Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BBQ City

Yes, they gave us orange slices.

Attendant: Marc, Dan (all the way from Melbourne), Mele, Em, Trent, Dougie, Leah, Ben, Shaun, Rosie, Krista (all the way from London) and Sam

Special mention: Cristi - Double parked on Gouger Street on a funky-ass Friday freak-out to get some takeaway.


Dear Readers,
I think this photo says it all:

My Soul is Crying

The look on my face was in no way exaggerated for this blog.
What’s worse than eating offal?
Eating it with Congee! 'Congee' is apparently the Chinese word for ‘porridge’ and translates to GRUEL in Mandarin!
I am feeling like this blog is rapidly turning into ‘Stupid Westerner eats poor Chinese people’s food’. This is an extension of my wog food philosophy ‘Anglos making hick Italian food hip’. My Nonno refused to eat pizza because it is ‘poor people’s food’. My grandmother comes from Naples, the home of pizza. In this region, pizza is mostly bread with one or two meagre toppings. PIZZA IS THE RICE OF ITALY. Polenta is not something cool you get in a restaurant. It is CORN GRUEL that my Nonna serves covered in tasty napolitana sauce, to HIDE the gruel-like gruelness of the damn stuff. Olive oil dipped in bread is not a novelty, it is something that all my Anglo friends laughed at until they saw it in restaurants.
However, congee is so bad it can never be hip.
I felt so sick I could hardly eat anything else at BBQ City. The Steamed Chicken Empress and Tea Duck are second to none, but BBQ City doesn’t have much else to offer other than barbeque, and if you order anything else, you are probably drunk or doing it as an experiment.
In which case, I award BBQ city 70/100 and blame myself for having to eat liver porridge.
Thumbs up for the record 12 diners at the city! We love you all!


I, like Mele, also suspect that with our 'weirdest thing on the menu' rule, this blog may descend into the restaurant reviewing equivalent of "Dare/Double Dare/Physical Challenge!!!". But I'm sure that there will come a time when we have eaten everything.
Jellyfish is no longer weird. Fish'n'bacon is no longer weird.
Salty porridge with fresh pork liver and kidneys is now no longer weird.
Correction: it's still weird. But we're not eating it again.
If you think it's not weird, then you eat it.

Brave, brave fools.

But I am being unkind in my appraisal of what is actually one of the tastiest restaurants we've been to yet.
It's cheap and the barbeque is spectacular. Ribs, duck and chicken served with a little minced spring onion sauce really is my favourite dish on The Epic so far.

Everybody scream YUM YUM

Everything else was fairly standard Chinese restaurant fare and nothing you wouldn't find in any crowded Chinese eatery. Observe:

The Hastily Ordered Fish and MSG

Still better than congee

The Chicken You Definitely Don't Remember Ordering With Yogurt Sauce

That congee is starting to look pretty good

The Vagina Dumplings

Traditional and erotic

Also excellent was the deep-fried eggplant which was so good it could almost have been meat. So that's your BBQ City menu: Triple Crown BBQ Plate, Deep-Fried Eggplant and no congee, ever. A quick word of advice: the BBQ City wait-staff have a reputation for vagueness which ranges from forgetful to outright surly. Our waitress this evening was quick and polite and even attempted steer me away from the offal porridge (and towards the preserved egg porridge). They were even discreet about asking us to leave so they could let other patrons have our huge corner of the City.

But we finally got the hint when they threw a teapot full of piss on the Lazy Susan.

Next stop: Ba Guo Bu Yi (I got it wrong last time - but we may have to hurry, as we left BBQ City the place was plastered with poster proclaiming "All Food 10% Off - The More You Eat, The More You Save!" I'm not worried.)


  1. "Erk! That porridge was just offal!" Ha Ha

  2. Thanks for that very flattering photo of me Sam... see if I ever show solidarity with the weird food ever again!

  3. River - We were sure it was supposed to be healthy in that weird, misguided way that cod liver oil is/was alleged to be healthy. It was slices of liver in porridge.

    Dougie - I think you'll notice that The Epic has a policy of only publishing hilarious photos of people. There was a whole sequence of photos in which you were looking really excellent: light just right, hair great, etc. Those have been summarily deleted in favour of the above.

    Coming up: The Epic's photographic series "People in the middle of talking" and the follow up exhibit "Right Before You Sneeze".

  4. I've never 'got' congee and to add offal to it.... *shudder* - aren't we lucky that we have you to do these sort of horrendous physical challenges for us? And the less said about the vagina dumpling the better....

  5. You can't blame me for trying to up our Google rankings among food-perverts!


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32