Monday, 29 March 2010

C & R Cafe

C & R was never my favourite Malaysian eatery in London, which used to be on Wardour Street. But for some bizarre reason, the owners closed it down, moved to central Soho and poshed up.
We ate there once. It was the same food I used to eat but 3 times as much. Location, location, location. Justice was served when it closed and a Korean buffet joint opened in its place. That closed not long after also. No idea what is there now, maybe a Chinese place. Who knows.
So after long searching we found C&R. Quite by accident, as it’s down a small side street quite near where my old favourite Malaysian place used to be.
The décor is as I am used to finding in Malaysia. Plastic tabletops, cheap metal chairs. Nice picture of the Pretronas Towers. Nice big private restaurant downstairs for some quality karaoke on a Friday night. God forbid.
The menu is not high end, as most mains are about £7.50. But what they do produce is pretty good. Well except for the two Nasi Gorengs. No idea why but they do not cut it, and no idea why I keep ordering them. One day I will learn.
Our favourite dishes are the roti Canaai, Nasi Lemak and some quality Laksa. All are made as well as you would find in K.L.
The Nasi Lemak is almost perfect. The rice is nice and coconutty, the sambal has a tad of heat that sets the lips a tingling. The dried whitebait are fishy and crunchy, these and the peanuts add good texture to the dish. The chicken curry has lots of thick curry sauce to eat with the rice. The only down point are as always the over boiled eggs. Why can’t people boil eggs for 7 minutes. It’s not that difficult. Set the timer, pop eggs in. Take them out when timer goes off. Hey ho.
The laksa I last had was wonderfully spicy. After nearly a year of not eating anything with a breath of heat, it really set my tongue on fire. Missed it and loved it.
As I said it’s the best place that is still around that reminds me of eating in Malaysia. It’s good, filling and pretty cheap. Unlike some up market places I could mention. But why pay more for similar food but with white table cloths.
C & R Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Sunday Roast @ The Bull On Upper Street

For me there is nothing better than going to a pub on a Sunday and having a few pints and a great Sunday roast. For me it’s part of being English. Nearly every Sunday for the first 22 years of my life, (until I started travelling) I always had a roast on a Sunday. Well 99% of the time anyhows.
It’s one of the things that I miss when I am travelling in other parts of the world. Although it’s not something I would have abroad. “As when in Rome.” But when I am here in England, it’s something that I want. It’s a reminder of days gone past. I have good memories spending Sundays with my family sitting around the table, eating, and talking. My Nan used to bring over (most weeks) pudding. Her rhubarb crumble is still the best I have ever eaten. I used to always order it in restaurants, but they were never as good as my Nans. So I stopped.
So a Sunday Roast is natural for me, and many other people, like an Argentine Asado. It brings people together. It’s something I missed in Colombia. We cooked a few roasts but in a small portable oven, it wasn’t easy but we kinda managed it. Not fantastic, but they were ok.
So, on our first Sunday back, I cooked some roast lamb for 7 people. Nothing kinda beats a home cooked roast, but sometimes it’s nice to go out to a pub and have it all done for you.
The Bull on Upper Street is not well known for its food, but we have had roasts there on many an occasion, but over time things went downhill. It was taken over by a pub chain, and I think the boil in the bag catering services took over. You can always tell that when on the bottom of a menu it reads, “Some of our dishes may contain nuts.” You’d know for sure if you cooked it your own kitchen.
But it has a good atmosphere, good selection of beers, and it was close to where we once used to live. But after this Sunday lunchtime meal, I don’t think we’ll eat there again.
I’m still kinda angry actually, as I only got 1½ roast potatoes. How can you as a chef/cook give someone 1½ roast potatoes? I was going to complain, but then that would only put me in a crap mood for the rest of the day.
All in all it was a pretty pants meal. My beef was over cooked and dry. The horseradish sauce was quite weak. Obviously out of a jar. The Yorkshire pudding looked like a pre made Aunt Bessie, but not as nice. The only good thing was the diced carrots and parsnips, they weren’t like mush, as you’d expect. They had some bite to them. Amazing. At least they gave me some gravy.
Linas lamb that I tasted only tasted of the mint sauce I dabbed on it. She had 2 good sized potatoes though. Maybe the cook took a disliking to me when I ordered. Who knows.
As we walked out I noticed everyone who was eating a roast had 3 potatoes. I think everyone must had thought I had lost my mind, as I was loudly mumbling about 1½ potatoes and the like. As you can see madness is starting to creep in.
Let’s hope the next roast is better than this bad attempt at a simple meal.
The Bull on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A Day Out In The Countryside

Our return to England was met with concrete colored skies. It was cold, wet and windy. A typical English day of late. Not one we have been used to over the last 10 months. But something we have to get used to now.
We had hired a car at Heathrow, mainly as we had a tonne of luggage to get to Basingstoke, and we also had a day or two to chill before an interview was to be had outside of Oxford. Much more fun to go by car than train. Plus we could sneak a day out in the countryside in the mean time.
As Hampshire is one of the most beautiful counties in England. No bias from me, as a Hampshire Hog I love the countryside there. Just driving down country lanes evokes feelings of Watership Down. Heaven.
Also Hampshire is close to a good few Prehistoric sites, which are mainly in Wiltshire, like Stonehenge, Avebury and many a White Horse. So as Basingstoke, or Boring Joke as I once heard someone call it. It fits. We decided to do a bit of touring.

First off was to visit the White Horse at Uffington. It was carved into the hillside around 4500 BC. An impressive task as it is really best viewed from the air. Kinda makes you wonder if our ancestors were not giants, like the old Nasca folk.
A nice drive to Avebury was next, but first it was time for lunch. I had searched the Internet for good places to eat in Wiltshire. A fair few places popped up, but something about The Bell in Ramsbury grabbed my attention. So after a browse of the site and read some reviews. Lunch was sorted.

It’s a nice plush country pub. It has a small bar are with a larger restaurant area. We wandered through the pub looking for an empty table. None in the bar, but loads in the restaurant. Only two tables were taken, and they were filled with some old aged pensioners. Not much of an atmosphere. So we wandered back into the bar to find a space and some atmosphere.
We, having lived in London for over 7 years now and I’ve been travelling for nearly half my life now am willing to share a table with other folk. It’s the norm. So we approached a couple of guys who were sitting at a large table, so we asked if we could sit at the other end. They moved but didn’t look liked they enjoyed the idea. It seemed we had committed a faux pas in the countryside. Obviously people here do not share tables, as the owner rushed over to us and ushered us into the Laura Ashley styled restaurant. We felt shamed, and gave no resistance.
The menu was nicely put together. Lots of good hearty English country dishes. Which on a cold windy day was perfect.
One thing I had missed about England was proper beer. Colombia has three mainstream lagers. All taste the same. I.e. nothing. They are however making a few other different artesian beers, but they are kinda hard to get hold of and a little expensive. But worth drinking when I had the chance.
Luckily the pub had a good choice of beers from small, locally brewers, and one from Ramsbury. So a pint of Ramsbury Gold was ordered. The driver unfortunately couldn’t drink, so Lina had a juice. I’ve never wanted to learn to drive, and now I do not see the point.

I was tempted to have a starter but as we were eating at my sisters that night, it was best to miss starters and puddings. It was a wise decision, as when we left her house I was on the point of bursting. I need to join a gym just to get rid of that night.
I opted for the pork chop, mash and black pudding. Lina had yet another dish of fish and chips. I think this was her third since we had been back. I’m sure though it will be her last for a while. There are just so many fish and chips you can eat in a week.
My instincts about picking this place were again champion. The food that came was the best we had eaten since leaving New York.
The pork chop was a hearty beast and cooked nicely and lots of yummy fat still attached. But it was the small tower of black pudding, shredded and cooked red cabbage and mash that was the star of the show. 3 layers of different flavours, textures that contrasted and complimented each other. Excellent. The slightly squeaky bobby beans were the let down. It’s that squeak that puts me off. But it was just a quiet squeak. But as my sister says, a squeak is a squeak.
Linas fish and chips were probably the best we had ever eaten. The chips were perfectly cooked. Great texture and flavour. Not greasy at all. Heaven. The batter on the cod was crisp and had a fantastic taste. The cod inside was moist and flaky. Wow. It will be a challenge to find a plate of one of our (in my opinion) national dishes. But it is a challenge that I now am going to undertake. But it will be done slowly. Too much of a good thing can put you off something, sometimes. Hope not.
All in all it was a great lunchtime meal. Shame we had to spend it in the restaurant, and not the bar area. But all in all pretty good.
After lunch we drove to Avebury, to see the other not quite as famous, but still just as important stone circles. I’ve seen and been to Stonehenge countless times, but never to Avebury. Apart from having to pay to park in a pub car park (which is the only pub situated inside stone circles in the world), it’s a nice day out.
The circles and the surrounding area are very impressive. They are a lot smaller than their more popular neighbour, but these have more atmosphere. It was cool to walk around and being able to touch these stones. Try doing that at Stonehenge now. A prison sentence awaits.
I think these days out, now we are living in London will be happening more and more. It’s cheaper to hire a car than to go by train. It’s about time I got to know my country a little bit more.
We drove through Marlborough and Hungerford, both looked fantastic small market towns in rural England. One day we will move out of London and live n the countryside. One day.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Noodle Heaven & Taxi Rides

