Earlier this year Sydney beckoned, one of our best friends was getting married! Long story short it turned out to be a girls’ trip as all the husbands had to stay behind for their businesses. Sure we missed having them there but it was our first girls’ trip in a very long time. I was a bridesmaid and I also had no intention of blogging so I did not bring my camera, we just packed light. We booked flights to arrive in Sydney Airport around the same time, as soon as I landed I rushed to the arrival gate of my other two friends. We seem to only see each other once a year now, people I used to spend almost everyday with but that is life, we go our separate ways and when we come together it’s as if we never parted. That is the feeling of friendship we hold on to.
I did say I wasn’t going to blog but the habit was worse than I thought so I took pictures of everything anyway. Straight from the airport we left our bags at Grand Mercure Sydney Central Station which turned out to be a fantastic location. A little sleep deprived from the red-eye flight we walked to Reuben Hills in Surry Hills for breakfast. It was a narrow cafe with exposed brick, hanging lights, the recycled wood look and an open garage door at the back leading to a back street. Hello Sydney hipster!
Reuben Hills takes a lot of pride in their coffee and sources unique beans where possible. I had quit coffee and juice by then but I was told the coffee’s good. It came recommended by a friend, they’ve even been selected as one of the best cafes in Inner Sydney. The menu is a little different, said to be inspired by their trips when sourcing coffee. Overall we felt our meal was okay.
That night was to be a low key hen’s night, to make up for the wilder one we couldn’t attend. Seeing as it was so close to the wedding day the bride opted for a quiet cozy meal and spending some quality time catching up instead. After a little research we all decided on Bar H Dinning. Also in Surry Hills, this place was more of a wine bar style eatery. It was a great pick for our purpose. Not too noisy, cozy and chill with good service. The menu was interesting with a focus on fine seasonal and sustainable produce. You would find influences from Asia, in particular Japan, on the current menu. The first order? Cocktails all round (mocktail for me)!!
The food was good all round, some challenged our taste buds a little with great reward. My favourites were all the seafood dishes and the dumplings, especially the super fresh Hiramasa kingfish sashimi. Tempura Corn took me by a delightful surprise, I’ve never had it that way before. Served in a bag it was like a fancy version of popcorn. Off to the movies now.
Needless to say when girls get together the chatter never stops. It was a very late night and the blackout curtains in the hotel alone is worth 5 stars. Obviously we got up late. Being right next to Haymarket the logical thing to do was go for Yumcha!! The type that beats everything in South Australia (sorry, you really need to lift your yumcha game). We came across Marigold Chinese Restaurant at Citymark Building, George Street, thought we kind of heard that name before and decided to go in. It was absolutely packed out and it was Thursday late morning!! No work/school/anything? We managed to get a seat and the trolleys rolled out fast. For the Melbournians it was a small step up, for me it was a huge step up to what we have. In all honesty I felt like I was back in Hong Kong sitting at the table with my grandma, family and her friends. It felt good. Authentic and good. Good to be ordering in Cantonese and good to know they have exactly what I want and it tasted GOOD.
We braced ourselves for a Sydney priced bill but the total worked out to be about the same as what we would normally pay here and in Melbourne. The quality however, miles apart. With very full bellies we took a casual walk around town, looking for random things and possibly did too much shopping at the Review outlet store. For me, I found Daiso and wished I had brought a check-in luggage…..please come to Adelaide, please please please.
We actually weren’t really hungry but I had to do Dbites Sydney proud. Besides, it’s not everyday you come across Matcha Heaven. I’m talking about Chanoma, every bit as good as I was told. Absolutely loved their rich green tea latte. So much for quitting caffeine. Also it’s a good job we bought the dresses before stuffing our faces again.
My friend (hand model below) went to get some soft serve ice cream from none other than Aqua S right across Chanoma. I had a little taste of the Sea Salt flavour and loved it.
I’m quite sure after that we went back to the hotel to take a nap. I don’t even remember anymore! All my photos tell me are the next meal. Late dinner at Yok Yor Thai Food Factory in Surry Hills. Just a 5 minutes walk from our hotel, it was packed out the night before so we decided to try it. Not a bad place, half decent food but we found it all too salty. Back at the hotel that night we downed bottles and bottles of water.
The following morning it was up bright and early for the big day. The weather was gorgeous and the vibe in the bride’s home was just bliss. All her family and relatives getting ready together, preparing fetching-the-bride games while we got dolled up by an amazing make-up artist and hair stylist. I wish I had photos to show you but being bridesmaid, you don’t get to take your own photos. The photos I have are not mine and it wouldn’t be fair to share them here so you’ll just have to trust me it was sunny, then very windy, and a gorgeous view overlooking the green at St Michael’s Golf Club in Little Bay. The bride and groom were excellent dancers, in fact that’s how they met, through ballroom dancing classes. They had a performance dance choreographed for us that night and it was just incredible! It was a pleasure to be a part of her special day. An even greater pleasure for all us old friends to reunite again. We slept very well that night. The next morning a small group of us caught up with the newly wedded couple for breakfast at Le Monde. Now that was something special it deserves a post of its own.
It was good to see you Sydney, till the next time I come and raid your yumcha trolleys!