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For the belly

Take me to Spice Alley!

Has anyone taken their tails for a trot to see the renovated townhouses in Kensington Street yet? We love it!

They’ve been given a yummy lick of paint and we dig the new residents. Fancy a coffee while you wait for your flowers to be arranged? No sweat! Have a rumbling tummy? Not for long you won’t! Take a sneaky turn down an alley and you will be transported out of Sydney to what feels like a Hawkers Corner in little Asia.

If you weren’t curious you’d miss it. Such a lovely little nook offering sensational and cheap fare. We love the details, the street art with a splash of colour being injected from the yellow and red lanterns swaying in the breeze above. Once you look up, you witness the wonderful juxtaposition of the modern architecture in Central Park and the terraces on Kensington Street. Nicely done, people, nicely done.

Bellies need not despair. Between the two of us we blew a cool thirty and waddled out with swelling bellies and thoughts of wanderlust wanting to go to Spain for a siesta. Chippendale Precinct, you da best!

Spice_Alley, Chippendale, CCP
Spice_Alley, Chippendale, CCP

Ambushed [in a good way].

The Ambush Gallery have really got it going on.. All their digits are on the pulse. I recall going to their shows in Waterloo years ago and look at them now. Amazing! Nice one, guys.

They housed a sugar festival and the opening of a world class stencil exhibition last weekend. Yes, we’re a tad tardy on the diary entry however we blame the hangover from the mega dizzying sugar rush mokay? And it was worth it by the way.

Admittedly a little excited, we skipped breakfast in anticipation of all the offerings at the Sweetfest event that was part of the Good Food Month. Upon arrival we celebrated with a glass of sparking from Redbank in hand, wandering and exploring what was on offer.

We eventually found ourselves tucked in the corner scoffing sweets, sipping bubbles and allowing the go-go-gadget-arm to extend out to the stalls to bring back more. Incidentally, did anyone have the s’mores from Andy Bowdy Pastry [FYI you guys need either a hug or a smack as these were to die for!]. These were a ‘high’light.

Our favourite masterclass was from Alistair Wise from Sweet Envy in Hobart [we love Hobart!]. He’s highly entertaining and super talented! And he’s a little evil… He created a gutter trash sundae that was 2.4m long. My teeth almost fell out looking at it. Suffice to say they stayed put and it was a taste sensation. The crescendo was the fantastically fizzy champagne fountain spider experience! This guy knows how to have fun.

So I discovered that sparkling wine and sugar make for an interesting burst of unexpected energy. Admittedly I was a little tongue tied from the rush however eager to hop, skip and bounce across the living mall to the Stencil Art Prize.

This exhibition is in its seventh year and features 92 artists from 21 countries. There are some wonderful pieces. Make sure you check it out before it wraps up this Friday, 30 October. Our pick? Robin Williams of course. We miss you, oh talented creature.

Love this city!

#goodfoodmonth #sweetfest #ambushgallery #livingmall #centralpark #sydneylocal

Sweetfest and Stencil Art Prize. PC: getfunkt on instagram.
Sweetfest and Stencil Art Prize. PC: getfunkt on instagram.

Mojo, baby.

One can’t help but be drawn into Luke Mangan’s headquarters in Waterloo with the lovely offering of flowers outside and a view to stir one’s curiosity.

Upon walking in you’re greeted with a warm, welcoming smile. We were spoilt for choice for a spot as we opted for a later lunch and to be honest it was a cracker of a day and I think everyone else was at the beach.

Love the interior here. It’s a wonderful warehouse conversion. It has the right splash of yellow, a smattering of sunshine while maintaining the industrial edge.

We started with the vegetable chips, with the most wonderful guacamole and Mum’s tomato chutney, which is sweet and oh wait, there it is! Mum’s added some fire in that sauce.

Okay let’s backtrack a step, I lied, we ordered a bottle of wine first. When in Mojo, hop on the Luke Mangan wine train and indulge in the 2012 TarraWarra Rose from the Yarra Valley in Victoria. It’s a must, especially with the unexpected hot Spring day sprung upon us. She’s elegant, fruity and dry. And she makes you come back for more.

Next we find the slow cooked duck & mustard fruit cigars with tomato relish on the table. These little guys are crispy, smoky, and marry well with the relish.

The chopped house salad soon joined the table and has all the right flavours, textures and colours. Cos lettuce, radish, cucumber, celery, cherry tomatoes, spinach, hazelnuts, all with a sesame dressing. It’s a perfect match to cut through the decadent cigars.

Nice work Luke, and truth be told, if your Mum were in the house, she’d get a hug from me. LOVE that sauce!

Mojo Luke_Mangan Waterloo
Mojo Luke_Mangan Waterloo

So 9, so good!

We ended up eating dinner here by pure chance. I’d noticed the cute takeaway wall on Danks Street a week earlier and returned to inspect further. Okay, let’s be honest here, it was to have a snoop and the urge to resist was won over by our rumbling tummies.

The banh xeo tom thit [Vietnamese pancake with prawn and pork] arrived first, and was as pretty as a picture. The bo sa cuon [lemongrass beef rice paper rolls] quickly followed suit and lastly the goi du du kho bo [green papaya salad with dried beef].

We toggled between dishes, breaking conversation by making inappropriate noises out of pure delight. Especially that papaya salad, what a knockout!

My friend suggested dessert. I screwed my face up however my mouth said, “yes”. And what a huge mistake it would have been to skip the bo bia ngot. Where on earth has this been all my life? This is special.

I tried to save some for my flatmate and I’m not sorry to say that I quickly gobbled the last morsel as though he was there and had averted his eyes quickly. The dessert made me do it. These little rice paper parcels hold in-house made honeycomb, shredded coconut and are sprinkled with black sesame seeds and dipped in a coconut sauce. Yummy.

The second dessert was the donut enveloping housemade banana icecream with peanuts and coconut. The mouth mumbled, “stop it” while the flavours danced over my tastebuds.

We chatted with Kim, the owner, who created so.9 as an homage to her father. She’s first generation Vietnamese and arrived here in the late 70s. She’s warm as well as passionate and we felt humbled that she would share her story with us.

Eventually we left. All with satiated, slightly swelling tummies full of goodness. And when I got home I popped the groceries in the fridge that I had forgotten about in my backpack…. talk about distraction.

http://www.so9.com.au
Shop 1, CASBA
18 Danks Street
Waterloo, NSW, 2017

Money for Martinis so.9
Money for Martinis so.9

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