I have been fortunate this week to enjoy two meals filled with fine food & good company.
The end of year dinner for my Bookclub – POIR – was at a small local Malaysian restaurant in Newmarket. The establishment, Chef Lagenda, was buzzing, even on a Wednesday night and we had to work hard to complete our discussion of our most recent book – The Constant Gardener – by John Le Carre.
The book is highly recommended for followers of Le Carre who don’t mind a diversion from spy thrillers to a very relevant commentary on the pharmeceutical industry in Africa & its less than ethical dealings with the local population. The accompanying film of the book – with Ralph Fiennes & Rachel Weisz in the lead roles – is also excellent & closely follows the book.
Our meal included gado gado, spicy spinach, a chicken curry, sizzling hokkein beef noodles & spicy chilli chicken and was served efficiently, given that we were a large group with a self defined banquet order. It was outstanding value at $17 per head! Highly recommended for any casual occasion.
The next evening I headed off to an art exhibition opening night followed by an Indian meal in North Fitzroy at ‘Horn Please’.
The art was by a friend of mine from hockey, with hidden painting & weaving talents I feel honoured to have viewed at the exhibition opening. A collection of 40 odd paintings & tapestries were displayed in her Richmond home – an amazing space in itself – and it was thrilling to see what she had achieved. Several works were already sold & all were both pleasant to look at & technically accomplished.
The restaurant has been open for less than a month and was extremely busy – we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table. This was probably because they had been given a very favourable review in ‘The Age’ last weekend!It was worth the wait for an interesting array of dishes such as goat curry, eggplant pakoras, rice with cumin & lemon plus old favourites such as butter chicken. The taste was a little mild for me but none the less the service was friendly & efficient. The owners also run an Indian restaurant in Kyneton & the wine list included many wines from the Macedon region.
If we had ‘lucked out’ here we could easily have gone a couple of doors away to the ‘Morrocan Soup Kitchen’ which also looked to be very popular. We are so lucky in Melbourne to have many restaurants, cafes etc catering to an eclectic range of tastes & budgets…