Don Brash: I love junk-food

02:28, Sep 21 2011
don brash
CONVENIENT: Don Brash at Astoria, which is handy to Parliament.


59 Lambton Quay, Midland Park, Wellington.

Ph: 473 8500.

Open Monday to Friday, 7am-7.30pm, Saturday to Sunday, 8am-4pm

From my point of view, Astoria is perfect. It's close enough to Parliament to be very convenient, and yet not actually in Parliament.

It's open almost any time of the day or night that you want it to be. Okay, I think it opens at seven o'clock in the morning. I don't want much before seven o'clock in the morning most days.


And it's got a pretty good range of food options. Now, if I want to go for a long dinner, clearly I don't come to Astoria. But for a conversation for half an hour or an hour, it's absolutely perfect.

At the moment I live in Auckland, so by definition I only come here when I'm in Wellington. That means almost every week the House is sitting, when I'll come here at least once, sometimes with a journalist, sometimes with other MPs, sometimes with businesspeople wanting to explain to me why they need special consideration of some sort.

It's normally quite full, it's obviously very popular. But I haven't often arrived and been unable to find a table.

If I'm eating at a white-tablecloth restaurant, I'd go to a Logan Brown or a White House or Boulcott [St Bistro]. The Bolton's another one. I had an apartment at the Bolton Hotel for quite a long time when I was in Parliament previously.

But Astoria is convenient, and I don't often have much time for white- tablecloth dinners.

I'm not a foodie in the sense that my wife is. My wife is a Singaporean, and Singaporeans tend to be real foodies. And they are therefore very focused on exactly what kind of food [they like]. I like food, but you can't really describe me as a foodie.

I'm also a junk-food addict. If I'm in a hurry, it's Burger King or McDonald's. Occasionally KFC. Or Subway - if I'm feeling very adventurous, I eat Subway.

It's very quick, very convenient. And actually I enjoy it. All of them are enjoyable. I'm catholic in my tastes. I don't want to prejudice my prospects at the others, but I actually like the Burger King barbecue bacon burger.

[On having a leadership meeting at Burger King with Rodney Hide earlier this year]: We did, in Auckland, that's exactly true. It could well have been [my suggestion]. I can't recall, to be frank.

My wife and I are currently separated. I never go hungry, but I'm not wildly enthusiastic about cooking. I tend to eat very, very simple food. I cook myself steak, plus either potato, or frozen peas, or frozen corn, or tomato or something. But if I've been having a heavy week, I might nip out and grab junk food.

On the campaign trail, it's anything you can get. Often Koru Club. There are some days when I have breakfast at home at six in the morning, and I have lunch at the Koru Club in Wellington and dinner at the Koru Club in Christchurch. It's just food on the run. And at some times of the day, Koru Club food is not bad. Other times, it's pretty awful. As told to TOM FITZSIMONS

The Dominion Post