What a way to start the long weekend. The winners of the first ever 2011 Pedestrian TV Blogger awards were announced and this little blog took out the "Food Blog" category - yeeeew! Demos and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us in the final round. We have some ridiculously awesome and supportive friends of the fridgers who spammed their Facebook walls, threatened all their staff and bribed co-workers to get us "like" votes until the last day. Big big thank you to those who voted and just got excited.
The cool kids at Pedestrian TV made the final call on friday and we could not have been happier, I was ready to stand on my work desk and bust out some confetti from the hole puncher but sensibility kicked in. So yes, shoutout to Pedestrian TV - we do love your work and your daily e-newsletters are actually one of the few that I actually open up and read. We are really cheering that we actually won something to so shake that bottle and make it pop - time for some champagne showers and whiskey sours.
Okay now back to the food.
Yes, the last couple of posts have been of Birthday Celebrations for yours truly and I kid you not, there is still more to come. Here at the Empty Fridge, every night out is a celebration of some sort - its the way we roll. Having a good time and acting a fool is what we are all about here so extending a birthday for a whole month is just the norm, but lets take a short break from birthday posts and celebrate the little blog win.
Last night we got Tapas with dear friends Lu and E, collectively known as the babes. No this was not couples night, we refuse to be cheesy like that. I think Lu and E are our only "couple" friends. Let me pause for a second and think about that one as to not offend any other couples we are friends with and totally just forgot about (sorry.)
The rule of the night wath to thalk in a thpanish athent like we were having thapas in Barthelona. But that didn't last long of as there was no point in having a conversation... EL BULLI IS THE NOISIEST RESTAURANT IN SYDNEY. With the band playing right next to us we resorted to sign language which proved to be tricky of course, although I've learnt how to sign the word "badonkadonk"
Since conversation fell short of everyones now deaf ears, I left all the ordering to E. With this food blog, friends automatically expect you to be all day everyday into food and be picky and fussy and wanky about food. For me, dining out is all about the experience, the fun and how delicious food fits into that whole equation. Thats what I get excited about. I mention to E that a boring meal could lead to a lame night, so the pressure was on him to deliver and now our evening rested in E's selection.
He did well with the jug of Sangria ($24) of course, and that kicked the night off as the SUPER LOUD band kept playing. Its very dark inside El Bulli but very very spacious. The long wooden communal tables across the restaurant is filled with people that look like they were here for a good time. From with rowdy bride to be's that can't hold their alcohol to the birthday celebrants on each table, everyone was getting into the spirit and digging the spanish vibe.
This was my first visit to El Bulli and I have been very keen to try their tapas. What gets my attention from the start is the garlic sauce that accompanies the slices of fresh bread. WOW. Garlicy goodness that would kill any chance of romance. I started craving for some lebanese charcoal chicken because this dip tasted just like toom.
The Babes have frequented El Bulli and managed to get me super excited about the Patatas El Bulli ($10.50). A restaurant favorite of Crispy Potatoes covered with a creamy tomato aoli. "Like Big Mac Sauce?" Well, not quite - but it was tangy and so very addictive. The serving seemed never ending and we were picking on this dish until the potatoes were lukewarm.
We shared the Croquetas De Jamon ($15.50) next and these pillowy soft servings were a group favorite. The white sauce that coated the ham and potato filling inside was another hit of creamyness along with the aoli that covered each golden fried portion.
Good Friends know and appreciate my love for fried food so the Albondigas de Paella ($15.50) was another great pick. Similar to the italian arancini, paella rice along with tiny pieces of chorizo and chicken were rolled into a ball and lightly crumbed. Topped again with that creamy aoli.. mmm
Demos could not stop raving about and attacking the baby octopus, much to Lu's dismay as he taunted her with tentacles hanging from his mouth. Such a charmer, my man. I find that some places over cook these baby octopus and from the flavour and texture - the El Bulli version is delicious!
Next up is a terracotta pot of thinly sliced chorizo. This was a welcome addition as the salty oil and spicy flavour broke that creamy overdose we were getting from our dishes. I had a habbit of touching each teracotta bowl half expecting it to be hot but that of course would pose a problem to the solid wood tables.
The creamy dishes just kept on coming and this was the king of them. The Gnocchi con Picas Azul ($16.50) was something I would have not expected on the Menu. Im not a big fan of Gnocchi as I find the big pieces of potatoes too starchy and quite boring and repetative. I always like some crunch and depth to my meals. However, I really enjoyed this dish. The gnocchi pieces were the size of a 5 cent coin so I couldn't taste any starchiness. The Blue Cheese sauce was very in your face and gutsy, which i really enjoyed. I could have sat with a loaf of bread and this dish, continuously soaking the sauce but my near exploding stomach and my fashion choice of leather pants would not let me.
After a few more big glasses of Sangria, our last terracotta bowl arrives with some tasty chicken wings to share. They were not the biggest pieces at all but man were they packed with flavour. Alitas al Ajillo or Garlic Chicken wings for the non espanol. Quite addictive and such a breath killer thank god there were no new romances in this table.A little bit of fun at the dinner table wouldn't hurt anyone.
Yep - 101 ways with the red napkin.
We were so full by the end of it, and this is the moment that the table told me that we were all too full to have some Churros or any dessrt for that matter...
Overall it was a great night with awesome company. We managed to turn a regular night out into a celebration and we toasted to this little blog and it was such a great night with friends who love you even if you literally sweat garlic from every pore. It was a food overdose and as we rolled into the car with full stomachs and busted eardrums, we did so with huge smiles.
So dear awesome person on the other side of the screen reading about our food adventures. Thank you thank you thank you. We hope you have as much fun reading The Empty Fridge as we do finding excuses to drink and dine around town. Here's to many many more fun times with the fridgers!
El Bulli, Surry Hills
Pedestrian TV 2011 Blogster Awards Announcement