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Tag Archives: date night!

Right now it is Crave Food Festival in Sydney. Culture, diversity, cuisine,  blahblahblah NOODLE MARKETS!  (Who cares about anything else.)

They transform Hyde Park in the center of the city into a massive Asian noodle market. Thai, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese and Middle Eastern restaurants from all over the city set up stalls and there are hundreds of tables set up all over the park – plus beer and wine tents and even cocktail waitresses. They really do it up beautifully with coloured lights shining through the park’s big old trees, Chinese lanterns strung up, live music and big blown up photographs from local artists hanging along the park’s main path.

I didn’t really take any photos though, except this ghetto one.

nightime market

After a while we wandered over to the Botanical Gardens, where I DID take some pictures. So much so that Nick walked ten steps ahead of me pretending he didn’t know the tourist.  Whaaaat I really like trees, can’t help myself.

Wandering around the park at 8pm with still a little bit of light – Summer almost here.



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Last night was date night… with my OTHER boyfriend.

Alex and I have lived together since August. In seven months, we’ve eaten dinner at home together twice.

When we moved in we had grand plans about waking up and strolling into Newtown Centre for breakfast and then heading off to the beach. Having barbeques in the backyard. Having nights in on the couch with a bottle of red.

Silly us. With Alex’s travel schedule and my I-have-no-idea-what-I-do-with-my-time, we rarely see each other outside the office.

And so, we had to book a date night.

We have this game at the office called “Three Choices.” As in, “Where do you want to go for lunch? I give you three choices…” (What? What do YOU do at your work?) So we based our dinner date on three choices, all in Surry Hills. Longrain for Thai, Il Bareto for Italian, or El Bulli for Spanish.

This was the third or fourth time I’ve been to El Bulli, and I’ve never had a bad experience there. The atmosphere is lively, the lighting is low, the food is delicious. Alex and I had various cocktails and sangria while picking at olives,  garlic and chili prawns, Serrano ham and blue vein cheese mini gnocchi and what I can only describe as chorizo and paella arrancini balls. So, so good.

Afterwards we to Shady Pines Saloon, as I’ve been on a mission to check it out since I read a Bar Zine review touting it as an American style bar, serious about their cocktails.

Last time I dragged a whole group of people there on a Thursday night. It’s down a little back alley in Darlinghurst, no signage whatsoever. The only way I knew I found the place is when I saw a nondescript door with a piece of paper stuck onto it, scrawled with “Gone Drinking.” And thus, my obsession began. I was determined to go back.

So Alex and I stopped in, and for a quiet night in Sydney it was totally packed. As promised, it was like stepping into a bizarre time warp. Lots and lots of taxidermy, extravagant mustaches on the bartenders, people on bar stools bellied up to the bar (a novelty in Sydney, something I sorely miss from home).

I was into the music: Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, CCR and Rolling Stones all played in the span of a drink. But the best part was the crowd’s attire. There were  men in actual cowboy hats, and women in calf length skirts. Calf length skirts! Where do you even BUY those?

We couldn’t figure it out. Did these people buy these clothes just for this specific night out? Or more mind-boggling… is there a thriving  Old West  subculture in Sydney that has suddenly FOUND THEIR HOME? It was all very confusing, but enjoyable. Calf length skirts, my God.


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Nick and I took the ferry up to Manly yesterday, and ate a new-ish restaurant, called Whitewater.

It was all a bit fancy for Sunday lunch, but we decided to spoil ourselves, seeing as how we’ve both been putting in crazy hours at work over the last week. I haven’t worked that much since Interskate91 was child-labouring the shit out of me.

(Side note: Dear God, looking at that website is like time traveling. Nothing’s changed since 1998. Even the clip art images are the same ones they used to plaster all over their backroom signage: “If you have time to LEAN, you have time to CLEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

ANYWAYS. Lunch was good, if a bit underwhelming. The food was actually very good, and my Bloody Mary was like a 7/10 which is way better than average around here.

But our waiter was a total dud, to the point that it was distracting. I was obsessed with the thought that he was going out back to huff airplane glue in between each interaction with us. And he was American, which was extra humiliating, as I’m always banging on about how much superior American service standards are. It’s HIS fault my $30 chicken burger tasted like vague dissatisfaction.

Manly Wharf

Nick on ferry, not amused

shoes on fence

Nick on beach, still not amused


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The other night Nick and I went to dinner at Otto, an upscale place on the finger wharves in Wooloomooloo. We went with Mike, one of the managers at Nick’s pub, and his wife Chantal.  We were looking forward to it, as it isn’t normally a place we could afford to just pop into on a random weekday evening; Nick had gotten a gift certificate from one of the wine reps.

The food itself wasn’t amaaaaaaazing. I had pan-seared scallops to start and rabbit fettucini as my main, and while they were nice they weren’t as memorable as I had anticipated. However, the view and the company were pretty fantastic, so overall it was a lovely night. We sat out on the boardwalk and took our time through the two courses, wine, dessert wine, and a shared dessert that was excessive. It was called ‘extravaganza dessert platter,’ and it was absurd.

We stopped at a new place in Taylor Square, the Hunky Dory Social Club. Also decent. It’s a cool space, but was nearly dead on a Wednesday night.  Sydneysiders seem to lay pretty low during the week in terms of bars, I have yet to see a little one be packed on a weekday past 7pm. But yeah, I’m fairly sure none of the four of us were cool enough to be there. Except maybe Mike, he gets artist credit, not like the rest of us indiscriminate barflies.

His website is here, and some of his paintings are below. The online images don’t do it justice, in real life they are pretty astounding.


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