Any restaurant named after an Elvis Costello album has to be eaten at to be believed. Momofuku is a cool noodle bar situated in the East Village. Its interior reminds me a lot of Wagamama. Long wooden benches, lots of hussle and bussle. Cool place.
We were going to come here one night to eat, bit I’m glad we didn’t, as to me it’s more of a lunchtime place than a night time place. But each to his own as they say.

I can’t actually remember what else was on the menu, as it was noodles we wanted and noodles we had.
Just before we arrived we walked past a (refuse to name) fast food joint, with a taxi outside with a sign on top saying “Be Stupid”. Excellent. I’m hoping someone paid that driver to sit outside and warn people not to eat in there. Let’s hope so.

As I said I cannot remember what else was on the menu as we were only interested in the noodles. I had the pork belly and shoulder with a poached egg ramen noodles. I got into egg and ramen soups in Japan. The runny yolk works so well with noodles. That yellow heaven mingling with those noodles. Delish. The pork belly was sweet and tender. Loved it.
Lina has the chilled spicy noodles with some nice spiced sausage and cashew nuts for a bit of texture. The chilli was mild but gave my lips a nice tingly feeling. Missed that. Been a while since we’d had cold noodles. Thankyou Nigella for introducing me to them.

The highlite was the Lagunitas IPA beer. Go there, buy the beer, read the label and you’ll know what I mean. Excellent. You only get that with small time producers. Oh, the beer was really good also.
As this was our last meal in New York and had half an hour or so to get back to the hotel for our shuttle back to Newark. So we decided to take a cab back. Unfortunately we never had a short fat bald guy, ahh 70’s heaven TV. But we did have a tele in the back.

Now I have a personal hate of taxi drivers the world over. I’m sure they all get taught how to rip their passengers off and piss them off. Whatever, from Cairo to Medellin to Hong Kong to Bangkok to Mexico City to Jo’Burg. I hate them all.
Thankfully this guy did his job ok. Got us from A to B and not via E in one piece. He didn’t try and over charge us. Maybe a newie. But I don’t understand this practice of tipping cab drivers. They don’t do anything. You pay for the ride, so why the tip?
Answers please. I’d love to know.  

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Surprise At The Market Table

I seem to have a sixth sense that maybe I was born with and has been developed over the years, or maybe it just came along recently. But I am able to sniff out good places to eat by sense. I don’t know what it is, maybe the look of the place, maybe the harmony I get from a restaurant. Or maybe, my level of food appreciation is so low that anything and everything tastes good to me. Well almost.

It happened in Chelsea Market, which is a fun place to wander around, even better if you live or work nearby. There’s a great coffee stand that makes the best espresso this side of Milan. Well apart from the Monmouth Coffee Shop in Soho. There are lots of nice places that sell soups, sandwiches, snacks etc. There is even a kitchen shop where you can get your knives sharpened once a week. Damn I wish we went day before, as my knives so need a good sharpening. Colombia trashed them.
As we were wandering around, hungry by this time. There was something about the Green Table that grabbed me as we strolled past. Took all of 10 seconds to decide to eat there. Glad we did.
The menu is seasonal, locally produced and short. Which is a blessing as reading through 5 pages menus takes away my appetite.
But I had a dilemma, either the braised chicken or the chicken potpie. Tough decisions in my life huh. Boy I wish they were all this hard. I choose the braised chicken, which sat on a bed of beautiful bed of creamy mash and moistened with some great thyme gravy. Chicken was moist and cooked perfectly, the kale still had bite to it, but the mash was divine, as mash should be.
Linas cassoulet was, as you would expect a cassoulet to be. A meaty bean stew is a meaty bean stew. But it ticked all the boxes, even the breaded crust on top tasted pretty good.

I just wished we could have had desert, but unfortunately we were stuffed. A shame as they looked lush.
The Market Table was a good find, but sometimes my magic powers do not work, as a rather bad visit to a restaurant in Marrakech springs to mind.
I am human after all. 

