Do you feel that? There’s been a little morning chill in the air of late (albeit one that develops into a humid heat by 10am), signalling the arrival of autumn. This is likely the last month of good beach weather till October. But while the days may be getting shorter, there are plenty of activities happening in Sydney this month that don’t rely on sunny weather. From enjoying arts events galore to experiencing fun new venues, here’s what I’ll be up to this month. Follow my adventures here.
Enter The Fold
Family-run Sri Lankan cafe The Fold opened in Dulwich Hill last year, with the local community immediately embracing its excellent hopper, pol roti and curry heavy menu, and house-made cakes. (It was so fantastic that we included it on our best new cafes of 2020 list.) Now it’s coaxing us through the doors in the evenings, with last week’s dinner-menu launch. Expect karis (curries), hoppers with sambol, and lamprais (a Dutch Burgher dish of savoury rice, sausage-like fish frikandel, seeni (onion) sambol, green banana dry curry, chicken curry and more, wrapped in a banana leaf and baked in coconut cream). Dinner is served Thursday to Saturday from 5pm to 9.30pm.
There’s plenty going on this month for those who are keen to check out some art. Art Month kicks off on March 4, with Saturday night arts-precinct tours, panel discussions, life-drawing and clay workshops, and artist talks. Last year’s Art Month had to finish early thanks to Covid-19, so now’s a great time to show your support for our city’s incredible artists and their work.
International art fair The Other Art Fair also returns to Sydney, in the cavernous Cutaway at Barangaroo, from March 18 to 21. Pieces start at just $100, and even if you’re not in the market for an artwork it’s worth visiting for live performances, DJ sets, a wine bar and even hand-poked tattoos.
And the MCA has unveiled an incredible new 15-metre-long, hand-painted mural by venerable Western Arrernte painter Vincent Namatjira. PPF (Past-Present-Future) depicts seven Aboriginal men – including AFL player Adam Goodes, land-rights campaigner Eddie Koiki Mabo and Namatjira’s great grandfather, artist Albert Namatjira – against the backdrop of Namatjira’s home community of Indulkana in South Australia’s Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara region.
Venues we’re excited about
Boundary pushing inner-west bottle-o P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants has launched in the inner east – and not only can you snap up natural wines, interesting spirits and really good sake, but you can head out to the back courtyard for a glass or bottle of vino. The snacks are killer – rillettes, pate, cheese and charcuterie – and ex-Old Fitz chef Nicholas Hill is opening a French restaurant right upstairs, making it a one-stop shop for drinking and dining.
Another new venue generating buzz is Dan Pepperell’s Bistrot 916, which is serving French standards (steak frites) and not-so-standards (lumache à la escargot – aka snail-shaped pasta with snails) in the handsome Potts Point dining room that once housed Lotus. We’re also keen on Bar Elvina – a breezy wine bar from one of the co-owners of much-missed Rushcutters Bay diner Acme. And over in Newtown, Westwood Pizza is pumping out just 150 pizzas a day (including an outstanding fermented-garlic honey number) that sell out quickly. Trust us – it’s worth the hype.
Rainbow flags at the ready
It’s officially Mardi Gras season – and even if you missed out on tickets to this Saturday’s parade, there’s plenty to do and see. We asked festival CEO Albert Kruger to put together his top picks – they include the parade itself, a comedy gala and the Mardi Gras Film Festival.