Edible Review: Glebe Point Diner

October 23, 2007

It was my one year anniversary in Sydney on 19 October (one year, can you believe it!!!). So to celebrate this happy occassion, Nath took me to Glebe Point diner, in wait for it….Glebe.

Glebe Point DinerWe drove past the bustling restaurant strip and a good couple of km down the road, we found the elegant, open-plan Glebe Point Diner. Good thing we made a booking a few weeks ago as the place was packed – there were even people dining at the bar.

We were seated straight away at marble tables covered with white paper. This was the style of the diner – elegant yet casual, upmarket and trendy yet friendly and unpretentious. A truely great date destination.

The menu was brief – six starters and four mains. It’s not a great place if you’re veggie (and don’t eat fish) as the mains consisted of a chicken dish, two fish options and a beef salad. I guess you could have a selection of vegetarian entrees but how much fun is that???

Salad at GlebePDNath and I shared a fennel and artichoke salad with cheddar, broadbeans and the star of the dish – pomegranate seeds. We also ordered fresh sour dough bread (for $2 a board). Delicious combination.

Lisa_gpdFor mains, I opted for the seared tuna, which was perfectly prepared – pink in the middle. It was served with a pepperonata which was a mixture of grilled peppers – scrumptious and potato scallops which were deep fried to a crisp and just not worth the laden calories.

Nathan_gpdNath munched on the Angus steak strips with watercress, parmesan and lemon dressing. This was outstanding – the meat was tender and the dressing piquant.

Price wise, the dishes were well priced for a good restaurant. Mains were between $14 and $18 and mains were about $30 – generous portions and good value.

The service was efficient and friendly and the food was fast – despite the packed room.

Nath_lisa_gpdWe decided to leave dessert as we were heading for a new chocolate cafe in the area. But we’ll give them a try next time.

I really loved our meal and would recommend this for a special occassion or even just an everyweek treat. 

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Cooking Course: Moroccan Veggie

October 18, 2007

About two weeks ago, I received a surprise parcel at work. It was these two beautifully wrapped gifts from Peters of Kensington (a kitchen shop in Sydney). It had the message “Do not open before the 15th October”  inscribed on one of the pressies. I just LOVE surprises.

Lisa and Nathan with matching apronsThis was all the clever concoction of my wonderfully innovative boyfriend. On Monday (15th Oct) I got to finally open my pressies. They were matching Nigella Lawson aprons (blue stripes – very professional chef-like). We would be using them for a cooking course that Nathan had booked at this place called Accountrement in Mosman in Northern Beaches Sydney.

Lisa and NadineThe theme of the course was Moroccan vegetarian and the chef was a woman called Nadine (pronounced Na – dene NOT Nay-dene) Abenseur. She isn’t very well known in Aussie (which she seemed a little put out about) but as the author of the very well known book: The Cranks Bible in the UK, she’s actually pretty famous in the food world.

She was born in Casablanca and this was enough to make her cooking course really authentic. There were eight recipes altogether and each couple made one dish. The great thing about the course was that the recipes were very simple so the course didn’t drag on for hours. As soon as one dish was ready, we would all gather around and taste. We tried a number of variations of Moroccan Salad with roasted veggies and delicious haloumi.

NathanNath and I made two variations of Basteya (Moroccan pies). The one filling was spinach and feta, the other grilled eggplant and gruyere cheese. We made our own very oily pastry which was easy to make and baked into a melt in the mouth, golden delicacy. Yum!

Lisa and the datesThe highlight for me was the rose water marzipan paste which was stuffed into Medjool dates and then dipped into chocolate. I’m not even a big date person but believe me, this is the most scrumptious dessert. Perfect with a strong cup of coffee, I would imagine.

The course ended just before 9pm – which was well timed as I’ve been on similar courses that run on till past 11pm and people are exhausted by the time they leave.

Nadine was a fascinating person and a really good host of the night. She regaled us with stories of her new art venture in Byron Bay (where she lives). She also told us how she had been a staunch vegetarian since she was 19 and then woke up four months ago and just craved meat and now devours hamburgers.

On the way out, I bought her latest veggie book (it sounded as if she is moving away from cooking so it’s probably her last book for a while) and a wooden rolling pin.

I can’t wait to try out our new recipes at home.


Lindt Chocolate Appreciation Course

October 11, 2007

Lindt ChocsLast night I lived out one of my fantasies – 90 minutes in Willy Wonka Heaven. Ok, there was not an Oompa Loompa to be seen and the chef was slightly less outlandish than the original Roald Dahl chocolatier. But it was still choccy heaven.

 Three days before my birthday, I received an sms from my cousin Taryn. It went something like this: “should we buy Lisa a voucher for the Lindt appreciation course for her birthday?”. Clearly, in a tangle of thumbs, Taryn mixed up recepients. But at least I got to answer the text with a resounding “yes, please!!”.

So almost 8 months after receiving this special gift, I finally got to go on the course at the Lindt Cafe in Martin place.

 I was joined by Julie – who had also been given a voucher for her b-day by my sister. We were both notorious choccy lovers and united in the quest to consume as much choccy as we could.

The Lindt chef (I can’t remember his name) is the face of Lindt. He’s authentically Swiss with a tang of Aussie thrown into his accent and you can see he loves his chocolate.

liquid chocWe were given a small cup of hot chocolate on arrival. It was rich and smooth and up there as the most delicious hot choc I have tasten. If you order a Hot Choc in the Lindt cafe, you get a cup of molten choc and a cup of milk. It’s up to you to mix it in the right proportions…which I never seem to get right. It was so much better when the experts made it up for me.  I asked the chef for some advice on the perfect combo of liquid choc and milk and he said “Just practise”.

The course started with a look at chocolate through the ages and the launch of Lindt & Sprungli. Did you know that the company is actually Lindt and Sprungli but the marketers decided that foreigners outside Switzerland would struggle with the Sprungli name – so they dropped it. Apparently there are still two Sprungli descendents on the corporate board. I wonder how they feel about their name being banished?

taste plateAs the chef described the history and the making of chocolate, we each got a plate with about 8 different chocolate blocks to sample. We were warned to pace ourselves so we made sure to try and eat only half of each block and put the other half in the takeaway bag.

Out next plate was full of different kind of truffles. The chef then gave a demo of the truffle making and I volunteered to help out…which was pretty fun. I got a cool Lindt apron for my efforts.

Lisa helping chefFinally we went onto to taste cake and the Delice macaroons and topped it off with a sampling of ice-cream.

I was on a serious sugar high after all that! So I had a slither of 99% cocoa chocolate to bring some bitterness back to my tastebuds.

We could then buy Lindt cafe products for a discount and were given a lovely box of choccies and some truffles as a farewell pressie.

It really is a well- recommended course – professional, slick, generous and absolutely scrumptious.

 The only bad thing – you become a true chocolate snob – you’ll never be able to eat anything but Lindt after this.

yum yum