Some of you might be inclined to think that the reason my mum, dad, and I went out to dinner last weekend was to commemorate mum’s birthday.
Well, I’m here to set you straight. The day of my mum’s birthday is also, you see, the day of my dog Jedda’s birthday. Therefore what we were really celebrating was the 12th anniversary of the poodle entering our lives.
Just don’t tell mum that. She thought it was all about her.
On a pleasantly balmy Saturday night in Canberra, my parents and I crossed the north-south divide of our fair city to dine at Pulp Kitchen, which recently received a favourable review in The Canberra Times’ Food and Wine section. Being people who love food, we each planned to indulge in three courses.
I started off with a lovely dish of salt.
You know what they say: a meal without salt is like a pigeon without an oesophagus.
Okay, okay. What I really ordered was a half dozen “Coffin Bay Oysters, Natural with Spiced Pineapple Granite”.
I was slightly underwhelmed by this dish, as the oysters didn’t taste as fresh as they could have. The pineapple granite was interesting, though, with a definite spicy kick and a strong flavour of something I couldn’t quite put a name to… it reminded me of Absinthe.
My parents shared an entree-sized serving of “Pan Seared Calves Liver ‘Hemingway’, Potato Croquettes”. I believe they enjoyed it, but to my mind it had nothing on the Ottoman’s dish of fried lamb’s liver with sumac salad.
For her main meal, mum ordered the special of pan-fried salmon with kipfler potato salad. As I didn’t try any of this, the best thing for me to do is tell you some facts about fish:
The lute play the flute
The carp play the harp
The plaice play the bass and they soundin’ sharp
The bass play the brass
The chub play the tub
The fluke is the duke of soul!
My dad also ordered one of the specials of the night, which was Southern-fried rabbit with potato salad.
I ate all his pickles.
I liked that part of the night.
At around this point in time, I started committing the cardinal sin of taking food photos with flash. I think I’m headed for The Chokey.
I ordered “Steamed Asparagus with Melted Morbier and Rocket Greens”, which also came with crunchy, crunchy toast.
It was cheesy. There were vegetables. And a balsamic glaze. I liked this part of the night too.
And then things got even better, because it was dessert time. And we all know how I like dessert time.
The above was Mum’s dessert, and it was a winner. Again, it was a special, so I don’t have the exact menu phrasing, but it was a tarte sablée with fresh raspberries and raspberry sorbet. The pastry base was perfectly crumbly and the sorbet was well-balanced between tart and sweet.
Dad ordered the cheese plate and seemed to enjoy it. I shan’t comment on my views on the two cheeses I tried, because it’s likely that my tastebuds had been affected by my dessert.
You know, the dessert that I showed you two posts ago.
The dessert that half of you thought was an egg.
An egg. You people thought I ordered an egg for dessert.
I’m just going to let that sink in for a little while.
Now I shall finally reveal to you the truth of my dessert. Feel free to bow your heads in embarrassment at how little faith you had in my sweet tooth.
I daintily ended my meal with a “Banana Tarte Tatin with Sour Cream Sorbet”. Not an egg. Caramelised banana on pastry with a creamy sorbet that tasted a little bit like cheesecake. Not an egg.
My one slight quibble with this dessert was that the pastry was alarmingly flaccid, but I happily (and daintily, remember) ate up all the banana and sorbet. Lastly, I not so daintily left most of the pastry on the plate and used my pinky finger to sweep up as much sweet melted sorbet from the plate as I could.
Happy Birthday, mother dear and Jedda dear! Neither of you look a day over the age that you are.