Marvellous meals in May

On Friday it was Ian’s birthday and we had planned to go to Guillaume at Bennelong for dinner.

Unfortunately, the night before his birthday, Ian had to work until crazy o’clock.  Then on his actual birthday, the poor boy had a horridly stressful day. By mid afternoon he was exhausted and didn’t really feeling like going anywhere but to our couch. Normally, the idea of swapping dinner at the Opera House for Friday Night Football would be less than appealing. But we’ve had so many marvellous meals lately.  It seemed quite sensible to save Guillaume and his two hats for a month where there’d be less culinary competition.

May has been a very, very good food month. Here’s a little shout out to the places where I’ve nibbled (ok, gobbled) this month:

Strangers with Candy, East Redfern

Dinner with Andrew and Alissa is always fun. There is usually lengthy discussions about sci fi/fantasy/post apocolyptic stuff as well as a bit of technology talk. Ian and the A team usually do the talking and I nod and pretend to understand what they are saying.

Strangers with Candy was a recommendation from Alissa’s boss and it was a good one. It’s a cute little terrace with wooden floors, a fabulous Maitre d’ and fresh, fresh, FRESH food. My handmade ravioli was stuffed with parmesan and ricotta, then lashed with burnt sage butter. Scrumpdiddlyumptios! As for dessert, well I pretty much died and went to chocolate fudge cake heaven. Think orange toffee sauce, chantilly cream and you’ll understand my bliss.

Chocolate fudge cake bliss

The Hungry Duck, Berry

Lovely Leigh took me to dinner at The Hungry Duck as part of my Berry Birthday Extravaganza present from her and David.  The head chef is David Campbell who used to work at Billy Kwong and who also owns The Book Kitchen in Surry Hills. With this in mind, I had high expectations which were met the instant the first course of our banquet arrived. Poached chicken and banana blossom salad with coconut oil & chilli was delicious, delightful, delectable! Our four other tasting plates were crab ravioli with a seaweed salad and soy vinaigrette, steamed pork buns, a RICH red duck curry and then kaffir and tahitian lime tart.

Hungry Duck is also a green eatery. They have an organic kitchen garden at the back of the shop where they grow their own vegetables and herbs. They also sell only fair trade coffee and use organic meats and local seafood. Well done David Campbell and good choice David and Leigh Chapman!

Inside The Hungry Duck

a’Tavola, Darlinghurst

Dinner club with Mr & Mrs Williams is fast becoming one of the highlights of my month. May was Melly’s turn to chose where we broke bread and she picked a’tavola in Darlinghurst. This place has a huge table (tavola) through the middle of the restaurant and home made pasta hangs like curtains between the kitchen and the dining room. I had a scrummy meal of baked olives, beef cheek ravioli  and a super indulgent bombe alaska for dessert.

Apart from the fantastic food and the fabulous conversation with Mel & Jay, I also thoroughly enjoyed the ginormous family fight going on next to us at the table. Highly entertaining!

Bombe Alaska - oh yeah!

Bondi Trattoria

Oh what a lovely lunch at the Tratt with my Sydney Water friends. Such great views of Bondi Beach and such an awesome cocktail menu! It didn’t feel like it was a rainy Sunday while I was drinking a limoncello mint spritzer. My main was pappardelle with a veal shin ragu. Fabuloso! Dessert was the most luscious chocolate creme brulee I have ever had with  poached cherries & coconut sorbet.

I love the food in May.

And finally, in a tiramisu tie – I had my favourite dessert twice this month. Leigh made it for our Mothers Day lunch and Mel made it last Saturday night. Both were prepared to perfection. I’m still blissed out!

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