Category Archives: Organic

Time to Gather

Nettle Pizza @  Gather, Berkeley

20130201-093855.jpg

Finally tried this nice looking restaurant in Berkeley that prides itself in seasonal and organic dishes. My previous attempt to dine here was unsuccessful because I lacked the foresight to make reservations and was too impatient to wait an hour to be seated. Fortunately there was not a line at all for lunch, probably also because of the fact that I went on a weekday.

My friend and I ordered a Nettle pizza with Hen of the Woods, potato, mozzarella, caramelized onions and San Joaquin Gold as toppings. Pretty good — I felt a little healthy eating this than I would a regular pizza. Their Pancetta pizza with egg as a topping looked pretty good too.

So how does this pizza fare? It is good pizza but I would still go for Cheeseboard, Sliver (new pizzeria similar to Cheeseboard but closer to campus!) or Bobby G if ambience were not too concerned about ambience.

Slow

It was one of those nights when we had something to celebrate and it seemed justifiable to indulge ourselves with some gourmet food. Gather was our first choice but we had forgotten to make reservations and due to my hunger and impatience, we found ourselves stepping into a quaint little restaurant called Slow. There is a quote in its website that reads:

“Create gourmet food using fresh local ingredients, serve it in a modest setting, and charge reasonable prices so everyone can enjoy slow food.”

I thought it was interesting how seriously the restaurant takes the concept of eating slow food. I walked into the restaurant with their chicken confit in mind, having done my research on the menu a while ago, but I was not allowed to place any orders until after being seated for fifteen minutes.  It seems like the restaurant made it a rule for customers to take their time to settle down and peruse the menu.

When I took the first bite out of my chicken confit, I knew that it was worth the wait. The skin was perfectly crispy and the meat was so juicy and tender. Through this dish I discovered my new found love for butternut squash and kamut. The portion size and the proportion of greens, meat and carbs was perfect for me and I felt thoroughly satisfied and good about myself by the end of the meal. For once, I was somewhat convinced that consuming organic and fresh locally-grown food could really be beneficial for me.

Chicken Confit @ Slow, Berkeley

20121103-191127.jpg

The oxtail is also another one of Slow’s popular dishes and I thought it was good, but nowhere near as good as the chicken confit in my humble opinion.

Niman Ranch Oxtail @ Slow, Berkeley

20121103-191108.jpg

Apart from the mandatory fifteen minute wait before placing my order at times of hunger, I had a positive experience here at Slow. I am eager to try their lunch sandwiches next time.

Seafood from Venus

Steamed Tomales Bay Mussels @ Venus Restaurant, Berkeley

20120908-000323.jpg

Absolutely mouth watering and I love the spicy and flavourful coconut curry!  The curry beats the relatively mild ones I have had in Thai restaurants. The day I had this was also the day I learnt of the existence and wonders of fennel and trumpet mushrooms.

Pan Seared Albacore Tuna

20120908-000507.jpg

Frankly a vast disappointment but thankfully this was not my actual dish. The tuna was rather bland and dry, and that should not be the case for a dish carrying its price tag. Seriously, just go for the mussels. Full stop.

Razan’s Organic Kitchen

The Jordanian Wrap, stuffed with falafel and cauliflower and lettuce and tomatoes and tahini and grilled onion, was simply delightful. I am always very impressed when an eatery manages to deliver  healthy vegetarian food that is appealing to the taste buds too. The other vegetarian options at Razan’s also looked very tempting, such as their Garden Burrito, Spinach Melt Burrito, Egyptian Wrap, Jerusalem Wrap, Lebanese Wrap and Mediterranean Plate. So many vegetarian food that I would order on my own volition!

I also had one of their non-vegetarian options, the Chicken Shish Kebab Wrap. It was deceivingly very savoury and contrasted quite greatly with the relatively light Jordanian Wrap I had earlier.

Regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or not, you will like what Razan’s Organic Kitchen has to offer!

Paradise Pie

This, was paradise in a pan. The swirl of mango puree on top of the roasted ham and pineapple was simply amazing. A thicker pizza base, maybe, and this pizza would be perfection. 

I have only one regret walking out of Bobby G’s Pizzeria – the regret of ordering a half instead of a whole pan of Paradise Pie. I would have devoured the entire pan of Paradise.