Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Indian Rissotto

I am surprised if this is not invented already. But it's actually NOT exactly risotto. What I did was cook my normal curry, this time it's prawn tikka masala and boil the basmati rice. The difference is that instead of serving them separately, I pre-mixed them together in the pan for ease of P who does that anyway messily in his plate. A surprising positive result as the dish looked more appetizing than served separately actually, provided you eat it right away of course before it turns cold and mushy!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Burger With A Difference

With all the posh burger chains mushrooming in the city (e.g.Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Hamburger Union) , the once humble and simple burger has somehow achieved some sort of status upgrade from their fast food days, to 'posh' gourmet food. Some interesting food development, it's as if taking fried rice and making them upmarket just by sprinkling it with abalone and truffles (eeks)

Hence I proceed to experiment with this concept after spotting some venison burger at Tesco. Mind you, I'd love to make by burger patties from scratch, but unless I plan it early and appear at the butchers with my odd request of venison mince, that'll have to do. Besides, it looks like some hefty quarter pounders, and venison is my favourite meat :)

Simple and good dinner with a bit of fun flipping the burgers in the air, though I still have yet to have the guts to risk my dinner, all I offered was to take a photograph of it in action :P Ingredient was pretty simple, just matching the burger with burger buns, loads of onions (fried caramelized onions are THE BEST!), mushrooms and some BBQ relish and we are set to go for some flippin' exercise here ...

So this was my version of a posh makeover of a burger dinner, with a bit of wine and jazz :P

PS: Tesco Venison burgers are pretty amazing I must say

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birthday Surprise

Archipelago at Whitfield Street is the place to go for a completely new and exotic dining experience...

There are just so many things that make this place stand out. I'd have walked passed it thinking it was a pub if I was not brought here. Upon entering the tiny entrance with a mini rock pavement, its as if you're immediately brought back to the Indiana Jones era, with a dark and calm ambiance, with an eclectic mix of Indian,Thai and Chinese influences in their decor. Of course, it's the menu that bags that extra surprise for a special occasion :) THEY SERVE CROCODILE, KANGAROO, ZEBRA meat ... and even chocolate coated scorpion for desserts!

Talk about being adventurous with your palate! Dinner started off with some cocktail and champagne (sprinkled with gold dust), courtesy of recommendation from Z. The cocktail was named after the restaurant, and I can't recall what it exactly contains (it served its purpose), but I know that it's something sweet and citrus-y which disguises the alcohol content, until it was too late... :P

That was Z's champagne with gold dust sprinkles, pretty good to get one bubbly and chatty ...

Starters was a selection of nibbles: Parsnip chips with sweet chili dipping, mini duck quiche and mini grilled pepper canapes. Parsnip chips were awesome, though slight thicker slices would be amazing. Canapes were my favorite since quiche wasn't my thing really. But they were delicious in small amounts :)

The highlight of the meal was the second starter to share: Crocodile fillet seared in vine leaves with a plum dipping sauce. The dish was freshly prepared, seasoned with some fragrant spices, wrapped with the leaves before deep fried. Yet, the white crocodile meat was succulent and springy, flavors accentuated with a little bit of plum sauce dipping. It was also served in a unique porcelain 'plate', seems like a (squarish) cross section of a tree.

When you come to places like these, wimp-y choices like chicken, lamb or fish are out of the question. Either you close your eyes/nose or both, one's gotta try something out of the ordinary, like gnu, zebra, or even lovebug salads, LOL

For mains, Z had Sliced wildebeest (gnu) fillet in a hot and sour sauce with nutty soba noodles. The waitress was really keen and patient in explaining the menu, which I think they are used to anyway given the amount of foreign meats/exotic names in it! Gnu, according to Wikipedia, is " an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved ungulate mammal. And you know what, that sentence doesn't help either. So from the picture search online, ignorant me would just say it looks like a member of the bull/ox/cow family... simple (indeed)! Z enjoyed this dish thoroughly, as the gnu was pan fried nicely for the crunchy edge and matched well with the soba noodles which was lightly dressed in the sauce.

I, on the other hand, had Zhug marinated kangaroo fillet with water spinach, pak choi and crushed chilli potatoes. Apologies to all Australians or kangaroo lovers before hand though.

