Back in Sydney

It’s lunchtime Monday. I’ve just been to one of my favourite Thai places in Surry Hills, Thai Tha Poh. Oh yes, I’m back in Sydney albeit briefly. I have to be in Melbourne for work tomorrow and Wednesday so I took the opportunity of being on this side of the country to make a brief visit to Sydney. The last few days have been excellent.

On the plane over I read, “Not Happy John”, the new book by Margo Kingston. Because it had lots of interesting things to say, I thought it was a good page turner. I must admit, however, there were times when I had to skip, either because Margo said what I expected her to say, or because the book has an annyoing habit of including guest writers who, in my view, just don’t live up to Margo’s fabulous skills with the written word.

I arrived home late on Thursday night, just before the airport curfew and went to bed soon afterwards. Nonetheless, I was a little tired when I woke up on Friday morning due, I guess, to the two hour time difference. Still I went in to work for a while to catch up with everyone which was really great. Lunch at “The Californian” on Oxford Street was disappointing, since the burger was both undercooked and oily. Maybe their food only tastes good at three in the morning.

Surry Hills is still the same. Although a few things have changed here and there, it’s bascially the same place, though Yvette has observed there’s a few more “tough looking boys from the west” starting to be seen in the area. I really love the diversity of the suburb, I really love the carefree nature. One of the funniest things I’ve noticed was a sign on the wall near home declaring the search for a lost fish! Very funny – must send it to someone!

I went shopping in the city for a while which was great, as I picked up some new clothes. I was also a little overwhelmed by the place, though it didn’t stop me from sending an SMS saying “God, I love Sydney”. Having lived in Perth for 6 months now, I noticed I have become a little complacent about the traffic and was nearly run over twice!

I then returned home for an afternoon nap before catching up up for a friend’s Birthday Drinks which were held at what is now, seemingly, the fashionable Hollywood Hotel. In attracting a younger, richer clientelle, however, the only difference seems to be some flowers on the bar. Drink prices were still the same. No renovations have been made. What a great pub. Mind you, it was pretty crowded.

After drinks Yvette and I went for a meal at RQ, a terrific little restaurant on Crown Street Surry Hills where the food is absolutely divine.

I caught up with John and James at Newtown for lunch yesterday, followed by a little bit of record shopping. James bought a CD called Shanghai Lounge Divas which is exactly as the name implies: 1950s Shanghai Lounge Divas – Remixed! I also caught up with Colin (Peter is also staying with him at the moment, visiting from New York) for a few late afternoon drinks.

Saturday night, as usual, was spent watching “The Bill”.

For lunch yesterday I caught up with some people from work and their assorted partners were all there for some great Vegan food at Bodhi. Great fun.

Last night, Damien and I went to dinner, once again, at Becasse. As per the last time we went there, the meal was spectacular with my particular favourites being the Marinated Mackerel with Pickled Golden Beetroot and Osietra Caviar with a matcnhing 2003 Domaine du Parc Saint-Charles ‘Cuvee des Lys’ from the Southern Rone and the Blood Orange Jelly with Custard Apple and Vietnamese Mint. Damien said his favourites were the Veloute of Smoked Code and Whisky and the main which was Roast Loin of Rock Valley Veal with a Ragout of Calves Sweetbread, Truggle and Macaroni with matching 2000 Domaine Santa Duc ‘Prestige des Hautes Garrigues’ from Gigondas. Damo has promised to write up the dinner properly, so keep your eyes focussed on this page.

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