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Lounging and Lunching

July 1, 2011 · 36 comments

Ah, July. It’s a month to get accountants stocking up on tax-deductible coffee, us southern hemisphere dwellers to start getting a bit over this whole winter malarkey, and those of us who thought signing up for Dry July was a good idea wonder what the hell we were thinking. We must have been drunk.

Dry July is an initiative where people can sign up for the challenge of going the entire month of July without a drop of alcohol, for the purpose of raising money for adults living with cancer. Having had my own brush with it a few years ago, saying goodbye to my lovely Aunty M last month, and having one of my dearest friends still sparring with the big C (an aside – see here for an interesting discussion of the “battle” with cancer) I thought it would be a great idea to get involved in Dry July so I signed up enthusiastically… and then remembered all the boozy events I had planned for July.

If you have a few spare dollars and would like to sponsor my foolish decision to abstain from alcohol during the month of the Good Food & Wine Show (Good Food & Food Show?) then please click here or on the image above to go through to my sponsorship page. As I am in Western Australia, all money I raise will go towards the Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, which will include a much needed End of Life Comfort Room.

Speaking of my still sparring friend, let me now move onto a recent (alcohol-free)  meal we shared together..

The Lounge Room – it’s often amusing to check the P/L names of businesses… Lightmaster Investments reminds me of that awful Beastmaster show that was on late a few years ago, seemingly full of people who had been rejected as extras in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Have you ever met a potential partner that you really, really wanted to like – they’re a lovely person, full of wit and charm and possibly may own a yacht – but try as you might you just couldn’t find the spark? That’s kind of how I was left feeling after visiting The Lounge Room in Guildford.

We were greeted warmly when we entered, I generally liked the interesting (if not a bit “done already”) style they were going with in the interior, the toilets are nice enough to bother mentioning, and they use 5 Senses coffee. And yet, the food was overall fairly mediocre and left me feeling in no rush to return. ’tis truly better to have loved and lost? Perhaps, perhaps.

Smoked salmon, cream cheese and rocket panino with salad $14

I had noticed a few people inside eating the various panini on offer – they looked really nice and if I were feeling more wheat-inclined I would have ordered the chicken tikka panino. Unfortunately when F’s smoked salmon panino came out, it had been grilled to within an inch of its life. I had flashbacks to the scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where the bad guy gets flattened by the steamroller. That really freaked me out when I was little. What a way to go.

F reported that the grilled flatness made the panino a bit difficult to cut through, but the flavours were decent and the salads nice and fresh on the palate. Perhaps if they used the more traditional ciabatta instead of Turkish bread then the panini would be stronger at resisting the squishing of the grill plates. Perhaps though, F’s panino happened to be the bad guy! Ah, it all makes sense now.

Lamb burger with salad, homemade wedges and beetroot chutney $20

It may not look it, next to those enormous hunk-a hunk-a burning spud, but the lamb patty was a generous size and looked quite delicious when it came out despite the blinding whiteness of the bun. V was kind enough to offer some to us, and I really enjoyed the piece I had. It was moist yet not fatty, and benefited from the addition of mustard and rosemary and probably a few other tasty things I couldn’t identify. Luckily I tried the lamb after trying the beetroot chutney, because I sure as hell needed something to undo the horror of eating that. It was like eating vinegary dirt. Really earthy, in a way that confused us, and far too heavy handed with the vinegar. I love beetroot and I generally love chutney, but I was feeling no love for this condiment. Still, I think the lamb made up for it and I found myself with more than a little food envy for V’s choice even though I would have foregone the bread and the chutney.

Grilled fish with seasonal veg and Lyonnaise potatoes $24

My lunch options were fairly limited given my wheat avoidance these days, so I went with the most expensive option of the grilled fish at $24. The menu states it comes with “seasonal veg” and given my gluttonous nature I was disappointed to see this meant only green beans, but the Lyonnaise potatoes and fish both looked tasty so I dug in enthusiastically. Sadly, the potatoes were only lukewarm, and after the first few I found them too stodgy to continue eating. The fish tasted fresh, if a little overcooked, and I liked that the beans still retained a crispness to them, but the dish was disappointing overall and I don’t think it was very good value for money. I left most of the potatoes on the plate.

Coffees

We all had a couple of coffees during our lunch, and enjoyed them. The temperatures were good, and the taste was smooth. We all noticed that the milk bubbles were larger than we’re used to seeing, but I rarely have milk in my coffee so I’m reluctant to pull anyone up on their milk steaming technique. My short mac was also on the long side of short, but this is fairly commonplace in Perth.

Now, having said all of this, both F and V say that they’ve had really nice breakfasts at The Lounge Room, and V is quite a regular visitor for their breakies and coffee, so I would return for the coffee and to try out the breakfast menu. The chicken tikka panini that the man sitting next to us was enjoying also smelled really very good and looked quite unsteamrollered, so although I wouldn’t go out of my way to return for lunch I also wouldn’t argue if someone suggested it as a meeting spot.

I guess I’m saying I wouldn’t get into a relationship with The Lounge Room, but I wouldn’t mind meeting up for a coffee every now and then… and maybe the occasional breakfast, though I’m not sure what kind of girl that makes me.

The Lounge Room on James

Address:                  187 James Street, Guildford 6055
Phone:                      08 9379 3791
Opening Hours: Breakfast and Lunch 7 days
We paid:                   ~$23/head for lunch and coffees

The Lounge Room on Urbanspoon

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

mademoiselle délicieuse July 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm

You just don’t want to commit to a relationship!

But , honestly, I can’t blame you as I had no idea what that resembling-flattened-piece-of-crispbread was until I read on.

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Yeah, I just don’t think it’s meant to be. Size really does matter… when it comes to panini.

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Hannah July 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Thank you for doing this, Conor. *hugs hugs hugs* I’ve been to ask you how things are going, and must apologise for my relative quietness – June has been a crazy month. I also applaud your ability to write one of the kindest negative-ish reviews I’ve ever read, and your ability to resist making anatomical jokes about those mushroom stems…

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm

How silly that we’re both feeling bad for being quiet and busy. Let us both feel no guilt! Shazam! Begone! The guilt should be begone (be begone?) not you begone.

I actually didn’t even notice that about the mushrooms. You are clearly more rude than I. Or I need more sleep. Probably both.

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Adrian (Food Rehab) July 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Totally diggin how they serve the mushrooms whole being so used it being sliced up and fried.

A few workmates are doing Dry July!

Tax time sucks…unless you are actually getting a decent refund. :)
Adrian (Food Rehab)´s last blog post ..A Cubicle Vampire’s Guide to Melbourne’s Cafe Scene

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Good point! The last few times I’ve had mushies though, I recall them being whole. There’s something nice about slicing them up yourself. Perhaps there’s a mushroom revolution going on.

I’m SO happy it’s tax time, moving house soon and the money will come in very handy!!

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Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz July 2, 2011 at 6:52 am

Great initiative to go dry for the big C. I know close people with very recent brushes with it. Too bad the restaurant was not up to par to make up for your dry month.
Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz´s last blog post ..Rosemary Walnut Ice Cream

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I know… with no booze to wash it all down, the food has to be *that* much better ;)

And yes, it’s all too close to home for so many of us. It’s such an unfair illness.

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msihua July 2, 2011 at 8:06 am

Hahaha… I think us Melburnians had the same initiative round Feb… talk about crazy.
msihua´s last blog post ..Grilled Persimmons with Quince Syrup Recipe

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Oh lordy, I couldn’t do it in summer. Although… I think I couldn’t do it because I love drinking beer in summer so very much, but I actually went through last Feb and had NO beer at all with my elimination diet so perhaps I could actually survive it! I’ll see how the rest of this month pans out though… can’t get cocky after only 4 days!

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GourmetGetaways July 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I hate tax time! Blah!

I would like to ask you what possessed you to go Dry in July but if you remember I did the Feb Fast so I can’t be too critical. Although I am sure I made my decision with a banging hangover ;)

Good luck with your fast :) One thing I will say, I got a lot more done of an evening!!

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm

One of the perks of being a poor student again is that tax time is a lovely, lovely time of year when the tax man gives me back what I’ve been passing onto him all year. Hooray refund!

Thanks Julie! Day 4 and going strong!

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Karen Harris July 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Well, at least the food looked good. Dry July is a tough one but I guess it’s better than dry December. One second though, dry is hard anytime. I admire your dedication.
Karen Harris´s last blog post ..OMG: Homemade Pop Tarts with My Quick and Simple Blueberry Refrigerator Jam

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Dry December? DRY DECEMBER?! Yegads, the very thought. Thank you for making this seem so much easier by comparison.

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 3, 2011 at 6:13 am

You non commiter, you!
Seriously, good for you for doing Dry July. Though I can bet that August won’t be so dry LOL!

