Ideally, a good, hot curry should leave shreds of skin hanging off the roof of your mouth. It should leave you whimpering in the corner of the restaurant, or make you want to race around the block like Wile E. Coyote with his arse on fire.
I lived in Singapore for two years, and apart from making me suspicious of people who delight in acronyms, as well as hankering for high quality medical dramas, I think it did something irreversible to my tastebuds. Ever since I came back, I’ve been on the hunt for the hottest curry available to humanity, preferably with a side-serving of paint stripper. Unfortunately, this small request is too much to ask in this country. It seems no-one knows how to make a good, hot curry.
Let me pause a minute to rap on my table for the punkah-wallah – it’s getting dashed steamy in here just talking about this stuff.
These days, when I go into a SE Asian restaurant, I don’t have time to peruse them menu. I just ask for the hottest curry on offer, at which they gleefully point out the vindaloo, the ‘spicy chicken’ (is that a dish in India? I think not), or the pepper crab. And when the dish arrives laden with bread, rice, yoghurt and other chili-disguising substances, do you think it comes up to snuff? It does not.
The most galling part is looking over at a neighbouring Indian/Sri Lankan family, who are all happily tucking into something that was clearly not on the menu, and with an assortment of sambals, pickles and chutneys, of the sort that can make you travel through time and space. THIS SHITS ME MORE THAN I CAN SAY.
Bah. If anyone knows of a place in Melbourne where if you ask for a hot curry you get a hot curry, please let me know.
Anyway, while we’re on the topic of expat eccentricities, I think I’m long overdue for a brag on my new, renovated office space. The old man came in and helped me out (although mum just assured me that ‘men over 60 shouldn’t climb ladders’), and while he wished fervently for his own blog so he could write about my bullying ways, the finished job is superb.
The theme is: ‘Girl Reporter in the Last Outpost of Empire’. Check it:
I had been mindlessly collecting beautiful red-toned bits of fabric from around the world for no reason, and at last it became clear! These bits of material conceal a thousand ugly horrors.The old man also cleverly put up these awesome bamboo blinds. Mum gave me the cane palm and the dandy watering can.
There will be a wee seating area here. Think ostrich feather fans, dim lighting and a monkey in a fez who lights your cigarette and serves the drinks.
Fantastique tin globe from Savers ($70), pre-Berlin wall era. Hatstand from hard rubbish collection. ‘Rovering for Boys’ by Lord Baden-Powell, a priceless gift from my sister.
Lookit! Look! Look how cool this is!!
Ah. I keep myself amused. Someone has to.