A sharing thing

3 Comments

host13

host16

 

Cooking Connections at Yarraville Community Centre, part of the Care To Share Project

CTS missed the first, Vietnamese outing of the Care To Share Project’s Cooking Connections program, but was very happy to make the weekend pairing as host.

Thanks to the Care To Share crew for granting me the opportunity (see link below for more information).

Thanks, too, to the punters – many from the west but more than a few from all over Melbourne.

But most of all, warm thanks to the families and individuals who shared their cooking and food with us.

There will be photos and comments about the food in this post, but really they’re only part of the story …

First up on the Saturday were Jamshid from Afghanistan, Sara from Iran and the family of Ebi, Roya and Marianne, also from Iran.

All these folks are on bridging visas.

 

host1

 

Marrianne did a fine job of splitting the dates and inserting walnuts in them for the Persian sweet rangenak.

 

host5

 

But in the digital age, some things are universal with young folks.

 

host2

 

The guests lost no time in leaving their chosen seats to talk to the asylum-seeking cooks.

Jamshid was busy making korme koftas, chicken biryani and Afghan pulao.

 

host3

 

Along with a stack of finely chopped greens – spinach, coriander, dill – dried limes went into the ghormeh sabzi prepared by Roya and Ebi.

 

host6

 

Jamshid’s lamb meatballs and Afghan pulao were fab …

 

host8

 

The ghormeh sabzi – with its greens, potato, lamb and red beans – was piquantly amazing.

 

host9

 

Everyone thought so!

 

host7

 

The walnut-stuffed dates were drizzled with pan-roasted flour mixed with oil and, finally, coconut for a suave “grown-up” post-meal sweet treat.

 

host12

 

On the Sunday, it was time for Rosa, her mum Nigest and niece Betty to present their Ethiopian cuisine.

The guests were split about 50/50 between those who had tried Ethiopian food and injera and those who had not.

The dishes cooked were lamb dishes key wat and tibs, and the cabbage, potato and carrot of key wat.

 

host15

 

Having long admired and respected the fresh zing with which our African cooks imbue their salads-on-the-side, I was tickled to discover how one family at least does it – marinating sliced green chillies in lemon juice and using it as a dressing.

 

host16

 

Once again, the guests lost no time in getting up close and personal with the cooks and the dishes they were cooking.

 

host18

 

For more information on the Care To Share Project, check out their website here and “like” their Facebook page here.

 

host19

host10

host17

host14

Going the whole chook

7 Comments

fry6

 

Frying Colours, 520 Macaulay Road, Kensington. Phone: 9939 9679

Frying Colours does Korean food with an upbeat, swish attitude.

The long room, which formerly housed a noodle shop, has undergone a substantial refit that cleverly combines a hip suaveness and the feel of a more traditional Korean cafe, especially thanks to the old-school wooden tables.

On a Friday night, the place is humming.

The staff are everywhere and very good at their jobs.

The open kitchen/servery takes about a third of the space.

We’re very happy that our food arrives in approximately the same amount of time it takes us to work what we are going to order – bravo!

For tonight, Team CTS numbers four, so we expect to make merry with the menu.

We do.

Everything we have is good.

There’s a couple of major hits and a minor mis-step that has more to do with our ordering than the food.

Just for fun and to experience as much of what’s available as we can, we order a couple of skewered starters.

 

fry1

 

“Mouth-watering chicken skewers” ($3 each) are good in a kind of Korean satay fashion.

 

fry2

 

Eggplant skewers ($3) are way better – they’re tender, juicy and with immense smoky eggplant flavour. We’ll be ordering a stack of these next time.

 

fry8

 

We order a whole fried chicken. They’re $32; $19 for half.

There’s something enormously liberating and reckless about ordering a whole fried chook – or the equivalent bits there-of.

We split our order 50/50 between “spicy” and “sweet soy” (there’s also “original” available).

Our selections turn our expectations upside down.

