Sydney Eats

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I could probably separate all of our dining experiences in Sydney into separate posts. But quite frankly, I don’t want to get stuck in Sydney. Visiting the cosmopolitan New South Wales Capital was only a small part of our trip! So here, you go… The best {and the worst} of it.

Breakfasts

We didn’t always eat brekkie. But we did almost always stop and get a flat white. {BTW! I found a place in Minneapolis that can make a flat white! Rob and I will be making a trip to Royal Grounds soon…}

Flat White

We’d usually get them to go from any place coffee stand on the way to our first destination for the day. There was also a little chain shop called Pie Face on the corner by our hotel. One day we stopped and sat down for our coffees and breakfast.

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This is where Rob fell in love with Aussie Meat Pies! I got a mini chicken and mushroom one as takeaway for our train ride to the Blue Mountains one day, too.

What are they?” you ask?  Well, in terms of filling, think shepherd’s pie or, better yet, a chicken pot pie. But scratch the pie crust. Aussie meat pie crusts are much flakier! Think croissant or puff-pastry. They come in all sorts of flavors. Rob’s favorites were mince beef and chunky steak. The golden pastry-like outer shell can make them quite messy. But they are so delicious and very filling! You can find them in coffee shops, on menus and in grocery stores. You can have them for a snack or any meal. There are even gourmet versions!

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Lunches

Our first lunch in Sydney was another sort of pie – pizza! Since we arrived so early on a Sunday morning, by the time we had walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens and Hyde Park, we were just looking for something that was open and not serving just breakfast or brunch. The menu and the ambiance really intrigued us as we walked by Macchiato Wood-Fire Pizza & Coffee Roastery.

If you check out their online menu, you will see that pizzas were right around $20 – $25. Generally speaking, everything in Australia was more expensive. While we were there, the exchange rate was nearly $1 US to $1 AUS. {It was more like 95 cents U.S. to $1 AUS, but it looks like at the time of this post it’s about 88 cents US to $1 AUS.} To make things simpler {and feel like we didn’t spend as much money as we thought upon return!}, we just assumed a 1:1 conversion.

But just for comparison, the style and size of pizzas they offered were similar to Pizzeria Lola here in the Twin Cities, which is a high quality place with plenty of accolades. Lola’s pizzas run about $10 – $15 each. Our expectations were high! The pizzas at Macchiato sounded gourmet and delicious. And we were hungry!

I couldn’t remember exactly which one Rob ordered, so I’m guessing at it based on the descriptions online:

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Spicy Sausage Sizzle  – chipolata, chorizo, fennel, chilli, balsamic reduction, mozzarella – $23

“Try these, Rob said. “These onions are really mild. I can barely taste them.”

“That’s fennel,” I said. He crinkled his nose and proceeded to pick them off. Silly, he must have read “fennel” and thought they were sausages with fennel seed. Overall, sadly, there was not much flavor here. We did liked the type and texture of the crust, but it didn’t have much flavor either.

And as for mine… To be honest, I’ve never ordered shrimp on a pizza before.

But I was in Sydney, I had to get prawns!

King Gamberi butterfly king prawns, rocket, cherry tomato, garlic, basil, lemon zest, mozzarella ............ 27

King Gamberi – butterfly king prawns, rocket, cherry tomato, garlic, basil, lemon zest, mozzarella – $27

So splurge I did. The first $27 pizza of my life. The prawns were huge! But they were so incredibly fishy tasting that they overpowered the entire pizza and I couldn’t taste much else. And I hadn’t even considered the difficulty in removing the shells to eat the pizza. Awkward.

I think we set our expectations too, high. The service was horrible. It took a long time to get waited on and we had difficulty communicating with the broken English of the foreign staff.  {We found this more than a few times in Sydney.} Of course, we didn’t care if they weren’t Aussies. It just made it difficult to communicate. So much so, that it took probably 20 minutes to get the bottle of wine that we ordered. And that was only after we flagged our server down. She thought we didn’t want our wine until we got our pizza! Huh?!

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This wine was pretty good and one we kept in mind for future reference for the rest of the trip. In the restaurant, it was $30/bottle. We found wine in restaurants throughout Australia to be really affordable for the quality than what we are used to back home! That was a win for us and one of the reasons it became our beverage of choice.

A little side note: There is no real tipping tradition in Australia. You can leave an extra dollar or two, but our Aussie friends told us we are never obligated. They said that they personally like to round up to the next $5, but only based on service. When traveling, we generally feel guilty for not tipping or only tipping a little, even in we are in a country where it’s not common. But whenever we got our restaurant bills in Australia, the shock of the total always made it a bit easier not to tip unless the service was exceptional.

To give you another idea of prices, check out this cocktail menu from a cool joint near the historic precinct known as The Rocks {which is a must visit for the history.} Although some of these sounded great, you might now understand why we chose wine over cocktails!

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Cocktail Menu at The Push.

I loved the decor at The Push  and the jazzy music that was playing, too. Although we were the only ones there for an early lunch, I could just imagine the night crowd. It felt like my kind of place. For lunch, something caught my eye on the menu – the Fish and Chips because:

  1. I was recommended to try fish and chips {grilled, not fried!} by Tiffany.
  2. The fish was barramundi, a fish I hadn’t yet had and also read I should try while there.

But somehow, I thought I read “herb-crusted” rather than “herb-battered” on the outside menu.

 BARRAMUNDI herb battered, house made tartare, mushy peas, hand cut chips  - $21

BARRAMUNDI – herb battered, house made tartare, mushy peas, hand cut chips – $21

But the flaky, fried fish really hit the spot that day! We hadn’t had breakfast that morning. Probably too much morning coffee combined with a pint of cider at the oldest bar in Sydney beforehand wasn’t the best thing on an empty stomach. I can skip the mushy peas next time, though. I’ve never been a fan.

Rob ordered a Sausage Roll, which doesn’t seem to be on their current menu, with a side of hand cut chips. Sausage rolls can also be found anywhere you find meat pies! And the flaky outer shell shown above can give you an idea of the type of crust you’ll find in a meat pie!

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Dinners

We have two particular dinners on which I’d like to elaborate. So I’ve changed my mind. You’ll have to hear about those later this week!

Other posts on our Aussie trip:

The One Thing I Didn’t Need to Bring to Australia
The Wattle and Bush Tucker
Scenes from Sydney
A Morning at Bond-Eye

The Blue Mountains

 What item in this post would you most be interested to try?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

 

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24 responses »

  1. Bullet Point Comment Coming At Ya!

    1. The crust on that pizza looks amazing – too bad it didn’t have much of a flavor!
    2. Scoped out the menu – I would have tried the scallops with crispy proscuitto and of course the meat and cheese tray.
    3. Barramundi is such a “non-fishy” fish – I used to be able to buy it here years ago, and then it just vanished – weird!
    4. I would eat anything deep fat fried 😀

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