Such A Bad Date

Under construction is Caffe Sicilia on Crown Street, Surry Hills

Under construction is Caffe Sicilia on Crown Street, Surry Hills

So where did everyone in Surry Hills go out for dinner this year for St Valentine’s Day, now that “Yai” has closed down? There was a time when Yai was THE place to go for a date on St Valentine’s Day, but it’s now merely a half-empty shell awaiting the opening of our new local mega-cafe, “Caffe Sicilia“.

Yai was a mega-restaurant (does such a word exist?) on Crown Street which operated for many years under a few different names including “Thai Orchid” (correct me if I’m wrong). It was always pretty busy, particularly on the weekends, and especially on Valetine’s Day. There was one year, for example I remember, when I’d completely forgotten it was “that day” until I walked past Yai and was reminded by all of the decorations and the couples looking longingly into each others eyes. Yawn :) I only went there two or three times, as I recall, as I’m not really one for those mega-dining experiences unless it’s Yum Cha.

So as I walked home tonight I took a peak through the windows of Caffe Sicilia to get some sense of what it might be like, and whether or not it could come close to Yai in the Valentine’s Day arena. I note it’s going to be open to midnight which I think could either be fantastic or a real pain, and the development application which came through a few weeks ago indicated there would be outdoor seating.

628-634 Crown Street SURRY HILLS NSW 2010
DA Number: FA/2011/2
Use part of the Crown Street footway for outdoor seating facilities associated with Cafe Sicilia (licensed restaurant) for 10 tables and 36 chairs. The proposed hours of operation are 7am to midnight Monday to Saturday, and 7am to 10pm Sunday.

I’m not so sure about the outdoor seating as the footpaths at night are already getting a little crowded with smokers, though I’m hopeful the midnight closing will bring a bit of life into Surry Hills later at night which is still sorely lacking, IMHO. It’s been an amazing transformation, nonethless, to see “our end” of Crown Street getting a bit of a revitalisation with some new small bars and restaurants. Whether or not, “Caffe Sicilia” becomes a “must do” place for Valentine’s Day will remain to be seen. In the meantime, I’m wondering where everyone went tonight.

I also had a hot date tonight with Kerry, Jonathan, Tony and Ali. I brought the wine, they supplied the entertainment and great conversation. Unfortunately I’m obviously such a bad date that I fell asleep half way through conversation with Kerry, woke up briefly for Jonathan, and the nodded off again while Tony and Ali were speaking. I’m such a bad date.

  1. I can report (and indeed did blog by photos) that the Sydney Opera House and ‘Toaster’ surrounds were alive with diners and drinkers last (Valentines Day) evening.

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