Random thoughts on a recent lunch:
- I’ve walked past the Sydney Mint Café probably a hundred times over the years, but I never knew it existed until a friend suggested we dine there last week. Tucked up on a balcony on the sandstone end of Macquarie Street, however, it provides an excellent people- and car-watching venue.
- One thing one quickly realises is that Sydney drivers are either really, really good, or really, really bad. Over the course of an hour’s lunch overlooking Macquarie Street, we see three very near-misses. Of course, they were near-misses, not actual smashes, so instead of a nation of drivers who don’t signal when changing lanes or check their mirrors before entering traffic, Australians may be a nation of Sennas. Depends how you look at it.
- The menu, and portion sizes, are a bit ladies-who-lunch, perhaps pitched at the older, reasonably well-off tourist market.
- While there is something to be said for caution, I think doing a confit of chicken Maryland is a bit too cautious. Why not confit duck instead? Come on, chef, it’s easy.
- Nevertheless, a filet of salmon is lovely, and the skin paper-thin and crunchy. When they know what they’re doing, they do it. A dessert of almond cake is perfectly balanced, but my companion reported that the accompanying poached apricots were diabetically sweet.
- The other thing about Macquarie Street, besides being a minor amateur rally car circuit, is that it is a wind tunnel. Over the course of an hour the temperature dropped by ten degrees, and the sun disappeared behind clouds.
- Walking back to the office through Hyde Park, I was of course without an umbrella, not having anticipated the rain.
- My glumness disappeared when I noticed that the rain was also falling on a small but angry rally of Palestinians, who amidst a heavy police presence were screaming into microphones in Arabic about Yahud.
- Yahud is apparently an Arabic term for members of the Jewish faith, and given the tone of the speakers, I don’t think they were looking to hold an interfaith jamboree any time soon.