Thursday, March 31, 2005

Polk Salad Annie

Had lunch at Fish Frenzy the other day, and bugger me if it wasn’t good! My friend had the spicy calamari salad and I had the smoked salmon salad (please, can’t we just nickname it the polk salad annie?).

The calamari was a bit oily, but not bad. Loved the smoked salmon though.

In general, for a “business ladies lunch” (admit it, you love Romy and Michelle too) it was fast, cheap, and scrummy.

Can’t comment on the crumbed, deep fried, adulterated seafood, but hey, I’m so cynical I wouldn’t order it anyway. But stuff it! There’s more to life than a fisherman’s basket.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Farewell Lickerish

The plus-side of being locked in an industrial oven for three days is that you lose three kilos without the need for sit-ups, push-ups, or (God help us) lunges. The down-side is having to stand up a very hot date at Lickerish.

Hadn’t been to Lickerish for about a year. On that occasion we got frightfully hammered on Craigie cab sav (how disrespectful!) and ate who knows what. A travesty! Too pasted to recall the food. Mon dieu! Well, we had every intention of rectifying this shameful waste and had planned to go back last week. Then the drunken-hide-and-seek, locked-in-the-oven, cough-cough-cough scenario* stepped up to prevent our best laid plans.

No matter, thought I, another time perhaps.

Now bugger me but Graeme Phillips tells me in this morning’s Sunday Debacle that Lickerish have held their last supper. Rather fittingly on Maundy Thursday.

Maundy (or Holy) Thursday is the celebration of the Eucharist, the commemoration of the Last Supper. Being the day before Good Friday, in our house Maundy Thursday is referred to as Appalling Thursday. Only logical really, and besides, crap stuff seems to happen on Appalling Thursday (having to go to work being one example, the closure of restaurants another).

It is traditional on Maundy Thursday for the rich to distribute alms to and wash the feet of the poor. (No-one washed my feet, or gave me any bucks, so I’m assuming that means I’m not poor. Any of you guys get a cash windfall or a bit of a tootsy scrub? How was it?). Numerous Catholic rituals and celebrations occur on Maundy Thursday, including the reconciliation of penitents.

Which brings me back to Lickerish, cos I hope there is some bloody penitence going on today, because there sure as hell wasn’t any reconciliation. According to Mr Phillips, the story goes that a barney over the lease of the Lickerish site (and lets imagine a bitch-slap, cos it adds to the drama) resulted in the Lickerish girls flipping the bird and flapping off to greener pastures. Good for them.

I'll have to settle for last year's pathetic effort at sampling Lickerish’s grub (I’m sure it was delightful, and I do have a hazy recollection that the young waitress was a treat), but I’m hopeful that the gastro-adventurers will be back with something new to tempt our tastebuds soon, soon, soon.

Farewell Lickerish. I may not recall your fare, but I liked your curtains.

* Children, don’t try this at home.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bitch's Brew

As you know, I love caffeine en masse but understand that some cafés just don’t serve large coffees. C’est la vie. But recent experience necessitates an obviousism from the ol’ GW: Early on a weekday morning is no time to give me a lecture. Don’t be telling me you can do a large coffee “but it will taste like crap because you lose the crema”. I don’t care. If I cared about crema I’d order an espresso. If I want to pay for (in your opinion) a shit coffee to kickstart my brain, that’s my idiotic choice.

I wasn’t going to dob. But I had a dream the other night (from which I literally woke laughing) that convinced me I had to.

Brew in Sandy Bay. Looks good. Nice boys making nice coffee. All good. Except for those early morning lectures. Gently telling me off is one thing, but hearing you chastise other customers wanting a large coffee is a bit much. Good natured though it may be, it’s a bit rough on the early morning nerves. Give it a rest boys.

You might say: “Don’t like it, go elsewhere”. You might even say: “We don’t need customers who want the coffee equivalent of a bucket bong”. I would say: “Fine, but that’s a gutsy call in a small town”.

