Welcome to my blog! Yes I am that feathery creature of the night that you've most likely seen at the latest opening of a bar, launch party, burlesque night or stuffing my face full of food! I review Sydney's offerings of things to eat, drink and everything in between. I enjoy trying out the weird, the wonderful, the wacky, the quirky or just plain fun. Life's far too short to not give everything a go just once! Hopefully I'll give you some great ideas to try out. Go to my new site: www.missfeathers.com.au

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spend the day on a yacht in the harbour

Idea: Accept an invitation aboard a yacht in the Harbour and try to cram far too much into one day/ night

A quick flight home from Adelaide back to Sydney, drop off of bags, then we headed straight down to Hugos in Manly. The Pimms Cocktail at Hugos is fantastic, they're one of the few places in Sydney to do Pimms properly. This means with slices of fresh apple, orange, cucumber and more. Perfect for the fab weather we got on Saturday. We all shared some of their thin based pizzas, the vegetarian ones were great, as well as the one with chilli prawns and other bits and pieces. I have to admit to having food envy of the meal sitting in front of me, which was grilled Atlantic Salmon with some kind of pea puree around it. It looked amazing, but I decided to keep my eyes on my own plate for fear of getting attacked by a fork.

Hugos in Manly is a great place to be on a sunny day, with great views of the ferrys coming in (as well as our yacht that we were about to climb aboard). The only problem is that on really hot days your legs will get stuck to the plasticy long share chairs. This will hurt when it's time to get up.

Hugos Manly on Urbanspoon

Next up we grabbed some bottles of Champagne and boarded the yacht. Now, I don't know much about boats. Not at all. But it was big. I mean BIG. We were suitable impressed. My friend and I spent the next half an hour taking silly photos all over the boat and giggling like little school girls. Then we sat back and relaxed. There's nothing nicer than sitting on a boat on Sydney Harbour on a beautiful sunny day. It was a bit windy towards the end, but most of the afternoon was perfect. We had the music blasting, conversation and Champagne flowing. I even managed to get the Champagne all over me when we were passing between the heads. But boating is fun!

We had every intention after our little boat party to get changed and head to a Jungle themed party at Lo Fi. But... we didn't quite make it there. We had the costumes and everything. But before we knew it, it was quite late. We docked into Rushcutters Bay and the party was just getting started onboard, but being land loving girls, we decided to jump ship. So we headed off to Darling Harbour.

After a little bit of a walk, we ended up at THE funniest club/ bar in Sydney. The Shelbourne Hotel. There was a podium to dance on. A stand selling sausages outside the door. A cover charge - not quite sure why??? And there were lazers- everywhere! Quite funny. We got our trashy dancing on, all the while I was making a mental note of never coming back here again. EVER!

Next up, I was off to a balcony overlooking Manly Beach to watch the sunrise and talk absolute rubbish with good friends. Some time after sunrise, we decided that Sunday was looking like a good day to sleep! It was quite a big day/ night.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

AGWA Yacht Club boat party & dinner/ singing at Mizuya

Idea: spend all day on a boat soaking up good music, then have a Japanese eating and Karaoke fest

It was sunny. It was hot. There was a nice slight breeze out on the water. I made sure to get enough sleep the night before. Yup, I was ready to board the AGWA Yacht Club boat. The MARTIN BUTTRICH JAZZANOVA AGWA YACHT CLUB 008 to be precise. Not much can beat a day out in the sun, dancing, soaking up some good music, all with amazing views of the harbour. For some reason, every time I go one one of these boat parties (this was my third one), we all suddenly turn into tourists, "look bridge, we're going under THE bridge!" "Such a beautiful city to live in" etc. etc. You can't flaw the view, especially when the sun sets over the harbour. The vibe was right, the crowd was the perfect crowd, no Big Day Out boofheads on board with racist tattoos, or girls in skimpy bikinis and not much else. It was also, might I add, quite a good looking crowd. Hmm...

We stayed on the upper deck for almost the whole time (it went from 2-8pm). There were good djs up there, and the views were amazing. Our VIP wristbands also helped us to skip the lines to get up there. The maximum capacity rule on the top deck is always quite annoying, as the toilets are on the lower two levels. But rules are rules.

The Burger Phone made another appearance, the AGWA Slushy cocktail was by far the best and we all had leafy leis. We only checked out the lower level on the way out, which is where the main acts were. But I had to keep an eye on the time. I had one of my besties birthday parties to get to, and I didn't want to be too late. I passed the Town Hall on my way, which was all lit up pwerty for Christmas.

