Sunday, November 27, 2005

Georgie Goes Abroad - #1. Airplane Food

A quick trip to New Zealand for a wedding. Only my second time o/s and my first time alone. Cool. I've researched my destination so well I've got a mental map of Wellington that is sharp and clear.

I wonder how long it will take me to get lost.

Neil Perry designs the Qantas inflight menus for Business and First Class. I don't know if Neil also designs the cattle class menu, but by mere association he should hang his head in shame. I know there isn't a sweaty, cranky Neil Perry beavering away at the rear of my aircraft hand-crafting my lunch. Nor is he sweating his crack off in the Qantas kitchen gulag. But poor ol' Neil probably bashes his head daily against the bathroom mirror in fear of his name being linked to the mess just served up to me under the pseudonym "Honey Coriander Chicken".

Don't worry Neil, if I wake at 3am with stomach cramps and a serious dose of the shits, I'll be sure to call Qantas, not you.

To distract myself from the queasy feeling of the horrid chicken trying to find a home in my guts, I engage in entertaining thoughts about mid-air security. In my right hand, a plastic knife. Sensible. In my left hand, a steel fork. In front of me, a glass bowl.

Never thought I'd say it, but Amanda Vanstone and I seem to have something in common. We've seen through the "apparition of security" provided by plastic knives. Just as well I'm not prone to violence or mid-air hijackery. Wouldn't want to get any ideas about putting someone's eye out with that fork or smashing that glass bowl and doing a mischief with some broken glass.

But at least I won't be stabbing anyone with my plastic knife. Unless I discover who cooked that bloody chicken!

GW the HRB


Not everyone obsessively studies the employment section of the newspaper each week. For those who don't, I found an interesting listing on Saturday.

The recruitment ad said Grape will be a wine bar and specialist bottle shop. It looks like Grape will step into the old Zum site (I'm guessing from the address listed on the ad, but correct me if I'm wrong).

A dedicated wine bar and bottle shop for Salamanca? About bloody time!

So all you shit-hot wine hounds out there. Get you arse down to Grape and grab those jobs by the horns (you have to turn up at Grape at 5-ish on Monday night).

And hurry up about it, I'm thirsty.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lansdowne Cafe

I wasn't speeding (I promise), but as I sky-rocketed around Lansdowne Crescent this afternoon I spied a new sign. Finally the little old hair salon that has been teasing for what seems like years, is coming through with the goods. The front door was open, I saw chromey stuff and chocolatey coloured stuff, and someone's bum. It had clothes on, don't get too excited. Not open yet, but there was a definite "opening-soon" look about the place.

Last year I went into conniptions at the opening of Jean Jacques on Goulburn St (near corner of Molle St). And I sing to the hills every time I have any of their delectable little tarts or their scrumptious breads (have been known to scoff a whole loaf in a day, but don't tell anyone!). But alas their coffee is sad. Latest little tattle tale told of being served a "short black" that was actually a long black in a small cup. Gasp!

But, Jean Jacques promises to be a patisserie, not a cafe.

So, Lansdowne Cafe, as you are not promising to be a patisserie, a boulangerie, a bum-crackery, or a knackery, but indeed a CAFE, I'm afraid I'm getting my hopes up.

I'm waiting with bated breath!
GW ;-)

Friday, November 18, 2005


Where the hell do I get off reviewing music?

Just got back from the Velure gig at Trout. Meagre crowd, but they got into it. And well they should. As I mentioned the other day, Velure are a tasty mix of Massive Attack and George, with a nice touch of Portishead thrown in for good measure.

Oh, and Mercury-music-reviewer-whose-name-I've-so-easily-forgotten ... Velure are indeed a live band. Having heard the CD first (and yes, I've heard them live before), there live sound is as fresh and hypnotic as the CD is intoxicating.

Think you've missed out? Saturday 5-7pm at Syrup and Sunday arvo at the Lewisham. Get there. I don't care if you have to sell your grandmother's soul to the devil. Just do it.

Failing that, their CD "Care for Fading Embers" is available from Tracks Music in Murray St or Aroma in Elizabeth St. If they don't have it in stock (clearly they could have sold out), get them to order it in from Shock Records. Then slap them for not having more in stock!

And for their next tour, lets get the bloody Uni Bar and the Republic on side!

GW (music review impostor extraordinaire!)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens ...

