My little brother is a sucker for compliments and the first time he tried to impress us with his chef skills went something like this. Buckle up for a review of all ‘flavours’ of humour trauma and surprise.
On a cold Thursday in November, we were presented with a ginormous bowl of light pinkish – reddish pasta with what was supposed to be mint, tempered chicken, and peanuts. We were given rather specific guidelines as to how it should be consumed of which one was that the bite had to include all the mini components of the dish.
So we dig in…
1 second in – the pasta is definitely overcooked, from my judgement, Al dente had been completely disregarded and the chef appeared to have gone in for his own definition of Al dente, yet pasta is too good to give up based off being over cooked and if I’m being really honest, it added a bit of a “gooey” texture to the pasta. All in all, pasta: almost good!
Moving on to the sauce, now the recipe said, “creamy tomato and spinach pasta” and being the oversensitive person I am, I could definitely sense a hint of mint. While mint alone would have been perfect, the mint to tomato just wasn’t quite right. It’s almost as if I had just had a pinch of sour cream mixed with a tingle of my toothpaste; but hey, mistakes often lead to all new discoveries! (At least that’s what my mom said to him) so, all in all, sauce? I’d give it an A for attempt and innovation, C for taste as it reminded me a little of my Cloguard!
Moving on to the ‘tempered’ chicken, which actually was surprisingly good! Although the recipe called for tempering the chicken, I think he made the right call to slightly fry it as it added a nice crunch to the bite! While also adding a nice brownish- black colour effect to the dish. He who adores bbq sauce on anything and everything, had decided to glaze the chicken with some of it and while I would ordinarily call out his psychotic characters, I must admit it undermined the mint to a great extent! So my judgement on chicken? A Plus!
What happened to the spinach that was supposed to be on the sauce you ask? Well it made its way to the party as part of the garnish and call me weird, but the addition of fresh greens really gave it a whole new vibe which unfortunately we all got sick of after 2 bites… oh the peanuts? They felt like an exception to the general pattern as I have no complains to make… baked to the perfect temperature and given the right amount of salt! I’d give this aspect a solid 8.6/10!
The presentation… hmm… what can I say? Okay let’s go with this… Prior to bringing it in, we had been made aware of the importance of understanding that food, however presented, once in the stomach is … just food. Keeping this in mind, I’d invite you to use your imagination to create a visualisation of a huge bowl of pinkish- green pasta that is topped with the spinach that was meant for the sauce, chicken, and peanuts! I would give it a 0/10 but I do find myself questioning the rationale of “insta worthy food” as the argument of food, once in the stomach being just food feels pretty difficult to counter!
Overall… I’d say this was a roller coaster of a dish with more downs than ups but I think that itself is the reason I chose to review this. Not only was an attempt made, the attempt was rather formidable and did we end up gobbling up the whole bowl? We sure did! More importantly, I think food is key in human interactions beyond the mere provision of energy… it gives us memories to remember, and you best believe we’d remember this night less with its imperfections and more with the jokes made and time spent together!
Rtr. Sajani Jayasinghe
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