Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sailor's Thai

I've always wanted to try this place, ever since I purchased the
Thai Food book by David Thompson, the founder of the restaurant. Plus, it was rated one hat by the smh good food guide. The book is so gorgeous, bound in hot pink silk with two ribbon bookmarks (useful!), but I found it so dense with information and complicated recipes, that the only thing I have managed to make from it was Tom Yum Soup. Another problem I found with it is that the spelling of the dishes is different to the spelling that you see in the Thai places around Sydney, so even Tom Yum is not filed as such, but under 'dtom yam gung'.

The menu was short - one side for mains, another for the drinks list. Some of the items on the menu included:
· Pad Thai - stir-fried rice noodles with peanuts, dried prawns, and bean sprouts
· Som Dtam - green papaya salad with cabbage, coconut rice and bbq caramelised pork
· Raw Salmon marinated with chillies and lime juice
· Jewfish with large chillies & ..?
· Yellow chicken curry with mustard greens

My only complaint about the wine list is all the wines available were very young, with the oldest being 3 years old. But perhaps older, more complex wines aren't suited to the thai style of food.

Usually a risotto is my 'test dish' of any restaurant that I visit; hard to do well, but fantastic when it is. It looks like the green papaya salad has turned my Thai restaurant equivalent. So I ordered it. It came out very quickly, so I guess they had all the ingredients to hand & just had to plate it. The salad was very smooth, with crunchy roast peanuts, dried shrimp, a cherry tomato & raw beans. The coconut rice was topped with fried shallots, and had that nice glossy finish & a delicate flavour. The BBQ pork, however, was the star of the dish. Intense nuggetty little squares of pork, that must have been air or oven dried before roasting it again with a yummy sweet sauce - similar to the Chinese Char-Siew, but more like the flavour of beef jerky that you can buy from stalls in Chinatown. The whole dish was a meal in itself, and you had enough varied tastes so that you enjoy every bite. However, I found the salad a bit lacking. It seemed to missing one element, one edge - like just a little more crushed shrimp, or a tad more chilli, or a pinch more garlic in the sauce.

The second dish ordered was a yellow chicken curry with egg noodles. The garnish was different, deep fried egg noodles, and at first I thought that were all the noodles I was going to get. Thankfully there were also some served in the curry sauce, although it seems a strange concept. Curry is for rice, right? Good yellow colour, but I'm unsure what a yellow curry is supposed to taste like. Even squeezing in the lime segment, and adding a little of the black chilli sauce to the curry didn't seem to make a difference. I could taste top note of chilli, and a base note of a light coconut milk, but there was no depth, nothing in between. Unlike the salad, I think that with this one, the dish didn't seem complex enough to hold it's own. "Wagamama-Syndrome", I've nicknamed it, where the dish tastes boring and 'samey' all the way through.

Rice was served in a flat open bowl, and got cold very quickly.

Service was very quick, atmosphere was fun & communal. I kept wanting to reach over & try a little of the prawn spring rolls that my neighbours had ordered. Serving sizes were deceptively large. Total damage was $56 for two, with two dishes, serving of rice, and two drinks. Would I go again? Yeah, probably, but with a larger group.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Motorcycle Diaries

The original plan had been to head to the moonlight cinema at centennial park, and with the atmosphere of screaming bats, vengeful ibises and suicidal mozzies watch "The motorcycle diaries". We thought it would be entirely appropriate, watching a movie about the life of Che Guevara before he became 'Che' under the stars.

Firstly, it sold out. Okay, so instead we went to the Opera Bar for a pre-movie drink (How far the mighty have fallen), where M was in raptures of the G&T.

The movie was great. It started out quite slowly, with Fuser & his sidekick Angelo (who was sidekick, who was leader)? conceiving a mad plan to ride across South America, and 'get lots of chicks', before Angelo turns 30, and before Fuser starts medical school. Starting out on 'The mighty one', visiting Fuser's girlfriend, finally losing The-Mighty-One after one too many encounters with cows. You could see Angelo as the kind of friend that you both hate to love, and love to hate, as he gets you embroiled in one scrape after another. The film got a bit disjointed near the end, where Fuser turns from just the quiet thinker, the background man, into something to really step back and watch; moving from observer/empathiser of south american hardships to a sudden rousing speechmaker. That was a bit jarring, as though the director suddenly thought that they had to finish the movie, and now.

But it was really really good.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Tank Stream Bar

I went here after work on Friday to check it out. It had a very after-work feel, and I must have been adding to the atmosphere. The entrance to the establishment hotel is also through here. I guess that if you are a guest here, you would be carrying minimal luggage. G&T with bombay gin cost me an enormous $7.20. $7.20! For a drink from a place with no view, and a rapidly diminishing crowd? Sheesh. Plus it tasted wrong, and not smooth at all. ..can't be the gin, so what - she used soda water instead of tonic on the tap? Or perhaps the tonic water flavoured syrup had run out? Or perhaps the lines were dirty. Hmm. Wouldn't get that drink again, and not from that place again.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Getting cultured x 2

Having subscribed to both the belvoir & the sydney theatre company last year, I decided that I would do the same again this year, but I would have to make a choice: I could only chose one. How awful! But I had felt very spread thin last year, running around with plays and various sporting activities, and I've just become a subscriber/supporter of 2mbsfm, and promptly stopped listening to it, so I had to restrict myself to just one theatre subscription.

And (OMG), I can't believe I did this. I re-subscribed to the STC, the one that all the bloody north shore john howard supporter types go to. *hangs head in shame*. Well....out of all the plays I saw last year, I enjoyed all but 2 from STC; and with the belvior I only _liked_ 2, and only didn't mind 1 of em. So that's 2/7 of belvoir that I liked, and 6/8 of the STC.

What on earth is going on? I'm a left-leaning greenie who supports independants, and I'm _supposed_ to like what the independants such as belvoir (although they do have nicole kidman & geoffry rush as supporters) present, but I didn't. *sob* I'm turning into a chardonnay swilling silvertail lah-de-dah.


How am I supposed to tell if my fish are alive? They are installed in a old cast iron bathtub (no feet, unfortunately), with lots of water lillies & irises as cover, and I can't see the blighters!! Because of this drought, they've been a bit neglected, and I haven't been able to fill up their pond as often as I would like. But I would say that the extensive water lily coverage would have helped slow the evaporation process down. Anyway - I would have thought that if my fishies had died, there would have been little bodies floating on the surface, but I haven't been able to see them. I had a bit of a rummage around, but wasn't able to detect their presence. I'm not in the mood to decant all the water & clean the pond, and hopefully find alive fish in the process - so how am I supposed to tell if they're still there, and not floating in the great toilet bowl in the sky?