Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mantra on King William

Fellow gastronome, Marion suggested Mantra on King William for an early dinner mid week. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to spend some quality time with this interesting former ABC television journalist that is currently working with Bottega Rotolo, an upmarket provodore located towards Norwood.

Who said life can't be simple and sophisticated at the same time? Still water, good olive oil and bread
The menu looked absolutely tantalising, with a creative array of tapas and entrees piquing our interest we were having serious trouble deciding what to order. We concurred finally that the best idea would be to get a smattering of different tapas and entrees to share. Doesn't the saying go, the more flavours the merrier!

A glass of Uber Riesling from the McLaren Vale to enjoy with the green Manzanilla olives stuffed with white anchovy and seared scallops with zesty lemon and pesto. The scallops were to-die-for and had us diving in to dip up the delish aiolo style pesto with our bread.
Succulent smoked duck with a delicate orange sauce and rocket salad
Poached Rabbit and pistachio terrine wrapped in prosciutto with apricot and Orange chutney, served with olive oil crisp bread that complimented perfectly

Sharing bits and bites turned out to be a very wise decision, leaving ample space for dessert and cheese, that truly was the crowning glory of our meal. Lucky for me, Marion's current job has made given her a deft ability to pick out the best varieties of cheeses and pair them with just the right wine.

Marion my dinner date digs into dessert, ensuring me of another smart pick

Vanilla Bean Panacotta with Cherries: The highlight of my meal and perhaps the best pannacotta I have eaten

Cheese hits the spot: Brie and Blue served with Muscatel grapes, fig slices and lavosh cream crackers

Saint Agur, a French Blue made from cow milk, (Auvergne) has balanced saltiness with mild blue-green veins that are offset by a rich, creamy texture. The other is a triple Brie also from France (Seine-et-Marne), a soft, surface ripened cow milk cheese, oozing delicious centre with a slight mushroom smell to it.

To accompany the cheese a Barossan Tokay

Mantra on King William on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lunch at Linda's

I have learned recently that birthdays with Jackie's extended family are a big, big affair - mostly because there are so many people - kids, parents, uncles, aunts and close friends like moi, involved. This month there were three birthday celebrations crammed into one afternoon. This of course called for a mega cook-off. Chris stepped up to the plate and readied the Weber, making sure it was fired up, hot and raring to go.

Chris loads up the barbie with some juicy, tangy marinated chicken fillets

Time to take off the grilled lamb chops

Carne Asado - Mexican beef steaks ready to be slapped onto the grill

Good old Aussie favourites - minced beef cutlets and sausages

Hmmm.... meat! My eyes are glazing over...

Behind every spectacular meat dish is the best supporting actor, in this case the buttered tatters with parsley and sliced white bread

There's just no going wrong with a classic combination of peppery wild rocket, crunchy pear and creamy Parmesan shavings
Grilled sliced eggplants marinated lightly in Eastern spices

Asian inspired vermicelli glass noodle salad with sliced grilled chicken, bok -choy, cashew nuts and red peppers - treat to the taste buds

Linda's speciality: Roasted butternut squash pumpkins with ripe, plum tomatoes, kalamata olive, haricot -verts, chick-peas and sliced boccocini.

Chocolate cake for the birthday boy Gabriel! HOORAY!

Cake # 2: Lemon-Semolina Cake with Flaked Almonds, Happy Birthday Linda!

Last but not least: Jhonty's birthday treat would sure have made Homer Simpson green with envy!