It is true and I am sure most of the mums would agree that the first three years of raising a child belong to the child. Only after they turn 3, that we can look at reclaiming our old selves i.e. if we manage that. Most of us don’t. Some of my friends have changed beyond recognition and I am not even talking physical appearance.
I do not say this with any malice. We all change with time and more so after the birth of a child. We throw ourselves at the nurturing of our children and it is nothing but sheer privilege. But does it have to come at a price of losing our identity to the point that we don’t recognize the reflection we see in the mirror. It has happened to me. It is an unshakable feeling. There were days when I would simply shrug my shoulders and get on with my tasks for the day and on certain days, I would feel myself falling in and out of depressive spells. Not healthy, right? Something so joyful as nurturing your child shouldn’t at any point in time feel like a burden. But then why do we feel like this ? And we all know it ends in us feeling terribly guilty for thinking so selfishly about ourselves.
If you continue to feel bad inside for neglecting yourself, your needs and desires, there is no way you can be your best for the people you love. Your child included.
Three years is a long time and our habits harden and it is difficult to fall back into any kind of discipline that involves doing something about yourself. Again, even if you feel like doing something to change the way you feel, without adequate support from your partner it is quite impossible to lift yourself from this atmosphere of despair. If the partner refuses to see the use in all this need for discipline then he plays a huge rule in the act of negligence. He has a big role to play in the process of deterioration. I am sure, our partners love us too much to see us in any kind of uncomfortable state. Perhaps the only thing they need is a conversation explaining why looking after ourselves is just as important as looking after the children and them.
What qualifies as ‘me time’?
I do not consider going to the beauty parlour, couple of hours in a month or in 6 months as me time. Well some of my friends complain that they don’t even get the time to get a hair cut!
‘Me time’ are those precious hours in the day where you get to do your thing – which could be reading, learning a language, meeting friends for coffee, attending baking classes or even watching back to back episodes of your favourite sitcom.
You may be doing this in breaks – 15 minutes of reading here, purposeful baking for someone’s birthday, meeting friends at common dinners. But that in my opinion is not ‘ me time’.
‘Me time’ should feel selfish and hence good.
Intentionally doing something because you want to do it without any interference or the burden of tasks or responsibilities. That constitutes as satisfying ‘me time’.
Once you establish the ‘me time’ rules, see how much vigour you experience in projecting the best of yourself to others. The energy, the zeal and the enthusiasm towards all chores increases manifold.
I had been a firm believer of spending this ‘me time’ from the very beginning and for that reason I started writing and created this scared space on the blogsphere. It is an extension of me where I shareas much as I feel comfortable sharing.
I have and always will exercise – whether it involves going to the gym or simply going for a walk in the neighbourhood park.
Once a week – on Fridays – I watch back to back episodes of TV series that I enjoy or obsessively try and finish a book.
To me, ‘me time’ is about being shamelessly selfish and not caring whose judging you.
For all this to happen, you definitely need your husband and to some extent, even your child to understand that this is important to you – the mother and the wife.
Baking, out of turn, just because I felt is also something that I think of as ‘me time’ and this Almond, lemon and ricotta cake was a result of such a labour of love. Only very slightly sweet and dizzying tangy, this cake a perfect treat for tea time. A drizzle of honey on top or a even citrus-y sugar syrup can make it decadent. Without any syrup or honey, you can taste the ricotta as an after taste only after you have recovered from the slight shock of the abundance of lemon goodness. The almond adds to the beautiful texture of this cake.So the next time life gives you lemons, make sure you make this almond Lemon, ricotta cake.
- 250 gm fresh ricotta
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 90 gm butter, melted
- 3 lemons, juiced and rind finely grated
- 225 gm self –raising flour, sifted
- 60 gm almond meal
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 22cm (base measurement) springform cake pan with the melted butter to grease and line it with parchment paper.
