Saturday, 30 April 2011


To celebrate Leinster's win over Toulouse in the Heineken Cup, JD and I headed to Jo'Burger post match. Frequented regularly by Leinster No. 8 Jamie Heaslip (well, according to Twitter), this small joint in Rathmines did not disappoint. 

We arrived fairly early on Saturday evening (6ish) and the place was already buzzing with hungry diners. The burgers came in massive buns, the meat patties were probably the best tasting I have had in a while (right up there with the now closed down Ground). The only slight downer were prolly the sides - a sacrilege in this day and age not to season chips with salt before serving!
 Menu tucked away in old children's books/comics, nice touch!

 Fairly strip down decor - some might question if the place had actually been decorated!!, Luckily, it works :)

My burger - went for beef patty with bacon and brie

Our sides of chips and red coleslaw

Love the reference to Crackbird - not long to go now before they shut up shop :(

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

O'Briens Chop House

Whilst we were down visiting Ma Chan, we also headed westwards out to Lismore to enjoy a spot of lunch at O'Briens Chop House. This eatery has been getting a lot of positive press on both sides of the Irish Sea (the Blighty press can be attributed to the fact that the owner used to work as GM of Babington House, part of the Soho House group and the manager worked previously at Le Caprice in London) so we decided to check it out.

The food was generally good and solid but some of the order's got confused resulting in some steak being overdone and some lamb being underdone (I later overheard that the head chef had left and that they had just offered the position to someone else so prolly some continuity issues at the mo). Its definitely a nice day out - Lismore has a very pretty castle and riverside which is worth exploring after a bit of nice nosh at O'Briens :)
 My starter of ham hock terrine - yum!

 JD's starter of mackerel and horseradish

 Main of hangar steak with bone marrow

A surprisingly good creme brulee

Saturday, 23 April 2011


On the recommendation of Aer Lingus inflight magazine, Cara (secret gem for food and travel ideas!!), JD stopped off at Crackbird in Temple Bar for a spot of lunch over the Easter weekend. Its a popup resto set up by the crowd behind Jo'Burger (thats on our hitlist before we head back to the big smoke) and serves nothing bar fried chicken. Its a really funky place and a bit of a shame it will close up shop in about a month's time so try and get to it if you can!!
 I forgot the exact address of Crackbird but had a vague memory that might have been on Crane Street......its actually Crane Lane!

Funky interior with around 60 covers and a choice of the bar, on high tables and stools.... a booth....

 ....or by the window (aka. Tweetseats) - the resto is first come, first can also tweet them to reserve seating for Tweetseats and keep your fingers crossed!!

 JD's bucket of buttermilk chicken

 My "overflowing" bucket of soy garlic chicken wings (we also had sides of BBQ beans plus slaw)

34 more days left!!!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Little Chan update

Its been a while since I have blogged about work and life in general.....I guess thats been due to being fairly busy in the kitchen at work as well as having to deal some other stuff related to that.

I had been getting pins and needles in my arms as far back as when I was doing my stage in Paris, which is almost 2 years ago. At the time, I did not think much of it and thought it was due to me sleeping on my arms for too long. The pins and needles went away but came back last year when I was working in the resto, mainly around when I was manually mixing stuff. To cut a long story short, things became pretty bad just before last Xmas where I felt constant pain in my right arm and even had to take time off work. For the last few months, I have seen various different people (physio, GP, neurologist, chiropractor, acupuncturist) to figure what might actually be wrong with me. The "official" diagnosis from the neurologist a few months ago was that I had "carpal tunnel syndrome". However, after a number of sessions with a physio and acupuncturist, both parties don't seem to believe that this is the case. I've been to see so many people now and tried so many things that I honestly don't have a clue what I have or how I can make it better any more. As a result, its been a difficult few months for me worrying about my arm and whether working with it on a daily basis will make things worse......luckily, I have a few days off over the Easter to take a well-earned rest and hopefully, everything might sort itself out. As of now, my right arm and wrist seem to be OK (thanks to JD's idea of wearing a light support at work to prevent my wrist from cocking awkwardly) but my left shoulder still feels and abnormal strain which will not go away.....fingers crossed :)

As for work and life in general, thats going OK but it has been frustrating not being able to get into the kitchen during my spare time to do a bit of baking and experimenting because of my arm. The days and weeks seem to be flying by and a number of things have happened which have meant that I have had to revise my thoughts on setting up my own business. The goal is still there and I have started to put pen to paper on what I would like to do but still a lot of challenges ahead.....

