Yesterday was my birthday (28 years old....scarily close to 30) and I spent a very enjoyable day with family and friends - a large part of which was sitting in 2 very excellent restaurants. My mother and I enjoyed a very extravagant and stunning lunch at one of Melbourne best retaurants, Ezard at Adelphi, where we had the 8 course tasting menu. After a few hours to recouperate at home, opening presents and drinking more champagne, I was taken out for dinner by A. to our favourite old-world Parisian bistro/restaurant/bar called The European (they serve their complimentary bread with a pot of aioli, which makes it by that fact alone A's favourite restaurant ever!). I'll post reviews with further details of both places soon, especially of the tasting menu, which was definitely a culinary highlight for me.
I received lots of exciting presents from my friends and family...there's certainly no mistaking that I've taken to the cooking theme with gusto; amongst my gifts were a cookbook stand, a new cookbook (with great photos) and......a complete set of kitchen knives from the Japanese company Global. I'll take a photo when it's daylight again, but these are spectacular! I only wanted 1 knife, but I got 6 and a knife block! I am an extremely fortunate girl, with a wonderful generous mother ('yes, they were fairly expensive!' she commented).
Anyway, the photo above is of the birthday cake mum bought for me, as she proclaimed that it wasn't appropriate for me to make my own birthday cake on the day of my birthday. By then I was basking in the luxury of the day so I agreed. She bought it from the French patisserie Laurent and it is a light, airy concoction of sponge, vanilla mousse, fresh raspberries and mango, and topped with caramelised soft meringue. A lovely way to fill the appetite gap you get in the few hours between a day of fine restaurants. lol! ;-)