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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Come From a Land Down Under! – Part 1

Various Eats in and Around Sydney, Australia

Just a word of warning before I begin.  This post contains a list of seriously good eats from my home town of Sydney, Australia.  If you fear for your waistline stop reading here; otherwise enjoy!

I love returning home.  It's not just for my family and friends, but also for all the fantastic food that Sydney has to offer for the discerning palette; there are not too many other cities out there that can offer such a wide variety of cuisines from all corners of the globe at reasonable affordable prices!  Whenever I return to Sydney there are a few must visit places to go and fill your belly but when I'm back I always try to make it a point of at least trying somewhere new.

My trip back to Sydney this time around saw me playing host to not just the Chili Padi but two other dear friends of mine: Little Anne and Big Anne, one had visited Sydney before but I had hoped to share with them some of the sights, sounds and tastes from a Sydney-siders perspective.

So here we go, be prepared for a listing of my favorite Sydney eats!

Paddington Markets – Oxford Street, Sydney

Paddington Markets is typical of your Sydney weekend flea market; you’ve got a mix of designers who have made it, or looking to make it, but most importantly to me, you’ve got many a folk there serving up some good quality grub at reasonable prices!

Cheese Steak Rolls

We couldn’t resist we had to get our share of all things cheese steak, and despite it really being a mouthful it was good all the way down to the last bite!

Cheese Steak Rolls Finished

But hey guess what?  I wasn’t quite done yet with the markets.. while the better half of this dynamic duo went looking for clothes and jewelry to  buy, I set my sights on the next thing to eat (it didn’t make me long to find mind you)!

Cupcakes a Plenty

This little tasty treat was a Belgian Chocolate with a Chocolate twist biscuit.. of course I had to share my little find.. though I think the thought of eating again within a few minutes of eating that roll was a little scary for some :)

Love at the Petersen’s

Sad to say for those of you unlucky to know the Petersen’s are missing out on something special.  We were invited over to my sister and brother in law’s house for a hamburger; nay not just a hamburger but the Petersen burger!  Hamburgers are good but having them cooked over a BBQ/hotplate they take on a different character and taste all the more nicer!

Love at the Petersens Cooking

That coupled with some secret home made tomato sauce from Ben’s mom and well we were in burger heaven.

Burger Heaven

The Cupcake Bakery – Pitt Street Mall, Sydney

One thing that I really do miss about Australia are the affordable and delicious variety of cupcakes that are on offer.  Of late there has been a franchise that seem to have invaded Sydney; The Cupcake Bakery.  I was lucky enough to stumble upon this while I was walking around the Pitt Street Mall and promptly ordered a Tiramisu to satisfy my craving.

The Cupcake BakeryThe cupcake was a precursor to what is a tradition of sorts for the Chili Padi and I; a trip to the Sydney Fish Markets.

Sydney Fish Markets – Pyrmont, Sydney

Fish, fish and more fish! A short tram ride out of the centre of Sydney and you find yourself at a place that is always busy with throng of people!

Fishy Entrance As I mentioned before, the Chili Padi and I always make it a point to come here and load up on cheap (most importantly) fresh oysters and sashimi!

Oysters Oysters OystersNothing beats tasting the sea with every bite of the seafood you buy on the spot to consume. It’s been a place I’ve been coming to since I was a wee tiny fella, it’s a place where you can appreciate all the good things on offer in your own back yard!

Sashimi IndulgenceNeedless to say we ate our share.. and then some.. all this lovely goodness for less than AUD50.. where in the world can you eat so much for so little?

Masuya – O’Connell Street, Sydney

I was introduced to the restaurant by a good friend of mine Trieu, who not too long before me leaving Sydney hadn’t really liked sushi and sashimi.  Oh how times have changed! I’ve wanted to bring the Chili Padi here for the longest of times, not only for their superb and reasonably priced food but for their excellent customer service as well; all the waiters and waitresses are Japanese (as are their cooks)!

