Restaurants

When it comes to eating out, most people can be divided into two distinct groups.Those who’ll willingly pay out their eyeballs for an artfully arranged plate of offal and spring vegetables. And those who’d consider paying good money to leave a restaurant hungry - akin to a nightmare.

Who needs Nasturiums, when you've got hand cut chips? Photo: James Croucher

OK, so maybe the gastronomic lines are not quite so tightly divided, but you get the picture. One man’s langoustine and veal in daisy gravy is another’s steak and chips with sauce on the side.

That’s because when it comes to food our preferences are as individual as we are, marked as much by mood and what we feel like drinking that day as the people we’re eating with.

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  • patsy says:

    06:28pm | 10/10/12

    @Tubesteak-Yes, we saw the Branxton last time driving home so, I don’t know. The reason we didn’t like Shenanigan’s was that they don’t allow you to drink in your room. But we did anyway. I gooogled the Grand Junction and liked that it has bands most nights. I’ll just have… Read more »

  • stephen says:

    06:26pm | 10/10/12

    You’re the bloke who is 130 kg ? Keep eating, but exercize more, then when you are really hungry, food tastes better. (Low kilojoule intake is imperative for weight loss only at a young age.) Read more »

 

Want to get a bit crazy tonight? Then head out for dinner, you’d be the only one.

Must be Tuesday

Australians are a bunch of nannas when it comes to having a social life mid-week.

A recent Sunday Telegraph poll showed that Tuesdays are our least favourite night in the week for eating out and restaurants are paying the price.

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    05:32pm | 13/09/12

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  • Cesspit says:

    01:24pm | 16/05/12

    josh subotic is right. Brisbane is a cultural backwater, and the Gold Coast is the outdoor dunny of Australia. Your attempt to deny this suggests you have never left Qld and lived a very sheltered life. Live in a workshop do you? Read more »

 

The woman booked a table for 10 at 7pm, Thursday, at the hip Bentley Bar and Restaurant in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

Book this table, fail to show up, fork out. Pic: Jeff Darmanin

Owner Nick Hildebrand had to turn away four couples trying their spontaneous luck because his 50-seater was fully booked, but by 7.45pm, that big table still hadn’t arrived so he called them and was told they were on the way.

It sat empty for another 30 minutes, so he called again but this time, she didn’t answer. They never arrived.

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  • Jgirl says:

    02:18pm | 23/12/12

    I work in an upscale pub in Adelaide, we had a no show of 25 today. That is a quater of our tables. Turned so many customers away. Had the customers number so rang her 30 mins after her booked time only to be told ” who are you, why… Read more »

  • Pavlo says:

    06:43pm | 23/11/12

    What is the matter with people these days? Is it so hard to call and cancel? People have lost all sense of responsibility. Charge them a deposit at time of booking I reckon. Read more »

 

Guillaume Brahimi makes the World’s Best Mashed Potato in his posh restaurant, Guillaume at Bennelong, at the Sydney Opera House. It costs $14. I could go there for dinner and happily eat nothing but the Paris mash.

Last year's Punch Christmas party was a bit of a doozy

Why’s it so good? Well, you try tossing an entire packet of butter in with four potatoes next time you’re making mash to serve with snags. You’ll win Masterchef in no time too.

Quay at Sydney’s Circular Quay is regarded as one of the world’s best restaurants (ranked No. 26). Yes, chef Peter Gilmore is clever, but I reckon brushing almost everything with butter before it leaves the kitchen is part of that genius. You show me a delicious meal and I’ll show you a restaurant with a big block of churned milk.

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  • David says:

    07:38pm | 20/10/11

    I’m hungry.  What’s for tea? Read more »

  • Fiona says:

    06:39pm | 20/10/11

    Stop it, I’m starting to salivate now! Duck meat is my favourite poultry meat and we do have a tub of duck fat (Luvaduck) and have gone back to butter. Read more »

 

Jonathan Gold and I will never be friends.

Here's a tip: be good to your mother. Illustration: Sturt Krygsman

The savvy food critic who writes for the LA Weekly is an avowed and unapologetic tipper.

His recent column, Top Ten Tips for Tipping is not only hard to say, the subject itself is completely indigestible. “The idea that a tip is optional, or variable, is a useful fiction, even when the soup goes tumbling into your lap,” Gold writes.

