Thursday 19th November '09

I was called out to work ALL night last night. After no sleep at all, I managed to drive home (I had to make a stop to get a can of V) without falling asleep at the wheel. Barely.

After having no sleeping for over 24 hours, I passed out for several hours until I had to get up and drive to the city for an induction seminar at the Australian Red Cross. I'm volunteering to help gift wrap at the Myer store in Carousel during December to raise money to go towards their Soup Patrol project. I've wanted to do this for years now, and this year I'm finally able to because my roster is mainly day shifts and I can squeeze a few hours in with the late night shopping hours.

Afterwards, I headed into Northbridge and had a coffee until it was time to meet friends for dinner.

155 James Street, Northbridge

Marie's back in Perth for a week and we were all eager to catch up with her tonight. A few of us were early but the restaurant did not have any record of our reservation.

Strike One.

They weren't fully booked so they found us a table and we sat down. The waitress handed us menus - they were the laminated sort but were rather sticky and the drinks menus smelt like they'd been soaking in beer.

The waitress was neither friendly, enthusiastic nor attentive. We gave her the benefit of the doubt that perhaps she struggled with English. Still, no excuse for her lack of customer service.

As soon as everyone arrived, we settled down and were soon ready to place our orders. The waitress seemed to struggle with understanding us. Even when you asked for no sour cream, she would repeat your order and ask if you wanted sour cream with it. She repeated our whole order afterwards, but all we could was nod and smile because we didn't know what everyone else had ordered, so we couldn't tell if she had gotten all our orders correct or not. *shrug*

Sangria. It tasted like watered down orange juice.

Drinks took about twenty minutes to arrive. Fifty minutes went by since we had placed our order and no food had arrived. We noticed - much to our annoyance - that other tables that had been seated after us had received food.

Strike Two.

Ling went to ask about our food. He was told they would check up on our order. In the next ten minutes that followed, we saw the guy walking around continuing to serve other customers, take their orders, etc. No one got back to us to let us know what was happening with our meals or to apologise for the delay or offer an explanation.

Strike Three.

We finished our drinks, then went to pay for them and leave. At the counter, they were trying to convince us that our food was ready right this moment but we had made up our minds we were leaving.

And we're out.

158 James Street, Northbridge

We crossed the street and were skeptical as to whether we would be able to find a table for eight people when the restaurant appeared to be full and bustling. Much to our surprise, they were able to accommodate us by shifting a few tables together inside.

We were met with quick, friendly service and our drinks and food arrived super promptly. We joked that since it was 9pm, perhaps the chefs just wanted to go home so they were rushing our meals. Regardless what the reason, we were so satisfied with the quality of the food, the portions, the competence and friendliness of the wait staff - just such an upgrade!

Garlic Bread

My much needed Campari & Soda

Myself, Shallen & Kong: Spaghetti with Prawns
with chilli, garlic & basil - $28

Ling: Calzone
Closed pizza with tomato, cheese, ham, mushroom & cabanossi - $20

The innards of Ling's calzone.

Karl: Veal Rib Eye
400g Veal rib eye served with creamy mash potato,
green beans, roasted tomato & red wine jus - $35

Yen Chen: Penne con Polpette
Pork meat balls in a garlic & chilli napolitana sauce - $26

Marie: Petto di Pollo ai Gamberi
Grilled chicken breast served with creamy garlic prawns
on a bed of roasted rosemary potatoes & sauteed spinach - $36

Meng: Gamberi Sorrento
Prawns pan fried with a pink garlic sauce & a touch of chilli - $36

Ling's food art.
Don't you love how the parsley in the meatball creates a face!??

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