Monday, June 27, 2005

Gotta Love Those Guerrilla Reviews

Hilarious! I nearly pissed my pants.

I was slumming on the couch at the lovely art deco Lido Apartments in Launceston. After far too many attacks on the mini bar, I was flicking lazily through the in-house directory. At the back I found some photocopied Launcestonian menus. I thumbed my way through the menus for Me Wah (must get back there to try their Peking Duck, looks good), the Prickly Cactus (must not get back there, ever), the something-or-other Brasserie (I will endeavour to remember their name and go there, the menu looked good), the Jailhouse Grill (where you can have your potatoes baked or as fries ... but fries cost extra), and The Metz.

And lo and behold, there was a little sign of gastronomic sabotage! On the first page of The Metz's menu was stuck a little note that read: Save yourself ... Avoid

ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

The author had gone on to leave a little note on each page of The Metz's menu commenting harshly on their service, their pizzas, even their Tabasco sauce!

ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

But it didn't end there. Under the first note was another, in a different hand, dated 25 May 2005. This one read: Maybe just 1 last chance before you write them off completely, I hear they've changed hands recently

I couldn't bring myself to remove the little missives. Maybe if I stay at the Lido again I'll find more. Maybe hotel directories world-wide will become little repositories for guests' thoughts on the establishments promoted therein. Ahhhhh, what a lovely world it would be.

I toddled off to dream gin-soaked dreams, chuckling all the way.

GW ;-)

p.s. I thought the brasserie with the interesting sounding menu was called something like the Lawrence St Brasserie ... but can't find it listed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Dukkah is a relatively new little coffee shop in Elizabeth St in town (near the cnr of Melville St, opposite Tradewear).

The coffee's good, and comes with a complementary mini-muffin. I didn't stay for lunch but the menu looks impressive and their display case contains all sorts of yummies: giant “Nanna” meatballs; filo bits; goats cheese stuff; muffins. And yes, they have chocolate brownies that look like they fell straight from heaven. Oh, AND the biggest bikkies I have ever seen (too big to fit in the bikkie barrel I was told!).

Dukkah is warm and groovy-lookin', with good music and a relaxed vibe. Nice friendly staff who deserve a bloody good go from the likes of us. I reckon Dukkah could be next on my list for "business ladies' lunches".


Monday, June 13, 2005

The “Ugly Fish” Has Landed

Elizabeth St, North Hobart

Fish and bloody chips. Trumped up bloody school cafeteria. Loud, clattering, find your own seat, order and pay at the counter. Oh, they also offer “take out”. (Maybe if you can’t afford your meal you could put it on “lay away” too.) I actually do not care how good or otherwise their fish and chips might be. I’m pissed off. North Hobart has lost one decent restaurant in Lickerish and what used to be a decent deli in the 7 Day Super Store, and what do we have in their place? Pizza and fish and chips. How bloody imaginative. Well done.

The tourists might like it, but as promised on 25 April, I am spewing!


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Business Woman's Special"

Have you seen “Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion”? At their 10-year school reunion the two stars (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow) pretend to be high-flying execs in order to impress their schoolyard nemeses. Like me, Romy and Michelle suffered high school in the 80s. Also like me, Romy and Michelle had to put up with the popular girls ... in my case, girls I wanted to push into the beaker cabinet in the science room, girls who referred to themselves as "The A Crowd" (wankers).

Anyway, on a road trip to the reunion, Romy and Michelle walk into a diner in their smart suits and ask the waitress if they have a "Business Woman's Special ... because we're business women". (They claim to have invented Post-It Notes, but that’s a whole 'nother pack of giggles).

So, when my girlie friends and I hop out for a rapid-fire one-hour lunch mid-week, I often find myself giggling, tempted to ask for the "Business Woman's Special". But being so restrained (and classy) I don't. But here are my recent efforts at Business Ladies' Lunches:

Knopwoods - food's been back on at Knoppy's for a while now (hurrah). The menu has recently changed and gone are the chilli mussels (boo hoo) to be replaced with nachos, chicken laksa, and a monster beef burger. I had the laksa the other day (very cheap, something like $7 or $9 - excuse my memory). It was presented in a small noodle bowl with a large layer of garnishes on top (bean spouts, fried onion, chopped egg, coriander, etc). The problem was that I found myself having to eat a layer of mulch before I could get to the laksa. This resulted in the laksa tasting bland cos all the yummy garnishes were gone. The laksa needs to be in a bigger bowl (not a bigger serve by any means, great value for the price) so that I can at least get my spoon into it and appreciate all the flavours as they were intended.

