December 2009

Lamb’s improved in quality since last month. Try it at the Opera Bar where they roast the rump and serve it with spicy eggplant and minted yoghurt. Also roasting the rump and serving it with warm Sicilian orzo (the little pasta shaped like rice) salad is Bondi’s Brown Sugar. Sea Bay Chinese Dumpling uses minced lamb in its little buns, fragrant with cumin, displaying that Middle Eastern spicing influence you often find in northwest China.

Pork will creep up in price as Christmas approaches and demand for ham peaks. But praise be, we can always rely on the dependable belly. It’s simultaneously crisp and chewy in Spice I Am’s kana moo grob, stirfried with gai lan and oyster sauce. And at Spice Temple (10 Bligh St, Sydney,  Ph 8078 1888) they turn it into Chinese bacon and toss it with chilli, black vinegar and Hunan-style egg noodles.

As the weather warms, poultry moves faster on menus. It’s great in that Thai classic, larb, a salad of minced chicken with lemon juice and chilli at Petersham’s Ploy Thai. (They also do a fine tofu version.)  And that Malaysian favourite, Hainan chicken rice, which is served tepid, is a great choice at Ginger and Spice.

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