Bourke Street Bakery, Sydney, July 2013

In Sydney, Bourke Street Bakery is an establishment. I heard so much of this bakery before leaving for my trip and all over the internet their Sourdough bread, Lamb and Feta Sausage Roll, and Ginger Creme Brulee are raved about. Their flagship bakery was located close to my hostel in Central and one very early morning, I walked up some very steep hills deeper into the wealthy neighbourhood of Surry Hills to look for some pastries. But alas I was too early and their famous lamb and feta sausage roll had not arrived. At least their Ginger brûlée Tart was available. I made do with their Ham and Cheese Croissant, Ginger Creme Brulee, and a cup of Black Coffee.

Sitting at their little rundown table, I had the best breakfast ever in a long long time. Their Ham and Cheese croissant arrived flattened having gone through a presser to heat it up. It was flaky and buttery, alright! The crispiness remained until the end and I heard the snaps of the crisp until the very last bite. What a feat for a seemingly simple pastry. The Ginger brûlée Tart was magnificent. First up, the tart shell was not your usual french perfection. It was rustic, not perfect but oh so crispy; simply to die for. And the ginger custard was strong in ginger flavour but not overpowering with hints of the spices coming through. Another magnificent feat. Until today, I still have so fond memories of the delicious bakes from Bourke Street Bakery.
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Cheeky baker boys. Told ya the locals were warm and friendly.
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Found only in Sydney, I was only too sad to be unable to bring them home for my family as I was going through Melbourne first. However I did make sure it was my last meal in Sydney and the memories remain until today.

Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney, July 2013

20131120-180435.jpgThis is long overdue but I must post this epic meal from my trip to Sydney last July. I loved Sydney. Good wintry weather and extremely friendly Australians. These two factors won my heart over and even triumph the good food I had. I still carry fond memories of the city. Momofuku Seiobo was also monumental for me as it was my first ever fine-dining meal. Although I was alone, I was not lonely. The chefs and wait staff frequently came over to check up on me or for a quick chat. I was even recommended to visit The Town Mouse in Melbourne which, after my trip, went on to win Restaurant Awards. The food was, of course, sublime. But the harmonious play between the contrasting textures and flavours surprised and impressed me most. Each dish may have been small portion-wise but after 12 courses, I literally rolled out of the restaurant. I could not even bring myself to get a scoop of the famed Gelato Messina, just a few steps away. Most memorable dishes of the day were the Parson’s Nose (Chicken butt!) and Goat Curd. The Kimchi take home gift was quite funny. My sister fried up some Kimchi fried rice when I brought it back to Singapore.

Smoked potato piped into a buttery pastry tube, served with a sweet green apple gel and powdered, freeze-dried apple

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The famous Momofuku Seiobo pork bun was the only and massive disappointment in the whole meal.

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Striped Trumpeter with celery leaves and mustard oil
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Confit Potato Balls with Parson’s Nose and Watercress. Deep-fried potato balls with fried chicken butt and watercress leaves to cut across the heaviness and provided the much needed refreshing lightness.

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 Eel dashi, Turnip, and Radish
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Onion, Burnt Leek, and Yolk
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Striped Trumpeter with fennel and dill
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Pork Neck, squash and Kombu
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Goat Curd with a moat of black currant juice and mint oil

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Pear Honey Cream and Muntries
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Canelé & Kombu Caramel
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My view of the open kitchen in Momofuku Seiobo
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Me, all delighted and stuffed.20140716-165226-60746202.jpg

Bread and Circus Wholefoods Canteen, Alexandria, Sydney

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I went to Bread and Circus Wholefoods Canteen in Alexandria because I could not find The Grounds. It was way off my map and I was too tired to go on. So I went for the option closest to me. I had no idea Bread and Circus was some hippy bio-everything place but I do know that on Instagram, their tagged photos looked like fresh clean food was being served. When I arrived after a long walk, this place was packed! One would queue to make an order then find a seat at the many communal tables. The space was huge, and abuzz with the cheerful and happy people of Sydney.

When I first saw the menu, I nearly laughed out loud. There just seemed so much fluff: biodynamic food of sorts, organic stuff, grains of all sorts; it all seemed so pretentious and try-hard healthy. But I was there, cold and hungry, and the Foxy Winter Porridge (slow cooked pre-soaked dairy free organic oats w/ stewed rhubard and ginger, agave poached pear, honey-thyme walnuts and coconut sugar) sounded good. On the communal tables, bowls of brown sugar and plates of cutleries were for all to help themselves. Shortly after, my huge bowl of steaming porridge arrived.

