About

BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Travel magazine. Volume 2, issue 2
COMPANY NAME: THE AUSTRALIA TIMES
COMPANY URL: HTTP://WWW.THEAUSTRALIATIMES.COM
EMAIL: INFO@THEAUSTRALIATIMES.COM

THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
T R AV E L
Vol. 2 No. 2 July 2014
TRAVEL
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
3
TRAVEL
We offer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
Have something to communicate, or an opinion to state, we are your voice!
Want to join a like minded community in a great project
WHAT’S INSIDE?
CONTRIBUTORS:
OKTOBERFEST:
A EURO-TRIPPERS GUIDE 4
FROM COUCH TO COUCH:
A EUROPEAN ADVENTURE 10
CASTLES OF SCOTLAND AND IRELAND
A PHOTO ESSAY 15
SECRET MADRID:
THE SPOTS ONLY THE LOCALS KNOW 30
THE GHOSTS OF POLAND 36
SOUR ON SYDNEY:
A FOODIE ADVENTURE GONE BAD 40
Europe is a wishlist destination for many Australians
and for those of us who are seasoned travellers,
it’s a place we’ve usually been to more than once.
In this issue of Travel, we look beyond the big
lines of The Louvre and the bus rides to Big Ben,
in search of a different Europe, one that exists
beyond the pages of a thin travel brochure.
This month, our writers are asking you to engage
with the Continent in ways you may never have
done before: the excitement of Oktoberfest, the
sadness of Auschwitz, the daily life of Madrid.
These moments may not be on the front of many
postcards, but they are the unexpected treasures
of a wonderful destination.
We’ve also included a little note from home. Read
on if you dare Sydney foodies, our journo comes
to town…and isn’t impressed!
Happy Travels,
Katie Benson
TAT TRAVEL Magazine Editor
EDITOR’S NOTE
the
Justin Lemmon
Kristie Donnelly
Peter Pizarcoff
Beatriz Gamas Gonzalez
Arielle Milecki
CLICK HERE TO JOIN US
BY JUSTIN LEMMON
euro-trippers
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
4
Madness. That’s the only word to describe
Oktoberfest. The famous Munich beer festival may
be a caricature of German culture, but if you do
manage to find yourself in a tent full of lederhosen-
clad stein swillers, historical accuracy probably
isn’t high on your agenda. For most Euro-trippers,
Oktoberfest is the last big hurrah before returning
home or seeking work, and because of this it’s also
the place you bump into familiar faces from all of
your European adventures.
For the uninitiated, Oktoberfest is an experience
unlike any other: part keg party, part reunion and
part theme-park. This is the only place on Earth
where you are encouraged to spend the whole day
eating pork knuckles and drinking litre-tall steins
before downing a sherbet shot and climbing onto
a roller-coaster come nightfall.
The first weekend of Oktoberfest is for those who
truly crave the mania of such an event. The first
morning begins before the sun rises as literally
hundreds of thousands wait for the doors to be
opened and first keg cracked. The crush to get a
table is part exhilaration, part genuine fear as the
crowd reverberates into every crevice and gap. If
you’re lucky enough to snag a table, it’s time to
play the waiting game as the first stein isn’t poured
until mid-day.
When the first beer is finally poured and thrown
into the crowd, the change in the atmosphere is
electric. The band slowly warms up, the drinks
flow and you have the chance to chat with the
others at your table. Hundreds of thousands of
people crammed into a relatively small space for
the sole purpose of drinking sounds like a recipe
for disaster, but the overwhelming atmosphere is
frivolity. Everyone is simply looking for a good time
and the event is run with stereotypical German
precision, fights are extremely rare and the staff
are all well-humoured.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
5
TRAVEL
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
6
The event itself is held in a fairground, close to the
centre of Munich. The fun and games happen in
the giant tents, all sponsored by beer brands and
each subtly different. Prices do vary slightly, but
the Hofbrau tent tends to be the most popular with
tourists, as you don’t have to be seated to order
a beer. Because of its popularity, getting into the
Hofbrau can be tough, a good alternative is the
Lowenbrau tent which tends to be less hectic and
renowned for having the best band at the festival.
Around the tents is an assortment of food options
markedly cheaper than what is found inside, so it
is advisable to stock up if on a budget. An array
of roller-coasters, dodgem cars and fun houses
also add to the festival feeling, if your stomach can
handle it.
For budget travellers, be prepared for Oktoberfest to
break the bank. It’s one festival virtually impossible
to do on the cheap. A stein will set you back
10 (approx. $14 AUD), a pork knuckle about
20 (approx. $29 AUD) and accommodation is
notoriously pricey. Most major travel companies
offer either a hostel or cheaper camping option
and although camping is easier on the wallet, but
bear in mind, Munich in late September isn’t the
Bahamas. The other downside when choosing the
camping option is convenience: while a shuttle is
available, waking up at the crack of dawn with a
stein-induced hangover to catch it is a mean feet.
Public transport to and from the camp grounds
is available, but allow a half hour trip to the city
centre.
While your liver will undoubtedly carry Oktoberfest
scars, there will be few better memory-making
opportunities on your Euro trip. There is something
poetic about dancing to an oom-pah version of Hey
Baby on top of a rickety bench with stein-to-stein
with close friends and strangers you may never
see again. That’s what makes Oktoberfest a final
