Sunday, May 20, 2007

Motorists Corner

This building is on the corner of Marrickville and Petersham Roads. As you can see, it was originally an impressive and charming petrol station. Now it's an unimpressive and quite revolting Chinese restaurant, but more about that later. Marrickville was quite the petrol-head's dream in the 1920s. General Motors Holden actually had a car factory in Carrington Rd (I'll blog that soon) although it only operated from 1926 to 1931, closing because of the Depression. I like these bowsers, which look so personable with their fancy headgear and curvy, elegant hose-arms. So it's a sad thing that this is now the site of one of the few bad eating experiences I've ever had in Marrickville. It was back in 2001, so things may have improved (however, I will never know as I will never go there again). Let's just say bits of glass in dumplings, that my friend had to spend ages spitting out... not to mention there were open boxes of lettuce sitting on the floor in the toilets!

19 comments:

Lisa said...

Love this pic. I went to the local school near there and use to walk *through* the garage to and from school everyday during the 80's. At that time it wasn't a working garage but a mechanic's shop if I recall. I agree with you on the now disgusting restaurant. I went there one day and there was a child eating with a dog on her lap. Yuk. I love dogs, but not in a restaurant. Really not sure why you see people lining up to go in there.

David said...

What is the date of this building? What I mean to say, in my pedantic, shrill, pathetic way, is, are you sure it was *originally* a petrol station? I'd love to know. It seems like a very shoppy petrol station. But I don't know what early purpose-built petrol stations looked like. It's a great building.

The restaurant sounds truly revolting. I am reminded of a takeaway I always used to go to until I saw the family who ran it washing a toddler in the kitchen sink. And the child was perfectly pleasant (and after all, clean). I don't know why I am so finnicky.

Meredith said...

Thanks for the comments Lisa & David,

David, I can't say for sure that that's what it originally was, but it reminds me of other old petrol stations around Sydney - there are still some of this style in working order around the place - see some pictures at

http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/heritagensw/aut02/6_art.htm

fox drink water said...

Well, I must say that I am glad I never got the guts to go into that dire looking restaurant. I was hoping it may be a gem hidden under coal. Ah well.

There is an old service station like that at the beginning of Salisbury Rd, Stanmore. I drive past it every day with a happy sigh that it's still standing.

JahTeh said...

One doesn't care at all for the bottom half of this building but one does want the top half ripped off and delivered to one's house immediately.

I want to curl up in those windows, following the sun around with a glass of wine, a book and chocs on a wheeled table. I wouldn't want to wear myself out.

digwemust said...

i've never had a problem with that restaurant food-wise... yum cha on a weekend morning has always been a pleasurable experience for my stomach (admittedly i've been hungover and seedy on more than a occasions). but then again, i've never been in the toilets. i have heard they're pretty disgusting.

R.H. said...

So you're hitting the renovations.
Over a bad feed? (ha ha). Well that was an interesting building, before it got dehumanised. Some of the old houses around inner Sydney are marvellous, untouched. We've got nothing like it in Melbourne, no history at all.

David said...

Captain Cook's Cottage!

R.H. said...

I'm sure Captain Cook never lived in the Fitzroy Gardens, which is where the cottage is now.

When places are pulled down and assembled somewhere else they lose everything. Years ago I saw an article about Adam Lindsay Gordon's cottage lying dismantled in someone's backyard. No one wanted it. What a pity. Well it's all a mix of progress and culture. Progress always wins. But it ain't culture.

That's so pants said...

Perhaps they could change the name to Maoist's Corner.

~demonika~ said...

The restaurant is actually really great! Fantastic yum-cha on the weekends, most definitely. I'm a local - Despointes Street - and we don't bother going into Chinatown at all now.

I'm certainly not alone, have you seen the queues on Sundays?

captainfez said...

It's a shame you haven't been back: I don't know if it's the same owners, but save for one dodgy dumpling experience out of possibly hundreds (I should've known: scallops!) I've had nothing but good things to say about this place. Too pricey for regular Chinese, but the yum cha is great.

Belinda said...

Great pics.

Another Marrickville local here and love it.

Have to disagree with the others though - that restaurant is awful!

David said...

Captain Cook never lived in Captain Cook's cottage, Fitzroy Gardens or otherwise. That doesn't mean it's not historical.

David said...

More please

R.H. said...

ha ha, you dirty dog!

Well I'm thinking of importing George Washington's log cabin, that's historical too, and what's more he lived in it! We could put it alongside Captain Cook's, start up a regular little neighborhood.

Michael said...

When we lived in Marrickville we went a few times for the weekend yum cha - thought it was pretty good (but I've personally never tested the loos). It was actually We took my Mum and Dad to their first yum cha there (they don't have it in Wagga anywhere that I'm aware of) and they were a bit leery of the whole idea. However, we managed to have the first dishes on the table before Mum had finished settling her handbag under her chair. After that it was all plain sailing :-)

R.H. said...

leery (of the whole idea)

leery. What a marvellous word.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I'm a bit late off the mark but only just found this site...and have to stand up for the yum cha at this restaurant (I've not sampled any other meals here). As a yum cha fanatic I go to various places at least once a week...and I am delighted to have settled in Da Ville as this one is one of my faves! Not just the tasty eats but also the crampy bustle and familiar faces on a weekend morning. The lines out the front are completely valid and I for one have waited happily for that first bursty prawn dumpling...mmmm....