Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tetsuyas ... again?!!

There is no way to disguise a dinner at this Sydney institution.
I would like to make a declaration - I am not a Tetsuya virgin. I had the great luck to have dined at the original restaurant in Rozelle (twice) and a few times after it moved to its current Kent Street location before this evening; so you will forgive me if I say that I was missing the surprise factor which is part of the whole Tetsuya's experience.
Anticipation is nine tenths of the enjoyment of a good meal and Tetsuya's is still one of the most coveted seats on the Sydney Dining scene. Marry that with a couple of significant birthdays and blogging it for the first time and you expect fireworks. Which is not to say that I was disappointed.We were lucky enough to be offered one of the private dining rooms (usually available at an additional cost). Away from the bustle of the main dining room, and owing to the attentive staff, it is easy to believe the restaurant is open just for you.
But, I still remember the first time fondly - I didn't have to pay the bill; it was the first degustation menu I had eaten (eating what your parents give you doesn't count!); it was one of the first up-market restaurants I had dined at and it was the most expensive meal you could buy.
Tetsuya's (whipped) Truffle Butter on a sour dough roll
Ever since we first devoured it, my family have had an ongoing love affair with Tetsuya's truffle butter. Smeared onto a chunk of the sour dough or white dinner rolls on offer, it is heaven in your mouth. We've gone as far as purchasing Tetsuya's Truffle Salsa and making it at home following Tetsuya's very own recipe. How disappointing then to be offered the whipped version that we were this night. It lacked the original punch. If this is a cost saving measure, personally I would rather be limited to one pot (the waitstaff refill the pot and provide additional rolls as many times as you request them) than a multitude of this watered down version. Please, we beg you, go back to the original recipe!

 Rant over, we were off on the evening's rollercoaster.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Knife Shops in Japan - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Sakai

This one is for all the knife enthusiasts out there! If you're planning a visit to Japan, then this will give you a sneak peek at some of the major high-end knife shops.
Click on the links of each maker to access more photos of the knife shop.

My fascination with Japanese cooking knives had been sparked a few years ago and ever since, Knife Forums (KF) has been an invaluable source of information. I had lusted after many of the blades discussed and photographed in countless posts. Most importantly, it exposed me to many brands which you would never find in major (and specialist) kitchen shops. It is also a great source of information on the different types of blades and the qualities of various metals.

I would begin my trip in Tokyo, moving to Kyoto and finish
up in Osaka/Sakai (I would have also liked to travel to Seki and seek out other less accessible manufacturers across the land, but both time and money were a factor). I had printed maps, addresses and direction for all the knife shops and was ready to fit my holiday around my knife shopping trip.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diary of a Chocoholic

Note to self - after eating chocolate, remember to check lips in mirror. A chocolate-smeared mouth might look good on a toddler but on a fully-grown adult, it's a little less adorable!

I have to confess, this blog was originally about only one chocolate but then I found some more chocolate that was worth talking about so this has been building since Christmas last year.

These first two chocolates, Premium M&Ms were originally bought as last minute Christmas presents.

I found these in our local shopping centre in a small cart (Lolly Castle) which sells a selection of international goodies that aren't found on the shelves of our local supermarkets; Pop Tarts, Babe Ruth bars, Junior Mints, all types of unusual Pringle-like, non-Pringle reconstituted potato snacks, and they're my lone supplier of Dr Pepper, the only carbonated softdrink to which I'm addicted. (So much so that before they started importing them, I tried to make my own version after my first trip to America where I drank it almost every day but that's another story!).

The plastic bag was inside a light cardboard sleeve but I was obviously so keen to get into the chocolate that I didn't bother about the packaging! : )
The candies themselves had a similar textured sheen that was reminiscent of tie dyeing.

Monday, August 8, 2011