Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A Lemonade Tree

Lemonade Tree has now been open a few weeks at the previous location of Chapter One / Ti Adora and after a visit last Saturday is a welcome small boutiquey addition to the scene worthy of support. The same operators as the previous Star Apple at Yorkey’s Knob which has some good feedback.

Menu is small but has interesting selections reasonably priced and on the Saturday night they also had 3 or 4 additional specials. Can highly recommend the pork belly curry for those into their pork bellies!

It is BYO and they may stay that way so bring your vino as the nearest bottle shop at the Holiday Inn is expensive with limited range (note: there will be a Woolies bottle shop opening around the corner in Aplin next to the IGA)

Service was good for Cairns and they also indicated they would stay open for post show patrons from the CoCA centre next door when there is something on. This is a small gem that should be on any regular favourites list .......

Update: Lemonade Tree is also now offering a 3 course 'ristaffel' offering on the blackboard at $38.50. Bring your BYO bottle and this would make a great value quality dining experience.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Pants Off Salmon

Browsing the food supplement of today's Courier Mail (no link available) KitchenSlut discovered a review of a new food book, "Pants Off Salmon".

The book is $19.95 for only 20 recipes so presumably the value is in the 'panty-drop' rating for each dish?

"It's not a politically correct book - the title suggests that - but in my defence I think girls get a good deal out of it if the guy cooks for them" author Alec Bragg told the CM. Bragg is an Airlie Beach physiotherapist with no culinary training.

:Each dish has been tested at least 10 times by his mates to "idiot-proof" them". There is no indication whether this "idiot-proofing" relates just to the food or includes the panty-dropping?

Braggs own response: " You mean - how much action am I getting? Let's just say I'm a lot happier guy now I'm cooking, but you don't cook and tell"

Curiously for a book aimed at pleasing women there are no desserts .....

Sunday, 22 November 2009

More comings Less goings ....

Disappointing to see that one of our faves, Sacred Spice at Stratford, has gone ... to be replaced by Amaru Jay's. Sacred Spice brought welcome diversity with spicey flavours beyond the typical Asian offerings. Kitchenslut will miss his West Indian goat curry! A quick look at the new lunch menu offering is not inspiring but we will refrain from judgement until some feedback arrives from the suburbs.

More promising the Chapter One / Ti Adora site next to the jelly babies is to be reborn this week as 'A Lemonade Tree'. KS bumped into one of the new owners while peering in the window this afternoon and understands the kitchen will be run by the chef previously at Star Apple in Yorkeys Knob. Diversified Asian influences are intended and a prompt visit is planned to suss this out.

Cocoa Amour, which emerged from the ashes of the old Chocolat with it's HQ down on Grafton St, has opened on The Esplanade where Jamaica Joes was, beneath the Chapel. Some much needed diversity of style on the 'narde and we can only hope it drives away the likes of Gloria Jean's next door. It appears that Jamaica Joes will be moving upstairs to replace the Chapel bar(wrong will be a new Thai like we need another one?). KS doubts he will bother climbing the stairs after his only previous experience with a lamb shank that was more like a ball of mutton fat on a bone.

The old Mangostin's which has been dead about a year is now posted with signage promising an 'exciting new concept' from Rattle & Hum next door. Hmmmmm? Work continues down Shields St at the old Verdi's and Red Apple as the franchises move in. There was a report of a previous Masterchef contestant opening a seafood cafe down Shields also, presumably where the Liquid Bar is now defunct.

I'm sure there are more ..... but thats enough for now .....

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Hanuman Numero Uno?

The only question is by how far is Hanuman, inside the Hilton, the best in Cairns just now? Excluding Palm Cove and PD ...... but then again value adjusted maybe not and that it deserves to be rated with the salubrious award winners such as Nu Nu etc? Hanuman is exceptional value for quality which makes diners downstairs at Mondo's look like mugs!

Hey, go to Mondo's for a drink and the waterside, but slip upstairs for the food! Too many Hanuman oysters can not be enough! The tasting entree for 2 at $32 is simply exceptional value for comparable quality and quantity against anything in town (maybe Bay Leaf risstafel?). The crispy Thai fish was a standout at a previous visit. The waiters are informed to guide you on what's 'hot'! The spicey aromas wafting around are almost enough to make a visit worthwhile on its own!

The key competitor here is Tamarind at the Casino which is more expensive for a lower ambience location and a recent shocker feedback report to KS of yet another appalling Cairns service experience. Service at Hanuman on two visits equals the best experienced in Cairns ever.

The website link above includes signature recipes but Kitchenslut still just can't get those oysters right .......

Thursday, 29 October 2009

service cairns front and centre at salt house

As a ciy dweller tonight I did a little bar crawl. The salubrious newish Salt House was on the agenda. The serving barman managed to sucessfully pour and present my vino and simultaneously during the entire service period engage in a conversation on his mobile! No kidding!!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

cutlery supremacy denialism

Australia reigns supreme! The $AUD now confirms our moral and cultural superiority!

This would have always been obvious to anyone who bothered to look at our clear superiority in cutlery engineering! Yes! The most brilliant cutlery invention of recent generations, the splayd, is all ours! Disregarded globally as a mere fad for a decade or two now and consequently ignored by undeserving subsequent generations around the world!?

Kitchenslut cringes here as his dear old Mum still sometimes drags the splayds out as the ideal implement to tackle a somewhat sweet and and less than punchy chicken curry! Actually KS is on a current diet of cultural self-masochism and will next weekend be subjecting himself to self imposed torture at the promising 'needle and the damage done' at the Civic, which threatens to be equally shocking!

