Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Archive for the ‘Downtown’ Category

A Tom Douglas fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy.

Local restauranteurs and Seattleites supporting the relief efforts.

Tini Bigs poured Manhattans.

Ma’Ono‘s Talde Hawaiian bread bun with Portuguese sausage, pickled cucumber, garlic vinegar mayonnaise and coriander.

Spur‘s Katz’s pastrami sliders.

Dahlia Lounge‘s Momofuku pork bun.

CanlisEleven Madison Park black truffle and foie gras macarons.

Skillet‘s linguine with clams.

Staple & Fancy‘s Esca crudo.

Hot Cakes‘ chocolate egg creams and chocolate chip cookies.

Seattle hearts New York City!

I’m in a New York state of mind…

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Savoury and sweet pastizzis at The Original Maltese Café in Surry Hills Sydney.

Coffee art at Strand Arcade in Sydney.

Sardinian cooking class with Pilu at Freshwater‘s Giovanni Pilu at Accoutrement in Sydney.

Bacon and egg breakfast sandwich at Mr Stuzzichini in Hunters Hill Sydney.

Burrata and beet salad at Pendolino in Sydney.

Spectacular vista at Café Harbour View at Taronga Zoo in Mosman Sydney.

A country lunch at Grazing in Gundaroo.

Milanese cuisine at Balla by Stefano Manfredi in Pyrmont Sydney.

Pastries at Bécasse Bakery in Westfield Sydney.

Malaysian hawker food at Sassy’s Red by Chinta Ria in Westfield Sydney.

Regional Chinese fare at Spice Temple by Neil Perry in Sydney.

Scones at The Old Bakery Tea Rooms in Berrima.

Vegetarian cooking class with Poppy‘s Jerry Traunfeld at PCC West Seattle.

Lunch at Vessel in Downtown Seattle.

Dungeness crab, seaweed noodle, spicy red curry and crème fraîche at Revel in Fremont.

Chocolate tasting at Northwest Chocolate Festival.

Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal courtesy of Evolution Fresh. This is not a sponsored post.

My favourite Boost Juice is Passion Mango. An icy blend of mango, passionfruit, tropical juice, sorbet and yoghurt, it is my standard order for on-the-go sustenance. I like that they have a store at Sydney airport where it’s economical to pay seven dollars for a smoothie instead of double that for greasy noodles or oily pizza.

The second Evolution Fresh opened in Downtown Seattle last Friday. Located opposite Nordstrom on Pine, the space is subdivided from the adjacent Starbucks, the owner of the Evolution Fresh brand.

I had peeked into the first Evolution Fresh store in Bellevue when I was on the Eastside for lunch at Din Tai Fung. It has a salad bar and seating, whereas the Downtown Seattle one is compact, designed for ‘juice and food good to go’.

Banners line the wall with appetising photos of the signature bowls, a flowchart for cold pressed juices, and a whiteboard for customers to scrawl messages.

The shelves are laden with bottles of juices and pre-packed meals. Sweet treats were in glass cloches and jars.

Wire baskets of fruits, drink bottles, an apron and a chopping board were hooked onto metal rails in a corner of the tiny kitchen.

Six screens panelled the back wall display the beverages menu.

Eight juices are available on tap, including organic apple and organic carrot.

Lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper, the spicy lemonade piqued my interest.

Categorised into easy, balanced and green, a mix of six juices are in cleansing packs.

Breakfast items intermingled with snacks, signature bowls, sauces, sandwiches, salads and wraps. Each has a colourful nutrition label.

I scanned for the keyword, mango! Mango, papaya, pineapple and apple juice were a summery medley, the Smooth Mango was refreshing.

I was a frequent patron of Saladworks in Sydney and the signature bowls are a similar concept. Fast and fresh, each bowl has a healthful serving of vegetables, nuts and seeds. Spinach, julienned carrot, sugar snap peas, roasted red peppers, sautéed shiitake, grilled portabella, scallions, coriander and parsley were layered on top of cold buckwheat noodles.

The buckwheat noodles signature bowl was paired with tamari five spice sauce.

I drizzled the viscous dressing over the spinach leaves and gently tossed it through. It was crunchy and herbaceous, a substantial size for lunch.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Evolution Fresh is convenient and nourishing.

