Thursday, January 24, 2013

Celcius Restaurant and Bar

The only time you might be able to spot me tucking into a degustation menu would be during special events. As much as I like having a glass of wine with my exceptionally delicious meals, the thought of spending more than $50 for a meal aches me tremendously. However, when I do decide on indulging myself, I do not hesitate to choose a place that is on the talk-of-the-town list.

At Celcius, you can opt to have ala carte meals but on weekends, it is strictly degustation time so do check with the receptionist when you ring in for a reservation. I was running a bit late for my reservation but thankfully, the restaurant's receptionist was very understanding and offered to wait for us to arrive, regardless of how long we took. Thumbs up for a welcoming service prior to arrival!

We opted for the 8 course degustation menu which is about $125 per person, excluding wine matching. About 5 minutes after we placed our order, we were served warm house bread with knobs of plain butter and parlsey infused butter.The butter glided smoothly upon spreading on the fluffy, soft bread and I found it difficult to stop myself from hogging it all for myself.

Goats curd, cucumber, fennel, broad beans and herb ~ a very refreshing and light dish to start the degustation menu. Everything on the plate was fresh and still had a nice crispy crunch texture to it.

Tuna, pork, kohlrabi, lemon and ginger~ a seafood dish appears on the table and this dish tastes as good as it looks. All the individual elements complemented each other well and as you may observe from the picture, the piece of tuna is not overcooked at all.

Petit sapin, Jerusalem artichoke, chicken skin and lime finger~ I am trying to find the name of this dish on the restaurant's online menu and I am not sure if what I got is right. The chicken pate wasn't as heavy and filling as I had expected it to be (I might be cultivating an interest for pate?) and the chicken skin is wafer thin and very fragile, a nice sensation which easily found it's way into my mouth. There are quite a few crunchy components on this dish such as the garlic crisps and mini swirls.

Lamb sweetbread, globe artichoke, pear, rainbow chard~ From memory, the yellow sauce is composed of corn puree whilst the orange-ish red sauce is made of capsicum puree. These brilliantly coloured sauces made what is a seemingly dull dish appear pleasing to the eye. Lamb sweetbread pieces were moist and very flavourful indeed.

Duck breast, beetroot, cherry vinegar and olive liquorice~ there is something magical about using beetroot. Not only does it add colour and texture to a dish but it seems to have a very subtle sweetness to it which often, goes well with stronger poultry flavours. The duck breast was very juicy and well marinated with the accompanying sauce. Probably one of my favourite dishes for the night.

Milkfed Berkshire pork, sweet potato, red cabbage and leek ~ The only time I would ever eat (and enjoy) a good slab of pork fat is when it is well prepared. I had no problems cleaning my plate and this dish is a nice addition to my degustation experience, after having the duck dish previously. One again, the chef did not think twice about adding crunchy and creamy elements on the plate and it has been executed brilliantly.

Cake with pineapple, meringue and passionfruit~ I am looking forward to having 2 desserts today. One might think that there is a little too much acid prancing on the plate but I think the meringue and cake somehow eased the sourness by quite a bit and still managed to showcase the fruit's unique characteristics.

Chocolate, honeycomb, vanilla and toasted custard~ just when you thought it ended well for the night, the waitress brings out a jug of warm custard and pours it all over your chocolate! The chocolate has been tempered and hence, oozed away as the warm custard breaks it apart to exhibit a moist, sinful cake hiding under that chocolate shell. The custard and vanilla ice cream contrasted nicely against the heavy, strong tasting cake. Another enjoyable dish of the night.

Overall, we had a good time at Celcius. The relaxing ambience, delicious food and accommodating service made our weekend worth waiting for after working everyday during the week. I can get used to this. Time to rake up some serious cold cash.

Celsius Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bath hotel

I like discovering new restaurants in Adelaide and this time round, I found a fancy place that serves a nice variety of pub food as well as nicely prepared gourmet-ish dishes. Not only does the menu have an interesting range of dishes, but the interior design is just stunning; perfect for a date or for a fancy celebratory occasion.

I love the "twinkling" star decor that gives diners the impression that they are dining beneath a sky of stars. Did I mention that they do have an outdoor area where diners can watch football/ footy from a giant TV screen.