Expecting the sweet soy pieces to be the more moist, we find them instead to be the most like orthodox fried chicken. They’re fab.

The “spicy” pieces, by contrast, are moist with a glaze that seems almost Chinese. The spice levels are modest for this table-full of western heat hounds.

But still, this is great stuff and the other big hit of the night.

We’d do it again in a flash.

We’ve accesoried with “wasabislaw” ($5) and kimchi ($5). Both are good and well-priced for the serve sizes.

 

fry4

 

Bulgogi hot pot ($36) is one of a handful of dishes to share.

It’s of a more traditional Korean bent, with sweetish stocky broth, sliced beef, two kinds of onion, heaps of glassy noddles and some nice slithery mushrooms.

It’s nice enough but is, we suspect, not really what this place is all about or well worth visiting for.

Christine eloquently sums up our collective feelings: “This would seem really good if we hadn’t ordered the chicken!”

We reckon stuff such as the fried chicken or the “FC mixed grill” to share ($40) are the go here.

On the way home, we make a West Foostray stop for peanut butter and vanilla ice-cream courtesy of tonight’s dining companions. They’re both so very, very fine. The ice-cream AND the companions.

Check out the Frying Colours website, including menu, here.

 

Frying Colours on Urbanspoon

 

fry5

fry7

Great food + good company = help for Eritrean kids

8 Comments

benefit

 

7.24pm, Monday, July 21: There is a single ticket left!

To book for this event, go HERE.

A FUND-RAISING PARTY FOR ERITREAN AUSTRALIAN HUMANITARIAN AID, HOSTED BY CONSIDER THE SAUCE AND KOBEB RESTAURANT & CAFE

Putting aside for a moment the regular Consider The Sauce Feast activity, we will instead host a wonderful fund-raising party on Tuesday, July 22.

This is a lovely story of how one thing can lead to another and another with winning results.

A few months back, while attending the African festival in Footscray, I spied a poster for an event being held at the Flemington Community Centre in Mount Alexander Road that very night.

It was a a fund-raising dinner for a charity called Eritrean Australian Humanitarian Aid (EAHA).

So I fronted and paid my $30 with visions of a second injera meal for the day and other whoop-de-doo swirling in my head.

I got to have my (very nice) meal and, beforehand, some explosively good Eritrean-style coffee – rich, thick, sweet and heavily spiced with ginger.

I did, though, have to get to grips with the fact that there was to be some serious business and speechifying.

But as I listened and watched the slide presentation, I found myself being inspired by the work EAHA does in supporting Eritrean kids in refugee camps in Sudan. (Think about that for a minute …)

So I introduced myself to the EAHA operatives Louise and Anwar, who had done the speechifying, and offered the services of Consider The Sauce for a fund-raising bash.

This is a small, grassroots charity it is easy to admire – there are no middlemen, there is no “administrative leakage”. Virtually all the funds they raise go straight to those kids in Sudan.

Read more about EAHA here or on the group’s Facebook page here.

From the there it was a simple matter of finding a venue.

So I returned to Kobeb in Barkly Street.

There I soon discovered Helen and Melaku were up for it – and also that Helen is Eritrean and was brought up in New Zealand.

It all fits!

The Kokeb crew will prepare a feast of goodies to be eaten with injera and enjoyed with good company – all for a measly $30.

There is a maximum capacity of 45 people for this event.

Kobeb will be reimbursed for the grocery shopping but apart from that and the TryBooking fees, all the money raised will go to EAHA and thence to those Eritrean kids.

Says Louise: “EAHA is excited to be joining Kenny and Kobeb in this feast and fundraising evening! Not only will it be great food, it will also help us raise money to finish building a primary school at an Eritrean refugee camp in Sudan. As we see it, it’s a win-win situation; people get to taste some of the fabulous cuisine from Ethiopia/Eritrea and raise money for a good cause at the same time!

