Tuesday, December 23, 2008

La Porchetta Werribee: A Lesson in Mediocrity

ShopB008, Werribee Plaza Shopping Centre
Heaths Rd (cnr Derrimut Rd)
, Werribee 3030
P: 03 9748 4888

I thought about this long and hard last night and this morning, trying to work out how to put a positive spin on the meal. Sadly, sometimes this really isn't possible. Most of the positives about the meal were more to do with the company than the victuals.

First and foremost, I can't speak about the other dozens of La Porchetta's in the world. I hear the one in Williamstown is quite a lot better than what I sampled last night. But that wouldn't be all that difficult to achieve.

The girls I work with on the weekend and I decided to have a christmas dinner together. As the dinner had to be held somewhere fairly central to us all, and easy on the wallet, La Porchetta was suggested. I'm going to campaign strongly that we never, ever, EVER eat there again.

Between a table of about 16 of us, we covered a fair bit of the menu. My ravioli napolitana (sp?) was thoroughly unenjoyable - the ravioli was over cooked, and the sauce tasted like something you'd expect to get out of a no-name bottle at the local corner store. Mum (who is visiting) ordered a penne marinara which was... she reports not much taste in the sauce and it was rather watery, and she had to mix her meal so that the pasta and seafood were together instead of separate sides of the plate (she says with a "meh" waggle of her hands). Others along the table ordered garlic prawns ("the prawns were ok, but won't have them again"), fettucine funghi ("not impressed"), fettucine con pollo (the side salad eaten, the pasta mostly left on the plate)... you get the idea.

Happier customers were D and her husband, with seafood and a T-bone steak respectively. Also some pizza's were reported to be good. Except one... this pizza came out with bacon laid across the top of it, crust to crust... uncut. The pizza beneath was sliced, but not the half a pig they'd stuck on top. WTF?

I can, however, heartily recommend the garlic bread.

After a meal like that none of us was tempted to try a dessert.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Brush with Fame!

Alert! Alert! Everyone, our own dear Mel of Tummy Rumbles fame has been published in a major newspaper!

Her article on sashimi appeared in the Good Living liftout of yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald (which is what I was looking for yesterday).
And today you can find it on the SMH website!

Three cheers for Mel!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Good Drop

I was browsing my way through the Sydney Morning Herald website this morning, looking for a particular article (which I'll link to when I find it!) when this one caught my eye.

I switched to decaf coffee a few years ago for health reasons, on the advice of my doctor. Initially I thought I'd just have to give up coffee altogether, but thankfully the flavour of decaf has come a LONG way since the first cup I tried a decade ago. After I weaned myself off the caffeine I never looked back. Sure, sometimes I wish I could have that shot of it to wake me up a bit, but on the whole I don't miss it.

Sadly some people still say to me "why bother drinking coffee?". To them I ask - do you drink coffee only for the caffeine, or do you actually like the flavour too? I love coffee - the aroma, the taste, the warmth on a cold day... I realise it's all flavoured water, but I think coffee is more "solid" than a cup of tea (which I also love... love my first cup o' tea of the day. And my second. And my third...). I mean, if a cup of tea is a light salad and pan-fried chicken breast, then to me coffee is the steak and chips. Does that make any sense, or has my brain prematurely fried for the week?

I'm interested to hear what other people think of decaf coffee. And what they think of decaf drinkers.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I was watching a report on A Current Affair last night (don't hold that against me - without ABC and SBS the only alternatives for background noise while I played WoW were Neighbours or Today Tonight) and they had a story on home owners who had locked their interest rate in, and were now complaining because everyone on variable rates were paying so much less than them.

Um... yes, but when we were paying $300+ more per month than you (on an average mortgage), you were laughing at us and gloating at your supposed business savvy.

Fixed vs variable insterest rates on your home loan will always be a bit of a gamble. Sure, if you fix your rate you could pay less than people owing a comparable amount on a variable rate, but then you could pay more sometimes too. It's the same for people on variable rates - two months ago the rate was high, repayments were almost crippling for some. It's just that now the tides have turned.

Rates will go up again. They will also go down again. Over the standard span of a home loan (let's say 25-29 years) this is going to happen a LOT. You get over it, and do what you have to do to cope with it.

I do agree somewhat with parts of the what the story reported - that of the banks making it financially impossible for people to change their loan or move it elsewhere. I'm not surprised the banks are doing this, but it's still poor form on their part.

But for those complaining cos their fixed rate is now more than the variable - I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy. Cos I know the next time the variable goes up, you'll be laughing again.