What? No chopsticks? What sort of culturally biased diagram is that?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

"I murdered the state"?

As a consequence of not owning a television KitchenSlut missed the entire first series of Masterchef as well as the celibrity version this week featuring Anna Bligh. Apparently Bligh's contribution to the Far North was, in tune with KS, an attempt to highlight our magnificent local vanilla beans! Although it would seem the vanilla bean featured in a less than cameo role being tossed in whole in a blink with scant regard and no theatrical slicing to arromatically excite the senses!?

But did Anna really mumble the line "I murdered the state" ...... errrr or was that steak(?) as she presented her downfall meat dish? Was the detraction of a flawed main from a "cracking" fnq vanilla enhanced dessert an ironic metaphor for the state's political economy?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

2010 Vogue Produce Awards

The 2010 Vogue Entertainment + Travel Produce Awards are open for nomination.

The awards acknowledge those who are committed to quality and consistency in what they grow and create, and food lovers who promote small producers through restaurants, providores and markets.

The sole presence from the Far North among last years finalists was Vanella Cheese Factory.

Nominate your favourite producers for the 2010 Vogue Entertaining + Travel Produce Awards and win a two-night package for two, worth over $5,000, at luxury Queensland resort Qualia. For more information and to nominate.

Kitchenslut has sought to nominate Vanilla Australia for their organic vanilla essence and beans. Vanilla has become a local food niche which should be associated with the region in the same way as coffee. Taste of the Tablelands this Sunday at the Chinese Temple Grounds in Atherton may be an opportuity to discover other potential nominees?

A Sense of the Sensual

Associate editor 'Essence' has followed current tourism trends and taken advantage of the surging $AUD and cheap airfares and exchanged the glorious October weather of FNQ for the cold of Eastern Europe where she found a great hideaway from the snow and slush in Warsaw.

Essence also discovered her waitress "was an Indian Fijian who had been in Poland 3 years with her family. She got how cold I was feeling and was so happy to see someone from 'home' - her words. Lovely girl and I left there on a high. Warm of fingers and warm of heart :)"

For currency conversion 1 Polish Zloty today = AUD 38 cents.

Loved the menu

As I've already mentioned, I discovered this great little bar/restaurant on the Royal Walk. Tickled my senses, this bar called Sense.

The menu headings:

Foreplay - entrees
Wet - Soup
Wild - Indian/ Middle Eastern
Hot - Stirfries
Obsession - Curry
Hardcore - Mains
Brief Affairs - Extras
Happy Endings - Dessert


I chose some Foreplay and was not disappointed...
Tempura brie with blue cheese icecream and pistachio crusted grapes, served with pickled cabbage and caramalised vinegar - 35Z
Washed down with a light white wine
Mas Rabell - Parellada from Spain 15Z a glass

The tempura batter encasing the brie was light and crispy, providing an envelope for the warm soft brie which oozed out and mixed with the pickled cabbage and caramelised vinegar - great combination. Next taste explosion was the blue cheese icecream - this provided a series of tastes across the palette. It had a crumbly texture as it was cut, rather like a mature cheddar, but became creamy with a cold but not icy sweetness in the front of my mouth, and finished with the warm blue bite in the throat. This icecream was fantastic with the white wine. Finally, the pistachio grapes. The pistachio clung to the frozen green grape through a strong blue cheese coating. This blue was stronger than the ice cream and tended to over power the other flavours. However, when paired with the cabbage and vinegar, it moderated and worked.

This outlet was warm and relaxed and provided attentive service. I ended up there again today in respite from the snow and wrote much of the last two days experiences. The food and drink on my table would be one bite or sip from completion and the waiter would be at my elbow with an offer of refill. Great way to maximise income on a quiet day. And win loyalty.

Posted by The Essence of Good Taste at 8:50 AM

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Tropical Cuisine

A link today to a Cairns based website Tropical Cuisine: Cooking in Clare's Kitchen

Looks great and we will watch with interest, add to the sidebar links, and try out a few of those recipes for tropical produce ....... the sweet potato, papaya, lime and passionfruit salad could be on the breakfast menu this week .....

Thanks for the link to Australian Tropical Foods who have also posted on the proliferation of food blogs with some further interesting links.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Lake Eacham Hotel

Kitchenslut was pleased to see in today's Compost that the old Yungaburra Pub finally has a new owner and is soon to reopen.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sicilian mafia pizza?

Noted in the Compost business section that the tentacles of Capital Globe, associated with ex-mayor Kevin Byrne, are soon to extend into our stomach! The previous site of The Big Apple Cafe on the corner of Abbott and Shields will soon be the 'Avenue 8' with New York style Pizza. Just what we need to join the growing throng of franchised mediocrities in the vicinity?

The plan is apparently to cater to a local clientele although KS is aware of many locals who will be disappointed that the adjacent Jesters Cafe will go to make way for KB's pizza shop. Kitchenslut still hasn't recovered from the demise of the excellent little Java Joes some years ago now to make way for another Hedley edifice of architectural blandness.

The 'Avenue 8' franchise name reported is curious as the Capital Globe franchise pizza parlours in the US and Asia go under the 'Avenue A' name. Capital Globes slender slice of the global pizza market is held through a strategic interest in the Sun Valley Group domiciled in The Bahamas.

A browse through the Avenue A menu doesn't reveal anyting which would pull the Kitchenslut through the door however his interest was piqued by the new Sicilian Mafia pizza offering. Maybe they could do an opening special of a Sicilian Mafia with a Big Kev pork fat pizza topping? Should be an apt combination!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Well Salted

You beat me to it Dutchie, but yes the post was intended as a commentary on Salt House as well as the reopening last week of the old Salted Vue as Salt Temple. Lots of salt being sprinkled around out there!

