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Mt Hawthorn

Divido, Mount Hawthorn

DividoWebsite: http://www.divido.com.au/

Entertainment Card 14/15: 25% off (up to a value of $40)

Divido is a casual yet chic Italian restaurant located on Scarborough Beach Road in Mount Hawthorn. I have heard the name mentioned over the years but have yet to try it until recently when I was looking for a place to dine to catch up with my ex-colleagues. She had wanted Italian cuisine so I grabbed the opportunity to suggest Divido.

Divido is a medium sized restaurant with stylish decor and an intimate setting. The warm lighting created a nice ambiance and we settled in quickly after a long days work.

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Cooking Class: Cultural Tastes, Mt Hawthorn

**LATEST UPDATE Feb 14**

Cafe no longer operating!..replaced by The Ladder Cafe & Deli

 

 

 

 

Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cultural-Tastes/181831525227877

In continuation of my birthday celebration, my friends organised a group of us to attend a cooking class held at the newly opened Cultural Tastes cafe in Mt Hawthorn.  They had told me that they wanted to take me out for pastries at some patisserie, but the surprise came when I was blindfolded as soon as I got into the car.  The next statement that came was “I have known you for a long time, do you trust me?”.  It was quite bizarre.  I was led to some backyard, blindfold taken off and popping sounds came from everywhere.   “You are here for a cooking class, not pastries!!” was the next statement.  Yay, I was excited!  Thanks guys for really surprising me!! I had no idea whatsoever! :p

The cooking class was of traditional spanish tapas, right up my alley (I fell in love with spanish tapas after dining at Pata Negra a couple of times).  Our cooking teacher is Manuel Martinez from Spanish Catering (www.paellasandtapas.com.au).  A friendly and entertaining chap (he loves his Spanish music and dance!), he welcomed us and started explaining what we will be cooking that afternoon.  We will be preparing 6 dishes!  Wow!  All recipes are written by Manuel personally and a copy given to us to take home!

 

Dish 1Almogrote (soft paste made mainly from cheese and tomatoes, used as a dip)

A great thing I found about this class is the tips given by Manuel, for example, he told us about the specific paprika powder to buy that will help with the authenticity of the dish!

 

Dish 2Spanish Chorizo cooked in natural cider

Manuel showing us how to slice the chorizos 🙂

 

Another tip of which cider to use to bring out the flavour in this dish.

Our hard work paid off.  Final product. I love chorizo!

Dish 3Melon and Jamon Serrano (a type of dry cured Spanish ham)

Jamon is quite an expensive ingredient, approx $50-$60/kg.  I have never eaten jamon partnered with a fruit before so this is something different.

Final product.

Dish 4Tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelette)

 

Manuel taught us how to flip the tortilla de patatas from the frying pan onto a plate and back.  Very handy!

Final product.

Dish 5Ham rolls filled with sweet egg

This is probably the hardest dish to make!  I have never seen a dish quite like this.  To make the sweet egg, the egg yolk (separated from the white) was squirted onto the boiling sugar syrup, put into ice water and dried with baking paper.  The sweet egg is then wrapped in ham slices.

 

Final product.

 

Dish 6Croquetas (small fried food roll)

The croquetas we made were filled with oven cooked chicken.  There are a few steps to go through before completion, such as refrigeration of the mixture overnight, rolling the mixtures into balls, frying etc which made this the most tedious and time consuming dish.  As there was a time limit to the class, Manuel showed us how to prepare the mixture and rolled his pre-made croquetas mixture.

Final product. (Note: I made this dish for a dinner party after the class and it was a success!  Everybody loved it.  Yay for a good recipe!)

We took approximately 3 hours to finish ‘cooking’ all the dishes, with help from Manuel of course.  All dishes were served in the small shaded garden at the back.  Nice to sample our ‘hard work’ in a lovely environment!

Manuel also prepared some meatballs and champagne sorbet to accompany our meal.  Thanks!