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  • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

    07:36pm | 25/08/11

    Hi Lucy, So true but!!  In some parts of the World people employed in the hospitality industry get paid the minimum wages which tend to be so small that they tend to rely solely on the tips they receive for extra bit o money!!  Lets all try to remember that… Read more »

  • Utopia Boy says:

    03:40pm | 25/08/11

    I’ve never had an issue marley, but I don’t consider a brief explanation, or a discussion with a restaurant manager an issue. After all, I’ve already eaten, and there’s no way tipping can be “enforced.” I am referring to restaurants. Read more »

 

Grub Street is a snappy little food blog that follows restaurants and food trends in New York. This week they hit on a subject that’s starting to grate on the nerves of anybody lucky enough to spend a bit of time “dining out” - people who take photos of their food. Apparently the trend has become so widespread among New Yorkers that some restaurants have been forced to adopt a “no cameras allowed” policy.

Having your camera, and ahem, eating it too. NB. Woman's Weekly birthday cake book, bet you can't make this one look easy!

So now over to you guys. Do any Punchers take photos of their food when dining out in fancy, and not so fancy places? And if so, what drives you to do that? And did you read Emma Jane’s Punch piece on the phenomenon?

Everyone else, feel free to talk amongst yourselves and post your thoughts below. Oh, and TGIF!

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  • backsavekkk says:

    03:48pm | 01/12/11

    yeah? Read more »

  • nihonin says:

    06:05am | 18/06/11

    Lol, acrotel had to compare the Liberals to the Nazi’s.  I’m thinking it’s more like Labor at the moment, ‘Say Yes’,’ and “there will be a Malaysian Solution”.  If you don’t like it or vote for it, I’ll walk out of the chamber.  Labor will have the Australian economy looking… Read more »

 

If the internet is to be believed — and I see no good reason why we shouldn’t believe everything we read on the internet — Facebook has become essential to staging a revolution. As the Web 2.0 (or are we up to 3.0?) commentators keep telling us, if you’re planning on toppling a dictatorial regime, then best first spruce up your Facebook profile.

Look at this family eating out together, bloody disgrace

But we in the West who already inhabit the sunny uplands of democracy haven’t been slouches when it comes to using Facebook to effect large scale social change. A case in point: I recently came across a Facebook group set up to fight the good fight against noisy children in restaurants.

I hadn’t previously noticed this scourge, but apparently restaurants across the nation have been overrun by parents. Even worse, these parents, many of whom would have you believe are responsible and upstanding members of society, have been thoughtlessly taking their children along with them.

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  • acotrel says:

    07:39am | 13/03/11

    Chongy.  When I encounter kids who want to play ‘peek a boo’, I simply yell at them to ‘F*CK OFF’!  How do you handle that? Read more »

  • acotrel says:

    07:36am | 13/03/11

    @jf I take it you’re not there yet!  I’m a self-funded retiree, and I have to face the reality that my money will run out!  Do you actually know how much you’ll need in YOUR retirement to maintain a reasonable quality of life?  If you believe in superannuation you’re an… Read more »

 

Nothing gets foodies more excited than the discovery of a new food, for example the cheese-and-bacon-stuffed pizza burger, except perhaps a jolly good debate about whether restaurant critics should be anonymous.

If you see this man in your restaurant make sure the eggs are perfect. Photo: Simon Bullard.

Just before Christmas, LA Times critic, S Irene Virbila, was outed after 15 years of relative visual obscurity as she waited outside a new Asian restaurant.

The restaurant’s owners fronted Virbila after she’d been left waiting for 45 minutes, photographed her without her permission, refused to serve her and then posted the photo online. It was obnoxious behaviour regardless of who was involved.

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  • AA says:

    05:26pm | 08/01/11

    Terry, I’m just like Tori (see comment above), I read reviews to learn about the places where I can spend my $$ on. I’ve been reading Simon’s reviews in Herald & now Tele and his comments are always spot on. One problem with me reading reviews is that I always… Read more »

  • AA says:

    05:21pm | 08/01/11

    There is an enormous difference almost like day and night between pub grub and fine dining. Ingredients sourced from g-d only knows where to the finest possible ingredients that haven’t been treated with pesticide etc etc Read more »

 

The gourmet burger is now mainstream.

