Saturday, 31 December 2011

Le Crouton Boulangerie

Le Crouton boulangerie has been a hit with locals out at Freshwater who no longer have to travel all the way to Stratford for a quality cafe experience. Le Crouton attracted the attention of Kitchenslut earlier in the year when they had a Rusty's stall for a few weeks before moving in to permanent residence out at Freshwater.

The most likely cause of disappointment on subsequent visits has been if they have sold out of some products. However, after an early visit Kitchensluts official carbohydrate taster gave the brioche a thumbs up. A visit this Saturday morning for a garlic bread baguette saw all tables occupied and a queue inside for the bakery ..... oops ..... boulangerie.

The Freshwater Village shops have been refreshed and lifted by Le Crouton and a thriving business is good to see.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Prawn head guide

Christmas and seafood have grown closer over the years and the festive season is now as likely to be associated with prawns as turkey. Prawns are also really not that expensive compared with other seafood.

Kitchenslut once had a debate with a lady who claimed prawns were too expensive because of the waste, which is only true if you see your prawn heads as waste. Prawn heads make excellent material for stocks which can be used for such as rissotto or pasta sauces.

Prawn heads are good for you. Yes, prawn heads are an anti-oxidant super food! This makes prawn heads a perfect way to counter the damage from seasonal excess, so dont throw those prawn heads out!  The wastage of prawn heads must be enormous so Kitchenslut is on a mission to stop this waste!

Kitchenslut's prawn fisherman uncle was partial to sucking on his prawn head although this may not be considered appropriate ettiquette in some circles. However a quick guide to some ideas and recipes for prawn heads.

Prawn head powder is easy and should even be appropriate for the more squeamish gastronome. Just stick your heads in the oven to dy them out and then grind into a powder: "It really tastes like the dry powder version of sucking the juices out of a freshly cooked (prawn) head.". If you use your coffee grinder for the powder this may also add an interesting texture to subsequent coffee.

The Japanese could always be expected to do something spectacular with a prawn head including this sushi sweet prawn nigiri. The Koreans are also aware of their prawn heads. However, when it comes to Asia I think the Thais have it. Prawn heads are an essential ingredient for Tom Yum Goong soup.

Simon Leong demonstrates crispy prawn heads with salt, pepper and paprika. An excellent late night snack! The BBC is an interesting recipe for prawn head soup with oranges coriander and sesame.

Just this week Kitchenslut was enjoying the whitebait at Tha Fish while contemplating why there were no prawn heads on the menu. The answer is probably our cynical bogan culture amply demonstrated by 'oldboot' at the Ausfish website with a recipe for left over prawn head and stale garlic bread patte:
Take a quantity of cooked whole prawns of your preference, shell and eat the prawns saving the shell parts and the heads. set aside in the fridge.
On a different night order pizza in a deal with a garlic bread and drink of choice.

eat the pizza and drink the soft drink, save the garlic bread and the pizza crusts.

In a blender of food processor, blend up the prawn heads and shells until a thin paste with a little water...... add the garlic bread and piza crusts and continue blending till a smooth paste.

Turn out into a plastic food conatiner.........At this time the "mixture" should look and smell like some sort of party dip or patte....... I would not recomend eating it.

It is best if the plastic food container is nearly full to the top, put the lid on and freeze.
I have found this works as an excelent burley for bait fish, bream and so forth.

to use it turn the still frozen block out into a suitable burly container and chuck it over the side..........the burley container will need to be weighted as the block on its own will float........should last 30 to 40 minutes ( depending on size).

any old bread crusts cand be used, extra garlic can be added.

stay tuned for my "pilchard and left over rice surprise"
Oh dear! However for those who retain an aversion to prawn heads the website of Endeavour Prawns promotes their use as chook food. Heston Blumenthal recently experimented with feeding a goose to make it taste the way he wanted. Hmmm, I wonder what chicken fed exclusively on prawn heads would taste like?


Monday, 12 December 2011

Fish Market

A seafood outlet in the CBD is welcome with the opening of a Fish Market at Rusty's, at the previous location of Brumby's bread. Hopefully it will provide more interesting diversity and range beyond the fruit & veg.

Kitchenslut will be keen to monitor prices between outlets as gennerally the seafood places on Sheridan St are a few dollars a kg above those on the other side of town in Portsmith for most product. This new store is operated by Cairns Ocean Products.

I thought the range and display of the new Fish Market could have been more exciting being mostly predominated by prawns and standard offerings, although there was some sun-dried mullet roe. I guess that goes with the culture and the season.

Admittedly our steamy climate makes display of seafood, meat and chicken products more difficult for European market style presentation but the display below from London's Borough market is more in the Kitchenslut style of market theatre.

Kitchenslut recently posted on the exceptional carrot display at Port Douglas market. 

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Epicuriously resolving the potato glut dilemma

The past week has seen reports of a potato glut with catastrophic economic consequences for tableland potato growers contemplating whether to bother harvesting or plough the crop back in. Kitchenslut's first reaction was that this was, in a sense, equally unfortunate for the consumer.

I mean, if we are going to have a glut of something, why potatoes? If there is to be a glut why can't it be of something more interesting, such as fennel. Kitchenslut is partial to a fennel bulb and at $2.50 each, a glut of fennel bulbs would be far more appreciated.

But the potato? It's not like they are expensive anyway so increasing consumption of potatoes is unlikely to create huge savings in the family budget! The ubiquitous chip has become a blight on culinary progress!

In an endeavour to resolve this dilemma Kitchenslut decided to google up a few more interesting spud recipes from our celebrity chefs. Kitchenslut's personal speciality is duck fat kipfler potatoes, however there didn't seem to be a glut of kipflers down at Rusty's?

Matt Moran: Potato gnocchi with clams and chives 
Ah yes, gnocchi would seem to me to be possibly the best epicurean response to a potato glut of commodity standard spuds! And it can be frozen! As recently posted the NZ clams are now becoming available although perhaps Queensland scallops could be substituted.

Jamie Olver: The perfect potato gratin
The curiosity of this recipe is that it requires a combination of semi-skimmed milk and double cream which seems somewhat contrary? Disregarding that it does provide an opportunity for combine the potatoes with local dairy produce! Question? My preference is Misty Mountains but why do they market their cream only in a 2 litre bottle? Is that because there is a glut of 2 litre bottles? 

Neil Perry: Warm potato salad
This recipe requires a mixture of Bison, King Edward and Nicolas potatoes. Which may be a problem as the local potatoes at Rusty's are sort of just generically local of no specific variety? 

Rick Stein: Fennel sausages braised with lemony potatoes and bay leaves
I had to include this because of the fennel.

However, as always the place to go when searching for innovative ideas to make something ordinary into something beyond the ordinary .......

Iron Chef: New potato battle.

