Pistachio Dining at Torrens


Bron has bought an Entertainment Book and the plan is to eat our way through the book :-) The Entertainment Book provides a substantial discount on a large number of restaurants in Canberra. The value for food lovers is obvious.

On Thursday night Bron and I went to Pistachio Dining at Torrens for dinner. When we arrived for our 8 pm reservation we noticed the restaurant had just under half of its tables occupied and we noticed that night’s service only required one waiter. We were greeted with a friendly smile and shown to a table for two near the back wall of the dining room. The rectangular dining area was very large without any poles or pillars. One wall is the front window panel that reveals the carpark of the Torrens’ shops. At 8 pm on a May evening it’s dark and atmospheric. The restaurant is nicely heated :-)

The menu is marked by one of my favourite dishes of all time, viz., crumbed lamb brains (I think Dr Offal may reblog this post :-) ).

Pistachio Menu April 2014

Pistachio Menu April 2014

It’s no surprise I went for the brains for an entré while Bron when for the tasting plate.

Crumbed lamb brains with baby spinach, dried prosciutto and split jus

Crumbed lamb brains with baby spinach, dried prosciutto and split jus

Sautéed Sea scallops with smoked salmon, watercress, salmon roe and beurre blanc | Slow cooked lobster tail with pearl barley, chorizo, garlic chips, confit potato and herb oil | Grilled haloumi with buttermilk curd, tomato compote, charred onion and wild rocket

Sautéed Sea scallops with smoked salmon, watercress, salmon roe and beurre blanc | Slow cooked lobster tail with pearl barley, chorizo, garlic chips, confit potato and herb oil | Grilled haloumi with buttermilk curd, tomato compote, charred onion and wild rocket

The brains were delicious, my only negative was the prosciutto not because it tasted bad, quite the contrary it was delicious, but it was dried and difficult to handle with a knife and fork.  I would have used my fingers but that’s not appropriate in a fine dining restaurant.

Bron enjoyed her tasting plate too. I think the tasting plate is the way to go if we eat there again.

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For a main course I chose the lamb shoulder and Bron chose the pork.

Lamb shoulder that has been cooked for 12 hrs and pressed with green cabbage,  bacon lardons, rosemary, turned zucchini and potato

Lamb shoulder that has been cooked for 12 hrs and pressed with green cabbage,
bacon lardons, rosemary, turned zucchini and potato

Roasted pork with mushroom purée, red wine reduction, caramelised onion  and chickpea chip

Roasted pork with mushroom purée, red wine reduction, caramelised onion
and chickpea chip

Both dishes were delicious with easy pull apart flesh. You could just see how tender Bron’s pork was when she used her fork to gently tease a portion of flesh from the piece of pork in the centre of her plate. It sounded like the mushrooms were delicious too.

For me, the lamb was perfect. The lamb came in two parts, on top were thin slices of medium rare meat which was seasoned nicely and delicious. The rest of the meat was a large muscle bundle from the shoulder that was full of flavour and jelly.

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For dessert Bron chose a special which was a Crème brûlée  with pistachio biscotti and chocolate fondant. I didn’t capture an image sorry. I asked for the passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream and pistachio praline. Utterly delicious.

Passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream, pistachio praline, syrup and dried flowers

Passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream, pistachio praline, syrup and dried flowers

We would happily recommend Pistachio Dining at Torrens. If you live in Canberra, it’s a restaurant worth eating at.

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Pistachio Dining at Torrens

 

Pistachio Dining at Torrens on Urbanspoon

Google maps https://goo.gl/maps/VQouU

I love pork | An easy pork roll


Tonight I wanted to use a couple of pork rashers and some vegetables.

Low carbohydrate pork roll

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Pork rashers × 2
  • Pumpkin, diced
  • Cauliflower, small flowerettes
  • Celeriac, diced
  • Soy sauce
  • Sherry
  • Olive oil
  • Cos lettuce leaves

Method

  1. Cut the rashers into pieces about 2 cm (1 inch) wide
  2. Slice off the rind and place the rind onto baking paper and salt and then roast for 30 minutes at 180 °C and enjoy as a predinner snack
  3. Toss the pork, celeriac, cauliflower and pumpkin into a mixing bowl and then add salt, soy sauce, sherry and oil and with your hands cover everything well.
  4. Lay out on a roasting tray and place into an oven at 150 °C and cook for about 45 minutes
  5. Allow the food to rest for about 5 minutes and then lay onto some lettuce leaves
  6. Capture an image
  7. Eat as lettuce rolls
  8. Wash up
  9. Write a short recipe blog post

For more detail and a better impression of the food click on the image and then hit the back button to return to the blog post.

