Adelaide: Day 1

my last church photo

So yes… It’s a church. What can I say, there really are a lot of churches in Adelaide. Not all of them are particularly photograph worthy, but as a concession to church lovers the world over, here are my first and last church photos. I know I’ve been slack about updating the site with all the news and happenings in South Australia, but if you’re been around for any length of time you’d realise it was completely inevitable… The fact that I had a couple of thousand photos to sift through alone should be a good enough indication as to why my procrastination has been so pronounced.

So after a relatively short flight from Perth on that stunningly cheap (in every way) airline Virgin Blue, we arrived in Adelaide. The basic plan was to spend some time with my friends Paul and Kara (who were getting married), and Sharon’s friends Serena and Chris, as well as fit in as much good wine and good food as was humanly possible.

After being picked up at the airport by Paul and Kara, and bewildering them with my need to bring my entire knife set with me (because you just never know when a spontaneous dinner party is going to break out). We had a quick lunch and wandered around the streets of suburbia. I have no idea where we were as I was still almost completely disoriented, but my initial reaction was that it seemed like a big country town. Which is not a bad thing if you like country towns of course :)

Later that evening, after unwinding and becoming acquainted with Kara’s miniature schnauzer Ebby (who had an unnatural fascination with my feet), we decided to try out the first place on my list of recommendations, Good Life Organic Pizza. This one came from Kam and Louise of Fiori fame, who had many good things to say about reasonably priced tasty pizza, and an excellent list of wines.

Good Life - Modern Organic Pizza

I’m happy to say they weren’t mistaken. We ordered the roast organic vegetable pizza, the Angaston spicy salami pizza,
(with organic kalamata olives, organic red onion, fresh baby bocconcini and basil), and the Free-range roasted duck
with shitake mushroom and spring onion ginger jam ! Oh boy… they were all so very good. My personal fav was most likely the duck pizza, however the roast vege one did a great job of making me forget about my carnivorous tendencies for a while.

Duck and Shitake Mushroom Pizza

We also ordered a bottle of Geoff Hardy’s K1 Cabernet/Tempranillo, starting a trend that would continue throughout the week of consuming vast quantities of great wine (in moderation of course – one after another :) ).

The service was casual and the staff did a good job of sounding genuine in their concern for all things organic, which was also nice. It was also nice to be having dinner with my good friend Paul, one of the nicest guys I know, and one of the few people on this world that I know can eat more than I do. I happily left him the last piece of pizza as we slowly eased our way into holiday mode, ready for the rest of the week.

City of Churches, State of Wine-o’s

Sun on the vines

So we’re headed to Adelaide. City of a thousand churches, and capital city of the state which is home to some of the finest wine producing areas in the world.

So I’ve been hitting up every person I can think of for tips about good restaurants in the city, as well as any memorable winery experiences they’ve had when visiting areas like the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide Hills.

So far on the list of restaurants is :

  • Good Life Organic Pizza
  • Apothecary
  • Melting Pot
  • Bridgewater Mill

and wineries:

  • Glaeztner
  • Rockfords
  • D’Arenburg
  • Nepenthe

and too many more to list…

So for the readers of this blog who may have spent some time and had some great food and wine in South Australia, please drop me a comment or email with your suggestions. We’ll be there for roughly a week, so I doubt we’ll have time to do all the things even on this list, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

Look forward to a round up of the more memorable moments when we get back !

6 more days in Sydney

Funnily enough it’s been a week or two since we got back from Sydney and I haven’t updated you (because of course you’re so interested) about the last few days of the trip. So here once again is my pictorial view of the harbour city, because sometimes words are really that great at trying to describe places and feelings and meals… although it’s mainly because I’m feeling lazy and really can’t be bothered typing too much.

On with the show. Oh, and if you’re reading this is a RSS reader, sorry for the oddness earlier, I had some issues with a plugin, and please click through to the site so you can see the photos properly in the gallery view.

