Archive | April, 2012

Le Pain Quotidien take 2

12 Apr

Why is mesclun called mesclun and not salad?

After initial indecision re whether to order the porridge or the ham and cheese croissant (do I get the healthy one which I can knock up at home and not thus worth ordering, or the unhealthy one which cannot be had at home and worth eating out for but risk becoming flatulent during the 9:30am meeting on account of my sporadic lactose intolerance? That was the great mental debate I had in the days prior), we decided to try some mesclun adorned dishes.

Mushroom Frittata

Frittata with mushroom, sundried tomatoes served with pesto, mesclun and bread. Some of my favourite things :)

Salmon Frittata

Frittata with salmon, spring onions and tartare sauce. I thought it tasted like the fish burger at McDonalds. Jess liked it though

My dream. It wasn’t overly sweet which allowed the tartness of the sour cherry to stand out. I just thought it was going to be a custard tart, but it was cakey under the cherries. Still, twas highly enjoyable!

Although what is the fruit tarte in the front row? I thought it was the sour cherry tarte!

Sometimes every little element creates a perfect whole even if they are imperfect viewed in isolation. Like how during our last visit, our mis-ordering resulted in sugar overload which sat uncomfortably in our stomachs. They also didn’t have the sour cherry and almond tarte I wanted. Then I forgot to hand over the EB voucher when paying the bill, which rendered our whole visit completely pointless! Meeting today at 7:30am was pretty painful, add on the chilli autumn morning and the restaurant not opening til 8am and you get a massive headache! But from retrospect, it all worked out for the better.  We didn’t get a discount for our not-so-great cheaper meal, which forced us back and our experience guided us to order dearer but yummier and healthier meals. And they also had the sour cherry and almond tarte I had been covetting!

Saved: $10

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

Sushi Tei

11 Apr

Today I wanted to try something different, so I steered away from the sushi and ordered things I normally wouldn’t order.

Squid with fermented beans

I had read natto has a very strong flavour that tastes offensive to the uninitiated. Having never tried it, I was curious to give it a go. It’s very sticky, so when you pick it up there are strands of goo like melted cheese. Its inexplicable flavour, which I can’t really describe (maybe like ash?) hits you after a while. At first I thought it was not bad, but after the second mouthful, I decided it was quite horrible! I had to drown out the taste with a double dose of wasabe and soy sauce, but then it got too salty. Ultimately, I had a headache.

Golden mushroom rolled in beef with terriyaki sauce

This was really delicious – the sweetness of the salmon with the saltiness of the caviar all blended perfectly with soy sauce and wasabe.

I tried some of this because my friend had become too full on her sashimi salad(!!). It was quite yummy, altho I couldn’t really concentrate on the crab. The fish floss reminded me of pork floss, which added a nice nostalgic element. I also desperately needed some fluffy rice to soak up the taste of soy wasabi natto in my mouth.

No…you don’t get a bowl full of salmon roe, underneath is steamed egg,

I can see how the combination of salty, spicy and garlicy kimchi would work with sweet and milky cream. Maybe I’ll try this at home!

I don’t know why the girls ordered this – to be healthy? Perhaps it is just that sashimi with salad is a strange concept to me.

Saved: $24

Sushi Tei on Urbanspoon

Löwenbräu Keller

7 Apr

The meat fest continues!

Pretzel

Overall, we don't like pretzels, I think my mum appreciated the butter more than the pretzel itself

Giant Pork Schnitzel

My dad was shocked at the size of the meat. Because of the cut used, he thought his own pork schnitzel was better on account of it being more tender.

Schlachtplatte

Mum and I shared this. I love the sauerkraut and braised red cabbage.

Lowenbrau beer

Weeks ago when I first suggested coming here or BBC to my parents, my dad was was immediately dismissive of my recommendation for him to order the pork knuckle. However when he saw the plates of pork knuckle being carried to other tables, and he realised it was 蹄髈 he was instantly lamentful of ordering his schnitzel. Mum later commented she like the down to earth-ness of this restaurant, so I think there is opportunity for us to come back here, so at least we can enjoy the atmosphere and dad can try the pork knuckle.

Saved: $35

Lowenbrau Keller on Urbanspoon

Tony Romas

5 Apr
Lamb ribs with TR hot sauce, corn on the cob and baked potato

Yum. I had read that the serving size at TR was small, but nothing could prepare me for just how small the rack of ribs was. However to be perfectly fair, I was very full by the end of my meal, and I didn't eat half of the potato.

As I was collecting the bill, the man said I can come back (with guests) and use my EB gold card to get All You Can Eat Ribs for $25pp (probably for the pork ribs), which is a great deal since it is advertised for $40.

But today, saved $16.95 (two people)

Tony Roma's on Urbanspoon

Dinky Di Pies

4 Apr

Me: Have you been to Dinky Di Pies?

JJ: No. What do they sell? Where are they?

Me: Close to your work, 12 Shelley St

JJ: That’s as close as it gets, we’re 10 Shelley St!

So apparently, she walks past the store every day but has never taken notice of it.

Forgot to take photo today, so stole one from their website.

Steak & Peppercorn pie

Massive chunks of meat!

Saved: $5.95

Dinky Di Pies @ King St Wharf

Le Pain Quotidien

2 Apr

Actually forgot to hand over the voucher when getting the bill even though it was in my hand. So Jess said, we’ll just have to come back. That works for me as they didn’t have the sour cherry almond tarts I wanted. Technically this post does not belong with the Entertainment Book series, but we did go in the spirit on the EB.

