Friday, November 1, 2019

Sydney: Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout

Maybe this photo is a little misleading. Not that the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House are fake but this was taken from Cahill Walk lookout, when I was on the way to the Pylon Lookout.

I previously posted on multiple photos of this famous bridge, adorably nicknamed as the Coathanger. Wow - it has been ten years!

The theme today are Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I usually tell people I like living in Melbourne but the view of these 2 iconic landmarks are really hard to beat if you can't decide on a location to visit in Australia. That say, I didn't really enjoy the area around Circular Quay wharf, it somehow felt like my memories of transportation hub in Malaysia where people prefers to avoid.

Anyway, back to photo spam of this arch-based bridge as I took a detour on my walk to the Pylon Lookout.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout
My friends who came to visiting from the land of Merlion did the Bridge Climb. The Bridge Climb tickets came with free entry to The Pylon Lookout. My friends left me with the entrance ticket to the Pylon Lookout. Coincidentally I was in Sydney just in within the validity date so of course, I made a trip there. Otherwise, admission is $19 per person for adults. I had an extra ticket after I used one of them and tried to offer to some visitors but I think they were apprehensive and refused the ticket. I didn't think that I look dodgy. Oh well.

There are some interesting exhibits regarding the bridge on level one. On my visit there was no one manning the counter on level one so I am unsure if the museum is free.

Going up another level, there were still some other exhibits before one has to pay for entry to the lookout.

And then of course, here are some photos taken from the lookout.

Side note: How is it that lemongrass is so hard to find?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Sydney: Wedding Cake Rock of Royal National Park

Wedding Cake Rock earned its name from being said to resemble a slice of wedding cake with layers feature in cuboid shape and the rock in white colour, similar to a wedding cake. That said, when I send the above photo to both my sisters, the first question I was asked was, "Why is it call Wedding Cake Rock?" So maybe it wasn't really resemble that piece of cake.

Wedding Cake Rock is at the north of Marley Beach in Royal National Park, Sydney. It is about an hour away from Sydney CBD by train, followed by a 30 minutes ferry ride, then a 20 minutes walk to the start of the trail. Sounds far and troublesome to get to but you get a ferry ride as part of the journey and it is reachable by public transport! That's already 2 plus points right?

Getting to Wedding Cake Rock by public transport
Firstly, catch a train from the city to Cronulla station, it takes about +/- an hour. On getting out of the train, walk to Cronulla ferry wharf. Exit the train and turn left, walk through a pedestrian tunnel underpass on your left, cross the park and down to the ferry wharf.

At Cronulla Wharf
At Cronulla Wharf, you can buy tickets at a small counter before getting on the ferry if you don't have cash. Cronulla Ferry is not covered under Opal. However, only cash is payable on the ferry. It is currently $6.80 for adults, one way.

Cronulla Ferry at the end, at Bundeena Wharf
There were signs though to show the direction to the Royal National Park.

But I cheated, I pretty much just googled the way to get to the start from Wedding Cake Rock trail from IGA which was at the end of the road. There was also a public toilet near IGA.

At the start of the trail...

Warning signs to tell people to choose life over Instagram photo. Wedding Cake Rock trail is graded at level 4 but I was going at a pretty leisure pace and find that the trail is well paved.

Once you are at the start of the trail, you won't get lost. At any point of time where there are more than one turn, there will be signs letting you know where it lead to. Besides, there are other visitors around. I was there in the morning, there were other visitors but there were still many times I was walking by myself. On my return trip, however, there were many more people.

The Balconies
First stop was The Balconies. On my way back out, there were many people were at this place having a picnic or trying to spot whales!

Continuing on, you will reach an area named The Water Run.

The Water Run

Around this area there are a bit more steps, but I like the looks of the stones.

From here, it is not far to the wedding cake rock. When you see high fence it means you have reach the rock.

Wedding Cake Rock
Unfortunately there isn't much variation one can take of this cake rock from over the fence. So my photos of this famous rock are very much similar. When I was there I saw someone sat on the fence for a photo though.

I realised I didn't take a photo of the tall fence but you can see a small part of it at the far end of this photo below.

You can backtracked here or continue on towards Marley Head.

Marley Headland and Marley Beach

After another 20 minutes of leisure stroll will bring you to Marley Headland. It was a good view of Big and Little Marley Beaches from here.

