Truffle oil + honey

A while back, we went to this great little wine bar / restaurant in Brisbane called Anise. The dinner was spectacular, accompanied by great French wine. But it was the cheeses that really blew me away. The beautiful brie came with truffle-infused honey. I asked the waiter where the honey came from, and was told that I could buy it in this gourmet food shop in Brisbane.

We didn’t get to visit the shop. I also completely forgot that I have some truffle oil at home, and of course, honey.

So I came up with this ‘ingenious’ idea of mixing a few drops of truffle oil with honey, and serving it with Tasmanian double brie. Clever huh 😉

It worked really well – honey and truffle oil were made for each other. Yeah I know it’s cheap synthetic truffle oil and probably contains billions of chemicals but it tasted great!

Hotpot galore

We had hotpot last night. The four of us finished nearly everything on the table, which is thankfully expandable. The. Best. Hotpot. I think I ate too much though. Woke up in the middle of the night feeling queasy. Thankfully that passed and I woke up feeling fine. Hotpot amateur. Haha.

Banana and apple bread

Adapted from taste.com.au. Substitute apple (preferably stewed beforehand) for the desiccated coconut and raspberries. I got lazy and used apple from a jar (specifically, SPC’s apple with rhubarb, cinnamon and vanilla infused syrup). Super quick and easy, and tasty!

Scallops with XO sauce vermicelli

The Press Club

It was a rainy Sunday. We headed down to George Calombaris’ restaurant at the edge of the Melbourne CBD. We were early because we had a plane to catch. Pushing open the heavy wooden door, I thought that the restaurant was already full judging by the commotion going on inside. But it was just the staff. Everyone was working with each other to get things ready for the lunch service. It was great teamwork made more fun to watch by the semi-open kitchen. All the things you see on TV are true – there were waitresses checking the alignment of the glasses and getting that last speck of invisible dust off a table. But of course, we only saw minor last-minute checks, all the preps were already done by the time we sat down.

Sunday is Kerasma lunch at The Press Club, meaning that you have a three-course chef’s selection consisting of  various plates of food to share. We were told of the proteins that comprise the lunch, but nothing else until things started to appear on the table. First things first, some fantastic bread with olive oil and volcanic rock salt, which they kept topping up without being asked. Fabulous.

The entree was a combination of an amuse bouche (duck consomme – didn’t take a picture, but you can sort of see it in the first picture to the left), a duck salad with beetroot, a little salad of salmon and kingfish(?) infused with ouzo and some pork meatballs with sliced green apple and pomegranate. The duck salad was really light and went well with the consomme (I love duck, but never had duck consomme before but it was surprisingly tasty). The ouzo-infused fish was a bit bland, but they were good as a starter. The meatball was tasty and the apple provided a refreshing contrast.

Duck salad (right) and sashimi-type salad (left)

Pork meatballs with green apple

For the main, we were first served some grilled swordfish with smashed potato and mushrooms. Simple yet delicious. This was the highlight of my meal. Then they brought us several plates loaded with food. There was chicken with pistachio and some sort of crispy concoction – this was quite nice, tasted like a BBQ chicken (excuse my unsophisticated pallate!). Risoni with lamb (beautifully cooked and delicious) and quinoa (a type of grain) served with Greek yogurt (surprisingly tasty). There were so much food that we had trouble finishing it all.

Swordfish with smashed potatoes and mushrooms.

Doesn't look great together, but they were delicious. Risoni and chicken (top left); swordfish (top right); quinoa (bottom)

I wasn’t too keen on dessert after all this food. The dessert was a panna cotta with raspberry jam and popcorn on the top. There were also some very sour but amazing orange jellies in a raspberry sugar dust.

The meal was very reasonably priced for what you get ($65 per person) and I didn’t even have dinner because I was seriously stuffed.

Panna cotta and orange jelly

Movida

I love the idea of tapa, sharing little morsels of delicious and delicately crafted food around the table is my idea of a great meal. Movida was featured on Masterchef and we were eager to try it out.

It took me a while to figure out which one is the right Movida. There are four of them to be exact, but the original tapa bar is at 1 Hosier Lane. The place was buzzing with people – well it was full to be exact. I’ll get to the point – the food was mind-blowing but the service was slow and luke-warm. But back to the food:

This is their special of the day – oyster with a potato foam and a sour dipping sauce (can’t remember exactly what it was). The oysters were plump and juicy and the accompaniments fabulous.

The famous Bomba featured on Masterchef. One word, yum.

The costilla con sorbrasada – roasted lamb cutlet encased in a pork and paprika pate. I couldn’t really taste the pork and the lamb was a little under seasoned and over-cooked. A little disappointed. But the paprika taste was there and I love paprika 😉

The viera – baked scallop with jamon and potato foam. Movida must have a chef that specialises in seafood. This one was also outstanding.

The anchoa – anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet. The anchovy didn’t taste too fishy. I could eat a dozen of this!

This was another one of their specials of the day – some sort of meat (lamb perhaps?) encased in squid with squid ink sauce. It looked a little weird sitting on the plate, but tasted good. Had to be careful with the squid ink though, it stains.

On to the desserts – this is tarta – sheep milk cheese cake with lemon sorbet. Yummiest cheesecake ever and a healthier kind too 🙂

Golden, crispy churros with drinking chocolate. The chocolate was not too sweet, just the way I like it. It was divine and I could easily have had another serving.

Heart-attack cookies

If there ever was a competition for the number of ingredients you can cram into a single cookie, then this cookie would win hands down. There’s no boundary when it comes to this little cookie. It stares down gluttony and puts greed back into its place. Forget modesty, this is a glitzy cabaret at the Moulin Rouge. It is the Rolls-Royce of the flat, baked treats. Forget the Impreza R, this is the 2011 WRX STI that’s yet to be released.

They say that too many cooks spoil the broth, but things go beautifully together here. But if you are a cookie purist, look away now.

So what’s in it? Dark chocolate, white chocolate, pecans, walnuts and raisins. Phew. Guaranteed to give you a heart attack, the good kind.