Salt House is an interesting and innovative venue. Kitchenslut has heard similar negative feedback on the food to Dutchie's experience (see comments). I have only had lunch there once and while I couldn't complain about the standard of the food I could about the value. $34 for a boullabaise lunch main seems high in the current climate and I can't say it's value for money. It was actually quite tasty but the seafood content at that price for lunch just wouldn't bring me back compared to some of the nearby lunch deals at The Pier.

They have been fortunate to have opened into the peak season and fine weather however i'm not sure they will get away with those food prices when the seasons turn and the novelty has worn off. The high food prices don't seem to extend to the bar area where wine by the glass is quite reasonable and comes in a decent serving with the Salt House logo as a measuring guide.

However i'm not sure how well this outside area will work on a steamy hot wet season day. The trees in the rear section are still immature and protection against wind and rain may not be all it should be?! I can also see it being rather hot there in summer. The rear bar area with it's layout for live entertainment is a welcome innovation.

Just some quick notes on the run because Dutchie beat me to it and will enhance later. I havent been to the newly reopened Salt Temple yet but will try and get there soon and be interested in any feedback. As I understand the format and pricing seems to be pretty much the same as the old Salted Vue?

Monday, 10 August 2009

Regional Food and Tourism Strategy

Coming soon ....

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Hanuman is in the Cairns Hilton and is independently operated. Jimmy Shu has brought Hanuman to Cairns following the success and reputation of his Hanuman's in Darwin and Alice Springs. Hanuman defines its cuisine as Thai, Indian, Nonya.

Kitchenslut headed down there with a lovely lady formerly resident in Darwin who was salivating at the prospect of being reaquainted with the signature hanuman oysters. A relaxing vino at Salt House was an ideal palate primer before wandering along the boardwalk for our oyster fix. Mmmmm yum ..... is that enough info?

We took the waiter up on his recommendation of the crispy whole fish ($25.90) and shared this along with a red curry of duck ($23,50). My accomplice reliably selecting duck from a menu whenever available. The fish was exceptional; served upright the waiter then skillfuly filleted the fish at the table, perfect for those intimidated by a whole fish or with a phobia for bones. We couldn't help but explore the remaining skeleton with our forks to ensure none of the succulent flesh remained (note: sucking fish heads in an establishment such as the hilton is not a good look).

We didn't try the dessert menu as the portions were quite adequate. Service was excellent and din't let the experience down as it does so often in Cairns.

Definitely a top ten and also good value for the quality! The Hanuman website provides comprehensive info on menu and prices and also includes some recipes including the oysters!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Chocolate Slut?

The Compost has this week run a story on objections to the 'Chocolate Slut' on the dessert menu down at Red Ochre which has drawn quite a few comments!

Update: Conservative blogger Tim Blair has posted and linked to the Compost poll "Do you think the name of a menu item called The Chocolate Slut is offensive?" Current vote is 69% No and 31% Yes! Vote early and vote often!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Cafe Lumiere

Kitchenslut finally threw off his reclusive torpor and recovering from a lingering swinely flu wandered down to the inaugural Cairns event for Chevaliers du cep at the excellent little French Cafe Lumiere on the boardwalk in front of Harbour Blights. This is somewhere I have been meaning to try for dinner for a while with it's very Parisian black and white seating evoking memories of last years French sojourn.

Cairns is now well served for French food with the long established C'est Bon still going strong down in Lake St. This is a welcome revival as the influence of French cuisine in Australia seemed to have faded from its eminent position a few decades ago to be replaced by 'modern' cuisine or Italian Trattoria with a rather boring sameness to their offereings. It's also interesting that Alliance Francais is now quite active in Cairns promoting French language and culture.

Cafe Lumiere can be strongly recommended with great food and service so get down there and give it a try!

Update March 2010: Cafe Lumiere has ceased trading for dinner and we can only hope this is not permanent and that it will return later in the year .......

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Goings and Comings

The Compost featured the closure of Verdi's on the front page this week. It may be an icon for many with long memories of it's early days but has never been a favorite of mine. Perhaps i'm biased by experiences and perceptions of it as a haunt of some of the sleazier elements of the Cairns business boys club who splashed some grand sums of money there in their heyday.

Compost suggested there had been three high profile closures however my list of goings would now be Verdi’s, Del Sapore, Ti Adora, Salted Vue/Chocolat and Mangostin’s . The Courthouse and Lake Eacham Hotels also have closed. For at least some of these it must be suspected that issues beyond simply the slowdown in tourism have been critical.

There have however been some comings. The disappointing aspect is how many of the newer places opening are franchise chains near the Esplanade block as the place moves downmarket to shopping centre foodhall status. Subway, Nandos, Outback Jack’s, Gloria Jeans and Jamaica Joes. At Jamaica Joes I was served the most awful lamb shank ever experineced, presented in a kitch style on a bed of mashed potato with wet 'boarding school' veges.

It now looks like a Chinese franchise opening in Aplin St where the Swordfish seafood place used to be, and was Boydy’s before that, a site with a record of failure that has spent most of its time closed over recent years.

I should also note that Michelangelo's Italian did open to replace the short lived Del Sapore. Also noted this week was that there work progressing to finally open the Chocolat cafe site on Grafton under the name Cocoa Amour. Interesting as well that Kani's has an application for a 3am licence and entertainment on the outdoor balcony.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Farmgate Market @ The Pier

The opening day of the Farmgate Market @ The Pier last Saturday brought quite a bit of mixed commentary over at Cairnsblog. I've resisted any comment so far as I don't think any judgement can be made on the basis of an opening day and I only passed through briefly before fleeing the crowds!

