Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Pier Restaurant, Queen Lear, Shane Watson Returns to QLD

Not long ago, after a particularly long and pressured day where I earned my money professionally for a change, I decided to meet my learned friend and counsel at The Pier Restaurant in Port Melbourne for food and beverage. After spending nearly twelve hours uninterrupted in front of this laptop on my uncomfortable chair, I decided that it would be best to walk to Bay Street in Port Melbourne just to restore my sanity so I followed the footpath that follows the tram line, braved the cold and ended up on a bar stool ordering a Carlton Draught about thirty minutes after my journey began.

Traffic had delayed my drinking buddy so I had a chance to chat with the barman about the building and other places in the area, including the old Beaconsville Hotel where David Hookes was bashed and killed by the bouncer a few years back. After another thirty minutes and two Carlton Draughts later, my learned friend turned up. He was in the mood to celebrate as he had just gotten a client off the hook in some court matter so he ordered a bottle of champagne. That bottle was consumed after we moved outside under the heat lamps so he could smoke and bang on about the law. After we drank the Veuve Clicqout and he smoked a pack of cigarettes in about 23 minutes we retired inside for some food.

It was a Wednesday and the restaurant was very quiet. As we had spent so much time outside carrying on like pork chops, the kitchen was keen to get our order as it was obvious that they wanted to close it. My first starter was the French Onion soup which was very salty and tasted like something that I would get out of a can from the local Coles. I then had the soft shell crab tacos. For those of you that have read by previous blog posts will know that I have a particular affinity to Mexican influenced dishes and seafood where soft shell crab is one of my indulgences. The kitchen got the soft shell crab right and there was a fair amount to eat but it was nearly impossible to eat in the taco, which was a flour shell, without it falling all apart. I thought it was a noble attempt at something different and I would return for this dish and some more beer at the bar. The steak that I finished with was a steak. Nothing special. It probably cost $4 at the CostCo and was being sold for around $30. The service was efficient and friendly however rushed because they wanted to close off the restaurant area later in the evening. Given the proximity of The Pier to the beach (for the lack of a better word) I would return to utilise the services of the bar, perhaps enjoy a few more soft shell crab tacos when the weather warms up a bit and have pleasant conversation with mates but I will not be rushing back to the restaurant with so many other options in the area worth exploring.

Perhaps it was because I enjoyed a few "Ranga" beers (for red beer, they were very tasty) at the MTC bar before Queen Lear commenced last night, but I felt pretty tired. There were a few sick people in the audience, one older woman had a bad case of bronchitis and with the distraction of the sounds of the doctor's surgery around me along with my own fatigue, it was hard to become engaged in the dialogue at first. As I was not familiar with this particular Shakespearian tale, it was rather hard to keep up with what was going on as I was missing out on listening to dialogue as the woman behind me attempted to cough up her lung and uterus. I am not sure if it was because it is a three hour play with a twenty minute intermission or because the other theatre goers were experiencing the same angst but after the intermission, at least 50 people did not return. The last act did answer many of the questions that I had and filled in the blanks. There was a moment when the lady in front of me looked like she was going to faint as I noticed her gasp and hold her face when one of Queen Lear's daughters was having Gloucester tortured and his eyes removed with a sharp object. As the second eyeball thudded on the stage floor, I thought she too was going to go down hard but that was not the case. Perhaps the lesson learned was to attend Shakespearian plays that cost a fair amount of money in the summer months when people tend not to have the flu. The forthcoming performance of "Helicopter" looks interesting so I will be attending that next month.

The big news in Queensland is that Shane Watson is going to be put back together to play for the state 20/20 team. I don't see why this is a big deal in the cricketing world. Because of his national commitments and the fact that he is nearly always injured, how many 20/20 games do they really think that the man will be playing? There was an additional passage in the article that states it is good for the Brisbane 20/20 team as his wife, Lee Furlong, is a sports reporter and will take an interest. The only time that I remember her taking an interest was in the Boxing Day test a couple of years ago when Shane got his second century. For an opening batsman and so-called "all rounder" one would think that having two centuries over a period of eight years playing on and off (mainly because of injury) for the national team would be demonised a bit more. They drop other players for doing much more so once again we get to build up for a summer of cricket on false hopes created by the media where our under-performing national team looks to be trashed by the South Africans.

A few weeks later I visited The Pier once again and had a better experience. That blog post can be found here.

I can be found on Twitter on @epicurean3006