Friday, December 2, 2011

Falafel Stop

For all those who say that we definitely missed a dinner spot on Gouger Street:

It was Triton's fault. 

That dude was, like, heavily starving by the time we picked him up. Tess had to restrain him from consuming someone's leather handbag.

I can haz invisibl hand bag!!
So we did make it to Falafel Stop for dinner. 
However, we were first forced (by Triton) to stop at the very next place that served food for a small snack.

Triton: Small snack. Everyone else: Competitive Eating Rounds 1 to 5
The Crown & Sceptre were most accommodating and they even had boobs on the wall to divert attention from Triton's gulping and swallowing.

AAA-OOO-GAH!!! Dinner time!!

When we made it to Falafal Stop for dinner, we found the selection be broad and delicious and Mele needed much time to weigh our post-pre-dinner "snack" menu options. 

While Triton appears to be sedated, seconds later he launched himself at glass and the treats beyond like rabid eagle.
The menu essentially boiled down to different combinations of filo, nuts and honey. All of which were delicious. None of which we (excluding Triton) were able to finish.

"Then Ah'm onna eat dat purty liddl camera too ..."

Falfel Stop was a highly impressive place to eat with friendly staff and many things on the menu which we were too scared to try in case Triton ate them from our fingers.

Bring on Concubine!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Your mission ...

Faithful followers of The Epic!

Your time has come.

If you read and enjoy this blog of Gouger and food, and have always wanted to join in, now is your moment.

On Friday, December the 2nd at 7pm, we will be visiting a very secret location.
And you, dear reader, are invited.

I'll be Frank, if you'll be Earnest: we need the numbers. Not enough numbers, no secret location, sad faces at Xmas.

Drop me a line in the comments if you are excited about secret food locations. 
I need to know by Friday the 25th of November. 

NOW is your chance.  


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm the king of eBay again!

If you want to donate to the little Franzy Xmas fund and receive a rare item in return for your cash, please consider the original Dark Horse issue of the complete collection of Akira! Current price, $53.65!

Or, if your tastes are a little specialised and you have a nose for a bargain, the eMagin z800 HM is for you! What is it? Um ... it's just a little 3D virtual reality headset ... you know, it's just The Future Here And Now.

A steal at the current price of $152.50.

Seems a little pricey? 
Not when you try to shop around.
An Amazon third party seller has one, and it is new, but how would you feel coughing up $1699 for it???

Bid! Bid! Biiiiiid!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Miss Piggy once said: "Never eat more than you can lift."
She may have been right.

Eating is one pleasure, and we've pushed the boundaries in the Gouger Street Epic(ure). Reading is another pleasure and I have recently embarked upon my own epic: I'm on the judging panel for a book prize. You get a little money and you get to keep all the books. Sounds great, right?

Pictured here is me with two piles of books. One is the pile I've read, the other is the pile I am yet to read.

Can you guess which is which?

Something like, "Never try to read more than you fly over"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cafe Kowloon

Attendant: Olivia, Michael, Tallora, Cristi, Mele, Sam

Let's do a comparison, shall we?
Cafe Kowloon and Ying Chow live side by side. Always have. 
Ying Chow was traditionally jumping the pig party twenny-fo' SEVEN.
Cafe Kowloon merely looked on. It had customers. But not ones banging down the door and fighting over tables. Usually the Gareth Keenan-style sloppy seconds from Yingers.

I see fish. I will eat fish.

Now we have sampled both, and are ready to compare. Let's see how they do ...

Booking a table
Ying Chow: Table for 6:30? Just twenty more minutes, just twenty more minutes, just twenty more minutes, just twenty more minutes ....
Cafe Kowloon: Come in! Sit down! Wherever you want! Drinks? Look at fish tank? Have a bowl of prawn crackers! 

Kowloon: 1
Chow: 0

Ordering food

Ying Chow: We're not taking your order. I don't give a shit if you're ready. Put this on and do the dance. Stop crying and do the dance.
Cafe Kowloon: Are you ready? No? I'll come back! How about now? No? No problem! How about a hug while you are deciding? 


Dealing with customers who sit at a table for four and have unexpected guests arrive
Ying Chow: You are dirt! You are NOTHING! GET OOOUTTTT!!!!
Cafe Kowloon: Hello! Hello! Welcome, paying customers! Crowd around! Let us get you a chair!

