Lobster saffron risotto

Just before Christmas found some lobster at the supermarket. Wasnt quite sure what to do, so looked it up on youtube and came across this:

Its a pretty easy recipe – although I skipped the broth at the end. The end result was delicious 🙂

Lobster rissotto with saffron and peas

Lobster risotto with saffron and peas


Boatshed Nelson – Brilliant

The Boatshed in Nelson is a long time favourite since Selena and I first went there about 8 years ago.

We have been twice in the last three months (May and July 2014) and we did the ‘trust the chef’ option with a special request for crayfish (additional cost).

The setting is as you would know from the name, a Boatshed. Wooden floors, loads of windows and if you sit on the verandah, lots of sun.

The service is good and efficient. The food is the real highlight here. The ingredients speak for themselves. The calamari and chorizo, salmon carpaccio, crayfish salad, crispy fish, you name it – loved it all.

When you are in Nelson next – it’s well worth the visit.

Chilli duck


Came across a really simple duck recipe when visiting parents in a Mexican cook book. Gave it a go for Saturday dinner and it was delicious.

1) 1 duck, skin pricked with fork
Season with salt and stuff in an orange (halved).
2) Bake on rack at 220 degrees C oven for 30 minutes
3) Baste with chilli mixture (2 Tbsp mild chilli, 2 Tbsp sweet paprika, 3 cloves garlic paste, 4 Tbsp tequila)
4) Bake at 180 degrees C for another 45 minutes, turning once.
5) Cook until skin is crispy and any juices are white when skewered in thigh.
6) Serve chopped and garnished with mint.

Monkey Spices, Rolleston, Canterbury

Monkey Spices, Rolleston, Canterbury

Monkey Spices is a suburban restaurant owned by one of my sister’s long time friend and her husband. The restaurant is in Rolleston, a newly growing suburb in the outskirts of Christchurch.

Went there with wife and parents. We had a delicious dinner there on the first day of winter. The food was delicious. We started off with a crispy chicken salad, prawns and calamari and lamb dumplings. The dumplings were filled with slow cooked lamb shanks – falling off the bone goodness.

We had two surprise dishes from the chef – softshell crabs in an amazing chilli sauce and chicken tenderloins with Japanese curry sauce. Both were delicious and disappeared very quickly!

This left us a little full and we took home a lot of the main courses: quatro formaggio pizza, chicken teriyaki pizza and haojao chicken pasta. The teriyaki chicken pizza is very tasty – the shredded nori and caramalised onions great complements.

For dessert we had affogato and the homemade gelato, coconut and blood orange flavours. The blood orange was was especially nice – the bitterness of the blood orange a nice balance against strawberries.

We get very well looked after because the owners are family friends. But the place was comfortably full on a Sunday evening – with a hum of good conversation and conviviality. A great place to go if you live in Rolleston or close by.

Tatsushi, Wellington

Tatsushi, Wellington

Our favourite Japanese dining spot in Wellington. The sashimi platter is fantastic, as is the daikon salad. The yakatori and the chazuke soup are both amazing. The home made tofu is silky soft.
Seemingly simple cooking that celebrates ingredients. But from trying to cook Japanese food, it looks simple, but very hard to do well.
The service is friendly and efficient. A favourite after work dinner 🙂

Sidart – A revelation

Went to Sidart in Ponsonby, Auckland last week (mid April 2014). Our friends Christina & Angela have been raving about it for ages. Boy am I glad we went! It has to be one of new fine dining favourites in Auckland.

Seared Tuna at Sidart

Seared Tuna at Sidart

We had a leisurely 9 course degustation. It was well spaced out: started at 7.30 and finished at 11.30. With two amuse bouche in the beginning – we certainly needed the time!

The service was excellent from start to finish. The staff were warm, knowledgeable and attentive without being disruptive.

The food was excellent. There were so many dishes that to describe one wouldn’t do it justice. Rather, it is a journey through many flavours, textures and aromas. Crafted and meticulous are two words that come to mind.

The food was well portioned and after nine courses I was satisfied, rather than near bursting point as in some other degustation experiences.

The wine matches with each course were interesting, well matched and the staff were knowledgeable about the wine. The pouring sizes were also good – enough to keep pace with the food but not so much that I was under the table after 9 glasses. It was nice to see a few of my favourites as well as a bunch of new wines that I will surely be following up on.

By the time we left, all the other guests had left. Perhaps we enjoyed it more than others. I really loved it and will be going back.

It is a popular place. You have to book.

Rating? 10/10 for everything.

Steamer chicken curry

Steamer chicken curry

This great chicken recipe from Rownak. Check out her great blog here: http://www.banglarecipes.com.au, one I follow.

It recreates the cooking at a ‘ghat’ or port for river cruisers and launches. They are typically quick and unfussy affairs. But they always seem to taste great. I always get extra hungry when travelling!

Made it for dinner today and it was so good! Would highly recommend for an authentic Bangladeshi cooking flavour. Follow the link for the recipe.