Thursday, December 01, 2005


campos coffee & manta

last night i must say i had one of the best dinners in my life at manta, an oz-ital place on cowper wharf, which is a beautiful spot spoiled only by proximity to the w hotel. lawd drunken fashionisti are horrid.

however, i highly recommend the simple but stunning food at manta. the delicate pappardelle with organic aussie duck ragu stewed with wild oz mushrooms was ultra yummy, as was the taglarini with yabbies (australian crawfish) coated in the lightest, sweetest cream sauce ever and decorated with an interesting twist: lightly roasted sesame seeds.

the pinkish murray river salt, with its rice-like crystals, is as amazing as any fancy french salt ever. the antipasto tasting plate's ineffable, frankly.

so i went running around town today talking about this only to discover that manta is regarded as a pretty average upscale sydney restaurant.

that should tell you something about the quality of the dining experience here, and explain why the ny times not so long ago declared sydney the new global food capital.

this morning i wanted to deal with that indulgence, so i decided to try another yoga studio. thus i walked from my downtown hotel to the surry hills district, only to find the noon class cancelled.

tried another not far away -- same thing. i'm standing in front of the door wondering what's up when someone wanders by and explains that most of sydney tends to bag it early on fridays and just head for the beach.

this is the santa barbara element of sydney. thus i ended back up at samadhi bliss in newtown.

naturally the teacher announced that the level 2 class would be only 45 mins. today! sigh. i guess on fridays you should just try a studio at bondi. . .

but since i was in newtown, i went ahead and dropped by campos coffee, often said to be the best in sydney. campos is a lovely, sunny wooden space decorated with antique coffee pots along a high shelf.

the baristi are in their best east-village black; in fact it reminded me of long-time bccy pal kenny nye's 9th st. espresso, if it had been spruced up and given a relaxing light be-bebop soundtrack.

since today in sydney is a nice 80-85 degrees, i asked for a classic italian shakerato. the chick barista gave me a blank look.

their posted iced coffee offerings all seemed to contain ice cream and whipped cream. i wondered for a moment if i was in the wrong place.

but i tried again, asking for an iced americano. again the tomato gave me a blank look.

finally a cadaverous-looking giant wandered over and said with real new york attitude-type sigh, "she wants a long black." ah! comprehension dawned!

or as the fabulous paul haddon had reminded me earlier in the day, "we don't speak english here, we talk australian." ok, paul; i get it.

the espresso was fantastic, actually, but the 'tude was a bit unnecessary. still, i like campos a lot!

my final discovery of the day -- modern hip cupcakes better than even nyc's famed magnolia. sydney, how i love you...

posted by fortune | 8:01 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 3 comments

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