February 25, 2013

Ima Cuisine, Auckland

I'm searching the back streets of Auckland for a good place to have dinner when I stumble upon Ima. I'm instantly drawn in by all the orange (although it does make it an absolute pain to take photos). After the flight, Mediterranean food sounds really good...
We step inside and I notice all the mismatched chairs, bookshelves filled with cookbooks and this...
... yes, Gordon. Ramsay.
After ordering from the hand-written menu, I totter over to the open kitchen to see what Chef is doing. It's smiles abound back there! Also, there are strings of dried chilis hanging from the shelf which is totally neat.
Bread with olive oil, sesame seeds, cumin, salt and pepper Complimentary
Just like in Italian restaurants, we're served a plate of bread with olive oil plus something to dip it in. I love it except I need to pace myself because bread is pretty filling...
Chicken liver pate traditional Jewish style $14
Served on grilled brioche
This is different from the pate that I'm used to, in the way that it's not as smooth nor creamy. It's a lot nicer to have more when you're not overwhelmed with creaminess... Thin juliennes of pickled lemons adorn the tops and cut through the meatiness of the pate.
Brik $19
North African delicacy: fresh tuna and preserved lemon in Warqa pastry parcel fried crisp with soft egg inside
Warqa is essentially brik pastry so when you cut into this little parcel, you can hear the fragile cracks. Then take in the egg yolk oozing out (I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for oozy yolks!) from inside the soft tuna. Every mouthful is accompanied by some strips of carrot which, along with the lemon, add some freshness.
Boneless stuffed baked baby snapper $29
At first I actually thought the snapper was boneless... then I realized that they took the bones out... Oops. It's just a plain baked snapper with a some spring onions. The snapper is used as a canvas for the sides. (Below).
Slow braised Lebanese lamb shoulder $15 per portion
I think I almost teared up when I ate this; tender, succulent pieces of lamb with a seriously meaty jus and some onions. Do you love meat? If you answered yes, try this. (With sides; below).
Sides (set of 5) $12 per person
Slightly spicy tomato shallot salad; minty, zesty, crunchy salad; Tunisian grilled carrot salad with feta
These sides are to accompany the snapper and lamb. My favorite from this plate was the grilled carrot (mostly because it has grilled feta and I love cheese). The chargrilled flavor is offset by small knobs of salty cheese. The tomato salad is actually a little spicy... Minty? Check. Crunchy? Check. Zesty? Where....?
Sides (set of 5) $12 per person
Seasonal vegetable dish (tomato, zucchini, eggplant); Arab rice with lentils, pine nuts, pistachios, almonds and caramelized onions
My favorite of these two has got to be the vegetable dish which reminds me of ratatouille (this dish, not the rat). Stewed veggies add a kick of freshness to the proteins. The Arab rice is interesting... Somehow I'm getting some faintly sweet flavors from it. There's a healthy amount of nuts interspersed in the rice, actually imparting flavor rather than being an aesthetic addition.
Arab coffee cooked in a special pot $6 per pot for 2
This little contraption is sweet! It's basically unfiltered coffee in a stove-top coffee pot. The coffee settles into the bottom of the pot, effectively letting you decant the coffee. A small amount of sugar is added just so it's not too bitter. It'll definitely get your heart racing!

Ima Cuisine
57 Fort St,
1010 New Zealand
Ima Cuisine

February 13, 2013

Little Nepal, Burwood

I watched this amazing film Samsara about a week ago and was really struck by a particular scene that reminded me of Nepal (even though it was filmed in India). Being me, I translated this impression into food and had a hankering for Nepalese food for the past couple of days.

Burwood seems to me like a bit of an odd suburb to have a Nepalese restaurant, but bam! That's where Little Nepal is. We arrive early so the tiny restaurant is empty save for 2 tables. Once inside, I quite like it for its lime green back wall, huge Nepalese flag, red patterned table cloths and mirrors lining the left wall.

January 10, 2013

Food During The Holidays

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything sooner to the New Year but I've needed to get everything in order before starting 2013 and this year I'll try to juggle everything a lot better okay guys? Thank you for bearing with me!

To start off, just a quick picture post of some things I ate and made during my recent holiday to the coast.

December 22, 2012

Simple Yule Log

This is part two of my yule log post. Here's how to make the plain log cakes on either side of the mocha one. I made this using a mash up of two taste of home recipes: 1, 2. Post for mocha log is here.

Mocha Yule Log

It's almost Christmas! This means it's almost time for friends and/or family, food and lots of presents! So maybe take a break from putting up the tree (if you haven't already) or hanging up tinsel, baubles, or pretty lights, and make something for the Christmas party! I made a few yule logs (or bouche de noel's); the mocha one is that huge one in the middle (recipe from taste of home). My blog post on the other logs is here.

Tempering Chocolate

Just a quick one on tempering chocolate. I'm pretty sure y'all would rather not hear about the chemistry behind it but basically, when you temper chocolate it gives it extra crack when broken and generally a little extra shine.

December 8, 2012

Hurricane's Grill, Top Ryde

Yep. That's me in a bib. No giant knife like chocsuze, but with a bib nonetheless. Eating ribs can be a very messy business, but it's a tasty business. Make reservations first unless you want to wait for a table...
Boerewores $18
Traditional South African beef sausage, mildly spiced and serves with mashed potato and Spanish sauce
 It really is a long winding sausage... Creamy mash. The sausage by itself is a little chunky in a good way and not too fatty. When I add the Spanish sauce, my food brain goes "DING DING DING TACOS". The sauce sort of reminds me of salsa.
Full rack of pork ribs $42.90 with Monkey gland Sauce $2.50
Monkey gland: typically South African, sweet and savory BBQ sauce
Basted ribs that are grilled under tender...You can see the char on the edge-most ribs and personally, I like a little char so I decide to take that one. The pork is falling off the ribs and delicious when dipped in Monkey Gland. It really is something to try at least once in your life if you can eat meat. Don't try to tackle a full rack unless you're SURE you can finish it. Obviously, I love sticky sweet tender ribs...And you can get them with chips or a boiled potato!

Hurricane's Grill, Top Ryde
Shop R3006, Ground Floor
Top Ryde City
Cnr Blaxland Rd, Devlin St
Ryde NSW 2112
Hurricane's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon