Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quay June 2013

I was invited to lunch at Quay last week. 

Was I free to join my friend? 
If I'd had open heart surgery scheduled I would have moved it. 
Of course I was bloody free. 

It had been a year since my last meal at Quay - during a quick excursion back to Oz from Japan to visit family - so I was more than ready to experience Peter Gilmore's wonderful food again.

Here's a quick peek of a meal that was so delightful in every way.  I love that while the food remains consistently excellent there are subtle changes in the art of it all which means a meal at Quay always holds little surprises. 
Rosehip and radish to start proceedings
Red claw yabbies, Garlic scented custard, Yabby velvet 
Raw smoked Blackmore wagyu, Fresh Dory Roe, Horseradish juice soured cream, Milk skin
Roasted goose, Forbidden rice, Black miso, Hatsuka radish
Hapuka, Aniseed scented herbs, Creme fraiche, Japanese white turnips, Shaved Tasmanian squid, Stems, Leaves, Petals
Pasture raised veal, Bitter chocolate black pudding, Green walnuts, Slow cooked wallaby tail, Salsify, Smoked bone marrow, Chestnut mushrooms
Andalucia. Citrus and Almonds 
Truffles in a pumpkin with coffee. I can still taste the caramel and hazelnut. 

Bodega Fast Food Favourites - June 2012

Last week the crew at Bodega held a one off event showcasing their takes on some favourite fast foods. Everything was made from scratch of course but the boys had gone to a lot of trouble with flavour and visuals to make sure we knew exactly which Fast Food Joint the inspiration came from. Items were individually wrapped or packaged and the entire team donned 50's inspired paper diner caps which added to such a small but impactful touch to the evening. 
The food and drinks were completely addictive. As you would expect.

It was so much fun but man I must be getting old as I was full by the 3rd item and completely hammered by the 7th!! When I walked out I showed the boys my overly rounded tummy and pointed to my food baby. They both nodded, knowingly and Ben leaned back slightly and gave me the Fonzie thumbs up, still nodding and smiling.. Not a word was spoken.  Their job was done. 

Bodega and Porteno are hosting a number of one off events  - so check out their website for more details.  Just a warning that they sell out faster than you can say "would you like fries with that" so get on it!

*please excuse the poor quality of the pics - taken with my iphone in very low light!
Naturally we started the night off with a Vanilla Pepsi float with Cherry Pie ice cream and popcorn infused rum.... as you do. Bloody great.
Our first nibble of the night was the Spam and Pineapple doughnut - a stupendously textured doughnut with tasty, salty, meaty chunks and the most subtle of pineapple glazes. Surprisingly good - plus it made me laugh. Food that makes me laugh and still tastes great is a winner on so many levels.
Second course was this fabulous cheeseburger with a hash brown inside and plenty of sweet mustard. What a cracker of a mini burger. 
Third - a baby "Fish o Fillet" burger with steamed bun and to-die-for onion rings. 
Fourth -  Chiko roll with morcilla and sweetbreads (totally lush) and a stupendous BBQ sauce. 
Fifth - Grilled "Dog" with onions, relish and very fine fries
Sixth - Chicago style deep dish pizza. The crust was stuffed with cheese. And we always need a bit more cheese on a pizza ... oh my god this was a very freakin' tasty -  but at this point in proceedings I was really struggling... 
Seventh. Apple pie and ice cream.  My dessert stomach allowed me to  have a few bites of this excellent apple pie. God it was good... I just. couldn't. finish.  Waddled home.

A Glimpse of Sydney Winter

It's no secret that I'm devoted to the winter months. 

I thought I'd share some of the snaps I've taken on my phone during my meanderings over the last couple of weeks in Sydney town - because she's come up a treat in the winter light.

Ah Winter...

I'm quite greedy actually..... I need more than one winter in my year (if only to avoid summer which sucks the life out of me) and I'll be back in Japan again this coming winter (Jan/Feb) - my favourite time to be in Kyoto. So beautifully quiet and still.  And so much amazing food. 

You can come too if you like!? .... check out my Winter Tours page HERE and join the mailing list!

But I digress... (nothing like a little cross referencing... well ok, blatant self-promotion if I'm honest - but the post didn't start out that way - I swear!! It must be the editorial side of me leaking out ) 

NOW- here are some glorious Sydney bits  - winter style....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Homemade Ume-shu (Japanese Plum Wine)

Hello! This post has been moved to HERE at ZENBU TOURS.

Adelaide . January 2013

So it's June already.... and Adelaide was.. ?? in January. blah. Where do the months go?
It was a quick trip (thankfully as the temperature hovered in the early 40C's every day we were in town - let's not mention the bush fires) so I'll make this post appropriately short in its honour!

First stop on the Gerardo magical whirlwind reminiscence tour of Adelaide was a visit to his old University campus. A rather gorgeous place to be studying your arse off earning first class honours in Oenology. Alas that was long ago and sadly I'm not swanning around playing winemaker' missus, bathing in vino and having grape skin facials... maybe one day.

The following day we stopped for lunch at The Locavore in Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills.
 It was spot on - $15 for a very good burger, hand cut chips and a very nice glass of red - mid week special. No brainer.  Local ingredients, food cooked with care, nice space, friendly service. Must try for dinner next time.
After lunch we took a leisurely drive through the pretty Adelaide Hills area (only about 25 minutes from the centre of Adelaide) and made a random pitstop at the Howard vineyard for a tasting. 
Worth a look if you are in the area - there were a couple of standouts. But don't ask me for their names as those we bought are long gone! However I snapped a pic of the bottle below so am thinking we must have liked it... booze, extreme heat, long drive = mutated memory. 
In the heart of Chinatown, and situated near the rear exit of the Adelaide markets is T-Chow. The  old-school Chinese joint serving very decent food was packed with plenty of discerning looking diners - a really interesting mix of local Chinese folk and semi-hipsters (and us) ! 
Delectably lardy spring onion pancakes 
dumplings with ginger in vinegar
Sweetly spiced E-Shan chicken /greens/Cumin lamb
Salt and Pepper Moreton Bay bugs
G's fond memories of past T-Chow meals were behind his choice of B'day luncheon venue and we were all pretty happy with his menu selection.... even the fried ice cream (yes, it was HIS b'day not mine!).

Afterwards we found it too hot to walk the streets so we took his mum back to watch a movie in our hotel room to stop us all from expiring. 

The next day we scratched the hire car and paid $1000 for the joy of it! 

A short, hot, expensive jaunt.
At least we had some decent food! (and got to spend some quality time with G's mum and brother of course...)

The End.