I backtracked to Bundeena Wharf after here. I took the 1:00pm ferry back to Cronulla. It was a weekend in September, so luckily the 1:00pm ferry was running, else I would need to wait for more than a hour.

Side note: Ooh.. 2 more months to Christmas!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Sydney: Just another trip to the capital of NSW - Food Edition

Another trip back to Sydney - for work. This year feels like "visit Sydney year", at least for me. This round surprisingly was up to a week long so am pretty happy to explore new places.

This time I was put up in Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney. Not much of a view from the windows but great location and comfortable stay. Facilities include indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room and 24 hours gym. Thank you work.

The 24 hours gym gave me very little room to find an excuse not to exercise especially when my food plans was rather extensive.

So, here comes the food, in the order of time of consumed.

Chinatown Noodle Restaurant
73 Bathurst Street, CBD, Sydney, NSW

I went with one of my work colleague and we shared half serve (6 pieces) of pan fried eggplant dumplings ($6.80) and half serve pan fried pork chives dumplings ($6.80). We also ordered a cumin lamb bun ($7) each. It was my first time trying eggplant dumplings, it was good but I might give it a miss if I am after just savoury food as it was more on the sweet side.

Cumin lamb bun

Bowery Lane
1 O’Connell St, Sydney

I ordered the chilli fried eggs which was described as chickpeas, yoghurt, rye toast, smoked paprika grilled leek, sumac salt, nasturtium leaves on their menu. The cafe has a good ratings online but I find it just average.

Chilli fried eggs ($18)
The food didn't wow me but the space looks good.

Malay Chinese Takeaway
1/50-58 Hunter St, Sydney NSW 2000

This was one of the best Malaysian eatery in Sydney. Cheap and happy. I ordered the specials of the day which was assam laksa. I have just checked their website again and looks like the daily specials menu has changed, compared to when I visited and assam laksa is no longer on the menu.

Assam laksa ($12.5)

Lorraine's Patisserie
Shop 5, Palings Lane, 320 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

I came across this patisserie on my walks and picked up a Ruby's Cake. On their menu, the cake is described as "orange scented choc mousse, hazelnut dacquoise, choc hazelnut crisp, vanilla mousse, cinnamon meringue". It was good cake but I find it a little too sweet and didn't get the orange scent, unfortunately. The crispy bits at the top was a good contrast texture. It is on the pricey spectrum for a slice of cake as well.

Ruby's Cake ($10)

ARRIN Asian Fusion
1008/30 Glen St, Milsons Point NSW 2061

This was visited purely for convenience of location. Service was good but food was ok. It probably wasn't a fair comment though as my friend requested for adjustments to be made due to dietary purposes.

Mango curry

Thai Basil fried rice

Flour & Stone
53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011

I read rave reviews of their pannacotta lamington and hazelnut torte, so one lunch time I went for a walk and bought some bakery goodies. I didn't see any hazelnut torte on my visit so I got myself a piece of the lamington and cinnamon donut.

Even though the cinnamon donut was crispy as it is more like churros and traditional donut, I don't smell of any cinnamon. In fact I recalled the smell of oil, unfortunately. The taste was ok though. As for the lamington, I am still not a fan of lamington.

KOI Dessert Bar & Dining
46 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

E, S and I went to their tasting menu! We went on end of September and I noticed that the menu online now is different. I don't know how often they change their menu but it could be per season? It was $88 per person and we ordered a serve of "MOSS" to share.

E doesn't take coconut and they changed it to another dish, "Titan" (Guava, green apple, chervil, orange blossom and streusal). On the menu, it mentioned that they require all guests on the table to have the set menu so we all thought we will all get "Titan" instead. We were surprised when only E gets Titan but S and I were still served "Unknown". We are not big fan of coconut either, especially from the description, it was heavy on coconut element.

Snack of pie tee and the other on nori

Bread with some infused butter

Chawanmushi, ikura, spanner crab, chives, ponzu

Quail, celeriac, pear, shimeji
Grilled beef short ribs with lettuce, mushroom puree, hazelnut, smoked jus
Unknown - caramelised coconut, lime, calamansi, coconut water, brown butter
This was the Titan that E had, while S and I were served Unknown (picture above).

