Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sydney Favorites ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Looking at my calendar last January, I realized I had one whole week of free time - no important meetings, no commitments, no dinners planned. I decided to take off for some much-needed me time. My destination was an easy choice. I looked up San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants blog for Laura Price’s article on the five foodie cities to visit in 2016 and picked one from the list. I had already been to Seoul and San Sebastian. Chile and Mexico would require more than seven days. Sydney was perfect.

I flew Philippine Airlines, which had the best schedules. I left Manila at 10:05 in the evening, slept like a baby on the plane and arrived Sydney 9:30 the next morning, refreshed and ready to eat my way through the city. On my last day, after a quick breakfast, I took the 11:15am flight out and arrived home at 4:30pm, with enough time to unpack, decompress and get myself ready for work the following day.

PAL's very spacious cabin with fully reclinable seats. I slept like a baby!

Food was delicious on both flights. My favorite was this gambas al ajillo on quinoa salad 
by Chef Fernando Aracama

I ate so much in Sydney. It was my first time in the capital of New South Wales and my goal was to try everything I could get my hands on. And I succeeded. 

My very first photo in Sydney with The Opera as my backdrop

Sharing with you my favorite gastronomic experiences:


This place is paradise for all seafood lovers. The freshest lobsters, shrimps, oysters, scallops, salmon, ocean trout, yellowfin tuna, swimmer crabs, abalone… you name it, they’ve got it! There were many suppliers at the market but I bought everything from Peter’s which had the most attractive selection. I enjoyed my lunch of a dozen freshly shucked oysters, three jumbo scampi sashimi and scallop aburi al fresco, overlooking the calm waters while I shooed away seagulls that were waiting to attack my food. Bring wet tissue. 

Seafood galore! You name it, they've got it!

My lunch of freshly shucked oysters, prawn sashimi, and scallop aburi

Sydney Fish Market: Bank St & Pyrmont Bridge Road, Sydney


Each course was so exquisitely presented I hesitated a little before digging into my plate. Sepia is the perfect date place, wines were lovely and service excellent. The most unforgettable dishes were the rolled sake jelly stuffed with crabmeat in a brown butter emulsion, the roasted Aylesbury duck breast served with sheep yogurt and boysenberry vinegar, and the excruciatingly tender Blackmore wagyu karubi in miso mustard, Japanese pickles and pea shoots. 

Seared scampi, smoked bone marrow, cauliflower, yuzu koshu,  toasted milk bread,
citrus soy, sobacha

David Blackmore wagyu karubi cooked over bincho-tan, miso mustard, japanese pickles

Sepia: 201 Sussex Street, Sydney


Open kitchen to your right, the wharf to your left, and a thousand light bulbs shining above you like twinkling stars. It was such a romantic setting for a degustation dinner where Italian and Japanese flavors blend beautifully in every course. The beetroot covered in black sesame cream was phenomenal, as was the lamb rib grilled in red miso that I devoured hungrily with my bare hands. 

 Open kitchen at LuMi

 Beetroot with black sesame and cream

LuMi Bar and Dining: 56 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont


I came here for a late dinner of Blackmore full-blood wagyu burger which was outstandingly orchestrated. The patty was thick, chunky and juicy, topped with peppery onions, zuni pickles, bacon, cheese, and sandwiched between a toasted brioche bun. The bar design was truly magnificent I ordered a smoked peanut old fashion so I could stay longer to stare at the 6,500 Riedel wine glasses suspended in air.

 The bar at Rockpool Bar and Grill

 David Blackmore wagyu burger

Rockpool Bar and Grill: 66 Hunter Street, Sydney


What can I say that has not already been said? The iconic watermelon cake lived up to all the hype and was the most special dessert I ate this trip. Layers of almond dacquoise, whipped cream, watermelon, strawberries, rose cream, topped with a generous sprinkling of pistachios and rose petals. Tasted as pretty as it looked. 

Cakes, breads, and pastries heaven at Black Star Pastry

 The famous watermelon cake tasted as pretty as it looked

Black Star Pastry: 277 Australia Street, Newtown


So many interesting flavors like apple pie, banana split, coconut & lychee, white chocolate hazelnut, pear & rhubarb, poached figs in marsala, panna cotta with fig jam and amaretti biscuit, yogurt & berry, and the list goes on. I sampled so many and finally settled on milk chocolate peanut butter fudge. So rich and decadent, so worth the sore throat.

 My server recommending his personal favorite flavour

 Milk chocolate peanut butter fudge gelato

Gelato Messina has several locations across town


A bustling little café with fantastic coffee and in such a beautiful setting, too. I came here almost everyday and my piccolo latte was always consistently good, smooth and strong. One of the things I miss most about Sydney. 

 Gumption Coffee

 My smooth, strong and velvety piccolo latte

Gumption Coffee: Shop 11, The Strand, 414 George St, Sydney
Gumption Coffee Website


Everything in this Sydney institution is hearty, comforting, full of love - the lamb almond harrisa sausage roll, beef brisket red wine mushroom pie, and almond croissant. The ginger creme brulee tart is like nothing I’ve ever had before and must not be missed. 

Hearty beef pie from Bourke Street Bakery

This heavenly ginger creme brûlée tart is not to be missed!

Bourke Street Bakery: 633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, Sydney


One stop shop for pasalubong hunting. You can find all shapes and sizes of chocolates, almond and macadamia nougats, and my favorite discovery - orange slices covered in dark chocolate. Addicting stuff!

All things chocolatey at Haigh's

My favorite at Haigh's - orange slices covered in dark chocolate

Haigh's Chocolates has several branches across town

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