Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bahn Thai

My friend Tarek is going to Harvard Law School in the fall so a group of our high school friends went out for a farewell dinner!
We went to Bahn Thai which is a beautiful restaurant downtown Oakville. It has a very small sign and large wooden door so it looks like an exclusive place. The decor is gorgeous with beautiful Thai wooden sculptures combined with modern accents. The food was also fantastic. We started with some spring rolls but as per usual we forgot to take pictures and ate them right away.

I had the vegetable curry with tofu (extra spicy) for my main. It was excellent. I know everyone enjoyed their food. For dessert we had delicious banana fritters with mango ice cream. Steve and Jen had the sticky rice with mango which also looked great.

Mai, Jen , Nav and I all seemed to have complementary outfits on! We had a bit of a Top Model shoot which you can see. Good thing Tyra taught us how to "smile with our eyes".

Justin and Tarek show us how posing should be done...staged yet natural.If you are ever in Oakville you should definitely check out Bahn Thai. It is a gorgeous place with delicious food. We give it two thumbs up.

All the best at Harvard, Tarek! We know you will make us proud:)

I'll end off with the amazing Borat shot we took at the end. Chinque.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Le Petit Zinc!

Yes, I know it is August and I went to Paris in May but I still haven't told you all of the wonderful things I experienced there! So bear with me. I promise to entertain you.

Le Petit Zinc in Paris was a very trendy restaurant that happens to also be a Parisian celebrity hotspot. However, when Maileen and I chose to dine there we had no idea how cool it actually was. Apparently we have great taste:)

After walking around St. Germain de Pres for a while, we picked Le Petit Zinc because we loved the look of the patio! We got to sit under the beautiful archway that was covered in lovely green ivy. The interior decor of "Art Nouveau" meets classical elegance was also gorgeous.

The food was delicious. Not much vegetarian selection but it was definitely tasty! To start I had a tomato goat cheese salad with greens drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a toast point with a black olive tapenade (seen in the first picture). I think this was the description: Pressé de légumes confits au chèvre frais.
My main was a grilled veggie platter with peppers, zucchini, olives, greens and much more. It sounds cooler in French: Palette de légumes à la plancha, huile d’olive vierge au jus de citron. It was beautifully arranged on my plate as well.

I still can't get over how good the baguette is in Paris. I ate a lot of carbs while I was there but my days were spent constantly walking so it was a wash;) You can see Mai and I were inspired by the Parisian pashmina trend! We also stocked up with them while we were in Monmartre.

If you are in Paris, make sure you check out Le Petit Zinc. It encompasses Parisian food, art and style!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dalloyau Croquembouche!

Dalloyau, maison de gastronomie is a beautiful pastry chain in Paris. The day Maileen and I went they were giving out delicious samples of Croquembouche which are profiteroles or creme puffs dipped in caramelized sugar arranged into a large cone. They are kind of like the cone things (parupu thengai) you see at South Indian weddings. According to wikipedia, croquembouche means "a crunch in the mouth."

The chef was making them right in front of us. It was fantastic! The taste was out of this world. The warm sugar, crisp pastry shell and smooth cream inside complemented each other very well. I love the copper pot being used to melt the sugar!
Here are some other mouth watering pastries they had. I wish they would expand to North America! I'm sure they would be very successful:)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chili Hot Chocolate!

I wanted to have a unique posting for the JFI- Chilies event, hosted by Nandita from the Saffron Trail. Since it is my first time participating in a food blogging event I went and bought new cups to display my recipe in!

So I'll begin by explaining the inspiration for my post. I had remembered seeing an episode of Everyday Italian in which Giada used chili oil in her chocolate mousse dessert. I thought it would be nice to adopt that idea into something else like hot chocolate. With a bit of research on the internet I found out that chili in chocolate is an ancient Mayan combination!

I wanted the drink to taste like the amazing chocolat chaud (or Haute Chocolat as I read elsewhere) I had in Paris so I've combined some Mayan, Parisian and Indian elements into my own creation. I adapted the recipe from the bibliocook site.

Here is my version:

1 1/2 cups milk (it will taste better with whole milk)
a pinch of red chili powder (lets say 1/8 tsp-a little goes a long way)

2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 47g bar dark chocolate
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (not hot chocolate powder)

Break the chocolate bar into small pieces and melt them. You can use a bain marie (double boiler) or the microwave.
Warm up the milk on the stove and add the chili powder, cloves and cardamom (cinnamon would be nice but I didn't have any). Add in the melted chocolate and the cocoa powder. Adjust it to your own taste. The chili powder gives the chocolate a wonderful kick in the back of your mouth as you drink it.

I recommend adding sugar if it is too spicy. A sugar rimmed glass would be nice decorative presentation! A whip cream topping would make this an indulgent dessert and help cool it down if its too spicy. Milk froth is the diet option!

I wanted my picture to look like this one I saw but it didn't work out. I also got distracted while melting my chocolate and wanted to make chocolate covered bakshanam because my Mom had brought back some tasty treats from India yesterday. It was kind of like a chocolate covered pretzel with the sweet/salty combination. It tasted kinda cool but I'd rather have the bakshanam on its own because I don't get it very often!

Hope you enjoy experimenting:)

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