Sunday, April 15, 2012

Eating Out Down Under

The Australian flag flies over the Sydney Harbor bridge.

There is a lot to see and do in Sydney. Dear to my heart is the topic of food, so this post is all about our initial Aussie culinary experiences.

On our first full day in the country we checked out the hotel breakfast, included in our room rate. The buffet was overflowing with an assortment of foods. Hot items included scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and mushrooms (typical Aussie fare). There were hot and cold cereals, a variety of muffins, croissants, whole grain breads and English muffins, and fresh fruit including kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, and two kinds of melon. We were off to a good start!

A self-service espresso machine AND milk foam machine were available. Aussies apparently love their coffee. Coffee bars are everywhere. Most seem to be locally owned. So far I have seen only a couple of Starbucks and three Gloria Jean coffee outlets.

After breakfast we agreed to take a sightseeing bus. Still tired and dragging from our plane trip, this was the ideal way to get an overview of Sydney. The bus drove all over the city, and we could get on and off wherever we liked. We eventually got off at the Sydney Fish Market. It was lunchtime.

The Sydney, Australia fish market.
The Sydney Fish Market, the second largest in the world we were told, was wall to wall people. Numerous stalls sold a wide variety of fresh fish, many familiar and a lot unfamiliar. I never realized there were so many different kinds of prawns (shrimp).

Fish BBQ, fish and chips and sushi bars lined a huge warehouse-type building. Stands sold platters of fresh fish with a variety of sides. We shared a large platter of fish and chips ($15) and salad ($7).

Restaurant food is expensive. We are in a major city, and meals should be cheaper outside Sydney. A plus is that tax and tip are included in the price.  The menu price is the total price.

After lunch we got back on the tour bus for a visit to the infamous Sydney surf and sand beach, Bondi Beach.  It was a pretty setting, surfers were out, and the street lined with tacky food and souvenir shops. Just like home!
Hub at Bondi Beach
We caught the tour bus back to town and walked around center city, eventually ending up in The Rocks, the old city area. We found a German restaurant/beer garden with an old-fashioned oompah band, the musician/singers wearing shorts, shirts and suspenders. They were not the best singers or musicians but were having a good time; I am sure the beer downed during their break helped.
 We shared a platter of German dishes, meat and potatoes ($39.50). The waitress was taken aback at our desire to share; she insisted the platter was too small. We told her we could always order more food.

Then we asked for water. Sparkling water? No. Tonic water? No. Just plain, old, standard, tap water. The free stuff.

Back at the hotel our bags were waiting for us. Reunited at last! Clean, wrinkled clothes to wear! It was a great conclusion to a long, exhausting, fun day.


  1. Wow welcome to Australia. I hope you have a wonderful time. I really hope you get to Melbourne and see our beautiful beaches too.

  2. Looks like another great adventure has begun!!!!

  3. My eldest quit her job and left for Australia the end of March. Her plan is to work/travel for a year. I loved seeing your pictures and seeing that she is indeed safe (sort of) and enjoying a part of life only a few of us can dream of. Great posts and makes me want to go myself someday.