Blue Skies - Bet you never thought you'd see the day, but I had lunch at Blue Skies. And liked it, what's more. First day of winter, and I sat in the warm sunshine blissing out. Off came my coat, then my scarf. It was warm. First day of winter my arse! Lunch was pretty good. I'm not convinced that blue cheese and sugar snap peas are an ideal taste combination, and I'm not sure that it's kind to overwhelm succulent and sweet chunks of lobster with blue cheese sauce either. But you know what? It kinda worked. Maybe it was the sunshine, maybe it was just so ace to sit looking out over the water, sun streaming down on my cheeks. The dish was an entrĂ©e (around $17 – it was lobster after all) and very filling. But I tell you what; the two behutches who plonked themselves at the next table and complained about how hot it was sure shattered my spell. Whinge, whinge, bloody whinge!

Telegraph Hotel - The old Brooke St Bar goes by the more sophisticated moniker of The Telegraph Hotel these days. They've put some comfy couches into the dining section. I've eaten here three times. About six months or so ago I had a calamari salad that was abysmal (sorry, but the calamari was like rubber bands). A couple of weeks ago our table was served a cold lasagne and a cold soup (which were promptly nuked in the microwave when pointed out, but by then the mystique was gone), and then the other day I shared nachos that left me feeling the other side of well. The Tele is great for a Friday night bevvie (if you can wade past the hordes of lawyers and Hydro employees), but until proved otherwise, this is off my Business Ladies Lunch list.

Fish Frenzy - Have eaten here thrice. Twice having the smoked salmon salad (delicious) and once having the "seafood" chowder (if they'd called it fish soup with carrot and celery they would have been more on the money). Fish Frenzy's salads are definitely a goer. I'm not a huge fan of deep fried stuff, but their chips are great. Prices aren't bad and a good wine list.

Verdict: I would say that Knoppy's is the best value (and what a good venue for a winter lunch in front of that fantastic fire). But please, bring back the mussels; I'm having withdrawal symptoms!


Monday, June 06, 2005

Take-Away & Slippers

I am becoming more bear-like as the weather chills. Not poohing in the woods, just hibernating. Take-away three nights in a row is a definite record for me, and something my innards are not keen for me to repeat. However, it was yum and I was warm (slippers are so cool).

Friday night it was butter chicken from Little India (cnr Harrington & Collins). I put butter chicken in the same category as chai lattes ... sweet and yummy, not real food at all. Cheap ($11 for a large without rice - prefer to cook my own) and such good comfort food on a cold and blustery Friday night.

Saturday was slightly more impressive. A sushi and sashimi platter (in fact "party plate #2") from Sakura in Sandy Bay. Since this place changed hands a while ago, the standard of sushi has gone up a few notches. It's no Orizuru, but it's not trying to be. Compared with some of Sakura's other platters, the #2 has more sashimi and nigiri and less "filler" California rolls. The more raw fish the better, I say. And good value ($38 and we were both stuffed). Washed it all down with a bottle of Wave Crest Riesling while watching "Lost in Translation" (the coincidence only striking me now).

Last night we tried Khaow Thai on Harrington Street. We had a coconut seafood soup and a green seafood curry. Excellent value at a total cost of $19 (including steamed rice), and enough to satisfy two little gluttons like us.

Speaking of gluttony, I know I said I was going to be good until Meyjitte gets to Hobart, but it was cold and I'm lazy. Three nights of take-away in front of the tellie (two sins at once - and who says I don't have a life!) Oh well. Tonight I think steamed vegies and brown rice are in order. Followed by various forms of self-flagellation (anyone got a birch switch I can borrow?).