Strange Nikolai

not a stormtrooper

Archive for the month “April, 2011”

Hummous. Don’t get me wrong, but WTF?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some hummous. MMMMmmmm tasy hummous. Or hummus. However you want to spell it. Spelling is ambiguous when the original word is in a different alphabet… let’s face it spelling is ambiguous anyway innit?

Everyone loves hummous, it’s the new middle class way of saying “look at me, I’m worldly and culturally sophisticated”. Seriously. Yes it’s tasty, but OMG (this is a sarcastic OMG btw… hmm I need punctuation for that…) I think you’re reading a leetle too much into it. You are eating food from a country most people haven’t been to – woop-de-fucking-shit…

And SUPER SUPER exciting it’s healthy and made from chickpeas which again are mostly eaten in foreignland. It’s a housewife hippie’s dream! Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hatin’ on the chickpeas – although I can’t think of anything else they are good in. Actually without chickpeas hummous would just be tahini. Which is awful by itself. Just no. Tahini is like shrimp paste or fish sauce (if you have not discovered the wonders of shrimp paste then you are missing out my friend…), it is great for flavouring other stuff, but by itself it is wrong. So very wrong.

I suppose it is the “housewife hippy” factor that irks me. You know the type, everything they cook has to be some crazy combination of weird foods they have “discovered” (nevermind the millenia of widespread use by johnny foreigner). Moroccan food seems to be the latest thing…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Moroccan food can be very good – I have never been to Morocco, it used to be high up my list of places to visit, but all the Moroccan food I get served tastes to me exactly what I imagine Morocco is like – which is quickly downgrading Morocco on my list. What? That’s unfair isn’t it?? What I mean is that my imagination of cleverly spiced Moorish lamb and beef dishes is being replaced with the image of mouldy old camel meat spiced mostly with sand, and perhaps the dung of an animal that chewed some chillis once. And cinnamon. Way too much cinnamon. Or just incorrectly cooked cinnamon…

Back to hoummus and what set me off on this particular rant. I was in London the other day and wanted to get some food when a friend suggested going to “Hummus Bros”. Really?? A place that pretty much just serves hummus… I don’t call that a restaurant, I call it a salad bar. Hummus is a DIP, not a meal. What about the other equally (or even more) fantastic dips that are out there, tzatziki? taramasalata? fucking maggi-onion-soup-and-reduced-cream? Why did they not make the cut? What if I want something more substantial, huh??

At this point some self-important vegetarian~~ will say “Well, you can’t expect to go to a restaurant call Hummus Bros and get steak can you? hur hur”

At which point I will exclaim “Ha!” and jump up and point at them and say “Yes exactly, you have just fallen into my trap, you vegephillic freak! Next time you come into the SteakHouse or the BarAndGrill where I am eating and bemoan the lack of vegetarian options – you will be summarily taken out the back and shot… with that statement as your tacit agreement of these terms.”

Strangely Nikolai


My first youtube

Recorded at Raw Meat Monday (new material night) on 27 July 2010 at the Fringe Bar in Wellington, New Zealand.

I was asked to fill the spot at the very last minute which is why I wrote notes on my hand – just taking inspiration from what the other comedians had been talking about 🙂

Um… probably don’t watch this if you are my mother…

What I hate today… coffee cups

I have trouble with takeaway coffee cups. Well, I have trouble with cafe coffee in general. I am a coffee snob, I will freely admit that – but if a place advertises itself as a cafe then they should bloody well know something about coffee. The clue is in the name. But most coffee shops and cafes sell something that tastes like it has been scraped off a busy road and then mixed with scalding hot water (or milk if your prefer).

Not to mention the fucking prices and ridiculous sizes. Do you actually get more coffee when you go from the the tall to the venti or do they just fill it up with more milk. If I wanted a cup of milk I would have bloody asked for a cup of milk. I don’t like milk, but lets not get into that whole shitfight (I’m no coffee “purist” – I use sugar).

You’d think making a coffee without milk would be simpler. Ah, no. That’s where you’d be wrong. The thing about the milk is that it disguises most fuckups you make in grinding, tamping and pulling the coffee (technical terms. Can I be bothered explaining them? Not really… look here ). But to be honest, you don’t have to be that pernickity – it’s not fucking rocket science! Just keep your machine clean and you’ll mostly be ok.

So my drink of choice is a “long black”. This is really something that is only available in New Zealand (and perhaps Australia). Blah blah blah, New Zealand has some of the best coffee in the world (it’s true – I’d rate it third in the world behind Portugal and Italy) blah blah blah. Basically it’s a double espresso with some hot water added, but not as much hot water as an Americano. Often I will get an Americano when I ask for a long black and that really twists my tits. Is it really that different??? YES IT FUCKING IS!! Somewhere in between the two coffee turns from creamy coffee goodness to bitter hot water. (Actually this wikipedia page suggest it may be to do with the order you do things… hmmm… I still like a bit less hot water so 1) it is stronger and 2) it doesn’t spill over the edge and scald you. When I started getting longer hot blacks I learnt to ask for a short long – or a schlong as one of my regular barristas  called it).

Anyway a design fault of the normal coffee paper cups is that if you put hot water in it, the curly brim starts to soften, especially around the vertical seam. And if, as seems to happen a disproportionate number of times (Come on barristas! It’s like you don’t even drink coffee. You should not be allowed to do that job if you don’t drink coffee), the lid is place with the seam facing you as you drink, it will then drip hot scalding coffee on you hand. What. The. Fuck. The paper coffee cup is specifically designed for one fucking purpose. To hold hot drinks, and enable safe drinking. This is one SERIOUS design flaw.

Also I JUST noticed something about me. Have a close look at that lid – there’s a hole for drinking and a tiny hole at the other end to let the air in while you are drinking so that it pours freely. Lately I’ve been getting coffee lids where, when I drink, my giant schnozz of a nose blocks the air intake and creates a vacuum inside the cup, which when suddenly released, causes the coffee to splash up, out of the cup, onto my hands, shirt, face, whatever…. that is my excuse anyway.

By the way, click the image above to link to someone else’s coffee cup blog complaints.

Strangely Nikolai

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