Chicken roll lunches and remembering my friend R

Regular readers know how much I love chicken. A good chicken sandwich or chicken roll is one of my favourite lunches.

The chicken strip roll from 88 Royal lunch bar (88a Royal St, East Perth) is always tasty. They make it to order – they slice up a crusty bread roll, add butter, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and hot crispy crumbed chicken strips, then wrap it up in paper. I think the unwrapping of the paper-wrapped sandwich is part of the pleasure. And before the unwrapping, it’s wonderful holding the wrapped roll up to my nose and smelling the bread through the paper.

Chicken strip roll from 88 Royal lunch bar

One of the things I love about the 88 Royal chicken strip roll is they use Tomy mayonnaise out of a jar, rather than the thin, over-sweet, cheap, bulk buy mayo that many lunch bars and delis use. Good mayo makes such a difference in a chicken sandwich.

Chicken strip roll from 88 Royal lunch bar

Most recently, I’ve told you guys about the fantastic organic chicken and salad roll from City Farm Cafe (1 City Farm Place, East Perth).

Organic chicken roll from City Farm Cafe

Loads of sliced organic chicken, fresh salad greens, red onion, tomato, carrot, cheese and pesto in a crusty roll studded with rolled oats, linseeds and poppy seeds. It all tastes so fresh that eating it doesn’t just taste good, it makes me feel good too.

Organic chicken roll from City Farm Cafe

I recently tweeted about a chicken and avocado flute from Jean Claude Patisserie (26 Oxford St West, Leederville).

These are superb. The mini crispy thin baguette called a “flute” is spread thickly with fresh mashed avocado and filled with roast chicken smothered in creamy mayonnaise.

Chicken and avocado flute from Jean Claude Patisserie

But even as I think of the pleasure of eating a Jean Claude chicken and avocado flute, I feel really sad, because the friend who bought me this chicken and avocado flute for lunch passed away 12 days later.

Chicken and avocado flute from Jean Claude Patisserie

My workmate and friend R died unexpectedly last week. We were all shocked to hear the news. I still can’t believe that I will never see him again.

He was one of the most generous people I’ve known, a great guy with a wicked sense of humour who was always ready to lend a hand to anyone, not just his friends.

On the day R bought me that chicken and avocado flute, he had an errand that would take him right past Jean Claude Patisserie in Leederville. He knew how much my workmates and I love Jean Claude food, so he offered to stop by and pick up lunches for us. I asked for a chicken and avocado flute.

When R arrived at Jean Claude, there appeared to be no chicken and avocado flutes left, so he rang to tell me what else was available so he could be sure to get something else I’d like. “They have turkey and cranberry, ham and cheese…” he said, reading the labels. “Ham and cheese would be great,” I said, because honestly, any Jean Claude flute would be yummy. But when he returned to the office a little while later he looked really pleased. “After I hung up I saw there was just ONE chicken and avocado flute left,” he said. “I made sure to grab it for you!” He was just so happy that he could bring me back exactly the lunch I wanted. That was the kind of guy he was. He thought my blog was pretty cool and was always so chuffed when I got a mention in the paper – he’d tell his wife all about it when he got home that night. Whenever he brought in cakes or pastries for his birthday, he’d come over and tell me: “the box is in the fridge” so I could sneak in and take photos before afternoon tea.

From now on, whenever I eat a Jean Claude chicken and avocado flute, it will be extra special because I will think of my friend R. I’m really going to miss him.

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