Saturday, 17 October 2009

Mellow fruitfulness

More interesting things happen to me in, or in relation to, Bristol than I have any right to expect. On Wednesday I met Lulu Labonne for lunch (very good smoked salmon, very, er, experimental fruit salad, my responsibility). In the East Village she would be unremarked, in Bristol her black on black was deeply ironic, as is she. Her shopping included a green anti-personnel device that she claimed was a vegetable, but there are more edible-looking things in the Horrible Mediaeval Weapons section at the V&A.

The next evening Mrs Pouncer ("Clarissa darling") met me in the Isambard, the Paddington station pub. Frankly, the place wasn't good enough.

"Vodka and vermouth please".

"Sorry, we don't do mixed drinks".

"But this is a pub isn't it?"

"Yes, but we don't do mixed drinks, they're separate franchises."

Trust me, nothing on this blog is invented, it's all true. (Well, not quite, I invented Carla Bruni, but Sarkozy is real, he's a horrible little psychopath.)

So we moved on to dinner.

"It's got to be kosher."

"OK, there's a Chinese restaurant, Chinese food is kosher isn't it?"

I've long chosen to believe this, maybe I got it from Calvin Trillin, and have taught it to my daughter. Even sweet barbecued pork buns are kosher in a Chinese restaurant, there's a Talmudic dispensation or something.

"For god's sake Inky, they used rectified lard."

So we went Indian ("they're kosher").


Chickie said...

Mixed drinks are separate franchises? So thankful that my bar missed that memo.

inkspot said...

Chickie, life in the UK consists more and more of obeying idiotic and misunderstood regulations. The strange thing is that it's the immigrants (the bar staff were Latvian I think, it took ages to convey the concept of vermouth) who take the greatest delight in enforcing the rules.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Good grief, Inky, you have been getting around! I don't think my wallet could bear a day out with Mrs Pouncer though. Please give the ladies my regards if you see them again. If you boil things they're kosher, aren't they? Or did I dream that.

Gyppo Byard said...

Next time, go Indonesian. They're halal, so unless you order anything with prawns it's kosher to all except the strictest Orthodox types.

Lulu LaBonne said...

It was marvellous smoked salmon Inky, but that fruit salad got me into big trouble - police stopped me on my way home and I failed their breathalyser test, I'm now accused of being in charge of a dangerous vegetable while in an unfit state.

I didn't know black was ironic - when did that rule come in?

nursemyra said...

"rectified lard" is that lard that's used to lubricate a dry rectum?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Congrats, Inky! There are a couple of caffs near our workplace that are so stingy the bacon butties are kosher.

inkspot said...

Gadj, no, kosher food just tastes boiled. Ba-dum tish.

Gyppo, be honest now, is that any truer than Chinese food being kosher? I'm not sure this blog can stand a reputation for reliable information.

Lulu, I'm surprised only that you got away with saying that thing was a vegetable.

Nurse, I'm no longer sure I want to end up at the Gimcrack.

Kevin, I've had those butties too.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

There are some Chinese restaurants approved by the Beth Din of France on the Rue du Faubourg Montmartre in Paris. There must be some in Golders Green. Mrs Pouncer is getting about a bit isn't she?

inkspot said...

Daphne, so Chinese food is kosher?! I knew it, I knew it! But does Clarissa? Someone must tell her, now, there is not a moment to lose.

Lulu, I forgot the black bit: black is not ironic per se, but East Village black on black, worn by you, in Bristol, is ironic, deffo, deeply ironic.

Lulu LaBonne said...

It wasn't the romanescu that the police took exception to it was the cavalo nero - they assumed it was for my fetish work (they've picked me up before in other circumstances)

Come to think of it the police are used to seeing me in black leather too and have never remaked on how East Village I was looking.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I meant 'remarked' obviously

Gyppo Byard said...

Si Inky - The vast majority of Indonesians follow most halal rules (the one about alcohol is considered a bit of a grey area); ergo on both the avoidance of pork and the method of slaughter it's kind of kosher if you squint hard enough.

Like I said, as long as you avoid seafood without fins and scales, you should be able to square it with a reasonably flexible rabbi.

The Chinese luuuuuuuurve their pork, and put it in everything, including the desserts and the jasmine tea. The only kosher rule you can depend on with Chinese cuisine is the one about dairy and meat in the same meal, since they don't use dairy at all.

savannah said...

i read it as iconic at first, but then i'm in the states, the deep south, for sure, sugar, but even here there is a sense of fashion. xoxox
(came via lulu's)

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Ah well Gyppo has found the answer, a kosher kitchen must have separate areas for dairy and meat, so if they don't do dairy, and they don't have pork on the menu, I think in France they substitute veal.

Kung hey mazel tov.

BEAST said...

Thank the lord I am a non aligned omnivore , all this bother to get some grub

syncopated eyeball said...

Well, I am impressed, I must say: you read The New York Review of Books AND you've had lunch with Lulu LaBonne!