Sydney is consistently voted one of the best cities in the
world. Would you agree?
That it's voted one of the world's best cities doesn't surprise me
at all. Because it's very progressive. It's influenced by other
countries, but it's still very pure and its own place as well. It's
very unique. I must say that from the time I arrived to today, it
really has changed quite a lot. It has gotten much better.
Where did you live in Sydney?
I lived in the Mossman area, in a beautiful place called Cremorne
Point, which lies on the North Side. Sydney is surrounded by water,
and we were right there on the harbor. We didn't have a view of the
Opera House or anything like that, because we were looking in the
opposite direction. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful view.
Eventually, I moved from the North Side to the Eastern Suburbs. We
had a beautiful apartment on Bondi Beach. Selling that place is one
of my biggest regrets in life. We sold it for a song, and, of
course, now the real estate there is worth so much. But anyway
Where do you stay now when you're in town?
There is a charming little hotel on Bondi Beach called Ravesi's.
It's been there for as long as I can remember. It started out as a
two-star hotel and then they piled a lot of money into it. I'm not
sure if they have their third or fourth star now. You overlook
Bondi Beach there. That is just worth its weight in gold to me,
because those are all my memories. Just looking at that beach and
walking on it and eating fish and chips on it and swimming. My
favorite thing to do when I was living there was to get up every
morning around 6 or 6:30 and run on the beach. Even better was the
walk from Bondi to Bronte, which is about two or three beaches
away. Bronte is approximately 45 minutes from the center of town
and completely clean. The color of the water is extraordinary. The
temperature of the water, depending on the time of year, is pretty
great. I would say the walk from Bondi to Bronte, back and forth,
takes 45 minutes. It's got a lot of rocks and cliffs and beautiful
beaches. It's just a priceless experience. For me, it's a nostalgic
You must have worked up an appetite with all that
There are a number of great cafes on Bronte Beach. They are
literally stacked up next to each other. They have great vegetable
or chicken pies, great smoothies. And the coffee in Sydney is
arguably the best coffee I have ever had in the world. Better than
Italian, Parisian, or from any major city. I don't know, they just
have it right. It's good, strong, bitter, and how it's supposed to
Where do you go to get a good cup of joe?
On Bondi Beach, I go to Gusto. You sit on stools on the street and
have your coffee and juice. You can grab a sandwich, too. There's
another place called Bondi Aqua Bar, on the north end of Bondi,
that does great scrambled eggs. It's a very tiny place, a hole in
the wall. It's sort of controlled chaos in there. The food is
great, always fresh, but much of the allure is the ambience and
spirit of fun.
You mentioned fish and chips earlier. You can get that in
Yes, right there on Bondi Beach at a place called Bondi Surf
Seafoods on Campbell Parade, where I've been going since about
1990. You can get your greasy-style fish and chips or you can get
it freshly grilled, without the batter. They sell extraordinary
seafood as well, if you want to cook it yourself. But the fish and
chips you just take away in a box and sit with there on the beach
at sunset. It's beautiful.
What about when you want to actually sit down at a table to
Hugo's, on Bondi Beach, was always my favorite. It's a small place
and they do great seafood, great cocktails, fantastic daiquiris
with fresh fruits, and a great balmain bug [a slipper lobster],
which is one of Australia's delicacies, somewhere between a crab
and calamari. It's beautiful and fresh. I get a little upset with
them now, because they always call the paparazzi. You can't go in
there without it being in the paper the next day.
Where do you go, then, if you want to avoid finding yourself all
over the tabloids the next morning?
Icebergs, which is also on Bondi Beach, but is more on the Italian
side. It's quite rich, actually. Again, these are beachfront
restaurants and, again, much of the experience is about more than
just the food. It's what you're looking at and where you are. There
are a number of great places in the city, too, especially on the
wharf near the W Hotel. The one I go to is called Otto, which is
also Italian. They make great risotto and do a great bellini. Then
there's a landmark called Harry's Cafe de Wheels. He has always
sold meat pies. I don't know if it exists anywhere else in the
world. I'm not a meat lover, but it's a huge thing in Australia, so
you go for the meat pie.