One of the more interesting characters I have met in the last year or so would have to be a fella by the name of Adam Page. I guess you would call him a musician, but he's also a composer and an entertainer (they're not mutually exclusive). He plays different reed instruments.
Sometimes he plays his prodigious beard. It's pretty impressive.
He is also a delightful fella - an absolute gent - especially for an Australian (just kidding).
So, when he came to visit me at Slow Boat last week and asked if he could ask me a question, my interest was piqued.
"JT", said the prodigiously bearded one. "Where, pray tell, is the best milkshake in town?"
This is of course an excellent question, and one that I have actually been asked before, by Yellow Brick Road boss lady Rachel Taulelei no less. I am flattered, naturally, to be thought of as a go-to person when you want to know where to get something delicious.
A little like when I was at high school in Timaru back in days of yore, when a chunky chum and I were stopped on the street outside Timaru Boys' High School and asked "you blokes look like you'd know where to get a good feed round here?". Finding good things to eat - it's what I do.
Like a bloodhound, I am able to almost psychically sniff out the best and the tastiest, and to then search and devour. It's like a God-given gift.
So, the best milkshake in central Wellington? Hmm. Not quite as easy as you might imagine. Lots of cafes don't even really do milkshakes any more, they are all about juices, or smoothies, or coffee, naturally. Midnight Espresso does a pretty good shake from memory. But is pretty good, good enough?
Nope. Uh uh. We need to raise the bar, show this Oz import what's what on the shake front. I need to unleash the beast.
"The best milkshake in our immediate proximity, Adam Page, would be the Snickers milkshake. At Fidels. It is magnificent".
"Hmm" he replies. "I thought of that - but is it really better than the peanut butter shake at Sweet Mothers Kitchen?"
"Dunno", I tell him. "You go try the Snickers and report back to me"
What do I want out of a milkshake? What are the guidelines for the dream shake?
Let me break it down for you as to how I call it:
1) Luxury. A good milkshake should be luxurious. It should taste and feel like a massive treat. Nobody ever got skinny drinking milkshakes. Let's be honest about that.
2) Coldness. Like, it should be really, really cold. Icy. It probably should give you an icecream headache . It's part of the experience.
3) Hybrid flavours. I am a big fan of the shake that blends more than one flavour - peanut butter-chocolate, choc-raspberry, choc-banana. NOT choc-orange, though. Revolting.
4) Aluminium cups to drink in-house, or those "longest drink in town" wax-coated card cups to takeaway. Classic. Timeless.
5) It should not taste like cardboard, like some ropey ones do from dairies. It means the icecream used is past its prime.
6) It's nice to have a milk shake with company. One each, though - don't share it. That would be yucky.(Btw, I am eating a Peach Tea iceblock in the pic - clearly I didn't get the memo...)
Now, if I had been in my other hood, Petone - the correct answer would have been "Zany Zeus, in Moera" - apparently. Plus One has had it, I have not, as yet, been able to go past their icecream, although I'm sure she is right Organic milk and icecream, I'm pretty sure, equals killer shake.
But, anyway, Adam comes back and tells me that yes, indeed - the Snickers shake is a thing of great beauty. Bingo!
So, a very simple question today - where is the best milkshake in your neck of the woods? Where is the best milkshake you've ever had? What are the characteristics of the perfect shake? And - the Snickers shake at Fidels - impressive, huh?!
Please join The Omnivore on Facebook here
And also, there is an event page for Adam Page's gig this Friday here.