Season 1 Episode 14

Challenger -- (6):
Sauteed Potatoes with Sea Urchin Sauce
Potato Balls Consomme Soup
Potato Salad
Creamy Merry Curry
Stewed Beef & Potatoes
Vanilla Ice Cream with Potato Skin, Maple Syrup and Cinnamon

Iron Chef -- (5)
Hot & Spicy Beef and Potatoes
Potato & Chicken Stew
Sauteed Potatos French-style Lobster Sauce
Fried Whole Potatoes
Potato Dessert

Winner: Iron Chef Chen

Warning: Excessive carbohydrate consumption can be a health hazard and Kitchenslut accepts no responsibility for such consumption.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The world's most eggspensive dessert

"The haute cuisine chocolate pudding is shaped like a Faberge Easter egg — but made with a whole host of luxurious ingredients, including gold and champagne caviar"
Meanwhile, Kitchenslut is exploring affinity with the 99% by occupying his kitchen with offal.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

World's Best Food Cities

The always excellent backpacker blog at the Sydney Morning Herald has potsed a list of the top 10 food cities. In backpacker blog style this doesn't mean fine dining but with a focus on the casual and street food that contribute to a cultural experience.

As always the comments at backpacker blog are equally entertaining with more than 300 on this so far! Kitchenslut was quite taken by this comment giving McDonalds a wrap ..... so to speak:
Hey, I love visiting McDonald's when I travel! Partly I think because it's so standardised (within any one country) that the differences between nations really stick out. I was particularly taken with McDonald's in Thailand, Ronald McDonald doing the wai, McPorkburger happy meals, unidentifiable dessert pies... and why are we as Aussies the only peoples on earth that aren't trusted with large pump packs of ketchup next to the serviettes rather than those minging little sachets you have to ask for at the counter?
Hmmmm, a McPorkburger? With link included to a display of some more exotic Maccas varietals! Anyway the backpacker top 10 is ....... 

Tokyo, Japan
This isn't number one by random chance, it's number one. Head and shoulders. The Japanese capital now has more three-Michelin-starred restaurants than any city in the world, but it's the amazing casual dining that should have you salivating. From ramen noodles to tempura to soba to sushi to the small plates of awesomeness dished out by any dodgy neighbourhood izakaya every day of the week, Tokyo rules.
Beijing, China
You can wow your friends by eating sheep testicles on a stick at Wangfujing Snack Street if you want, but the truly great Chinese dining is elsewhere. Peking duck is a favourite, obviously, but if you're all about the dumpling then you won't be disappointed. Even shopping mall food courts turn out great fare.
New York, USA
New York food is good – Gray's Papaya hotdogs, L&B pizzas, any bagel – but it's the variety of world cuisines that puts the city onto any foodie list. You can have a Mexican-style breakfast, a Korean lunch and a French dinner and it will have been three of the best meals of your life. And you haven't even scratched the surface.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Angels chorus when you touch down in BA; foodie gods beam their lights upon you. Or something like that. Anyway, the pastries are awesome. Alfajores (a sort of caramel sandwich) should be illegal, they're that sugary and good. Streetside choripan rocks my world, while the pizzas and pastas show a handy legacy of Italian immigration. And apparently Portenos do a reasonable steak.
This is one of the cities like New York that does have its own cuisine, but it's the imported stuff that you really come for. Hawker food in Singapore spanks the pants off any restaurant in most Western countries, as vendors lovingly pump out the one dish they've become famous for over decades. Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian... It's all here, and it's all good.
Hanoi, Vietnam
By now, you know Vietnamese food. You've slurped pho, you've fumbled about with rice-paper rolls, you might have even tried banh mi, the Vietnamese baguettes. But it's not until you've done it sitting on a tiny plastic seat on a Hanoi pavement, surrounded by scooters and bustling foot traffic, washing it down with a local bia hoi, that Vietnamese food really makes sense.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexican food gets a bad rap, but I assume that's from people who haven't been there. Try tacos al pastor – shredded pork with chunks of pineapple and other goodness wrapped in a fresh tortilla – from any old street vendor and tell me this isn't a great place to eat. And make sure you try chilaquiles: shredded chicken with tortillas, queso fresco and a spicy salsa. Breakfast of champions.
Mysore, India
Mysore's already famous, but that's because of the whopping great palace in the middle of it, not for what's on the plate. But it should be the food that people rave about. Mysore is home to the best of South Indian cuisine, and that's saying something. I had the sort of thali there that can change your life, followed up with a great coffee and an artery-clogging galub jamun. Take me back there, now.
Bologna, Italy
The city is nicknamed "La Grassa", meaning "The Fat One", which is exactly what you'll be after a few days in Bologna. It's the home of tagliatelle Bolognese, sure, but there's so much more going for it. Just have aperitivo, the free snacks most bars serve with happy-hour drinks – it always changes, but my last one had hunks of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, lumps of mortadella, slices of bruschetta, marinated olives and a pizza. And that's before dinner.
San Sebastian, Spain
I've written about San Seb before, and there's little more to say. A night of bar-hopping in the Old Town, feasting on pintxos – the Basque-style tapas – and drinking local wine is just about the best experience you can have. Anywhere.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Bearded Clams

When you have a blog by the name of Kitchenslut you become aware of how much stray traffic may be generated by a post on bearded clams. Albeit, the bearded clam is now an endangered species.

This was evident when Kitchenslut wandered into ISP seafood down in Portsmith and discovered a satchet of clams similar to the way mussels are now sold. This is a product from Cloudy Bay clams of NZ. It was $18.90 for the kilo satchet so a few dollars above the mussels.

The technology for packaging and sale of mussels has been a revolution for that product. Gone are the days when it was a dodgy process of tedious debearding and discarding unopened specimens. My own background here long ago was with local black mussels from the south coast of NSW. Then came the profligate NZ greenlip mussel which is pretty much chook food really as a quality comparison!

However, I took the chance and was rather impressed with this product. Beardless and free of sand I chose a pasta recipe from US celebrity chef Mario Bartoli, the USA being the centre of claminess, with some local adjustments including chilli and lemongrass. Fettucine from Il Convivo provided local content. I must say I was impressed with the outcome. The clams are meaty and really flavoursome and with thenthick shells need longer cooking than a mussel.

This is a good product and I hope to be able to try some more. Perhaps a New England style clam chowder with the excellent local Misty Mountains milk and cream?

P.S. The clams are apparently blanched which I think is a similar process for a molusc as a brazillian for a human?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

What food is most stolen?

 Will Type For Food says that it is cheese!?

Who filched the fetta
Creamed the cream cheese from the shelf,
Who's on the lam with Edam,
Added parma to their pelf?

Who wangled all the Singles,
Put their finger in the Swiss,
Took a motza Mozzarella
Ere we knew what was amiss?

Who touched the Dutch,
Took the camemberts and bries,
Lock, stock and bocconcini
Without so much as please?

