Bondi Social

February 23, 2007 at 12:35 am | Posted in Australia, Cafes & Restaurants, Food, General, Out and About, Sydney | 2 Comments
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On Sunday evening, for Miki’s birthday, we had cocktails and dinner at the Bondi Social, where despite a little bit of wind we enjoyed seating out on the balcony and looking at the beach and the clouds on the horizon.

We even left a seat free for the missing in action Rhi – 

 

Before 7pm it has cheap cocktails which gave us an excellent opportunity to drink tasty beverages while waiting for our entrees and meals. The quality of the food is excellent and I enjoyed eating my piece of cod and tapas and both were reasonably priced.

My only real complain with the food is the quantity where the size of the portion is quite small and as a standard lacked anything more than the principal meat & spices.

Nonetheless, going to Bondi Social isn’t so much about the amount of food rather the atmosphere, alcohol, good people and great views. There are plenty of other places on the beach but the Social’s position on the hill gives it an edge in the look out stakes.

The blogosphere is too fast for me

February 22, 2007 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Pop-cult, Procrastination, Random, Television, TV | 2 Comments

The Tropfest short film festival was held on Sunday and the winner announced as Steve Baker’s “Imaginary Life” a story of an abandoned imaginary friend. After hearing this and seeing a few brief clips my immediate thought was that this sounded very similar to “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.”

Sadly, before I could make some sort of witty comment (3 days after first thinking about it) the blogosphere and media were on the case resulting in an investigation into possible infringements.

I guess that teaches me to procrastinate these things!

Le Petit Creme

February 22, 2007 at 12:51 am | Posted in Cafes & Restaurants, Food, General, Out and About, Sydney | Leave a comment
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On the weekend I went to Le Petit Creme in Darlinghurst for a late brunch and while sometimes crowded and noisy this all adds to the atmosphere of this French cafe. Le Petit Creme lists any number of breakfast foods but for me it is the place to go for omelettes and bowls of coffee that will have you energised for hours! (At least until the caffeine withdrawal hits). It is very pleasant to sit and read the paper or chat with friends either inside or out.

Generally speaking the service is fair and friendly – although perhaps a bit abrupt. On Saturday, after ordering an omelette gruyere I settled in with the Herald, a juice and mocha. Shortly, thereafter my meal arrived and my waiter accidentally knocked my juice all over me. An accident pure and simple and while a bit sticky I wasn’t fussed. On the plus side, they gave me my another juice, mocha and my meal all for free. The omelette was excellent and the mocha was quite nice as well.   

An excellent outcome and responsible service by the staff and regardless of the free food I would recommend Le Petit Creme as a breakfast eatery.

Comedy Channel, what’s the big deal?

February 21, 2007 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Random, Television, television ads | 4 Comments

Apparently, the Comedy Channel has moved to Melbourne. If you have Foxtel you’ve probably seen the promotions ad nauseum. I realise that getting the opportunity to move out of Ryde in Sydney to Melbourne, home of Australia’s most well known comedy festival is probably a good thing. A quick check of their schedule and website clearly shows the preponderance of non-Australian content and other than “Stand up Australia” where they have a live audience and perhaps the occasional special (particularly over the festival) does it really matter where they are headquartered or a need for a massive campaign?

Two big ships

February 21, 2007 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Australia, General, Out and About, Random, Sydney | 2 Comments

If you’ve been in Sydney or perhaps anywhere in Australia you would be aware of the recent arrival in the Sydney harbour of the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Queen Mary 2 cruise ships.

Tuesday morning I walked to work after the QM2 had already docked and was suitably impressed by it’s size, particularly in reference to the buildings along Potts Point and Garden Island. No wonder the Navy decided to give up the dock, compared to the QM2 they’re small.

After work I, and apparently thousands of others, made our way into the Botanic Gardens and other vantage points to see the arrival of the QE2 into the harbour. It’s certainly a big ship. although small when seen with QM2 and clearly an event. 

 

It was the oddest of spectacles, as a dozen or more helicopters hovered and flew above the harbour like gnats, the hundreds of small boats and ships skirting the edges of the ships reminiscent of forlorn puppies seeking the approval and acknowledgement of these pack leaders. Finally, there we, the people, flittering from one side of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in order to catch the best view akin to a primordial ooze being pushed in one direction or another.

I was more than happy to be a single cell in this mass of people straining to see the ships, enjoying the evening and the experience. In the interim between the arrival of the QE2 and the fireworks I had some dinner before meeting Miki at Embarkation Park to catch the bright, shiny and loud fireworks in the shadow of the QM2.

The fireworks were good and the atmosphere jovial and relaxed. Although traffic chaos and recriminations have no doubt soured the experience for many Sydney-siders.

Sadly, I didn’t get any good firework photos (see below for the “best” of the worst).  

