Wednesday, April 25, 2007

China Syndrome

Sen's is gone. My Sunday hangover cure is no more. To be replaced with a Nando's ... This is a sick joke, right?

Believe me, I know the bain-marie at Sen's was the spawn of satan. But anyone eating from a bain-marie deserves what they get. Sen's did great yum cha. In the early days they did the trolleys. So exciting, and such an incitement to gluttony and speed eating. But the trolleys were unsustainable and a la carte yum cha was the result. But it was fine. Lovely dumplings, great Peking Duck Rolls, and what a wonton soup. Once you strayed away from the yum cha, things were perhaps a bit dodgy, but who wants beef in black bean sauce anyway?

Sen's is gone. And so begins my Chinese restaurant odyssey in search of a semi-authentic, hangover curing replacement. The first steps in this journey were taken hangoverless, to ensure I had my wits about me. First stops were Ming Court and the Oriental, both in Sandy Bay. Ming Court does great stuffed mushrooms, fairly average Mongolian Beef ... and Peking Duck is not on their standard menu. The Oriental does a lovely wonton soup (certainly in contention to become a Sunday hangover cure - except they don't open for lunch) and fantastic hot pots. I've sampled both the Emperor's Hot Pot and the seafood version. Delicious ... but you have to order Peking Duck 24 hours in advance.

My next stop could perhaps be Har Wee Yee in North Hobart or Flourishing Court on Macquarie St. But neither of these is open for Sunday lunch either. And I'm afraid to say that even though Castle Zayee in Lenah Valley advertises yum cha, the fact that they advertise "Asian and Western Cuisine" leaves them out of the race.

I've got my fingers crossed that Golden Harbour on the waterfront might fit the bill. Although when I rang at lunch time the other day to ask if they do yum cha ... they didn't answer the phone.

Once upon a time I could rely on Sen's to cure my fuzzy head with their clear broths and sweet hoi sin dipped Peking Duck. I could just turn up and eat myself to wellness. Perhaps the long-promised Mee Wah will one day materialise and all will be right in the world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sweet White Flesh

It's crayfish season. Crayfish, crayfish, crayfish. Sucking the flesh from those spiny red legs. Tearing the meat from the tail and sliding it strip by strip into my mouth.
I love crayfish. I can't dive, but my friends can. And do. Why, this very weekend I lazed on the beach while the aquatic-types did their wetsuit-clad thing (no cray pots for them - this in hands on!). From the shore, watching their black neoprene bums bobbing I fantasised about wearing some Esther Williams style swimsuit and diving to the ocean floor, wrestling a cray from his rocky lair and springing to the surface, hair gleaming. At the end of this particular fantasy I walk triumphantly to the shore like Ursula Andress, knife strapped to my thigh. Instead, I satisfy myself with the knowledge that, although I may look more like Shelly Winters in the Poseidon Adventure than Ursula Andress and couldn't catch a cray to save myself, I can eat more crayfish than anyone else I know. In some circles that is akin to drinking a Russian under the table, vodka for vodka. Mmmm ... vodka and crayfish. Oooh, what a combination.
Aahh, crayfish season. How I love thee. And have you seen the great fat scallops this season? What's not to love about this place?

p.s. Yes I know. Crayfish is not a restaurant. Get over it.