- Place the ricotta, eggs and sugar in the bowl and beat well with a hand held beater or a food processor. Process until well combined
- Add the butter, lemon rind and lemon juice, and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the self-raising flour and almond meal, and use a spatula to fold in until combined.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Set aside for 5 minutes, then remove the side of the pan and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely
- Decorate with candied lemon slices and fresh berries. Alternately, this cake tastes amazing with a drizzle of honey
- The original recipe asked for 2/3rd cup of sugar but that is quite less and makes it a bland and a sour cake. So I increased the sugar to 1 cup.
Don’t we wish, that we should have it all; true love, fame, happiness, peace of mind, money and everlasting friendships. But it is difficult and probably impossible to have it all. This is primarily because our logical minds refuse to accept contradictions. If you have plenty of money, you are busy making money and hence you don’t have time to nurture your relationships. Likewise if you have peace of mind, most likely you are only moderately well -off and not stinking rich.
If I have to believe what I shared in this poster above, I would be trying to break – free from all the conditioning that has happened for the past 34 years. This undoing of notions and habits is a difficult job since we all have been made to believe that though contradictions exist, we must not condone them. Somewhere in our heads, contradictions are considered ‘wrong’ and not a part of normal course of things. But funnily, contradictions exist everywhere in life, in nature and is the very essence of the universe we live in. Yet we fight against it.
But as I grow older, I have started to believe in contradictions and have begun to accept it as a way of life. I have also begun to believe that even if it may not be possible to have it all, contradictory or not, it is quite possible to have the best of different worlds.
Lately I have been thinking about the different ways in which I have allowed contradictions to seep into my life and how they have naturally turned into the “best of different worlds”.
- I wanted to work with more freedom and flexibility but being in a corporate profile didn’t allow that. I wanted to spend more time with my daughter, but the fast-paced consulting life left me with no time at all. Somehow, life just beautifully unfolded and now I enjoy the best of both worlds – that of being an entrepreneur (flexibility and freedom) and working from home so that I can be with my daughter all the time.
- Being a South Indian ( I come from Kerala) and being married to North India had always posed many challenges, culturally. Over time, I have understood that focusing on dissimilarities can only aggravate the divide. I’d rather focus on grasping the best of both worlds and offer them to my daughter, who is yet to comprehend the difference and similarities
– Since childhood I have been educated about which contradictory food to avoid. Don’t have milk and onions together, don’t have acidic stuff with milk and so on. But I have inadvertently had these contradictory foods and nothing has happened. In fact, I quite enjoy my onion soup with some milk that allows me to skip cheese.
I was compelled to think about contradictions and the important role they place in helping us grow when I made this gorgeously flavoured Rose and Cardamom Pannacotta with Pistachio Rabri. Rose and cardamom flavours pair excellently with the Italian cream dessert. Topped with pistachio rabri ( condensed milk), the pannacotta is a perfect example of how opposites become fuse well when we bring together the best of both worlds. Indian flavour and an Italian dessert come together to create a culinary fusion that successfully brings the best of both worlds together in this dreamy combination.
I made this show stopper of a dessert at the Diwali party where I had my close friends over. We had the most exquisite time over food and rose and cardamom pannacotta.
The leftover rabri, I froze in popsicle and kulfi moulds to have later.
Contradictions exists and to accept them is to keep growing like the poet Whitman has so eloquently stated. Contradictions can become beautiful fusions and fusions are nothing but the best of different worlds that come together. And we all have to agree, there is nothing more beautiful or harmonious than that.
- For the Rose and Cardamom Pannacotta
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- a little more than 1/4th cup of hot water water to dissolve the gelatin
- 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 to 3 tsp rose water + 1/2 tsp of rose essence
- 2 drops of red food colour
- For the Pistachio Rabri
- 4 cups of Milk
- 1/3 cup of Pistachio ( chopped very very finely)
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- Condensed milk - 1/3 cup
- Saffron threads - two pinches
- Cardamom - 2 tsp ground
- For the Pannacotta -Place a sauce pan on medium heat and add heavy cream and sugar into it. Bring it to simmer while constantly stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl add hot water and gelatin, stir to dissolve and let it sit for a couple minutes for it to soften.
