What I’m Going to Eat On Vacation (Sydney, Australia)

By Contributing Food Editor Jared Levan

Dear Daily Grind,

It is with great pleasure that I inform you of my brief (but not too brief) leave of absence. At the request of my good friend, Whitney, I have consented–with little to no coercion–to a two-week vacation to the glorious land down-under. And while I will declare to customs my trip is a holiday, I can’t help but think of this trip as work-related…to some degree.

I will eat, after all, and I will undoubtedly (yet willingly) describe what I eat–how it looks and how it tastes–in unfettered detail.

So what will I be eating whilst on “holiday” in Australia?

#1 Lamb, Lamb….Lamb
Forget beef–from what I’m told, lamb is the dominant meat down under. I do love lamb, so I’m rather excited to see what the Australian chef can do when it’s the protein of choice. Chances are by the time I leave I may be sick of it, but might as well take advantage of it.

#2 Sydney’s Thai Town
Sydney is known for it’s Thai food, so much so that it was named on Saveur Magazine’s, Saveur 100. Because I love and trust the folks at Saveur, I’ve adding these thai joints to my list of places to check out:

Chilli Cha Cha
Spice I Am
Thanon Khao San
Chat Thai

#3 Victoria Bitter Beer
Believe it or not, Foster’s is NOT “Australian for beer” and my list wouldn’t be complete without including a beverage or two. According to my sources (friends who’ve visited/live there) the REAL Australian beer is Victoria Bitter. Cheers to that.

#4 Vege-what?
It may look like a combination of molasses and chocolate, but vegemite is something completely different. Vegemite (similarly known as Marmite in the UK) is an enriched paste made from Brewer’s yeast extract. In Australia, they use this stuff on everything from sandwiches and toast to desserts and pastries. I’ve never tried it, so I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

#5 Food a la Jamie Oliver
Unfortunately for us, there are no Jamie Oliver restaurants in New York City–or anywhere in the US, for that matter–so I jumped at the prospect of snagging some chub at his Sydney-based, Jamie’s Italian. Here’s hoping the Naked Chef lives up to my expectations.

Regardless of where or what I eat, this trip is sure to be adventure.


Jared Levan

11 thoughts on “What I’m Going to Eat On Vacation (Sydney, Australia)

  1. Sounds fun! I do have some Aussie words of wisdom though. So, ok, no, we dont drink Fosters in Australia. But if you’re going to hunt down some cheap Aussie beer, I’d go Carlton Draft over VB any day.

    But if you want some REAL Aussie beer, grab yourself some Little Creatures Bright Ale. It is literally liquid gold. LIQUID GOLD! Microbreweries are all the rage in Australia at the moment, so you may as well jump on the bandwagon!

    And make sure you hit up one of Neil Perry’s restaurants- he’s a local legend.

    Great blog btw Orlando! I particularly enjoy the shopping posts lathered with sarcasm and inappropriate analogies.

    1. Lex–Thanks for mentioning Bills! We went there this morning for brunch and ending up ordering half of the menu as to not miss out on anything! The coconut bread was amazing…as were the eggs–best scramble I’ve ever had!

      Their bloody mary with house made celery salt and baby parsley was definitely a hit too. Thanks again!

  2. -Gelato Messina in Darlinghurst is a must: best Gelato you will have, ever.
    -Pizza e Birra in Surry Hills – excellent pizza (and beer that’s much better than VB, which is a little, ahem, declasse!)
    -Momofuku Seibo in Pyrmont
    -Opera Bar for cocktails (under the Sydney Opera House)
    -Amazing dumplings in Chinatown – try Silk Road
    -Miss Chu’s vietnamese rice paper rolls in Darlinghurst

    Visit Potts Point for Manhattan-style streets and parks like Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay. Wander through Darlinghurst and even Danks St Waterloo – great foodie treats there.

    Lastly, pick up the Good Food Guide and Cheap Eats – both excellent books you can get in newsagents and have really top restaurants/foodie places to visit. Also check out the blog ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry’ which has excellent recommendations.

    Bon voyage!

  3. Oooh, so jealous. Come back with pictures!

    However, I do believe you’re mistaken about one thing – Marmite and Vegemite are not the same thing. To anyone not from AUS or the UK, it’s all a weird brown spread, but apparently there are key flavour and ingredient differences that make people either love one or the other. (I dated a Marmite lover for a while, and Vegemite was NOT a substitution!)

    Spread thinly on buttered toast, it’s damn good, if a little weird at first. Nom nom.

  4. Sydney is foodie heaven – you’ll love it… although it’s much more pricey than in the US!
    I can almost guarantee that you’ll hate Vegemite. Unless you were brought up eating it, chances are pretty slim that you’re going to like it. It’s definitely an acquired taste. The best Vegemite tip: less is more! And I’ve never heard of it in a pastry or dessert, maybe it’s an urban myth.
    You must try Longrain in Surry Hills. The Sardine Room in Pots Point is also great. I agree with Lex, try Bills for brunch.

  5. Jamie Oliver is totally going to blow your mind. I had my first dinner at Jamie’s Italian while spending a semester in Glasgow and I miss that restaurant every day.

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