 

Added to that is the rather short notice news from the Police that there’ll be more road madness on Thursday when VP Dick Cheney arrives in Sydney.

 Makes me happy I live in the inner city, that is until the rental crisis hits!

Lindt

February 21, 2007 at 9:32 am | Posted in Cafes & Restaurants, Food, General, Out and About, Sydney | Leave a comment
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Like many Martin Place workers I often venture to the Lindt cafe – along with numerous tourists and chocolate lovers. This cafe in the heart of the city features a plethora of Lindt chocolate products, coffee and sandwiches. Its popularity with the corporate set is evidenced by a polite request on the menu for meetings to last no longer than 30 minutes.

Generally speaking the service is friendly and efficient. However,  when the store gets crowded, whether ordering take away or table service receiving your order does slow down and the staff do tend to get a tad frazzled. Personally, I’m a fan of either the hot chocolate or mocha and more often than not it will be made very well with a topping of chocolate shavings.

Recently, Lindt opened its second store in Darling Harbour and while it has a greater selection of chocolate and ice cream, it lacks sandwiches, table service or staff in a chocolate shop who understand ‘pain au chocolat’.  Furthermore, the city store has high ceilings and interesting decor whereas the Harbour store lacks  an engaging design. Although located on the harbour means that after sitting and drinking coffee or ice chocolate all of the tourist hot spots in the area are available for you to explore.

If I had a choice I’d prefer the city store and that’s not just a decision based on proximity.

On a final note, given that according to reports Australia is the home of the only Lindt cafe (now two), presumably in part a result of impressive sales and yet the official web site makes no mention of either Australia or the cafes.

The Rocks Discovery Museum

February 15, 2007 at 12:37 am | Posted in General, Out and About, Sydney, Travel | 2 Comments
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Saturday continued with a trip to the Rocks Discovery Museum and with free entry it’s clearly a bargain. Through its various rooms, in the shell of a colonial building, to see a history of Sydney’s Aboriginal population, early European colonisation and the development of the Rocks area to today.

I think I was most surprised by the reduction of the Rocks’ area since its inception to today where it is now just a few streets running against the harbour and bridge.

The museum also features a variety of interactive touch screens and exhibits which allow for a prolonged experience should you want a more in depth knowledge, whereas for the more casual explorer such as myself there are plenty of big letters and shiny things to keep your attention.

When you visit the Rocks take some time to go to the museum – even if only for a cursory glance – as it offers a snapshot of Sydney’s history in a reasonably digestable form.

Zia Pina – Pizza at the Rocks

February 14, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Posted in General, Out and About, Sydney, Travel | Leave a comment
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After visiting the Opera House we made our way across Circular Quay towards the Rocks and  Zia Pina – Italian Pizzeria – for lunch.

With a cosy atmosphere, somewhat gruff staff and walls bedecked with signed photos of current and has been celebrities who had visited the restaurant. Our pizzas (albeit not really matching the term “large”) were tasty and enjoyable and in conjunction with the ambiance makes this a great place for affordable Italian in the Rocks.

By the time we had finished our meals the once empty restaurant was now full with a cavalcade of people from around the world all coming together for some good food! If you get here and it looks full you may be in luck with the somewhat hidden seating upstairs.

Of course if you’re not up for Italian, then La Renaissance is right around the corner, as are a multitude of other eateries.

The Sydney Opera House tour

February 14, 2007 at 12:15 am | Posted in General, Out and About, Sydney, Travel | 1 Comment
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Saturday morning Anna, Kaitlin, Mike and I were at the Sydney Opera House ready to take on the 1 hour tour. Normal tickets cost $26 but if you buy online it’s $16 – however you have to go through the rigamoroll of creating an entire profile for this simple purchase. Rumour has it that this will be streamlined in the future. Tours in other languages are also available.

 

Although it’s for an hour the time flies, in part due to the walking between locations at the Opera House but is helped predominantly by the quality of the tour guide and the anecdotes which add flavour to the experience. Our tour guide, Mary-Ann, drew upon her wealth of knowledge from her years as an usher and guide in making the hour memorable.

Overall, I found the experience interesting and engaging and would recommend this tour to anyone. You may even have the chance to see the staff preparing a show. Afterwards and depending on the time you could take the opportunity to sit at the Opera Bar and have a drink on the edge of Circular Quay.

Symphony Hall photos (you can only take pictures if there is no performance being prepared):

 

I hit the bottle and I hit it hard

February 13, 2007 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Random | Leave a comment

After two weeks without coffee and Coke, only feeling incredibly tired for the first few days I had become well hydrated and awake throughout the day and no longer tied to caffeine.

So of course on Monday when I began drinking coffee again (well it seemed like a good idea) I had 2 coffees, a Coke and another very large (medium)  Coke at the movies, which complimented the chocolate I ate afterwards.

Really, there is nothing quite like a caffeine crash – especially when the body’s lost its immunity!

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