Posted by Michael on May 15th, 2011 — 12:07pm
Go on. Eat it!
You know those tirades of vitriol that Creighton Burnette (John Goodman) posts on Youtube in Tremé? Yeah, well if you don’t then you should immediately download, ahem ‘buy’, season one of the show. It’s good stuff. Anyway, in one of them he spews this river of abuse at a number of other American cities. I feel much the same towards Ayr tonight. What the fuck has ever been any good about Ayr? Forfar may have lost their playoff tie against the Honest Men but I still know where I’d rather live. Can’t get a bridie in Ayr, eh? So all you people in Ayr, what I’m basically saying is: fuck you you fucking fucks.
Now Auckland may not have bridies on offer, but it does have a national affection for the pie. And by all accounts the unanimous word on the Auckland streets is that The Fridge in Kingsland serves the best pie in the city. So I rolled on over to Kingsland today and checked out The Fridge. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while but the hills and distances in Auckland make any walk between areas fairly unappealing. Anyway, I did it and after a bit of vacillation I went for the steak and cheddar pie. Moroccan lamb was luring me away from the beef based fellas but I thought to make a fair comparison I had to go mainstream. I mean, if Dom Toretto and Paul Walker were pies (and Paul Walker may well have the intellect of one) they would definitely be steak pies. Sean Boswell would be chicken and leek or some shit. Do you catch my drift? Of course you do.
So here’s what’s great about pies from The Fridge. They do the New Zealand pie really well. Their pies are very soft, with a really airy, flaky crust. The cheese was salty and mature. I didn’t know you could get mature cheddar here. I’m not even going to give them much credit for the fact it was generously loaded with chunky bits of tender steak. There have got to be about 23 times as many cows as their are people in this country.
It wasn’t a bridie but I find it hard to believe you get a better pie anywhere in Auckland. Get yerself down to The Fridge on 507 New North Road some time. Have yerself a pie. They’re pretty good.
4 comments » | Food, Scranalysis, Travel
Posted by Michael on May 8th, 2011 — 4:27am
Location: 240 Ponsonby Road, Auckland
Scran: Big on flavour, forgiving on the wallet, lean on the paunch – that’s pretty much what Little Doric’s opinion of Fatima’s was. Pretty succinct, pretty spot-on. And best of all it was one of those serendipitous gastronomic discoveries that so often lead to the best meals. We had only ended up under its glowing outside radiators because the ostensibly better Turkish shack on Ponsonby Road was fully booked.
So you have picked up the crux of this review: Fatima’s was great. From the friendly girl behind the till with tattoos all the way up her arms (you know the ones I mean, the ones that look like sleeves) to the guy who brought out our food, all the staff were welcoming and smiley. The pitas were hot with succulent lamb and the mezze? Like a Turkish equivalent of a Pringles advertisement – served with crispy pita tortilla chip things, sprinkled with parsley and a few sesame seeds, we physically could not stop. The dips themselves were a fresh hummus and then a sweet carrot blend loaded up with what we think was cinnamon, garlic and possibly more chickpeas. The L&P was cold and refreshing. Everything was pretty good basically. And for a very reasonable price.
Rick Stein would have been proud of us. We didn’t quite feel like Asian food and we didn’t quite feel like European food so instead we went for Turkish, a cuisine and a country that literally straddles the two.
Price: $33 NZ for two filled pitas, one mezze dip with ‘pita chips’, and L&P.
PS I just wanted to say ‘straddle’.
Comment » | Food, Scranalysis, Travel
Posted by Philip on May 2nd, 2011 — 10:35am
Basically because the thought of jam got me onto thinking about other stuff…
Comment » | Food, Save Point, Technology
Posted by Michael on May 2nd, 2011 — 5:56am
Like a well researched Tim Dowling article this post is informed mostly by a quick Google about the Lamington. One .pdf titled ‘New Queensland Icons’ tells me what I need to hear. Amidst a series of articles about cows, frogs, rugby shirts and hills, the local publication from somewhere in Queensland informs me that the Lamington is named after Lord Lamington and his wifey, Lady Lamington, Governor and Lady Governor of Queensland around 1900. The language gets pretty strident towards the end of the article with regards to claims that New Zealand invented this cake. Whatever Australia, Wikipedia tells me that the cake is probably named after the town of Lamington, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Three words for you. Typical. Fucking. Scotland. TV, electricity, the telephone, the microwave, the automobile, cakes dipped in chocolate and desiccated coconut… The Scots claim all of them and more as their personal inventions: ‘Aye, we invented that, eh.’ Regardless, it sounds like the tastiest Lamingtons are found in New Zealand, who favour a Lamington (stale sponge, dipped in chocolate and dusted in coconut shavings) split in half and served with runny raspberry jam and thick whipped cream. (The Aussies like a bit of lemon curd in theirs.) And since I’m in New Zealand let’s call it a Kiwi thing.
The story behind the Lamington is that it used up any stale sponge cake on the go. However, although I did enjoy my Lamington today on Ponsonby Rd I couldn’t help thinking it was a bit dry. A tad… stale? Ah well, I’m going to put this down to charming authenticity as opposed to guff baking… Out of interest my special lady, who I’ll call Little Doric, would love Lamingtons, except she hates desiccated coconut. But as a proud, annoyingly patriotic, little Scot she will probably still lay claim to the sponge. After all, ‘pâtisserie‘, that’s a Scottish term, eh?
5 comments » | Food, Travel
Posted by Michael on April 20th, 2011 — 12:51pm
I have never wanted to sound like Alexander Chancellor but, at the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I really, really hate coffee culture. I love coffee but I hate coffee people.
Maybe it’s because everybody is really buzzed about the series finale of FRIENDS airing next Wednesday night but Auckland is really obsessed with coffee. It’s a ‘coffee town’. Like Seattle. Which is good. I like Seattle. And I like coffee as much as the next guy. But when everybody is so fucking au fait with coffee types and I know jack shit I start to run into problems. Like today, my consultant asks me, ‘Do you want a coffee?’
‘Sure, just a regular black coffee.’
‘As in a short black?’
‘Sure, a short black coffee.’
‘So an espresso?’
‘No espresso, just a regular black coffee.’
‘But short? Okay…’
Granted I got an espresso twenty minutes later.
There’s something wrong with food or drink when its nomenclature becomes so goddamn byzantine that the words you are speaking are no longer intelligible. Breaking it down, I see where I went wrong. I should have said americano.
‘Regular americano. Black.’ Boom. Done.
But I didn’t. Karl Pilkington thinks there are too many words in the English language. I would be more likely to disagree with him if this was the only time this had happened to me. But it’s not, it’s like the third or maybe fourth time it’s happened to me. And one of those times I think I did ask for an americano. And one time I asked for a filter coffee. For none of these occasions have I gotten a regular black coffee in return. Come to think of it I’m pretty sure the right answer is ‘long black’. But then that just sounds like it’s going to be massive… I don’t want a gargantuan coffee. I just want a regular black coffee.
I guess I’ll try again tomorrow…
3 comments » | Food, Travel