There are some cities in the world which I just feel a connection with. Some cities where I feel comfortable in my own skin when I walk the streets. Some cities where I feel energized by the buzz and the culture. And of course some cities where the food is good. So far the cities where I don't mind living in are: Montreal, New York and Sydney. Montreal for their poutine and beautiful streets, New York for knish, mustard and just because its New York, and Sydney was something that recently started growing on me.
One clear night in a revolving bar on the top of the Sydney Tower, Bob and I made a scorecard for Sydney and Melbourne. He reckons Melbourne would win. I was going for Sydney. So here is my tally after spending 4 weeks in Sydney.
10 points - Boho markets happening every Sat especially Glebe market where you can get designer clothes for $10-$20, hand made earrings for $10, Peter Alexander inspired pj shorts for $15 and second hand books for $5. I've been there twice in two consecutives Saturdays and I'm going again tomorrow
5 points - Second hand book shops everywhere....every corner you look there is a tiny boutique second hand book store selling current bestsellers and rare books for a third of the going price
10 points - Amazing suburbs with different characteristics. There are so many inner burbs' to explore there is really no need to go to the city...Oxford street in Paddington area is crammed with upmarket shops, Surry Hills and Darlinghaust are areas filled with award winning restaurants, Newtown is funky town with university students, underground designer shops, cheap eats and organic stores, Leichhardt is Italian district, Ashfield is like a really authentic Asian town...
10 points - Habourview..there is Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Kings Wharf etc. Plus the view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge is always spectacular with what looks like mini people trying to scale the top of the Bridge
10 points - Beaches. I looooove beaches. Manly Beach. Bondi Beach. Fried Mars Bar on Bondi Beach. Pibs Rump and Grill at Manly. Yummmmm.....
10 points - Cultural diversity. Most cities in Australia are pretty diverse, but Sydney takes the cake with 31% of Sydneysiders being born overseas. And it isn't just Chinese people everywhere. Walk down to town and you don't know where in the world you are. There are Sudanese, Lebanese, Eastern Europeans, Asians and everyone that falls in between everywhere. And while in Melbourne most races stick to their cliques, I see a lot more mixed groups of people here. While walking around in Ashfield today, I saw Chinese groceries, Fiji supermarkets, Indian store, Korean supermarket and an Islander store ran by a Chinese couple. And with cultural diversity, out of the mainstream food like Croatian, African and Transylvanian food is more easily accessible.
20 points - Food. The Age did say that Melbourne have better food which I am sure the Sydney Morning Herald would beg to defer. But so far Sydney does have a bigger variety.
Modern European restaurant Pello has a fantastic degustation menu with rabbit and foie gras terrain, veal with chocolate bubbles and a beautiful scallop lagsana made from scallop mousse and mushroom pasta.
Modern Italian restaurant Lucio has delicious squid ink pasta
French restaurant Four in Hand has excellent wine match, beautiful seared salmon, pork neck and sweetbread. I also just found out that sweetbread is made from the pancreas of a young lamb or calve. I'm quite disturbed about that, but damm it taste good.
French bistro Sel et Poivre has one of the best duck I've ever tried.
Thai Pothong is one of my favourite Thai places with really attentive service and good red duck curry.
While Norton Street's Italian food doesn't match up to Lygon's, there is a tiny takeaway that does delicious fresh homemade pasta and sauce, and Bar Italia does gelato that will make Trampoline gelato cry.
Yum Cha at Zilver or East Ocean is definitely at Hong Kong standard.
Balkan does croatian pork skewers, pork neck and a meatball that is made from three types of animals.
360 Bar at the 88 floor of the Sydney tower is a revolving bar with plush couches facing clear glass windows...and the cocktails are divine. And one of the friendliest services for such a posh nosh place.
And Bills is a brunch establishment in Sydney. Corn fritters..yum. I'm bringing myself back next week for eggs and ricotta pancakes.
Sooooo the list of food is a bit obsessive. But I really like eating.
So the total score for Sydney now stands at 65!