Heading back to the flatEric | November 27th, 2005 | 2:51 am
After the Christmas tree, you might be wondering what could beat that? Well just you wait. We got monkeys. Pub monkeys to be exact…, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
After the Chinese Garden, we walked towards the harbour and though all of the fountains. There was some kind of festival going on in the common area and a bunch of kids were taking advantage of the hot weather to play in and around the water. It was tough not jumping in and joining them.
We came back from Darling Harbour and walked across the bridge that connects the two sides. What is interesting about this bridge is that it is one of those draw bridges that, instead of drawing open, the middle section turns out like so ” —- | —- “. We saw it open when we were at the base of the harbour, but too far away for my wide angle camera to capture. When we actually got on the bridge we saw that there is also a monorail that runs along the middle. Thus, the monorail track must also swing open with the bridge. Pretty slick! Here’s a picture of the rail going along above the walkway.
Monorail track above the bridge on Darling Harbour
Further down after crossing the bridge there was a great view of the Sydney Tower Observation Deck. Angela swears it was built in the 60’s due to it’s retro style. But, it was built in 1981 evidently, and by someone with no sense of style.
You can see the Sydney Tower Observation Deck in the distance
After all that walking we were thirsty, tired and hungry. But when you are thirsty and tired, you think of what? If you said “Pub” you would be right. If you said “Pub with monkeys” you’d be even righter.
See. I wasn’t joking about the monkeys
Why there are monkeys on the entrance to the pub, I don’t know. I don’t care either. What I did care was that there was a cold beer waiting inside for me and a place to sit down. Angela ordered some type of wheat beer and it was served in a pint glass with a lemon section crammed down at the bottom of the glass. The neat thing was that it was an almost perfect seal, so that after the beer was poured there was an air bubble that was trapped just under the lemon. Of course the cynic would note that they succeeded in cheating her out of an air bubble’s worth of beer…
You can just make out the air bubble under the lemon slice. Neat!
It was nice to sit back and have a cool beer and talk about this and that. The fact that we were in a monkey pub was lost on the enjoyment of the moment. Plus I think Angela is cute when she is drinking lemon bubble beer.
Angela with her bubble beer
However, now that we had dispatched thirsty and tired, we now needed to deal directly with hungry. It was suggested that we make our way down to Chinatown and grab something to eat. On the way we passed our favorite Japanese restaurant, Fujiya. But just above Fujiya was a Korean restaurant that we always keep telling ourselves that we have to try. But now we have the opportunity to go, it is a choice between a known great restaurant and a potential disaster. Well, we knew we were going to take some of our friends to Fujiya soon, so Korean it was. Seoul-Ria was located above Fujiya, which is on the second floor. Having read recently that some of the best finds are hidden upstairs, it makes sense that the restaurant above our favorite sushi place would be at least as good. And it was. Incredibly good.
We perused the menu and discovered that they sold the most wonderful Korean dish to ever be invented: Duk Bok Gi. It’s basically just sauteed rice sticks (noodles) in a chili sauce, but it is truly ambrosia. Our friend Ye Jeong makes a wonderful version of this, but it is really hard to find in restaurants. So, of course we ordered it. And who can try a new Korean restaurant without testing the Bi Bim Bap? Not us, evidentially. To round out way to much food already, we ordered a plate of the sweet and sour battered pork (which I can’t remember the Korean name for).
As usual, the meal started with complimentary side dishes like Kimchi, seaweed salad, and then interestingly a version of potato, and another of pasta, salad. Who knew? They tasted great. But the real happy tummy moment was when the main dishes arrived. It was exquisite. Way more food than two people could eat, but it was worth it just to be able to try all the dishes. Seoul-Ria is now one of our favorite new digs. I only wish there was restaurant above them, as in keeping with the trend, it would be like eating heaven itself.
Bi Bim Bap, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Duk Bok Gi – surrounded by lots of side dishes. Bon AppÃ©tit!