Saturday, June 27, 2009

Snacks on One
The Bowlers’ Club
95-99 Kent St
NSW 2000

Lunch : 16 June 2009

Due to an unexpected set of circumstances, Tart Co-Pilot Tom and myself managed to meet up one day for a horological session of visits to a watch retailer/ watchmaker and another watchmaker, followed by a lunch which surprised me.

Watchstop the first was for me to pick up a vintage Vulcain Cricket which I had purchased from a seller (not in Australia) from whom I will never buy from again, as the watches that I purchased from him on my single visit, all of which I’d been assured were serviced and a-okay, were not, resulting in a not insubstantial further expenditure on my part in order to get them functional. Two of the watches were purchased as gifts, including this Vulcain.

The Vulcain Cricket was introduced in 1947 as the world’s first mechanical wristwatch with an alarm. Their marketing campaign as “the President’s watch” lies in the tradition of each US President since Harry Truman having been given one as a gift. Upon his inauguration, President Obama received an Anniversary Heart, a model celebrating Vulcain’s sesquicentenary, but with a specially engraved Presidential caseback.

Robert Ditisheim, designer of the alarm, used a cricket’s prominent chirp as his inspiration, designing a resonance chamber formed by fitting a two part back to the watch case. The inner part of the back is responsible for the alarm sound when it is struck by the hammer. The outer part of the back allows the sound generating inner back to oscillate freely.

After picking up the Cricket, we walked a little way to visit Max, where I picked up my “Devil’s watch”, as one of the Tarts refers to it as being. This kind moniker is due to the the rather bizarre way in which its crystal broke in December last year. Max had put in a new crystal, and after a very long and protracted farce of ridiculous proportions with Jean Richard and their local agents Avstev, I finally had my watch back!

It being lunchtime, and I being in need of sustenance, Tom took me to the nearby Bowlers’ Club, where another Tart had taken him for lunch in the past. Going upstairs to the Snacks on One, I admit that I was feeling somewhat apprehensive, as what little experience I’ve had with “club food” has been rather forgettable, to put it mildly.

What do watchnuts do when they are waiting for food? They take table shots of course!

Nomos Orion Rose-Gold, Vulcain Cricket, JeanRichard Bressel Classic, Patria

The paper on which the watches are placed are the instructions for operating the Cricket, kindly provided by watchmaker Geoff. Trust me, you need instructions!

And then it was time for lunch! I had the Ciabatta Open Steak Sandwich & Chips ($14.50)

which was described as “Minute Steak w baby rocket, oven roasted tomato, caramelised onion, garlic mayo”, and Tom had a Barbequed Ranch Burger & Chips ($13.50) -

- a “grilled beef pattie (sic) served w lettuce, tomato, bacon & homemade chutney”.

Well I learnt my lesson about being presumptive about club food, as my steak sandwich was good. Steak sandwiches are one of my favourite things to eat, and I still have fond memories of what was then considered (by Canberra standards) to be an expensive steak sandwich (at some $4) served at a small cafe in the suburban Jamison Centre shopping precinct when I was young.

The ciabatta was nicely toasted, with crunchy crust and chewyish innards. The oven roasted tomato was a nice change from the usual tomato slices that I seem to encounter, the baby rocket etc fresh, the steak itself decent, and the garlic mayonnaise arguably the thing that kicked it into the “goal!” area for me. I love garlic, and having garlicky bread made it almost seem as though I was having a sort of semi garlic bread steak sandwich. I know that this might not work for everyone, but I can say that it worked for me, and that on those days when I am simply in the mood for a solid sort of a sandwich, I’m going to head here. It beats the last steak sandwich I had, which is the double decker one at the Sanctuary Hotel, hands down, and the chips weren’t bad either!

Oh, and I am reliably informed that the burger was tasty too.... :) :)



Anonymous said...

Goodness, I really do love some of the watches you talk about!

The Sydney Tarts said...

Thank you! There are some interesting watches and fun watches out there.

Christie @ Fig & Cherry said...

Wow, I had no idea about the Presidents being given watches, such an interesting bit of trivia to know.

I'm actually looking for a watch at the moment, but I'm way too fussy to decide!