what i ate wednesday: australia edition
i’m back from an amazing 16-day vacation in the land down under and the reverse culture shock is still going strong. i’ve spent the last few days recovering from jet lag [not as bad as i thought it would be considering the major time difference and crossing the international dateline] and while it’s always sad when vacation ends, i’m excited to get back into my routine this week.
let’s get right to it, and as always after every trip i take, first thing’s first is a what i ate wednesday post to cover everything i ate + drank while i was away. holy shit. where do I even begin? i think it’s best to just start from the top…
stop #1: broome
broome was the first town i visited because it was where my friend was getting married. we mostly ate in, as a bunch of us had rented a house with a full kitchen, but i did make my way to a health food store in an attempt to detox before the wedding.
fresh pressed juice at broome natural wellness:
the “liver lover” juice seemed appropriate… beet, carrot, lemon and ginger. a large cost around $6 usd… we aren’t in kansas anymore!
fresh, sustainable fare at jack’s bar + restaurant, eco beach:
my friends got married at an eco lodge, which was basically heaven for this chick. everything about this place was out. of. con. trol. they have their own organic farm on-site that produces 70% of the produce used in their restaurant. i ate the grilled haloumi salad every day. the cocktails were also amazing and definitely inspired me to keep experimenting with my own fresh, healthy cocktails!
stop #2: cairns
cairns is a fairly small town in north eastern australia that’s popular because of its proximity to the great barrier reef and the rainforest. there wasn’t a whole lot going on here, but there were a few places worth noting.
fresh coconuts at rusty’s market:
this massive coconut was full of the freshest, most flavorful coconut water. oh, and each coconut only cost about $2.50 usd. yea.
lunch at coco lavish:
this was a great little mom and pop style café with lots of fresh, healthy options… salads, smoothies, wraps and tons of coconut products! i had the kale and chickpea wrap.
kebabs… because you can’t get this sh*t in the u.s.:
a favorite of anyone who has spent time abroad, kebab stands are pretty common in australia, as well. the vegetarian option, falafel, wrapped in a pita and topped with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms and tzatziki… never disappoints.
dinner at the woolshed:
this place was recommended to us by some locals for dinner and drinks. after our day trip to the reef, we chilled out for a bit with a few beers and some good old-fashioned pub food. we started with the grilled haloumi fingers [loving all of the haloumi cheese in australia!] and for my main course i had the stuffed portobello mushroom, filled with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto and feta cheese.
nitrogen gelato at nitrolato:
i found this place on instagram and was immediately intrigued. the gelato for each order is made in individual servings on the spot and served sundae style. i had the swiss chocolate lindt ball which was vanilla gelato with a lindt truffle blended into it and topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. while i’m still not sure what nitrogen gelato is exactly and the decor/presentation of this place is pretty cheesy, the gelato was effing delicious.
stop #3: brisbane
okay, brisbane has some serious sh*t happening in the food world and i found myself with more options than i knew what to do with. so many, in fact, that i had to eat two breakfasts one day just to get to all of the places i wanted to try while i was there.
brunch at lock ‘n’ load:
lock ‘n’ load is in the west end, a brooklyn-esque neighborhood in brisbane that i absolutely loved with so many options for places to eat that i struggled with making a decision. the sweet corn fritters with avocado, poached eggs and spinach on the menu at lock ‘n’ load ultimately won me over and paired perfectly with a pacific ale from byron bay’s stone + wood brewing company, just down the road from brisbane!
dinner in chinatown at thai wi-rat:
i heard so much about the asian influence in australia that i had to make sure to check out an asian restaurant while i was there. i came across chinatown in brisbane and had dinner at thai wi-rat, where i gravitated due to the long line of locals standing outside. simple, flavorful and delicious. i had thin rice noodles with spicy sauce, tofu and veggies.
brunch at the little larder:
as you can probably tell, breakfast [or “brekky”] slash brunch is on. point. in australia. and the avocado toast game is on a whole other level. the little larder was just down the street from where i was staying in new farm, so it’s a little out of the way, but if you’re ever in brisbane, it’s worth checking out! i had the avocado toast, which was sourdough rye, also served with goat cheese whip and pickled beets. so, so, so good.