Hunching, scoffing and frowning? An excellent choice of eating method!
The Actual Quality of the food
Ying Chow: Legendary. Fondly and obsessively remembered. One of the Gouger Street Greats. But, oh, how the mighty have fallen and they have fallen far indeed. Seeing your favourite band do a Telstra commercial - that's how badly they've let go.
Cafe Kowloon: Workman like. Nothing to get excited about, but it all came out at pretty much the same time (the novelty!) and was edible, if not memorable.

It's edible ... and I like it!
Kowloon: 3
Chow: -10 (Definitely the worst service ever)

So, if our report on our final trip to Yingers left you bereft of suitable Chinese restaurants on Gouger Street, then you could do worse than Kowloon. 

You could do better, but what the hey, it's a crowded market.

It's suitable ... and we like it!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ying Chow

Ying Chow, we need to talk.
Put down that lazy Susan and listen.

We've been drifting apart for years. We coasted on the good times, and we had some good times, didn't we? 

Remember when I could just turn up on your doorstep at midnight and you would let me in without question? 
I won't deny it, even when I was with others, thousands of kilometres away, I was thinking of you. They fed me, but I tasted you. 
You used to be The One. 
But ... well ... this is where it gets difficult. I'm just going to come out and say it:
You've changed. And not in a good way.

It took that bullshit you pulled last Friday night to make me realise how bad you really are.

I know you didn't notice when we stopped being together as regularly as we used to. I know because every time I came crawling back, you treated me like nothing. 
"Just twenty more minutes" my arse
I used to listen to that lie all night, and I'd just be so happy when you let me in, that I forgave you. 
Well, no more.  
A man can only put up with so much

I thought booking a table would change all that, help us move past this rough patch together. But what did I get on Friday night? The same old cock'n'bull: "Just twenty more minutes"
And when you finally did seat us, you couldn't even give a shit whether we ordered or not!

No I will NOT keep my voice down!

AND, when we finally did order, do you know what we got?

Don't bother me, puny customer. I work at Ying Chow. I don't need your business.

You used to be so attentive. You used to remember what everyone ordered without having to write it down. You used to care. 
Now, well, now, it's like you're showing off what a cad you can be and still get customers. 
Well let me tell you something Ying So Called Excellent Restaurant Award So Called Chow: your food used to be the talk of the town. You had "It", The X Factor, The Mystical Taste, Flavorama, but now, now you are the culinary equivalent of the fading rockstar. I like your old stuff better than your new stuff.
Trouble is, you don't have any new stuff, and here's what your old stuff has turned into.

(Bear in mind, I know people who have come back from overseas and demanded to be fed at least two of the following dishes. That's how good they used to be.)

Shallot Panckes

These used to be the rousing overture to a sensational evening.
Everyone agreed that they were like toasted pockets of onion.

BBC and Greens
 The Broad Beans and Bean Curd and Chilli used to solve every problem. They were grey, undercooked and depressing.
The greens had to be asked for. They were not offered.

Red Vinegar Ribs 

This used to come out as a sizzling mountain of ribs.
Now they're just dry. Dry and sad.

 Aniseed Tea Duck

This actually wasn't too bad. But if you could get this right, then what was the story with the rest of the food?

E-Shand Eggplant
Too little, too late.
The eggplant came at the end of the meal, right before you asked us to move tables. The least popular table in Ying Chow is the one by the door where people waiting for their table stand over you and glower. That's where  we were asked to move to. 
Then, the second that most of the eggplant was eaten you offered us a table outside! In the cold!
Perhaps we wouldn't have taken so long over our meal if you hadn't 








We declined your polite offer to freeze our arses off while we worked out whether to do a runner or not ...
 ... and ordered another drink!

I'm gonna sip and sip and sip and sip and sip and sip!
And then I'm gonna play with the ice cubes!

Goodbye, forever, Ying Chow.
So long, and thanks for teaching us all the meaning of really bad service.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How long has this been going on?

I only realised this about one week ago:

Did you know these two men ...
... are different people?

Apparently everyone else knew this but me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Business idea - investors wanted

I am going to start up a tech company which redesigns and rebrands existing technology for old people. Remote controls, USB sticks, microwaves, all with big buttons and minimal functionality for people who are either nervous about technology or routinely puzzled by it.

My company will be called 'FANDANGLED'.

I called it first.

I'm going to need money and staff to redesign cheap techie stuff so that your Gran will be able to use it and and confidently say "I've got one of those new Fandangled microwaves!"

