I have been a hermit lately, spreading my wings as a social butterfly in cyberworld alone, but now and again, I go out and mingle with real people, only if it has anything to do with my fave past time, food. Albeit socially awkward in real life (no one notices, somehow), food always manages to calm my nerves.
I am all for new food joints, even got invites from some of them, though sadly missed some. I love it. I love it! I love it. I think the more foodie place options, the better for the world. Let's make food, not war! So delighted is an understatement when I was invited to try out a new gourmet shop in town.
After a fantastic treat, I think Oushé is not just an exception but an example of real passion for food. I sense that this place was opened to tantalize taste buds and surprise you with combinations of ingredients you didn't think will work. Seems like it was opened to have that sheer pleasure of knowing they made someone happy just by putting that small teeny tiny bit of concoction into someone else's mouth. Happiness from eating a really tasty dish has more value to me than the pleasure of purchasing the "it" fashion trend. It might just be me but that's how I regard food and that's what I like about this new place in town.
Coming to Oushé's pre-tasting shindig made me give up my hermit-induced solitude and must I say, I have no regrets. I felt the hard work, attention to detail and the passion for food put nicely together by Reem (the brain and may I add, the heart behind the biz). She didn't go with "what's the usual or what's popular?". She went with, "what taste she enjoys? what she likes to eat? how does she want her dishes presented".
When I came into the shop, my eyes scanned the whole place and saw the sampler's in detail even before Reem welcomed me to her bakeshop. She's just the right person to own a foodie joint, she's warm and personal... I know because I have an allergy for awkward hi's and hello's. She felt like someone I knew before and that normally means, this business is not some branch of a well known food chain. She's not welcomed me the way a cold bottom-line-worrier entrepreneur does. She welcomed me the way one welcomes a family to one's home. This business is close to her heart, more than one can imagine. That attitude not just get attention from the usual Johns and Janes of this fabulous place but it also retains customers... loyalty and support goes hand and hand for a business to work.
She didn't tell me any of those of course, but I saw it and tasted it in the dishes I tucked into last night. Her personality is everywhere. From the bakeshop's minimalist décor, letting the food be the star while staying functional... to the food that has secret infusions of Reem's own discoveries which makes it work. She didn't reinvent the wheel altogether, let's just say, she pimped the wheel to put it mildly.
And so the tasting journey began, straight to sweets. Yes, that's wrong, I should go for sandwiches and salads first like a normal person would but I'm far from normal and so my main course? Desserts.
Anyone watching me last night would have notice I was having a very good conversation in my head. Anyone else inviting me for tasting must warn other guests that I'm a food loony. Every flavour and every texture is a beautiful chaos in my head waiting to be untangled. That's just how it is.
My first victim was The Legendary. That's what their brownies are called. It tasted not very far from the name. I was baffled though because the one "without nuts" felt like it had! Trickery I tell you... trickery... they were just the right amount of sweetness with the right amount of chocolate... I didn't run to the bev's section because I didn't need to. Everything were in unison. I knew then that I have to buy some for home so I can enjoy The Legendary flavour with my boys.
Bresaola Rocket Salad ... my very first and I tell you... my affinity with Carpaccio was shaken by their bresaola. I took it with apprehension because I know Bresaola are cooked and thought it'll be tough and salty. It wasn't! I dipped it into their special sauce and took another one just in case I'm mistaken... really fresh tasting and rocket leaves are becoming more and more my go-to leafy for almost anything possible. Their Bresaola we delicate to my pleasant surprise.
They also have Feta, Watermelon and Rocket salad which I didn't get the chance to photograph before eating. It is an upgrade to the usual feta and salad combination. I think the combination will be a hit or miss for some... it was a hit for me so I'm quite happy with it.
Next important bite was the Lime, coriander and chicken salad... beautiful texture with even a surprise appearance of pumpkin seeds if I'm not mistaken. Tender chicken, crunchy seed and greens drizzled with fresh lime infused dressing. I doubt I can replicate that at home... definitely coming back for it soon.
I tasted the cheese and chutney sandwich combination too and enjoyed them. I'd say chutney was the star of the dish. It's a marriage of subtle flavours. Simple sometimes work. It doesn't hurt that the bread with flecks of seed complete the texture in every bite.
Appetite still on the go, I moved on to the Chicken curry wrap. I was a little scared to say the least. I'm not a big fan of curry but tried it anyway. It was tasty and filling. Anyone who'll say it was heavy definitely isn't looking for a sandwich. I think if I'm grabbing a sandwich for a meal, I want it to be tasty and filling the way their chicken curry wrap does. It felt like comfort food to me. Creamy with a tinge of curry spice in a really soft bread, yum! This wrap has characters hard to put in words.
Green tea with lavender was a different story to some. I eavesdropped, a lot and I apologize but that's what I do when I come for tasting. I listen and try to see it through someone else's point of view. Some didn't like this drink maybe because they are not accustomed to the flowery essence included into something they'll eat or drink but I think this drink is beautiful. It smelled pretty and tasted healthy... I wish there's another way of describing it without sounding like I'm describing a perfume but lavender has a subtle flavour that doesn't really overpower food or drink flavours... my appetite was not dampen at all.
If there's one thing that I think should be improved in both drinks... serve it ice cold. Just imagining it in a glass with beads of condensation on the side, sipping its cold freshness... perfection I say!
I tried the Leek, Corn and Mascarpone next and fell in love with it! The sweet tasting corn definitely owns this dish. Leek and mascarpone complemented the star beautifully.
Then my fave pit stop, Apples on apples. A deconstructed apple pie was the last sample that I munched on. I love baking apple pie and love experimenting with everything similar to it and apples on apples? It's morish. I actually sat on the ledge next to it so it can be easier for me to grab some more. I love it. Ideas were exploding in my head on every bite.
She's done well opening a bakeshop that feels so warm and friendly, far from the cold giants out there, indeed an accomplishment for the neighborhood food joint.
Here are some more photos I took last night ... enjoy and don't forget to visit Oushé, our neighborhood Gourmet Bakeshop.
04 - 3850011
Check out their menu and find more treats on offer! ONLINE MENU