There's a lack amongst the lactose
Now the Gorgonzola's gone,
Some rotter took Ricotta
And the Philly's all forlorn -

Who took the cheese?
What could have caused this crime?
Can we put it down to culture,
Or was it just - enzyme?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Loose Change

Kitchenslut is for various reasons being socially quiet at the moment. You are welcome to visit me at Loose Change, from my reclusive desk overlooking the Esplanade,  for divergent economic opinions currently unpopular with the masses!

Friday, 7 October 2011

A weekend at Bernies?

Following our contested commentary on Havana Music Cafe another small venue has opened with a music theme. Bernie's Jazz Piano Cafe is on Abbott St next to the Jelly Babies, where once was the Lemonade Tree.

This hasn't been a succesful site recently despite in a sense being an intimate venue not far from the Esplanade cattle yard. The previous incarnation as Andre's didn't last long but they did do a makeover in a red colour theme which remains ..... so Bernies haven't had to splash too much on renovations.

Kitchenslut wandered past last night while staggering home but didn't linger to check it further. There is a piano in the street window and they did have a few patrons, having only opened last weekend. They don't have any footpath tables as in the past at this venue, and a suggestion would be that maybe they could consider something outside to attract attention?

The menu seems mainly focused on smaller tapas style to suit the venue. A small selection of mains seemed almost superfluous and quite boring. Time will tell ..........

Note: due to ongoing technical difficulties have been unable to upload photo  :-/ 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

What sex is your vegetable?

Kitchenslut was enjoying a pleasant morning in his sunfilled garden browsing through the Sunday Mail magazine and paused at the weeks contribution from celebrity chef Matt Moran. This weeks topic was fennel, which is also Kitchenslut's fave vegetable!

However, in our increasingly diverse food world an additional element was added, in that Kitchenslut now needs to consider the sex of his fennel?

"the rounder fatter bulbs are male, whereas the flatter, thinner bulbs are female"

Apparently one should "braise, roast, or grill the male" while:

"females are best used raw, shaved into salads"

Kitchenslut will resist metaphorical comparison of species, and the superiority or otherwise of the raw and shaved female ....... but had not previously been confronted with this in regard to his vegetables! Certainly when it comes to pork, sex is important apparently. Walk into Marsh butchers at Stratford and their prime offering of local Tableland pork is specifically labeled female.

Some research does throw up some links to validate the superior flavour of female pork ...... and who is Kitchenslut to disagree? However, as previously posted, what happens to the boys? I presume they end up in Marsh's excellent chipolata sausages which are destined for a place here on the top ten local products list.

One wonders how long before Woolworths and Coles will label their meat and vegetables by sex?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Kitchenslut's soul mate?

Has Kitchenslut found a soulmate? Culinary flirtations of the food kind can be found at the blog of foodvixen.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Top Ten Local Food Products #1

Polenta has always been a problem for Kitchenslut. Polenta? Well, yes, if you look through food history Polenta is supposedly as prominent in Northern Italy as is pasta in the south? Yet it's so obscure despite some excellent Polenta products now being available in the aisles of the evil empire Woolies and Coles!

So what doe that have to do with local food? Well, Kitchenslut has never been able to make Polenta even remotely appetising unless produced with a full cream milk. Actually, the best Polenta dining experience was at the loathed Villa Romana which was obviously packed with cream.

The Misty Mountains full cream jersey product is PERFECT! Yes, PERFECT. A clearly superior product to the traditional Mungalli, provided your GP can tolerate your cholesterol level. I prefer to use the top of a new creamy bottle in my Polenta.

First of a series ..... how to make the best of the best we have ....... and why it is even  more the very best when combined with the best from elsewhere beyond any traditional constraints?!?

Misty Mountains full cream jersey milk #1 local food product which can even make polenta something unreal ......or at least better than mashed spuds!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Nigella Talks Dirty

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Just another bad menu selection?

Kitchenslut returned to Havana Music Cafe in Lake St at the weekend. My previous comment on this was negative while all around on that night seemed enraptured. Sorry, but my initial concern with the food was only confirmed.

It's not that the food is bad but rather just very ordinary and poor value! KS went along with his visiting niece who tends to be adventurous and likes spicey food but as a maturing Gen Y palate perhaps not too hot. The food we were served was just hot but without any real flavour.

Both dishes came with a mound of ordinary boiled rice and flat bread, as though more carbohydrate was needed? The actual meal aside this was ..... ummm ..... let's say conservative? My Haitian Fish stew was a brownish flavourless hot concoction of no distinction. OK that was a bit too much hyperbole but it wasn't worth a quality restaurant experience. A far cry from my exceptional Mr Jerk Carribean experience in London a few years back!

Let's face a few facts on Havana Bar. It's a great concept and is doing well it seems. It draws a prominent local crowd of identities who I can only presume are there for the excellent music ambience and not the food, at least in my humble opinion?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Kitchenslut root vegetable award 2011

Sauntering into Port Douglas markets on Sunday Kitchenslut's eye was caught by a flash of colour some distance away. Attracted like a moth to a light KS was mightily impressed to discover the most impressive display of carrots he can recall. Not that there are any other displays of carrots that Kitchenslut can recall given that memorable displays of such vegetables are rare.

The bright orange carrots with verdant green tops were a beacon even on a dull overcast day. Alongside were ravishing red radishes separated from the carrots by a strip of deep purple beetroot combining in an impressively expressive display of colour. They even made our tropical pineapple look so boringly colourless.

Presentation is important in retail and other stallholders should take note! The inaugural winner of the prestigious Kitchenslut Root Vegetable Award 2011.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

awards season roundup

It must be the season for those often controversial awards with Gourmet Traveller gongs for 2012 now out. Only nine Queensland establishments made the top 100 with Nu Nu representing the Far North at #73. Perhaps some places in Port Douglas would like to challenge the ranking of NuNu as the leading restaurant in the Far North? The only other Qld restaurants outside Brisbane were at Noosa and Surfers Paradise?

Also, the Restaurant and Catering Awards for the Far North were announced last week. These caused a stir last year when somehow Hayman Island managed to be included in the region. The classifications are also always a bit curious here.

The award to M Yogo in the 'European' category is curious as my impression is that this place has faded from its early reputation. In terms of its Europeanness KS usually refers to M Yogo as the "Iron Chef French"?

It is always pleasing to see Bayleaf Balinese get recognition. KS agrees that Tha Fish is probably the best seafood place in Cairns so it was interesting to see it triumph over the Port Douglas challengers.

Meanwhile the curiosity of these awards down in Townsville was the proliferation of Coffee Club franchises in the cafe and coffee shop sections! Are they serious? If they had a 'European' category perhaps the winner would be Pizza Hut? The Far North can celebrate our clear superiority in the art of life!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

taste of palm cove

Kitchenslut has been a critic of this years Cairns Festival lineup and particularly the quite 'skinny' program of food related events. Taste of Palm Cove is pretty much the only food event of any substance and it's outstanding success this year demonstrated there is plenty of interest out there.

