Obey the Rumble - August 8.
This weekend it’s time to enjoy a cultural aperitif before getting stuck into your main meal. Wander through a gallery to stimulate your senses, taking breaks between exhibitions to rest your feet and re-energize with a delicious snack or a cheeky wine. See a play and reward yourself for being such an appreciative audience member with some fabulous food and drink located just a stone’s throw from the stage door. Get ready to expand your imagination and your waistlines!
Freshen up your 9-5 duds and hurry to late night at the MCA after work. Don’t miss the soon-to-be-over Wangechi Mutu exhibition - it’s something special. Once your blood sugar is running a little low, zoom up to level four and make yourself comfortable at the MCA Terrace Café. The Thursday night menu is small and simple but the food is done well. Plus, a huge part of the appeal here is the incredible rooftop view of our crazy beautiful harbour. This is ideal for date night – bring along your plus one and discuss Tracey Moffatt whilst nibbling glistening olives and sipping on crisp New Zealand chardonnay. Or show up with friends to devour a ploughman’s platter or two, topped off with some shoestring fries caressed by saffron mayo. Wash it all down with some heart-warming ciders. Drink as much as you can until closing at 9pm.
MCA Terrace Café, Level 4, Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks
Beg, borrow or steal to get a ticket to Persona at Belvoir Street Theatre. If you already have one, smugly glide through the foyer and throw back a pre-show wine or two. After the curtain call stretch your legs and stroll to the actor’s hangout Strawberry Hills Hotel. Have a few beers and decide what you really think of Ingmar Bergman. When you get hungry enough, flee to Jazushi. Sample a few sakes as you make extravagant orders (to share, of course). Cheese lovers should experiment with the camembert tempura. Fight over the soft-shell crab, the grilled nasu and the teriyaki duck with broccoli and truffle oil. On this particular Friday evening you’ll hear crooning by international jazz singer Susan Gai Dowling as you blissfully work through the slow cooked kurobuta pork belly. Guarantee sweet dreams with their Black Sesame ice cream and, if you can squeeze it in, an airy green tea crème brulée.
Strawberry Hills Hotel, 453 Elizabeth St Surry Hills
Jazushi, 145 Devonshire St Surry Hills
Tonight head to Griffin Theatre Company to see Beached and afterwards have a really confused relationship with dinner. Trust me; you’re not going to want anything greasy, deep-fried or cholesterol-heavy after this show so why not eat at Govinda’s? You can still feel healthy while you gorge on the best vegetarian food in town. Grab as much as you can eat, paying particular attention to the beautiful Dahl soup, addictive cauliflower pakoras and a big plate of whatever curry is on offer that night. Marvel over how bloody awesome Gia Carides was while you soak up every variety of chutney with a big plateful of poppadums. Get their infamous strawberry and mango lassi to finish and raise a toast to Arthur Arthur (you’ll get it once you see the play). Should you be in need of a nightcap, make a quick visit to the cheesy but charming Santa Barbara for a margarita or one of their oh-so-sweet Santa Coladas. Lose track of time and realise it’s 3am. Oops.
Govinda’s, 112 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
Santa Barbara, 1 Bayswater Road, Potts Point
Spend a lazy afternoon soaking up the Art Gallery of NSW. I highly recommend the Sydney Modern’s exhibition, so check it out and if you feel like it, buy me a Grace Cossington Smith. When you need some refreshment, move down to The Café for a lingering lunch. Avoid the inevitable screaming toddler indoors and sit outside on the peaceful terrace. If you’re lucky you’ll share a table with an elderly, artistic lady with exquisite clothes who tells you all about Thea Proctor. Tuck into a smoked salmon sandwich flavoured with rocket and dill, accompanied by a tasty goat’s curd salad with peas and lemon vinaigrette. Definitely get the salted caramel tart. Or if you’re feeling fancy, indulge your sweet tooth with some afternoon tea up at The Restaurant. What could be better than fresh scones with jam and cream and a big soothing pot of tea after an afternoon filled with art? Order a glass of sparkling Semilon and do some sketching of your own.
The Café & The Restaurant, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road
- Lucy McNabb