However, I will get together some thoughts and comments both here and at Cairnsblog soon ....... so after some delays a too brief commentary which I'm sure will need to updated including ideas and suggestions ......

After avoiding the opening day crowds in favour of a coffee down at Cafe Lumiere I turned up for a more relaxed browse last Saturday. Maybe Anzac Day wasn’t a good day to make a judgement either but there was still a good turnout and unlike many more cynical commentators at Cairnsblog, I don’t see why this concept can’t be successful in this location, although there may need to be some evolution as it develops and matures.

Those commentators who seemed to think they may be able to go and do their fruit and vege shopping like at Rusty’s were misguided to begin with. If you thought that’s what it was going to be no wonder you were disappointed. It won’t be replacing my regular weekly jaunt to Rusty’s but as a food slut this is an addition. I walked away with a few kaffir limes, some hot chillis, and a bottle of sluttishly decadent rainforest lemon jus.

I have had the same response from vendors, with Gil down at Rusty’s Coffeeworks telling me that his sales hadn’t been affected by the opening, and they were also very pleased with the response for Coffeeworks at The Pier. Similarly Rusty’s vendors such as Jervois, Gallo, Mungalli, Spice Girls and both the local pasta makers seem content to support both venues. I found some products by these people I hadn’t seen before and some interesting new local producers such as Happy Beef, Rainforest Bounty and Tarzali Smokehouse.

The emphasis at this location needs to be more on high quality gourmet lines of regional best produce with an attraction of tourists as much as locals. We are more blessed than we realise and this is a sector that has been badly done and neglected here considering the global growth of food tourism. The local food tours are just cheap and shabby in my view and were I a visiting foodslut I would be disappointed in what we offer of our bounty and potential compared to other regions of Australia and the world.

My sense was that these were not necessarily the same people down at The Pier that you may run into down at Rusty’s, and the ambience was very different. There has been an obvious huge spin-off for the restaurant’s down at The Pier. Unlike many Cairnsblog cynics I’m not prepared to bury this so early and there is plenty of scope for evolution and ideas to let this grow into something positive if the organisers are willing to experiment . There were many ideas prompted in what passes for my mind but i'm not giving them away yet .....

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

How To Cook Naked

How To Cook Naked
KittyO ©

Sex is hungry work.

The easy answer is to nip to the fridge and grab a pot of yogurt to spoon over each other but there is nothing as restorative as home cooking. And why get dressed? Almost everything is more fun to do when you are doing it naked.

I am assuming that the urge to cook naked will come upon you when you are already naked; in search of an inter-course snack so to speak. Naked cookery has a place in every relationship but is best in the down time between bouts of sex. If you start the evening naked at the stove you are going to burn your dinner.

Most naked cooks are women. First of all, I have never met a man who would willingly put his naked penis anywhere near a gas burner. Secondly, men like to watch women doing things naked that are usually done clothed. Last, there is an advantage to looking tantalizing while he is recovering his strength. He isn't going to roll over and fall asleep when there is a naked woman whipping something nearby. Rested and fed, he will be ready to go again.

The kitchen is perhaps the most underused room in most houses when it comes to sexual encounters. This is a shame, as kitchens are packed with erotic enhancers; sweet sticky jams, ice cubes, olive oil. The gentle burning sensation of a hot chilli rubbed over a nipple lasts for hours. (You can tone down the sting by dabbing with a little Japanese sweet rice vinegar.) And don't forget the utility drawer; twist ties, wooden spoons, string, duct tape...

For some men, the very idea of a woman cooking naked in the house is enough to keep them aroused and content to stay in bed, even if they can't see her. But watching is half the fun. If you plan to do a lot of naked cooking, invest in a sofa for the kitchen or move to an open-plan house.

How naked are you going to be?

Total nudity is terrific for building body confidence. That said, a few accessories will add some spice. My personal preference is bare but for a pair of navy blue, patent leather stilettos that I keep in the kitchen as a daily reminder of some very tasty meals. Lingerie is generally incompatible with food preparation. It's one thing to lick a bit of maple syrup off a naked hip but it's pretty revolting to suck it out of the side strings of a thong. Frilly and dangly bits get in the way, garter belt snaps get hot, and there is the obvious problem of flammability. If you feel you must wear something consider an apron.

There are two basic types of apron, the waist and the bib. A waist apron can look particularly charming tied high above a well toned ass. Add high heels for a subtle tip of the pelvis. The obvious source for a waist apron is a uniform supplier that caters to maids and waitresses but have a poke around vintage clothing stores for something special. Waist aprons were popular until the 1960s and can be found in satin or taffeta for formal entertaining and cheerful prints for everyday wear. You can pick them for pennies as no one seems to know what to do with them these days. Now you do.

The bib apron is the one most people are familiar with. Look for one that is small enough around to leave your bottom exposed at the back and narrow enough up top so that at least the outer third of each breast remains uncovered.

Bib aprons are a great choice for male naked cooks as well and come in rougher fabrics like canvas and denim. The strap around the neck makes shoulders appear wider and the bow at the back turns the back of the thighs into a Christmas present. Tie it tight enough to encourage a little tent in front for dessert.

One more note on personal presentation, get waxed. There is nothing less appetizing than an errant pubic hair in the hollandaise sauce.

What to cook?

Never cook bacon naked, no matter how much you want it.

