Ghion Restaurant & Cafe, 12 City Place, Sunshine. Phone: 0423 362 995
There’s no doubt the old Sunshine station – and its gloomy, even spooky tunnel/underpass through to City Place – deserved and needed to be replaced.
But given the new station edifice involves a much less direct and stair-heavy route, I wondered what impact the new station arrangements would have on City Place and the surrounding businesses and neighbourhood.
Surely, the curious would be much less inclined to venture to “the other side of the tracks” from Sunshine central and its much more numerous shops and eateries?
Well, yes – I guess so.
But something rather nice appears to be happening in the face of this enforced “separation”.
You see, it’s now possible to consider that City Place and the adjacent Sun Crescent constitute an entirely different neighbourhood.
Or even a different suburb – one with its own pace, space and vibe.
It’s very laid back, with none of the hustle and bustle of Sunshine proper.
I’d not go so far as to suggest this neighbourhood is prospering or constantly buzzing, but it does seem to be getting on with doing its own thing.
It’s tempting to describe the overall vibe as African, but that would be misleading.
There’s hairdressers/barbers, a cafe, groceries and an arts space.
The fine and long-term Chinese eatery Dragon Express remains in place, while around the corner on Sun Crescent is the utterly fabulous Panjali Banana Leaf Malaysian Restaurant, as well as a kebab shop, an Ethiopian place and a Sri Lankan outlet.
Back on City Place, Ghion is doing really good Ethiopian tucker and has become a regular haunt for those seeking a lightish casual lunch in a tranquil, relaxing setting.
I’m guessing it’s also on the ball come dinnertime.
The classic vegetarian combo yetsom beyaynetu is awesome here – as good as any I’ve tried.
Lentils/pulses three different ways; the familiar carrot/potato, beetroot and greens; sprightly salad – all beautifully cooked and presented, all in just the right quantities for a wonderfully balanced meal.
This winning offering costs a supremely cheap $12.
But if you visit Ghion on Wednesday – day or night – it’ll cost you a mere $10.
How good is that?
Among the various meat dishes, lega tibs ($13) is lovely.
It’s a tomato-based, zingy concoction with good lamb chunks and the onion providing nice crunch through being just the right side al dente.
Wait times at Ghion are spot on – long enough to bespeak much care in the kitchen, short enough to ward off hungry impatience.