Monday, May 23, 2011

NOT T-Bar! T-Chow!

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child does NOT serve dinner at the T-Bar!

Nor does anyone else for that matter. We four arrived, starving, to find empty fridges and to match our empty stomachs. It turns out all our snobbish friends (you know who you are) were *ahem* right. T-Bar is not a dinner venue and is thusly STRUCK OFF the Gouger Street Epic(urean) Adventure.

However, let it not be said that we are planless gimps for we are not. We carried the T-theme through and ended up at T-Chow. All right – fine, we bloody know it’s not a Gouger Street restaurant as per The Rules, but the next stop is Stanley’s Fish CafĂ© and we’ll be dining on the forty-buck fish alone.This time, we’re reviewing T-Chow, not as part of the Epic, but as a service to food lovers.

You've seen T-Chow, you've walked past it. You've even been inside and eaten there. 'Classy place' you thought. You were right. It's the kind of classy which has the word 'Classy' Bedazzled on its pleather jacket. From the glitter fish tanks to the white table-cloths covered in butcher's paper, T-Chow isn't just a place, it's a venue. Things happen here.

Food also happens here. Unfortunately, this is not the Austin Powers kind of 'happens', this is the other kind of happens. The kind referred to on Holden bumper-stickers Australia-wide.

Shallot pancakes.

All our sloth turds are served with soy vinegar and parsley!

These could have been the best things I've ever eaten. They could have been mislaid sloth turds. I wouldn't have known because by the time they turned up, I was so hungry, it's a miracle I stopped at the plate.
Mele: They were actually really undercooked.

Green peppercorn chicken.

Supposedly the flagship. If so, the T-Chow armada would have trouble taking over Marion Swimming Pool. Their A-game was C+. It had flavour, but so does lots of Chicken Tonight. But, in keeping with the flagship concept, that is deep-fried seaweed around the edges.
Mele: The chicken was beautifully tender. Alas, nothing else was.

Salt'n'Pepper Squid.

Now with lettuce!

Should probably just be called 'Squid'. Or I didn't get any bits with the world's most common seasoning.
Mele: It was overcooked. If salt and pepper squid can be viewed as the barometer of a good restaurant, a death knell is ringing in my ears.

T-chow is behind the times. This restaurant is coasting on an old, undeserved reputation. If you thought sweet'n'sour chicken was the height of Chinese cuisine in the 1980s, and still believe it is, you are a bogan or the owner of this joint. STRAIGHT UP.

Good good, there were so many relics from the past here it was like going back to highschool. Even Axl Rose turned up.
Nothing lasts forever, man. Even cold November Rain.
*Cue rain-soaked coffin*

Peking Ribs.

Even slanty photography can't save it.

Should probably just be called 'Peking', because I was hard pressed to find any actual evidence that I was eating intercostals.
Big call? Maybe. That photo doesn't really do it justice. I'm also not a butcher, but I like to think I understand what I'm pointing at when I go to the local meat vendor and say:


Guest reviewer: Charlie.

"The milk was INTENSE."


  1. It's always a bad sign when there's more white people than asian people in a china town restaurant.

    In other news, I've recently joined the ranks of vegetarians. Though if I hadn't already, the shots of those "ribs" would surely have pushed me over the edge.

  2. Excellent point, DK. A cardinal rule we had foolishly forgotten until now.
    Another red flag maybe should hav been the fact that not only did this Chinese restaurant serve milk, but they served it to a two-year-old in a tall thin glass (which he finished before throwing to uncle Triton).

  3. *pause*

    *re-reads Dan's comment*


    Oh Dan. Actually - if T-Chow had been on the Epic(ure), we would have been ponying up for the 'Live Steamed Fish' ... potential vegetarians beware!

  4. By the way, he's going to try to pin it on me to avoid being hassled but I actually had nothing to do with it, beyond cooking or ordering tasty food.

    I am happy though.

    Looking forward to more of the 'weird' and 'best' foods. I have pity on you though if you have to eat brains or something.

  5. I'm more worried about 'chitlins' because I know it's going to come up ... Unless there's something weirder.

  6. EUGH!
    from wisegeek: "Because chitlins are intestines, they have to be cleaned with extreme care. They can contain fecal matter, which can translate to ingesting numerous forms of bacteria including E. Coli, yersinia, and salmonella. If chitlins are sold uncooked, they need to be cleaned, and hand picked of any remaining fecal matter."
    I think you could let yourself off the hook from risk of food poisoning at the least.

  7. Hey - you heard it here folks!
    I'm guessing it's still on the list ...

  8. In the words of Akon and those Lonely Island boys: "Still Counts!"

  9. I dont need to read your blog.. I dont need to see your pictures of food... ( I do love them) ALL I NEED TO SEE IS THAT PICTURE OF CHARLIE.. FRAME IT AND IT CAN BE MY XMAS PRESENT XXXX

  10. ToOS - As long as the Santana keeps coming thick and fast, we shall make it through ...

    ps. Nice to see you back on the pages after too long away!


  11. Ooooooh look at Charlie! So grown up but still adorable!

  12. Oh you were reviewing some place too, weren't you.... look at Charlie!


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