Monday, 20 June 2011

happy birthday bec

For the lovely Bec's birthday we travelled out to Echuca for lunch to Oscar W's. Looking out onto the murray river and watching the old steam boats pass by, it was the perfect setting for us girls to catch up and have a laugh over some red wine.

I wanted to try something new today, because when your at a 'hatted' restaurant, it's unlikely that you will select something that is terrible... So i went for the duck. The flavours were well balanced, sweetness and a little bitter too. The spaetzle had an interesting texture, where is was soft a little bit in between gnocci and soft pasta, but felt like little balls of dough that had been squished together. The duck was moist and soft, the skin well seasoned (something i rarely have, too much saturated fat!) but unforunately it lacked the crispyness that all pheasant skins should have. I was expecting it just to crack in my mouth and allow the saltyness to amplify the flavour... (shame). Overall not a bad experience, but fell a little short of my expectations of a hatted restaurant.
Double cooked duck, spaetzle, bacon, muscat jus

Vivid light show

Long weekend trip back home with sayang, I wanted to show off what Sydney has to offer in terms of food! Compared to our rival Melbourne, I think that Sydney does pretty well for itself. We dined in Sydney's "best Thai restaurant".. (which happened to be in 2002)... We had a hearty duck red curry that filled your mouth and tummy with warmth and left you feeling like you were back at home, enjoying a good laugh with your family.
But what really showed off our delectable delights was Cruise bar - sitting right across from the Opera House we could see the vivid light show... beautiful, vivid colours and patterns moving across the sails of the Opera House. Really did set the ambiance for our amazing meal that followed... Unfortunately i didnt want to outdo my "food wanka" skills, so I only got to take a photo of our dessert. A berri dessert with vanilla bean ice cream, it had these beautiful little red flowers that were sweet and bitter in the same bite!

The next day we checked out the new Centre point tower Westfields and enjoyed some delightful afternoon tea - macaroons!!! It's rare to enjoy a biscuit that you could hear the crunch of the biscuit followed by the smoothness and stickyness of the almond meal centre inside!

Fresh, healthy and deeee-lishus!

Though the weather is frosty and that cold that the breeze bites your face, sometimes stodgy food just won't hit the spot for dinner... Tonight I felt like something light and tasty, fresh snapper with an array of beautiful, colourful veggies! Thank goodness sayang is around to direct my culinary skills...

Flavour the oil with our aromatics - ginger, garlic, spring onions, chillies, lemongrass and shallots simmer away in the wok until just golden brown. Add some lime juice and zest to give the dish that bitey taste! Just smell the flavour wafting up your nostils and hear your tummy start to rumble and your mouth water, your body knows it's in for a treat!

Some chopped kaffir lime leaves... some baby corn, brussel sproats and shitake mushies go in... Followed by our star, snapper! We pop that in over a bed of veggies, fish sauce and fish stock to steam and pack the fish full of Thai flavours.

The final product is a beautifully healthy meal that is low fat meal, with mono and polyunsaturated fats for healthy hearts! Good source of veggies - atleast 1-2 serves per portion!

A perfectly balanced meal of sweet, tangy, spicy with a little bit of bitterness to cut through the richness of the fish sauce and lemongrass. You exerience the crunchiness of the veggies, the fish keeps your palate moist and combined with some fluffly jasmine rice, this has got to be one of the most deee-lishus healthy meals around.
It can be eaten in any season - its the type of food that makes you feel good - because its healthy, its warm to make you sweat in summer or warm up in winter, the flavours will take you to a Thai beach, where you get fresh seafood served to you while you soak up the summer sun...
So that was my little escape meal - to take my mind off this terrible, frosty cold!