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Tag-Archive for "Food"

Cooking class with Gamidah in Cape Town May 13

We have been to Cape Town before and we have walked through the beautiful and colorful Bo Kaap area before. This time we decided to do a cooking class in this area to learn more about cooking Cape Malay style. My wife found and booked a class with Lekka Kombuis (which means something like tasty kitchen ). I did not really know what to expect but we walked to the address that we had been given. When we got there we were a bit confused as it looked like a regular house. I knocked on the door and it turned out to be the right place – the cooking class would actually take place in the home of Gamidah Jacobs. Gamidah greeted us into her home and it felt like coming over to a friend as she was like “Sit down for  second – I just have to finish cleaning the floor in the kitchen”.

But we soon got into the cooking with Gamidah and this was not the kind of class were you just get to look. We had to get into it and help with all the dishes – it turned out that it was only my wife and I in the cooking class and hence we felt like we got a special treat. We started out by frying up onions and spices to get started on the chicken curry and as we were working we chatted with Gamidah about family, history, about everyday life etc. While the curry was boiling we got started on the roti and we made it from scratch – I guess it is all in the wrist as Gamidah made it look so easy – the same goes for the samosas! In the end we fried up the roti, samosas and chili bites and we got to eat what we just made as lunch.

All in all I would say that this is the best cooking class ever. We got a special treat by being invited into Gamidah’s home and we got to cook with her – in her kitchen! How amazing is that. It didn’t feel like a cooking class but rather being invited over to a friend and cooking together. She treated us like friends and telling us about family, about her husband and kids. We got to make the food step by step and she gave us useful instructions and hints. If you are planning on taking a cooking class in Cape Town – look no further. I can highly recommend Lekka Kombuis. And Gamidah…if you make it to Stavanger in Norway let me know. I will invite you over to our house and cook some Norwegian food with you!

Read more about the cooking class on the Lekka Kombuis homepage.

Gard – trip reports and pictures


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Lunch at “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal” in London Feb 11

Menu at the tableMy wife Nikki and I spent a long weekend in London in January 2013 and we decided to splurge on a dining experience. After seeing many TV shows with Heston Blumenthal we decided on lunch at “Dinner by Heston Blumental”. I made the reservation online and I also got a call from the restaurant a few days before to reconfirm. We took the tube to Knightsbridge station and about 5 min later we arrived at the Mandarin Hotel at noon. After a short wait at the bar, we were assigned a table close to the window, with an idyllic view of a snow covered Hyde Park. We can’t quite recall if our waiter introduced himself but we did get a menu at once and were offered an aperitif. The menu was quite extensive and we decided to throw caution to the wind and ordered “a la carte” and not the set lunch menu that seemed to be a bit on the boring side.

P1010864There was lots of good stuff to choose from on the menu but I ended up ordering one of the signature dishes “Meat fruit” as a starter and my wife, Nikki, decided to have Salamugundy. For the main dish I decided to have Battalia Pye and Nikki went for Roast Black Foot Collar of Pork. Although we hadn’t thought about dessert yet, we were informed that the signature dessert “tipsy cake” took a while to prepare so best to order in advance. Which we did. While we were waiting for the starter to arrive we got some fresh bread and butter which hit the mark as we were getting hungry.

Look at this piece of art!It didn’t take that long before the starter was served and the meat fruit was a little piece of food art. I have to admit that I knew what was coming – when I did a search online (and on Instagram) there were lots of photos out there. It was served on a wooden platter and it looked like a small tangerine with a slice of toast on the side. The tangerine was just an “illusion” – once I cut into it the core was revealed and I could go ahead and taste the chicken liver and foie gras parfait. I like my foie gras and chicken liver so I enjoyed the taste of this smooth paste combined with the large rustic piece of bread. The bread seemed to have been fried just on the pan and it was just right as it shouldn’t be too crispy.

P1010869Nikki’s Salamugundy looked like a bit of a mess on the plate but was prepared using chicken oysters, marrow bone and horseradish cream. I have to admit that I was not aware that chicken oysters could be the most tender part on the bird but apparently this is the case. Nikki especially enjoyed the horseradish cream vinaigrette. She commented that although first look may give the impression of a run of the mill green salad, the contents and combination stood out with every mouthful.  Crunchy fresh leaves and marrow that made you wish you were in the comfort of your own home to properly tackle it. 

P1010874Before the main dish we got the wine that we had ordered by the glass so it seemed like the waiters had full control even if there were several people involved. The wine was a Chianti Classico if I’m not mistaken and was well paired with both our meals – rounded and fullbodied but not too heavy. My Battalia pye was served as a sort of pie and it contained pigeon, devilled kidneys and lamb tongue. Once it was served the waiter poured a lovely rich lamb sauce on top of it and left the rest on the table. Once I tasted it I poured the rest over the pie as it tasted amazing! It must have been boiled for hours with a good stock. The pie was delicious and again it was a beautiful looking dish with the pie dough being wrapped around the contents in a perfect circle. The tiny bones of the pigeon were sticking up from the dish and were juicy and the other pieces of meat were also tasty. It might sound a bit weird but one of the best tastes was from the small caramelized onions.

P1010872Nikki had the Roast Black Foot Collar of Pork and she also found the portion to be a bit large. But she also enjoyed the layers of pork meat – which made it easy to differentiate and was almost like slicing through a layered cake. She also got the best ever caramelized onions and turnip.
The portions of main dish were a bit on the large side but even if we were full, there was still room for dessert. To round off the meal, we waited in anticipation for our tipsy cake – one of the signature desserts. P1010875We had to order it when we ordered the rest of the meal as it is made fresh and takes a while to prepare. The cake was served in a small pot with a slice of fried pineapple on the side. The tipsy cake was a pudding (a British staple) and served warm, sweet and oozing of a sort of custard. It almost resembled buns but once we sank our spoons into it, the texture and taste said otherwise. I was not crazy about the pineapple but the pudding was great. The tipsy cake is sharing size but I do believe Nikki would have gladly devoured the lot on her own if I had taken my eyes off it for too long. Although we were both stuffed already we managed to leave little trace of anything ever having occupied the desert pot. 

P1010876With our bellies near bursting and matching grins, we also got some sort of tea infused chocolate mousse and it was weird to taste the combination of dark chocolate with the hints of tea. And together with some strong espresso it was the perfect end to the meal. On the way out we got to look into the open kitchen were the large staff of chefs were preparing all sorts of delicious dishes. We stumbled out of the Mandarin hotel full, slightly tipsy (only from the the cake of course) and very content. This was a lovely dining experience and I hope to return one day to taste more of the great dishes that Heston has on the menu. Check out the restaurant homepage on and remember to book in advance if you want to check it out.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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My Stavanger restaurant blog Mar 10

interior2I have a Stavanger restaurant blog and you can find it on . I write a bit about the restaurants and bars in Stavanger and I have just updated it with reviews of Bølgen & Mor and the new Renaa: Xpress. Hope that you can find the information useful if you are living in Stavanger or coming here to visit Winking smile. What is your favorite restaurant in Stavanger? And is there a signature dish that you would recommend others to try out? Feel free to share it in the comment field below!

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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The best countries for food Mar 06

food_heaven_Mercato_CentraleTrying out the local food is a part of the travel experience and it is a part of getting to know the culture of a country. Lonely Planet has made this list of countries that are worth a visit just for their food. I’m not surprised to see Italy, Thailand and India on the list Winking smile We have been to several trips to e.g. Italy and it is always easy to find a good restaurant to eat at – feel free to check out this trip report from Bologna – a place well known for the food. Located nearby you will find towns that produce stuff like Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese), parma ham and balsamic vinegar (or Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena)

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Looking for Arabic food in Bangkok? Mar 18

A few weeks back I had a stop in Bangkok. I like my Thai food but we decided to check out Arabic food that evening. So we headed for Sukhumvit Soi 3 or better known as Soi Arab (close to Nana). As we walked in from Sukhumvit road the scenery changed – all of a sudden I got the impression that we were not in Thailand anymore but had gone to the Middle East. We decided to stop by an Egyptian restaurant and while we were waiting for the food we had a shisha (the traditional waterpipe) with apple taste. The food was hommos, fried meat of various kinds etc and it was a nice meal. The only thing that we were missing was an ice cold beer in the Bangkok heat but that was not possible at this place at least. Check out this article from New York Times about Soi Arab :-) The photo on the right hand side shows me getting into the apple taste of my shisha :-)

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