The Athens Hash in Three Courses
(Prime Number hash 1451, 13th Nov 2005)
Our Restaurant critic writes:
The current fashion for ‘fusion’ cuisine prompted us to visit and try out the very trendy "Athens Hash House Harriers" a little way out of town – in Varimbobi – it proved to be well worth the visit.
We arrived on a weekend morning and the place was ‘brisk and busy’ rather than ‘crowded’. The clientele was cosmopolitan and stylishly dressed – obviously a place to see and be seen; this is a place to display ones "trophy" girl or boyfriend on ones arm.
My better half and I had booked ahead (always advisable but not always essential) and were immediately shown to a place by the lavatory bush by the maitre ‘D’.
Settling in to the ambiance; for starters we both had the ‘chalk talk’ concisely given by a Mr All Day Sucker, washed down with a cheeky little bottled water number: one of Mr Lidl’s finest. The sharp chalky appropriateness of the crudités was an indication of treats to come. We had decided to leave sampling the extensive beer list until later.
For the main course I chose the "run with mixed herbs, tortoise and beer stop" while my partner opted for the lighter but promising "hash walk aux herbes".
I found my own choice was initially alarming – first swallowing deep draughts of rocky syncline – easing off to a more digestible lumpiness, finishing off with a strong aftertaste of Mt-Goat-short-cut, which proved to be more enduring than advertised. No complaints about small portions here. My partner reported her main course to be, ‘enjoyable but over too soon’. A lesson there for gentlemen everywhere.
We were unable to sample each other’s courses for geographical reasons however, thanks to the innovation of Mt Goat I was able to taste more of the main course than other diners.
We soon hit the drinks tray, and while one of us was not drinking it was thought to be only correct that the other should drink double quantity to make up. A few beverages later we were well served with the highlight of the establishment: ‘La Crème de Cirque’. Of all the desserts one consumes in life those remembered best are the ones that sparkle and surprise.
S4S and ADS joined together to deliver a pudding as rich as it was fruity, as filling and ‘moreish’ as any narcotic, yet as light and frothy as any blonde present. A veritable spotted dick of a dessert! We had such fun as ADS was voted to be rewarded for his excellent trail but was so ‘sniffy’ at tasting his award-winning beer that this was switched for the ‘punishment beer’ – the one having polled the lowest votes in international tasting events.
Amongst the après dejeuner entertainment was ‘flying club – to include the ‘steak tartare’ thighs of Mt Goat, the aerial ballet of Mother F*cker, and the falling-off-the bike-while-setting-the-trail-and-why-was-he-setting-the-trail-from-a-bike ADS.
Other acts included: Dieter (for being able to pronounce ‘Fink Brau’ properly), Wet Dream for being newly named + stand-ins Olga and A.N Other for Stress Cow and Street Walker.
It is an unusual custom for a dining establishment to reward its customers but as we were finding out the Athens Hash House is no ordinary eatery and many were rewarded: notably MotherF*ucker (100 dinners – some dispute over this) and S4S – 200 banquets. Entertainment was brought to a close by the introduction of a proposed ‘anthem’ announced and warbled by Fair Cop.
Eventually even the deepest throat starts to gag on too much spotted dick and we had to hold our hands up and say, "no more".
Having convinced ourselves that the danger of eating on an empty stomach was past we repaired for further nourishment to the taverna.
Cost: A very reasonable €6 for two (including beers and softies)
Ambiance: Simply "unique"
Service: Informal, friendly and help-yourself
Last Word: Unrepeatable
Same time next week then?