Noon, 31B Sun Crescent, Sunshine. Phone: 9078 9089
Things are certainly proceeding in a more measured manner these days at Consider The Sauce.
Quite a lot of that is due to events that have affected everybody and everything; and quite a lot, too, is down to me leaving the regular workforce.
So a couple of posts a month seems fine.
Urging these tendencies on is also about myself losing the hell-for-leather outlook that years back saw me hoisting four or five posts a week.
Losing, too, a hard-edged competitiveness I am happy to relinquish.
I no longer endlessly peruse news and reviews in other media outlets or keep myself up to date with what other bloggers are doing.
Yet while the stats tell me visitation and reader numbers are well down on a half a dozen years ago, it’s clear there remains a hardcore of readers, fans, supporters and friends who continue the journey with me and us.
These fine folks are by now, I’m sure, well aware of and comfortable with our modus operandi.
Stated simply, I think it’s largely about embracing uncertainty.
Seizing with glee upon the random and whacky!
So that means we often have only a vague idea of where we’ll be dining when we head out to eat.
And that means, too, being completely unfazed when our destination eatery turns out to be closed – regardless of whether Google or Facebook has informed us otherwise.
Opening hours have, as you all know, become even more random because of staff shortages, so it’s only sensible to be relaxed about the situation.
This kind of approach finds little sympathy with readers such as the gentleman who wrote me a pithy letter of complaint several years ago.
He’d responded to a review – I fully forget of which joint – by booking a table and driving all the way from a distant eastern suburb.
Upon arrival he found … the restaurant closed.
Not a happy camper.
For those happy to embrace the CTS ethos, we recommend Noon Restaurant, a newish place in Sunshine serving Sudanese food.
We’ve been frequent Sun Crescent visitors over the years to eat at such places as Panjali and Spicy King, but the premises occupied by Noon had escaped my notice because they’re tucked away some distance from the main grouping of shops.
Bennie tells me it used to be a tradies-style cafe.
It’s a huge place, but is doing quite good business on the mid-week night we visit.
That is correct.
But between the items that are listed on the eatery’s DoorDash page and much arm-waving and consultation with our friendly server we get there.
She, by the way, is from Nepal – which strikes us as another splendid piece of random.
She intuits, correctly, that we – myself, Bennie and Veronica, joined by Justin later on – are pretty much open to anything and everything.
So that’s what we are presented with.
And what we are presented with is some very tasty tucker bearing a resemblance to other North African (and Middle eastern) food we have enjoyed, with a few engaging twists thrown in.
We dine without any pricing being made known to us, trusting in the process.
Lamb shank soup is tasty and packed with a robust sheepy flavour of the kind we are so familiar with from similar concoctions served in Flemington’s Somalian restaurants.
Though this one is quite a bit more fatty!
Then it’s on to some serious pot food – served in the manner of dips.
Two have meaty lamb bones residing within and at least one is made with okra.
They’re all good!
These are Bennie’s favourite part of the meal!
Served with these stews is a Sudanese-style flatbread.
A bit like a thinner, drier version of injera, it’s just right for the job at hand.
We’re also provided with some chubby Turkish-stlyle rolls. They’re fresh and warm and fit right in.
These super dooper barbecued lamb pieces, some on the bone.
They’re well cooked and some would consider the meat tough.
I’ll settle on “nicely chewy”!
They remind us of the cumin-laced lamb skewers we enjoy in regional-style Chinese places.
A word on the salad side trimmings served with our various dishes: They are all excellent, fresh and crunchy – something we invariably find to be the case in African eating places of various persuasions.
Justin and I make quick work of the fish – two tilapia, deep fried.
I’m usually quite snooty about these farmed fish, but these are fine.
Plenty of bones, but also plenty of mildly flavoured flesh.
Bennie and Veronica, not being the fishy kind, sit out the tilapia.
But they’re not done yet!
They spy a passing lamb shank, very much like the look of it, so order one for us all.
It’s the biggest shank I’ve ever laid eyes on – more like a smallish leg, really.
The meat is, it seems to me, very plain and almost unseasoned – but still yummy.
It’s been quite a feast – one for which we pay a few cents above $100, an amount that seems entirely reasonable for feeding four of us darn well.