Rattling the pans

  It’s better to be called a cunt than be ignored.¹ You step on a lot of toes in a restaurant kitchen on your way to a Michelin star. You throw a lot of pans at a lot of young, stupid heads. You kick a lot of ignorant customers out of your restaurant, serve hand-cut chips that…

#HeyAsio

#HeyAsio: I’m pretty sure Religious extremists have infiltrated a mainstream political party and the highest levels of government, trying to undermine our secular democracy with ideas inspired by medieval texts. I heard a man on the radio calling for acts of violence against the Prime Minister. It seems armed organisations use slick videos and sophisticated social media campaigns to…

A Body of Water in Indonesia Known as the Java Sea

The immediate problem was a traffic jam on the freeway bridge. The car crawled in the middle lane among a line of trucks carrying containers to the port. The lanes to the left and right were moving more freely, though both lead to the wrong exits. The bridge at that point gave a fine view…

A hard-earned, two-wheeled #auspol thirst…

Middle-age men in Lycra lounging at cafe tables – or clattering around in cleats – are a Saturday morning staple: coffee and cycling seem inseparable, at least for men over 40. One of Melbourne’s biggest Saturday-morning rides used to wind up outside Brunetti in Cartlon when that cafe’s tables still graced Elgin Street; the Bianchis…

Briki coffee, Bosnian-style

While Turks and Greeks might quibble (in a friendly way) over whether the traditional style of coffee they drink is called, um, Turkish or Greek, briki-style brewing is common throughout the near east, the Levant, the Balkans and north Africa. In Bosnia the briki is called the dzezva. Hanna Coffee and Nuts in St Albans…

Montalbano’s house at Punta Secca

Welcome to Montalbania

A narrow, potholed road winds between low dry-stone walls around the hillsides, climbing above steep ravines; the fields are the colour of parched straw and burnt umber, and dried thistle and wild fennel wilt in the summer heat beside the tarmac. The landscape is dotted with outcrops of the same pale grey limestone that is…

Ban the burqa: an immodest proposal

Ban the burqa, say 55 per cent of 1300 respondents in a snap Morgan SMS poll. Ban the burqa, say a senator elected by 22,000 Tasmanians, a Liberal Party ideological fringedweller and who is the other guy anyway? Ban the burqa, because muslim women are oppressed, and we should immediately liberate them by telling them…

A plate of rice

Feed Me Now

We just want to be fed. To be seated at the table, look at the menu, order food, and then forget about it until we are eating it. We don’t want cheap Asian on a Thursday night presented as an accidental degustation menu, one dish at a time, with inexplicable and unpredictable pauses between each while an army…

Worst meal – ever

Father’s Day. Not a good day for an unplanned meal out. (“We don’t celebrate Hallmark holidays,” says my son, ironically channelling his mother, as they remember they’ve forgotten … but they’re not in primary school any more, so there’s no Father’s Day junk stalls to remind them.) Chinese barbecue on a Sunday night. Not a good…