Day 4

– Breakfast at Uliveto Cafe in Kings Cross, average coffee, great eggs.
– Walking the streets of Paddington, checking out as many boutiques as (um) we could.
– I take a break and check out the Australian Centre for Photography where the Head On exhibition is being shown.
– More shopping
– Break for a refreshing lemon lime and bitters at The London Tavern.
– I bought a Holga from the Lomography shop in Paddington.
– Walk back to Kings Cross from Paddington… See Hugh Jackman’s wife in a restaurant along the way. Ponder that she must find it annoying that noone remembers her name ever since she married Hugh Jackman.
– Dinner at Opium Den in Potts Point… much less opium than expected, but plenty of great Thai food.

Day 5

– A walk around Elizabeth and Rushcutters Bay to build up an appetite
– Breakfast at Bills in Darlinghurst. The ricotta hot cakes and scrambled eggs were great, I just can’t understand
why they use Vittoria coffee, which was terrible as per normal.
– Take the train out to Bondi Junction, and a bus to Coogee beach.
– Walk around the rocks from Coogee to Bondi, run across a bikini photo shoot and an old guy who lives on the side of a cliff… interesting juxtaposition.
– Dinner at Billy Kwongs after a stroll around Surrey Hills. Fantastic meal highlighted by the crispy skin duck in orange sauce, and scallop wontons… Didn’t see Kylie out the back cutting onions, but I guess she didn’t know I was coming ;)
– Dessert at Max Brenner chocolate in Paddington. Despite being stuffed from dinner, we figured exorbitant levels of chocolate would be a nice way to end the night. Max Brenner obviously knew I was in town, because he made a personal appearance in the shop that night, much to the suprise and delight of the staff, and anyone else who recognised the bald man with the earring.

Day 6

– Coffee at Toby’s Estate in Potts Point (take away double flat whites… not particularly great, but better than average)
– Wandered around Pott’s Point, towards Woolloomooloo
– Had one of the famous pies from Harry’s Cafe De Wheels, as well as a hot dog… and then another pie.
– Went to the NSW art gallery to see the Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astroboy) exhibition.
– Dinner at the very funky Jimmy Liks in Potts Point with the lovely Jules of Stone Soup, and Sue & J from Noodlebowl, and unfortunately not Deborah and LJ due to car troubles.
Highlights from dinner were crispy pork hocks, the massaman veal shank, the coconut fried banana and ice cream, and the wonderful company :)
– Said goodbye and thanks to Keong for his hospitality and went to Sue & J’s place.

Day 7

– Made it to Mecca Espresso in the city. Had an extremely tasty macchiato and flat white made on their lovely modded Mistral.
– Caught up with my Dad in the city for lunch, marvelled that we need to meet on the other side of country these days to catch up.
– Did some quick shopping for dinner in preparation for cooking for Sue & J.
– Whipped up a tidy little paella with some prawns and the closest thing to chorizo I could find ( a rather generically titled “hot Spanish sausage” ). Entree provided by Sue in the form of deep fried eggplant with sesame and honey. Wine choices by J including a rose, and red and a white that I forget.
– After dinner chocolates from Haighs
– Much fawning by Sharon over Nugget the wonder dog
– Pulling some shots of coffee on J’s kick ass Giotto and Mazzer Mini setup with some beans that I roasted for them.

Day 8

– Back into the city for more coffee at Mecca, laughing at business people running around in the rain while I sit inside drinking coffee.
– My first visit to Krispy Kreme… I ordered the original glazed and the cinnamon apple filled one. The glazed one was nice, the other one was nasty. All in all I can’t understand why anyone would line up for these things… but the world is a strange place, and people are gullible. Why else would George Bush get elected twice ?
– More wandering around the city, Sharon convinces me to try Krispy Kreme again because they are “So much better when they’re hot”. Sadly this store only sold cold ones as well… So I guess we’ll never know. But unless these things magically change flavour when heat is applied, I can’t see them doing it for me.
– Back to Sue & J’s place to go out for dinner.
– Catch a taxi to Enmore with the coolest taxi driver in Sydney. He was getting calls from his mates wanting him to come out to a Vietnamese karaoke club where they have competitions, but wasn’t sure if he would make it.
– Get out of the taxi and go into the Sly Fox for a drink before dinner. Realise that we have left one of the bottles of wine in the back seat of the taxi, who has now driven off.
– Have possible the worst cocktails ever made (chocolate flavoured ice magic on top of Sharon’s was a classy touch) before leaving to go to dinner.
– Walk outside and who should pull up next to us but our taxi driver, who had been driving around looking for us, and calling the number from the booking service to try and find out where we were… Amazing ! We got our wine back (a superb 2005 Malbec from Oakover in the Swan Valley) !
– Dinner at Emma’s on Liberty for fantastic Lebanese food. Highlights were the fried haloumi, arak prawns, spicy sausage, turkish delight, and cardamom Lebanese coffee.