Bowl of mocha

bowl of skim mocha with Belgian chocolate. Both thumbs up!

Almond croissant

Flavour was good but disappointing it was stale

Couque suisse

Le Pain Quotidien condiments

Chocolate and hazelnut spread, hazelnut andprailine spread, apricot conserve, four berries conserve

Jess' painting
A masterpiece of butter, conserve and hazelnut butter on rye

What happens after you have a mocha, an almond croissant, a piece of toast cut lengthways smothered with butter, conserve and sweet hazelnut spread, then you make your move of your friend’s half of toast (which she can’t finish because she is obviously more highly evolved than you and feels full) which is similarly smothered, if not more, with condiments? You feel disgusting and it screws up your appetite for the entire day

Saved: $0

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

Bavarian Bier Cafe

1 Apr
with Creamy White Wine & Mushroom Sauce served with Rösti

Mum thought it was bland, she only liked the rosti

Crackling Roast Pork Belly, Char-Grilled Kassler, Sausages, chicken Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, Sebago Mash

I really like the pork crackling and sauerkraut. The chicken schnitzel has always been my mum's favourite - perhaps she should have ordered the oven baked chicken schnitzel.

Apple Strudel

I felt it wasn't apple-y enough, and I dislike the amount of pastry inside. The icecream had large shards of icicles through-out

Saved $27

Bavarian Bier Café Chatswood on Urbanspoon

San Churros

1 Apr

I’m on a quest to milk as much value as I can from the Entertainment Book before it expires.

Starting with San Churros

Image

Spanish hot chocolate with a “merry measure” of cinnamon and chilli. Quite a delightful drink.

Image

The chocolate was heavenly. With the churros, it was all I could taste, which rendered the churros rather redundant. The churros I had in Spain had a light youtiao flavour.

Saving: ~$14

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

Places visited with Entertainment Book:

Nick’s Seafood Restaurant: Saved $45

Grill’d: Saved ~$12

Coffee Club: Saved ~$3

Nandos: Saved ~$7

Setting the tone for this blog: slow eaters suck because good food should be DEVOURED

1 Apr

I know I have bad table manners. On some levels I blame it on my love of food. I can never wait to dig in and eat once it’s cooked or bought. I’m usually wolfing it down – it takes conscious restraint to eat daintily and slowly.

So this article really resonates with me. It’s a comforting endorsement of what I considered a social disgrace.

Slow eaters think they are morally superior. But they’ve lost their appetite for life

They will claim it makes them healthier. But that’s absurd

by Jay Rayner

Of all the things in this desperately pitiful world that drive me nuts – the letters page of the Daily Mail, small yappy dogs that always smell of stagnant pond, Newbury – the one that really gets on my increasingly substantial tits is this: people who eat slowly. God, but they infuriate me. Whenever I find myself with someone lacking what I regard as the necessary velocity around food, I become transfixed. How does it work, this slow eating thing? The tedious grind of knife against meat, the endless roll of molar across muscle fibre, the huge yawning gaps between mouthfuls. It’s wrong. It’s unnatural. It’s a mark of bad character.

What’s striking is how unconscious of the fact slow eaters generally are. Sitting in a restaurant, they never notice the rest of their party of six stabbing themselves in the back of the hand with forks, or fixing nooses to the light fittings as an exit strategy, while they poke laboriously at whatever they have ordered. They don’t notice that they are holding everyone up.

I’ve tried asking slow eaters about their bad habits but the answer is rarely satisfying. Sometimes they look baffled, which is probably a lack of nutrition interfering with cognitive ability. Sometimes they claim it’s healthier. Which it isn’t. As long as it’s not a 400-hotdogs-in-half-an-hour eating contest, it makes no difference whether you clear your plate in 10 minutes or 40. Indeed, eating slowly could actually be detrimental to their health. Because I might eventually lose patience, lunge across the table and ram the damn fork into the roof of their mouth.

The worst are those who smugly tell you they eat slowly because they like to savour their food. The verb to savour is sodden with judgment, swollen with its own self-importance. It’s language with its nose in the air: I savour; he bolts; you gorge. If you don’t savour, if you too don’t eat slowly, they are saying, it is because you are in the grip of the second deadly sin of gluttony. And it’s only a short hop and skip from there to sloth and lust.

In this regard, those who claim they like to savour their food are bang on. For here is the truth about us fast eaters. We like life more than slow eaters like life. Slow eaters aren’t just doing something they love more slowly than others. They simply don’t like food, not enough. No one with a real instinct to feed can ever eat slowly. Call those of us who rampage through a plate of food like bindweed through a suburban garden greedy if you wish, but if fast eating leads to lust and then sloth, well, that sounds like a bloody good night out to me. Greedy people are enthusiasts. They are there to suck the marrow from the roasted thigh bone of life. We recognise our appetites in all their forms and, unlike the buttoned-up, spank-me-now-and-call-me-Alice slow eaters, we are not ashamed of our true natures.

Sure, eating fast has its downsides. We end up with empty plates more quickly. That which we have so adored is gone so terribly quickly. Fast eating brings with it a profound sense of loss. But that’s OK. Because life is there to be lived, and the best moments cannot be drawn out artificially. In any case there will be another meal along soon enough. Ask yourself this: who would you rather eat with? The slow eater or the fast eater? I know who I’d choose every time.

 

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