my new car is a bit shitty
it drinks up fuel like i do with any potable beverages
maybe we have something in common

anyway i was invited by my dearest friend il-gabubu
the one of the sauce-quote
to go celebrate the end of his a-level exams

this is one reason why i love such friends
they make an occassion out of anything
as long as it is another excuse to stuff my self out
i m game

the place was a very poshy
chinese restaurant in corinthia in attard
being attard
i decided to walk it there
one for the so much needed exercise
and two because my car is a bitch

google earth s new higher resolution image of half of malta and all of comino but none of gozo
is great especially if like me you live in the high definition half
i have used this on this occasion to find the shortest route from my house to corinthia in attard
it is great because with a bird's eye view of everything
or rather a sattelite's view
you can discover roads and streets you have never walked
and would never walk

i ve used google earth twice in this way
making a rough copy of the road i have to take i left on a very nice journey which was to end in a great meal

rickshaw has everything a posh restaurant would want
jacket and tie doorman slash waiter
or more like a butler looking figure
a tall slim and hot looking waitress girl
one regular looking drinks girl
and an asian nationality waitress for that little bit of authenticity

the menu is an asian fusion or contains different elements from eastern countries but its mostly chinese as i gather

i remember that all the food looked excellent and nobody complained about anything
my only complaint is that the sparkling water was Lm2 per bottle and i shared 3 with my friend ian
which was quite expensive

i mean it wasn't even voss like

starter was an exquisite crunchy calamari dish
the calamari were fried in some form of crunchy but very good batter
i hated the lettuce they garnished thsi plate with
a big leaf of it just sucks
proper garnish please
but well the calamari were really somethign else so i have to give it to them

for the main dish
i think it was called
sugar, ginger, garlic spicy chicken
or something like that
i m not kidding though its true
and i made sure i ate evry last chunk although
it was divine
i m sure its very difficult to get the same effect at home on a first try
this is what i look for in restaurants
if i can cook it or better at home
then fuck you
unfortunately there are shitloads of restaurants that do this
but anyway this is neither here nor there

ohn yes then i also had consumed two plates of fluffy rice which were great
i missed properly steamed rice that truly fills you up
you need a good rice steamer for that
or some kick ass method to do it in a regular pot which i don't have
i look it up actually and share it with you when i find the time
problem with this was that i was filled up on rice but i finished all the chicken anyway
pity i had no space for desert then

ah yes and also in the beginning they served us a lot of prawn crakers with these delicious sauces
especially a black chutney based one
maybe with the black bean or something
not sure though
and the sweet and sour one which was very different
very very different than the usual red goo
that stock chinese restaurants provide
this was pink and milky
but clear

the problem with chinese food is that most restaurants serve the oiliest, greasiest graviest chunks of everything they can find

luckily this wasn't
everything was suberb

mihao to rickshaw


that weekend - first meal in maria and anton's new kitchen or that big badass cooking contraption

anyway the morning after the latino place
i woke up
researched a bit what i could do dessert-wise
i initially wanted to get something very special but i couldn't get this special thing since it was out of season
maybe i ll let you know what i have in mind if i ll do it after another bonnici meal if i manage to get that special dessert

anyway i knew i had plenty of alternatives so i knew i wanted to make something with the in-season loquats, (naspli):

some strawberry, and the always spot-hitting mangoes
also adding some kinder maxi garnish since i was eating a lot of these from the confectionery i worked in (continued below)

when i arrived there
we were served with tiny little home made buns
which were perfect with butter
bun after bun
i could have finished the whole basket had the first dish not come out

this was a truly beautiful invention
big nice home made tortelloni
stuffed with 4 types of mushrooms
and pistaccios
the sauce was a bacony white sauce thing
with asparagus
i can clearly remember that it tasted meatful
infact it was so great that i will try and capture its essence in a poem:

Ode to the Quadruple Fungi-ed Tortellone:

If the tortellino was fashioned after
venus' navel;
Then the you were probably fashioned
after a fat slag's belly button...

