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Feed Me Friday

June 18, 2010

Friday, when the weekend is approaching, is a day when I get a little bit misty-eyed and nostalgic for my life in Sydney. While I still have a life in Sydney, it’s on hold for the year: my usual routine of living in Sydney and holidaying in Grafton has been reversed temporarily. This has opened up a new world of culinary adventures, and rather than indulging in the convenience of the tempting delights to be found at Sydney’s restaurants, cafes and food courts, home food, often home grown, is the order of the day. Sydney food rituals have been replaced by Grafton ones: coffee every morning in town to read the local paper and absorb gossip; Wednesday night as my cooking night; the farmers’ market on Thursday mornings where I can buy local and catch up with friends; and Sunday night pizza night, when, every week, Papa Explody makes delicious pies, perfected over literal months of Sundays, and we break with convention and eat on the couch.

Another special ritual is the Friday night dinners that my parents have been having with a group of their friends each week for the past decade. They recently celebrated ten years of food, wine and friendship in France, converging on the Canal du Midi for a week-long barge trip. Hilarity ensued, friendships emerged intact, and tonight Papa Explody is hosting dinner for the few who aren’t still gallivanting on the Continent. Today it’s one of his fortnightly RDOs, which are one of his food rituals. He cooks. Often all day, and all evening. As I write, I can smell oxtail with chilli and ginger bubbling away in the oven, and last night I sampled some freshly churned rhubarb ice cream which my snooping indicates will be accompanied by rhubarb tarts.

So, I’ve certainly got something to look forward to tonight (incidentally, following my Roller Derby debut as JULIA KILLHARD!) But it’s #feedmefriday, a Twitter tradition started by renowned food critic and man about town Simon Thomsen, and my tastebuds are craving my Sydney favourites, with a long-awaited visit approaching. I will have three days and four nights to work with, so I need to prioritise what goes down my gullet. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and it’s true. Time and distance also make you realise what’s truly important. I might not fit them all in this time, though I’ll damn well try, but these are my top ten Sydney food cravings, in no particular order.

1. Haleem, ‘King of Curry’, with garlic naan from the tandoor, from Faheem Fast Food, Enmore. This slow-cooked dish of beef and lentils lives up to its name. My favourite curry OF ALL TIME.

2. Sauternes custard at Marque, Surry Hills. Legendary. Nuff said.

3. In equal measure, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Chicken Laksa from Sayong Curry & Laksa Malaysian Cuisine in the ‘secret food court’ below Woolworths on Pitt and Park streets. Dodgy looking food court. In case of fire, probably a death trap, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Regularly.

4. Apples from The Farmgate by Nashdale Fruit Co (shh, don’t tell them, but I only worked for them at the markets so I could gorge on apples while no one was looking).

5. Pad Sator, a rich, oily dish of minced chicken and sator beans (similar to broad beans), from Ploy Thai, Petersham. Instead of lining up at Chat Thai or Spice I Am, for a change of scenery, check out this lesser-known gem. While it looks like a run-of-the-mill suburban Thai restaurant, the dishes that come out of the kitchen at Ploy Thai are authentic and made with love. If you live nearby, ring for home delivery.

6. Ho Mok (steamed fish curry wrapped in banana leaf) from Spice I Am (the original hole in the wall on Wentworth Avenue). This was the first dish I ever tried at Spice I Am, and it’s my favourite.

7. Flat white from Bar Italia, Leichhardt. The sign on the coffee machine is clear: ‘No Skim. No Soy. No Light Milk.’ Get over it. The coffee is good, and strong. Served by Spiro the cute barista, who has been making my heart melt for about ten years (someone who knows him will read this, I just know it!)

8. Pasta from Fix St James. I never used to order pasta off the menu at restaurants. Maybe because pasta reminds me of when I was a poor student and I used to eat it at home nearly every night, but mostly because it’s often crap. But I crave pasta from Fix St James, which changes regularly along with the rest of the menu. Then again, everything at Fix St James is good. Just try one of each!

9. Bougatsa at Perama, Petersham. Fact: chef David Tsirekas does the best Greek food in Sydney. Although I’m not usually one to go crazy for desserts, his bougatsa, pastry filled with fruit-infused custard which changes seasonally, is the shiznit. I wish I could eat it all the time. Actually, when I lived in Sydney, I did eat it all the time. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m thinner now.

10. BBQ pork ribs cooked by my flatmate. Eaten in the backyard, with some sweet tunes on the stereo and the cricket on the TV (yes, outside). I don’t drink booze anymore, but I will be craving the Coopers Pale Ale that he’ll probably be drinking. This is more of a summer session thing, so I probably won’t be eating ribs on my next visit. But my flatmate is the BBQ KING, just one of the many reasons I look forward to being back in my Sydney home this summer!

What are your biggest food cravings?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2010 15:16

    Ha, memories of a wonderful bf I long ago who lived in Erko – long afternoons in the sun with the cricket on the TVwe had carried into the backyard, beers, bongs and home made beer battered fish or barbeque.

  2. Fiona Laughton permalink
    June 18, 2010 15:42

    When will you take me to the secret food court? 😀

  3. Emma permalink
    June 18, 2010 15:49

    Felix, you need to pencil in dinner at my place while you are down in Sydney. I’m already considering the menu. I promise it will be good.

    But why did you tell everyone about the secret food court? And I notice you didn’t mention the cheese toasties (or indeed anything) from Bar Adyar. I can only assume you are trying to keep it to yourself.

  4. Stuart permalink
    June 18, 2010 16:57

    Great reading lovely. Lots of tasty work. Hope to see you, but so much food in such a short time! We’ll be here waiting anyway.

  5. brendan permalink
    June 18, 2010 18:06

    Faheems my number one too. Just the thought of that chicken tikka is enough to get my the mouth watering. In fact it is watering right now…

  6. June 18, 2010 19:15

    Hi Felix, Nice list.
    heres snippet of mine

    Bacon & egg sanga’s on sourdough with sauce

    Beef Rendang & Roti bread

    Beer battered flathead with real chips & real tartare

    Grilled abalone with soy, honey & ginger

    Uber fresh King or swimmer crab & aioli

    Corned beef & piccalilli sanga

    New season raspberries & scalded cream

    Super spicy noodle dishes, too numerous to mention

    Fresh ripe peaches, watermelon, mango

    Caramelo Koala

    garlic bread

    Old skool ice berg salad

    Roast potatoes with real gravy

  7. June 18, 2010 23:45

    Yay! Hope to accompany you on a couple of these food adventures…especially to Faheem’s, Marque, Fix, Spice I am, Secret Foodcourt, and Perama

  8. cath renwick permalink
    June 19, 2010 14:30

    Great to hear about some new local eateries Flick, thanks. I had an amazing chicken and black peppercorn curry on tuesday night in the food court at Broadway of all places – their saag paneer and garlic nann were triffic too. Great food in the most unlikely places. If you have time for a professional visit to the zoo when you are in Sydders, let me know – you’ll need to pick up lunch at Quay Deli on the way though.

  9. June 19, 2010 21:13

    What a great list, but I’m missing some great Grafton things while I’m enjoying the goodness of Sydney food.
    Big River Pizza – too much cheese for any artery to handle efficiently, and
    the long-closed and fondly remembered Langley’s cafe meat pies.

    Love your blog. Ant

  10. April 12, 2012 20:33

    Hi great read, thanks a lot for sharing =D

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