We headed up to Sydney the other weekend to watch Alastair’s cousin race in a regatta. It was the beginning of a whole week of eating!
I knew zilch about yachts, sailing, and 18 foot skiffs, before the weekend. But after two afternoons spent on a spectator ferry watching the racing, I can now tell you all about..... nothing. Yes, I still know zilch. It's a whole different world, my friends. But we had a great time, and got to spend time with Alastair's family, many of whom were in town to watch the race. (Hello to Alastair's aunts and uncles - Ian, Dale, Ken, Rayleen and to my mother-in-law Annette and step-father-in-law Terry.)
We stayed in gooorgeous swanky Double Bay, as that's where the regatta was held. Double Bay must be under the dictionary definition of seriously swankypants. It is NICE.
We flew up on Friday night, and the next morning we headed out to brunch at a cafe around the corner. Being a terrible blogger, I neglected to note down where we were but I managed to take photos! For brunch, Alastair and I both had the corn fritters with crispy bacon, greens, avocado salsa and tomato relish. I had been expecting a pancakey type of corn fritter and was surprised when the dish came out. Despite this, the corn fritters were SO GOOD. They were little balls of corny, deep fried goodness served with a generous amount of bacon, and hidden underneath the salad was a rich and tangy tomato relish.
Afterwards we had a wander around Double Bay to kill time before the race started for the day. We came across a shop that sold freshly made fruit juice.
It was hot and we were thirsty, so we ordered a juice. I was just going to ask for an orange juice, but Alastair said that was boring and asked the guy behind the counter to make one based on what he recommended. He ended up giving us a juice with fresh watermelon, pineapple and mint and wow! It was fantastic - very refreshing and sweet with the mint really setting it off. I'm so glad we didn't get boring old orange juice! It was such a good juice that we had another one the day after.
After our juice, we found a place selling fresh gelati.
We shared a blood orange gelato. It was just okay - I found it quite sweet but really tangy at the same time. Alastair said that it tasted like Raro!. I had post-gelato-flavour-choosing-regret and wish that we had picked mint instead.
For dinner that evening, we ate at Limoncello in Double Bay. It was really busy, so we decided that was a good thing and waited 15 minutes for a table. I had the papperdelle with osso buco ragu. My pasta was excellent - toothsome and covered with a thick, rich meaty sauce. The restaurant was really freakishly dark though, hence the crap photos!
Alastair had the tagliolini with Balmain bugs meat, semi sun-dried tomatoes in a cream sauce. Oh, he picked well! I had a taste and it was delicious - the sauce was very moreish and not too heavy.
Rilsta from My Food Trail was also in Sydney that weekend, and she had organised a lunch with a few Sydney bloggers. She let me gatecrash their lunch - thanks! :D So on Sunday, Alastair and I headed into the city for lunch at Ripples on Sydney Wharf, where we met Anita from Leave Room for Dessert, Belle from Ooh Look, Mademoiselle Delicieuse from Spoon, fork and chopsticks and their partners.
I ordered the spiced mussels with saffron, mascarpone and chilli with garlic baguette. Fancy name, but the mussels were really just in a curryish broth. They were nice though.
Alastair had the roasted pork belly with apple and fennel puree, chargrilled scallop, witlof and celeraic salad. Verdict? He commented that it wasn't the best pork belly he'd ever had. While it looked mightily impressive, the crackling wasn't very crispy and the meat needed a bit more flavour.
Unfortunately we couldn't stay long, as we had to be back in Double Bay to watch the last race in the regatta. Ultimately, the cousin and his team placed 8th, which is pretty respectable considering the plague of injuries, and continual crew changes during the week.
Coming up (if I can manage to find time AND motivate myself to blog) - more on our week of eating: seafood by the sea, eating with our hands, wine tasting, and POP ROCKS (seriously!).