Monday, September 5, 2011

The Talbot Hotel


Attendant: Dougie, Trits, Mele, Sam

This place was one of those eating establishments that we ‘just had to do because it’s on Gouger’. The Talbot is, for all intents and purposes, a feral bogan bar. Having been dropped off by Franzway, I took some time to survey the scene:

Bogan to BarWench: (slurs) You want some help putting up the poster?
Bar Wench: No, and I don’t feel like talking SHIT with you, either.
Bogan looks mollified and shuts up.

I took a wander through the hotel, to check out the place: huge pokies room, a keno room, a bar room full of booths but was plainly empty, a front room with bogans, a few large plates of cheap cheese and the always vile kabana, but no kitchen. That’s right: no kitchen and no dining tables.

The Talbot makes its money from gambling, no doubt about it. With only two bar maids in sight, it’s not exactly overstaffed. It’s a skeleton of a business that caters to those drinking and betting their pensions.
‘So, do you serve any food here?’ I asked the bar maid.
‘Yeah, take a look at this.’
First alarm bell: the menu was on the back of a wine list, never a good sign.
Second alarm bell: the entire menu was Chinese food. Dougie, who had been hoping for an old school, disgusting schnittie parmie (or whatever) was in for a great disappointment.
Clanger number three: the suspicious prices: $18.80 for satay chicken, or pork with fried rice?

'People! This menu is not legit,’ I declared when the others arrived. ‘It appears we have already eaten here.’

In Triton's words: "This be wiggedy whack."

The Tartufo, seen previously on the menu of another recent chinese restaurant, was also available at the Talbot. What the hell? An over-processed, factory-made icecream dessert has been discovered ten years after Italians stopped having it at their weddings by one Chinese chef.

Dougie and Triton were game enough to ask at the bar about the food.
The bar maid caved under questioning. ‘Yeah, it comes from next door,’
I knew it! I knew my research skills would be useful someday!

The clamouring hoards howl for food,settle for beer.

So, people, we decided that we were not going to eat last Friday’s night’s food at twice the price and half the sophistication (boganed up for the Talbot clientele?) and went elsewhere. Since Ying Chow is next, we didn’t want to line up for two hours with no booking. We are going to hit up The Ying in the coming weeks, and if y’all want to come along you will have to let us know so we can make a booking and spend half an hour waiting for a table to be available.

The fermented yeast palate-cleanser was inspiring ....
.... us to find some decent food!


  1. We find that a lot here in Geneva too, except that they don't even bother to disguise the fact that their desserts aren't 'home made' but instead just slot the glossy brochure in at the back.

    Yep, Movenpick ice-cream for the bargain price of CHF 7 per miserably small scoop!

  2. Maybe it's time to admit defeat and just crack on with the local delicacies: beer and cheese!

  3. I guess, technically it's not a restaurant either... Damn clause.

  4. May I direct you attention towards rule 2:

    2. The restaurant must have its door on the Gouger Street footpath.

    And rule 4:

    4. If a restaurant is open at dinner time and serves something that can be considered dinner, we must attend.

    However, rule 6:

    6. If the recommended dish is too bloody expensive for it to be fun, we reserve the right to veto said dish and bitch about how bloody stingy the place is. Not us. Them.

    $18 isn't that expensive per se, but the extra cost for food we've already eaten? Served on a barrel/table? From takeaway containers?
    RIP. OFF.

    Also, I think we referred to 'food serving establishments' in the rules, so I'm not sure what qualifies anything as a 'restaurant'.

  5. Re 'bogan looks mollified': Is that when you're shot down in flames by a biker's moll?

  6. Michael X - Not "shot down in flames", exactly. You can usually tell if a bogan has usually been mollified when he's smoking a durrie in bed ...


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