Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Your Toes Smell Like Natto

Today I initiated myself into a fully Japanese breakfast: Natto (fermented soy beans) on rice, miso soup, a piece of nashi pear and a pot of genmaicha (brown rice green tea). I wish I would eat like this everyday. It feels so much better than grabbing cereal and soy or oily bacon and eggs.

My reaction to natto was mainly positive. But as I ate and read online(at the same time) how people are repulsed by natto, how it taste like cream cheese under your toes, how it smells like a dumpster on a hot humid day, I started to feel slightly queasy. Heck there was even this couple that launched the natto project ( where they had to eat natto for 365 days until they liked it. Apparently people in New York City force themselves to eat natto to look hip. I don't see anyone in NY eating vegemite to look hip.

So as I started feeling quite sick from the taste of natto and the attention its been having, I mused upon a funny fact. I quite enjoy natto, I loooooooove vegemite, I adore blue cheese, I'm a big fan of kimchi but I hate durian. The last time my parents gave me durian, I licked it and barfed. Don't mind durian cream puffs and tarts though. But sorry Mr King of Fruits, you really smell like toes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Trip to Fifteen Melbourne

I think everyone who has been to Fifteen Melbourne (the 'Jamie Oliver' Restaurant) has something to say about how overrated the food is, and how Jamie Oliver actually doesn't cook your food for you (well duh..neither does Neil Perry, Tetsuya or Bill Granger and they actually live in Australia). So I had reasonable expectations when I got there. I liked the way it was set up, with the kitchen as the stage, and all the diners semi facing the 'spectacle' of cheese grating and sautéing, and trying to see if they recognised anyone from the show. Hmm...I wonder if CJ still works here.

The food was really good. The lunch deal was quite a steal, $28 for two courses and wine. We had fried scallops minestrone, and rotola with shitake, spinach, ricotta and burnt sage. It was earthy, it was herby and the flavours were pretty robust. My kind of meal. And the dessert, a sticky date pudding-ish creation with peanut praline ice cream was decently satisfying. And that was one of the best Semillon SB I had in a while.

So yeah all in all it was a pretty satisfying meal. I wouldn't say it was particularly creative or experimental or even gourmet. There was no celeriac foam (trademark of a 'cutting edge' establishment) or lemon chiboust to cleanse my palate. But it is a down-to-earth and wholesome place where you pay $10 more for a dish just because the owner wrote a few cookbooks and has his own TV show.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Particularly Decadent Dinner

Warm grilled lamb cutlets soaked in olive oil and rosemary, and dipped into mint sauce. Accompanied with roasted potatoes rubbed with seasalt, herbs and cayenne pepper. Finish off with a slice of homemade chocolate swirl cheesecake. Yummmm.......

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

47 Minutes

6:30pm - meet Eu for exotic African dinner at Abyssinian

9:32pm - meet Jo to show him where the good steamboat place is

10:34pm - talk to Bob on skype

11:56pm - end conversation. Look for thumbdrive. Can't find thumbdrive. Turn bag upside down to look. Freak out. Thumbdrive contains my thesis (which is 80% saved on hard drive), presentation for tomorrow, essay due on Friday, essay due next Friday

12:00am - call Bob. Bob suggest going down to uni to look for it now.

12:11am - call taxi.

12:18am - taxi arrive

Arrive at Uni.

Sprint down to computer lab.

Thumb drive seated almost surreally on a stack of paper.

Check if everything is intact.

Thank God many many times.

Back in cab.

12:47am - arrive home

Proceed to triple save everything on thumbdrive, hard drive and email.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Whoever Said Melbourne Only Has Dodgy Bars

The Long Room defies expectations of a Melbourne bar. It is not down a dodgy alley. It has an enforced dress code of collared shirt and dresses. It is definitely not a casual bar. One wouldn't use the word cosy and quaint to describe it. And there is a seal with horns on its head at the entrance, which Joel politely told me was called a moose.