Now hiring.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Talbot Hotel


Attendant: Dougie, Trits, Mele, Sam

This place was one of those eating establishments that we ‘just had to do because it’s on Gouger’. The Talbot is, for all intents and purposes, a feral bogan bar. Having been dropped off by Franzway, I took some time to survey the scene:

Bogan to BarWench: (slurs) You want some help putting up the poster?
Bar Wench: No, and I don’t feel like talking SHIT with you, either.
Bogan looks mollified and shuts up.

I took a wander through the hotel, to check out the place: huge pokies room, a keno room, a bar room full of booths but was plainly empty, a front room with bogans, a few large plates of cheap cheese and the always vile kabana, but no kitchen. That’s right: no kitchen and no dining tables.

The Talbot makes its money from gambling, no doubt about it. With only two bar maids in sight, it’s not exactly overstaffed. It’s a skeleton of a business that caters to those drinking and betting their pensions.
‘So, do you serve any food here?’ I asked the bar maid.
‘Yeah, take a look at this.’
First alarm bell: the menu was on the back of a wine list, never a good sign.
Second alarm bell: the entire menu was Chinese food. Dougie, who had been hoping for an old school, disgusting schnittie parmie (or whatever) was in for a great disappointment.
Clanger number three: the suspicious prices: $18.80 for satay chicken, or pork with fried rice?

'People! This menu is not legit,’ I declared when the others arrived. ‘It appears we have already eaten here.’

In Triton's words: "This be wiggedy whack."

The Tartufo, seen previously on the menu of another recent chinese restaurant, was also available at the Talbot. What the hell? An over-processed, factory-made icecream dessert has been discovered ten years after Italians stopped having it at their weddings by one Chinese chef.

Dougie and Triton were game enough to ask at the bar about the food.
The bar maid caved under questioning. ‘Yeah, it comes from next door,’
I knew it! I knew my research skills would be useful someday!

The clamouring hoards howl for food,settle for beer.

So, people, we decided that we were not going to eat last Friday’s night’s food at twice the price and half the sophistication (boganed up for the Talbot clientele?) and went elsewhere. Since Ying Chow is next, we didn’t want to line up for two hours with no booking. We are going to hit up The Ying in the coming weeks, and if y’all want to come along you will have to let us know so we can make a booking and spend half an hour waiting for a table to be available.

The fermented yeast palate-cleanser was inspiring ....
.... us to find some decent food!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ba Guo Bu Yi

Attended: Michael, Lisa, Dougie, Mele and Sam


I can no longer objectively review Chinese food.
I ate one bite of the weird dish-the noodle thing.

Tastes even saltier than it looks.

I had a few bites of the house special fish in chilli, until a cut in my lip put an end to it.
The pork dish tasted too piggy.
Even the chicken tasted too much like chicken.
I ate quite a lot of the chocolate tartufo, an item I last saw on the menu of an Italian wedding in the 1980s . It tasted good because it wasn’t Chinese.

No doubt made by an ethnically stereotypical chef.

I am suffering what our friend Michael has termed ‘The Supersize Me’ effect.
I now have a psychological ‘revulsion’ response to Chinese food. After the jellyfish with raw chicken, congee with kidneys and liver, vegemite noodles and countless other weird dishes, I cannot face any further inedible parts of animals, which included Ba Guo Bu Yi's DUCK TONGUE dish and the broiled pig’s ears.
Come on, people, I was a vegetarian for eight years.

The worst sign of my malaise is the fact that I am actually relieved we are eating at the Talbot Hotel next week. No food reviewer in their right mind would think such a thing. The ‘Animal Graveyard’ culinary tour of Gouger Street needs to end for me.

I think I will be choosing weird vegetarian things from now on.


We expected bits of animals fried in flavoured sauces.
We did not expect a revelation.
We arrived early at Ba Guo Bu Yi and set about examining the menu of Sechuan Chinese dishes.

And some not so traditional ones.

One thing became abundantly clear: we both dread going to these restaurants.
Not the charming ennui-laden dread of the fabulously well-heeled: "Oh I'm just dreading another weekend in St Moritz. Yacht parties are so boring."

Instead, we are possessed of the very real and creeping dread you had when you were a kid getting an injection. The needle. The adults holding you down. You gotta get stuck. You gotta.
Each restaurant visit has been tainted by the knowledge that at some point, we're going to have to eat something that we'll probably find repulsive.

