March 26th, 2007


the pasta chronicles

my second pasta creation in melbourne.

i really, really liked this one. pumpkin spice fettuccini was boiled with salt, chilled in cold water and fried along with butter, garlic, pumpkin pieces, onion bits, mushrooms and spinach. and a tiny bit of salt and mixed herbs to taste. i added chopped ham as well, because the recipe i modified had bacon in it. but on hindsight, the ham could have been left out, because the flavours were already quite awesome - which would make a great dish for vegetarians. a little extra virgin olive oil was added after the heat was turned off.


1. cook garlic and pumpkin first, pumpkin takes longer to soften. if they're getting too dry but aren't soft enough yet, add a little water. only a little! and cover, cover, cover!

2. add onion bits, mushrooms, spinach last. in that order.

3. fettuccini goes in the pan between 1 and 2!



st. mary's church

i get to see this everytime i take a walk to the supermarket in north melbourne. :)

it looked so magnificent that i snapped these the very first time i walked by. i thought of taking them another day, since i would definitely walk this way many, many times. but i decided to adopt a now-or-never attitude. god knows how many times i've kicked myself for not grasping the moment. this is something i need to do more often.


grossi florentino

sebastian was in town last week, so we had dinner with two lovely friends of his - chris and adeline. chris suggested grossi florentino's, which has three eateries under the same umbrella. check out their [official website]. the cellar bar, the grill and the restaurant. these are three different price levels, as well as prestige levels. we decided to start with the most affordable one - the cellar bar, where commoners can afford to eat. :)

i was really happy, because we were dining in full view of my old apartment, and our backdrop for dinner was my old neighbourhood. the beige building in the first picture, of which a small corner can be seen to the right of the picture, is the building where i used to live in. :)

besides being in such a good mood, i really enjoyed dinner as well. i'm pretty sure my mood had nothing to do with it, but the food was excellent. prior to ordering, we had a whiff of something really scrumptious wafting over from the next table. we took turns to subtly peer at the source of this gorgeous smell, and it looked like a tortellini. chris reckoned it was the roast pumpkin tortellini. so i went for it, as did adeline.

turns out we had the two best dishes on the table. :) every fat morsel was a thick, fresh pasta skin wrapped around soft, creamy roast pumpkin. fried sage leaves were awesome to go with. the entire dish was so simple, yet so, so delicious. it was incredible. i'm usually a very slow eater and always the last to finish during a meal by a long way. this time, i ate just as quickly as my companions. in fact, i was faster than chris, who was having the rabbit tagliatelle. it was a good-sized portion too. i polished off every last bit on my plate.

sebastian's veal scallopine wasn't much to shout about, and the serving was pathetically small. the bruschetta was not bad, although i didn't like their choice of bread - brown and burnt. the diced tomatoes were beautifully fresh though. i refused to try some of the rabbit dish, because i think rabbits are meant to be loved as pets and not as a meal.

i'm not against other people choosing to eat rabbit though. i just prefer not to eat rabbit myself.


sebastian was obviously still hungry after a tiny bit of veal and mash. to my delight, he ordered a berry cheesecake dessert. i'd wanted to try their desserts after looking at some yummilicious-looking confections in the glass window at the bar counter earlier, but couldn't fit a whole portion into my tum. a huge chunk of the most beautiful cheesecake came to our table. after letting seb eat a few spoonfuls, i hijacked it. it was fantastic - i can say this was the best cheesecake i've ever tasted. the odd-shaped chunk was rich, yet not overpowering. my favourite part was the brown crust. YUM. i returned the plate to seb while eyeing his progress through it, much to the amusement of chris and adeline. eventually, seb let me have another go. :)

what sealed a great dinner was the fact that my fabulous roast pumpkin tortellini cost only AU$16. total bill for 4 of us came up to about AU$80+.

next to try is one rank up - the grill! maybe i'll save that for my next visit to melbourne.