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My soup was wriggling

Posted by helen 
My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 06:17AM
Over the weekend I went to lunch at Merediths restaurant as Ben Shewry (Attica Melbourne) was guest chef.
We had canapés and a 6 course degustation menu with wines to match at an eye watering price.
It was a one off for me as I usually don't spend much on eating out at all.

While some of the courses were interesting one has left me quite perplexed.

We received a bowl with native ferns and a leaf plus two fat wriggling (yes alive) huhu grubs.
The waiter then came and poured hot broth into the bowl which cooked the huhu grubs and then we were to eat the soup.

I reluctantly sipped the broth and did not touch the grubs.
I actually found it quite gross and didn't understand the point of it.
Sometimes I think chefs take the art side of food too far.
What do you think?

PS the video of the wriggling huhu grubs is on both my instagram and Facebook pages.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2017 06:18AM by helen.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 07:34AM
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 02:35PM
As I said on the facebook post, nope, nope, nope! That's quite disgusting. I know huhu grubs are supposed to taste like peanut butter, but I think it was just attention seeking. I'd have been revolted and most likely I'd have left the table.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 02:49PM
Its not something I would want to try.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 04:55PM
Slaughter at the food table? Nooooooooooooo.............
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 06:39PM
It wouldn't only be my soup that was wriggling, my stomach would be doing so as well.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 26, 2017 07:21PM
...disgusting. Yes I do think that some chefs get a bit ahead of themselves. Creativity is one thing, but, like you Helen, I don't 'get' that soup.

By the way, I see Merediths is closing.


Barbara Anne
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 27, 2017 03:05AM
Id totally eat them - you cant argue that they werent fresh ;-)

It reminds me of the time I worked as a waitress in a restaurant "Britannia" in Queenstown that cashed in on the Japanese market at the time. The guests ordered crayfish chosen from the tank and most had them cut through the brain and split open and served straight away.

We carried them wriggling and jerking with lemon and soy sauce on the side. Now that was an experience, not to mention the big swinging door that separated the kitchen from the restaurant.

There was an element of faulty towers LOL but really fun times.

I think it was an opportunity lost winking smiley

I just looked at the video on Facebook - I wasnt expecting them to be so BIG, hmmmmm Id still try them but they did have a bit of the FEAR FACTOR to them. Thank goodness for the hot broth confused smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2017 03:08AM by Vanessa45.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 28, 2017 06:13AM
Many people on my social media pages have commented on the humane aspect of killing grubs in hot broth.
That has me wondering if they personally use slug bait etc... as surely any method of killing small pests isn't that kind.
I don't think the dying in a broth bit bothers me but I don't think I need it at the table and nor am I interested in eating grubs....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2017 06:14AM by helen.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 28, 2017 09:10AM
Less degustation, more disgustation....

Barbara Anne, interesting that Merediths is closing. I went there years ago and my chief memory is the endless length of time we had to be there to get through the (compulsory) degustation menu, which turned what should have been a pleasurable experience into torture. We couldn't wait to get out in the end.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2017 09:10AM by CarolynC.
Re: My soup was wriggling
September 28, 2017 06:16PM
I think degustations have had their day and the days of chefs being admired as gods is nearly over too thank goodness. The dining ambitions of young people seem to be mainly about appearances and photos for social media, not about the taste and balance of the food, and fads come and go quickly.

I've just read a very interesting book called Gastrophysics by Charles Spence. He writes about the future of food, dining out in particular, and has been involved in developing multi-sensory dining experiences with Heston Blumenthal among others. Some of the Fat Duck stories are pretty weird and repellent.
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 01, 2017 02:58AM
I laughed the other day when a fellow food writer commented that his horror dinner would be a 10 course degustation and I would have to agree.
My least favourite so called special meals have all been degustation. To be honest I get bored, I just want to eat and be finished. Also the small portions and gap between courses means that you actually never feel quite satiated but instead overwhelmed with rich flavours.
I prefer good rustic food any day to the formal degustation menus.
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 02, 2017 12:52AM
I totally agree, I prefer rustic and hearty, full of flavour and a really good atmosphere. My desert island meal would be scotch fillet and really good chips with a knockout jus.

I mentioned in another post heading to Sidart soon. Its was a gift and to be honest a one off experience, these days I cant justify the HUGE cost involved and find the fine dinning atmosphere a little formal and drawn out for my liking. I really dont want to consume 10 courses over hours.

You never know, I might be blown away...

Re: My soup was wriggling
October 02, 2017 03:24AM
Do report back on your impression, Vanessa.

What some of us like, others maybe not so much.

I haven't been to a degustation dinner for a long time and I think there would be far more work than one really good meal but I am finding that small plates suit me more at the moment, sometimes, if I am lucky, the starter course will suffice. I don't expect the cost to be reduced much, if at all, invariably my husband eats most of mine. It seems such a waste of good food.

In this topic from foodlovers about 3 years ago []
a number of posts mentioned unusual foods. It made for interesting reading.
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 02, 2017 06:31PM
You never know, Vanessa, you might be in for a Wild Food Feast of hu-hu grub soup, deep fried crickets, barbequed witchety grubs and chocolate ants.
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 02, 2017 08:17PM
Do you mind Lorna. I can't even face Steak Tartare or raw oysters.
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 03, 2017 06:13AM
Count me out too - I couldn't deal with it at all. I would be repulsed rather than excited or curious or thinking "It's fresh"
I wonder if other cultures could handle it better than the Kiwi's ?
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 03, 2017 03:40PM
What? No one wants to visit the Wildfood Festival at Hokitika? Read all about what will be available in 2018:

Re: My soup was wriggling
October 06, 2017 10:38PM
I remember as a child my family going out to Kawakawa Bay (east/south Auckland) for a day's outing and extracting these bugs from old logs on the beach. Can't remember eating them thank heavens but I'm pretty sure they were cooked up on the fire on the beach.
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 24, 2017 10:19PM
Oh no, I just clicked on your link Lorna and read as part of the Wild Food offerings in Hokitika is horse semen.
That is just revolting.
Not sure how they think they are marketing themselves as a family friendly event with items that only drunk students would try...
Re: My soup was wriggling
October 24, 2017 10:32PM
Years ago (this was in the early 80s) had Witchety Grub soup served to us on a Riverboat in Echuca, Victoria, Australia. I tried it and they were actually nice - but weren't served in a wriggling capacity. That same dinner, which was Australian themed, we also had kangaroo and snake - it was all Australian 'delicacies' specific to the Murray River region. I have actually googled and found the Paddle Steamer we dined on, but no mention of their dinner menu anymore.

Will be interesting as next week I am in that area again, hosted by Tourism Victoria and then on to Canberra. I wonder if they will have those sort of regional food 'delicacies' again
Re: My soup was wriggling
December 05, 2017 02:29AM
I've eaten some pretty weird things overseas, so probably would have tried them, but I heartily agree that chefs are getting above themselves. I think that's an outrageous thing to serve in that situation. It would be interesting to know how many were returned. I am very tired of all the prissy food in tiny amounts. We've been discussing platters recently and how even they are too fancy. Give me a big dollop of pate, a few other bits and a good amount of crackers/bread to enjoy it. I don't need a piece of art on the plate, just good quality and quantity. Haha. Rant over. Janet
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