So I kind of regret that I can’t post a series of pictures and tastings of my various ice-cream endeavours, but I suspect I am “merely” experiencing the same delight that countless other first-time ice-creamers have been through (and blogged about, ad nauseum). But let me tell you this: peanut butter ice (milk/yoghurt) cream is pretty darned delicious. Especially if you left it in the fridge long enough to get perfectly soft and scoopable, and even more especially if you are able to garnish it with a liberal sprinkling of little chocolate covered chewy things (think turkish-delight flavoured jelly tots, covered in chocolate, and then think of that in conjunction with peanut butter and a hint of cardamom. ‘Twas the taste of an Arabian night).
The sprinkles were leftover from those that decorated the philosophe’s birthday cake, not so long ago. It was a humble cake: still unequipped with a functioning oven, I had to make use of a chunk of the beetroot-chocolate cake I baked a while ago and had (cleverly!) stashed in the freezer. But even previously frozen beetroot-chocolate cakes can shine for a special birthday. With the help of a few jabs with a fork and a generous drizzle of rum, it became freshly moist before I covered it with a thin rum-and-cardamom (ok, I like cardamom) icing, and topped it with some nicely garish sweets from Woolies: chewy chocs, liquorice allsorts and sour gums. It all went down pretty well (the philosophe had the last piece for breakfast (dessert) the next day), especially after a lovely evening on the balcony of the Royal Kitchen, where we dined like kings around the most incredible carrot landscape:
We didn’t eat the carrots – which drooped towards the end to let us know it was time to go home (ingenious!) – but we did eat pretty much everything else, and it was all delicious. Crunchy salt-and-pepper calamari, lemon chicken, Ma Po tofu, sweet and sour pork, rocking sizzling beef, and some outrageously good sizzling fish with pepper. For (pre-cake dessert), toffee banana, but not just any kind. The kind that you dip, hot, into ice-cold water to turn their toffee into cold, hard caramel. (I’ve had this once before, but with sweet potato chunks, introduced to me on that very balcony by the dear temporarily-absent sailor). Whether you like bananas and caramel or not, it’s one of those great textured hot-cold mouthfeel experiences, like deep-fried ice-cream, or tempura avocado.
Earlier that day we went to the aquarium to look at a multitude of amazing frogs which weren’t there. But we did meet these jumbo spider(roll)s again:
(Dude on the left, by the way, has not been squashed up against the glass: that’s aquarium perspective). I’m not sure how to scale these, but I think it’s fair to say that those bodies are about the size of my head.
But after all that culinary goodness, I won’t leave you with that scary image of prehistoric monsters. Instead, imagine this on a hot summer’s night:
(If you need details, it’s a chilli mojito. And as you’ll notice from the seeds, the word chilli is not taken lightly in this baby. It will bite you. And then it will soothe you with its own built-in minty-icy-slightly sweet freshness. Avaialble from the very new and very chic HQ [that’s Headquarters] Restaurant and Bar. Where they also make a damn fine steak. In fact that’s all they do: sirloin, frites, and salad. One menu, one price. Just that, but just right.)
Now I’m really hungry.