Monday, July 13, 2009

The lunch collective - Part I

A collection of city lunching: on the go, alone, at wine o'clock, and other all sorts.

Chai latte and pumpkin and bacon tart from The Goods Organic,
Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Past the quiet lull of Oxford Street on a weekday afternoon is an organic gem that's music to the hungry conscience. Sitting in a fridge full of salads and sandwich goodies are house baked tarts - this one a pumpkin and bacon variety that's eggy, but none too creamy, oily nor cheesy. Add to that an organic coffee (or chai latte in this case), homely but snazzy interiors, and overflowing bookshelves, and you've got a weekend lunch on a weekday.

Glutinous rice stick from Mother Chu's Taiwanese Gourmet,
Dixon Street, Haymarket

It doesn't look much but this has to be the easiest meal on the go ever. It consists of a fried stick of dough, or yau ja gwai in Cantonese, rolled in pork floss and encased in glutinous rice. The dough stick is usually a bit oily and chewy, the pork floss lends the sweet flavouring, and the rice is your carb fix. It's probably more a snack than a meal, but when you're rushing from place to place in that precious hour, it does some good for the growling stomach.

Grilled ginger pork set from Sakura, Pitt Street, Sydney

A tiny little Japanese restaurant sitting next to my regular haunt of Cupcakes on Pitt, Sakura do a brisk trade with lots of the expected lunch sets and suits squishing in and out of the tight seating. This buda shogayaki comes with a generous serve of pork fillets sauteed in a sweet and sour sauce with capsicum, onions and the occasional mushroom. The ginger flavour escapes me, other than the pickled gari on the side. It's served with a little salad on the side and a bowl each of steamed rice and miso soup.

Panini and a glass of wine from The Falconer,
Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

This looks quite the idyllic lunch but wasn't in the sense that it was about 4pm and I'd just left an unpleasant meeting. The panini took me right back to something I'd had on the island of Capri in Italy - escapism at it's best - with a fruit fly-attracting glass of French viognier. Grilled toasty white bread with prosciutto, stringy smoked mozzarella, juicy tomato and basil - perfection between two slices.

Roquet salad with grilled chicken from Urban Bites,
King Street, Newtown

There's something about sunshine at lunch that is comforting and heart-warming; perhaps harking back to the days of primary school playgrounds. This salad was a little disappointing: seemingly aged rocket, unripe tomato and a bland, pedestrian dressing lifted only by the chopped parsley on the chicken, surprisingly. Nothing that a bit of philosophising company, overly sweet chai lattes and a bit of sunshine can't remedy.

Goods Organic on Urbanspoon

Mother Chu's Taiwanese Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Sakura on Urbanspoon

The Falconer on Urbanspoon

Urban Bites on Urbanspoon


Stephcookie said...

I'm so jealous, I wish I had all those options to choose from! Especially that glutinous rice stick, yum! Lunch options near my work in the hills are not great :S

lyn said...

although yau char kwai and glutinous rice sounds no where near healthy but i have to try it!

Out of curiousity although i think i know the answer, was the yau char kwai still lightly crunchy even when it was wrapped up?

Tina said...

Hi Stephcookie - These lunch options are when I can be bothered to put a lot of effort in (and some aren't work ones, I must admit). Otherwise it's just hitting up the food court ;)

Hi lyn - It is a pretty nice combo with the pork floss, but in answer to your question: it's a big NO. Chewy and oily would be the best description - but strangely yum anyway! :)

panda said...

i'm jealous of your lunches! the variety and everything looks so yummy! everything around my work doesn't even compare.

Howard said...

Oh I was gonna say, you must have a pretty good job if you could lunch with all this variety!

Betty said...

Ooh, so many great lunches! My lunches are very mediocre, I tend to rotate between the same things. boo.. Wish I was close to mother chu's! Love that place!

Tina said...

Hi panda - I admit I don't post about the standard, boring lunches. Unfortunately it's not everyday that there's a leisurely lunch... :(

Hi Howard - There's variety of sorts in the everyday food court... sort of :S

Hi Betty - I wish I were closer to Mother Chu's... which would mean closer to Chinatown and all those options!

Anonymous said...

Now this is my kind of lunch! I am assuming this was all from the same day since it is 'city lunching' not 'lunchings' ;)

Tina said...

Hi FFichiban - Not a bad work day if that was one day's lunchings! :)


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