Now you know what I mean when I say this is also an educational dining experience! Zhug, according to the host, is a hot sauce marinade from Yemen, containing ground fresh hot peppers seasoned with coriander, garlic and various spices. Kangaroo meat, actually tastes pretty similar to chicken, contrary to my expectation of it being tougher like turkey. Unfortunately, I found the dish way TOO salty, especially the vegetables having too much soy sauce on them. But other than that, it was a surprising dining experience, good to give it a go for something authentic and different for a change!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Misato Mania

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No, I won't be afraid
No, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you have,

Well, I could go on and on singing about this place, but nothing beats value for money if you can stomach a plate of Chicken Curry Katsu so BIG, on a cold winter night... :P

We were walking around London Chinatown one weekend and the craving hit us, fitting the criteria of having something wholesome, big, crunchy, warm and fast. Z ordered Pork Katsu Curry, which is about £6, and basically larger than life.

I had Chicken Teriyaki with Rice instead, and it was crisp and crunchy, just perfect. I think it'd be better if it was less salty though. I guess I'm not that large a fan of Japanese curry as they are just not the real ones, seems to have this strange sweet after taste for me. Nevertheless, it was a simple happy giant meal in a overcrowded student-y place in Chinatown on a cold Saturday night. You'd be amazed how guys can eat after you visit this place.

Of Breakfast and Brunch

There's nothing like Wednesdays, when the weekend is almost in sight, and the feeling is best on Friday night when you know you've got 2 alarm-clock-free days coming up, before Monday Blues set in, and the cycle repeats again.

Don't get me wrong though, I do like what I'm doing now at work. It has been enjoyable so far, each day you learn new things, or get better at your tasks. With a nice team of colleagues, working life isn't as bad as some make it out to be. In fact, I much prefer working to the student life. One big advantage is definitely the ability to switch yourself off after work, knowing that you can forget about things until the next day, unlike student life with exams in sight a few months in advance. Pressures you face are definitely different...

Yet I still do look forward to weekends for obvious reasons, as much as I like working :P After my usual Saturday morning routine of cleaning and tidying up the place, it's about brunch time and here's an 'artistic' version of the traditional English breakie ... I got some rolled eyes from Z for repositioning the sausages before taking the photos ;P

Alternatively, another approach to a nice' savoury brunch is a giant salmon and cream cheese pancake, definitely a hearty start to the weekend!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Funghi Season

All you need is mushroom soup, turkey breast cutlets, onions, and corn! And 15 minutes (in total). No kidding. Terribly sorry for the super short post, but my Internet connection screwed up last week and it did not save my entry at all, hence my long post was wiped out :S Look forward to the weekend for more exciting posts on birthday celebrations!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Of Portobello Market and Permutation

Working life is miles different from being a student. Somehow part of me is really glad to move on and do something different instead of studying, yet there are perks of being a student in a beautiful place like Cambridge (except the silly workload). There are endless activities to get involved in, I definitely do miss the cookouts, formals, and the proximity of everything/friends whilst belonging in a quaint university town.

Working is not all bad either, you get to switch off after working, take a break/chill out, and finally make things happen and execute deals. But its a different ball game in a way that your colleagues are not really your real/close friends, so that takes time to get used to, although having fun/nice people to work with is one of the biggest plus point that'll probably make you hate/love your job :)

Anyways, you all probably know my fascination with markets whether its pasar pagi (morning markets) in Malaysia, or Christmas ones in Germany. All is good and I love it when people congregate in one place and display whatever random things they'd like to interest people to buy. I've been to Portobello Market (near Nottinghill Gate tube station) before, but it's nice to take a stroll in it on a Saturday as it has the widest array of stalls that day, despite being a bit too touristy.

I'd like to highlight this stall I spotted, unfortunately, after I had my lunch. Probably spotted it more through my nose that sight, but it has the most amazing looking/smelling Paella! The pan was lifesize too, and pretty good value for money too for the generous portions ...

Here's a close up of the Seafood Paella, I suspect that will trigger a Paella cooking session again pretty soon!

Meanwhile, I haven't forgot to cook, my dear readers :P Life's a bit too hectic at the moment settling down with so many changes and transition, but yeap, I haven't forgot about cooking for sure. This is what I conjured up in my kitchen, first cooked meal in the flat I must say. This is the time where you open your fridge and see what you've got, do some simple permutation and see what you can come up with.

So in my fridge I had some minced pork, chopped vegetables, eggs, noodles, garlic, soy sauce, chili sauce. Hence its fried noodles with those things, predictable. First, fried the chopped garlic, whilst boiling some water in a saucepan for the noodles. Then add the minced pork and fry till half cooked. The vegetables can be added then. By this time, the noodles should have been soft, drained, and add these to the wok. Finally, season with soy sauce to taste, then add the egg in the middle of the wok and let it set a little before scrambling it up with the noodles. The extra thing I added was a dash of sesame oil for a smoother, silkier taste, and of course a naughty scoop of chili to spice things up a little. Turns out pretty good, reminds me how long (2 months!) since I ate home cooked food :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

140 Park Lane Restaurant

This is my first proper eating out experience in London after coming back from NYC training. Definitely something worth celebrating for :) Hence we went to this restaurant near Hyde Park Corner tube station, called 140 Park Lane Restaurant. Although a little quiet at this time of the year, the food and ambiance definitely made up for it.

The online menu has recently been changed, so I guess I have to use a bit of my imagination to explain what we had, though not in the most euphemistic of words! Starter was Rabbit Timbales & Sun Dried Tomato in Pesto Dressing with Toasted Brioche. Timbales is something like a mold, generally high-sided, drum-shaped and slightly tapered at the bottom and closed end, used to bake various dishes. This is a cold dish, with lightly seasoned rabbit meat, egg, cucumber and held together in a gelatine/jelly like mixture. Just imagine these ingredients being rolled nicely in a swiss roll shape and cut into an oval cross section :) Accompanied with the warm and lightly buttered brioche, this dish was a brilliant mixture of richness in the pastry and simplicity in the timbales. Lip smacking stuff! But there is more to come...

P had Grilled Cod Fish with Crabmeat Mash and tomatoes, the sauce, which I seem to have forget, how utterly embarrassing. Love how they place the parsley as decoration on top, though I do love parsleys with steam fish Cantonese style. Thumbs up from him for this dish.

Finally, I ordered Chargrilled Seabass with rocket salad in dressing and Deep Fried Quails Egg. I suppose you can say its a cholesterol disaster, but the egg was done beautiful with the yolk half cooked and melts in your mouth. The Seabass had crispy skin and wasn't overly flake-y, perfect cooking timing, complementing the salad well :)

Definitely a dinner to remember ...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Your M&M's dream come true

Personally, I was never much of a fan of M&Ms even though I do like things with peanuts and chocolate, much prefer Asian types of desserts like mochi or festive kuih's (cakes/snacks).

Then again, when you see billboards in Time Square like these, how can you resist? This is definitely one of the largest M&M stores I've been, and definitely a must see. I literally stood there for a minute to watch the colorful M&Ms advert board snapping photos of it in broad daylight. What a tourist :P

And you know you're in NYC when you see this! That's one hell of a sexy version of the statue of liberty :PAnd this is the world's biggest wall of M&M collection, of any color and versions. I've seen white and dark chocolate ones, and even ones with almond and hazelnuts. I was oblivious to other merchandises at the store given this huge array of variety to choose from.

They even have M&M country packs too, with them packaged nicely according to country colors in a nice gift set. Maybe a good idea for rugby/football matches ...

But the only thing that brought down my defense and made me succumb to this M&M mania is this Shrek mix, i.e. 'Ogre sized peanut M&Ms'. Man, that was a great snack before trotting off to watch Bourne Ultimatum :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Inner Child In You

Being in NY for a few days kind of dries up your desire for any more fashion sightseeing. Strange you might think, but walking pass so many Ralph Laurens, Abercrombies, Coach and even Zaras, I think I'd seen enough of clothing range to be able to write a 8,367 word essay consisting purely of clothing brands in NY.

Hence, it's time for something new guys :) It's time to feel what's it like to be a kid in NYC, hehe. Definitely a more refreshing perspective after doing too many window shopping in shops that things you admire but know will never buy :D

So what do kids in NYC do? First thought was to visit toy shops, and here is one smack right next to the Apple Store, which we'll come to later. This is FAO Schwartz, a posh looking toy store for kids and serious toy collectors. It has every single popular toy imaginable ... e.g. soft toys of all sizes,

toys for those musically inclined, like this life size key board where kids hop about to the sound of music ...
to Barbie fans ....
Lego mania ...
and some Potter magic! These are life size figures built from Lego sets, pretty neat yea?

