There are restaurants and there are restaurants and then there’s Papa Goose. Tucked away in a quirky little lane way in Melbourne, this place had me at Papa Goose. I literally could not go past the name. Or that they were superb from the moment I made my first phone call to them ten days ago. Or that they were happy to chop and change and plan and accommodate and unset their set menu just for us.
A few nights ago we went to Tomlu’s. In a bus. 27 of us. From the outside its a dump. From the inside not much better. There were tacky posters on the walls, thick plastic table cloths and I’m just grateful the chair I was sitting on didn’t collapse before the night ended.
They took care of the kids first. Fried rice, noodles, some chicken… But the big kids waited. And waited. AND WAITED!! An hour and a half later they started to bring our dinner out.
Lobsters. Large, fleshy, divine. In garlicky butter. In gorgeous gingery goodness. Crabs in black bean sauce. Some spectacularly swimming in potentially the best coconut curry I’ve ever tasted. Yes, the food was to die for.
I had crab juice running down my arms and splattered on my top and even had my boob brushed by a lady-boy! I also drank my first three bowls of Kava. It made my tongue go fizzily and my mind go mellow.
So I’m not sure whether it was the kava or the love-bus but right about now I’m exploding with family and friend love. 55 people in one spot, all here to celebrate Big Foodie’s 40th! Kids and cousins and family that are friends and friends that are like family. We are blessed indeed.
Fiji you’ve been everything I longed for and more. I promise you I’ll be back. To celebrate life. To celebrate love.
Isa lei. Dee x
I don’t blog that much anymore and my excuses are numerous but today I want to honour my little niece Riya. She’s my favourite kookie girl and she lives far away from us but I love her to bits and think she’s going to be the next BIGGEST thing since sliced bread!!
She was asked to write a little essay on a family treasure and she choose Avva’s recipe book. Thank you my kookie girl for your beautiful words. You are my blogpost inspiration today. Dee x
Twenty years of friendship. Eleven years of marriage. Two continents, two kids, a home. And a celebration worthy of royalty.
It was with glee that I realised we were about to spend a night at the extremely gorgeous Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. From the moment we stepped foot into the grounds we were treated as guests of the Nizam and lavished upon the same royal treatment that all visitors to the palace receive.
Who was I to complain as waiters walked towards me with red roses wishing me happy anniversary Mrs. Foodie. Who was I to complain when we were whisked away to the Princess’ Gossip Chamber with a Chinese Whisper couch and made to cut a divine chocolate nut cake? And I certainly didn’t complain when red rose petals fluttered gently down from the terrace as we walked up the grand marble stairs.
Ah royalty. How easily I could get used to thee. I assure you it is not difficult to function when the palace butler assigned to you previously served Princess Esra. It is quite easy to enjoy the delectable chocolates laid out on your pillow, as it is to step under a rainwater head shower in an all marble bathroom for for a king.
The food was exquisite, the bread we were served was to die for. And let’s not even start on dessert or the special cake that was sent up to the room while we dined on the balcony, 2000 feet above sea level, overlooking the softly twinkling lights of Hyderabad.
But more than anything we have never ever experienced hospitality and attention to detail like at Falaknuma. They had even changed the linen to satin sheets before we returned to our room. With embroidered Good Night foot mats and fluffy blue slippers by the bed!
Ah royalty. How easy on the senses you are. How magnificent. How indulgent. How over the top. How delicate, how in-your-face. How simple, how easy, yet how contradictory. But for tonight I will only dwell on the goodness.
As I get into my horse drawn carriage for the last time I bid you all adieu and hope you may all experience one night of luxury like we did. Feel free to shower me with rose petals as I leave.
His & Her Royal Highnii! Dee & K x
Ah the sweet sounds and smells of train travel in India. Memories of my first train ride alone with my bestie SariBear come flooding back. This was the same train we travelled to Bangalore on. The trusty Brindavan Express!
I insist on train travel this time. I need to show my children the real India. The India I grew up in. So we pack our bags and most importantly our ‘train food’ and set off early in the morning. It’s cold (cold enough for my fellow men and women to be sporting a monkey cap or two in about 25 degrees), and raining and drizzly and gray…
Eating on a train is as important as knowing how to breathe! But what happens when you forget the food bag. Aiyoo!! Now how do we eat our chips and sandwiches and egg parathas? Oh ho! Where is the bag? Rama Rama, who forgot it at the back of the car?? Errr. I did! So I explain to the little foodies that all travel is an adventure. We just need to embrace it.
And so it starts. Breeead aaamlette. Masla dosaaaa. Sips. Potato sips. Garama garam kaapi kaapi kaapi, chai chai chai. Soooop. Tamatar sooop. Biskate. Wadai. Chutney wadai. We eat and we play… We read and we sleep and we giggle. Nannu and the boys and me. We miss Daddy Foodie who’s waiting for us in Bangalore but in this case the journey is nearly more fun than the destination.
