He is one of those Spaniards who arrived with the late wave of European immigration, mainly famous for its Greek and Italian components. However, it also included a considerable number of another less known community: the Basques.
They were the ones who in 1966 established Gure Txoco, the Basque Club, in Darlinghurst (Sydney), nowadays one of the trendiest suburbs in Sydney. However, once you step inside Gure Txoco you are likely to forget about the fashionable bars outside and its artsy clientele, as it suddenly feels you are in a Basque taberna in deep Guipúzcoa. And this is actually the best part of it: non-pretentious but authentic Basque decoration, friendly atmosphere, limited but good range of drinks and – above all - homemade food. Although their members make it very clear that it is not a restaurant and you actually have to know someone who is part of the club to get in, its food could easily compete against any renowned café in the city.
Even though Gure Txoco is open every Sunday for members and friends, the best days to go there and enjoy a full Basque-day are on certain dates, and of course July 7th is one of the most – if not the most – important of them: San Fermín or as better known to most Australians, 'the running of the bulls'.
Despite not having bulls whom to run in front of – regardless of drunken attempts in previous years involving a Coles trolley and black garbage plastic bags – San Fermines at Gure Txoco last weekend had all the ingredients to emulate the celebration in Pamplona: an amazing three-course lunch (including cod ajoarriero, typical Basque dish made by the members of the club), a raffle to win a Jamón and other Spanish products, music and a fair level of alcohol until quite late into the night.
This year we didn't get to see any tug of war game nor jai alai (Basque ball game) because the court was packed with the young (and the not so young) reluctant to go home after a couple of shots of the Basque digestive liquor Patxaran. "This is a bit like being over there, you know?", says Sonia from Irun. "At least you don't feel as bad for having missed the party back home!"
By Anna Vilalta Font