Exploring a Newtown cafe in Sydney / by Jessica Lee

I took a break from studying today to hang out with and say goodbye to my friend Matt in Newtown.

What's crazy is that I may never see him ever again. I've never had this problem before. Most of my friends live in the general Ontario area so I've always assumed we would eventually bump into each other at some point in time. I've met people in my travels before but our interactions would be small and it wouldn't matter much anyway if I never see them again.

In movies or novels when people are parting, the narrator will sometimes say something along the lines of "that was the last time we saw each other again. He moved on Arizona, made it rich, then died of a cocaine overdose." In the story, the circumstances will be quite dramatic, but the narrator usually passes this information off nonchalantly. I however, am pretty sure I will be heartbroken if I never see some of my Australian friends again.

I met Matt at the Pastizzi Cafe on King street. I had walked by there plenty of times on my way home from the rock climbing gym and I liked the menu on the door.

We decided to order a pastizzi for an appetizer because the place was called the Pastizzi cafe after all.

This is what a pastizzi looks like: 

It is a tasty savoury pastry. The one we had was chicken and mushroom, however there was also a spinach and feta one and a chilli con carne one as well.

This is the mocha I had. So far in Australia, I haven't had a single bad coffee. It's been a great experience. However, is consistently good coffee a worthwhile tradeoff to the crappy internet and rampant cockroach problem here? I am not so sure about that, Australia! (These are just the facts, don't get mad Aussies!)

Usually at Italian places, I have a routine established where I order either the seafood pasta, carbonara or spaghetti bolognese. This is because it is extremely difficult to screw up any of these dishes and I love eating these dishes anyway.

Needless to say I am not a big risk-taker when it comes to eating out since I like to repeat things that work for me. In psychology, this is called the Law of Effect, according the father of cognitive psychology, Ed Thorndike. He discovered this while playing with cats and decided it could apply to humans. It's silly how he didn't study humans right from the start. I'm sure he could have found lots of people with similar eating strategies to mine. Maybe he just liked playing with cats.

I think animals are different from humans though. For my main, Matt convinced me to try something new, so I ordered the cannanoli, which is pasta sheets filled with minced meat in between.

Picking something new on the menu was a pretty big move for me but I'm glad I did it. The cannanoli was really delicious and seemed authentic (unlike that chain-restaurant pasta crap you can order in North America). If I stayed in Sydney longer, I could definitely see myself coming back to the Pastizzi Cafe often and trying out all their dishes.

We followed up our meal with a tiramisu. Just lovely.

If you look at the photo below, you can make out Matt's face in the reflection of the spoon (how mysterious!).

I haven't had the opportunity to fully explore (read: shop) Newtown yet, but walking by the shops cursorily, I get a sense that I am going to regret not browsing this area when I leave Sydney. Newtown is like the Queen Street West of Toronto- a really fashion forward, hipster-y place filled with bookstores, skate shops, clothing stores, thai food and cafes.

There are so many thai places that I would like to try, but sadly not enough time.