Friday, December 12, 2008

Lindenderry, Victoria

Having downed possibly the most premium drops of vino South Aussie has to offer, my uncle Mario thought it best for me to experience a little bit of Victoria to broaden my horizons. We made a day trip out to Red Hill in the Mornington Penninsula area to Lindenderry Winery and Five Star Hotel with Cellar Door and fine dining restaurant. The views were marvellous, and the dining hall decked in refined linen and plush apolstry. Impressive to say the least at first glance.
The menu had only a few options. The salmon with a lemongrass infused broth was my choice, and the crsipy skin - oh my favourite bit!

On offer was the braised veal shank that dissapointedly did not come on the bone but sliced on a bed of white cannelli bean cassoulet.

Relsihing my meal and fine Pino Gris.
Ending on a sweet note. Creme brule with coffee creme gelati.
And the chocolate fondant with coconut and caramel gealti, oddly enough to compliment the rich, sweetness delicately.

The vineyards that stretch all along are a picturesque sight to behold. Breathtakingly beautiful!

If it swims...simple, serve it up!

Some of the best oysters I've ever eaten. Coffin Bay oysters best enjoyed naturale!
If your down at Adelaide's seaside town Glenelg, make your way to the Oyster Bar for your own plate at around AU$ 28.
Greedy Goose Burger parlour does "gourmet burgers" with a twist. I opted for the pork belly with gribiche sauce which wasn't too bad. The also have venison burgers and some other out of the ordinary choices. Divya, my college mate from Bangalore visited me from Melbourne Uni for a couple days. Cari outdid herself with her hospitality.

Pan fried polenta triangles served with fennel and breadcrumb stuffed squid and smothered in Cari's home-made tomato, red wine sauce and garnished with punchy rocket. Divine ~ an absolute textural treat with it's incredible mouth feel and bold flavours!

Thick slices of swordfish cooked to perfection, served up on a bed of the most delicious caponata and zesty, lemon infused ozzu, garnished with basilico and lemon wedges.

And Amy won Divya's heart with an apple pie number that lived up to her pastry chef reputation! Three cheers!

Seal of Aproval

Any gastronomic trip down under just cannot be complete without a visit to the Singhs. Jackie and Bob of course invited Sameer over to their home for a finger lickin' barbeque dinner. Bob manned the grill, while Sameer added glitzy charm!
It don't get more Aussie then this eh? Throw another shrimp on the barbie!
Rosemary speared pink shrimp with sea salt on the grill.
An array of meats .. sausages, beefy burgers a` la Sanchez and marinated chicken.
Gone fishing! What else can I say?
Kangaroo fillets at the back and baked juicy red peppers..
Cari's killer burgers topped with swiss cheese and stuffed with blue.. oh la la!
I meant it when I said everything tastes better with bacon. Here's proof: these bad boys topped off with bacon - heaven!

Some veggies to bolster all that meat!
And some fruit and a glass of red to wash all that down!
If Wild berries don't do it for you, no worries, try Expresso Creme, and if that don't tickle your fancy either the Macademia with Caramel will have you screaming with delight!
Thank you for a wonderful meal Jackie! And to all three, Jackie, Amy and Cari, cheers for all that you taught me in this year. I will cherish your friendship always.
And bottom line, the gastro girls seal the deal with their aproval. Sameer you passed the test!

Bringing out the big guns

Being seperated from my boyfriend by one huge ocean and about a 17 hour flight for almost 9 months made Sameer's visit a very special one. And that called for an impressive menu.
Roast Bacon Wrapped Quail with Muscat Sauce for entrees and main course was to be Veal Shin on Mushroom Ragout.

I spent the afternoon picky the choiciest veggies and the best cuts of meat to cook with. My trusty friend and superb cook Cari helped of course!

Red and green peppers with swiss brown mushrooms for the ragout.

Sealing the osso bucco, infusing it with loads of rosemary sprigs.
I substituted a late harvest Verdelho I had picked up from the Olive Grove vineyard for the Port.
Sitting pretty in my palms, a quail ready to be stuffed with muscats and lemon quaters.

Having been stuffed it's time to roll the quails in baking before popping them in the oven.
End result: One happy couple!
I used a large brown siss mushroom to bolster the osso bucco into place alongside the ragout.Sameer dying to dig in once I'm done documenting our dinner! He has a hard life!

Dinner & Sleepover

We're cracking out the good stuff: silver candlebras, cutlery and delicate crockery!
With friends like these and a feast to look forward to, there really is something to smile about...
Jackie whips up a beautiful entree : salmon served on a green leafy salad with gorgeous ripe avoacado and asparagus spears, and finally dotted with a generous heap of caviar.

And responsible for the main course was none other than moi. Cooking from my newly accquired cookbook: Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking given to me by Cari on my birthday, I boldly decided to try Boeuf Bourguignon.
Alas, after several hours of painstakingly chopping, stewing, mixing, heating, transfering from polonged heat on the stove into the oven, seperately caramelising onions and sauteeing mushrooms... Voila, the labour of my love, a delish beef stew if I may say so myself!
Pastry chef Amy had dessert under control.
Calm and cool she impressed us all with her amazing lemon meringue pie with lime sorbet! The perfect match! Amy you are a genius!
But this story does NOT end here. After several cups of hot tea, conversation with my girlfreinds, we all snuggled into warm beds at Jackies beautiful Norwood home. I woke up Sunday morning to the most scrumptious brekkie I have had in a long, long time.

Eggs, check.
Major multi-tasking going on. Amy, you go girl!
The most perfect omlette. There you go Elizabeth David!
Need I say more?! Bliss... Absolute bliss!

Cheese Fest at Rymill Park

One of Adelaide's first Summery Sunday's Cari and I made our way to Rymill Park to take a break from our final pending paper to enjoy some stinky old cheese!
A range of landmark Aussie cheesemakers such as Tasmanian Heritage, Murray Valley and Woodside Cheese Wrights put their varities of cheese on display for sampling and purchase.
Spoilt for choice...

And with blue skies, sunshine and festive cheer it made for the perfect relaxing Sunday!
Millie's boutique bakery had an enchanting stall with olive oil and dukkah tastings as well as some delightful macadamia biscuits.

A glass of Rose` from Whistler's to wash down all that fromage

Cari in absolute bliss...