Archive for October, 2008

Wao’s Chinese Restaurant, Grange, Cork

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Joe from Wao's

Taking a break from the kitchen on Friday evening we decided to take the messy-miniatures (4 and 6) to the local Chinese. Being a typically wet and windy October night we opted for the safety of the nearest to us which is Wao’s, attached to The Grange pub, right next to Aldi. In Grange.

The restaurant itself is small enough, I suppose typical of a suburban Chinese it plies most of its trade as a Take Away and boy was it busy with a steady stream of people in and out collecting bags of food. Wao’s also have the advantage of having a direct link to a pub, at 6pm we were a bit early for the Friday night curry brigade but it’s a great ‘one stop shop’ if you enjoy a few pints and a curry.

What I liked most about Wao’s is Joe. Joe (above) is the front of house guy and is eternally cheery which is a welcome breath of fresh air in today’s po-faced service industry. Joe makes the kids feel welcome and holds conversations with the adults as they wait for their take aways. He checks diners have what they need and checks the kitchen is keeping up. There should be a Joe everywhere. There should be a Joe in my local service station and there should be one at the checkout in Dunnes Stores. As for the food, it was average. The Won Tons were short on filling, the chicken curry was nice, the roast pork was plentiful and the rice was a bit sticky. Simply put it was a sit down take away. Joe visited during the meal to make sure we were OK and to steal some of the kids noodles, he told them if they finished their dinner he would give them ice cream and the deal was held up on both ends. The kids got their ice cream which was followed by lollipops and the promise of more ice-cream if they finished their dinner the next time.

The meal of Won Tons, Chicken Spring Roll, Chicken Curry, Roast Pork in BBQ Sauce, Two Fried Rice, a portion of Noodles, two cokes and a Bottle of Sauvignon Blanc came to €65. Eating out is not all about the quality of the food, its about the overall experience and what suits your needs at what time. Wao’s isn’t fine dining and nor is it advertised as such. No problems with Wao’s at all. Thanks Joe.

Broccoli and Mature Cheddar Soup

Saturday, October 4th, 2008
Cheddar Cheese Soup

More soup this week, not much to report except that you can use any cheese you want. The original recipe was ‘Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup‘ which is tasty enough but a tad strong. When an entire bottle of wine is consumed during the soup course you know you have a problem. OK, that problem may not be the soup but for the sake of illustration lets pretend the wine was to overpower the overpowering blue cheese and I’ve made my point.

On topics overpowering maybe we could have used some of JD’s “African Coffee straight from Africa”. Two teaspoons of this would be enough to incapacitate a small nation with enough left over to construct a fleet of light aircraft. Initially I thought maybe the shops weren’t stocking it for ethical reasons but after being sent some by JD I know the real reason. It’s bloody horrific. Thanks anyway JD. I won’t be calling for the next while as I expect the Drug Squad will have the Hillman Hunter stationed outside your gaff for a bit.

Back to the soup. I’ve adapted the recipe to include mature cheddar. The Killowen Cheddar from Newmarket in Cork is matured for two years and really gives the soup what it needs, you can get the cheese in most Irish supermarkets but Killowen don’t appear to have a web presence, if they had it’d linkey it. Upshot of the whole story is we now have wine left for the main course. Hurrah! Enjoy your week.

Apologies for the pic, I used the cheese before I wrote the article

Cheddar Cheese Soup

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Ingredients for two:
1 Onion, sliced
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
2 Large Heads of Broccoli
3-4 handfuls of grated Mature Cheddar Cheese (or any type)
1 1/2 pints of Chicken or Veg Stock
Optional: 1 Tablespoon of Mascarpone cheese to thicken.

Slowly fry the onion and garlic in a little oil for 5-6mins. Chop the broccoli, add to the pot and stir. Add in the stock, I find a good measure for the stock is enough to just cover the broccoli. Cover the pot and simmer slowly for 10mins until the veg is soft. Allow to cool slightly and blend. Return to the heat and add the cheese. If you want the soup extra creamy add a spoon of mascarpone cheese before serving.

Tip: Better to make this too thick and thin it with boiling water after. It is far easier to thin soup rather than try and thicken it.