Whatever you choose to cook it should be light and it has to be fast. Don't make anything that produces crumbs if you plan to take the dish back to the bedroom Sweet things are good for energy levels, protein is good for stamina.

Some of the classic aphrodisiac foods will work while others simply don't. It is difficult to keep chocolate melted in the bedroom and the sterno for the fondue pot poses a fire hazard. Shucking oysters is always messy even if the mesh glove is a little bit kinky. And it's almost a shame to eat lobster naked, wasting all that ripping and tearing, which is such a nice prelude to ripping and tearing your clothes off later. Generally, anything that requires two hands to eat will complicate your evening. You should aspire to keep one hand free.

Be careful of anything that needs to be served very hot. Soup can prove disastrous; draining pasta is just asking for trouble.

In another dangerous category are those foods that look like other things. Reheated egg rolls, or, worse, reheated mini spring rolls are the opposite of sexually encouraging. Figs, on the other hand are an excellent choice. Cut Xs into four figs almost to the bottom. Gently spread them open and pour over honey warmed and diluted with a little water. The honey supplies instant energy to replace depleted blood sugar. Serve with crème fraishe or shavings of parmesan cheese if you prefer something savory.

Pancakes with fruit and whipped cream are fast and practical. Seasoned scrambled eggs are simple but effective. Warm, butter-soaked blinis with smoked salmon or caviar can be eaten with fingers which will become lickably butter-soaked as well.

If you feel confident enough to flambé in the nude, Bananas Foster is a decadent treat. Bananas have the added benefit of being high in rejuvenating potassium:

In a sauté pan melt together 4 oz butter and ½ cup brown sugar. When the sugar has dissolved and the butter is foaming add one sliced banana and a pinch of cinnamon. Baste the banana slices until they turn golden. Pour in two shots of dark rum and ignite to burn off the alcohol. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Of all the foods suited to naked cooking the humble omelet is king. The process looks impressive while actually being very simple. Most people have a few eggs in the fridge and almost anything works as a filling. Omelets are light, fast to cook, easy to share, and nice to feed to each other.

Using a fork, mix together 2 or 3eggs, one teaspoon of water, salt and pepper. Be careful not to over-beat, working only till the color is uniform with no white streaks.

An omelet pan should have a long handle and sloping sides. And size really matters; the depth of egg in the pan should be about ¼ inch. The right sized pan for a 2 or 3 egg omelet has a six inch base. This, as a visual reference, is the same measurement as the length of the average erect penis. (Julia Child recommended a 7 inch pan, but, Julia Child was 6'2".)

Put the pan on the flame and let it go white hot. Add butter or butter mixed with oil to make ½ teaspoon. (The combination is a little less likely to go brown at the high temperature.)

One of the best features of the naked omelet is the ballet you do while making it. Wriggle your hips and shift your weight from side to side as you swirl the butter around the pan taking care to coat the sides.

When the butter is foaming pour in the eggs and take 5 breaths. This small display of patience is good practice for other things.

The edges of the omelet will have started to cook. At this point you have two options. For the first one, tilt the pan forwards about 45 degrees. Use the fork to pull the far edge into the center. More egg will roll down to fill the empty space. Continue this motion all around the pan until the egg is set but not cooked. This is the time to add any filling. A handful of grated cheese adds a nice tang, while a few leaves of basil will perfume both of your mouths. The view from behind for any onlookers will be of you rocking and swaying in unpredictable loops. I'll call this omelet the exotic dancer's naked omelet.

Option two is more advanced as well as more athletic. Grasp the handle of the pan with both hands and tip it forwards as before spilling the egg mixture away from you. Then, level the pan and jerk it towards you sending elbows back and hips forwards and up. The backwards thrusting will knock the egg mixture against the far edge of the pan and then send it falling into the empty space at the handle end like a breaking wave. Repeat this movement until the egg is set but not cooked. Now, proceed with filling as above. Picture this from behind and you will see why I am calling this one the money shot naked omelet.

The easiest way to fold the omelet is to tip the pan forwards again and coax the near side over far with the back of a fork.

For the last fold, take the handle of the pan in your dominant hand and a warmed plate in the other. Hold them together in a V shape. Tip the pan over the plate as you bring the plate level.

Grab two forks, crawl back into bed and enjoy.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


wineandfoodtube may be worth a browse for tragic foodies and winos.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Pizza Creations at Bel Paese

Well I was going to do a post and link to the ComPost story on the award winning four cheese pizza at Bel Paese. However while it does still google I can't find it there any longer, so bugger it will just repost it below, as I previously copied it to email to a friend, and update this post later when time allows ......

A previous posting by 'Essence' on family pizza at La Porchetta brought a string of comments and recommendations on favorite pizza places in Cairns. Barack Obama has even flown his favorite Pizza chef 860 miles to perform at the White House.

Family's pizza recipe the big cheese

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A CAIRNS Italian family's four-cheese pizza has won an award at the Best of the Best Pizza Challenge in Brisbane.

The aromas and different textures of the mellow blue, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan pizza caught the tastebuds of judges in the cheese category.

Nick Mure, of Bel Paese, said his son Salvatore’s creation was all about balance.

"That's what it is all about," Mr Mure said.

"Anyone can throw ingredients on the pizza, but of course, it's the way you put it on and the way you prepare the cheeses, you put some lemon zest and cracked pepper.

"They said the harmony of the cheeses worked well because they could taste all the different flavours."

Mr Mure said he was proud of the family’s achievements since the restaurant had been running in the North Queensland State finals.

"This year we did one better," he said.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Easter musings from Jim's sister

Jennifer Marohasy, is better known as a blogging climate change sceptic than as the sister of Jim Turnour.

