Cookbookmaniac
  • Efendy in Balmain – Lamb Testicles… to eat or not to eat?
    Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Efendy in Balmain – Lamb Testicles… to eat or not to eat?
    "Efendy means 'Gentleman' in old Turkish. It is commonly used to describe people with traditional upbringing adopting modern views" During the Easter break I was invited to attend a food bloggers dinner event at Efendy by Simon Leong of Simon Food Favourites. The purpose of the evening was to introduce and highlight the cuisine of one of the most ancient capitals: Istanbul. I do not know much about Turkish food. My knowledge of it doesn't extend further than Turkish Delight and what is offered at the kebab shop. So, I was quite excited to attend and sample some new things. The evening was hosted by Asli and Somer Sivrioglu. The elegant Asli dined with us, whilst the jovial Somer attended to the kitchen. We sampled many wonderful dishes and had quite a few eye-opening moments too. *wink wink* We were treated to: * Three cold mezes * Three hot mezes * A main course which was a trio of lamb dishes * A dessert platter of three different desserts Turkish bread is served along side a platter of dips and olive oil. Isot is a dried Turkish pepper. It has a smoky, raisin-like flavour. Although its spiciness is not apparent immediately this slowly builds as more is consumed. Sumac is a pretty red spice with a citrus-like flavour. I quite liked swirling this around with olive oil and turkish bread. Nuts & Spice Mix was a blend of pistachios, walnuts and toasted sesame seeds. Yasmin - who was sitting next…
  • Plan B by Becasse – Wagyu Burgers
    Australian Restaurant Reviews
    Plan B by Becasse – Wagyu Burgers
    I have a growing desire to work closer to home. I currently live approximately an hour away from Sydney CBD and use to happily travel the distance everyday for many years. I no longer have the patience to be going back and forth for such long periods of time so frequently. Unfortunately, one of the pitfalls of not working in the city is missing out on establishments like Plan B. Plan B is the off-shoot, miniature cafe of Becasse, the main posh restaurant is just next door. It's only open Monday to Friday, 9to5. Grrrr. This is an absolute bummer for a wagyu-obsessed foodie like myself. Plan B serve a much applauded 600-day grass-fed Wagyu Beef Burger. Ever since I read about it in the Sydney Morning Heralds Good Food Guide 2010, I have been daydreaming about when I make pilgrimage to the teeny-tiny cafe. I took a planned day-off work for my birthday and made the trip into the city. Pizzaboy and I are late risers and we only managed to get to the cafe a little before 2pm. It seems we arrive just after the lunch rush and we manage to score a table on the sidewalk without waiting. There are only 4 items on the menu, some ready-made sandwiches in the fridge, and a very few drinks on offer. Pizzaboy and I usually try not to order the same thing for the purpose of variety for the blog, however, we cannot imagine ordering anything else but the…
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Ichi Ban Boshi – Return of the old favourite
    It's a Friday night and two days before Pizzaboy's birthday. We always eat out on Friday evenings, it's our favourite method of winding down from our mundane 9to5 jobs. "It's my birthday weekend, does that mean I can choose where we eat tonight?" "Ok, but it has to be somewhere I haven't blogged." "That's not fair. I guess Menya is out of the question?" "We've been to Menya 5 times since I blogged about it, choose somewhere different." "Ichi Ban Boshi?" "Ok!" Two thumbs up. Ichi Ban Boshi was our favourite Friday night haunt before we discovered Menya. It's located next to our favourite book shop, Kinokuniya. Pizzaboy is a comic book geek. I'm a cookbook nerd. Kinokuniya is our home away from home. It's very easy for us to shop for our books and then cross the hall to have our much loved end-of-the-week meal. Ichi Ban Boshi has a no reservation policy. You simply turn up and take a number. Thankfully this wait was only 10 minutes. We were seated and handed our menus immediately. There are many items on the menu ranging from the ever popular Tokyo Ramen to the most sort after Tonkotsu Ramen (only 15 bowls are available per day). There is also a selection of curry dishes, salads and various rice combo's. I don't bother looking at the menu. We flag down a waitress and order. Pizzaboy and I decide to stick to our old faithfuls: Tsukemen, Karaage-don, Gyoza and Grilled Ox Tongue. They…