Saturday, 20 March 2010

Australia Highlights

The worst part about holidays is when you have to come back. After several flights, 47 hours without sleep, and a rather large duty free bag full of TimTams, we arrived back to a rather cold and gray Edinburgh. Without the motivation of sunshine and new cities to explore, I have been rather slow to readjust my body-clock. I've never really been one for the solo lunch extravaganza, so I've found myself passing through the days on nothing but bananas, toast and the occasional bowl of soup.

Evenings haven't been much better. If I'm tired I revert back to my past narrow eating habits, endlessly flicking through magazines and cookbooks in the vain hope that something will inspire me. It does not. I am ashamed to admit our dinners over the past few weeks have been pretty dire, as I have lost all focus in the kitchen. I want to cook, but I have no desire to eat, let alone photograph and blog about such uninspiring food.

Hopefully my mojo should return soon, and I shall return to more frequent blogging. For the moment, here are some photos from the trip.
We had breakfast at the Sydney Opera House. A seagull ate the leftovers.

Macarons from Adriano Zumbo. His shop was amazing, with some fantastic, wittily named creations. We found the macarons a bit hit and miss - the black sesame; coconut and pineapple; and forest fruits with pink pepper were delicious. The cherry and banana was synthetic tasting, and the lemon verbena with mint was way too vegetal.

The vanilla heart was our favourite, and I was impressed at how accurate the piping had to be to make hundreds of identical hearts to sandwich together.

Melbourne was my favourite city. I loved the lanes and we were lucky enough to stumble across Gill's Diner. Here we had what was easily the best meal of the trip. I had a rabbit pastilla, which was bursting with spiced meat and surprisingly juicy chunks of dried apricot. It was accompanied by black sesame crusted labneh and peppery salad leaves. T had chicken 'Three Ways' - a dainty breaded drumstick, a roasted breast and a chicken sausage. We finished off with a plate of crispy churros with a chilli chocolate dipping sauce. The waiters were lovely, and kindly fitted us in even though the place was packed and we didn't have a booking. It was all very relaxed, with the menu written on a blackboard and large communal tables. I'd love to find a restaurant like this in Edinburgh.

Another delight we found among Melbourne's lanes was Koko Black, a chocolate shop with a few branches around Victoria. We had a Chocolate Spoil in the cafe, featuring chocolate cake, chocolate shortbread, raspberry and cognac truffles (pictured above), chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream and 2 hot chocolates. The chocolate mousse and ice cream didn't last long, as they were particularly delicious. I was totally chocolated out by the end though.


Chele said...

I'm all homesick now!!! Hope you get your mojo back. Have you odne a tim tam shot yet? (bite opposite corners off and use it like a straw to suck up a hot drink then shove the whole biscuit in your mouth and let it melt! Sounds disgusting but it is oh so good! Nuns do it so it isn't that naughty! They reckon it works with fizzy drink too but thats a step too far in my book.

Joy said...

What a delight to read about my town Melbourne in your blog. (I haven't even heard of Gill's Diner!)
The old Native American saying is: "While you ride, the soul walks." You did a long journey fast - just have to sit and wait for your soul to catch up, and then you will have your mojo back. Cheers!