We went into the city for dinner recently. Glebe is a very popular inner city suburb with too many little restaurants and cafes to count. It is a hub for the intellectual, as Sydney University is on it’s doorstep, a hub for vintage lovers, foodies, alternative lifestylers, inner city lovers, lovers, friends and book lovers, with quite a few bookshops containing both new and second hand books. One of our major hospitals is also close by, so many doctors and nurses live there. I love the area and some of the old terrace homes are magnificent. It is one area which has preserved it’s older ‘vintage’ terrace homes.
My hubby and I and another couple visited Almustafas, a wonderful Lebanese Restaurant, which is very popular and hard to get into. It has a dining room and a cushion room. The ceilings are covered with a canopy of material draped in a tent like fashion. We ordered vine leaves, stuffed capsicums, lamb shawarma and lamb mansaf, potatoes coriander and of course the famous sweets. The two hubbies decided to try the shisha water pipe, tobacco sucked through water and flavoured with apple….very amusing.
At the table across from us was a group of young women, celebrating a hen’s night. I was impressed by their behaviour and we noticed there was no alcohol on their table…highly unusual in Australia at a hen’s night. I suspect they were mostly young Muslim women and it is their practice to refrain from drinking alcohol. I wish some young people I know had maintained the no alcohol rule!!! My hubby took some photos for them so they could all be photographed together.
There is a wonderful chocolateria up the road from Almustafas, where we had creamy hot chocolates and coffees, offered to us with soft creamy chocolate cubes on the accompanying spoon. These were little European Chocolate Truffles and I very quickly purchased a box which I am eating as I write. They are just little soft surges of rich smooth chocolate. MMMMM, oops I think I might have eaten the whole box so I can’t offer you one. 🙂
It was a wonderful night of laughs and joy and great food and it made me realize how lucky we are that we can experience different cultures and their foods. I could almost imagine we were in a tent in Arabia. Belly dancers come some nights and the last time we visited Almustafas, my hubby was one of those who got up and ‘attempted’ to have a go….very amusing for all of us. As he never takes himself too seriously, he is immune to fears of people laughing at him, so is always ready to have a go. It’s one of the things I love about him. He is this highly intelligent, successsful man who has this wonderful emotional centre of gravity, not dependent on other’s opinions.
As a couple and with our friends, we are always eating the blessings of other cultures. We adore Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian. Italian, French and Greek are also wonderful. Japanese sushi is a healthy and tasty lunchtime feed. It goes without saying that Australian seafood and barbeques are unbeatable and our cafes are some of the best in the world, in offering wonderful food and coffees. Our home grown chefs and their restaurants are also world class.
Food is so wonderful. It is a gift especially if savoured and appreciated. We are lucky to have the variety of choices, to be able to have more than enough food and to be able to share with friends. I give thanks for these gifts. As a mindfulness practice, it is good to really concentrate as you eat, to savour and appreciate the food. It’s easy to eat a meal and realize you have failed to really taste your food. Oh guess what….I just found another chocolate truffle….ok I lied because I didn’t want to have to share 🙂 Shame on me.