This week was back to old school with a one on one Bottomless with my dear friend Liza. I’d booked a table at Darlings Bistro in Balmain weeks ago. Liza had a sudden brain snap on Friday afternoon and thought maybe they only did bottomless brunch on Sundays. A few phone calls and social media posts later were to no avail. (We since found out they do Fri, Sat and Sun so we’ll be back!) I decided not to risk it and cancelled last minute. Instead I suggested we try the Meze and Mimosas which I’d recently read about on Concrete Playground at Babylon Rooftop
I don’t think they’ve been doing Meze and Mimosas for very long. I went to their website and tried to book for the 11am sitting (which is the only time they offer it) and the site wouldn’t let me. Then I called the restaurant and was given another number for the events team. Brydi was very helpful and forwarded a form to fill out with my credit card details and information to hold the booking. I’ve been following Babylon on Instagram since they opened so I was excited to have an excuse to finally check it out.
I don’t know about you but I am HOPELESS when it comes to navigating shopping centres. I’m very likely to get lost and of course this time was no exception. Liza easily found the signs and sent pictures of them to me. She’s known me for years so you would think she’d have waited 10 minutes more for me to catch up with her so I’d know exactly where I was going! Generally the express escalator takes you up to level 5 and then there are two more that take you up to levels 6 and 7. The express escalator was having routine maintenance, but this was the least of my worries. As I turned left into what I was assumed was Westfield with Myer on the ground floor I realised after a quick trip up 2 sets oF escalators I had made a dreadful mistake! I cursed and quickly jumped into a lift. I pressed level 7 and nothing happened. I heaved a sigh and the lady in the lift asked me where I was going. When I replied Babylon Rooftop she laughed and informed me I was in the wrong building. I needed to go back down to the ground floor and cross Pitt St Mall. By this time I was a bit sweaty and eye rolly!
I finally made it to the food court at level 5 and I still had no idea how to get up to level 7. I stopped at a patisserie for directions and the waiter took pity on me. He directed me to the stairs and the final escalator – which by that time I was calling the “Escalator to Heaven” in my head. Given all the drama I was still right on time as I rushed towards Liza and went in for a hug I warned her not to get too close as I was a bit moist!
We were met at the door by the manager Alvin who told us we could take a seat anywhere, but first we had to sort out the bill in advance (we obviously looked like we would do a runner!) There were hardly any people there at 11am and it felt like we had the whole rooftop to ourselves. What could be better on a bright sunny Spring Saturday in Sydney?
Alvin bought the first round of mimosas and I noticed the glass wasn’t even half full and it tasted like sparkling orange juice, but at least the OJ was fresh. When we signaled Alvin for another round we asked if we could have extra prosecco and while the next one did seem a little stronger it didn’t get much better than that. What I had been more concerned about was the meze part of this package. I had no idea what food I’d be having or how much there would be and there was no menu. I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough food especially for the bargain price of $49 with bottomless “mimosas”. My fears were unfounded (in regards to the food that is) which it turned out was plentiful and delicious.
A meze is a big part of the dining experience in Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Arab countries. The word meze means taste or snack and the concept is very similar to tapas in Spain but with different ingredients, we soon found this out thanks to Google. I had expected a meze plate to share but it ended up being a small feast in the sun as colourful, flavorsome dishes were bought in what felt like an endless stream to our table. We started with some delicious hummus. I’ve always preferred babaganoush myself, but hummus seems to be the new black in Sydney at the moment and this one was rich and creamy. It was served with an eggplant salad, something Liza and I decided was pre babaganoush. A little too chunky for dipping it still spread nicely on the house baked Turkish break with Za’atar spiced butter.
Next out was the lentil kofte which we wrapped in cos lettuce like san choy bow. Alvin told us the chillis were quite mild and had been pickled but although I found the flavour delightful 3 was definitely not the number I should have indulged in for my first bite. Recently I’ve seen a lot of cauliflower dishes on my bottomless brunches and this one was as enjoyable as all the others. Cauliflower is really an underrated vegetable. Cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash and when served with pungent spices, tahini and almonds it really takes it to the next level. The chicken with labne and cous cous (and more chilis!) was moist and tender. Alvin bought us more house baked bread and orange juice, er I mean “mimosas” (which was started to make my tummy feel bloaty to be honest) and I started experimenting, creating some tasty sandwiches.
We were starting to get a little bit full, but unfortunately not even slightly tipsy. Alvin told us there was one more dish left and then dessert. Did we like sardines? The answer was a hard no from me but I was willing to give it a try for you dear reader. It looked lovely but when we both bit into it we made a disgusted face. Neither Liza and I are into seriously fishy fish and while this dish was not to my taste, I am sure many others would enjoy it. I’m amazed managed to swallow that one bite!
I quickly sculled my orange juice to wash the taste of fish from my mouth. Liza and I shared a look. All that was missing from the menu was an espresso martini with a middle Eastern twist so I hurried off to buy us two Babylon Kahves made from Plantation Original Dark Rum, White Cacao Liqueur, Turkish Coffee and Demerara Sugar ($22 each not included in bottomless) They were delicious and paired well with the handmade baklava.
Another two martini’s and a short trip to the ladies later it was time to toddle out the door. As we made our way to the exit we noticed 2 musicians setting up to perform. Sax, flute, keyboards and voice. If I can ever work out how to upload a video properly youll be able to hear the Hummingbirds for yourself. I’m sorry that we missed them. As we wound our way through multiple Westfield escalators we talked about how great the food was, how we would have been happy to have paid $49 just for that but how sober we still were at the end of our Bottomless Brunch. How disappointing the “mimosas” had been. We were definitely in need of a roadie. So we made our way to The Marble Bar – but that’s another story…
On the rooftop at Babylon
Where we brunched down
And there we wept
When we remembered Mimosas 🥂
📍 where – level 7 Westfield Sydney, Pitt St Sydney
🍊🍊🥂 Bottomless – mimosas
💵 how much – $49 in advance
🍆🥬🥘 food – meze included
⌚️ how long – two hours
🗓 when – Saturday and Sunday 11 – 1pm
💳 credit card required for booking