In the meantime, I have been re-familiarising myself with the art of making Linzer torte......haven't made these things since school so stumbled ona few steps here and there :)
The one which we were taught to make has raspberry jam which goes very nicely with a layer of almond cream beneath it. Since I had enough dough for 2 tarts, JD suggested that I use blackcurrant jam for the other. At the time, I scoffed at the idea and thought there was no way this was going to taste any good. However, I have had to eat my words and say that the flavour combo is very nice, even nicer than raspberry!! (I subsequently did a quick search on the net and found that blackcurrant jam is indeed acceptable when making a Linzer torte!)

 Mmmm......which is better.....raspberry?

    ....or blackcurrant?

My most recent experiment was trying to recreate a yummy green tea cake with red bean paste which I had tried in "layers" turned out a little too thin so instead of 3 layers, I had to use 4 instead for the final construction. It didn't look as refined as the original but definitely tasted similar enough which was cool.....I also found that the cake benefits from sitting overnight in the fridge as it was a little too "eggy" when eating right after it had been baked..... bon app and a big merci to my friend G! ;)

Saturday, 9 April 2011


A friend from Uni was back in town for the Easter break and was craving some Japanese food. This seemed like the perfect excuse to try out a newish place called Nizuni, which I had read about on a food blog I regularly check into.  

It was perfect for a lazy Saturday lunch catching up on news and tucking into some yummy food :)

 Dragon roll with eel, crabmeat and avocado which we shared - very nice.

 Grilled mackerel bento for me - lots of variety with salad, gyoza and pickles but the main star of the dish (ie. the fish) was not great. 

 JD's cravings for katsu curry were finally sated!! (he had ordered a katsu curry don the other night at Toku but the waitress misheard him and he had to settle for katsu don instead) Check out the cool-looking bowl!! :)

Dessert of chestnut cake with green tea ice cream

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A dinner of 2 halves - Bocca di Lupo & Toku

I've been meaning to make a trip back to Bocca di Lupo ever since our impromptu lunch there last year - I finally got around to organising booking a spot midweek for dinner and was looking forward to chowing down some nice food :)

Unfortunately, there were no tables available at the back for the time which I had requested so we had to make do with sitting at the bar instead which wasn't so bad. We settled for a small portion of orecchiette with spicy sausage and octopus with peas and basil as our "starters" before splashing out on a tagliata of rib of beef as our main. The orecchiette arrived pretty swiftly and was very tasty. Shortly after finishing this, there was a lot of movement around the open kitchen and a fair bit of jumping up and down to cover smoke alarms. Eventually, we were told that there was a problem in the kitchen which meant that we would not be able to order any more hot food for the night. Our octopus was probably the last dish to be cooked which was OK......we did try to pick other dishes from the menu but nothing took our fancy so we decided to call it a night after our starters. Not exactly the meal that I had hoped for but the manager was very nice and comped our entire meal.

Still feeling peckish, we rounded off our dinner at Toku down the road, me with a bowl of ramen and JD with a katsu don - an interesting dinner to say the least :)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Look Mum No Hands

JD has been talking about checking out this cool cafe/bike workshop near Old Street for a while now....we finally got our act together to venture over for the Tour of Flanders one Sunday afternoon as well grabbing a bite to eat. Coffee was OK, cakes were nothing to write home about and lunch offerings were mixed - my beef and chorizo croquette was forgettable but JD's Thai curry pie was pretty yummy. Despite all this, they were doing a roaring trade and there was also a great atmosphere whilst watching one of the "classics" on the big screen :)