“100 percent of money that EAHA raises goes directly towards projects benefiting Eritrean refugees. EAHA is run by volunteers, most of whom have direct connections to the area in Sudan where most Eritrean refugees have been living for decades. EAHA is completely committed to helping the community there and ensuring that every dollar raised is spent to the greatest effect.”

****

EAHA/Condsider The Sauce/Kokeb Party,

Kokeb Restaurant & Cafe, 247 Barkly Street, Footscray. Phone: 9689 0157

Tuesday, July 22, from 7pm to 9.30pm (approx).

Soft drinks free, alcohol to paid for separately.

To book for this event, go HERE.

CTS Feast No.8: Vicolo – the wrap

Leave a comment
f811

Maria (La Morenita) meets Maria (Vicolo).

f82

 

CTS Feast No.8: Vicolo Cafe & Risotto Bar, 28-30 Young Street, Moonee Ponds. Phone: 9372 9500. Tuesday, June 17, from 7pm.

It’s something to marvel at – that what started as a simple gathering at Hyderabad Inn in Footscray for about 10 people almost a year has seen the Consider The Sauce Feast concept progress to an eighth outing.

This time we were the guests of Maria at Vicolo in Moonee Ponds.

Of course, a fine time was had by all.

And once more, it seemed like about at least half of the guests had been attendees at one or more previous Feasts.

Thank you!

The Vicolo turn-out was a particularly gregarious crew, all of whom seemed happy and eager to make happy conversation with their immediate table neighbours.

That made my task as host very relaxing – a big thank you for that, too!

I thought the food was super.

 

f83

 

Conchiglioni ripienne di ricotta e spinache al forno (giant pasta shells filled with ricotta and spinach, oven-baked in our delicious Napoli sauce) was a light and simple starter with a fine tomato sauce.

 

f87

 

Those who chose risotto paesana di vegetale verde e pesto Genoese (risotto with zucchini, asparagus, leek, and green peas and our home-made basil pesto) as their main course were happy.

The sample I tried was flavoursome with pesto and beautifully, slightly al dente vegetables.

The serves were huge!

 

f88

 

If anything, those who opted for osso buco cacciatore-style con polenta (tender beef osso buco oven-braised with rosemary, red wine and winter vegetables over soft polenta) were even happier.

It was rich, sticky and wonderful.

This was Bennie’s first experience with this dish – he loved it, but drew the line at sucking up the marrow.

 

f89

 

Panna cotta della casa di mandola (homemade almond cream dessert) was divine, the wafting flavour of marzipan being all the more effective for its subtlety.

 

f810

 

The lemon tart was equally luscious.

Plenty of people managed to have a good taste of both desserts by doing deals with their neighbours!

Thanks again to everyone, particularly to Maria and her staff.

 

f812

f813

More Wayo wow

Leave a comment
wayo24
Wayo Japanese Dining, 286 Racecourse Road, Flemington. Phone: 9376 5484

Wayo is not one of your more formal Japanese restaurants; nor is it your quickie purveyor of sushi rolls, though there are those available.

So … Wayo IS a rather elegant cafe-style eatery.

And on the basis of a second visit – see a story about the first here – it’s doing truly superb things.

This time around, four dishes are selected from the entree-sharing list.

This simple, affordable Japanese-style tapas spread is truly memorable, each and every dish an outright winner.

 

wayo21

 

“Hearty veggie miso soup” ($4.50) has deep miso flavour.

And there’s a goodly bunch of onion, carrot and potato in there.

“Hearty” is certainly the operative word.

We’re well used to Japanese potato salad being more like mashed spuds in the style also found accompanying BBQ in the US.

Such is the case with this “potato salad with Japanese gravy” ($5.50).

Here, though, the pile of dull-looking warm potato adorned with enoki mushrooms looks distinctly unappetising.

But the flavour is fabulous – surely there is a strong cooked-in-stock thing going on here.

Not sure about the clear “gravy” – is it a glaze or is it merely an oil slick?

