Curried Cauliflower Soup

2 Chopped Onions, Garlic, Ginger Cook in oil for 5 min. Add 1 tspn curry paste. Add 1 cauliflower, cover with chicken stock. Cook. Mash. Add 2 cups full cream milk. Serve. Eat. Warning! Untested!

Bad Coffee

I had possibly the worst cup of coffee I’ve ever had the other night. “Le Bon”, in the southern (station) end of the Adelaide Railway Station Underpass, sells coffees for $2.20, which is much less than most other places. But, you do get what you pay for. This was worse than instant coffee. And, it was so hot it burned the crap out of my tongue. Even then, I could still tell just how putrid this was. By that stage, I was on the train, so I had to hold on to a full cup of woeful coffee for 20 minutes, and once I forgot just how bad it was and took a sip. Don’t ever buy coffee there. Ever.

Cheap as Chips in the City of Churches

Adelaide is the capital city of the State of South Australia. Situated about halfway between Perth and Sydney, it is also known as “The City of Churches”, and is located in the driest state in the driest continent in the world. (Top that, Topper!). Adelaide has a population of around 1 million people, mostly of british and european descent. It is notable in not being a convict settlement - all of the original migrants were free settlers. Many of them came to South Australia to avoid religious persecution in their home countries. Adelaide is known for being close to some of the best wine and food growing regions in the world. Just over an hour north is the famous Barossa Valley, with the Clare Valley (famous for it’s rieslings) nearby.


Adelaide’s Government House,
home of the Governor.

About four hours south-east is the Coonawarra region, where some of the highest regarded Cabernets are produced. Adelaide also is home to the Coopers Brewery, the only family-owned major brewery left in Australia. These factors combine to produce a city that is rich in culture, but most residents don’t know how lucky they are.

Breakfast.

Hindley Street still has a bad reputation amongst a significant proportion of the South Australian population. Most of it is undeserved, but a quick walk down there at 8:15am will clue you in to why, especially if you remember that it’s much better now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The section between Bank and Morphett Streets is the pits, and if you take the Railway Station underpass, you’ll emerge in the thick of it.


The infamous Hindley Street:
Paul Kelly even wrote
a song about her!

Turning right into Hindley Street, you’ll pass pubs that are open that early in the morning, and strip clubs that closed not too many hours before. If you are lucky, you’ll see a feral or two enter a pub, stinking of beer, and eyes glazed over as they prepare to waste the local taxpayers money on poker machines. But push through, your destination awaits, and it’s worth it. After crossing Morphett Street, you enter the Education precinct, where the University of South Australia built a new City West campus to replace the aging, and closed suburban campuses of Salisbury and Underdale. (The northern and western suburbs are still whinging about the lack of education opportunities. Catch the bus, I say.) Because of the influx of students, several cafés and other shops have opened, and our goal is one of these: Phat Coffee. Josh will be behind the counter, he makes a great coffee, and he’s there all day, from 8:00 until 5:00. During Uni holidays they close at 4pm, but getting there is worth it. Phat Coffee does more than just coffee - they also serve a magnificent Ham Cheese and Tomato Croissant. Eat in or take away, it’s worth the $7.95 for the comfort food of a tasty croissant and a perfect coffee. Breakdown: Croissant: AUD5.25 ($4.12) Flat White: AUD2.70 ($2.12) Total: AUD7.95 ($6.24)

Lunch.


North Terrace, looking east.

