SYDNEY FOOD ADVENTURE 2

We generally love living in the town we live in. When we get home after being away from it even for a night we breathe a sigh of contentment because it’s nice to get home. It is missing two of my greatest passions in life though. Those things are good food and musical theatre. Every now and then we escape to our closest mecca for these things, Sydney, and a few weeks back we did just that. I regularly watch food vloggers on Youtube to discover interesting foods to try when we’re in Sydney next and I’m always up to date on the latest showings at the theatres in Sydney so off we went to Sydney with a list in hand of foods to eat and tickets to Come From Away, the Capitol Theatre’s latest feature.

We had a nice easy drive and once we got to Sydney we parked the car for the night at Darling Square. We park here a lot but this time it made sense because our first food stop was just outside the door leading to the carpark. It was Marrickville Pork Roll. This is their second location with the first obviously being in Marrickville. They are well known for their banh mi and you really can’t go wrong with a pork roll. I ordered the Crispy Pork Roll and Ronnie ordered the Classic Pork Roll with chilli. I didn’t make any changes to the roll, when I definitely should have when I don’t like coriander (I wish I liked it and I’ve tried hard to like it. It is vile to me though while Ronnie loves it). It took about 30 seconds from the time we paid for it for the order to be made, super fast! If you were hungry and needed food immediately this is where you would go. I’m sure it gets busy and the wait would be longer. This particular day it was raining, windy and very cold and so there weren’t many people around. There is nowhere to sit and eat it there so we took it to the nearby food court, which is where we needed to head for the next food anyway. The bread roll itself was 10/10 delicious. It was fresh and crispy. The crispy pork was really tasty, there wasn’t a lot of it though. I tried Ronnie’s classic roll and we both agreed it was better. The veggies and sauce on the roll were really nice. It was salty and tangy, which is always a great combination I think. I would eat from here again, it was pretty good!

While we were eating our rolls we got a bubble tea each from Bubble Nini. We had a bubble tea from here before and it was average. This time is was delicious though! Ronnie got a matcha bubble tea. It was meant to come with matcha pearls but they weren’t ready so instead he just got brown sugar pearls. I got fresh strawberry milk with strawberry pearls and it was great! Strawberry has to be the best milk flavour and this is the first time I’d had it fresh and with boba. I would drink this multiple times a day if I could! Yum.

After we finished our rolls and bubble tea we walked around the corner to Mr Bao. They sell about 6 different types of Bao with different proteins. There was a deal for 2 bao and chips so we just got that to share since we’d just eaten a meal. Ronnie chose the crispy chicken bao and I got the prawn one. It took a little while until it was ready. It finally arrived and looked pretty tasty. The chips were nice and crunchy and the sauce on them was pretty spicy, it was nice though. We thought we were going to share the bao but they were so soft that they were too difficult to share. Ronnie said his was really yummy. The flavour of mine was good but the texture was difficult for me. The bao was incredibly soft as was the prawn so it felt mushy to eat. I would come back and try something different. I think I just ordered the wrong thing for my liking.

Once we were done with all of this we headed to our hotel to check in. We chose a cheaper option for our accommodation that night because we knew we’d be out eating or at the theatre most of the time and just needed a bed to sleep in. We stayed at the Ibis World Square. It was really basic but about the quality we expected for what we paid. We chilled in the room before lunch dessert. Our lunch dessert was at Black Star Pastry. They are famous for their Strawberry Watermelon Cake. It is apparently the most instagrammed cake in the world. I had tried it before but Ronnie had to try it. I wanted something new so I chose a Lemon Pistachio cake. That one was really dense and was pretty light on flavour. The strawberry watermelon cake is exactly as I remember it. It is probably the lightest cake you’d ever eat. One of the layers of the cake is just a watermelon slice. Other than that it’s just layers of cream, really thin layers of cake and strawberries and nuts on top garnished with flower petals. It is very different for dessert but really nice.

After dessert it was time to head to the Capitol for Come From Away. The show is about the day of 9/11 when 7,000 passengers who were flying at the time were rerouted to Gander, Newfoundland in Canada which is a really small island with a population of 9,000 people. It is about how they made connections with each other around a time of such tragedy. The songs were great, the story telling was exceptional and it was one of the best we’ve seen. It was the 19th musical Ronnie and I had seen together from a professional cast. We have seen more locally but don’t include that on the list. It rates highly in those 19. It was the shortest musical we’d seen with a runtime of 110 minutes and no intermission, so we had a fair bit of time before our dinner booking.

We chilled at the hotel watching Naruto until it was time for dinner. This was basically the meal we had planned the trip around. We were having our first Korean BBQ experience. You get to order your meat and cook it on the grill in front of you. We had only done this once before in Vietnam and it was really great. We were seated quickly when we arrived by the really friendly staff because we had a booking. I had read it can be quite a wait without one. We ordered a beef platter which came with beef ribs galbi (short rib without bone), bulgogi (marinated beef), angus rib and wagyu brisket and because my eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach we got rice, corn cheese and kimchi pancake too. Corn cheese is quitely literally what it sounds like, corn in gooey melted cheese. One of the main staples of KBBQ is banchan. Banchan is the free side dishes that are served with your order. Our banchan was kimchi (a must), potato salad, pickled bean sprouts, sesame bok choy, a sesame oil sauce and a chilli, garlic Korean sauce. We started with the beef rib. It was one long piece of beef and we were wondering how we’d share it but the lady serving us brought a good old pair of scissors over to cut it all up. Genius! She also did most of our cooking for us. We must have been doing it wrong haha. The beef rib was really yummy paired with the sauce and the rice. The bulgogi was great, the wagyu brisket was really fatty and thin, and the highlight for the meats was definitely the angus rib eye. It was 10/10 delicious and if I was left to my own devices I would never want to stop eating it like Choji from Naruto.

The corn cheese was the other highlight. For something so simple it just was really really good. I bet it wouldn’t be the same if we just chucked it together at home. The sides were great especially the kimchi. By the time we got to the kimchi pancake we were bursting and the pancake was huge. It came with a really nice tangy, vinegary sauce and had a slight chewy texture to the pancake which is definitely a plus for me. I hear the go to at KBBQ is the seafood pancake. I will definitely be trying that one day after having the kimchi one. Our first KBBQ experience was great and I can’t wait to try another one.

After dinner we got dessert while heading back to the hotel. We stopped at Remicone at the Regent Place food court. It’s a soft serve ice cream shop with unique toppings. I believe the one Ronnie got was called the Hawaii Beach which had Blue Lemonade sauce and coconut crumble. I tried it and it was super tasty. I got the brown sugar pearl ice cream because I just love boba. It was really sweet and the chewy boba were great. It was a nice little end to the day. We got back to the hotel where I snacked on chicken twisties and watched Naruto until I fell asleep.

The next morning we woke up, got ready for the day and headed back to Darling Square to put our bags in the car and have breakfast. As I said I quite often watch food vloggers on Youtube to get an idea of where to eat when we’re away and we saw this café on there called Auvers which we decided to try. Well, this one was a bit of a fail and has taught us a good lesson. The food might be some of the most nicely presented looking food but I would actually rate it as one of the worst tasting breakfasts I have ever had. Firstly, to drink we both ordered the Black Sesame Latte. I’ve had some black sesame flavoured food items previously and enjoyed it. Ronnie liked the Black Sesame Latte but for me it was just way too sweet. For food Ronnie ordered the Crab Omelette which I immediately knew would be a big mistake when he ordered it. I’m more of a seafood eater than he is and I decided against ordering that. I ordered the Auvers’ Eggs Benedict which was actually pulled pork and runny eggs on a croissant with pork floss, corn and hollandaise on top of the pulled pork. When the food was ready I could immediately smell Ronnie’s breakfast before it hit the table. The seafood smell was pungent and at that moment I knew for sure this would not be enjoyable for him. The other weird thing about Ronnie’s breakfast was the plate was garnished with matcha powder which was might have looked nice but did not fit on the plate flavour wise. My ‘Eggs Benedict’ was pretty awful too. It didn’t necessarily taste very bad but texture wise I could just not get any more than a couple of bites of it in. It was extremely mushy and once all of the stuff was mixed together it was just bland. An expensive lesson learned.

Since we didn’t really eat much of our breakfast we headed over to the shopping centre and went to Gloria Jeans. We both had a cookies and cream frappe and a sausage roll and we much preferred this over the food at Auvers. We did this while we were waiting for our entry time for our next activity.

We were heading to the Sydney Aquarium also at Darling Harbour. The NSW Government had given everyone $25 vouchers to use on Discover activities and we decided to use one on the aquarium because why not! There’s not a lot to say about it but we had a nice time looking at all of the fishies and other aquatic animals. The only thing we’d say is this was just as Covid cases were ramping back up in NSW and it was extremely busy so we were feeling a little anxious about close contact with others. We sensibly wore our masks and had all or some of our doses of the vaccine so that helped calm us.

After the aquarium we were meant to have a sit down meal at Belle’s Hot Chicken but we really just wanted to start heading home so we quickly wandered back over to the Darling Square area and got some lunch and dessert to go. We still ended up with Belle’s Hot Chicken to eat in the car. Belle’s do extremely spicy chicken if you are able to handle the heat. I can not so I went with very mild Southern spiced drumsticks and mac and cheese. Ronnie can handle his a lot better but he just got Medium spicy wings and coleslaw. We went too Kurtosh for dessert. They do a few things like cake slices priced by weight but we were there for their Kurtosh which is Hungarian and also known as a Chimney Cake because of it’s shape. It’s a caramelised pastry which is crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside and can be rolled in different toppings. We got a pistachio one.

The food was kind of cool by the time we had found our way out of the city and didn’t have to focus too much on directions but it was still tasty. The mac and cheese was some of the better stuff we’d had. It had some nice flavour which was good because we think mac and cheese can be pretty bland. The Southern spiced chicken drumsticks were okay. I’ve definitely had more flavoursome non-spicy fried chicken but they still hit the spot. The coleslaw was nice and refreshing. The Medium spicy wings weren’t very spicy although the Belle’s menu says they are very hot. They were tasty though. The nice thing about Southern fried chicken is it’s usually on top of a slice of white bread to soak up the juices from the chicken. Being wings they were difficult to eat one-handed while Ronnie was driving and they were messy but as he says they’re not good if they’re not messy.

The kurtosh had cooled down a lot too. When we first got it it was hot as it was freshly made. It took quite a while to make too so if you’re ever in a hurry don’t order this. It really went down a treat though. It wasn’t overly sweet. It was the right combination of cripsy and soft, and sweet and nutty. We would definitely eat this again.

Overall this was quite an enjoyable weekend away. We loved trying all the new foods we hadn’t had before, even if some weren’t the delights we thought they would be and the show was absolutely incredible. It was to be our last weekend away for a very long time due to the evolving Covid situation so we were lucky to get to go.

As always, thanks for reading!

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