It is spectacularly lovely to have a friend who is intertwined in your mind with innumerable glorious memories, memories which shimmer not with the harsh red and orange colours of dangerous adventures and hormonal-teenage fights, but with the silken silver and moss-green shades of deep knowledge and trust, endless hours of chatting, laughter at each other’s sillinesses, and secrets kept about girlhood crushes and dreams.
Jess, do you remember the time we lay down in the middle of your street and ignored the cold, talking as we breathed in the light from the stars?
I do. And I’m tremendously glad we didn’t get run over.
Jess, thank you for my wonderful 24th birthday dinner last Friday night. It was the happiest I’d been all week.
Flint Dining Room and Bar
- Too many menus. Menus as placemats, “early bird” menus, a wine menu, and real menus. Seven menus. Too many menus.
- A waiter whom I thought looked eerily familiar, and who turned out to have worked at a restaurant I attended weekly with my parents during first year uni. I would always order either lasagne or cheesecake for dinner. Yes, I said either.
- Complimentary rosemary, walnut, and raisin bread, which would have been much nicer warmed up, but was certainly edible dipped into olive oil and balsamic.
Jess, being somewhat of a normal person, ordered the Derek Pizza for her main, which was topped with “mascarpone, salami, pear, roast capsicum, fresh jalapeno, and cheese blend”. It arrived on a Lazy Susan. This seemed ingenious at first. However, the Lazy Susan made it all but impossible to cut through the hard pizza crust, as the board kept wriggling away from us as we tried to cut.
Never let it be said, however, that wood overcame Jess and me. I snagged some of this pizza, and enjoyed the creaminess and the heat-kick of the jalapenos.
As for me? Well, I devised a meal for myself that ticked certain beloved boxes: vegetables and dessert. (BFF, look away now.)
Oh! how I love brussels sprouts, and oh! how I love chestnuts. The sprouts were soft without being soggy, and the chestnuts were plentiful and delicious. The sweetness of the sauce melded with the key ingredients, and although Jess told me I was allowed to stop eating when I felt full, I powered on, savouring each morsel from this plate.
Chestnuts, you must never leave me.
I also ordered “seasonal vegetables”, which I must admit I expected to be slightly more exciting than broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and beans. But you know what? They were well cooked, made my vegetable-adoring insides content and, most of all, didn’t get in the way of The Most Important Part Of Any Meal.
Dessertdessertdessert, oh wondertastical and magnificent dessert. For my birthday. Birthday dessert. Of dessertyness. Birthday.
Jess ordered the dessert which struck her as the most unique (within her allocated boundaries prohibiting nuts and seafood. The latter isn’t often a problem with dessert), the “crepe souffle with passionfruit sauce”.
We were both delighted with the tumble of spun toffee that perched at the pinnacle of the soufflé crepe creation. Do you want to know another reason why Jess is a spectacularly good person? Not only did she exclaim “I’m dining with a real food blogger!” when I pulled out my camera, but she didn’t mind when the time I took to photograph her dessert led the toffee to melt into the crepe.
Jess was really happy with her dessert, which in turn made me happy. My taste of the crepe also made me happy, as it was lovely and soft, sweet but not too sweet, tangy from the passionfruit, and made more delicious by the toffee.
When my dessert arrived, however, we both gasped. And then I clapped. And squealed a little bit. And was tremendously over-the-moon with excitement, because the plating was so very pretty.
My photos don’t do it justice.
It was, in a word exquisite. Jess seemed greatly entertained by my carefully tasting and exclaiming over each individual portion before trying them together, but she soon understood my glee when I put together different combinations of ingredients on a spoon for her to try.
It was rather fun, playing around with all the different tastes and textures and flavours.
The watermelon triangles were sweet and juicy while the sorbet was more candy-like, yet still clearly a natural watermelon flavour. The honey yoghurt panna cotta was a surprise, both in flavour and form. It had only a whisper of sweetness and put forward an almost cream-cheese tang that, together with the chewy rosewater-tinted Turkish delight and sweet watermelon, was delightful.
And then came the nigella soil, which I had half expected to be black sesame but wasn’t. Go figure. This truly was a powder made from nigella seeds, and its smoky, nuanced flavour made both Jess and I pause upon first bite and then giggle at the excitement of it all.
You know what? I’m still really glad we were never run over by a car.