Product review: Loving Earth Organic Raw Chocolate


Want chocolate that is ...... *breaths* cane sugar free? gluten free? dairy free? Low GI? 
AND Vegan? *exhales* 

Well look no further! Loving Earth chocolate is exactly as it is promoted. It is the healthier cousin to Cadbury, we didn't think "healthy" chocolate exists. 

While the chocolate may be healthy, eating the chocolate on it's own, in blocks was not our forte. We didn't think it was sweet enough in comparison to other chocolate we enjoy. The flavours that are mixed in with the chocolate are very strong also. So it was a treat given that we were able to taste the Salted Caramel flavour!




We may have overdone it a bit with the chocolate blocks :)



We decided to make chocolate slices with the remaining chocolate, as we believe that it would be more enjoyable when used in cooking. Wow did the chocolate melt quick! Perfect for cooking!


Melted chocolate and butter (oh so glossy). You could almost dive into it!



The end result looks great and with the added sugar, definitely gave the slice a big flavour boost. Sweet chocolate slice with Salted Caramel chocolate bits. We much preferred these slices opposed to eating the chocolate blocks, this is just because our expectation of chocolate is to be sweet, perhaps our taste buds are chocolate-ist? Nonetheless, we hope you have enjoyed our slices. :)

If you are looking for a healthier option, perhaps give it a go!
We were provided with a sample from BleachPR via Shop Naturally however opinions are expressed as our own. Thank you Rhiannon for the samples. 

Incase you missed it, head over to our other product review from Shop Naturally 

Blackbird Cafe | Darling Harbour

What a great place to visit to start your weekend early or after a long day at work.
Relax, unwind and have fun with Blackbird cocktails :)


OCEAN DRIVE
Peach vodka, malibu, blue curcao and lemon squash


TOO EASY 
Mint vodka, blue curacao, lemon sours and sprite
(This was my option as the description fitted in well with my day)
"Having a stressful day? De-stress and chill out w this easy cocktail"

I wish I stuck with my initial cocktail (the El Japon) but apparently the bartender can't make the cocktail without 'coconut cream'........ 


Oh hey, my friend decided to order the El Japon. 
 I thought the bartender had to mix the cream in the drink but it's just a scoop on top. 
I was disappointed that the bartender couldn't accommodate to my request. 

EL JAPON
A tropical blend of midori , malibu, pineapple juice, mango juice and coconut cream


BLUE BIRD 
Fruity blend of fresh watermelon, midori , blue curacao, lemonade and a dash of grenadine


Blackbird Pastas
Blackbird is overpriced but for the ambiance and view (if you are seated outside) is well worth it. It would definitely NOT be a place to go for a first date... you would barely hear each other. My girlfriends and I were practically screaming at each other which made it an extremely fun night!
The pasta was nice, lovely flavour and generous amount of prawns (on mine). 
Couldn't really complain here (oh except that the music is wayyyy to loud).

Pancetta Fettucini
Pancetta, bacon and mushroom in a creamy pesto sauce with pistachios


Gnocchi
Panfried with buffalo mozzeralla, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.


Prawn Fettucini
Marinated prawns, chilli garlic, wilted spinach and napolitana sauce


Blackbird Cafe on Urbanspoon

Shout out to my amazing boyfriend for organizing a surprise girls night out for me. 
True friends can be counted on one hand :) 

Bowery Lane | CBD


I present to you the Bowery loves bloggers...banquet dinner menu! 
We had a huge feast and sampled 16 dishes on the menu. I know what you are thinking... how on Earth did we eat ALL of that? Yeah.... we are still asking ourselves the same question :)

The night was a blast! We were sitting down for 4 hours and no one had any complaints what-so-ever. Thank you to Wasamedia for inviting us, it was really lovely meeting David and Milou for the first time. Lastly, thanks to all the other fellow bloggers for making the night as enjoyable as the food. It was good to see familiar faces again, and meet new ones. I just hope we didn't bother any other diners because we were SO LOUD! hehe.

Arrival
On arrival, we had the following dishes and my favourite of them all was the croquettes!