Just south of the City is the trendy King William Road, a narrow strip with cafés and restaurants galore. One of the old favourites is Oh! Sushi, renknowned for the train that carries it’s sushi to the customers. Adelaide only has a handful of good sushi restaurants, and Oh! Sushi, whilst inexpensive, rates well. Because of the method of consumption - grab what you want - it’s possible to spend lots or just a little at Oh! Sushi. The dishes come on coloured plates, and the colour represents the price. One favourite is the A-ge Zushi, Salmon and Cheese in a deep fried package. A couple of these to start, and then a plate of California Rolls. These all come on green plates, at AUD3.30 per plate. White plates are the cheapest - AUD2.20, so I chose something from this range. I don’t know what it was, but it had egg on it. Delightful! Of course, sushi with plenty of Wasabi is hot work, and you can’t go past a Schweppes Traditional Lemonade to cure the thirst. Breakdown: A-ge Zushi: 2 @ AUD3.30 = AUD6.60 ($5.18) California Roll: 1 @ AUD3.30 = AUD3.30 ($2.59) Other: 1 @ AUD2.20 = AUD2.20 ($1.73) Schweppes Traditional Lemonade: AUD2.90 ($2.28) Total: AUD15.00 ($11.78)

Snack.

Later, as I walked back down Hindley Street, a girl was handing out voucher for AUD1.00 coffees from a new café: I think it was called Savanah - yes, I’d spell it differently, too. So, having a bit of change in my pocket, I ducked in and had another Flat White. Not bad, and a big serve. Not that that’s always good in coffees, but this was alright. Breakdown: Flat White: AUD1.00 ($0.79)

Tea.

Adelaide has a vibrant Touch Football community. It’s a relatively small town, so everyone who plays touch knows just about everyone else. Anyway, after playing a game with the Arab Steed Pornstars, at City Touch Club, we headed into their sponsor, the Arab Steed Hotel. Owned and managed by Shayne White, the Arab Steed Hotel has been trading for years. Shayne bought the pub about a decade ago, and has turned it into a successful little business, with a great location near the south parklands, on the Corner of Hutt and Gilbert Streets. Parking out the front can be difficult, especially in the peak mealtimes, between 7 and 8:30. Don’t even think about parking on Gilbert Street, unless you go further west, as parking inspectors like to frequent the area, and unless you have a resident permit, expect the day to quickly become more expensive. There are plenty of parks further up Hutt Street, near and past the Adelaide City Council library, and beyond, as well as futher west. The ‘Steed used to make a great mushroom gravy, and it wasn’t unknown for the whole team to order Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce (and Just Chips, in some cases!). Nowadays, the mushroom gravy ain’t that good, but there are several other great meals to try. The Veal Shanks (or Calves’ calves - thanks Alyse!) go well, but my choice is generally the Cajun Chicken Burger. Today, however, on the Specials’ board was Pork Puff Pastry Parcel, so I had “A Pork Puff Pastry Parcel, Please”, and a jug of beer. Since I bought the first round, others paid for the following rounds, and that was all I ended up paying for. Breakdown: Pork Puff Pastry Parcel: AUD10.90 ($8.55) Jug of Coopers Pale Ale: AUD12.00 ($9.41) Total: AUD22.90 ($17.96)

Whole Day Summary

I’ll be honest here: this didn’t all happen in the one day. For starters, you’ll notice that the photos have different weather, and I don’t usually have time to get down to King William Road during the day. It’s actually unlikely I’ll spend this much in one day: I often eat lunch from the school canteen, and that’s usually AUD2.50. But, on a perfect day, this is what I’d like to eat! Breakfast: AUD7.95 ($6.24) Lunch: AUD15.00 ($11.78) Snack: AUD1.00 ($0.79) Tea: AUD22.90 ($17.96) Total: AUD46.85 ($36.78) So, I came in under the requirement. Phew!

I'm not Rachael Ray, but I'll be her for a day

I can’t even remember where I found this link: Be Rachael Ray for a Day.

So here is the deal - your Dine & Dish #4 blog post should cover a whole day’s worth of meals eaten outside of your home - breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks (if you have enough money), including drinks, for the total sum of $40.

Now, I’ve done the calculations, and US$40 is around about AUD$51, which is really quite a lot! So, here is my first part of my Rachael Ray Day - I’ll combine everything together on August 22nd. $40 a day in Adelaide.

