It's all a bit bewildering at first, and it's hard to know where to look at first, but we get the hang of it after a while. The pace is fast and furious between the two teams tonight - The D'viants
and the Screamin' Assault Sirens
. Flexibility and athleticism are essential, especially by the jammers who have to accelerate, duck and weave their way through a determined tangle of arms, legs and roller skates.
It's a fierce display of girl power, although the skaters aren't afraid to play up to the crowd either, stirring up the audience when scoring a point, or hamming it up to the opposing team or the referees with good humour.
The track is slippery and one particular corner is the site of countless spills, the skaters barely avoiding crashing into spectators. The commentators reassure us that competing skaters must train for at least eight months before they are allowed to compete, learning how to compete and how to fall safely to minimise injury.
It's a great night of entertainment with a well-behaved capacity crowd including plenty of young pre-teen female fans too.
The Screamin' Assault Sirens on their victory lap
Peking spare ribs $8.80
The game finishes at 10pm and we're starving. We escape the impending traffic jam of exiting cars and head down the road to Kingsford Chinese Restaurant, convincing the G-man to meet us there after seeking his advice on which dishes to order.
We make it inside dining room door at 10.30pm and are immediately told the kitchen will be closing in five minutes. Known for its phenomenally cheap prices, Kingsford Chinese is always busy and popular with budget-conscious university students. You don't go here for service or ambience, you come here for cheap food and lots of it.
Deep fried calamari with pepper and salt $9.80
Our food arrives alarmingly fast, it seems like three minutes before the first dish arrives. The rest follow in quick succession.
The Peking ribs
are just what our ravenous stomachs require, deep-fried battered pork rib pieces coated in a thick glossy sweet and sour sauce. The G-man adores the deep fried calamari
here, but I'm not a huge fan, finding the calamari a little too chewy, the batter thick, and the tumble of fried red shallots too overpowering.
Stir-fried Shanghai noodle $6.80
Stir-fried Shanghai noodles
come with only a smattering of beef but plenty of Chinese cabbage. The thick gravy is comforting on a cold wintry night.
Sampan congee $6.20
Billy has a craving for congee, and there's some debate over which one to choose. We settle for the sampan congee, although when it arrives it's mainly pork mince at the bottom of the bowl. The rice porridge is the perfect excuse to order a plate of Chinese donuts or you tiao, deep-fried crullers which we dip into the gruel.
Chinese donut $1.80
Shantung chicken $11.00
Shantung chicken is our final dish, a combination of succulent flesh and crispy skin doused in a vinegar sauce that is deadly with garlic, shallots and chilli. There are plenty of crispy bits to be found here, and I scavenge greedily for the bones with charred skin and bits of cartilage.
The bill arrives and dinner works out to be $12 each. We pay the bill and after receiving the change, we're told in no uncertain terms "We're closing now". As we're still saying goodbye to each other on the pavement, the staff have already closed the restaurant behind us, escaping wordlessly into the night.
Twenty dollars for roller derby and twelve dollars for dinner. You couldn't find a cheaper and better value Saturday night out.
Kingsford Chinese Restaurant
426 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9663 1728
Open 7 days 11am-11pm
The Sydney Roller Derby League
(SRDL) season for 2010 is over, however inter-league bouts at the Hordern Pavilion will take place on:
11 September 2010 - SRDL v Wollongong
09 October 2010 - SRDL v Canberra
20 November 2010 - SRDL v Newcastle
Missed out this time? Don't forget to enter the other Grab Your Fork competitions still open: