Friday, 31 August 2007

Judgement on Thai

The thing about the Na Village restaurant is that it has a wonderful atmosphere.

From the garden you walk through to get in:

to the front door:

to the restaurant itself:

and the lovely girls dancing:

Its an experience, especially on a grey and rainy Genevan evening, which lifts and transports you to a tropical paradise.

And then the food... The restaurant has spared no expense in having really pretty Thai plates and accessories. The curries are all served in elegant lidded bowls, on to glass plates, which sit on top of broad colourful, gold highlighted platters.

The curries themselves were actually pretty good; I especially liked the duck red curry. I did need to ask for some fresh chillies, but that was no surprise to me. The panang was creamy and pleasing, the green curry light but not particularly exciting. There was a fish dish: soft and tender pieces of fish, with a sweet spicy sauce - unfamiliar to me, and very popular with everyone at the table. The platter of stir fried vegetables was simply prepared and a perfect foil for the rich curries - I enjoyed the lovely slightly smokey taste.

The mixed entrees were a little disappointing: a skewer of chicken satay, a short fat spring roll which was unexceptional but ok and some other bits and pieces. Even though I was full as I could be, at the end I weakened and just had to order dessert; mango and coconut rice. The mango was sweet and succulent, a perfect finish to the meal.

I would definitely go back to this restaurant again; less for the food than the atmostphere perhaps, but I would still recommend the food without qualms.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Feasting plans...

Thursday night I am organising a get together with some fellow foodies at a local Thai restaurant. The place is not cheap, but is a pretty amazing venue - carved wood everywhere, exotic flowers and scents filling the air, and wonderful Thai dancers to entertain you as you eat.

I promise photos later...

Soup: Prawn and lemongrass soup

Mixed entree of: spring rolls, chicken and lemongrass skewer, fresh vegetable rolls

Mains: Beef curry panang, Duck red curry, Chicken green curry, beef curry masaman, prawn and celery(?!) curry, fish curry (village style), rice and vegetables.

Dessert: a la carte

There was another dish, but I have no idea how to translate liseron d'eau from French into English. Haven't a clue what it is!

Hey... if you are reading this and live in Geneva, if you want to join in, I have had a couple of cancellations and would be delighted to have you join our little group for dinner!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Apricot cheesecake pikelets

This experiment really worked!

I was going to a party and wanted to whip up a sweet dish to take. It needed to be something that was cocktail sized. But what to make? I didn't have any cash, so it was a matter of finding stuff in the fridge and cupboard and getting creative. I saw that I had some cream cheese, and decided that it would be cool to make miniature cheesecakes. But cheesecake bases are pretty much anti finger food aren't they? So then I thought of pikelets - very easy to make and perfectly sized for the occasion.

Enough of my strange thought processes and on to the recipe!

6 tablespoons self raising flour
1 egg and enough milk to make nearly a cupful with the beaten egg

Sift flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle. Lightly beat egg and milk together, and pour into flour, and using a gentle whisking motion, combine. Allow to sit for a short while so that the lumps smooth out. The batter should be quite thick. Using butter in a frying pan, pour small quantities (about a dessertspoon full) into the pan. Once bubbles rise to the surface and have popped, flip and cook till golden.

Apricot cheesecake topping

1 packet cream cheese
3 tablespoons Apricot jam (in fact I used middle eastern apricot paste, which I dissolved in hot water)
icing sugar
1 drop of vanilla

Heat the jam until warm and runny but not hot. Add to cream cheese and use a fork to combine until you have a smooth paste. Don't worry if it is a little runny, as it will stiffen up when cool. Add a drop of vanilla essence, and icing sugar to sweeten if needed. Taste to make sure you are happy with the amount of apricot, and add more if needed. Allow to cool and then spread over pikelets and serve.

For garnish I used tiny icing hearts, but what I really wanted to do was decorate with finely sliced tiny strips of dried apricot.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Junk food... the ultimate example

Check this out:

This is a hotdog hamburger pizza. Available from your nearest Japanese Pizza Hut. For those interested, apparently it has 646 calories per slice. Gulp.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Cooking plans

Well my week spending time with my friends at the fete has inspired me. All those hours of watching the guys shaking up caiprinhas... time to make caiprinha sorbet! My friend Claudio gave me some Cachaca so now all I need to do is develop the recipe.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Taste du Jour - Fete de Geneve

The fete de Geneve has widened its scope and there is a fine food stand now... so tonights dinner was foie gras on toast with salad. Not bad for take-away eh?