Twenty: Floatworks, Eneko, Mere: EASTER THREE-WAY


The Easter venues: 

The Easter dinners: 

  • A gobful of salty water and a jasmine tea
  • Ox face and mash
  • Eight peas and not enough wine

The prices: 

Let’s not even think about this. I’ve spent some wedge, basically. The kids’ inheritance pot looks bleak, so it’s a relief I’m barren. 

Happy Chocolate Egg Day, everyone. I hope you feel suitably bloated and sick. It’s what Jesus would have wanted. This week, what with the Easter break, I’ve gone review crackers. Not only do we cover TWO fodder finds, but we also try out a flotation tank AND Mr Jus takes me up the Oxo Tower. What a week. 

Monday was a generally uneventful day, made marginally more exciting when Mr Jus started mewling and bealing in his sleep because he didn’t have enough covers. I defiantly kept hold of the small corner of duvet that was covering my body while he pulled at it. I won’t lie – I genuinely enjoyed the dramatic sounds of pain and anguish emanating from him in slumber. It was truly pathetic. 

On Tuesday’s commute I grew increasingly annoyed at a six year old child who had a train seat, while I suffered the indignity of having to stand. She was also chatting on her iPhone, like butter wouldn’t fucking melt. I wondered if they were remaking Bugsy Malone on the 8.15am to Bedford, because if not, I genuinely wanted to know why this was happening. Whitney Houston said that she believed that children are our future. I think they’re seat-stealing bastards, myself. 

On Wednesday I had chicken soup for the third time in as many days, made from the bones of last week’s Sunday dinner. Whitney Houston has previously stated that it’s not right, but it’s ok – not necessarily in relation to reheating food – although I wondered if it’d make me ill. However, I perversely quite like to walk the tightrope of potential food poisoning. The fear of being sick and feeling terrible was tempered by the possibility of a 4lb weight loss, which would have been helpful and cleansing, considering how much food I’d be consuming later in the week. Whitney was right on this occasion and I suffered no side effects. 

On Thursday morning, I overheard Mr Jus flirting with Siri. He was asking her if she loved him and other such nonsense. I asked why he was attempting to groom a phone app. He ignored me and returned his attentions to Siri, enquiring if she was above the age of consent, the fucking weirdo. I also received a job notification email, advising of part time opportunities available at Iceland in Bromsgrove, which I found offensive. 

On Good Friday, I entered a tomb (flotation tank), then resurrected myself, then drank some herbal tea. I was sort of like Jesus for the WhatsApp generation. But with better hair. Look. 



My wonderful friend Tinface – http://www.lauratinald.co.uk/ – asked why I was dressed like Damon Albarn circa 1996 when she saw the above image on Facebook. Only last week she’d called me ‘Little Red Riding Cunt’ after seeing me prancing about in my new scarlet cape on the same social media platform. I was pleased with both insults, although I’ve started to worry that her jealousy might get the better of her. 

The floating experience was weird. The first ten minutes involved acute shoulder pain and fear of a panic attack. I bobbed about too much and kept bashing my head on the side of the pod, which wasn’t relaxing. However, once settled, I had periods of weightless calm and tranquility, visions of a dog with a ridiculously long tail (perhaps a nod to this blog) and a sense of enormous wellbeing. Sadly, I splashed salt in my eyes which spoilt things again. Afterwards, I felt nauseous for a few minutes and then, as if by magic, pretty refreshed and decent. Reborn, I guess. Could floating be the key to the inner calm I crave? The anxiety-free life I need? No. It’s too expensive to pursue further, so I’ll just lob a tub of Saxa into the bath, take a gin and a spliff in there with me, and hope for the best. 

Final score: 24/33

Mr Jus and I headed into the city on Friday evening for our tea. 

“You haven’t done the ‘How long have you been a T-Bird?’ joke yet,” Mr Jus said as we waited for the train. I then noticed his jeans, white T-shirt and leather jacket.

“Well I, well I, well I don’t want to just keep using the same material,” I responded, quick as a flash.

Mr Jus threw his head back and laughed, before looking at me in complete and utter admiration. 

“You’re so funny,” he told me. I’m lying. He barely acknowledged my quick wit and went back to looking at fucking Strava. I don’t know why I bother. 

Before our food, Mr Jus took me up the Oxo Tower, which I enjoy repeating because it sounds like we had anal sex, but is just an innocent fact. 

“We’ll just have a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc – the white one,” Mr Jus requested. I looked at him like he was dick and he thankfully immediately accepted he was one for that remark, so there was no need for an argument. 

Eneko is the latest venture of renowned chef Eneko Axta, who is also responsible for the three Michelin-starred Azurmendi restaurant. We’re big fans of his work and of modern takes on traditional Basque dishes, so it seemed like a great choice. Or maybe it was the £50 voucher that someone at work gave me that sealed the deal. I’ve never heard of the bloke. Anyway. Let’s have a look inside: 

WHERE IS EVERYONE? To be fair, we dined early, and I don’t like strangers, so didn’t mind the lack of patrons. We chose the three course pre-theatre menu at £28 per person. Because of the voucher, it was just £3 each, of course – cheaper than a Boots’ Meal Deal. You can’t argue with that. Mr Jus had a tomato tartare starter, which was prettier than my garlic and onion soup and so features here:

Both our opening gambits were fresh, tart and tasty and set us up nicely to feast upon an animal’s face, both choosing ox cheeks and mash for the main, served on a fucking grey bathroom tile. 


