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Amateur salade composée
– house-made in da house

Last night, having prepared and consumed – and, naturally, photographed – a rather fine example of one of my few culinary specialities, the salade composée (to give it its full French due), I thought it was probably time I wrote something about food again, seeing as that’s what I do for a crust (ha!)… mostly. I’ve been eating a lot of it recently, which is nothing unusual in itself, particularly while standing up at the kitchen bench.

For lunch… mostly.

But when I’ve not been enjoying brief encounters with my kitchen counter, cramming leftover Meat Free Monday thrice-rice salad, or Tragic Tuesday Triangles of Agapé Organic Restaurant’s Patagonian scallop-prawn-and-shitload-of-garlic spelt pizza, I’ve been eating at the odd restaurant.

These places, in order of appearance on Latergram, were Rushcutters, in Darlinghurst, The Cut, down at The Rocks, Honeycomb, back in Darlinghurst, and Nomad, a disappointingly immobile establishment in Surry Hills.

Rushcutters twice, in fact: once for the launch of the fab cookbook I had a small hand in, ABC delicious. Love to Cook; the second, a cheery lunch perched by the big, breezy open window with Mum, on one of our regular let’s-make-this-cancer-shit-fun-or-it-will-be-the-death-of-us days out.

She’s doing well – best line this month was after her last check-up with her spectacularly ill-dressed but well-shod oncologist. “Well, you have to say I’m eking out my living,” chortled Mrs F in the car on the way home, after the Prof told her that she’s defying the survival-rate odds.

Also defying the odds – or my expectation – was The Cut, which, as far as I knew (from nothing, generally), was either a film starring Meg Ryan as a skinny English teacher who gets to have murkily lit sex with Mark Ruffalo, or a damn good steak house with low ceilings and high overheads.

Wrong on both counts, my friends – although not about the low ceilings (or high overheads, I’d hazard). There are steaks, yessirree, but there is so much pretty, creative deliciousness besides, thanks to the busy hands and enquiring mind of head chef Grant Croft.

Honeycomb – do you want fans with that?

At Honeycomb (another check-up, another LMTCSFOIWBTDOU day out), we sat on Hi-Vis yellow bentwood chairs by another open window on a silky-warm afternoon, cooling ourselves with cheap sandalwood Chinese fans proffered by the nice tattooed waiter wearing what looked like a tooth necklace. Nice touch, those fans. The necklace, not so much.

Afterwards, Mum and I each bought four of those fans from the two-dollar shop in the mall under the Coke™ sign at Kings Cross in some misguided belief that they might make good Christmas stocking fillers. The waiter had told us where he’d got them, “Only three dollars each!” and showed me how to speak into my iPhone™ instead of having to type text messages.

“Maybe now I won’t have to look at the top of her head all day,” snipped Mrs F, leaving him a generous tip.

Welcome to the 21st century – a post-menopausal woman being scolded by her octogenarian mother for playing with her iPhone.

Professional salade composée – house-made at Nomad

No such problem at the not-even-slightly-wandering Nomad, where four grown women all blithely took iSnaps™ of the house-made cheese, house-cured meats and house-cooked food served by house-proud staff – each blissful in the knowledge that the resolutely hirsute Surry Hills hipsters having a Vale Ale at the bar were too busy comparing ironic T-shirts to notice.