|East Side Peach cocktail at Eau De Vie, Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst|
My East Side Peach cocktail featured Ketel One Citroen vodka with the main selling point: poached peaches; shaken with bruised mint, pink grapefruit and lime juices.
Peaches were undeniably the starring ingredient in the dainty coupe glass, making the cocktail a little too easy to drink.
|Gin on ice ball at Eau de Vie|
The shared umbrella came out again when hungry stomachs beckoned for food, resulting in a trudge through the heavy shower up Victoria Street to Jimmy Liks. And boy, I’m not sure if I’ve ever come across a more intimate restaurant.
One side is the narrow bar; while the other side is the slightly less narrow dining area of several communal tables. The space is dark and moody with plenty of glam touches amid the bench seats.
|Smoked eel betel leaf with shrimp galangal and chilli (left) and chicken betel leaf |
with smoked eggplant chilli and eschalot relish (right) at Jimmy Liks,
Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Chicken was (I now realise) not the right protein as its slightly rough texture detracted somewhat from the experience. The chilli hit was also bigger than expected.
The smoked eel on the other hand was spot on: smooth and sweet, mingling well with the sour and spice hits of the other ingredients.
|Blue eye cod and coriander dumplings in garlic chive and ginger broth|
The broth was magical – sweet and full of body with soy and ginger notes dominating. In fact, I’m still a little undecided as to which was better – the dumpling or the broth.
|Chilli salted school prawns with Thai basil and red nahm jim|
|Mussaman curry of veal shank with peanut, betel leaf and ar-jard dipping sauce|
Whole spices were also abundant – a cinnamon quill, star anise, coriander seeds – adding to the fragrance as well as visual appeal. And there, with the curry main mostly cleaned up, we declared desserts impossible even though the banana fritters had been calling us from the very start of the meal.
Rotund after the meal and heading back out to the rain, the small umbrella was admittedly even more intimate than before - but not all in a bad way.