I’ve wanted to check out Since I Left You – heretofore known as SILY since they announced their first monthly BB. Last year was crazy for me, trying to fit in a new bottomless every weekend, for you of course dear reader! Unfortunately this meant that my Saturdays were fully booked up months in advance and SILY don’t give you a tonne of notice. This year I’ve tried to take it a little easier and when Liza mentioned SILY were doing bottomless gin cocktails and dumplings for 50 bucks I was actually free and jumped at the chance! I booked a couple of weeks before through Eventbrite and we were off.
It’s Summer here in Sydney and it’s been damn hot! The first weekend in February looked like it was going to be a scorcher with temperatures rising over 40c (104f for you Americans) I was unsure what the space at SILY was like. Would they have indoor and outdoor spaces? Would there be air conditioning? How would the bottomless work? The event was plugged from 12 – 5pm. Would the bottomless be 90 minutes from whenever you walked in? I contacted them via their instagram which was just as well as I was informed the gin cocktails would be from 12 – 1.30pm only. Dumplings would be served from 1pm. Liza and I decided to eat a decent breakfast first and arrived spot on the dot, dressed appropriately given the predicted extreme temperatures.
SILY was one of the first small bars in Sydney opening in 2011. I love the branding at SILY. The words Since I Left you appearing throughout the venue which is named after the Avalanches song of the same name. With friendly bartenders and cool street art on the walls it has a small indoor area with a cobblestone carriageway that leads to a larger rear courtyard hidden between three heritage listed storehouses in the CBD, which luckily for us didn’t get a lot of sun and was quite well shaded by the tall surrounding buildings.
Of course we went with the traditional gin breakfast cocktail the Espresso Martini. Just like at Holey Moley the martinis didn’t have coffee beans on the top. As you know I consider them a choking hazard so I was relieved to find I wouldn’t be swallowing any of them today. Again the SILY logo appeared on these cool pastel coloured coasters. I was very pleased to find that the event was sponsored by Four Pillars so we wouldn’t be having just any “house” gin.
I had never heard of our DJ Shantan Wantan Ichiban billed as a Disk Jockey, Party Thrower, Erotic Cake Designer and Elbow Model who holds it down on triple j’s The Kick On. When he’s not accompanying your walk of shame, he’s catching prawns with chopsticks. Unfortunately the only thing that stuck in my head about him was the fact that he was an elbow model. I was intrigued and needed to find out how this had come about. Next time I see him I’ll definitely ask him about his erotic cake designing and make him catch a prawn with chopsticks.
The next drink was this delicious Mango & Grapefruit Gin Spritz. I’ve got to say both Spritzes were super tasty and it was hard to choose a clear favorite between this one and the Strawberry and Guava.
The courtyard at SILY is divine. We could have been at a house party in someones backyard with just the right amount of light filtering between the surrounding buildings on this hideously humid day. Small tables were scattered throughout, with pot plants hanging on the walls. A huge 3 storey mural by one of my favorite Australian street artists Fintan Magee took up an entire wall. Liza and I had chosen a spot directly opposite our DJ and we were pleasantly surprised that how much we enjoyed the music, even recognising a few of the songs as we grooved along in our chairs.
The first bit of food came out and it was one of these delicious ham and cheese waffles with maple syrup. About the size of my hand they were perfect. Light and crispy with just the right amount of sweet and savoury. Later more of them came out but we waved them off not wanting to fill up on waffles before the 1pm dumplings started, something that we would come to regret later…
We noticed people around us had started playing board games. This was a thing? I remember years ago being trashed one Mardi Gras sitting at PJ Gallaghers and watching some people playing Connect 4 and thinking, wow that looks like fun! Liza and I were 3 drinks in by now and we asked where we could find the games. Did we like backgammon we were asked, um no – not really. What about Chess? Hmm… It appeared all the good games had already been taken, these punters had obviously been here before. How about UNO? We decided to grab the UNO and as I googled the rules, in the next breath decided it was all too hard.
Luckily the people to our left had gotten over their game of Battleship so we swapped the UNO and settled in to play. Liza was super amazing at first, sinking my first 3 battle ships one after the other. Could she see the board reflected in my sunglasses? Just in case I removed them. Strangely in the end I prevailed and became the reigning Battleship Queen. Hurrah!
The dumplings started to come out. First chicken spring rolls and of course the ever popular dim sim. There was exactly one piece each which is when the waffle regret started to set in. After all this bottomless was only 50 bucks (bargain!) and was not bottomless dumplings. Something that I might have remembered (if I’d had a few less cocktails) is that I have always wanted to try their Bacon Mac & Cheese Toastie and many other things on their menu. So looking back now I probably would have ordered a few more snacks to soak up the booze.
The drinks continued to flow and out came a few more dumplings. Prawn gow gees and steamed pork buns. I prefer my buns baked but these were quite good and didn’t have a huge amount of steamed bread covering the delicious BBQ pork filling inside which is what generally turns me off this type of bun. Next out was a vegetable dumpling which missed our table altogether. Luckily we started chatting to some girls at a table nearby. Catherine & Gemma from The Shared Affair do all the catering for the SILY BB and they bought us a few more prawn dumplings instead (I still have toastie regret!)
I approached the DJ. Having dated a DJ in the past and knowing several local DJs in real life I smiled and waited for him to finish his mix. I assured him I wasn’t going to request a song and a relieved look passed over his face (you know the one, right DJs?) Instead I pressed for information on his elbow model antics. How did one become an elbow model? Was his elbow insured? What did an elbow models portfolio look like? The answer was simple. Shantan had been approached by an elbow model scout at a gig. Fascinated by the jaunty angle of the said appendage the scout contacted him and said he could have a lucrative career if he was willing to expose his elbow on a semi regular basis. Obviously this is not Shantans first love but he followed up on the suggestion and it’s now a lucrative side hustle.
Of course this was not Liza and my first rodeo, although I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a day party where it’s over 40 degrees. Liza came dressed in a floaty kaftan and I was dressed in white cotton. I also came slathered in sunscreen (slip slop slap people!) and had also bought a fan which is quite often needed in extreme heat or by women of a certain age – or both to be honest. I also had a visor which I didn’t really end up needing but it made for a cute photo op, thanks Sunnylife.
As our bottomless came to an end people started dancing, chatting and generally making merry. We made a few friends, fanned a few people and drank a few more drinks for the road. The final food item came out. A mango pancake the girls had googled and created that morning.
Finally I caught Shantan away from the decks and he and his elbow were more than happy to pose for this candid shot. Still I must ask him about the erotic cake baking next time we meet…
Of course my dress did not fare so well, but that is to be expected if one wears white to a party. Luckily I had a huge container of Napisan which made those pesky espresso martini and gin spritz stains “Vanish” overnight. But that my friends is another story…
Watch the steps
Get a drink, have a good time now
Welcome to paradise, paradise, paradiseThe Avalanches
📍 where – 338 Kent St Sydney
🌏 www – https://sinceileftyou.com.au/
🍸🍹 – Cocktails (changes monthly)
💵 how much – $ 50
🧇🥟 food – dumplings and waffles (changes monthly)
⌚️ how long – 90 minutes
🗓 when – Monthly – check website for details.