jen yu: australia 2007 - day 10

australia 2007 - day 10

back to australia 2007
[ day 9 ]
march 17, 2007
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On my last day in Sydney, Jerad and Kell took me to Paddy's Market for their weekly shopping run. Some people may find that sort of activity boring, but I LOVED it. Paddy's Market has the largest selection of fresh and amazing produce I have ever witnessed in one location. Perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables, traditional asian greens, fresh herbs, they had it all and for a fraction of the cost anywhere else! Even a trip to their traditional supermarket was exciting for me to explore. Roast chicken flavored potato chips?! Awesome. Feeling a tad peckish after the store, we stopped for an early lunch at Oporto, the hands down best fast food chain in Sydney, famed for their delicious chicken sandwich topped with spicy sauce. Oh, someone please open Oporto in the US!

With thoughts of the delectable sandwich I had just devoured still fresh in my mind, Kell drove us down to the Sydney Fish Market. Wow and wow! It is the seafood equivalent of Paddy's with all manner of seafood: live, on ice, whole, chopped, filleted, in tanks, sashimi'd, cooked, served thermadore... There were several counters selling beautiful spreads of blue crab, lobster, bugs (slipper lobster), shrimp, prawns, scallops, fish of all sorts, oysters, crawdads (yabbies), eel, king crab (not the alaskan king - beefier!), mussels, you name it. Kell and Jerad selected some shrimp and bugs for a snack that afternoon.

We reached the flat in time to witness a fantastic rainstorm wash over Sydney. The air temperature plummeted and it was delightful to feel the cool gusts rushing past the buildings. Jerad took a nap while Kell prepared the cold seafood. When the time came, we drove out to pick Jeremy from the airport curb and bring him back to Redfern. Kell set out an elegant snack for all to enjoy while Jeremy got to chat with everyone and meet Poly and Oed. Dinner that night was to be at Restaurant Balzac, where Jerad used to be a chef before he moved on to Manta.

I had made a deal with Jerad the previous night at Fish Face, that if I allowed them to treat me to dinner that night, then he must order the degustation at Restaurant Balzac - if that is what he really wanted, because that was going to be our treat, our way to thank them for their generous hospitality. Kell gave him a "you had better not order that" look, but I made him promise me. When we arrived at the restaurant, the choice was obvious. We all ordered degustation (chef's tasting menu) with one member of each couple ordering the wine pairings to share. The courses included: pan-seared scallop with fennel volute, crayfish with pressed chicken, lobster ravioli, ocean trout and calamari, rabbit lasagne with rabbit tenderloin and offal, beef rib-eye with marrow, venison tenderloin, an incredible complimentary cheese plate that could have been dinner itself (they treat Jerad as if he were family), strawberry mess, and a chocolate volcano cake with guinness ice cream! Special cannot even begin to describe the evening. We had such a good time with our friends.

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