Alex: Whether it’s a first date, regular date night or simply a special occasion, us guys are generally pretty low maintenance. But every once in a while we deserve to be spoilt. So to all the gentlemen out there, I have decided to give you a brief guide on the perfect Gentlemen’s Day!
There’s no doubt that men these days have access to a range of grooming experiences that were never really around or as prominent as what they are now. You can get a trim or cut throat razor shaves from my favourite barber at The Barbershop at Barangaroo or York street. Or a similar experience at the QT hotel. But truly an experience like no other (which is especially perfect if you’re planning on going out for a date/special occasion) is Face Of Man on George street.
Women love to pamper themselves before they go out, so it’s only fair that men have access to the same luxuries and F.O.M is delivering some of the best treatments and experiences to get your gentlemanly self ready for that perfect night out.
A few weeks back, I was luck enough to have a little pampering sesh of my own. I have been a client of Face of Man for quite some time now but the experience that I was about to receive was like no other. The Art of Escape $210. This was 180 minutes of pure relaxation but I will get into more detail about the experience soon.
As soon as you step out of the elevator on level 10 to Face Of Man you’re immediately welcomed and ushered into another room that is the epitome of a man cave. White café style tiles envelop most of the wall, but hues of rustic browns, statues of planes and old vintage cars as well as old-fashioned glasses and carafes filled with scotch are what give it that elusive touch.
As you sit on a beautifully aged brown leather lounge you are brought a drink of your choice whether that’s tea or sparkling water to relax your mind and thoughts or something a little stronger like a glass of scotch or beer. Knowing that this was business over pleasure, I stuck with tea and water throughout my treatment which left me feeling refreshed the whole time.
The treatment began with an hour in the sauna/steam room. You have the option of sitting in darkness and listening to some music as you sweat out all the toxins, or you can turn on the light and read the latest issue of GQ. Either way, both are the perfect start to a relaxing experience. Cue a quick shower to leave myself feeling fresh and I slipped into a crisp white robe.
I was then greeted by owner Kylie who took me through the dimly lit hallways and introduced me to Nikki.
I was brought a beautiful ginger tea with a smell that enveloped the room quickly. For the remainder of my treatment I was in a cosy little room playing soothing tunes. The room was warm and comfortable and instantly made me feel at ease.
For the next hour I had a full body massage and honestly if you’ve never really had one before it can be quite confronting at first, but shortly after you’re too relaxed to even be concerned that half your bum is hanging out. Meh. It’s very easy to dose off and be in a trance-like state when getting a massaged but that was nothing compared to the facial that followed my massage.
A lovely girl, Emily then entered the room and began a skin analysis. Simple questions about your skin type, what you use to treat your skin and so on. She then goes on to explain in full detail about what she will do for your skin and let me just say, I’ve never been more impressed in my life! The knowledge and passion that Emily evidently has is a testament to her work. Kudos to you Emily. My skin felt radiant and bare and just a whole lot healthier.
A word of advice, think twice about booking something like this on a work break. You honestly will feel too relaxed to even function afterwards and I speak from experience.
So whether you’re wanting a quick wax, eyebrow tidy, facial or a mix of everything there’s honestly no where that I would recommend more so than Face Of Man. Kylie and her team are all lovely and have created such a warm and welcoming place for men to feel comfortable about being pampered.
… Moving on, you’ve had your relaxing day, and now the pressure is on to pick a place that’s perfect for your lovely lady. It’s no doubt that Sydney’s dining scene is affluent but sometimes it can be difficult to make a decision. That’s where I come in 🙂
Three things that make for the perfect date
-a sense of transportation
And no, I don’t mean a car. One of the most important things I find about dates is being able to go somewhere that can make you feel like you’re on the other side of the planet. Obviously having a good date makes for, well…the perfect date but hopefully you’ve already made that decision.
