Category: Scranalysis

Mosque Kitchen

Posted by Michael on November 12th, 2011 — 9:37pm

Where: 33 Nicolson St, Edinburgh

When: Closed on Fridays for prayer.

What: Hearty curry and naan for a very ‘chep’ price. I recommend the channa masala, however the blonde is now regretting it – mind you, curry always tends to ‘repeat on her’.

MJ out.

1 comment » | Food, Scranalysis

The Brown-Johnston Classification System

Posted by Michael on May 23rd, 2011 — 8:50pm

Dunedin 22nd May 2011
A boysenberry and ambrosia ‘double’ from Rob Roy’s Dairy, Dunedin.

So I recently co-thought of a system to rate ice-cream. It was because I was so surprised the pure volumeage of ice-cream I consumed from Rob Roy’s didn’t have any icicles in it. It was so smooth. I basically thought, ‘Wow, this is, like, Tier 1 ice-cream.’

Regular ice-cream: anything from the regular to the non-descript to the shite

Tier 1: perfectly smooth ice-cream, good on flavour too

Tier 2: perfectly smooth and awesome on flavour, e.g. Brymor, Bi-Rite

So there you go, the BJ Classification System.

∼MJ out.

4 comments » | Food, Scranalysis, Travel

Now I Can Die in Peace: How Michael Found Salvation Thanks to the Auckland Italian Restaurant Prego

Posted by Michael on May 20th, 2011 — 5:26am

Location: 226 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

Auckland 20th May 2011
Loadsa money!!

Scran: Everything at the moment reminds me of The Fast & The Furious so I’ll try to restrain myself and not construct any parallels between Prego and, say, Tokyo Drift, third installment of the Fast & the Furious franchise. The fate of any article heavy on pop culture references always lies in the balance. Anybody who has read Chuck Klosterman’s musings on Marilyn Monroe vs Pamela Anderson knows what I mean. So instead I’ll just talk candidly.

I never go to Italian restaurants in the UK. I just don’t see the point. Here’s my rationale: I am fairly adept at cooking Italian food, so why pay a bomb for it? Particularly when the choice isn’t going to be between braised oxtail and spaghetti al nero di seppia. It’s going to be a pasta or pizza dilemma. Indian food on the other hand? As a rule the restaurants are: lean on the wallet; rich on the selection of stuff I can’t cook myself. Are you feelin’ me? I think you are.

In Auckland the Asian food is f**kin’ A so when the Englanders decided to class it up last night and go to Ponsonby’s European chic restaurant Prego there could have been a bit of a schism. Fortunately I thought I better of it and kept schtum…

So how did it pan out? Well it was our last night in Auckland and I didn’t have the pasta. I didn’t have the pizza either. I had the baked whole snapper, a fish (along with John Dory) I have wanted to have pretty much since my first day in New Zealand. Job done. I ate snapper. A perfectly cooked snapper with tarragon, onions, olives and peppers. That’s as good as scran gets. Everyone else enjoyed their meals if that’s of interest. We all enjoyed the shared bread starter – a lot better than most Italian bread, which can be a bit hard and chewy. I destroyed my ‘budino di datteri’ dessert: sticky date pudding (Italiano?) offset by sweet, piquant slices of poached pear and a ginger ice-cream full of warm spice.

Postprandially there seemed to be a fairly ubiquitous consensus that Prego had just delivered the best meal of our stay in Auckland. I don’t know if it was my best meal. It might have been. It didn’t surprise me. But then should that matter? Does price also matter? I know it was four times as expensive as my other two best meals. Was it four times as good? Definitely not. For that reason I’m putting it as number 3 on my list of places to go in Auckland for scran. Next time: numero duo.

Price: $60 for three courses (including wine)


Burr: 4

∼MJ out.

1 comment » | Food, Scranalysis, Travel

Fit’s that? No bridies?!

Posted by Michael on May 15th, 2011 — 12:07pm

Auckland 15th May 2011
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.

Auckland 15th May 2011

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.

∼MJ out.

4 comments » | Food, Scranalysis, Travel


Posted by Michael on May 8th, 2011 — 4:27am

Location: 240 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

Auckland 7th May 2011

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.

Website: nada

Burr: 4

PS I just wanted to say ‘straddle’.


Comment » | Food, Scranalysis, Travel

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