Jennifer has offered some easter musings on life and environmentalism which, as a fellow atheistic Darwinian from a culturally christian background (with maybe a whiff of Zen infusion) I thought contained some interesting perspectives.

I was comtemplating the rituals of easter today whilst browsing the meat display down at Woolies with a nice selection of those reduced price specials to shift produce before the use-by date. Now, don't get me wrong, the KitchenSlut staple diet is anything to do with the sea and his freezer is currently well stocked with a selection of scallops in the half shell, imported vietnamese baby squid, green bugs and a handfull of whiting fillets.

However, if I am anthing other than a pious believer why would I be paying inflated easter seafood prices rather than the stock clearing pre-easter meat specials? Presumably the answer would be cultural rather than religious? My assumption is that if there is a God he/she/intersexual is unlikely to be such a narcissistic bastard to send me to hell for the sin of eating discounted lamb's kidneys on Good Friday (sorry to the squeamish for the offal but my mum often served us lamb's kidneys for brekkie when we were kids) in preference to $50 a kilo Coral Trout, or a tin of tuna cat food for that matter?

I will contemplate this over easter in the context of our prominently piously church - going christian Prime Minister's abuse of a junior employee because of his in-flight meal. There are more effective ways to complain about airline food than bullying the waitress .....

P.S. Browsing Jennifer's blog today I was also curious on this posting that Native Ants Kill Cane Toads.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Specks of Gold

There are some rich specks of gold to be found amongst the proliferation of blogs. The best offer something personal that provides unique insight. I wish I could offer a fraction as much.

We have previously posted and linked to the blog of the awesome Zoe Brain. The Cablog of Sydney cabbie Adrian Neylan (man of lettuce) has long been noted by blogophiles. Adrian's blog of the Cronulla riots a few years back when he headed his taxi towards the violence against a taxi warning advice is still in my memory and far superior to anything that appeared in the meeja. Locally I never failed to be smitten by the delightful but too infrequent postings of Sweet Madelaine.

My most recent find is Record Preserve Share where I just love these street posters by Craig. The YouTube of the iPhone music also captured me, and I definitely want one of these for the KitchenSlut abode :)

P.S: Typically inspiring I love this video courtesy of Zoe Brain although I also do love my Greek bbq octopus :)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Restaurant Recession

I was supposed to be offline this weekend to focus on some other critical projects however my attention has been diverted by ComPost front page headline on the restaurant crisis. I will just post quickly and edit or update later particularly with regard to Queenslands arcane liquor laws .....

This week also Commsec released some reseach behind the latest ABS retail spending numbers. This showed a huge 12.9% decline nationally, adjusted for inflation, in spending at cafes and restaurants.

"One of the clear trends in the latest data was that people are dining out less often. Spending at cafes and restaurants has continued to fall, showing the largest annual decline in records going back 25 years. At the same time a lot more spending is occurring at takeaway food and liquor outlets. Liquor retailing jumped by over 8 per cent in the quarter - matching the largest quarterly increase in nearly 20 years."

Update: LEADING restaurateur Neil Perry has vowed never to open another restaurant in Australia after a protracted battle to get a liquor licence for his two new Sydney restaurants left him $100,000 out of pocket.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Rusty's Street Food

In many parts of the world 'Street Food' can be a feature of the experience. A small section of Rusty's has now evolved into its owm small street food style enclave. It's at the very far northern end as Rusty's spreads out along Sheridan St with a handfull of food vans and stalls, some tables, a busker, and Billy's coffee.

Gavindas Samosas from inside the main area are good for a snack or brekkie on the run but stopped off today for lunch on Sheridan St. For $8 the Vietnamese chargrilled pork, rice noodles and veges from Saigon Hut was tasty and not bad value. It came with plenty of fresh things to bolster my healthful credentials. The busker wasn't bad either.

Other offerings include an Indian stall, Thai and sushi, as well as a traditional style Aussie street food van. It would be good to see this street food style grow and flourish in that location.

Any recommendations on 'street food' at Rusty's or elsewhere in Cairns Region gratefully accepted?

Economists survive fruit and veg shortage!

The 2009 AARES Conference (Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society) has been on in Cairns for the last few days and finishes this morning. There may have been some wonkish items of interest here had I been more aware.

Economist John Quiggin has blogged a quick post on the conference with comments. He didn't comment on the food or Esplanade experience however!

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Moonlight State

Ahh, Queensland .... beautiful one day .... moonlight the next!

Kitchenslut understands that an extremely prominent CBD establishment was recently closed temporarily for health reasons? Who knows whats going on now that it's become common practice for all those places closing not to disclose any notice or reason? We just assume there are problems with the banker? The Courthouse still has has not posted a reason to patrons for closure or to let them know whats going on?

What is interesting here is that, as understood, Queensland still does not require public disclosures of breaches in health laws as has been required in NSW since last year? Correct me if I am wrong?

You can find the list of food places in NSW issued notices of health breaches HERE.

Go and try to find the same info for Queensland? Enjoy those noodles boys and girls, but keep a watch for anything that wriggles :)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Cairns Cultural Plan

Council has today released for comment a cultural plan: "CREATIVE TNQ: STRENGTHENING

Following extensive community participation Cairns Regional Council has drafted a cultural plan.
More than 1,000 people responded during a month long community engagement that resulted in the preliminary document and now it is time for comment on the newly evolved plan.
The public consultation showed strong community support for a Regional Performing Arts Centre, a local museum building and a program to enhance the current festivals and events programs in the region, including Festival Cairns.
The plan .... has been developed to broaden the cultural vision for the region over the next decade and beyond.
It contains strategies to guide funding for the next five years and is designed to dovetail with Council’s new Corporate Plan
Final comment on the cultural plan document is welcome and can be submitted via email by 5pm Wednesday 25 February.

