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Recent eating in Sydney


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Geez, when was the last time anyone was in Sydney? We spent a lot of time with family (read: massive quantities of Lebanese food) and then with conference stuff with grad students so we didn't do a lot of notable eating out. Some highlights however:

 

1) Din Tai Fung opened a branch in Sydney. Menu slightly different from the one in Shanghai, notably missing my very favorite cold jellyfish salad. The soup dumplings are what they are famous for, and rightly so. We also had 1) silken tofu topped by pork floss and a light sweetened soy sauce with century eggs. 2) stir-fried garlic stems (suan tai) with chinese smoked ham 3) shiau mai 5) red bean buns -- the DTF version uses dumpling skins instead of yeast dough which makes them nice and light -- 5) some crazy mountain-o-mango ice thing. All were very very good. It is popular: we got there at 11 something, first on the list, and by the time they showed us to our table the entire courtyard outside was a sea of people waiting to get in. Crazy!

 

2) Sailor's Thai canteen. I had the tom yam salad, which came with coconut rice and slices of sweet pork. It was a very nice, well-balanced dish, though maybe a little too much emphasis on sweet accompaniments to offset the spiciness of the salad. In any case I was very pleased to see that the exact dish is in David Thompson's "Thai Food" cookbook so I'll give it a shot. My companions were also happy with their dishes -- some stir fried chicken dish and a grilled pork with coconut rice & spicy relish thing. Not chote chitr by a long shot but quite good for a nice lunch, and well priced.

 

3) Lord Nelson Hotel. They brew their own beer, multiple english styles. I had an ale and liked it a lot. On Monday they have a special on beef pies with mashed potatoes, gravy and mushy peas. I have discovered that I really, really likea good beef pie with mashed potatoes, gravy and mushy peas. And beer.

 

4) Rock oysters. Had 'em at Nick's at Bondi which we ended up at for very convoluted reasons. Long story short I really can't recommend the place though it is not awful or anything. The oysters could've been brinier but I had really good ones in Queensland so I can't make any general statements.

 

5) Australian beer (with the exception of the place mentioned above) is really not that good. Which explains why there is an "Australian weekend" at Oktoberfest. No, really.

 

6) I had to try really, really hard to find a bad espresso. Actually, I never had a truly bad one, and quite a few really excellent ones.

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I really, really likea good beef pie with mashed potatoes, gravy and mushy peas. And beer.

 

Maybe you have cockney blood? It's years since I've been to the Lord Nelson.

 

I was last in Sydney before Mouthfuls got off the ground. I noticed recently that Claude's is still going - that was the best meal I had on that trip.

 

I suppose the Australians haven't yet developed a micro-brew affectation. They still drink beer so cold that flavor is almost irrelevant. I can understand that in an Australian summer; more so in the far east. You don't want interesting hops, you want to swallow the liquid equivalent of an ice floe.

 

 

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