Check out my birthday cake! It's a melt-and-mix white chocolate cake, with whipped white chocolate icing. The recipes, if you are interested, come from Donna Hay's Wedding magazine that came out some years back. It's also in Modern Classics 2. It's well worth making, because it is delicious! I have to admit that I didn't bake this one - my mum baked it for me, and decorated it with the beautiful ribbon and flowers. Thank-you mum!
For my birthday dinner, we went to what is fast becoming my favourite restaurant - Tutto Bene in Southgate. I've visited there 3 times now, and absolutely love it! It is great for a special dinner, a quick and resonably priced meal, or filling up before the theatre. Chef Simon Humble is widely regarded as the best risotto chef in Australia, having trained in and extensively travelled throughout Italy. He also received the Silver award at Italy's World Intercontinental Risotto competition, held in 1999. Although I'm told that now he serves the restaurant in a promotional capacity, rather than as a full-time chef, he has trained the full-time chefs who work there, and you can be guaranteed a good risotto. Good? What am I saying? An excellent risotto.
Here are the starters, which we shared between the 6 of us.
Lasagne with ham and bechamel, and pesto sauce. Incredible! I would have happily eaten a huge plate of this for my dinner and forgotten the risotto.
Parmigiano Reggiano 2004 con aceto balsamico e grissini (50 grams of aged parmigiano reggiano with balsamic vinegar reduction and grissini)
E finalmente, i risotti.
Duck, porcini and sage
Granchio con pomodoro e peperoncini - blue swimmer crab with tomato and chilli
Al Presidente - "a unique combination of 2 year old parmigiano and balsamic vinegar, produced from a 1912 mother must, created by [Simon Humble] for the Italian President visiting Australia"
Isola Della Scala (I think.. I can't exactly remember the name and it's not on the website). Anyway, it was a mixture of meats with a strong cinnamon flavour. According to my father, who ordered it, it was lovely but very rich.
Pumpkin and Goats Cheese - and just as fabulous as it sounds.
Our side dishes...
Roast potatoes (mmm... double the carbs...)
Insalata Caprese - slices of tomato, basil and cute little mozzarella pearls with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic
We didn't try any of their desserts, because there was delicious cake to come! (Actually, I'm embarassed to admit that I've never had them, as I've usually been in a rush. Next time, next time!)
Cutting and serving the cake cost a mere $2 per person, and it looked so pretty. (Unlike some restaurants which charge ridiculous prices just to cut and serve a cake *cough*... Fenix... *cough*...$12???! *cough*)
The manager also gave me a bottle of their yummy olive oil because it was my birthday. Yay!
A lovely latté was a great way to end a lovely meal.