Thursday, September 04, 2008

oh my! viva m’bomma

I’ve haven’t laughed so hard for a very long time.

The meltons were in town enroute to watching the F1 in Spa – beer and steak were in order. I did text them asking if they would eat fish, but they are after all antipodeans. As I trekked over to grand place to meet them after work, I remembered why I hate wearing shoes – they impede my ability to think and they’re a health hazard – those dang heels kept getting stuck in the crevices of the cobbled streets. Mr melton gave a running commentary of the high heels sprint race in Sydney recently. That man is a font of knowledge. I found a write up on the telegraph online – the attached footage is really quite entertaining – watch it

We had time to kill before dinner, and so, a couple of beers at l’archiduc where I was accused of drinking girlie beer because i had ordered a strawberry beer. We somehow also managed to come up with the first draft of a potential best man speech for a mate back in london. All very productive stuff. A short ramen-related diversion later, we found ourselves at viva m’bomma where we were ready to eat some serious meat.

Viva m’bomma came with high recommendations from the secretary at bigbankbrussels. Go if you like meat, she said, they do all sorts of really Belgian stuff, including all the insides as she clutched vaguely at where her liver was, as if to drive home the point. I probably zoned out somewhere at the point she said “meat”. Mmm. Meat.

Upon entering Viva m’bomma, we were greeted by a rather large pig. mr melton took a picture with the pig.

A chalkboard of the daily specials were brought out and translated.

“carpaccio of (something) of (something) with smoked (something)” said the very polite young waiter. I stopped listening at carpaccio. Mrs melton ordered this, and because we thought we heard the word ‘boeuf somewhere in that sentence, we assumed. It was wrong to assume, especially in a restaurant that was the Belgian version of st john’s. the daily specials included veal tongue, grilled bone marrow served with speculoos. The regular menu had calves brains in two preparations. We were getting a bit nervous. Mrs melton needed a little convincing that Stoemp was really quite harmless - plain, albeit extremely tasty mash with vegetables, served with bacon and/or sausages. bangers and mash in other words. she eyed me suspiciously.

i started with snails in an extremely garlicy cream sauce, with lashings of rocket and baby potatoes. the rocket was extremely peppery against the earthiness of the snails. tasty. i'm just glad i didn't get mrs melton's carpaccio. it actually wasn't all that bad - it tasted like chicken ham and came with a nice looking drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a tomato salad of sorts. it just didn't look like the raw beef slices we were expecting.

the very nice waiter was summoned and called to account for what exactly lay on the plate. "i told you - it's carpaccio of 'hudder'". 'hudder'? he started miming the milking action of a cow. ah right. carpaccio of udder. he must have seen our faces turn green while across the room, a couple mimed again the milking action of a cow and laughed. it was quite surreal.

the stoemp was fortunately just stoemp and not some offal related interpretation thereof. it was delicious - velvety mash infused with large oozy tracts of carrot, very tasty sausages and strips of bacon. mr melton and i went for vol au vent with chicken - a pastry cup overflowing with chicken chunks, mushrooms, meatballs and a very creamy sauce. all very comforting hearty carnivorous fare.

Post dinner, we schlepped back in the general direction of grand place when we heard a sudden, but very civilized exclamation: “oh my!”. A comically gruesome window display in a video rental store of a man being very bloodily sawed in half had been a somewhat shocking sight to mrs melton who both had jumped and exclaimed in shock in very civilized measures. Her reaction was completely unexpected and rather out of character. Mr melton and I spilled our guts on the pavement laughing so hard we got tummy aches. We spent the rest of the evening exclaiming “oh my” at everything however inappropriate or unwarranted to the chagrin of mrs melton. A tad juvenile of us perhaps. But you had to be there. it was udderly hilarious.


Anonymous Mr Melton said...

Great summary of the evening Rach! Captured it perfectly. the 'udder' still sends shivers dwon Mrs Melton's spine, and I still go into fits of laughter at the mention of "oh my"!! May she never live that one down... ;o)

6:10 AM  
Anonymous mrs melton said...

"Carpaccio - a classic Italian dish, served as a starter, of very thin shavings of raw beef fillet, served cold with olive oil and lemon juice or with a mayonnaise or mustard sauce." BBC Food.

There is just something very disturbing about eating raw cow udder...especially when traces of pinkish / red lines - one can only presume veins - can be seen on the delicate slices of...hudder! That, and the jovial milking action of one tickled diner! Oh my, indeed!

4:46 AM  

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