Maybe this was on the menu, maybe not. We don't even know any more.

We've had enough. We started this Epic Adventure to discover new dishes, new places and to open up the entirety of Gouger beyond the same two restaurants we always go to. Part of that means trying new things, things we wouldn't normally order. This, as you have seen, has devolved fairly briskly into an extended game of Truth or Dare.

So we're declaring an end to disgusting. Scoff if you must, but we have dined upon dread and found it not to our tastes. The '"weirdest thing on the menu" rule was invented to force us to order something we wouldn't normally try. Okay - fine - I'll be honest: it was basically a ploy to get me to stop ordering pork every single time.
That has worked.

But replacing it with something I'm going to try, dislike and pay for isn't really a very helpful or useful food review. Hilarious, I'll admit, but we're bored with it. We've done 'yuck'. We're bored with 'gross'. We are through with the 'every part of the animal' philosophy of urban dining. We ain't starving in the Yukon no more. We don't have to eat things that people only started eating in the first place because food was a privilege and flavour secondary.

Goodbye, jellyfish.
Goodbye, offal.
Goodbye, anything clipped off an animal and cooked in flavour sauce.
Helloooo new horizons.

And now to my review:

An utterly impressive restaurant. This is the reason we started this journey in the first place: to discover new things.

Deep Fried Pork Ribs with Salt and Sugar

Delicious! Tender, yet deep-fried and the salt/sugar combination is really the end of war and the beginning of peace on earth and love between all beings (except for pigs).

Chilli Fish Soup

We ordered this oily soup "mild" so that Mele could actually eat it. The bowl arrived teeming with fresh chopped chillis. The "mild" part happens when the waitress gets a slotted spoon and removes about half of the chillis. They really do cater for all pallets.

So, my friends, onlookers and double-darers. Go to Ba Guo Bu Yi. But don't order anything you really don't want, because you will end up sad and ridiculed for not eating badger's noses and jaguar's ear lobes or whatever it is they're serving.

Next stop: The Talbot Hotel

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BBQ City

Yes, they gave us orange slices.

Attendant: Marc, Dan (all the way from Melbourne), Mele, Em, Trent, Dougie, Leah, Ben, Shaun, Rosie, Krista (all the way from London) and Sam

Special mention: Cristi - Double parked on Gouger Street on a funky-ass Friday freak-out to get some takeaway.


Dear Readers,
I think this photo says it all:

My Soul is Crying

The look on my face was in no way exaggerated for this blog.
What’s worse than eating offal?
Eating it with Congee! 'Congee' is apparently the Chinese word for ‘porridge’ and translates to GRUEL in Mandarin!
I am feeling like this blog is rapidly turning into ‘Stupid Westerner eats poor Chinese people’s food’. This is an extension of my wog food philosophy ‘Anglos making hick Italian food hip’. My Nonno refused to eat pizza because it is ‘poor people’s food’. My grandmother comes from Naples, the home of pizza. In this region, pizza is mostly bread with one or two meagre toppings. PIZZA IS THE RICE OF ITALY. Polenta is not something cool you get in a restaurant. It is CORN GRUEL that my Nonna serves covered in tasty napolitana sauce, to HIDE the gruel-like gruelness of the damn stuff. Olive oil dipped in bread is not a novelty, it is something that all my Anglo friends laughed at until they saw it in restaurants.
However, congee is so bad it can never be hip.
I felt so sick I could hardly eat anything else at BBQ City. The Steamed Chicken Empress and Tea Duck are second to none, but BBQ City doesn’t have much else to offer other than barbeque, and if you order anything else, you are probably drunk or doing it as an experiment.
In which case, I award BBQ city 70/100 and blame myself for having to eat liver porridge.
Thumbs up for the record 12 diners at the city! We love you all!


I, like Mele, also suspect that with our 'weirdest thing on the menu' rule, this blog may descend into the restaurant reviewing equivalent of "Dare/Double Dare/Physical Challenge!!!". But I'm sure that there will come a time when we have eaten everything.
Jellyfish is no longer weird. Fish'n'bacon is no longer weird.
Salty porridge with fresh pork liver and kidneys is now no longer weird.
Correction: it's still weird. But we're not eating it again.
If you think it's not weird, then you eat it.

Brave, brave fools.

