Foodiefile

Independant Foodie reviews from Melbourne

A Melbourne Foodie in Sydney – Part 5 – Sydney Fish Market July 18, 2010

Filed under: Places to Visit,Travel — foodiefile @ 6:36 pm
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A 6:55am start on the last day of your holiday – needing to check out of your hotel and get to the Sydney fish markets by this time seems slightly stupid, but I have never been well renowned for my smarts!

So off the light rail from Chinatown in the dark, there are 20 people joining this tour through the fish market. A popular tour, the groups was also varied on their interests as well as nationality – there were a number of overseas tourists on our group.
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So – meeting outside in the main auction hall, the tour guide speaks of sustainability, policing, policy and further details about the market. Did you know that the Sydney Fish Market is the 2nd largest in the world, with only Japan being largest!

We walk past the amazing cooking school they have at the market to view the floor. Its cold, but there is plenty of fish!!!
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I guess the most amazing fish was the sashimi grade tuna and kingfish – huge fish with the highest quality… Also amazing to learn what actually makes a sashimi grade fish aside from just the actual fish itself.
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A highly recommended tour for anyone with an interest in fish, and at only $20 it was an absolute bargain.

I was, however, a little disappointed with the fish on sale in the public area of the market. There were plenty of different varieties of oysters, but after seeing markets in Paris and London – they shat all over this market.
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I decided to have a seafood platter for breakfast… The smaller of the ones available was all deep fried goodness… Even the larger ones were all tourist style, turn the seafood into something portable and edible – which in most cases included deep frying or Mornay sauce… very disappointing, but it didn’t stop me eating it!!! It is a shame there wasn’t a sashimi/sushi bar, or at least metal cutlery, rather than cheap plastic cutlery…
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Although I will be back – and the tour was amazing – the food was poor. Thankyou Sydney – it was fun, and see you next visit!!!

Sydney Fish Markets
Tours : 02 9004 1143
website : www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au

 

A Melbourne Foodie in Sydney – Part 4 – Woollahra

Filed under: Places to Visit,Shopping!,Travel — foodiefile @ 4:25 pm
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Walking down the hill from Surry Hills and Paddington towards Woollahra you feel the price of everything from a coffee to a house rising sharply… From expensive Paddington to opulent Woollahra, this area offers many foodie haunts if you have money to spend…

Walking down Queen Street Simon Johnson sits on the right hand corner surrounded by expensive linen purveyors and antique stores… It is a tranquil and stylish area. This first shop restaurant I notice is Bistro Moncur – although on this trip I didn’t have the opportunity to fine there, I will definitely be visiting next time to experience some of Damien Pignolet amazing food.

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Victor Churchill has always been, from afar, THE butcher I would like to have as my own. Upon visiting the store, the format is intimidating and slightly scary, with large glass rooms with butchers cutting carcasses up like animals in cages performing for you. I understand the glass for hygiene – and you can walk in there, if you dare. This store is opulent and expensive… A fantastic spot to go for that slice of rare breed beef at $75 for a serving for 2 people, and amazing charcuterie and sausages, but this store is out of my price range…
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Around the corner from Queen Street, The Donna Hay General store presents itself as a small, visually splendid store. Although a little difficult to find, this offering is well worth the hunt.

I will be honest, I have never been a very big fan of Donna Hay – I thought she was always just a pretty girl that every desperate housewife tried to intimidate and follow her cookbooks as bibles, although I rarely found the recipes in her cookbooks to my liking. I now realise that I misunderstood Donna. She is a Food Stylist – she makes EVERYTHING look pretty – but isn’t necessarily the most accomplished chef or cook book writer – but by god – she makes things pretty!!
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Walking in the shop smells of baking cupcakes – they’re in the oven up the back! Full of fresh clean styles, I loved many things in this store. Plenty of handmade accents and vintage styles, I believe the photo’s speak for themselves.

The staff were amazing – attentive and friendly and the complete opposite of Fratelli Fresh – They offered for me to take photos if I liked and assisted me with any questions I had to ask. I thought it was really great to see that Donna – as busy as she is – obviously has a large hand in this part of her empire. Donna – if you read this – you should definitely consider a store in Melbourne – although you can purchase a limited range in David Jones Food Halls – they had nothing on this cute little store…
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Coming next — Sydney Fish Markets!!!

 

A Melbourne Foodie in Sydney – Part 3 – Surry Hills and Waterloo

Filed under: Places to Visit,Restaurant Reviews,Travel — foodiefile @ 3:37 pm
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Part 3 of my trip to Sydney, not forgetting a trip with a shocker of a cold… I had to at least breeze past the windows of foodie mecca’s I would have loved to visit if I had actually any taste buds…

Starting from Oxford street I started a walking tour of restaurants I would want to visit… Walking down Crown street, Billy Kwong, Marque and Bills Food form an impressive trio in what would otherwise be a very boring and ordinary building.

