art dining out gourmet poetry

Tea + Poetry

Earl Grey

Notes had been sent asking after my whereabouts. I hadn’t indulged in my favoured Earl Grey, tiramisu and panna cotta combo for months. This is my day off, so I presented myself at my friends’ patisserie just after 11.00 (dessert before breakfast, people) and got to work. Eating, that is.

Orange panna cotta

As for play time, this is what I got up to. Special thanks go to Egbert Starr for permission to work on this composition using excerpts from his brilliant prose poem, The Gallows’ Horse. Please visit his blog to read the full version.

open magazine pages with tiramisu and orange panna cotta

Featured magazine – Numéro, Tokyo, April, 2016. Vol 95: Perfume ads; “Dark Romanticism” and “Pretty Killer” editorials by Ellen Von Unwerth with art direction by Yuni Yoshida.

Dark Romanticism with glass try and tea

Prose poetry excerpted from “The Gallows’ Horse” by Egbert Starr.

Facing pages; poetry on magazine page; empty dessert jars

I said to the wise man I met, “Love.” And I said to the crone the same. To children, I said to them, “Love one another.” To kings, philosophers, chemists, scientists of every kind, my message was exactly so.

I remembered from the land above the flower of my treachery. I remembered my rage and anger and my fulsome seductions of a thousand Persephones. How pleased I was! How capable! How incisive and cross-quotable my demonic possibilities. I was in the world of common men without compare!

second page with poetry written on

Epic prose poetry, and it tasted fantastic. My friends and I chatted while I worked, so they were my guest editors. Thank you for reading, too. Enjoy a sip of all right until we meet again. SB

about me dining out

Tasting the boundaries

 (i) Decorated ceiling.

My palate does not have many boundaries. Like most of you, I love tasting food from around the world. While waiting for my meal, I made a list of obvious boundaries. My first thought was that they protect us. When I noticed the ceiling, I realised I was sitting in the story.

 (ii) Beer translates well across borders.

My friend popped over to say hello. I know that some readers like beer, so I asked for a photo, keeping her face out of frame. Privacy rights are conceptual boundaries that are sometimes crossed when photos are shared. My friend liked this photo and gave me permission to share it.

 (iii) Cheese bibinba in a hot stone bowl.

My meal arrived and I steadied the edge of the heated stone bowl. I mixed the toppings with the brown rice underneath to cook up a taste sensation. You can just see the cheese melting.

 (iv) Stone bowl.

Later, I had some Korean pancake made with mochi rice. The edges were nice and crisp.

 (v) Korean pancake.

I hope you can enjoy some crispy, edgy food this week. Until next time, be well.

dining out


Wine bottles on a Tuesday night.
Not only was I taking all types of prescription medicine on this particular evening, the chef made me sit in front of these bottles so I could stare at them. You should have seen the wicked smile on his face. Then he photobombed my iPad grab, twice. Do you understand what I have to deal with? I’m so happy I decided to go out. x SB

dining out gourmet



One of the best things about having friends who run a patisserie is that when you walk in with a certain face they know exactly what you need to have. I had a “you need a chocolate and hazelnut parfait with strawberries in it” face.

I’d never had gelato there before so it was a marvel they called it correctly. Chef hid behind a column to announce he’d had no time to make macarons. Of course, I had a mini wail (sorry, Lola, no video) and then I decided to replace the hazelnut with pistachio.

Those chocolate truffles, though. Palm rolled. Parfait.

about me dining out women

About that…

Happy New Year! I said I would do no promotion for Sabiscuit’s Catalog, but I was so disappointed after dinner with two airheads that in my despair, I went against policy and went through a list of all of my frieeends to see which of them I could ask to subscribe to my blog. Please laugh now. Turns out, apart from subscribers, I have none, aside from “”.

So I turned to a very star studded cast of enemies for support. Nineteen white flags were waved. In addition, I invited six people who are followers of a social media account that was created with my email address by one very disgruntled former disciple. He has a cushy university teaching job now thanks to my merciless bullying, so you’re welcome, Ryan!!!!

My real name isn’t Ruva Kungingunun, so I don’t know who is updating my account. I was at the bookstore at midnight whispering mysteriously into the speaker of my iPhone, dictating to Siri, and staring down curious customers. If you’re reading this after that mysterious email, this is the story. This is my way of saying, “Thank you for visiting, and sorry.”

I’m a horrid person. I value my subscribers dearly, because really you are just the sweetest, loveliest people, ever assembled in an iPad app. But, I thought I might need to do better than this and find some flesh and bones outside of my Apple devices to hang on to.

