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Unfulfilled expectations

Poached eggs as they should be...

Poached eggs as they should be...

A couple of weeks ago I went in to a little cafe in West Preston to have a quick lunch with a friend. The menu boasted an “all day breakfast” and as I’ve always had a fondness for breakfast at lunchtime, I ordered poached eggs on toast.

What arrived was literally that – two poached eggs on a single, if large, piece of dry toast. No butter, no salt and pepper, no Worcester sauce, and definitely no greenery in sight.  My friend quipped that at least the menu had described the dish accurately, but I was so gobsmacked that I couldn’t talk. And, as she was technically correct in saying that I got what I ordered, there was really no way for me to complain, although I did feel very hard done by.

I felt compelled to make myself poached eggs for lunch a couple of days later, though, to restore my faith that they could be appealing and delicious. And, of course, before I ate I took the photo above and sent it to my friend. I’m thinking of sending a copy anonymously to the cafe, to show them what this dish should look like!

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Birthday treats

Mecca Bah, Docklands

With Michael’s birthday last Tuesday, and him busy at an evening class (learning Blues Harmonica), we decided to celebrate yesterday (Good Friday) by going to Docklands for lunch.

It’s hard to imagine how – after the heatwave that has just finished – we could want to be inside to be warm and out of the wind, but it was so chilly and gusty down by the water, that that was exactly what we wanted. Fortunately, Mecca Bah – the restaurant of choice – was open and able to accommodate us. They seated us by the window overlooking the harbour, and proceeded to woo us with their Middle Eastern inspired menu and decor.

The food was very good, with the Spicy Lamb and Pinenut Boureks a favourite, but the real highlight of the day was our waiter. His memory was phenomenal and his attention to detail, exemplary, making the meal a real treat. It is nice to see that really good service is still around; I’m only sorry I didn’t ask his name so that I could give him a better plug, here.

Mecca Bah #2

The other reason for choosing Docklands for the celebration, was to look at some of the sculptures that have been installed along the waterfront as part of the Contempora Sculpture Award & Festival of Public Arts.

As with any art, the appeal of sculpture is subjective. I only saw a couple of pieces that I liked, one of which is shown below, but regardless of whether they were to my personal taste or not, they did add a bit of interest to the boardwalk that is NewQuay Promenade.

Sculpture #1      #2

Docklands itself was a let-down. It is a while since I’ve been down there, and there has been massive development in that time, but it seems a soulless place overall. The proliferation of high-rise apartment buildings and the dearth of greenery made it seem cold and sterile, and definitely not somewhere I would like to spend a lot of time. Still – restaurants like the Mecca Bah, and the service they provide, will ensure that we pop past occasionally.

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Who doesn’t love a book sale?

Railing detail, Flinders Street station

Today the city was full of people. A protest march against the Work Choices legislation saw as many as 25,000 people walking through the CBD and bringing city traffic to a standstill, and a concert celebrating Saturday’s AFL grand final meant that Fed Square was packed like a tin of sardines (mostly by young Australian Idol groupies). Fortunately, we had caught the train in, rather than driving, as parking would have been impossible to find.

Our mission (Meg’s and mine) – to get the the City Library for their book sale – was almost thwarted by the crowd. Sweeping us along in their wake, it was almost impossible to break free at Flinder’s Lane. 

The book sale was worth braving the crowds – 28 books (at $1 each) found their way home with us.  Maybe it’s trivial of me to be thinking about a book sale when thousands of people are fighting for our rights at work, but I’ve never been a ‘joiner’.  I’ll vote with my feet at the election – when they eventually tell us when it is going to be!

Lunch was steamed beef dumplings and red bean-paste buns at Camy Shanghai Dumpling and Noodle restaurant, in Tattersall’s Lane, just off Little Bourke Street.  If you don’t know Camy yet, and are ever in the Melbourne CBD near Chinatown, you should really give it a try.  And don’t be fooled by the prices into ordering extra – their dishes are generous as well as really tasty, and you will end up with more food than you can eat!

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