This post is dedicated to most of the unforgettable eats I've had the pleasure of inhaling during my 3 and a half weeks holiday in Sydney. As I was putting this one together, I couldn't help but feel sheer envy and a tiny bit of hate for them Sydneysiders. They are way too spoiled for choice restaurants, cafes and just food in general. I know myself to be quite impulsive when it comes to shoving anything in my mouth but I have grown some wisdom from my previous travels that sadly, there's really only so much one can eat at a time. So I had to be sensible and make a list.
Let's begin my throwback to some of them.
ADRIANO ZUMBO, BALMAIN
|Salted Butter Popcorn Zumbaron|
I 'm not a huge fan of macarons but I am a loyal follower of controversy. Probably more than half of my following are Sydney-based food blogs and Adriano Zumbo's patisserie has more than enough appearances in almost everyone of them. His name probably rings a bell to those of you who are fans of the MasterChef Australia series. Known as the "Dark Lord of The Pastry Kitchen", he's created some of the most intriguing desserts sometimes even using savoury ingredients. It really was quite confronting to make a choice but being a woman on a mission, I knew exactly what to get!
It was a very unassuming shop unlike most patisseries I've seen and a far cry from the sweets shops here in Japan. It was a small space where people would pop-in for takeaway. I quite fancy myself as a popcorn connoisseur and I give this one a thumbs-up for the popcorn flavour that would smack your tastebuds stupid as soon as you took the first bite. However, I didn't find myself wanting seconds as the filling was well, quite filling. The salted butter cream was a bit too much for me. Probably the Banh Mi (Vietnamese pork roll) I had for brunch was to blame.
But would I recommend it? YES.
BEN & JERRY'S, MANLY
This was actually my first time to ever try the famed ice cream franchise. I never really set my sights on it as I'm not the biggest fan of ice cream (IK,R?) but this is worth mentioning as the good men who I now consider as friends, Ben and Jerry had enough common sense to concoct a flavour close to my heart and to my mouth whenever at least 10m away from me: PEANUT BUTTER.
My sister, Rich and I went splitzies over this as they're not huge fans of sweets either. This was a decision quite pressed to be made since we had been on our feet in Manly for some time after some serious shopping and some short downtime was in our midst before dinner. It only took a spoonful of that peanut butter glory and I was smitten. I didn't even bother to make acquaintances with the Cookie Dough. That good.
TO MY PB LOVERS OUT THERE, INHALE THIS ASAP.
N2 EXTREME GELATO, CHINATOWN
My memory from that evening still remains vivid as it was my first night in Sydney. That day alone, I had already eaten a Banh Mi in Mascot, half a Zumbaron in Balmain and Chicken Satays from a dodgy food court in Chinatown. I could already feel my body hating me but due to my sister's adamance, I braved my stomach for some more evil!
I've previously read about this new age approach to making gelato. Sure, you could do it at home if you have some liquid nitrogen to spare. Basically, liquid N2 is around -196C hence solidifying the mixture rapidly that prevents ice particles from forming so you get a very fine creamy texture.
Getting there, it seemed like it was still all the rage as there was quite a queue. The most amusing part about this joint was the show you were in for. KitchenAids in red and mustard were on the bench seemingly being toyed around with by teenage staff who appear like scientists as they were dressed in lab gowns, protective goggles and surgical gloves. It was a whole production!
Another thing I liked about N2 was that they've got all these interesting flavours on offer that change seasonally. It being the holidays, a lot of Christmas standard treats were available.
|How cute were the names of the flavours!|
|Top right: Passionate Christ | Bottom left: Gingy's Limbs|
You could really taste the ginger flavour and they got it down pat as it wasn't too strong nor too light. On top of that, there was a welcome break from the smooth texture as some bits of gingerbread cookies would unfold in the mix. We also got Passionate Christ and we were also over-the-moon with it. Who knew a marriage between passionfruit and chocolate would be so perfect?
Overall, the gelato was pretty good. I guess the only downside would be that it melted just as fast as it froze. If you've got a good tolerance for sweets and brain freeze and not mind the short spectacle, this place should be your go-to haunt for gelato!