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Man oh man oh man, this bowl of porridge was so good! The warm porridge was so hearty; soft mushy oats mixed with large thin strips of dried coconut to provide texture. The poached pears were soft but still retained a bit. The ginger provided a good kick every now and then. The highlight of this bowl was the honey-thyme walnuts. Sweet and crunchy toasted walnuts thickly coated with honey. This bowl was so soothing and I savoured every bite of this delight. I immediately fell in love with poached fruits and oats, and for days after craved for the same bowl. Even if you don’t believe in the biodynamic fluff, you must visit this place just to have their delicious food.

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There was also an array of pretty pink coffee grinders that proved to be too irresistable to me.

BREAD & CIRCUS WHOLEFOODS CANTEEN – ALEXANDRIA, SYDNEY
21 FOUNTAIN STREET
SYDNEY, NSW 2015 AUSTRALIA

Rockpool Bar and Grilll, Sydney

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I could not visit Australia and not have a good Aussie steak so an Aussie friend recommended Rockpool Bar and Grill. After reading that this restaurant is a must-do Sydney food experience, I made a lunch reservation for my steak experience! My need for a good reliable steak did not deter me from the prices listed, and I got my wallet ready to lay down the dough in exchange for an experience.

The restaurant was stunning! Located in the heritage-listed Art Deco City Mutual Building in the heart of Sydney’€™s CBD, the large green-marbled pillars added to the majesticness of the restaurant. I was in awe from the moment I walked in and I made sure to sit facing those green marbled pillars, and the view of the whole restaurant while dining. Shortly upon being seated, the menu arrived. I had just finished a 3-hour jog in Bondi Beach in the morning so I was all ready for a big meal. And I did not hold back, I ordered the Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 350g 71 days (AUD$60), and a Potato and Cabbage Gratin (AUD$9) just because I have not seen it anywhere else. Potato gratin, yes. Mac and Cheese, yes. But a Potato AND cabbage gratin definitely got me very curious.

The experience was more than I could ask for. Oh if only I coud find words to describe the steak. It was huge! And so tender and juicy with a strong grilled beef taste. Sublime. Equally as orgasmic was the home-made BBQ sauce, I had to ask for seconds. The sinful Gratin had a thin layer of melty cheese on top, thin scalloped slices of potatoes beneath then right at the bottom was finely shredded soft cabbage. The three elements were combined with a thick cream. I polished every plate clean, and surprised the Manager! As if the dining experience couldn’t have been more epic, I scored myself a Hollywood experience too.

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Oh Bondi, how I love thee!

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A morning in Bondi Beach turned out to be the highlight of my holiday. I nearly did not make this trip but a friend said it was an experience, and to go extra early (at 6am) to watch the surfers catch the waves. Never one to resist hot surfers, I got up at 6 and just before 7 arrived in Bondi Junction in my jogging gear. It was a bitter cold morning and the shores were quiet. Out in the distance were black dots of surfers owning the waves so no surfers prancing around the Beach for me (haha!). Breakfast was a Mocha, Health Nut Bikkie and a Sunrise at Chapter One Cafe followed by a three hour exercise consisting of the mandatory jog along the Bondi-Cooggee track and back, a dip in the public pool (yes, in my jogging gear), and pug interruptions. Along the way, I met a trio of nannies in the pool who were so concerned over my wet jogging gear. Out in the distance of the horizonless sea were whales sprouting out water. Life was at its perfection.Read More »

Eveleigh Farmer’s Market, Redfern, Sydney

Slowly but surely, I am writing about this life-changing trip of mine. This year in July, I went to Sydney and Melbourne alone for eight days. I do not remember what possessed me to go on a holiday by myself but I remembered in the months leading up to this holiday, I google-d extensively the two cities. I wanted to fill up every second of my time for fear of loneliness setting in. And after extensive “research”, there were several places and restaurants I knew I had to visit and eat; Eveleigh Farmers Market, Bondi Beach, Newtown, Alexandria, Blackpool Bar and Grill for steak, Bourke Street Bakery for pastries, and Momofuku Seiobo for my first fine dining experience. I did it all.

Eveleigh Farmer’s Market is located in Redfern and opens only on Saturday mornings. I arrived in Sydney on a Saturday at 8am and without losing anytime, I went straight to the Market from the airport – without dropping off my luggage in the Hostel. That was how eager I was. Sydney could not have welcomed me any more warmly. Cloudless blue skies, it may have been Winter but the air was perfectly crisp and slightly warm (or maybe because I was in a knit sweater and dashing about.)

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