Ok it was another one of those catch-up nights with the rest of the girls. This one teetered on a knife edge of discombobulation and dissimiltude. It was like we were re-learning the paths of friendship and engagement. The food and the ambience of our selected venue did not help. Having completely stuffed up the address details it was almost a comedy of errors of keystonian proportions. Ok I exaggerate but I need something to focus on as a mosquito bite of my forehead drives me to distraction. Also, lets face it, Chapel St and its environs give me the willies!!! And where were we headed? Well the South Yarra branch of Pacific Seafood and Barbeque.
Plainly speaking there are better places to sample this type of food, and probably with better service!! I don't mind service that is slightly indifferent ... but when it bashes, knocks and looks away while you speak ... wel there's no tip at the end of the night thats for sure. All of this could be forgiven if the food was even slightly over the up to scratch line ... but this was way below par. The complimentary bowl of soup was the first red flag. It smelt and tasted like it had been scooped out of the gutter!! Even M couldn't stomach anything beyond the first couple of taster mouthfuls ... and thats saying something!!!
And it had to be said that none of us seemed overly enthusiastic about ordering from the menu and as a result we ended up with a dish we saw brought out to another table which was squid fried with kangkong. We were "offered" a variety of sauces and we settled on Belecan ... and it was the most anaemic sambal belachan style dish I have ever had ... and the squid certainly did not taste all that fresh.
As D was feeling like something in a claypot, we also ordered a seafood como claypot which was marginally better tasting but not especially exciting.
As we were at Pacific BBQ, we ordered a roasting plate of duck and pork. It was not hard to see why this chain gained its popularity. The roasted meats are a highlight. Just the right amount of crispy and flavour, but the accompanying sweet plum sauce was not to my pallate. I would have preferred the usual robust chilli sauce instead.
XChange and had the worst Gin and Tonic (tanqueray mind you) EVAH!!! Needless to say we didn't stay there long. CC kept trying to get us to go to Revolver ... but I have bad memories!! And good ones too I must say ... especially in the hey day of Mash Ups.
Eventually we decided to head out to DTs for somewhere reasonably low key to have a drink away from the testosterone fuelled hetero aggro that was on thus far on display. Firstly, I have to say that although small in stature, this is one of the better beer gardens I have been in with loads of Palm trees and balinesque touches as well as a white tiger's mounted head!!
We managed to score an area with seating by the water feature as most of the clientele were busily occupied by the drag by numbers show going on in the front bar. Once that was over there was a rush of bodies out into the beer garden for a bit of "fresh" air. D felt a little claustrophobic and I had to agree. CC was already relaxing into his usual self ... and I'm sure that had to do partly with the fact that he was garnering attention just by being himself.
But you know what, it seemed like you just had to glance at someone and you were already starting a conversation ... which I actually appreciated .... and even though most were under the influence and getting gradually more vociferous ... there wasn't even a hint of aggravation ... saturday night is not a night for fighting after all!!!