About Me

Whitefella Australian learning how to be gwai lo (鬼佬) in Hong Kong

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gobi 65, or Why I'll never make it as a food blogger

Blurry Gobi 65
This is really not a perfect picture, but then neither was the dish. The other day I was reading this post from my friend Johanna's great food blog, and it made me long for a great Gobi 65, or more specifically, the great Gobi 65 from Malabar Hut.
Now I can find some excellent Indian food here in Hong Kong (if I haven't already recommended Brantos, let me do so again) but they DON'T make Gobi 65, and that's a great shame, because it's the best entree (appetizer for those of you in the US) ever.
A long while back I'd tried to replicate the dish at home, and it was a miserable failure. I figure it'd been long enough that I should give it another try. Actually, I gave it two tries, and they were both vast improvements on my long-ago effort, but still not as good as I had hoped. Tasty, but not drop-down-delicious.
As I'm not a real food blogger, I'm not going to go into great details about making the dish. I used this recipe, which I have to say, is probably pretty close to the techniques that must be used in the hallowed original, though perhaps I just need twenty years more practice. I used the recipe as it was, but I did put in garlic, and I didn't have any saffron. On my first attempt, I didn't think my batter was spicy enough, and perhaps my marinading time wasn't long enough. The second time I prepared the batter before lunch, so it could marinade all afternoon, as well as upping the spice quotient, and this seemed to work well. My small problem the second time was a classic frying problem - I mustn't have got the oil temperature quite right, so my cauliflower was a bit too oily, which always takes away a little bit of the joy. Why, oh why, did I leave my cooking thermometer back in Australia? (Okay, yes, so I have a very small kitchen here, but it would still be handy!)
My only real wisdom to pass on about Gobi 65 is this - isn't there a fundamental mismatch between the size of a cauliflower, and the perfect size for a serving of Gobi 65? I found the very smallest cauliflower I could, and it still made two much-too-large servings, for our family of two. So by my reckoning, you'd probably need to have a family of about eight, to really make the most of a cauliflower without fried-food overload. So perhaps I'll be putting my Gobi 65 ambitions aside for another year or so, and settle for just a little bit of food nostalgia instead.


1 comment:

  1. I'd never heard of gobi 65 until I went to malabar hut with you - am amazed to find it is a popular dish - I would love to try it but I hate deep frying even with a thermometer - would suggest we do it together when you are next in Melb but it is easier to go to malaber hut - and my tip to feel like a food blogger with your pics is to find your close up button - it makes a huge difference