Monday, 10 September 2007

Dinner at Restaurant Dharm

One of my dreams is to open a restaurant. Or maybe a cafe or bistro. Actually, what are the real differences? I think they all mean the same thing but maybe size has something to do with it. I also reckon that they probably mean different things in different parts of the world. But why bother myself with semantics.....

What I have in mind is a small cozy little place somewhere, someplace. The menu won't be too extensive but it will be built around hearty favourites. Ever so often, a new dish would be introduced. Although the food will be delicious and wonderful, what everyone would come to this place somewhere, someplace would be for the Desserts.

I've always felt that the crowning glory to a good meal is an even better dessert. There is nothing quite so bad as being let down by a dessert. Then again, I'm probably biased because I have always loved desserts and consider myself a little bit of a Dessert King. For me, you can hate my cooking but don't ever think of complaining about my desserts! In fact, the greatest insult would be someone offering to bring dessert to a pot-luck or dinner invitation at my house.

My love affair with desserts started at a very young age. In fact, I first started to make desserts and bake before I started to cook. My dessert prowess is in no small way attributed to my Mother, my Aunty Julie and later on in life, my Lovely Wife. But that's an entirely different story for a different time.....

Last Saturday (8 Sept) my lovely wife invited a few of her friends over for dinner. As I always do, I pondered and agonised over what to make. It's even more complicated when you have a blog and you write about everything you cook every weekend......!

But this is exactly what I picture doing in my little restaurant - pondering and agonising over what to make so that the customers are happy. They should be served good food and enjoy their meal over good conversation while having a few good laughs with good friends. I had never had the pleasure of cooking for these friends of ours before and so for them, it was their first time at Restaurant Dharm.

My wife simply adores my Stuffed Mushrooms and although I've posted about it before, I managed to get Portobello Mushrooms this time and of course, since I got my new DSLR, that's always an excuse to take new pictures. My wife makes wonderful Salads and so she was tasked with that.

For the main course, I decided on a Moussaka. Lovely layers of aubergines, potato and minced lamb topped of with a thick Bechamel Sauce.

And finally, dessert. As I said earlier, dessert for me is probably the most important part of the meal. A bad dessert can spoil the whole dinner and if you pardon the pun, leave a bad taste in the mouth. A good dessert on the other hand, is the cream on the puff, the icing on the cake or in this case, the cocoa on the Tiramisu and the Toblerone Ganache on the Almond Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Yeah, I outdid myself and made two desserts. My wife had 'warned' me that her friends loved desserts but I knew that she wanted some Tiramisu while I wanted to try to make the Ikea Daim cake also known as the Almondy Cake. The Ikea Daim cake didnt turn out the way I envisaged it so I turned a potential disaster into a delicious new recipe that I will file as one of my favourites.

I'll post the write ups on each individual recipe together with photos in due course. Maintaining a blog is time consuming but it's still a lot of fun! So keep a look out for updates.

In the meantime, I'm going to return to my daydreams of opening a restaurant and as I do that, a familiar song rings in my ears that plays true to my dreams - Somewhere from West Side Story

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day,


Anonymous said...

You know, there's one restaurant that I love in Melbourne- Lt Collins St- that doesn't have a set menu............they cook up whatever they feel like and cast it as "specials"...........

You could do'll be super cool...........

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I sooo get that bit about desserts...if they are no good, then the whole meal is a let down....its like building up to a cresendo and falling flat before you hit that final high note!! And dear dharm WHEN you do open a restaurant, i shall be one of your most frequent customers! Muahh!(sharlini)


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