Category: Take aways
When Cat first started going out with Matt she did what all new girlfriends do, she introduced him to her pals. So far, so typical. However, one day when she and Matt were out she bumped into one of her mates.
Introductions duly made Cat was shocked when her friend started quizzing Matt in an impudently personal way. The interrogation went something like this: Cat’s friend: “Are you Jewish?” Matt: “Err, no.” Cat’s friend: “Welsh then? No? Are you perhaps a Seikh?”. On it went as she rolodexed through a lexicon of swarthy nationals. Eventually she admitted defeat and accepted Sussex-born as the definitive answer. By this time Cat was feeling awkward about this persistent badgering and Matt was just bemused.
Fast forward a decade and the same scenario was being played out again in Dalyan Kebab House, Shanklin. After a particularly entertaining night at Shanklin Theatre, Matt decided to wrap up the evening with meat. Cat followed him into the welcoming warmth of the kebab house and heard the following discussion: Kebab man to Matt: “Hey. Where are you from?” Matt: “Er... we’ve just been to Shanklin Theatre.” KM: “No, I mean where are you from?” Matt: “Ryde” KM: “NO, I mean originally?” Matt: “Sandown.”. And so it went. The chap was convinced that Matt was Turkish - something about his slightly disheveled appearance and bulk apparently marked him out as Middle Eastern. Matt was flattered but unable to admit to anything other than English ancestry. The Dalyan chap even called his mate out from the back to have a look at him. Through her giggles Cat confirmed that Matt wasn’t Southern European, Jewish (at least last time she looked) nor Welsh nor a Seikh. With that matter cleared up - although the kebab bloke did not seem entirely convinced - it was time to order some late night snackage.
There was a time when a 'pop-up restaurant' on the Isle of Wight was a phenomenon which drew naive provincial diners like moths to a cosmopolitan flame.
It was beyond exciting when a new one 'popped up'. Tickets would sell within moments. But it didn't take too long for even hicks to discover that pop-ups, like all other restaurants, vary in quality. Matt and Cat have been to some fantastic pop-ups, and - occasionally - the contrary. This summer Matt and Cat thought the trope must have reached its nadir when they saw a street-vending wagon with 'pop-up burger restaurant' written on it. But despite its ubiquity, they can't deny that the pop-up concept still has a slight atmosphere of fun and mystery about it that is oddly alluring.
So when Twitter correspondent @iowjobs drew their attention to Yarmouth's new pop-up fish and chip emporium, they paid attention. Catch is the on-trend name of this stylish installation that is trading for the summer from the yard of Yarmouth Institute, prominently located right by the town's main car park. And on the evening Matt and Cat visited, it seemed to be doing brisk trade.
How does Yarmouth’s Old Gaffers Festival do it?
Every year without fail the organisers manage to pick a scorching weekend on which to hold this celebration of classic boats, street acts and local produce. In 2012, because of the diamond jubilee celebrations, the event was brought forward a week and the decent weather came with it. The summer tempest was in abeyance - saving itself for the Isle of Wight Festival.
Matt and Cat love the Old Gaffers Festival as it gives them the chance to sample food, enjoy the eclectic entertainment and buy the Isle of Wight Cheese Company’s annual Old Gaffer Blue. They’d spent the day hoofing around the historic town and, having stocked up on the limited unpasteurised, they found themselves unexpectedly going down an alleyway. In the twitten was a café and outside the café were some tables: and lo, the sun shone invitingly on a pair of recently-vacated seats. The gods had clearly spoken so Matt and Cat, not a couple to defy the deities, slumped down into the chairs. Well, it would be rude not to.
Matt and Cat are big lovers of sci-fi. Matt, who fancies himself as a writer and a scientist, combines those two interests in a bookshelf chock full o' the works of Asimov, Heinlein and Iain M Banks.
Cat prefers to have her sci-fi injected straight into her eyeballs. In the 1980s, when her hair was as vast as Arnie's biceps, she loved staring glassy-eyed at the Austrian Oak's portrayal of The Running Man, or his seamless depiction of both Douglas Quaid and Hauser in Total Recall, adapted from Philip K Dick's 'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale'.
The ultimate eighties Dick adaptation has to be the story set in a world where genetically-engineered organic robots, indistinguishable from humans, wither and die atop a decaying building. No, not a documentary about County Hall, but Ridley Scott's Bladerunner. Mindful of this dystopian vision of a rainy neon future, M&C went with a pal to Newport's Noodle Pot.
Pizza Hut is a brand which, here on the Island, has a history of not being particularly good - and this tradition has been carried on pretty enthusiastically for some years.
The last time Matt and Cat ate at Pizza Hut Newport, back in 2005, they were shown to a table with a dead fly on it. Their original 2005 review was succinctly damning, saying amongst many other criticisms "The meat on the pizza is not dissimilar to Friskies". But late in 2011 word went round that there was a new broom sweeping through Newport’s moribund Pizza Hut. Perhaps, seven years after their dreadful experience, it was time for Matt and Cat to cross the gaudy threshold once more and see if the ghost of that most notorious dipteran debris could be laid to rest?