The fine art of not eating with Lou Reed...
Miss Chicken & I walk into town to see shoegaze grunge psychedelic beardie hipsters Bardo Pond play at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid Live festival. The festival is curated by rock gods Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. Lou and Laurie are in Sydney tonight. We wonder what they are having for tea.
It's a fair bet that Lou and Laurie, being uber wealthy New York art darlings weren't dining at the HJL Asian Express on George Street at Central. But we were. Out the front is a bainmarie of authentic Chinese street food snackage, a perfect partner to some pre-dinner beverages. We plan to come back here, there's some unique dishes on the menu, and it's dang cheap.
Clockwise: chive and egg pancake (scrumptious), tea egg in various states of undress (the tea eggs are just like we found in Hong Kong but with less intensity of flavour, scrumptious), and a pan fried pork bun (also scrumptious). Lou and Laurie aren't here, we didn't see them down the road at McDonalds either.
We see some loud yartz at the Opera House, which is still lit up all purdy thanks to Lou and Laurie, also lit up sexy is the Criterion Hotel, another of our favourite classy establishments. Now it's dinner time.
At 12.30am there is no finer place to feast than Golden Century. A couple of minutes after I take this shot Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson walk past our table on their way out. No shit. That's the thing I love about Golden Century: you can spend $12 on a bowl of congee for dinner or $1200 on fresh seafood and fine wine, you will be welcome and treated well no matter how much you spend. A few minutes after Lou Reed leaves a bunch of yobs in tracky dax wander by my table, they get the same golden service as the New York darlings, and so do we. Golden Century is a special place.
Well if it's good enough for Lou Reed it's good enough for me. Especially the (twice cooked) braised roast pork with Chinese vegetables. A bit heavy on the salt but it's great with a Tsingtao.
Pork and preserved egg congee, we think this may be our all time favourite congee.
'Stir fried mixed bits with pickles and nuts'. With a name like that we have to give it a whirl, and it's a winner. We detect peanuts, salted fish, squid, ginger and shallots. It's lovely on top of rice and dunked in congee.
HJL Asian Express is at 849 George Street, Sydney, across from Central Station.
Golden Century is 393-399 Sussex Street, open till 4am, god love them.
Thought I would snap a pick of the Sol Levy Tobacconist before it disappears, I just love that sign: The Thinking Man Smokes Peterson. And I love the ad for the Falcon Goo-Less Pipe. So 1950s...