For me, February is birthday month, I have my own birthday, my brother’s birthday and a handful of very close friends, all of which means plenty of outings! This week-end saw some partying at the Island Bar on Cockatoo Island, a hearty breakfast on Saturday at Mosman’s Fourth Village Providore, a dinner at Felix Restaurant in the city & Sunday evening cocktails and dinner st the Winery in Surry Hills. All in all a great week-end, helped along with some sunny weather (finally Sydney!) and the feeling that I have consumed way too much food!
The week-end started with an enormous breakfast at Fourth Village Providore, a favourite of mine for their pizza’s, but this was my first non-dinner visit. It was crowded, with plenty of people getting a post-workout fuel up still in their workout gear. That’s probably the way to do it as you need your appetite. My order of Italian baked beans, came on a chopping board, and consisted of baked beans topped with 2 poaches eggs, generous blobs of mozzarella a rocket salad and toast, I had added a side order of bacon, as the late night on Friday was really calling for bacon. My friend’s order of eggs, bacon & a side of mushrooms was equally large. All of it was delicious, including some freshly made juice, and we managed to get about half way through each of our dishes. A couple sat down at the table next to us were obviously regulars, and ordered one dish to share between the two of them, they’d obviously done this before!
Images: Fourth Village Providore
The service was efficient, with all requests catered for quickly & accurately, the food was delicious, the only complaint being I felt too full for hours afterwards!
Later that day it was on to a ferry and off to Island Bar, on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island. Having been meaning to go there since it opened, it was nice to have a reason to make the effort! A couple of friend’s birthday’s were being celebrated in the private space in the ‘upstairs’ area of the bar, so we boarded the ferry at 3:30pm, from Greenwich. Just a 10min ferry ride and we arrived, the Island Bar itself, is a green oasis in an industrial setting with spectacular views over the harbour. The upstairs area consisted of a gutted container, with a cut away balcony space, and an airy blue & white themed sitting area. Below us was the bar, and laid out in front of that, bright green turf, colourful deck chairs & umbrellas and equally colourful guests. We looked with interest over a number of groups celebrating birthdays, hens days & those just soaking up the sunshine, which has been a rare sighting in Sydney this summer. Jugs of cocktails, bottles of champagne, and platters of pizza and Italian antipasto’s were shared amongst groups, the only thing missing on a warm Saturday afternoon was a swimming pool! Everything about the Island Bar was very enjoyable, the only let down being the long walk to the toilets, that were reminiscent of a high school toilet block, in which the lights were not working.
Images: Island Bar
Following our departure from Island Bar (the last ferry is 8:40pm roughly), we headed back to Circular Quay for dinner.
After the doorman at Jaime’s Italian said it was too late for us to get a table, we headed round to Felix, at the bottom of the Ivy complex. I was looking forward to trying Felix, having been to many of Merivale’s restaurants, I find the quality & service is generally very good. What is amazing about Felix is the atmosphere, they have captured a bustling French Bistro incredibly well, at 9:30 on a Saturday evening groups of 5 or more filled most of the tables. The seafood bar was impressive, and the oysters that came out of it were equally impressive. I ordered the lamb shoulder with my partner (it was for 2), having being cooked on the rotisserie, it was lovely and tender, I did feel however, it was not impressive enough for the price tag attached. Similar thoughts came from other people in the group, with a number of places rolling off tongues of where you can get better quality food for similar of less expensive prices. Whilst it was sound, it’s not somewhere I will be racing back to, or necessarily recommending to others as I have had better food & experiences elsewhere.
To conclude the week-end, cocktails and dinner at the Winery in Surry Hills. The beautiful warm Sydney day meant it was crowded, however we got a spot at the bar for a few jugs of Pimms and some share food, before moving upstairs for dinner. Whilst I love the eclecticism of dining room upstairs, it wasn’t the most comfortable way to have a meal, with some people on small ottomans, some squeezed on to a couch and other on giant armchairs, that couldn’t get close to the table. Given the weather eating outside would have been most perfect, however as always the staff and the service were incredible, which is really the reason you go there!