Monday, February 20, 2006

Birds Nest

Well here we are and it has been a week of spiders, flavoured vodka and a lot of takeaway. And often the kind of takeaway that makes me wish I had just cooked in the first place - when the food arrives an hour later and the so-called Vietnamese is asianish at best and covered in a sickly sweet sloppy sauce, I start to remember Jamie Oliver showing how he could make and cook a pizza faster than one was delivered. But a new town requires checking out the local restaurants and so far it's been a decidedly mixed bag. There's been some middling pizza and a handful of other so so dinners. Every now and then, it would be *interesting* enough to make me cook nonstop for a few days but boxes don't unpack themselves and when you can't find your frying pan, a quick drive into town seems easier than emptying six unlabelled boxes to locate it.

But amongst all the dross there have been a few good finds. A delicatessen with an amazing range and some imported products I haven't seen anywhere else. My favourite Persian feta at a really good price. Interesting variety in the local supermarkets. And the best kebab I have ever eaten. A heap of seasoned garlicky meat, garnished with salads and wrapped in a soft piece of Turkish bread. I'm not ashamed to say that I've been back already. Partly to check that my appreciation wasn't just moving-exhaustion-and-mild-hysteria-induced and partly because I just couldn't stay away.

And I also scooped up a selection of their pastries. I've never been a fan of baklava and all those honeyed filo type desserts. To be fair, I'd only been offered baklava until recently and it just isn't my thing. But a visiting friend brought a selection gathered from the Greek Precinct in Lonsdale Street and as Melbourne is a city with the third largest Greek population in the world I figured they had to be good. And they really really were. I was suprised at the variety, at how many which appeared similiar would be flavoured with different nuts or slightly different spices and how much I really enjoyed them. So I asked for one of each at the kebab store and while they're all tasty, my favourite is the birds nest pictured to the left. And as soon as I finish the last of the boxes, I look forward to getting better acquainted.


At 12:17 AM, Blogger cin said...

I prefer the Lebanese baklava because it's not as candy sweet. There are some great places on Sydney Rd.
So, the baklava pictured is from your part of town or is it from Lonsdale st?

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Niki said...

There's a surprisingly good little restaurant in a neighbouring town (where I have a connection :-) ) that has a German name. They make pretzels and have quite hearty food on the menu AND they're open later than any other place in the at 9.30! ;-)
I had dinner there on Saturday, of a really excellent linguine: an enormously filling entree size for only $9! A friend had an entree of lamb shanks; an enormous serving for about $12. Excellent quality. Plus the place is quite cozy, even thought it looks a little daggy from the outside.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Cin - the baklava is from my local kebab shop. And I'm very appreciative!

Hi Niki - that sounds excellent. I shall have to check it out!


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