Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hey, big spender

I wrote, last night, about the most expensive meal I'd ever paid for in 1982. All of 82 bucks.

A couple of years later Sue and I decided, once again, to host Robin and his now wife Rosemary to a meal at a posh restaurant. The restaurant was 'Petty Sessions' at the Yarra River end of William Street. If you know your Melbourne you know that's at the bottom of the street that houses the County and Supreme courts to say nothing of Barristers Chambers. Hence the name.

Nice restaurant. After this many years I don't remember the cuisine but I fancy it was French/Australian.

I've noticed over the years that what passes as country X cuisine really isn't country X so much as country X/Host country cuisine. What I know as Chinese is based on eating in many Chinese restaurants in Australia. Not at all the same as the Chinese cuisine one gets in American Chinese restaurants and completely different from what passes as Chinese cuisine in the Philippines. Close to the Baguio Country Club is a restaurant that proudly proclaims that it does Australian and International Cuisine. I've never been brave enough to actually try the Australian cuisine there!

Petty Sessions, long since gone, was a nice enough restaurant. The exact opposite of the McDonalds bums on seats approach. Once ensconced for a meal you were there for the duration! I wasn't, alas, a drinker in those days. Had I been I'm sure I'd have been tempted by the wine selection and rather poorer after the event.

It was the kind of place where you can't stick a ciggy in your mouth without some waiter thrusting a lighter at you in the mistaken belief that such constitutes service!

But I did enjoy the food.

After the dinner and coffee and much relaxing it was time to front at the till. They had some cutesy term for it that I no longer remember; some pun on sentencing. The bill was placed into my hands; $159.60.

With all the bravado of (relative) youth and (very real) ignorance I signed with a flourish and rounded it up to an even $160! I still remember the venomous look the waiter gave me.

We live and learn.

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