a was sleeping over and i wanted to cook something. i decided it was time to make channa masala. mama's recipe is super easy and requires very little work. with it i boiled plain white rice. a and i ate it with some preserved lemons. pity i didn't have yoghurt. it would have been really nice to have raita but i wasn't inclined to walk down to the local shops thanks to the rain.
Saturday, 14 August 2010
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
o and i and i got soaked in summer rain on our walk down to yum yum thai in stokey. i had at one point contemplated going to au lac, a trusted favourite but was vetoed by o and i alike. our rain-soaked trio was seated rather promptly on arrival. and from the point of the beginning of our dinner to the end there was a flurry of service. at yum yum thai, the food appears and disappears with alarming alacrity. even on a tuesday night the place was packed full – and yum yum is no small fry. it’s quite a large restaurant.
as part of tastelondon we got a fifty percent of the total bill provided we ordered a starter and an entree each. i went for the yum yum dimsum with a chilli and garlic sauce and o and i both chose deep fried chicken starters. o’s lok chin tod were balls of chicken marinated in thai herbs and served with a plum sauce and i’s golden bags round bags of chicken encased in a deep fried golden and crisp pastry. the plum sauce was more of a sweet chilli sauce than plum. the dim sum was good – not outstanding but good enough. a medley of vegetables and some white meat wrapped in a dim sum wrapper and steamed. the only difference between my chilli sauce and the plum sauce was that mine was chillier.
for mains we ordered the kang peneng, essentially thinly sliced beef in a ground peanut curry with coconut cream and kaffir lime leaves. i picked the chicken stir fried with onions and cashews and i went for the pad ke-mao – stir-fried flat noodles with chilli, holy basil, thai herbs, prawns and egg. we all shared the entrees.
the stir-fried chicken as o noted tasted like pakistani chinese. it was sweet and sour with a base that tasted distinctly like thinned down ketchup. the onions obviously made it sweeter. i had asked for the chilli to be put down a notch in the pad ke-mao but what we got was incredibly bland. we did like the kang peneng which had a lovely and creamy peanut base made luxurious with coconut cream. i wish there had been more kaffir lime leaves to cut through the mellowness of the dish though. overall the kick of chilli and herbs was sorely missing.
our desserts turned to be the best part of dinner. an adventurous take on a classic french crème brulee with the addition of lemon grass and pistachio biscotti was good. i felt that the custard could have been a tad bit warmer but it was good nonetheless. o had the banana fritters with ice-cream. the lemongrass tea was faultless.
overall, yum yum thai was a disappointing experience. all of us had been drawn to trying it out because it was featured in gordon’s f word. the problem is it didn’t taste like thai at all. there was none of the heat and vibrancy of colour that i associate with thai. and the entrees were quite stingy in size.
so, i am pretty certain that we won’t be going back.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
|o's collapsed beer chicken|
beer chicken (more accurately beer butt chicken) is very easy to make. all you need is a chicken, a can of beer, a little of oil, some seasoning (salt, pepper and some herbs. o used thyme leaves) and a hot oven. i would recommend preheating the oven to one hundred and ninety degrees to ensure that the oven is evenly heated. rub the chicken with the oil, salt and pepper and herbs if you are using them. then press down the cavity of the chicken over the opened beer can. if using a large beer can drink half before perching the chicken on it. then roast in the oven for at least an hour or until the juices run clear. i made a gravy with the roasting juices by stirring a little bit of flour into it. o's collapsed beer chicken turned out to be a very moist and tasty bird.