Fine dining belongs to the elite.
There I said it.
According to Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory, one technically needs to fine dine for 1.14 years straight without sleep to become a ‘gourmet’.
To fine dine regularly, you need these conditions in the following order:
1. money, 2. connection, 3. money.
Sixpenny was highly recommended by a gourmet client of mine.
I never had the chance because of distance (Sydney) and the lack of condition no.1 mentioned above.
So when I was approached to shoot an engagement session in Sydney last year, I concocted the plan to have the bride treat me a meal as part of the payment plan. Two birds? Check. Stone? Check.
Now out of the 10,000 hours, I probably have an accumulated total of 5 in the world of Michelin stars and hats. Yet my experience in Sixpenny was a pleasant one. I could see why people dig it: it’s very unSydney.
For one it’s hidden in the small town of Stanmore, three stops away from Redfern station. Also it’s small and cosy. I was the first to arrive during a Sunday lunch session and I quietly counted the empty tables around me. (Ten.) People like to associate big names they see on TV with 'good food’. Thus fuelling the statistics of waiting lists and long queues, which is what turn people off about Sydney sometimes.
At Sixpenny, I felt slightly dignified.
I won’t bore you with the full eight course lunch; just the hero dish (pic) that kinda blew me away.
It was the Mud Crab with Silky Macadamia and Camomile. I apologise for not taking a close up shot, but the little shreds you see on top of the dish are shredded Macadamia nuts rolled up in tiny tube forms. My fine dining experience levelled up 10 points due to the ingenious pairing of the two typically Aussie ingredients. When we think 'seafood’ and 'nuts’, it is seldom in such delicate and subtle form. But it works, both in terms of aesthetic and taste.
This dish alone should warrant them an extra hat.
If you’re looking for a place to brag about, to generate those green eyes of envy from your friends, Sixpenny isn’t for you. Sixpenny isn’t your summer blockbuster movie; it’s the indie movie that you enjoy on a quiet rainy day.