As a gesture of gratitude for hosting her, Katy kindly bought us a meal at a restaurant of our choice and we took little more than seconds to choose Shakahari.
I declared that a shared plate of avocado rolls was mandatory. They were as exquisite as ever - buttery avocado and soft eggplant, firmer capsicum, crisp golden tempura batter and a slightly tangy herb sauce. Entrees don't get much better than this.
When we recently wrote about tempeh, Sarah mentioned how much she liked the tempeh laksa at Shakahari. Even though we'd never seen it on the menu ourselves, Michael had said earlier in the evening how much he'd like laksa and he got lucky - there it was on the menu tonight! This is the Green Laksa Siam ($18.50) - green tea soba noodles, spinach, mushroom and sprouts in a coconut broth of Thai herbs and spices; it is topped with seitan, tofu and tempeh strips. It was a large meal, even for Michael, and with quite a spicy kick.
I went for the Satay Legend ($17.50), not seen since Jason ordered it on our very first visit to this restaurant. These are "deep fried skewers of bean curd, seitan, onion and capsicum dressed with an addictive mildly spiced peanut sauce. It comes with pickles and turmeric rice." The satay sticks certainly lived up to the description, and my best guess is that the pickles were red cabbage, ginger and radish. These earthy slices of ginger were something entirely different to the slivers served with sushi!
Katy's main course was the Croquette Madam Fang that I had last time - how could she choose anything else after I raved about the kumquat chilli sauce? Also on the menu were Angel Jewels (a tagine of red quinoa, roasted vegetables and toasted almonds), the Bandit Queen (a plate of Indian delights), the Rustichella Linguini (the impressive pasta of Michael's previous meal) and Black Olive Passion (a most fusion-like paella incorporating dashi, olives, chickpeas, cashews and lemon).
I don't know quite how I did it, but I persuaded Katy and Michael that we could go thirds on a dessert. Not just any dessert, but a cherry chocolate pudding ($12.50), with maraschino liquer flavoured mascarpone cream. Hot pudding, cold cream and luscious berry sauce - those few bites each were the perfect finish. (But I'm glad I wasn't pushing myself through an entire serving at this stage.)
Another dinner at Shakahari, another rave review. It'd almost be boring if it wasn't so darn GOOD.
(You can also read our first, second and third raves.)