Also recently announced was the formation of a new Festival Advisory Committee. Council has taken the management of Festival Cairns in house this year after the withdrawal of the preferred contractor and there are plans to further develop the festival. Submissions of interest to be part of the new advisory group close on Manday, Feb 9, so any interested persons don't have much time!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Twelve BC

We have previously given 12BC a wrap for their coffee and service . The coffee is still good and its a great place to get an early morning fix of 'Vitamin J' and take in some people watching. The early morning crowd seems mostly local with an eclectic mix; women from the nearby gym, city workers stopping in for breakfast to start the day, very much a locals place at this hour.

The food interest at 12BC is really on the small selections, for both breakfast and lunch, on the blackboard specials menu. These offer a selection of about 4 specials of interesting food at good value. An accomplice and I dropped in for lunch last raindrenched Saturday with the CBD very dead, yet 12BC still seemed to be doing very good business.

From the lunch specials board I went for a chicken, basil & mushroom risotto. My accomplice, Essence, stole my first thought with the nori crumbed mackerel goujons with sweet potato chips, cucumber and ginger pickles with tatsoi salad and a lime mayonnaise.

I was envious when Essence waved a sample of mackeral goujon before my eyes ..... easy to tell from appearance that it was good fish and cooked perfectly. It would have been tempting to bite the morsel from her fork .... however the KitchenSlut is a gentleman! The lime mayonnaise got a special wrap and we were assured they made it themselves. The sweet potato chips maybe don't quite work as chips with more of a roasted texture. I couldn't complain about the risotto and certainly didn't leave any. It was fresh, tasty, and nicely done.

So how to classify Twelve BC ..... where does it fit in? If I had the same food in an expensive restaurant at considerable cost I would likely have been slightly disappointed. However this is a breakfast and lunch cafe. It fills a niche well. It's good value, tasty fresh food with a specials menu much more interesting than the high priced tourist trap formats on The Esplanade.

Give it a go. I think it deserves it and will be back to try the brekkie specials soon .......

City Place

The Kitchenslut view of the discussion and proposals in the Weekend Post for City Place and Shields St .......

Well I had hoped to find some more links but as usual the ComPost don't seem to have posted their main story (?) apart from the Gavin King commentary linked above. However, the basic theme is one that people who know me undertstands that I have been advocating for years now. City Place doesn't work and is unlikely to ever work!

A fleet of bulldozers down Lake St to reopen north - south traffic, and help public transport flows, combined with an expansion of public pedestrian areas and or malls down Shields St has been so blindingly obvious for so long that we have to seriously question the imbecility of any civic remnants still locked in a denialist mindset on how to fix City Place!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Australus Roastus?

The Blarg of Fosnez has a great post on an attempt to rename kangaroo roast to disassociate it from skippy and make it more palatable. This is a similar theme to our recent post on an attempt to rebrand fish as sea kittens . KitchenSlut still thinks Sea Kittens is a fantastic name for a fish cafe and wonders if it is still open as a business name?

To really appreciate kangaroo you must also appreciate rare meat, particularly because it is lean, and this link on how to cook our symbolic national game by Benjamin Christie is the best I have seen. My preference is the fillets and when done just right on the bbq seared on the outside and warm and pink in the middle when the fillet is sliced, this meat is as good as any other!

A few rare times in the past I have managed to pick up some kangaroo prosciutto from the mighty men at Marshes Butchers in Stratford. A fantastic smokey flavour although the lean dry texture made the prosciutto somewhat crumbly.

For more traditional palates who are squemish about evidence of blood with their meat one would have though corned kangaroo would have some interesting potential given its tendency to be too dry if overcooked by other methods. My dear old Mum told me that an old relative years ago always delivered any fresh roadkill to the local butcher for corning!?

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Virginity well and truly lost ......

Virgin Atlantic guest, Oliver Beale, was unimpressed when culinary offerings on a recent flight from Mumbai to London fell short of even the usual limitations of airline food. He wrote directly to Virgin icon Richard Branson in what is regarded as one of the better complaint letters, with photographic evidence.

"On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard."

It's been reported Branson has apologised personally and invited Beale to select food and wine for future flights. Virgin Atlantic has just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Cho Gao a Goer?

What I really like about Cho Gao at The Pier is the layout and variety of seating format, which they describe as "one harmonious entity, a single space with different zones". This is something lacking along most of the Esplanade and Pier establishments with their monotonous phalanxes of regular table seating.

Cho Gao is on the northern side of The Pier just along from the Pier Bar, with outdoor seating along the boardwalk. The view from here has certainly changed since the lagoon development. I recall being able to watch the sun set over the range and the lights come on along the Esplanade. The outlook now is dominated mostly by trees and carparking. The latter courtesy of the planning masterminds down at the Port Authority who apparently see prime waterfront land as an opportunity to whack down some bitumen and park cars on it.

Back to Cho Gao's, and beyond the format, where this week I made my third lunch stop since opening. Dining solo it's easy to just park yourself on a stool on the boardwalk, take in the view over the carpark and trees, relax with a good book and enjoy some Singapore noodles with an Asian beer.

The Singapore noodles, fried with BBQ pork, prawns, red capsicum and bean sprouts were fresh, tasty and well presented. On a previous visit I shared a noodle lunch with a friend in the low casual seating on the boardwalk and we were both impressed with the food and the ambience. Although at $17 for the Singapore noodles this is not the cheapest Asian eatery in town so it will be interesting to watch how it goes.

