Nothing tastes as good as a celebratory meal, and oh do I have reason to be celebrating today. After barely 3 years out of university, Chris (aka my other half) has been promoted to a senior software developer! He’s of course stoked, and don’t tell him I said this because he’s already had so many congratulations that he’s running the risk of getting a big head, but I’m also completely thrilled – for him, and for this excellent excuse to splash out on dinner at Poly.
Despite having lived just 20 minutes from Cronulla for over a year, I’ve never once gone down to the beach. A packed scheduled combined with a general apathy for being outside meant I had no real interest in making even a short drive – until now that is. As it turns out, all it takes me to get out and about to explore Sydney is the promise of good food. Seven Lanterns may not be directly on the water, but at barely 20 metres away from the surf, it’s more than close enough to benefit from the laid-back beach vibes. It boasts an Asian-inspired, seafood-driven share menu that doesn’t do anything too scary, but promises enough pizazz to still feel like a treat.
Don’t tell Sydney I said this, but I think the food in Sydney is way less interesting than what Melbourne has to offer. To be fair, I’ll be the first to admit that coming into my foodie-hood in Melbourne has spoilt me rotten, as Melbourne has grown to be one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world (or if not that, then at least the most exciting in Australia) over the last few years. Even though, I was still a little disappointed at the prospect of having my annual Christmas-birthday-anniversary meal in Sydney, when I know there’s so much more in Melbourne I’d rather eat. Thankfully, things lined up just right, and Chris and I ended up being able to spend a couple weeks in Melbourne in December, and I got to eat at one of the new restaurants I was most excited about – Lesa.
I have a bad and occasionally self-destructive habit of not being able to put things down once I start them, whether it be a new book, hobby, or TV series. Once I start something, I feel obligated to continue with it regardless of whether I still enjoy it, or feel crushingly guilty when I finally let myself stop. So even though I’ve left Melbourne for the time being, I just can’t bring myself to stop following the food scene, even though on some days it feels like way too much work to keep up with what’s happening on the culinary front in both Melbourne and Sydney.
I didn’t realise how much I had gotten used to the DINK (that’s Dual-Income-No-Kids) life until I quit work to go back to study at the beginning of the year. All of a sudden, I no longer had the funds to go out for a meal at my favourite wine bar whenever I felt like it, and I have to constantly ask myself if I really need a 3rd bubble tea this week. To be sure, there are plenty of delicious and affordable eats floating around Sydney, but I do find myself getting sick of the same-same routine of casual Asian/Middle-Eastern meals after a while, and crave something a little more refined.
Well it took almost a whole three years, but I finally made it – Attica. We braved the vicious three-months-in-advance booking system – multiple times – and finally landed the prime spot of 6pm on a Saturday night. If you didn’t know about Attica – best restaurant in Australia, and 32nd in the world – you’d be roundly excused for not thinking very much of it at all. Located in the sleepy Melbourne suburb of Ripponlea behind a nondescript brick facade, Attica looks very much like a local bistro.