Ross Longmuir's local faves
It's a browser's paradise. This Mary Street bookstore specialises in art, architecture, fashion, design, typography and photography covers. They stock titles from the best international publishers and they like to rotate those titles frequently.
Surry Hills French interiors store Ici et là (‘here and there’) has gathered a strong following for its collection of antique French deckchairs, zinc letters, industrial light shades and vibrant striped fabrics. You’ll find vibrant stripe cotton fabrics, linen and folding stools.
With a filing ‘system’ designed to encourage chance discoveries, you’re bound to find something enticing among the hand-picked selection of cult DVDs, books and music. Their LP offerings are particularly good for discerning collectors of upscale new releases and reissues.
Freshen your old rags with a colour change. This Surry Hills store specialises in updating fabrics and clothing of all types by dyeing the fabrics. It’s another way to recycle your clothing, or update homewares from lounge covers to curtains and towels. You can drop off fabrics and a consultant will give you a buzz to find out what colour dyes you’d like them to use.
Nomad is good fun. Especially if you start with a Trinidad Sour, that bracing classic cocktail of a whole shot of Angostura bitters shaken with whisky, sweet syrup and lemon juice. Or just go straight to the wine. The list is a smart combination of approachable and challenging. It’s a really nicely designed room, too, all open plan and sunlit with its Danish-style furniture and decorative jars of pickles by the bar-style seating.
Chef Lennox Hastie's pedigree is littered with Michelin stars and a five-year stint in the Basque Country at Asador Etxebarri, widely considered one of the finest restaurants in the world. What sets Asador Etxebarri apart is its focus on fire. Hastie brings the same approach to Firedoor. Shellfish is cooked over applewood to imbue the meat with a gentle level of sweetness. Burning mallee root, in contrast, heightens the earthiness of mushrooms. And the aromatic smoke of orange wood balances the richness of salmon.
The decor is as loud as the flavours at this 'neo-Indian' eatery on Crown Street. The interior is decked out with technicolour murals and Hindi street signs – there’s even your requisite bike-tacked-onto-the-wall, complete with pink neon rims. The food is best summed up as traditional flavours and ingredients presented with a novel twist, from mint and masala lamb sliders to a chai panna cotta.
They don’t take bookings here, so it’s a matter of taking your chances when it comes to getting a table, or settling for a spot at the bar. This being a Japanese-run restaurant, a seat at the bar is hardly Siberia, so jump at the chance if it’s offered. Start with a bowl of edamame and some salty mixed pickles and then get some hooch on the go.