Base urges- restaurant reviews

Cotton Ward
Base Urges

MANCINI’S WOODFIRED

PIZZERIA RESTAURANT
29 Lackey Street, Summer Hill, 9716 5055

The occasion was a Sex and the City video marathon held at my place, wherein a group of single straight women and a gay friend sat around to watch several fave episodes of this cast of straight women acting like drag queens. The gay bloke cried at all the wrong bits and we girls chatted non-stop through the whole thing.

The buffet was laid out with themed food: only foodstuffs featured in ads in NW magazine (which runs lots of stories about the show) or ads shown during Sex and the City. Consequently, the tables were loaded with blocks of Dove chocolate, Mini Magnums, Vanilla Rush (a new chocolate drink), low-fat chocolate-chip cookies and non-fat yoghurt. And Cosmopolitans, of course, served in chilled crystal glasses garnished with lime slices.

The only thing missing was the main course, which was fixed with a quick call to Mancini’s, just around the corner. We avoided the gourmet pizzas (avocado!) and went for small serves of the traditional margherita ($9.50), vegetarian ($10.50) and pescatore ($12.50). Someone wanted a spaghetti marinara ($12.50) and there was garlic bread ($3) all round.

The mozarella cheese on the pizzas was deep and creamy, the kalamata olives were exceptional and there were mussels in their shells in the marinara. Overall, the pizza bases and garlic bread tended to be soft in the middle with a light outer crispness and our fingers were lightly coated with ash from the woodfired oven.

The young delivery man was assessed as being capable of having a good relationship, though we agreed that his inability to provide a receipt could have signified a fear of commitment.

Order time We were told our order would take
40 minutes, but it arrived in about 25.

How it travels Well, but the pizzas might need a quick zap under the griller.

Leftover potential Pizza and spaghetti are OK reheated, but throw out any leftover garlic bread.

Bottom line About $20 for two.

Video match Sex and the City, particularly the “Cock a Doodle Do!” episode which features the return of Mr Big (who looks deliciously Italian).

DUMPO’S

109 Crystal Street, Petersham, 9518 3588

I’d wanted to order Greek takeaway to fit in with a philosophy night at home where the topic was to be “Jennifer Aniston – how can she be so miserable despite being beautiful, rich and married to Brad Pitt?” The plan was to discuss this while watching the new series of Friends.

However, despite living in Lewisham for 18 months and meticulously keeping the takeaway leaflets stuffed in my letterbox, I had none from Greek restaurants. I was further astonished that, despite a tonne of such leaflets received daily, once I’d thrown out repeats, only 21 restaurants had advertised during this time. The breakdown was: Italian 9, Thai 5, Chinese 4 and modern Australian/British 3.

Ignoring several guests’ apprehension about the name, I ordered from Dumpo’s, which offers Chinese/Malaysian/Singaporean dishes. The place doesn’t look as trashy as it sounds – it features large prints of paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir and Monet on one wall and big mirrors on the other.

The fish fillet with chilli and spicy salt was a chunky, battered piece, quite hot and salty,
with spring onions and crispy noodles. The boneless, lemon chicken, also coated in batter, had a mild lemon taste and the steamed green vegetables came in a light, sweet oyster sauce with steamed rice. The order came to more than $25, which meant we received four free spring rolls – and they threw in two free curry puffs, as well. It was all delicious.

Order time 35 minutes, home-delivered.

How it travels Well – no reheating needed.

Leftover potential
Fine for everything that’s battered.

Bottom line About $10 a person.

Video match
Any Friends episodes or Jennifer Aniston movies that feature an Asian actor. Can’t find any? Discuss.

Addison Chinese Take Away Food
124 Addison Road, Marrickville, 9560 2416.The occasion was a visit from my little sister. She was feeling broke and hungry after being made redundant from her job. There was a hole in her life only a huge meal (or three Mars Bars eaten consecutively) could fill.

This takeaway establishment promises “reasonably priced dishes” with the “object of catering for families and working people”. It’s cheap, popular and the servings are huge.

I often order the Mongolian beef and rice. It arrives in a rectangular takeaway container and is enough to feed a small eater like me for two nights. At $3.90, it works out at $1.95 a serve and disproves Mum’s maxim that cooking at home is cheaper.

We managed to spend less than $30 on sweet corn and crabmeat soup ($2.10), shredded chicken and egg flower soup ($2.10), garlic seafood combination (the most expensive on the menu at $10.70 for prawns, squid, scallops and onion), king prawns with cashew nuts ($8.20 for prawns, carrot, celery and peas), Mongolian beef and rice ($3.90) and two small serves of boiled rice ($1.10 each).

Order time
We ordered over the phone and when we arrived, eight minutes later, it was ready.

How it travels
Everything remained hot and intact.

Leftover potential
I was still eating it three days later.

The bottomline
$29.20 for two.

Video match
Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! because it hits the spot and is cheap.

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