No matter – we love this, too.

 

wayo22

 

Nasu dengaku ($8) also defies expectations of the orthodox.

Instead of a halved baby eggplant, this version consists of a thick slice of regular eggplant. The skin has separated from the flesh and gained a brittleness that makes it almost seem like a bottomless bowl.

Is it meant to be eaten? It tastes OK, with smoky flavour, but is a little weird.

But the flesh itself and the gooey miso sauce are sublime – so silky and delicious.

 

wayo23

 

“Tirikara fried chicken” (five pieces for $7.50) is made of ribs or ribettes rather the advertised fully-fldged wings – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In any case, the price is still right for the simple reason they taste sooooo good – dry of batter with, I think, a strong garlic flavour.

Based on this rather randomly selected array of dishes, we’re definitely up for return visits to Wayo.

 

Wayo Japanese Dining on Urbanspoon

 

wayo24

New Seddon place impresses

7 Comments

moz5

 

Mozzarella Bar, 103 Victoria Street, Seddon. Phone: 9687 0097

Having tried and failed to get a table at Seddon’s brash new Italian joint a week or so previously, a friend and I have no problems on a public holiday Monday night.

It’s her second visit.

We have a wonderful time. The style of the place is not necessarily a natural for CTS, but what can I say?

The service – even before the camera came out – and the food we try are pretty darn fabulous.

 

moz1

 

We share a beetroot, goats cheese and rocket salad ($10).

It’s simple-as but just fine – the plump beetroots are firm yet tender, and vinegary in a way that reminds of me of my mum’s very own.

High praise!

 

moz2

 

My pal’s gnocchi de casa with “rich tomato sugo, mozzarella di bufala, basil” ($19) is a huge serve.

But she makes lip-smackingly and happy short work of it for good reason – my stolen taste is fabulous, the pillows so light and fluffy it seems they may float away.

I do something unusual for me – well, two actually.

I order the most expensive meal on the menu; and it’s a steak.

 

moz3

 

T-bone Toscana of green beans, roasted rosemary potatoes, cherry tomatoes and pesto ($32) is simply fabulous.

I’m actually happy that it’s quite a lot less than the inches-thick slab of meat I had been expecting. This makes it a filling but not overly so experience.

It’s perfectly cooked to order – medium rare. And while there’s some gristle and (of course) bones, I’m knocked out by its rustic appeal.

There’s a heap of wonderful green beans under that meat. And there’s plenty of fluffy, gorgeous spud chunks, too.

It’s a no-sides-needed feed that makes the price tag seem something of a bargain.

Best of all, there’s lashings of pesto, salt, pepper and oil – perhaps this is the sort of unapologetic blow-out repast I should consider more often.

Because I dig the hell out of it …

 

moz6

 

We love the theatre of the open kitchen.

The pizzas whizzing by us as our meal unfolds look awesome.

As do the deep-fried zeppole (Italian doughnuts).

Check out the Mozzarella Bar website – including full menu – here.

 

Mozzarella Bar on Urbanspoon

 

moz4

moz7

Cafe madness in Seddon

5 Comments

sed1

 

The Charles Street video store is no more.

And the premises’ windows have had placed in them paperwork for a hospitality industry enterprise.

Normally, I would’ve noted this with interest and awaited further material progress.

But in this case, I have been alerted by CTS pal Tennille and colleague Xavier to the presence of plans for the site on the website of the Maribyrnong council.

See the plans here.

I do not know if all such plans submitted to council are as detailed as these.

For they certainly give a very real idea of just what is proposed.

Included are artist impressions such as the one above, as well as information such as a parking analysis, existing site photos, proposed “colour palette” and floorplans.

 

sed2

 

Also provided is a montage of “inspirational cafes & images”, including shots of Captains Of Industry, Flip Board Cafe and – quite bizarrely it seems to me – Common Galaxia from just up the road!

 

sed3