Some people asked to see and hear about some of the meals we had on our trip, so I thought I would share a few of the highlights. Apologies for the iPhone quality of most of the pictures. I hate taking pictures of my food, especially whipping out a big camera at a meal, but some things I didn’t want to forget.
1. Adriano Zumbo’s – Sydney
They call Adriano Zumbo the “The Patissier of Pain” on Masterchef and it was top of my list to eat some sweets in one of his Melbourne shops. My friend Megan in Brisbane (Brissy) gave me a Zumbarons (Macarons) cookbook of some of his kookie flavour combinations including: Peach Ice Tea, Wasabi and Pickled Ginger, Strawberry Bubblegum and, what sounds delicious, Fig, Burnt Honey and Red Wine. His cakes are extremely challenging, including one called the V8 Cake, which is 8 layers of different textured vanilla. We got our hands on some macarons and the cake below a Maple Apple Cake and some kind of amazing chocolate one that I forget the name of. We ate pressed against the window on a lovely day, grinning from ear to ear.
Sadly though, as we walked away, I noticed that there was a blond strip down my black pants. There was some kind of bleach on the wall where my leg rested and it had bleached my pants and my Toms. Our friend, Alexis’ mom, Sharpied them in after repeated attempts to wash it out (before we knew it was bleach). She sent me home with the Sharpie, which I am still using to cover up the bleach. Zumbo owes me some new jeans!
2. Gelato Messina – Melbourne and Sdyney
This gelato is the best I have ever had. It was crazy. Dave and I even “accidentally” came home with a menu. (‘Nuf said about that!) They had a Game of Thrones theme going on at the Sydney location and I had the Tyrion gelato with a scoop of So Wrong It’s Right. And yes, that one included cream cheese, potato chips and duck fat caramel. It was amazing!
3. The Meatball & Wine Bar – Melbourne
This place was fantastic for lunch. They did 5 flavours of balls, each with a different meat. Dave had good old angus beef and I had the pork with fennel, sage and orange. I also had the salsa verde sauce and it was mind blowingly delicious. I kept telling everyone I talked to about it.
4. Ten Minutes by Tractor – Mornington Peninsula
This was the 2 Chef Hat restaurant that I mentioned in the last post. But here I thought I would add the menu and a view from our table. It was an amazing meal, and the waiter congratulated us on finishing it. Certainly the meal with the most technical cooking I have experienced with some new proteins I have never had including whiting (fish) and wallaby (small kangaroo).
5. Cafe Vue – Melbourne Airport
We weren’t able to make it to Vue du Monde, Shannon Bennett’s world famous restaurant in Melbourne, but we did stumble across his Cafe Vue in the Melbourne airport. And at 6am, his was the best porridge I have ever had. Just what I needed to keep my energy up for the long day. The coffee helped too!
6. Brew on Quay – Auckland, New Zealand
This was our last stop before going home to Vancouver and we stumbled on a jem. Brew on Quay (pronounced key) were having their Sunday Roast and it was mighty fine.
The waiter was so excited by our interest in beer hops that he brought out little containers for us to look at that contained specific hops. The real pellets from the plant! It was really interesting to smell the different pellets and be able to know the resulting taste from having experienced beer with those hops. That was a fun experience that we didn’t plan on. So was the port crackling on top of the roast!
7. Air New Zealand – Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean
Sadly our last meal was on a plane. The food on Air New Zealand isn’t that bad, but it isn’t as good as we had it everywhere else. Oh well. I can’t complain. We had a lot of great food experiences on this trip and I will remember them for a long time to come.
This picture is for Ben Auld. Stone & Wood, one of his favourites.
Wine! Specifically the Sparkling Shiraz in the Yarra Valley.
And avocado toasties!