Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Church of Taste

There is no single altar, there are no gently flickering candles and no cloying incense. But I worship none-the-less. I don’t love the shed, I don’t love the rubbish, and I certainly don’t love the ‘street performers’ who want to hassle me when I’m trying to get drunk, fat, and sun-struck in one fell swoop. But God I love Taste.

Not enough tables, too few toilets, too many smelly bins. Too much noise, too many sea critters fried to death. Too many lame pinots. Too many loud wankers on mobiles bitching about real estate, yachts, or “the ex-pat lifestyle”. Pathetic hecklers hassling the buskers in snickered whispers, too scared to get up front and say something worth hearing. Too much money pissed up a rope or vomited later down a toilet bowl.

But God I love Taste.

Having spent the last few summers inconveniently pretending to enjoy Christmases elsewhere, this year was bound to be big. I went three times. The first evening I arrived to join a bundle of friends at a table indoors. Friends now living interstate, who I was so excited to spend a bit of time with in a noisy smelly shed. The second time I popped in for half an hour to say g’day to some family as they sat on tiered seats watching the water and eating mussels.

On the third day we sat at a table flanked by elderly ladies and gents who were enjoying their berries and ice cream. We ate scallops and wallaby from Waji, and drank Stefano Lubiano’s pinto gris (or was it a grigio?). As the afternoon progressed we moved along the table to make room for friends who had joined us. Sitting beside the timber railing, looking over the water, sipping a Meadowbank cleanskin (around 15 bucks). It was a gorgeous day.

I have read what many of you have had to say about Taste and how it could be better. I don’t really disagree. But going to Taste is an art, it takes patience and planning and a bit of saved up pocket money. My gripe with Taste is a more fundamental one … What the hell are The Fish Café, Little India, Sush, and other establishments doing there? Stick to running restaurants/cafes/whatever, and leave Taste to the producers and their talented chefs-for-hire … But back to worshipping at the Church of Taste.

Here’s how I do it:
1. Go in a group and hunt for somewhere to sit
2. Send scouts out to find extra chairs
3. Send blokes to hunt for food
4. Send other blokes to hunt for wine
5. Sit on your arse and enjoy yourself

I don’t think of Taste as an opportunity for dining excellence. It is an opportunity for lazy gluttony in the sun. And somehow I always manage to succeed.

GW the HRB ;-)

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