Tag Archives: Asian

Tallwood, Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia

tallwood_11_02_13_178348[1]A couple of weeks ago, I made it my mission to go and try this restaurant. As I pointed out in my previous review, my brother Matt Upson is chef and co-owner of Tallwood with his friend Clayton Till.

The restaurant has a modern “big city” feel to it, yet it is located in a little town called Mollymook on the South Coast of New South Wales. The décor is clean and fresh and there is a great display of local art works which are for sale.

Outside dining, complete with a retractable awning, is also on offer to make the most of the fabulous NSW weather. There are even knee rugs for when the air is a bit chilly.

Evening dining sees the restaurant transform into a sophisticated indoor space with a great atmosphere. The mood is set off by the clever interior design and gorgeous lighting that throws patterns onto the walls and roof.

Tallwood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, so I decided to have both meals here so I could try more of the dishes (after all I had come all the way from Tasmania and had been waiting quite some time to eat here)!

I dined with my parents, sister in law and daughter for both meals (arguably my brother’s toughest critics). For lunch we decided to have lighter options to save room for our evening meal! The food did not disappoint. Popular with my 5 year old daughter were the taro chips. I was partial to the “salumi Australia” cured meat board and the Black Angus scotch (which I ate without the pine mushrooms due to FODMAP’s), while my mum loved the Portuguese Fish Cakes served with a saffron mayo.

For dinner my favourites were the Japanese pancakes (I have to say that as he adapted them from my recipe!), American spare ribs with tomato, coriander and lime, and the red braised quail. We didn’t have dessert as we were trying to be good! Actually, by special request the chef whipped up some banana and choc chip ice-cream for my daughter!

Tallwood quail a

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed both meals here. The staff were knowledgeable and attentive, without being intrusive. I particularly enjoyed the experience of evening dining.

If you are in the vicinity of Mollymook, you really need to check this restaurant out. If you are a little further down the coast, the Tallwood team also run Merry Street Restaurant and Bar at Kioloa. I know that you may be thinking that I am biased being that the restaurant belongs to a family member. If so, please check out what other people are saying on TripAdvisor!


Asian Beef Cheeks

Asian Beef CheeksLast week I was at our local Riverside butcher, who incidentally only stocks grass fed beef (important for the Paleo diet). He was telling me that he was going to be stocking beef cheeks on an ongoing basis. I was pretty excited about this and immediately put my hand up for some.

I did a test batch last week, and after tweaking it a bit, I did another yesterday. The recipe got the tick of approval from the family so I thought I would share. This is particularly good as comfort food on those Autumn days that are getting longer and colder down here in Tasmania.

I made this for 5 people with a bit left over. We are fairly big eaters, so you will need to adjust measurements for your family accordingly. I don’t have a slow cooker, so I cooked it in the oven on 150 C (300 F) for about 6 hours.


6 beef cheeks (trimmed)

3 tablespoons fish sauce (Red Boat is the best Fish Sauce available without chemicals added, and is Paleo. Available from my online store http://www.paleoprovidore.com )

4-5cm ginger finely grated.

2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice

1 stalk lemongrass

An onion (or the greens of about 4 spring onions if low FODMAP I have also been using the whites in large enough pieces to fish out)

2 cloves of garlic (I leave them whole and remove them before serving as I eat low FODMAP and use garlic infused olive oil)

1 litre beef stock (I’ve also used low salt chicken stock and it still tastes yummy). Homemade stock is best as it has lower salt and can cater for dietary requirements.

1 tablespoon good quality Oyster Sauce

2 teaspoons Szechuan pepper (crush if whole)

1 400g tin diced tomatoes (or you could use some about a cup or so of pasta sauce, without the meat, if you have any left)

3 star anise

1 stick cinnamon

4 (or so) carrots chopped into 1 -2 cm slices (you could add other vegetables as well, but they will go mushy unless you add them close to the end of cooking time)

Garlic infused olive oil/permitted oil.


Cut beef cheeks into a large dice and put in a large bowl.

Add the five spice, fish sauce and ginger.

Bruise the lemongrass with the back of your knife, cut into a few pieces and add to the beef.

Mix ingredients together and leave for half an hour if possible, otherwise as long as you can.

Heat a large frypan, wok or saucepan on medium high heat and add olive oil.

Lightly brown the meat in batches putting more olive oil in the pan as required. Put the browned meat into the casserole dish.

When all meat is brown, add some more oil and then cook your garlic and onion/spring onions. When cooked, add the stock, oyster sauce, Szechuan Pepper, tomato, star anise, cinnamon and carrots. Bring to the boil, then pour over the meat. Put the casserole dish with its lid on, into the oven. I usually cook it for about 4 hours with the lid on and then 2 or more with the lid off as the liquid then reduces and creates a thick, yummy sauce and saves thickening it with cornflour.

I served the dish with steamed vegetables and some mashed potato (I know, that is totally not paleo, but it tastes so good!).


The Hungry Duck, Berry, New South Wales, Australia

hungry-duck-info1My young daughter and I recently went on a short trip from our home state of Tasmania to New South Wales. The main purpose of our trip was to visit our family.

Another burning reason to travel was to eat at my little brother (Matt Upson) and his friend’s (Clayton Till) new restaurant Tallwood in Mollymook. They have been getting AMAZING reviews on TripAdvisor, and I thought that it was not right that I was the only member of the family who hadn’t eaten there yet!

It is no secret that I like my food and LOVE to eat out. On our way to Mollymook, we broke our journey at the gorgeous little township of Berry for dinner. My brother had booked us all into Hungry Duck. The chef Dave Campbell has an impressive resume that includes Wokpool, Tetsuya’s and Billy Kwong. So I’m sure you can understand that I was just a little bit excited about eating here!

My daughter and I had been travelling for 10 hours by the time we got to the restaurant. We had 2 small children in tow, so unfortunately we were not in for a long relaxing dinner.

The restaurant presented really well. It is in a quaint old building on the main road. It had a mix of lovely wooden chairs and padded bench seats. The tables were covered with crisp white tablecloths. It had a relaxed yet sophisticated feel to it.

The restaurant recommended that we share dishes, which suited us. The stand out dishes from what we ordered were the homemade pork buns which had pulled pork and a lovely blend of Asian herbs and spices, the duck 3 ways, and caramelised Angus brisket with cassia bark & pickled blood plums (we had 2 serves!). Dishes are quite small, however as it is served Tapas style, it is easy to order more if needed. The children were the only ones who had dessert – vanilla bean ice cream of course!

The wait staff were professional but relaxed and were able to guide us with our menu choices where needed.

After dinner we discovered a gorgeous kitchen garden that we enjoyed wandering around while trying to name all the plants. There was a water fountain and the plants had back lighting which created a great atmosphere.

I would highly recommend you make a stop at this little restaurant on your travels, and don’t forget to check out the garden!