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Billy Kwong was closed for lunch, but impressive to at least wander past, and I pulled up for brunch at Bills Food. As much as I find Bill Granger intolerable as a TV Chef, (he smiles way too much) his simple recipes and food are amazing. I was amazed that his brunch menu, however, was so focused on carbohydrate and very little protein. I sat down to Toasted Apple, dried cherry and almond loaf with fresh ricotta and a coffee. Well toasted, sweet bread with a perfect combination of textures and flavours, and the ricotta with honey gave that little bit of sour and sweet that the bread needed to not be too dry. The only downside was that the toast was served on a serviette, which I have never really understood, as I never like wiping my hand with a slightly damp, warm serviette.
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I would go back to bills in 5 seconds, however the clientele was quite right wing and conservative and as it was a Tuesday morning, the majority of people were either ladies who lunch or business men. Bill Grangers new cookbook – “Bill’s Basics” is also about to be released – pre order it here

Bills Food
359 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW
02 9360 4762
Website

Next on my walking tour – Fratelli Fresh in Danks Street, Waterloo. Just down the road from the Danks Street Depot, it is a warehouse style shop, similar to many shops in Melbourne.
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I walked into this warehouse, which was poorly signposted with forklifts gliding through. Not only did I think I was in the wrong place, I was concerned for my safety! After asking someone where it was, I was told it was down the back of the warehouse! (Why not the front??). As soon as I walked in, rather than being presented with a “Hello” or “Welcome” the girl that seemed to be the manager on duty just came over and clearly said “We are a no photo premises”.

I felt majorly unwelcome. So suffice to say, I don’t have any photo’s, nor a good experience from Fratelli Fresh. The store was average – most things I can usually buy from other shops in Melbourne with the only stand outs in Finger Limes and Clementine Mandarins. Whilst this store showed so much promise, I could not believe they would be so rude to a prospective customer as soon as they walked in the store!

Fratelli Fresh
7 Danks Street
Waterloo
Website

I moved on quickly from this poor experience up Bourke street to one of my Mecca visits – The Bourke Street Bakery!
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Whilst Bourke Street Bakery is one of the smallest shopfronts I have ever seen for a bakery, I opted for two tartlets – the Rhubarb and Almond Tart ($4.00), and the Strawberry Crème Brulee tart ($4.40). Both tats were amazing, but the stand out was the Crème Brulee tart was absolutely amazing, with a hard crusty top and a delicate filling – worth every single penny! See my previous review of the Bourke Street Bakery Cook book here and you can buy the cookbook here at a bargain price
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Bourke Street Bakery
Bourke Street
Waterloo

Next blog… my travels in Woollahra…

 

My first post —- finally!!! and a little bit of Bourke Street Bakery February 7, 2010

Filed under: Cookbooks — foodiefile @ 11:47 am
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Hello all… As much as I have wanted to get this lovely little blog started for years now, my procrastination has gotten the better of me. But now, dear reader, I feel the urge to finally share by joys, and pain, or eating and being food obsessed (as well as a cook book whore) in the lovely foodie city of Melbourne…

I’ll review cookbooks, share travels, shopping and most of all food with you all…

Firstly — one of my favourite new cookbooks – the Bourke Street Bakery…

It seems somewhat ironic to begin a Melbourne food blog with a Sydney shop’s book… suffice to say I bought this book never having visited the apparently “iconic” corner bakery that this book heeds its name from. I must say, however, that now I have owned and indeed used this book, I will definitely be visiting on my next excursion to the city to the north of the foodie capital of Melbourne.

Paul Allam and David McGuinness have collated a visually splendid book, which takes the reader through a n amazing journey of understanding the birth of a loaf to the eventual demise of being eaten…

Being a big fan of real breads like the Irrewarra sourdough’s from western Victoria, I was suitably impressed with the recipes in this marvellous book.

Our test kitchen (which everyone should be aware is a very average home kitchen with a cheap cruddy stove and “nowhere near big enough bench space” in the northern suburbs of Melbourne) have tried two of the many recipes – the “Lemon Curd Tarts” and the “Olive oil dough dinner rolls”.

However time consuming to bake one’s own bread; it is ultimately fulfilling and the recipe was so easy to follow and the bread, flexible and phenomenal! The bread was soft, fluffy and wonderful…. amazing with just some good butter spread over our broken bread…

One of my favourite sweets has always been Lemon curd tart, and the opportunity to try a homemade curd excited me. Although we did cheat a little (well a lot!) by buying pre made pastry shells, the curd was amazing, easy to make and amazing in texture and taste, and the pictures say it all!

The Bourke Street Bakery – the utimate baking companion is RRP$69.95 and available from http://www.cookbooks.com.au