Wait, wait i didn't mean that!
I mean...
You are so sweet, yet so so so good and big and full
your meaty insides are like ...

i suck at poetry
lets get back to disjoined, unpunctuated prose

when i think of that tortellone
i feel my mind melt and slip down into my mouth
in one meaningful, meaty-mushroom-melee magic-masterpiece
the definite magnum opus of the night and of the weekend

things i heard being said about the tortellone:

"designer food istja!"
"baqa xi ohra jew?"
"miniex ha nibda niekol mhux ghax nirrispetakhom imma ghax jekk inlesti qabilkom u intom tkunu gahdkom ghaddejjin nibda niffuckja!"

main dish:
we had some argentinian beef fillet
which i chose to be cooked as rare
this had a liver sauce on top

what was great about this fillet that made it much better than the one of the night before was
that although that restaurant's fillet was good and included the char taste which maria's dish lacked
it included tissue damage in the fillet
this is because the chef beats the fillet with a kitchen hammer to soften its make-up
this technique is used to pass off meat that is not so prime as more tender
of course all it does is break cuts in the internal fibres of the fillet
it does help
but only to make it seem softer
a lot of texture is lost but of course the risk of
the meat being chewy is reduced
of course people do this because they can't get their hands on quality-cow like the argentinians do

its great that they shopped at arcadia
i want to give that supermarket a visit
one of these

things i heard being said about the fillet:

"f'ghoxx il-vegiterjins!"
"ma niflahx innizel bicca ohra imma haj jkolli"
"issa ikteb bloggata fuq din ta!"

and now for the desert:

hmm the fruity aspect of it was done with the initial intention of doing something healthier than usual
i totally fucked this idea up
infact i threw any healthful philosophy out the window

i made an ovaltine biscuit and crushed almonds crust for the base
then the main filling was a lemon and strawberry mousse

the strawberry was mashed and marbled in
this makes it delightful
the lemon makes it stiffer and easier to mold onto a base
i topped this with loquats, sliced strawberries, sliced mangoes and grated chocolate: that kinder finger chocolate know as maxi:

i also poured in a chocolate sauce made from 3 different chocolares and milk at the sides
hmm the result was great

things i heard before the dessert:

"u le x'frott haqqalla!"
"frott gibt jew!"
"bicca zghira ta!"

things i heard during the dessert:

"ha niehu bicca ohra ta, ahjar ghalih mario jekk raqad?'
"jekk dan kien esperiment kompli esperimenta!"
"qas jekk qtilt mitt tarbija biex ghamilt dan il kejk, kienet tkun giustifikata!"

its a pity that we were so intoxicated with the meals and with expectance of the next dish that i forgot to take pictures of the dishes
although a picture of the dessert exists somewhere on martin's mobile
however kari sent me this image of mario
of what happened to him just after the fillet
this is what happens when you indulge on rich food at the late hours of the night!:

if one is what one eats
then i guess we all were a little bit slumpy like the tortellone,
tender-headed like the fillet,
and on the brink of falling apart like the dessert hardly held together with gelatine

that weekend - latino themed restaurant a side-street down from the parliament

i ve not written in a while

i ve been stressed (just not too relaxed as i usually am)
with the theatre finals and all
but now i got myself on track in a certain sense
so i decided i should write ome entries
unfortunately i have some entries that i not only promised
but i cannot not write about

so this about that weekend
i think it was about 3 weekends ago
not sure though
but something like that

it first started with a meal at crianza
twas a friday
thing is i dont think it was called crianza
i think it was called something else
its like a latino themed place
in valletta a side street down from the parliament
of course you can comment and correct what the name was

its a pity i dont have the exact name because this was a great culinary start for that marvellous culinary weekend

a maltese saying that i really hate is:
"...qas biss naf x'kilt il bierah!"
this means: "... i don't even know what i ate yesterday!"
and it is used to qualify the shitty memory of the speaker on something totally unrelated

