Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Safari Club, Tamworth

When checking into a motel in Tamworth, I asked where in town was a good spot to eat.

“Depends what you want! We have heaps of places. Indian, Thai, South African – I’m going there next month.”

South African? I was intrigued. I know the Gordon/St Ives area in Sydney has a big South African population, but Tamworth?

The place is popular, and it is recommended you book, even on a Monday night. It was actually pretty quiet with only three other tables dining.

Fwd: Safari Club

My heart was set on ribs, but I perused the menu anyway. You can get all manner of exotic game such as spatchcock, emu, venison and crocodile.

Each main comes with a choice of sides: salad, chips or vegetables. All come with onion rings.

I got a half serve of pork ribs ($30), my companion got the half of lamb ($35). We agreed to share.

Safari Club Lamb Ribs

The lamb ribs were almost mutton-like in flavour, with very dense meat. I really think I gave my colleague the raw end of the deal, since we both preferred the pork ribs.

Safari Club Pork Ribs

The pork ribs were delicious. I would go back just for them. So very good. The onion rings were interesting – spirals of onion dipped in an orange coloured tempura-like light batter. They were delicious.

By the end I had a hard choice to make. I had one pork rib, some salad, and some onion rings left. But only two out of three would make it into my stomach. Which would you have chosen?

Bar @ Safari Club

They charge a $20 per head fee for booked no-shows. This is to assist the staff in allocating the correct sized tables and achieve best fit.

The decor is ‘wild’. Heads of various game animals adorn the walls. I remember a zebra skin hide. Half a landrover forms part of bar and service area.

Highly Recommended!

Safari Club & Bar
253 Peel Street, Tamworth 2340
(02)6766-6878

Lunch: 1100-1430
Dinner: 7 days, 6pm – 9pm ish

Janani Indian Restaurant, Homebush (Closed)

I generally don’t crave Indian food, the only things that I always want are garlic naan because I love garlic, and masala dosa. Masala dosa is a very thin big crepe or pancake made from a combination of lentil and rice flour, filled with a lightly spicy potato and served with sambal and a coconut chutney. I have seem the giant dosa served as a cone shape at Mamak – with either a curry or two scoops of vanilla icecream. When asked “soft or crispy?”, I always answer crispy!

A day at the beach required carbohydrates afterwards, so we went to Janani homebush.
This restaurant has two kitchens, one for preparing vegetarian food and the other for the carnivores. On a Monday night, the place was 1/4 full.

I first discovered this place after our friend Hugh organised a farewell party here. Nearly everyone ordered a lamb thali. This comes served on a metal plate with lamb curry, sambal, chutney, a milk dessert, a pappadam and a chilli ‘popper’.

After a conversation with an Indian colleague, it turns out you are supposed to nibble this deep-fried chilli in-between eating your main meal. Hugh of course, being male and probably under 25, ate 12 of these in a row. Did I mention he was heading to Alaska the next day in a direct flight? Yeah. That was fun for everyone on the plane.

So, this time I spotted “rava masala”($11.50), which is described as having semolina in the batter, so I ordered it. I haven’t seen this one on a menu before.

Rava masala

Wow! This is my new favourite dish.
It was served on a metal platter as a giant lacy pancake with a potato filling. There was a sambal spread over three dishes, a white sour cooling chutney, a green mint chutney and a hot orange coloured coconut chutney. Sounds pretty standard, but the dosa itself had flecks of onion, purple cabbage and carrot and this added another level of interest to the crispiness of the dosa.
The garlic naan ($3) was lacking that extra depth of fresh garlic yumminess, but was tasty all the same when dipped into the hot lamb curry. The lamb itself had a very strong flavour, I would almost say mutton-like.

I have had an Indian friend comment that the meat at Janani can lack some flavour, because it isn’t cooked with the sauce, but added after ordering.
However, I still think that the food here is a step above a lot of other Indian eateries around Sydney.

For dessert, or general cooling effect, there are three lassi flavours ($4), Ginger beers, coconut juice and kulfi, the ice-cream made from condensed milk.

Janani Indian Restaurant
32 Burlington Road Homebush 2140
(02) 9763 2306
7am – 11pm, everyday

2015 edit: Janani Indian Restaurant was taken over by Kammadhenu in February 2013. They now run only one kitchen.

Achacha, it’s a fruit!

Today, I was given an achacha to try. Of course I had to take a photo.

Achacha

It has a red/orange/brown skin, but doesn’t really smell of anything. You cut the fruit in half, pull out the big seed, and then eat the inside with a spoon. It was really tasty – kind of like a mangosteen (of which it is a relative). Smells a bit like a longan/lychee, tastes a bit like cross between custard and a pear without the crunchy tannic bits you get in a pear.