I made my way from the King Street Wharf to Mizuya Japanese Restaurant on George Street. It's one of the largest Izakaya style restaurants in Australia. Now, Mizuya is one of those places that my Japanese food obsessed friends and I go to all the time. This is for 3 main reasons. 1: they have touch screens, which are fun and make your food magically appear on your table before you know it. It's also a little easy to get carried away with, but in a good way. 2: The booth tables. And 3: the chili and garlic edamame. It is AMAZING! Everyone has to try it. Even if you go to Mizuya just for some Japanese beer and the edamame, it's a must. (Sorry, we ate it far too fast for a photo!)

I'm not sure if I can remember everything that we ordered, so here's what I remember. (We did have the entire table covered in food the whole time as we stuffed our faces). We had tofu agedashi, which was cooked to perfection, with just a nice light batter. We tried out some things from the kushiage section of the menu. This pretty much means deep fried. We chose the deep fried camambert. Good in small doses. But it must be lethal if you have too much. Instant heart attack. So bad, but so good at the same time. The gyoza are also up there on my list of favourites, with a really nice touch of ginger in them.

We had some noodles, which were a bit too greasy for my liking that had chicken and vegetables I think in it. But it really wasn't that memorable. The salmon sahimi was however, very tasty and fresh.

The cocktails unfortunately weren't my type of cocktails. They were all very sweet, especially the Love Hotel, which I just had to try about because of it's name. I think I'll stick to Japanese beer next time. Unless you're a teenage girl, you're probably not going to like the cocktails I'm afraid.

We also did the Shabu Shabu thing, and unlike Ju Ju's, the water wasn't vinegary, which was a relief. We cooked udon noodles, veggies and beef in it and we all ate as much as we could, until we thought that we might explode.

Being suitable stuffed, we decided it was time for Karaoke! This Karaoke is in a seperate room, so that you can have full privacy to belt out whatever your heart desires (that your friends allow). You can also order drinks and food in your karaoke room, doing dinner in the restaurant, or in the karaoke room. We decided to try out both that night. I would recommend booking if you're interesting in doing karaoke on a Friday or Saturday night, as it gets extremely busy in there.You can search for songs via the title of the song or the name of the artist in your room. And although I wasn't programming them in, it's one of the few karaoke places I've been to in Sydney where we didn't spend the whole night trying to work out how to program a song. We were able to start cranking out New York New York by Alicia Keys, quite a few ballads and some song by the Backstreet Boys (see below images...) Yes, we went there! Backsteet Boys.

After our night there, I would recommend Mizuya. Just don't bother with going to their website, it's kind of just a pdf. Either ring, or just turn up for dinner. We had so much fun singing and eating, even if we all pretty much lost our voices and the cocktails weren't the best. Also I love the random horse lamp. Next up for the night, I was off to a party in Newtown. I know, big night!

Mizuya Japanese Restaurant and Karaoke on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sugarmill's 2nd Birthday, followed by lots of eating and drinking

Original idea: Attend Sugarmills' Birthday Party and get our cabana on. Idea that we ended up doing: Eat and drink our way through Kings Cross/ Darlo...

So, we were going to just check out the Sugarmill’s 2nd Birthday cabana style party in Kings Cross. But it started with some vino at my friend’s house and some humus with carrot sticks and pita bread (as you do). Then we got our cabana on at Sugarmill. There were leis aplenty, quite a few captains, and some fab tacky anchors and other shrapnel. Sailor hats, nautical stripes, bright colours and bikinis were surrounding us. Of course there were also lots of blue and white balloons and a giant birthday cake. We were entertained by some random girls with grass skirts (read: plastic) and coconut bras doing some very “authentic” Hawaiian moves. There was Jamaican music. We missed out on the free Pina Colada, but enjoyed cheapo drinks and some free fish and chips in little containers. The perfect start to a night out, even if it's not a place that I frequent on a normal night. I’ll never say no to a free or very cheap drinks!

Next we headed to Time to Vino in its new location, near the Piano Room. From the second that we walked in, it was the perfect mood. The right light levels, cosy tables (although we opted for the bar seats), and some vino books scattered around. This would be the perfect date location. We had a look at the menu, and seeing as we were grazing all night, chose the last option of cheese on the menu, with our waiter’s help, served with sun ripened sultanas and lavosh. 