Apple Store was next. Definitely a hip and cool place to visit. Apparently the Apple Store is opened 24/7. It's a basement floor building, but I was keen to check out the iPods and of course, the iPhone! Pity I didn't take any photos downstairs, but iPhone is one pretty impressive gadget I must say. The only down side I see is that it's quite difficult to type , and also it's rather ergonomic shape makes it a rather slippery phone to have. Cool but not practical, to me at least.
Another picture of Time Square at night! There's nothing in this world like that place, comes alive at night time with those multicolored bright electronic boards full with adverts, feels like Hong Kong in some ways ...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Back on 5th Ave!

So, I finally passed all my exams yesterday! Woohoo, my life is back (for the moment), before I start work on Wednesday, hehe :)

It's back to the New York story, this time along 5th Ave in continuation of the (mostly window) shopping spree...

Here's the large Disney store along the street, filled with every imaginable kind of stuffed toys you want, yes, there's Mr Donald and Shrek in there too. It's about time I started growing up and out of these, :P
Any of you a 'The Apprentice' fan? Here's the exterior of Mr Trump's Tower. Had lunch inside too on the last day before I left. Definitely an air of sophistication which somehow leaves you in awe as you see the display of jewelry and other merchandises. Music at the bar was great too (it was Frank Sinatra's and other musical-y songs, suits a Sunday brunch for me!), though food wise wasn't that impressive, so let's not waste too much time on that...

More importantly, I managed to meet up with a good pal HH, who is working in Tokyo now, was there was training at the same time too! Yes, Japan! It was cool catching up with him in Little Tokyo, keeping each other updated of what has happened so far in the past 1-2 years since he left uni, and of course, life and work in the land of the samurais.

Dinner in Little Tokyo was even better! The place was near Aston Place on the green line, where Little Tokyo is situated. Humiliatingly, my Japanese reading skills has deteriorated that I can't read the name on the sign board as it's only written in Japanese. Nevertheless, that and the presence of many locals eating there is definitely a positive indication :)

And we were spot on! Can you believe this big mug of Asahi/Japanese beer just costs $3? HH was definitely a happy man munching and drinking away, haha

I had my first try of Oden, which according to Wikipedia, is a "winter dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs. daikon radish, konnyaku and processed fish cakes stewed in a light, soy-flavoured dashi broth." The yellow condiment you see by the side of the bowl is Karashi (Japanese mustard).

To me, that's the Japanese version of 'Yong Tau Foo', a common Malaysian dish consisting of various fish cakes or vegetables/tofu stuffed with fish cakes, boiled fish paste dumplings etc, in a flavorful broth. I loved the Japanese version too! It's the ultimate comfort food

And we had few other dishes too! The glutton in us resurfaced especially since everything was relatively cheap in US dollars, effectively 50% off compared to London! Stir fried yakisoba was good as well, not too oily or salty. The beer definitely made me regret stuffing myself silly, happens after the weeks of deprivation of Asian food :S

It was a friend Sasha's birthday a few days later too! Visited the Grand Central Terminal, a majestic looking subway station, which looks best at night with the beautiful chandeliers lighting the large hall, with many restaurants and shops in it too. Amongst them is the ever famous 'Oyster Bar', and (duh) as the name suggest, seemed famous for their seafood and oyster selection. We decided to go upper class, celebrating her birthday with a glass of champagne with a couple of fresh oysters.

Geez, you must be thinking, but its fun acting like a posh snob sometimes! What's life without a bit of fun and giving yourself a little treat?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New York, New York

Phew! Finally had some time to settle down and post up my American trip ... Thanks for being so patient. I've finally got over my jetlag, yet got caught in preparation for some regulation exams, and in fact still have not shifted my stuff fully.

Glad to be back in London, but starting to miss the buzz of NYC whilst training there! And of course, all the new found friends I've made :) I've only been in NY for 9 days in the whole of my trip to US, and hence we definitely made the most out of our short time there. Hehe

First night arrival in NYC after classes in Princeton, headed straight to the Hudson hotel. It's a pretty cool concept for the hotel, which looks and feels like a bar in the first place. The reception was pitch dark with small glimmers of light from the chandeliers, adjoining to the hotel bar/club, and there was no hotel sign outside saying 'Hudson Hotel' even, that I'm surprised the cab driver knew where to take us!

Anyways, by the time we settled down and went out for dinner, it was near midnight, and I've passed my hunger stage such that all I could stomach was this salad:

Taste wise disappointing, though slightly interesting presentation of it. Perhaps it was rather late for the restaurant to have freshly prepared chilled salads with good dressings.

