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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This and that

Something fishy going on
Alert readers might've noticed a recent weekend passed without a Sunday session. This was because that weekend saw a night out in celebration of my 46th birthday. I had decided weeks ago that I wanted to make the occasion the excuse for my eagerly awaited second visit to the delightful Two Fat Ladies West End.

Snappy dressers set their own style!

Andy, Badger, Donald and Gav had all heard me sing the restaurant's praises more than once, so it had quite a reputation to live up to. For my part I was wondering how my second visit would go after the first had been such a landmark in my fine dining experience. Opinions were a bit mixed in the end.

Andy, Badger and me in the Three Judges

Several people had the Cullen Skink, which was unanimously highly praised. Andy and I started with a squid salad. I found this quite delicious, the tenderest and most flavourful squid I've ever eaten. My main - scallops with Stornoway black pudding - slightly let down my high expectations. Stornoway black pudding is a modern food legend, and justly so. Perhaps Two Fat Ladies sources its supply from a butcher other than that whose pudding I've enjoyed so much in the past. I don't know for sure, but I have to say that it lacked the pepperiness which to me characterises Stornoway black pudding.

The lads were mostly happy elsewhere around the table, although Donald was a bit disappointed with his first taste of fresh tuna, which was too mild in flavour for his liking. A wee taste and subsequent pondering has left me thinking that this was mostly bad luck: Donald's a confirmed lover of red meat, and the idea of fresh tuna steaks probably conjures up certain expectations of strong, meaty flavours. Maybe he should try the meat dish on a future occasion.

Badger, me and Gav in Two Fat Ladies

Andy, Gav and I were on our third bottle of a sluggable fresh and fruity white wine by the time the desserts came round, so my memories of that course are vague. I'm pretty sure Donald was pleased with his pudding though (and so the day was saved for him: puddings are second only to red meat as essential components of Donald's ideal meal); I certainly enjoyed my chocolate pot.

The matter of the black pudding notwithstanding, my second visit to Two Fat Ladies lived up to the promise of the first. And, although perhaps not sharing the degree of my enthusiasm (Badger took to accusing me of turning into John Torode of BBC TV's Masterchef), I think everyone agreed that we'd been served top-quality food at fair prices.

Cheers!

I don't know about the others then, but I know I'll be making another visit just as soon as I can find the flimsiest of excuses.

My life in the mob
In the months since I became an active facebooker, I've been invited to join and otherwise taken a look at many of the little games people play there. Of all of those, only one has managed to hold my interest: Zynga Inc's game of gangland empire-building Mafia Wars.

I'm really not sure what it is about this game that appeals to me so much. I mean, I'm a fan of The Sopranos, a big enough fan that I still expect to hear the Alabama 3 signature tune kick in every time I hear the chords and static hiss that are HBO's station credit. And I like resource management in games in general. But that doesn't really explain why Mafia Wars is the facebook game which first successfully lured me into this genre.

No, really: this doesn't explain my fondness for Mafia Wars; and I really don't know why I like it so much. What I can say for sure is that I'll be playing this one out as far as I can take it. Oh, and I won't be paying for it either. ;)

PS. I just want to add a note of thanks to Donald and Gav who took the photos of my birthday night out. Cheers lads.

Related@RD/KA!
- Sweat the small things?
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