After the boy and I decided on a date for Wednesday night, I met him to discover that he had (unintentionally mistakenly) thought that our one year Anniversary was in fact this week. Although I was quick to rag on him a bit about 'forgetting', it was pointed out to me that although I may go by the actual solid date, he was more about "celebrating our time together as a couple. I thought that was the point of an anniversary.". Um, yes, but dates matter. Particular dates. ESPECIALLY Anniversary dates, to the actual day.
We bickered (playfully - we do it a lot) all the way downtown in search of a nice dinner place before our movie at Melbourne Central. Being the indecisive couple we are, I decided to take charge and took him to Camy's Shanghai Noodle & Dumpling to introduce him to the wonderful world of dumplings, and in my opinion, some of the best Chinese food around. Plus it's a cheap satisfying feed. When we got there, the expected out-the-door-line was firmly in place. Not willing to hang around and wait (again, his call, not mine - can you see the pattern of blaming him for everything tonight? It only gets better), we walked the 5 feet to Gaylord Indian Restaurant.
It is impossible to miss the decor in this place as soon as you walk in the door. I think the best way to describe it is kitsch. Nonetheless, I'm all for the kitsch. The more outdated and slightly tacky the decor, the more character it adds to a place. The walls were brightly coloured, there were brass elephants and fairy lights and plastic flowers galore. It gave me a whole "it's cute, but..." feeling, and I only hoped that this was one of those places where people go because the food is so great that the owners didn't have time to modernise their restaurant. There were only a few tables occupied in quite a large restaurant area when we arrived, but the arrival of a party of 20 Indians a few minutes later was a bit more reassuring. After all, if the locals are eating there, it must be good, right?
We were served a basket of pappadums the instant we sat down, although the water arrived 20 minutes later, and only after asking 3 separate waiters - and, might I add, after the food arrived. After a short perusal, A decided on lamb vindaloo and shish kebabs while I went with a dish whose name I can't remember, but was eggplant cooked with tomato, ginger and peas. Naan and saffron rice were ordered as accompaniments.
The food arrived literally 5 minutes after we'd ordered, piping hot and filling the air with smells of spices and cooked meat. The shish kebab was apparently nothing too exciting, as was the lamb vindaloo. I tasted some of the sauce, and it was OK; not bad, not great, not too spicy, not too un-spicy either. I found myself using the vindaloo sauce as a dip for naan towards the end of the meal in an eating-absentmindedly kind of way, but I suspect this was because I wasn't really thinking about it as opposed to the dish being fantastic. My eggplant dish was nice, although it seemed like all the ingredients were simply cut up and cooked together into a mush without having the flavours and textures meld together. It was pleasant enough, but again, not fantastic. The best part of the meal was the naan - steaming hot, crispy in the middle and thick and chewy towards the outside.
Just as I had decided to write off our dinner at Gaylord as an experience, but never to be repeated, A told me quite frantically that he wasn't feeling too hot and dashed off to the bathroom. 20 minutes later, he reemerged with a slightly queasy look on his face, but determined to sit through our movie. Fair enough. Half way through Sunshine, he then disappeared for another 20 minutes. After we decided to head our separate ways home, he messaged me later to tell me that his dinner had come back up, but at least we got to spend the time together tonight. Sweet, but indigestion isn't really what I'd had planned for our Anniversary. Lucky I'm only counting it as a normal date.
Gaylord Indian Restaurant
4 Tattersalls Lane