Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: The Letter, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So a politician who goes on holiday is on a junket? I see.

    If he pays for it himself it's a holiday. If work pays for it and he does work then it's a business trip. If some businessman pays for it and he does no apparent govt business on the trip it's a junket. If work pays for it and he does only a token amount of work on the trip it's a junket.

    Bear in mind please that as a minister of the crown and a representative of the public of NZ it is expected that you operate under higher standards of propriety not lower standards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Letter,

    A couple of things strike me about all this. First is our media seem to have no sense of proportion, electorate MPs actually should be a legitimate port-of-call for people struggling with government bureaucracy. This letter is nothing. However, Rick Barker's junket is actually a story worth telling.

    Second is that it seems to me that Mr Liu is not someone who (in hindsight) should have been allowed to immigrate.

    Third our representatives in all parties need a strong reminder that the public of New Zealand does not pay them their salary so they can go on corrupt junkets and abuse their position to generate party funds. Seriously, there appears to have been a shift in understanding of what is acceptable in terms of corruption down at parliament.

    There would also seem to be a story worth telling about just how National is getting inside information on Labour Party activities.

    And the politicians wonder why we can't work up the energy to even vote any more - when they all behave like this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to llew40,

    Went to Masu last weekend, the food was divine, but the service let us down.

    My experience was much the same, except of the 6 dishes we had, only two could be described as divine, the other four were OK. But the service and atmosphere made the evening one I will remember for all the wrong reasons.

    This is one of the reasons I work hard to correlate the review data. Sometimes it's only by reading between the lines on three or more reviews can you figure out that the amazing new restaurant venture of the celebrity chef of the month is actually kinda average.

    And while I understand the economics of trying to get two seatings per table, perhaps these restaurants could consider the effect on repeat business and more importantly the word of mouth value of letting a customer sit for 15 minutes more and leave of their own accord.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sectarian Bloodlust 2.0,

    What I find sad, ironic and ultimately a bit terrifying is that the terrorists are using the height of modern technology and science to extend a culture that promotes and glorifies ignorance.

    And no I'm not saying that all of the sects have such an agenda, just the ones committing the obscene violence in Arabia and Africa.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    ever so slightly “snobby” about food sounds right in Cuisine’s demo.

    That's a little harsh, but if you look at the advertising in the front five pages, you'd have to say it's probably fair that Cuisine magazine makes their money from folks closer to the 1%.

    But I don't think that's why they review the way they do. The problem with ranking restaurants is that for reviewers who eat out a lot - it takes something special to impress them. And it's worse for the top ranked restaurants because they will be visited two or three times by different reviewers and any misstep will drop them out of the running. There are very few cheap and cheerful restaurants that maintain that consistency.

    There is another problem that isn't anything to do with the reviewers and is everything to do with the restaurants themselves. A lot of neat places to eat, with a couple of great dishes, make the mistake of having everything on the menu. If you have 30 different main courses on the menu it is unlikely they will all be your best work. If you look at the restaurants on the list they all have compact menus, things they know they can cook really well every time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to B Jones,

    Can we have some Wellington representation here?

    Absolutely. But not from me. My go to source for info on wtgn restaurants is Cuisine. And seriously I get to the capital maybe once every 5 years so how am I going to know.

    So have at it, how do you track down the best dinner in Wellington?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It definitely does happen.

    This is so true. And it's a real problem for the restaurants trying to hit the highs and impress fussy reviewers or fussy scientists.

    We recently took my father-in-law to The French cafe. It was the third time we'd been in 5 years and to be honest for me it was their last chance. Yeah the restaurant in Auckland that has perhaps set the standard for excellence was on it's last chance for me. The dinner we had was amazing and the experience lived up to all the reviews. But prior to that we had two disappointing experiences, good dishes at great prices and even sitting unattended for 20 minutes without menus!

    That's the problem with top end restaurants - your expectations are very high - as they should be because dammit you are paying through the nose. Nobody really minds if the server at a cheap and cheerful place doesn't know what's on the menu or your dinner arrives 10 minutes after everyones else's (well not really, I do mind, but I'm fussy).

    I've loved every dinner I've had at Clooney's, two with in-laws and one fantastic winemaker's dinner and I'll go again. But for a place like Clooney's there is no room for Russell to get bad service and even less for the owner to not be deeply apologetic (honestly what does it cost to apologise?).

    For many folks a dinner at some of these restaurants is a once in a long time experience - anything that sours that is really inexcusable. It's one of the reasons I loved Bowman's, the service was always amazing, you felt cared for throughout the dinner. It is getting better but I think seeing service as part of the package is still a problem in Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: A scientist researches restaurants, in reply to linger,

    the Cuisine list seems largely a waste of time

    Except that it’s a different set of reviewers coming to roughly the same conclusion. Also you get two reviews written by different people and that can help a huge amount when trying to figure out if you’ll actually enjoy eating there.

    Also the cuisine list eliminates about half of the metro list, for good or ill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Dropping the A-Bomb, in reply to Sacha,

    The last five words of that! Always!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Dropping the A-Bomb, in reply to BenWilson,

    Hilary seems to have feelings about that which are hard to express.

    She is not the only person. The thoughts and emotions around these issues are not easy. And that's made even harder in the written word where tone of voice and the nod of the head are lost.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

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