My friend Miss Bee likes to eat out. She recently had a dining experience of a different kind and sent me an email telling me all about it.
A few weeks ago her father let her know that he would be in Sydney for a few days and so she organised a booking in a restaurant close to home with some of his friends. It was a Mexican restaurant they hadn’t been to before but they’d heard good things about the food so thought they’d give it a try.
Their booking was for 6.30pm and they arrived on time as scheduled. They found the restaurant to be dark, cramped and horrendously loud. Miss Bee sat down at the table and realised she couldn’t even hear the person next to her. The waitress approached and they ordered drinks and entrees but weren’t given the menus for mains.
The entrees arrived but not the drinks so they again had to order their drinks. When the drinks arrived they asked if they could see the menu for the mains. The waitress forgot to bring over the menus so they asked for them again. They then ordered mains and by then had finished their drinks so asked if they could order more drinks. The mains arrived but not the drinks so again they asked for the drinks they’d ordered. Miss Bee was exhausted from continually having to gain the waitress’s attention and ask for things.
They finished their mains and asked if they could order desserts. The waitress brought over the dessert menu but the drinks hadn’t arrived so they again asked for their drinks. They ordered desserts and the waitress disappeared. Five minutes later another waitress approached and said, ‘You will have to go’. Miss Bee was confused and said, ‘What?’ And the waitress said, ‘We need the table. We do two sittings a night and so your table is booked so you have to go’. Miss Bee asked, ‘Go where?’ The waitress told them they could move to an outdoor table. So they all stood up and moved outside with their drinks in their hands only to find the outdoor tables all occupied. So they were left standing on the footpath with another group of women who had also been evicted, holding on to their drinks and waiting for their desserts and wondering how they would balance them when they arrived.
They all changed their minds and decided they didn’t want dessert so the order was cancelled. Then the bill was brought out to the pavement which is where the restaurant seems to do a lot of business. Miss Bee and her party threw back their drinks and left. She said the food was amazing but why would you ever dine there if they feel on a whim that they can evict you from your table and throw you onto the pavement.
I have had many and varied experiences at restaurants but never have I been asked to leave and told to enjoy my dessert on the pavement.
Have you ever been ordered onto the footpath?
If Miss Bee had called in here on her way home she could have enjoyed this wonderful dessert cake. I made it recently and it was all gobbled up with not a crumb leftover. The combination of sponge, meringue, cream and strawberries is even better than it sounds.
STRAWBERRY MERINGUE CAKE
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: This is a very affordable cake to make
- 60g butter
- 4 tbspns castor sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tspn vanilla essence
- 3 tbspns plain flour
- 1 tbspn cornflour
- 2 tspns baking powder
- 2 tbspns cream
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time then add vanilla. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder together, fold through the creamed mixture then stir in the cream gently. Spread over 2 x 21 cm greased and lined sponge pans in a thin even layer.
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla essence
Beat egg whites until stiff then gradually add the castor sugar until mixed and firm. Add the vanilla. Spread the meringue evenly over the two cake mixes and smooth the surfaces.
Bake at 170-180C for 30 minutes or until the meringues are puffed and golden. The cake layers will be cooked by then.
Leave in the pans to cool completely before removing.
- 250g punnet strawberries, hulled, halved and partially crushed
- 1/2 cup cream
Whip the cream until firm then roughly mix in the berries leaving swirls of pink.
Sandwich the two cakes together with the meringue layers outermost. Dust the top with icing sugar.
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