On Monday, our new BFFs, Nick and Jacquelyne had just come back from Nick’s brother’s graduation festivities in Perth, and so we invited them out for a fancy dinner to say thanks for taking such great care of us and being such great friends to us.Â We had a lovely dinner at Universal with the usual cocktails, wine, hysterical laughing, and cutting up that has become typical of our get-togethers.Â
Universal is a relatively new and highly esteemed restaurant that offers smaller dishes … not smaller as in there are 10 courses so each course needs to be small, but three “too-small-to-be-shared” courses plus dessert is recommended.Â The food borders on “experimental” and as such, some courses were better than others.Â My biggest criticism is that the restaurant feels a little too hip for its own good.Â It’s very modern and minimalist with orange ambient light and house music, but the funniest affectation was the description of the menu.Â Since you choose several smaller-sized courses, there are no appetizers and secondis and mains per se.Â Instead, as was explained to us, the dishes are ordered sequentially based on “palate weight.”Â
Now, Andy, in particular, and Andy and I together, have eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world.Â Andy reads about food, wine, chefs, gastronomy, new techniques, and restaurants very often.Â Both Nick and Jacqueline are very foody people, and are quite plugged into the Sydney restaurant culture.Â None of us has ever heard of “palate weight” before. Â I found it to be needlessly poncy, but excellent fodder for endless jokes.
In any event, good fun was had by all!Â Unfortunately, Nick had to go to work the next day, so he had, ahem, significantly less fun that the rest of us!Â As such, Nick and Andy made plans for some male bonding for tonight, so I probably won’t be seeing much of Andy tomorrow!
I must say, though, that pub culture and mate’s night out are two of my favorite parts of Australian life.Â I simply love that adult men in Australia regularly go out to the pub with their male friends.Â Mate’s night out sometimes revolves around sports, but not always.Â Mostly, they just talk and enjoy catching up over a pint.Â The female significant others are not jealous or threatened by it, and they have their own friends and schedules.Â Children understand that adults have lives of their own, and that the world does not revolve around their rearing and their schedules.Â No one feels pangs of Puritanical guilt that they should instead be checking items off of their to-do list in their busy busy busy lives.Â They are simply enjoying a beer and more importantly, nurturing interpersonal relationships, and everything else can wait.Â American men could learn from this practice.