All of Tom Douglas‘s restaurants are in our neighbourhood. Seventeen months in Seattle and we’ve dined at each of them except for Palace Kitchen. Every time I walk by I remind myself that we must have a meal there. And I finally did last week! Located on the corner of 5th and Lenora, it is adjacent to Palace Ballroom and in the midst of a couple of construction sites.

At the centre of Palace Kitchen is the bar, and two dining rooms are to its left and right. Window panes slide open for fresh air on warm nights and natural light filters in on long summer days.

A jewel toned goblet of strawberry lemonade was garnished with a lemon twist. A second beverage of sour cherry fizz was tart and minty.

Shirley and I shared three courses. First was ‘plin’, a Piedmontese style ravioli, filled with roast pork and chard. The pinched pasta were in a puddle of sage and parmesan butter. I spooned the fragrant sauce over each of the cute al dente morsels. Next time I’ll order a side of bread to mop the plate!

Palace Kitchen is famed for their applewood grill. The chicken wings were golden and sticky, laced with an intense smokiness. A sea foamed coloured coriander cream tempered the succulent poultry.

A vibrate mound of lettuce was studded with spicy garbanzo beans, fava beans, chopped boiled egg, drizzled with herbed dressing, and dotted with sliced radish. It was a healthful salad, spicy and crunchy.

Our second salad was compliments of Chef Dezi. Fava beans from Prosser Farm were grilled and tossed with ‘extra virgin’ (first press) fish sauce, ricotta salata, mint, radish greens and marinated peppers. The charred pods of tender beans were exquisite, a luscious contrast to the peppery greens.

An oval dish of silky orange blossom panna cotta was topped with seasonal strawberries and a brittle pistachio wafer.

Tiered discs of malted chocolate milk cake and cream were paired with shards of cocoa rice crispies and a quenelle of chocolate crémeux. A decadent treat, this was malty, chocolaty, and redolent of Milo and chocolate crackles.

I shall not wait another seventeen months before I dine at Palace Kitchen again!

I had noticed construction at Westlake Woodwerk several months ago. I always peeked into the wooden toy workshop when I walked by where the craftsmen working by the window in the natural light. The owners of Eurostyle Your Life has opened Café Suisse in the space.

I had visited Switzerland once when I was a child and our couple of days there coincided with their national day. There was much flag waving and cowbell ringing! Colourful tassels decorated the leather strap of a large gold cowbell on the door of Café Suisse, a traditional Swiss greeting!

Café Suisse is cheerful and welcoming, cloches of baked goods displayed on the counter.

Glass tiers were stacked with Swiss treats and homeware from Eurostyle Your Life.

Diminutive by name, we were tempted by the selection of dainty petits fours.

The macarons were from MistralKitchen.

A happy cow guarded the tip jar.

Westlake Woodwerk now occupies a room at the back of the café with a view through a window in the shape of the Swiss cross.

We perched on felt stools, sipped coffee and had a leisurely afternoon. A tiny oblong had layers of ganache, a delicate chocolaty morsel. A complimentary piece of Douceurs des Cimes gianduja tasted like Nutella.

The back wall was covered with vintage Swiss tourism posters, and shelves were laden with chocolate bars and Swiss paraphernalia.

A short corridor connected Café Suisse to Eurostyle Your Life.

Eurostyle Your Life stocks a curated collection of bags, homeware, accessories, interior décor, toys and games.

I spotted a copy of Miroslav Sasek’s This is Australia.

Café on the right, shopping on the left!

Mr S has Scottish ancestry and we travelled through the countryside several years ago. I fell in love with the fields of heather, the glens (valleys), lochs (lakes), bens (mountains) and castles, the lilting accents, and the hearty Scottish fare. Every village, town and city honoured its history and were blessed with natural beauty.

We celebrated the life and works of Scottish poet Robert Burns at Slàinte at the Palace BallroomBurns Supper is traditionally held on the national bard’s birthday, 25 January.

The Palace Ballroom was set up with round tables and a handful of bar tables. A slideshow of Scottish scenery was projected on screens, although it was morbidly paused on a photo of gravestones for a while. A trio of musicians entertained us on a platform.

We perched on bar stools and sipped an apéritif of Rusty Nail which is a cocktail of Johnnie Walker and Drambuie garnished with a lemon twist.

