In November last year I went on a whirlwind Sydney trip with one of my close friends. We share a lot of similar interests so it was great fun to spend time together. The 4 days went by unbelievably quickly! This post will mostly be about our meals together, because honestly we are massive gluttons and spent a lot of time eating. Links to places will be posted at the end of each day.
We got to the air port way too early and because I’m a really bad flyer I chose to skip breakfast. My friend chose to do the same, because she didn’t want to waste stomach space on McDonalds! This meant that as soon as we got into Sydney we were starving! Pretty much as soon as we settled into our cute airbnb (with a cat!!) located in Darlinghurst we went out to get some brunch.
Luckily, I had chosen where we were staying based off its proximity to food, so Bills was only a short walk away. Since its inception as one of the original Brunch innovators in Australia Bills has become a veritable global empire, with outposts from Hawaii to Japan. I was keen to try it out to see if it stacked up compared to all the other new and inventive brunch places that have popped up in recent years.
It was a relief to be out of the heat and even better when the food was placed in front of us. We shared the famous ricotta hotcakes and the classic Australian big breakfast. To say that the big breakfast was big is a bit of an understatement. It was easy to divide the dish perfectly into two and I imagine if you’re not that hungry it would actually be enough for two people to share. The scrambled eggs were unlike any other scrambled eggs I have had before. They were insanely creamy and soft. Everything else on the plate, was really just fresh tasting produce but nothing extraordinary.
Even though I’m not that fond of bananas we had to try the ricotta hotcakes, because that’s what Bills is known for. They were bursting with ricotta bits and the honey comb butter on top was a real highlight. However, it was really rich and towards the end we struggled to finish it.
Maybe it was the hunger, but overall I was pretty satisfied with my meal at Bills. Although there are certainly prettier and more creative brunch places I feel that Bills does the classic well and we should be happy that it’s representing Australian brunch to the rest of the world.
After milling around in the city for a while and window shopping my friend and I parted ways for a bit. I went to meet up with lolita friends and she went to the book signing which had motivated us to plan this trip.
I somehow managed to squeeze in some dessert before I met up with my friend again. This proved to be my undoing as soon after we went off to dinner. I’ve often heard that Sydney has really good Thai food, but haven’t had the pleasure of trying it myself. Although I forgot to take photos of all of what we ordered, the food at Home Thai was refreshing and full of kick just like good Thai food should be.
Initially we wanted to go to Gelato Messina to try their miniature ice cream cakes but when we were arrived we were informed by the staff that they had stopped stocking the cakes. Although disappointed, we were not to be deterred from having dessert. We decided to hop back into the city to try Chanoma. It was a real struggle to find seating, but before too long we were happily munching on our matcha parfait and matcha yuzu lemonade.
My laziness took over, and we decided to head back to the airbnb early to enjoy a night full of watching videos in bed and restful sleep!
We had an early start in preparation for a long day. The first thing we did was hit up another café that I was keen to try. Café Cre Asian is a tiny little place just off of one of the busier main roads of Sydney.
Once again there weren’t many seats and we had to wait a while before we were served. It was also still rather warm, so we chose to start the day with ice matcha lattes. Although on the pricier and smaller side this was really one of the best iced matcha lattes I have ever had in my life. Everything was the perfect mix of creamy, bitter and sweet.
To go along with the lattes we had the poached chicken sandwich with Asian mushrooms, zucchini and wasabi mayo. The wasabi mayo and mushrooms were a great touch. In all honesty I had been drawn to Cre Asian by pictures of their matcha chocolate fondant. I thought that the molten matcha inside was such a novel idea but that as a whole it could have been moister. The latte and savoury sandwich ended up being the highlight instead of the cake!
Café Cre Asian was so cute and all the flavours just oozed Japanese charm. I really hope something similar opens up in Melbourne!