But I am being unkind in my appraisal of what is actually one of the tastiest restaurants we've been to yet.
It's cheap and the barbeque is spectacular. Ribs, duck and chicken served with a little minced spring onion sauce really is my favourite dish on The Epic so far.

Everybody scream YUM YUM

Everything else was fairly standard Chinese restaurant fare and nothing you wouldn't find in any crowded Chinese eatery. Observe:

The Hastily Ordered Fish and MSG

Still better than congee

The Chicken You Definitely Don't Remember Ordering With Yogurt Sauce

That congee is starting to look pretty good

The Vagina Dumplings

Traditional and erotic

Also excellent was the deep-fried eggplant which was so good it could almost have been meat. So that's your BBQ City menu: Triple Crown BBQ Plate, Deep-Fried Eggplant and no congee, ever. A quick word of advice: the BBQ City wait-staff have a reputation for vagueness which ranges from forgetful to outright surly. Our waitress this evening was quick and polite and even attempted steer me away from the offal porridge (and towards the preserved egg porridge). They were even discreet about asking us to leave so they could let other patrons have our huge corner of the City.

But we finally got the hint when they threw a teapot full of piss on the Lazy Susan.

Next stop: Ba Guo Bu Yi (I got it wrong last time - but we may have to hurry, as we left BBQ City the place was plastered with poster proclaiming "All Food 10% Off - The More You Eat, The More You Save!" I'm not worried.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stanley’s Fish Café

Present: Sam, Mele, Tallora and Cristi.


I’ve got to admit, Sam and I have been avoiding Stanley’s for a few weeks. Here are just a few of the reasons:

a) It's expensive
b) It's the unofficial quarters of the South Australian branch of ‘Grey Power’
c) It exists in a time warp (circa 1985) in which deep frying and heavily crumbling delicate, juicy fresh fish fillets is still in vogue (the words ‘tempura’ or ‘fritto misto’ are not on the menu)
d) Grilling your fish costs an extra two dollars!

As complaining is my forte (yes, I do enjoy it), I will say that the sign of a bad restaurant can be found in the house salad. The salad was iceberg. It came with a light vinegar dressing one could barely taste. All that was missing was the sprig of parsley to garnish.
As for the fish part, one can only puzzle over the specials board which had “Greek Prawns” listed, a dish which included sherry, cream and capsicum.
What the bejeezus is Greek about that?
Or good, one might add?

One might ask the same thing about Greg Norman.
Wait a minute ... oh, I get it: "The Shark". In a place that serves fish. Very nice. Put that gag on the specials board, it's about to go off!
Further thought: a large portrait of a sportman known for choking hanging in a restaurant ... excellent.

Tallora took one for the team and ordered the ultimate in 1950s dining, the ‘Seafood mornay’. I’ve got to say that the words “DISGUSTING” flashed across my drunken mind like the tiny lights in the Rio Di Janeiro picture, but it was actually pretty good.

Unlike the picture of Rio

Probably the best I’ve ever had, but I prefer to think of Tuna Mornay as an abomination that belongs to the past, like Apricot Chicken or sausages in Keen’s curry powder.

Dear friends, do not go to Stanley’s. It’s an expensive RSL.

However, the fish was extremely well cooked, for which I award Stanley’s 45/100.


Mele's not wrong. When we conceived of the Gouger Street Epic, we imagined ourselves unearthing gem after undiscovered gem of Asian cuisine. Not, as it has turned out so far, chicken sandwiches, meatball-and-seafood subs and sneakily-disguised chops.

But nothing, nothing could have prepared us (more specifically: me) for ... BARRA GRENADA.
Take a tender, delicate piece of fried barramundi ...


This isn't even some gag photo we made up by sneaking some bacon sprinklin's from someone else's plate. I paid 29.9 of my excellent dollars for salty bacon and fresh-water fish. I'm obviously the dope in this situation – the buffoon, the fall guy - but I still feel like someone should get a wet fish in the moosh.
I can't even complain about it! It was the nicest fish'n'bacon dish I've ever eaten. And it's going straight into the Weirdest of the Weird Hall of Fame over there on your right, because: pesce e porco, Sam says NO.

Honorable mention: Tallora didn't only take one for the team, coming out a winner with the seafood mornay, but she was also broad-minded enough to try the luminous dipping sauce.

And after I eat this, you will give me the five bucks, right?

We only found out later from the forgetful waitress that it was mustard and lemon salad dressing she was spreading on her bread.

