2.04.2012

Australia's GOT eats

videoHow you going mate? This is a series of my favourite dining experiences and culinary adventures mainly in Sydney, and then Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays.  From decadent feasts to local favourites and even eating live ants - i loved every moment of it!  Check out my slide show of fun food adventures:

Sydney favourites: 
  • Fratelli Fresh in Potts Point - A favourite local spot for authentic italian dishes (food and of course  Mauricio); delicious options like  big meatballs, perfectly cooked whole fish, lamb ragu and fresh pasta dishes.  A must try is their banoffe pie for dessert-  it's a little piece of heaven!  
  • Gazebo Wine Bar in Elizabeth Bay - an eclectic space complete with a garden furniture and a hanging cage-like gazebo that diners can eat in and servers in suspenders and bow ties (ours was actually from Canada!!).  Boozy dinner with great menu items in a super fun atmosphere  
  • Banoffe Pie - Fratelli
  • Duke's Bistro at the Flinters Hotel in Darlinghurst -  molecular gastronomy on casual favourites using clever techniques, interesting textures and atypical ingredients.  Examples were aerated corn bread on a bed of risotto; bonito lard pumpkin and coffee mixed together in a dish served with toasted macadamia nuts; shaved pigs tongue with xo sauce; their fried chicken wings w/ sriracha. 
Chicken Wings-t Dukes
  • Spice I am in Darlinghurst -  serving up gourmet authentic thai restaurant in a beautiful authentic thai designed space. Must try the crispy pork belly dish- it was seriously one of the best I've ever had and be prepared for spice as it was  HOT in there! 
  • Messina Gelato in Darlinghurst- It's no wonder there's a line out the door at any hour - it is the most AMAZING gelaterias I've ever been to thanks to the recommendation of Alex :). Bespoke flavours like my favourite the salted caramel white chocolate and 40 others - it was heavenly!'
  • Secret Tacos - El Loco
  • El Loco in Surry Hills -  you come here for their secret taco.  The stuffing changes daily and they won't tell you until you've finished eating it.  My friend has had lamb's brains, sheep's heart and when we were there we had sheep's liver.. fun!
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Airlie Beach eats: 
Rebecca and I with a boat load of food
This is where I experienced eating Kangaroo as it was more of a destination made for tourists.  Kangaroo is one of the leanest meats there is so it's very chewy and gamey.  If it's not marinated and cooked property - it will be very rubbery.  I tried it once at a pub in a aussie burger - served with beet root and all the other trimmings.  It was cooked poorly - sinewy and tough and I couldn't even finish the dish.  At the other extreme - I was staying in a deluxe resort and we ate at the restaurant there - Deja Vu.  We ordered the duo of Kangaroo which was a medium rare filet of 'roo and 'roo moussaka - kinda like a kangaroo lasagne.  This was simply exquisite!  We also were gifted from another table a fresh caught spanish mackerel that evening which was poached in lemon and butter.  It was amazing!  We were feasting that evening!   In search for my replacement poutine after a big evening; the aussie late night comfort food was pie, pie and more pie (the savoury kind) which is what we ate on the streets of Airlie - one cottage pie and one meat pie...  
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Enroute to paradise - Whitsundays 
I had the pleasure of jumping on a 14 person sail boat called the Kiana that sailed us around these gorgeous set of islands and then towards the Great Barrier Reef where I was able to take in a lot of the world under the sea!  
On the boat,  we were very lucky to have a hāngi - a traditional New Zealand method of cooking involves digging a pit in the ground, heating stones in the pit with a large fire, placing baskets of food on top of the stones, and covering everything with earth for several hours before uncovering it.  Our chef made us roasted lamb and vegetables in the hangi and it was smokey, and very juicy with earthy flavours.
Citrus Ants


One of my most memorable moments was during a bush walk at the Whitsunday and seeing a nest of ants - which my tour guide referred to as 'citrus ants' and that they are edible.  He even claimed the famed angry Chef - Gordon Ramsey - uses these ants in his chutney spreads as they leave a hint of lime behind.  He followed that by plucking an ant and eating it.  Being a daring food blogger, I needed to try this even though honestly I was petrified. Having a closer look at these busy ants, their bums are green and apparently filled with citrus-y liquid.  I caught a little sucker put it in my mouth and tried to not let it run loose while there and bit it.  Upon the bit - the juices were released in my mouth as a tangy and lemony flavour and afterwards I had a lime sensation on my lips for minutes.   

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