Then off we went to the Power House Museum. After a gruelling walk under the hot hot sun, we found ourselves at our destination: right in front of the DC x Lego exhibition. I don’t know all that much about DC comics, but it was still a real delight to just look at just how everything had been made. I was particularly impressed with the themed rooms and the batmobile! Below are some highlights.
We also stumbled upon some more exhibits including a lovely one about jewellery and memory through time.
As we had only had a light breakfast, it was time to fuel up again before dinner! We popped into Kinokuniya to try the cakes at the newly opened Black Star Pastry café. We had both already eaten their famous watermelon rose cake before so this time we settled on a lychee cake and a green tea citrus cake. After the much needed sugar intake, we just whiled away our time in Kinokuniya and people watched.
For dinner, we met up with some friends we had made on exchange who happen to live in Sydney! On Steph’s recommendation we went to a cheap and cheerful Izakaya called Daruma. The food wasn’t anything amazing but it did the trick, and the good company made the meal even better.
A giant bowl of icecream from Passion Flower rounded off the night, as we made plans to catch up again!
Today was one of the highlights of the trip. As soon as we booked our flights, we knew that we wanted to go to Quay, one of the top rated restaurants in Australia. As this post is already long enough, I think I’ll leave the details of that meal for another day. As we were somehow running a little late we power walked all the way to Quay. Somehow this was the longest meal of my life but it also felt like time went by really quickly because I was just having such a good time.
We didn’t finish lunch until around 5 but we had agreed to meet up with one of our friends from yesterday and have dinner at 7. With our stomachs still full, we managed to mostly finish all of this Korean food. Sadly I forgot the name of this place, but it’s located pretty much next to George square.
Ready to roll out the door, we went to our next destination: the movies! Sydney can be pretty crowded on rowdy on Friday nights so it was great to relax to a good film and get away from it. By the way, if you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend Creed even to people like me who have never seen any of the Rocky movies before.
This was really just a half day because we had a plane to catch in the afternoon. Somehow we still managed to pack it with lots of food!
We left before it got too hot to pick up some goodies for family and friends from Bourke Street Bakery. Although Bourke Street Bakery has heaps of locations I’ve only ever been to the original on Bourke Street. Despite how tiny it is I think it just oozes charm and brings life to this mostly residential area. We bought heaps of tasty pastries and couldn’t resist tucking into a fruit danish and their ginger, brulée tart. Even though I’m not usually big on ginger, the tart just works. The creamy sweetness of the custardy inside tones down the ginger taste. The crunch is also always spot on.
With some reluctance we said goodbye to our airbnb and also the cute cat that had shared the space with us. I think he was finally getting used to us, just as we left! Before going to the airport we still had time for one last meal.
Happily, our one of our friends who is always kind, smiley and generous took us to a cute brunch place that I hadn’t heard of before: The Black Piq. The Black Piq is located only a few metres down from Café Cre Asian which we visited on day 2. This was another cool Asian inspired place. Luckily, the space was a lot larger and we managed to snag a table before the place got full.
We shared the salmon with 65 degree eggs, the wagyu corned beef bao sliders and the twice cooked pork belly. Trust me when I say, these dishes were really hard to share between 3 people! Still, we somehow managed. My favourite was the pork belly and I would have it over bacon any day. However, I felt that the salad could have done with a little bit of dressing to bring everything together.
Now, I have a feeling that the reason a lot of people come to Black Piq is for their pancakes. Their Pandan buttermilk pancakes are ridiculously photogenic. They are a wonderful marriage of Asian flavours like the pandan, sweet brown sugar syrup and firm coconut jelly. As always, the extra addition of mango always makes me happy.
After going through some fun brunch topics like our possible roles in a dystopian world, we sadly had to leave. Our friend, being the absolute sweetie that she is saw us off to the airport. And that was the end of our whirlwind 4 day adventure! I think that we were so lucky to have had such a good time and been so well taken care of by everyone and everything. Every time I go to Sydney I always discover new places that I want to eat and new things to do and it makes me wish that my holiday is just that little bit longer.