Cue Bar Machiavelli
While it’s a relatively new kid on the block, Bar Machiavelli is already making waves within the Sydney food scene. As you enter the large glass doors you might see Gatsby saluting, or Sophia Loren staring down at you. All a novelty that is highly appreciated.
The perfect mood lighting and a round of cocktails meant we were ready to start eating. For entrees we went with the Baked figs with prosciutto and a Roquefort cheese sauce $27. The presentation was minimal, allowing for the food to really speak for itself. I think what I really loved about all the dishes is that they were hearty meals and very reminiscent of all a lot of the dishes that my Nonno cooks. The fig was fresh and soft with the prosciutto adding a nice touch of crunch but I felt as the Roquefort sauce needed to be a little more prominent. Obviously with it being quite a strong-tasting cheese I can understand why they perhaps didn’t want to go OTT but I just felt it needed a tad more. But it really was a great combination and interplay between sweet and salty flavours.
Next up was the Crumbed Gamberi fritti with homemade tartare sauce $7 each. The large juicy prawns were plump and sweet and the tartare sauce had a bit of zing to it.
Our last entree for the evening was one of the standouts. The Grilled hervey Bay half shell scallops with a cream and white wine sauce $6 each. Ever since starting the blog I’ve got a real appreciation for scallops so they have become pretty much a must order everywhere we go. These were packed with flavour. The scallops were soft and melt in the mouth tender with a crunchy exterior and the creamy sauce elevated the dish with such elegance. Only thing not so elegant was that it was really difficult to get the scallop off of the shell. So make sure you don’t splash your date in the eye.
When your spoiled by your grandparents it becomes very difficult to find an Italian restaurant that’s actually worth going to. Thankfully Bar Machiavelli is coming up with some seriously killer pasta combinations. An added bonus, all of the pasta is made in-house. The gnochetti with Roquefort, Gorgonzola dolce and caramelised walnuts $36. An extremely rich and decadent choice if you’re feeling a little naughty. Though it may be hard to be naughty afterwards with all the cream in your belly… though it’s worth it.
Hand’s down the absolute stand out of the night and the dish that I’ve been recommending to everyone was the Chestnut parpardelle with porcini mushroom and madeira sauce $38. It’s actually quite difficult to put this dish into words. The porcini mushrooms exploded with flavour and the melted parmesan cheese was like a blanket for the perfectly cooked sheets of parpardelle. There was definite hints of truffle flavour that was prominent throughout the pasta dish. It’s amazing how they’ve converted simple pasta dishes to magnificent flavour combinations that are easily some of the best that Sydney has to offer.
After our pasta feast we had a little break and just took in the beautiful surroundings. Exposed brickwork, with dark wooden tones envelop most of the restaurant, with a bar that exudes luxury which is elevated by the bright under lights. Easily a venue where you can sit and enjoy the large constant changing projections.
A date can’t be finished without some sort of sweet treat and of course, because we’re spoilt for choice we decided on two. The Creme brulée $15 . Obviously a classic but also very easy to stuff up. As we cracked into the crunchy surface and took a bite we were concerned as we found it to be quite eggy, but once you got deeper, the rich velvety texture was rich with vanilla bean and was actually a very delicious dessert.
The last dessert we decided on was the Tiramisu. Another classic Italian dessert, but it was unanimous that this lacked any sort of distinct flavour. While we appreciated the presentation, unfortunately this was the weakest dishes of the night. Lacking that severe coffee whallop you get with a tiramisu.
What made up for it though was a tiramisu martini $16. An unusual concoction that worked so ridiculously well. It’s a definite must order.
Bar Machiavelli is quite exxy, but it offers Italian dishes that are a far step above the rest. It’s entertaining projections, interesting cocktails and moody atmosphere is the perfect place to take your date.
Don’t forget to make yourself nice and relaxed by visiting Face Of Man as well. Trust me you won’t regret it!
Until next time!
*For Food’s Sake experienced Face Of Man and dined at Bar Machiavelli as a guest. All opinions however are our own and independent.