Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hunting for Crocodile Steaks and Emu Fillets.

My son was visiting from New Zealand and I had promised him some uniquely Australian food. We had done some research and made bookings at the Tukka Restaurant in Brisbane City.

He was looking forward to vanilla cured crocodile with a nectarine and strawberry salad, and lemon myrtle dressing. I had my heart set on emu fillet, with celeriac remoulade and a raspberry and liquorice compote. I love liquorice and who serves it with meat? I had to see.

These will become handbags. Are they also destined to be dinner?

The GPS had been playing up all day but as we entered the city it failed completely for long minutes at a time. I headed in what I hoped was the right direction, watching the GPS as it locked in and out of our location. We parked in an unfamiliar part of town just as it turned five pm.

An hour later, we were still walking the winter dark streets looking for our restaurant.

We had started walking in what the GPS said was the right direction. The road disappeared into a huge busy intersection spanning more than two streets and then re-emerged as a narrow street on the other side of a large grassy park.

Negotiating the busy streets meant crossing up to five lanes of road, some of which did not have cross-walks. Impatient drivers heading home after a long day at work made it risky.

On the other side, the street numbers were too high but we walked further down, mostly because I could see the lights of the nearby Storey Bridge glowing prettily. I really hoped the restaurant would be set under it with magic views of the river.

It wasn’t looking good. I checked the GPS again.

If I went by the street address, it should have been in the triangular shaped leafy park between the adjacent streets. I had seen a picture of the building on the Internet. It was a tall white building with a large obvious sign. I ruled out the possibility of it being underground, and wondered what made it so difficult to see.

To make things even more complicated, we looked over a barrier next to the footpath and there was a lower level. That too seemed to head off in the wrong direction.

In frustration, I called the restaurant and a staff member told us it was right across from the Suncorp Bank. I turned to the GPS again and it said there was one just five hundred metres away. We had wandered quite far from where the GPS had originally directed us so we wandered back and found ourselves outside a huge, curved, multi-storied office building topped by a Suncorp sign.

Ten minutes later we had done a circumnavigation of the building and were still lost.

After over an hour of criss-crossing the busy streets, we gave up and went to dinner at a local Chinese, vegetarian, sushi, and noodle restaurant where we ordered a stir-fry and soup. To spice things up, I ordered canned drinks in guava, pomegranate, and lychee.

I called the restaurant with the last eight per cent of battery life on my now ailing GPS enabled phone and apologised. He asked where I was then said “Who told you that address?”

It seems we were in Boundary Road and we should have been in Boundary Street. That certainly explained a few things.

The next day I apologised again to my son and thanked him for his patience. He said it was okay. “It will make a good story” he said.

I can hear the laughter now as he tells his brothers how mum has really lost her marbles. I only hope he goes easy on words like “senility,” “Alzheimer’s” and “Is it too soon to put her in a home?”

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