2.25.2007

Sydney, my last meal...

It is seemingly a testament to the Aussies love for thier beers and that they are certainly not wimps in that department, as I could not find any non-alcoholic specimens to save my sober soul! being the designated driver in the bunch- a D.A.M.M.(read-drunks against mad mothers) dropout of 18 years, I have practically been on a constant I.V. of iced tea since the plane landed. Tonight's bites started with a "tall boy" of lime infused Black Tea sporting a fragrant herbal note. Funny, as the Asian server did not know what it was??? Go figure! Arugula is everywhere! Rocket as it were. If I have had it on one dish, I have had it on all of them. Citrus anf Fennel cured Salmon, done in house and paired with a light & refreshing salad composure of shaved fennel, oranges and arugula all dressed with evoo. Lacking seasoning, it was a nice combination for the perfumy fish. Identical to a dish that I opened up the club with, and had done many a time prior more than 11 years ago. Maybe it is now considered a classic? Next, a playful verbage, one that has been exploited the world over~ A savory "Tart Tatin", with caramelized shallots and ash covered goat's cheese. Served warm with semi tender baby leeks, baby greens and sun dried tomatoes. Again, without seasoning on the salad, it was still nice and pleasant. The real downer in this dish was the puff pastry bottom, which was underbaked, and chewy. The cheese smooth and subtle, it allowed me to enjoy the shallots that although could have a bit more glaze and ooze, fared well. Enter the barramudi! An Aussie hometown hero of sea bass characteristics. Pan roasted, skin on, it had been left a little too long on it's side in order to srispt he skin, and had developed an almost rancid flavor and muddy taste. The dill risotto was nice and not too overpowering as it can tend to be. The baby fennel the menu boasted must have been a premature misfire as it was not at all present. The baby carrots and rabe- the entremetier must have heard "CRUDITE" instead of "fire the veg of the day"- you do the math! The gribiche sauce served over the top was tasty and helped witht he deep flavor of the fish. After tasting everything together, then separately and moving back to the fish, this time removing the skin, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that it wasn't just the skin. As when the Iron Chef America loses a battle, the Barramundi will live to fight another day. Why do I write of these experiences one might ask?...to inspire others, to create and provoke thought about our craft, to fulfill my inherited passion, desire and ability to write, to push those around me to do better, and most importantly, to remind myself of why I started cooking and that we can not take the littlest of tasks for granted and realize that we are only as good or as bad as our weakest link, hence our last Barramundi.

2 Comments:

Anonymous angelchef said...

Glad to see your feeling better. enoy!

5:17:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

It was not that I was feeling bad, just that inevitable sensation of that first fix that your are always trying to acheive, lonf after the first rush is gone.

2:17:00 PM  

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