Market Table on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 13 March 2010

By Jones You Have Some Soul

I’m not sure how I choose to eat at the Great Jones Café, but I’m glad I did. On a cold winters night (although it was spring), the Great Jones Café was more than welcome. It’s warm and welcoming once you enter, like an old lover who welcomes you back after a long time away.
It’s just such a nice cozy place, that every neighbourhood should have a place like this. Welcoming staff, good vibes in the air, nice crowd sitting around chatting and having a great time. Love it.

Being English I have no idea what soul food is, and no idea if what we were served was soul food. Don’t care really, as what we got was fantastic. Just wish we could have eaten more, much more. I was tempted to return before we left, but hey it just never happened. Shame. Real shame.

I don’t know why, but something about the place made me feel aok about ordering the chicken chilli. I never have this in England as you always get a third rate Bolognese doused in chilli sauce and powder. They taste bad and I’m always disappointed that I wasted my money on them. But this time I felt safe doing so. It needed a little bit more pepping up with some sauce on the table but the chicken was moist and juicy. The sauce thick and unxious. It didn’t really need the sour cream, but it made nice white swirls in the chilli. As I had just had a new crown in, I had to ignore the bread. Damn.
Lina’s Ya-Ya Gumbo (no idea what it is) was great. This was the star of the show. It wasn’t what she wanted, as the waitress couldn’t understand what she was saying. Accents I guess. But this brown meaty stew was just what the doctor ordered on a cold windy night. Great, great, great.

After leaving the restaurant we noticed a funny sign outside a fire station, asking for the robbers to give back the iPods and laptops whilst they were out on a call. Is nothing sacred in the world.

We literally stumbled upon Joe’s Pub, thinking it was a pub serving drinks, only to find out it was a live gig happening. We were in need of some liquid refreshement, so why not. We had not heard of the group, PT Walkley. But didn’t mind hearing some new music.

Pretty good they were also, shame they only played for just over an hour, as could have sat and watched them for a lot longer.
We also got a free cd as we left with a few songs on it. Will download it to my itunes one day once we get settled. 

Great Jones Café on Urbanspoon
Joe's Pub on Urbanspoon

Friday, 12 March 2010

The All American Burger

No trip to New York would not be complete without sampling some good burgers. So after reading a few blogs and online guides to a few places, the choices were made.
The first was the Burger Joint @ Le Parker Meridien. It seemed strange at first, for a 5 star hotel to have a burger bar as one of its restaurants. But Americans do take their burgers very seriously it seems. They even have Burger Awards.
It’s situated down a dimly lit corridor behind the reception. It is one hell of a dirty little secret, but a great one. The entrance is hidden behind some heavy curtains, it’s only the illuminated burger sign that gives the game away. As you enter you’d believe it had been there for decades. Those interior designers have done a good job of creating that lived in greasy look.

The walls are covered in writing, made by patrons I believe. As there is a sign from the owners saying “ We Don’t Spit On Your Food, So Don’t Write On Our Walls”. Apt I thought. A few movie posters are scattered around as well. Some of the films I still haven’t watched. Shame. The vinyl booths add to the effect. All in all it looks great.

The food matches the surroundings. No, not greasy, beat up burgers, but well made, tasty, yummy ones. You could actually taste the meat. A rarity in meat these days, as producers seem to farm the taste out of beef these days. But these burgers had a good beefy taste. They were on the small side. But I guess from a nation that was brought up on fast food burgers (not going to name those chains), then these were the perfect size. The fries were fries really. But the chocolate milkshake was how milkshakes should be. Thick, chocolaty and great to drink.
It was pretty cheap (more expensive than a chain, I imagine), but the experience matched the food. Excellent.

The other joint we visited was the Shake Shack, which is situated outside in Madison Square Park. A good call in the summer, a bad one in the winter. Very bad. Thank the Lord for those outdoor ozone layer destroying heaters.
As with the Burger Joint, the burgers here were small but packed with flavour. Freshly cooked little patties of heaven. They are so good, they even won the fore mentioned Burger Award back in 2005.
The fries were pretty good, although the cheesy fries had a little too much cheese sauce. But all in all pretty damn good.

