Monday, November 26, 2007

Hairy Canary

I went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Saturday night with some friends. Since Priscilla is quintessentially Sydney, it was only fitting to start the evening with something quintessentially Melbourne: wine and tapas at a small bar.

So many choices make for much menu reading however by the end of the night I had sampled Albondigas, Chargrilled Chorizo and Blue Cheese and Leek Tartlet with rocket. The Albondigas , spicy meatballs with currants and pinenuts, arrived as a generous portion smothered in a chunky sugo. Moist flavoursome bites but seemingly lacking in said spice. This discrepancy with the menu continued with the tartlet, I may be wrong as I grabbed one of the last, small bites left but I tasted fresh goats cheese, not blue. Delicious all the same.

We supplemented these little delights with pizzas and dips to fill us up. Roast garlic, artichoke and feta offered subtle flavours whilst off the specials board chorizo with roasted peppers was a little more robust. With a huge pizza oven protruding into the dining room you can be assured the base will be thin and oh-so-crisp.

I’ve not tried the larger dishes however the selection swings from Italian to Spanish with a large selection of seafood in between. Vegetarians may have to opt for the gnocchi, depending on the day’s specials. A long wine list offers most by the glass and bottle. Don’t be scared to sample the house wine, with the canary label, as it offers good value.

I’ve eaten here on numerous occasions and always enjoy the food, but I so have a gripe with the service. I’ve given it enough chances now to come out and say the wait staff seem to be more interested in appearing cool than waiting tables. They’ve definitely got aloof down pat. You don’t pay exorbitant prices at canary but it would be nice to devote your entire attention to dining companions rather than constantly keeping an eye out for the waiter.
Finally, don’t forget they’re open for breakfast. You should try their famous eggs in purgatory.

Hairy Canary
212 Little Collins St

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home Sweet Kitchen

Well after nearly a month of coming and going I'm finally back. For a week at least. My last few week's worth of eating has consisted of lean cuisine microwave meals. I began buying ingredients for simple salads but cooking for 1, for 1 night only seems to result in a lot of wastage. So pre-packaged food it was. The delights of tandoori chicken, butter chicken, frozen lasagne and beef stir fry have finally taken their toll and it is with glee that I step back into my kitchen.

This afternoon is ironchef 4, and I must apologise to McFly as I haven't written up his lunch from a few weeks ago. I will post the photos soon. I am tasked with dessert today whilst S-bo is cooking the entree and main. I can't possibly tell you in advance what he is cooking, however on the dessert front I have been up to my elbows in melted chocolate and gloopy, gloppy, glorious double cream. Nothing like jumping in at the deep end, my kitchen is currently mid-dessert, with chocolate and egg white everywhere! Rather than proceed through the mid-cook wash up, I thought I'd come and post.

All this travel does make me wonder how people who do it all the time manage. The only way I could stay healthy and not break my bank account was to resort to the lean cuisine. How do others do it? Surely you can't live on lean cuisine for too long. I certainly couldn't. Healthy fast food can be ridiculously expensive and yet, as I mentioned, trying to prepare healthy meals intermittently was resulting in much food wastage. Of course there's always the old casserole in the freezer trick, but who has time to cook all of that up whilst packing and organising for impeding trips?

Where have I been you might ask? Well it's been a combination of party weekends away and work trips. The engagement party of N1 and N2 was a particular highlight up in Goondiwindi (South Western QLD). I finally had the opportunity to sample Corish lamb from the lamb feed-lot N2's family runs, and it was delicious. If only I was not too busy having a good time to record the sensational catering at the party. The following weekend saw a trip to the Dunkeld Races in Victoria. As picnic races we went well prepared with French Sparkling Wine and chicken salads. Such a great day and we did feel particularly gourmet amongst the sausage sizzles (although I do love a sausage sizzle....)

Anyway, I guess I should go finish this dessert.

Monday, November 05, 2007

What have I been eating?

Due to numerous travel commitments I haven't been able to record my eatings over the last month or so. I hope to be back later in November...

Keep Eating,