To call the cheese amazing would be an undersight. It was heaven. It disappeared very fast. For wine, we had the Sangiovese from Chianti with our cheese and soaked up the atmosphere. We easily could have spent the whole night here. Only after we had paid our bill and started to make moves did we realise that we hadn’t even seen the full menu. We both gasped. Our eyes soaked in the menu. My stomach began to get excited. Another time, another time, I kept telling it. The sundaes on the menu (all with some type of alcohol) the waiter told us were to die for. We decided to believe him. They looked great. We were told that you wouldn’t want to share them, and that it was a nice bit of alone time to have with your sundae. We had amazing service all night, great cheese and fab wine. Time to Vino is one of those few bars that just gets it right. It will be on my regulars list from now on. And I am going back to try out the rest of the food. And one of those sundaes. Hmmm…

Time To Vino on Urbanspoon

We decided to keep walking in the direction away from the Harbour, and ended up at Mad Pizza. I’ve been here before, and it’s hard to resist. Again, we go for the bar stools, ending up with a charmingly (most of the time) bizarre English man telling us his life's story. We needed some wine to help us through his strange stories, so we ordered some Malbec. I love the quirky decorations in Mad Pizza, and I prefer this one, which is a bit bigger than the one down the road on William Street. 

I quite like Frank (in above piccy), the deer on the wall that overlooks us as we drink the night away. The shutters that open to reveal a dj are also a nice touch, with things written on the walls and some plants here and there. Our stomachs were starting to growl by this point, so we ordered the Alamfi pizza to share, as our new "friend" continued his story about his search for love.

The prawns were cooked perfectly, the soft, white cheese was delicious, and the chilli flakes just the right amount of hotness for me. I love how the pizzas come out on their own little stands, allowing more table (or in our case), bench space. The thin crust was also exactly how I like it. The stories flowed, the wine flowed and the pizza was gobbled up very fast. I was too scared to try the organic wine: "voice of the people," but maybe next time I will be brave enough. I also had, perhaps, by this point, had enough vino. A point proven by the mild hangover I had this morning.

Mad Pizza e Bar on Urbanspoon

Next door, my friend insisted that we get some Wow Cow into us. We choose the Volcano to share, which had frozen coffee yoghurt on the side, crushed Tim Tams, and some pancakey, chocolately richness with chocolatly hot sauce all over it. By this point, I was struggling and had to let my friend do most of the eating. My desert stomach just isn’t as large as my savoury stomach I’m afraid. And I thought that I might actually have exploded. Which could have been messy. Wow Cow, just like Mad Pizza, were both packed. You can tell that the locals love them both. I quite like the upside cow too...

We decided that we had eaten and drunk enough, being a bit tipsy and extremely full, and decided to call it a night. We had done a kind of progressive dinner and drinking session in Kings Cross/ Darlinghurst and we had done all that we could do. It was a school night after all and there was a long ferry ride ahead of me to get home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dinner & Karaoke @ Ju Ju

Idea: Karaoke and dinner somewhere interesting @ Ju Ju in Kings Cross

"Goody and delicious" - Ju Ju. Who could possible hate that slogan?

My friends assure me that normally the staff at Ju Ju aren’t as stressed as they were when we went last Saturday night. We literally had to grab someone to serve us, but every restaurant has an off night. We had shabu shabu, the salmon roll  from the specials list, one of the combination udon and various other bits and pieces, considering there were quite a few of us.

I think that Shabu Shabu and drinking alcohol needs to have a warning, as I ended up with a burning hot noodle flung onto my leg, and someone else managed to get tofu, meat and veggies all over the floor (getting smooshed into our toes). However, for the more coordinated, I’m sure this wouldn’t be an issue. The vinegar water that the Shabu Shabu was being cooked in was a bit too vinegary for my liking. The salmon roll however, was amazing, and the udon noodles with the combination of (I'm not really sure exactly what, but I could tell that there was a tempura prawn in it) was also really good. The yaki gyoza and agedashi tofu are always favourites of mine and at Ju Ju this was no exception. Especially considering how fast they disappeared. Everyone looked like they were enjoying their food, although by the time the food came, they may have just about eaten anything.

There was plenty of Japanese beer flowing, as well as some vino, so that by the time karaoke begun, we were in quite a good mood. This is not the type of karaoke for those who are a bit shy, as they aren't private karaoke booths. There’s just one microphone and everyone gets to hear your lovely singing. The tables are sunk into the floor, with edges to them, so there’s privacy while you dine. This is strictly a no shoes zone, so watch out or they’ll chase after you with the intention of bearing those tootsies to the outside world. Lots of food later (when it finally arrived), beverages and a bit of singing, we decided to head out. The good thing is that Ju Ju’s is in the heart of the Cross, so there are plenty of options to head out to afterwards.

So, despite the lack of service, I would still recommend Ju Ju. I love a good Japanese style Tavern. What I wouldn’t recommend is a big night out after this (after spending all day at the beach), and going straight out on a bushwalk in Terry Hills in 31 degree heat the next day, with barely any sleep (as the hangover effect is just starting to kick in).  But that's self induced, so I can't complain about that! All in all, a pretty great weekend! As the coasters at Ju Ju says, "always around you" ... I think that's a good thing?

Ju Ju on Urbanspoon