Tag Archives: italian

Waterside Lunch

Back in November (yes, I am very behind on my posts), I met up with friends N and F – it was N’s birthday! It was a warm (but not too hot) day, and our venue was Hugo’s at Manly Wharf. It was a lovely venue, overlooking the water. The food was pretty good, too.

How about some risotto?

Waterside lunch

Or pan-friend salmon?

Waterside lunch

And sticky date pudding and ice cream for dessert?

Waterside lunch

Now, I know that there’s no such thing as a typically ‘Aussie’ meal, but if a non-Australian asks me to give an example, I think this selection would fit the bill – Italian and Anglo influenced dishes, with some seafood thrown in!

Pesto Muffins

I made up a big batch of pesto the other day with a big bunch of basil that I harvested from my in-law’s garden. After a few pesto pasta meals I was looking for another way to use it up, and found the perfect recipe in Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion. The muffins came out lovely and light and more-ish. The secret ingredient was the buttermilk (also a leftover). I also added some English spinach and grated cheddar to the dry ingredients for a bigger flavour hit. Yum!

Pesto Muffins

Birthday Dinner – Part 3

We finished dinner with a tiramisu. This is really a dessert for coffee lovers – there was more espresso in there than booze, I think! And the orange zest gave a nice zing to the dessert. It also wasn’t too rich, so a nice way to end our meal.

Birthday Dinner

I must say we were impressed with the service. The wait staff were welcoming and amazingly efficient, even with a full restaurant. We may return to sample more of the mains.

Birthday Dinner – Part 1

We went to Jamie’s Italian for my birthday. Having heard that the place gets busy very quickly, we decided to head there straight after work – in our case, we arrived at 5.15pm and was able to be seated straight away.

I like Jamie Oliver’s cooking style, and was curious about the food in his restaurant. If it was anything like his cooking shows, then it would be well-cooked, down-to-earth food.

We started with a few nibblies. The first was Italian-style nachos, which happened to be deep-fried raviolis with a smoky cheese filling, accompanied by an arrabiatta salsa. The salsa certainly made this starter, as it was otherwise chips and dip.

Birthday Dinner

We also had arrancine – breaded and deep-fried balls of risotto, which was oozing with flavour, and topped with parmesan and served with a tomato sauce.

Birthday Dinner

Bread and the arrancine might have come free when the restaurant first opened, but there were no freebies when we visited. Nevertheless, we did enjoy our entrees.

Favourite Feeds – Risotto

I didn’t always like risotto. Risotto in a restaurant is often stodgy, too creamy, or too large in portion size that I rarely get through half. Meanwhile, my attempts at cooking risotto is often disastrous – I end up with a bowl of solid stodge instead of the fluid, creamy rice that I see on the TV cooking shows.

Now, this isn’t my risotto (it’s one from a seaside pub, and it’s seafood), but after many, many attempts, I think I may have mastered the risotto (mushroom in particular): use good arborio rice (preferably from a deli), stir rice gently, cook accompanying ingredients beforehand and stir in at last minute, don’t go overboard with the parmesan cheese, and eat straight away.

Seafood risotto