Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Hu Tong Dumpling House in Prahran, Cafe Domain in South Yarra, Siam Orchid Thai in Helensvale QLD, Tea and Niceties in Eagle Heights QLD, Waterfront Station Pier in Port Melbourne, The Palace Hotel in Port Melbourne...PHEW. Just a few of the places where I have eaten, drank and been merry during two weeks of blissful leave from my dull job!
As H's fabulous new job has proven to be more demanding than we had even prepared ourselves for we were resigned to the fact that a holiday together in the next twelve months was simply an impossibility, so while he has been slaving in the kitchen (preparing for a special Valentines Day menu at The Restaurant - but more on that later) I decided to use up some of my copious amount of leave days and take a rest from my own demanding work load.
The past fortnight has centred around a trip to the Gold Coast to surprise a most beloved cousin with a baby shower at one of the most amazing venues I have ever encountered. The entire event was a surprise for said cousin - we don't do things by halves in this family and all the women congregated to wish her all the love and happiness for the final weeks of this very special pregnancy and pending motherhood. The shower was staged at Tea and Niceties in Eagle Heights, Queensland. A high tea establishment, Tea and Niceties was like a step back into the 19th century with immaculate table settings, tea roses and PINK SUGAR! Every last pink detail was utterly divine not to mention the abundance of food including savory muffins, tiny scones and the most beautiful pana cotta, so beautiful in fact my cousin apologised to it before daintily dissecting it while my Aunt downed it like a shot glass to enjoy all the delicious and decorative morsels at once.
The women in my family are a collection of witty, intelligent, loving and beautiful people who offer such wisdom and support that I do not fret for a moment about the difficulties we might face when H and I start a family. Obviously it's something we have to take into consideration, with the hours H works the brunt of the early days of parenting will fall to me but with a support system that spans the states we're not too worried!
So, the Valentines saga! The Restaurant are opening especially on Sunday as they are usually closed - yes that means another Valentines Day without any romance for us - so it's a long week for H and his team especially as they are offering lunch and dinner services and ESPECIALLY as the set 10 course menu on offer is entirely different to the regular menu. This means that on top of a week of busy regular service the kitchen staff must prep for Sunday's service...which is fully booked...lunch and dinner. This on the week that tafe starts back and H loses his apprentices for a day! So it's early mornings and late nights with this revolting heat and humidity to boot. H is a trooper though, as long as there is a cold beer in the fridge and Seinfeld in the DVD player when he gets home he's a happy boy.
As for the restaurants I mentioned at the beginning of this post - Hu Tong Dumplings on Commercial Road is great, super fast and friendly service, handmade dumplings and an extensive Chinese menu covering most regions. Cafe Domain on Domain Road is always good for a quick brekky or tasty salad. If you're up north and hankering for some really decent Thai food, Siam Orchid in Helensvale is your answer - try the Lad Na noodles, I've never seen them on another Thai menu and the dish was almost worth the trip alone! Tea and Niceties is in Eagle Heights on Mt Tamborine and is perfect for baby or bridal showers or just a special tea for two (see picture). The Waterfront seafood restaurant in Port Melbourne never disappoints - I had a wonderful meal with my wonderful parents there just yesterday...mmmmmm lobster risotto - need I say more?
The Palace Hotel in Port Melbourne is Luke Mangan's new gastro pub on City Road. Again with my parents, they know how to eat, my dad is also a chef and as I've mentioned before they own a restaurant. We had a really pleasant late supper/dinner in the courtyard on a particularly balmy evening. Pan fried gnocchi with cauliflower and asparagus polonaise, salt and pepper squid with miso mayo, chicken liver parfait and Wagyu beef burger were all highlights but with an extensive bar and restaurant menu we barely scratched the surface.
All in all a pretty fab couple of weeks. Tomorrow I'm off to Bunnings to start a little DIY project. I'm also hoping to get another post up here pretty quickly - something H wrote while we lived in London which has always deserved publication and this is the best way I know how!