A Taste of Thailand!

At Zoink!, we love all kinds of cuisines, and exotic food even more so. So when we discovered that Benjarong was having its own Royal Thai Food Festival, we could not resist and simply HAD to sample it. Plus, Thai food with its burst of sweet, spicy and sour flavours ranks very high in our favourite cuisines.

Benjarong is hosting the A-harn Chao Wang – Royal Thai Food Festival , which is featuring the most authentic Thai cuisine style to date. The ‘Royal Thai Cuisine’ is still the style served to the current Thai royal family and the cuisine reflects the splendid creativity invented by Thai noble women in the past and is a distinct art that has been passed down over the centuries through members of the noble families.

Specialist Chef Tharee Charupas, who has flown down exclusively from Thailand, will be hosting the festival along with Benjarong’s seasoned specialist Chef Ram Kumar. The special menu includes a mix of specially created vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. The cuisine has its roots in the years 1351 and was practiced by royal and noble families who have passed on the secrets of this style of cooking to the future generations.

Well, enough of us babbling. We’d like to showcase some pictures of their brilliant food.

We were the first to enter, since we were extremely hungry.

We received a warm welcome anyway 🙂

Chef Tharee Charupas, the lady behind the amazing Royal Thai Food Festival.

And they had a good collection of wines that kept us busy.

The menu of amazing dishes that we couldn’t wait to devour.

Then they also decided to hand us a cute recipe booklet of the Thai dishes they were preparing.

Which upon viewing, lead our stomachs to growl, er, rather loudly.

This is a traditional start to a Thai meal. You wrap your leaf up with ginger slivers, coconut, chilli, peanuts, onions and jaggery – infusing primary Thai flavours of salty, sour, sweet and spicy.

And the food finally made an appearance.

Tasted a lot prettier than it looked!

Grathong Thong Je – Rice tartlets filled with corn, green peas, water chestnuts and carrots.

Mee Krob Goong – crispy fried rice vermicelli dressed up in a delicate sauce flavoured with Makrut leaves.

Tung Tong – crispy fried golden pouches stuffed with vegetables and water chestnuts.

Sometimes we wished we payed attention for longer to remember the names of ALL the dishes.   :/

Luckily, we remember these Goong Sarongs – Thai prawn spring rolls in a wonton sheet. Our favourite dish of the day!

Yum Pla Duk Foo – crispy fried catfish salad topped with raw mango.

Khao Pahd Poo – Thai fragrant rice tossed with crabmeat and golden brown garlic wrapped in egg.

And, that’s all, folks! Benjarong is located at 12/1, Ulsoor Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore. Reservations for the festival can be made at 080-32217201

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Our Love Affair at Huckleberry! :)

So we decided to head to Huckleberry for Valentine’s Day finally. And boy are we glad we did. The food was simply out of this world! Just a few shots of the gorgeous food at the restaurant – hope you enjoy it! 🙂

The exclusive menu for Valentine's Day

We caught them red-handed making our pizzas!

Wine, Hearts and Corners 😛

Basil Chicken with Garlic Butter to start off our meal

Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza - can you see that beautiful egg right in the middle?

Here is a shot for you to get a better look at that glorious egg. And that bacon!

Spinach, Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Oh, who says spinach is not tasty? Top it on a pizza!

And Beef Tenderloin for the mains please!

Droolworthy enough?

Almond Crusted Sea Bass - best dish of the night!

"Eat me!" 😛

Strawberry and Cream Pudding

The simply orgasmic Cinnamon Pudding!

Pics Courtesy:

Amith Krishnan

Zoink! Foodographer

Uncooking anyone?

We’ve all had our turns at the stove where everything we did messed up and stank from here to high heavens. And that’s about the time when either we wish we had not started this venture or we could, errr.. uncook it. And amazingly enough, someone has unlocked the key to ‘uncooking’. You heard me right, it’s ‘Uncooking’! And we have the fathers of fine dining, ie the French, to thank for. Well,  one French guy in particular called Hervé This.

A little about Hervé before we go on. Heard of Molecular Gastronomy?* Well, this is the physical chemist who, along with physicist Nicholas Kurti, came up with the concept. He breaks down the science of everyday cooking, thus discovering more efficient way of assembling a recipe. For example, it’s been an old debate among cooks, how to make  béchamel sauce ie white pasta sauce without lumps; whether to to add roux (cooked butter and flour) to milk or vice versa. Also whether the milk should be hot or cold. Turns out one of the polymers is not water soluble and another dissolves only in hot water. Dissolving starch in hot water creates a gel that makes lumps. The solution? Add the roux to cold milk. Who knew that the dreaded chemistry lab would help us make that perfect pasta!

Check out his CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY recipe. It has only chocolate and water with sugar optional! Now if that the not the shortest ingredient list you have seen for a mousse then I don’t know what you been making!!

INSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY)

As easy as Chocolate Chantilly?!

