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Take it slow wine dinner MuMu Grill, Crows Nest

Take it slow

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I use to eat anything and everything and didn’t particular care how my food was prepared, nor where it came. If it tasted good, who cares right ? Then I got older, this blog came along and I started paying attention to the food I was eating and appreciating the blood, sweat, tears and passion which goes into some restaurants. My food doesnt have to come from a 3 hat kitchen, it could be the dodgy noodle store run by a granny and her son. No longer would I be happy with KFC for dinner every Friday night as a treat, I want my moneys worth and I’ll stay in the queue even it if means a 1 hour wait.

Now what does this have to do with Mumu’s Grill ? Well, Chef Mumu aka Craig Macindoe is exactly the type of person I am talking about in regards to caring about his food. He not only cooks up a fantastic lamb, but he’s passionate about his food, where it’s come from and how it gets to his restaurant. I feel at ease eating his food, because I know that the meat he uses has been prepared with the best interests of our environment in mind, also know as sustainable food. 

Anyway onto the evening itself where we were invited to a Take it Slow dinner courtesy of Craig and Mr Rigg’s wines. The Take it Slow dinner is part of a wider initiative called Slow Food Sydney. Slow food ? It consists of three things :

  1. Good: food must be healthy and delicious.
  2. Clean: it must be produced in ways that are sensitive to the environment.
  3. Fair it must be produced with respect for social justice, and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

You can read more about the Slow food movement here , here and here.

Thanks to Lorraine @ NQN, I am joined by a few other Sydney food bloggers in AnnaJenLisaTrina, Shez and Steph. We start off the evening with a tour around the kitchen accompanied by an interesting insight into the intrinsics of preparing meat.

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This piece of lamb was dry hung in order to help with the tenderising process. What was interesting was that the cool room would be cleaned out and tested every 2 days for bacteria.

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Some of menu perhaps

Jamon, the love of my life

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I’ve recently developed quite an expensive set of taste buds by becoming addicted to jamon. This evening we are treated to a magnificant tasting 18 month old jamon served on catalan bread which is lightlty covered with a roasted tomato puree. I scoffeed down over five of these, thereby continue my good form of stuffing myself to the brim in bread before the meal actually starts.

The main event

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Arcadia saltbush lamb roasted for 13 hours served with minted eggplant and white bean paste, green beans, beetroot jus

This lamb is slowcooked for 13 hours served with minted eggplant and white bean paste, green beans, beetroot jus. The result of this 13 hour process is some of the best lamb I’ve ever tasted. It’s consistently and properly cooked, pink on the inside and unbelievably tender, melt in your mouth , you name it.

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The minted eggplant and white bean paste added some sweetness to the dish, a great addition to the meat as it had quite a strong and rich flavour.

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2 1/2 hour double roasted duck with bok choy and poached pear

The good thing about being mainly surrounded by females is that I usually get to finish off their leftovers. I managed to score alot more duck than anticipated from the generous Trina and Shez, score!

The duck is infact double roasted for 2 1/2 hours. Step 1 involves roasting it (or perhaps just the bones) whole in the woodfired oven for 1 hour before being cooked for another 2 hours which forms a stock. It is then boned, and the bones are used for the stock. The duck is then braised for a further 2.5 hours. The result is a soft and stringy duck which is lightly crispy on the outside. The poached pear was a surprise hit as I’m not usually a fan of the sweet and savoury combination. It contrasts well with the gameyness of the the duck, did I just make up a new word ?

duck raosted whole in woodfired oven for 1 hr, boned, bones used for stock, braised for 2.5 hours . C HEERS

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Brown sugar pavlova with seasonal fruit

I must admit, when I saw this on the menu I didn’t think much of it. Pavlova ? pffft please!

Oh how I was so wrong, sorry for doubting you Craig.

The crisp and crunchy pavlova exterior is accompanied by a of soft brown sugar interior and a generous dollop of cream. I would have been quite content with just the pavlova, but an explosion of flavour in the form of seasonal fruit and passionfruit was awaiting me. This is truly a top dessert, all round perfect in texture and flavour.

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This one looked a bit sadder than mine

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But it didn’t matter how the dessert looked, it was cleaned up in no time.

Blogs, twitter and chefs

At the end of our meal, we had a brief conversation with Craig about his addiction to Twitter and how alot of chef’s are now jumping on the twitter train. I think it’s a great idea for chef’s to embrace this concept, as it gives an insight into the day to day shenanigans of being a chef as well as having an idea of what kind of the personality he or she might have. In saying that, the way Twitter is used is extremely important, as using it as purely a marketing communication medium is often frowned upon (for me it is anyway). Thankfully Craig isn’t in this category.

The other day he tweeted about picking up some fresh produce from the markets in the morning, and a subsequent tweet he described how he turned these ingredients into daily specials. If I was around the area, this would be enough for me to make a visit to Mumu’s Grill if the specials appealed to me. Often, I goto a restaurant and am told the menu has changed. Why didn’t they update the website ? Twitter could change this, it allows you to broadcast changes by the second without the red tape of a website. In fact, if restaurants could integrate a Twitter feed into their main website that would even be better. There is nothing worse than going to check out a restaurant menu online only to find that it is Summer and that they still have the winter menu online.

