Saturday, 28 April 2012

Pizza heaven at Da Michele in Naples

A Da Michele marina (front) and margherita (back)
Now I don't want to alienate you, but I can pretty much take or leave Julia Roberts. I mean, credit where it's due, she's an Oscar winner for Erin Brockovitch, which, confession time, I haven't seen. Pretty Woman was good though. I find that the "slippery little suckers" line is one you can use in just so many situations. Oh you remember, it's in the bit of the film where she is trying to eat escargot in a fancy restaurant and one snail shell goes flying across the room. Hilarious. Oh, and there's Steel Magnolias too. Who could resist Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton in the same film? Julia was a pivotal character but wisely remained a supporting actress among that lot. But these films are generally throwbacks to the 80s. So it was with a little concern that I found myself waiting to order pizza in L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples last week with a recent picture of Julia Roberts beaming down at me. Good Lord, that mouth!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Cookbook review: Kylie Kwong's Crispy Duck with Plum Sauce from Heart & Soul


I'm on a bit of a Australian chef kick at the moment. I've been cooking Christine Manfield, Karen Martini, Jill Dupleix and Kylie Kwong like there's no tomorrow. I've also thrown in some Neil Perry recipes to redress some of the gender bias going on here.

So with Easter upon us and four days of eating opportunities ahead of me, I decided to cook something a bit more involved and with a lot of wow factor. So what better to cook on Good Friday than a Chinese-style duck dish courtesy of Kylie Kwong?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Cookbook review: Harissa Lamb Shanks from Christine Manfield's Stir

I'm a big fan of the lamb shank and also of Christine Manfield, so putting the two together is a dream date. If you don't know Christine I suggest you grab one of her cookbooks or book yourself a flight to Sydney to eat in her most recent venture Universal. My love affair with Christine goes back a while now. I celebrated getting a new job in Sydney back in 1999 by dining at Paramount, her then ground-breaking restaurant in Potts Point. I still remember eating the duck pithivier and the multi layered rainbow flag ice-cream dessert she created for Sydney Mardi Gras one year. Christine was also kind enough to sign her fantastic book on desserts, which I bought for Mr B's birthday one year. Her mandarin sauce is also legendary at my family Christmas. I think you get the picture. I quite like Christine.

Friday, 6 April 2012

London's best breakfast at Golborne Deli

I'm on a mission to find the best breakfast in London and I need you to help me. For me, there can be fewer more satisfying events than a slightly lazy, unhurried Saturday morning over a good breakfast, preferably with the sun on my toes or some other exposed part of my body. It is a thing to be cherished. Granted, this doesn't happen often in London (at least the toe bit) but we had some stunning weather recently and I suggested to Mr B that we skip the cereal and go out for some eggs.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Striking it lucky at Gold Mine, Bayswater


Do you ever get the noodle munchies? Join the club. If I'm in the mood for some Chinese and I'm not near Chinatown, I usually head over to Queensway which is closer to home. This strip has an unusually high selection of tourist trap restaurants but if you look hard enough you'll find a pretty good selection of decent Chinese places to eat too. There is of course, a branch of Royal China here which is an always reliable, if popular, dim sum spot. I've tried a couple other places on the strip (there used to be a good Malaysian there until it seemed to run out of cash to pay the rent) but I now tend to gravitate towards either the Gold Mine or The Magic Wok.