world’s most famous dumpling specialist, has brought back its popular Sweet Lamb Buns.
Din Tai Fung's limited edition Spring Sweet Lamb Buns are now on offer at Din Tai Fung Melbourne until 30 November. These Spring Sweet Lamb Buns or 'Bao' come steamed-to-order with a delicious filling of molten dark chocolate and taro. 
Absolutely adorable, the buns are almost too cute to eat. The fluffy, moist and slightly sweet buns were the perfect canvas for the gooey and dacadent dark chocolate and taro fillings. YUM.
Pork Dumpling / Xiao Long Bao

While we were there, we also indulged in other Din Tai Fung menu highlights which included the world renowned Xiao Long Bao.

While many Chinese restaurants serve Xiao Long Bao, Din Tai Fung’s variety are a cut above. The allure of Din Tai Fung’s legendary Xiao Long Bao lies in their gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich pork-seasoned broth.  
Usefully, Din Tai Fung’s staff are on hand to provide instructions on the recommended steps for consuming the Xiao Long Bao - steps which involve piercing the pastry skin to suck out the broth within and then subsequently flavouring the remaining pastry and minced pork dumpling with black vinegar and shredded ginger.

These soupy morsels may demand more effort than your run-of-the-mill pork dumpling, but we assure you - you will be rewarded.
Drunken Chicken

Din Tai Fung's drunken chicken was exquisite. The chicken was wonderfully tender and infused with a beautiful rice wine flavour - perfectly seasoned and well balanced.
Shrimp and Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce

With the extensive publicity received by Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, the Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Tangy Sauce, which prevail in both taste and texture, can easily be overlooked. These pork and prawn filled wontons are wrapped with a blissfully silken wonton pastry and bathe in a mind-blowing concoction of chilli oil and sesame oil. Cooked with the perfect amount of heat, these wontons certainly tantalised the taste buds.
Don't miss out on Din Tai Fung's Spring Sweet Lamb Buns along with other menu highlights!

What:  Din Tai Fung lamb buns for spring
When: Until 30 November 2015
Price: $3.80 each 
Location: Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9654 1876
Cuisine: Taiwanese, Dumplings

Din Tai Fung Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Din Tai Fung.

Blue Chillies

16 years on Blue Chillies continues to be one of Melbourne’s favourite modern Malaysian restaurants.

Located in the iconic Brunswick Street Fitzroy dining district, Blue Chillies have been serving locals and visitors alike over the past 15 years with an ever progressive menu of signature takes on classic Malaysian flavours with a Melbourne flair.
By combining fresh local ingredients with imported spices and traditional Malaysian cooking techniques, the Blue Chillies kitchen has been able to expand on their extensive experience of hawker-style cooking on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and Penang. 
Black pepper soft-shell crab

We loved Blue Chillies’ enticing soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. Served with ground peppercorn sauce and aromatic curry leaves, this dish was simply superb.
Rockling fillets with curry leaves, chilli, spices and buttered egg floss

The rockling was encased in light and crispy tempura batter. This dish was pure comfort food and laced with feather light egg floss, just the right hint of chilli and aromatic curry leaves. The egg floss was one of the most delicate we have seen, a testament to the chef’s wok skills. 
Pork ribs with chilli jam

The pork ribs were expertly prepared - juicy and succulent from having been wok roasted. The outstanding ribs were slathered with a flavoursome and sticky chilli jam sauce.
Assam Prawns with okra, stringless beans and tomatoes

The Spicy Assam Prawns were yet another highlight. The perfectly seasoned assam curry broth possessed the customary punchy flavours exhibited by Malaysian curries. We loved the beautiful tartness from the assam base which goes particularly well with seafood.
Belachan asparagus

The wonderfully fresh and organic asparagus were smothered with a beautiful belachan sambal paste. It had the perfect level of heat and was cooked very well.
Black sticky rice pudding 

A modern take on the traditional Malaysian dessert of black sticky rice pudding with coconut milk, this bowl of goodness arrived as pretty as a picture, boasting a lovely deep purple colour. Blue Chillies’ version was absolutely moreish - luscious and striking without being too sweet. We loved the crisp exterior of each morsel of rice and the addition of toasted coconut which provided a great textural element to the dish. 
Pandan crepes

The kueh dada (pandan crepes) were lovely. This sweet coconut stuffed pancake roll was beautifully made and matched perfectly with the creamy, cold ice cream. It was an especially gratifying dessert that concluded our evening on a sweet high.
Serving up dishes that have a focus on balance in texture, flavour and presentation, Blue Chillies pleases with innovative yet familiar Malaysian dishes. 

Location: 182 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9417 0071
Cuisine: Malaysian, Asian

Blue Chillies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Blue Chillies.