I’m sure on a spring or summer afternoon then this place would be packed but with the cold weather there were only a few die hards braving those icy winds.
We in England, well apart from those people who frequent those burger chains for their slice of America pie, would not pay £5 for a small burger even if it tastes of heaven. The good burgers I have found in London have been monsters and costing upwards of £10, as we don’t regard these small rounds of meat in quite the same way as the Americans do. For them it’s a  everyday lunch snack, something to keep them on the move in the same way we consume sandwiches.
To be honest I prefer the burgers I had stateside than the majority of the sandwiches I’ve had London side. But everything beats the hot dogs. 

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien on Urbanspoon
Shake Shack (Madison Square Park) on Urbanspoon

Monday, 8 March 2010

When in New York, it's Nyonya Time .....

After nearly 10 months of eating too much bland food in Colombia. We were in the need for some spice. As we were in New York, and staying in China Town. Why not have some good Asian food with some spice.
For some reason the restaurants in China Town did not tempt us at all. In fact they repelled us. Too many restaurants selling pre cooked buffet food. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Last time I was in a Chinese buffet eatery (Mr Wu), I was sick as a dog for several days afterwards. All that bacteria in all that food. My body never stood a chance.
After doing a bit of research on where to eat in NYC. I heard off a website about a website about someone who ate at Nyonya. So did some research and thought, well I love Malay food. Malay folk said it was good, so why not give it a try.
Quite a trendy joint, strangely enough in Little Italy (although that seems to have shrunk to one street nowadays) which baffled us, but hey ho. Nice lighting, nice colours, nice vibe.
I already knew what I wanted and Lina the same. Only took us enough time to read the menu and make sure they were on it. Voila. Beef Rendang, and Nasi Lemak were ordered. Two Tsing Tao beers were to accompany our curry delite.
A rushed off his feet waiter tried to give us a Hainan chicken, which I like but even in Singapore I found it kinda bland. Well it is only poached chicken after all. Now I’m on every Singaporeans hit list. Sorry, but it’s true.
First up was the Roti Canai. We love Roti. We have walked all around Penang sampling Roti’s to find the best. We are quite sad I know. The Roti here was a little dry and not as greasy as I love it. It was def pre made and left lying around till ordered. Shame. The portion of chicken curry however was heaven sent. God I had missed a good curry sauce. Nice taste, nice thickness. NICE.
The mains arrived. My Beef Rendang was nice in colour, texture and taste. The meat was succulent as it should be, the sauce as thick as I know it to be. It was great but lacked one essential thing. HEAT. Beef Rendang contains a bucket full of chilli’s. Obviously one thing the Malay’s think the American market can’t handle. Maybe true. As I know a lot of English folk brag they like heat, but they really don’t. I know it had no heat, as eating in the land of no-chilli Colombia. My body was craving that pain of the chilli. It did not come. 

Lina’s Nasi Lemak was nye on perfect, a few different twists on the norm, like the dried fish being in a sauce (good but different), and a veggie side containing bits of pineapple (different but not so good). Where did that come from, but Malaysia is a diverse country, so maybe the chef’s region uses pineapple. Only thing to bitch about was the non inclusion of peanuts. Where’s the texture man. We missed the peanuts.
All in all after nearly a year of no spice it was a good meal. But I wonder if we’d just come from England if it would’ve been good or just OK. We shall never know. But good on the night.
Nyonya on Urbanspoon

Beef – Part 2 – The Asado

Some time in our very ancient history, some hunter gathers killed a beast of some kind. Now up to this point our ancestors had been eating meat raw. Now, who knows how, maybe a piece of meat fell into a fire, maybe a couple of guys were chatting and some meat was left hanging near a fire and when they tasted the cooked flesh. They were hooked. Who knows, but it’s as good a theory as anything, and maybe true.
Since then we have been cooking meat over flame. The word barbecue, as we know it comes from the West Indies. Barabicu. Where the local population used to cook meat over a wooden grill to give the meat a great taste. It’s still cooked like this in Jamaica today.
It’s in Argentina that slow cooking meat over a charcoal or wood fire has risen to the heights we know it today. I’ve had braai’s in South Africa. They are damn good, but maybe it’s the quality of beef and the cuts in Argentina that make an asado so good.
The asador or parrillero is king in Argentina. These men who stand in front of those searing hot altars are like Priests praying to the Gods. We all pray to the God Beef. Well I do anyhows.
To make an asado is very natural to Argentineans. It’s a meal to bring the family together. We used to have our Sunday lunch which, with the piece of beef as a centre point used to bring our family together for a few hours once a week.
An asado take time, patience is a virtue for an asador. It takes an age to get the wood to be red hot. Something your average British bar-b-q’er does not have the patience for. That’s why everything is black on the outside and raw in the middle. Food poising alert at any British Bar-B-Q.

