Sydney’s an active city, and this month its largest group fitness event happens: the City2Surf. On August 11, thousands of Sydneysiders will run the 14 kilometres from Hyde Park to Bondi (you can almost always rely on it being “T-shirt” weather – global warming will probably ensure it). There are also plenty of new openings and events to check out, as well as an exciting new delivery service. This is what I’ll be up to – follow my adventures here.
This way for emergency cheese
We’ve all been there – glass of wine in hand, but nothing to snack on. That’s where Chippendale’s Handpicked Wines comes in.
The urban cellar door, which has six vineyards across Australia, has launched an online cheese shop that delivers fromage (from a few local producers, including Simon Johnson), to locations within a 10-kilometre radius of Sydney’s CBD in three hours. The Starter Pack comes with your choice of three wines, three cheeses, three meats, and crackers and condiments. Or you can choose your own goodies.
See the entire oeuvre of master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock on the big screen
I still remember the first time I saw Birds (1963): mind blown, and it was only on VHS on my parent’s tiny TV. Now you have a chance to see Hitchcock’s masterpieces as he intended – on the big screen – at Randwick’s Ritz Cinema, which will be celebrating the filmmaker over the next 10 (yes, 10) months.
The Hitchcock Retrospective runs from August 4 until June 3, 2020, with films screening every Wednesday at 10am and every Sunday at 2pm (with some exceptions). It kicks off with Hitchcock’s earliest, silent flicks from the 1920s, and progresses to cult favourites Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho.
On August 4, Andrew Scott will provide live musical accompaniment to the 1925 silent film The Pleasure Garden, and on September 1, Guy Gross will accompany 1928’s Easy Virtue, giving audiences a taste of what the cinema experience was like before “talkies”.
Explore Sydney’s new food and retail hub
The final piece of the puzzle in Darling Square, the new retail, dining and residential precinct in Haymarket (where the Sydney Entertainment Centre used to be) has been planned for years – and now, this month, the distinctive six-storey Exchange building slowly comes alive.
Designed by architect Kengo Kuma, it will house a futuristic library, rooftop bar and the Maker’s Dozen, a group of 12 food and drink retailers. There are lots of goodies to look forward to there, including the second outpost of Marrickville’s Hello Auntie (already open), Pasta Wafu (a Japanese pasta collab between Banksii and Ume’s Kerby Craig), Saga which will sell Andy Bowdy’s fantastical desserts, and bar and bottle shop Bucket Boys. We’ll report on them as they open.
A new breakfast spot
There are so many delicious things at try at Pyrmont’s Quick Brown Fox, which is housed in a cute heritage-listed corner space: folded eggs with truffled crème fraîche, poached ocean trout and black-forest toast, and a show-stopping koshihikari (premium short-grain rice) that comes with a chilli fried egg, enoki mushrooms, maple-glazed bacon, grilled cabbage, chilli relish and optional quinoa-fried chicken or king prawns. There’s a stack more on the menu, plus a bulging burger for lunch. Coffee is by Single O.
Last chance and new beginnings
It’s been a rollercoaster these last couple of months, with a bunch of Sydney venues calling it a day. Some more are closing in August, including Potts Point’s Paper Bird, which will serve its last creative Korean and Japanese dishes on August 3, and Bondi’s Da Orazio (no date locked in yet), which will be renovated and renamed when Mitch Orr of the now-closed Acme takes over pasta duties. Chef Karl Firla, who’s owned and expertly operated Newtown fine diner Oscillate Wildly for the past 10 years, is finishing up on August 31 to move onto new projects, and Surry Hills’ Wyno will close so the Porteño Group can move its Bodega tapas joint to the alleyway site.
Nearby, the owners behind profit-for-purpose restaurant Folonomo have decided to convert it into an events space for parties and pop-ups. They’re encouraging Sydney’s top chefs to step forward to help raise money for charities of their choice, beginning on August 15 with Newtown’s Hartsyard, which will host a seven-course, completely vegetarian dinner benefitting HopeForOllie. Hugh Piper of Dear Sainte Eloise will follow on August 29 with a dinner benefitting Beyond Blue.
And finally, the Australian Museum is shutting on August 19 for one year for a $57.5 million upgrade, which will include a new touring hall and education spaces.
Try the Squish Burger
If you haven’t tried this magnificent burger creation, you should. Its name is very literal, with staff using an iron press to squelch together the bun, good-quality beef and cheese. (The salad is served on the side because you might prefer it that way.) Now the masterpiece – which is moving from Bondi Beach Public Bar to the top-floor cocktail bar Scout at sister venue The Dolphin – has been given a luxe makeover.
“The patty is bigger than before but there is one of them, versus the two,” the group’s executive chef Monty Koludrovic tells us. “The cheese is now fontina and there’s truffle shaved on it. It also now comes with a special Polish gherkin I developed with the guys at Westmont [Pickles] ... the Monti Ogorki.”
Buy tickets to the unauthorised Banksy show
Banksy’s first art dealer and former manager, photographer Steve Lazarides, never got permission from the elusive artist to create this exhibition, but he did it nonetheless. Now the world’s largest touring collection of Banksy’s works comes to Sydney from September 13, including some of his most iconic pieces, such as Girl With Red Balloon, Flower Thrower and Rude Copper. Tickets go on sale on Friday August 2 at 4pm here.