Lankan Filling Station
I think the headline of our story says it all: “Lankan Filling Station Is Finally Open.”

The latest project by O Tama Carey (who you may remember from the very excellent Berta) is a Sri Lankan restaurant two years in the making. It was plagued by a number of hiccups, including not having a space to set up in and last-minute issues with gas installation, but we reckon it’s worth the wait. (And not only for the super-cute photo that leads the story.)

It is very handsome and pumps out crisp egg hoppers and spicy curries and sambols (a traditional Sri Lankan dish made from coconut) served alongside minimum-intervention wines. On the floor is the knowledgeable Iris Rees (Fred’s), who is manager-sommelier, and in the kitchen is the formidable Jemma Whiteman, who has been impressing Sydney as one half of the now-closed Pinbone for years.

What a great little package.

Plus, it’s around the corner from the Broadsheet offices, so we’re twice as excited.

Equally as anticipated is the new-look Quay, which has reopened after a $4 million makeover following a three-month renovation.

A friend described it to me as “mind-blowing”, which is an achievement in 2018 and in Sydney’s sophisticated restaurant scene; it’s not an easy task to create a restaurant that is remarkable and beguiling.

While the fine diner was shut the kitchen was upgraded and the space was reoriented to take better advantage of the impressive harbour views. It gave the incredibly creative Peter Gilmore time to craft a new menu, too.

Most importantly – and no pressure on Gilmore or the Fink Group that owns the restaurant (among others) – it was a time to reinterpret what it means to be a fine-dining restaurant in Australia in 2018.

I’ve got a booking in mid August, I’ll let you know if they’ve nailed it (you can follow me [here].(

With its recently opened third shop, handmade porcelain homewares brand Mud Australia has collaborated with the much loved specialist gift and bookstore Pentimento Papeterie, which has been on Newtown’s King Street for 20 years.

Alongside the full range of 80-plus Mud products, including lighting in its 20 signature colours – all designed and made in its Marrickville Studio – the Surry Hills shop has a collection of books, papers, notebooks and stationery from the inner-west favourite.

And while you’re on that part of Crown Street, it would be remiss of you not to stop by The Standard Store, The Collector Store and Title for threads, vinyl and fiction.

The Breaker Upperers
This modern rom-com premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, before opening the Sydney Film Festival earlier this year. The Breaker Upperers is by New Zealand writers-directors-actors Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek and will appeal to the love cynics. You’ll recognise van Beek from fellow New Zealander Taika Waititi’s critically acclaimed vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows.

Broadsheet Sydney’s arts writer Jane Albert interviewed van Beek who said the idea of the movie came to her when she was thinking about how friends had extricated themselves from tricky relationships.

“I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we had a film with two females doing something really morally ambiguous,” van Beek said. “‘What if they were getting paid to break up couples, if that was their job?’”

The Breaker Upperers is showing in cinemas nationally. See the trailer here

The Ristorante Real Castello di Verduno and Olek Bondonio pop-up
If you’ve heard of Giorgio De Maria you’ll know he’s behind some of the city’s most fun and interesting food and booze events, such as the sadly retired Rootstock natural-wine festival and the That’s Amore dinners. He has another lined up, this time with two operators from the Piedmont region in Italy’s north-west and hosted at the very excellent Rushcutters Bay restaurant, ACME.

A proponent of the slow-food movement and a “rockstar” barbaresco wine producer will be cooking and pouring wines from the region – Alessandra Buglioni di Monale of Ristorante Real Castello di Verduno, an elegant restaurant in the royal castle of Verduno that dates back to 1585. Olek Bondonio, a minimum-intervention winemaker known for producing wines that are expressions of Piemonte’s heirloom grapes, will also be there.

It happens on Sunday August 5 for lunch and dinner and then dinner only on Monday August 6. Reservations are available here.

Bar Topa
Half-pour Martinis – well played Bar Topa, well played.

Book Now
Antidote happens on Saturday September 1 and Sunday September 2, so now’s an ideal time to lock down some tickets. Edwina Throsby is Head of Talks and Ideas at Sydney Opera House and she has given Broadsheet a plenty of reasons you should go, which you can read here. But the short answer is: Ronan Farrow, Chelsea Manning, Ta-Nehisi Coates and a stack of other clever people throwing around ideas and solutions to the world’s woes.

Missed last month’s picks? Read them here.