Last years Taste was a perfect sunny beach day and while there was a contingent there for the event it was mostly beachgoers who joined the queue outside NuNu for a taste of red curry bbq pork for lunch. This year the sun was out, the wind kept any wildlife away from the beach, a convenient park was not easy to find and the street was busy with queues at street stalls, and restaurants full of people there for the food itself.

Kitchenslut tried the red emperor miang wrapped in betel leaf from Nu Nu to try and get some ideas for his own prolific crop of betel leaf. Still not quite as good as the prawn miang were previously at the lamented *sob*, now departed Lemonade Tree. Clare Richardson refers to betel leaf  as wild pepper leaf in her book, Tropical Cuisine.

After some barramundi & whitebait balls Kitchenslut decided to avoid the queue for the spit roast pork and wandered down to Chill Cafe to fill up on a burger. The feedback from the bbq burger flipper at Chill was very positive and even some surprise at the high turnout. A very positive event and congratulations to the people at Palm Cove.

The same can't be said for that evenings festival parade with the change to a Sunday a flop in the opinion of KS despite the media reports. The crowd appeared to be down from observation and feedback to KS, and an earlier daylight parade has about as much pizazz as a boy scout jamboree.  

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fratelli's at Trinity Beach

There is often some interesting stuff at fnqhome and he has recently posted on a breakfast at Fratelli's which, with permission, is posted below. Fratelli's is on Vasey Esplanade at Trinity Beach where the domes are, opposite the stinger net, which has always been one of the more idiosyncratic properties in the Far North (ie: What the f***'s this place even still doing here?). The restaurant at the front has now been renovated to be more modernly interactive with the street and beach (photo coming). This is more of the style we need.

The Trinity Beach dining precinct has evolved and expanded in an interesting way compared to it's more flamboyant and pretentious sister up the road at Palm Cove. Back from Vasey Esplanade places such as Blue Moon Cafe and Lime Tree also seem to be popular with a local clientele.

Breakfast at Fratelli’s

Date posted: Sunday 14 August 2011

After a bit of a sleep in this morning, I wandered around to Fratelli’s on Trinity for breakfast. It has moved into the what used to be the Atlantis, beside the white domes at Trinity Beach. I’ve been meaning to try them for a while, but hadn’t until now. The owners are apparently the original owners of Lunico, the pasta restaurant a little further up the beach. The renovations have resulted in a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s brighter, more open, and much more what I like in a cafe/restaurant. The music was almost right, but needed to be just a little more chilled.

After crashing at a front row table with views out to Yorkeys Knob and Cape Grafton beyond, I gazed at the breakfast menu and my eyes settled, as they usually do, on eggs benedict. I’m used to a choice between salmon, bacon or ham, but this morning in place of ham there was prosciutto. Hmmm… Should I go for bacon as usual, or try prosciutto? I expressed my indecision to the waitress, who told me I should try something different and go for the prosciutto. I accepted her recommendation.

Breakfast arrived – toast with wilted spinach, two slices of prosciutto, two eggs and lime-infused hollandaise sauce. I quickly realised that the waitress’s advice had been sound. I think bacon might have overpowered the sauce, the citrus note of which was delicious. It went beautifully with the prosciutto. The eggs were poached perfectly, and the whole thing was just about perfect. I could have eaten another quite easily, though I knew I shouldn’t.

So, the verdict has to be positive. Good, quick service. A great location with perfect views. Food that was excellent. I’ll be back.And so I’m now crashed on the rocks at the southern end of Trinity Beach, satiated and relaxed under blue skies with a Jon Sa Trincha mix starting up on the laptop as I type. Life is tough in the tropics.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Kitchenslut's Census Dilemma

Last night was Census night and as he worked through his eCensus several questions caused Kitchenslut to pause ever so briefly for thought, particularly when it came to the question of time spent doing unpaid domestic household work.

This question specifically related to the last week. The cooler season and some tempting un-tropical recipes from Matthew Evans in a recent ABC Delicious Magazine had inspired Kitchenslut to experiment with his pressure cooker during the survey week. Pea and ham soup, cottage pie with mustard cheese topping, and vodka-cured cod and potato fish cakes all consumed the week. While the fish cakes resulted in one of his less edible creations, the pea and ham soup was an outstanding winner!

How to work out the number of hours and allocate the time spent multi-tasking while simmering the ham hock? Shopping time is also included which would mean the time spent wandering around Rusty's and out to Marsh's at Stratford for a ham hock. Food and drink preparation are within the guidelines for unpaid domestic work, so is this really unpaid domestic work for many people or is it now a leisure activity?

The survey week was also the final week of Masterchef. Would households have been inspired by this to take to the kitchen and accumulate domestic work hours, or would they instead be sitting in front of the TV with takeaway pizza?

Kitchenslut is also body corporate chairman for his unit block and during the survey week spent an irritating amount of time dealing with recalcitrant resident disagreements on gardens, maintenance and financial issues which all seem to fit within the category of unpaid domestic work. Consequently, Kitchenslut appears in the Census stats as among the most overworked and underpaid in our community for the survey week. This presents something of a dilemma as it appears to be inconsistent with his reality!

Among other aberrant behaviour during the preceding week Kitchenslut was led astray by Hillbillywatch to rediscover the AM band on his radio and find out from John MacKenzie what was really going on in our failing society. There, he learnt from a talkback caller that "a certain religion" had a perfidious agenda to influence the Census results . Who could they be, he wondered, as he ticked the Islam box for choice of religion on his eCensus?  Kitchenslut now has a further Census dilemma of how to reconcile his religion with his ham hock?

Note: Kitchenslut was also curious about the question of whether he required the company of someone for body movement activities. This seems rather personal as there are certainly some body movement activities for which Kitchenslut at least prefers good company. It was presumed that the reason for such assistance required in the subsequent question would be within the category of 'other cause' 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Kamikaze Parrot sinks Golden Boat

The King Parrot is at it again! Following on from last years notorious lamb shank beat up, he has now sqwuarked on Chinese food in Cairns with a correspondent complaining about the cost of a meal at the Golden Boat in Lake St. Yes, it is the Golden Boat, which can be confirmed from the menu KS has among the collection in his bottom drawer.

Now when it comes to Chinese food Kitchenslut is of an era when Chinese food was breaking out. Sydney's Haymarket was transforming into a more upmarket Chinatown. The Old Tai Yuen remained a classic with students and somehow KS still asocciates the best Chinese with bent greasy spoons and chipped laminex tabletops.

However, when  it comes to the menu comparison  below one can't help but think it is stuck in an aspic timezone before that era. I can imagine a debate over whether the sweet & sour pork has enough pineapple! As far as I am aware Golden Boat is regarded by many as the best Chinese in Cairns.

