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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Cookbook - But Recipes Really Work
This is my second Bill Granger cookbook, having previously tried recipes from Bill's Basics. That book had an undeniably Asian bias so it's no surprise that he has turned his hand to an exclusively Asian book.

Now Bill is Australian and it shows in his choice of ingredients. They are readily available in Coles supermarkets but may present more of a challenge to...
Published on 13 Nov 2011 by MisterHobgoblin

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book - slightly disappointing after Best of Bill
I have fallen for Bill Granger since getting Best of Bill which is an absolute gem.

This book, although beautifully presented and very substantial, missed the mark for me a little.

This book is full of asian recipes which I am not hugely inspired to cook. Bill is pictured in the book looking very casual and gives a short introduction to each recipe...
Published on 10 Nov 2011 by Dr. D. E. Goldwater


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Cookbook - But Recipes Really Work, 13 Nov 2011
By 
MisterHobgoblin (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
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This is my second Bill Granger cookbook, having previously tried recipes from Bill's Basics. That book had an undeniably Asian bias so it's no surprise that he has turned his hand to an exclusively Asian book.

Now Bill is Australian and it shows in his choice of ingredients. They are readily available in Coles supermarkets but may present more of a challenge to UK readers. Mirin, in particular, is simply not a flavour that you'll find in Europe, which is a pity because it adds a big and special sweetness (with a slightly vinegary edge) to a meal. And it seems to crop up in a surprising number of the recipes in the book.

At first, I thought the recipes weren't quite right. In particular, there was a reliance on green beans fried for a minute which left them crisper than I thought was tight. But after visiting South East Asia I can vouch that they are right. If you want the beans softer, just steam them for a bit. Many of the recipes seem to have a lot of things coming together in the last five minutes for which a clean kitchen and a cool head make a lot of difference. It's true that most recipes are one pot, but you need plenty of bowls and boards for the ingredients and if you are preparing more than one thing at once, there will be banging pots aplenty. But of all the cookbooks I have I seem to keep coming back to Bill's Everyday Asian. The recipes do require some cooking skills - especially judging when things are just right, but the flavours are awesome.

I have tried several recipes from the book:

Classic stir-fried chicken and basil: works OK, but is nicer with pork. The chicken mince tends to get a bit claggy and the beans should probably have been pre-cooked a little. One and a half minutes in a dryish pot of mince simply won't cook them.

Stir-fried chilli pork: works very well; rich flavours from the hoisin sauce work superbly with the mirin; the pork absorbs the flavours, turns quite dark brown and the sauce is glutionous. Not sure why the recipe tells you to leave the chilli stalks on as that just means you have to hold the stalks with your fingers and bite off the chillies.

Beef rendang: the recipe says it cooks in 2-2.5 hours. It doesn't. I needed more than four hours to get the consistency right - beef tender to the point of falling apart - because the sauce is quite dry. It also needed topping up with water from time to time, despite being on the lowest simmer heat. The end result, though, was divine - as good or better than any rendang I have had before.

Green bean sambal: a simple recipe that would not work without pre-steaming the beans to lose some of the raw crunch. I don't know how Bill thinks grean beans can cook in one minute of stir frying - and I'm not trying to get soft beans, just ones that don't feel completely raw.

Steamed Asian greens: cooked this with a mixture of broccolini and pak choi and it was superb. The veg, which are blanched rather than steamed, are OK but the sauce lifts the dish into a magical realm. Very rich and sweet with the mirin working wonders.

Pork larb - this Lao dish is a staple - the kids keep asking for a reprise and the fun is enhanced by using the Lao method of eating with fingers, wrapping meat in bits of lettuce.

Fish sambal - works perfectly and the blend of chilli and anchovy in the sambal sauce makes your tastebuds sing.

Coconut rice - the recipe says leave alone with the lid on - this led to burnt rice at the bottom of the pan and the top part of the rice was a bit sticky - the flavour was good and I'm willing to work to make this right.

Beef salad with orange dressing - really works, the orange dressing is unusual but had enormous complexity

Salmon and lychee salad - this is a splendid recipe that is full of depth. All of the individual flavours of the fresh ingredients shine through (more so if you use fresh lychees rather than tinned ones)

The presentation of the book is worth mentioning. It's A4, hardback (so it stays open at the right page), bound in pink with an embossed dust jacket with a gorgeous design. It is chock full of photos - most recipes have a photo (which does actually look like the finished product), interspersed with unlabelled double page photo spreads. Most of these are of food, but because it isn't labelled, you can't turn to the recipe to reproduce nice looking dishes. Some recipes are of Bill himself and his daughters. Two double spreads are of the same lake - one with Bill in the foreground and one without. These photo spreads add nothing at all; they just pad out a book and make it more likely that it will be stored on a coffee table than in a kitchen. On the positive side, Bill's Asian Pantry is a useful addition to the book, listing some of the more esoteric ingredients and explaining exactly what they are and what purpose they serve - making substitutions more straightforward. It's also fun to have a book which is prepared to mix and match - having Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malay and Indonesian recipes all in the same book - sometimes in the same recipe.

On balance, this book works. I am prepared to trust the recipes and the whole family love the results. The recipes do require some technique but if you are competent in the kitchen you will be able to get pretty spectacular results from relatively straightforward work. Bill's recipes may not always be traditionally pure, but he knows how to make fresh, good quality ingredients combine to make something that adds up to more than the parts.

My review started out as three star some years ago. Time and use has earned it the full five stars. I recommend this book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning to look at, easy to use, great tasting recipes, 23 Feb 2012
By 
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's so much more fun to write a review of something that you really, really love or really, really hate... well, which is it to be? Hm. Ok, I'll come out with it and say - I LOVE this book. I have never tried any of Bill Granger's other cook books, but I adore Asian food and liked the idea of a book that would make it simple and easy to cook. This really does fit the bill.

The absolutely beautiful photos are what make the book for me. I was so taken with them that I had to go and google the photographer's name and look at their other work. The images really are visually stunning and inspiring. It makes me want to cook the recipes and try to make them as beautifully presented. Some people might think there are too many photos in this book, I suppose. 'Some people' definitely isn't me, though - I love a well illustrated cookbook and find it adds to the experience of using it as it gives me something to aim for with my finished product.

Of course, I should really be talking about the star attraction here - the recipes. This really is a very comprehensive collection. There are the usual suspects (thai green curry, pad thai etc) but there are also many quirkier options such as meatballs with tamarind glaze. The recipes cover a range of different cuisines including Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Malaysian and more. Though probably not very authentic, these are adapted to use easy-to-find ingredients (for example lime and normal sugar rather than kaffir leaves and palm sugar). This makes the book much easier to cook with here in the UK. It also comes with suggested 'store cupboard ingredients' at the start of the book, including suggestions for types of oils. I found it easy to buy everything I wanted to.

I will come out and admit it: I am a vegetarian. I buy cookbooks of all descriptions, but then like to adapt them to be vegetarian (for instance, I'll make the same thing but using tofu instead of chicken). There are some dedicated vegetarian recipes in the book - for example the cubed silken tofu with chilli sauce - and equally many other recipes are relatively easy to adapt.

All in all - I love this book. My mum covets it. Everything I've made from it has been delicious. It's also a fantastic source of inspiration, because it's so beautiful to look at (apart from all those photos of Bill on holiday. Sorry, Bill.)
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book from a great chef, 6 Sep 2011
By 
V. Bird "Ness" (Hove, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
I have just received this from Amazon after spotting it was due for publication this month, and being a big fan of Bill's books (his recipes are usually inspiring and simple to make) I thought it was worth getting, plus I absolutely love asian food (which if you didn't you wouldn't really be reading this review, I'm guessing)! This book is fairly similar to a lot of Bill's books in layout - lots of pics of Bill in white jeans hanging around either a rustic shack or a beautiful stretch of water!! There are a lot of lovely pictures of the food - most of the recipes either have a pic on the same page, or overleaf on a double page picture spread. Possibly too many pictures for some? This really is a great and very comprehensive collection of asian recipes - some are new and very tasty looking plus there are all the usual ones you expect to be included - Sweetcorn Soup, Tom Yam Gai, Green Thai Curry, Pad Thai, and Massaman Curry to name just a few. Pretty much all the ingredients are ones you would find in a big supermarket, and there are some lovely ideas for desserts (lots of tropical fruit & coconut). If I could have have given four and a half stars I would have done, as I would have liked more of the recipes to jump out and say cook me, plus there are a couple of recipes with rather anaemic pics that are not exactly mouth watering (specifically chicken and mushroom soup, and cubed silken tofu with chilli sauce) but I am sure they would still taste nice, especially if you like your tofu pale and wobbly! I know I will use this book, and I am very glad I bought it (and not just for its beautiful cover). So, top marks again for Bill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite!, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
Great for lighter food menu ideas...need to sock up larder with Asian goods before you can start is important. Will use more in spring and summer. Get marinating!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, 17 Nov 2011
By 
L. Goldsmith (Featherstone) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
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Beautiful book and great recipes. So far, I've tried the custard tarts and they were amazing! The best thing about the recipes is that the ingredients are easy to find in any supermarket. Highly recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill's Everyday Asian - Fantastic, 23 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
A book full of colour, style and gorgeous pictures. Everyday Asian is a unique and simplified take on Asiatic cuisine by Bill Granger, the famous Australian self-taught cook. Bill's relax attitude to cooking is the key of his enduring affection and popularity. I love trying out new recipes, it's just so inspiring to read about new ingredients from around the world and their uses.
I tried eight recipes from Bil''s Everyday Asian, some are very simple street food and others use some more distinguished ingredients, but all-in-all, they are easy to follow and the result was a table full of plates and bowls bursting with colorful food with big, striking flavours. The recipes are designed for the health conscious in mind and inspired by the authors many experiences around Asia. It's such a pretty book. You will want to display at every opportunity. Looking forward to cooking the duck with plum next.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing fast food, 18 Sep 2011
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
I love Bill's books but I think this is the best yet. I received the book on Thursday and have cooked from it every night since and have not been disappointed, the recipes are not only really fast but packed full of flavour. I'm quite sure I will work my way through the whole book before long. It works just as well as an after work quick dinner and a friends for supper meal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
When I lived in Australia I used to see Bill on the box quite often...... This superbly illustrated publication is one of many recipe books he has compiled - this one is aptly titled 'Everyday Asian'. Well worth adding to your kitchen bookshelf if Asian dishes tickle your palate!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Granger's Everyday Asian, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
I probably have most of Bill's books. Many years ago a friend bought me "Sydney Food". At that time I hadn't heard of Bill Granger. Now he is probably my most favourite cookery writer. I have never ever made anything of his which hasn't been a resounding success, and when we can't think of what to eat or have had too much seasonal food (Xmas) Bill's recipes are what everyone cries out for. Can't recommend strongly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great buy!, 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
A friend in Spain cooked supper for us using recepies from this wonderful book. She sent me a copy via Amazon. I just ordered two for my sons who are also big fans of Bill.. I would highly recommend for flavour, speed and no difficult to get ingredients. The spicy nuts are amazing!
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Bill's Everyday Asian
Bill's Everyday Asian by Bill Granger (Hardcover - 5 Sep 2011)
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