On 27th November 2008, Robyn, a good friend of mine, and myself came up with an idea. The idea was spurned on by our love of food and socialising. Consequently, the day we thought of the idea was the day in which I had taken Robz out to eat for her 23rd birthday.
In essence, the idea is to get a group of friends together, at least once a month, to try out new places to eat and broaden our palate sensations – whether it may be a trendy bistro at a five star hotel or an undiscovered earthy ethnic eatery. As a result The Upper Palatte (TUP for short) was born! Members of The Upper Palatte are affectionately referred to as Upper Crusters. An Upper Cruster is a member of The Upper Palatte and consequently a part of The Upper Crust (TUC), which is the title given to the body of individuals who belong to The Upper Palatte.
On Saturday 21 February 2009, The Upper Palatte (TUP) had its inaugural ‘eat’. The venue was Bistro 277 on Main, a quaint little French ‘bistro’ surreptitiously hidden in the rear shadows of the Cramerview Shopping Centre in Bryanston, Johannesburg. A total of eight Upper Crusters were able to attend The Upper Palatte’s inaugural dinner.
For my starter I had a Camembert pastry infused with marmalade preserve. The dish was sublime. For the main course I ordered a seemingly mouth watering Duck Cherry Pie. My hopes were high for the main course, especially after the fantastic starter. Unfortunately, the dish was severely disappointing, insipid in fact, with what tasted like a melancholy orgy of plainly boiled duck mixed with canned cherries. After the unappetising main, I had faith that the house dessert speciality, the ‘Grand Marnier Soufflé’, would breathe new life into my devastated taste buds. Sadly, further dissatisfaction prevailed. The initial presentation of the ‘Grand Marnier Soufflé’ was something to behold. A gorgeous gold encrusted soufflé alight with a turquoise flambé. Fatefully, the taste did not match the presentation. Although not inedible, the soufflé was uninspiring and tasted like scrambled eggs with a hint of cinnamon.
Despite the bland palate sensations provided by Bistro 277 on Main, an exuberant and highly memorable time was had by all Upper Crusters. As a matter of fact, it was because of the characterless meals and erratic service that such an enjoyable time was had. Of most notable significance was the discovery of the now infamous ‘poef-flé’ and the parody driven “Two girls, One poef’flé” incident with Tammi and Mika (derived from ‘Two Girls, One Cup’ notoriety)! For those not in the ‘know’, the poef’flé is a mix of the words soufflé and poefie (a colloquial word used by children to describe faecal matter and dirty inedible objects – also Mika’s most despised word).
At the close of the evening, and after only a moments unanimous deliberation, The Upper Palatte sadly adjudged Bistro 277 on Main with a mediocre rating of five out of ten. This little bistro has a lot of potential and it is a pity to see it suffer so in terms of poor service, ambiguous decor/ambience and bland cuisine.
Although all of The Upper Crust who were able to attend had a fantastic time, we do sincerely hope that the next venue to be visited by The Upper Palatte will serve more in terms of gastronomy and character. Please do have a look at the album from ‘The Upper Palatte Ingests: Bistro 277 on Main.