- Then add the hot cream and sugar mixture into the gelatin while stirring for the gelatin to dissolve.
- Whip the mascarpone in a bowl until it has a smooth texture, strain this cream and gelatin mix into the mascarpone and stir well.
- Add rose water and rose essence and finally the colour. Give it a thorough mix and keep it aside
- Pour this mixture into cups or glasses or ramekins or even moulds.
- Place the pannacotta mixture in cups in the refrigerator to chill for atleast 5-6 hours
- When you are about to serve, just take them out and run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen them up and then flip it over on a serving plate or if you find yourself lazy or terrified to do it, simple serve them in those cups itself with pistachio rabri
- For the Pistachio Rabri - Boil the milk in the heavy bottom vessel and let it boil until it reduces to half its quantity.
- Lower the heat and add sugar.
- Let it come to one more boil and the chopped Pistachios and cardamom powder
- Add saffron and cool it aside. Refrigerate before serving
- To assemble
- Once you have your chilled and set rose and cardamom pannacotta on a serving dish, simply top it with the chilled pistachio rabri. Serve immediately.
Diwali always rehashes special memories of my home town Mithapur. Mithapur is a teeny tiny township in the western state of Gujarat, India. I grew up in a close-knit, safe environment of a township where we celebrated every Indian festival with much gusto. My fondest memories of Diwali go like this:
During Diwali we would have a 20 day holiday in school with assignments from school which I would do in the last 4-5 days only before the end of the vacation. However hard my mother would coax, I would always finish my assignment at the last minute which is a habit I continue to practice shamelessly even now.
Diwali would be a time when friends would huddle around for afternoon chit chat sessions or a quick game of street cricket. I didn’t enjoy playing cricket too much but I enjoyed the company
The township would host myriad of events to celebrate Diwali. One of them was a Rangoli competition. I was a witness to some of the most spectacular Rangoli art work done by very talented friends in Mithapur.
We used to wait for Diwali evenings to light lamps and to burst crackers. These days there is plenty of propaganda against bursting crackers but in the good old days, it was a much awaited event. If you would ask me now, I wouldn’t like to burst crackers but lighting lamps is still one of my favourite traditions that I uphold.
There wouldn’t be a spot in the dark night, which won’t light up with colours from different kinds of crackers. It is a sight that is so deeply entrenched in my heart and I miss my childhood days even more.
In Gujarat, the day after Diwali is the New Year which everyone celebrates by wishing each other ” Saal Mubarak” . Visiting friends’ homes for sweets and savouries is a highlight of this tradition. By the time it was evening, we would be so stuffed only to start gorging on sweets by night fall.
My mother always made some savouries for Diwali that never lasted even until Diwali and the more I write, the more I feel this strong pull of nostalgia. So I shall shop here with the memory trek and write about this beautiful mixed lentil dal recipe called Panchmeal dal which literally translates to a mix of 5 kinds of dal.
Having this dal with a dollop of ghee gives you satisfaction of all kinds. It is wholesome, healthy, hearty and nourishing. Five kinds of lentils cooked in spices lend a flavour that is rustic and homely. Keeping it simple this Diwali, we had a lunch of hot piping rotis, Dahi Bhindi ( deep fried Okra in a tangy gravy of coconut, cashew and yogurt) and some soulful, saffron laced Kheer ( sweet rice milk pudding).
