Friday, 1 July 2011

Australia Day 4 - Sydney - Shopping in the CBD

A lot of browsing and I finally landed on a jacket I liked! But honestly prices in Sydney are not cheap! Go to Hong Kong instead but if you still want to go the Pitt Street Mall area should have enough to fill a day and I loved the atmosphere there, a shoppers' oasis. 

Marigold - 683 George Street Level 5
Having heard that Marigold churns out some of the best Dim Sum in Sydney I was quite excited to visit the place because Sydney has to be one of the largest cities with a foreign Chinese presence. By accident I had wrongly read their opening times, expecting them to open at 9am rather than 10 thus we arrived at 10.01 and were greeted by an empty dining hall, great! Service was therefore quite intrusive, the waitresses asking us every 5 minutes or so what we'd like to eat. We were spared about 10 minutes later and from then about every 10 minutes or so another table of diners arrived until about 11 where there were 6 or 7 tables, though dwarfed by the size of the place. Onto the food. The spare ribs and chicken feet were very good. The black bean spare ribs were not chewy but soft and succulent whilst the chicken feet were tasty and steamed till everything would melt in your mouth. The next two dishes were much less well received by us. The Char Siu Cheung Fun was near abysmal, the cheung fun was in shreds, possibly the worst Cheung Fun I've seen. The Lo Bat Go (white radish cakes) were a bit too salty and devoid of any ingredients besides radish. Finally we ordered a chicken clay pot rice which was huge! Filled us up very quickly. Oh we also ordered Xiao Mai which was ok.

The meal came to about AUD 50, slightly expensive for two people. There were highlights and lowlights but I liked the traditional trolleys filled with dim sum, which are disappearing everywhere, however it does restrict what you eat. Only advice, don't come a 10am!

Sydney Tower 360 Buffet - Above Westfield
We went more for the views, our logic was that as we're going up the tower anyway why not have lunch there  instead. It meant that we paid AUD 49.50 instead of AUD 25 plus lunch, so about the same price but we saved precious shopping time.

The food wasn't too interesting the highlight, in terms of food for me, being the passionfruit ice cream. But obviously the views were the ultimate highlight. It was however a sunny day so it was slightly stuffy up there when facing the sun. I also got to try Kangaroo, which wasn't that nice.

Makoto Sushi Bar - 119 Liverpool Street
I literally had to drag two uncompromising Asians to this restaurant because one of them wanted to go to Wagaya and the other has never liked sushi. I honestly don't know how to impress them and sadly Makoto Sushi Bar didn't. I ordered the prawn tempura, eel hand roll, dragon roll, dolphin roll, spider roll, prawn nigiri, eel nigiri and (another nigiri I can't remember) to share between two whilst my "sick" cousin, who wanted to go to Wagaya, only ordered a bowl of Tempura Udon. Personally I liked the sushi. The sushi rice was firm and chewy - nothing feel apart. The hand roll was also lovely, with the nori being light and crispy - which I have not found in the UK. The rolls were very interesting, and very big! Taste wise I don't remember much. The tempura wasn't that great in my opinion. My cousin who had the Udon thought the place wasn't that great, well I don't know how he could compare when he only ate udon, which isn't their speciality, oh well. I can't remember the price exactly but I think it was around AUD 50-60.

Pancakes on the Rocks - Darling Harbour
Miraculously my sick cousin looked very energetic once we arrived at our second helping of Pancakes on the Rocks. We had wanted to try the desert varieties of Pancakes on the Rocks and after recommendations that the Darling Harbour branch was better we headed there for some evening desert. We ordered two to share between three, the Devil's Delight but with Crepes and the Strawberry Patch. This time around the pancakes were still great but maybe because of the extra sweetness I found the dessert a bit too sickly sweet. The Devil's Delight with Crepes however was much easier to swallow, though the crepes weren't as amazing as the pancakes the dessert was tastier, to me anyway, because of the lower carb intake! I also ordered Pineapple Juice which was extremely sour, in hindsight perfect for the sickly sweet deserts.

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