in praise of fussy eaters (part 4)

who ate all the pies?

Roaming around the day before we had found Red Ned's Pies - an award winning pie shop (is there a town in Australian that doesn't have one?). hubby is the pie monster so we grabbed a few before heading back to Sydney.

Now I'm not a pie purist. In fact "the pie" is the perfect vessel for leftovers as well as bespoke pie fillings. Red ned's did every filling imaginable - lobster mornay pie (what the?) to a plain old mince pie. I was conservative and got "lamb, rosemary and mint sauce", "steak and mushroom" and "chicken and mushroom". eating these pies I wanted to know who was dishing out these awards, because quite frankly I don't rate them! I refer you to PG for elaboration on what makes a good pie and only comment that "less is more" when it comes to dried herbs and conflicting flavours.

If anyone is still reading this 4 part novella, I thank you. the point of conveying this long-winded recount of my weekend is to point out the resounding and repetitious disappointment encountered when dining out, particularly, but not only, in small towns.

It really doesn't have to be hard. I don't expect hatted standards at a seaside holiday destination. All i want is the ability to chose a meal that is fresh and flavoursome. Correction, I don't even need to have choice if I think about the places I have eaten at in Naples. Just get fresh produce and apply some basic cooking skills as a start.

For example, How hard can garlic mushrooms be?
take a skillet and put on a burner , pour in a lug of olive oil and grab a handful of quartered mushrooms and add to pan when mushrooms are nearly cooked, crush a few cloves of garlic (preferably australian grown and organic - it has more flavour) into the pan, season with salt and pepper, (possibly chilli flakes). stir around, serve into dish and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. now this can be embellished or not, the point is, that if i had been served this without embellishment I would be happy.

To put it simply, I love cooking, and I also love dining out but I am absolutely fed up with being served crap! It seems to me that the yardstick has regressed to the point that hospitality standards don't seem to apply until you fork out $30 or more a dish (not counting lovely ethnic hole in the wall places) and quite frankly this is unacceptable.

I say, let's clone Gordon Ramsay, send them to the far corners of this broad country and ensure that when I next go on holiday, that I can enjoy the food. To not be able to do so, is, dare I say... un-Australian!!!

1 comment:

Duncan | Syrup&Tang said...

Goodness me I've missed some good posts by you recently! You've touched on some great points in this series. There is such a divide between our inner-metropolitan experiences (much of the time) and what is found further out (city or country). I suppose it is, in part, the what-you-can-get-away-with attitude, but I also feel there's a hell of a lot of that northern European food heritage at work culturally... don't aspire to something better unless you really have to!