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The Mercury, Good Life, 12 July 2013

Nuts about Parc's nosh

Frank Chemaly

 

"I love peanut butter.  As kids we would make "gobstopper" sandwiches for school - hunks of bread spread thick with the stuff, often tarted up with honey, syrup or apricot jam.  Other kids thought they were posh because their mommies served plastic pink viennas with lashings of tomato sauce - in a roll too.  I still shudder at the though today.  Others boasted banana and condensed milk - horrors.  But the humble peanut always got my vote.  It's still the ultimate comfort food.

 

So when at PARC recently I was offered a peanut butter milkshake, I jumped at the opportunity.  Not even the array of freshly squeezed fruit juices could dissuade me.  And delicious it was - a meal in a glass.

 

Recently opened, Parc is the brainchild or Brett Gentles who was the sous chef at Ninth Avenue Bistro.  It's there to celebrate the fresh, the organic and unusual taste sensations in a casual and relaxed eating ambience.  It's another string to Glenwood's culinary reinvention that's helping tip the scales in favour of the south side of Berea Road.  It's popular too and it offers free wifi.

 

The menu is chalked up on the board depending on what's in season and cooking in the chef's head.  Breakfasts are certainly interesting.  Think banana bread French toast, fresh banana, roasted cashews, yoghurt and honey - that's quite some combination.  Or the not so Benedict - poached eggs, lemon Hollandaise and capers, served on sweet potato and rosemary bread.  All breads come from the Glenwood Bakery next door.

 

Lunch consisted of a selection of salads, gourmet open sandwiches, and a couple of soups ideal for wintry weather.  There is coq au vin on garlic mash for those who want something heartier.

 

Salads might include roast beetroot, radish, apple, lettuce, avo and lentils with goat's cheese; or warm winter veg, quinoa, orange, herbs, feta and pumpkin seeds.  Yes, there's a multitude of flavours on the plate.

 

Maureen's salad of sweet potato, gingered chicken, rocket and coriander in a soy and chilli dressing was a winner.  definitely the pick of the day.  I opted for the tarte - flaky pastry topped with balsamic onions, pan seared tomatoes, feta and basil, with a salad of mixed greens.  It sounds similar to a breakfast I make for a vegetarian friend, except instead of flaky pastry she gets plain toast.  It was most enjoyable if a shade sweet with all those natural sugars coming to the fore.  Don opted for an open sandwich with hummus, grilled aubergine, onion sprouts, watercress and goat's cheese with a beetroot and carrot slaw.  The sandwich hit the right spot, the slaw perhaps needing something to liven it up.  But plenty of imaginative and interesting cooking.

 

Cakes too are a speciality, supplied by Lucy's Cake Shop.  The cheesecake had been flattened already, so lunch was rounded off with "yummy slices" - that's a brownie type base topped with a layer of soft fudgy filling covered in chocolate with nuts and fruit thrown in for good measure.  Delicious, but oh so rich.  Coffees - they use Colombo - were first class."

 

 

parc in the Mercury, Good Life, 12 July 2013

 

 

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