Food corner

"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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Entries in restaurant (36)


A humongous helping of Sydney scrumptiousness

This post has taken a while to come to fruition. I got back to the UK in mid-January but it's been straight back in the deep-end with my Masters and work. Plus I have recently started a new blog about Food Anthropology, check it out.

Mostly, though, I have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of food photos I took in Sydney. I worked out that in the 26 days I was there, there were only 3 days when I didn't eat out. One was Christmas Day, the next was Boxing Day and the other was on my last day, when the hangover I'd managed to avoid all holiday, despite drinking everyday, hit me like a ton of Jagerbombs. I spent the whole day in bed with the blinds down, but my sister brought me gözleme in bed so I'm not sure if that day even counts.

I'd love to talk you through each and every dish I tried, but if I attempted that you'd be waiting till 2015. Instead, I have selected around 3 photos from (almost) every restaurant I visited to give you a little flavour of my culinary escapades in Sydneytown this time round.

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Orto, at last

In April 2011, over two and a half years ago, my sister’s boyfriend, Chris Low, and his business partners, Anne Cooper and Louise Hunt, opened Orto Trading Co. This week I finally got to eat there.

It was top of my list coming home to Australia for the first time in 3 years, and it did not fail to impress. OK, I am biased, but Chris really does know what he is doing in the kitchen. His food is interesting, imaginative and inventive. Chris spoiled us rotten, with oysters as an amuse, 6 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts, all washed down with 3 expertly chosen bottles of wine.

White anchovy and sobrasada fish fingerMarrowbone, parsley, lemon and garlicCape Grim beef tartare and frites

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Pollen Street Social

“I just love dining like this. It’s fabulous isn’t it?”

Yes, Mum, isn’t it? I do hope she remembers quite how much she enjoyed it. The venue was Pollen Street Social and she was referring to the tasting menu.

“I love that it just comes and you just don’t have to think about it. And everything is so well thought through.”

Yes, I quite agree. Hold on, aren’t I supposed to be writing the review?

For our birthdays my dearest Dad let us choose a restaurant in London to spoil ourselves in. I sent him a list of suggestions in various price ranges and was pleasantly surprised when he responded with this:

“I had a look at the Pollen Street Social site. It has some very good drinking to be had for under 50 quids a bottle. I didn't think it looked too pretentious and the tasting menu at 80q's sounded OK. I don't know how it compares with the others you mentioned … so go for whatever floats your boat.”

Permission to do the tasting menu and a £50 per bottle budget for wine. Sold! To the salivating girl on cloud nine.

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The Sportsman, Kent

This is exactly the kind of pub I would usually drive straight past. That is, if I hadn’t driven for two hours to get to it. Not to mention that I’d booked two months before and had been planning the outing since April.

Yes, I am a food snob and this does not look like an enticing place to eat:

I might feel differently if they turned it inside out:

Or displayed those little seals of approval more prominently:

Or put the menu board outside:

But they don’t need to do any of this. With a Michelin star and a two month wait for weekend bookings, they can go on doing exactly what they’re doing. They are doing it very well indeed.

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Hello out there. Yes, I’m still alive and well. Thanks for checking on me. Often.

I realise it has been the longest I have ever left between posts and I am noticing an interesting pattern in my traffic statistics – the longer between posts the more often you visit. Not a particularly good incentive to keep posting, but it really is about time.

May has been a busy month. My friend, Ray, arrived from Australia on 5th May for a month, my Mum arrived on the 10th for the summer, the same day my friend Geraldine (the one with strong opinions on bolognese) arrived from France with brother and boyfriend in tow and I had an exam. All lots of fun except the last part.

So if I’m still alive I must have been eating stuff. Yes, lots of it. To get things moving again I thought I’d share some photos of some of the things I have been eating in May.

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