Burger King's yummy new range of burgers. Photo: supplied.

Even Hungry Jacks has its own salt and fat packed version dragging down the reputation of Angus beef.

It’s the latest trend in food, knowing the provenance of your ingredients - with Maccas being the first mainstream brand to name Angus beef as a selling point back in August.

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  • James says:

    03:46pm | 29/11/09

    I was told that McDonalds bought out all the angus beef in Australia, so Hungry Jacks makes theirs from offcuts. Bon appetite! Read more »

  • Jade says:

    03:02pm | 29/11/09

    @BT - regardless of whether sheep are an imported breed or not, would you still like them to be eaten alive by maggots? would you like to be eaten alive my maggots or would you rather get preventive treatment?  What you are saying is you do not want the animal… Read more »

 

“That is one seriously crazy toilet,’’ my boyfriend explained after returning from the lavatories in one of Sydney’s swankiest restaurants.

Japan crazy toilet! Full action!

It wasn’t the nicest topic to discuss over our yellowfin tuna and pork belly mains but it got my attention. Curious to know what he meant by ``crazy toilet’’ and whether it had multiple personality disorder, unsure if it was a toilet or bidet, I flung down the cutlery and headed for the ladies.

My mind was racing with ideas on how fascinating this trip to the loos was about to be. Maybe it was unisex, maybe there was an attendant waiting for me with facecloth and a spritz of perfume. But nothing braced me for what I was about to see.

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    04:34pm | 15/12/12

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  • Margaret says:

    09:04pm | 18/09/09

    Reading the slot machine article reminds me of the (old ) days ,the 60s . The toilets at Railway Stations in the city had a slot machine on the door as you had to pay to use the toilets.I think it was a penny ,it was dreadful when you didnt… Read more »

 

Restaurant award season is finally over. But I’m wondering if anybody really cares outside those who won gongs from the Sydney Morning Good Food Guide this week, The Age version last week and Gourmet Traveller the week before.

Why eat a $70 truffled omelette when you could rip into this lamb pie?

Certainly, there has barely been a blip in the blogger or Twitter sphere.

Once again, the old-media appointed arbiters of taste have taken one for the team by eating the finest foods known to Aussies with the usual predictable conclusions: plenty of excellent but very very expensive restaurants in Sydney; only two of these in Melbourne plus lots of very good moderately priced restaurants; not much else in Australia. Forget Tasmania.

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  • Vernon Brabazon says:

    08:33am | 11/09/09

    From my experience in journalism, I would suugest that if restaurants stopped giving freebies to journalists in order to encourage them to write about their menus, then there might a lot less written about such places. Read more »

  • Stefano says:

    05:07pm | 10/09/09

    tandah says:   09:17am | 10/09/09   IHamburger! Hamburger! - Australian’s say ‘hamburger’ not burgers! @ tandah Yo, bro, fries with that? Dude! Sides? How quickly is our language being ruined? Very quickly! Read more »

 

We've moved on from You Can Get it Pushing a Car.

It’s a fairly common experience for the beer drinker. Visiting a nice restaurant and being handed an impressive leather-bound volume with “beverage list” in gold lettering outlining a vast selection of wines from Australia and around the world.

Champagnes costing up to and over $700-a-bottle headlining a studied offering of dozens of styles and varietals with the cheapest – or should that be least expensive – hovering above the $40 mark. Then there follows an array of dessert wines, ports, fortifieds and other dauntingly-named types of grape juice provided for the discerning diner’s post-prandial enjoyment.

But if you want a beer it’s nowhere to be seen in the beverage list.

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  • Scott MacLeod Liddle says:

    04:37pm | 09/09/09

    I have endured this pain for so long as a enjoyer of good beers and food - whenever you do encounter a half decent brew on a list they ask for your eyeteeth if it’s remotely belgian. I do enjoying baiting waiters by quizzing them on their beer selection, which… Read more »

  • Steve says:

    12:29pm | 21/08/09

    The roaring trade done at Sydney’s various Belgian Beer Cafes shows that there SI a market for good quality varieties of beer. It’s just that the usual suspects monopolise the advertising, and that’s what the lemmings follow. Luckily James Squire is making some inroads… Read more »

 

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