Sunday, July 29, 2012

playground bar

A new bar has opened in Garema Place called 'Playground'. The opening door is quite small but the bar attracts attention through the unusually high number of crowds inside and the noticeable white picket fence complemented with fake grass that guards the door. Is the white picket fence meant to create the illusion that walking inside the bar is like entering a house, garden or a park? Is it meant to create a sense of simplicity. It reminded me of the American TV series 'Desperate Housewives' - a comedy drama of middle class house wives.

The block colours of the furniture and setting were reminiscent of typical Western young girls playing afternoon tea in their backyard. There was also a long wall of exposed brick, hanging lights and chalk boards, creating an Eastern Sydney upper-middle class feel. It's a cosy bar and is filled with people from their mid 20s to mid 30s. The whole bar kinda said to me 'you can still feel classy, have fun like a kid and be a public servant in Canberra'.

The tapas menu was interesting - I was pleased with the choices as it didn't just consist of deep fried squid and dim sims. The menu included tapas with beef cheeks, roasted pork belly, etc. My friend and I opted for the vegetarian casserole-like dish with a poached free range egg and grilled turkish bread and some sort of meat (lamb?) rolled in eggplant. We also got beef sliders, which were essentially mini burgers. They were all tasty, cute and a treat. I enjoyed them mostly because they were novel and small. However, it wouldn't be something I'd crave as they were essentially bite sized versions of things I'd make at home for myself.
I also got cider - the waitress came out with my bottle and a stein/jug for me to drink from. I didn't feel my expense of $14 was justified - my drink would cost less than $10 at Honky Tonks, which is just a few doors away and has a similar atmosphere (both bars would attract similar crowds, and have colourful furniture and similar music). I also think there's a psychology behind inflated prices - it could make people subconsciously feel like the bar was more classy. For example, if a bar asked you to pay $5 for cider, other than getting a 'bargain', would you question what was wrong with the bar/drink?
Oh actually, one thing that was different about this place was the attentive service - this might explain the inflated prices. It was all table service (classy or just convenient as it was a cosy bar?) and we never had to stand at the bar to order a drink. However, they were so attentive that on three occasions, our food/drinks were taken away when I wanted to finish it ALL off.

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