Titan - Guava | Green Apple | Chervil | Orange Blossom | Streusal
Tonka - Tonka bean gelato, mandarin, orelys genoa, espresso ganache, licorice
"MOSS" - Pistachio monte, caramel, lime curd, matcha, lime yoghurt, apple

Cafe Cre Asion
101/21 Alberta St, Sydney NSW 2000

This cafe serves very yummylicious matcha food. I ordered matcha fondant (matcha lava cake and matcha gelato), $9 and also matcha latte, $6.

Matcha fondant on the left, matcha latte to the right

La Rosa
The Strand Arcade, 133/193 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000

This came recommended by a couple of my colleagues and I did feel like Italian food, just why is pasta so expensive! :(
But... since we are getting good Italian food, might as well go all out so I got myself a glass of Waihopai Sauvignon Blanc, $13.90 to go with a main meal plus dessert. My colleague even went as far as telling me that even if I don't eat main meal, but order this zeppola dessert.

I was a bit worried that I might not like it when the dish was served to me because I didn't realise that one of the component is caramel...

Rye Flour Bucatini, Spencer Gulf Prawns, Southern Calamari, Olives, Tomato, Chilli, Garlic, $45

Zeppola (traditional potato dough doughnut with vanilla bean gelato, caramel sauce), $17.65

Lady Fairfax Restaurant, Radisson Blu Sydney
27 O'Connell St, Sydney NSW 2000

I haven't had a breakfast buffet for awhile. So on the Sunday I was there I decided to sleep in and enjoy a long breakfast.

Rey Jr.
13 Little Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000

I only had dessert, after a very full-filling breakfast. I find the ube parfait a little on the sweet side but I enjoyed the crunchy bits very much.

Turon with Ube (Banana spring roll with ube parfait, calamansi sauce and jackfruit), $13

Westfield Sydney, Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000

I missed this one the last time but I have remedied this. I went to the Westfield branch because that was the one nearest to the hotel. I had the Yayoi Gozen again because greedy and wanted a bit of everything. I swapped the miso soup to asari miso shiru by topping up $3.

Japanese food paired with a glass of aged 3 years umeshu, $8.

Yayoi Gozen, $34 + asari miso shiru, $3
Dessert was one of my favourite mochi, warabimochi. The one on offer was the matcha warabimochi.

Radisson Blu room service
I wasn't feeling very well so I decided to stay in and ordered a room service for dinner. I am convinced that I am not unwell after that because I finished all my food haha. I was surprised though that the menu mentioned herb butter sauce so I expected to have the sauce over the fish, instead of solid herb butter served on the side.

Barramundi fillet with side of beer battered fries and herb butter sauce

Happy As Larry
THE MET CENTRE, 23 Jamison St, Sydney NSW 2000

Decided to have a hispter-ish breakfast of acai bowl and it was yummy. Fueled me up properly before a full day workshop.

Acai bowl (strawberries,  blueberries, banana, chia seeds, roasted almonds, shredded coconut & granola, $17

Balcón by Tapavino
17 Bligh St, Sydney NSW 2000

This was part of team bonding dinner. We chose it initially because it was on 30% discount on The Fork but it was good food. Unfortunately some of the photos were blurred because dim light, I took them quickly and didn't check the photos after. Can't stand between hungry people who doesn't photography their food and food.

We also ordered another side of fried potatoes with garlic and parsley, $12 but that photo was way too blurred so I skip posting it.

Charcoal grilled chicken, cucumber, capers, guindillas, fino sherry, burnt bread sauce, $38

Aromatic braised lamb shoulder, herb salad, white bean puree, mustard seeds, $42

Basque style jack's creek angus flank steak mbs3+, ajo blanco, $38

Roast eggplant, smoked eggplant puree, nuts, seeds, golden raisins, $14

'bunuelo' - spanish doughnuts, catalan cream & blood plum jam, $15

'Paula's pastelitos' - alfajor, raspberry & ruby chocolate macaron, almond bombon, turron, $12

'limpia-chiminea' - pedro ximenez ice cream, espresso, 60ml Perez Parquero 'Los Amigos', $14

I am pleased that I managed to try different places this round and they are pretty good too.  In fact out of all the above, I've only been to Malay Chinese Takeaway when I used to live in Sydney, Yayoi in my past trips and only done some takeaway desserts from KOI previously.

Side note: It's turning into visit Sydney blog... 

Sydney: Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout

Maybe this photo is a little misleading. Not that the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House are fake but this was taken from Cahill Walk look...