Bina had a girly dinner party, so I was tactfully requested to leave the building. Which is fine, as me and a few other colleagues from work had agreed to go out for a few drinks anyway..Sadly...for them, they cried off, and I ended up on my lonesome for a few hours before the 1 brave soul and his partner were able to meet up.
Time then to indulge in one of my favourite things....eating
I went to Ganache in town, its a really nice fine dining restaurant, but with no Michelin stars it's affordable. The food is always amazing, wonderfully presented and changes every week so you never quite know what your are going to be able to get. I love trying their surprise 5 course menu where its the chefs job to impress you.
Of course I don't normally do this on my own but I was hungry and had time to kill so off I went. this week was apparently restaurant week in Breda so the menu was 3 courses with a choice of meat/fish for starter and mains. All good stuff even if I have no idea what the whole restaurant week is and why it resulted in a reduced menu on this visit.
The waitress spoke perfect English, with a Dublin accent after 3 years there she told me, and offered me a selection of wines with each course, after my prosecco to get things started, I thought why not.
I ordered, Roast smoked duck starter, with a veal main course. The dessert was a ginger biscuit crusted amaretto ice cream and a raspberry sauce.
I had a really fantastic but slightly sad meal...mainly because my sense of taste and ability to move food around my mouth are still not quite 100%, excessive chewing is a little painful too.
The looks and smell was amazing, but its hard to really get the flavour when you can only put a tiny morsel into your mouth on one side....ah well its getting better so I can't complain.
The wines though...hmm I liked the starter wine, a Syrah with lots of nice earthy flavours and dryness to cut through the smokey duck, but the Medoc that came with the veal was too heavy, as was the 10 year old port sauce, but it was tasty...the dessert wine though, a Semmion/Sauvingon blanc blend, was wrong, with the bitter ginger biscuit crust and heavy amaretto flavour of the ice cream a sweeter wine might have been better...
oh hark at me the food/wine critic?
I topped it off with a fine expensive brandy and staggered out of the restaurant more than a little tipsy, which forced me to stick to coffee when I met up with my colleague and his partner for drinks later...by the time the Martell finally got into my system I was quite pissed.
Aside from a few steak restaurants, this was my first "fancy" meal since the op and its nice to get back to normal again, even if I can't shove it down my gob like I used to..I can at least take some inspiration from the meal to do some more cooking again, which I've not really done much of, again since the op....hmmm
Making Roast Lamb for dinner today....ahh theres a story there too...I went to Ken Markt in town, which is a turkish store, to buy a shoulder of lamb after seeing a great recipe on BBC Saturday kitchen. But when I got to the counter they had none on show but they did have a single Lamb Shank...Now slow braised lamb shanks is one of my favourite dishes, so I asked them in my terrible dutch if they had 2 more of those shanks....twee lams bout..after a bit of a translation issue I made it clear(???) I wanted 2 lams bouts...so off the butcher goes into the back and brings back a whole sheep...ermmm...and proceeds to chop off the back legs and holds them up for me quoting 60 euros....
At this point I realised I had actually asked for 2 Lambs Legs...whole legs...oops.. I was about to correct him when I though..bugger it, we love lamb, and it is hard to come by here, and this shop was selling a whole rear end of a sheep for 60euros...I can make a few roasts and also cut some up for curries and stews to last a month.
So I brought home a bunch of meat, and also some lemons and onions to slow roast at least some if it for Sunday dinner.
A bit of home Butchery later..I have my 2 lamb shanks for later slow braising, a few chunks of cubed lamb for curries, 4 roast joints and plenty of meat on the bones to make stock for some hearty broths...when I can find pearl barley that is.
Not bad for 60 euros..I spent more than that on my meal at Ganache.
Time to start getting my cooking mojo back...as well as my other mojos which ran away screaming when I was ill :)