Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Where are the foreigners?!

189 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Newer→ Last

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It's the same problem I have with the chinese restaurants in Balmoral, they each (apparently) can cook one thing well but their menu contains every possible dish so unless you know exactly what to order your chances of getting the one good thing are miniscule.

    Have you tried the Shanghai styled dumplings at New Flavour?

    If you can get past the queues, the place is pretty wonderful (avoid the squid - greasy).

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m not much of a fan of being called European, though. “White” is closer to what people usually actually mean. Pakeha will do in NZ. Skippy, in Australia. Anglo, maybe, except that I’m ethnically Irish on the whole, so actually Celtic.

    Interesting with the Rugby on to be reminded how immediately identifiable the French were/are. There’s certainly a very distinct Gallic look (yes, outside their impeccable sense of fashion yadda yadda etc). Certainly different to a distinctively Celtic or Scandinavian look. Calling us/them all ‘European’ makes about as much sense as referring to everyone from the Phillipines up to Mongolia ‘Chinese’.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    because there are no convenient measurement systems.

    Um taste the food as you cook?????????

    Oh you mean objective measurement - most great chefs train and use their own palate as the best objective tool they have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    Oh Calcutta!

    That was definitely a favourite a while back. Satya (Sandringham) has, IMhO, lost it due to over exposure. I've walked out after waiting thirty minutes to be served this year, and stopped eating their chicken dishes for reasons...

    When we lived nearby we used to frequent Sages in Pt Chev shops, and although we haven't been for awhile, we did like their menu, particularly the Saag Paneer.

    As to Alien status, it is interesting to look at what stage countries allow expats the vote (e.g. New Zealand vs Japan). And then compare this to the right for expats to represent the country in international sporting competitions.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    The most obvious solution, something that many smaller shops around Auckland are doing on an increasing basis, is supplying the table with a selection of seasonings. Pepper, salt, sugar, chili oil and powder.
    ...

    Then you serve the food slightly on the bland side, for the convenience of those who prefer it that way, and yet those who prefer heat can simply add it.

    No no no no no!

    Those seasonings change the flavour of the food as it cooks. If you add the seasoning afterwards you may as well just eat a seasoning sandwich. Really good indian flavours come from cooking the spices to extract and alter the aromatics with heat. And then if you are lucky the dish will be cooked over several days to truly incorporate the flavours.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    And then if you are lucky the dish will be cooked over several days to truly incorporate the flavours.

    For one of the RWC games, I had some folks around and served curried lamb shanks, slow-cooked for six hours. Was sensational.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Those seasonings change the flavour of the food as it cooks. If you add the seasoning afterwards you may as well just eat a seasoning sandwich. Really good indian flavours come from cooking the spices to extract and alter the aromatics with heat.

    Always -- well, almost always -- roast your whole spices before grinding them. That's all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Was sensational.

    Damn. You really are dishing out the punishment for those of us who missed out.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    For one of the RWC games, I had some folks around and served curried lamb shanks, slow-cooked for six hours. Was sensational.

    For the NZ France game we did Lamb studded with garlic slivers and marinated overnight in Kim's spice mix (roasted cumin seeds then ground) then cooked for 12 hours at 140C with a tin of chopped tomatoes thrown in the bottom of the roasting pan ... OMFG!

    NZ won the Rugby and the desserts (pavlova FTW)
    But France won the cheeses and the Syrah

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    For the NZ France game we did Lamb studded with garlic slivers and marinated overnight in Kim's spice mix (roasted cumin seeds then ground) then cooked for 12 hours at 140C with a tin of chopped tomatoes thrown in the bottom of the roasting pan

    Stop it!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Oh you mean objective measurement

    Of course. A chef can be trained to weigh things with their hands, too, but they can just use a scales, particularly if they are using a new recipe. Unfortunately, for spices, there's no such device.

    Great chefs are all very well, fine if you're prepared to pay top dollar, and also if you like having arguments about the "meaning of heat", during which you will most likely come off sounding like a difficult customer, rather than someone with actual helpful advice. Also very good if you like the taste of spit in your food, which I personally don't.

    That's the advantage of actual measures. If you can say "I want it at 24 on the ISO spice scale", then it's not a discussion of "good taste", but simply you placing an order that give you a higher chance of not having an unpleasant experience.

    On table spices give you the ability to fine tune the tastes, particularly the heat. It doesn't mean they are absolved from preparing the food properly, and seasoning them as they go etc. They're optional additions. If you don't like adding them, then don't.

    Those seasonings change the flavour of the food as it cooks. If you add the seasoning afterwards you may as well just eat a seasoning sandwich.

