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"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had." 

Stephen Mennell

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Sunday
Feb132011

Tetsuya's restaurant; a special occasion

On 10th November 2010 one of my favourite people in the whole wide world turned 21. Sadly, as I live on the other side of the world I missed the big day and the big party thrown in her honour a few days later. So I wanted to do something special to make it up. That special something was Tetsuya’s.

Tetsuya's cuisine is unique, based on the Japanese philosophy of natural seasonal flavours, enhanced by classic French technique and the freshest possible ingredients.” It has long been considered among Australia’s top restaurants. It has won numerous awards, including restaurant of the year almost every year since 1992 from various sources,  best Australasian restaurant on six occasions, and a place on the world’s 50 best restaurant list since 2002, coming fourth in 2005 and fifth in 2006 and 2007. Until this year Tetsuya’s had retained three chef’s hats, the highest rating in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide (akin to three Michelin stars). I was disappointed to learn that it had lost a hat in the year I finally decided to go, but my friend Dash put a positive spin on it: “It will be even better; they’ve given him a kick up the bum."

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Monday
Feb072011

Larbilicious

One of the nice things about writing this blog is that I find out a lot of interesting things in the process. I have been making larb for years – it is a staple canapé for our annual Christmas Eve party and Dad entrusted me with it early on because it is extremely easy. I have always thought it was ubiquitous in Thai cuisine, just as it is in Sydney’s Thai restaurants, but I have just discovered that it is actually a regional dish from Isan, in north east Thailand, and probably originated further afield. In his book, Thai Food, David Thompson shares some theories on the salad’s historic origins:

A larp is an ancient salad. Some argue that it has the same origins as steak tartare, raw meat eaten with onions. The merchants of this part of Asia, the Haw, may have helped to spread the dish from the south-west of China and now, throughout northern Thailand, there are adaptations of this style of salad. 

Wikipedia suggests that larb may have come to Thailand from Laos:

Laotian cuisine has strongly influenced the neighboring cuisine of Northeastern Thailand (Isan) ... The most famous Laotian dish is Larb ... a spicy mixture of marinated meat and/or fish that is sometimes raw (prepared like ceviche) with a variable combination of herbs, greens, and spices. 

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Friday
Feb042011

Guest post: Chef Has (my Dad) shares his recipe for raita

As some of you may know, I owe most of my cookery skills, understanding of and passion for food to my Dad. I have asked him to share some of his infinite culinary knowledge with you by doing some guest posts every now and then.

This first post comes about largely by chance. Having seen my post on Kolhapuri lamb, which included a haphazard attempt at a recipe for raita, he sent me an email yesterday with the recipe he uses; I now know why his raita always tastes so much better than mine! I asked him to turn it into a post and also to explain one of the canapés from Christmas Eve, pictured above. The beauty of this canapé is that it look really impressive and tastes great, but is really easy. I hope this will be the first of many posts from Dad, or as he will henceforth be known, Hash Brown.

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Wednesday
Jan262011

Mrs Kumar Raste's Kolhapuri lamb, care of Dick and the Madhur

 

Sorry for my silence! I have been über, über busy in the week and a half since I have been back in the UK ...and even if I hadn’t been the fun factor in my mealtimes has diminished significantly as I attempt to do the same to my waistline; a healthy, but abysmal diet of exercise and be good to yourself pastas from Sainsbury’s, yawn!
 
In my post on NZ I told you about the extensive Indian feast cooked up by our hosts in Christchurch. Under the instruction of Madhur Jaffery (or the Mad Her as a Scottish friend of ours refers to her), Dick, Jocelyn and Cilla cooked up some wondrous dishes, including this lamb curry.
  
Within Maharashtra, as in much of India, districts, even towns, have their own distinct cuisines. Kolhapur is associated with the foods of the Mahrattas, who were once the bravest of Indian warriors, fighting both Moghul emperors and imperial British forces with great success.

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Tuesday
Jan182011

Sufficiently satiated in Sydney

Following the side trip to NZ, I had 3 days left in Sydney to fit in a few last meals just to make absolutely sure that I would return to London with significant extra baggage, and I am not talking about the contents of my suitcase.

Like with my last Sydney post I am going to share a few images from each meal, with more details about the best later.

Rosso Pomodoro

Diavola pizza

Rosso Pomodoro – Italian cuisine (trattoria); Shop 90-91, 24 Buchanan St, Balmain, NSW, 2041; Ph +61 2 9555 5924

 

Marigold 


Garlic prawn gowgee; Prawn & scallop gowgee

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