Today is a big day. Today is the day I finally find a good Spanish restaurant in Sydney. And that place is Despaña. Located down the quieter, more residential end of Glebe Point Road, Despaña is definitely a local’s haunt. Instead of the boisterous atmosphere you find at the Spanish restaurants closer to the city, Despaña is quiet and cosy, giving off a vibe reminiscent of a rustic family-run European bistro, with warm and personable service to match.
Impress Your Date ($35-$50)
Call me naïve, but when I first moved to Sydney, I was astounded by how much everything cost. Having grown up in Melbourne, where things already don’t exactly come cheap, I scoffed at everyone who lamented at the cost of living in Sydney. After all, how much worse than Melbourne can it really be? As it turns out, quite a bit. Not only was rent mind-bogglingly expensive, the food was also markedly dearer. What started as a joke between Chris and I that one Sydney dollar is worth one-and-a-half Melbourne dollars became woefully true – we did indeed find that if we multiplied the cost of what we think a meal should be in Melbourne by 1.5, we ended up…
Dinner at Bella Brutta was an impromptu affair. Or rather, as impromptu as my highly-considered dining plans get. I hadn’t even heard of Bella Brutta until earlier in the week, but after a couple of veteran Sydney bloggers described the clam pizza as one of their favourite pizzas in recent memory, I was sold. I immediately made a booking for the same Friday – my curiosity proved too much for me to wait any longer. As it turns out, Bella Brutta actually opened with quite a bit of hype around it. With alumni from the well-regarded LP’s Quality Meats and Porteno behind its conception, it’s definitely worth your while to grab a booking, as the long, skinny room fills up…
I had been promising my sister a pasta and gelato date for the next time I’m in Melbourne for months, only to realise a few days before coming back that the only day we can go out is on a Sunday… the day which Grossi Cellar Bar, my sister’s favourite place for pasta, happens to be closed. After a bit of frantic searching on my part, I found Lupino – a well-established and well-reviewed Italian restaurant that I’ve oddly never come across in all my years exploring Melbourne.
Seriously, is there anything better than a feast of American BBQ? I honestly can’t think of many things more enjoyable than a platter of smoky meats, served with heaping bowls of mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. Coupled with the fact that decent BBQ isn’t all that common in Australia, and how I won’t let myself indulge in it very often, it is a real treat when I do get to have it. Despite having been in Sydney for over a year now, I’ve only had BBQ once, at Bovine and Swine. This travesty was finally remedied with a long overdue trip to Surly’s – a heavily American-themed sports bar in Surry Hills.
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.