Brunch – there doesn’t seem to be a more loved eating occasion for Broadsheet readers. If you’re looking for something to disrupt your egg-and-bacon routine, check out Middle Eastern restaurant Nour, in Surry Hills. On Sundays it serves one of the city’s most exciting and creative menus: a deliciously drippy, oozy affair with flatbread.
Another notable entry is Darlinghurst’s Lankan Filling Station, which does Sri Lankan-inspired brunches every Saturday and Sunday. Owner and chef O Tama Carey’s succinct menu isn’t necessarily guided by rules or traditions, but it tastes bloody great. There’s a cheese and pickle toastie and the extraordinary Toasted Godamba Roti. Listen when you take a bite of the flaky, buttery roti – there’s an audible crunch. Inside? Melted cheese, bacon, green chilli and aromatic curry leaves. Bliss.
For a mid-morning meal with a Japanese bent, Koku Culture in Ashfield will deliver. Owners Kenji Okuda and Donna Chau originally left their jobs cooking at Lotus and Billy Kwong to make miso and soy sauce, and ended up opening a cafe in the process. They’re serving sort-of Japanese dishes such as crunchy wok-fried eggs with bacon, cabbage and a field of bonito flakes.
But food is nothing without robust conversation. The Sydney Opera House hosts its one-day Antidote festival on September 1, and it’s billed as a cure for fake news and the weaponisation of social media. I’m impressed with the big hitters of course – Chris Wylie (former director of research for Cambridge Analytica), DeRay Mckesson (prominent Black Lives Matter figure) – but think people should get involved in the workshops too. There’s a super cute session teaching dads (or any parents who lack the skills) how to plait hair, a mass tarot reading and a guide to mending your clothes. Start small, I say.
Of course that’s the complete opposite of how one of the city’s most important contributors to Sydney’s contemporary arts scene began. Our cover star, John Kaldor, started large; in 1969 he commissioned what could have been, if it happened today, Sydney’s most Instagramable public art event. For Wrapped Coast he invited artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who shrouded two-and-a-half kilometres of Little Bay coast in fabric and rope. That was the first of his Kaldor Public Art Projects and there have been many more great ones since. The Art Gallery of NSW has a 50-year retrospective from September 7.
Talking about important contributors to Sydney: two excellent hospitality crews are teaming up once again to open a new 10-seater falafel and shawarma venue in Surry Hills. Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly) and Russell Beard, Mark Dundon and Jin Ng (Paramount Coffee Project, Paramount House Hotel) will launch Shwarmama in September, and we’re excited.
This story originally appeared in print issue 19.