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Expensive Enough To Drive You To Drink

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on February 9, 2012 in Other

Last weekend I ventured a wee bit out of my usual bubble to Darlinghurst, not once but twice in one day, for breakfast then dinner and drinks.

While Darlinghurst is a fantastic place for food I was a touch taken aback when I looked at the bill and saw the price of my drinks.

“What did I pay?” I hear you ask.

Well, at breakfast I ordered a skim cappuccino, regular size, nothing fancy – I’m more than happy with regular milk and I find that coffee generally doesn’t taste as good if you go for the large option. It was $4. Yep, that’s right, four bucks for a regular coffee.

Maybe I’m just being a miser but four dollars to me seems an awful lot to pay for a pretty unimpressive drink. Shit, they didn’t even go to the bother of making a pattern in the chocolate or the crema. I’ll happily cop $3.50 though I think $3 is more appropriate, or $3.30 at the most given that the business owner isn’t going to want to work too hard come BAS time.

What is even more outrageous is that most cafes generally have the hide to charge the same for a pot of tea and even more for a hot chocolate. It would want to be good. I’m starting to understand Vincent Vega’s predicament when he wanted to know what Mia Wallace’s five-dollar shake tasted like in Pulp Fiction.

Come evening and the Darlinghurst nosheries take it up a notch. Not one cocktail on the menu at the overpriced eatery we attended fell below $20. Sure, they were good cocktails, but $20? I could have dinner and a bottle of wine at Gelbison for that price.

And this isn’t a phenomenon that’s endemic to the inner city suburbs either. Being bent over by the cost of a beverage is blatantly obvious throughout the Eastern Suburbs, regardless of whether you’re ordering a cocktail or a coffee.

And if you think the damage incurred on a drink purchase at a café, restaurant or bar is abominable, you’ll be blown away if you head to an event or a festival in the area.

I had the pleasure of attending the cricket at the SCG at the start of the year and was getting slugged nearly $7 for a schooner of Carlton Draught. Admittedly that was in the members’ bar, but I’ve heard the prices the plebs were paying for mid-strength in cattle class were much the same.

I also read online that the price of a drink at the festivals favoured by Sydney’s youth, including one I believe was called Field Day, are also exorbitant. Correct me if I’m wrong but $8 is far too much to pay for a bottle of water and $11 for a can of gin and tonic is extortionate? No wonder all these kids are taking drugs. Come to think of it, I assume that’s why the price of bottled water is so high – promoters have to make a buck somewhere!

With that said, I need to get away from this godforsaken place so I’m off to Bali shortly for some cheap Bintangs. After all, the price of a beverage here is enough to drive you to drink!