Went to the launch of The Sydney Festival Guide (yeah, I know, a launch of a brochure, rather wanky if you ask me). But they didn't ask me. So there was a performance by Taikoz (big drums, great choreography), speeches by all and sundry, including the festival director who is a great speaker, and who sold me a few shows, which we will duly go and see.
The best of which is La Clique which will be performed in The Famous Spiegeltent which will occupy Hyde Park North during January. It looks amazing, and apparently has (according to rumour, not fact) an trapeze artist that swings into and out of a bath.
The "horse doovers" as my SO likes to call them, were great - lobster on a spoon, caramelised onion on a pancake like thing, cod balls, duck pancakes, lamb and cous cous in a box, beef in pita rolls, creamy dessert things, and all the Crosser Champagne you can drink. And then you got a showbag... I guess they want us to think very, very kind thoughts about that program (and articulate them to many people)!
On Sunday evening, we went and saw Shortbus... one of the things I was excited about was seeing Justin Bond (Kiki of the Kiki & Herb duo) in it, after meeting, and enjoying his company on a trashy night of French food at Aperitif when they were here performing.
Let me just say - GO SEE THE FILM. It was the best queer film I have ever seen, in that I felt like I knew each of the characters. The dominatrix Severin cracked me up ("I can't be bothered tying you up, so hold the headboard, and if you let go, I leave.") Justin was excellent, and it was nice to see people playing themselves! It also has some of the most explicit penetration I have seen in a movie, and a great model of New York. Soundtrack rocked, especially Justin's song - We all get it in the End.
The Cheap Eats:
This week's Monday night dining was brought to you by La Parrillada and it was Puerto Rican! We weren't the most financial, so we went to experience their offer which I had been driving past (they're right on Parramatta Road, practially at the bottom of Norton Street). The offer is valid Monday to Thursday, and it gives you all you can eat (chicken, pork rib, beef rib) plus salad, bread, sauces and chips... for $19.90 per person!
The place is quirky, decorated with authentic knick-nacks, green plasma lights, Mayan masks, flowers and fairy lights... I only wished they had turned down the white lighting so we could have experienced the whole effect. It is run by a lovely, friendly couple - the wife doing front of house, and the husband in the kitchen.
We started with a jug of Sangria, which was delightful. Rather than the usual orange/apple mix, it had a lot of chopped lemon in it, and a zingy taste, which was rounded out with cloves and cinnamon. The red wine component was a light one, no heavy tannins, or bitter tastes - entirely enjoyable, and easy to throw back at $15 per jug. We also were lured by the unusual spirit selection. We tried a Puerto Rican Bacardi 151 degrees (meaning 151 proof, which puts it at about 75%, the only thing I have had which is worse is an alcohol called Stroh). The price - only $7.50 for a shot on the rocks!
The bread rolls were served warm (with Western Star butter). The salad was drenched in a light oil, and crispy fresh - the cooling properties of the cucumber, tomato, iceberg lettuce and capsicum were useful later). Our main arrived on a large silver platter, heaped high and all cooked to perfection on 100% natural charcoal. It was hard to know where to begin!
For two people, they put half a chicken on the platter, cut into quarters. It was moist, with great skin, and it went with the special green and red home-made sauces a treat. The green sauce was a mild chilli - based on green capsicums and special Peruvian chillis, and it was an amazing product in and of itself. The pork ribs were fried, and as a result a little less exciting. But the beef ribs took the form of thinly sliced Asada, and were smokey, and tasty (and again, delightful with both the green sauce, and the MUCH HOTTER red sauce). There was also some South American chorizo which was unusual, and lovely.
For a great end to the meal, share a Leche Asada - it's a milk based pudding, and only a little bit sweet, served baked to absolute perfection. The price? Only $4.90, but they're still happy to give you two spoons! The total price for alcohol and more food than two people could eat ($69). And they even suggested a doggy bag for the remaining food...
We will be returning to try their PARRILLADA DELUXE which uses some of the more expensive cuts of meat, like pork loin chops, and New York steak cuts... and they told us the platter easily feeds 4 people, for only $59.90. Amazing international cuisine that is brilliantly priced by Sydney standards.
The Fine Dining:
Will have to wait until next time... off to bed!