Thursday, 18 April 2013

Bye Bye Maba

I have to say I was devastated to hear that Maba has closed down.

The dream is over...

Was so pleased when it opened - finally a proper Steakhouse in Bicester serving the kind of food I liked. Gorgeous steaks with chips, and all the rest of it. Absolute perfection for me and what I had been waiting years in Bicester for.

To hear they have failed is heartbreaking, especially for the owners who put so much into it and their staff who did absolutely nothing wrong. It pains me to see that we can support about 7 Indian restaurants in this town but not one English one. And before anyone accuses me of being racist or saying that because I don't like Indian food, that is rubbish - fact is I like choice! Same argument I keep putting about supermarkets and all the rest of it. I'd rather see a good spread of restaurants of all types. That's diversity.

If Maba can't succeed, then who can?

Let's hope someone can come in and rescue the place and that all is not lost. Fingers crossed.

I cooked myself a little "tribute" meal to them tonight. Now I don't have steak that often as I'm very choosy over my meat and don't often buy it and it's an expensive purchase. But I always look at it. When buying meat I like to have a good look at it - to the extent that in the Supermarket I will always have a good rummage around. If I fancy some steak and there are 20 packs on the shelf I will examine every one before making a purchase to get the best one for me. And even then I might not buy. The quality varies enormously. Let's take Tesco as an example. Sometimes I look at their packs of steak and all I see is gristly, fatty rubbish. I have a very trained eye and can tell what it's going to look like. But then there are days like today. They had a half price offer on Rump (I could make a joke here....but won't). Now generally I am more of a fillet or sirloin man, but anyway, this rump was prime stuff. Lovely lean, tender, I could see through the pack it was going to be good. Two big nice pieces for me and Claire - and barely 3 quid for the two. Cooked them to perfection under the grill - I tell you, you would have been hard pressed to tell this wasn't fillet! Hats off to Tesco, you redeemed yourself this time. But don't get complacent, I'm still watching you with my beady eye!

Been a lot of debate lately on facebook over online vs store shopping, I have to say I don't have a problem with the idea of buying standard grocery items online - after all a packet of Cornflakes is a packet of Cornflakes but I will never ever ever buy meat online - I simply have to choose it myself and get the best one. It's the same with the hams - take pot luck as to whether you will get a nice lean pink one or a dark horrible one? Tip - when buying hams, look for those with  more lighter pinker coloured flesh, that's the best bit.

I will never ever ever buy a steak or joint of meat I have not physically and personally examined first.

Anyway Maba, I don't care what anyone else says, you were my favourite, I loved you, I enjoyed you, and our brief flirtation together is over - but well done to everyone involved and who worked there for doing a fantastic job - and all I can really say is a great big THANK-YOU!

Time we had another Doctor I think in my top 11 Doctors of all time and now comes the time for huge controversy - 10th on my list is...

10) Matt Smith

10th out of 11, well at least you weren't last

I'm sorry Matt fans, I've tried so hard to like him and his stories but after 3 years, I have to admit defeat. This cannot just be down to dislike of a new Doctor, which most people have for a little bit until they get used to the new one. I'm also not going to use the standard lazy cliche of "he's too young" which most lazy writers who want to have have a go at him resort to.

Let's deal with Matt himself first. I just don't like his portrayal of the Doctor. He talks too fast and he is also far too clever. The sonic screwdriver also continues to be way over-used. Why? Well it makes the BBC a lot of money in toy sales. Back in Peter Davison's time they decided to kill off the sonic screwdriver as it was getting him out of too many scrapes too easily.

It's all too easy now. Over recent Doctors (since as far back as Sylvester McCoy in fact) we have had this growing portrayal of the Doctor as some sort of omnipotent being who cannot be defeated and that the whole universe is scared of him. To the extent that it seems now that he only has to stand up in front of some aliens and spout a load of the "Big I Am" and they'll shit themselves. Really? Any villain worth their salt would  just laugh at him and shoot him on the spot. You see I never feel Matt's in any danger, he's just too much of a superhero. I think we need to feel our hero is in danger (even though we know he will survive) and I don't get that. There is no vulnerability whatsoever

Now many of these accusations could be levelled perhaps at his predecessor, but it just didn't feel like that with David Tennant - it just worked with him, and he had his human, vulnerable and approachable side. I could have had a drink with him in the pub. With Matt I couldn't - he would annoy the f**k out of me!

Now when he had Amy Pond, I could just about be happy with that, but this new companion, Clara, what's all that about? He has to meet her 3 times, and she's already died twice, big mystery. What the hell is all that about? What's wrong with the old tried and trusted Doctor meets girl, they go off together and have adventures. End of. They are trying to be far too clever now with these long running story arcs. Like that one last season where the Doctor got shot at the start of the season and the whole of the rest of the year was based around that? Why? Just get on and tell us some stories!

OK, there have been themes running through Doctor Who before, but not ones that detracted from the individual story telling. Tom Baker had a whole season based around the "Key To Time" where each of the six stories involved them looking for part of a crystal to be assembled at the end. But it didn't impact on the individual stories. Likewise with Eccleston, teasers for Bad Wolf throughout the year, but that is all they were. Now it seems you have to watch every detail of every episode to work out what the hell is going on. Who gives a toss who Clara is or where she came from? Just give us an adventure.

And lo and behold they did! Last week - Cold War - a classic Doctor Who tale - a monster and a group of humans in an enclosed environment, being picked off by the monster. And Matt's portrayal was a huge improvement on some other recent efforts. Thank-you Mark Gatiss, I knew you would not fail me. It was the absolute tonic needed, because if I had been writing this summary after the previous week's episode the slushy sentimental self-indulgent bullshit that was "The Rings Of Akhaten", I'm afraid Matt may well have found himself at No.11 on this list.

Don't get me wrong people, I love Doctor Who in all shapes and forms, and have enjoyed many Matt Smith episodes, but sadly, for me, he's not the man for the part especially following on from Tennant. I think for the first time ever, when the news comes through he's hanging up the Tardis key and the hunt is on for a new Doctor, I won't be sad. I think this will happen quite soon, rarely does anyone stay more than 3 full seasons, so don't be surprised in the slightest if Matt announces he's stepping down before the end of the year.

Who should be the next Doctor - I think Benedict Cumberbatch would make a brilliant Doctor, but then he would make a pretty good Master too.

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1 comment:

  1. We never went into Maba because when it first opened the menu seemed far too expensive. And when a restaurant decides to charge extra for vegetables it's definitely a place to avoid - you'd put up with that at Le Manoir, but for a steakhouse in town it was just too pretentious.

    They also suffered because whenever you drove past it looked empty - and who wants to go to a restaurant that no-one else will go to?

    BB, Bicester

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