Keeping You

Lifestyle: Burnt out, in Sydney

07 Dec 2018

By guest contributor, Jared Campbell

The other week I was in Sydney for an investment conference. My wife, Anna, and I decided to stay on for the weekend, which was a great decision.

We asked for restaurant recommendations from two Sydney colleagues. The first was for a restaurant called Paper Bird ( in Potts Point, which is near Kings Cross. It came highly recommended by Carl Richards (, known as The Sketch Guy who writes short, interesting articles around a sketch on the back of a napkin for The New York Times. 

Paper Bird was wonderful. Seated and fed in under 2 hours. We took the waitress’ advice and ordered the banquet which was a degustation style menu. It was a delightful experience. We were thankful for the waitress’ recommendation and thankful to Carl.

My favourite was the Menbosha, a prawn, toast and cabbage sandwich.

The second restaurant recommendation was from Tom Fellowes, a colleague from Dimensional, one of our international fund managers. He gave us Porch and Parlour in Bondi as our brunch venue before taking the coastal walk to Coogee Beach. Then for a long lunch at the Coogee Pavilion. Unbeknownst to Tom, the Porch and Parlour restaurant had been recently gutted by fire.

Poor Tom. He’d sent us to a burnt-out shell, for brunch!

Tom felt he’d let us down with a bad recommendation. But he hadn’t at all. Tom had put a lot of thought into trying to plan the perfect day for Anna and I and he actually succeeded. We ate a nice brunch at a different restaurant, we walked the coastal track and had a drink and bite to eat at the Coogee Pavilion. Left to our own devices, we wouldn’t have had a clue about how to spend the day.

The burnt-out restaurant, while initially disappointing for us, would have been catastrophic news for the owners and staff that worked there. At the recently concluded Sydney conference, I’d just heard Michael Crossland speak about the importance of perspective Michael had cancer as a kid, amongst other inflictions, but with a bit of perspective, eventually realised he was one of the lucky ones.

In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter which restaurant we ate at. I was in Sydney with Anna enjoying a sunny day at Bondi. This is the kind of stuff that many people only ever dream about - or see on TV. Some people don’t even see it on TV as they don’t have a TV, or power, or even permanent shelter. And many don’t get to eat even when they are hungry.

Here I was, temporarily disappointed about the restaurant being burnt-out. What a self-centred, self-absorbed millennial I. Must. Be.

Thank you, Tom. We had a great day out and look forward to returning the referral favour when you’re next in Dunedin.

Finally, if any of you are heading to Bondi, please check out Porch and Parlour which Tom recommends. They will be reopening soon and I’m sure your custom will be appreciated.

When the unexpected happens, a little perspective helps. As Michael Crossman says, “Some people dream for your worst day”.

Jared Campbell       

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