The gastronomical excess of yesterday continued today. I feel as if I have eaten half a pig. I had agreed to meet Kate and Wendy on the steps of Town Hall, co-inciding with the start of the Chinese New Year Parade. The warm weather and increased popularity of the parade conspired to ensure the parade this year was significantly larger than last year, making it difficult for us to actually meet in that spot. We eventually caught up in front of the cinemas on George Street. As we often do with parades, we wandered along taking photographs, travelling with the parade, rather than standing in just the one place. I also used my portable recorder to capture some of the sounds.
After the parade we wandered down to Darling Harbour in the hope of finding entertainment and food. And while there was plenty of entertainment, there was very little in the way of food.
As the hunger paints became stronger, we went back to Chinatown and wandered along to what is possibly the best yum-cha joint in Sydney, the East Ocean Restaurant. After an hour or so sitting on the steps our number – fifty seven (the year in which Kate was born) – was finally called. It was like winning the lottery, as the wait on the restaurant was singificant. “It’s a two or three hour wait”, we heard one woman exclaim (and exaggerate) as she walked down the stairs in disgust. At one point I said to Wendy we should take a photograph of those walking up the stairs and call it “Optimism” which gave a smile to the Spanish-looking bloke who, along with his heavily pregnant wife, had been waiting for a fair while. Once inside, we enjoyed a tremendous meal. Highly recommended.
Although Kate was still keen to keep wandering, I was beginning to tire by mid-afternoon. And as she went to watch a movie, I went home in search of a mid-afternoon nap… or at least a rest.
While on the 339 bus as I practised my Swedish (in anticipation of Tuesday nights lesson), Damo called me with a suggestion to dine instead at Firefly.
I always thought it was more of a bar instead of a place for proper dinner, but I agreed, since he was already there. Upon arrival, we enjoyed a glass of the Seville Estate Pinot Gros 2006 from the Yarra Valley.
We settled on a series of four tapas plates which turned out to be both reasonably inexpensive and incredibly filling. There was some Maggie Beare’s pate, some halomi wrapped in proscuito, some lamb on skewers and I’ve already forgotten the fourth. Perhaps it was the bottle of St Hubert’s Pinot Noir 2006, also from the Yarra Valley that made me forget?
Or maybe it was the great conversation? A lot of those having dinner were obviously heading off to “The Stars Come Out” which was playing at the Sydney Theatre – hi M-H – and so we were soon left alone as the only people left in the restaurant. We had a really great night and it was a really terrific way to end a tremendous weekend.