Monday, 27 August 2012

Oishii Rose Street

 Terrible pics, I apologise, but a great little Japanese place on Rose Street.

Australia's ties with Asia are something I really miss. Knowing the quality of international food that was available right on our doorstep; Having a Chinatown; Japanese food being a cheap-eat... over here Japanese food is certainly a luxury, but one that I do allow myself, on occasion.

Oishii on Rose Street has the feel of the little (sorry for grouping) Asian cafes we got back home, be it Japanese, Szechuan, Vietnamese et al, there were always a couple of guarantees- food is gonna be great, it's gonna be a cheap eat, and service is how they want it to be, ie, you eat when they tell you. But that is part of the feel. That's what I've found it to be like in the parts of SE Asia I have been through; and I love it.

For what it is, Oishiis menu is greatly varied, and as far as I can tell, everything is made to order.

The sushi menu most definately is all  made to order and the seafood is always glistening and wonderfully fresh.

On this occasion I ordered the #12 Hotategai Nigiri, which is fresh scallop atop rice. It comes served very simply on a small dish,with pickled ginger and wasabi but was absolutely divine.

 From the specials board I ordered a Seafood Ramen noodle soup. This arrived steaming and full to the brim. The broth was salty and flavoursome, plenty of delicious noodles, a solid handful of beanshoots, prawns, squid, seafood cocktail, and veg.

This was a hearty meal and probably would have done me by itself.

This funny little character here, and last to arrive about 2/3 of the way through my soup was the #73 Nasu Dengaku which is pan fried aubergine with sweet miso. I was expecting a small bowl of aubergine slivers or pieces, perhaps stirfried, so was quite confused when this was brought to me... mostly, how I was supposed to eat it. But I persevered with spoon and chopsticks in tow, peeled back the skin was was greeted to the most beautiful, succulent, velvety aubergine flesh I had ever tried. It's texture is difficult to relate to anything, except maybe hot toffee, or slightly overripe mango. It was just out of this world. I have no idea how it was cooked. I think possibly pan fried then baked but it really was a treat.

So my meal including a Ramune (Japanese lemonade) came to £20 +tip, which is not a cheap lunch. But they do what they do really well. Definitely worth a try of you're after some really good, made to order Japanese comfort food.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Bacon and Banana???

I love it.

I have been craving it for days now and only just got around to making it for my dinner. I found though, through one of my social networking sites that some of my friends love this, some despise the idea and some are merely intrigued.

I may have eaten it in bed...

The sweet and salty is a purely natural idea for me, but would really love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

Love it? Hate it? Understand it?

My Local- 52 Canoes

Only open a couple of months now, 52 is a fresh face in West End, delivering some well needed variety to the dark-wood and football-on-telly pubs of this part of town.

My self and a few of my friends stumbled upon this pub by accident and never looked back. It's tiki/retro/beachy/kitsch aesthetic, pinup-girl prints, olde time movies give the place such a feeling of both comfort and also that you are somewhere special and is as perfect for an after work drink as it is a special birthday affair.

The cocktails are second to none, the table service- a real pleasant surprise, and the food... unexpectedly rewarding at a very reasonable price.

The set menu is small but contains some of my all time favorites such as rib and pulled pork nachos but the daily specials menu always provides a really wonderful array of dishes.

 Starter: Smoked salmon mousse with fraise creme, pickled cucumber, crostini and rocket salad. Absolutely sensational. The mousse retaining enough texture to identify that is is fish, the sweet and tart pickled cucumber providing a sharp cut through the creamy mouse and creme base, and the crostini a perfect texture to accompany.

 Main: Chorizo and Pea risotto, side salad. The risotto was cooked perfectly, creamy whilst still retaining texture. The chorizo added a perfect meatiness without the overbearing nature that I find chorizo generally to be reknowned for. the peas added a lovely sweetness.

The balsamic dressing on the side salad was beautiful, lovely fresh ingredients. A great sized meal if indulging in 3 courses, but perhaps a touch too small if having only a main.

 Decaf cappuccino. Delicious, lovely creamy froth.

And this little devil here, the banoffi  pie. This simply has to be tried to be believed. Done in a all-in-one Eton Mess style, it's just perfect. A big serve also.

This is maybe the 4th time I have eaten here, and simply need to now share with the world West End's wonderful secret.

Worth having a look just to see the gorgeous design of the interior, worth staying for a cocktail, or 3.

Monday, 20 August 2012

I Got To Go Back To STEAK!!!

 I had a visitor up from London and knew immediately where to take him: only my favourite restaurant in the world.

Steak Edinburgh.

As with last time, we were showed into the bar to have a drink before going to our table. AND as last time I had a French Martini, but disappointingly they had changed their recipe: no toasted marshmallow on top this time. But it was still lovely.

I had pre-decided to get the Beef Wellington again, but they had run out, and run out of the Chateaubriand I was positively gutted. Of the sharing meats, the only one left was the 850g Cote De Boeuf, which was described as a meatier, more flavoursome cut. I can't say I wasn't disappointed but I was going to try it with an open mind and heart.

For starters I opted for the Steak Tartare, my guest the oxtail soup.

My Tartare was divine, beautifully presented and flavoured, I could have been very happy ordering 3 of these to keep me going.

The oxtail soup was served with a puff pastry lid and looked ENORMOUS on arrival, but after breaking through the lid, it was to be discovered that the bowl was very big, but the soup was a satisfactory starter size. I was lucky enough to try the soup and it was meatalicious, very robust in flavour and beautiful chunks of oxtail that fell apart in the mouth.

Both starters were triumphs.
 For sides we went for my favourite of last time: the peas and bacon, my guest chose the cauliflower gratin and the sweetcorn fritters. Unfortunately AGAIN, they had no pickled star anise carrots so we went for the triple cooked chips.

The peas, cream and bacon, again was sublime- it may be one of my most favourite things in the world, I could eat it forever, and I don't even like peas all that much.

The fritters were just as munchable as last time. I didn't rate the cauliflower t all, it was quite bland to my palate and the consisitancy was a bit too, thick, maybe even solid for my liking.

The chips, again, were nice- god I wish the chips were perfect... I really, really want Steak to have the most perfect chips in the world and then I could just live there and eat there everyday of my life, but alas. They were- fine.

I do love having my meat carved in front of me.

We ordered the Bouef De Cote medium rare, as I tend to do with cuts of meat with bone in, and the cooking was just perfect. The juiciness just stays right in the meat, it's just... a beautiful thing.

The wonderful waitress (who remembered me from last time- awww) was spot on, this is a meaty, manly cut of beef, the char around the outside boldly reminiscent of BBQ back home, and a strong beef flavour. Still like butter to cut through, and beautifully flavoured and tenderised with now molten veins of fat.

Halfway through, the waitress asked if this had changed me from a Beef Wellington girl, it hasn't, BUT I think I now need to order 2 cuts/beef varieties at a time. One of each!

I just kept eating those peas.

I must say, I'm very happy my guest wasn't as hungry as me cause I totally gorged 2/3 of the meat and most of the sides, but cleverly, wore a loose dress, as I was expecting this may the outcome.

We were left the bone and given full permission to chew/ravage it, and I happily accepted the offer.

No desserts this time, just an Ameretto to settle the tum, and to give me time to enjoy being full of my favourite food.

I still love this restaurant. How soon til I can go back again?

Forth Floor, Harvey Nichols

Ms E,Mr N,Mr C and I had booked a table to try the tasting menu at Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant. Harvey Nics is far and away my favourite store- EVER, so to be eating in their restaurant made me very excited indeed.

The food was all displayed beautifully, a nice varied menu. We did think on some plates there might have been a few too many things happening at once. But overall a lovely dining experience. Plenty of wines flowing as we decided to have the matched drink selection.

Unfortunately we were there at the start of the month, and I have left it far too late to accurately recall all of the details of all of the dishes we had. So this is just a picture blog today, with some very beautiful dishes.
Amuse Bouche: Lamb bonbon and Mackerel Tartare

A charming way to present butter, on a cold stone

Scallop with Taramasalata and Compressed Watermelon, Kelp Paper

Rabbit Three Ways

Mackerel with Watermelon, Palm hearts, White Asparagus, Turnip, Pistachios and Gooseberry

Lamb with Caramel and Olive soil, Fondant Potato

Sun creeping away over the Firth of Forth: view from the balcony

View over the St Andrew's Square to city and the Castle

Strawberry Dessert, Doughnut, ice cream and chocolate soil.

Cheese accompaniments

Brilliant vantage point to watch the Edinburgh Tattoo fireworks

George St

Petit Fours with Ameretto and Coffee on the balcony
A really lovely evening. Alot of new and exciting flavour combinations, everything was thoroughly enjoyed. Fantastic staff always helps to make a night, and Forth Floor didn't not fall short here by any means.

A MASSIVE Thank you to Ms E and Mr N for helping me recall all the elements of this meal. Huge hugs guys!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Edinburgh Foodies Festival in Pics

 The French Patisserie stall was absolutely drool-worthy (bring on Paris!)

 My choice, a very buttery cheese and onion twist- amazing!
 Venison burger... deers give cows a good rum for their money!

 An amazingly naughty pistachio and white chocolate brownie.

 German salamis

 German sausage and goulash stall

 My lovely manicured nails... and beautiful bite sized bit of the homeland.
 Ice Cream?! S. Lucas is the BEST!
 Edinburgh's skyline in the distance

A great deal of sampling, a delicious day out. (Glad it only come around once a year though)