Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

photos from Olive oil tasting at Olivers&co.. more to come

Lunch at Coco Vika

When I was 15-16 years, back when pizzas were regarded as fancy food and tacos had just started to appear on Norwegian dinner tables (and we hadn’t even heard about café lattes… isn’t that funny?) the first Asian restaurant opened in Oslo . It was a Chinese restaurant and me and my friends were sooooo fascinated by the mix of chicken/rice/sweet chili sauce. (food that is sweet and spicy at the same time? How strange and unheard off.. )
Since then, I’ve eaten lots of Asian food and have developed a love for it (Thai/Vietnamese food in particular). I think it has to do with their yin-yang approach to food, which in so many dishes results in an amazing mix of color, flavors, and textures (call me superficial but I like food that looks pretty too…)

Yesterday I had lunch at Coco Vika (the sister restaurant of Coco Chalet - the French inspired place close to Stortinget).

Sometime back (although I don’t remember when, and my memory isn’t what it use to be so I could be wrong) Coco Vika became an Asian inspired restaurant with the slogan “we promise you a different taste to a reasonable price”.

And they were in fact reasonably priced, but the food however was err… unfortunately a bit of a disappointment :(

I ordered the Wok Noodles Thai Grilled Chicken (Fried noodles with chicken, vegetables and sweetchili)

Did not love this dish - it was bland, boring and uninspiring. Lots and lots of noodles and almost no vegetables (with the lame exception of a 4 small pieces of a carrot stick), also it was soaked in bottle-sweetchili sauce (chicken pieces were good though).

The other dish I tried was Rice Bowl Scampi (Rice with scampi, fried vegetables and spizy Szechuan garlic sauce). The scampies were very good but as with the other dish there was lots of rice but almost no vegetables… Why I wonder? Is it really that expensive to add a bit of fresh vegetables and maybe even some herbs?

OK, so I only tried to lunch menu.. perhaps the dinner menu is much better. Also, I’ve heard they make one of the best chocolate fondants in Oslo, which I didn’t have this time so I would probably go back just for that, and the service was good so as a lunch place for the business crowd in the neighborhood I guess its OK ..

Monday, January 25, 2010

making scones...

I am addicted to scones… no seriously, I think I am.

You see, scones have never really been my thing. Its been something I only crave once every blue moon. Until I met the ONE!! 

That one perfect scone that has made me dream, think and eat scones ever since (lets pretend its been roughly 4 weeks.. ) I found the perfect scone in Le Rustique, my favorite neighborhood café. This scone is dark, not to sweet and has chunky bites of walnuts and apricots. And I (oops Freudian slip should have said it..) crumbles beneath your fingers when you bite into it. I’ve been craving them constantly ever since. Sure, I’ve tried other scones, like the light and fruity cranberry scones at Kaffebrenneriet or the darker but sweeter scones at Apent Bakery. And yes they are also good, but I always come back to the ONE. Anyhow, after all that obsessing and researching about scones the time has come to make them…..

Since I wanted to make them a bit healthier I changed and merged several recipes. Now partly based on a meyer lemon and fresh cranberry scones recipe from smitten kitchen

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 1/2 cups dark baking flour

1/2 cup all-purpose baking flour (Now here was the first big challenge, the mixture was to fluid so I had to add this at the end to get the scones to set at the baking sheet)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoon baking powder

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/2 cup dried cranberries (searched everywhere but alas fresh cranberries are out of season :( )
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 large egg
+ 1 large egg yolk

1 cup oat-milk (ok, so the original calls for heavy cream which in retrospect might have been better)

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and lemon zest. Stir cranberries and walnuts into mixture. Lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in milk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Bake in oven at approx 200 C degrees (or 400 F degrees) for 20 min +.

The result was… eh… definitely not like the scones from Le Rustique, and Im sure they don’t come close to the original recipe from smitten kitchen either.

But (!!) they were still OK. Coarser and less sweet but with a nice sweetening taste of the cranberries. Perhaps not the scones you want to serve without any spread but with some pear butter = very yummy and they were also good with plain butter.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

At Bugges Eft

Ah first entry… where to start? Oh, I know, Ill start with a short recap of my first food adventure this week;

Friday: dinner and wine at Bugges Eft with Valerie - my foodie friend from New York.

For those of you who don’t know the place, Bugges Eft is located in Markveien in Grunerlokka. It has old furniture, deep chairs, and a very laid back atmosphere. The menu is quite basic with your usual selection of salads, sandwiches and burgers.

I ordered a salmon burger with ratatouille and Val ordered the vegetarian lentil burger.
The quality of the food was surprisingly good. The bread was dark and moist, and the vegetable ratatouille was a bit spicy.