Saturday, 21 December 2013

It's a double post kind of day as I finally let rip with a rant about the truly unpleasant experience at the Bluewaters in Cottesloe at the beginning of the week.  Normally I like the food at Bluewaters, but when I ordered Bircher muesli and was served still half dry muesli, doused in milk, I was mildly bewildered.  MILK for heaven's sake.  I don’t like confrontation.  Nine times out of ten, I don’t speak up when I’m not happy with something in a restaurant because it’s generally easier just to let it go, but on this occasion, after picking off the fruit, I mentioned to the waitress that what I had been served was not bircher muesli.  Because I’m a muesli snob, I pronounced it the Swiss-German way – “birk-er”.  (I once lived with a half-Swede chef who was very, very adamant that I pronounce it this way)  The waitress informed me that I had actually ordered “birch-a” muesli…. When we had clarified that we meant the same thing, I just wanted to politely explain her that I did not expect my dish to be presented this way.  She informed me that this was just the way it was served at Bluewaters.  Realising that this was a 'the customer's always wrong ' situation, I decided it wasn't worth arguing about and wanted to just pay and go.  

When I went to the bar to pay, in fairness to the waitress, she had asked if it could be removed from the bill, but alas no – because that’s the way the bircher was served and this was a matter of taste and taste is “subjective”.  I use quotation marks because this is actually the word she used.  It wasn’t a matter of “subjective” taste at all, it was just simply a disgusting excuse for a breakfast dish.  For $14. 

Home made Bircher - note the lack of a milk swimming pool
So, to the chef/s of Bluewaters, I offer this recipe – what I expect when I order Bircher muesli.  When I’m feeling energetic, I make my own mix of oats, nuts/seeds and dried fruit, but if I’m lazy, I’ll buy a pre-prepared box of raw muesli from the supermarket – no sugar, or processed grains.  There’s a lot of argument about whether to include the yoghurt and apple before or after you refrigerate the oats overnight, but I don’t think it really matters. 

Bircher Muesli (for two small appetites, or one large hunger)
2/3 cup whole oats
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1 tbsp sultanas or any dried fruit of choice
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup fresh orange juice (or apple if you prefer and can be bothered to juice it fresh)
1 apple, grated
3 tbsp plain yoghurt (I like Greek)
Fresh fruit or compote to serve

Place the oats, nuts, sultanas cinnamon and orange juice in a bowl.  Stir to combine and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, stir in the yoghurt and grated apple.  Top with fresh fruit or compote if that’s your thing.  

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