We feasted on a menu and Scotch pairings by Dahlia Lounge chef Brock Johnson.

Our table was cluttered with glassware and silverware.

Dahlia Bakery scones were first and we mused if they would be American biscuits or British scones. A napkin in a weaved basket cushioned two ‘scones’ that were sweet flat squares of crumbly dough.

A square plate was layered with yoghurt, smoked trout and toast, and dotted with steelhead roe. The intense smokiness of the fish was tempered by the creamy yoghurt. The accompanying Scotch was a 12 year old Glenkinchie from the Lowlands.

A thin wedge of Black Sheep Creamery St Helen was served with a mini oatcake, slices of apple and a blob of apple jelly. I preferred the syrupy jelly with the washed rind cheese than the tart fruit. This dish was teamed with a 15 year old Dalwhinnie from the Highlands.

Two rare medallions of venison loin were veiled by a mound of black trumpet mushrooms and dressed with Douglas fir jus. The meaty flavours were balanced by the peaty 14 year old Oban from the west coast.

We stood while the piper led the haggis procession. A gentleman with a Scottish accent recited a lively rendition of Burns’ Address to A Haggis.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Diced offal, minced onion, oatmeal and seasoning were mixed with stock and stuffed in a sheep’s stomach. The haggis was pierced and boiled. The casing was cut at the crescendo of the poem and the savoury filling was eaten with mashed neeps (parsnips) and tatties (potatoes). A robust sixteen year old Lagavulin from the Isle of Islay was complementary.

The final course was sticky toffee pudding, Macallan caramel sauce and smoked cherry ice cream. A deceptively light sponge cake, this classic dessert was rich and toothsome. The last Scotch was a twelve year old Macallan from Speyside.

It was a cheerful evening warmed by a wee dram (or five!). To good health, slàinte mhòr!

Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal courtesy of JGA PR. This is not a sponsored post.

Weekday lunch can be a functional meal. There were times in Sydney where I gobbled sushi rolls, rice paper rolls and salads at my desk in between meetings. But a benefit of working in the city was being within walking distance to many restaurants. Some with a prix fixe menu, others à la carte, weekday lunch was brisk business. Friends gathered to gossip or colleagues mingled to celebrate a project milestone, a lunch sans office were always welcomed!

I had a late lunch reservation at The Capital Grille on a manic Monday for their ‘plates’ lunch menu.

Located at the corner of 4th Avenue and University Street, The Capital Grille is conveniently located for a weekday lunch.

The stately dining room was decorated with oil paintings on canvas, hunting trophies, plush carpet and leather upholstery.

Generously spaced and kindly lit, the tables and booths seated couples and groups in business discussions and birthday cheers.

For sixteen dollars, you select one dish from each of the three columns of the seasonal ‘plates’ menu.

An enormous shard of water cracker and a warm crusty seeded roll was served with a triangle of salted butter.

In the soup or salad column was clam chowder, field greens and roasted red pepper soup. A deep bowl of soothing liquid, the roasted red pepper soup had a mild sweetness brightened by freshly cracked pepper.

My soup spoon for your sabre!

The sandwich options were two mini tenderloins, lobster roll, and wagyu cheeseburger with fried egg and crisp onions; and sides of fresh green beans, truffle fries or roasted root vegetables. I was tempted by the cheeseburger and fries but after an indulgent festive season, I ordered the lobster roll and roasted root vegetables.

A mound of lobster salad was wedged in a toasted roll. Chunks of lobster and diced celery were lightly coated in a creamy dressing and balanced on lettuce leaves. I wielded the knife and cut the lobster roll into edible portions.

Fragrant with rosemary, the parsnip and butternut squash were yielding, and the heirloom carrots had a pleasant crunch.

I love the pairing of chocolate and hazelnut and The Capital Grille had chocolate hazelnut cake on their dessert menu. A gargantuan slice of cake was presented with a puddle of crème Anglaise, toasted hazelnuts and a wafer. Layers of dense chocolate cake and chocolate mousse were frosted with hazelnut chocolate ganache.

I nibbled the edge of the decadent cake and the remainder was boxed with a tag from Chef Mark.

Service was attentive and efficient, and the ‘plates’ menu is perfect for weekday lunch!


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