Tag Archives: restaurants

Chips deconstructed

1 Nov

The internet is a wondrous place. You can go off on a serendipitous journey and learn yet another new thing. Take the Aussie restaurant Jimmy Grants. It takes its name from a cockney-fied version of ‘immigrants’ and covers the Greeks, Italians and Middle Eastern families that emigrated to Australia decades ago. Jimmy Grants picks up on this history and (Greek) culture and conveys these through its menu, decor and website.


deconstructed pommes frites

The restaurant is one of a series owned by chef George Calombaris (yeah, the family name is a give-away). To mix the old with the new, Jimmy Grants recently did a knolling shoot (have to parade this new word I found yesterday) of six special menu items.


deconstructed salad with pulses and cereal grains

The menu item bonegilla is a chicken & lamb combo with onions, parsley & condiments, as you can see deconstructed below. EatMelbourne explains that it’s named after the Bonegilla camp near Wodonga, Victoria, which temporarily housed refugees and assisted European immigrants after World War 2. It aimed to teach the ‘jimmy-grants’ to speak English and help them learn about the way of life Down Under.


The homer: falafel (pulses again, jolly good show!), greek yoghurt and hellenic slaw – sounds most mediterranean.


And picking up on more immigrant lore, the patris: a souvlaki (or souva, as its more commonly referred to over there) with skewer-grilled prawns, cucumber, honey, mayonnaise, mint and coriander. The menu item name is given by the ship that carried migrants to Australia, broadsheet tells us. Lookee here, it used to carry to Cape Town too!

tumblr_mtee0p8Q1z1sah693o6_1280_kleinFinally, as with meals so with this entry: dessert: doughnuts: greek doughnuts with walnuts and honey. Yum. Thanks, Trendland.



Meal Packaging: Tingkat

17 Mar

Takashimaya Mall in Singapore presented a Chinese New Year promotion a while back, offering a free food tingkat (pictured below) with a purchase above a certain minimum value at a household department.


Singaporean artist and blogger Heidi Koh took the following picture in Penang, Malaysia. For a still-life in oils she got a Peranakan (more on this in another blog entry) household utensils list from an aunt, which included a tingkat. Heidi says that the Peranakan people knew these colourful enamel food containers as tingkat (tiers) and that they were popularized in Penang, Malacca and Singapore during the British colonization.


Singapore celebrates an annual Food Festival. In July 2010 one of the many fringe events was the “Singapore Chinese Tingkat Cruise” on the Singapore river. From a bright red tingkat such as below left – which you got to keep! – you could taste Chinese dishes such as Teo Chew Carrot Cake, Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls and a Pokka Green Tea drink. The blogger KeropokMan (maybe brother to Henkel Man and Chicken Man?) has an entry on the river cruise on his blog Keropokman: Signapura Makan here. Keropok seems to be the Singapore word for the little prawn/shrimp crackers – I remember that my mom used to deep-fry colourful little krupuk (kroepoek) chips – as they are known in Indonesia (Dutch-colonial Indonesia) – when she made her Indonesian Rijsttafel, mmmm! KeropokMan also has a blog entry on tingkat-inspired-packaging here for mooncakes, part of the mid-autumn festival, which features in Judge Dee mysteries.


To find tingkat images on .sg-sites via google I used the word tingkat. For hits on .my-sites I had to use mangkuk tingkat, without really finding a sensible translation of this. In Malaysia the mangkuk tingkat gave its name to a reality TV cooking show, visuals below. TV9 , the channel presenting the now defunct series, classified it in the genre comedy. The idea: viewers meet celebrities who cook a challenging meal for them.

TV9_SHOWS_MT_header_814905714_kleintv9mt_logo_kleinSome other mangkuk tingkats I found were an old brass one, collected by baharuddinaziz presented on his blog collectible items


… and these more modern versions in stainless steel, plastic and foam from a Malaysian supplier.

Mangkuk_Tingkat_kombi_kleinParticularly astounding was this little gem from a news site: The Penang Municipal Council initiated a campaign against the use of polystyrene food containers by traders on the island. After a period of three months in which old stock may be used, any trader still offering food in or selling old stocks of polystyrene will be strictly dealt with. Google translation gives Public Health chairman Ong Ah Teong as saying “In contrast to other countries, they still do not run a campaign like this. We understand that this campaign is not a popular campaign, but for the sake of future generations of our children, it should be conducted. […] If the former can be decomposed polystyrene certainly it can be used. But because it was only able to decompose in 200 years time, we strictly do not want it used on the island state”. Below you see Ong Ah Teong (RHS) with Council Member Lim Cheng Ho (LHS) surrounded by packaging and exhorting traders to use mangkuk tingkats rather than polystyrene carriers.


Beard to tail, anyone?

12 Jan

There I was just following up a short little mention of a pop-up restaurant in London called Beard to Tail, when I uncovered the biggest foodie-fight around (that’s what it felt like to me anyway) – on the etymology of the word barbecue! Intrigued by visions of animals with beards and managing to think only of goats, I decided to pursue this into the Interwebs. According to various media coverages of the restaurant, it gets it name from the French root of barbecue, i.e. barbe à queue, which literally means beard to tail. It certainly gives added depth to going the whole hog. Buuut, as you will discover, if you too pursue this, that is just one of two major and hotly contested schools of thought on the origins of the word barbecue. The other major school claims its derived from barbacoa, a word attributed to various peoples in the Caribbean (Guyana, Haiti, West Indies, depending on your source) which has something to do with a framework of sticks or a sacred fire, again, depending on your source. Actually, the BBQ explanation I like most of all is Bar,Beer,Cue,(Pig) – from a whiskey bar, a beer hall and a pool establishment which offered whole roasted porkeroos. If you have some time while your mustachioed spare ribs are slow-cooking you can visit a really comprehensive take here.