Friday, 13 May 2016
BEIRUT WITH THE BEMS - A 94th Birthday Lunch!
Not quite so newly-wed Kathy Bem rang suddenly at six pm on Thursday evening and although I rarely answer the landline, I happened to be passing it so I did. It was the eve of not quite so new Husband Jossi’s 94th birthday and she suggested that the four of us do something special in recognition of the event. Husband Gordie (or Gordon – or even Hank for those who insist) had just suggested that he and I try once more for lunch at Beirut in Fort Street where he was determined to sample the slow cooked goat. He had been acutely disappointed a week or so back when we turned up on a Saturday only to find the place closed. This time I took the precaution of reserving a table for four – a quiet table. The Husband said that Kathy & Jossi would never find the place, and even if they did they would find the parking challenging to which I replied that as there were three parking buildings in Fort Street I found that very hard to believe. In the end The Bems arrived sensibly by taxi which had not occurred to either of us, the Birthday Boy looking very dapper indeed. Unlike the rest of us, Jossi who spent many years living in Israel, exposed to Arab cuisine immediately understood the possibilities offered on the menu and before very long we had a range of very tasty delicacies on the table along with a splendid bottle of wine. The Husband wondered if the slow cooked goat might be amongst the repast but he soon stopped wondering when he began to tuck in because the food was very good indeed, the tastes unexpectedly complex. It was all so good in fact that we sat there much longer than we had intended, the only blight on the outing being a rather loud group of Very Important looking Young Men with suntans who arrived for a late lunch laced with copious quantities of alcohol and soon began to laugh raucously at each gem of wisdom that tumbled from their lips. We moved into the bar area for a dazzling dessert lit with a candle accompanied by coffee. We stayed until almost four pm and as we left we all agreed that Beirut was worth a second visit. Even The Husband, still lamenting the loss of the slow cooked goat, only mentioned it once on the way home.