Friday, 19 October 2007

Food Adventurer

'How do I know if the place is good?' I asked Tim.

'Well.. what the Chinese aunties do when they visit a new restaurant is order somethin` really basic...
Just like what we did, chicken rice.
If they can make something this simple taste good, then you know you have a winner'

'oooohhhh.. '

I see said the blind man.

Mental note.. make simple good.

Tim has become my mentor in Restaurantonomy (A word that I just made up). And he's given the Red Teapot in Northbridge a thumbs up.

But to tell you the truth I was very worried.

From the outside, a Chinese restaurant with no asian dining-in says a-lotta.
But I chose the Red Teapot because it was said to be one of the better asian eateries in Perth.
And luckily Tim was there to help me critique the place objectively (actually Tim critiques everything).

I like the Red Teapot because they serve china-town tasting cuisine and their menus have pictures. Takes the guess work out of 'braised duck it special sauce'. (Special sauce?! Crem of sumyanguy?)

Now Tim's been everywhere, I think. He's lived in Hong Kong, Malaysia and is well traveled. He's tried everything from snakes and crickets to US$200 all-you-can-eat-made-to-order buffets in Japan. He knows a-plenty about food.

But Tim's not a chef. He works in a comic book store and has the cooking skills of a cement mixer.

He's lazy and refuses to cook and ends up dining-out every single day. So I guess that's where his food expertise comes from.

Now I'd like to think I'm food-adventurous. I'm keen to try new places all the time. But when I visit a Japanese restaurant I ogle at the chicken katsu and the mayonnaise accompaniment. Tim will wonder at the beef Tataki. That's the difference in our food adventuring skills.

Now I dine-out with my girlfriend quite often. She's more akin to places that remind me of lava lamps and fancy mobile phones. Modern, chic and stylish. Very Subiaco, very in-crowd. But I often wonder if the food is really good or is just well-packaged.

Thus I also regular the 'Man-dinners'. Man-dinners drop the metrosexual packaging in search of 'cheap and tasty' places. Beer afterwards is an optional requirement.
Problem with the 'cheap' Man-dinners is that they are limited to kebabs, Chinese and places within a 50-meter range of a pub.

So I'm glad to have met Tim, the food adventurer.
He's someone who'll hang with the hawkers to enjoy a stick of fishballs but will also happily sit with the Fab-5 to enjoy a $54 tasting plate of soft shelled crabs.

No comments: