The Aussie Food Highlight Reel

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

The dessert case.
The dessert case.

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.

His...
His…
and hers.
and hers.
Included here is the Fingerbun (with coconut) and a banana flavoured one.  Sadly, I can't remember the others.
Included here is the Fingerbun (with coconut) and a banana flavoured one.  Sadly, I can’t remember the others.

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

Second stop at Messina in Melbourne.  I had Passionfruit, Dave had Bounty (chocolate and coconut).
Second stop at Messina in Melbourne.  I had Passionfruit, Dave had Bounty (chocolate and coconut).

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!

Can I have some more please?
Can I have some more please?

3. The Meatball & Wine Bar – Melbourne

As it said on the menu we got Balls and All.
As it said on the menu we got Balls and All.

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).

Beautiful vineyard in the background with sheep grazing.
Beautiful vineyard in the background with sheep grazing.

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.

Honorary mentions:

The Lamington…

It looks like a shaggy pile of chocolate and coconut and sponge cake and it is exactly that.  Drool.
It looks like a shaggy pile of chocolate and coconut and sponge cake and it is exactly that.  Drool.

Beer!

This picture is for Ben Auld.  Stone & Wood, one of his favourites.

Wine! Specifically the Sparkling Shiraz in the Yarra Valley.

And avocado toasties!

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Australia – The Highlights Reel

I think the fish beside me loves to photobomb the tourists.  I loved watching the really colourful ones like the one on the bottom right.
I think the fish beside me loves to photobomb the tourists.  I loved watching the really colourful ones like the one on the bottom right.

Wow, where does a month go?  We are back from Australia and had a wonderful time.  Some highlights in no particular order:

1. The Great Barrier Reef was amazing and I stayed in the water with the fishies until I almost peed my wetsuit, but being Canadian I got out and went in a more proper place where other tourists wouldn’t swim through it.  Later I was told by every Aussie to have peed in my suit, that’s what people do.  Makes me wonder what I was swimming through with hundreds of other tourists sharing the same area.  Hmmm.

!st Day - Barrier Reef tour day.
!st Day – Barrier Reef tour day.
2nd Day - During the cyclone.
2nd Day – During the cyclone.
3rd Day - We leave.
3rd Day – We leave.

We also had our most stressful travel experience in Airlie Beach where we saw the Reef.  Cyclone Ita went through on the end of its big “week out”.  It was only a category 1 by the time it hit Airlie but you can see how much the weather changed from the view from our hotel.  It messed up our flights pretty bad and we are still trying to sort out some of the refunds.  But I’m still grateful that we got our tour in the day before everything shut down.

2. Picnic in the countryside

Our friend Christen in Wollongong took us out for a day tour around the area south of Sydney.  We went through Kangaroo Valley, saw a blow hole along the coast and went up more twisty roads than my stomach cared for, but we did get to have a picnic lunch at this amazing little location overlooking fields with the ocean at our backs.  It was super peaceful and lovely. One of my favourite moments of the trip.

3. Amazing meals

We had lots of great food while we were away, so much that my pants hardly fit when we came back.  I’ll post about some of our food adventures and my getting back into my jeans experiment later.  Some of our favourite meals were at Movida, Hardware Societe and The Meatball and Wine Bar in Melbourne.  Ten Minutes by Tractor in the Mornington Peninsula and at Messina and Adriano Zumba’s (both dessert places) in Sydney.  We had lots of local Aussie eats including crocodile with crispy crocodile skin, lamb brains, quail, baramundi, snapper and wallaby, all of which I enjoyed.

Ten Minutes by Tractor
Ten Minutes by Tractor
A tractor that might take more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. 
A tractor that might take more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. 
Adriano Zumbo's
Adriano Zumbo’s

4. Visiting our friends

We loved seeing all of our friends and miss them already.  Thanks to them we had lots of great meals, a roof over our heads and instant tour guides and taxis.  It was wonderful.  This trip wouldn’t have been half as fun without them.  Thank you to Ben and Megan for delicious homemade meals, an adorable baby and generosity beyond our expectations.  Alexis and Alexis, thank you for toting us around Sydney, taking us on a beautiful walk to Bondi Beach (George) and meeting us for a really great wine tour in Melbourne (Linton).  We appreciate the airport pick ups and drop offs as well.  Christen, thank you for the memorable drive to beautiful sites along the coast, and to Kangaroo Valley, along with the Easter sunrise service on the beach. 

The Auld's, Ben and Megan with us at Public in Brisbane
The Auld’s, Ben and Megan with us at Public in Brisbane
Dave with the cutest little bean an best travelling baby, Charlotte.
Dave with the cutest little bean an best travelling baby, Charlotte.
Alexis Linton and Alexis George with us in Sydney at Three Blue Ducks, or Two Fat Chickens, or something like that.
Alexis Linton and Alexis George with us in Sydney at Three Blue Ducks, or Two Fat Chickens, or something like that.
Christen and I outside of Wollongong, touring the countryside and laughing to Hamish & Andy on a gorgeous day.
Christen and I outside of Wollongong, touring the countryside and laughing to Hamish & Andy on a gorgeous day.

5. Wine tour in the Yarra Valley

We had a wonderful day where a driver took us to four great wineries.  We had a gourmet lunch and sampled more wine than I could try.  Seriously, we could have had 60 different wines between the four locations.  Our favourite was the sparkling shiraz that we had at three of the four stops, including the famous Chandon Winery of Moët & Chandon fame.  A little bubbly anyone?  Yes, please!

Me and my favourite man and travel companion, Dave.
Me and my favourite man and travel companion, Dave.

There will be more, but this is a great start of some of our highlights.  Perhaps I’ll even get around to a gag real of terrible pictures.  We’ll see how ridiculous I feel in the coming weeks.  :)