LÖWENBRÄU KELLER, THE ROCKS
Those who know me could testify how much I love beer in the same breath that those who've seen my belly would. This was one of the restaurants that immediately caught my eye when I first came to Sydney. Freshly tapped Löwenbräu beer and pork??? It would have been sacrilegious for me not to!
You could imagine my excitement when it was decided that we have dinner there on my first Friday night. I had already sculled a few drinks down leading up to supper so that may have explained how little I ate. I'm not sure if I totally regret it though. Gosh. Sometimes I feel like I really need to get my life in check.
|Dining like savages!|
It's a good thing that I wasn't left to fend for myself when it was time to order because I was in good company of drinkers and eaters who knew what was good and what was even better.
Serving only the best of Bavarian cuisine, the food did not disappoint. Pardon the generic review but having bier, sausages and pork crackling aplenty between the 4 of us, the foodcoma bruised my memory pretty bad. Suffice to say though, I was a very happy girl that night. Perhaps too happy that I got to wear my resident shitface later that evening. YASSSSS.
IF YOU LIKE BEER AND MEAT AND IN SYDNEY, YOU KNOW WHERE TO GO.
MOO GOURMET BURGERS, MANLY
I don't know how this even made it to my list but I'm gonna go and spoil it all for you before you even have a look at the photos. This was a let-down. Instagram can really be the devil for making everything look so good. Throw in a Valencia filter and you've got yourself a thousand likes and poor gullible fellows like me running to where you are.
|Moo-centric doodles plastered on the walls of the stairs leading up to the dining area. Cutes!|
But in an attempt to be fair, perhaps we felt that way because the brunch we had at Chat Thai was pretty high up there and you know what they say, once you go Asian, it's hard to go any other way, really.
Okay, just kidding. Nobody ever says that but I really think it should be a thing.
|All the right answers to all the wrong questions in one makeshift basket.|
My sister and I each had the Classic Cheeseburger while Rich easily decided on the Avo burger as I then learned what love affair he has for avos in burgers. There was nothing I enjoyed in my burger and that's coming from a simple girl who aches for beef between buns almost all the time! I found everything to be substandard. I guess this disappointment is just spilling out because I expected a lot more from a joint that prides itself for gourmet burgers. Maccas easily would have won if this were a burger beatdown! (Wow, I raped the word burger there, didn't I? Now saying it sounds weird. Burger.)
It was sad as I was truly looking forward to having a proper burger as one of my many #JapanProblems is not having found a good haunt for them yet. I guess the only upside is that the quest continues..
CHAT THAI, MANLY
Thai is my favourite cuisine of all time. Even before I went on my internship in Thailand back in uni, I had already forged an unconditional love for it thanks to my early exposure to the flavours of lemongrass, basil and peppers. Say what you will but to me, it's just hard to come across bad Thai food. Just writing about how good it is makes my mouth water.
Chat Thai was also one of the Thai joints that Sydney food bloggers would not let up about. It also didn't help that ALL of the people I know who live in Sydney rave about it so much. But of course, with great food comes the dilemma of even greater queues. Luckily, they've got another branch away from the city where there was no wait for seating. The downside to their Manly branch though is that they don't serve dessert.
|I wasn't in Japan anymore!|
|Dsom Tum Thai (green papaya salad with peanuts and dried shrimps)|
|Mhu Grob Padt Prik Khing (stir fried crisp pork belly and wild ginger in red curry paste)|
I would just like to take this moment to thank my tongue for having such high tolerance for spicy food. I would not be the person that I am today if not for the experiences my tongue has led me to. ILYSMIH. Crispy pork belly with unlimited crackling on offer, doused in sweet and spicy paste. Sorry, what's happening again?
It would only take the world's end to break my love affair with Thai food. If ever I find myself living in Sydney, Chat Thai would definitely be a regular haunt.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GO NOW.
I hope I'm not going out on a limb here by saying that this isn't a critique on food but simply a story about how these eats complimented my stay. My holidaze food expedition did not end there but my Royal Milk tea has reached its end and its a tough job writing about food and not have anything to distract you with so I will end by saying that it's no wonder how hard I fell for Sydney. The sights probably come neck to neck with its food not to mention how its coffee culture is also a strong contender (but that's for another day).
Whether you're traveling to Sydney or you're living there, I hope to goodness that you've got Urbanspoon in your phone.