After a recent trip to Japan, I noticed one thing about their chef’s which I don’t often see back in Sydney. The Japanese chefs like to put on a show, they like the concept of the open kitchens and not only do they like to show how they cook and prepare the food but they also like to engage in coversation with the diner. They give insight into how something is cooked and even showed us how to eat it. This wasn’t something which happened everywhere, but often enough for me to notice. This doesn’t have anythng directly to do with Twitter, but I guess Twitter can give an insight into the personalities of the chef as well.

In terms of blogs, Craig is watching them with interest and acknowledges the impact of them. They offer alternate views of food, restaurants and products without the intricacies of conventional publications. After all, most of us just do this for a hobby. I think it’s great that we have the privelege to engage with Craig at his level, it brings great satisfaction to be able to find out a bit more on the life of a chef but also it is great to know that a simple hobby of mine involving food has some perks as well.

MuMu Grill

Shop 1-6 / 70-76 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph (02) 9460 6877

Web: http://www.mumugrill.com.au

15 Comments

  1. lol about the bread! I’ve been there myself too many times to count.

    Great write up of the night’s meal and love the pavlova shot. I think Craig does a good job with using twitter to not only generate interest for his restaurant but just show off his interest and passion for food.

    Based on twitter alone, let alone the blog write-ups, I’m very much a fan of this place and I’ve yet to dine there. That will certainly change in the future… :)

    • selami diyor ki: 03 Kasım 2010, 01:17Hiç kimse konuyu saptırmasın, Yol konusu ayrı Seyyar balıkçı konusu ayrı. madem ki modern bir kent halkı olmak istiyoruz hiç kimse çoluk çocuÄŸuna seyyardan aldığı kokmuÅŸ ege balıklarını yedirmek istemez ama, gelin görün ki. malum AKP ikzıarÄdmi±tın istikrarsız Ekonomik proÄŸramı insanlara evine 500 gr. et alamamasına neden oluyor. ev hanımı ne yapsın. akÅŸam sofra yemek ister.

  2. Fantastic photos, your pavlova really was the prettiest of the lot :) I agree twitter would be a great way for restaurants to keep their customers in the know. I’m still surprised by the lack on info on a lot of restaurant websites!

    Steph’s last blog post..Random Eatings – BBQ & Cheesecake Fail

  3. Agreed re: Twititter. It’s fascinating to see how the Twitter bandwagon is being jumped on, but few people realise how to use it to full effect. And I love your observation re: Japanese chefs. Perhaps it’s the luxury of the smaller establishments there, although perhaps being an obvious foreigner does have its advantages!

    Helen’s last blog post..Freebie Friday: 50 free $10 delivery vouchers

  4. I have seen so many posts about this night (and salivated at each and every one of them)!
    Flash thingy? Tell me more! I got some ruddbucks to spare and need tips of low light photography (is it not distracting to other diners to flash?)

    lili – pikeletandpie’s last blog post..Pear and Quinoa for breakfast

  5. Great meeting you Howard! I was surprised and impressed by the pavlova too. I agree that Twitter is great if it gives you insight into personalities and menus, rather than simply as marketing.

    Arwen from Hoglet K’s last blog post..A Food Tour of Hartley

  6. What a treat, to be able to have such an exquisite meal.

    13 hours is a very long time to cook lamb, which is a pretty lean meat. What temperature was it cooked at, I wonder.

    Nate’s last blog post..Pavlova Recipe

  7. Simon : Agreed on his twitter usage! And yeah there has been alot of coverage on the several blogs, that’s the only downside I think, double posting lol.

    Karen : A flash is very handy! Not cheap though :/

    Steph : Thanks! My pavlova didn’t stay pretty for long, I demolished it in no time.

    Helen : That’s true, It could of been me being a foreigner! But it would still be nice here if we saw the head chef’s a bit more often.

    Lili : I have an external flash on my DSLR, as I don’t like to use the in-built one due to the lack of control. It can be distracting, so I only whip it out in certain situations. However I usually point it upwards anyway so it’s less distracting.

    FFichiban : The advantage of sitting next to girls!

    Arwen/b> : Was grea to meet you as well and to hear about your garden, I love it!

    Simon : Likewise, you sure enjoyed the wines didnt you ? 😉

    Yas : Indeed, passion is the key.

    K : That whole lamb was very very tasty :)

    <>Nate : I’m going to find out and get back to you!

  8. Slow cooking tougher cuts like shoulders etc are amazingly tender! you should try a Shoulder Rack, they come out beautifully tender and still present really well for guests!

  9. I agree. You can tell that Craig Macindoe is passionate about what he does. And it shows. The food was amazing on my visit.

    The Slow Roast Prime Rib of Organic “Red Poll” with Kipfler Pots and Horseradish Cream was a good hearty meal, and the crunchy potatoes were amazing. The asparagus entree was cooked perfectly, and the Brown Sugar Pavlova with Pineapple and Passion Fruit Sauce was a standout for me!

    I went there as part of a Secret Foodies event. It was a great night of food and conversation!

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