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
7
TRAVEL
must-do for travellers, one last celebration before the
call of the real world can’t be ignored any longer.
DO
• TAKE CARE: even in Germany, accidents
happen. The days are long so pace yourself
and beware broken glass when ‘prosting’.
Mind your footing when dancing on top of
tables and if entering the pig pen, where
underwear you don’t mind losing.
• DRESS UP: Granted the costumes are
expensive and will never be worn again, but
they genuinely add to the experience.
• MAKE TIME FOR THE REST OF MUNICH:
Munich provides a more relaxed scene to
Berlin’s hectic pace. Steeped in history,
Munich highlights include the stunning
English Garden (Englisher Garten), and the
original Hofbrauhaus is one for genuine beer
lovers.
DON’T
• FORGET TO SAVE: budgeting for a couple
of beers a day is nice in theory but goes
rapidly out the window when in the tent.
• BE A BAD DRUNK: the best part of the
festival is the atmosphere itself. Be patient,
have a good time and remember your limits.
• QUIBBLE ABOUT CHANGE: the servers
work incredibly long days so the last thing
you want to be doing is arguing over a Euro
or two.
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
8
9
TRAVEL
When I travelled alone to Europe last year, I took a
chance and agreed to Couchsurfing.
Slightly naïve some may say, but I wasn’t looking
for comfort. I was looking for lifestyle.
I signed up. Name, city, personality aspects,
accommodating abilities. I guess it could almost be
perceived as a dating website.
I added my travel dates and ahead I went.
Choosing between those that had an available
couch or spare room to accommodate for my time
spent there.
Finland was my first experience. Tampere - a city
I had never even heard of prior to this. But my
Couchsurfing host seemed nice and I was on a
budget. It’s fair to say I don’t have the most pleasant
memories of this particular surfing experience. When
I arrived in Tempere at 10pm I was welcomed with
a text message apologizing for the inconvenience,
but she would no longer be able to host me.
My faith in Couchsurfing was diminishing.
But chasing trouble, I agreed to try it once again
with a friend of mine that had matched my travel
dates through Holland. We were to stay with a
man living just out of the city of Amsterdam.
Of course, he couldn’t have been nicer. He provided
us with maps and filled us in on the hidden beauty only
known to locals away from major tourist attractions.
He trusted us with his spare keys and gave us the
freedom to do as we pleased during our stay.
He presented us with a time frame within which we
could stay as he needed to travel to Germany. On
the morning of his departure, he generously left us
with the keys and asked us to leave them behind
once we had finished packing up and he left. We
did not.
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
10
BY KRISTIE DONNELLY
Selfishly and somewhat immaturely we continued
our stay there for four days that followed his
departure. It seemed nice to stay in one place for a
while after so much travel. Due to his arrival back
we switched Couchsurfers to remain under the
impression we had left, as told. I guess it goes to
show that dubious actions happens both sides of
the Couchsurfing world.
Our next Couchsurfer host came complete with of
four other male roommates. As gorgeous as they
all were, we felt their intentions may have been
misleading. So with this in mind, we decided to
drag Amsterdam’s night life into the late afternoon
that followed.
Perhaps Couchsurfing, just wasn’t for me.
But it’s not all bad. After endless attempts to locate
available accommodation in Wicklow, Ireland,
I decided to once again try couch surfing. With
limited responses, I had a place to stay.
Things couldn’t have been nicer. He was amazing.
Took me to lookouts, hiking through the mountains,
drove me to Bray, cooked dinner, lunch, anything
and everything. I even had my own room. We got
to know each other and are still great friends six
months later.
I guess there’s cautions within this wide website,
but sometimes when you let go of worry, you
find yourself living your life in a way never
imagined.
Couch surfing was a chance to acquaint
knowledge as well as creativity. A possibility to
create memories away from tourist driven spots.
Associate with locals, step towards a pathway with
open arms to new friendships, and an open mind
to the understanding of not only beautiful things,
but people and culture.
Like any activity, it came with risks. But I’d never
been good at following rules.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
11
TRAVEL
12
13

Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ ǡ

Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 


Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 





To book an appointment visit our website
or call Caitlin on:
0433 319 609
www.inbalancesportstherapy.com
Mobile Service
We come to you!
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
14
As a lot of young boys growing up, many of my days (and knights) were spent defending my
castle from the determined invaders of next door. King Arthur was my hero and I even had a
round table that we would all sit around when it was time for the feast known as lunch.
So, when it was decided that the family will travel to Scotland and Ireland, a list of “must-see”
castles was drawn up. There are many castles scattered throughout the two countries, a reflection
of a turbulent history. These majestic fortresses of years gone by provide an enthralling window
into what times were like all with a rich heritage and intriguing romance. