We had an almost urban experience in our outer northern suburb yesterday. Last night we decided to eat out. Usually it’s takeaway from one of the very respectable Indian, Thai and noodle restaurants – never from the awful fast food franchises,of which we seem to have more than our fair share and that scream obesity, litter and heart disease.
Recently, a Sushi Train opened in the business centre – an affordable and healthy dining option. With a strikingly simple fit out, which includes booths for larger groups, it has a lot of appeal. Whenever we go past it’s full. The crowd seemed young and culturally diverse – young families, too, with toddlers enjoying the novelty of the train. Living just a few minutes walk away from the centre, we decided to brave the sometimes uncrossable and always unspeakably awful Gympie Road to amble up to the Sushi Train, settle in for a bite or two, and amble home again. As we dined in the busy restaurant and seats became scarce, a queue formed on the footpath. After their meal, a young couple sat on a bench outside to continue their conversation while others lolled on the walls of the raised ‘garden beds’.
In moments like that, you can see some potential for a better designed, more populated and more accessible suburban centre that offers night time dining options for locals and street animation. With a changing demographic, there’s a hunger for more than just Japanese food in these suburban centres.