Recipe by Herve This & Heston Blumenthal

Ingredients

4 servings

  • 9.35 ounces (265 grams) bittersweet (%70 cocoa solids) chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 4 tbsp sugar, optional

Method

  1. Place a large mixing bowl on top of another slightly smaller one, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice). Set aside.
  2. Put chocolate and water (also sugar and/or liquor if you’re using) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until thick. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
  4. Divide into four serving cups and serve immediately.

And you can also flavor it with cinnamon or add a tablespoon of liquor like Grand Marnier, Chartreuse or Tia Maria. Just make sure the amount of liquid stays the same (subtract the amount of liquor from water). Or boil the water first, take off heat, place a couple of Earl Grey tea bags, let infuse and then use it as your liquid. You’ll have Earl Grey scented mousse in no time. Watch this video for finding out the perfect consistency from the man himself,Heston Blumenthal and he tells you why it works!(Applause!!)

Best part is that since it doesn’t lose it’s consistency it can be used as filling for cakes or any kinda bakes! 🙂

Anyways, got side track there, din’t we? Back to ‘uncooking’. We are not at a place where we can uncook that really complicated  ‘pate en croute’ yet, but we can start with the humble egg. And you can try this at home, just that it takes about ,say 3 hours! 🙂 It’s just easier watching the video!

Check out how to uncook an egg:

Ps: ignore the last 5 secs.. have no idea why Chucky! :-/

Well, that’s a lot of new things you learned today! Let us know how you liked it! 🙂

* If you have not, then more on that in later posts! 🙂

Of Yummy Food and Yummier Chefs!

It’s a beautiful Friday and there is an entire T.G.I.F. buzz in the office. We love the smell of weekends and for Zoink!’s Friday Food Porn, instead of talking about yummy food, we decided that we would write about some yummy chefs who make yummy food. Excited? We are too 🙂

So, our top 5 yummilicious chefs are:

5. Gordon Ramsay:

We know you raised your eyebrows right there, and we know what you’re thinking. But, no, he’s not a complete maniac. He acts like the devil because he’s supposed to behave like one in Hell’s Kitchen. He’s otherwise quite pleasant actually, and is blessed with smouldering looks. This hot Scottish chef is known as the bete noir of the cooking world and a foul mouthed perfectionist who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Having firmly secured 3 Michelin stars for his restaurants under his belt (the first Scottish man to achieve such a feat) and for being such a bad ass with a sexy accent, Ramsay earns the # 5 spot in Yummilicious Chefs.

4.   Curtis Stone:

This delectable chef from Australia shot to fame by hosting ‘Take Home Chef’ in the US. In each episode of the show, Stone introduces himself to a woman in a grocery store, and asks if she is cooking a meal for someone that night. When the person responds affirmatively, Stone offers his services to help cook dinner, and whips up a fabulous meal in her house. One would actually notice how most of these women would openly ogle and drool at Stone, while he would sexily flash his smile and resume cooking. The show relied on faux sexual tension, to ensure you’re glued to the TV. We wish he was our Take Home Chef for a day. We’re sure we’d never let him leave *deep sigh*.

3. Padma Lakshmi:

This hot Indian chef dons many hats – television host, cookbook author, model, mother.  While her claim to fame was originally  modelling for brands like Ralph Lauren and Alberta Ferretti, Lakshmi always expressed an interest in food and cooking. As the star of Padma’s Passport, judge on Top Chef  and a host of the Planet Food documentary series, she gamely cooked and ate her way through a multicultural travelscape.  Her most popular quote – “The best thing you can do for someone is make them a beautiful plate of food. How else can you invade someone’s body without actually touching them?” We agree, Padma, and how! 🙂

2. Jamie Oliver:

This hot English cookbook author and chef literally makes love to his food, and has women all over the world swooning over him. He makes even boring food look good and makes the art of cooking entirely a sensuous one. His show ‘The Naked Chef’ gave him  his first break into television entertainment; and although the show was about simple food at its best, it became extremely popular because of Oliver’s style (and, we guess, many women hoped that at some point he would get naked). Besides being a sexy chef, he also campaigns against the use of processed foods in national schools, and strives to improve unhealthy diets and poor cooking habits in the UK and US.

A man who can cook and who has his heart in the right place. Who wouldn’t fall in love with him?

And, our # 1 Yummilicious Chef is *drumroll please*:

1. Nigella Lawson

There is no surprise here, really. This English food writer, journalist and broadcaster is more popularly known as Queen of Food  Porn, for her ‘flirtatious’ manner of presenting. Like Oliver, she also makes love to her food, but is a lot more intimate with it, which makes her immensely popular. She is neither a trained chef nor cook, and has assumed a distinctly relaxed approach to her cooking. Her popular TV show ‘Nigella Bites’ made the whole world fall in love with her and her cooking style. What we love about her is that she cooks with love and is unafraid to eat butter, meat and desserts. Not being trained herself, she took everyday ingredients and turned them into exotic dishes, assuring all of her viewers that ‘Anyone can cook’. Having successfully tried out her recipes, we believe her too! 🙂

So, there, those are Zoink!’s Top 5 Yummilicious Chefs. Think we have missed anyone out? Give us a shoutout below and let us know! 🙂