Archive for month: June, 2011

Assiette – $35 Friday 3 Course Lunch

04 Jun
June 4, 2011

Assiette has been on my “want” list for quite a while and what better way to try Warren Turnball’s two hatted restaurant than on a Friday for lunch. “Why Fridays?” I hear you ask.    That is because something magical happens on a Friday lunch at this Surry Hills establishment.  A three course menu for $35 dollars is available.  To be honest it almost sounds too go to be true and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I had made a reservation for Ms Lily and myself months in advance and watched the weeks tick by in anticipation. On the day I was so excited I actually skipped breakfast and by the time we were seated in the white walled, dark wooden furnished walls of Assiette I was famished.

You do have a choice on Friday of their normal menu or the $35 special. We knew what we are here to try, even though quite a few dishes are calling our name from the standard menu.  On the special menu there is the option of two entrees, two mains and two desserts.  Ms Lily really is good to me and it is agreed that we will order one of each dish in order to have a taste of the whole menu. Read more →

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Road Test: Marion’s Kitchen Thai Satay Sticks

01 Jun
June 1, 2011

You will see a few more road tests of products on Belly Rumbles in the future.  Not the type where I get sent a product to review (there will be those too), but ones where I discover something that grabs my attention while out shopping.  Products that make me think “oooo I wonder if that is going to be any good”.  One I enjoy doing road tests, and two you guys seem to enjoy reading them.

I was at Woolworths on the weekend doing the good old domestic house shopping and noticed that Marion’s (season two MasterChef favourite) new “gourmet” meal range was on the shelves.

I am not a big purchaser of readymade meal bases, because generally I don’t find them much chop (there are some good ones out there).  Saying that, I do think they are a great alternative to take away for the busy hard working mum or dad.  I do tend to have a green curry base in the cupboard for such occasions myself.

There are five products in Marion’s new range, Thai green curry, Thai red curry, Thai basil & Chilli Stir-fry, Thai fish Cakes and the one I chose Thai satay sticks.  I automatically reached for the green curry base but stopped myself.  I have never tried a pre-made peanut satay sauce that I have been completely satisfied with. If I was really going to put one of Marion’s products to the test I thought it should be the satay.

Packaging for Marion’s Kitchen Thai satay sticks

It was only when I got home did the irony of what I purchased hit me.  Marion was actually eliminated from MasterChef due to her satay sauce.

I will be honest, I have never eaten satay in Thailand, have been to Thailand but have never eaten satay there.  On the other hand I have eaten copious amounts of satay in Malaysia and Singapore.  I have an addiction to a great peanut sauce, marry that with juicy grilled chicken sticks, oh heaven!

In regard to Marion’s product I really like the simplicity of the presentation and the fact that anybody can follow the directions on what to do.  The kit includes two satchels , one is marked “use me first”, this is the marinade.  The other is marked “almost there” which is the satay sauce.

No mistaking what to use when

All you have to do is cut up your chicken and mix through the marinade.  Leave it in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes (I left it for an hour) and then thread the meat on to pre-soaked bamboo skewers (not included in the pack).  Cook either under the grill, in a pan or my preference on the BBQ.  I used the grill on this occasion.

Separated marinade on top of chicken

Chicken mixed through the marinade ready for the fridge

Chicken after an hour in the fridge on soaked bamboo skewers ready for the grill

Skewers after grilling

Put the peanut sauce in a saucepan to heat through and serve with your chicken.  I like my satay with rice, cucumber and red onion.

Heating up the peanut sauce

So what did I think?

The marinade:  Colours the chicken nicely and with the combination of grilling looks good.  I normally like to BBQ my satay sticks and I think this would of enhanced the flavour even more.  I find it quite subtle in taste.  Be careful when opening the pack as the marinade separates and if you are a klutz like moi, you will end up with turmeric stained oil everywhere.

The Satay Sauce:  As much as I wanted to like it and hoping it would be fantastic, it wasn’t.  You could see nice pieces of roasted peanuts through the sauce, but that is where any notion of a peanut taste starts and finishes.  The sauce is actually quite tangy.  I’m not a fan of peanut sauces that taste or look like you have just grabbed a jar of peanut butter, but I do like there to be a peanut flavour, it is a peanut sauce after all.

My end result

Sadly the product is imported from Thailand.  Would of been nice if it was locally made locally for lots of reasons, carbon footprint, supporting Australian business etc.

Would I buy it again?  No.  Unfortunately the peanut sauce was the decision maker on this product for me.

Sara xxx

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