Pork rind roasted to crackling

Pork rind roasted to crackling

Roasted pork rasher with roasted cauliflower, pumpkin and celeriac.

Roasted pork rasher with roasted cauliflower, pumpkin and celeriac.

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Hope you enjoy a good week of food and eat YUMMY

From earlier today

Shaved lamb with aioli on a bed of tabouli

Shaved lamb with aioli on a bed of tabouli

Bacon and scrambled eggs with fig fennel and chilli chutney

Bacon and scrambled eggs with fig fennel and chilli chutney

A hybrid meal #nude pork and prawn #burger


Last night I made #nude wonton for dinner. I had a bit of the pork and prawn mixture left over and planned to have it for dinner tonight while watching #MKR

For the recipe for the pork and prawn mixture please check out last night’s blog post.

For bigger clearer versions of the images please click on them for some more detail.

#Dinner is a pork and prawn nude burger that had a slice of tomato on top that was covered with Coon cheese. It was served with spinach and a mash made from pumpkin and celeriac.

#Dinner is a pork and prawn nude burger that had a slice of tomato on top that was covered with Coon cheese. It was served with spinach and a mash made from pumpkin and celeriac.

I've been playing with my camera and software a little today. I captured three images at three different exposures and then used Adobe Photoshop to merge them to form a high dynamic range (HDR) image. This is my first attempt. Please let me know what you think.

I’ve been playing with my camera and software a little today. I captured three images at three different exposures and then used Adobe Photoshop to merge them to form a high dynamic range (HDR) image. This is my first attempt. Please let me know what you think.

This afternoon I roasted a lamb shoulder roll for lunch meat this week

This afternoon I roasted a lamb shoulder roll for lunch meat this week

#Lunch was chicken and black peppercorn pâté with Jindi Brie and Blue cheeses plus Queensland nuts and cashews

#Lunch was chicken and black peppercorn pâté with Jindi Brie and Blue cheeses plus Queensland nuts and cashews

#Lunch was chicken and black peppercorn pâté with Jindi Brie and Blue cheeses plus Queensland nuts and cashews

#Lunch was chicken and black peppercorn pâté with Jindi Brie and Blue cheeses plus Queensland nuts and cashews

Shirred eggs cooked on a base of Spam and cooked with parmesan cheese and cream.

Shirred eggs cooked on a base of Spam and cooked with parmesan cheese and cream.

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Slapping my pork for good nude wonton


Regular readers will know of my love of wonton soup, especially my Mum’s wonton soup. It’s simply the best and one of two of my favourite meals. In March, Yummy Lummy was featured in the Good Food and Wine Guide. I mentioned that Mum’s wonton soup was one of my favourite meals. In that article you’ll see a picture of Mum’s dish.

Since I’m taking a low carbohydrate approach to weight loss and health improvement, the wonton wrappers are not really suitable. That doesn’t mean the filling can’t be prepared and cooked like meatballs in a thin broth.

So tonight I have used Mum’s wonton recipe sans wrappers and enjoyed the final product. You can see another post about Mum’s wonton soup here.

 

Nude wonton soup

Nude wonton soup

Continue reading

So how well am I doing with my desire to lose my CNY coat?


So how well am I doing with my desire to lose my CNY coat? Not too bad. When I started I weighed in at 82 kilograms. I determined that I would start reducing my carbohydrate intake but not go into hard induction as per the Atkins way of eating. I’d leave that until mid-February when I think I’ll be in a better position.

So this morning I weighed in at 78.3 kilograms. That’s okay progress. A rapid movement is good for motivation.

So what have I been eating? Breakfast has usually been an ham steak, a fried egg, a mushroom and some avocado. I’ve been gradually reducing the quantity of ham and avocado as I get happier with the appetite suppressing qualities of the protein load. For lunch I’ve been packing a little box of meat, lettuce and cheese. The meat has usually been some lamb shoulder I roasted on the weekend and pork rasher that I also roasted and cut into thin strips. I’ll also take a little meat and cheese and put into a separate box for snacks. Dinners have focused on an animal protein and a salad based on cos lettuce, spring onion, fried shallots, tomato, roasted pumpkin and sweet potato. The animal protein has been salmon and chicken mostly but also lamb and pork.

I’ve also been drinking as much water as possible to avoid gout and keep hydrated. This has meant my sleep has been disturbed with a constant desire to empty my bladder.

There have been some challenges. I’ve been out for dinner a few times but I’ve managed what I’ve eaten to minimise carbohydrate rather than trying to avoid it altogether.

I was also sent some Atkins low carbohydrate bars in the mail after I signed up for meal planning ideas with the Atkins website. The strong message from a lot of friends on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has been to avoid them. You can see images of my meals on my Instagram feed.

