Sunday, July 01, 2007

All Ah Do Is EAT!

I've eaten out every other night it seems for the last month, so I'm going to try my hand at something new for the Wildebeest Asylum, restaurant reviews.


This place is a trendy Thai (Sydney-siders love their Thai) restaurant in Surry Hills. The first time I ate here (almost a year ago) they were reeling from the drama of being dropped from three hats (the highest possible rating) to two by the Sydney Morning Herald. I'm not inclined to dispute that decision; both times I've eaten here the food was very good, but not the best of the best. On the other hand I do really like this place for a few reasons. It has a nice, trendy but relaxed atmosphere, and they also do great cocktails. I quite like the communal way the dining tables have been arranged too, even if the first time I came here we were seated across from an gay couple and the (much) older guy kept leering at my date.


A nice Italian place in Newtown. Not as upmarket as some of the other places I've been to recently but the food was still very good, and even if it was not as good as Longrain, it was a whole lot cheaper. Also, it's in Newtown. That's always great because there are lots of bookshops, CD stores open late and lots of restaurants but not many bars, so there's always tons of people and not too many drunks, which makes for a nice atmosphere on a Saturday night.

Kobe Jones

A very trendy Japanese / Western fusion place on King Street Wharf. Even on a wet, stormy night the view was still impressive and the place had good ambience. Perhaps a little too good because it was almost too dark to read the menu. Again the food was nice but in this case way too overpriced, and the service was terrible too. I've found that most fabulously trendy places (restaurants, bars and clubs) in Sydney are pretty crap for what you pay.


Still my favourite restaurant in Sydney. I can't believe how good their meals taste. Expensive, but it's worth it.

Wacky Pizza Place

We went to some random pizza place in a small town in the Blue Mountains while on a little family holiday. I can't remember what it was called but it was very amusing to go from all the super trendy, expensive places to a much less bourgeois place, filled with screaming kids, drunken women on hen's nights and terrible house wine. The food was nice though.


Super expensive but with the perfect location, looking out over the harbour and situated right between the bridge and the opera house. Despite my low expectations (I assumed that we would be paying mainly for the view) the food and service were really good, and the cold wind kept all the geriatric tourists inside so we were spared their company.

The Vanguard

This one is the ulterior motive for me writing about all those other restaurants. There was food and it was good, and there were some very nice cocktails, but those are ancillary reasons for coming here. This venue exists for the sadly uncommon practise of combining a meal and live music. The bands that play here are an eclectic sort, but usually tend towards blues and roots. When I went here we had:

Charlie and the Maddox Factory

A jazz two piece featuring a female singer and a bass player. The bass player I immediately recognised from another band, Glitch Jukebox, which I could waste a lot of space describing but will sum it up as 'Mr. Bungle style circus music medleys of covers ranging from Christina Aguilera to Tool'. This band is far more conventional, but still fairly light hearted and lots of fun. The bass player is a very skilful musician and the vocalist has a really strong voice.

Lolo Lovina

There were about seven of these guys on stage and they played straightforward traditional eastern European music. They were pretty good and featured some great soloists, but I didn't like them quite as much as the other bands.

Crooked Fiddle Band

This band's music was similar to the last one, but with more of a rock edge. They even described a few of their songs as metal, and their interpretation was quite original. The drums were certainly very metal, and the frenzied shredding of the violin sounded a lot like a thrash metal electric guitar. The violinist deserves special mention, as, not only was she a total virtuoso, but she pulled double duty as the violinist for the last band as well.

Anyway, it was a great show and a cool idea for a night out. I shall definitely go back.


Just Japanese with no fusion. The food was pretty good, probably better than any other restaurant I've listed here except for Bentleys or Longrain, but by the time I got here I was all restauranted out. I'm looking forward to some plain old spag bol this week.


Skarnz said...

So, when you say that you're looking forward to some spag bol this week, do you mean that you're going to eat it for dinner every night this week?

(not going to be entirely surprised if you say yes)

But yeah. Music and food would be cool. I should go hunting for some of that..

Jon said...

I doubt I'll have spag bol for dinner more than four times this week.

Ben said...

lol I still remember some classic culinary moments at the mint - such as:
The Yellow meal.
Bacon bread surprise.

and my personal favourite:

Jon said...

Sounds delicious... I was scared enough by the kitchen to know better than to eat anything at the mint.

Except of course for 4am oven fries.