Now then. This was good. There’s a blob of some puréed cauliflower in the corner which gave Mr Jus a semi, or at least a twitch, judging by his enthusiasm for it. A quenelle of the stuff, if you want me to be all officious. The meat was rich and tender, and, although I hate eating face, it made me think of how soft my lovely nanna’s cheeks used to be, although I would not have dined on her carcass, of course. 

The pudding choices were a creamy custard affair, which was creamy and custardy, and some sponge thing. Both decent enough, but I don’t believe they affected the flaccidity of my dining companion’s cock. We had another bottle of white Sauvignon Blanc to wash everything down. 

The rest of the evening is a blur, but I can reveal that I woke up sharply at 2.37am. Not because of an attempted Oxo Tower break-in or anything. I was just a bit dehydrated.

I suppose the question is whether we’d return to Eneko without a £50 voucher. And the answer is no. The food, service and decor were all pleasant enough, but we probably won’t go Basque.

Final score: 25/33

The old boiler packed in on Saturday. Not me, but the one that heats our water. I imagine God did it, because I was pretending to be his dead son the day before. So we’re a bit screwed until after Easter in terms of cleanliness, which is next to Godliness, so all very fitting. Thankfully, we’d booked a table and tasting menu (£70) at Mere – the restaurant owned by Monica Galetti, who pulls faces on Masterchef that are not dissimilar to those that Ripley conjures up:

It happens to be the same face I pulled when I saw the size of the wine pairings (£48).

An insult to a functioning alcoholic if ever I saw one. And yes, I knew they wouldn’t be filling glasses to the brim, but for £48, I expect to feel a bit pissed at the end of the meal. Still, some of the wines were exceptional and a far cry from the box of Shiraz from Asda that Mr Jus intravenously administers, just to keep me off his back.

I love a bit of fine dining and a tasting menu, me. Yes, I’ve been known to retrieve my lunch back out of the bin at work and yes, I love a Greggs’ sausage roll, but I’ve also dined at Michelin restaurants in London, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Birmingham, Kyoto, Istanbul and Amsterdam. I’ve also been to the Toby Carvery in Sheldon around 300 times. Thanks. Mr Jus is often surprised at my refined palate, because I like Shippham’s beef paste and tinned mushy peas and stuff. 

Let’s have a gander at last night’s grub, in reverse order, just to mix shit up: 

Mr Jus got annoyed at me for calling the first dish ‘Half a dozen Bird’s Eye frozen peas and a bit of fucking mayonnaise’. I very much enjoy winding him up. The sea bream was quite sexy, although I’d have liked a slightly crisper skin. The ham hock broth and dumpling was a salty delight and the lamb tum and bum was rich and tender and had gravy. Not enough, of course. Mr Jus didn’t have the cheese course, BECAUSE HE’S A STUPID BABY WHO DOESN’T LIKE CHEESE, so landed a chocolate and peanut butter dessert. The cheese, P’tit Basque, was delicious but I was jealous of what he had. The final course – yoghurt mousse, elderflower sorbet and melon – was too light to end on. I needed some filthy richness and was awarded a palate cleanser. 

The service was good enough and it has been furnished nicely, with an excellent hand wash and hand cream in the bogs, but it didn’t wow me like I’ve been wowed before with a tasting menu. 

I left feeling a bit hungry and a lot sober, but, hey, I was happy. I’d had a lovely time, just hanging with my Jus. Here’s his quote for the week:

“Thank you for two lovely evenings, which you managed not to have an emotional meltdown at the end of,” he began. “The food was good on both nights, but not outstanding, and I feel quite cheated by the wine pairings. I also want to thank you for my birthday present, even though it’s not my birthday yet.”

He’s started to sound reasonably nice in these quotes, which makes me appear even more of a bitch. A BITCH WHO GETS HER PARTNER TANGIBLE BIRTHDAY PRESENTS, THAT IS. 

But I can be nice too. I’ll have a final quote this week. 

“Please tidy that desk, Mr Jus. It’s been three fucking months since I asked. And please let’s live without a bike in the living room. Jesus. And finally, my tiny little cycling monkey, I would like to report that I will always love you.”

I was doing Whitney again. But I mean it. As long as he doesn’t really piss me off or anything, because then I could go off him. Let’s be realistic. 

Final score: 26/33

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2 thoughts on “Twenty: Floatworks, Eneko, Mere: EASTER THREE-WAY

  1. Good work 3 or 4 mentions of Birmingham and surrounding areas,

    Always feel let down by Wine pairings , you never get enough. They should provide you with unlimited cheap house red / white to drink once you finish the thimble full of nice wine they serve

    Also if you are going to put a web-link in your text can you make it open a new window rather than me having to press the back button.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI PETER. I’m glad you liked midlands mentions and I am completely in favour of the unlimited wine recommendation you make. As for your ‘make your web-link open in a new window’ request, I’m not Bill Gates, mate. I have no idea how to do this. If you knew how much I struggle to even insert a photo, you’d give me a break. Anyway, I have the marathon to run before today’s offering, so must crack on.

      Like

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