So as we sway in time to the thadak thadak of the train we leave you with some photties of our adventures. We look backwards and outwards and inwards through the dusty smudged glass and we know that nothing is as sweet and simple as traveling with our children by train.
Dee & boys. X
A week ago to the day I sat down to talk to (nag) my son and pretty much couldn’t get back up again. Oh c’mon, don’t be a wuss babe, said my dearly beloved. Quick stretch, that’s it, off ya go… and with a pat on the bum he saw me off to soccer.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. I was literally carried off the field (and it wasn’t even me playing). I could not walk, I could not put any weight on my feet. Fast track 3hrs and an ambulance had to take me to Emergency. Talk about unshaven legs and nanna knickers on the wrong day. I knew I should’ve listened to my mum.
I’m home now, I’m recovering. I can walk again and even pee by myself (hurray). But it’s been the longest one week my family has been through. Mr Foodie’s been a real trooper. He cooked, cleaned, ferried the kids back and forth and even squeezed in a bit of work. But don’t tell him I said that or he may pass the reins back to me real soon. (From what I understand there have also been a lot of treats, icecreams, canteen money etc that has changed hands in the past few days).
Anyway, husby says when I tell a story I’m like the dad in Kumars at No. 42. My stories go round in circles and by the end I forget what I wanted to say. So I’ll make it brief (stop shaking your head in disbelief).
I used to be a mocker of people with back trouble. Never again. I promise. I’ve killed the mocking bird within. And how is this post related to food? Because I want to name and thank every single one of you who’s looked after our family this week. For all the love and care and home cooked meals you brought over. I love you all and appreciate everything you’ve done for us.
Starting with all the soccer parents. For holding me under the arms and dragging me off the field. It isn’t easy to move a water buffalo, I know! For driving me home and doing the pizza run that night.
For Ben, our oldest and dearest friend in Sydney. He dropped his dinner halfway and rushed over to look after the babies while we went to hospital. Like our little guy says, Benster Master you’re the best!
For the ambulance officers. For being gentle and kind and introducing me to the green whistle because they couldn’t find veins to get the morphine in to.
For the doctors and nurses in the hospital. Your jobs can’t be easy and I have the deepest respect for you.
For my Sydney family, The Mevawallas, for all the visits and daal chawal kheema. You know how to make me smile 🙂
Nish for looking after 4 kids and folding my laundry (you’re welcome to do that once I recover too). Varu for Indian Chinese. Oh kill me with memories of home as the flavours explode on my ibuprofen-riddled tongue. IshPish for bringing your beautiful boy to me for cuddles.
The Littles, for beef stew and cups of tea. And to my potential daughter-in-law and her family for bringing me biryani and beautiful blue orchids that I will not share with anyone. You’re the only ones I can’t name otherwise the other girls may hatch an evil plan against you!!! But you know who you are.
And before I go, Chacha, for calling me a fat bastard and saying I need a trainer and need to lose some weight. Here’s his part of the text messages we exchanged. I may have a debilitating back issue but I hear there’s no cure for Foot in Mouth Disease! Thank you for the laughs.
“Your getting old papi- you need a trainer and lose some weight.
Just doctoring bitch! Would never call you a fat bastard otherwise.
Shit Dster was that you? Was a little buzzed thought I was talking to K – if so, many apologies !
F$&@ sorry. ”
What? Ok I waffled on a bit. Since I have nothing else to do all day I may go watch a couple of episodes of The Kumars. I’m outta here. Dee x
Ps: if I’ve forgotten anyone I’m blaming it on the cocktail of tablets I’m on. Darling Clara, I hope your extra week-long b’day celebrations have been fun. X
The table’s been set in autumn harvest hues, colours that reflect this semi-arid land. The turkey is about to go in the oven (we’re hoping) and the kids have been given a little snack to keep them occupied till the guests arrive.
This is the first time we’re at a traditional thanksgiving dinner. The pumpkin, the pecan, the pies, they’re all golden delish. The broths and casseroles and potatoes will not disappoint either. So today I don’t want to reflect on the food. That will speak for itself.
Today I want to give thanks. For family. For friends. For family that are friends. For our children. Pains in the butts but whom we wouldn’t trade for all the riches and peace in the world.
Today I want to give thanks for this holiday. Our first as a family of four. A chance to unwind and not yell. I want to give thanks that we are all healthy and strong and intelligent and kind and brave.
I want to thank the universe for always providing. For keeping us safe. For my husband. My rock. My solace. My friend. I’d like to say my lover, but that’s been a bit hard with 2 kids in the same room. 🙂
So with an attitude of gratitude, from the west coast of the Yooo Nited Statesovamerica, may you all have the best day ever. Long live the Queen or Stars and Stripes or whatever. Happy holidays, may the silly season begin. Dee x