Shake 250: Universally loved

December 11, 2010

My favourite sisters, Ron & Andie, Queenstown (New Zealand), Jan 2007

It seems like a while since my sisters and I have all been living in the same city. So to celebrate our reunion and a huge list of other things, Andie took us out to the very slick Universal restaurant in the courtyard of the Republic in Darlinghurst. I used to work just around the corner, so quite a few business lunches went down here, but it was my first time at dusk and it was like a new world. Sitting in the breezy courtyard with an aperitif, there’s a calm and tranquil buzz that belies its inner-city location, something my eldest sister was thoroughly enjoying after a week of what she described as ‘being run over by a truck, getting up and realising that another one is coming’.

The food is complex, intricate and so well executed. The tasting-style menu consists of a list of about 20 dishes starting with the lightest dishes and ending with the heavy. With so much choice, I’m surprised we ate at a decent hour – Andie is the most indecisive person in the world! The winner for me was a vol-au-vent sculpture containing braised beef shin while a Gaytime-inspired dessert won hands down over the Bananarama tower (yes, we have an ice treat called Gaytime, and it’s so good, even straight guys will indulge once in a while). The Snow White peach spectacular was Andie’s favourite. She was graciously footing the bill, so lucky she enjoyed it! Thanks for an awesome night Andie.

Hey, Shake 250. I am about halfway through the collection…about 9 months to go!

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