because i wanted to try both of these places and only had one morning left in brisbane, i did what any reasonable person would do and had two breakfasts, back to back.
i started at doughnut time after seeing pictures of long lines on social media and went with the creme brûlée doughnut. the custard filling was out of this world.
next, to balance out all of the sugar from the doughnut i had first and to hopefully counteract the onset of diabetes [kidding, kidding] i went to cocobliss, a superfoods bar in the west end specializing in açai bowls that change with the season. mine was topped with bananas, cacao nibs and coconut flakes. they also serve organic, fair trade coffee!
dinner at claret house:
my friends who got married in broome actually ended up in brisbane for a few days en route to their honeymoon, so we met up for a romantic dinner for three at claret house on my last night in town. the hand cut potatoes with rosemary, sea salt and garlic aioli were some of the best fries [or chips, as they say in australia] i’ve ever had, the haloumi salad [again with the haloumi!] was beautiful, with sweet potatoes and feta cheese and the desserts… omg. hand made chocolate truffles with blood orange and fresh macarons [lemon, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate]. everything was just lovely.
stop #4: sydney
again, another city just overflowing with food options.
coffee + lunch at katipo coffee house:
this place was just down the road from where i was staying in bondi and it was such a cute little escape! the lunch i had there on my first day in sydney was great… israeli couscous with lentils, pepper, butternut squash, carrots, almonds and feta cheese.
the best ice cream ever at aqua s:
okay. another one i came across on instagram that immediately went on my list. the ice cream here… just un. real. the flavors were so unique and the presentation was spot. on. i couldn’t not get the sea salt ice cream, which was perfectly sweet and salty and creamy. the black sesame cone was the perfect pairing and i got the toasted marshmallow on a chocolate covered pretzel stick garnish because it looked so effing perfect. i would eat here every day if i could.
obviously i would stumble upon a food market when wandering around sydney. this little neighborhood was right next to the harbor and had a lot of great options. i tried the turkisk gözleme, a flatbread stuffed with cheese, spinach and mushrooms.
pizza at vacanza:
this was a great local spot in surry hills that two friends took me to for dinner. while eating pizza wasn’t something i imagined i’d be doing in australia, this place was worth it! we started with the pear and bresola salad, which was arugula [wild rocket in australia], parmesan cheese, pears and bresola on the side. i went for the vacanza pizza, a white pie with fresh mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, truffle oil and mushrooms… and then I added burrata… because why wouldn’t i add burrata? And i ate the whole thing by myself. i think that says it all.
kombucha on tap at the bondi market:
again, i just so happened to stumbled across the farmer’s market in bondi beach one morning on my way to breakfast. the fresh kombucha on tap was amazing!
breakfast at bondi wholefoods:
bondi beach and the surrounding area was just crawling with healthy spots, so i was in heaven. bondi wholefoods is a health food store and restaurant all in one, which is pretty much my idea of perfect. i had to go with the cacao and berry pancakes and omg. they were topped with bananas, strawberries, berry chia jam, cacao cashew cream and cacao nibs. i have nothing more to say on this matter except: JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE. so many heart-eye emojis.
gelato at messina:
the amount of ice cream i ate on this trip definitely started bordering on offensive. my friends who live in sydney told me to check this place out and i never say no to recommendations from locals. milk chocolate with chocolate peanut butter fudge on top and the mighty gm on the bottom, which was one of their weekly specials and i cannot for the life of me remember what it was… but i do remember that it was damn good.
brunch at bill’s:
another recommendation from locals specifically for the scrambled eggs, i had my last aussie breakfast here. the scrambled eggs with buttered sourdough toast and avocado on the side was so simple and the eggs were cooked so perfectly that no frills were needed.
drinks at opera bar:
while i don’t have any pictures from this stop, i spent my last night in sydney having drinks at opera bar, which has a stunning view of the sydney harbour bridge, circular quay and, as the name suggests, the opera house. it was the perfect way to end my vacation and i recommend that anyone visiting sydney stop here for a cocktail [or two, or three, or five].
must eat: bondi wholefoods + aqua s, both in sydney
must drink: opera bar, sydney
honorable mention: the little larder, brisbane
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