Star House

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Busy on Gouger Street on a Saturday night. Have to wait for 15 minutes for a perch, though the fact that the place is very busy is a good sign. Other places aren’t as full.

Takes quite a while to get seated, but the staff are attentive. Once seated, I ask for something fancy. I can have a whole lobster from the tank. That’s normally for four people, but I could scoff it all myself. I’m tempted, but the waiter calculates that the cost would be about $300.

My dinner will be a fish from the tank instead. A fish is more reasonably priced and sized. I visit the tank to take a photo of my victim.


The waiter brings the fish, and removes the bones. He also combats an infestation of coriander that sits atop the fish.

The fish is soft, but retains its texture, and also gives that teeth-sticking-together experience that some foods give. The sweet soyey sauce that bathes the fish is simple, but complements the fish well. The strings of shallot have a slight vegetable taste, but are largely subsumed into the soy sauce.

This is simple food done extremely well.

I ask for any remaining portions of the fish to be returned to the sea.

Fried ice cream

With chocolate topping.

I can’t feel any heat radiating from these bricks. My suspicions are confirmed when I cut into the first brick. The whole thing is cold. There’s no go breast between cold ice cream and hot batter here. It’s just like regular slabs of ice cream, with a leathery and slightly unusual savoury skin that tastes a lot like corn.

Also, to top off this dish is a dollop of cream. Now I’m no expert on desserts, but I’m pretty sure you don’t accompany one type of cream with another type of cream.

Happy birthday music blares out for the second time during dinner. Then the lights go out. If it were my birthday, I might be pleased.

It takes a while for me to nab someone, and ask for the bill. Once I’ve done that, it takes quite a while for the bill to be sent to my table. The restaurant is fairly empty by now, so there’s no real reason for this. I receive the bill, and hand it (with payment) to a waiter, to take back. After more than five minutes of waiting, I go to the counter to enquire about my bill. It’s disappeared, but after a while, they find it and I receive my change.