When I finally got around to looking at the menu, the vague feeling that I had somehow veered into a cartoon was confirmed. Specifically a Simpson’s cartoon. Nearly every entree featured bacon as a headline ingredient. Homer would truly be at home in this part of Newtown. And not just because of the bacon, there is something cartoony about the decor as well, though I suppose it’s more The Phantom than Springfield. There is lots of bamboo, palms, and bits of thatched roofing, and even a jungle waterfall on the way to the loos. I half expected to find Devil and Hero waiting for me when I made my way back to our table.
I think I need to be clear here, all this is a good thing. The Amazon Steakhouse is fun – as long as you like grilled meat and curly fries. And bacon. And seriously, who doesn’t? (Actually given that we are in Newtown it is a wonder that Amazon is not under constant pickettage by some radical vegan-rights collective).
Tonight we are being joined by our nephew and erstwhile house-mate, Kiof, but blow me down, before he arrives via a tardy 370 bus, who do we bump into but Linda and Sue, of Buzzzbar notoriety, AND an old Canberra mate (“haven’t seen you for years!”), Fiona. They just happened to be (stalking) in the neighbourhood (I strongly suspect cocktails at Bloodwood) and thought, “that Painting The Bridge mob are probably around here somewhere” and so we were. Ha.
Once I had got past ogling the decor, the main item of note at our table was the size of the knives. They are enormous, and they really set the tone. Even if you hadn’t been tipped off by the ‘Steakhouse’ moniker, the cutlery would clue you in that this is no place for vegetarians. The knives said loud and clear that this was a place that expected you to eat meat, and probably kill it yourself as well.
Beer. We ordered some of those. Strop did provide some token resistance to Kiof’s and my bacon-based entree strategy, but we wore her down, and ordered mushrooms and bacon, and curly fries and bacon. Homer would have been proud. For mains I opted for mixed life forms impaled on sharp bits of metal, while Strop and Kiof went for the rib cages of sheep and pigs. Yumm (I expect the vegetarians will have stopped reading by now).
When the entrees arrived they were huge (I expect there is some logical ecological link between entree size and the biodiversity of the decor). They were meal-sized so it was just as well we had only ordered two dishes to share, we didn’t want to gorge on too many bacon-based starters, and not leave room for the meaty things that were making the mouth-watering smells emanating from the kitchen. Despite their size, the entrees didn’t stand a chance against us. We didn’t even have to use the knives, we were saving those for the mains.
When the mains arrived it was clear that I had won. My food came on a gibbet. Dead things swinging gently in the breeze, with greasy bodily fluids dripping out onto a bed of fried onions. The rib cages couldn’t compete, even if they did come with delicious mash, or curly fries.
I think I had better stop this particular line of macabre wankery now – I’m starting to make myself feel queasy.
Amazon is is a fun place with a good atmosphere, and it seems to be fairly popular. It is starting to get a bit tatty around the edges, particularly the menus, but the food was good: simple and well cooked. The waiters know what they’re doing, they’re relaxed and professional, although the two of them were kept pretty busy later on as the place filled up largish group tables.
We decided that we were going to have to walk off our entrees and mains before we had any chance of fitting in some dessert. As we stepped onto the footpath we bumped straight into some other old Questees, Amanda and Michael, last seen way back at the Vanguard. They said they definitely weren’t stalking us, they just happened to be passing, on their way home after checking out a new Turkish joint, a little further on.
Sure, sure, tell it to someone that believes in coincidences, I thought as I ground my cigarette into the pavement and pulled up the collar on my raincoat. “C’mon kids, we’ve got a date with a gelato,” I said, as we walked off arm in arm, into the glare of headlights.
I’d like to leave you with a slightly different image of Newtown. The discount store window display is continually reaching new heights of bizarro – I give you:
Chihuahua riding scooter, with backpack, and bubble-wrapped bone.