Sunday, November 16, 2008

A 28th birthday with flying photos

Since me and Will don't get our annual overseas trip together this year, we decided that we needed something to make up for it. I booked a room for the two of us at the Novotel at Brighton with our own private balcony with a view of the beach. This was part of Will's birthday celebration and we thought we should live it up!! It cost a bit, but it was well worth it! Since Brighton is only about 10mins drive from Kogarah, we figured we can both drink our asses off and just cab it back to the hotel at the end of the night.

King bed

The view from our balcony

We dumped our bags and headed out to grab a Souvalaki Pita roll just like we use to do in Mykonos to line our stomachs. I mean, we had already been drinking for about an hour!

And drinking means insaneness, and insaneness means we needed to do a mail drop.....

What's that in his hands?

The same thing we had scattered all over the hotel:

Want a closer look?

Oh yeahhhhhhhh! Its like my 2007 B'day all over again!

Kaan dropped by to help pose with the photos

We catch a cab to Chelsea's restaurant in Kogarah. We walk up to the reception where we get stopped by security and told to wait for the manager. Next thing you know, about 4 people are running up and down the stairs like it was a code red alert. Gees, what did we do?? About 5mins later, the manager comes running down to let us into the restaurant. A heap of mezze was already on the table when we arrived, so I could dig right on in.

Hummus, babaganoush, labna, fetta, bean salad etc

Spicy chicken wings - Which tasted surprisingly asian?

And...spring rolls?

My drink...

Their drink...

Which was coke with our smuggled in vodka! Kaan gave me alcohol poisoning from all the vodka he was serving me! Between the 3 of us, we finished 1.5L of vodka!! Things started to get a bit out of control after that, which was a bit strange as only the 3 of us were drinking??

I think it was still alive.....?

Next thing you know, we had photos flying through the air!

That's one disgusted look

I had everyone on the table go: ?What was going on? What's happening? What's this??". It was like I was surrounded by 20 Karen Walkers. Luckily I got saved when the birthday cake came out!

We had to make a minor correction

Eating from the new plate

The plate

Some time during the night, a belly dancer came out and it was all downhill from there onwards...

Still "soberish"

Smashed, drunk, fairly sober

We basically got kicked out of the restaurant at 2am, except we couldn't get a cab. We asked the owners to call us a cab, and instead of calling the taxi company, they called a friend to see if they could drive us. Damn, this is sounding a lot like that time in Pammukale where we got stranded? Except we didn't have our 30kg suitcases with us. We eventually flag down a taxi, even though I almost had to throw myself onto the road to get it.

We get back to the hotel where I go to the toilet to get changed for bed. I come out 5mins later and Will is completely passed out.

The morning after was NOT pretty...

We had 2 shots of coffee to cure ourselves

Hidden big breakfast

I grabbed myself a big breakfast which had bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs and toast. Except you can't see any of it as its covered by the eggs and toast.

Tomato, eggs and toast

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spicy Sichuan Restaurant and the easiest Chocolate Ripple Cake

We've all been so busy lately, that my nephew thought we had forgotten about his birthday. Well, we didn't forget, and I let him choose what restaurant he wanted to go to. I gave him a list of restaurants, including the Spicy Sichuan Restaurant in Glebe. When I mentioned that Sze Chuan food is all spicy, he immediately went "YEH! That one!".

I have driven past the restaurant every time I had a Volleyball game at Broadway, and I've been meaning to take my parents there for months, so this was the perfect opportunity.

Beancurd skins and pickled shallots

I loved the pickled shallots. We used to buy tins of them and eat them straight out of the can. The beancurd skins were also quite aromatic, but didn't have much actual taste.

Spicy Pork Knuckle

My Dad's favourite thing, meat on bones to knaw on! hehe They gave each of us a plastic glove so we didn't have to get our hands dirty, and allowed us to grab onto our piece of knuckle with the entire fist as we knawed on it like a hungry puppy! Surprisingly, this wasn't that spicy even though it was sitting in a pool of chilli oil.

Steamed chicken wings with Glutinous rice

We got this as a "safe" spice free dish. But this turned out quite tasteless compared to the other firey dishes. I think I would've enjoyed this a lot more if I was eating other dishes.

Lamb ribs in spicy sauce

Heavy on the cumin combined with the lovely charred bits reminded me of Turkish food, except for the chilli kick that came with it. This dish doesn't look spicy (Those red bits are capsicum), but damn it was hot! But so very very good as well. My parents didn't enjoy this as much as it was quite heavy on the cumin, but I lurrrrrrve my cumin!

Braised belt fish in chilli oil - Can you spot the fish?

This looked NOTHING like the photo in the menu (check the website), if the photo looked like this, I would NOT have ordered it!!! However, despite 60% of the dish being chilli, it wasn't that hot. I ate a piece of fish completely encrusted with chilli seeds, and I still found this more mild than the lamb ribs.

Meat and vegetable dumplings

These were ordered for my youngest nephew who doesn't eat anything spicy. He demolished the whole thing!

Eggplant braised with sweet paste sauce

This dish was HOT. And I'm not talking chilli hot. I'm talking "OMG! I think its burned a hole through my tongue" temperature hot. This was cooked with a layer of chilli oil, which basically trapped the heat in. Even by the end of the meal, it was still really hot! With that aside, it still tasted quite nice, I only wished it wasn't so oily.

Double cooked pork

This is a new way of making this dish. Whenever we've had double cooked pork (Wu Wor Yuk), its a big piece of pork belly that has been cooked until it falls apart. This is more like cooked pork belly, sliced up and stir fried. I much prefer the way we cook it. Still nice though.

Kung Pao Chicken

I didn't get to try this dish much as my nephews polished most of it off, until they bit into something in the dish they didn't like and left the rest for me. A plate of peanuts and onions. I think they left me one piece of chicken ;)

Dried mushrooms, pork shreds and vegetables

This was the BEST dish of the night. The mushrooms is called "Monkey head" mushrooms and they taste fantastic stir fried! We usually boil them in soup only, but it looks like we're going to start stir frying them. I don't know how to describe this dish, but it was amazing! A must have. Actually, I'm tempted to go back just for this!

After dinner, we went over to my nephew's place to cut his birthday cake. I've been talking to my workmates about the Chocolate Ripple cake for the last week, and I originally had planned to take this cake into work, but my nephew's birthday present hadn't arrived yet, so I decided to turn this into his birthday cake instead.

Chocolate Ripple Cake

This is the most amazingly easy and amazingly delicious cake to make! It took almost no effort to make, just cookies and cream!! We polished most of the cake off and I went home and made another one that night to take to work the next day!

Cross section

Spicy Sichuan Restaurant
1-9 Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW 2037
Ph: 02 9660 8200