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Archive for August, 2008

Taste Of Melbourne 2008

Well, what a fantastic idea

 

I was floating on a cloud of heaven

 

The Setting: The Old Exhibition Building

 

The Premise: The Top Restaurants in Melbourne prepare 3 taste sized dishes each ranging from $8 to $12

 

The Plan: The menu is released in advance, so you can plan which restaurants you want to target and which dishes you’re going to try


Then you arrive

We went on Friday night

The place was packed

 

Not only are there the restaurants with the tasting menu, but there are also stalls selling Olive Oil, Olives, Dukkah, Chocolate, Cakes, and so on and so forth.

 

You buy books of “Crowns” in books of 10 or 30, $1 = 1 Crown

It’s a clever gimmick because most people will have left over crowns.

Some of the stalls allowed you to mix and match crowns and cash (thus my purchase of Lighthouse olive oil infused with Grapefruit)

 

My menu went as follows

 

(Longrain) – Glass noodle salad with Crystal Bay pawns, chili jam, peanuts & mint

Verdict: Sold out before I got there

 

(The Courthouse) – Cabonade of beef with pomme puree, parsley and caper salad ($10)

Verdict: Delicious.  The beef was soft and rich, on smooth creamy mashed potato in a rich burgundy jus

 

(The Courthouse) – Marinated char grilled calamari, sauce vierge and watercress ($12)

Verdict: Really light, perfectly cooked hood of calamari, with a light zesty sauce.  Perfect for a picnic

 

(Fifteen) – Pork sausage with chili and garlic on a caponata di melanzane (a Sicilian eggplant relish) ($10)

Verdict: Hot and Tasty, the eggplant relish was a perfect accompaniment

(Note, they also offered a Rotolo, which I’ve had before – see the entry re: Fifteen)

 

(The Press Club) – Spring Bay mussels spankopita ($12)

Verdict: I have to say, this was the most disappointing dish of the night.  It was a great idea that just didn’t work.  The mussels were over cooked and overpowered by the shells surrounding them being stuffed with the spanakopita mixture.  They were served on a bed of warm chick peas which did not compliment the dish at all

 

(The Botanical) – The Botanical Wagyu Burger ($12)

Verdict: Juice, tasty with nice hot mustard that made the nostrils tingle. Very rich, so the little burger was more than enough

 

(The Stokehouse) – Blue swimmer crab chowder with pangrattato, chives & Spanish pepper crème fraiche ($10)

Verdict: To be honest, I was disappointed.  The flavor and texture were excellent, but it wasn’t the flavor of crab and I couldn’t find any crab in it.  It was a shame, as it suggested a crabby (in a good way) experience, which it didn’t deliver.

 

(The Press Club) – “Hellenic Republic” lamb souvlaki ($10)

Verdict: One of the best tastes of the night and probably the best value.  A hot fresh Turkish bread pocked with freshly grilled lamb, horseradish mayo, rocket, red onion and – a great touch – fresh fries.  Satisfying and delish

Last but not least

 

(Lindt) – Chocolate Cheesecake ($6)

Verdict: Rich, decadent and the final nail in the coffin.

 

I was so full by the end of it and I didn’t get to try a fifth of the dishes on offer

Next year I plan so save up and then go to the whole festival (Thursday through Sunday) which would allow me to try close to every dish.

 

What a night!

 

I didn’t eat till 4pm the next day, and all I could manage was a small bowl of fruit salad and a glass of water!

 

http://www.tastefestivals.com.au/

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Salute!

Last week I went to see SALUTE! at the Nova

It’s a documentary about Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who was on the dais during the Mexico 1968 Olympics with Tommie Smith and John Carols when they made a visual statement of Black Pride.

http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/10/14/wbNORMAN_narrowweb__300x414,0.jpg

 The documentary was really gently done, made by Norman‘s grandson after his death in 2006.

The film starts again at the very beginning of the ’68 Mexico Olympics, building up to the event itself.

It was also a comment not only on the racism against the African American population in the US, but the racism that occurred during Australia‘s short history with our own native people.

I left the film feeling angry.  Not at the film. But by the way Peter Norman was treated.

I am really disappointed in my self and Australia for the way he was shunned for standing up for what he believed in.

I am disgusted that such a fine athlete was denied any involvement in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

And I am amazed about the recognition he received in the US that he was denied in his home country.

A real film about real humans.

