Archive | November, 2011

Fried piggy bits….

17 Nov

Sam and I have what we call “the happy tummy dance”.  This is when our tummies are so happy at what they are about to consume or have eaten, that they break out into a jig.  Imagine a mexican wave in your stomach.  Repeated.  Over and over.

On a good night, “the happy tummy dance” can make multiple appearances.  Last night was one of those.

Sam and I headed out on foot to our local, which just so happens to be the Roosevelt Hotel – yeah that shabby little place – and made ourselves comfortable in the lush chesterfield booth.  Well I did, Sam sat in the chair opposite (yes I always get the booth seat).

In atmosphere and decor, The Roosevelt is a combination of my two favourite places back in Melbourne – Comme meets The Supper Club.  Decadent, old world glamour – the kind of place that demands red lipstick and brylcreem.

Roosevelt Hotel - Public Kitchen

When a menu is as good-looking as the Roosevelt’s Public Kitchen menu, the Will Power Gods are furiously summoned before any ordering takes place (we have been known to over order on many occasions…like all the time).  So exercising what we thought was reasonable restraint, we settled on two entrees to share, two mains and a side.  Yes well done us.

Very quickly we decided we couldn’t go past the Blistered Shishito Peppers.  Taking a gamble that this was an alternative name for the fried pepper goodness we fell in love with in Spain, the happy tummy dance took over as soon as we saw that we were not mistaken.

Blistered Shishito Peppers $7

Simple, fried with a bit of salt – what’s not to love?  The cooking of the peppers takes out any heat that they hold – so for the most part you can happily chow down to your hearts content.  However, always be prepared for the one or two renegade peppers that somehow withstand the process and set your mouth and eyeballs on fire.  Sam and I both fell victim to the Russian Roulette pepper attack last night.  But hey, that’s half the fun.

The Chicharrones with chilli and lime also piqued our interest – but having no idea what they were, we asked our very helpful waitress if she could please explain.  When the first two words to come out of her mouth were “fried” and “pork”, Sam and I looked at each other in delighted shock.  Hush now lovely waitress, you have said enough.  Chicharrones have debuted at Number 1 on my Best Ever Piggy Products list, and I see them holding that coveted spot for a long time to come.  Imagine the best pork belly you’ve ever had, and then add some.  The power here lies in the cut and the cooking – Chicharrones are a bit drier as all the fat  is rendered so that all that is left is perfect, crispy pork bits.  And at $7 it really, truly is the greatest thing in the world.

Chicharrones with chilli and lime $7


And a close up shot just because they deserve it!

Chicharrones with chilli and lime - close up!

Our waitress was exceptional and guided us on all of our menu choices.  So under her tutelage, I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie with lamb neck, carrots and potato while Sam ordered the Suckling Pig terrine and loin with braised red cabbage and quince jus.

First the Sheperd’s Pie.  This was like no other I have ever eaten.  It was the light and airy L.A. version.  There was no heavy, stodgy layer of potato.  Rather in its place was potato whipped so delicately, that it was so light and had the consistency of whipped cream.  This sat on top of a slow cooked lamb neck that was melt in your mouth tender.  My only negative with the dish was that it was over seasoned.  I think someone in the kitchen got  a bit too “free pour” happy with the salt.  And I like my salt, so that’s saying something!  But I did pass on my feedback to our waitress and for what it’s worth, she was all too happy to pass on my comments to the kitchen.  With less salt, this would have been an absolute cracker!

Shepherd's Pie with lamb neck, carrots and potato $19


As for the Suckling Pig terrine and loin – this was a real treat.  Again, this was an original take on a meal with expectations.  To our delight, the terrine was not so much a terrine, as a pulled pork patty/croquette.  Warm and completely ungelatinous, the pull pork was held together with a thin bread crumb batter.

Suckling Pig terrine & loin, braised red cabbage, mash potato and quince jus $25


With our mains, we also ordered a side of brussels sprouts with bacon, balsamic and bread crumbs.  We have noticed this seems to be the side de-jour of late.  Our expectations were high for two reasons:

1) We had this exact same side (minus the balsamic) at the Rosewood Tavern steakhouse last week as per last blog post, and it was unbelievable

2) Due to unbelievable nature of aforementioned side, Sam decided to replicate the dish at home, and with his special additions of lime juice and apple smoked bacon, trumped the lot!