Breakfast.

Hindley Street still has a bad reputation amongst a significant proportion of the South Australian population. Most of it is undeserved, but a quick walk down there at 8:15am will clue you in to why, especially if you remember that it’s much better now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The section between Bank and Morphett Streets is the pits, and if you take the Railway Station underpass, you’ll emerge in the thick of it. Turning right into Hindley Street, you’ll pass pubs that are open that early in the morning, and strip clubs that closed not too many hours before. If you are lucky, you’ll see a feral or two enter a pub, stinking of beer, and eyes glazed over as they prepare to waste the local taxpayers money on poker machines. But push through, your destination awaits, and it’s worth it. After crossing Morphett Street, you enter the Education precinct, where the University of South Australia built a new City West campus to replace the aging, and closed suburban campuses of Salisbury and Underdale. (The northern and western suburbs are still whinging about the lack of education opportunities. Catch the bus, I say.) Because of the influx of students, several cafés and other shops have opened, and our goal is one of these: Phat Coffee. Josh will be behind the counter, he makes a great coffee, and he’s there all day, from 8:00 until 5:00. During Uni holidays they close at 4pm, but getting there is worth it. Phat Coffee does more than just coffee - they also serve a magnificent Ham Cheese and Tomato Croissant. Eat in or take away, it’s worth the $7.95 for the comfort food of a tasty croissant and a perfect coffee. Breakdown: Croissant: AUD5.25 ($4.12) Flat White: AUD2.70 ($2.12) Total: AUD7.95 ($6.24)

Lunch.

Still to write…Sushi train?

Tea.

Adelaide has a vibrant Touch Football community. It’s a relatively small town, so everyone who plays touch knows just about everyone else. Anyway, after playing a game with the Arab Steed Pornstars, at City Touch Club, we headed into their sponsor, the Arab Steed Hotel. Owned and managed by Shayne White, the Arab Steed Hotel has been trading since [YEAR]. Shayne bought the pub in [YEAR], and has turned it into a successful little business, with a great location near the south parklands, on the Corner of Hutt and Gilbert Streets. Parking out the front can be difficult, especially in the peak mealtimes, between 7 and 8:30. Don’t even think about parking on Gilbert Street, unless you go further west, as parking inspectors like to frequent the area, and unless you have a resident permit, expect the day to quickly become more expensive. There are plenty of parks further up Hutt Street, near and past the Adelaide City Council library, and beyond, as well as futher west. The ‘Steed used to make a great mushroom gravy, and it wasn’t unknown for the whole team to order Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce (and Just Chips, in some cases!). Nowadays, the mushroom gravy ain’t that good, but there are several other great meals to try. The Veal Shanks (or Calves’ calves - thanks Alyse!) go well, but my choice is generally the Cajun Chicken Burger. Today, however, on the Specials’ board was Pork Puff Pastry Parcel, so I had “A Pork Puff Pastry Parcel, Please”, and a jug of beer. Since I bought the first round, others paid for the following rounds, and that was all I ended up paying for. Breakdown: Pork Puff Pastry Parcel: AUD10.90 ($8.55) Jug of Coopers Pale Ale: AUD12.00 ($9.41) Total: AUD22.90 ($17.96)

The Bugs!!!

[Tauquil’s Blog The Bugs are Haunting Me]1 Scary stuff going on here!

Poaching Eggs

I read about some guy’s aim to poach an egg. It’s much simpler than this: just boil some water in a saucepan, with a little white vinegar added. When boiling, stir the water gently and break the egg into the pan. Use a slotted spoon to keep the shape, and to remove the egg when done. When you get good at it, you can try more than one egg at a time. (Not many words here due to Dvorak layout.)

