So I'm sitting here on our last full day in Sydney, Australia. It's hard to believe that two years have come and gone so quickly and yet here I am ready to return home. Without a doubt this has been one of the best experiences I've embarked on. Somehow it's appropriate that I found this picture of the sun setting on the Harbor (Harbour) bridge for my title shot. We visited a lot of places while we were here and got to experience a lot of food. I'm going to try to summarize the things I'll miss the most. (this might take two posts). I'll try to be specific about the places each photo was taken just in case someone wants a list of places to visit.
Edit: I renamed the title, things I'll miss about Australia is more accurate than just Sydney.
We're going to go back to front since we're hitting my phone's camera roll. Ok so fireworks, they LOVE fireworks here, pretty much every occasion has fireworks. During the summer for a period every Saturday, you guessed it, fireworks. This is of Chinese New Year Eve. They lit up the opera house red and at some random time started in with fireworks.
Mappen City Udon noodles. A recent find but delcious. Located off George street near Liverpool
Dim Sum at East Phoenix at East Village. We went to a lot of dim sum places, but we always ended up here. The place was nice and clean the food was delicious and the roast duck very yummy.
This was in Kooragang near Newcastle (2 hours north of Sydney) we went 4x4-ing and sandboarding around the sand dunes. I've never been in a dessert, but seeing nothing but dunes and sand is quite an experience.
Afternoon Tea. I know a lot of folks find this idea to be stuffy, but my wife and I really enjoy civilized afternoon tea. Don't let those three little platters fool you, it's a LOT of food. There's something to be said about sitting around having snacks and tea and great conversation. Our favorite spot was the Palm Court restaurant at the Langham up near Barangaroo in the city.
This isn't a place but a photo of a portion of our sale's team's Star Wars lego collection. it's impressive *almost* rivaling my own :)
Growing up my parents had a restaurant. If I ever made straight A's I was allowed to pick one thing for my father to make and it was always Peking Duck. There's a lot of Peking duck here, but my favorite is Mr. Wong's on Bridge Street in the CBD area.
You know it's legit when there's a glass cooler with lots and lots of ducks air drying. Duck, it's what they do.
Not sure what tree this is, but they have some really beautiful colored trees that flower at different periods in the spring, parks will turn purple or red for a few weeks. This is near my office is Woolloomooloo. (yea it's a mouthful)
This is the evening photo of the Anzac memorial in Hyde park just outside our apartment. The night shot of this is pretty neat. Our building was the tall one on the right.
New Years fireworks off the bridge and Opera house. Our office has a spectacular view of the harbor and it's the best place to catch the New Years fireworks.
Bill's is a cafe (off Crown street) we went to for breakfast on occasion, their ricotta (home made) hotcakes were pretty good.
The bull statue at World Square. We passed it all the time since World square had our local grocery store (Coles) and a regular place to find something to eat (they had everything there). Often you would find tourists having their toddlers pose in inappropriate ways with the bull for pictures, it usually involved being under the bull. (sigh)
Izakaya Yebisu in Regent's Place (off George and Bathurst). Probably our most regular haunt. They feature Japanese grilled skewers and some of the best little plates. My wife particularly loves that you order completely off the tablet menu. I'm very partial to the Takowasa and the Mentaiko Tamagoyaki.
Momofuku Seibo at the Star (Casino) in Pyrmont next to Darling Harbour. WOW! I think it was my favorite restaurant while we visited here. It was pricey but I thought the food was well worth the price. It was a long dinner set menu. I've neglected posting but I do owe a post on our experience at this restaurant. MUST go but you gotta get a reservation early.
Uncle Tetsu's Japanese cheese cake at Regent Place. I don't eat much in the way of sweets but this is something I make an exception for.
It's not a NY style cheese cake, it's light fluffy spoungy cheesecake. The downstairs cafe also serves crepes and other items. It's next to the Daiso (Japanese dollar store) which I unfortunately didn't take a picture of.
Ramen at Yasaka ramen. I posted about this place before. They make their noodles at the front window of the restaurant. It's located on Liverpool street between Castlereagh and Pitt near the Museum station. Sydney has a lot of Ramen shops but I loved the noodles and the broth here, that and it was close.
Quokka, they are cute. There are a couple of zoo's that we visited. This was from our work Christmas party at the Wildlife zoo in Darling Harbour.
Balmoral Beach. I caught a lot of Pikachus here. :) All the beaches were amazing. I guess coming from Austin, you don't get much in the way of beaches so each one was pretty magical to me.
Manly Beach. one of the larger touristy beaches.
Longrain is a fusion Thai/Asian restaurant. We particularly like their egg net salad. Located in Surry Hills.
Sydney Opera House. It goes without saying you should visit this place. Take the tour, there is a LOT more going on in and under that place than meets the eye.
Coffee, Australians went nuts on coffee after the Italian immigrants brought it to the country. Before that it was the freeze dried instant stuff. I've cut back on drinking coffee but I will say after having coffee here, coffee back home really isn't the same. The "flat white" somewhere between a latte and a cappuccino is the universal morning drink.
Sydney Fish Market: There is nothing like waking up and going shopping for the freshest fish around. There were fish/shellfish that we had never seen before. They offer classes and there's a seafood dim sum place up stairs. I bought many an octopus here.
Speaking of we had many a sashimi breakfast here as well. They cut it right there and you eat it right in the market.
The Blue Mountains. This is a picture of the "three sisters". The blue mountains is a really beautiful area about three hours north of Sydney, lots of hiking and picture taking definitely worth a look.
While you're in the blue mountains go by the Conservation Hut. The trout hash with fried egg is my favorite.
Ipot hotpot restaurant in Haymarket off Goulburn street. Chinese hotpot where you order the ingredients you cook right at your table. They have a dizzying array of sauces that you can put together.
"Big Brekky" it's a "full on" breakfast, this is one we had at Deviate Cafe in Clovelly.
Ok that's a lot of pictures. I'm going to have to break it up into another post.