We had promised to try again a restaurant in Mittagong. Mittagong is next door to Bowral and has that Australian old town feeling. A couple of pubs with original fronts together with few mansions still indicating a former glory. Apart from that, our dog JRTerrier Milo has a bitter enemy but behind the safety of a solid glass shop front, inside which electrical globes and lights are sold. The dog behind the glass is menacingly black and huge. A large and formidable Labrador-German Shepherd mix. Milo is pulling maniacally in order to get as quickly as possible to the shop, ready for a blood curdling killing. Each time we visit Mittagong with Milo it follows the same ferocious procedure.
As he pulls us on his lead towards the shop with the monster dog you can sense the tension in Milo. He crawls flat tack hugging the street’s shop fronts till we arrive at the front-line of Milo’s enemy. He wants the attack to be a total surprise. Milo’s feet are scratching the footpath. He is so keen. The huge dog is peacefully unaware of what is to come and asleep behind the entrance when Milo arrives. Instantly all hell breaks loose. Pedestrians scatter into the kerbs. There follows about five seconds of a terrifying ferocious snarling. Teeth are bared and clatter against the glass. Hairs are upright. I am afraid the glass door will shatter. I drag Milo past the door and all is back to normal. The frightened pedestrians might say; ‘my goodness,’ resume their walk. Milo had his fun.
But, as we had a nice meal in that restaurant before we thought to give it another go. It is an unlicensed place and perhaps café might be a better description. It is unpretentious and no one greets you effusively or shows you a place to sit. There is a mishmash of different seating arrangements, including soft chairs but also hard benches with long tables. You can fill your glasses with water from a large bubbler on a table with selections of all sorts mustards and sauces. It serves food on ceramic plates. I think serving food on wooden boards might be on the way out. I am not sure about the Himalayan salt shakers. This world and its fashions is now so fast and becoming more and more incomprehensible. It is not surprising so many elderly people withdraw and retire on park benches having a private little sob before bravely continuing on.
I ordered the same dish. Deep fried squid on an Asian salad. Helvi had trouble choosing. The café prides itself on serving alpaca-meat dishes. The friendly waitress suggested to Helvi to try it. Helvi told her as an anecdote that we used to breed alpacas. ‘It would be like eating our own babies’ Helvi answered with her glorious smile. The waitress laughed and understood. I suggested to try a beef steak dish with chips and salad. But, as so often happens. New people were running it and the food wasn’t as good as expected. My squid smelled a bit fishy on arrival. The deep frying did not deter the squid from telling me it was well past its prime, and much to its credit gave me a fair warning. My hunger, as usual, wasn’t brave enough to leave the squid well alone.
Helvi’s steak was also not the best. A little sinewy and a bit teeth defying. The chips were fair and she shared them with me. That was nice. The salad was a bit mushy. The lingering on its own behind the counter for a couple of days did not enhance or make it any more Asian.
Anyway, we all had a good time. Milo greeted us with his usual welcoming wagging tail. I reckon his fight with the black dog always cheers him up.
He loves going to Mittagong.