The skin contains heaps of beta carotene. If you soak the skin in water for 24 hours you make a achacha drink.

achacha drink

I tried with the ‘shells’ of three achachas eaten for breakfast. It made a slightly sour tasting, brown coloured drink.

Spotted at Harris Farm Markets for $10/kg.

Mango Lassi

After gorging myself silly on marsala dosa from the Indo-Lankan food bar, I had a craving for mango lassi. Perfect antidote to chilli overindulgence. But $4.50 for a glass? So let’s go home and make some instead.

I was convinced that authentic lassi is made using buttermilk, but it was a bit of a hunt finding a recipe that contained it. I finally settled on adapting one from thekitchn

Homemade Mango
Serves 2
1 ripe mango
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 plain yoghurt
Iced/Cold water to taste/texture
Seeds from 1 pod cardamom, crushed in a mortar & pestle

Peel the mangos cheeks and chop into small pieces. Save the seed for yourself. Put in the blender with the dairy and water. Blend everything in a blender until smooth and frothy.

Mango Lassi

If you don’t include the flesh from around the seed in the lassi drink you don’t need to sieve it.

I used ‘no fat’ greek style yoghurt. I also found that the mixture was sweet enough to not need sugar. It was very gelatinous without the water, which is why I would include it.

The other method I would try is to soak the cardamom pod in the milk ovenight before using. Like an infusion, that way – no gritty cardamom bits.

Mmm, homemade mango lassi, perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Buy nothing new month: day twenty one life, the universe & everything

Day twenty one. Half of the answer to all questions in the Universe.

White shirt from Esprit.
As you can tell, I hadn’t put my laundry away, so I just grabbed this shirt off the clean laundry pile.

Pinstripe pants from Jigsaw.

Red leather double sided belt from ammo designs, a shop which has now sadly closed.

I remember hopping off the 86 tram at 6pm on a last day in Melbourne shopping trip and discovering that the shop had just shut. Darn it! Luckily, because it is a small business, the assistant opened the doors to let us in and have a quick look. I tried in a kind of reverse sided dress, but ended up with a red leather belt. A few years later, I almost bought the exact same belt again – I had squirreled this one away and forgotten that I had it.

Buy nothing new month: day twenty is twice two plus a refreshing salad

Gee, this outfit looks terribly familiar. For details, see day two.

Buy nothing new month day twenty: um de dum

So instead, lets talk food. More specifically, Fennel Salad.

I grabbed this out of my friend H’s book Chef at Home, by chef Michael Smith from Prince Edward Island. Well, whilst waiting for someone to get ready, what else do you do but browse their recipe books?

His version just has the sliced fennel and the lemon dressing.

Salad
1 bulb fennel, tops & woody core removed and sliced very thinly
1 avocado, cut into chunks
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
Various lettuce leaves

Lemon salad dressing
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon honey
Splash of good olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
(my addition) 1-2 teaspoons hot water

Slice the fennel really thinly (or coarsely grate it). After peeling each ‘leaf’ off the core, I used my bread knife to get the thin slices because the knife stays sharp. The leftovers went into a freezer ziplock bag for future stock.

I thought I would get bored with just the fennel taste, so I added fresh picked silverbeet leaves, avocado, and tomato.

With the dressing, I would suggest adding 1-2 teaspoons of hot water to help the honey loosen up.

Result:
Fennel salad

Delicious! I’m glad I added the extra salad ingredients, it all worked very well together. Aniseed-like flavour of the fennel would have been too much on its own, and was well set off by the creaminess of the avocado, and the slight bitterness of the silverbeet.
I actually found the dressing a bit too sweet for me; and it was interesting how my tastebuds found the sweet, salty and zest flavours, and totally ignored the sour! The dressing reminds me a lot of panfried goats cheese salad, also obtained from H. Not surprising since there is honey in both!

Loquats, sorted

My first loquat!

I have seen the tree growing around the suburbs, but had no idea what they were. When I saw a tray of these at the market, I had to ask.

Loquats

You peel the skin off the outside, and pull out the large elliptical shaped seed. Sometimes there is a tough protective layer between the fruit and the seed which you remove.

The taste is like a sour pear/nashi pear cross. My neighbour dips the fruit into sugar before eating, because it is too sour for her! This reminds me of the Indians who dip fresh mango into a salt-chilli powder mix, because the mangoes are too sweet for them.

Something new, everyday.