We took a couple of friends to lunch at a Chinese restaurant in town, as a good Chinese meal is one key to the heart and soul of most Australian families. While we will not specify our actual menu – our bill for four people amounted to $157.40 for limited “picky style” dishes and included 2 beers each – absolutely outrageous. We were so incensed over the cost that we have compared a suggested mainstream Chinese meal for 2 people at this Cairns CBD Chinese Restaurant as compared to an award winning Chinese Restaurant on the Gold Coast.



Prawn Toast 6.10 3.50
Won Ton (6) 9.15 2.90


Chicken & Sweet Corn 6.10 4.80


Sweet & Sour Pork 19.60 12.80
Prawn in Black Bean 25.90 17.60


Large Fried 15.10 7.00

TOTAL 81.95 48.60

A difference of $33.25 or 40.2% more expensive in Cairns than the Gold coast. WHY?

 OK, so lets look at what googles for Chinese restaurants on the Gold Coast and these throw up as typical:
Yum Cha Robina: Won Ton (4) $6.80; Prawn Toast (4) $7.80; Sweet & Sour Pork $19.80; Prawn Stir Fry 23.80; Special Fried Rice $12.80;

China Pier: Won Ton (6) $5; Prawn Toast (3) $5; Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup $6; Sweet & Sour Pork $15.50; Black Bean King Prawns $21; Fried Rice $10.50.
So is that very different from the Golden Boat? So lets look at the Casinos and the highest profile Chinese:

Zen at Jupiters: Won Ton (4) $10; Sweet & Sour Pork $25; Prawn Stir Fry $37. Special Fried Rice $16.

Cafe China at Reef Casino: Prawn Toast $7.80; Chicken Sweet Corn Soup $7.90; Prawn Stir Fry $29.80; Sweet & Sour pork $24.50; Large Fried Rice $13.50.
Zen doesn't even have Prawn Toast so can be discounted as an ordinary place, eh? I have no doubt the King Parrot's correspondent from the Gold Coast has a fave value Chinese there. However, is that a valid comparison or more a reflection of asynchronous information and local knowledge? As posted here recently, worldly visitors are astounded at the value at places such as Lilypad.

However, as also posted here recently the proliferation of Indians in town recently is interesting and if there is an area where we fall well short it is Chinese which one would have thought should be a growth focus?

Monday, 1 August 2011

the locally made magic pudding

The Weekend Post (hardcopy) featured a story from our flamboyant King Parrot on the economic miracle of consuming more locally produced food. Now, Kitchenslut loves his local food when it is high quality or unique specialty produce typical of our region. However, the million dollar a week claim is sort of like our own locally produced magic pudding. Similar estimates proliferate among the websites of local food and environmental interest groups elsewhere, particularly in the USA. These all appear to imply that if everyone buys more food locally then everyone can be better off. can you see a problem here?  It also appears to imply some heroic economic multipliers which also imply some internal contradictions with the basics of economcs.

KS will take up some of the economics of this later over at loose change rather than here .......

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Show Day Surcharge

Kitchenslut has previously posted on the little known requirement of the ACCC for restaurants to provide a completely new menu if they wish to impose a surcharge for public holidays or Sundays. Simply notifying that there will be a percentage surcharge is not adequate for the ACCC and the actual prices must be displayed.

So it was interesting wandering home last night to see Villa Romana with their menu display taped over and imposing a hefty 15% surcharge for Show Day! There were also some quite expensive items posted on specials blackboard.

Right next to that Casa De Meze were prominently displaying "No Surcharge Upstairs" on their street sandwhich board. Apology for the poor quality of my iPhone snaps while scuttling past with a bottle of shiraz in search of the warmth of home to escape a rather chilly evening!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Lilypad stands out in Pond

Kitchenslut recently hosted his sibling, and for a time his nephew, who were off to explore our Far North waters on a diving expedition. The diving expedition with Mike Ball was a success for these recently inducted divers as was their experience in Cairns.

Contrary to popular myth blowing from the arse of a certain local Murdoch journalist, the food experience in Cairns is NOT behind comparable alternatives elsewhwere! Yes, you can find more bargains and gems and diversity in a big Capital City! That should be expected!

Kitchenslut's rellies are far more food savvy, world travelled, experienced, and sophisticated than himself. They found Cairns a great experience! There was no difference in their opinion in price or quality from Cairns to any comparable situation elsewhere. I agree!

While here we shared a Hanuman's dinner and sibling was more impressed than KS who still doesn't beieve this is a scratch on what it was when it opened. Kanpai Japanese in Shields impressed hugely and also managed to satisfy the appetite of Gen Y nephew who had flown in that evening. Lunch at 3.19 in Port Douglas has been featured in this months ABC Delicious Magazine.

Their visit coincided with the triathlon finale and much to my regret, as I hate the place, KS actually had a decent experience at Villa Romana with an Osso Bucco and polenta. It worked on a freezing night adjacent to the triathlon route. Also, a simple pea & ham soup at Mungalli Farm on a Tableland sojourn was perfect after a huge Lilypad brekkie!

Amongst all that their standouts was the breakfast at Lilypad on the left bank of Grafton St. Sibling was taken there morning after arrival and stunned by combination of quantity and quality was determined to take nephew there after he arrived. We returned to Lilypad after their diving expedition the morning before they departed. Nephew contemplated just how many eggs may have gone into the ommelette? Five he reckoned? What are their profit  margins? Who cares, just go there if you are HUNGRY!

Discovery was that the table at the back near the couunter, not the footpath, is among the best people watching venues in Cairns! Rellies have since provided a reference to other visitors and KS has been advised that Lilypad is indeed impressed that their word-of-mouth reputation has extended to Newcastle NSW.

Gold to Lilypad! A National champion! Coffee could be better?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Too many Indians not enough Cowboys?

Kitchenslut is bemusedly scratching his head on the proliferation of Indian restaurants around Cairns. Here we were thinking there was a Chinese invasion imminent, but it's Indians from corner to corner. There is a new Indian currently being fitted out on The Esplanade (where Michelangelos was).

Following a rebranding as the Bollywood Kitchen on Shields St, the Tandoori Oven has relocated to Spence just a door away from Marinades. A count of CBD Indians: Marinades; Tandoori Oven; Bollywood Kitchen; Royal India; Mother India; Spicey Bites x 2, as well as the imminent Taj on The Esplanade.

While Kitchenslut lurves a good Indian far and away our most prominent ethnic cuisine?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

First House Pho

Kitchenslut can't claim expertise with Vietnamese cuisine but had heard some whispers about good, genuine Vietnamese at First House Pho in Spence St. After a  recent visit with a charming accomplice this coiuld even be a sleeper candidate for best ethnic cuisine restaurant in Cairns.