Please go and see it

* * * * * (5 Stars)

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Pineapple Express

Dazed and Confused meets Die Hard

Seth Rogen is off again, amazing how a stoner movie could have so much action!

Rogen holds a very special place in my heart (and my pants)

I really enjoyed the film, much better than Superbad, but not quite as classy as Knocked Up

There were some fabulous laugh out loud moments, with James Franco driving a cop car with his foot stuck through the wind screen

And of course, the all impressive cross joint.

It was great seeing it in a cinema, on a Sunday afternoon, with the majority of the audience clearly being complete stoners.

“You were just killed by a Daewoo Lanos!”

* * * * (4 Stars)

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Altar Boyz

Well, this is too little too late

I am sad to preface this post with the announcement that the tour of this show was cancelled today.

I absolutely adored this production.

I was so much fun, so politically incorrect, and right up my alley.

The energy was great, the lyrics were clever, and they boys were very nice to look at.

Songs like “Jesus called me on my iPhone” and “Girl, you make me wanna wait”

I saw the show four times, admittedly on comps.

But I had 30 tickets on hold to take a bunch of like minded people for my birthday before the September dates were cancelled.

I was dancing in my seat, and hurting myself laughing.

It’s just bad timing for the show, up against Wicked right across the road

The marketing campaign was poor and the tv advertising made the show look crummy.

It never had a chance.

Even the group booker’s launch I went to was mostly older people from senior and church groups

Definately not the target market.

It really is such a shame

I hope it comes back with a vengence.

 

The show has five cast members – Mark, Paul, Luke, Juan and Abraham (he’s Jewish)

It centers around their final show of the “Save the Soul” tour

Admittedly the premise is lame, but the songs are great, the boys were cute and they had every possible cliche boyband dance move!

It was just so much fun

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Matzo-Ball Soup

The Matzo-Balls

Ingredients:

1 Packet Coarse Matzah Meal
9 Large Eggs
4 1/2 Table Spoons of Margarine
1 1/2 Cups of Cold Water
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
1/2 Cup of Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together
Keep your hands wet when you’re rolling the balls
(tee hee hee, that makes me giggle)
Leave overnight in the fridge

 

Boil some water with 1 Tablespoon of salt in it
Bring to the boil
Simmer for 20 to 30mins

 

 

 

 

The Soup

Ingredients:

2 Long Stalks of Celery
1 1/2 Large Carrots
1 Small Leek
1/2 pumpkin
Vegetable/Chicken Stock Cubes (or fresh if you’ve got it)
A Pinch of Salt
Loads of Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

Cut carrots in half and slice about 1/2cm thick
Cut celery in half and cut into cm long bits
Cut leeks in half and slice finely

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and cut into cubes

Put into the saucepan with 2 1/2 liters of water
And add stock accordingly
Add the pinch of salt
Grind in as much pepper as you’re comfortable with
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 45mins10mins before serving
Transfer Matzo-Balls from the water into the soup.
Serve at least two per person
With a sprig of parsley and freshly cracked pepper

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Ingredients

3 cups of cooked rice
1 packet of slivered almonds
1 cup of sugar
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup of cream
1/3 cup of milk
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla essence
handful of sultanas
cinnamon
ginger
nutmeg
rum/port

Overnight

Soak a handful of sultanas in rum/port

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180oc

In a medium/hot pan, toast the almonds
In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together

Put in oven safe bowl
(A flat casserole dish is fine –
The flatter it is, the faster it will cook through)

Bake at 180degrees for 40mins, until cooked thru and golden on top

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Macbeth (AUS)

Sep 23 2006

Macbeth 2006 – filmed in Melbourne
Starring Sam Worthington (from Somersault)
He can be my third husband (Joss Whedon followed by Brian Greenberg)
(think of the alimony!)
The movie wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great
I totally agreed with La, who said that Sam Worthington was good, but there were some scenes when you felt he had no idea what the words he was saying actually meant
But it was a very impressive filmic attempt
And the best thing about it was the sound
The foley was seamless and really beautiful
I’ve never said it before, but go and see it just for the sound
Some of Sam Worthington’s suits looked like they’d been made from a dead drag queen’s sofa
Mick Malloy plays an assassin, and he plays the role straight
It was just hard to take him seriously
And Gary Sweet is always hillarious when he shouldn’t be
And Kym Gyngell as the physician was a bit much
Still, I thought it was a pretty gutsy effort for an Australian production

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