“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”


DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)


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22 November 2011

ARCHIVE: POSSUMS CLOSES ... ADELAIDE 1985























By 1985, Adelaide had got too small for Phillip Searle (left) and Barry Ross (right), whose radical restaurant, Possums, broke most of the Adelaide laws that were easiest to break, and quite a few others.

During the Adelaide Hills winter, for example, the staff would scour the damp bush for mushrooms few crazy whites had tried before. Morels, and other European sophistries, were beginning to appear in the best shops at very expensive prices, whilst the Hills were loaded with free native fungi that nobody understood. They'd divide up and eat their daily harvest, and if they tasted good and nobody got sick, they'd be on the menu next day.


Some of us were rather good at the range of mushies we called the brain crayons, but few knew much about those which were simply delicious to eat.

Once they'd decided to move east, Phillip And Barry sold the lease and staged a farewell dinner for Adelaide. First course was meat pies with sauce; dessert was a six foot ice cream cigarette, complete with dry ice within, so it actually smoked as it was devoured.


Arthur's often gets the credit, but, for a brief explosive burst, in its heart, Possums was the true CBGB's of Australian cuisine.

For a more complete essay on this bright slice of Australian culinary history, read
Mietta & Friends.
























The author deals with his first six foot ice cream cigarette, the Hon. Alexander Rix smiling behind
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The mighty Ned Armstrong, left, and Phillip Searle, right. We'd love to know who the little kid is. He looks like Dylan Thomas, and perhaps that's a lawyerly Dad standing behind? DRINKSTER has no idea who took these rare photographs which we found recently in a box of treasures we'd been a bit scared to open. We'd appreciate any information you can offer.


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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice to be reminded, to see the Ned, etc, etc.

Signed

"Slow dishie sacked by Barry"

Anonymous said...

holy smoke

mick-mick said...

That's not his Dad. His Dad is Barry, Phillip's partner.

Christian Kerr said...

I love Chrissie Mansfield's hair in the first photo! And there's a woman standing little to the left of her who was another Limbo person I'd completely forgotten. I have to confess though that I was always more of a regular at their neighbour Mistress Augustine. A $25 prix fixe three course menu was unbeatable value for a student!

Philip White said...

That's MaryJane Hayward (Heywood?), who, last I heard, was chef at the Oz Embassy in Switzerland, or something along those lines.

noice said...

IS THAT A PERM WHITEY!

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