Month: February 2014

The Flynn

The Flynn

When we arrived at The Flynn, people were spilling out onto the sidewalk- these weren’t a rowdy people, these were a relaxed people, letting off some steam on a Friday night after a business week. When you walk inside The Flynn, you notice that it’s a cross between pub, bar and restaurant, with sophistication and a little cheekiness holding the place together. It has the raucousness of a pub, the suaveness of a high-class bar and the elegance of a restaurant. The premises is divided to make these areas distinct, however, the whole venue a nice, cosy atmosphere.

Named in homage to the 1940s actor Errol Flynn, the venue really encompasses all that is chic and elegant with touches of fun excitement. Dim lighting by candlelight subdues the atmosphere while upbeat, full orchestra and brass tunes keep you on your toes with a bit of 1940s excitement.  Vines, hanging baskets of plants and vintage wine bottles about the place give the place character and make it glow from the inside out.

 

Over the past months, The Flynn has undergone a review of their cocktail and wine lists, as well as a completely new menu. The new chef on board adds a French-Vietnamese inspired twist on old pub favourites, while bringing new tastes and meals to the table. This new trust between the kitchen and the bar means that the cocktail list can be perfectly tailored to any meal of your choosing and may I say, this reciprocity really had me in awe.

With entrée came Zucchini Blossoms; stuffed with gorgonzola, ricotta and parmesan.  The Zucchini Blossoms were light and crisp, a flavoursome explosion in my mouth, an explosion of divine subdued cheeses which had just that little bite. We partnered our entrée with two cocktails- The Muratti Martini and the Le Gurk. To my surprise, both cocktails were matched superbly with our entrée.  The Muratti Martini had that bitter edge, just enough to take the bite out of the cheesy Zucchini Blossoms. In opposition, the Le Gurk offers a refreshing zest of cucumber, lime and other surprises, which cleanse the palate, something light to enjoy the fullness of the entrée.

When mains arrive, I’m a little curious as to what delicacies they have in store for us. My partner ordered the Rangers Valley Angus 300 Day Grain Fed Beef with a Rum Chocolate Manhattan to compliment.  The scotch fillet, served with roasted tomato,  mushroom, onion rings and served with red wine jus, makes the meal more than glorified pub food. With yummy attention to detail, this meal was divine.  The meat was juicy, tender and lean, while the mushrooms were sautéed to perfection. The corresponding cocktail was matched phenomenally- the smooth chocolate was bitter and dark and the rum warms the soul. It packed a punch and was the perfect partner to a scotch fillet.

My Sashimi was an Atlantic Salmon, avocado and Kingfish salad, served with spicy lemon and lime dressing.  It was delicious, fresh, sparkling and flavoursome; perfect combination of tangy dressing, with elegant raw fish. Really, this was chic dining at its finest. The accompanying cocktail I had was the Topless Yao- a blend of pineapple, tequila and basil. The drink was so light, refreshing and complimentary to the fish dish. A stunning main meal.

For dessert; Sticky Date Pudding and an Affogato to share between my partner and I. Simple, flavoursome and traditional. There’s nothing more I can say about dessert, it was just so right, so delicious.

The only critical comment I have of the venue is that it’s a little noisy. However that just helps create a cosy ambience and to be honest, after a chat with the manager, it helps me see the future direction and potential of this place. Informal dining with a touch of classy sophistication and an edge of fun. A possible move toward live music, theme nights etc. As a side note, the staff were more than obliging, helping us when my phone ran out of charge. We were offered use of a DiscGo, a portable tech charging device that would be really handy for the business men and women in the heart of the CBD. I highly recommend the venue and cuisine.

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Image source: http://www.theflynn.com.au/

Reviewed by Regina Su

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The Dead Ones

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Image source- http://www.mardigras.org.au/events/the-dead-ones-theatre/

The Dead Ones

The Dead Ones  is a performance piece written and performed by Margie Fischer and is showing at the Seymour Centre from Wednesday 18th until Saturday 22nd of February.
Its a personal exploration into a universal story, with themes that resonate with all members of the audience. Our journey began in WW2 Austria and followed her parent’s plight to Shanghai as Austrian-Jewish refugees. After 10years in China, her parents moved to Australia and built a life in East Lindfield. Yet, the tale is more than a simple refugee story.