To be fair, I understand that you are coming from a good place. You aspire to coffee excellence and you want to teach us the difference between excellent coffee, good coffee, and shit coffee. I applaud that. However, sometimes a customer just wants what they want. Case in point: a country café on the big island lists on its coffee menu the “Why Bother?” – seemingly brewed by waving a coffee bean under the steam while frothing the milk. I agree - why bother? But that’s what some people want and I congratulate the café owner’s good business sense in providing same.

Coffee menus are great places for educating customers, lectures are not.

Reasons to go to Brew: The coffee’s good, not too expensive, and comes with a chocolate-coated coffee bean (dine-in), the coffee-meisters are very friendly (lecturing aside), and the spunky guy from T42 works there. It’s a nice café, personally I prefer Satis, but that’s just the E.M.Forster in me.

The dream I had the other night? I dreamt that I told the head Brew-boy that the décor reminded me of Hudson’s. Oops.

Where Oh Where Has She Been?

There was a silly rumour running about town that I had fallen victim to foul play. Yes, dear friends, it was true. Fate led a dark alley, a drunken Georgie, and a menacing fellow to cross paths.

Not really, but it had the makings of a good fib.

So where have I been? I won’t bore you with sordid details, but let’s just say there is a good reason why children are discouraged from hiding in refrigerators. The adult-version should be this: Playing hide and seek while drunk is fun. Hiding in a recently cleaned industrial oven is stupid. Dangerous even.

Cough cough.
GW ;-)

Monday, March 07, 2005


Holy dooly, surprised twice in one week by two establishments I have less than loved in the past.

1. Rockerfellers sat me on my arse with a gorgeous possum stew. Yes, I did say possum. It was rich and tomatoey with a velvety mash (yeah, yeah, I know, but what’s a stew without spuds?), beans and native pepper berries (almost too dominant, but worked). And the possum? Tasted like chicken. Kidding! Rich and gamey, about half-way between roo and emu (but tastier than a regal shield). I am now inspired to appear on the New Inventors with my very own possum trap attached to mum’s old crockpot. Yum.

2. Meadowbank really blew me away with an outstanding whole smoked salmon. Oh yes, it was whole, it was gently smoked, and it was enormous. It sat pertly upright on its little stand and appeared to be riding a wild wave of mesclun. Eyes sparkling, teeth bared. It was a beauty! If not for the formality of the occasion I would have shoved the leftovers down my top a la Dan Ackroyd in Trading Places.

Hurrah! This is the type of innovation (the possum) and exciting, respectful treatment of grand produce (the salmon) that we’ve all been baying for.

The sad news?

The possum was a fleeting special on the Rockerfellers menu. As I paid my bill I overheard the waitress tell another patron there was no more. And the whole salmon at Meadowbank was not standard fare, but part of a function menu. Fingers crossed, a special request in advance might result in a surfing salmon for you too.

More please. I like surprises.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Goodbye Summer

Summer is over.

There’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s quite warm. But summer is over.

Even though summer has gone, this is my favourite time of year. Winter’s coming, but it’s not here yet. It’s like that last five minutes you steal in bed before you finally face reality and get up.

Soon it will be dark before we leave work of an evening. It will be cold. We’ll get the flu and spend a fortune at the chemist. We’ll yearn for next summer, wishing our lives away.

But not yet.

We greedily devour autumnal days because soon enough there’ll be no more BBQs. No more salads. No more sitting on the beach and eating sandy fish and chips. No more sunburnt noses. When winter comes, there’ll be no more sipping of champagne in the warm evening glow while the sun lazily sinks.

But winter’s not so bad. There’ll be roasts and soups, stews and breads, curries and casseroles. There’ll be snuggly Sunday sleep-ins, delaying placing that first foot on the cold cold floor. There’ll be open fires and snow on the mountain. And there’ll be the best excuse in the world for drinking red wine.

Bring it on I say!