Lunch overlooking the Harbour in Sydney
My friend Sharon had to travel to Sydney a couple of months ago and after meeting up with another friend Katrina, we decided on lunch overlooking Sydney Harbour at a restaurant serving traditional southern Italian cuisine. Yum I thought! We chose a table directly overlooking the Sydney Eye. Now having recently been on the London Eye, it was nothing like that; not as big but I think now a lot of cities around the world have one for visitors to get a birds eye view of the city.We decided to share an entree and chose a tomato bruschetta with a difference. This one was huge, it was a large wood fired Italian bread with tomatoes, red onions, basil, olives and oregano and some extra virgin olive oil – delicious!I ordered the vegetable risotto which was absolutely delicious and came with baby spinach, asparagus, mushroom, shallots, sliced avocado, semi-dried tomatoes and fresh chilli, topped with a perfectly cooked poached egg.Katrina ordered the lamb salad with avocado, feta, oregano, fresh rocket and semi-dried tomatoes with a garlic aioli dressing – fabulous she said too.And Sharon ordered the beetroot salad with roasted pumpkin, goats cheese, shredded carrot, roasted walnuts and fresh rocket with a raspberry dressing along with a side order of haloumi. The food here was an absolute winner. This is a chain restaurant and is also located in other locations in Sydney and Melbourne…just wish it was in Canberra.It was great to catch up with these friends and enjoy good food and after a while another friend joined us and he chose a healthy option of a marinated chicken salad with cos lettuce, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, shredded carrot, feta, semi-dried tomatoes, roasted capsicum, mushroom and cucumber with a chilli aioli dressing…looked pretty good too.
Dinner in Sydney’s trendy Surry Hills
Like me, two of my other friends retired last year, so I said I would travel to Sydney and go out to dinner to celebrate their retirement. I chose a restaurant serving South East Asian cuisine and known for being very popular (Longrain) and had come highly recommended by my ‘foodie’ friend Jane.
Reservations are limited [first in best dressed rule] and seating is at large communal tables. But as we had a table of nine I was able to make a reservation for an individual table. I wouldn’t suggest this would be a good place for a first date with the communal tables and no guarantee you will be seated across from each other – you might have to sit side by side!
We arrived early for our 6pm reservation and lucky we did as were told we had to give up our table at 8.15pm as the restaurant has two seatings per night -one at 6pm [us] and the next at 8.30pm [too late for me]. I really don’t like this system as with a large group you don’t really get the chance to chat to everyone within that confined timeframe…but we had no choice. We were seated at a round table which only had room for eight so we had to squash together to accomodate the nine of us.
Our waitress encouraged us to try each dish banquet style which we did and ordered a range of dishes including an eggplant curry, a northern Thai lamb curry with pickled garlic and fresh ginger, a chargrilled chicken dish with mustard greens and crispy egg noodles, salt and pepper silken tofu (really good) and a plate of stir friend Asian greens with garlic and oyster sauce.
Some of the girls tried the desserts which I was told were very good and presented beautifully. A coconut sorbet and a coconut ash ice cream swirl with a cashew nut praline were the desserts of choice.In the main the food was very good but it was an incredibly hot restaurant (too many tables with too many people I think) which made me rather uncomfortable and extremely noisy. Made it very hard to hear friends across the table and those up the other end of the table, I had no idea what they were saying!