One of my favourite bloggers to read is KatyBoo, over at KatyBoo1’s Weblog
She writes amusingly well and honestky about her trials and tribulations, the books she reads, her mental health issues, and health issues. She’s opinionated – in a good way – and I really enjoy reading her blog. In her latest post she writes about her “Off Menu Menu”inspired by a podcast that she enjoys.
So, for those of you who don’t know the premise, Off Menu takes place in a fantasy restaurant with a genie waiter who can get you any food you like from any time, place etc. You choose still or sparkling water, poppadoms or bread and then your starter, main, side dish, drink and pudding of choice. I liked the idea, so I thought I’d share my Off Menu menu with you, dear readers.
Still or sparkling water- Sparkling water for me, please. People have told me I shouldn’t drink it because it’s not good with a meal, or that it increases flatulence, or other things, but I like it. I have considered a Soda Stream, as the bottles can’t be good for the environlment, even if we do recycle them, but I’m afraid I find it hard to give this up! I’m not a Sparkling Water afficianado, but I like San Pellegrino.
Poppadoms or Bread– definitely bread. And as the premise is that one can eat as much as one likes and get neither full or ill, a big basket of warm rolls, of different varieties- seeded, white, poppyseeded etc. And loads of salted butter to go with them.
Starter – Hmm. There are three starters that I’ve had that stick in my mind, two involving pastry. One was an extremely rich bowl of snails in a creamy garlic sauce with a puff pastry lid, another was a mille feuille of mushrooms. And the third we had recently on holiday in the Cévennes. It was: Tartare de thon, et sablé nois, glace saumon fumé Which I described as Tuna tartare, with a hazelnut biscuit and smoked salmon ice cream. It sounds weird – but it was delicious! There was more to it – with a wasabi cream and wasabi peanuts, plus something else crispy that I don’t know what it was, and little preserved peppers which were sweet…We kept making “yummy noises” as we were eating it! I think, on balance, I’d go for the last one.
Main Course- I think, in the end, I’d have to plump for duck. It is one of my favourite meats. Cooked in a fruity sauce…Or actually, possibly Peking Duck, with more-than-enough pancakes, plenty of cucumber and spring onion and lashings of hoisin sauce…Yes, I think that, please.
Side Dish – This doesn’t have to complement one’s main course at all (it is, when all’s said and done, a Fantasy restaurant) so I think I might follow Katy Boo’s example and go for an Indian side dish. She chose dhal. I’d go for Saag Bhaji, which I love.
Drink – I like champagne, a good single malt, and various other luxurious drinks – but finally, a good rounded fruity red wine would be fine. It doesn’t need to be expensive.
Dessert – I’m not a huge pudding eater, but I’d want something fruity, and not too creamy. Quite fresh and flavourful. I’m not sure that one could do better than the dessert we had at the same restaurant as my starter: white chocolate with a frozen cheesecake-y filling and a centre of apricot purée, served on a crunchy biscuit crumb with plum compote. Gorgeous!!!!!