The recipe is as follows ( since this was an unplanned post, there was no time to make a recipe card)
Panchmael Dal recipe
The dal mixture
50 gms tuvar dal ( pigeon pea lentils)
50 gms channa dal (bengalgram split lentils)
25 gms urad dal (vigna mungo lentils)
50 gm moth dal ( matki or dew beans)
75 gms moong dal(mung bean/ green gram lentil)
salt to taste
1 tsp of tumeric
Water to boil the lentils
2 bay leaves
a pinch of asafoetida
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/s tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 cup sliced tomatoes and onions
1 tsp chopped green chillies ( optional, if you like it spicy)
1 tsp dry mango powder ( amchur)
1 tsp coriander powder
4 tsp chopped coriander leaves
Chopped coriander leaves and fried red chillies
1. Clean and wash the lentils and soak in water for 2 hours.
2. Add turmeric powder, salt and enough water in a pressure cooker and cook until 2 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker, boil your lentils with turmeric and salt in a pan full of water until they are cooked well.
3. Heat the oil in a pan; add the asafoetida, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds have spluttered start adding the ingredients in the masala
4. Add the green chillies ( if using ) and ginger. Fry well.
5. Add the sliced tomatoes and onions and keep stirring until they are fried well. Add the dried mango powder, coriander powder and let the masala fry for a few minutes.
6. Add the cooked dals and mix. Add water to get the desired consistency. Simmer for a few minutes.Add coriander leaves and let it simmer some more.
7. Serve hot with rotis or rice after garnishing it with fresh, chopped coriander leaves. In case, you want it more tangy, squeeze some lemon juice and mix the dal well. Serve in bowls with a tsp of ghee to enhance the taste.
This dal is sure to fire a trail of your favourite childhood memories of having spent Diwali with your parents and relatives. I managed to relive a huge portion of it by making sure my family had the meal together today without the distraction of mobiles, television or even books. We spoke to each other and enjoyed the food for its taste and simplicity.
Happy and safe Diwali to you all.
Wishing all the readers of Slice of my Lyfe, a lovely Eid and happy holidays.
I intend to break this long blog silence with a beautiful, picture – heavy travel post which will include the glorious touristy details of my visit to Doha ( Qatar). Cheers
Each time I meet my father, I am astonished. At the age of 68, he seems to be exuding more vitality than me or my husband or anyone considerably younger. The last three months were a ball. I had my parents visiting us and that gave us ample amount of time to spend with each other. My father spent hours playing with my 4-year-old every single day and at times it was difficult to figure out who was having more fun. He was the one who took her out to the park and ran around with her for hours in this high heat- humidity situation in Bahrain. Where did he draw that kind of energy from?
I always knew my father was energetic and had tremendous zeal for life. I have never seen him pull covers over his head and sleep until late in the mornings. He is always up at the crack of dawn and some times even before that and by the time we wake up, he is already done with his morning rituals and could be seen chanting the Saraswati Sahasranama. Post which, he would have his breakfast and was ready to ‘carpe diem’.
Of all that I know about my father, there is this youthfulness about him that I admire the most. Oftentimes, I have wondered how he managed to not let life sap this from his being. We all know how life just slowly sucks away our enthusiasm even without us noticing and suddenly we are caught in a moment while looking up our picture on Facebook, wondering - When and how did I change so much!
In one such similar moment, I thought about this and found several insights into my father’s personality and his view on life.
So these are few secrets to how he manages to remain youthful and energetic:
1. Be creative – My father, who is a Pisces, has a natural inclination to being creative. Be it writing emails, to ironing clothes ( yes! he is very handy around the house), to keep the house clean and in order or even his conversations radiate with his creative genius. He finds more efficient and interesting ways to do banal things in life to keep it exciting. The loveliest trait about him is he always encourages everyone around him to be creative – to be the best possible versions of themselves. Easy as it may sound, it is quite difficult. But I have seen him practice being creative and over years it has become a habit. He is retired now but when he was an employee of a large and an esteemed organization, he was known for his creative approach to everything in his Department.
