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.
Sharing with you my favorite gastronomic experiences:
SYDNEY FISH MARKET
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
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
LuMi BAR AND DINING RESTAURANT
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.
ROCKPOOL BAR AND GRILL
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.
BLACK STAR PASTRY
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.
GUMPTION COFFEE BY COFFEE ALCHEMY
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 Website
BOURKE STREET BAKERY
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!
My favorite at Haigh's - orange slices covered in dark chocolate
Haigh's Chocolates has several branches across town