Monday, 30 June 2014

Last Friday Night

Last Friday night I heard about an EOFY drinks night at Barista Haus in Rockdale. Usually they are just a 9-5 coffee-and-sandwiches place so this was a bit out of the ordinary, but it was FREE so naturally I rounded up the rest of the Rockdale crew (i.e. James and our friend Ben - hello if you're reading!) and headed out.

The lady hosting was really lovely and the drinks were really free (and as you can see, not el cheapo ones either). We also grabbed this delicious cheese plate for $20. They had a smaller one for ten bucks, but I was pretty starving and it was well worth it.

The ambience was a little lacking and it wasn't as busy as I had expected, perhaps because there was no sign outside so passers-by probably thought it was a private function. But it was still a pretty fun place to hang out and I think with dimmer lighting and louder music it would be a super fun little bar, I hope they'll keep doing things like this!

On Saturday morning James and I went to the Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market, which is always a treat.

At night I met Meg (hi Meg!) to eat way too many dumplings at Taste of Shanghai (thanks Brendan for the recommendation!) and watch The Fault In Our Stars.

I haven't decided how good it was yet - it was slightly unrealistic, but in the way that I imagined the world really was when I was a teenager, so given that it's for and about teenagers that could be a strength. What I can say for sure is that it is SUPER SAD. Everyone cried.

James and I met a couple of the boys at a serious board games shop called Good Game in Hurstville because they were having a big sale.

It's not my favourite place, but we availed ourselves of their free games library and gaming tables for a bit of Cards Against Humanity.

Afterwards we decided to grab a late lunch. The boys from Peacock Trattoria have opened up a new restaurant in Gymea, the Italian Stallion, so we were really keen to give it a try.

It's not exactly the same as Peacock's but I think if you liked one you'd like the other.

Especially if you're a cocktails enthusiast - these were great!

We started with a ham, mascarpone and mushroom pizza to share. 

Peacock's have the same thing without mushrooms and I love it, but this was even better. I think it had truffle oil too so definitely one for the mushroom lovers.

For our actual lunch we had these burgers:

I loved the pickles, and I liked how they served them and the onions on the side so I could add them to taste. I liked the orange cheese, and I liked the tomato relish for my fries. But overall, I wasn't wild about the burger. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of burgers these days, and this one just didn't quite do it for me.

The pizza and cocktails more than made up for it though, and the desserts (the one area where I think Peacock's struggles) sounded amazing, so I'm already looking forward to going back and trying one of the many other tempting menu options. 

How was everyone else's weekend?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Things I Hate Thursday: People Who Don't Know What Meat Loaf Won't Do For Love

Not a joke, this irritates me like almost nothing else.

One of my favourite musicians of all time is Meat Loaf (also not a joke). He has stacks of excellent songs, including "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)", about a dude who is in love and claims he would do anything for love, but in the chorus he admits that actually, he wouldn't do "that". It's pretty well known and often referenced in popular culture, e.g. in Spice World The Movie where he plays the tour bus driver who, when asked to fix a clogged toilet on the bus, answers "I'd do anything for those girls, but I won't do that".

Anyway, the one thing about this song that I don't love is the fact that for some reason, 90% of people think that the thing Meat Loaf won't do is a big mysterious secret, and the remaining 10% think they have it figured out but actually don't.

I am here to let you in on the secret: the thing Meat Loaf won't do is EXACTLY WHAT HE SAYS IN THE SONG. Throughout the song, he lists a bunch of things he would do for love, juxtaposed against things that he definitely wouldn't do. In English, the word "that" is used to indicate a person, thing, idea etc as physically pointed out or, in Meat Loaf's case, verbally mentioned. So when he says he won't do "that", he means he won't do "the thing we were just talking about, like literally two seconds ago, honestly what is your problem".

For example:

And I would do anything for love, and I'll be there 'til the final act
And I would do anything for love, and I'll take a vow and seal a pact
But I'll never forgive myself if we don't go all the way tonight
And I would do anything for love, oh I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love, but I won't do that* 

(*I won't forgive myself if we don’t go all the way tonight)

Got it?

Toward the end a lady joins Meat Loaf and asks whether he'd do a few things, e.g.:

Will you raise me up? Will you help me down?
Will you get me right out of this godforsaken town?
Will you make it all a little less cold?

To which Meat Loaf replies:

I can do that.

Then she gets cynical and suggests that things will change one day:

I know the territory, I've been around
It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down
Sooner or later you'll be screwing around

And he protests:

I won't do that.

This is the one part of the song that some people are able to comprehend, so the few who don't think "that" is a big secret think that the thing he won't do is cheat on her. Which it is, in this particular verse. Just not for the entire song.

I really don't see why this is so hard to understand in the first place but if you're a person who just doesn't get demonstrative pronouns, here's a handy list that you can print out and keep in your wallet to avoid getting on my last nerve in the future:

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Peacock Trattoria

Every Christmas my family goes on holidays to Nowra to camp on a site attached to the Shoalhaven Zoo. I promise it isn't as weird as it sounds.

They have heaps of Australia wildlife there and also zillions of peacocks, which roam all over the zoo and campsite showing off their beautiful feathers and making their mating call. The first time James heard it he asked "what's that?" and I said "it's the peacocks" and he said "no seriously, what is it?" - it is really unlike any other bird noise I've ever heard. (Disclaimer: I haven't really heard that many bird noises, I'm not a massive aviculturalist.)

If you haven't heard it before here is a video (Mum don't watch this!):

Anyway, my point is that James's and my favourite restaurant at the moment is Peacock Trattoria in Kyle Bay. We were meaning to go for ages - all our friends who live nearby rave about it - and we finally got around to it in about February.  

We loved it!  The food's sensational, the value is outstanding and the restaurant itself is pretty cool, with a massive peacock mural on one wall and an open kitchen if you want to have a little sticky beak.

We've been a few times now, the most recent being last week. There are heaps of nice things on the menu but as always we chose their Trust The Chef surprise menu. It's $60 pp and you get about six different courses, each more insanely delicious than the last.

First up was this ducktastic crunchy salad. We've had it every time and I still love it.

Next we got this mini pizza with white anchovy and potato. I love potato on pizza! Their dough is just perfect.

I spied this adorable doggy bag sitting in the kitchen:

Say what you will about them, they know how to commit to a theme.

Courses three and four were two shared entrees. The first was some beautiful salmon. I forget what it was served with but I remember that we both loved it. 

The second entrée was these lovely little slider-type buns with slow cooked meat and a super tasty sauce. This description doesn't do them justice but nor would any, such is their indescribable deliciousness. This is another dish we've had every time, and they day they don't bring it out I will probably cry.

The main was meat - looks like beef or lamb, I don't remember which. It was beautifully cooked though and served with really yummy potato and roasted garlic.

Last and probably least, dessert. It was some sort of parfait with fruit and stuff. It was nice, but the savoury courses are all so wonderful that dessert usually falls a little short, especially considering how full we always are by this point.

It's a shame to end on a bit of a low point - perhaps they should serve dessert somewhere in the middle and put the sliders at the end? - but I'd still give this dining experience at least a nine peacocks out of ten.