if you can't remember what you ate yesterday its because you don't appreciate food and thus deserve to die

harsh insensitive meanderings aside
i remember well what i ate that friday at that latino themed restaurant
i ordered a Voss sparkling bottle
this was since they didnt stock perrier
but the waiter/boss showed me this really slick bottle that looks like a clear transparent lava lamp slash designer perfume bottle

i was served the second one from the left
tallest one
this is a norwegian water that some two young guys from norway decided to ship in fancy bottles to america and make shitloads of money from
i don't say this to demean it cos its a fucking great sparkling water
i thought that perrier was the best thing i d ever get
[elan just sucks]
but this was fucking ace
it should be served at room temperature
ice is strongly advised against as the guy suggested
i asked for ice anyway but then asked to throw it away aswell
the ice totally fucked it up
since it immediately changed the taste of the amazing voss water with the inferior and slightly salty ice cube
hmm maybe if you could freeze voss ice cubes then use those
that should be nice
i know i m dedicating too much for a fizzy water
but this was truly something else
it manages to stay light and sparkling and refreshing yet lukewarm
i don't know how to explain this further
i mean i know it is just water
but this is norwegian man
like you know all the way from norway

no but seriously this was good
i guess you ll have to fish out 2 lira to get one and try it to see what i mean
totally worth it
another cool thing is
that when you screw open the top the bottle fizzes up, the air bubbles floating up to the surface in synch and acts like some living-room water ornament in your very hands

for the starter i took a mussel in white wine special
and this was magic
at first i expected those mussels
to be the shitty ones some restaurants usually serve from the freezer
prepacked half broken black crustaceans
these were bigger and tasted superb
i had quite a lot as well
next was a char grilled fillet with no sauce
full marks aswell

that very night i was informed that the next day i had to make desert for a meal at the bonnici's
they hold specially prepared meals for a group of their food lovin friends
well its mainly maria
the one of the probably best of the year figolla
(from a previous blog)
she is the gastrnomic mind behind these meals
(continued in next blog)


Steamed Swordfish with pink sauce

fish can be amazing sometimes
this infact was
the swordfish steaks where a bit tough infact and next time i would alter some of the process

i first proceeded to thaw them slightly because i was in a hurry and they where frozen stuck
then i put them on a grill and covered to steam in mid air over a pot
after they a little
i put some local home made olive oil
the type you would buy from a farmer (the taste is strong and also a bit weird and the consistenct is thick and juicy)
i brought this to heat and added a small knob of butter and let it sizzle
to this i added the fish steaks
and let them fry for a few seconds
just so that the oil mixture seals them slightly
this was done merely for flavor since steamed fish
can be a little bland

after doing this on both sides i put the fish back in the makeshift steamer
and covered
in the frying pan i added 3 chopped cloves of garlic
and one sliced onion
i let this fry
stirring constantly
not letting it turn brown or anything
then i added a diced tomato
medium sized

after this sauce base is cooked
i added 2 tablespoons of home made white wine
cooking with such ingredients is always a bit risky as the flavor is never reliable
so tasting such ingredients to test their potency is paramount

this semi-stew kept simmering aside

i got 4 benna-water-floating-mozzarella-balls
you know the type
and skewered two each on a kebab stick
i dipped these in fine ground pepper
put these aside

i "dyed" thin slices of gammon in dark soya sauce
the skewered peppered mozzaralla balls are put on the slice of gammon
and put these in an open convection grill
i also added the fish at this point (but i would skip this next time)

the simmering sauce i kept on adding a tablespoon of white wine here and there for about 3 times
and 1/4 of a cup of lemon juice
and towards the end i put two heaped tablespoons of white sauce
this is how it becomes pink

i decorated the plate with the prepared food added some lemon garnish
and sea salt
and it was amazing
especially the sauce

excuse me for not supplying a picture i will try to next time