It's a quirky, friendly, family run place where the chef (dad) may even wander out for a chat and discussion on the food when things get quiet. It has an extensive menu but on the night we were there a few dishes were not available but that's somehow part of the quirky charm. Just ask the waiter (son) what the do have that day that's good. The chef recommended his double flavour chicken but he needs a days notice. Order more than you want and they will happily look after the leftovers as takeaway for you.

KS will have to confirm the details of the evenings degustation from their menu and anticipates a return visit could see it added to the faves list.

First House Pho is where the Hare Krishna place was previously. In true Asian family work ethic style it is open 7 days, lunch and dinner. A good Vietnamese in town is a pleasure to have so let's hope it sticks about.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Crocodile Bite

Kitchenslut was contemplating things Chinese while casting an eye over the menu outside the Golden Boat restaurant in Lake St. What caught his eye was the pricing structure and most particularly the crocodile.

Salt & Pepper Crocodile Meat at $52.90? This price doesn't seem to relate to Kitchenslut's rather ordinary previous culinary experiences with crocodile or the price of the meat? Duck dishes at Golden Boat are $20.50, scallops $25.90, and the top priced lobster tail at $63.80.

Perhaps the pricing is more related to Chinese cultural factors with crocodile apparently having some reputation as an aphrodisiac? Kitchenslut has previously had some positive feedback on the Yum Cha at Golden Boat but doubts he will be venturing within for a crocodile bite!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Filipino Cuisine

Kitchenslut was wandering around Rusty's on Friday and took the time to browse at the offerings of Filipino Fiesta stall. Always adventurous, and having survived and recovered from fried intestines in Sydney's Chinatown recently, KS could not resist trying something.

The most adventurous offering seemed to be the Dinuguan, a concoction of pork, pig's blood, garlic, chilli and vinegar. I can't say it was to my taste and doubt a repeat tasting is likely. Which isn't to say I wouldn't try some of their other food.

A reason for trying Filipino food was a post earlier this year at Club Troppo which asks "Why are there so few Filipino restaurants" relative to the Filipino population. This apparently also relates to the USA. The Troppo post has some interesting thoughts on the proliferation of ethnic cuisines.

A comment at Troppo suggests that the native Filipino cuisine is very peasant and their elite cuisines imported. KS contemplated the deep fried pork belly at Filipino Fiesta, but ruminated on recent OECD measures of wellbeing where Australia finished 4th on longevity behind Japan, Switzerland and Italy. I suspect Filipino longevity is somewhat less so maybe KS should stick to sushi (hold the mayo), or pasta with lashings of olive oil and salad, and leave the deep fried pork belly alone?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Tropical Polish Cuisine

While researching golabki I discovered a Polish food blog with historical background on galabki.

"Legend has it that a king of Poland (Casimir IV Jagiellon) fed his army with golabki before a key battle in 1465 and the subsequent victory was credited to this hearty meal beforehand."

However, recipes refer to the tomato based sauce with golabki, and Cortez did not return from the New World with the tomato and syphilis until 1519! So they could have had no tomatoes in their sauce?

A google search also provides this blog reference:

"In 1518, an Italian princess, Bona Sforza, married King Zygmunt of Poland. Missing her native Italy, Bona brought architects and artists from there to Poland, as well as seeds and expert cooks, so that she could still have a connection with her now distant ...In 1518, an Italian princess, Bona Sforza, married King Zygmunt of Poland. Missing her native Italy, Bona brought architects and artists from there to Poland, as well as seeds and expert cooks, so that she could still have a connection with her now distant homeland. Such was the impact of her actions that some Italian words slipped into the Polish language, such as kalafiory ( cauliflower), pomidory (tomato) and salata (lettuce)."

However, this doesn't fit either as the date is far too early for the tomato to have reached Poland. History of the tomato is interesting, not widely used for food in USA until as late as mid 1800's, and was believed by many to be poisonous both in the USA and Europe. Thomas Jefferson was an early grower and 'tomato pioneer' from around the time of the Declaration of Independence. There is a possibly apocryphal story of Jefferson eating tomatoes on the steps of Salem courthouse to prove they were not poisonous. There is a similar story of a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln by convincing his chef to cook him tomatoes. Lincoln survived and apparently took a liking to tomatoes! French influence introduced them to Louisiana. Even in Italy they didn't become pervasive in the cuisine until the late 1700's and it seems the first actual record (Wikipedia) of a written pasta tomato recipe was as recent as 1871.

So when did the tomato arrive in Poland?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

a table for three

Odd numbers can often result in a table seating anomaly with a person left hanging loose. This is never more unfortunate than when Kitchenslut again had the opportunity to dine with two gorgeous female companions down at Tha Fish on Tuesday night. It just doesn't quite achieve the same easy intimacy when its really a table for four, and KS likes to make the most of these opportunities for his ego and image. This was also my previous menage experience at Kanpai.

Birthday gurl was excited by the Tha Fish taster menu of $90 for two, however this came as serving portions in multiples of twos and fours etc, but not threes. A dining menage-a-trois discriminated against again! Never mind this was easily maneuvered with the helpful assistance to the wait staff, while sipping vino and sampling some morish whitebait starters, we selected a few extra entrees to share thrown in as extras to the tasting menu.

Our selections of ravioli of prawns, fish and scallops in a burnt butter and cashew nut sauce with truffle pecorino $15.90, and calamari cajun spiced with a salad of orange, fennel and rocket with mint and lime creme fraiche $15.90, were served at a leisurely slow food pace and fitted in to complement the tasting menu quite well: 

To Start: Sand crab bruschetta with rocket, tomato and capers; Fresh oysters steamed in bamboo basket with soy, ginger and shallots

Then: Hervey Bay scallops with braised pork belly, orange, coriander and master stock glaze; Black bean, chilli and seafood wontons with house made sweet chilli sauce

Then: Chefs Choice , which was a bug dish

Then: Fish of the day rubbed with a chilli and shallot paste in a crispy tempura batter with a tamarind aioli; BBQ tiger prawns with avocado salsa and blood orange vinaigrette

Finally: Pear and cinnamon frangipan tart with vanilla bean ice cream

As a treat the birthday gurl was allowed to self demolish the dessert after expiration of the birthday sparkler. Apart from the menage-a-trois dilemma, Tha Fish continues to impress with its service and seafood among the best in town, and seemed to be doing quite brisk business for a blustery Tuesday night. Maybe some of the seafood dishes served could have been a touch less cooked but that was all.    

Thursday, 12 May 2011

a defence of sluttiness

Paul Frijters at Club Troppo has posted a defence of slutwalks currently happening around the place. Kitchenslut welcome the liberation of sluts of all kinds everywhere!

Hence, hurrah to both sluts and their walks. From a utilitarian standpoint there is nothing wrong with being a slut since having sex is a healthy and pleasurable experience for which, in the age of contraception, there is no good reason to have one rule for men and another for women. From an economic perspective, sending signals increases the flow of valuable information and hence lubricates exchange on the market for intimacy. I think that the slutwalkers are entirely correct about both the inappropriateness of blaming victims of sexual crimes for the way they dress, and about the general societal attitude about sluttiness.

