Thursday, April 9, 2009
Funny Stuff and satays
We have a growing tradition in our family where me and Mrs Pilsner get together with her brother and his wife and we celebrate our birthdays with dinner and ‘a something’ rather than buying each other presents.
Last year we went along to Monty Python’s Spamalot after dinner together in a great little place in Melbourne’s Chinatown. This year we decided on a show from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and dinner in a great little place in Melbourne’s Chinatown.
We headed straight back to the same little restaurant as last year. We choose our Chinese restaurants based n a simple three point plan;
1) No Neon lights in the signage
2) No pictures of things on the menu
3) Must NOT have the following words in the name;
Jade, Palace, Dragon or Pebble
Golden Orchids is an absolute cracker of a restaurant. Small but comfortable, busy but cosy, generous but not expensive. It still has the same wallpaper it had when it opened in 1973 and I suspect some of the staff are of the same vintage. A simple menu specialising in satay and claiming to be Melbourne’s first Malaysian satay restaurant, it is just a top spot. Tucked away at the quiet end of Chinatown it is a hidden gem.
There is the obligatory young girl out the front touting for customers and we sat for a while just watching her work. When we arrived we took the second last four-top downstairs and noted that there was one, maybe two, two-tops left. Upstairs is tiny with a small extra room off to the side of that and based on the floor plan this couldn’t be any bigger than half of one side of the downstairs area. Despite this and the fact that they were pretty busy (for a Thursday early evening) this lass kept dragging them in and finding them all a spot to sit. As a walk-in of eight uni students was led upstairs we guessed that she knew when they were actually full when the she couldn’t push the front door in any more.
The guys who looked after us were friendly and efficient – if you can get our entrees to the table at almost the same time as our first beers and the beers get there quick, well, you’re doin’ OK. And here’s the best bit. Tsing Tao - $5.50, Boag’s Premium - $5, Crown Lager - $5.50, VB - $4.50. But by the end of the three courses and four beers each we were left with a bill (for four of us) of $80! How good is that!? Well, it’s even better when you go outside to head to the theatre and right next door is a little bottle shop run by a little Asian bloke who knows his beer and he puts you onto an ‘export only’ 600ml longneck of a Taiwanese beer you’ve never even heard of!
A couple of quick takeaways and we off to see a very funny Adam Hills pull laughs from everything from a warehouse workers fluro socks to the Dutch word for hymen. Funny, funny stuff.
The cheap beers had nothing to with it.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival Get out and catch a show if you can. And if you pop into the Golden Orchids, tell em that the Beer Blokes sent ya!