Maggie Alderston has been writing of a group of dashing dames she dubs “foldies” – fabulous oldies. And no-one that I know fits the bill as succinctly as Marion von Adlerstein. MVA mentored me in her role as Travel Director at Vogue Australia, dispatching me to such far flung destinations as the Arctic and Antarctica. Having now transmogrified into an author at this late stage of her brilliant career, she remains one of my tip top role models.
We often hit the town in our latest fashion statements and chew the fat over some of life’s more pressing matters, often choosing a restaurant that neither of us have previously experienced. Last week, feeling a little nutty with the sudden onset of winter, we headed for ‘Mad Cow’ at Ivy where the menu features items from “the cow” and “not the cow”. Had we been privy to the ABCTV’s ’4 Corners’ program on the live meat export trade to Indonesia we might have gone elsewhere but it hadn’t yet screened so we merrily cowed down on Grain Fed Eye Fillet and Minute Steak of Black Angus with Cafe de Paris butter. All Cow dishes come with a bowl of irresistible shoestring fries and a fresh garden salad. And to top it all off we shared a dessert of Five Textures of Mandarin – jelly, curd, brulee, biscuit and fresh.
As the place thinned we made ourselves even more comfortable in our chirpy little white leather booth with canary yellow decor touches and enjoyed a glass of Moscato D’Asti – a favourite post meal digestif of ours. Not that we needed much encouragement but the atmosphere was condusive to indulgence. More like a winter conservatory than an old fashioned steak house, the restaurant has been part of this living, breathing, al fresco, plant-filled establishment since it opened back in 2008 so it’s happily entrenched in its tasty ways. My 200 grams of flesh was cooked to perfection as was MVA’s. However, her portion proved to be just a bit large for her slight frame and she politely asked the waiter to pack it up for some lucky creature. There was a time when her beloved cat Tiger would have devoured the treat with glee but having passed on, it was now up to me to find a recipient.
The morsel came packed in an alfoil bracelet which I wore home as a cutting edge fashion accessory. I unwrapped it, cut it into meat-eating bird sized pieces and placed them strategically around the birdbath. The sulphur-crested cockies were disgusted and made several fly-bys shrieking in horror at the medium rare sight. Even the kookaburras seemed to turn their beaks up at it. Finally the magpies came a calling and demolished the lot in one fell swoop. Now the cheeky buggers expect that kind of service every day! Let them eat worms, I say.
Mad Cow 330 George St. Sydney
Lunch and dinner Mon – Fri Dinner only Sat (fixed menu)