We don’t go out much as a family, preferring to stay at home and chill out if we’re all together. Aidan and I go out a lot during the week but when Steve’s home on the weekend sometimes it can be like we’re under house arrest, he just doesn’t want to leave. It was the most beautiful weekend and I was determined to make the most of it so I dragged my little family into the city. Well, it would seem that everyone in Sydney agreed with me about the weather and descended on Darling Harbour Quarter like it was Disneyland and you know what, that park was all kinds of awesome and the best part was it was totally free. Ok, parking at the convention center for a few hours cost $25 but still, even that’s pretty cheap for the city.
Can you tell how much fun he was having? That splash pad was epic and there were lots of water features and experiments and rivers… it was fun yet filled with learning. Even though there were hundreds and hundreds of people there were still plenty of seats and room to get about with strollers. There are a whole new line of restaurants, ice cream and chocolate shops… I want to head back during the week when all the big kids are at school. He ran about the splash pad for a good hour before I pulled him out. He made some friends, fell over a few times but never had any tears. We didn’t get to inspect the whole park, it was pretty crowded but I know from checking out the website the night before that there is a lot more to see.
We dragged Aidan away, threw down the picnic blanket, dried him off and dressed him again so he could dance to the band that was playing on the stage nearby. My kid looooooves to dance, he’s joining a dance class next year. After he was all boogied out we headed to Coco Bay as I had one last review to do for Malaysian Kitchen but it was shut. I was so disapointed, it was a brand new restaurant and I’d heard such good things. We then walked back up towards the Harbour, Steve stopped and bought me a bunch of beautiful orange roses from a stall… which Aidan promptly claimed as his own. I was really touched, I haven’t gotten flowers in about five years! We finally made it to Chinta Ria but they closed the doors as we tried to walk in. Defeated we decided to settle for an ice cream and drive past another Malaysian restaurant on the way home.
A quick google search and the first restaurant that came up was Kuali in Lane Cove which was perfect as it was on the way, a quick trip over the bridge and we were there… an hour before it opened. I was determined to keep my promise of satays so we parked at the shopping center nearby and walked around. We found the Mall and it was really lovely, astroturf, a band playing and lots of kids. There were no shops open, just a few cafes but it was so alive. Steve liked the whole vibe so much he checked out the real estate agent for house prices… then complained for 10 minutes about how much a rip off they were. A lot of the kids had scooters and toys with them so we hot footed it to the dollar shop, bought some bubble mixture and not long after Aidan became the king of the kids, everyone wanted to be his friend.
I’m framing this photo…
As I sat in the sun, cooing at the little crawling babes and curious tots I kept wondering what we’ve been missing out on, all those weekends held up in the house, prisoner to laundry and lawn mowing. I couldn’t do it every weekend, even if we did live closer to the city but you know what, on the odd occasion that it does happen… I’m going to savour the hell out of it!
Finally it was 5:30 and we could have dinner… oh god we’re so old. We headed to Kuali which was just across the astro turf, shoved the child in a high chair and set about ordering. Steve and I picked out our possible favourites while Aidan played Angry Birds on the iPhone. As you can imagine we were the first ones there but it didn’t take long for people to start pouring in, this place was popular.
The atmosphere was really nice, very modern. There wasn’t really anything malaysian about the venue but there was lots of photos of the food hung about the place. You could easily have big dinner parties here, lots of space. The staff were polite and pretty quick too which was nice.
Steve ordered an Iced Coffee ($4.50), he loved the one from Mamak in Chatswood. Unfortunately this one wasn’t to his taste and was left largely untouched. I was bummed that the Lime Cordial drink I got from Mamak wasn’t available, mainly the milk based teas were.
Aidan was quite happy with his water and slurped it down. He’s been getting right into the swing of things when we go out. He likes to have his water, then sort out which fork he’s going to use, then puts his napkin on his lap just like Mumma and Dadda. He says his please and thank you’s when we get served and proclaims “mmm… delicious” or “ohhh… tasty” after almost every bite, it’s his new thing.
After looking at the menu I found that this was probably the most expensive malaysian restaurant I’d been to so far but it did have a different level of service and atmosphere about it so I found it justifiable. This meant that I didn’t pick out as many dishes and kept it simple with one entree, two mains, one serve of rice, one roti and a serve of vegetables… more than enough for 2.5 people. Soft drinks ($4.00) weren’t cheap either .
The satays (5 for $11.00) were nice and the sauce was so yummy. I ordered the chicken ones as Aidan loves them and they were really tender and had a delicate crisp to it from the grill. I would have liked a few more veges/garnishes on the plate as Aidan usually gobbles them up and dips them in the sauce.
The Salt and Pepper Squid ($20.00) was yummy. Aidan loves calamari so I ordered this dish without hesitation. The meat was soft and they weren’t spicy, to add a kick you ate more of the fresh chilli mixture underneath. It was nice to see there was also little tiny baby octopi in there too… I couldn’t eat them though so Steve happily did.
Steve’s pick was the Honey Pepper Beef Fillet ($22.00) and I’m so glad he ordered it, so good. Personally I prefer the Rendang Beef, the way the meat melts but this was a nice change. The winner was the sauce, a spooned most of it over my rice.
I ordered Wok Stir Fried Vegetables ($14.00) because after our full on day I felt like we needed it. They were a little greasy for my liking but nice. Aidan ate pretty much all of it, the kid loves beans and broccoli. He tried his first Snow Pea and couldn’t get enough. Steve had to fight him for one!
I almost didn’t order the Roti ($3.50) but I’m so glad I did because IT’S THE BEST I’VE EVER HAD! So soft yet crisp and buttery but without the greasiness, oh heaven! We all polished off our share in no time, we’re roti converts for sure.
It was an epic day. We played, we walked, we strolled, we ate ice cream, we saw boats, we made friends, we tripped over, we drove over the bridge (twice!), we blew bubbles, we danced, we held hands, , we kissed, we gave hi-fives, we were spoilt, we were fed and we were happy. There were no melt downs from anyone involved and as far as I’m concerned that’s a total win… I think I’m going to remember this day for a very long time.
Please Note: We dined on behalf of The Malaysia Kitchen project and I was not paid to write this post. The words and opinions written are my own.