For those wishing to indulge various sluttish habits at a discount Kitchenslut noted this entertainment book  offer this week. These are apparently made available through local charities and organisations.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

salmonella special sauce

Weekend browsing came across an interesting post at Autralian Regional Food. The modern food dilemma of how to cope with a refrigerator packed with half jars of exotic ingredients and condiments.

"We’re running out of room.  We’ll either have to purge our menus of exotic flavours, become wastrels who discard the unused portions or, as will probably happen, continue to blunder around trying to find things on the top shelf.  And as the leaning tower of pesto crashes to the floor, taking with it the mayonnaise and three half-used jars of marinated vegetables, we’ll mutter darkly about impractical packaging and silly fridge design."

The same could be said for cupboards filled with stale herbs and spices as recipes which require a long list of ingredients become impractical for the burgeoning number of home chefs without accumulating such a collection. Products such as the Spicez curry packs with the herbs and spices packaged for a single dish may seem expensive but are actually good value for these reasons. Kitchenslut can recommend the Spicez Sri Lankan seafood curry.

However, an alternative solution, I thnk suggested at a Club Relish night at The Edge last year, was to mix all those surplus remnant jars together as an experiment, and that the outcome could sometimes be a surprise. Indeed it could. Kitchennslut referred to this as 'salmonella special sauce'.

Note: The abovementioned Edge is now open at night for dinner with feedback awaited .......

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Havana less than my heaven

Ok. It's taken me a week to get around to this. KitchenSlut has been so slack on posts in the last year but was out with a group at the Havana Music Cafe on Lake St a week or so ago, a Friday night. Now, it's not easy when a place provides something much needed in Cairns, both in diversity of tropical cuisine and entertainment, but just didn't quite meet my expectations.

Havana is worthwhile and the casual open format to the street welcome  but ...  the 'Trinni' (?) prawn curry dish I ordered, in a rich coconut and yoghurt gravy w jasmine rice and salsa, was absent 'oomph'.  No, not just heat, but depth of flavour. The jasmine rice was dry and just needed to be better for something so simple. The Caribbean authenticity of the description as a Trini(dad) may also be debatable?

That is not to say they dont try, and KS was later engaged in discussion at the bar by the waitress on the 'oomphness' of the prawn curry. At least they are thinking! Maybe I just ordered the wrong food as everybody else on the table thought theirs was great? It certainly didn't match my previous most memorable Caribbean cuisine experience at Mr Jerk in London, but thats not what it's all about. It is a welcome ambience to the Cairns scene and the young guitar vocalist on the night, Adam Hynes, was excellent. Made the night!

It was reasonably busy on a Friday night with a few large tables and the service seemed rushed at times. While there a diner at a footpath table made a vocal intervention to staff at the bar requesting service.
It would be really good for Havana to thrive and stay alive, but next time I would like the food to just offer more to the experience. Given most feedback on Havana is positive I should go back and try it again soon and sample more widely from the menu.

chocolate traditions

The egg was adopted by Christians as an Easter symbol of rebirth for the resurrection of Jesus. Somewhere in the last few hundred years the egg became chocolate. Chocolate became an Easter tradition.

"Chocolate: tasty, addictive, sexy ... and good for you" says this posting at The Conversation.  Apparently it's the flavanoids that provide chocolates healthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  capabilities. It can even be good for cholesterol and blood pressure. However chocaholics should be wary of this comment:

"Many of the studies showing how wonderful cocoa-derived flavanoids are have used very large doses of these chemicals that could never be garnered by regular chocolate eaters (at least without significant detriment to their waistlines), making the applicability of such science problematic."

We have many local chocolateers, although I haven't a clue how they stack up on genuine quality?

Oh ..... and if you couldn't wait until Easter Sunday to assuage your chocolate cravings with your symbolic rebirth chocolate eggs, then go to hell, go directly to hell, do not pass go! You need to suffer for your healthy addiction!

Friday, 22 April 2011

surcharge insanity?

A prominent commentator at the libertarian catallaxy files, who is eastering in Queensland, has posted under the heading "beautiful one day, closed the next". With an avalanche of public holidays now upon us this has drawn Kitchenslut's attention again to a little known quirk of our consumer law. A restaurant wanting to charge a public holiday surcharge is required by the ACCC to actually produce a separate menu with the new prices.

It is not enough to simply state on the menu, or tell the diner, that there is a 10% surcharge. Personally, I think this requirement is just a bit anal and unnecessary red tape and it's quite adequate to just properly inform of a 10% surcharge. That is not to make any comment at all on the appropriateness of surcharges and other issues raised at catallaxy on the regulated shopping and easter disruptions to Queensland life. I wonder how many Cairns restaurants will comply, or even surcharge, or indeed how many will be open on Good Friday and Anzac Day?

Those disruptions also extend to our anal liquor laws. No alcohol to be served unless with a meal on Good Friday, so just stay home and get sloshed instead. Kitchenslut has always been bemused by the alcohol restrictions on Anzac Day at the same time as they are swinging off the rafters down at the RSL.  These are the same liquor Nazi's who have banned two-up at the Red Beret on Anzac Day.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

preserved lemons

Kitchenslut is a keen supporter of local produce, but only if the product deserves it. We do ourselves no favours by supporting products because they are local rather than because they are good. Don't start KS on Gallo cheese which he regards as over-hyped and over-priced, and a visit to the Epicurian Gold cheese cool room is preferable any day!

It was only last year that KS really became acquainted with preserved lemons after a Club Relish night at The Edge featuring Suzanne Quintner. KS still suspects the secret ingredient in the famous 'best pasta ever' at Salsa Bar was preserved limes. It isn't really very technical just the lemons, juice, heaps of salt and time. 

Anyway, this week KS picked up some preserved lemons at Il Convivo from the local Spicez people. Brilliant stuff. Many of the more commercial varieties of preserved lemons are diluted with water rather than the pure lemon juice in the Spicez product. The juice is deliciously syrupy!

KS has tonight enjoyed a tiger prawn linguine enhanced with Spicez preserved lemons cooked up in conjunction with the pasta fiend English Rose who also shared that 'best pasta ever' at Salsa! Disregard the basic packaging and buy!

Preserved lemon recipes: here, and here.


Friday, 15 April 2011

Unforgettable Food

ABC Far North is calling for people to email submissions of unforgettable food recipes.

"We're calling it Unforgettable Food and the aim is to share the tale behind your tucker. It's about showing the relationship you have with someone, a moment in time or a place through food."

Kitchenslut would consider submitting his world famous seafood bbq, with his skills recently fine tuned at the excellent Sydney Seafood School, but this is more a process than a recipe as such.

club food revolution

No, it's not in Cairns, at least not as far as I know. This week the Courier-Mail reported on changes in food offerings in Brisbane's clubs.