    I didn't say they shouldn't put flavours in the food as they cook. It's about fine tuning. I find it quite an enjoyable part of the meal, working out how the base flavors interact with extras. It also adds variety to the meal the entire way through.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    We've been to New Flavour (formerly the wonderfully named "Manual Noodle House") several times, and been very impressed. However, the first time I was there I noticed that one section of the menu had no English translation like all the others had. Thinking I might be missing out on something, I took a photo on my phone and showed it to a Chinese colleague the next day.
    "Oh, that's interesting, I've never seen it put quite like that before" he said.
    "Quite like what?" I replied.
    "Well, you know sometimes a menu will have a separate section for the really expensive, premium dishes?"
    Licking my lips with anticipation, I replied, "Yes?"
    "Well, this section is the opposite of that."

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to JacksonP,

    When we lived nearby we used to frequent Sages in Pt Chev shops

    Just changed owners I'm told - heard very good things which has caused me to look hungrily that way as I've driven past more than one - but it may well have to wait until I'm back in town.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Just changed owners I’m told – heard very good things which has caused me to look hungrily that way as I’ve driven past more than one – but it may well have to wait until I’m back in town.

    I hope it's improved under new ownership. We never ate in there, but their takeaways were undistinguished and very poor value.

    Cloves in Herne Bay and the very rootsy place in Vogel Lane, opposite TVNZ, are my picks for Indian takeaways -- particularly the latter. Not many white folks find it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Anyone been to Masala since it moved from Ponsonberry Rd to Titirangi? Used to love their spicing and their naan better than any other Auckland Indian eateries.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    "I want it at 24 on the ISO spice scale"

    the romance of cuisine :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    On table spices give you the ability to fine tune the tastes, particularly the heat. It doesn’t mean they are absolved from preparing the food properly, and seasoning them as they go etc. They’re optional additions. If you don’t like adding them, then don’t.

    Nah. If you want a Vindaloo, it has to be hot. That's how it's made.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nah. If you want a Vindaloo, it has to be hot. That's how it's made.

    What if I want it extra hot? But not pepper spray? Fine line there. Just gimme the powder...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    When I first started eating Indian food about 25 years ago, I remember that it could be numbingly (and pleasantly) hot. Thse days - not so much. So either I have raised my tolerance-level to chilli or the increased popularity of Indian food (in the Western World) has watered down the dishes to suit our (on average) mild palates.

    Simon, I saw that photo-food-blog you linked to a while ago about South Thai/Indian crossover food and I literally (yes, literally) started to salivate.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    I'm late to this thread ... wrt Kebabs (a couple of pages/days ago). There was an AWESOME Kebab stall in the Square, Christchurch ... twenty years ago.

    I like a kebab. Had some good ones in Melbourne, but man, I still dream of those ChCh kebabs. Amazingly elastic bread, thick too. Soaked up all the juice from the lamb (thank you for dying and being so damn tasty little lamb).

    OMFG THEY WERE AWESOME!

    Has that bloke formed some sort of secret monastic order and passed on his secrets. Please tell me has, and where I can find them.

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    So either I have raised my tolerance-level to chilli or the increased popularity of Indian food (in the Western World) has watered down the dishes to suit our (on average) mild palates.

    I think that's exactly what's happened. It's not all bad, it does mean I can take my kids to an Indian restaurant, and not have to leave because they are crying in pain, vowing never to return. But I still like it hot myself. It takes many years of burning the sensitivity off your tongue to be able to handle spicy food. Indians get a head start. I'm building up the kids ability to handle spices, the youngest has a real experimental streak. And the eldest has learned that yogurt soothes the burning tongue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    So either I have raised my tolerance-level to chilli or the increased popularity of Indian food (in the Western World) has watered down the dishes to suit our (on average) mild palates.

    I understand that repeated consumption of chili-hot foods does increase your tolerance, basically by maxing out the appropriate receptors. It can get hotter, but you stop being able to taste it. There is an awful lot of watered-down stuff on the market, though (c.f.: nearly every supermarket curry packet in existence.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I favour Fatima's in Takapuna or Ponsonby for kebabs. Correctly wrapped, too.

    I've always liked Zap for quick and easy foodcourt-level Thai. And speaking of spicy and building up a tolerance, a friend once commented 'I am become death, destroyer of worlds'* on a nam tok that I thought was just the right side of nicely warm.

    *wrong culture, dude!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    Apparently you can become desensitised to Chilli, but it doesn't damage your taste buds, according to the Chilli Pepper Institute.

    I'm having fun just thinking about their job advertisements.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I’ve always liked Zap for quick and easy foodcourt-level Thai.

    There's a new branch in the Chev. As you say, not bad -- and unbelievably quick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.