Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can a foodie edit her inner chef? In my case probably not

I’m having a few friends over for dinner on Saturday night and I’m finding it hard to edit myself when planning the menu. And may I add I’m only doing the main course, the ladies are bringing dessert.

I definitely want to make a beef fillet because I want to make the reduction a la Katlego, blueberry balsamic reduction that is Amathing! So there is no question that fillet is on the menu!
Today I found a sausage guy in Kensington, which is up the road from my house, and I’ve ordered a Cumberland sausage that will go oh so well with lentils. Courtesy of Jamie Oliver recipe
And now I have a fierce craving for lentils which I must satify before the weekend is done, so why not on Saturday? when i can share my sausage find with friends.

Now one of my guests doesn’t eat legumes, so I’ll throw in some crushed potatoes. Then finally none of my meals are complete without a green vegetable and it’s likely to be steamed broccoli with a light garlic infused olive oil coating.
So now the question is will they go together, more to the point will the fillet and blueberry reduction go with the lentils? Unless I get a mountain of protest before then I shall let you know after dinner.

I do believe that if I have a common thread to tie them together it could work, I'm thinking a herb. Rosemary perhaps

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cape Town eating: Haiku- the dark asian night

So this is a tale from my time in Cape Town, yes almost a month ago I know, but I do keep detailed notes on my Blackberry much like Drizzy does with his bb. Mum you don't know Drizzy so don't worry about it. Now back to the hot and bright Cape Town day when all i needed was a pimms jug and some sushi.
So into Haiku we go and I tell you I felt like I was transported into an alternate world or into a dream state. Walking into Haiku is like walking into the Asian night. The totally opposite of the bright day oustide, but the perfect ambience to steal my attention away from the sushi and to the dim sum. Oh the trickery

The kitchen is open for all to see and lined with hanging peking ducks. On that afternoon we are served by one waiter and there are three other tables. Given that I walked into a cool dark restaurant my mind drifted to the dim sum and it's wonderful variety and I had every intention of having sushi after.
To start we order the chinese mushroom har gau, prawn and chve har gau, scallop har gau, and the spicy lamb xiao long bao

The dim sum is served with pickled bean sprouts, pickled cucumber and a chilli sauce. Now I could've eaten the pickle all on their own, they were wonderfully salty with only a slight vinegar/ possibly rice wine undertone.

The chinese mushroom dim sum is lightly earthy in the wonderful steamed transulcent rice paper parcel.

The scallop with water chestnut has a very subtle flavour and is not as sweet as the seared scallop I usually eat, but trust you me I was still all nom nom nom. The prawns with chineses chives were as expected wonderful there is just something great about the prawn in a translucent rice paper parcel. Prawn still remain my favourite dim sum filler.
Finally the spicy lamb which is in essence a lamb meatball with chillies, spring onion and coriander, that just warms your throat lightly. it was wonderful although they say the lamb comes with a gravy, mine didn't seem to have any, unless that greedy meatball soaked it all up.

Overall i quite enjoyed the experience although i must admit i have an affinity for dim sum and you may find me at yum cha on any given sunday in the Jozi area. Although i did find that our waiter seemed a bit overwhelmed by the three tables. Perhaps they should use the money saved on electricity and get a second waiter for lunch service, just a thought.

Another thing to note is that prices aren't explicit they use symbols and have a key so that you can do your own mental math or just be surprised when the bill arrives. I like surprises!

I will back to the alternate universe that is Haiku when next I'm in Cape Town to try the sushi that I went there for in the first place. Just beware the tricky that is darkness and dim sum lol.