Nourish your creative side to stay young
2. Appreciate beauty- Usually in life, we get carried way by the routine and forget to appreciate the beauty around us. Somehow, most of us are not even gifted with good observation skills unlike my father. My father is very aware of everything around him and is quick to appreciate its unique beauty. How beautiful and grand do the date palms look swaying in the wind, especially when laden with ripe dates, how beautiful do the crottons look and how the building’s reception with its black marble looks majestic and so on. This is stuff that I pass by every single day of my life but I never have the intention, inclination or the time to appreciate it. Beautiful people, beautiful things, flowers, gardens, fountains, beautiful buildings and the list is endless – fascinate my father.
Appreciate beauty to stay young
3. Connect with people- It has been a year since we moved this building complex but I haven’t had the chance or the interest to know my neighbours or make friends around the building. In three months time, my father managed to make more friends just by going to the park with my daughter. He knows the names of the attendants in the supermarket below our building and also the names of the plumber, repairman, the water guy to list a few. I see him giving them personalized attention and taking care to ask them about their lives. They are ever so happy to serve him.
Connect with people and try to bring smiles to their face to stay young
4. Maintain a child – like wonder – Even at 68 years, my father is intrigued about everything. He reads up a lot and follows anything that is trending – be in music, news and opinions, culture etc. Lately he was asking me about Timbaland and a few recommendations that I could give him about the tracks that he has composed and sung. He is genuinely curious and that shows in the way he explores the books that my brother and I read. He has a soft spot for young adult’s fantasy fiction as well.
Be genuinely curious about the world around you to stay young
5. Be addicted to the idea of being in love – Being in love is a feeling different from all others. It gives you that spring in your step, that colour to your cheeks and you feel like you are walking on clouds. Well, that is the feeling we should have in our hearts all the time. Unfortunately, it seems so difficult in this fast paced life to feel that light – hearted, and enjoy the finer moments of life. My father, an eternal romantic at heart, always seems to be joking and having a time of his life. He seems to be addicted to the idea of being in love – no not with any person as such except, of course his wife, my mother – but generally in love with the feeling of love.
Be in love to feel young
These are his five strategies that contribute towards his youth-like demeanour. I think, there may more but I may take some time to explore them and eventually imbibe them.
This recipe here is not my father’s favourite by any means but it is my way of showing how I have begun to learn all his secrets to staying young. Over and above his secrets, I am trying to develop a few strategies of my own such as eating healthy and exercising well. The diet- exercise combination keeps in a good mood and hence productive. When I feel productive, I know I am on a creative pursuit and that leads me to be curious. I do have to work on my ‘connect with people’ area where my skills are tremendously deficient. And feeling light – hearted, like being in love is still a work-in- progress.
This light and hearty soup made of broken wheat and brown lentils is a complete meal. I feel completely satisfied after having this for lunch (preferable) as I find that my cravings are reduced drastically. I have had this soup, 3 days in a row for lunch and did not get tired of it – it is that good! It also got featured in a Dubai based culinary magazine called “The Chef’s Special” for their Ramadan special issue along with my Falooda recipe. I wrote about how Ramadan, when planned properly can be an enjoyable experience by finding the balance between fasting and feasting.
Do try this soup and if you do, please let me know how you enjoyed it! The recipe is as under:
Here’s wishing everyone a fantastic few days of the working week and a wonderful weekend!
Three years ago, I completed a project. No, it wasn’t of any national interest but it was important for me as a food blogger and a restaurant reviewer.It was called the Restaurant Review project on the blog, where I had taken up the task of reviewing 24 restaurants in Bahrain in 6 months time in 2010. Many obstacles came my way, but I did finally finish it, not it 6 months but it took me 12-14 months to finish. Today, I have nearly 29 restaurants reviewed on my blog and you can check them out here. The very first restaurant I reviewed was Jim’s Restaurant in Adliya. It was a great evening with friends and family and I went home from Jim’s Restaurant feeling wonderful from all the good food. In between now and the first time at Jim’s Restaurant, I did pay it a visit a couple of times, but was disappointed by the food and the service. It was then I got to know Jim’s has changed hands twice and the new team wasn’t able to create the ‘ Old Jim’s magic’. I decided to avoid Jim’s until now, when I was invited to review them two weeks back. I was reluctant but then the new management at Jim’s were really persuasive. The new management of Jim’s Restaurant informed that their old Chef Firdaus is back and with him the restaurant is back to being the ‘good old Jim’s’
Jim’s Restaurant in Adliya was always known to be a fun place for a great night with friend’s on a weekend. With food that draws inspiration from Anglo- Irish to Indo- Persian cuisine, Jim’s Restaurant has always promised it’s diners a sumptuous meal in a fine yet casual set up.
