Tuesday September 28, 2004
Sharpen your filleting skillsI can't remember how long ago it was that I stood in a restaurant, wearing a waiter's uniform with a black bow tie, filleting fish in front of customers. This memory loss has also afflicted my filleting skills, as I realised when faced recently with the task of tackling a couple of fine creatures using two new Victorinox filleting knives. Lucky I have a chef for a husband. The best tip in my revision lesson was that the more flexible the blade, the better the knife for small fish. This made the work on a king george whiting easier than I'd anticipated. The knife with the sturdier blade - better suited to larger fish with stronger bone structure - worked well on the firmer, meatier flathead. If you know what you're doing (or you're friendly with someone who does), these knives are a great addition to any kitchen. -- Hilary McNevinStockists of Victorinox Fibrox fish filleting knives include King of Knives stores; Cooks Corner, Collingwood; London & American Supplies, city; and The Essential Ingredient, Prahran. Rrp $34-$44.Small in size, big on qualitySmall things come in good parcels. Well, they do in this lunchbox from Prahran catering company Egg Unlimited. The glossy white box is neatly lined with a selection of eight miniature tarts, bagels, cakes and sandwiches. The smoked salmon and creme fraiche bagel was my favourite, closely followed by the oven-dried tomato and goat's cheese galette. There were also mini-bread chicken sandwiches, another wee bagel, a polenta tart, bite-sized chocolate cake and cheesecake. Intended for one person (generously) and designed for the boardroom, in-house meetings or for a girls' lunch at home, it also would be perfect for the Spring Racing Carnival. -- Leanne TolraEgg Deluxe Lunchbox, $18 each, minimum order four boxes. Vegetarian option available. Egg Unlimited, 21 St Edmonds Road, Prahran, phone 9510 6805.Brunswick's big butchersManager Fausto Negri can't say for sure that Nino's and Joe's in Brunswick is the largest butcher's shop in Melbourne, but from his cheeky smile you can assume he's quietly confident. In sparkling new premises just a few doors down from the shop where they served loyal Brunswick customers for more than 30 years, the new Nino's and Joe's is big enough to cater to half the suburb, and on Saturday mornings they often do. While the old shop offered visceral pleasure to those who enjoyed the theatre of knives flashing as staff diced, minced and filleted right in front of their eyes, customers can take comfort from the fact that the ancient scarred chopping tables from up the road are still in use, even if the new counter tops hide some of the action. The store will also be offering some new lines over the coming months, but the butcher's famous pork sausages and West Australian capocollo (a dried beef similar to prosciutto) won't be going anywhere. "No one makes pork sausages like we do," Negri says with pride. -- Justine CostiganNino's and Joe's Meats, 317 Victoria Street, Brunswick, phone 9380 2081.