The Supper Club

Posted by: Owen in Post 30, Reviews 1,021 Comments »

In the blog that I discussed our very amazing dinner at Vue De Monde, I failed to mention that the whole purpose to the blog entry was meant to elude everyone to the fact that AFTER the dinner, we were bustled into a taxi and then taken to finish the night off at the Supper Club, but it would have made the entry too long and therefore here we are.

The Supper club if you havent already made its acquaintance is an fantastic little bar that is much like my favourite little bar in Yarraville called Aqua E Vino. As one review from Milica Fraser put it “It’s the perfect meeting place for a glass of red and luxurious conversation. (Not the type of place you want to rush in and out of). Cosy weathered chesterfield sofas, polished floorboards, jazzy music and staff that ooze class… virtually guarantee you won’t be leaving in a hurry.” I have to agree with her, however I used it for my favourite hobby of the moment, to have a cigar and try a different scotch. If you must know what type of cigar I had this time, it was the Partagas – Almarante, in some circles considered the ‘richest cigar in the world‘. Unfortunately my experience in the cigar world would not allow me to make such a broad statement. But I will keep you posted. From what I remember… the cigar was very strong and full of flavour and was a slow burner and like other good cigars didnt get too hot toward the stub allowing you to enjoy the smoke right to the end.

If you happen to go there, you must sit up the back (eastern side) of the room, which is near the big arch window which overlooks Spring street. The window is much like the one of the ones in playschool. We went there late at night, and with the lights directed onto Parliament house added to the whole experience and looks absolutely magnificent. As Milicia pointed out before, you can just sit and relax on the beautiful chesterfields and take in the ambience of the place.

So if you have a night free and are not offended by cigar smoke, mosey on down to the Supper Club and relax the night away, you wont be disappointed.

The Poker night

Posted by: Owen in Post 30 1,346 Comments »

Armed with the following:

  • 1 slab of Carlton Draught stubbiesPost poker night
  • A six pack of Bees Nees,
  • A six pack of Little Creatures pale ale
  • A six pack of Little Creatures pilsner – voted the best beer in the world by Stu
  • 2 six packs of Cascade Light (for those driving of course)
  • 1 bottle of Glenfiddich (scotch)
  • 1 half bottle of Dalwhinnie (scotch)
  • 1 bottle of Skyy Vodka
  • 1 bottle of wine (probably not worth mentioning)
  • a few bottles of soft drink
  • a couple of ‘platters’ carefully prepared by my fellow bretheren (aka a few bags of chips, some dip, some cheese and of course a couple of pizza’s and a garlic bread
  • 1 apple tea cake – more on that later
  • 1 300 (correctly weighted) chip poker set
  • 1 deck of playing cards
  • The pocket Idiot’s guide to Texas Hold’em (just in case)

Yes, you may have already guessed by either the title heading or the huge stash of health food and beverages listed above, that one, we were attending a world peace summit, or two, we organised ourselves a POKER NIGHT!

Thats right, Jared, Tim, Count Valvasori – Ads, Richard, Ben, Stu and I, after months of planning and scheming with our respective partners and wives, managed to hold our first Friday night poker event!

The night commenced with us all meeting at my place, and The Wife was safely tucked away for a girls night with Clarkey. We put out some ‘platters’ and some drinks and talked about the week and general topics of interest, and then adjourned to the dining room which saw the original dining table transformed by a piece of green felt into a poker table (with thanks to the wife).

The cards were dealt, and with a few of the rules re-explained we commenced the game. Being the high-rollers we are, we all chipped in $10 just to create a direction for the game and give us some financial incentive, its funny how the game changes with as little $70 dollars on the table up for grabs.

The first game seemed to go for ages, but was full of enjoyment, I had no idea we had so many personalities in our group! We shared many stories and had quite a few drinks and after around 3 hours, the winner was… Me! That’s right my two pair was just too good for Ads, who decided it was best to not reveal his cards that took me to all in on the river!

This brings me to the introduction of the Apple tea cake. This was carefully prepared by my wonderful wife. I arrived home in a flurry, making sure that the drinks would be cold and the food ready, and found on the table an Apple tea cake with a sign on it saying ‘Eat me’ with one slice strategically removed. It isnt something that you would normally see at a poker night but I think it just shows the more sensitive side of our group. In the intermission we all hoed into the cake which was sensational, and then resumed to commence the next game.

Different from the first game, a few of our players showed more bravado early on, which was good and created a lot of excitement, added with a few drinks the crescendo was building. Ben was the winner of the second game, who was the quiet achiever of the night, who layed low during the first game, and seemed to struggle early in the second, but then with a couple of good hands had him back, and in the play off with Ads who, having now twice come second is poised to be the next big winner.

It was a great night and a great thing to do with mates, I am so looking forward to the next one. Invites will be going out in the next week.

Wednesday night, The Wife and I went for an amazing dinner at Vue De Monde, for her belated 30th birthday, which is somewhere she has always wanted to go.