I was quite intrigued to see if I would witness the old charm of Jim’s Restaurant after 3 years.
Upon entering the restaurant on a Thursday late evening, after a hard day’s work, I only had one thing on my mind – relaxation. I wanted go to a place where I could put my feet up and feel the casual vibe around me. It seemed that my wish might just come true when we were welcomed inside the restaurant by the restaurant’s staff with broad smiles. We ordered our drinks as it was extremely hot and humid that evening. The chilled and refreshing drinks provided the much needed succor. It was a matter of time that I felt very relaxed and was genuinely looking forward to my dinner at Jim’s. We ordered some starters which I realized were the same that I had ordered three years ago. It is funny how our memory points us to migrate to everything that is familiar and comfortable. My taste bud memories immediately got to work and I recalled the contrasting tastes of the salty brie against the tangy sweetness of the blueberry coulis. The Deep fried brie wedges in blueberry coulis was everything that my taste buds remembered and loved. I was nearly convinced that I could forget the past and imagine that good old Jim’s was really back. Now I was very excited to see how the other courses turned out.
To accompany the starter, we also ordered for an appetizing oriental chicken salad. The salad was refreshing because it was made from all the seasonal and local produce such a locally sourced chicken, cucumbers, beetroot, crispy lettuce, onions and coriander leaves. The satay style marinated chicken was delicious while the tangy peanut dressing made it very addictive. I had many helpings of this salad which I found genuinely filling and would recommend it just as highly as I would the deep fried brie wedges with coulis.
The main course seemed unnecessary but my gluttonous nature got better of me. We ordered for a spinach, brie, mushroom stuffed chicken and a vegetable quiche – again both main courses were the same from our first time at Jim’s Restaurant. The hearty spinach, brie and mushroom stuffed chicken was accompanied by mashed potatoes, garlic cream sauce and buttered vegetables while the vegetable quiche had a salad side to it – every bit scrumptious and hearty.
By the time, we finished our main courses, we were in food heaven. The portions were fantastic and it really felt like we were back at the old Jim’s Restaurant. Jim’s is lucky to have chef Firdaus back and it was his magic that was helping his patrons relive old Jim’s Restaurant memories. All in all, I sensed that this is a chef who knows exactly what he’s reaching for, a chef whose ultimate goal is simply to make his patrons and new customers happy. And this is just the beginning and Jim’s Restaurant has some hard work to put in before they can have all their old customers back. I have no doubt in my mind, that Jim’s will be very successful like it used to be once. I missed eating the dessert because I was too full from all the tasty food. The next time, I go to Jim’s Restaurant, I will start with dessert first.
If this review has made you hungry, you can check out Jim’s menu here
This is a sponsored post but the views expressed are solely mine.
How many times in life we miss out on great opportunities only because we hold preconceived notions about them. They slip by because we are hesitant and limit our imagination and thus our experiences in life. I had a similar experience very recently when I went to The Meat Company when I was graciously asked to review them. I was quite hesitant considering The Meat Co. held a reputation of being a steak house and I do not eat steak. Going to a steak house and then eating vegetarian fare would never be a fair deal. But The Meat Co. ‘s PR persuaded me to try their non-steak menu and promised that it would be just as delightful, if not more. Armed with my camera and a non-steak eating husband, I tottered off to The Meat Co. on a sultry evening during Ramadan.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the gracious hostess who showed us our table. We are asked promptly about the beverage of choice and we opted for water at room temperature. I made an additional request for hot water because I wasn’t keeping well. The request was dealt with spontaneity which impressed me as a pot of boiling water was kept on my table. We were introduced to the server, Alex who was more than pleased to help us figure out the menu and how we could get the best out of it despite belonging to the category of the non-steak eating lot.
