Archive for November, 2013

Quay Restaurant, Sydney

November 30, 2013
Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks

I was a guest of a friend who was in town for business. He’d given me a bit of notice to book somewhere. Nothing less than a degustation would do. Quay it was. Premium wines all the way.

It was an excellent meal. Worthy mention to Wagyu tartare, XO seafood, pork & scallops and the guava snow-egg. Still worth the hype.

The four eaux-de-vie with four double espresso made it a five hour meal while contributing to only 3 hours sleep. And I was thinking the two would balance themselves out. Schoolboy error.










4 hours in Hanoi

November 30, 2013

Travelling on my own back to the UK in August I had chosen the budget option of Vietnam Airlines. I’d flown worse. The one bonus was a stopover in Hanoi on the return. There was no mucking around.

I took a taxi straight to Gia Truyen Pho, 49 Bat Dan Street. A whole in the wall kind of deal. The queue was reassuringly long. The pho was of course excellent.

It was followed by a decent coffee overlooking the lake, a giant turtle, motorbike taxi, a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & the bizarre national museum.

There was also a very heated argument with a taxi driver trying to charge me $50 for a 5 minute journey – I suggested calling the police. He called my bluff (smart move on his behalf – prospect of dodgy police etc.). We compromised on $15.

I finished at Cha Ca La Vong, 14 Cha Ca Street for some fish in oil and greens with surly service.

It was brief, but fun.








St. John Bread & Wine, London

November 30, 2013
94-96 Commercial Street, London

A simple light lunch of the kind St.John can do so well – All good quality British ingredients with little fuss. Some of my favourite meals have been had here, grazing over three hours. This time it was
chickpea & cauliflower in a light curry dressing, pigs head ‘croquette’, followed by an awesome Eccles cake with Lancashire cheese. Done




London Beer Festival, Olympia

November 30, 2013

It was a case of perfect timing – my week in London coinciding with this great annual event. I’ve been going for years. Our modus-operandi, start low strength, before building up to the heavyweights. Accelerated drunken-ness. No visit is complete without pork scratchings, pork pies and evil smells the morning after.



The Ledbury (4), Notting Hill

November 14, 2013

Another meal back at my London go-to in August. A meal for one – two half bottles, broth of grilled onions & curd with truffle toast, celeriac risotto, venison & cheese to finish (it’s hard to find good cheese in Australia). Decent






The River Cafe, London

November 13, 2013
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road

My Father’s 70th birthday in August and I was the surprise arranged by my dear mother. It was a perfect. A family meal on a warm summers day is when The River Cafe can’t be beat. Simple food of the highest quality:

Lobster pasta, wood-fired Dover Sole, homemade ice cream, chocolate nemesis with a lot of wine & banter.





Medlar (2), London

November 13, 2013
438 Kings Road

London again…. An August week back in Blighty for a special guest appearance. Fresh off the plane (via Vietnam…), meeting Ben at the airport, a bit of culture at Tate Britain and then to lunch with my sisters.

Broad bean tagliatelle with truffle, followed by steak & chips. No complaints. Followed by a decent pint, dry white wine and a whitey at 9. A good day.




November 13, 2013

Our last meal ‘out’ before No.2


Aria, Sydney

November 11, 2013
1 Macquarie Street

From May – There is clearly more to Aria than mashed potato, but it does have its own dedicated cook


Hellenika Restaurant, Gold Coast

November 11, 2013
2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

We were babysitters for a February weekend in Gold Coast (really). I had even volunteered to take my 3 nephews to Wet ‘n’ Wild. We proceeded this horror with a very pleasant meal at Hellenika. Lamb shoulder for two, of course. I’ve only had better at Cumulus Inc. For the record I only lost two nephews for 20mins….