And the verdict?

Brussels sprouts with bacon, balsamic and bread crumbs $7


Whilst the dish looked delicious and tasted good, it did not live up to the standard of charred brussels sprouts that we’ve come to expect.  I had two issues with the dish.  Firstly, the inclusion of balsamic vinegar made the greens taste too sweet and overpowered the flavour of the vegetable itself.  And secondly, I was unable to taste  or find any bacon bits.  Ba baow.

However, there are a number of other good-looking sides to choose from next time….and without a doubt, there will be a next time.

So in summary – great service, great food, great atmosphere, so-so brussels sprouts.  Lots of happy tummy dancing.

We will be back!

this little piggy xxx


A good pork chop…

8 Nov

On Friday night just gone, on what was an unusually cold night in Los Angeles, Sam and I found ourselves rugged up and excited to be heading out to dine in the big wide world.  Our most favourite thing to do!  However in one fell swoop, the pep in our step vanished as we were confronted with the all-too-common-and-all-too-heartbreaking news that the restaurant of our choice had a two hour wait!  And that was just to sit at the bar!

We left our phone number with the hostess at the door and watched forlornly as she scribbled it down in the margin of her notebook.  Never a good sign when the digits are illegible and in the handwritten equivalent of 3 point font.  Cold and hungry, not a good combination, we set about walking the street in the vague hope of finding somewhere else to eat.  Things were not looking good.

These were the stats:

– The car was parked (anyone in L.A. knows this is no small feat!)

– We had a comedy show to attend in two and a half hours.

– The car was parked strategically between the two-hour-wait-restaurant-of-choice and the theatre.

What to do?

And then, there is no other way to put it, just as we were about to fall into pits of despair….we were saved!  The food Gods were looking down on us, their faithful disciples, and presented us a tavern… Rosewood Tavern.  A neighbourhood steakhouse.  Sam and I were sold and sold.

And wow wee.

Rosewood Tavern is everything the modern day meat lover dreams a steakhouse should be – unpretentious, rustic yet stylish and with a cracking steak, beer and scotch menu.

Of course being the little piggy that I am, I couldn’t go past the pork chop.  And seriously it was the pork chop of my life!  Charred and cooked to medium-well perfection.  I was literally mmming after every bite.


Bestest pork chop ever! $20


Sam on the other hand, went the 12 oz ribeye steak, cooked medium-rare.  He too was mmming.

Ribeye steak goodness, $25


As pictured, all of the steaks and chops on the menu are served as is – with no sides or accompaniments.  Just a simple butter and garlic sauce.  And an enormous pirate knife!

So to round out the meal, we ordered two delicious sides and upon tasting, began high-fiving ourselves over the spot-on-ness of our decision making.  The charred brussel sprouts with bacon were sensational!  As were the puy lentils with caramelised onions.

Brussel sprouts with bacon, $6


Lentils with caramelised onions, $6


For those not a fan of red meat, there are fish options in the way of steamed mussels, pan roasted salmon and a saffron risotto with asparagus and peas.  All of which I have no doubt would be delicious.  But if we’re keeping it real here, it’s all about the meat and how it is cooked.  Charred and cooked to exact order.  There is clearly no guess work going on here, the gang at the Rosewood know how to cook a steak to your liking.

For Sam and I, it was just such a great dining experience.  Had we not had a show to go to, we would have stayed longer.  Sam was keen to put in the hard yards and “investigate” their extensive scotch menu (something like 50 odd scotches ) and their beer tasting plate (“Flight of Beers” – four beers, $13), but alas a comedy show beckoned and we had to limit our detective work for the evening to only two scotches and a couple of frangelico’s.  But we will return.

That night two little piggies left with very happy tummies, a resurgence in their appreciation of all things charred and a renewed faith in the food gods.  Tick, tick and tick.  All is right in the world.

Till next time,

this little piggy xxx


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