Sydney Long Weekend : Day 2

Our Sydney long weekend already feels like a long time ago and I’m longing to go back to the good ol’days of quiet leafy streets, long indulgent breakfasts and excellent coffees.
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I had already done my research prior to my Sydney trip and decided that Surry Hills was the suburb to go for my brekkie needs. An inner city suburb, it was a short walk from the Central train station.  The streets were very quiet as I was there quite early. I enjoyed the easy walk up the hills.

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I had quite a few cafes listed in my Surry Hills must eat list and decided to go to whichever cafe I chanced upon first. It was perhaps perfect that my first Sydney breakfast experience was at Bills, the ultimate Sydney breakfast institution. Bill Granger is a famous Australian chef (the Jamie Oliver of Australia perhaps) with many restaurants and books under his belt, his signature dishes being his scrambled eggs and ricotta hotcakes.

The cafe itself was lovely, bright and light. Even though I was relatively early, it was already buzzing with a crowd but not to the point where it was too loud. The waitress was just friendly enough and efficiently brought me to the communal table since it was just me.
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This was when I was first discovering my No.1 Ladies Detective books and had brought one with me to Sydney. It was so cozy chuckling through the witty book while sipping on a warm milky latte.

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I was sorely tempted to go for Bills’ famous scrambled eggs which I’m told are the best scrambled eggs ever. But I wasn’t in an eggy mood, so I had the other famous signature dish being the ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and banana ($20). Was it out of this world? To be honest, no. But it was very very nice, even for someone like me that normally wouldn’t order pancakes or hotcakes for breakfast. The ricotta hotcakes were light and fluffy, and tasted lovely drizzled with maple syrup and melted butter. If they were in Perth, I would order them again.

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I enjoyed being at the communal table and people watching. This young athletic chap was seated opposite me and had just dropped in for a bite after his morning run. He devoured his healthy and tasty looking avocado on rye with lime and coriander, had an expresso and was up and running again. It just seemed like such a great place to catch up with friends, chill by yourself, or pop in for a quick bite and consistently good breakfast.

I wanted to bring R back but we never made it, maybe during our next trip.

359 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW
2010 Australia

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After a satisfying breakfast, I took a bus to Circular Quay, this time headed for the iconic The Rocks.


It was the weekend The Rocks’ market! It was a pity that I was already full from breakfast or else I would have sampled some of the goodies being sold at the foodie corner.
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More window shopping for me. Cute owl hats which reminded me of Tristan and his love of Hoot Hoot.
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The Rocks is a tourist precinct with historic buildings and many souvenir and craft shops. I had fun exploring and walking around the markets and shops.

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Leaving The Rocks, I headed back to Circular Quay (just right next door) and visited the Museum of Contemporary Art which entrance had the spectacular view of Darling Harbour. They happened to be showing Yoko Ono’s War is Over exhibition and I went into a theatre to watch a documentary clip of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s anti Vietnam war efforts.

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After that it was a walk along the busy shopping street of Pitt Street right into the heart of the shopping district in the CBD. By the time I stopped for lunch, it was closer to 2 – 3pm. It was a bit of a hunt for me to get to Oiden but I finally made it. Oiden is a Japanese donburu (rice bowl) restaurant touting, fast, affordable and tasty rice bowls of many varieties and was a much recommended place from my guy mates. Perhaps it was later in the afternoon by the time I had my lunch but my karaage rice bowl while tasty didn’t come piping hot as I’m used to for these delicious fried chicken morsels. But I loved their soft boiled egg effect which can be added to every rice bowl. Slap on oodles of japanese mayo and it’s a match made in heaven. I would go again if I was ever in the neighbourhood and was looking for an affordable, tasty rice bowl on the go.

Oiden Bowl Bar
Shop 12, 537-551 George St
Sydney, NSW 2000

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Back to the hotel for a short rest. R returned from his full day training course and we started planning to head back into Chinatown for dinner. Chinatown at night was even busier than day time and very lively.

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For dinner, we decided to try the Chinatown institution Golden Century restaurant which I suspect is what Billy Lee is to Perth Chinatown. We had the homemade seafood tofu which was a rich creamy tofu with a layer of seafood sauce. While the tofu texture was special and lovely, the whole dish was a bit underseasoned for us and lacking in taste.

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The salt and pepper squid (I read somewhere that everything salt and pepper is good at Golden Century, should have known that that’s a tell tale sign for not so fab Chinese food) which the opposite of the tofu, was very heavily seasoned and very very salty. We both agreed that the best dish of the night was the complimentary soup that was given at the start of the meal, which was a really tasty soup with was laden with yummy ingredients which enhanced the depth of the soup. Why can’t I make chinese soups like that??

The atmosphere, service and interior of Golden Century itself was nice and we had a great window table. But this will probably be our last visit to Golden Century.

Golden Century
393-399 Sussex St,
Sydney NSW 2000

Another great day in Sydney with more lovely days to come.


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February 2014
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