Tag Archives: negative dining experience

mixed feelings about Misty’s

I want to keep loving Misty’s, I really do. I’ve been quite a few times – even long ago enough for this sign not to mean anything to me, oh those days of innocence.

Sierra Nevada sign

One of my old friends used to live in the area and first suggested we go. It’s really cool inside – 50s booths and memorabilia on the walls.

Sadly, when I last went there to take L while she was down from Sydney, we went on a very busy evening. First we were told that we could only dine in if we wanted to sit outside. There were lots of bookings and we didn’t have one. That’s fine: we chose to eat outside rather than not eat here at all.

Later on, we learnt that you could indeed sit inside if you were willing to wait and that many folks did do this. Argh, what the hell?! Anyway, we were here and we placed our order. As I tell newcomers as it was told to me, cheesy chilli fries are the way to go when you’re here for your first time.

These are the famous cheesy chilli fries, when eaten at the restaurant. Yup, they look a little gross but they’re so freaking good.

cheesy chilli fries

This is what we ended up with instead, eaten huddled in my parked car. These are wet fries – still delicious and reminiscent of poutine. Originally we ordered the dish above as a starter to share but they forgot to put in our order. Yes yes, of course we asked about it a few times and got it when we’d actually finished our mains. The reason we got wet fries instead of cheesy chilli fries was because when someone came out to confirm our order for the third or fourth time (seriously, I lost count), I was told that because I’d said yes when the lady said ‘wet fries’, I got wet fries.

My bad that the wait staff, the dude taking my order and the kitchen staff initially stuffed up my order. I confess I just said yes so I could get my food and get the hell out of there to somewhere warm.

Still, the wet fries are good and me, Tristan and L gobbled them up like hungry, hungry hippos. Basically, they’re what I initially ordered but without the spiciness – gravy, melted cheese and chopped spring onions.

wet fries

But let’s get back to when we were still dining at the restaurant and not forced to my car shivering like mad.

L decided on the Philly cheese dog for her main. It looked and smelt so good! Lots of onions, thinly sliced beef and drowned in sauce. If I went back I would so order this next time!

philadelphia steak sandwich

Tristan and I shared the ‘I Want What Misty’s Having’ platter – which was two mini blue cheese and Cajun burgers, and a serve to share of the mini blue cheese salad and mini taco nachos. This is perfect if you’re wanting to try out lots of things and not feel sick with overeating!

what misty's having

These burgers are small. Here’s my fist curled next to one for comparison’s sake. Suck on that White Castle!

what misty's having

Crazily, despite us girls freezing our tits off outside, we still had to have the thickshakes. L and I shared a cherry cola one – I am a fan from way back.

cherry cola thickshake

Tristan went for one of their most popular ones – a Reese’s pieces thickshake. I don’t even like Reese’s peanut butter cups but have to admit the thickshake is delicious.

reece's pieces thickshake

Tristan reckons the food here is so good that despite the appalling customer service on this occasion, I’d still come back. There are loads of things on the menu I do still want to try and it’s guilty pleasure eating at its finest but no. I won’t be returning, not even for takeaway, not even for the breakfast burrito I saw on their menu and not even in spite of their ability to cater for vegetarians (there are loads of vegetarian options, believe it or not!).

So yeah, if you know of any other ace places offering the American junk food experience in all its glory, you be sure to let me know! I could never ever fault the food at Misty’s Diner but am not returning (or indeed recommending) a place where they make you feel like their incompetence is something you have to grin and bear. I’m pretty downcast about having to ‘demote’ one of my favourite junk food haunts.

Misty's Diner on Urbanspoon

no love affair with Ling Nam

I was famished after the Amanda Palmer gig, and having had an ace visit the night before at Danny’s Burgers, didn’t think I could justify going there again, two nights in a row. While walking to the car, myself and Bit O’ Meat decided to hit Chinatown as dumplings seemed to be an acceptable late-night fast food. Previously disappointed by a visit to the Supper Inn, which no longer seems to be as good as it once was, we tried a place called Ling Nam. Not Ling Nan as their own business card and menu state. I wasn’t bursting-at-the-seams eager, but not much else was available approaching midnight so this modest place had to do. How bad could Chinese food be, really.

Ling Nam seems pretty small and the service is curt, but that was okay – it seems to be the modus operandi of many a Chinatown eatery to serve and turf you. That’s cool – most of us know this. We decided upon the boneless duckling with yam, and the pork belly hotpot with pickled vegetables. Bit O’ Meat was asked if he was sure he wanted to proceed with his dish as it was generally considered very oily by Westerners. He looked a bit shocked, but insisted politely that he wouldn’t like to change his order. The waiter then proceeded to rob us of our chopsticks and we had to inform him quite forcefully that we were okay with the current eating implements.

The servings were absolutely huge, and wonderfully hearty. The pork belly was so tender and the slices barely held together. I would have liked more vegetables underneath though. Admittedly, yes, the duck with yam was an acquired taste – I wasn’t so fond of the actual batter itself (I am sorry to be frank, but much later after we were well away from the dining table, I felt it reeked of a particular male emission…). I do in fact love yam.

pork belly hotpot with pickled vegetables

boneless duckling with yam


Initially, Bit O’ Meat found a small hair in the duck and yam dish but seemed okay to keep eating. He then found a much larger hair in the pork belly, at which point I said I couldn’t continue eating the food. I have to admit, I was really unsure how to handle the situation and my dining partner seemed to have less initiative. I eventually summoned up the courage to tell a waitress what the problem was. Not once did she apologise for the situation and said that we could either get fresh dishes, or get fresh dishes to takeaway. I said to be honest, I’d just prefer to leave – and did not say this with malice. At this point, she became furious and insisted that we had to pay regardless because we’d eaten some of the food despite me pointing out that we’d eaten up to the point at which we’d found hair in the food. Not wanting to cause a further scene, we let ourselves be bullied into taking away fresh versions of our dishes.

We returned home feeling pretty downtrodden and a couple of days later, the takeaway is still sitting in my fridge. Although my recent experience with Supper Inn was rather lacklustre, I would easily recommend it over Ling Nam and it genuinely pains me to have to give such a negative review. Another food blogging colleague has enjoyed dining there so while the service is appalling and highly unprofessional, it cannot be ignored that the food is good, and it also shuts earlier in the morning than even Supper Inn (2am and 3.30am comparatively).

For future reference, if you want late-night nosh, I would instead recommend Supper Inn in Chinatown (open to 2am), Stalactites (open 24 hours) on the corners of Russell and Lonsdale Streets (don’t pretend you haven’t done the trashy nightclub drunken stagger for one of their kebabs – I won’t believe you!), or a little further north to Danny’s Burgers in North Fitzroy (open to 2am). No, it’s top-notch, but they will all do at a pinch and you’ll leave fortified.

Ling Nam on Urbanspoon