 

While waiting for our dishes to be set up, we had a chat with the owners of the cafe, Lisa and Dave Hill, and browsed the store as we had a $20 gift voucher to use.  The cafe not only serves food + drinks and provides an avenue for the cooking class, it also retails cooking books, culinary related items, travel and lifestyle books and giftwares!  Amazing place.  I bought the Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens cookbook.  Sadly to say though I have not attempted any of the recipes yet.  I also spied at the cake cabinet and bought myself a banana, coffee, chocolate and walnut cake ($7.50).  It was such a delicious cake, freshly baked, moist and lots of ingredients.  Love it!

Some pictures of the store…

    

The friendly and enthusiastic owners…

Overall it was a very fun, informative and entertaining cooking class!  Wine and beer are BYO, however drinks were provided when we asked.  Lisa made a concoction of fruit juice for us.  It was yummy!

It’s worth enrolling in this class.  This particular tapas class costs $90 per guest.  They have a Spanish seafood paella Create and Dine class coming up.  Why not give it a try? (Refer to their facebook page for contacts and information).

Narration by: Miss L

Cultural Tastes on Urbanspoon

Ha-Lu Japanese Restaurant, Mount Hawthorn

http://halu.net.au

Ha-Lu is located at what I thought was a slightly obscure spot on Oxford Street in Mount Hawthorn.  Its reputation however surpasses this hidden gem with numerous good reports from friends who had dined there before.  I got quite excited when I found out dinner one Saturday night was gonna be there as I’d been wanting to try this place out after reading about it in a magazine!  The dinner turned out to be a belated surprise birthday celebration as well.

The inside of the restaurant is simple in terms of its layout, with wooden tables and suede chairs/lounge.  It is quite tiny too so booking is essential.  I didn’t manage to take any photos of the restaurant itself as I was late from a previous appointment and so had to quickly rush in and concentrated on the ordering instead.   

  

This post is not going to be a review of each dish per say but rather a post full of picture of the dishes we ordered as they are too many to write about.  I have to say though that all the dishes were great!!  Presented well and ‘one of a kind’ – you can’t find some of what they serve here in other Japanese restaurants.  You can’t go wrong if you try this place out.  Its dining style is similar to a tapas bar where small dishes are ordered to share.  This dining style is termed ‘Izakaya” in Japanese.  I especially like eating this way as I love to try different dishes and what better way than to have a biteful of each.  🙂

The menu is divided into different sections depending on the cooking style of the food: Cold Dishes; Deep Fried Dishes; Yaki Mono (Grilled Dishes); Ni Mono (Simmered Dishes); Zukushi Tasting; Side Dish and Desserts.

From the Cold Dishes, we had:

  • Wagyu Beef Tataki ($17) – very fresh!
  • Home Made Tofu & Mizuna Salad with Wonton Crisps ($12)
  • Duck Breast with Whole Grain Mustard ($11)
  • Salmon, Anago Eel and Aubergine ($16)

   

From the Deep Fried Dishes:

  • Crispy Pork with Oroshi Ponzu Vinaigrette ($7)
  • Crumbed Camembert Cheese ($9.80) – must try!
  • Vegetable Tempura ($12)
  • Agedashi Tofu ($8.50)
  • Octopus Kara-age and Lotus Root Hasami-Age ($12)

    

From the Yaki Mono:

  • Foiled Baked Scallops and Salmon ($18)
  • Soft Shell Crab Miso Gratin ($16) – wickedly cheesy!

  

From the Ni Mono:

  • Pork Belly “Kaku-Ni” ($14)
  • Patagonian Toothfish Nitsuke ($18)

 

From the Zukushi Tasting:

  • For Anago Eel Lovers ($24) – Anago tempura with with a hint of teriyaki sauce, grilled anago with sansho pepper, aubergine and anago ‘Nikogori’, anago/daikon ‘Kinuta-maki’, anago / potato ‘Dango’

And finally Desserts!

  • Green tea ice cream and Mango ice cream ($6 each) – my favourites!

 

Yum! I’m drooling as I look at the photos now.  Once again, the food here is awesome!  Service is friendly and very efficient as well.  A must try for the special occassion 🙂

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.   

Ha-Lu Japanese Restaurant
Telephone
: 08 9444 0577
Address: 4/401 Oxford Street, Mount Hawthorn

Ha-Lu on Urbanspoon

The birthday girl blowing out the candles and a look inside the cake:

 

As it turned out, the birthday girl was Miss L herself 🙂  Thank you friends!