Bitter Brew

Bitter Brew - I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life. By Michael Idov Damn. There goes my Summer plan for a Coffee Shop at Robe…

Review: Robe Village Fair

I spent the last three days (or a fair chunk of them, at any rate), down in the lovely seaside town of Robe, located about 3½ hours drive south of Adelaide. Around this time every year, and instigated originally by my good friend Hugh Koch, Robe hosts the annual Village Fair: a showcase of local food and wine, with internationally reknowned musical entertainment.

This year saw the inclusion of Jimmy Barnes, the former front man of 80s Rock Band Cold Chisel, as the lead act, with (Johnny) Diesel (formerly of Johnny Diesel and the Injectors), supporting him on Saturday night. (Which reminds me, he didn’t do the song Saturday Night!) Vanessa Amorosi played on Friday evening, and Kate Ceberano was the Sunday afternoon act.

I arrived in Robe early in the evening, and had some dinner with my family before we headed off into town for the first concert. I’ll start by stating publicly that I hated Vanessa Amorosi’s songs, especially Absoloutely Everybody, and, Oh, that’s right, she didn’t have any other songs! So I went into Friday’s gig with not too high expectations. And saw them stripped by her talent. Amorosi was really quite a reasonable singer, performing a whole lot of cover versions: I actually commented (very much tongue-in-cheek) that I didn’t realise I knew so many of her songs.

Anyway, I was quite enjoying her performance, until the encore. She persisted with the flawed concept that has riddled the Australian version of Pop Idol, that dancing around the final note a composer had planned as the finish of their song shows everyone just how talented you are. Like Guy Sebastian did when he butchered just about every song he performed. It just annoys the hell out of me that singers continue to think that this rubbish sounds good. Sure, interpret the song in your own way, but don’t kill the end of the song by over-singing the f•ck out of it. Still, to her credit, Amorosi really only did this with her second last song. Unfortunately, her final song was the annoying song that Mark Holden wrote (is that the right word. Was this really written?) for her all of those years ago. And the f•cking thing stayed in my head all night long!

Saturday looked like it might be a downpour - it actually did rain rather heavily at around 6 am: I don’t normally wake up when the weather’s bad that early, but I did for some reason. Still, it had fined up by the time we made it back into the main street, and we got some lunch (dry old baked potato), and some drinks. Plenty of the new Coopers Lager - it’s really quite nice - and several bottles of varying wines, both red and white.

Diesel came on at about 5, and didn’t really do much for me. Don’t get me wrong, he was great as background music, but I didn’t really know that many of his songs. It did give me some time to really load up on the lagers, at least until they ran out. Then it was onto Doctor Tim’s… which someone tells me is just like Pale Ale, but in a can. I didn’t notice the taste.

Barnesy came on sometime around 7:30 - I’d pretty much lost track of time by then. Actually, I recall that it was still light, just. I’d promised Jason I’d get a photo of me and him together, and there were several (rude) text messages about money changing hands. The proof will be in the (faked) pudding, I’ll just leave it at that.

I always say I’m not a big Barnesy fan, but having someone like him, who plays a heap of songs that you knew the words to right throughout your youth means you can really get into it. It always helps when there’s a thing you can relate to in a song (happy hour at one of the two Hotels: the same number that are in Robe…), and when you are surrounded by a throng of people all screaming along at the top of their voices. I loved it. In a different way than I love listening to Beethoven or Mozart, but it was great nonetheless.

The ringing in my ears had subsided by Sunday morning: we had 17 people (including one baby, my gorgeous nephew Jack!) staying in the house, and I made French Toast for all; and by midday we headed back into Robe proper to hear Kate Ceberano. I really dig her as a performer, and was really looking forward to hearing her live.

And I felt she was the most disappointing of the lot. Nothing wrong with her singing (although, I don’t think she did Young Boys Are My Weakness), but she certainly crapped on a lot between songs. And whilst sometimes that it part of the act, with her it really felt like she was just talking to try and push the length of the set out a bit. Yeah, I suppose it was cute having those six kids get up on stage for Pash Me, but it took about three times the length of the song to set it up. And they couldn’t sing to save themselves!

