September 17th, 2007

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - El Circo at Slide

Now even if food isn't particularly your caper, bear with me and read this review... you might like it! They are trying for more than just food - an all-over theatrical dining experience.



The venue is the sparkling Slide on Oxford Street, and the night itself is called El Circo. Think nightclub meets restaurant, with giant chandeliers, nice lighting, candles on the tables, set stages, and a reasonably big sound system (but they hold the base during dinner so you can hear your dining companions speak). It is a theatre restaurant type experience, but don't let that put you off.



The chef/creator is Marc Kuzma aka Claire de Lune and he's serving up a burlesque parody of fine dining and molecular gastronomy - with politics that begin with the first course - Faux Fois Gras.



As you can see, it's served up in a petri dish, with bandage wrapped crackers, and almost at the same time, some attractive man-meat is also served on podiums around the space:



The second course was a test tube of three soups. You used your straw to experience an alternating series of hot and cold taste sensations.



But there was no alternating hot and cold in the next performance - it was just hot - a sexy Middle Eastern number with a saucy male belly dancer:



The next course's molecular element was Teriyaki Lace which I have to confess felt a bit like eating a (tasty) barbed wire fence... but I did enjoy the underlying Salmon Carpaccio:



On the floor - a clever reworking of shadow puppets, with some er... erotic juggling of light:



The next course was a virtual risotto, inhaled from a balloon pricked by host Verushka Darling:


So by now, we are probably a bit tipsy, so the documentation fails a little - there was a mime act (not my cup of tea, she used very loud, annoying vocalisations) and a pole dancer (quite good, but not as hot as my favourite Miss Suzie Q) - and then it was back to the food. For the next course, we were given a rubber glove, and a plate swirled with sauce:



The protein took the form of a Lamb Shank, and we collectively gnawed it in a primal sort of way (I'll spare you the gnawing, and just give you the shank):



The next act was my favourite - Aussie Pole Boys - and I will give you a teaser, but not much more as you will see them on the Hellfire stage in October:



I think (again, alcohol blurs my recollection) there was a lovely French song from the host at this point, accompanied by some more pole - a sexy girl with chunky thighs that took my fancy). The next act made me laugh - guess what movie it's from?



Dessert was another bit of political fun - injecting cosmetics into a fluffy coconut covered lab rat at the table (think syringes of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and berry coulis):



My dining companion had much fun with this. In fact the whole night was fun. It'd make an AWESOME group excursion, and it's a whole night of entertainment and dining, for $80/head, plus alcohol. My only caution - you do tend to drink a lot as you are there for hours. I'll leave you with cosmetic tester Craig, and his lab rat:



El Circo at Slide
41 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 8915 1999

Slide Lounge on Urbanspoon
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Fish on Fire


Amidst all the fancy food, it's nice to have some more simple pleasures - and Fish on Fire delivered just that! It's a cute little fish cafe on Glebe Point Road, with some indoor, and some outdoor tables, and a roaring take-away trade in fish burgers, salads and all your seafood staples.



With my partner's evil smoking habit, we of course chose to dine al fresco  - which frankly I prefer anyway except when it's cold (but I'll never let on). Here he is kicking back outside:



We started with what was one of the better versions of Salt and Pepper Squid ($6.50) I have had recently - and it was a total bargain. Check out the scored, crisp and largely oil free coils of squid below:



You'll like meeting the owner Theo Hlorotitis too - seafood's in his blood. His family have been in fish shops for the last 35 years. It shows in the fabulous famous Mixed Seafood Grill ($12.50) - as you can see from the photo, it was brimming with fresh produce including barbequed Octopus, Perch pieces, Calamari Rings, King Prawns & Mussels which have been grilled with olive oil, lemon juice and herbs; served with a fresh Greek Salad with vinaigrette; crisp beer battered chips and tartare sauce.



I loved my Grilled Atlantic Salmon ($12.50) too - a beautiful (and under-priced) grilled slab of fish, with another fresh salad, though I chose potato scallops over the SUPERB beer battered chips... more fool me! (Don't get me wrong - the potato scallops were great, the chips were AMAZING).



And if I haven't sold you on the seafood (why not I ask?) go for the Baby Creme Caramel ($1) - it was good:



Actually, that was Craig's favourite... I returned to my childhood with a superbly creamy cinnamon-topped Rice Pudding ($2.50):



You could go to Fish on Fire have dinner, a soft drink and dessert, and still afford a magazine to read while you're there from a twenty dollar note. It's really a cut above your average seafood cafe.

Fish on Fire
217A Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Ph: (02) 9660 4212

Fish on Fire on Urbanspoon
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