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Conor July 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I know, I know.. it’s not me, it’s them. I need a bit more plumpness in my bread, a bit less disgustingness in my chutney, what can I say?

Bring on August, dear lord. Apparently this is the first time in 800 and something years that July contains FIVE weekends. Yep. Go me.

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Ladybird July 5, 2011 at 7:28 am

What a great cause, Connor, good on you!!!
Ladybird´s last blog post ..New York Cheesecake

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Thank you! It’s hard work but worth it with all the donations :)

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ylenate July 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm

What a good review! Really, well done – After reading this, I think you must have a talent for letting people down gently? Oh, and I totally agree about the steamroller scene in “Who killed Roger Rabbit” – i t freaked me ou as a child as well.
Good luck for the rest of Dry July!

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Ha, thank you! It didn’t shake up any vitriol in me… I’ll go looking for something terrible to get a really good angry post going one of these days ;)

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Bryt July 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

2 weeks in, how’s that staying dry going? I’m pretty certain I would’ve caved by now… I’d be drunk as a skunk with a bottle stuck to my big toe, Doris Day style (That Touch of Mink)!!

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Going pretty well after being able to use a generously purchased Golden Ticket at the GFWS!! The hardest part has been going to my regular Champagne Club at the start of the month, watching everyone else drink while I sipped my water. Not long to go now until I’m Doris Day-ing it up, baby :D

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Mei @ Libertine Eats July 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Almost halfway through Dry July! You go girl. :) It’s a bit mean for Dry July to be held in July – cold weather and alcohol go so well together dammit! Guess you’ll have to cosy up to a heater (or a hot guy) instead.

Btw saw you in person for the first time at the GFWS! I was in the birdcage with Alvin. Hope we cross paths again soon. :)
Mei @ Libertine Eats´s last blog post ..iku sushi

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Thanks Mei! I know what you mean, although I would find it MUCH harder in summer. I love my beer!

Dang, sorry I missed the opportunity for a chat last Friday. I hope so too :)

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Trix July 18, 2011 at 12:09 am

My mother died from lung cancer, and I applaud your decision to do this .. that said, I rather like the idea of getting money the MORE you drink much better than this dry business. It’s only because dry and July rhyme that it’s a thing at all … I propose: Ginned-up July, or Juiced July … or Always Drunk August and Swilling September?
Just a thought.

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Bryt July 20, 2011 at 1:56 am

Lol I’m with you on this one Trix! Love the ‘Swilling September’

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Oh Trix, I didn’t know this. I’m very sorry.

I do however LOVE your suggestions. I will go forth and take them fully on board once this god forsaken month is over! It’s raining and wet and all I can think of is mulled wine. Juiced July, oh why can’t you exist?

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Jess July 19, 2011 at 1:19 am

good luck with the dry July thing! I hope you’ll make, if it’s for this kind of purpose it’s worth it indeed!!!
Jess´s last blog post ..how to give a blowjob

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Thanks Jess! It’s going pretty well so far, and I’m so pleased with how much money has been raised.

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Magic of Spice July 19, 2011 at 1:50 am

First off much wished success with the Dry Hard campaign, wow…I so would never have tackled this. Exceptional cause of course, and even if you were drunk when you signed up (lol) Bravo!
As for The Lounge Room and a potential of a budding relationship…my best advice is to “Just be friends” ;) That much disappointment, life is too short!

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Conor July 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Thank you! I know, I’m starting to think I must have been affected at the time to have agreed to it ;)
And yes, you are totally right. It’s just not meant to be between us!

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Gourmetgetaways July 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I hope you are still going strong with your “Dry for July” pledge… I was thinking of you because it is starting to feel like wine time :)
Gourmetgetaways´s last blog post ..Cookbook Challenge – Spice – Chai Madelines

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Forager @ The Gourmet Forager July 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Gee, doesn’t sound like the best experience – but good to hear you’re going to give them a second chance. There’s a cafe near my house in that category, so much promise but so disappointing. I’ve been meaning to go back for round 2, but haven’t found enough courage to.
Forager @ The Gourmet Forager´s last blog post ..A New York food pilgrimage from Katz to lobsters

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Gcroft July 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Hi Conor

I hope Dry July went well for you. I didn’t realise you were giving up blogging in July :-9 as well as the drink! Look forward to reading how it went for you.

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Jennifer Tiangco October 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I just wonder what was that brown thing in the lamb burger that are being twisted? lol
Great Review! :)

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