Day 421 – Send me a sign

No. Not one with your finger(s). Stop it.

I’m considering buying a new lens for my camera. I’m not a professional camera person, and while science never paid well, no science doesn’t pay at all, thus that R243,000 one is sadly just out of reach.

By about R230,000.

But there is one lens I’ve been looking at that’s just about doable, price-wise. But still a luxury item.
So I’ve been reading reviews, looking at blogs, examining ratings and comments on photography sites, and generally looking for anything to put me off spending what is still a sizeable chunk of change on a new lens that I could quite easily manage without, but which would also be a lot of fun and (hopefully) improve the standard of my hobby. But that isn’t working, because all the reviews, blogs, ratings and comments said that if I couldn’t afford something more expensive (and I’m very much in that boat), then this was the lens for me, because it even outperforms lenses which are much more pricey. There are five star ratings and positive words everywhere.

That doesn’t help.

And I’ve been seeing some amazing shots on Instagram and Flickr using this sort of lens and wishing that I could produce that sort of thing. Which I’m sure I could… if I bought this lens.

dinosaur on Twitter: "https://t.co/kJotqj94E6" / Twitter

Even then, though, I decided that it was too much. And so I went back onto my favourite photography retailer site this morning for final confirmation that there was actually no justification for spending that amount of money. I knew that simply seeing the total would be enough to put me off once and for all and… oh look they’ve knocked R900 off it.

ARGH!

Is that the sign I have been looking for? Well no, because I was looking for a sign that told me not to buy it. This was quite the opposite, and now I’m even more in limbo.

There’s no point in asking photography people because they will invariably say one of two things: “Get a better camera”, which is several times the cost of this lens and clearly an absolute non-starter, or “Yes, you can never have enough glass”, which is kind of true, but overlooks the fact that I’m not anywhere as near as much a photography person as they are.

I’m stuck.

Somebody, send me a sign. Please.

Dine your heart out with the most expensive meals around the world 

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed foodie or someone who enjoys satisfying your palette, we’re sure you’ve once dreamed of travelling the world to try out some new, glorious cuisine. 

Over time the world has evolved, and chefs have become better at making food that is so delicious that anyone would want to splurge when travelling. So, if you ever score on your lucky lotto numbers and you enjoy the food scene, you will find many restaurants to visit when you’re travelling overboard that will give you everything you need. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a look where you can dine out when travelling abroad. 

Lobster Frittata, New York

Now, of course, New York would be on the list because it is one of the best places to travel to, not only for the food. New York is one of the world’s leading metropolises for art, fashion, theatre, and obviously, food. And, if you’re obsessed with lobster and omelettes, then you’ve come to the right place. Norma sells “The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata”. And you may be wondering why it is so expensive, well, the omelette includes Sevruga caviar, which is the main factor that contributes to the price. This meal’s sold for $2000 (R30 261,36), but if you’re not willing to pay that amount, there is a smaller frittata with less caviar that’s $200 (R3 026,14). 

Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama, Kyoto

Japan is known for its colourful and vibrant culture, but their food is also out of this world. This is a restaurant that thrives on history and family legacy. The Chef, Kunio Tukuoka, took over from his father who took over from his grandfather, so you can clearly see the pattern here. But, enough about the family history; Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama in Kyoto has a 10-course meal that won’t only blow your mind…but your money too. 

The meal is at least $599.49 (R9 069,68) per person, but it is worth it, well for those who can afford it. As mentioned, it is a 10-course meal that has rounds of sashimi, grilled and steamed food, rice, pickled veggies and desserts. And that’s only the half of it. So, if you happen to ever go to Japan and have money to splurge, this should definitely be one of the places you go to. And, as big as this meal is, at least you won’t be hungry anytime soon. 

Paris Chef Guy Savoy’s restaurant 

France, especially Paris, is known for being a passionate city with one of the best cuisines And Guy Savoy Monnaie does not disappoint when it comes to making an exquisite dish that speaks to your soul, and makes your heart skip a beat. 

This restaurant was open in 2015. It overlooks the Louvre and the Pont Neuf, and the restaurant offers a menu with 13 courses. Just like the Japan dish, you’re guaranteed to leave with a happy and full stomach. The meal is described best as a feast of “textures, colours and mouth watering flavours.” The cost of the meal is $536.63 (R8 111,86), which includes duck, lobster, artichoke soup with black truffles and more. 

Unfortunately, this overpriced meal does not come with any beverages, so you will need to set money aside for that too. But, the delightful dishes are sure to make your experience in The City of Lights worthwhile. For those who have been dying to go to Paris, the best time to travel is from April to June or October to early November when the weather is enjoyable, so make sure your travel package is inline so you can have the whole experience. 

Burger Brasserie, Las Vegas

Sin City never disappoints. Whether you’re going to see the Bellagio Fountains, the breathtaking shopping mall, Caesar’s Palace, the slot machines, the people or the food, Las Vegas is known for having some of the many award-winning restaurants and just about anything. Now, if you’re someone who loves a good ol’ burger, you need to try the Burger Brasserie in Las Vegas. It’s a Paris resort restaurant that serves a Kobe beef and Maine lobster burger for $777 (R11 746,92). Now, you may be wondering why it’s so expensive, well, apart from it being a French cuisine, the burger comes with pancetta, goat cheese, seared foie gras, arugula, main lobster and 100 years aged balsamic paired with a BTL salad. Now, if that isn’t enough to make your mouth water, maybe the fact that the dish is accompanied by a bottle of Rose Dom Perignon Champagne, just might. 

Ibiza, Spain 

Two years ago, Michelin 2-star chef, Paco Roncero, opened a dinning operation in Ibiza called the Sublimotion. Now, this may be one of the most expensive meals in the world, but it is worth it. Not only is the food amazing, but the setting and ambience tops it off too. 

The room has a screen that rotates different vibes making sure your meal goes well with the scene. It goes from food to tech and art, making an all-together phenomenal experience. 

This is a three-hour experience, with seating arrangements enough for 12 guests at a table and 25 professionals serving you. The 15-20-course tasting meal costs over $1 700 (R25 701,11) per person. 

Malta

Malta, which is an island state located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, gives people a taste of a decadent white truffle and gold pizza which costs $2 420 (R36 615,69). However, prices may change depending on the truffle market. And, to answer your question as to why pizza would be so expensive. Well, according to the menu, “This is not just a pizza, this is a sign from God telling you how great She is.” So, there you have it folks, God’s favourite dish. The pizza is only available when white truffles are in season, which is from October to May. The pizza contains white truffles, fresh organic water buffalo mozzarella, and a 24-carat gold leaf. So, for individuals who enjoy a slice of pizza, make sure you give this pizza a try. 

Italy, Salerno 

They say you’ve never had pizza until you’ve tried an Italian one. And Renato Viola has pizza that’s fit for royalty. They say this is not because it’s huge, but because it is one by far the most expensive pizza sold at $9315,71 (R141 026,81). The pizza is made by Renato Viola, who is one of the best master pizza chefs in Italy. He’ll also make this for you in the comfort of your own home. As expensive as it is, it is anything but mediocre. 

This pizza has mouthwatering additions on top, such as mozzarella di bufala, lobster and caviar that’s travelled from various places around the world. Now, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, we don’t know what will. This restaurant stays true to going all out, serving a pizza suitable for a leader: served with a fine beverage such as cognac and champagne. 

Sydney, The Lord Dudley Hotel 

Chef Paul Medcalf changed the ball game when it comes to pie. The Posh Pie bursts with flavour. Inside, it has two cuts of two different types of premium beef,  two whole west Australian rock lobsters and two bottles of Penfold Grange Reserve. The Posh Pie also comes with winter black truffles and dried Italian porcini mushrooms inside. And, lastly, to finish the look of the pie, it comes with a German gold leaf. Now you know why it’s called a Posh Pie.

Are you ready to dine your heart out?

If your mouth is watering, no worries because you aren’t alone. Although this isn’t all the food in the world, these are the ones that we’re sure will give you and your stomach a memorable experience. So, start saving, bet online and do what you need to to ensure you get to taste all the marvels of the world. 

No post is good post

I almost forgot to blog again. Yikes.

We did a bit of (expensive) shopping for our upcoming trip today. I can’t bring myself to share how much we spent, but it was “significant”. April 2017 will therefore be a month remembered for the number of meals consisting of 2 minute noodles or dry Salticrax. And – hopefully – a really good trip to Namibia. The food on that one was included in the price of the holiday, so at least we’ll be able to eat for a few days.

Right now, I need to sit down and relax in a large tub of decent brandy, as I try to forget our spending today.

Also, mental note to self: how are you going to blog while you’re away?
If you get a house sitter and a beagle sitter, can do you also get a blog sitter?
Maybe I need one of those to remind me to blog on the days when I am here…

Hourly rate

Don’t get me wrong. I know that there’s more to a bill than pure profit. There are taxes, overheads, employees, Eskom increases etc etc to deal with.
But – glad as I was that the orthopaedic surgeon fitted me in to his busy schedule at short notice last week – I was in there for 7 minutes and it cost me R800.

I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and I reckon that amounts to R6857.14 per hour.

Like I said, that’s not all going into his pocket, but it’s certainly better than a kick in the teeth (which I can’t do at the moment anyway).

Lucky me, and indeed lucky him and lucky his bank manager, I shall return to consult with him for an equally expensive session later this week. There seems a good chance that I will be seeing him again the following week in a more theatrical setting too.

And I very much doubt that will be the final act either.