I managed to jam pack this past weekend with a delicate balance of bad luck/stupidity and great fun. Friday night was a Toowoomba Christmas party, where I had a blast until I figuratively let my hair down too far and ended up paying a cabbie $50 for a 2min drive home and also lost my camera. To point a): I'm very disappointed that there are cabbies out there who take advantage of floozy drunk girls by not giving them change! To point b): not only was it devastating to lose my ol' faithful camera (that has been servicing this food blog for the past year), I also lost the photos I took that night and have to deal with the idea that some pervert might be hoarding pictures of me and my friends...
Ok then, how many cameras have I been through now just in the time I've been writing posts in Hungry Kittens? 3? Maybe 4?
I liked my last model so much (Sony Cybershot TX10) that I bought a new one exactly the same (but in a different colour). It's a great little machine because I can drop it and wash it and it lives through it all. Unfortunately there wasn't a feature that prevented it from being misplaced... I have no one to blame but myself :(. There is a newer version of the TX10 but I didn't want to spend that much money when I was already happy with the old model so I picked up the last one they had in stock at Myer (literally the demo model) and was ready to snap photos again Saturday night.
I had the space of about 2hrs to do the camera shopping and set it up so I didn't have time to make sure it was perfect. As a result, I was on the lowest megapixel setting and most of the photos to follow are horrible (the poor lighting didn't help either). Sorry about that!
For Saturday, we had a massive girly night planned. Because we're oldies, we can't start our night at a fashionably late hour (like 9 or 10pm)... we just get too hungry. We managed to stretch it till 8 though, and the evening was to start with cocktails and tapas from Sling Lounge.
Being a massive fan of West End food and culture, I've walked past Sling a bazillion times but never ventured in.
When we did this time, it was pleasantly uncrowded. Mochi and Blossom started studying the massive cocktail bible while I took my sub par photos. With total lack of effort, I chose the cocktail special that was written on the chalkboard.
Silver River and Scattered Dust
Cocktails started arriving, much the joy of our alcohol-loving selves. I am always weary of the drinks Blossom orders because she likes ones that pack a punch. Mochi's Scattered Dust was part of the molecular mixology section sounded mind-boggling on the menu but it was actually delicious. It ended up being my favorite of the night.
My Summer Cloud was very drinkable (in terms of not being too alcoholic) but also too sweet for my liking.
At this point, we started picking out food options too. We decided on 3 different tapas plates to share, as well as the vegetarian grazing board.
Contrary to expectations, the tapas arrived first. They were stacked in high-tea fashion. This was probably the only thing that would work for our tiny table. As it was, I found it impractical to eat with the lack of surface space and the tower of food made me feel segregated from the girls on the other side of the table. That's a shame because tapas is supposed to be social.
Artichokes - baked with black olives and manchego, finished with a salsa verde
As for the food itself, it was all quite good. I started with the artichokes, which was Blossom's pick. I'm not very experienced with artichoke but this was a pleasant surprise. It had a zingy pickled flavor that would go well with beer.
Rabas (Aros-de Calamari Fritas) crispy squid - with citrus and aioli
I tried a bit of crispy squid next. Also quite good. The squid wasn't rubbery and the exterior was indeed crispy.
New York-style steak sliders - with sweet tomatoes, house pickles, truffle infused aged cheddar on house made bread
We then battled the task of dividing 2 steak sliders into enough for 3 girls. These were probably my favorite. They were simple, but steak and a slice of pickle on a bun just works. The sad part is they totally reminded me of Maccas cheeseburgers and I know which is better value.
Vegetarian grazing board - with goats cheese cherve, artichokes, mustard fruits,piquillo peppers, Australian olives, guindillas, mixed nuts and sun dried tomato, with side of bread
The vegetarian grazing plate arrived and once again, we had to shift stuff around to get everything to fit. We hurriedly finished of the food in the tapas tier so we could bugger that contraption off and make more room.
Seeing the vegetarian grazing plate on the menu was one reason why Mochi and I decided to try Sling. It just goes to show how little we pay attention to detail because we both thought it would comprise of haloumi and falaafels but in actual fact, the menu mentions none of those things. It's just what our idea of a perfect vegetarian grazing plate would be. The real Sling vegetarian grazing plate was a selection of pickled things, different coloured olives and some bread with a nutty oil. The girls liked the nutty oil best.
We weren't ecstatic about our experience at Sling Lounge. The main waiter who serviced our table had a real attitude problem. Honestly, I don't care if your establishment is the most popular bar/lounge on the street, it's no excuse to have a scowl on your face and bark at us every time you took an order. The food was OK but considering tapas plates averaged $12 a pop, the serving sizes were quite abysmal. I'd recommend Jam Jar over this place without hesitation. I am way too busy to spend my down time in wanky bars that think they're too good for proper service.
Edited to add: I went back on Tuesday night at the insistence of a friend who hadn't been before and it was actually quite nice. The nasty waiter guy wasn't there and the 2 guys who were there were so friendly. Guess it depends on who you get...?