On another one of these hot sticky days that keep exhausting us Sydney-siders, we traipse down to the dimly-lit people-packed Brown Sugar. A café-by-day, a bistro-by-night, our 7.30pm table will be for the latter fare. Sitting on Bondi's Curlewis Street it is a perfect spot for a post-dip bite. However, the chances of one stumbling across a free table are slim. We are thankful Brown Sugar takes bookings.
In an attempt to relieve myself from the stifling heat I order the special of beetroot cured ocean trout with green tahini, baby radish and fresh herbs. The beetroot curing makes the ocean trout taste more earth than ocean, yet it is sweet and refreshing.
For the main I go down the other path, for with all the rich exotic possibilities on the menu, how can one simply graze on the light things. The duck confit is served atop an orzo pilaf with dates and fresh figs. There are bitter bites of preserved lemon and crunches of almonds sprinkled throughout the rice shaped grains of pasta. Huge bunches of green rest upon it, leaving me to not-so-elegantly fight my way through the coriander stalks.
During the meal we have befriended our neighbours - an inevitability considering our close proximity. When it comes time to leave I politely ask them to reshuffle their wine glasses – it is the only way I can leave my seat. I have an inkling that the entry was not so challenging, but, even if the succulent duck was the cause of the increased difficulty, there is no doubt that it was worth every mouthful.