I recently had a short series of training sessions in the heart of North Sydney. Most people’s reactions to this compulsory training session was “Oh…do I really need to? I’m so busy at work, I don’t have time for training!” I sympathise. I really do. We’re all busy, we’re all under-resourced, and we’re all time-poor. But we’re also all in need of training that will help us do our jobs more efficiently using current best practices. It’s a small time sacrifice now, for time savings in the future.
To be fair though, I’m excited by the idea of being in North Sydney for a few days, as it means that I can try some new places for lunch! I find myself overwhelmed by the number of choices on the first day though – every second shopfront is a cafe or eatery, and I struggle to make a decision. I end up deciding to concentrate on the lunch spots in the building directly next door to the training venue – the plaza-like centre at 90 Mount Street.
Over three days, I try the three different eateries located on the lower level of the plaza.
On the first day I stop in at Soul Synergy, a soup and salad bar that seems to specialise in the take-away trade. It’s family-run and the customers all seem to be trusted regulars. The customer before me was greeted by name and when she paid for her meal, she added 50 cents extra for the previous day when she had been a bit short of change.
At the prices quoted, I can see why they have such a steady regular customer base. At only $6.30 for a medium soup with a bread roll (either eat-in or take-away), you get a simple and hearty meal for a fantastic price. I had the spicy beef soup when I was there (Mexican chilli in style, it made me crave some guacamole and corn chips on the side!), but they also had minestrone, chicken and sweet corn, and pumpkin on that day.
I would definitely go back to Soul Synergy – perhaps to try their salads next time!
I had less luck with my lunch choice on the second day, when I visited Doodles Noodles next to Soul Synergy. While I was tempted by some of the bain-marie ready-made options, I ended up ordering one of my go-to options at quick Chinese take-away shops like this – a combination wonton noodle soup ($13.90) – with udon noodles.
While the noodles themselves were cooked well, the broth was overwhelmingly salty with what tasted like an overload of MSG. The “combination” on top had also been cooked separately in a wok and then spooned onto the noodles, resulting in a layer of thick salty wok sauce on the top of the soup that never fully integrated into the soup. The combination was also an overwhelming number of sub-standard beef and chicken pieces with barely any seafood pieces.
It was very disappointing, and I definitely won’t be back to Doodles Noodles.
Sushi and Roll Mania
My last lunch at 90 Mount Street was at Sushi & Roll Mania, a small Japanese restaurant on the Ground Floor that does a lot of trade in take-away sushi. Interestingly, they do Korean gimbap in addition to the standard sushi rolls that you might find on a standard Japanese menu which makes me suspect that the staff are actually Korean rather than Japanese.
There are some language difficulties here that may prove problematic if you have specific requirements – I went to this restaurant with a colleague who has Coeliac’s, and she had communication issues when she was asking about some of the teriyaki dishes on the menu to check if they were battered before cooking.
I ordered a sashimi don which I found hearty and satisfying – there was a fantastic mix of sashimi including salmon, tuna and prawns, and it also included a healthy serving of salad greens and seaweed salad which I always find refreshing. It came with a side of spicy chilli sauce which I drizzled over the bowl with abandon…I should have checked the intensity of the chilli beforehand, as I found myself gulping down glasses of water to dull the chilli burn!
Next time I’m in North Sydney, I can see myself stopping by Sushi & Roll Mania for some takeaway sushi – it’s quick, cheap and reliable!
I can’t wait till I’m back in North Sydney for another training session…