Showing posts from October, 2011

Return of the Monks - Annandale, Sydney

Pictured above were captured at the Wat Buddharangsee, located at 49 Trafalgar Street, in Annandale, inner city Sydney, NSW. It signified Kartina, a ceremony to honour the monks, who return to active community life after a month of meditation and reflection away. A street food fair was also held in conjunction with this celebration, which centres around the offering of food and drink to the monks, who do not partake of such things after morning has passed by each day.

Thai Street Feast, Annandale NSW

When Jenny and Janie suggested meeting up at the Trafalgar Street fair on the fourth Sunday of October, I was curious as to what to expect. The inner city location of Annandale in Sydney lies at the hub of a lifestyle locale, neighbouring the Italian villages of Leichhardt and Haberfield, the bohemian centre of Newtown and across the Anzac Bridge from Rozelle and Balmain. I only had a hour walking round the various stalls lined up in front of the Thai Temple, but was fascinated by the variety, colour and friendliness exuding from this event. Above, a smile from a hard working young man attending to the Hainan chicken rice outlet. Most of the food outlets were run by otherwise commercial operators from various corners of greater Sydney, but that day the fare was offered free to all visitors. I started off my degustation with a piping small bowl of chicken rice noodles.

Sour and spicy tinged soups ala Thai - those with a kick and making use of traditional fresh herbs, a dose of tamarind,…

Green Palace Vegetarian, Newtown, NSW

Having vegetarian can be refreshing and uplifting for me - once in a while. The concept and perception of vegetarian food can vary across a spectrum, from strict vegans, including those who consume eggs, to those who are flexible with the dishes they come up with. Asian vegetarian dishes tend to be based on tofu, as exemplified by the Indonesian tempeh, but can be resourceful in presentation and when bathed with spicy gravies and different textures. I looked forward to a sojourn at Sydney's inner city Newtown, when there was an opportunity to try out a Thai-Chinese version of vegetarian fare one weekend.

We agreed on the Green Palace Vegetarian along King Street, with its varied offerings of pseudo duck, green curry, "what the ?" sugar cane "shrimp" and false chicken schnitzel. I loved the egg plant stir fry best, unpretentious, cooked with love , truly vegetarian and so yummy tasty. It was the spice mix and hot wok combo that produced this delightful dish, best…

Bar Pellegrini Cafe, Wollongong

I was on a quick drop by to Wollongong CBD to change some currency and had to have a fast bite. Walking past Keira Street, I passed in front of the Pellegrini and reckoned that may be a good choice. I have observed the coffee drinkers and breakfast eaters on early mornings at this place, with high ceilings and looking like it could have been in Leichhardt olr Haberfield in inner city Sydney. There was only one person at the counter, but he half-smiled and organised my request for foccacia laden with ham, avocado spread, tomato slices and garnishings. (image above)

I could sense the cafe was frequented by regulars. It had a modern feel behind the counter, but other parts of the location could be in for a bit of a face lift. The cafe suggested to me of a long house when one looked further inside, and so is sufficiently spacious. With dark trimmings and lots of wood, the place did offer some character. However, the last orders from the kitchen closed sharp at 2pm and it was mostly a morni…

Return to Freshwater Beach, NSW


An Arvo at Pilu's

With two private function rooms, excellent food and cuisine of Sardinia and a location right spot on overlooking Freshwater Beach along Moore Road at Harboard, on Sydney's northern beaches, there is much expectation when you step into Pilu's Restaurant. You can choose seating inside, on a covered verandah outdeck, or below in garden settings, with the ocean breeze and smell of sea and sand up the nose. There is a selection of both Italian and Australian wines. The decor is retro beach house, painted an off shade from white and reminding me of lazy summer days in tropical climes. You dine and have a view over a small bay surrounded by cliff top houses and much activity on the rather sand-powdery beach.

Selections a group of us had to celebrate Charmaine's birthday earlier this month included:

Salt baked New Zealand King salmon, replete with saffron kipfer potatoes, baby leeks and beetroot puree.

De-boned quail wrapped in pancetta, stuffed with chicken livers, fennel and tarra…