Marinated mt zero olives, orange, chilli, bay
I didn't have any as I don't like olives but the 2 Hungry Guys loved them. I even thought the pitt was 'almond nuts' ....... THANK THE LORD I didn't eat one. (I'm such an embarrassment to society - I'M SORRRRYY).


 Artesian sourdough pepe saya butter and sea salt
The butter literally melted as you spread it. It was quite nice, but I think people were reluctant to fill up on bread after pondering the menu we had in front of us.


Char grilled lamb ribs, chimmi churri, rocket
Alright, one thing you should probably now about us.. We don't like lamb (car screeches, kid drops ice cream... we get it, it's shocking! haha). The lamb meaty taste just drives us crazy! That is why, when we tell you that a lamb dish was great, then believe us!
Speaking of which, these grilled lamb ribs were delightful. It must be the chimmi churri that made us (Matt especially) keep on going back for more. The meat literally fell straight off the bone it was served on and it had a great char tastes to make it that much better.


Manchego croquettes, smoked chilli aioli
So light and fluffy on the inside, hard and crispy on the outside... I wanted to go back for seconds but realised we were ONLY sampling the 'arrival' dishes and had at least 10 more dishes left to try *breathes*. In comparison with other croquettes they were a bit dry. I would have loved move of the smoked chilli aoili, but given our love for anything fried, we did enjoy this dish too.


Entree
One thing I love about food blogging events are their pre-set menu. It's always so exciting studying the menu and eagerly waiting for the next dish to arrive! The funny thing about blogger events (other than all bloggers huddling around one another to take the perfect shot) is that it's structure is out of whack! Given the above dishes, we had still not reached the Entree's? I'm not complaining, but it just shows you how much food there was!

On the topic of food, let's get started with our entree dishes!

La stella burrara, candied olive, petite radish, confit tomato, torn ciabatta 
At first, silly Christine thought it was a HUGE poached egg. And soon found out it was an amazing blob of fresh cheeeeeese. The candied olive was quite nice (this is coming from someone who doesn't like olives). Love the colour of this dish!



Master Kobe Wagyu, 9+ inside skirt chermula, lemon
Wagyu steak can either be really good, or really bad, it depends on the chef cooking it. This was one of those steaks where you wish the whole plate was yours! It was cooked really well and came out piping hot. It had enough crust on the outside to give the steak a little bit of "crunch" but once you pass through the outer layer, the meat was tender and cooked medium rare. Perfect!
Matt got the best seat in the house, as where he was located, he had two servings to either side of him the whole night!



House smoked hickory salmon, puffed wild rice, bottarga salad burnet
The salmon was perfectly flavoured I wanted more. I don't usually don't eat more than 2 pieces of salmon but WOW, I wanted more and more!!! As I used my knife to slice into the salmon... it was like slicing a room temperature block of butter. It was so soft and had a great bouncy texture.


Special burger course

What does 20 burgers look like in a restaurant? Even better, what REACTION do diners have when they see a table of food bloggers (or people with cameras) making a HUGE scene by being so excited when the lights are brighter... or when we leave our seats to take the 'long table burger' shot?
We were actually questioned what on earth was going on by the table beside us. It was one of those moments where you just had to be there to experience the hype.


New york cheeseburger 
Wagyu, bois bouran, montery jack, tomato cos, caramelised onion with fries.

Hands down the best dish of the night for Matt. He loves his meat and definitely loves a good burger. This had everyone at the table quoting "Burger what?" (*cough* Burger Project) the whole time. Personally, what sets this Monster apart from the competition would have to be the bois bouran sauce! It gave it a slight tangy aftertaste that you wanted more of!



Tempura soft shell crab burger
Asian slaw, miso mayonnaise 

Oh holy moles MOLE! Perfectly fried and the batter was freaking perfect. The crab was definitely meaty and delicous. I loved this dish! I would've had more but my cholesterol level says no :(


Rarrhh, you can't run away from me. I'm gonna claw you! On a serious note though, it actually does perfectly resemble a crab! Well done to the creative minds in the kitchen as we had never seen something like this.


Fries 
Deceivingly simple but irresistibly tasty and addictive. Perfectly seasoned chips from Bowery Lane. 


