Besides all the over eating Christmas is the time when I look back on the year. 2013 has been a pretty big year in Chez Gourmet Chick with the arrival of baby Gourmet Chick in July. I managed to get in a bit of jet setting before her arrival, but post baby I’ve spent a lot more time cooking at home and eating in cafes which have room for prams! Here are the highs and lows of the year.
1. Best meal in Melbourne in 2013
Dinner at Attica with Mr Meat-and-Three-Veg for our wedding anniversary was a real highlight. I had to have a slightly modified menu because I was pregnant at the time but highlights included the melt in the mouth King George Whiting served in a roll of papery bark and Attica’s famous “Plight of the Bees” dessert which is presented to look like part of a bee hive and is a clever and complex interplay of honey flavours and textures.
2. Best meal travelling in 2013
One of the simplest meals I had travelling was also the best. The main tip I was repeatedly given for Singapore was to head to Tien Tien in the Maxwell Food Centre. Tien Tien is famous for its Hiananese Chicken Rice. So famous that it has been endorsed by Anthony Bourdain and has the chef’s picture plastered all over the stall. This is one dish that lived up to the hype with the most tender chicken with a really delicate flavour. Even the bowl of broth accompanying the chicken was rich but light.
3. Worst meal in Melbourne in 2013
The Waiters Club, up some rickety stairs off Myers Place is an institution in Melbourne but I don’t think it deserves its reputation for cheap but tasty food anymore. The pasta I had there was overcooked, bland and highly over rated. Give this one a miss until the food improves.
4. Worst meal travelling in 2013
In a country with so much amazing food any not so great meals really stand out. So while I loved the location of The Andaman hotel on Langkawi’s stunning Datai bay, my over priced and dry meal of soft shell crab at the hotel’s Tepian Laut restaurant did not impress. I much preferred my meal the next night at the island’s night markets.
5. Recipe of the year
Of the hundreds of things I’ve cooked this year I think the most delicious was probably this salted caramel cheesecake. Can there ever be too much salted caramel? I am seriously addicted to the stuff. It is one food trend that I am happy to have stick around for a long time and this cheese cake is the perfect vehicle for that salted caramel hit of sweet, savoury and sticky.
6. Cookbook of the year
You can see my list of the best cook books of 2013 here. Number one spot goes to Recipes for a Good Time by the team from Sydney’s Porteno restaurant. I love the restaurant and chef’s Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate have really distilled the good vibes of Porteno into this cook book. It’s got a real sense of humour about it with recipes including watermelon filled with punch.
7. Total number of posts for 2013
149. That’s a lot of food….
8. Most far flung reader in 2013
Hello to my one reader in Yemen!
9. Weirdest search term used to get to Gourmet Chick in 2013
“Maeve O’Meara Hot”. I’m not saying the host of Food Safari isn’t hot. I just found it funny this is what some people search for and then they land on Gourmet Chick.
10. My 2014 wish list
- Dinner at Dan Hunter’s new restaurant Brae which has just opened in Birregurra (I’m booked in for January).
- Yum cha at Golden Dragon Palace in Templestowe. I tried to go this year and it was booked out every time.
- A holiday in Italy (fingers crossed!).
Best wishes to all Gourmet Chick readers for a Merry Christmas. I’m taking a break until 6 January 2014 and will be back then with more food and travel reading.