We arrived there at 8pm and were immediately seated, and for the next 4.5 hours were treated to the most fine selection of food that I have ever experienced! Shannon Bennett personally prepared and supervised (in full view of the restaurateurs) the most spectacular 10 course meal! Yes 10 courses! Along with the meal was also a selection of wines that was carefully prepared by the Sommelier (a person who has drank A LOT of wine), to match each course of the meal. Just when I thought that the wine could not get better or be a better match to the next course, it just kept getting better. Obviously having 10 courses of food and a matching glass of wine with each, had us well and truly in a joyous mood, not to mention a wallet that was a lot lighter than when I went in.

I just thought i’d let you know, the dining experience at Vue De Monde is an experience of one the best restaurants in the world and was last year (2006) voted for the second time Australian Gourmet Travellers – Restaurant of the year. Like anything worth doing, it comes at a cost, but the experience of Vue De Monde was well worth it!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Wife.

Footy Tipping

Posted by: Owen in General banter, Post 30 No Comments »

Well, it’s that time of the year again, and for those of you overseas, I will give you a quick lesson on what consumes the hearts and minds of a large percentage of the Australian public during the winter months. Yes, as the title indicates, it is Football season again, and I am talking about Australian Rules football (aka AFL), not soccer, rugby (union or league) or Gridiron.

For those of you who don’t know or haven’t heard of Aussie Rules before, this is a game of utter skill and hard knocks, any resident or ex-pat Victorian will tell you. Basically, 36 men (18 per side) run around a big oval for approximately 2 hours, kicking, handballing, marking (aka catching) and trying to kick a little leather oval shaped ball through 2 goal posts, which will give you six points, and if you kick to either side of the the two posts you get a point (worth one point) which is also called a behind. It is a game of skill and unlike other forms of the game, it is very fast moving, and the players use a lot of physical strength and skill to manouvre the ball around the big oval. It is very exciting to watch.

Those of us who don’t play (by either being too unfit or having other time commitments more than likely the former), we like to do what keeps us feeling as though we were playing. That’s right, we try and tip the winning teams, which is also known as footy tipping. Unlike the physical part of the real game, this form of the sport, involves high levels of intelligence, utilising skills in estimation, statistics, problem solving, meteorology, psychology just to name a few. This may seem like an easy thing to do, chosing the winner out of 8 games each week, but let me tell you, in the tipping comps that I have run over the passed 7 or 8 years, it has been the downfall of many a person, who have pulled out mid year with comments like, “its just too stressful” ” I just cant sleep” and “I become a different person”. Its a mild form of gambling but it sure has its casualties.

This year, I have decided to give the administration role of the tipping comps the flick and concentrate more on the actual tipping. Which is proving to be quite a good decision, because I am doing extremely well in the 3 comps I am a part of, but of course it is only round 6 and there’s a long way to go.

If you’re in a tipping comp, good luck and dont let the pressure of it all get to you.

One of the most remarkable parts of our 1950’s style box of a house, was that during the first inspection we both commented about the wallpaper, we both walked around the different rooms and then met in the middle saying “you should see the wallpaper in this room”!!

Wallpaper in the 1950’s must have been cheaper than paint, because in the 9 rooms that we have in our house (which includes the toilet) there was 7 different types of wallpaper.

With any wall finish, paint or wallpaper, after years of use, particularly with smokers, the wall finish takes on the colour and odour/smell of its environment. This was definately the case in our house. In our kitchen, there was no rangehood and the exhaust fan was situated about 4 metres from the stove on the other side of the room meaning that when cooking, all of the exhaust fumes from 50+ years of cooking had to make its way to the exhaust fan, and it was obvious which path it had taken.

The people who had lived in our house over this time were smokers and so in every room there was a slight to heavy tinge of yellow on the walls and ceilings. So the first thing that we just had to do was to remove the wallpaper and to try and balance out the smell that was lingering in the house.

I dont know if you have ever removed wallpaper but it is quite easy and a wallpaper remover (the one that we used) is much like a big kettle. It is a large tank that you fill with water that has a heating element on the inside. You turn it on and it heats up. When the water is heated it starts steaming which sends steam down a little tube to a hand trowel. The hand trowel is then pressed against the wall and steams the wall. The steam melts the glue that sticks the wallpaper to the wall and the wallpaper just falls off. You can either hire a wallpaper remover or buy one as we did from a second hand dealer or garage sale and when you’ve finished with it sell it on to another poor person burdened with wallpaper.
Whilst removing the wallpaper in the kitchen, there was a disgusting yellow liquid that ran down the wall, which was years of yellow tinge from the cooking oil and cigarette smoke that was embedded into the wallpaper. To date we have removed wallpaper from all bar one room and the remaining wallpaper in the lounge is bareable.

Its funny you know, the recent inspections of other houses in our neighbourhood that have been renovated has seen the return of the wallpapered wall. It seems the wall finish cycle has run its full course and is back with a vengence.