Me, Marco, Chin Chin

2
Dec
2014

My friend Marco suggested we go to this super trendy Melbourne restaurant called Chin Chin for dinner this evening. I had been hearing about it non-stop, and even tried unsuccessfully to go the other night (where the waiting list was an hour and a half). As I mentioned, Melbourne steadfastly refuses to do reservations, so everyone must wait, always. We planned on getting there pretty early, around 6:30, to avoid the worst of it, and I got there even earlier and put our name in. We were lucky that the wait was ONLY 35 minutes.

Once inside, we decided on the “feed me” option on the menu, where they basically pick everything and bring you stuff, with one stipulation. I noticed they had a beef rendang on the menu, and I had to have it. I have to have rendang wherever I see it, it is one of my favorite dishes. They agreed, and brought us plate after plate of fantastic food. Everything was super delicious, but the rendang was truly spectacular. Problem was, by this time I was one stuffed, fat cow (as the gays all seem to call each other here). As we still had another main plate coming, we asked them to please halt and just bring us the dessert. I took a few bites, it was pretty yum. But by this point I was just about to search for a bucket. Thankfully, that was when the bill came and we paid and walked for a bit before sharing a cab back to our neighborhood.

During the meal and walk back, Marco and I had a really nice talk about politics, acceptance, families and such. It has been really fun getting to know him and Luc and their friends while here, and I realized I will miss them when I leave.

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The frisky waiter recommends…

10
Sep
2012

After a somewhat late night Saturday out dancing with friends, I kept a low profile on Sunday, mostly staying in and taking care of a few things. For one, I moved from the 1st floor apartment in the building I am in to the 5th floor one (as planned when I booked the place). Then I did a little bit of work, took a brief walk around the neighborhood, and in the evening I was getting hungry so went in search of something simple. I stumbled upon this restaurant nearby named “Gani Gani”, and although it looked a little too cute inside with its “traditional” style room decor, I was too hungry to go further. I looked at the menu and ordered a kind of Turkish pizza that I had been hearing about (called Lahmacun), along with a yogurt drink (Ayran) and a water. While I was waiting for my meal to arrive, the cheerful waiter passed by with a dessert for another table. He then stopped by my table to show it to me, told me it was “special dessert, like Turkish Viagra.” I smiled a kind of queasy smile at him and nodded, not at all sure what he was implying. He then said I should try it, “maybe with girl you bring”. Was he ever reading me wrong. Anyway, I said thanks, no, perhaps some other time, and he scurried off in the direction of whatever table of undersexed (or oversexed) lovers he was to deliver it to.

A few minutes later some food arrived at my table, but it did not seem like what I had ordered. It was a giant puffed bread and some spicy-hot mincemeat something on the side. I asked the waiter if this is what I ordered and he said,

“This appetizer. Make you hungry. Food coming later.”

And although I was pretty sure he was adding things to my order, I went with it and dug in. It was actually super delicious, and while I was eating it my lahmacun pizza came, and it was also super yummy, I have to say. Here is what they looked like:

Between the two things I was pretty full when done, and so I asked for the check and he said,

“No yet, dessert coming.”

And I just knew I was about to eat Turkish pastry Viagra whether I wanted to or not. He scurried off before I could protest (I am sure he must do this all the time) and came back a couple of minutes later with this:

I thought what the hell, I would try a few bites. It was pretty good, but way too rich for me at that point, made with a tanker’s worth of sugar and melted cheese, I had about a third of it and finally got my check. Although the waiter had indeed added on these things to the bill, the total still only amounted to about thirteen dollars, so I didn’t much care. And everything was really delicious.

Surprisingly, I was not turned into a heaving sexbeast after eating the dessert, I wonder what went wrong?

