It has finally happened. We’ve lost our mojo. It’s gone. Buggered off. Wandered off into the dusk, last seen slithering through the grating of a King Street storm water inlet, no doubt well on its way through the ancient root clogged pipes to Rozelle Bay along with an assortment of plastic bottles, used condoms and inner-west staffy turds. Come back you chicken-hearted bastard, we’re only a quarter of the way to St Peters, you can’t quit now.
I knew we were in trouble when Strop didn’t set to immediately checking in with Facebook (I know I hate Facebook too, but I think Strop owns shares). This is a ritual that I have complained about many times on our past outings but now I miss it, now I realise that it was the pulse of our mojo. Without that little throbber we’re just a rudderless agglomeration of appetites adrift on a sea of cheap eats. No purpose, no direction.
The second bad sign was Strop questioning me taking notes on my phone. “What are you doing?” she asked. I look at her, not sure what she means. I look down at the notes I am tapping laboriously into Evernote (rather than writing in a Moleskine notebook because it is more socially acceptable to be a bore with an iDevice than it is with paper and pen). What can she mean? This is what I do. Desperately take notes, in the hope that some of the Friday night King Street mundanery can be turned into Saturday morning blog-wittery (fuck-witterings?). She be’s all entertaining, I be note taking. Surely she understands this break down of labour by now. Surely she doesn’t want me to talk as well.
Ok, I am blathering here. In a panic, trying to rescue last night’s mojo-less debacle. Better get back to the story, stick to the facts.
6pm on Friday night. 194 King Street. Dumpling King Chinese Restaurant. It was an early start, still light out, but cooling rapidly. The evening buses were growling and farting on their way out of the city, as I turned up the collar of my jacket against the wind and stubbed out my Winfield Blue. She was late…
Sorry – no idea where that was going (Do they still sell Winfield Blues? I gave up smoking in 1979, maybe they’re called Gangrenous Greens now). Back to dinner. We are starting early because tonight’s eating adventure is just a precursor to a night of scintillating wit courtesy of Mr Wil Anderson’s show at the Enmore. It starts at 7:30 so we need to get a wriggle on. To my surprise, we are joined tonight by the Stropolina who is not coming to the show and has been suffering from a bout of gastro all week. She is sloshing with artificial electrolytes to stave off dehydration, so I’m not sure that going toe-to-toe with a King Street Chinese is the wisest move, but I think I lost my right to give that kind of advice when she turned 25.
As has probably become clear by now, Strop and I are quite literal in our interpretations, and the Stropolina is the fruit of our loins, so there was a fair bit of consternation when it becomes apparent that Dumpling King serves dishes other than dumplings. Consternation turns to outrage when the menu claims that the signature dish of Dumpling King is Sang Choi Bao. I’m sorry, what?
We are nothing if not bloody minded – so we ignore the lettuce leaves, and all the other offerings and stick with dumplings. Pork and chive dumplings steamed, and prawn dumplings fried. And some simple steamed veges for the poor Stropolina’s battered belly. The food is good. Not brilliant, but good (this is King Street after all not Enmore Road), but the service is… uninvolved might be the best term. There are plenty of them, but they do seem to spend a lot of time milling around the counter, pointing at the order dockets. Several tables around us were getting huffy due to a lack of menus, or drinks, or wine glasses. Dumpling King does seem to regard itself as a bit of a phenomenon (you can buy a tee shirt emblazoned with “I ♡ Dumpling King” for a mere $15) and by the time we left for the theatre it was packed with punters. Maybe they know something we don’t. We weren’t terribly impressed, but I think our mojo-free status may have meant that we didn’t really give them a a fair shake.
We were impressed by Wil Anderson though. Very funny. I was also impressed by the young woman sitting next to me who sounded as if she was going to laugh up a lung when Anderson turned his attention to the inevitable causative correlation between gay marriage and sex with animals.
Some Indian joint is next.