Have you ever wondered how Alice in that famous story ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was able to talk to the Cheshire cat? Well, I was in my very own wonderland ...seated in a pleasant garden, stars twinkling overhead, lulled by the sounds of the waves rolling over crystalline sand....and listening to ‘Food Talk’.
Aha! You might be wondering if I have gone ‘cuckoo’ but I have witnesses...very stable ones too...the Capriconian variety...the ‘goat’ of the Zodiac sign. I am referring to the men in my life hubby and son, and when it comes to food, you must hear them talk.
But I am deviating, it is my helicopter brain you see...we were seated in this garden for a Bar-be-que dinner at the ‘Barbeque’ no dash-dash-dash, very classy, aprons instead of napkins, colourful placemats....’i’m in for a grilling’ whispered a voice, followed by a groan ‘things are getting tikka even for us.’
I looked sternly at the waiter who had come to take our order, was he one of the culprits who was part of this conversation? But his pleasant countenance and smiling demeanour, as he asked hubby and son for their drink order belied the fact. So who was in for a grilling? The diners on other tables were enjoying their meal...things were definitely not getting ‘tikka’ for them.
So I put off the disturbing quest and decided to place our order. Well there was a host of the ‘sizzlers’ to choose from. Short, seafood, meat, tandoori. With the ‘tikka’ foremost in mind I urged hubby and son to go for ‘Tandoori’.
‘They have some excellent starters here Mum,’ says Nolan. I looked at the menu...tempting. So we ordered bacon wrapped mussels, chilli garlic squid rings...
Voices again...it was coming from a sizzler being served by the waiter on the next table. I very clearly heard the guest say ‘check out the kebab flirting with the onion’...and the onion rings which garnished the platter reply ’Give me a ring when you are free.’
‘Did you hear that,’ I squeaked looking at the duo sitting at my table...husband and son look at me blankly. ‘You are day dreaming mum,’ says son Nolan, ‘here try this squid and the mussels...they are divine.’ The two of them were concentrating on the starters, so I joined in voices temporally forgotten. The squid with its chilli flake, tomato and lime juice marinade was ‘awesome’ and the bacon wrapped mussels....like a Christmas gift. The crunchy salty packing (bacon) enhanced the soft flavour of the mussels...mouth watering moments. The combo was one to be recommended.
‘The music is great! I’m tempted to shake a leg...’ Music? ‘Can you hear music,’ I ask my better half. He looks at me oddly and then at the full moon up above. I glare at him and freeze as someone replies ’i’ll join you in a twist.’
‘Someone wants to twist,’ I croak. ‘So do I,’ says hubby dear nibbling at the kasturi kebab. The Tandoori platter which I had ordered was sizzling at the table. ‘Add this twist of lemon, dad,’ says Nolan.
I look down at the table and I realize that I was no ‘Alice’ in wonderland. The voices in my mind – well I was subconsciously reading the attractively decorated place mats which had kebabs, fish, onion rings and lemon twists talking to each other. I gave a self conscious grin and decided to apply myself to the food. The kebabs...chicken, mutton, fish, soft, succulent and marinated so well...no wonder Joe wanted to ‘Twist.’
But the piece the resistance’ was the Lobster..the three in one combo which the chef had decided to let us try out. They lay there in their shell...I took a sneak peek at the place mat...the lobster was saying, ’my plans are going a skewer’ while the chilli responded ‘what do you expect when you don’t come of your shell.’ Well the chilli was right...we dug into the soft meat prying it out of the shell. Chef had used three different marinades....basil, chilli garlic and Cajun. Every one of them was - simply great. We smacked our lips in ‘unison’.
We sat back replete wiping our hands with hot towels that the waiter had so thoughtfully provided. Hubby and son had a good laugh at the ‘voices’ I was hearing when I was unconsciously reading off the place mat.
‘It could be a ‘new’ novel to work on,’ laughs Nolan, ‘Odette in Barbequeland.’ I consider his words thoughtfully. Well this was definitely one place where the food talks to you....tasty, unique and marinated to perfection. And for those who have not tried it...well you are definitely on the other side of the looking glass.