Jailhouse rocks

28
May
2011

Josh and I had an amazing dinner experience this evening here in Copenhagen. I was looking on the web at gay life in the city, and there was a listing for a bar called Jailhouse that also had a restaurant attached to the upstairs. And this restaurant had pretty good reviews, so I thought it might be kind of funny to have dinner in a restaurant attached to a gay bar, and besides, it was a fairly short walk (in the rain) from our hotel. The previous notes I had read said that it was Danish/Swedish cuisine with a prix fixe menu, but when we got there we quickly noticed something rather odd about the menu: it was all soup. I am not kidding. The starter courses, main courses and desserts were all soup. When we asked about it, we were told that this was their new concept since last month, an all-soup menu. At first I have to admit to not being too thrilled by the idea, but then thought what the hell, and in any event the rain outside and our natural laziness worked to convince us to stay and try it. I am thrilled that we did, absolutely everything we had was truly fantastic. Josh and I both began with the fennel and brie soup, pared with a wonderful white wine offered by our charming waiter. Next, I had a Danish lamb stew that was as good as anything like it I have ever had, and Josh had a mussel stew that he absolutely loved as well. Finally, we had a strawberry soup for dessert, dressed up with vanilla ice cream, Pernod, mint, and white pepper. It was incredible. We were not expecting anything like this, and it was a truly amazing meal. I was a little worried for the place as they didn’t seem to be all that busy, but they certainly should be with this kind of quality and service. If you are ever in Copenhagen, I highly recommend it. It was a unique and delicious experience that we won’t soon forget.

Phat, Fat

17
May
2009

I don’t think I have ever had such a thoroughly decadent culinary run in so few days. Marites and I really hit it:

Peas and Ramps Risotto – Eighty One
Slow Roasted Chicken, Organic Chickpeas and Harissa – Eighty One
Wild Mushroom Soup – Eighty One
Gnocchi with peas in cream – Eighty One
Warm Caramel Roasted Bosc Pear (fresh goat cheesecake, golden raisins, gingersnap ice cream) – Eighty One
Warm Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding (oatmeal pecan shortbread, butter pecan ice cream) – Eighty One
Toro Tartare – Morimoto
Kobe Beef Bento Box – Morimoto
Black Cod Bento Box – Morimoto
Soy Milk Souffle, Tofu Cheesecake, Maple Ice Cream – Morimoto
Salad of Herby Lentils, Green Beans, Avocado, Toasted Pecans & Baby Gem with Pomegranate Molasses and Avocado Oil Vinaigrette – Public
Roast Lamb Sirloin on Crispy Goats Cheese Polenta with Saffron Braised Baby Vegetables and Harissa Aioli – Public
Crispy skinned Barramundi with a Wild Mushroom Broth, Fingerling Potatoes, Pickled Ginger and Pea Leaf Salad – Public
Sticky toffee pudding with Armagnac ice cream and hot caramel sauce – Public
Unda Chicken Roll – Kati Roll Company
Shami Kebab Roll – Kati Roll Company
Achari Paneer Roll – Kati Roll Company
Shaved Tuna, Chilli Tapioca, Asian Pear and Lime – Spice Market
Shrimp Tod Mon Pla Cucumber Peanut Relish – Spice Market
Avocado and Radish, Chinese Mustard, Tempura Onions – Spice Market
Spiced Chicken Samosa, Cilantro Yogurt – Spice Market
Charred Chili Rubbed Beef Skewer – Spice Market
Steamed Red Snapper, Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger, Scallion and Tarragon – Spice Market
Char Grilled Chicken, Kumquat Lemongrass Dressing – Spice Market
Ginger Fried Rice – Spice Market
Ovaltine Kulfi, Caramelized Banana, Spiced Milk Chocolate Sauce – Spice Market
Thai Jewels Crushed Coconut Ice – Spice Market
Amuse, Star Anise Gelee and Vanilla sorbet – Chickalicious
Poached Rhubarb with Sabayon, vanilla sorbet and pistachios – Chickalicious
Toasted Pecan, Panna Cotta, Pecan Sorbet – Chickalicious
Housemade Country Lamb Sausage, Scrambled eggs, and Toast – August
Eggs Bordelaise (red wine braised wild mushrooms, creme fraiche, fried egg, and toast) – August
Plums in Balsamic vinegar with black sesame seeds – August
Grass Fed Beef Hamburger with Kimchi – Green Table
Chocolate, Coconut, Pear Gelatto – L’Arte del Gelato
Duck Steam Bun – Double Crown
Endive and Stilton Salad – Double Crown
Coconut Chicken Salad – Double Crown
Spicy Seared Beef Salad – Double Crown
Tandoori-Marinated Foie Gras – Double Crown
Bitter Chocolate Trifle – Double Crown

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my next few days will be occupied with a strict diet of cardio, weight-lifting, and throwing up.

