There’s nothing like a delicious taco or two to make you feel like you’re holidaying on a gorgeous Mexican playa and wistfully contemplating your next cocktail. And while Foveaux Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills is a far cry from Mexico, it’s here that you can find some truly authentic, and downright tasty, Mexican street food.
When it comes to new restaurants, the Sydney market can be brutal. And while many sink, others appear to float along effortlessly. Enter Three Blue Ducks. Opened by a group of local surfers in 2010, this humble beachside cafe has gone on to become one of Sydney’s hottest places to eat. In just two years, it’s received glowing reviews, been featured on television series, taken over the pizza place next door, extended its trading hours into the evening, and even opened a spin-off in Falls Creek, Victoria.
While it seems the rest of the world has long-embraced the food truck concept, Sydney is a little slow on the uptake. But at last, it’s happening and just in time for the warmer months. One of the very first off the rank, Cantina Mobil, is a cool little truck that has been roving around Sydney’s northern beaches serving up simple yet delicious Mexican-inspired fare. Founded by Rode Vella and Stephanie Raco, they boast a pretty authentic menu of slow-cooked meats and desserts like mango pudding that’s great after a day on the sand.
There are two types of people in this world: those who love cured meats and cheese and, well, those who don’t. And for the former, Salt Meats Cheese, situated in the same block as The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney, is somewhat of a nirvana. Step inside this funky warehouse, and you’re greeted by an abundance of delectable, quality imported ingredients, as well as a vast cheese and salumi room that’s definitely not for the lactose intolerant.
It’s not often you arrive somewhere for a lazy breakfast on a Saturday morning, to find a DJ pumping out tunes, a clown and a fairy doing wacky things with balloons, Italian cheese makers kneading mozzarella, chickens pecking about their coop, and row after row of impressive veggie patches. It’s a complex and seemingly chaotic package, but somehow, it all melds together, in a civilized, serene and incredibly cool oasis that’s attracting Sydney’s foodies in droves. Set in an old pie factory in the industrial suburb of Alexandria, The Grounds is almost more of a concept than a café or restaurant – a vast, gastronomic playground.
For anyone travelling with young kids, the thought of a plane trip — particularly an international one — can induce heart palpitations. The very idea of enduring a public meltdown in a cramped space 30,000 feet above the ground, while other passengers ‘humpf’ and deliver pointed stares, is enough to send any parent into a state of sleep-deprived anxiety.
It’s a grey, rainy day here in Sydney and with nothing particularly inspiring on the brunch menu, I’m dreaming about a recent breakfast I had at La Lucciola in Bali. Situated right on the beachfront, this vast, open-air, thatched restaurant always seems to score rave reviews from tourists, and is refreshingly and romantically basic, with tiled floors and comfy wicker chairs.
By day, Buenos Aires is awash with super stylish, well-heeled porteños going about their daily business: shopping, chatting on their cells, or tucking into scrumptious steaks bigger than their designer handbags. After dark, in fact, way after dark, as is the Argentine way, you’ll find a fair few of the city’s beautiful people head to a gorgeous and dimly lit wine bar in the stylish barrio of Recoleta. With its funky interior and decadent wine list, you’ll never find yourself short of a tipple — or a pleasant view — at Gran Bar Danzon.
Cafe Bali is considered somewhat of an institution in Seminyak, Bali. With mismatched furniture and an open, relaxed vibe, it’s the perfect place to while away the hours – reading, writing or just hanging with some rather beautiful people.
Head up a long, nondescript drive towards Seminyak’s shabby coastline, and you’ll find the incredibly cool and distinctly un-shabby Potato Head Beach Club, the newest and sharpest place to hang out in Bali. Opened in December 2010, the building is an art installation in itself, with walls made of industrial concrete and adorned with hundreds of rustic, mismatched window shutters.
There’s something very ‘Sydney’ about Seminyak. If it weren’t for the tropical heat, delightful scent of incense, cluttered temples and constant drum of scooters, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were shopping in Paddington, hanging out in Bondi, or dining in Surry Hills. And when it comes to the very Sydney habit of heading out for Sunday brunch, you can’t go past Seminyak’s Grocer and Grind.
It doesn’t get more rockstar than a private beach club at the foot of a soaring limestone cliff: with white sand, turquoise water, a masseuse at the ready, and your own cable car to lift you back up the cliff afterwards.
There’s something nicely eclectic about sitting in an opulent Balinese restaurant, sipping French wine, and eating Southeast Asian inspired food courtesy of a renowned Australian chef. While such a combination could potentially risk being a little confused, this is one instance where the fusion definitely works.
When having a child dampens your travel plans — seemingly forever — it’s relieving to know that there’s a genuine slice of France just around the corner. Since opening in 2008, the French-inspired Bronte Road Bistro has scored rave reviews – and it’s easy to see why. Their formula is simple: an elegant and straightforward menu, killer wine list, and friendly, down-to-earth service. And unlike so many other new restaurants in Sydney’s Eastern beaches, they attract crowds without relying on vintage furniture, mismatched crockery or meagre, tapas-inspired dishes.
It’s 7:30am, and as per usual, there’s already there’s a queue forming outside Iggy’s Bread on a quiet suburban street in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Actually, the only time you won’t see a line of hungry customers salivating in front of their hole-in-the-wall bakery is when there’s a hastily scribbled ‘sold out’ sign pasted on the door.