The menu is not the all encompassing matrix of options found at many Asian restaurants, and doesn't need to be if a menu is well constructed and refreshed from time to time. There are four sections on the menu with dishes 'to share', noodles, mains and desserts. There are ten dishes 'to share' mostly priced in the $13 to $15 range. Noodles range from $14.50 to $17, with mains around $25 to $28.

There are also banquet menu selections for groups, and with the diverse table formatting and emphasis on share dishes my thinking is that this may be worth a go sometime not too far away .......

Monday, 26 January 2009

Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!! Welcome to the Year of the Ox ......

The Chinese pronunciation of "ox" happens to coincide with the English pronunciation of "new". So that "happy niu year" means "happy ox year", which is nicely convenient.

Apparently it also coincides with some other day of lesser significance this year?

Kitchenslut celebrated on friday with a banquet, including dragons and fireworks, down at Cafe China.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bargain Bin

Some interesting specials around town the past week as restauranteurs chase the elusive dollar. This one is from Wink, on the corner of Grafton & Spence. Wink is a newish place where the long established Yama previously was. I didn't try the special at the time although I have eaten lunch at Wink a few months back.

Wink has an interesting menu and the food quality when I was there was definitely towards the better end of the quality spectrum. A little birdie recently whispered a complaint on service, although thats become so typical for Cairns that maybe we have become desensitised? Service? Whats that?

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Something Fishy

Dolphinfish was renamed as Mahi Mahi to avoid the negative perceptions associated with eating 'dolphin'. Now an animal rights group in the U.S. has decided that the way to stop people eating fish is to give them a cuddly image and rename them all as Sea Kittens!

Hmmm, I think I may have found the perfect name for that iconic fish cafe?

P.S. The Sea Kitten stories are brilliant don't miss them!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Public Art in Cairns

I think I have finally succeeded in getting a slideshow of Cairns Public Art operational in the sidebar however it should also be available over here at Picasa Web Albums? Suggestions and contributions welcome and I will try to expand and update the slideshow library with identifying captions and comments ......

Public art can often be controversial. When you visit a gallery you can leave it behind. Your own collection is your choice. However, public art is in your face and you must live with it. Council actually have a policy for public art in Cairns. Curiously this is funded out of a levy on new property development, however a direct rationale for the link is not evident to me unless as an externality tax on deficient architecture?

In the last year a small precinct of works have been added at the northern Esplanade parklands. 'Telescopus' by Dom Johns is the most prominent. I like Dom's work and have a small mosaic of his from the Cairns Regional Gallery postcard show a few years ago.

Perhaps our most (only?) iconic public art feature around town is the 'jelly babies' at the CoCA Centre. During last years KitchenSlut abroad foreign sojourn I was impressed by King Bladud's Pigs in Bath, England. A concept which could be adapted here (perhaps as part of Cairns Festival) and create interest among visitors and locals as well as contribute to charity?

However, I wonder if we would be brave enough for something like this multi-story mural on the wall of the Tate Gallery looking out over the Thames in London? It certainly attracted plenty of interest and photography from tourists!

It would also stimulate additional entertainment value with a flow of opinionated reactions to the letters column in the Cairns Post.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Recipe's for a Rainy Day

It was a day to sleep in with a good book ...... unless anyone was fortunate enough to spend the day in bed with a delectable other!? My current reading is 'Mozart in the Jungle'; sex, drugs and classical music by Blair Tyndall. A fascinating insight into human behaviour beyond the staid exterior of the symphony oprchestra pit.

However, one cannot spend all day in bed (absent the delectable other) and must pursue more active passions to maintain mental acuity and balance. Perhaps fellow local blogger Fosnez has provided a lead with an inspiration to roll up the sleeves, take off the jewellery, open the port bottle, and indulge in some seriously sluttish kitchen activity.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

US Restaurant Index at Record Low

The excellent Calculated Risk blog posts an update on dismal data for the US restaurant industry.

Not sure if we have any equivalent measures here? The KitchenSluts personal index of people watching along the Esplanade is measuring slow to dead (however the seasonal adjustment of this methodology is somewhat imperfect).

We note the ongoing failure to lease the space in front of Harbour Blights as well as prominent vacancies and lease signs along the Esplanade strip. However, there are some good deals on offer for any keen diners still out there .......


I'm keen for some recommendations on the best fish'n'chips around town?

It has always seemed to be something missing in Cairns to me. Yes, we do have seafood restaurants and fish'n'chip takeaways, but we don't seem to have a genuine iconic fish cafe? This is odd given the seaside location and the large number of UK visitors where the fish & chippery, with mushy peas, is almost part of a staple diet.

This isn't a new theme for me. I remember being in an Esplanade bar some years ago when a tourist walked in asking 'where can i get fish & chips' on The Esplanade? He was directed by the barman in the direction of Captain Cook out along Sheridan St. Again this week I was enjpying a quiet vino at the new Bella Vista (who at least mark their glasses so you know you are not being ripped off)where some visitors were discussing where they could get fish'n'chips and seemed to have been directed to Muddies. Now Muddies is ok for what it is and has been good from time to time, but given its conflict with a childrens playground is not quite what I had in mind.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Australian Tropical Foods

Great to see the Australian Tropical Foods website revamped and looking good!

The old site had been badly neglected for some time. We can only hope that, unlike previously, this site is maintained and supported?!

The Kitchenslut was impressed during last years UK sojourn by the pride in their local food and restaurant accreditation program in Cornwall. Why not here?

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