Baroque Dining

7
May
2009

I just HAVE to write about the most amazing restaurant that we (John, Kevin, Paul and I) ate at this evening in the Village. It is called “August“, and it was perhaps the best meal that I have had in New York since arriving 4 months ago. Yes, it was THAT good. You can of course check out their menu yourself on their website, but if I had to sum up in a tidy description, I would say we ate as kings would have in the 16th or 17th century, albeit in smaller quarters. Or at least how they would have eaten in my romantic vision of the excesses of royalty from that period. My only regret was not having my camera handy to delight you all with the delicious visions that graced our table. I highly recommend a trip here after your next hastily arranged annulment and spouse beheading, or anytime really.

La di da

30
Jan
2009

Just had dinner at a mostly fabu restaurant in Brooklyn called Al di la with a new friend of mine. I had heard a lot about the place before going, and we were thrilled to get a table with no reservation, even though the place was packed. The starter (red beet ravioli) and main (flank steak in a balsamic reduction) were both really fantastic. So much so, that I was really looking forward to dessert (pear chocolate tart and chestnut-honey ice cream), but alas it was awful. The ice cream in particular tasted like a musty lead pipe smells. How can a place that has such fantastic starters and mains be so completely off the mark in dessert?

Gluttony, Brazilian style

13
Dec
2008

My friend Elson and I went to a place last night called Angelica Grill. It is one of those places in a Brazilian tradition of all you can eat meat restaurants. Basically there is a giant salad bar where you go for heaping piles of side dishes to bring back to your table. Then you set a little rotating sign on your table to the “Yes please” (as opposed to “No thank you”) position, and wait for the meat guys to descend on you like pigeons. Every few minutes they come by to shave off a different cut of meat from a skewer, as you try to force down as much as you can without throwing up. Just about the time you are waiting to be begged to take just “one wafer thin mint“, confused as hell as to why they won’t stop coming by, you remember to set the sign to “No thank you”, and the fleishe anschluss ends. And then comes the dessert cart!

The restaurant we were in was filled with families, large groups, possible bar mitzvah parties, work parties, etc. And all of them were quite boistrous. The enormous room, which was fairly well appointed in hotel ballroom style was filled with perhaps 500 people. And a lot of these people were, how shall I put this delicately…quite a bit overweight (surprise).

It is good to know that Americans are not the only people in the world who can at times mistake quantity for quality.

yumyumyum

8
Aug
2008

It is great to be back in a city that knows good food of all kinds. The other night Sian and I had dinner at the fantastic restaurant Public, yesterday morning Jai and I had breakfast at a wonderful place in the village called Morandi, and just last night I had one of those oh so simple but oh so satisfying slices of NY pepperoni pizza. And let’s not even mention the chocolate chip cookies at City Bakery.

Penthouse view, Rooster and Fish

20
Oct
2007

Last night my old roommate and landlady (Jose and Sally) took me out to a belated birthday dinner at a super swell restaurant called The Penthouse (on the 18th floor of the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica). The food was fantastic, especially the Kobe beef steak and the bread pudding. As the name and location imply, the view was spectacular. The three of us shared stories of the past year, and good feelings were all around as we were leaving (the delicious bottle of Gigondas probably didn’t hurt). So we decided to extend the fun with a trip to a local gay bar called the Roosterfish.  There I was chatted up by a 40 year old who looked as if he were 19. Seriously. It was either the best damn lighting in the world, he has a very expensive plastic surgeon or he is drinking someone’s blood.

A South Indian Homecoming

13
Oct
2007

Well, sort of. Last night Troy and I had dinner at a South Indian restaurant (named Dosa, appropriately enough) that I discovered while walking around yesterday. It was quite a surprise and I gather that this is San Francisco’s first South Indian restaurant. The food was very, very good. We ordered a Masala Dosa, Channa Batura, Idli Sambar and something I hadn’t heard of before, Chennai Chicken (which is basically masala battered and fried with a yogurt dipping sauce). I have to say the quality (especially of the Dosa and Idli) was top notch. The channa in the Channa Batura had a wee too much clove in it for my tastes, but was otherwise very good. I also had forgotten that this is the US and everything is bigger. The batura was as big as a pizza, but very good quality. Other than that, the Mango Lassi was not very good (what did I expect, there are no good mangoes here) but the plain Sweet Lassi was excellent.

If I decide to settle in San Francisco, I’ll be coming back here to eat. A lot.


From SF