While we spent time perusing and contemplating the options on the menu, we were served a crusty wholemeal bread with balsamic and olive oil to dip into. Just perfect start to what was to be a fine dining experience. In the beginning, we were seated on the ground floor where the lighting wasn’t the best for food photos. We were escorted to the first floor which was less crowded and that helped my cause. It meant having the freedom to take pictures from all odd angles which would have otherwise drawn a lot of eye balls. Such is a life of a food aficionado! Sigh!
Well, I digress. The moot point is, we were treated exclusively with Alex giving us all the information we needed about the cuisine and what to expect from dishes we hadn’t tasted before. He told us about the South African food that is The Meat Co.’s origins and how it is different from other kinds of cuisines.
For the starters we ordered the Wild Mushroom and Spinach Vol-au-vent which was sauteed wild mushroom in a creamy spinach sauce, stuffed into a flaky pastry and topped with cheese which I suspect was Parmesan and Mozzarella. The pastry was crunchy and flaky while the stuffing was a creamy deliciousness of a match that was made in heaven.
We also ordered for a warm goat cheese salad as a starter which was slightly sweet and tangy which could be credited to the mild honey balsamic dressing on the salad. Oh somehow I forgot about this third starter – Scallops on the bed of risotto! How could I, considering this was my first time trying scallops. And tell you what; I loved it!! The risotto was comfort food at its best with a mild cheese flavour and a kick from the pepper balancing the subtle flavours of the pan- fried scallops. Somehow, both the salads, scallops were so filling plus the bread was so hearty that we felt, we could have easily skipped the main course. But we had already ordered for it and were feeling completely intimidated by the portions! ( What were we thinking!)
The the main courses arrived, we realized that The Meat Co. definitely doesn’t believe in less is more! The portions were LARGE and HEARTY and so TASTY. It was a pity that we over -ordered ( is there such a term??) our starters and didn’t take the steakhouse definition too seriously.
For the main course we ordered the grilled fish ( hammour) with steamed vegetables for me and a ‘well-done’ chicken burger for my husband with fries and onion rings. It was an absolute pity that we were up until our mouths with all the wonderful food, that the main course went largely unappreciated. I made it a point to doggy bag my left over fish because leaving it felt like a criminal waste. The left overs served me well the next day for lunch where I marveled at the succulent texture of the fish.
Alex entertained and encouraged us to eat more and heartily but I told him that if I had a morsel more, I might just die there. To which he said, ” Not yet!” You have to try our chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and creme anglaise for dessert. My heart just stopped at the words, chocolate and fondant. I had to have atleast a spoonful, even it meant falling into a food -induced coma for life.
Was the chocolate fondant dessert everything that I hoped it would be? Perhaps, no. The dessert was the only downer among all that we ordered. But that is alright since I was too stuffed to even enjoy anything beyond a spoonful. All in all, it was such a pleasant evening spent at The Meat Co. with its pleasant staff, who made sure we were attended exclusively. The food was the star of the night and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that The Meat Co. ‘s food has been one of the best meals I have had in a long time.
Having a meal there, changed my perception about the place. The Meat Co. has a lot more wonderful food to offer than just steaks for which is widely popular. An engaging and customer friendly staff is an asset to any restaurant. The Meat Co.’s staff had been very hospitable and they knew their food. This really impressed me. I am definitely going back there with my friends some time soon because a lot of my friend’s, like me, have avoided going there for the same reason. I need to show them that there is so much more to The Meat Co. than simply steaks.
*This is a sponsored post but all the views expressed are solely mine.