Tag Archives: Sydney

last-minute lunchies with the Scottish Powerhouse of Fun™

My very last day in Sydney and I was a little bit burnt out. Was doing quite well to actually make it out of my humble host’s house at a decent hour and had a few hours to kill. I hadn’t been able to meet up with her thus far, but thought I’d call @gabfran, hoping we’d be able to meet up as various things had conspired to make it not so.

So there I am waiting at Central Station, having been accosted by the shyest and barely audible fundraiser, when this lithe thing strides towards me and takes me to a place she goes to for lunch when at work. I have no time to protest before my overnighter is swung out of my arms. She took me to a half-outdoor Japanese cafe called Siorie, and by took, yes, I mean would not let me pay for a jot. Gosh, I do love being a spoilt tourist.

The lunch menu is wonderful – there are lots of fantastic and inexpensive options so you get to try more than one thing. I got a sashimi/sushi set, and my Scottish Powerhouse of Fun™ got a tofu and wakame salad. Mine came with miso and a green salad with orange juice as dressing – been a while since I had a salad like that. A welcome change. Make sure you pull your lid off your miso soup very carefully. A saw one less fortunate businesswoman who sadly did not do so, and ended up with a lap of miso.

miso soup & salad sushi & sashimi lunch set

The sushi and sashimi was delightfully fresh and hit the spot. It was just what I was in the mood for! Yes, you can see I had an Asahi to accompany my meal… M has the tofu and wakame salad regularly, and I can see why. Healthy and delicious! She did kindly let me have a taste too. Unlike me, she was much more sensible and had sencha to drink instead of alcohol.

tofu & wakame salad

This little place isn’t too far from Central Station – it was about a 5 minute walk, so it afforded me ample time for a leisurely lunch and I didn’t have to fret about catching the train back to the airport. M and I managed a natter on all sorts of topics, and when we parted ways, I felt reinvigorated just in time for returning back to Melbourne, straight to a gig no less. Goodbye Sydney! You treated me most well. Even if I did put on a few extra unwanted kilos. Good thing they don’t charge for that at check-in…

Siorie Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

we came for the dosai, and the dosai was good

Back to some Sydney eateries for a bit.

My girlfriend L would not stop raving on about Malabar in Crows Nest (there is also one in Darlinghurst). Lucky for her, I love Indian food, and admittedly it was a bit of a travesty that I’d never had dosai before. My father who has Indian heritage said that dosai is actually eaten as breakfast! I could totally do that.

Bangalore masala dosai

So that was what the dosai looked like. L was adamant the Bangalore masala dosai had to be ordered, and ordered it was, as shown above. How on earth was I going to eat it? Crack it open! The pancake-like thing is coated in sesame oil oh so lightly, and I swear these are the softest, most buttery-textured curry potatoes I’ve had in my life. Thus far. Oh what a dream they were…

Bangalore masala dosai, detail

The four of us shared the masala uttappam, but as L predicted, the dosai did really steal the show.

masala uttappam

Convinced that Malabar could indeed wear the ‘dosai palace’ moniker (seriously, go check on their website, sign and takeaway menu), mains were chosen. I don’t normally order biryani out because it’s not particularly special but because the restaurant claimed it was one of their other house specialities, I suggested we order it along with our other mains – malai kofta and lamb korma.

Malabar mains

The malai kofta was lovely, and the korma was okay. Usually I’d get something with a bit more heat. Not really sure what my dining companions thought – I think L orders the korma regularly? The amount of food we ordered was just perfect and the bill came to just over $30 each (including a Kingfisher beer each), which I think is extremely reasonable. The service is warm and attentive, and there are plenty of vegetarian options (the fabled dosai we had is one of them). It was nice to actually not have to totter out of an Indian restaurant for once! Sigh, wish we had a Malabar in Melbourne. I get pangs thinking about those heavenly potatoes in the dosai! If this place were local to me, I’d be going on a regular basis. L is a lucky lass!

Malabar on Urbanspoon

not quite *my* Local


After a rustic, fortifying meal at Betty’s Soup Kitchen and an immense trek, four of us made it to the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst. The first Local Taphouse opened in Melbourne, in St Kilda, and since December last year, I’ve been attending beer sessions and even beer-matched dinners that they run. For this reason, I was keen to see what the Darlinghurst Taphouse was like, even though I know they have the same menu and I think largely the same alcohol in bottles. How they differ is what they serve on tap, and any beer aficionado will tell you that nothing beats having (most) beer on tap!

Another important thing to note is that the Taphouse is highly supportive of the Australian craft and microbrewery scene. Simply put, the brewers that don’t make commercial slop (and no, I am not going to name any names. If you have even a modicum on interest in good beer, you’ll already know).

I judged appallingly, but for some insane reason, I thought my girlfriend L who is vehemently opposed to beer would like the Young’s Chocolate Stout. It has a head that smells of Cadbury milk chocolate, and for the first few gulps, tastes as such, mingled with a smooth characteristic stouty flavour. She hated it. C was determined to have the famous Meantime coffee porter. Porter to me does have a lot of burnt coffee notes, so this seemed more apt. I got one gulp and it was delish. The Young’s choc stout I’ll always like, but boy it is well filling.

British beer!

L left us because I probably scared the poop out of her with my beer choice, but not before being persuaded to have some barleywine. C then kindly bought a bottle of Maudite red ale for us remaining three to share

. Maudite red ale

Didn’t it go down a treat. Apparently this small Canadian brewery is closing down. A great shame.

'winners lane' sign

Anyone that makes it to the Local is in the winners’ lane. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, never condescend and are always happy to help out beer neophytes – and yes, this is at both branches. Thanks to my chums for making sure I got to visit!

The Local Taphouse on Urbanspoon