Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Moose change

For good or for bad, change happens and it can be painful if one doesn't accept it. I also find it, not so much painful, as heavy - especially on Monday mornings when my purse somehow gains two kilos in weight from the 60 hours or so since Friday evening. Talk about yoyo dieting.

I like to use up my coinage/shrapnel/brass for daily morning coffees, but I've also found a fun, new way of utilising early week change: say hello to early-week singular-drink. Not on a Monday - day dedicated to sobriety - but Tuesdays and Wednesdays are good for a relaxing drink; the key word being the singular 'a'. And rather than a city beer barn or suit shop, it's a little Newtown cafe cum bar that finds my slightly thirsty presence one Tuesday.

Bloody Moose from The Moose Newtown,
King Street, Newtown

The Moose Newtown has been around, but only recently has it scrubbed itself up for a big night out (or is it in?), and gone the small and intimate bar avenue in the evenings. Small-ish beer and wine menu, bigger cocktail menu, mix-and-match grazing food menu, characters behind the bar and on the wall, and live music on Wednesdays. Quite a bit for a small bar, yes?

And you won't be disappointed with the moose humour on the cocktail list - the Bloody Moose (Mary) and a Lonely Moose mocktail have me a-moosed (sorry, couldn't resist). While I enjoy tomato soups, I struggle a little with juice and have never really been a fan of Bloody Marys. However, I can understand the appeal of the slightly tart, slightly savoury, slighty sweet, slightly spicy jumble of icy cold flavours of the Bloody Moose - hangover cure, indeed.

Pipsqueak cider

I neglected to mention that the whole early-week single-drink should be taken lightly; that is, there's no fun/point doing a tequila shot straight after work on a Tuesday. Unless it was a really, really bad day. Real bad; global news bad.

I have a Pipsqueak cider, having not sampled it previously. It's probably close to the most gloriously perfect Tuesday single-drink drink. It's light to taste and drink, though don't be fooled - it's full strength; but utterly refreshing. I could almost feel the humid day unwind from the mind with each cool sip.

Responsibility, among many other things, compels me to insist that early-week singular-drinks be taken with food, as should most drinking; although Friday nights appear to dance to their own tune of rules. I feel wickedly spoilt by the abundance of choice on King Street on a weeknight, where it seems to more than buzz on any given night.

Fish cakes from Doytao Thai,
King Street, Newtown

The voluminous yet tightly packed Doytao Thai restaurant looks like it could burst at the seams with patrons, yet there's a constant trickle of couples and groups, likely drawn by the arousing smells of stir fries and curries. Ordering is rather easy when hunger, agreeableness and good food are involved.

The fish cake entree is delivered piping hot and not quite like the more freezer-familiar varieties I've had. The outer has the browned skin, but the inner is light and almost fluffy, and exultant with spices. The chilli heat is nicely tempered with the sweet sauce accompanying the plate, although I do find myself chewing on the garnish for a bit more help.

Pork panaeng curry

The panaeng is ordered with pork, for something different, and I'm surprisingly impressed with the combination and the tender but not mushy pork slices. The curry is extremely mild, strong on coconut and sweetness, and generously populated with meat and vegetables. The sauce is satisfyingly drinkable, but I resist.

Roasted duck salad in Doytao's spicy sauce

I'm starting to have a duck problem, in that I find it difficult to not order it when it's on the menu. This duck salad is more duck than salad, which is unusual but I'm not complaining. The roast duck is dressed with a sour and very Thai dressing that contrasts well with the gamey weight of the bird, which is handily propped up with spanish onion, cucumber slices, tomato wedges, iceberg lettuce, coriander and mint leaves, and a good squeeze of lemon.

I haven't gorged, but the steamed rice on the side and probably the water for the fish cake heat have me bloatedly full and shaking my head to the extremely reasonably priced Thai dessert iterations featuring the ever-filling sticky rice. Fruit, Thai custard, even ice cream - maybe. Sticky rice was an impossibility in my state. Nevertheless, the orange Tic Tacs and inexpensive bill end the night nicely - and look, there's even some loose change for the next early-week singular-drink.

Moose Espresso Cafe on Urbanspoon

Doytao Thai on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

Jen (jenius.com.au) said...

Wow, I don't know how you do it! I never seem to have cash in my wallet or purse no matter how many times I visit the ATM! How I would love to find 2kgs of coins! The Moose sounds like the perfect place to spend that extra coinage ;)

Tina said...

Hi Jen - It's when all those Friday/Saturday drinks cost between $5 and $10... :)

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