I have a personal vendetta against course-based fine dining that Sydney stills seems to be so very fond of. As far as I’m concerned, 4 dishes served in procession is just not a good use of a few hundred dollarydoos, not when there’s the option of a table-full of share plates, or dozens of exquisite nibbles served degustation style. Thankfully, although the high-end restaurants in Sydney tend to prefer stuffy, traditional-styled dining, there are a few places that eschew that old-fashioned habit, and Ms G’s was one of the first in the city to do so.
I went to bed early on Saturday night, full of optimism about getting up early to nab a spot in Surry hills for brunch. But when I woke up, I realised my plans had been foiled by daylight savings. It was a full hour later than I had planned on getting up, and the odds of getting a table now has become slim indeed. Thankfully, it’s still only 9:20, and there’s a good selection of cafes much closer to home. After a quick search, I decided on The Picnic Burwood, and we were there by 10.
I love fusion cuisine. When done right, it is such a great opportunity for innovation and excitement, and often offers up new flavour combinations that I never could have thought of, yet leaves me wondering why more people haven’t jumped on board already. Unfortunately, fusion is often done… not right, and you end up with some weird and not-very-wonderful things, such as tuna carpaccio topped with parmesan. However, when it comes to Bar Pesta, I’ve heard nothing but good things about its Asian-fusion pasta dishes, so it seemed like a pretty good bet for a low-key date night.
One of the most disappointing meals I’ve ever had was at a now-defunct restaurant called KOBA. I had been so excited for its promise of Korean and Mexican fusion, yet they fell so far off the mark in execution that it still stings to this day. This explained my mixed feelings when I first came across Vecino, another Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant, and what appears to be the one and only of its kind in Sydney. I was keen to see the concept finally done justice, yet I was afraid of being disappointed for a second time. Thankfully in the year or so it’s been open, Vecino has garnered some very positive reviews indeed, so it was with cautious optimism that…
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but K, my long-suffering regular dining companion, is also my longstanding blog post editor. I will admit to feeling a little bad about the poor grammar I’ve exposed him to over the years, but I do occasionally treat him to a nice meal to make up for it. And that balances things out nicely. Or so I tell myself. Having been a while since our last meal, I took this opportunity when I was last down in Melbourne to have brunch with K at Flovie Florist Café, the hot new opening by the owners behind the very popular White Mojo.
Long days call for fried chicken. And seeing as I’m far past the age where I can have a meal of nothing but fried foods without mentally preparing myself for at least a week in advance, I decided to hit up Belly Bao for some modern Asian tapas – with a side of fried chicken, of course! Despite serving food that is best described as pan-Asian, Belly Bao (isn’t the name just adorable!!) is decked out in a very much funky tropical style. There is greenery galore, and a huge, colourful mural depicting summery fun-times.