Thursday, September 17, 2009

Angasi, Binalong Bay, Tasmania

The internet is a brilliant tool for lovers of good food, especially when on holidays. A recent holiday in Tasmania took us to a beautiful place called Binalong Bay on the North East coast. This is an area known for it's amazingly clear water and bright red/orange rocks in an area appropriately named Bay of Fires.
When searching the internet for somewhere to have dinner around Binalong Bay, the same name kept popping up, again and again- Angasi Restaurant.
Named after a type of oyster, Angasi is apparently one of the best places to eat in Tasmania. Well, so they say. A quick browse of their website, we noticed that they do breakfast as well as dinner. Considering it seemed quite pricey for dinner, we thought we'd check it out for breakfast and make sure it was up to scratch before lashing out the big bucks for dinner.

We sat out on the balcony, which has a simpy amazing view over Binalong Bay- probably one of the best views i've seen from a restaurant, ever! Even if the food is terrible, at least we had a nice view.

Em' and I both ordered the Angasi Breakky, which consists of eggs, bacon, tomato relish and sourdough - pretty standard breakfast fare. The meal itself was also very standard. The bread was toasted solid and difficult to chew, even with your back teeth! The poached eggs were stringy and average, the bacon was ok, but nothing special there. Nothing on the plate was inspiring me to come back for dinner, but we were still open minded about dinner.

That was until we heard a conversation between the waiter and a customer. There was a table of 3 girls and 3 guys, sitting just behind us. The guys all ordered fried eggs, the girls all ordered poached. The waiter served the 3 guys their scrambled eggs and 2 of the girls their poached eggs. He then spoke to the third girl who had not been served her breakfast - it went a little something like this:
Waiter: "Would you mind if your eggs were fried, instead of poached?"
Customer: "Why's that?"
Waiter: "The chef is just having trouble poaching your eggs, he keeps trying but they just won't poach. You know when the eggs JUST WON'T POACH? It's one of those days."
Customer: "Umm... Ok, I'll guess I'll just have fried eggs then.

The customer then waited another 10 minutes for her fried egg, while her other breakfast companions finished their meal. What the hell??? How can a chef not be able to poach an egg? Fair enough you might stuff up an egg or two, but you can get it right eventually. How can you just go back to a customer and tell them that the chef can't poach your eggs - yet he managed to poach the eggs for the other two customers on your table?? That is terrible!

Needless to say, after hearing that, we didn't go back for dinner. My recommendation- if you're in Binalong Bay, cook your own breakfast or head into St Helens to one of the cafes there.


John said...

Eggs just won't poach!... that's a ripper.... I mean c'mon I'm no expert chef (far from it in fact) but I can always poach an egg!

Jess said...

That is hilarious. Yes, I have disobedient eggs. I would have hated to be that waiter, feeling like such a douche.

Nick said...

Hi Mate! Enjoying your blog! The photos look GREAT, shame about the fare, and I SO agree... that poor waiter!

Iron Chef Shellie said...

Off to Tasmania next weekend... I will be sure not to eat here!!

Gorgeous photos though =)

Anonymous said...

sounds like the same ol tassie story! sold as a food destination.....bullshit!

i moved there based on that propaganda!

it's a shame having to always talk about the potential of the place.


Anonymous said...

have you ever brought eggs which dont have the right proiten levels?
it makes them exremely hard to poach properly..and obviously you arent aware of the fault when you buy the eggs, so its just something you have to deal with.
what's wrong with honesty in a restaurant...i'd much rather have a better product even if it wasnt what i ordered.
perhaps you should stay at home and cook breakfast.

Adski said...

Thanks for the comment anonymous. Firstly, I'd like to point out that it's interesting that comments like your's always come from an 'anonynmous' person.
You'd actually be quite suprised about eggs and how much I know about them and cooking them.
The only eggs I've EVER had problems with poaching were OLD eggs. As a majority of the eggs we use come from local farms and farmers markets and I know exactly how old they are and when possible what chickens they come from. Many of my friends live in rural towns and are able to provide me with brilliant bright orange, rich, fresh, free range eggs.
I would have assumed that one of the best (apparently) restaurants on the east coast of Tasmania would adhere to the same quality levels and not use old eggs. (that said, I don't know if their eggs are old, but that's the only time I've ever had trouble poaching eggs)
Do all their eggs come from the same chicken? That customer must have gotten very unlucky for the chef to only choose eggs from that certain chicken with "protein" problems for her meal. Whereas the rest of the customers' eggs were poached without a problem. If they are having problems with the protein levels of their eggs, I know I would change suppliers, as it would be obvious that the chickens are not being fed the correct food to produce good quality eggs. Something that you would think be crucial in such a top notch (apparently) restaurant. As eggs are used in so many parts of cooking - obviously not just breakfast.
There is nothing wrong with honesty in a restaurant, I think honesty between a restaurant and it's customers is paramount for the restaurant to be successful. However don't you think it's strange that they poached everyone else's eggs ok, but just not that one? It's very strange to me.
If you look at the photo I posted of my egg, the whites are very stringy and spindly, which instantly says to me (please someone correct me if I'm wrong)that the egg was probably older and the proteins in the egg white were no longer holding together like a fresh egg would, making them spindly. Even then, if it was me, I would have trimmed those whispy strands from the egg. Such a top (apparently) restaurant would pride themselves on presentation, would they not?
I'd rather have a better product, even if it wasn't what I ordered, also. That makes me wonder why I wasn't offered better bacon, bread that I didnt fear would break my teeth or a prettier looking egg than I was.
I do stay at home quite often and cook breakfast Anonymous. But occassionally I like to go out and pay these people that are called professionals to cook me breakfast, because you would think that since they're paid to do it, could poach an egg. I guess that always isn't the case.

John said...

stringy poach = no vinegar and too much of a rolling boil perhaps?

...and don't tell me you don't use vinegar ;)

Adski said...

Hey John,
Sure! You could attribute stringy poached eggs to using no vinegar. However, when I have eggs that I know are very, very fresh, you don't need vinegar at all. The whites hold together pretty well themselves when they are fresh.

jen said...

Lol. damn eggs. What a useless chef!!! And Anonymous..... Your an idiot!! Who cares about protein levels or whatever.