Ok ... so on Tuesday I contemplated the meaning of life and the axiom " ... is just a number" was applied to a variety of thoughts and poses. To celebrate I scored a lovely bottle of Moet, a yummy pear and custard tart, gave myself another Borders treat (now going at the rate of 6 for $30!) and met M over in Fitzroy for the culinary delights of Gigibaba (FINALLY!!! - this no booking policy is seriously starting to bite!).
I have to apoligise for the shocking quality of the pics. Gigibaba takes mood lighting to an extreme but those naked lightbulbs (I know a tad passe now) are still delightful. And the hanging chairs are actually functional and if you sit at the bar, they have hooks underneath to hang your handbag, jacket, leather whip etc ...
I needed something to clear the nose and the palate so I suggested a glass of Paul's House Spiced Matusalem Rum ... perfect choice! It soothed the throat and cleared the nose ... a vicks vapodrop in a glass.
And it certainly whetted the appetite. I kid you not when I say that if we made a second trip and ordered as many dishes as we did last night, we will have covered the entire menu ... and its not that small a menu!!
The menu is sepaeated into roughly 4 parts and the prices range from round about $6 through to $22. I should have taken note of the actual menu descriptions, but as usual, I was too busy imbibing ... and isn't that really the point?
To begin with, we each had a sardine on toast. With the first mouthful I knew we were in for a good night. We made sure we ordered a suitably varied number of dishes that covered as many different flavours as could be guessed at just from the menu descriptions alone.
We were even sent a complimentary dish of chicken livers (serbed with sliced grapes) ... and it is testament to Ismail Tozan's artistry that both M and I were left wanting more after consuming (trepidatiously) these as liver is one of the few offally bits we don't really like.
Then came the smoked eggplant with more yummy bread (pretty much free flow) and that beautiful cauliflower and pomegranate salad, a version of which we had at Cumulus Inc ... its the side dish du jour! Its hard to describe the melange of flavours of which each dish had a surfeit of.
We had the hellimi cheese served with steamed dates. Biting into this was like the prefect distillation of breakfast.
Not wanting to mess with the histamines in wine, we opted for Pear cider instead for liquid libation. I'm not surprised that its such a popular tipple these days. Its not as cloying as Apple cider and has the distinction of being both dry and sweet at the same time. They serve Gypsy's here at Gigi's.
For the protein part of proceedings, we had quail (heaven) served with a spicy yoghurty sauce, Lamb Ribs (ecstacy) and like the beef equivalent at Cafe Vue, the meat just slid off the bone and it was an absolute pleasure to chew on those smoky slivers of calcium! We also had Tokay's signature dish of Lamb chops (pummelled into LED TV proportions) with sea salt and wild oregano (OMG!!). Bring me a bucket of these and more cider please ... and thats a weekend all wrapped up!!
We didn't think anything more could top this ... but dear readers ... let me present the Spanner Crab and Haloumi tart. If I could write an orgasm I would at this very moment!! The tart was covered in slices of cucumber in a mayonaisse style sauce, which complemented the "on the verge" salty hit of the haloumi that didn't overpower the sweetness of the crab at all!! How does he do it? This is highwire gastronomy with no safety net!
And with that I am all spent. You simply have to go.
(and of course we had dessert!! Steamed pumpkin with sauce anglaise and 2 turkish coffees)