Mains
Alright time for Mains.... wait wouldn't you have thought the Burgers were the main? WRONG!
 At this point, I think it's safe to say everyone on the table was full. I mean c'mon, a stomach can only take in so much food. So our perception of the following dish could have probably been better on an empty stomach! We needed a break, so that's why I went walking around taking photos of Bowery Lane (later in this post).

Whole BBQ organic chicken lentils and grains and smoked yoghurt 
The chicken was so soft (we had the drumstick) and just melted in my mouth.  Other diners complained about the chicken being too dry. I guess that is the perks of having the legs (Sorry guys!) and to be fair, we did leave it sitting on the table for quite some time while we grabbed snaps of all the food. On a side note though, without the yogurt to accompany the chicken, it wasn't really anything special. Thankfully my piece was covered it in.



Parmesan burnt carrot, sesame, tahini 
Loved the carrots - I'm sure fight the craving agrees who was highly addicted to them that night. 


Pork collar and scratching's, apple, parsely and fennel salad, spiced pear chutney 
The pork itself was really nice, but was better when you combine all the elements on the plate. The crackling was a bit of a disappointment though. But that probably comes down to personal preference.


Roast pumpkin balsamic, crisp oregano, parmesan 
 The pumpkin was enjoyable, but unless told I wouldn't really have noticed that there was Parmesan on top! It worked well with the lamb shoulder (below).


Baby cos, peas, beans, mint 
Something had to break up the oil, fat and meat... ;)


Slow cooked lamb shoulder lemon garlic dressing, watercress 
We previously mentioned our disdain for Lamb. Once again Bowery lane managed to pull it off with its dressing. The lamb broke apart as you tried to grab a piece, it was very tender. But the more we ate, the less we enjoyed it. Once you get past all the flavours of the dressing, it starts to get really dry. Now once again, we didn't actually start eating this til about 15-20 minutes after it was served so it may have dried up during that time. To add to that, we were bloated at this point so it somehow makes food that slight bit less enjoyable. Again, not Bowery Lanes fault, but our own.


Dessert
Bowery lane is amazingly insane! How do they pull their desserts off? 
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G


Jar of cookies and cream 
Honeycomb, vanilla, dark chocolate 

It.....is.....heaven. Please just try this dessert yourself as it is hard to even comprehend how flavoursome and sweet it was. By the time Matt asked for a second taste, I had already finished. You could probably notice that I really enjoyed this dish.


To top it all off, it is served in such a pretty little jar that is just popping with colours!


Strawberry shortcake 
Vanilla bean ice-cream, macerated berries 

Pictures do not always tell the truth and I wish that we were able to accurately detail how good the meringue was. It worked really well with the Vanilla bean ice-cream that had been topped with strawberry sauce. Then, the biscuit balanced out the sweetness which made it really enjoyable. BUT the Jar of Cookies and Cream definitely takes the crown of the night. 



Ice-cream sandwich
gingerbread and hot chocolate paoched pear, candied peacans

We Snapped the 2 Hungry Guys  and I'm Still Hungry's dessert.



Drinks
How do you feel about a full selection of beers and cocktails? Hell yeaaaahhhh!

We snapped: 14 earth's end sauvignon blanc marlborough

Anchor brewing liberty ale San Francisco (and iPhone :P)

Cosmopolitan City
Ketel one citroen vodka, solerno blood orange liquer, fresh lime and cranberry juice built in a highball and topped with homemade lemonade 


Wall Street
We snapped Coffessions of a Glutton's Bulleit rye whiskey delicately stirred with sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and aztec chocolate bitters


Southside Gangster 
We Snapped Sarah Shrapnel's Tanqueray gin shaken with st. germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice and mint leaves.


The Midnight Cowboy
fight the craving's Smoked apricot infused talisker 10 stirred delicately with a hint of sugar, salt, syrup and barrel aged bitters.






New York Sour
Snapped fight the craving's bulleit rye whisky, lemon juice, dash of sugar, shakened and fluffed up with egg whtes, presented with a float of red wine and skewered with a spiced cherry.




Atmosphere
The place is decorated really elegantly and formal. It has a slight feel of nature and nurture to it too which is very refreshing to have in the middle of the City. We loved the styling of Bowery Lane and thought we had to share it with you all. Be sure to check it out for yourself.












Bowery Lane on Urbanspoon