Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: Everyone's a critic,

    Ok it's Monday already and still no review of the Brown visit to The Grove - don't make me get on twitter...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Random Play: Police. Security. Screams.…,

    He is being educated by tutor

    Yeah right

    I did listen to the piece which is why I know he looked at the written question. Sure he could just have been flustered, him not being used to being interviewed and all, or he could just be a kid who knows very little beyond his focus.

    Setting that aside, I get why the teen idols have an expiry date I mean what self respecting 13 year old consider 18 year olds as nearly dead.

    The question is why do 13 year olds need idols/heroes that have to be adulated en masse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Random Play: Police. Security. Screams.…,

    What fascinates me about the Beiber thing is that it really seems as though every 3-5 years there has to be a new pre-teen idol for 13 year olds (and sorry it isn't just girls) to scream about.

    What is it about that age that requires some kind of mass hero to worship.

    And as for his not recognising "German" - well he did look at the the written question so one presumes that he really just doesn't know - not surprising since he's spent the best part of the last two years out of school.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everyone's a critic,

    Nice show last night and one comment by Graham struck a chord. He said (paraphrasing) that he'd been told by some folks that anything he liked they hated and anything he hated they liked. Hence he was doing his job since his reviews were still helping them make choices.

    We do a lot of wine tasting and I've read a lot of wine reviews. One thing I learnt early on was to find a wine writer whose palate matched mine. Everyone tastes wine differently and everyone likes different things in wine so it makes sense that not every wine reviewer is going to like the same wines you like. For me it was Michael Cooper who I know that if he likes something I probably will too, for Bob Campbell I know it's pretty random.

    So as long as the reviewer is honest and consistent the reviews are useful. Which I guess has been my problem with restaurant reviews in the major NZ mags - they've never been consistent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everyone's a critic,

    I found Meredith's to be too fussy

    I know what you mean. Meredith's is food taken to the extreme. It most definitely is not homely fare. It is very fussy and if any of the food looks remotely like what it did when it came out of the soil or sea then I'd be amazed and definitely check to make sure Mr Meredith is actually in the kitchen.

    But it does taste amazing and the service is superb - at that price it has to be. It's an experience and a very special occasion (unless you make stupid amounts of money) and the food won't please everyone but that isn't the point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: British American Tobacco,…,

    Jeez Keith you have to remember you're blogger. Stick to the unsubstantiated opinion.

    All those facts and relevant links make you start to look like a journalist.

    Keep this up and people will start to take you seriously.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everyone's a critic,

    Just have to comment about our restaurant experiences and reviews.

    First up our meal at The Grove a couple of months ago was spectacular. We'd eaten there about 4 years ago and been left cold, partly we weren't in the right mood and partly the menu was complex, as were the dishes, but they just didn't work when you ate them. But our last visit was a whole other experience, out of the six dishes plus veges there wasn't a single plate that was anything less than very special, and some combinations were astounding. For us one measure of a really top restaurant is when all the plates have received the best care from the chef including the veges. The Grove is certainly top by that measure. Combine that with very good service and an excellent wine list and the way your wallet is getting lighter just doesn't seem to be a problem at all.

    There are a couple of other top restaurants (expensive) that meet those standards, Meredith's, Cibo, O'Connell St Bistro and Molten are favourites for us. Molten for a weekend lunch is a great experience, the food is just as good but it's much more relaxed and there is something truly decadent about a restaurant lunch :).

    But some others that get reviews to die for have left us cold. The French Cafe is expensive enough to need to be perfect and it isn't. We sat waiting 15 minutes to get a menu on one anniversary. And at those prices getting a dish that is merely ok is kinda disappointing. The Engine room was good but by no means great and left us wondering why all the fuss.

    Other restaurants seem to have one good chef and average help which means your main dish might be really good but not much else is better than average and some places (Hammerheads several years ago) fall apart when the chef has the night off, everything was either undercooked or overcooked.

    In contrast, there are some gems that never get a mention, Banzai on Dominion road is amazing. Their sushi and sashimi has completely spoiled me and the people there are lovely. But be aware that dishes come when they are ready so it's entirely possible for one person to finish before another has even started if you have a bigger group.

    The other thing I've found is you really have to learn to read reviews very carefully. We've been fooled a few times by Cuisine reviews that make a place sound good only to discover after the fact that faint praise means the food is awful. That just pisses me off, to me the job of a reviewer is to allow you to avoid bad experiences and spend your money where you really will get good food and service. It seems that in the review industry that isn't the way they work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Climate science and the media,

    God set it all in motion, and He's not going to let humans wreck His planet.

    Unless of course this is the control planet and he is only going to intervene in the other Earth.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: The Problem With Religion,

    I love Top Gear. Of course, I partially watch it because Richard is so lickably gorgeous. Your excuse is probably different. Cars or something.

    Fast lovely cars - the skits with caravans and old dungers not so much. And nothing about licking, you're right.

    nah yobbos doing stupid stuff is what keeps me watching.

    ------
    Religious folks I can handle - so long as it keeps them happy it's fine by me. Like most folk there as some nice people and some not so nice.

    Religion, however is a political entity full of corrupt evil buggers (or buggerers).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Climate science and the media,

    Regarding failures.

    Professor Gluckman made that point as well. We need to stop demanding every project succeed. Failure should be expected and accepted if you are doing high risk work. If you never fail you probably aren't trying hard enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

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