Dinner

A Banquet Feast that doesn’t break the bank, Pinbone Woollahra

I’m a la carte diner the majority of the time. I find banquets and set menus, best left for your local Chinese restaurant or Thai get together. Where thirty or fourty dollars a head gets you an array of dishes, often predictable. You eat, and eat, then eat some more. Feel full, then leave satisfied but not overly impressed.

Harsh? A little.

Lately, that mindset has changed. It’s all because the Sydney dining scene is in full-swing-change. And that change is all for the better. I know I keep saying this, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be in Australia but Sydney. Sydney-siders are so lucky to have an eating landscape which is plentiful with options for every budget (and so much pop up activity too!).

These guys, have pushed the set menu envelope. The food is magnificent, the standard high. It’s great value. And I reinforce this. Sydney is one pricey city. In the last few years, eating out has evened itself out – you can now go and grab a cheap meal that’s of high standard. Take the middle of the road route, and be satisfied without delving deep into your pockets. Or you can choose fine dining. The choices are incredible, the options endless.

PINBONE $65 SMALL BANQUET

This is a real gem of a dinner joint.

The menu is hard to decifer (which really annoys me!). With only three words like so; chicken, kale, garlic - it’s hard to imagine exactly what you’re going to eat, let alone order. We unanimously bypass this difficult step and simply order the small banquet. It says it’s ‘small’, but our waiter assures us that we’ll be ‘more than full’. By and behold, he was right – it was like a never ending feast. I has heard through the grapevine to, ‘go soon, before they change the banquet – it’s real value for money.’

Secretly, I’d booked Pinbone because all my other options were exhausted. I couldn’t get in anywhere on the top of my hit list. Regardless of that, the banquet is sublime.

We start with small snacks. There’s about five. The crispy potato skins and lamb ribs were winners. The chocolate crackle with chicken liver pate, left me confused. Just give me the super smooth chicken liver pate with some incredible crisps – and I’d be in heaven.

Post snacks are sharing dishes and these really are the stars of the banquet show. Notably; the pumpkin, pepita and silverbeet, which is so soft and tender, we devour the plate. The tofu, bacon and cucumber is like agedashi tofu pimped up with bacon – insane. The leatherjacket and asparagus makes me want to order fish more often – the fish flesh is like butter. The pork and pineapple is a pure delight, just make sure you follow the waiters instructions for maximum flavour!

The only other advice I’ll give you is make sure you’re stomach is empty. I didn’t talk about the desserts (blueberry, pinenut and white pepper was epic!) which truly end this banquet on a high.

I take my chef’s hat off to Pinbone, it’s a must try.

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THE DEETS YOU WANT TO KNOW

PIN BONE
3 Jersey Rd
Woollahra NSW 2025

The small banquet is $65 per person
The large banquet is $85 per person

Pinbone on Urbanspoon


Green Confetti Couscous Salad

My body feels like it’s been thrown in the washing machine on a rough cycle. Twice.

I had surgery on Tuesday and have been crap ever since (I tried medication, but it failed, so ultimately had to go under the knife). I got ‘tubed’. Came out with a sore jaw, neck, back and stomach – it made me wonder what on earth happened while I was under. There are now four ulcers on my tongue, making eating (my favourite hobby) really difficult. I have to eat slowly, avoid the salty parts (which isn’t easy), and drink lots of water to relieve the pain. My throat feels like rough sandpaper, with saliva building up like no other. All round, it sucks big-time – ok, #enoughwhinging.

Day by day, I’m slowly getting better. Hugs help and hot tea, with the odd slice of chocolate cake – that I whipped up prior to surgery (I’m crazy organised like that).

I’ve been trying to replenish my body. And as much as I’d like to eat cheesecakes (and donuts) all day long, it just won’t do. I whipped up this salad to try and nourish my body. It’s an easy one, practically all raw apart from the couscous. And, I’ve been having for lunch and dinner with some sort of protein – either eggs or grilled salmon.

It’s fresh and keeps really well too. My friend Soph made it, after seeing it on my instagram – she loved it too, so I’d thought I’d share the recipe.

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GREEN CONFETTI COUSCOUS SALAD

INGREDIENTS
¼ CUP WHOLEMEAL COUSCOUS (OR THE NORMAL COUSCOUS)
SOME BOILING WATER
4 ASPARAGUS STALKS, WOODY PART REMOVED
10 FRENCH GREEN BEANS, ENDS REMOVED
½ AVOCADO
½ LEMON
2-3 TABLESPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
SALT AND PEPPER

OPTIONAL
2 SOFT BOILED EGGS

LET’S GET COOKING

STEP ONE
Place the couscous into a heat proof bowl. Pour over the boiling water until it covers the surface of the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for 10 minutes.

STEP TWO
Slice the french green beans very thinly on the diagonal. Do the same for the asparagus. Remove the skin from the avocado and dice into small cubes.

STEP THREE
Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add your beans, asparagus and avocado. Squeeze over the lemon and add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently.

Feeds 2. Serve this triple green couscous with some protein, I like soft boiled eggs. But I often do this with a piece of grilled salmon. Yummo!

 




 
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