Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gourmet cooking with love!

There is nothing quite like having a meal cooked by and enjoyed among friends.

A couple whom I know from Sydney came over for a few months on a working holiday visa and extended an invitation to their place for a meal. You definitely don't say no when one of them is a chef!

I was seriously expecting and would have been more than happy with just a simple meal but it turned out to be an extravagantly decadent 4 course meal. Already laden down from lots of eating and drinking during the holidays, I guess any January dieting resolution can be delayed by just one more day.

Arriving at their place after work, we started with some wine first, naturally! Chatting away while the chef cooks the first course, I could not help salivating when wafts of scallop and prawns being cooked drifted my way.

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Scallops & Prawns, Parsnip Puree with lemon dressing

I could not wait to dig in. It was presented so beautifully. Scallops and prawns were beautifully cooked – tender, juicy, springy where it needed to be. The Parsnip puree was smooth and slid down like silk with just the right balance of graininess to give it a bit of texture. The lemon dressing helped to liven up the whole dish so that it is refreshing and light. This is so good thumbs up to the chef!
A break came while waiting for the mains to be cooked. It was great to be able to see the cooking action happening in front of you. Feels like I’m sitting at the chef’s table!

How great were this couple? They actually cooked 2 mains!

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Lamb Cutlets resting on a Potato Galette & Spinach with Red Wine Jus

Another beautiful artwork. Lamb cutlets resting on the potato Galette & spinach with sprinkles of watercress like rose petals falling on a bed of leaves.

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The best bit of this dish for me was the potato Galette. Crispy on the outside followed by a slightly soft creamy texture that was all the more enhanced due to its thinness. My eyes widened when told that each slice were all lovingly sliced by hand!

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Baby Spatchcock wrapped in Prosciutto dribbled in Sweet Wine Sauce with Pomegranate Watercress Cous Cous

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The meat literally slid off the bone and was enjoyed most with the crispy prosciutto wrapped around it. The sweet wine sauce was the bomb!

I literally had to refuse second helpings as I needed that space for dessert!

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Where do you start with this? The chef outdid himself by giving us not one but a few desserts on a plate!

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Poached Pear in Sweet Wine coated with chocolate
Vanilla ice cream with butter crisp
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Summer Berries
Strawberry and Sweet Wine Jelly

I started with the vanilla panna cotta. It was smooth, it was firm, it was dense, easily one of the best I’ve had in London and it was home made.

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I continued with the poached pear which you could really taste the sweet wine absorbed into the pear against the chocolate. Mr. Chef took out the remaining red wine and lemon jelly for the table as it was really good and also made by him too. This is definitely not Jell-O brand!

Apparently, our vocal admiration for the panna cotta resulted in us being given more to bring home for future consumption. So not only was it a decadent meal, there were more goodies to bring home.

I enjoyed this dinner tremendously, even more so when compared to some 1 Michelins I’ve been to.

Having convinced the lovely couple to reconsider extending their visit for a few more months longer, am now trying to encourage Mr. Chef to go ahead and perhaps do some pop up dinners during his time here.

Any takers? Let’s give Mr. Chef some encouragement!

1 comment:

  1. Pop-up dinner? Definitely!

    Though I hope no-one expects me to produce that kind of meal by July....


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