Garlic bread~ toasted ciabatta with garlic and fresh herbs. Big, chunky slices of ciabatta that is crisp on the outside and has a soft, porous center. Went down extremely well from memory:)

Lobster topped with cheese, served with a bed of vegetables and rice.

Duo of duck~ Duck breast and confit duck leg served on potato fondant, puy lentils and dark cherry kirsch glaze.

Bath fish and chips~ probably one of the cheaper options on the menu but don't be fooled by it's price. The portion size is more than sufficient for myself and it was delicious. Fresh salad and crunchy deep-fried fish fillets. The fries were also well- fried and were not soggy at all. Thoroughly enjoyed this platter!

I was here on another night with my sister and although we didn't order any bread for the table, we were served with house bread, which is always a welcoming note according to my books:)

Potato and proscuitto croquettes served with napoli sauce and aioli. The aioli nicely complimented the fried croquettes and somehow added a tangy taste to it. Yummy indeed!

Hervey bay 1/2 shell scallops with leek, pancetta, spinach and garlic butter. Scallops were fresh and not overcooked and were nicely seasoned with adequate amounts of butter. Overall, a nice appetiser to have if you love seafood.

MSA beef schnitzel with mushroom gravy~ Since I landed in Aussie grounds, I constantly find myself being mesmerized by this deep-fried piece of beef. A good schnitzel should ideally have a crunchy coating of breadcrumbs (or whatever they use to coat it with) but still retains a moist, succulent meat texture enclosed. This particular schnitzel ticked all the right boxes for me and so far, I have yet to find a complete failed schnitzel in South Australia. Well done!!

Duck al'orange~ Duck breast served atop a bed of mashed potatoes, warm vegetables and drizzled with orange jus. I wouldn't say that it is a Michelin star dish but for the price that it was, it was a pretty good job. It is difficult to obtain a nicely cooked duck breast that's not overcooked. The mashed potatoes and generous amounts of jus added more moisture and flavour to the sliced duck pieces. A nice dish to have if you are craving for some iron.

Bath Hotel on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 21, 2013

Carrot cake recipe

I have a few extra carrots lying around in the fridge and since I will be back in Malaysia next week, I have decided to make full use of it otherwise it will be rotten by the time I get back. I don't usually make carrot cakes because I used to loathe carrots but now that I have developed the elusive "acquired" taste, why not?

I have obtained the recipe from David Lebovitz and I think the end result was prefect. Moist, light and flavourful cake:) The addition of brown butter made such an impressive difference to an ordinary carrot cake.

4 eggs
60ml vegetable oil
180ml melted brown butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour
400g sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
A few pinches of nutmeg and cloves (I must have added about 2 tsps of each!)
1 tsp salt
375g grated carrot
60g golden raisins

Frosting ingredients:
450g cream cheese
110g unsalted butter
240g icing sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract

Mix the wet ingredients together (oil, butter, eggs, vanilla extract) and slowly incorporate to the dry ingredient mixture( flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, raisins, carrots). Bake at 150C until well done. Cream the cheese and slowly add in cubes of softened butter and then the icing sugar and vanilla extract.

Give it a go and drop a comment if you do:)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The banquet

I can never say no to food..especially when I don't have to cook it myself! Thank goodness for people in my life whom are capable enough to feed this sad, hungry soul. Aside from that, I generally prefer to not go overboard with cooking savoury dishes because I will end up eating the leftover for days (just like watching the same drama episode for daysssss).

Of course, I did lend a hand in the kitchen. One hand to do all the slicing, washing etc and the other hand for sneaking a few bites into my mouth hahah

Sweet and sour chicken with capsicum, spring onions and onions. I managed to grab a few capsicums at one of the Asian supermarkets in Grote Street for just $2 last Friday. Pretty good deal and it was fresh capsicums, mind you:)

Honey chicken. Sticky and sweet, just the way I like it.

It has been a while since I had homemade stir fried bok choy. At the same Asian supermarket, a bunch of bok choy only costs 80cents and each bundle has a decent amount of bok choys attached together.

Tea eggs~ to be honest, I hardly ever eat this but having a menu change every once in a while is much welcomed.

I can't pinpoint a name for this noodles dish and to randomly name it would be an insult to the chef. Prawns, chicken thigh pieces, chinese vegetables with noodles. Yummy..