The blocks of wood are lit several hours before they are needed. This will give them time to burn, flames die down and the red hot heat to emerge, which is what you need for a long slow asado. As time progresses more logs are lit and kept to the far side to be used as and when the others loose all their molten power.
Now asados in the home differ from those in a restaurant, as at home you will eat a piece of meat, then another will be taken off the grill for you to eat, so everything is at its succulent best. In a restaurant everything will turn up at the same time, with some cuts of meat, chorizos being part cooked beforehand, and sometimes over cooked and dry.
The parrilla in restaurants is like a mixed grill, where you will get a small piece of everything. Ranging from kidneys, intestines, skirt steak, rib eye, chorizos, morcilla or even some tasty ribs. It just depends on the quality of the establishment, and the price you pay.

We were once given a tremendous amount of fat with a parrilla once. The waiter looked seriously embarrassed and angry at the asador. It was a cheap place, and the waiter paid the price, as we left no tip. I think he knew that was coming, as he had a face of resignation on him when we left.
Some of the best asados I’ve had have been had at friend’s homes though. Well they are always best. We normally spend hours chatting, eating, drinking, more eating, chatting and drinking with some more eating at the end.
Always first comes the chorizo and morcilla. Once these were polished off, which is always quickly. Then out comes the offal selection. Kidneys, liver, heart and sweetbreads. Normally you would only get one of these, it just depends upon the skill of the asador, and wether or not they like offal. Some do, some don’t.
Then if there is a veggie in the audience there will always be the provolone cheese. A disc of the best cheese ever to hit the grill. Charred and smoky. It’s a great addition to any asado, even if veggies are not present.

Then the slow process of bringing out every cut of meat. Piece by piece after one has been eaten, out pops another. My first home asado lasted 3 hours. A small affair, but Nilda, just kept bringing out cut after cut until I was the last man standing and continued to eat right up until the point of my stomach exploding. Remember that scene from Alien. That’s how I felt for several hours. Painful.
The skill of the asador is on show so time and perfection is key here. As some cuts require less or more cooking than others.
The meat in an Argentinean asado is never marinated. Only a generous application of salt just before it hits the grill is added. The grease from the meat is never allowed to hit the coals as this produces flare ups and smoke, which affects the taste of the meat. This never enters the mind of a British Bar-B-Q’er where speed is of the essence as who knows when the rains will come.
All that is ever served with an asado is some bread. A very simple mixed salad, consisting of sliced onion, sliced tomato and lettuce leaves. All drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and seasoned with salt n pepper. Also the most famous of sauces. Chimichurri. There is a lot of bad chimi out there, but it’s basically a simple sauce of chopped parsley, dried oregano, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Whisked together with olive oil. You can also get a chilli version that I prefer on offal rather than the steaks. These sauces are a side not to be smothered on the meat as I’ve seen many a tourist do. Shameful.
To be honest the best drink to have with an asado is a full bodied red. Something with a tonne of tannins, as the meat with smooth them down to pure heaven. Beer does work also, but it bloats me and therefore I have to eat less meat. So………
People only think the food of Argentina is just red meat. There are other things to which Argentines consider to be there national dish. But for me the best thing is a really good cut of meat, cooked to succulent heaven over some red hot coals, drunk with a nice glass or three of red wine, but best of all it’s best eaten with friends

Monday, 1 March 2010

Breaded Heaven

For most Poteños and Argentineans for that matter, milanesa is one of their staple meals, like lomito it can be eaten many times a week and believe me some do.
To anyone who has no idea what a milanesa is, it’s basically a piece of pounded beef, veal or sometimes chicken. This has a dusting of flour, then dunked in some beaten egg, and finally coated in breadcrumbs. This is either fried in a little oil, or a lot depending on the restaurant, or cooked in a very hot oven in an oiled tray. In Europe it’s known as an escalope or schnitzel. I used to eat a lot of the chicken variety in my days on the Kibbutz in Israel.
You can find milanesa in nearly every restaurant in Argentina. In some places it comes just like this, or maybe they will add a splash of tomato sauce, some cheese and ham and then pop into an oven to melt the cheese. This is known as a Napolitana. There are a variety of other sauces to have with it. Milanesa is normally served with French fries or mashed potatoes.
You can also have it in a sandwich, which is really good, as a snack. Or as normally the portion size is huge it counts as a meal. It’s breaded heaven.