But, as always with these things, the important thing is that it's now behind us and we never have to go back.
You think we're doing this to broaden our horizons?
Expand our minds to new definitions of flavour?
Screw that! The motto of the Epic may well turn out to be "We Ate There So You Don't Have To"

Subtitle: "Iceberg and all, motherfucker"

We can now move on to cities of barbeque and great rivers of *ahem* barbeque and other things which may or may not have barbeque.

Next stop: Ba Guo Bu Yi

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the upside, the technician said it was the cleanest motherboard he'd ever seen.

No, we're not starving to death.

We are, however, on a slight hiatus because the millions, one could even stretch so far as to say billions, or even trillions of dollars spent on developing the microprocessor and all its attendant uses and attachments were still not nearly enough to solve the problem of water-proofing.

A lovely little water-bottle with Charlie's name joyously stamped on the side obviously was not the beneficiary of the millennia-old global research cloud which has developed and made available the knowledge which allows us to contain water over a period of time. Instead, this poor third-cousin, this unlicensed knock-off, this pretender vessel only revealed the depth of its true deficiency when it was provided with the opportunity to snuggle up with my computer in the seclusion of my backpack.

I can't recall another occasion when a single drip of moisture has caused me such anguish, falling as it did from the cooling vent in the side of my laptop.

The PhD is safe. The photos have been salvaged and recovered. The music is safe, the playcounts are not.

The Epic shall continue, but you may have to be a little patient.

Monday, May 23, 2011

NOT T-Bar! T-Chow!

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child does NOT serve dinner at the T-Bar!

Nor does anyone else for that matter. We four arrived, starving, to find empty fridges and to match our empty stomachs. It turns out all our snobbish friends (you know who you are) were *ahem* right. T-Bar is not a dinner venue and is thusly STRUCK OFF the Gouger Street Epic(urean) Adventure.

However, let it not be said that we are planless gimps for we are not. We carried the T-theme through and ended up at T-Chow. All right – fine, we bloody know it’s not a Gouger Street restaurant as per The Rules, but the next stop is Stanley’s Fish Café and we’ll be dining on the forty-buck fish alone.This time, we’re reviewing T-Chow, not as part of the Epic, but as a service to food lovers.

You've seen T-Chow, you've walked past it. You've even been inside and eaten there. 'Classy place' you thought. You were right. It's the kind of classy which has the word 'Classy' Bedazzled on its pleather jacket. From the glitter fish tanks to the white table-cloths covered in butcher's paper, T-Chow isn't just a place, it's a venue. Things happen here.

Food also happens here. Unfortunately, this is not the Austin Powers kind of 'happens', this is the other kind of happens. The kind referred to on Holden bumper-stickers Australia-wide.

Shallot pancakes.

All our sloth turds are served with soy vinegar and parsley!

These could have been the best things I've ever eaten. They could have been mislaid sloth turds. I wouldn't have known because by the time they turned up, I was so hungry, it's a miracle I stopped at the plate.
Mele: They were actually really undercooked.

Green peppercorn chicken.

Supposedly the flagship. If so, the T-Chow armada would have trouble taking over Marion Swimming Pool. Their A-game was C+. It had flavour, but so does lots of Chicken Tonight. But, in keeping with the flagship concept, that is deep-fried seaweed around the edges.
Mele: The chicken was beautifully tender. Alas, nothing else was.

Salt'n'Pepper Squid.

Now with lettuce!

Should probably just be called 'Squid'. Or I didn't get any bits with the world's most common seasoning.
Mele: It was overcooked. If salt and pepper squid can be viewed as the barometer of a good restaurant, a death knell is ringing in my ears.

T-chow is behind the times. This restaurant is coasting on an old, undeserved reputation. If you thought sweet'n'sour chicken was the height of Chinese cuisine in the 1980s, and still believe it is, you are a bogan or the owner of this joint. STRAIGHT UP.

Good good, there were so many relics from the past here it was like going back to highschool. Even Axl Rose turned up.
Nothing lasts forever, man. Even cold November Rain.
*Cue rain-soaked coffin*

Peking Ribs.

Even slanty photography can't save it.

Should probably just be called 'Peking', because I was hard pressed to find any actual evidence that I was eating intercostals.
Big call? Maybe. That photo doesn't really do it justice. I'm also not a butcher, but I like to think I understand what I'm pointing at when I go to the local meat vendor and say:


Guest reviewer: Charlie.

"The milk was INTENSE."

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32