In retelling the lives of her parents, Fischer explored her family history in what seemed to be a moment of catharsis. The presentation- lecture style with corresponding images, held such a genuine tone and clarity in some of the most emotionally distressing times. Fischer explored themes of family, personal identity, memory, death and hope. Her storytelling wasn’t particularly captivating, however it was the way Fischer managed to draw us with subtle humour, rhetorics and universal questions that I was able to identify with, for example, what happens to our memory when we are gone? Are we manifest in objects, space or is it enough to live in someone’s mind? What’s role do photographs play in context or out of it? Her selection of photos and images for the presentation seemed like archive material and soon enough, I was feeling quite at home learning about her family life and their dynamics.

The Dead Ones is definitely a time-of-life piece. I think it was a piece that formed part of Fischer’s grieving process and showed how storytelling is vital in understanding, and later arranging, one’s milestones into a conceivable structure. Commendations to Margie Fischer, who was able to hold her audience for the full duration, with a topic that must’ve been extremely difficult to research and confront.

Tracks

Tracks

Directed by John Curran, “Tracks” is an Australian film adapted from Robyn Davidson’s memoir, detailing the author’s journey across the Australian desert. The film was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (Special Presentation) and the 70th Venice International Film Festival 2013 (in Official Competition). “Tracks” was the opening film at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2013. The film hits cinemas nationally in early March 2014.

The filmed opened with an upside down shot of a small girl running along a dirt road. The camera held this panning shot long enough for us to see her shadow as a person, running towards us along the road, then on into the distance. We are invited to witness the true story of Robyn Davidson and we are invited to become a part of the narration. We travel with her as she faces adversity in the harsh outback and we’re at peace with her in the scenes of serenity. We look with her through her mind’s eye as she reflects on what lead her to walk the 2700 kms from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean.

The film faces a number of relevant issues and comments on them- either as an observation or as a condemnation. In true Australian fashion, however, the socio-political commentary is very subtle and this is indeed a film that comes across as simple while having strong undercurrents. For example, there’s a scene where the protagonist, Davidson, goes to a pub in Alice Springs looking for work and there she encounters a scene of 1970’s racism and bigotry. It’s only a scene of a few seconds and if memory recalls, the sound is edited out, but it’s enough to understand the feelings of our central character. They don’t have to tell us that Davidson’s had a rough life, they only need to zoom in as she sits by a campfire picking out stones and pebbles from her feet as she rests after a day’s work on a camel farm.

The editing is superb. Just wonderful- the camerawork, seamless scene editing, flash-backs, audio overlays; everything is just so perfect. The camera tells us the whole story, the story is polished and truthful in examining the human condition. There was only one instance where I thought- “if I were creating this Robyn character, I wouldn’t have made her do something so incongruent with the character development”. Yet, this is a true story and moments later, I realised that Davidson was a human reflection, who made human choices and human decisions and it made the story so completely authentic.

The film values the outback as an entity to be respected. Not a harsh, barren, unforgiving hellmouth as other Australian films like “Wake In Fright” like to impose. No, this film captures the essential beauty that the outback paints. The cinematography makes this piece something worth seeing on the big screen, rather than just at home. Ultimately, it tells the simple story of a woman facing her demons, by going on a journey of self-healing. It’s an age-old story told countless times, in film such as “The Way”. However, this is totally unique in its portrayal of the outback, in its artistic storytelling and its dynamic exploration of the human condition. I can only sing its praises.

At times, the film can feel like it’s going to be stagnant- walking from the middle of Australia to the ocean could be rather monotonous for not only the traveller, but the audience as well. Alas, through added touches of humour and the rise and fall of grief, sadness, flashbacks and emotional exploration, the film is always dynamic. The film strays from the cliché- although it has all the elements of falling into that trap- for example, the 1970’s could’ve been a time worth presenting through caricature, or the Aussie larrikin may have lifted its head, or even isolated recluse-types living in the outback could’ve been portrayed with more insanity. Instead, the film presents a broken woman with dignity and integrity, gives respect to the small communities involved in the story and reveres the landscape. All credit goes to Mia Wasikowska for her incredible performance. I was totally awestruck by the premier of this film and I highly recommend it to anyone.

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Image source: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00063743.html