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Dinner with friends

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There is a small group of friends from my previous employment that I like to catch up with…we started off going out to dinner at a local restaurant but now have decided to catch up at each other’s homes as it’s a little more relaxed.

But our first catch up was at a local restaurant serving South East Asian cuisine.  Unfortunately one of my friends could not attend so it turned out to be just four of us.  What a great night it was…lots of food and wine and so much to catch up on.fullsizeoutput_263fullsizeoutput_262I chose this restaurant as I had been here before and enjoyed the food.  XO Restaurant is located in a small neighbourhood shopping street and is known for its communal share plates.  There is a range of vegetarian and vegan dishes and lots of other dishes for my meat and seafood loving friends.

We started off with steamed dumplings…yum…these were Chinese style dumplings but a little like Italian ravioli containing minced vegetables and wood ear mushrooms sitting in a spicy soy vinaigrette and also a dish of special XO fried chicken wings which were marinated in butter milk and came served with a large dollop of kewpie mayonnaise.fullsizeoutput_265fullsizeoutput_264

We also ordered two plates of Banh Mi; one a vegetarian lentil burger with carrots and cucumber and a mushroom pate which was accompanied by a chilli kewpie mayonnaise.  The other plate pretty much the same but with a pork burger and toppings of carrot and cucumber.  A little more than bite size and so tasty.

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Next dish I chose was the shallow friend tofu with soy and candied ginger.  I do love tofu especially now I am vegan [which wasn’t at the time of going to this restaurant] and this didn’t fail to impress…the tofu was so fresh and the sauce delicious.

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I must say looking back on the evening we really ordered so much food but unsurprisingly managed to eat it all.  I have decided just to list all the dishes as there really were so many…and every one was delicious.

Two dishes of fried Udon noodles; one vegetarian in a Swiss brown mushroom ragout and the other with chicken.

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Sugar snaps tossed in a garlic confit.

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Fried baby squid with a sweet chilli salt.

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Grilled chicken thigh fillet with a pickled vegetable and peanut sauce.

fullsizeoutput_27bNasi goring with squid ink fried rice, spanner crab and fluffy eggs – well that is what the eggs are called, I just think they are a little scrambled; suppose they could be fluffy!

fullsizeoutput_27cSlow cooked black Angus chuck steak reduced in coconut milk and spices.

fullsizeoutput_277Steamed fish cooked with ginger, shallots and shoaling wine.

fullsizeoutput_278Yes… and still more to come.  Only one more dish though…a salmon ceviche with lime caviar, red curry cream and a crispy salmon skin.

fullsizeoutput_268All throughout the evening, wine certainly flowed and our laugher grew louder. Funnily enough we didn’t have any room for dessert.  I really do love catching up with my friends and look forward to the next catch up with this particular group of girls but now know all three that came on this occasion cannot work out a bill even though it pretty much was just divided by four!!