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…
  • 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…
  • Wagaya – Modern Japanese Izakaya
    Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Wagaya – Modern Japanese Izakaya
    I am part of a food-obsessed family. My father is a former Yum Cha Chef. My mother is an amazing home cook. All my sisters and I think nothing of opening the fridge at midnight to fry up a meal from scratch. We do not hesitate spending an entire day making dumplings in the kitchen. When I decided to start a food blog, it seemed like I had just announced I was slicing an apple. Gastronmic connoisseurs? Nope, we are foodlovers. We travel far and wide looking for a great bowl of noodles, we pay no attention to the time of day when we are hungry, we bicker about who-ate-what and didn't share it, we gossip about who-went-where and didn't get to go, we fly across the world just to eat and shop, we each have a friend that thinks we are crazy food geeks. Its Chinese New Year and we decide to have lunch at a restaurant my father once worked at. They must've had an off-day, because the food was bland, ordinary or overcooked. We were all seriously disappointed and it was the least that we had spent at Yum Cha. "Dad, is it the Head Chef's day off?" "He would rather be dead than not be in the kitchen. This is terrible." I am not satisfied. There is nothing like a disappointing meal to increase my appetite for the next one. "Hey, let's go out for dinner tonight to make up for this crap." "Where you wanna…