Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Napier's Tofu Burger with Chilli Jam, Watercress and Tofu Mayo, or: I am deflated

Seeing as this was my first foray into public food photography, I was hoping it would be accompanied by a post raving about not only how brave I was to whip out the camera at the table, but that it was well worth it to bring you sensational photos of wildly outstanding food that made me weep with spiritual revelation. It will now come as no surprise to you that I did not like this meal.

A pub meal was planned for Saturday night as a low-key general catch up-slash-dinner before Buzz and I go overseas next week. I was suggested either The Napier or the East Brunswick Club, being bold enough to say that I was sneakily suggesting them for my own benefit. Everyone else kindly agreed to the Napier, so I feel somewhat abashed about now writing this post.

I ordered the vegan option - a tofu burger with chilli jam, watercress and tofu mayo (I suspect they meant soy mayo, but never mind).

Although all up it was an average, ho-hum, not-particularly-bad meal, I feel the only way to properly describe it is to list my disappointments. And so:

Numero Uno: Turkish Bread. It took me a few bites to register what this was. I promptly discarded the top as I was pretty sure that they hadn't scoured Melbourne to source Turkish bread without an egg glaze, and if they had, I figured they'd be advertising it.

Zwei: The Tofu. It was a slab of wobbly, squashy, unflavoured, lightly fried tofu, and that's it. It was a couple of centimetres thick and had nothing to recommend it except the very thin layer of crispy fattiness. It's tofu served like this that gives tofu everywhere a bad name.

The Third: The Salad. I know it's a pub meal. I know it, I know it. But for the love of all that is holy, a packet of mixed salad (mostly rocket), with two quarters of crystally, thawed-out tomato, a couple of slices of hardcore red onion and two measly pieces of cucumber, drizzled with some generic balsamic, is really poxy.

IV: The Chips. Blah. So average I almost couldn't be bothered eating them. And that's really saying something.

Now here's the bit that's making me screw up my face and go "ernghhhhhh". I love that they bothered to make a vegan burger. I love that they remembered to veganise the mayo. And I know that just cos it's specially vegan doesn't make it good, and I know that my meal wasn't particularly better or worse than anyone else's, and I know that it's a lot to ask for anything more, especially considering that there weren't even many vegetarian options on the menu.

But "ernghhhhhh!"

There was nothing beyond the unforgettable side of average here, and that's disappointing not just as a vegan but as a customer.

Many thanks to Buzz who gamely held up the top of the burger to help me photograph it, despite his embarrassment. There'll be many more.

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