July 30, 2014 § 3 Comments

I like Tara from In The Taratory. We have a lot in common! We both like whippets, we both like climbing hills, and we both like eating out. Except my free time is 90 per cent climbing hills and 10 per cent dining and hers is 90 per cent dining and 10 per cent climbing hills.

Anyway. After reading her review I decided to pop in to Morks for lunch. Mork is a person but there is no apostrophe in Morks, I am sorry to say.

The staff member at the front desk looked at me like I was a supplier or something. So I said that I was in for lunch and she showed me to a table. Or, she showed me to some tables and said ‘You can sit there.’ So I looked at her again in case she had a preference and yes she did have a preference: ‘That one.’

My table was one of the few two-tops along the window which is usually a plus but as soon as I sat down my feet sunk into an icy draft coming in under the bi-fold doors. It was so distracting that I contemplated sitting cross legged but in the end I just sort of adopted a 45 degree angle to minimise it. A nice touch would be to supply heated slippers for diners seated beside the window.

I ordered two entrees: ‘Three crunch salad, eggplant, chilli jam’ and ‘Soft shell crab, yellow curry’.

The three crunch salad came out first. I could only detect two crunches: some sort of crispy fried bean curd and cashews. I begin eating and it is good; it’s colourful and bitey with plenty of greenery:

photo 2

Second attempt, with eggplant

Then I remember that eggplant is a feature ingredient so I look for eggplant and…nothing. I ask the waiter about this and he goes into the kitchen to check, suggesting that he has no mental stake in the dishes he moves from kitchen to table and back again. He is simply a removalist.

He returns to confirm that this is indeed three crunch salad and eggplant. So I go ‘Where is the eggplant?’ and he goes ‘Do you mind?’ and I go ‘By all means’ and he PICKS UP MY SPOON AND STARTS DIGGING THROUGH MY MEAL LOOKING FOR EGGPLANT. And I’m sitting there watching, thinking ‘Dude, you are wrecking it.’

And of course there is no eggplant. So he takes it away and I dunno brings back another three crunch salad but this time with tiiiiny bits of soft eggplant in it but by then I have sort of lost interest and moved on to the crab.

The crab may or may not have been soft shelled; I cannot say. The two generous looking pieces turned out to be 80 per cent batter and 20 per cent crab. You know like when you order something with ‘prawn tempura’ and after you have eaten the ‘tempura’ bit you get to the ‘prawn’ and it’s a krill? Yeah. The yellow curry sauce was thick and full of nice morsels of potato, onion, pickle, radish, herb. And it looked wonderful:

photo 1 (2)

Battered crab

PS. The third crunch turned out to be crispy rice and I could see it once it was pointed out to me. So two deep fried things and nuts. I wish that some of the crunching had been due to, you know, salad. Carrot or cucumber or something.

PPS. The crunchy bean curd turned out to be pork crackling, so I am going straight to hell on the Tim Noakes diet but whatever. I assumed ‘Salad, eggplant, chilli’ was vegetarian. Stop hiding meat in your food, people.

Look. I got what I ordered, more or less (more = pork, less = eggplant). The food was good looking and tasty but, for me, had the same problem that almost all crowd-pleasing Asian food has – too deep fried and too sweet.

I paid the bill (‘How was your meal?’ ‘It was okay’ *ENDS*), picked my change up off the counter when my hand was ignored and lurched out with colder feet than I walked in with.


Review: Gear reviews

July 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Review: Gear reviews of Ultimate Direction Jenny Ultra Vesta

Loyal fans of the popular Nathan and UltrAspire race vest reviews will be excited to learn that a new version has arrived: the Ultimate Direction Jenny Ultra Vesta race vest review.

I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of pairs of the new gear reviews via Facebook. I read about 120 reviews each week so I need ones that load quickly and can handle a lot of comments and general abuse.

All of the reviews are available online, which is a really convenient way for readers to find and share them. Gear reviews on the web are gradually becoming the norm but you would be surprised how many people are still buying magazines.

Let’s start with the basics. Every review is written in English, and I was able to find all of them using Google which is a plus as that is the only search engine I use.


I found it really easy to access headings and advertisements

I really appreciated the fonts used in the reviews. Most of them were in standard Arial, with just a few flourishes like Book Antiqua. Thankfully, there was no sign of Comic Sans. Well done to the reviewers for thinking of this detail.

Colour photography was a thoughtful touch (though one or two were a bit busy – 35 photos is overkill), and there was no background music on any of the reviews – a very welcome relief after all the auto-play settings on other sites I visit.

I found all of the reviews quick to navigate simply by scrolling up and down, and closing them securely was really easy – all it took was a click on the X in the top right hand corner.

Most of the reviews have sub-headings in a contrasting colour for storing different information about materials, construction and capacity (for example). I thought this was really well thought out. Also, the use of dot points was a convenient way to get frequently-needed information about the vest. You never know when you’ll be reading something and suddenly need to copy-paste into a search engine! The reviewers have anticipated this and addressed it.


Innovative design of dot points and images in this review

Regarding fit, all of the reviews are compatible with multiple devices. I opened them on a desktop, a laptop and my iPhone and had no problems adjusting my screen size.

If I have one gripe it is that there was a bit too much white space on some of the webpages but this was a minor point considering I did not have to pay to read them. Also, anyone who sweats excessively will probably find that their screens get pretty wet as none of them are made of wicking material. Something to think about for next time!


Introductory paragraph – love this detail!

Overall I’m going to give these reviews 8/10. They’re comprehensive, make good use of photographs and links, and they were very compact in terms of space. I’m looking forward to reading them a few more times in different locations (at work, on the toilet, etc) and in different weather conditions as so far I’ve only read them at home in winter.

Happy browsing!


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