Friday, June 15, 2007

Eatable spots

Some time back (was it just last week?) Anna had tagged me to list my top five eating spots and I was quite chuffed to be tagged. You see, the geezer and I consider ourselves to be food snobs, but not the sort that goes to the top expensive nosheries, although we're not averse to trying them out on occasion. Nope. We like finding hidden gems, which most importantly need to not just serve good meals, but to also have excellent service and value. I think I picked a lot of this up from my sister, who just happens to be a trained commercial chef. The geezer on the other hand, picked up his food-pickiness from his dad, who drives a long distance out of his way just to get good food and fresh produce.

(1) My first one is the Cheesecake Factory on the main drag of Waikiki in Hawaii. The geezer and I went on a fortnight's holiday two years ago to one of his favourite stomping grounds. A friend of mine had recommended this place and WHOA! You can tell a place is good when crowds are queueing outside the door for more than 30 minutes. The menu reads like a novel and the cheesecake list was to-die-for. We ate there about three or four times and had to walk around the big block twice so we can fit in dessert, which we had in hand conveniently boxed. I want to go back just to try out the other menu items.

(2) My second pick is the Tea Room at Gunners Barracks here in Sydney. I have a soft spot for this place, because the geezer took me here for our anniversary this year. We had harbour views and the food was mouth-watering to say the least. The cuisine is modern Australian, whatever that is...I think I had some lamb loin with scallops and greens. But the highlight is the selection of teas and the tall platter of sandwiches, scones and cakes if you go there for high tea. Makes you feel like a right real lady, when you go to high tea! Where are my gloves?

(3) My third would have to be Italy, the whole entire country! I went there for a month six years ago just backpacking around. On my budget at the time, I didn't want to blow everything on food, since there were also the shoes to be oggled and tried on. You can get pizza and paninis at the little coffee bars, washed down with italian-style hot chocolate...sort of gravy-like in consistency, very bitter sweet and very evil. Then there was one tiny trattoria in Florence which we ate at three evenings in a row just for the yummy rissotto. As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with eating anywhere in that country, especially if you manage to find a place where an old italian grandma is doing the actual cooking.

(4) The next one is another local place called Sushi Samurai, except we hardly order any sushi when we're here, barring the chirashi sushi, which is more of a salad than a roll. Everyone is so polite at this place! The say hello, lots of thank yous and open the door for you on your way out, while the entire staff says goodbye. And this is not a snobby place, at all. It's more like a hole in the wall. Everything is fresh and helpings are generous in size. My fave dish is the seaweed salad, along with the unagi eel. Yum!

(5) I'll copy Anna on my fifth pick is my mum's and sister's place. My mum is a great cook and I'm always hanging out for the next opportunity when my sister cooks, since she's hardly ever on land now, having changed careers to get out of the kitchen to be an "air hostess". I think the technical term is "flight attendant" but "air hostess" sounds better. Anyway, my mum's and sister's spreads when they throw something big, usually around Christmas are always abundantly tasty.....especially my mum's pineapple glazed ham.

Okay, folks! Except for Anna, I'm tagging everyone who commented on my last post. That would be Jhoanna, Belinda, Di and Kirsty.

Edit: I'm also tagging Corrie and Cathy. Better late than never, ladies. And I'm eager to see some good Melbourne eating spots.

And what's up with the fabric photo's, when this is supposed to be a foodie write-up? The first pic are some vintage summer-weight suiting check fabric that my mum gave me last weekend from her stash. I think they're Kenzo fabrics. I've been checking the northern hemisphere fashion sites and it looks like the checks will be headed our way in about six months. Maybe a skirt's hiding in there for the bub. The second pic is my latest wip-to-be after I've finished another two smocks, because some quilt has decided to finally come home...he he he.

Have a good weekend!


Cathy said...

I just love Sydney for eating out. I have not been to any that you talked about, but next time I am there I will take a look at that tea room. One of my favourites in Sydney is Wildfire (it's at the Rocks) - and you have views of the Opera House.
I will be up there in a few weeks - staying in Paddington - any good recommendations for there?

Di said...


Agreement as far as I can agree! I have been to the Cheesecake Factory in Boston and was blown away by the selection - and Italy!! I used to go out with an Italian so have visited many parts of the county and eaten in some fantastic places - including one place in the Dolomites where you had to eat every one of their 10 starters one after the other. I have also been to 4 italian weddings and at the first one ate so much antipasti not realising that there was an 8 course meal to follow that I nearly exploded!!

Can't comment on Sydney or your mum's place - maybe one day (Sydney at least!) Will now have to go and think about my 5 favourite places!!

Thimbleanna said...

Fabulous post Jade! The closest cheesecake to me, in Indianapolis, can have a 1 1/2 - 2 hour wait. It's unbelieveable. I laughed out loud in #3 -- both at your tag for the "whole country" and your shoe reference. You're so funny. Your other selections make me want to visit Sydney. Especially Mum's! Methinks, perhaps, could we have the pineapple ham recipe??? Sounds delicious!

Louise said...

I have to agree with you on Italy - my favourite is anything from Tuscany including pizza by the square in Sienna, proscuitto and fresh mozarella from the supermarket in the town we stayed near, figs off the tree in the garden of the farmhouse we rented and to die for chargrilled lamb with white bean puree in a little bistro off the piazza in Sienna - mmmmmm. And that was about 8 years ago!
I also agree on the seaweed salad and smoked eel - my absolute fave things in japanese restaurants.
I'll have to check out what the Melbourne people write - I'm always looking for some new yummy food options.