For your viewing pleasure

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Hello folks. I thought I'd drop a line (or several as it turns out). I came across this video via Smith Journal (a cracking good read for the new age sensitive guys and gals). It's a mini-doco about how a dish comes together at the Royal Mail Hotel - winner of countless Awards for dining in Regional Australia. 

P.S. if my technological prowess has reached new highs (meaning, lows) click here for the video URL

Set in the Southern Grampians, the restaurant is in an idydllic location offering fine views of the ranges in Victoria with a kitchen garden/farm to boot. I mean, what's not to like people?

Like a scene straight out of Palm Springs. The Royal Mail Hotel has made a name for itself in recent years. Photo credit Australian GT

The Journey of a Dish was made by film maker Sarah-Jane Woulahan (giving credit where credit is due), interviewing head chef Dan Hunter about his food philosophy. The concept of 'food miles' is crucial to this film; sourcing produce from the immediate surrounds to complement what is grown on site. Many producers including those of oil, cheese and pork feature in the story.

The man of the hour. The Age's 2012 Chef of the Year, Dan Hunter. Now, where can I get me a pair of those food tweezers? Photo credit Australian GT

The film presents a deconstruction of the following  menu:

Tomato on toast, handmade sheep's milk ricotta
Eel and bone marrow, eggplant with pickled vegetables (the so-called signature dish)
Rare breed pancetta
It sounds simple but looks can be deceiving, hey...

Just delightful: to look at and to eat (i'm thinking 99.9% probability here). Presenting, eel and bone marrow with pickled vegetables. What can I say, other than "On y va!" Photo credit Australian GT
Personally, I can't think of a finer excuse to set off for the weekend for some countryside galavanting and feasting. As if I needed another reason to fly back to Melbs ;) Thanks for reading

Going Retro

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Hi all, I know it would seem that I have fallen off the food radar but that is certainly not the case! I have been having gastronomic adventures in another hemisphere! I've just come back from a 6 week stint in London/Paris and boy do I have lots to write about. Now it's time for some retro-blogging (hence the title)...are you ready?

What I was greeted by when I got off the plane: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland's rendition of hot choccie (a 5-year-old's dream). "Do you want cream and sprinkles with that?" *Blank stare* (OF COURSE I DO) I'm a big girl, I can handle it. I love how the flake doubles as a swizzle stick. Pretty sure I've never had a bigger sugar rush in my life.
Buenos dias! Huevos rancheros vegetarian breakfast bonanza @ Giraffe (270 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1PD). Feeling a little adventurous, I went for a kick of a mexican spice for brunch. The ultimate test was those poached eggs... pass!
Falafel me up baby! The famous falafel produced by Arabica Food & Spice Co @ Borough Market (8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL) - i'll be raving about this one later. This Damascean falafel was dee-lish. Next time, I'll be brave and get the one with pickles. The falafel, salad and sauce are like peas in a pod. It's the real deal, and is perfect as second lunch ;)
The tip-off. Thanks go to Time Out London aka the bible, who gave it a glowing review. I do need to mention it was a bit of a trek to get to what felt like Vietnamese aunty's house (if she owned an English pub). Hint: figure out where it is before you get to Surrey Quays - it gets VERY QUIET at night. Rice paper rolls @ Cafe East (100 Redriff Road, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, London SE16 7LH). Had to try these babies out. The sauce was v nice, although the rolls were lacking a bit in the herbs department (herbs to lettuce ratio was out of whack). 

The main event from Cafe East, beef pho. Mmm, I can just picture the huge cauldron of stock that would have been simmering away overnight. This pho was pretty good, considering we were in the (SE) heart of London. The bean sprouts, coriander and lemon juice MAKE IT i.e. are essential. The problem is, every pho outside of Vietnam just isn't as good (Hanoi's the ticket)! Also, tried the 3 bean drink in a heady sugar syrup and a heap of ice = massive sugar rush #2.
These snaps serve as a little taster, an hors d'oeuvre. There's plenty more where that came from! Thanks for reading


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