Sunday 15 June 2008


Ok… so you’ve made it to the second date. That is the result persistence, personified by a phone call the morning after the first date (which I’m told is a cardinal sin) which went unanswered, followed by religiously on the hour messages left on voicemail and sporadic texts inquiring about their whereabouts and safety because they hadn’t picked up. But a call back finally comes after a week of silence, though since they’ve already got plans on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, the quick Wednesday night “catch up but got an early start” after work dinner will have to do. And you’ve got just the place in mind, much like the first date…

So your friend eventually finds you on the corner of Liverpool and Victoria, where you’ve been waiting for ½ hour wondering if they’ll ever come. A short stroll down to Onde, the cozy, smart, contemporary French influenced diner. Peering inside though the glass walls to see the place that could very have been featured in Ikea’s catalogue of Winter 2002 without an empty spot. Being the diligent “date” planner, one would have booked if they could but unfortunately, it’s a first come first served policy or take a ticket and wait for your number to be flashed on the electronic screen kind of establishment. Just before that cold sweat of disappointment arrives, the partner speaks: “A place this busy… must be good… I don’t mind waiting.”

Waiting at the nearby Green Park Hotel, the host eventually calls through tin cans to return to the nest for some food. About time, because the delicate zucchini flowers, stuffed and fried in a slightly oily batter served with rocket, a slice of lemon and shaved parmesan wasn’t going to wait any longer and neither was the partner. Thai inspired discus shaped crab cakes, plate blotted by a basil sauce with fennel salad sank quicker than the hopes of a once optimistic Romeo. Fried squid, amongst a bundle of slithered tomato, rocket and a creamy aioli was a mini revival for entrees.

Mains of fish of the day, a lovely piece of crispy skinned white sacrificed for the consumer came with a lentil vinaigrette providing character absent in the hopeless romantic. Perhaps the only sausage to see any light would be the pork and fennel kind, succulent and juicy, fried and charred nicely on the outside with fresh witlof, sautéed pear til mushy for fruity sweetness and roast potato. Duck cooked in its own fat, tasty and extremely soft, caramelised apple a perfect match for the meat though unfortunately the person sitting opposite didn’t think the same way about the would be Casanova.

Dinner, like the date didn’t go quite as planned. A few hiccups and maybe not the right time. They definitely won’t take calls or call back, but that’s alright, plenty more fish (and restaurants) in the sea.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 346 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, NSW
What? Entrees $14, Mains $25, Desserts $10

Left to Right : Zucchini Flowers, Crab Cakes, Fried Squid Salad, Fish with Lentil Vinaigrette, Pork and Fennel Sausages

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