Meanwhile, this is a typical scene taken outside my hotel, near Columbus Circus subway station. It's right next to Central Park, and just thought that a picture of the ubiquitous yellow NYC cabs are interesting :)

After a late Friday night out at the Hudson bar, miraculously I managed to drag myself up at 9am to go shopping with some friends at Century 21, which seems to have pretty good discounts, a place near Ground Zero/Wall Street. Here is a picture of the construction area near Ground Zero, pretty dusty I must say, especially on a humid day.

Macy's was up next, as it's apparently the largest departmental store in the world. Lunch was at the food court there, which has a wide array of selections. Always thought that food courts are the best places to check out what local specialties a place has to offer. As I was browsing through the sections, I saw this Pasta Board, which has Pasta a la Vodka, LOL. Not very appealing after a late night out full of that :P Interesting nevertheless

Dinner was at this place near the hotel called Landmarc, a place for good steak and REALLY NICE atmosphere. It was quite dark, but lit with dreamy yellow lights and candles. Food was great too, but unfortunately the food pics didn't turn out nicely due to dark light conditions. But I managed to get this chicken dish M had as I was trying out my new camera's zoom, and it turns out pretty good except for the odd glass at the left. :P

The next few days we were shifted to The Benjamin Hotel on East 51st Street. Seems like a boutique hotel with little rooms but classy decor. Can you believe that they actually have a 'PILLOW menu' for you to try on?

Time for some touristy stuff, and Rockefeller center was on the main agenda. This picture probably didn't do the architecture justice, as the building is pretty tall, but cut midway in this picture to show the beautiful waterfall and restaurant/bar they had at the basement.

C had a Caesar salad as she was 'detoxifying' after another late night out again, haha. A salad finally up to par I must say. Even the simple tomato basil soup I had was made to perfection, doesn't taste like it's out of a can, accompanied by freshly baked breads and mini madelines.

Food pics are rather scarce during the first few days in NYC as people were hungry and I couldn't snap their food photos in time, and of course, taking pictures of food was so foreign to them that I had to explain several times! More coming up next on my New York escapade!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ba Back Real Soon!

5 weeks have just absolutely whizzed by, and terribly sorry to all my dear loyal readers for the month's disappearance as training have been absolutely busy. So to speak I just got back from the classroom, and it's nearly 1am now.

Yet, fear not, I've so much to show and so much to tell about this US trip, despite being in Princeton 90% of the time. I certainly did make the most out of the weekend road trips, without, hopefully, jeopardizing the exam performance of this regulation test I have to take by next week.

US is great, but still I can't wait to go back to London to settle down in a new place and finally get used to the new surroundings and worklife. Eeks, I'm feeling old man :P

Friday, August 31, 2007

Weekend in Washington!

This week has been real busy, with 9-5 lectures and constant homeworks. But it's all fun in the end when you get to know your friends (I prefer not to call them colleagues) much better. Plus we have an excellent corporate finance lecturer for 3 days, Mr Damodaran, which made the week much more pleasant than the accounting one.

It's the Labour holiday weekend here, and planning to go to DC for a day or two to check out the White house and all that jazz. Gotta have to do that despite the mountain load of work thrown at your face. Can't come all the way to the States and work, right? :P Definitely a test of time management here, with family, friends, work and own commitments, all fighting and screaming for a fair share of time ...

Anyways, still haven't manage to locate anyone here who's got a USB cable for a TZ2, so hopefully my literary power would come into great use in terms of describing what I've been up to. :) Trust me, my backlog food posts are immense. So take this as an opportunity for you to get to know Grace for 3 weeks without mentioning much about food :P

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back from NYC!

Ahh, I'm finally back from New York! It's been a mad 9 days there going for training and trying to squeeze in as much time to sightsee, shop and of course eat :P

Literally just got back to Princeton, had a shower, unpacked and I'm online again finally :) Scary how dependent we are on technology these days...

Got loads of interesting stories to tell and pictures to show you all! Sadly I can't seem to find my USB cable to transfer my photo files :S I've gotta ask around some friends if they have the same model camera of Panasonic Lumix TZ2.

Fingers crossed I'm gonna get some positive feedback as pictures do paint a thousand words!