Chow Down

Chow Down in the heart of the CBD draws on owner and passionate chef, Vincent Chow’s Malaysian background to serve up authentic Malaysian hawker food. The cuisine reflects the diversity of its South East Asian roots, drawing influences from Malay, Chinese, Peranakan and Indian cuisine.
The service was friendly and prompt with staff that are clearly proud of the food being served up.
Teh Tarik

The menu is incredibly well-priced and there is a huge range of Malaysian delicacies to choose from including some great drink options for either dine-in within the communal areas or to take-away. For drinks, we recommend the teh tarik – a frothy and sweet pulled tea. 
Char kuey teow

The fried kuey teow was superbly authentic. Long and thick ribbons of flat rice noodles were cooked with an assortment of ingredients - shrimps, fish cake and egg – all of which possessed a wonderful wok caramelisation. The dish had the perfect amount of heat and boasted a great depth of flavour.
Nasi Lemak 
Variety pack - Nasi lemak (coconut rice), chicken skewer, selected kuih plus a choice of one dish from the window

The variety pack was a decadent lunch option. The full-bodied, pungent rendang gravy paired beautifully with melt-in-your-mouth chicken skewers and perfectly crisp fried chicken. We enjoyed the richness of the gravy and the generous use of spices in each element of the dish which showcased the customary punchy flavours exhibited by Malaysian food generally.  Together with fluffy coconut rice, crispy anchovies and delicious sambal, it was an addictive and comforting dish.
Roast Chicken Rice 

A Malaysian favourite, the plump and juicy slices of roasted chicken breasts were the highlight of this dish. Coupled with the aromatic and fluffy chicken rice, it was a moreish dish.
Nasi Goreng Kampung 

The nasi goreng kampung was a winner.  A fragrant traditional Malay style fried rice dish cooked in shrimp paste and normally served in a banana-leaf wrapping with bountiful anchovies, chicken bits and veggies, the crowning element was a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg.
Kuih seri muka

For dessert, the Kuih seri muka is not to be missed. A dainty and absolutely lovely sweet cake made of a gooey glutinous rice base topped with pandan flavoured coconut milk jelly. 
Chow Down punches above its weight with a delectable array of hawker foods you will love. We can't wait to return for another delicious bowl of their authentic Malaysian delights.

Location: 16/246 Bourke St, Melbourne 
Phone: 0412 334 681
Cuisine: Malaysian

Click to add a blog post for Chow Down on Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of MATRADE's Malaysian Kitchen Program.

Delhi Streets

Thanks to Charan Singh’s passion for high quality Indian food that is deliciously light, the dream for fresh and fiercely flavoursome street food as served on the streets of India is now a reality.
The ambience is modern and colourful, an extension of Delhi Streets’ contemporary interpretation of Indian cuisine.
The eatery is a family affair, continuing the family tradition and devotion to excellent Indian Cuisine. Food has always been central to owner, Charan's family. His father, Resham Singh (who now mans the tandoori oven at Delhi Streets) opened the first Indian Sweet Store in Melbourne, a sweet-tooth haven in Dandenong dedicated to Gulab Jamun, Kulfi and Jalebi.
The menu is mouth-wateringly good and features all the flavours you know and love about Indian cuisine but lighter and fresher and features high quality ingredients to create subtle flavours.

We started with a trio of their ‘Street Chaat’.
Pani puri

The Pani puri was a fun introduction to Delhi Street’s flavour explosion of a menu. A “hands on” street food made of crispy lentil cracker balls stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas, onions, tamarind, chutney and spice water it tantalised our taste buds.
Dahi vada

The Dahi vada comprised of feather light lentil dumplings served with yogurt and sweet and tangy tamarind and mint chutneys. It was a perfectly balanced amalgamation of sweet, sour, spices and heat.
Aloo tikki

The Aloo tikki was our favourite dish of the night. Comfort food at its best, fluffy potato and greenpea cakes were adorned with the most luxuriously zesty and spicy tamarind and mint chutneys. Freshly chopped onions and coriander along with yogurt worked in harmony with the spice by adding a desirable freshness.

For mains, we indulged from Delhi Street’s classic selection.
Maharaja Special Thali

The Maharaja Special thali was absolutely moreish. The rich flavours of the curries were nicely mellowed out by the raita yoghurt. Each of the three curries boasted bountiful herbs and was an absolute delight. The beautifully made roti and fluffy basmati rice were the perfect canvas for the three curries which displayed customary punchy Indian flavours.  
Chicken biryani

The Chicken biryani was sublime. The large nuggets of moist chicken were beautifully tender and contained the perfect amount of heat. The accompanying raita yogurt was luxurious. Each spoonful was truly gratifying. 
Chana bhatura

The Chana bhatura was yet another winner. The fluffy deep-fried leavened bread was stunning and went exceptionally well with the spiced chickpeas drizzled with tamarind chutney. This was a rare, and welcomed, occasion where the bread contributed equally to the overall dish rather than just occupying space as a conventional side. In all, this dish was a beauty.  
Foreground: Gulab jamun; Background: Carrot Halwa

Our visit to Delhi Streets concluded on a wonderfully sweet note with 2 traditional classics: the Gulab jamun and Carrot halwa. Both desserts were beautifully made. The gulab jamun in particular were some of the best we have ever had - Soft, spongy and melt in mouth cottage cheese dumplings drenched in syrup.
Delhi Streets takes you on an Indian Spice adventure with good Indian food, redolent in spice, flavour and texture without the lashings of cream, ghee and dairy.

Location: The Archway, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9629 2620
Cuisine: Indian

Click to add a blog post for Delhi Streets on Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Delhi Streets.