How to impress a Tinder date with nothing but a lobster
Date ideas for under $20? You better believe it. By Alyx Gorman
If it’s a day date
Tell them to meet you at Soma in Ultimo ( 646 Harris St) and get two takeaway coffees ($3.50 each if you don’t like them fancy). Then walk them down the Goods Line, all the way to Darling Harbour for a wander around the picturesque Chinese Garden of Friendship. It’s romantic, an unexpected slice of tranquillity in the city and entry is just $6. Link hands as you enter, and move in for a kiss as you cross the bridge over the lily pond, facing towards one of the garden’s pagodas. à Pier St, Sydney 2000.
If it’s a weeknight date
Take them to the Art Nuevo Hornsby Odeon cinema, where all tickets on a Tuesday are $8 ( see p19). There’s only a single screen, so what you’re watching is whatever they’re playing, but with $4 left in your pocket after tickets, you can clinch the deal by springing for a packet of Maltesers. à 155 Pacific Hwy, Hornsby 2077.
If you need a drink
Let’s be real here: boozing it up is not cheap in Sydney, particularly if your vibe isn’t 1980s carpets, fluoro-lights and the ring-a-ding-ding of nearby pokies. The answer is the Dock in Redfern – a perfectly cute small bar where you can still get tinnies for $5. Have a couple each, flop down on the couch near the window, revel in the flattering fair y lights and get to know each other a little better. à 182 Redfern St, Redfern 2016.
If you’re feeling peckish
Head to El Jannah and split a whole chicken, complete with bread, pickles and rivers of sauce for $19.90. There are three locations to hit up (in Punchbowl, Granville and Blacktown), and they’re all open till 11pm or later. The portion is generous enough that you’ll probably end up with a takeaway bag to fight over. And if the fight gets really bad and the date goes south? No problem. Means you don’t have to deal with the consequences of all that garlic sauce. à 701 Punchbowl Rd, Punchbowl 2196; 4/6 South St, Granville 2142; 44-48 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown 2148.
If it’s a creative date
Every Monday at 5.30pm, the Arthouse Hotel in the Galeries does a life drawing class for $7 per head. Beforehand, take your spare change upstairs to Muji to stock up on art supplies – it’s BYO pencils and paper, so your date will no doubt be grateful that you thought ahead. Perhaps sketching scantily clad strangers will become the glue that holds your budding love together. à The Galeries, 275 Pitt St, Sydney 2000.
Chinese Garden of Friendship