Picture this: One fine day, I’m consulting patients in my private clinic. After the last patient has left, I drove to my own restaurant where I’ll watch over my team of fabulous Chefs putting together beautiful dishes and if I feel like it, I put on the apron and make a few dishes too. When the dinner guests are deep into their conversations and hopefully enjoying the food, my band appears and we performed a few tunes together.
Ok, that might be a little too idealistic and knowing me, I’d probably be running around like a headless chook juggling all of these. But that won’t be far off from my dream. As of now, I’ve taken yet another step forward and the time has come for me to start hosting dinners (and brunches) at my place.
PlateCulture is an exciting new platform to connect all foodies alike. Without the need to actually own a restaurant, home cooks can now open their dining rooms for guests. I feel that it’s quite safe to do this via an agency (if you will) like this because it provides an extra safety net for us. As a guest, you’ll be able to communicate with the hosts prior to booking to specify any dietary requirements or even request dishes (at least with me you can).
Most of the Chinese recipes come from my grandmother and my mother, with strong Teochew and Foochow (and Sarawakian) influence. Depending on the number of guests the number of dishes will vary. You will be able to request dishes like Sarawak Laksa too. Vegetarian option is possible but I don’t do ‘mock meat’ dishes.
Guests are allowed to bring wine or beer to the dinner, but responsible drinking is very much encouraged.
To improve your dining experience, it’s advisable that you let me know if there’s anything you won’t be comfortable eating, as well as your tolerance for spice. All dishes are for sharing and only brown rice will be served.
Introducing the Weekend Brunch menu:
I like sleeping in during weekends (although with this project I might have to do less of that) and hate it when the brunch places stop serving breakfast items after certain time (2pm-3pm for most places as far as I’m aware). At my place, you can have breakfast anytime of the day! Woke up after 4pm? No problem. But be sure to book ahead so I have the ingredients to prepare your dishes.
Expect dishes that you can find in most Melbourne cafés: Baked eggs, Smashed Avocado on toast (homemade), Quiches, other egg dishes. If you want a more substantial meal though, you can also choose to book for dinner where I’ll be cooking a 3 course dinner for you. The main course can be anything from Salmon to Beef Stew. Once again, it will help if I know what you normal like to eat.
Remember the cheesecake in jars? Here’s another version:
Desserts are only available on dinner menu (applicable to Chinese and Western), and they will usually be healthier compared to store bought because I prefer to use less salt. After all, I’m not exactly a fat chef so you won’t need to feel too guilty after dining at my place.
Many have actually asked for the recipe for the cheesecake so here it is!
Rosewater Cheesecake with Strawberry Jam
60g of Marie Biscuits (about 9 pieces)
50g Butter, melted 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
100ml Thickened Cream
2 drops of Rosewater
Half a pod of Vanilla Beans, scrapped
1/4 Cup Sugar (more if you prefer sweeter, taste before you chill it)
30-40ml Hot Water
Half a packet of Gelatine, about one teaspoon
1 punnet Strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Crush the biscuits in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, and then pour in the melted butter and mix well. Lay a couple of spoonfuls into individual jars and lightly press down.
Add cream cheese, cream, rosewater, vanilla beans, sugar in the blend and blend until smooth. Sprinkle gelatine in a bowl of hot water and mix well with a fork. Add to the cheese mixture and blend for a few more seconds. Pour the mixture into the jar evenly and chill for at least 3-4 hours.
To make the strawberry jam, hulled and cut the strawberries into halves or quarters depending on size, add to a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until the liquid turned into gel form (it will form a coat on the back of your spoon). Let cool completely and chill in the fridge until ready to use. Assemble just before serving.
My Chinese dinner menu is priced very reasonably at RM30 per head, and so is the Weekend Brunch menu. The Western dinner is RM50 per head (you can book this through the Weekend Brunch link). Click on the direct links to book your spots. Minimum 2 pax.
Looking forward to having you over for dinner!
Photocredit to: www.afnanomar.com
Meanwhile, do check out all the interesting listings on the site. I heard that the Lithuanian feast is good!