Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sydney Part 1

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Well, where to begin. So far this trip has been the biggest eye opener in regards to food. We seriously haven't had a bad meal so far and I'm hoping that I haven't just jinxed myself by saying this. It also goes to say that the coffee has been pretty phenomenal too and I'm sure that its not just because of the jet lag. After all, Australia is the home of the flat white. I thought rather than leaving it all till I get back to the UK it would be best to split the trip into a few posts before I forgot all the finer details. Don't worry I won't be detailing every single meal we ate but purely picking out the highlights from the trip so far. Right now I feel so torn because part of me never wants to leave yet the other cannot wait to get home and get cooking after all this inspiration.

The first day was spent getting to know the area we were staying in, Surry Hills. Whilst having a pit stop coffee in one of the many great cafes in the area we picked up a flyer for a new Mexican restaurant that had opened in the area. Annoyingly I can't for the life of me remember what its called but if you visit its on Randle Street. We decided to share 4 of their soft tacos and we weren't disappointed. Our favourites being the wild mushroom, fennel & marjoram with sour cream & pine nuts and the cumin & anise blackened chicken with avocado & mint. There were lots of other exciting dishes on the menu and a very tasty sounding chocolate olive oil cake with ancho chillies which will have to be tried if we return.

We started off our first full day with breakfast at Single Origin cafe in Surry Hills. Tim went for their 62:45 poached eggs with house cured bacon on sourdough, the 62:45 relating to the temperature and length of time the eggs are cooked for in a sous vide. I decided on their spiced baked beans with Persian feta which went down a treat. The only downside being that the dishes only came with 1 piece of sourdough. Single Origin roast their own beans and since visiting we have spotted a lot of other cafe's using their beans. The coffee at Single Origin is hands down the best coffee I have ever drunk.

After breakfast we headed into the city in search for a department store so I could indulge in my weakness of food halls. What I wasn't expecting was to spend around £6 on 2 figs but my god were they tasty! We headed down through the botanic gardens and ended up eating our figs on the steps of the opera house, you couldn't really of planned it better than that!
For dinner we headed back to Surry Hills and to the newly opened Queenies located upstairs at The Forresters pub. Queenies is dubbed a pan tropical restaurant with lots of Caribbean flavours in the mix, the sides all sounded really exciting so we decided on sharing a bunch of those instead. Queenie's offers  an interesting array of treats on the menu including BBQ jerk corn which was definitely a highlight as well as push cart chicken & curried oxtail patties. The restaurant does feel pretty hip with its mix of kitsch paraphernalia but the food didn't disappoint. Their selection of mains all sounded very tempting but the salads would be on my go to list for next time. 

Now by this point all my days are beginning to muddle together but I can't go without talking about Bourke St Bakery. Quite early on into my Sydney 'food research' this place popped up so we knew we had to pay them a visit. Its one of those places where reviews speak of queues around the corner but I think we picked the perfect time going on a week day just after all the commuters had been past. We pulled up on a bench along the side of the bakery and indulged in a famous ginger brulee tart (which I will be trying to replicate on my return), a praline twist and a pear & rhubarb muffin all washed down with delicious flat whites. Before we left we picked up a sourdough loaf to ear for breakfast the next day.

You can't visit Sydney without heading over to one of Bill Granger's 'Bill's' restaurants. Its a little more expensive than some places so we decided to try out the breakfast menu. Everything on the menu sounded so tempting that I really struggled choosing. Tim went for the full Aussie breakfast which came with the sweetest, creamiest scrambled eggs I've ever tasted. In a bit of a rushed decision I went for the ricotta hotcakes which were served with banana & honeycomb butter. This was to die for but looking back at the menu I am wishing I had tried something else. To be fair though we're here for another week and with things like sweetcorn fritters & brioche rolls with chilli eggs on the menu you can't really blame me.

I have been trying to write this post for about 3 days now. Each day adding another place to the list. Yesterday we headed to a restaurant called The Grounds which really deserves a post of its own so please watch this space.

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