Have You Eaten by Billy Law – Cookbook Review & Win 2 Copies!!

by | Oct 10, 2012 | 66 comments

Have You Eaten by Billy Law - A Cookbook Review
Earlier this year, I responded to an email from last year’s Masterchef contestant and Sydney blogger Billy Law to apply to be a recipe tester for his first cookbook. A few days later I received an email saying that I was picked to be a recipe tester. I was tremendously excited to say the least. I had been following Billy’s blog since it’s inception, had a chance to meet him at the Sydney blogger’s Christmas picnic and later cheered him through Masterchef Australia Season 3. He was one of our own, I thought like countless other food bloggers and we were all very proud of him.
Have You Eaten? by Billy Law - Signed Copy!
Billy sent me some recipes, he was extremely accomodating and helpful when I wanted to switch the recipes around. In the end, I had the task of testing two savoury recipes. The Twice Cooked Crispy Pork Belly With Apple Fennel Slaw and Otak Otak. While the first was a modern, sophisticated, time consuming and thoroughly comforting main course; the second was one of my favourite street foods from my time in Singapore. For the pork, I prepared a cartouche (a cooking pocket created with aluminium foil) and slow braised the meat over 6 hours in the most wonderful Masterstock recipe ever created. I now use that stock recipe extensively to braise poultry mostly and always have a bottle on hand in the fridge. After the pork was cooked, it was cut into large cubes, rolled in tapioca flour and spices and deep fried until crispy and golden. Although the recipe was to serve eight people, Nick and I made royal pigs of ourselves (please excuse the pun) that night and finished all of the pork between us. Yikes!! It was the most amazing pork recipe I had ever cooked or tasted. The second recipe I tested was Otak Otak. A spicy fish dumpling rolled in banana leaf and cooked on a barbecue. The spice, the texture and the charring were beautiful. An authentic recipe that finally sated my quest to find the Otak Otak that I miss so much. I tested both recipes twice but I never had to adjust the quantities and they turned out consistent every time. It was a fun and enlightening process testing recipes for a cookbook.
Have You Eaten? Cookbook Review
Fast forward a few months later and Billy’s book was ready to be released to the masses. In true Billy style, he sent out whimsy tea towel invites to his book launch at Chinta Ria in Sydney. The same week and prior to the launch, I received my advanced copy signed by the man of the hour. A personal touch, a lasting impression. The book launch was fabulous and the book – Have You Eaten? published by Hardie Grant was stunning in more ways than one.
Have You Eaten? Cookbook Review
Have You Eaten? by Billy Law fills a gap in the cookbook market especially for lovers of Malaysian food because there are very few beautifully styled books out there with genuine traditional recipes from that region. Billy draws his inspiration from his Malaysian heritage and his creativity bounds all over Australia and picks up tastes and recipes that are bold, modern and full of flavour. The book has an exciting mix of authentic Chinese and Malaysian recipes, an abundance of real food you can whip up in your kitchen every night and a few indulgences for the adventurous. The book’s tagline "My favourite recipes from lamb roast to laksa" although sums up the contents, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Have You Eaten? Cookbook Review
Billy’s forte besides his cooking skills is his photography and his background in design makes this cookbook a triple threat. He did it all himself in the space of a few months. His love for all things quirky and all things cheeky shines through in the clever recipe titles and unusual favour combinations. Holy Moly Guacamole!, Zing Beneath My Wings, Cola Chilli Chicken, Bloody Mussels Mary, A Little Beet Of This & A Little Beet Of That, Marmite Chicken, Buddha’s Bowl, Vegemite Cheesecake, Ribs Your Heart Out, Cereal Butter Prawns and You Saucy Thing You! are just some the recipes that make you pause, ogle, chuckle and dive straight in. Almost 300 glossy pages of striking visuals and crisp presentation is spread out over seven chapters ranging from Snacks, Sides, Easy to Sugar Hit and Over The Top. The recipes are clearly written, reproduce beautifully, are spot on the measurements and have helpful little notes peppered over the pages. 
Have You Eaten? - Cookbook Review
I have cooked versions of the Cola Chilli Chicken, Thai Prawn Salad With Nam Jim Dressing, Osso Bucco With Mash, Chewy Choc Chip Skillet Cookie, Lemon Myrtle Delicious, Aussie Damper Wagyu Burger and the Chorizo & Prawn Skewers. I have at least 15 other recipes bookmarked that I want to try out in the coming weeks. I seriously love this book! And having my name printed on the acknowledgements page has got nothing to do with it. I feel thankful to have been a tiny little part of Billy Law’s first labour of love and I say first because I know there will be many more.
Have You Eaten? Cookbook Review
Billy & Hardie Grant are offering Cook Republic readers a chance to WIN two copies of this gorgeous cookbook. Billy has also answered some fun questions for you guys. Check them out!!

To WIN A Copy (There are 2!!)

You MUST have an Australian Postal Address.
You MUST enter via the Rafflecopter Box below.
You MUST Leave a Comment answering the question asked in the box.
You MAY get additional entries via two other tasks in the box.
Winners will be picked randomly after contest ends on October 24, 2012 and announced on the blog and Facebook page on October 25, 2012.

Good Luck!! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



For those that can’t wait and those who would like to buy the book anyways.

Buy At Book Depository (UK Version) | Buy At Book World (AU Version)


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I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I won’t be entering because I’m not an Aussie. Lame, I know! Congrats on all of this and his book looks marvelous! I’m sure you were a huge help!

  2. muppy

    i would love to be a recipe tester, for anyone really! how fun, its great to have a proper peak at this book, its on my list of wants 🙂

  3. muppy

    assuming the cereal butter prawns includes breakfast cereal i would love to try it for my kids – they would think thats the best combo on the world – two of their favourite things – prawns and cereal!

  4. Mel

    So many of these recipes look AMAZING! But I would have to try The Twice Cooked Crispy Pork Belly With Apple Fennel Slaw first as I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE pork belly, and am always on the lookout for a good slaw recipe.

  5. thecitygourmand

    So many to try! I love the distinct styling that the book has which is very Billy. I’ve heard about his Vegemite Cheesecake – that’d be high on my list to satisfy my insatiable sweet tooth 😉

  6. Liz

    That vegemite cheesecake, I don’t know if I really want to try it but it is intriguing.

  7. Amanda

    I’d love to try that Otak Otak recipe you mentioned – the taste isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me!

  8. Sue Bou

    All sound yummy but I’d be pretty interested in trying the Vegemite Cheesecake, how weird!!

  9. Adriene L

    I’d love to try the curry laksa. Being Malaysian myself, I love slurping down delicious noodles with spicy soup.

  10. Ann-Marie Day

    I would love to try the Vegemite Cheesecake but mostly I want to make the ‘Dear I Miss You’ Tiramisu Deconstructed. Yum. Can’t wait to get this book.

  11. Marie Biswell

    OMG… are you serious, Vegemite Cheesecake! That is so awesome, a must for my next bbq!

  12. Rosa

    A great book and giveaway. A pity that I live in Europe…



  13. renae

    the vegemite cheesecake is the recipe i’m most intrigued by!

  14. Jodie

    I am torn between the Cereal Butter Prawns and the laksa!!!

  15. melanie w


  16. Bridget Herbert

    I make an Awesome Mars bar Cheese Cake (So everybody Say’s) …….So I would be very intrigued to try the vegemite Cheese cake and see what response I got from that one…..

  17. Angie Boylan

    I am dying to try the vegemite cheesecake and prove to all my non-aussie friends that vegemite CAN taste great!

  18. Jessica

    Hands down, without a doubt want to try the Vegemite cheesecake recipe. Super idea!

  19. Alex Prichard

    Vegemite cheese cake? Seriously? That sounds awful! I suppose I’d just have to try it …

  20. Kim maxwell

    Vegemite cheesecake…

  21. Mel Kelly

    I would love to try the Laksa….the last one I attempted sent me scurrying back to my local Asian food hall so it would be nice to attempt it again at home!

  22. Karlene Forrest

    The Vegemite cheesecake (interesting…!)

  23. Ang

    Oh the pork belly…..definitely the pork belly. Yum!

  24. Tracy Boulter

    I’d love to try BILLY’S COLA CHICKEN, sounds delicious and I think I would cheat too leave out the marinade process when I am pushed for time for a speedy delicious meal.

  25. Colette

    Sneh, thanks for showing us the book. It’s beautiful, but so are your blue bangles!

  26. Rachel K

    My husband and I both LOVE chilli and Coca Cola! So I’d love to try and whip up the Cola Chilli Chicken! It sounds so intriguing as do most of the recipes. I’m getting really sick of the 100’s of mainstream cookbooks I own. I think this book could really mix up my repertoire and provide some sugar and spice to my families life!!!!

  27. gail

    cereal butter prawns

  28. Des Keyte

    That photo of Billy standing there in his shorts with the birthday cake is enough for me to buy this book! How freakin adorable! But seriously I am a sucker for a laksa, I shamefully make one out of a jar, I need this to make one authentically. YUM!

  29. Amanda Gorton

    Chorizo & Prawn Skewers would be the ultimate grilled on the BBQ and shared amongst friends at a spring celebration!

  30. EmilyH

    The cereal butter prawns sound intriguing!

  31. David Jiew

    I would have to try Billy’s Bloody Mussels Mary, as I do a mean mussels dish myself!

  32. kate

    the Chewy Wookie Choc Chip Cookie… imagine that…

  33. Kelly

    I would love to win this book to enjoy the gorgeous photos and read about Billy’s past. Also, I would love to make the vegemite cheesecake to combine my boyfriend’s two loves – vegemite and cheesecake. Yum?

  34. Dianne Childs

    I can’t go past the Vegemite Cheesecake! Say what?!

  35. vaishali

    vegemite cheesecake intrigues me!