Monday, August 13, 2007

National Food

In conjunction with Malaysia's Independence Day the end of this month, I thought it'd be appropriate to list down my favourite food that I think represents Malaysia. But then due to the immense culinary diversity in Malaysia, I just have too many favourites (if that makes sense) across the different local cuisines.

Hence, if I just have to list down my absolute favourite which I think is uniquely Malaysian, it's gotta be Nasi Lemak and Ice Kacang.

Nasi Lemak typically comprises of some warm fragrant rice steamed with coconut milk, slices of cucumber, fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hardboiled egg, a good dash of sambal (a sweet and hot chili paste with caramelized onions) and chicken/beed rendang. The meat curry can vary from seafood (squid, prawn) to chicken and more usually beef. The preparation of each ingredient is rather simple, but it's slightly time consuming since there's so many ingredients needed for this dish. I'll post one in the future with my simpler version :)

In my opinion, Ice Kacang goes perfectly hand in hand with Nasi Lemak especially if the sambal is pungent and spicy! A standard ice kacang is made of shaved ice, dollops of Gula Melaka (a local brown sugar syrup), creamer, accompanied with some red beans, jelly, peanuts, sweet corn and canned fruits to form a gigantic snow mountain. It is a good drink/dessert on a hot summer's day, or for those craving for a good sugar high, hehe.

Currently in Princeton, US at the moment. First day of training is pretty hardcore. Hope to get some good posts in NYC next week then! Stay tuned :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Swanky Sweden II

Speaking about my IKEA furnished rooms previously, here's a few pictures for illustration. Strangely how something so basic and simple can look so elegant and classy, don't you think?

Even the wash room is spacious and practically designed. You can see the simple curtains for the shower on the mirror image. Somehow everything in Sweden seems to be designed to maximize space without making it look tacky or extremely claustrophobic, especially noticeable in the place we stayed in Stockholm. Apparently Britain may start building "IKEA-villes" in the future to increase home affordability for first time buyers, with houses/apartments furnished with IKEA furnitures and designs to save space. That'd be cool to see :)

Dinner was a stone's throw away from our hotel. Barely 20 seconds walk there (yup, the island is that small). I decided to take my parents and family for a full fine dining experience, not sure why I decided to do that in Sweden, a country with 25% service charge :P (ouch!). But it's well worth the time and money of course as I get comical responses from my parents given its their first time trying out fine dining.

Starters are either Seafood Cocktail with Buttered Toast

or Grilled Scallops with Asparagus Soup. I got my taste of both and I must say the latter is slightly better and more unique as I've never had home made asparagus soup before. It was creamy with tiny bits of asparagus, served in a dainty cup as you see below. The seafood cocktail was light and well dressed with citrusy flavours, matched well with the mini buttered toast. Grilled scallops done to perfection, lightly seasoned and bursting with springy-ness. Yumz!

I had Chargrilled Lamb shoulder with Polenta. I usually like my lamb slightly medium done, still pinkish, hence this fits my palate nicely. I was quite excited to try out Polenta too, which is basically coarse ground cornmeal, forming a thick mush after boiling and lightly salted. To describe the taste, let's just say Polenta is to Italians, what potatoes are to the Brits. I quite like it for a change of scenery after 5 years of potato, but I think I'd still miss my potato mash after a while :P

G had Steak with Mash and Tomato Salsa, I'm sure they'd a nicer name but the menu was in Swedish, hence I'm providing the basic breakdowns, heh. I don't really take beef, but with the lightning speed he ate, I'm sure it's good stuff.

M chose to have Squid Ink Tagliatelle (pronounced tah-lyah-tel-le) with Poached Sea Bream and Asparagus. You all know I'm a super-big-squid-ink ANYTHING fan (well, maybe not a drink on it's own), so I was relieved when M liked my recommendation :)

Think the highlight of the meal wasn't really the taste of the food nor ambiance of the restaurant, but rather the opportunity to be able to gather around as a family over dinner, and more importantly laughing over M's comical expressions of wonder and confusion like "You pay so much for this small amount of food?!". I don't understand much either about the fine dining concept, maybe the price you pay also includes the presentation (BIG plates with SMALL servings), ambiance (candles and yellow lighting etc), and even the expensive rent these restaurants have as they're usually situated at prime locations. I somehow prefer more 'down to earth' cooking, like the ones I had in Portugal, but nevertheless, it's nice to pamper and treat yourself once in a while :)