Alright, let’s suspend that thought for a minute. I haven’t had a face to face conversation with a woman, apart from relatives, who speaks English as a native language, in a while. Most people I speak to, in any country, speak it as a second language. This is somehow not normal. New York City: Find me one person who speaks English as a native language. Wait…there was that one stalker from the grocery shop. I should have followed him home. Jorge made my carrot and beet juice, but he did it silently in Guatemalan, or was he Lebanese. I don’t know.

The women in my city are useless, as they can’t do any topic more difficult than milk toast, and do Instagram updates of themselves coming out of the shower. I like to pepper my conversations with Latin and references to the Viking Sagas, so it’s a tough audience. I spent years studying a particular foreign language, only to learn that the people I would converse with were just uninterested in actual conversation.

Everyone in my peer group here manages their own business, so thinking can’t be that hard. However, there was a lot of eye rolling at dinner today, when I told my forty year old best friend, that at forty, she needed to be her own Goddess. Apparently, people with boyfriends don’t need their own self esteem because their boyfriends give it to them. Also, she, my best friend went snowboarding with a client after I got sick and was kind enough to bring her along for dinner on the way back. So, that’s why, as mentioned at the start, I have only one woman friend. And I can’t rely on her.

I am going to need to find a new peer group of people who use their brains to think, so please come through for me. Thank you.

Update 2015/01/04 15:40 UTC
My cryptic messages worked, and the response from “enemies” was overwhelming. Special thanks go to new readers from Australia and Iceland. Yay!

dining out fashion men

What to wear to a wine tasting: For men only

Disclaimer: I know, I know. Wine tastings are best enjoyed with friends and acquaintances in a relaxed setting. Wine tastings aren’t about fashion; they’re all about the actual wine, the atmosphere and pleasant conversation with friends. But a lot of people searched the Internet for this article so I’m leaving it here for them.

Sneakers go with blazers. Image courtesy: TD Mag

Please read on if your wine-tasting event is among strangers or for business networking; or has a “business” or “smart casual” dress code. I have some suggestions you might find useful. Let’s go one level up on those guys in the photo above.

Remember, most of the successful people you meet are going to be non-conformists. Your outfit should tell them you care what people think but not enough to limit yourself or fade into the background.

It’s dressing up time. Your aim is to appear put together, with a commanding presence that is not uptight. A tailored suit jacket and matching trousers are the correct choice. For a wine tasting, a necktie is too formal.

Plaid shirt via Fashion Beams

Polo shirt, t-shirt or jumper? The answer is no. No, no. Shirts are straightforward. If the event is in a pubby, sports bar type semi-formal loungy place, wear a plaid shirt. If you like plaid, choose a deeper colour for the less formal venue. The more formal the event, the cooler your colours. No chest hair, please. Unless you are Jake Gyllenhaal.

Now, for shoes. You don’t want to show up in loafers or Oxfords, which say, “I’m trying to impress you.” Everyone has an extra pair of shoes in their car or in the bottom drawer of their desk at the office, or in a shoe locker somewhere. Yours will be walking shoes or sneakers similar in shape to the ones Tom Hiddleston is wearing, in any colour you like, except bleached white or black.

Tom Hiddleston via GQ Magazine

If you feel reckless, go for neon green or blue. I know what you’re thinking, but GQ put Tom Hiddleston in sneakers with that wool suit because sneakers go with suits. So, I promise you, sneakers are going to look great with your suit. If you want to really impress, try matching the trim of your sneakers to a colour in your plaid shirt.

Wear these sneakers with your suit.
If you’re not feeling brave, you can wear these.

Next, how to smell. Personally, I prefer the masculine aroma of a hand-rolled Cuban cigar. But may I also suggest aftershave and nothing stronger than that? Or a teeny bit of Chanel Bleu. Otherwise, you’ll be tasting your cologne in your wine, which is never a good idea.

Then, how do you pose for photos? This page is from an article in Esquire, which promotes a wine-tasting session at The Battery, London.

Wine tasting promotion for the Battery, London, in Esquire.
Wine tasting promotion for the Battery, London, in Esquire magazine.

Do not do any of that. Pose in profile and raise the glass in a toast, with a taut smile. Never allow yourself to be photographed gulping down liquids. Someone will make a bad joke and you will have to do an explainer for the rest of your life. Tag the other individuals in the photograph because you are kind and thoughtful.

In summary, suits constrain your body and say you’re willing to conform. However, sneakers say that you’re subversive. For a business networking wine tasting, choose a suit, ditch the tie and change into sneakers. Don’t drink from the glass when posing for photos. And remember to have lots of fun.

Updated, April 21, 2016 @ 13.59 GMT

dining out gourmet

Drinking vicariously

New bottles, different angle
New bottles, different angle