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Showing posts from October, 2013

Sydney: Una's Cafe & Restaurant

My visits to Sydney in the last few years have been centred around the inner eastern suburbs of Darlinghurst, Kings Cross, Paddington and Rushcutters Bay. I'm of Dutch descent and was recently granted my Dutch citizenship (yay!). So, really, it is quite AMAZING that I'd never been to Una's (338-340 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst) prior to last month.

Una's is somewhat of an urban legend in Sydney. Its focus is home-style, traditional European cuisine with influences from the likes of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Hungary. Its infamous plate-wide schnitzels, its relaxed and friendly vibe, and its proximity to the nightlife of Kings Cross for over 40 years have ensured its continued success. My Dad tells me tales of prolonged business lunches he spent at Una's 20 years ago, and my 20-something (OK, 30-something) friends still pop in there for a schnitzel before a night on the town.

Una's is a Victoria Street mainstay, complete with red brick a…

Sydney: Watsons Bay, The Golden Sheaf Hotel

A recent trip to Sydney afforded me an opportunity to fulfill my long-craved fix of its beautiful harbour. With family on the East side, someone suggested a drive over to Watsons Bay for a look-see and stroll around. Why, yes! How lovely, I thought, truthfully but somewhat nervously, the words "Watsons Bay" having invoked from the dark recesses of my brain a memory of eating fish and chips in the park one sunny weekend and a greedy seagull (one of the many that are constantly overfed by stupid visitors who ignore the signs clearly instructing NOT to feed the seagulls) flying to my shoulder and pecking a chip FROM MY FINGERS. Scared the LIVING BEJESUS out of me.

Nevertheless, I like visiting Watsons Bay - not least for the entertainingly windy drive past clean and impressive mansions, The Macquarie Lighthouse* and the notorious "Gap" to get there - but also because it feels like a little holiday nook of Sydney: sheltered, village-y... yes, expensive; with a pretty l…

Shop Ramen

Ramen, udon, pho and all things Asian-noodley have been far less prominent in my life since I moved from Sydney to Melbourne. Finally, it seems the awesomeness of tasty, cheap Asian food is filtering more into Melbourne's foodie radar, and there's much more choice around town these days. Shop Ramen (329 Smith Street, Fitzroy) is tapping into the trend, with great ramen on offer, endorsed by the hordes of hungry punters at the door.

Shop Ramen's roots sprouted in February this year as Shophouse Ramen, a staggeringly popular, 10-day pop-up at Storm in a Teacup. The brainchild of experimental foodie and blogger, Pat Breen, the pop-up's success led to its new, permanent residence up the road (just south of Johnston Street).

Owners Breen and Lydia Wegner travelled to Japan to master the art of ramen, adapting its traditions into a compact yet flavour-filled menu. The three ramen dishes currently on offer feature wheat and rye noodles hand-made on-site, and are finished with…