Posted by: travelrat | December 6, 2010

Why I Ordered the Beef Stir-fry

With the amount of video footage I took over the last year, I naturally have one or two clips that don’t quite fit anywhere else. So, it might be an idea to revive the ‘Just a Minute’ series, which has been a little dormant of late. Here’s the first one ….

One of the first ‘foodie rules’ I learnt was ‘Don’t order seafood if you can’t see the sea’ and ‘Don’t eat seafood on a Monday’.

Now, although neither is really valid in these days of refrigerators and freezers, I’d suggest the first rule really applies to big countries, like Australia and the USA. After all, my favourite fish and chip shop of all is Harry Ramsden’s, which is in Guiseley, and about as far away from the sea as you can get in those parts of the UK.

Nevertheless, Harry’s fish was always fresh … he laid down from the start that no fish would cross his counter, or be served at his tables unless it had been landed at Grimsby that morning. For this reason, he … and just about every other ‘chippy’ in those days … didn’t open on Monday, because the fishing fleet didn’t go out on a Sunday night. So, any fish served the following day wouldn’t be fresh.

Like I said, these rules are probably irrelevant with the arrival of the freezer … but, it’s only fifteen years since I had the worst dose of food poisoning I’ve ever had … caused by a seafood soup, eaten on a Monday!

As you can see from my video, the seafood here is definitely fresh … guaranteed! Now, this may sound a little hypocritical, because I like seafood as much as the next person. But, when you know it’s been swimming around in its tank twenty minutes before ….

So, I ordered the beef stir-fry. And, I think all eight of us at table spoke for a meat dish. At least, we didn’t see them chasing the cows and pigs around the paddock.


  1. Good ground rule: never eat seafood in a landlocked state or if you’re allergic. It took me years of Russian Roulette (played with my stomach and intestines) until I figured that one out. Steak is always a good idea.

    • Didn’t you once say you were allergic to seafood?

      Problem is that, if there’s any pollution about, seafood, especially shellfish, is the first to absorb it, and reaction to such pollution is often mistaken for an allergy. Only way around it is to buy your seafood only from a trusted source, or buy only the well-known brands of frozen stuff.

  2. Hi Keith,
    It’s a wonder getting food poising from seafood didn’t turn you off that type of
    food altogether. Very good rules indeed, especially the Monday one. I know a
    couple of seafood places that are fantastic as well, and they are nowhere near
    the sea, but they are far and few between I’m afraid.

    I don’t blame you for choosing beef instead of the “very fresh” seafood,
    it’s one thing to order something from the menu, it’s another thing if
    you see it alive and well beforehand.

    • Like the old-time cowboys used to say, the only way to deal with falling off your horse is to get back on again. And, Friday night just wouldn’t be Friday night without my fish and chips.

      I did get a nice letter of apology from the restaurant; apparently, what happened was, in the absence of the head chef, an unscrupulous dealer took advantage of his young, inexperienced stand-in to offer him a ‘generous discount’ on some supplies from a dubious source.

      The restaurant got fined, and the dealer went to jail. I got a voucher for a free meal, and the young chef learnt to always source his supplies from a reliable source.

      But, I don’t think he ever kept it in a tank in the dining room!

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