Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Birthday with the Queen

This year I was able to enjoy a nice relaxing Monday in which to celebrate turning 26 thanks to the Queens Birthday falling on the same date. The whole long weekend really was a chance to simply relax and enjoy.

On the Saturday night my parents came over and joined Geoff and I for a kaiseki dinner at a local sushi restaurant - Zushi. It was a great meal if somewhat overwhelmed with food. There were 8 courses all together and they didn't skimp in portions, a platter of sashimi came with at least a dozen pieces each, a sushi plate came with 8 nigiri, one course was a whole steamed snapper to share between two. There was also lobster miso soup, tender chunks of wagyu beef with mushrooms, an egg custard thing, dessert and a trio of appetisers. 

Sunday started off slowly with a wander over to Paddington to share a French omelette and pastry at the boulangerie near Five Ways. A quick yum cha at Fu Man Chu with my friend Jasmin before catching up with the other girls for hot chocolate, waffles and ganache pieces at Boon. Food and conversation is a pleasure that should never be underestimated.

In the evening Geoff took me to Le Pelican on Bourke street where I had the sand whiting entree which came served with a delicious potato mash, crispy crouton with olive tapenade and seafood bisque sauce to meld it all together with. Geoff ordered oysters so I had a few from his plate. For the main it was Seafood Pie - filled with smoked fish, asparagus and broad beans whilst Geoff had the duck two ways, slow cooked confitted leg and roasted and spiced breast, his dish came with some very nice leeks and cubes of beetroot. Desserts were spectacular, I had the Grand Marnier Souffle and Geoff the Chocolate Fondant, a warm melting blob of joy. The table next to us had ordered some amazing Creme Brulee's so next time I shall try that (they were served in a wide flat bowl so had lots of toffee and a cylinder of chocolate and berried rising from the centre. 

And so to Monday. Another sleepy start to the day before brunch at Forbes and Burton which was very crowded and we ended up jammed onto a tiny table. We shared Bubble and Squeak and "Hot Vanilla Rice with Sexy Pears" and yes the pears are sexy. Then the return to the home nest to visit Mum and Dad. Dinner is about family favourites, chicken leek and bacon casserole and Delia's Squidgy chocolate Log with a mixture of the rich lindt mousse and the tangy prune filling. 

So to some presents which are rich in those lovely little 'twigs' for making a comfortable home...

These beautiful cups are by Madhulika Ghosh and are inspired by Tibetan Buddhist prayers. The fine translucence porcelain evokes the Himalayan light and they are very divine. Geoff did well to pick two really nice pieces after I had simply directed him to the artist and the shop where he could buy them. I'm sure as the years go by he will gradually grow in confidence to learn how to buy things undirected. He also bought me a couple of books and some chocolate. 

My best friend Jasmin painted me this gorgeous painting of a Chinese Wood Duck with Peony Flowers. We had recently done the Chinese Brush Painting course together so it is a great reminder of how much fun we had together doing the course as well as looking very fine on my wall. I also got some nice ceramic bowls from Alison, artist finger puppets for the fridge from Susan and some wine from Emma. 

Mum and Dad gave me a nice alpaca blanket, some dvd's and a book, a small crystal bowl for serving cream in and some Yen for spending on my trip to Japan coming up in October. So after a long weekend of indulgence it is now simply back to work and settling into life at 26.