"SEARED scallops with dill and vanilla bean beurre blanc, in-house hickory and tea-smoked duck, eye fillet served with a blue cheese potato puree. It may sound like an upmarket city restaurant but these dishes are part of a degustation menu being served up at the Geebung RSL".

Interesting food at reasonable prices. Not sure i'm aware of anywhere in Cairns that stands out in a similar way in either this category or 'pub food'? It's all progress down south with Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food also opening it's first Australian centre recently at Ipswich.

Monday, 11 April 2011

aussie handmade toasting fork?

Traffic through Kitchenslut can be volatile  but always more interesting than the volume is the detail. Most recently is a visitor on the google search "aussie handmade toasting fork". Yes, Kitchenslut actually appears on page 2 of this search and feels deep satisfaction for his contribution to promoting the local economy with subsequent flight bookings surely assured?!

Oh, and yes handmade toasting forks have indeed been featured here a while ago now by the Estimable Essence toasting away over an Undara fire. Outback Country Rock and Blues is on again this weekend. Essence will provide a free demo of her patented handmade toasting fork to anyone who mentions this blog.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Cocoa Nomour?

Cocoa Amour in Grafton St was closed today, and KS has been told the Esplanade shop also didn't open?

Has the explosion of coffee shops begun to reach market saturation? CoffeeWorks will be opening a CBD outlet in Spence St next week with the sexy bright purple signage already in place!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Kanpai - without the karaoke thanks

Kitchenslut has in the past been wary of Kanpai because of their promotion as a karaoke venue! As a general rule karaoke and good food should not be mixed in Kitchenslut's view. However there has previously been positive feedback on Kanpai and when it was suggested as a pre-theatre venue with the prestige of two (2) female accomplices all to himself how could anyone refuse?

Accomplice A, a regular diner, did the selecting with aplomb and a diverse selection including salmon sashimi, seafood and vegetable tempura, eel on cucumber, Tuna Natto - fermented soy beans with tuna & Agadashi tofu - benito flakes & special sauce. Not to forget the mentai rice bowl!

An impressively diverse selection of tastes and flavours. We got out at less than $100 between three including a drink each and ...... even made to the theatre on time easily ...... a very rare experience when seeking a decent pre-theatre dining experince in Cairns! So good to be able to look forward to a return visit!

P.S. Little Theatre fringe was also excellent night and exceptional value at $10 at the door and deserve congratulations!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

restaurant defamed?

Defamation was the excuse Gavin King gave for not being able to name the restaurant that served him up his 'yaks vomit' lamb shank. So concerned was he that the establishment not be identified that he couldn't even reveal the other dishes they ate that night.

So it was interesting to see his News Ltd comrades at The Australian absolutely hammer an expensive Perth restaurant, Sentinel. A $46 steak was "just about the worst steak I’ve ever been served in a restaurant. With erratic, curiously curved “grill” marks" and "the meat was powdery, juiceless, inadequately seasoned and with very little character or flavour .... reminded me so much of a 1980s pub counter meal." A pie was "an example of why pastry needs to be properly cooked to transform it from a shortened combination of flour and water into something that you’d actually want to eat."

Kitchenslut's posted response in the compost comments at the time was:  Gavin, you have referred to defamation the last prominent case I am aware of was Coco Roco in Sydney which sued the SMH after their critic had called half the food "unpalatable" and described "a dismal pyramid of sorbet". This case was thrown out. I'm not sure how that compares with "yak's vomit" but maybe a better journalist would have been able to make appropriate criticisms without hiding behind defamation. This would have been more credible and also been more constructively useful for diners and the community. At least the SMH is capable of independent and critical restaurant reviews unlike the Cairns Post. Posted by: KS of Cairns 08:23pm Tuesday 5th October

Standards on defamation would seem to be somewhat inconsistent and subjective within the News Ltd archipelago? Standards of journalism are similarly inconsistent.

Monday, 14 March 2011

rehabilitation of the coconut?

The NY Times has reported that Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World.

However, your coconuts must be virgins!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Darwin Day

The minds of many may be pondering romantic restaurant venues for Valentines Day, and aphrodisiacal food appropriate for a pre-coital dinner. However today is Darwin Day, which celebrates the birthday of Charles Darwin.

Darwin was apparently not averse to eating the species he studied, and his birthday is now celebrated with a phylum feast where the objective is to consume as many different species as possible. A good alternative for those who object to the commercialism of Valentines Day!?

Dining out on Valentines, packed in with flocks of other similarly cooing romantics, can appear akin to the experience of all those nesting birds on Michaelmas Cay?! Kitchenslut's recommendation for Valentines is to avoid dining out and take some inspiration from our previous post of how to cook naked for an evening of genuine shared debauchery with your lover!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

restaurant rules

David Dale at the SMH is seeking help to update his 20 restaurant rules he put together 20 years ago. Are these rules still valid? Some rules are particularly relevant to Cairns and the Far North especially #3:

3. Never eat in a restaurant that is recommended in any free publication you find in your hotel room, even if the recommendation is on a different page from the ad.

Which may preclude a significant chunk of our most popular dining establishments? 

Monday, 31 January 2011

Tha Fish

Tha Fish at The Pier, the best seafood restaurant in Cairns?

 Very happy with two recent experiences. Even left a tip. Added to KS selections.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Just not Sushi?

The Cairns Post has run a plea from prominent local Japanese chef, Sammy, to cut the mayo on the local sushi offerings. KS can only agree on some of the sushi offerings and particulary gave up on the mayo laden offerings from such as Sushi Train some time ago.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

misty mungalli marketing mangle?

Misty Mountains dairy and milk have certainly taken off. So much so that Kitchenslut is wondering if this is not actually a monumental marketing backfire?

I love the creamy Misty milk, much to the angst of my GP as he analyses the latest Kitchenslut cholesterol blood analysis ..... and apparently so does everybody else ....the creamy Misty milk I mean! So much that my local IGA frequently runs out of Misty while Mungalli languishes on the shelves. I am actually finding reverting to Mungalli, when the Misty product runs short, unsatisfying so now don't. So I no longer buy the Mungalli product with the cheaper but superior Misty Mountains product prefered.

A get together with a friend tonight and other feedback has more than confirmed that this isn't just me. The question is whether this is a success or a monumental marketing stuff up where the previous premium Mungalli product has now been cannibalised by a cheaper superior product from the same people. At least I believe it's the same people mostly?

The similar cross range packaging and product is confusing and differentiation absent? My understanding is that Mungalli couldn't supply demand for their range of products within their biodynamic criteria? Apart from the exceptional quark, and the Misty yoghurts don't quite do it for me either but that's now an overcrowded market segment, i'm not sure there is much reason any longer to buy Mungalli products?

Will there be a complete review of product and marketing sometime?

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