Foodbuzz 24×24: Restaurant City Food

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Restaurant city is an online cooking game by Playfish. It is played on Facebook and it has about 5,6 million active monthly players! The concept of the game is: you have a restaurant, you decorate it and the main goal is collecting ingredients, learning and upgrading dishes. Currently, there are 302 different recipes in starter, main dish, dessert and drink. I have tried to prepare some of them for you.

I decided to focus on the looks of the dish – make it as similar as possible to the in-game original. Sometimes that meant that the dish is not made properly. And sometimes Playfish used different ingredients than those that should be used in the recipe.

Biscotti

Biscotti

Biscotti

(recipe is from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich)

170 g flour
200 g sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 Tbsp rum
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp anise seed, crushed
80 g almonds, toasted, then coarsely chopped

In a bowl mix sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix eggs, rum, vanilla and almond extract and anise seed. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. You will get very sticky batter. Scrape it onto large baking pan lined with baking paper. Wet your hands and shape the batter into 10 x 30 cm log.

Bake in a preheated oven on 150°C for about 50 minutes. After it’s done let cool for 15 minutes. Leave oven turned on. Transfer the loaf onto a cutting board and cut it diagonally into 1,5 cm thick slices. Use serrated knife. Place slices into baking pan and return into the oven for another 40 minutes.

Notes: Mine batter was way too runny. When I put it into the oven it kind of spilled and I had to wrap it into baking paper that lined the pan.

Refreshing Pasta Salad

Refreshing Pasta Salad

Cooked fusilli tricolore, olive oil, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes and basil. Not so refreshing. And not so nice :)

Steak Diane

Steak Diane

The base recipe is from here. I only made it without mushrooms. I made heart decorations by cutting out hearts from cooked carrots. The recipe in particular is amazing and even better with mushrooms, I’m sure. I just would never serve it with carrots, but with potatoes. You will notice the use of coriander leaves. Think Playfish made a mistake here. Proper ingredient would be parlsey.

Cinnamon Swirl

Cinnamon Swirl

Cinnamon roll as cinnamon swirl. I made a couple of batches in order to make something that resembled the one from the game. None of them looked like it. Funny, the one that you see is actually a failed one, but it was the closest to the original :)

Chocolate Milkshake

Chocolate Milkshake

Chocolate ice cream blended with some milk and powdered chocolate. Poured in a glass, topped with whipped cream and with a candied cherry on top.

Carrot Milkshake

Carrot Milkshake

Carrot Milkshake

(adapted from here)

3 carrots
3 cardamom pods
500 ml milk
2 Tbsp light brown sugar

Boil milk with sugar and crushed cardamom pods. Strain and let cool. Cook carrots. Puree in a blender with some milk. When it’s well pureed add the remaining milk. Chill before serving.

Everything made specially for Foodbuzz.

All photos by me, illustrations by Playfish.

Istanbul Street Food

Last year, Mateja and me went on a trip through Asia. We saw a lot, experienced a lot, and of course, ate a lot :) In the next couple of posts I will tell you all about it. Mostly about food, less about sights, as this is, after all, a food blog, and the food in Asia is so exciting.

Istanbul Street Wendors

Our first stop – Istanbul. What a city! So many people, shops, food, sweets, carpets… All in all, colors everywhere. Sellers literary drag us into the shops, serve tea and by all means try to sell us carpets for special discounted prices. They explain how their carpet is an essential and necessary item on our journey :) It is a carpet, but it can also be a blanket, or a pillow, and it can be bundled so small that it will fit into a backpack.

Istanbul Street Wendors

Cats everywhere. Walking completely relaxed, like dogs in our country. A very few dogs though.

Back to the food. Turkish cuisine is very similar to all other Balkan cuisines and generally, you can make no mistake, whatever you have. Everything is very delicious.

Today I will tell you about street food of Istanbul.

Istanbul Chestnuts Street Seller

First thing we tried were roasted chestnuts. Twice the size of the chestnuts I am used on the streets of Belgrade. Neatly placed on a vendor cart, perfectly opened so you don’t bother much peeling them, but way undercooked. What a disappointement!

Pomergrantes in Istanbul

Gigantic pomergrantes! Everywhere a small store or a street vendor that will prepare fresh juice.

Pomergrante Juice, Preparation

A glass of juice is 3 Turkish liras (about 1,5 euros or 2$). A guy with the surgical gloves squeezes it out on a special press and even strains it. Very nice.

Pomergrante Juice

Hakiki Sicak Salep

A guy that worked at the hostel we stayed at told us there is a drink we must try. He couldn’t remember the English word for it and said it’s served with lots of cinnamon and that it’s made out of a kind of flower. And indeed, it was an orchid drink. Salep is made from orchid tuber flour and water (or milk), sweetened, then flavored with rose water. Served very very hot and to me tasting like a rice pudding. The sign at the cart says “genuine hot orchid”. Apparently, the drink was so popular throughout the country that it endangered certain species of orchids. Export is prohibited and many artificially flavored powders appeared.

Istanbul Street Wendors

Turkish Churos Street Seller

Don’t know the name of this one but it was amazing. King of a deep fried dough, something between tulumba and churo, soaked into sugary syrup and sprinkled with dessicated coconut and ground pistachios.

Istanbul Farmers Market

We’ve been to the markets also. Basically, everything you can find in Serbia, but most of the fruits way bigger.

Islak Burger

Inside Islak (Wet) Burger is a meatball in tomato sauce. Then the whole bun is soaked in that sauce too. Sooo good! But too small to be called a burger. I could eat 3 or 4 without blinking.

Tarihi Osmanli

This is Macun – an old Ottoman candy. I’m not a great fan of sweets and this one seemed like a melted lollipop. No way I’m gonna lick melted sugar from a screwdriver! At least that’s how I felt at the moment. But just a couple of days later I was eating way more gross stuff and loved it. Feel kind of sorry now that I haven’t tasted this one.

Pickles Drink Street Seller

Another one we didn’t have :) Imagine a liquid from pickled vegetables, poured in a cup then stuffed with all kinds of pickled vegetables! We make sauerkraut in Serbia. At home. It’s pickled cabbage, for those who don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I love sauerkraut! I adore it! But some people like to drink the liquid that cabbage ferments in. And that’s bittery and sour and to me not tasty at all!

Turkish Pickles Drink

You would be surprised how many people buy this! Like you would buy and ice cream. Looks beautiful though :)

Midye Dolma

Midye Dolma – Turkish stuffed mussels. Rice is first fried with herbs and mussels slightly cooked. After, the mussels are stuffed with rice and eaten sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Very, very tasty.

Turkish Coffe & Nargile

Finally, no visit to Turkey is complete without Turkish coffee and nargile :) We sit in a coffee shop for a coffee, tea and nargile. The owner approaches to take the order and tells us whispering that he’s got beer also, it just isn’t on the menu. Are the taxes too high or it’s something else, I don’t know, but it is not common to find beer in a coffee shop and it’s much more expensive than in Serbia. Even in the stores.

Coffee is exactly as we drink it in Serbia – strong and black. It will always come with a piece of Turkish delight that tastes as it’s been made five minutes ago and melts in your mouth.

Nargila

The waiter brings us nargile, lights it up and leaves. With coffee, a real treat!

Turkish Tea & Nargila

Turkish people drink black tea more than coffee. And it’s always served in a specific glass. Turkish çay is traditionally prepared with two kettles stacked one over another. In lower, bigger one, is first boiled some water. Than the top one, smaller, is filled with tea leaves and filled with the previously boiled water. This produces very strong tea that is later diluted with the remaining water to taste.

To be continued…