Masuya - EntranceMasuya’s serves delicious ala carte meals, but the order of the day was to dig into one of their set lunches.  This place is hugely popular with the CBD crowd for lunch, so I do suggest you go early!

Masyua - Shogun BentoI ordered myself the Shogun Bento, and as you can see it was quite an undertaking.  All the food is cooked upon order, so you’re guaranteed optimum yummiest and if you thought that I’d be sick of all the sashimi you’re horribly wrong.  Their fish is fresh and bursting with color and is still very very firm.

Sydney Fish Markets @ 5:00am (Pre-Xmas) – Pyrmont, Sydney

Let it be said that Sydney-siders love their seafood; to what lengths  though can only be explained by the following:  We woke up at 4:00am to get to the fish markets at 5:00am to do some pre-Christmas seafood shopping!  It was the firs time for the Chili Padi to see the organized chaos that happens around Christmas time and Easter every year.  A site which I am sure would bamboozle people the first time they get to experience it.

Fish Market RushLet it be said there was a sea of people everywhere you went, clambering for that extra prawn or for that extra 1/2 dozen oysters.  To me it’s fun, its a tradition and at the end of the day something well worth the time; nothing but the freshest seafood.

Fish Market - Catch of the DayWhen we finally did get home we took it upon ourselves to get all the food ready.. 3 dozen oysters, 3 kgs of Prawns, crabs, oodles and oodles of sashimi and seaweed!

Fish Markets - See Food!Couple all that with some moschato wine, pork ribs salad, gravlax and a specially made cheese cake by the Chili Padi we had enough food to feed a small platoon!

Singapore Chili Crab – Prima Taste @ Dunk Place

What to do with left over crab from lunch?  Why not whip up a little bit of Singapore in Sydney?  That was the mission given to me by the folks at home.  Luckily on one of our previous trips back home we brought over some “cook at home” meals from Prima Deli.  I have to say it’s not too bad if you’re stuck for ingredients and a little homesick (per say).

Chili Crabs To add a little fun to the whole thing I was able to borrow Ben’s welding mask.. to at least make it look like the chili crab was gonna be hot!

The dish turned out alright; sadly I had to use flower crabs as opposed to the huge Sri Lankan crabs that are commonly used here in Singapore.

Lindt Chocolat Cafe – Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney

IMG_4215What better way to take a break from the traditional Boxing Day sale in the city than with a respite at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe at Cockle Bay Wharf.

Lindt - Chocolate WaffleYou cannot go to the Lindt Chocolat Cafe without ordering their waffles at least once!  The ice cream combined with the chocolate sauce plus the waffle.. nom-elicious!

Lindt - SnacksBeing the greedy little pigs that we are, we couldn’t (well ok it was actually me) resist ordering other offerings from their menu, all good mind you, but the stand out were the waffles!

Pho Pasteur – Church Street, Parramatta

Pho is always a favorite with me; from the days of university I could be found slurping away bowls of Pho in between lectures.  Pho Pasteur was one of the first Pho joints I’ve visited and I generally try to get in at least one bowl of Pho from there while I am home.

Pho You, Pho Me - DinnerSince there were so many of us we decided to make a Pho run: i.e. get take out.. so we jumped into the car and brought back food for the masses!  Yum.. delicious beef ball noodles!!

Pancakes on the Rocks – Hickson Road, The Rocks

It’s almost 12:00am and you hear a rumble in your tummy; that can only mean one thing.. Supper! If it’s pancakes you’re a craving then Pancakes on the Rocks is where you should be headed too!

Pancakes Food Food FoodThis place has been in existence for as long as I’ve been eating and by looking at the picture I am sure you can see why!  Not to mention they are open until the wee early hours of the morning.  Be warned though there is sometimes a wait for about 1/2 and hour to get in (depending on what time of the nite/morning you rock on by).. but trust me it’s well worth the trip!

And so ends my first installment of my 3 weeks in Sydney.. stay tuned for chapters 2 and 3.. I promise you there will be more delicious food for you to take note of!

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