Wednesday, December 19, 2007

the year in food

The countdown is on. A few more days of work, running around like a headless chook, the last minute catch up for lunch with friends and then I am off to the airport for that familiar trans-Tasman flight once more. Here are my culinary highs of 2007. What have yours been?

Best dining experience of the year:
Yu-u, not just finally getting around to obtaining a booking at this enigmatic little gem and the steady supply of delicious morsels but also the unexpected communal dining experience. Memorable!

Best eating experience of the year:
All the tofu, tempeh and fresh fish in Indonesia. Six months on I’m still dreaming of the food there. My first gado gado on the beach at Vila Shanti, my little Sanur favourite Pregina and Sura’s in Ubud. Then there was the drinks – young coconut juice straight from the tree for breakfast, soursop at Sura’s and Bali’s own Storm Beer.

The kitchen accessory promise I never got around to in 2007:
The tagine. I got close to procuring one twice, it is just I have such a small kitchen. Now…if I turn the old laundry into an extended pantry think of all the junk wonderful, used only one time a year, gadgets I could amass!

Oh-my-goodness flavour explosions:
Savoury – the eel from Sapphire Smoked Seafood (Eden).
Sweet - “The Cook and the Chef” fried rhubarb.

Even better than childhood:
Making my mum’s chocolate mousse with 85% chocolate!

Most delicious ‘detox’ dish:
A toss up between quinoa pilaf and stuffed artichokes.

Perennial favourites:
The site meter still goes crazy for gyoza, with cooking whole fish coming in at number 2.

Dairy-free discovery of the year:
Jill Dupleix’s guilt-free 'ice cream'.

Favourite new brekkie dish:
Cross-cultural baked eggs, though fresh fruit in any form is a close contender.

Best cooking school:
Hands down (and it happened to be the only entry) winner – Casa Luna in Ubud. Have only made one of the dishes since but the sultry summer weather should motivate me any day now.

Best bar:
This is an unfair question as Melbourne has so many and I have not sampled them all. The Rooftop bar at the Order of Melbourne is delightful at twilight and Geralds Bar for sheer convenience, amazing range of drinks and neighbourhood quirkiness.

New foods (without leaving the country to find them):
Food I played with at home for the first time included: nettles, fresh turmeric, monkfish, Samphire, mulberries (they weren’t a part of my kiwi upbringing), desert limes and black radishes.

Melbourne food scene question of 2007:
Where were the food bloggers in the future of food writing at the Melbourne Food Festival? According to the old media (Fairfax) sponsored chew and blab-fest food blogging is not even a blip on the radar. What will they pull out of the bag for 2008?

The next day Ed posted that Matt Preston phoned to ask him to be a food blogger presence in the 2008 MFF Out of the Frypan panel along with Stephanie Wood. See a little stirring in the blog world is worth it in the end!

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Blogger Cindy said...

What a year it's been!

I recently visited Gerald's Bar on your recommendation - what a lovely place. Ordered a vodka and orange and almost fell over when the barman juiced an orange on the spot. Did fall over when I heard the price.

11:37 am  
Blogger Lucy said...

Yes, the quinoa pilaf is rather special.

A good year.

Next year should be good too - and I wonder about the festival and 'our' absence too...

Happy NZ-ing.

12:16 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Cindy - some things are reasonable and others are off the scale. Before picking one of the 'by the glass' wines (which change depending on the first 3 choices of each colour, on the night) always, always check the price. Many are under $10 a glass but some are more than I'd pay for a whole bottle!

Lucy - Ed tried to get us motivated but nothing happened, maybe you and I can start lobbying the festival organisers?

2:58 pm  
Blogger Alisa said...

You have peaked my curiosity with the cauliflower gyoza! I had so much trouble finding won ton wrappers this week, only to discover that they contain egg. Where does one buy gyoza wrappers? I don't know that I have even seen them at the local asian market. Hmm.

3:39 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Alisa: in Melbourne I have no trouble finding them in Asian grocery stores. They are in the fridge (though can be frozen) and are pale/white in colour. Look for a short or long stack of round discs. If you can find wonton wrappers, just look in the same section for other pastry type things that aren't yellow.

Good luck, will check out the dariy-free goodies on your blog :)

8:42 am  
Anonymous Ken said...

Could the owner of this blog please contact

1:33 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Ken if you are not a bot or advertiser you will know what channels to go through to contact me I am sure.

7:34 pm  

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