Wednesday, October 6, 2010

South American Lover

My Macchiato and wooden spoon at Sonida

I am hesitant to actually blog about this café simply because I may be jealous of the fact that my most treasured coffee has been tried in my rival city, yes, that’s right. Melbourne.
Sonida, tucked away on Gertrude street, close to the city side of Brunswick street, Fitzroy was a surprise find.

A Che "Guevara” look-a-like serves us with a smile and produces a menu of Arepa’s (a typical corn based bread typical of northern South American Cuisine) and Empanadas.

I try the “Ropa Vieja” ($11.50) described on the menu as a secret Cuban recipe of “old clothes” beef. I’m Intrigued yet not quite sure whether to take this as spanglish. It makes sense when my plate with a stringy beef, covered in chili sauce, avocado and tomato arrives.

My mate tries the vegetarian option of “Arepa Frijoles con Feta” ($11.50) a Black Bean and Feta Arepa, which looks as appetising as my choice.

All the ingredients and produce are organic and the décor tells a colourful story. Would definitely head back here if it weren’t in my rival city. How shall we part fellow South American lover?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lady Chatterley's Lover

In a bid to keep myself out of man trouble and curb my lack of reading, a few months back I decided to raid my local bookstore for some 20th century literature. With D.H Lawrence on my “classic authors to read” list (but not quite sure why) I left unawares with possibly his most infamous novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

As I walked naively out of the bookstore without any idea of the books premise, I quickly discovered at page 28 why people in the 1920’s sought to ban it (FYI my fellow Gen Y: this book was banned in England and the US after its initial publication in 1928 until the 1960’s!).

To be honest, I had a moment on the train commuting to work where a woman sitting opposite gave me an odd look after spotting the title of the book...

What had I got myself into?

The novel tells the story of Constance Chatterley a woman modern beyond her age married to Clifford - who returns from war paralysed from the waist down. Lady Chatterley is in a way crippled herself from a lack of intimacy. Trapped in Wragby, caged in a marriage lacking affection, alongside any characters around her until she meets the solitary estate’s gamekeeper, Mellors. She is possessed of a vitality and youth that we don’t really get to see until she sheds her unhappiness in the arms of a physical relationship with Mellors.

This made me question the fact, are we all a little like this when we take a lover?

Does something awake inside to regenerate something we thought we had left behind? Are we more inclined to shed our social trappings for pure fulfillment?

I love the fact that Lawrence writes about physical intimacy. I think its something that resonates with our very technologically detached culture driven by instant gratification.

So to sum up: whilst at the onset this book had a lot against it in my misconstrued (or lack there of) expectations, I’m very glad I read this novel. It questions a lot of our own social trappings and maybe we all need to find our own ‘Mellors’ to remind us of how regenerated we can be when we shed societies expectations of us.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pocket of Hong Kong in Sydney

The basement dining of burlesque proportions at Ll Wine & Dine. 

Whilst the prospect of fine dining to some in the Kings Cross area is as foreign as the Swede frequenting the local backpackers den, LL Wine & Dine finds itself on the new culinary laneway of Darlinghurst, Llankelly Place.
According to various sources the venue has been an underground casino, brothel and swingers club with its history echoing through its basement dining and suggestive art. After a long working week, Friday night felt like the perfect opportunity to get the girls together to wind down before the weekend.
The sexy and sultry feel of the dining experience at LL definitely lies in it’s extensive cocktail list. I took a gamble with the Dragon Eye (fresh coriander, raspberries, and pressed chilli infused in 42 Below Vodka) while the girls ordered a Ll Cool Sling (Bacardi with fresh lime, pineapple orange juice served with passionfruit and a dash of Vanilla) and Pear Acee (Pear juice, Vodka with fresh coriander and Lemon martini style) which were equally refreshing and oriental.
With all meals to share, these Asian inspired dishes are more than seductive. For starters we ordered the LL San Choy Bau of Chicken ($18) with its modern twist of pine nuts and lime dressing. Then for mains we ordered the signature dishes of Pork Belly ($27) and Barramundi being well beyond expectations.
So the verdict is in. Small bars are definitely the best thing to happen to Kings Cross and I can’t wait to see what lands next on Llankelly Place.

LL Wine and Dine, 42 Llankelly Place, Potts Point NSW 2011.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


How can you remember a place,
Crave the feeling of a city to the point of pain?
A certain city brings memories back to me of complete calm.
Enjoying the beauty of something as simple as a cobble stone street.
A well dressed woman,
A grandmother on a bike.
Nothing can bring that beauty back to me like Italy.