I’m a total Cookie monster

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 20, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

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February 21, 2014

  • (1)

The etiquette of sharing food when eating out can make and break relationships.


I’ve finally eaten at Cookie, a restaurant that I’ve been recommending to people, without ever having been to it before now. When friends from out of town ask for a good restaurant in the city, it’s the one I always say, because I panic, and can never think of anywhere else. It’s like when you walk into a record shop, and suddenly can’t remember any bands you listen to. When it comes to eating out, I always say Cookie, because the cool people I know go there, and rave about it, and it means I get to use the phrase ”Oh, I love Cookie, I’m a total Cookie monster.”

I’ve passed Cookie often, on my climb up the narrow stairs of Curtain House, on Swanston Street. It’s a building packed full of good things. The stairs loop round a small elderly lift whose doors open magically each time you puff on past it, so the passengers can watch your floor-by-floor deterioration. My favourite Melbourne comedy night ”The Shelf” happens at The Toff on the third floor, and Mesa Verde is a great restaurant on the sixth floor. My one complaint with Mesa Verde is that it does not offer you an oxygen mask on entry, to recover from the ascent. It does a grilled corn with chipotle mayo, cheese and lime, that I would start a street fight over. Once I’d got my breath back, obviously.

With friends in town celebrating their anniversary, we finally made it to Cookie. It was great to catch up, and do that thing where the waiter has to come back at least twice, because you’ve been too busy squealing at each other to look at the menu.

Cookie describes itself as a beer hall that serves Thai food and its drinks list is about the size of the last Harry Potter.

When we actually looked at the menu, we immediately struck the awkwardness of ordering when five of you want to share mains, and one of you doesn’t. My husband, Chris, doesn’t share food. In all other ways he’s a very generous man, he’s just extremely territorial about that delicious thing he ordered. His feeling is – if you wanted it, you should have ordered it. My feeling is – well, I didn’t know I wanted it till I saw it in front of you.

When we started going out, we hit one of those Early Evaluation Moments, when I asked if I could try his Pad Thai and he said no, and I thought he was joking, and he really wasn’t.

Another of our Early Evaluation Moments was when he discovered I had two cats, and that I let them nibble food out of my teeth. No, no, no, I totally DON’T do that, but we just watched a reality show where a guy let his pet rats clean out his mouth and I can’t stop thinking about the horror of it. Apart from anything else, when you were ordering food, you’d have to consider whether the rats would like it or not – ”I can’t get the raisin toast, Malfoy’s gluten intolerant”.

It seems obvious when you order food, you should get something you both like, and then share it, to get double the eating pleasure. Of course, the logistics get trickier when there are six of you, including a vegetarian, a pescetarian, and me. I don’t eat red meat (except for steak) or pork products (except for bacon), and am deeply disturbed by fish eggs; I’m a ”pickytarian”. I have another friend who only eats animal doctors – he’s a ”veterinarian”. Yep, it’s a terrible pun, I’ve not been the same since that mouth-nibbling rat show.

Once Chris had ordered, by his own insistence he had to stand by it. He chose the deep fried shrimp cocktail, which was a little too deep fried and shrimpy for his taste, and watched sadly as the rest of us attacked grilled banana chilli with chicken and kaffir lime, baked pumpkin, and snapper. Aglow with the satisfaction of having made some truly delectable food choices, everyone kept trying to force him to try the other mains, which he eventually did. He even shared his deep fried shrimp, which is how I knew he really didn’t like it. He had also ordered deep fried chicken as a main, not realising he would be totally over the whole submerged-in-boiling-fat thing by the time it arrived.

Five-sixths of us really enjoyed our meal and one-sixth reheated some curry when we got home.

Now that we’re not Cookie rookies, I really want to go back. My husband’s not keen to repeat the experience, but I say he’s being a Cookie sooky. I love Cookie. I’m a total Cookie monster.


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