Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good times collective #2

It's been the busiest start to the year I can remember: holidays, birthdays, weddings, heat waves and plenty of celebrations. This is summer - now if only I could find a free day to head to the beach.

Gelato from Grand Gelato, Glebe Point Road, Glebe
There really needs to be a Grand Gelato outlet near a beach - it would make a killing. The one in Glebe hasn't been there all that long, I think, but is part of the Amano Gelato group from Western Australia (and it's all a little confusing from there).

These three scoops were definitely the best gelato I've had all summer - just so good. On top was strawberry, a smoother sorbet I never have had. No iciness, no seeds - indeed the texture was so smooth it was almost creamy.

The macadamia was sweet and crunchy with the roasted bits of nut, while the banana bread - chosen for sheer uniqueness - rewarded with true banana flavour (I hate artificial banana flavouring), banana bread crumbs and even slightly dry chunks - all adding to the textural delight that was my 15 minutes at Grand Gelato. No doubt, I'll be back.

Chopped chicken livers cooking with onions, seasoning and butter
I'm not an offal person (I'm a nice person - ha ha). So imagine the look on my face when I see chicken liver pate being made at home. It's surprisingly easy - essentially cooked, seasoned livers solidified by butter. Cholesterol party anyone?

More butter
I don't mind small tastes of pate (not livers though). What's tougher to handle is the raw, slimey, red livers; the mini bags of glycogen, proteins, toxins and stuff - all over the chopping board. They don't smell much better cooking in the pan, though the perfume of black pepper, thyme and orange zest helps.

Livers and all, blended smooth

The end product under an orange and thyme jelly
But despite all, some think they make for a pretty tasty treat or starter, especially slathered over fresh baked mini baguette slices.

Solas Bar, Crown Street, Surry Hills
The small bar revolution is coming - you can feel it in the air, especially in the CBD, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. On Crown Street, taking over where the posh bottle shop used to be towards the Cleveland Street end, Solas Bar is doing its thing quietly and steadily.

Chalk walls
Those in white need beware of the chalkboards covering two large surfaces on the ground floor. Those wanting to show off some artistic flair, graffiti or leave a calling card should head to the bar for some chalk.

The shelf of booze

Drinks at the bar
Spirits, wine and beers by the bottle are the go, as well as a tapas menu of somewhat international bits to go with your drinks. The bar stools aren't much fun, but the balcony ones at least have a view of Crown Street and the upstairs couches are mostly comfy.

Chocolate cake crumbs
Over the festive season, I tried my hand at cake pops - which in theory sound easy enough. But after baking, processing to cumbs, processing with cream cheese, rolling and cooling, melting and dipping, cooling and serving, I realised it wasn't a treat for the lazy to attempt.

Rolled cake balls (I called them Rudolph droppings)
Next time I'd probably just buy a cake from the supermarket to turn to crumbs, rather than baking from scratch. I would also steer clear of food colouring for decoration and go with the easier, much fun hundreds and thousands.

End product cake pops (without green and red swirls but dots rather)
And maybe there's really nothing wrong with a plain, old slice of cake. But nonetheless, good times.

Grand Gelato on Urbanspoon

Solas Bar on Urbanspoon


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I know what you mean about the cake pops! I usually make cookie pops with packets of tim tams hehe :P

Tina said...

Hi Lorraine - Cheat's ways are fine by me!


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