Thursday 2014-01-23 12.40.38-2 AEDT Atkins bars. I have mixed feelings about these bars. I don't want to become reliant on a sweet treat when the food cravings are satisfied with protein. They're also processed and for all I know contain gums and other things that are not nutritionally beneficial.

Thursday 2014-01-23 12.40.38-2 AEDT Atkins bars. I have mixed feelings about these bars. I don’t want to become reliant on a sweet treat when the food cravings are satisfied with protein. They’re also processed and for all I know contain gums and other things that are not nutritionally beneficial.

2014 Gary Lum Weight and Blood pressure Chart

This is some of the health data I've been keeping on myself.

This is some of the health data I’ve been keeping on myself.

So so far so good.

Don’t forget to read my Medical Disclaimer.

It’s time to do something about my CNY coat | I’ve added a medical disclaimer page


Over the Christmas New Year (CNY) period I put on a bit of weight. Well to be honest since about September I’ve steadily gained weight. I was about 78 kg in September and when I returned from Brisbane on 4 January I weighed in at 82 kg.

For those that don’t know me, I’ve often carried a little extra weight, as a child I was a scrawny kid mainly because of regular bouts of tonsillitis. I had them and my adenoids removed in 1971 when I was six years old. I immediately transformed into a kid who ate everything that was put in front of me no longer bound by a constant sore throat. At primary school I was the second heaviest child in my class. To play rugby league in grade four my weight put me into the open grade, something my mother would not agree with so in grade five I played hockey and in grades six and seven I convinced my mother to let me play rugby league. It was about then that I started to swim competitively and that helped me with my weight.

Through high school during the swimming, life saving and water polo training seasons I managed my weight well but in the off season I’d balloon out somewhat. Through university I worked 30 hours a week and attended university for 40 hours a week. That gave me little time to eat and kept me active. My weight sort of sat between 68 and 73 kg throughout that period. My intern and junior house officer years were amongst the happiest and busiest of my life. I was so active and worked such long hours that despite regular pizza and hamburgers in the wards at night and hash browns for breakfast I sat at around 72 kg throughout those years.

The big change came when I started specialty training. Much of the time was sitting at a desk studying or at a bench doing bench work in the laboratory. In addition, pathology scientists did a new thing I wasn’t accustomed to at work, they took morning and afternoon tea and their lunch breaks went for an hour. At the hospital I did three of my four years of specialty training the registrars and consultants could avail themselves to free biscuits and hot beverages for morning tea in the staff specialists’ lounge (paid for I’ll add by the specialists trust account and not the public purse). I always enjoyed morning tea. During those years my weight crept up to about 84 kg.

In 1996 I went to Darwin to work and live. It was a warm place to live and with the high humidity it made sense to spend more time inside than out. I was at the beginning of my career and dedicated myself to that rather than my health. By the end of 2002 I was 100 kg. I was obese, possibly dangerously obese for my height (170 cm). I went on a holiday that Christmas and my brothers started making whale noises at the beach. That convinced me I needed to lose weight. On 1 January 2003 I made a change. I had read about the Atkins way of living and decided it would be a good option for me. I had diabetes in my family history, my liver function was abnormal and my lipids were high. I also had blood pressure problems which needed attention.

I remember the two weeks of induction well. Minimal carbohydrates in the middle of summer in Darwin and to top it off I had a head cold. At the end of the two weeks I’d lost a few kilograms. I started the ongoing weight loss phase and over about three months I dropped close to 20 kilograms. In mid-2003 I was down to 73 kg and felt light headed most mornings. By the end of 2003 I was happily in maintenance and was sitting between 74 and 75 kg. My liver function tests had normalised. My lipids were normalising and my blood pressure was normal for my age. At that time I also started walking twice a day and was doing other exercise.

Turn the clock forward to 2007 and my move to Canberra. I’ve been okay with my weight but I’d also reintroduced a much higher carbohydrate load so by the time I arrived in Canberra I was happy to eat desserts and toast  every now and then.

To end that long story, I’m feeling uncomfortable about my weight. I need to lose at least 5 kilograms. I’m going to start reducing my carbohydrates (CHOs) again. I’ve got something coming up in early February which will make weight control difficult so I’ve decided I’ll start induction then but in the mean time I’m reducing my CHOs in preparation.

You can see my the meals this week that I’m enjoying myself. Lunches are always a little challenging but I’ve stuck mainly to cos lettuce, smelly cheeses and some meat of some sort.

I’m also conscious that the low CHO way of living is controversial. There are many in the health sector to argue for it and against it. I’ve read the books and some of the references and feel comfortable with my decision. It’s a personal decision and not a professional one. To that end I’ve added a medical disclaimer page to this blog because I’m conscious that many readers know that I’m also a medical practitioner. I would not want to give an impression that what I’m doing is my advice to others.

