What do you do when you find yourself at the end of a cancelled dinner party invitation on a Saturday night? You take other guests who are also left hanging and go do a progressive dinner, at various eateries, why limit it to just one?
So at 6.30pm on Saturday we find ourselves at Longrain in Surry Hills, Sydney. The last time I was here was a few years ago, but the wait was so long that we disappeared off somewhere else. Hunger wins. Tonight though we are greeted by a well dressed woman who opens the door and sends us in the direction of the restaurant NOT the bar. We're seated at the very long table (it's a trademark of Longrain) where we're fitted in between other diners. The ambience is great though it's a little loud and hearing my fellow diners opposite me at the table is, at times, a lip reading experience. The food is delicious, upmarket Thai - we go straight to mains - and there's little left on our shared plates when a very loud Englishman sits down beside me. He's not loud to me but my fellow diners sitting opposite can't hear themselves think, so we decide it's time to head out - the desserts look great but not tonight dear, we're getting a headache.
Next stop is IVY - the new watering hole with various restaurants and bars on multiple open air levels. It's quite glam, though if it's called IVY can they please have real ivy on the columns? There is more security than cute men, but the main guy - we'll call him the concierge - is drop dead gorgeous. He makes our brief visit here worth it, but they're not serving dessert unless you order the whole set menu - so we leave.
We wander towards Circular Quay and head up to Cafe Sydney. I give ourselves a 40% chance of getting a table the others are more optimistic ranging from 62% to 94%, and while we're initially offered the low low bar area where my knees rest at eye level, we're rapidly whisked away to a table on the deck which overlooks the finest Sydney Harbour has to offer (you get an idea in the link). We sit back, relax and enjoy the ambience that is unbeatable. It really is one of my favourite spaces anywhere in the world and we spend hours chatting away with the only distraction our waitress who calls our bill some kind of account, pours water like it's a bad child who needs to be disciplined and otherwise makes us pause conversation for fear of laughing. I really could have stayed on, the combination of conversation and ambience intoxicating - but at midnight we agree to move on.
We decide we're going to do it again - next time with entree, main and dessert each at different locations. Already contemplating potential venues, I can hardly wait.