As part of my recent trip east to visit Mum and Dad, I also had the opportunity to catch up with great friends and food in Sydney. I took this photo from Dad’s makeshift raft on Dora Creek at sunset.
Jimmy Liks – 186-188 Victoria Street, Potts Point – ph: +61 2 8354 1400
My goodness this food was good! Xander and I visited Jimmy Liks with our friend Vincent mere hours after landing in Sydney, on the strength of an excellent recommendation from a trusted Perth foodie.
What we ordered:
- Entree – (1) steamed pork & prawn dumplings with garlic chive flowers & black vinegar dressing, and (2) spicy corn fritters with shiso leaf mint & soy ginger dipping sauce; and
- Main – (1) crispy skin duck with yellow tamarind & mandarin, and (2) green papaya salad with snake beans, peanuts & cherry tomatoes.
Xander loved the corn fritters almost as much as he loved eating the lemon that came with the dumplings [!?!].
I adored the crispy skin duck [pictured below, with the papaya salad, in poor iPhone form]. If you happen to order it, however, don’t do as I did and accidentally inhale the ground spices that accompany the dish… Vincent & I spent a few minutes debating the key ingredients of the spice blend before one of the waitstaff informed us that there were over 50 spices in the mix, including everything we had mentioned. It was awesome.
The only disappointing aspect for me was the green papaya salad. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but my tastebuds were primed for a particular flavour combination, one I had previously failed to emulate and one that they had not experienced since my last visit to Broome. I realise now just how spoiled I was when I lived in the Kimberley.
Oh, and I can’t forget to give the beverages a mention. We matched the meal with sparkling mineral water and a lovely Margaret River drop: the Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.
All in all, I was impressed with the professional and cheerful service, the generous servings of fabulous food, the understated ambience, the reasonable prices (less than $150 for two-and-a-half people). While not exactly a child friendly establishment (they don’t have highchairs), they are incredibly child tolerant. Relaxing and stylish at once, I would recommend Jimmy Liks to anyone wanting a special dining experience – or just to wind down after a long flight.
Yellow Bistro and Food Store – 57-59 Macleay Street, Potts Point – ph: +61 2 9357 3400
After reading Hellen Yee’s account of a Yellow brunch experience, I almost didn’t finish writing this post. It said more than I was planning to say, with much much better pictures. Still, here I write!
Before setting off on our road trip to Dora Creek in the golden Charger, Vincent, Xander and I stopped off at Yellow Bistro and Food Store and, as I discovered, this building is something of a Sydney icon. Alongside the bistro is a gallery that alludes to the building’s former life, as a creative hotspot for artists in the 1970s.
I was instantly excited by the breakfast menu. The Croque Madame was the first item to tug at my palate, with its poached eggs, ham and cheese, but the asparagus breakfast won out in the end. When it arrived with cling-wrap poached eggs, rich red roma tomatoes and crispy bacon, I knew I had made the right choice. And I wasn’t disappointed by the taste.
Neither was Xander, who took to each element of my breakfast with equal gusto – although his continuing anti-green phase meant that he didn’t finish his asparagus.
Xander also attempted to steal Vincent’s scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, which would have given me order envy had my own breakfast not been so delectable.
Knowing that I probably not have access to coffee for several days, I set myself on a caffeine high with two long macchiatos [topped up, of course!]. When I close my eyes, I can still imagine the way their creamy perfection coated my mouth.
When we stopped at Gosford for fuel and air, I was also incredibly glad for the foresight that led me to purchase one of Yellow’s rhubarb tarts (for $10) before we left.
I think I loved the raw sugar crust as much as the melt-in-your mouth pastry and its bittersweet filling; I ran my finger along the inside of the box to recapture each rogue crystal after the main event was consumed. Did anyone else have a fascination with these edible gems as a child? No? Just me then.
Ok, now I can move on.
So visit Yellow, if you make it to Potts Point. If they don’t have a meal to suit you, Lorraine Godsmark (Yellow’s very talented dessert chef) will have a dessert that does – and I promise you will not be disappointed.
Guzman y Gomez was not a planned stop so much as a necessity. After traipsing around Bondi Junction on an unsuccessful shopping jaunt, speedy sustenance was required. Enter Guzman y Gomez.
Franchise.net.au tells me that this Mexican fast food restaurant has grown from a single Newtown premises to a chain of five Sydney stores in three years, with a view to national expansion. I could definitely see one operating profitably in Subi Centro.
As for my eating experience: the barramundi burrito was much lighter and tastier than expected. The corn chips were thick, the guacamole was fresh and the jalopeno chilli sauce was divine. I think I made it through half a bottle of chilli sauce in as much burrito, if you count the spoonful(s?) I ate on its own. I blame the coriander [darn you, tasty take-your-breath-away leaves in sauce form…].
Anyway, for around $10, this was a cheap and healthy-ish fast food option that I would try again, given the opportunity.
Thai Pothong – 294 King Street, Newtown – ph: +61 2 9550 6277
I had never heard of Thai Pothong before but I did recall the taxi driver from my previous Sydney visit telling me that “Newtown is the place to be if you are young and hip” [I took that as a compliment].
It was somewhat of a reunion: present were Chris and Lila (two friends I made at my first real job), and Kaeng and Vincent – which meant that 75% of my highschool SATB ensemble was present at the table.
Our entrees were not too adventurous, however we ordered our main courses predominantly from the Chef’s Recommendations. Shamefully, I can not remember the name of every dish, however I do remember that my main course selection – the banana blossom salad – absolutely hit the spot.
We ordered the two most interesting desserts from the menu to share, and various members of our party were alternately enamoured with the black sticky rice/mango combination and the homemade banana pudding.
This was an enjoyable meal with strong, fresh Thai flavours and thoughtful service (our waitress gave Xander a helium balloon to play with as we were seated). At just over $50 each for the three courses, inclusive of two bottles of New Zealand sauvignon blanc, it also represented fantastic value.
Final note: you earn Thai Pothong ‘dollars’ to spend in the gift shop when your meal reaches a certain amount. The 13 gift shop dollars we received allowed me to purchase Xander a ‘croaking’ frog for the plane trip home. Thank you, Thai Pothong, for facilitating 5 minutes of peaceful flight.
Mum & Dad’s. Of course, I can not finish off this post without a mention of Mum’s cooking. Here is a picture of the first meal I ate in Dora Creek, before it ended up on my plate:
Just kidding! This was one of the cute residents of a nearby mental institution.
Aside from a return to creative vegan food [incidentally, my Mum is releasing a vegan cookbook in the coming months – I will let you know more about it as it is published], my sojourn to my parents’ place also represented a 5-day detox from caffeine, alcohol and sugar, which I lovingly referred to as my Involuntary Caffeine Withdrawal (ICW). I left Dora Creek feeling refreshed – and in need of a coffee. Thanks go to Mum & Dad for looking after me so well.
Catching up with friends and family in the eastern states reminded me of how much I missed them all – and of how many foodly experiences await me on the other side of Australia. Thank you for sharing Part II of the journey with me!
Until next time,