Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mork and Mindy and Colin Mathura-Jeffree

Did you know that TV sitcoms Mork & Mindy and Laverne & Shirley were both spinoffs from Happy Days? I've been thinking about spinoffs a lot recently, because I'm beginning to think I could do a spinoff of this blog focused entirely on the comings and goings at Herne Bay shops. You wouldn't believe the turnover of businesses up there, as one fledgling entrepreneur after another attempts to divine the magic formula for separating a bored rich woman from her pocket money.

Just this week, for example, we've seen the arrival of The French Grocer, a delightful boutique run by an ACTUAL FRENCHMAN. He does a stunning line in filled baguettes, frenchy condiments and dangerous pastries like the Pain Au Chocolate, an innocent enough looking treat which a young woman I know very well used to nibble from time to time while on an exchange trip to Paris. She came back to New Zealand after six months nearly 20 kilos heavier, so treat them with caution.

A few shops down we see the departure of that horrible pan-Asian place which took over briefly from the socially awkward 'pay-what-you-think-it's-worth' place. The latest closure has made way for 'Trendy Indian', which celebrates opening night tonight.

Look, they've got balloons outside! Not to condescend, but is there anything sweeter than the thought of six Indian waiters in formal dress, arriving 20 minutes early on their first day at work to sit in a circle together silently blowing up balloons?! Okay that does it, I'm definitely buying Slumdog Millionaire on Blu-Ray.

'Trendy Indian', named after patron saint of naan bread Colin Mathura-Jeffree, will be the second Indian restaurant in the block and will hopefully serve some decent food. Herne Bay richly deserves our own equivalent to Mt Eden's excellent Simla; something to replace the oversauced, underheated Shahi as Saturday night's spicy takeaway option of choice.

That's two new eateries in the past ten days. So you can imagine the excitement that welled up within me when I discovered via chalky sandwich board not 30 metres up the road that we're also part way through Pure restaurant's “Swiss Weeks”!

That's right, from August 3-14, Pure will be serving food the traditional Swiss way: that is, everything will be filled with large holes and is to be eaten off the face of a large, massively accurate clock. Your knife, fork and spoon will all be contained in one convenient, fold away multi-tool. And when you ask your waiter which menu item the house recommends, he will shrug his shoulders non-committally and say “we're pretty neutral”.

Ba ha ha ha ha! Remember, you only have until Saturday to join in with this hilarious lazy stereotyping yourself, before Pure reverts to business as usual. I've yet to visit the place myself, so have refrained from making the sort of snide comment which would normally have finished this blogpost off nicely. By all accounts the food is good, the staff are nice and its ongoing success in an obviously challenging location is testament to the quality of the restaurant. But where's the comedy in that?