Sunday, 11 December 2011

Review - Liaison

I HATE PUBLIC TRANSPORT. I was making a brief trip to Oxford because some shoes I exchanged had been sent there, but, more importantly, staying in Birmingham for too long makes me want to pluck all of my eyelashes out and wait for them to grow back. (My dad said he knew someone who did that around the time of his final exams because when they grow back they're initially spiky so it hurts to close your eyelids so you can't sleep.) No big deal - it's only an hour on the train. Apparently not. Halfway into the journey into town, the train stopped because of a signalling error. The driver was very apologetic and said he thought it would be fixed soon. It wasn't. Oh and I really needed to pee and the train toilet was broken. And it was pouring down with rain outside. And I had only a £20 note. (This is relevant because the stupid buses in the West Midlands don't give change.) This configuration of unfortunate circumstances led to me making two new friends. A less-than-reputable-seeming mechanic who let me use the bathroom in his house and a schoolgirl who lent me a pound. And then I felt old because to qualify for child fare, I had to pretend to be born in '97. 1997! And this all happened just in getting to Birmingham. When I got there, it transpired that ALL trains were cancelled or severely delayed. Well, almost all. I managed to get the last train leaving Moor Street because I'm tricksy. On the other side was waiting dinner with a friend. She fancied something from the Far East. Instead of sticking to something tried and tested and close by such as Chiang Mai or Shanghai 30s, I suggested we go to a slightly cheaper place which I'd spied on the way to the train station called Liaison. My friend liked the name. We decided to order from the 'home dishes' page of the menu since we thought they'd be better. I don't know if this was a fair judgment since we didn't order anything from the rest of the menu. Lamb clay pot and Vegetables with Mixed Fish and Seafood Balls.
Mine (the lamb) sounded more appetising but it was definitely the inferior dish. As dubious as my friend may have been by the appearance of unidentified meat/fish balls, there's no denying that they tasted good. They were tender and delicately spiced and provided a firm texture to off-set the almost too wateriness of the vegetables. The lamb clay pot, on the other hand, tasted of little but salt. At the first mouthful, I thought 'heavy handed with the salt but not too bad'. This opinion depreciated rapidly. The pieces of lamb were still soft and nicely cooked. I think if I'd been able to taste it, I would've liked it. Unfortunately all I could taste was salt. Particularly unpleasant was biting into a piece of aubergine and being squirted with hot, salty water. I wasn't in the market for disinfectant, just for a nice Chinese supper.

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