Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Food Heaven and a Little Bit of Home

Some days are simply memorable for nothing more than it was shared with a friend doing something lovely.

Today was one of those days.

Some days you do something, or eat a food, or smell a smell, or hear a song that resonates so deeply it reminds you of home (or MrsP in Yokohama)

Today was one of those days.

MrsW has always wanted to eat at Otteolenghi. She cooks from his books all the time, and wanted to try his dishes for herself. It was so lovely to share this experience, especially as it's one of the last times we'll be together here.

We made good use of the hour and a half it took to get there by public transport and walking but it was so worth it.

MrsW is one of the few friends here who I can really laugh with - belly laugh out loud laughs.

When we saw the window display at Ottolenghi we both gasped. What food!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The meringues were HUGE.

The flourless chocolate cakes looked decadent.

The mini pavlova's were not mini.

The salads were so colorful.

We were seated at the long communal table by a very handsome waiter with a twinkle in his eye and the most gorgeous smile.

MrsW said 'that's very pretty' and I said 'yes, he is' however she was referring to the pattern the barista had created with the foam on my cappuccino, not the waiter. We laughed out loud, too loud we think from some of the looks we got from other diners.

I've never liked communal tables in restaurants/cafes, and today confirmed it again. We were seated opposite one another, second in from the end. Next to us was a mother/daughter/baby in a buggy; on the other side was a couple sharing a quick lunch between meetings. We were all chatting across the table to our respective friend, yet the conversations mingled.

When our meals came, we simply stopped talking!

I enjoyed a semi dried tomato, olive, fetta cheese tart with a potato salad with dill, lemon juice and samphire and aubergine with curry yoghurt.

MrsW had a curried piece of chicken, the aubergine salad and pumpkin, pine nuts and yoghurt.

The fresh food selection for eat-in
and take away

MrsW's pumpkin salad
I'm not sure which bits kicked off the memories of dining out'n'about in Sydney; was it the potato salad with pickled cucumbers, or the pumpkin and yoghurt salad? The selection of incredible cakes, akin to the cake shop in Plumber Road, Rose Bay .... or simply the fact that Ottolenghi presents fresh, Mediterranean foods that ooze goodness like the cafes up from Bondi Beach? 

THere wasn't a bagel or smoked salmon in sight, but Ottolenghi also reminded me of family dinners, with Israeli influences (not that my family is Israeli) of tahini, cous cous, fritters and more.

I just had to buy one of his cook books!

With friendship

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