  36. Marny

    I can’t wait to try the Cola Chilli Chicken, I’ve heard great things about it and also the Twice Cooked Pork Belly sounds amazing also!!!

  37. Sherilyn

    That vegemite cheesecake has got my curiosity but then so has the entire contents with its fun approach and take on creating beautiful food. The graphic design is superior.

  38. Anna Farthing

    definitely the vegimite cheesecake – very interesting!

  39. Eha

    Being somewhat of a Masterchef fanatic I remember Billy only too well! Am so pleased to see him not only wondrously productive but able to pass on his quirky sense of humour in the process 🙂 ! Most of the food produced in this kitchen is Oz-Asian ‘fusion’ for want of a better term: Malaysian is one format with which I am not quite au fait, so the book would be a wonderful teacher 🙂 !

  40. Dannielle H

    The vegemite cheesecake! sounds interesting, not sure if I’d like it though! I love cheesecake and i love vegemite… but together?!!!

  41. Rianna

    The Vegemite cheesecake intrigues me! It sounds like a combination of two of my favourite foods, and I seem to be losing my sweet-tooth lately.

  42. tania@mykitchenstories.com.au

    I am looking forward to seeing the book. Your review is very thorough. I was very interested in the Cola Chilli chicken and have made it, after to getting the recipe from your blog. I intend to post this…..linked to you of course!

  43. Erin

    So excited about the look of the deconstructed tiramisu. The whole book looks divine.

  44. Sharon Fawcett

    The vegemite cheesecake sounds interesting! It would have to be great because cheese and vegemite go really well together.

  45. Christina

    Have to say I have seen the coke chilli chicken doing the rounds on a few blogs and really want to try it – looks really quick, easy and tasty!

  46. Narelle Rock

    would have to say the vegemite cheesecake…really??

  47. Hilary

    The thai prawn salad with nam jim dipping sauce sounds good to me!

  48. Casey

    Vegemite cheesecake…. who’da thought?? Intriguing

  49. Billyjean

    My husband swears everything is better with Vegemite, so I would love to test his theory with the Vegemite cheesecake!

  50. Sarah J

    As a HUGE lover of cheesecake Billy’s Vegemite Cheesecake is extremely intriguing to me, but a chance to cook any of Billy’s recipes would be fantastic as they all look and sound amazing!

  51. Julie K

    Everything I saw looked absolutely delicious but my attention was caught by the Coca Cola Chicken (I am SURE my kids would eat THIS chicken dish!) but most definitely the Vegemite Cheesecake. I’ve mentioned it to a few people & get the usual reactions so can’t wait to make it so they can actually try it !

  52. jody jamieson

    mmm yum curry laska it looks so good!

  53. Vintage Macaroon

    There are so many recipes that look inviting but the oysters with the tiny spray bottles have caught my eye! So cheeky.

  54. jennifer

    All this food looks great. Would love to get this. 🙂

  55. Trina B

    It has to be the Vegemite Cheescake!! What the?? Such an unusual combination – I have to give this a go !!

  56. laura

    seriously, vegemite cheesecake. i am sure has to be tasted to be believed.

  57. Ellie

    The crispy pork belly recipe sounds amazing! I would love to try it!

  58. jas @ the gluten free scallywag

    Wow vegemite cheesecake? This sounds delicious, might have to try a version with some gluten free vegemite substitute! Love Billy’s work and I’d love to cook more/some (ha!) Malaysian food.

  59. Amy

    Definitely keen to make the Cereal Butter Prawns! crunchy cereal, rich butter and fresh prawns all in one bite…or maybe two….or three or four. yum!

  60. Sally

    I find the vegemite cheesecake very interesting, from what you have reviewed it looks like a great book. It will be on my Christmas wish list I think, if I can wait that long. Thanks for sharing your experiences testing out the recipes I’m quite envious.

  61. Aimee

    This book looks very intriguing! Vegemite cheescake.. Hmmm…

  62. Kirsten W

    Billy’s Vegemite Cheesecake fan here!!

  63. Stephanie Young

    The Vegemite cheesecake made everyone turn, as i blurted with excitement after reading the above post! We all love vegemite, cheese, cheesecake and chocolate…mmmm chocolate 🙂 Billy, You have such a fresh and fabulous idea for cooking, I adore it!

  64. Men's Puma Baylee Future Cat II

    apa aku buat ni.mungkin Aqila betul-betul takut dengan cicak.Nasib baik gak aku tak payah pakai gaun entah apa-apa tu.hanya anai-anai di padang pasir saja yang tahu. thanks. Kebanyakan model yang ditemuinya sepanjang pekerjaannya,Hala pergi tadi kitorang naik teksi sebab kereta abang aku tak boleh nak start sebab dah lama tersadai kat garaj tapi hala balik ni aku nak jalan kaki pulak. Aku dah tak sanggup lagi nak berlama-lama kat restoran tu. Terkadang dirinya juga berasa sunyi.” Pelawa Amir.takdelah.


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