ask Ciara about
vegan • music venues • record stores • cocktail bars • extreme sports • hiking • climbing walls
What do you do and why do you do it?
I work for SBS, a cool little TV, radio, and online broadcaster; I manage digital advertising campaigns. SBS lives and celebrates diversity, and I love that I can bring my whole self into work everyday without judgement. We also have great alternative content online for free so if you have some down-time whilst in Sydney, ignore Netflix, and jump into my world of SBS On Demand! Outside work, I love to head outdoors: hiking and rock climbing, I'm vegan (and know the best places to eat), and I live for live music, especially Australian bands - ask me for gig suggestions!
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
99 Problems by Jay Z and Queen B's Discography. Sorted.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Please Like Me - hilarious Australian comedy written and starred by comedian Josh Thomas; and Daria - grew up with it, binged it with my best friend throughout uni, and to this day I relate to Daria and Jane on a whole other level - "I believe in coffee. Coffee for everyone."
Name some spots in Sydney that are good for a Tinder date.
No one wants to meet someone for the first time without a drink in their hand, so I have a few suggestions depending on what time of night we're talking. Dinner - Frankie's Pizza - they also have great live music on some nights so check their Facebook page in case the company is great, the beers are better, and you end up staying all night. Early evening - Corridor - guaranteed to elevate your cool factor, and the best bar staff in Sydney. Late night - let's be honest, you don't need a location...
Who’s your hero and where in Sydney would you take them out for a serious hang?
I think heroes are overrated but I seriously respect Courtney Barnett; I would meet up with her at Vic on the Park (Marrickville) to drink beer, hang with some cool dogs (dog-friendly pub) and listen to some live music in the car park.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
My outfits are mostly made up of band tees, so I tend to get dressed in the mosh of Oxford Art Factory.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Starbuck's - shit coffee.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
It's simple, but I love to catch ferries across the harbour to/from Circular Quay. My grandparents used to always take me when I was little. I really enjoy the wind in my hair, the smell of salt, and watching the waves lap the side of the boat.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Sydney and where did you get it?
Saigon Taro Rolls from Golden Lotus in Newtown...these are one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten and they're vegan! Sweet taro filling caged in a light, crispy roll, dipped in vinegar. Next level flavour explosion.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Sydney that you particularly like?
The Bearded Tit in Redfern is the quirkiest little pub. Named after a moustachioed song-bird, this is a place where colourful characters flock. Gilded mirrors, elaborate projections and local art pieces coat the walls, and an old caravan is parked out back, fitted out with bean bags, perfect for an early evening lounge. Short walk from Redfern station and opposite my favourite skate shop in the city.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Sydney? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
I don't really go to spas or hotels, I prefer to live on a shoestring, but I once splashed out to eat at Bodhi, a delicious vegan Yum Cha restaurant in Surry Hills. But I only think it cost a lot because I ate a lot....
What restaurant in Sydney looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Dude. Hit up Emads in Surry Hills. Delicious Turkish food...please ignore the questionable furniture and rugs that definitely need a clean...
Where can you get the best cocktail in Sydney? Which one do you like?
Papa Gede's is a stellar haunt, hidden down a cobblestone lane. The Zombie comes out on fire!
Where would you take your partner in Sydney if you wanted to really pamper them?
Screw a spa or fancy restaurant; my partner and I love to take our time at good cafes, hideaway microbreweries and dingy music venues. That's my idea of pampering!
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Vegemite. You either love it or hate it. I'm on the verge of getting it tattooed on my body - try it on toast with avocado, it will change your life. But remember, less is more.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Sydney?
Bondi Beach - it's over-crowded and definitely not the best of our stunning coastline.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Sydney?
The Botanical Garden - so many meandering paths to follow, and thousands of plant species to get lost amongst. Throw out a picnic blanket on the lawns for lunch. Listen out for the fruit bats at dusk. Walk from the Art Gallery of NSW to the Opera House for a particularly "Grandma" day out...and who doesn't need one of those after an evening of gigs and hidden cocktail bars?
What are the Sydney spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
The Rocks have a dope history to explore..pop your head into the Puppet Theatre while you're there, I always loved going as a kid.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Sydney. How do you spend it?
I would wake up early to surf the glassy morning waves at Freshwater Beach, before sinking into a cafe chair with a strong soy latte. After a morning like that, the rest of the day will flow effortlessly...
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Bern, Switzerland...it's the perfect balance of city and outdoor space. Floating down the Aare with my mates toward the Bear Pit was one of the most relaxing and surreal experiences of my life.