When Ben Folds talks between songs, or sets up the audience to join in, it’s worth the wait. And that reminds me, the big difference is that, a couple of times, Ceberano basically berated the audience for not giving her ‘enough respect’, but I think crowd interaction and ‘love’ is something a performer needs to build up each time they perform. Not just expect it because they can command $25,000 for a performance.

I didn’t dislike Ceberano because she is a Scientologist, but I don’t respec’ her nearly as much as I did before I’d seen her live. And with Barnesy (and to a certain extend, Amorosi), it’s a bit the other way.

The wines on show seemed pretty good - I really only had about 6 or 7 glasses worth over the three days, and only about three different types, but it was the first time for a while I’d really drunk any red, so that was nice. And the coolest thing was that they were a) local wines and b) cheaper there than back up here in Adelaide from bulk liquor stores. Speaking of price, I didn’t eat any lobster - but I wish I had. It was $15/half, which doesn’t sound like much, when you compare it to $4 for a (very) small serve of chips, or $8 for even less chips with one piece of fish.

Just about everyone there was eating lobster, they must have sold shitloads of them. Oh well, live and learn. Overall, I hope it didn’t sound like I didn’t have a good time. I had a great time. Mostly this was (for me) being able to catch up with lots of people from my past: including an ex-girlfriend who has two (very cute) daughters. Hi Libby. Your kids are gorgeous.

Boing Boing: Drunken gluttons order and eat 100-patty hamburger

Boing Boing: Drunken gluttons order and eat 100-patty hamburger 100 Patty Burger Man, Boing-Boing gets the best news.

The problem with stupid employees

I’ve worked in fast food. Granted, it was a long time ago, and I was only a delivery driver, but it vexes me how often orders are mucked up by these (generally) young people. What hope does our society have when the youth can’t listen properly and remember for thirty seconds what food I want. We went to KFC at Mitcham tonight, on the way home from a Training & Development session. Jaq was driving, so she ordered, and it went a little like this:

Jaq: Can I have a Zinger Bacon and Cheese Twister, in a large combo; and a second twister with cheese and no tomato please.
Stupid Drivethru Operator: Okay, so that’s one Bacon and Cheese Twister in a large combo, and a twister with cheese and no tomato.
Jaq: No, the first one was a Zinger Twiser.
SDO: Sorry, we don’t do Zinger Twisters.
Me (yelling from passenger seat): Yeah you do, I have them all of the time.
SOD: Silence.
Jaq (to me): So that’s it then? Do I drive thru?

[We decide to drive to the window. As the previous car pulls away, a hand holding a large chips comes out of the window - obviously they forgot to pack the order properly.]

New Drivethru Operator: We don’t have them as a menu item, but we can make one up for you.
Jaq: Ok, thanks.
NDO: So, that’s a Bacon and Cheese Zinger Twister combo. What drink did you want?
Jaq: There was another twister too, with cheese and no tomato.
NDO: Ok. What drink did you want then?
Jaq: Sunkist.

[Time passes. Drink is brought out. It’s a small one.]

Jaq: Um, we ordered a large meal. Were you the girl I spoke to before? Because she read that bit of the order back to me.
NDO: No. Sorry.

[NDO takes drink, and brings back a large bottle.]

NDO: There you go, and there is your meal.

[Bag is handed to us. As we begin to drive off, I notice there is a small chips in the bag. We stop. I then realise there are two small chips.]

Jaq: Excuse me, we ordered a large meal and got two small chips.
NDO: Yeah, we have run out of large chips containers.

[We drive home.]

When we arrived home, it got even worse. Initially, we thought they’d stuffed up Jaq’s order badly, by giving her tomatoes, and no cheese. But it turned out that they had just made my Zinger Twister sans Bacon and Cheese. So, I’m counting about 5 errors in our order, plus at least one in the order of the car before us. That’s pretty pathetic, KFC.