Thursday, January 15, 2009


Nothing says home like a stint at Opera Bar - which is where we headed for a post-Hawaii catch-up. There's nothing like that beautiful backdrop while we're exchanging stories about events and people during the time away, handing out sympathy and souvenirs, and generally being the fun, food and drink loving friends we are.

Despite the cloudy weather, it's a warm day out and following my trip of (over)eating in Hawaii, I'm keen to go easy on the food and beverages these days. They say there's fewer carbs in Pure Blonde! Food wise I go for a salad, which turns out delighfully and perfectly scrumptious.

Fig, pecorino, rocket and asparagus salad

I hate a salad that's stingy on an item. If you say there's going to be asparagus in it, please make sure there is more than two spear heads in the salad. Here, everything is plentiful and very pleasing to the eye too. A huge pile of my favourite rocket leaves, a bounty of asparagus spears, loads of ripe and super-sweet figs, pecorino shavings and a few thin slices of crisp bread. The dressing is sweet - perhaps a smidgen too sweet given the ripe sweetness of the figs - lightly touched with balsamic and oil. The pecorino is perfect with the soft, juicy figs and the greens play sound supporting roles. This salad is heavenly and I could easily eat this for the rest of my days.

A companion is in a more carnivorous mood and makes me look like a bit of a lightweight with my salad and low carb beer. I manage to steal a few bites of the steak anyway.

Chargrilled sirloin with spinach and mushrooms in a red
wine sauce ( with potato hash browns on the side)

Cooked to a juicy medium rare, the sirloin is an impressive dish. Loads of button and field mushrooms plopped on top of the steak which sits on a pile of spinach. The potato hash browns provide the carbohydrates and help mop up the juices. They're a refreshing change from the pedestrian mashed potato served with steak dishes. The sauce is well seasoned and none too heavy, and the little grilled onions provide a surprising burst of natural sweetness. The carnivore looks calm and sated long after the meat has disappeared.

The sun has well and truly gone into hiding and the afternoon wind has picked up, but I guess that's the norm now here in Sydney. It's nice to be home.

Opera Bar on Urbanspoon

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