Last Day in Town

– Finally get the meet the infamous Deborah and LJ for breakfast at the Fairtrade Coffee Company in Glebe.
– We talk a lot and I do my best to annoy and embarrass people with incessant photos, all of which were quickly vetoed.
– Wander around the streets of Glebe and head to the Broadway shopping centre where Deb shows us the Harris Farm markets.
– More wandering and shopping in Broadway, Deb gets me into the ladies lounge for more fitting room photography shenanigans.
– Say bye to Deb and LJ, head to Balmain to catch up with friends of Sue’s for drinks at an Irish pub, and then on to the 3 Weeds in Rozelle for more drinks, Anzac day rosemary branches pinned to our shirts, and two up inside the pub !
– Back to Sue & J’s to packup and head to the airport. Kisses, hugs, pats for Nugget, and off we go back in time to Perth.

All up it was a great time, we ate well, drank well, talked a lot, walked a lot, laughed a lot, took many photos (this is nothing compared to what I didn’t upload), spent time with old and new friends, and experienced a little slice of Sydney that we’ll remember for a while to come.

3 days in Sydney

So here are a few things that we’ve done so far that have been either worthwhile or noteworthy…

Day 1
– Had a great view of the city from the Harbourview Hotel
– Wandered through The Rocks, found some interesting staircases and a lot of other tourists.
– Had a very average meal at Bar Luca on Phillip Street in the city (with the worst Sangria i’ve ever tasted)
– Still hungry and unsatisfied, made our way to Chinatown (guaranteed to be open late on a Tuesday night) and had dinner 2 at Red Chilli Sichuan.

Day 2
– Went to Cremorne and Mosman and visited Gerardo’s fantastic cafes there (Don Adan, and Don Adan Too)
– Wandered through Kings Cross, to Sharon’s friends place where we are stayed. Checked out some of the more interesting sights that only the Cross can offer.
– Had some extremely tasty lamb cutlets at a restaurant called Lotus somewhere on Bayswater Rd in the Cross
– Went to the institution that is Hernandez Coffee for 24 hour hot chocolates and churros

Day 3
– Hopped a train to Newtown and checked out Campos coffee, had a superb short macchiato
– Had lunch in Newtown at KA Sushi, nothing spectacular but it filled a void.
– Bought a t-shirt from Funky Munky on King St in Newtown, Sharon bought a bag, a dress, a belt… innumerable other things.
– Wandered around finding interesting things to take photos of that didn’t seem to cliched…failed miserably.
– Caught the train back to Central and wandered through Surrey Hills. Found out where Bills 2, Billy Kwongs, and a few other places are for future reference
– Walked from Surrey Hills into the city, stopping briefly for refreshments, before ending up at The Strand, and amusing myself while Sharon slowly made her way through every designer shop she could find.
– Had tapas dinner at the old school, but highly recommended Capitain Torres in the Spanish Quarter… marveled at the fact that there even is a “Spanish Quarter”.

East side

Prerequisite Tourist Shot

So yeh… if I hadn’t told you, or completely forgotten to mention it… I’m in Sydney !

Sharon and I have jetted over for a week and will be sampling as many of the sights and sounds and tastes as we can before returning to reality in Perth next week sometime.

What this means is that if you’re trying to get hold of me I may not answer my phone, and unless I can find a few more places like the ever gracious State Library of NSW with free internet access, I may not be replying to much email either. I may try and get some photos up and a few quips about how I’ve found the place so far… but for now, my only piece of advice is to avoid the $30 tapas plate with complimentary jug of sangria at Bar Luca in the CBD… however cheap and tempting it may seem to someone who hasn’t eaten in over 15 hours….

Later homies.