The New Morks Restaurant at Kingston


On Thursday evening, Bron (who was looking stunning) and I went to dinner with a couple of friends who we regularly dine with. We hadn’t eaten together for a while and we wanted to share travelling stories, Vietnam for us and Japan for them.

Bron and I recently had a meal at Morks in the week they were closing their Florey restaurant and we were very keen to try their new Kingston Foreshore restaurant and share what we knew would be a good meal with our friends.

The new venue is a lot bigger than the old place in Florey. They have a ‘canal’ view near Travillian Quay opposite a large block of up market apartments. We could see people in their living areas, some on their balconies barbecuing and throwing bread into the canal for the black swans to eat. There is also space for outside dining and in summer I’m sure this will be sought after by diners.

Inside everything is new and shiny. Music is now a feature of dining at Morks. When the restaurant is filling the noise levels are reasonably high and for me because of my partial deafness, I found it difficult to hear what was being said. Later in the evening as the crowd departed, it became cosier and much easier to hear the conversation. I think this is a feature of the transition from the ‘burbs’ to a very upmarket part of Canberra. It’s good. Everyone around us was enjoying themselves and their food all looked amazing.

As always we were greeted warmly by Benn and shown to our table. Bron and I have never shared a Morks experience with others so this was a first. At first I wondered if the table fully set might not be big enough for four of us especially if we were going to be sharing morsels around between plates. It turned out well and there was plenty of room on the table even for the long rectangular plates that a feature of some of Morks dishes.

The menu has some familiar favourites and some new items. We were aware the John Dory wasn’t there but it had been replaced with a Monk fish dish.

For me, I was going to relive some classics.

For an entrée I chose the pan seared scallops and a pig ear terrine. It was delicious. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the chilli with the lemon juice made my tongue sing for more.

Morks Entrée

PAN SEARED SCALLOPS AND PIG EAR TERRINE WITH A DELICATELY BALANCED RELISH OF CORIANDER ROOT, GARLIC, CHILLI AND LEMON JUICE SERVED WITH GRILLED SPRING ONION

For my main course I asked for the braised pork belly with crackling. This is a cracker of a dish. There is so much flavour in the pork and the texture is out of this world. There are layers of English spinach between layers of pork which is perfectly cooked and oh so tender. The crackling is a lovely touch as are the quail eggs. It’s a good thing you get two pieces of pork on the dish. I reckon I could eat more.

Morks Main

BRAISED PORK BELLY WITH CRACKLING, ENGLISH SPINACH, BOILED QUAIL EGGS SERVED WITH FIVE SPICE PORK REDUCTION, CHILLI AND GARLIC RELISH AND RICE FRIED WITH BASIL AND CHILLI

For dessert we were treated to a new dessert. Home made coconut ice cream sitting in sweetened condensed milk under the cover of coconut flavoured fairy floss (cotton candy or spun sugar for North American readers) along with a piece of toasted shaved coconut. This was sublime.

Morks dessert

SWEET “EGG IN HAY” – COCONUT ICE CREAM, SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK, TOASTED SHAVED COCONUT

We had a fantastic evening. Good food, great company and a nice new restaurant to enjoy.

All up the cost was very reasonable. I’d rate this a very worthwhile place to dine. I didn’t attend the rest rooms so there are no dunny ratings. In terms of napkins a clear pass. They were linen. As for the waiter etiquette, it was a pass too. With each service, the plates stayed until everyone had finished their meal and utensils were in the ‘finished’ position.

The new Morks will become a favourite for us I’m sure.

Morks http://morks.com.au/

The Morks story http://morks.com.au/about-us/

The Morks menu http://morks.com.au/menu/

The Morks team http://morks.com.au/the-morks-team/

UrbanSpoon http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/344/1582120/restaurant/ACT/Canberra/Morks-Kingston

Morks on Urbanspoon

TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g255057-d2069126-r174929724-Morks-Canberra_Greater_Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html

Google maps

http://goo.gl/maps/NmWZk

18/19 Eastlake Parade, Kingston Foreshore
Canberra, ACT, Australia.
DINNER Tuesday–Saturday from 6 pm

LUNCH Tuesaday–Friday from 11.30 am

BRUNCH Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 am

Telephone 02 6295 0112
E-mail manager@morks.com.au

Just a reminder, I’ve changed Facebook pages to YummyLummy Please visit and ‘Like’ it. While I don’t embed Instagram images anymore on this blog, I’m still very active on Instagram, so please visit http://instagram.com/garydlum and take a look and <3 me some of my images. Thanks :-)