Saturday, December 06, 2003

Christmas treats

About a year ago, a female friend of mine mentioned in some context that she had never eaten oysters. I promised her that I would buy her some oysters some time. In Australia, you can buy a dozen fresh oysters inexpensively from any supermarket, but in Britain it is somewhat harder. There are one or two posh oyster bars in various places, and there are no doubt fancy fish shops that sell them, but they are not a common foodstuff. Having mentioned this a couple of times in the last year, I finally decided that I would take her to the Oyster and Champagne bar in Selfridges (the old posh Victorian London department store which is not Harrods) as a Christmas treat. So, we went there at lunchtime yesterday.

I was thinking that we would get a dozen oysters to share and a glass of champagne each, but despite my friend's curiousity she thought that oysters looked kind of gooey, and that we should have just a few and something else as well. (If she had eaten one oyster and not liked it, I would have eaten the other eleven with no difficulty, but that perhaps wouldn't have ended up being consistent with the fact that I was treating her). So we ended up having a seafood platter for two, with some lobster, smoked Scottish wild salmon, crab, prawns etc. It is kind of weird to be eating this sort of thing in London, because here it is kind of exotic. (In Sydney I recall on one or two occasions getting a taxi with several colleagues from the office to the Sydney fish market, eating prawns and oysters and tuna and you know what for a Friday afternoon lunch, and then getting a taxi back to the office and (at least theoretically) getting some more work done. And it didn't even cost much).

And of course we had a slightly stroppy Frenchman serving us. This was a necessary part of the experience, somehow.

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