TASTED! Part One.
March 17, 2010 § Leave a Comment
By the time they found the woman she was lying on the couch, her stomach grotesquely expanded and mouth open as though paralysed from chewing . Her saving grace was that she had been wearing trackpants, avoiding the shame of indulgence-busted seams on her skinny jeans.
The woman had been Tasted.
It began on a cold, wet Sunday night when NB and I drove to Double Bay for a Thai dinner. I’m a sucker for routine when I go to Thai, I can’t seem to go past tofu chilli basil with brown rice (if I’m with my girlfriends) or chicken fried rice if I’m eating with NB. It would be tragic if it wasn’t so delicious. But on this night I ventured off the beaten track and was rewarded with a dish of four tender lamb cutlets nursing a slim, flavoursome side of fat and a garlic marinade that was so delicious I would happily forgo social interactions for days just to eat it again. The side of steamed vegetables was nothing to write home about but if I wanted vegetables I wouldn’t have ordered the lamb. NB’s hoisin beef was another win but on our quest to find Sydney’s best chicken fried rice we were disappointed. The dish was soggy and bland and I continued to eat in the vain hope that I would stumble on a hit of soy, chilli or peppery spring onions but alas, no (for the best chicken fried rice in Sydney you have to try Billy Kwong on Crown St…although open to other suggestions).
Wednesday was another rainy night, the conditions we apparently need to dine in Double Bay. After a last minute change of dinner plans NB and I ended up sitting in an ambient but nearly empty Indian restaurant a few doors down from our Thai local but miles away from taste.
There were two other couples in Taste of India and two floor staff but we still had to wait for service as the maitre de stumbled around looking for pen and paper. The beef vindaloo had as little punch as a schoolgirl in a boxing tournament and the mango chicken warranted a call to the RSPCA for drowning a dehydrated bird in mango infused butter. The meal was expensive and the complimentary rice not enough to earn brownie points…and while the waitress was sweet to wish me happy birthday it would have had more impact should we be in May, around my actual birthday! Afterwards we walked around the corner to Dish Pizza & Gelatowhere we should have gone for dinner, and savoured cold, creamy scoops of hazelnut, cookies and cream, and butterscotch fudge gelato. Bliss.
One would think that there was no more desire for eating out this week, being the homebody/home cook on which I pride myself, but I’m so glad we made it down to Bondi Trattoria on Friday night. The first time I went here was with my best friend for her post-gym morning Mocha. I’m not much of a coffee drinker after 8am but the barista made me the most divine chocolate swirled babycino, served by the waiter with only the smallest raised eyebrow when he realised the child did not exist. Since then I’ve been back for toast with ricotta and Hanks jam, chorizo pan baked eggs and for lunch a seafood antipasto and prawn linguine, and not once have I been anything but impressed with the food, service and view alike (also on cold days they have outside heaters and throw rugs on the backs of chairs). The final test would be dinner. It was chilly and damp outside (no surprise there) so NB and I perched up at the bar where we were able to watch the barman shake, mix and stir an array of colourful beverages. I ordered a mango & peach long island made with havana club, tequila, cointreau, vodka, peach and mango juice, sweet and girly but enjoyable. Skipping straight to mains and forgetting my steak craving I ordered penne rigate with lamb shoulder bolognaise, eggplant, cherry tomatoes & marjoram and it was so meltingly delicious that the thought of sharing nearly made me cry. It took all my willpower to pass a forkful of lamb and pasta across to NB, and whether it was through love or to show the brilliance of my order I’m still not decided! NB’s pizza with ground beef, chilli and buffalo milk mozzarella was definitely good, shamefully I also ate a full slice of that, it was just unfortunate that it came on the catwalk after Elle Macpherson had stolen the show. Full, satisfied and sleepy we made our way into the Bondi night, wondering whether to find ice cream or leave some belly room for tomorrow’s venture to Taste Sydney festival. Ah the dilemma of the foodie.
How can you not adore these heart shaped strawberries – “Seduberries”