Summer’s coming (can you feel it?), and I’d like to reflect on a few of my favourite things:

  1. Sitting in the sun sipping champagne or coffee
    * T42 (wins hands down) – Elizabeth Pier
    * Blue Skies (gasp) – Murray St waterfront
  2. Making a pig of myself in a fancy frock with nice shoes
    * Marque IV – Elizabeth Wharf
    * Stillwater River Café - Launceston
  3. Making a pig of myself in jeans and a t-shirt
    * Mai Ake – Elizabeth St, Nth Hobart
    * Mmmm, struggling, ummm, my house?
  4. Making a pig of myself on holidays
    * Franklin Manor - Strahan
    * Supper Inn – Celestial Lane, Melbourne
    * Dish – Cnr Johnson and something Sts, Byron Bay
    * Matterhorn – Cuba St, Wellington (more on that later!)
  5. Lunching lazily on a Sunday with a hangover
    * Yum Cha at Sens – Elizabeth St, North Hobart
    * Fish and Chips from Mykonos (with Nan's home-made tomato sauce) on the floor at home
  6. Having a “meeting” (aka Liquid Lunch)
    * T42
    * Blue Skies (for location)
    * Henry Jones Atrium (if it’s raining) – Hunter St
  7. Having an orgasm
    * No details necessary – just seeing if you’re paying attention
  8. Having a blood red steak
    * Hill St Butcher and then cooked at home
  9. Friday night DVD and take away
    * Butter Chicken from Little India and something stupid like “Dude where’s my car”
    * Sushi platter from Orizuru and something sci-fi like “Minority Report”
    * Chilli Prawn Fettucine from Paesano (and don’t “pae-lease” me again, it’s still good!) and something cool like “The Incredibles”
  10. Mad nights with friends
    * Group booking Yum Cha and karaoke (oh the shame) at The Loft / Aromas of Asia – Galleria Arcade, Salamanca ... followed by dancing like Kath Day-Knight at Syrup
    * Dinner parties at my place (tomorrow night, beef rib roast, bottles of Craigie Knowe Cab Sav … you’re all invited!)

Feel free to add your faves.

By the way ... Haul your arse to Trout in North Hobart tomorrow (Friday) night, Syrup on Saturday arvo, or Lewisham Tavern on Sunday to check out Velure. Saw them live in Melbourne, way cool, my fave of the mo' (cross between George and Massive Attack). Wish they were playing somewhere I could engage in a gorgeous cocktail to suit the Velure mood.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Workplace Reform

John Hart, CEO of Restaurant & Catering Australia, reckons the restaurant industry won't last 10 more years if John Howard's workplace reform agenda isn't brought into being.

Well. Bugger me. I thought it was good food and great service that predicted the viability of restaurants, either individually or as an industry.

I know it's tough out there in restaurant land, and the GST hasn't helped. But I would have thought that those restaurants who run a tight ship, hire good staff, and use the best of produce (and yes, charge us appropriately .... note the use of the word 'appropriately' here) should have nothing to fear from the dining public. If you're good, we'll come. And then we'll come again. The ability to fire at will and push one-sided workplace agreements should not come into the equation.

But what do I know?

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the Nose

Hey! Nose Bag guy! What is your problem? Twice I’ve seen you rip shreds off some poor wee lass in public.

On the first occasion I almost choked on my coffee while you yelled at one of your waitresses in front of a full house at the Nose Bag. You might think your punters consider this acceptable behaviour, but I certainly haven’t been back as a direct result (although your coffee wasn’t that great either).

The second time was the other week at T42. There you sat, arm draped over the back of your chair like Christopher Walken in a really bad movie, coolly tearing a pale and helpless-looking girl to pieces. She looked totally crumpled and completely defeated. Other T42-ers nearby looked decidedly uncomfortable with your very public display. My most recent meandering past the Nose Bag saw you and the crumpled girl behind the counter. Do you treat all your staff like this?

In case you’re wondering, Nose Bag Dude, you are recognisable. Oh, and you are a classic example of a narcissistic middle aged man lording it over vulnerable young women who for whatever reason can’t fight back.

I hope it makes you feel good about yourself, tough guy.

Georgie Weston

p.s. If you find yourself in Lower Sandy Bay (Nutgrove/Long Beach) and feeling peckish, visit the Beach House Bar & Café under the Beach House apartments. Great spot to sit in the sun and plot the liberation of the Nose Bag girls.

I Love Youse All!

Well thanks for all the fab comments re the anniversary ... what a nice treat to come home too. Yep I've been jetsetting again, and when I've got my thoughts in order I'll fill you in on some of my adventures.

In the meantime ... happy dining!