As soon as I heard about the Yoko Ono exhibition, War is Over! (If You Want It), opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney I told myself I wasn’t going to miss this one. Well I almost did. It was the last week of the exhibition and I planned a 24 hour round trip. I got my sister on board, made a booking at Jamie’s Italian and made sure I would not miss out on getting myself a Flour & Stone Pannacotta Lamington!
We arrived at 8pm and got ourselves straight to Darling Harbour for a cocktail and dessert with Zumbo. Why oh why did i choose the one and only drink served in a jar? Say no to Jars. Then disapointment number two, Zumbo is closed for renovations! Heart officially broken. Luckily the view is beautiful and the next 22 hours are going to be splendid.
We checked into our hotel and headed out for a drink and dinner. Many drinks later, including a jug of beer that tastes like tropical fruit punch. You know the stuff? It comes in a can and you probably had it at every childhood birthday party. We forgot to eat dinner but made friends with a poor lonesome man who was stood up by Gary. Oh Gary, where are you?
We wake up early so we can fill the remaining 12 hours to the brim. First stop Fleetwood Macchiato. Obviously the name had me hooked but more importantly the images of the food I am constantly seeing is always stunningly beautiful and sounds divine. First, and best coffee, of the day. We had such a hard time choosing from the menu, if only we could have ordered one of everything! I went with the smashed egg breakfast roll. Two perfectly poached eggs that I thoroughly enjoyed watching being prepared behind the counter in the super small service/preparation area, perched upon a gorgeous bun piled with thick smokey ham off the bone, fresh tomato, cucumber, smoked chilli mayo, and the most delicious pickles made on site. Lily had poached eggs on sourdough with Tomato Basil Salad & Chorizo. We left so full that I forgot to buy any of their amazing pickles or jams.
So full we couldn’t work out how to read a map. Positive to getting lost, beautiful streets, dreamlike houses and cookies + milk. So full we couldn’t fit in a coffee at Blackstar Pastry, so takeaway treats were the answer.
I’ve always loved Ken Done. I remember in a high school art class we had to pick an artist to reproduce, I picked Ken Done and was told “No, anyone but him”. I still find this hilarious. There were a lot of these rhinos all over the city as part of Taronga Zoo’s Wild! Rhinos project. There were a few artists I wanted to track down, Bridge Stehli, Numskull, Marty Routledge mainly but none more than Ken Done‘s pair.
We got to Circular Quay and Lily roared “WHAT IS THAT!!”. Turns out the Queen Mary II was in the harbour. What a beast! We walked the length and could not come to terms with how ridiculously huge it was. We headed to the MCA Cafe to enjoy the view, which turned out to be a view of the ship once again instead of the Opera House, hilarious! Next YOKO!
Ask me my favourite place in Sydney and my answer will undoubtedly be Flour & Stone. We had the most enjoyable lunch. Crazy amazing pies, I find it so hard to get a good pie on the Gold Coast. I had the Chicken, Leek & Tarragon with lashings of the homemade sauce. Lily had the Slow-braised Lamb, Potato & Rosemary and moaned and squealed her way though the whole thing. We shared a pot of Rabbit Hole chai tea, a bowl of beetroot barley salad and last but most definitely not least, a Pannacotta Lamington. On my first visit someone had swooped in and ordered all the Lamingtons out from under me. Definitely worth the two year wait until I would get my hands on one.
Cocktail time! It was pouring with rain by this time so we arrived drenched at Jamie’s Italian and decided to dry out at the bar. First round we had The Amalfi Punch which was Vodka, limoncello & strawberry purée with a squeeze of lemon, finished with pink peppercorns and the Holy Espresso: A dark & delicious mix of Tia Maria, hazelnut liqueur & amaretto with a double espresso shot, dusted with cocoa. Oh yeah. The second round was a harder choice, we wanted everything. Lily picked two that sounded interesting, The Florence Fizz: Limoncello, pomegranate juice, elderflower cordial & Prosecco and the Blueberry & Basil Smash: Blueberries, fresh basil & lemon-infused gin, served over ice. Ok, now we’re ready to eat.
I had eaten just too much and was not up to a full meal so we opted to share a few antipasto items and Lily ordered a entree pasta for herself. She went with the Sausage Pappardelle, slow-braised fennel sausage ragù with red wine, Parmesan & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs and was extremely happy with her choice. We ordered Fried Three Cheese Gnocchi served in a rich arrabiata sauce, the Crispy Fried Squid with garlicky mayo, the rosemary & parmesan Polenta Chips and the bread basket. How could you go past $1.50 for homemade rosemary foccacia, Italian grissini, crispy ‘music bread’ & ciabatta, served with extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic. Especially when $1 from every bread order is donated to Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia.
After dinner we made our way to the Art Gallery of New South Wales for Art after Hours. We glanced at the collections, spotted the original of a Picasso that hung in our house throughout my childhood, caught a sneaky peak at the soon to open Sol Le Witt exhibition that was having a little VIP gathering and then made ourselves comfortable in the Gallery Cafe to watch Microwave Jenny play a little set before rushing off to the airport.
Now that was a good 24 hours. #alonelynightinsydneywithoutgary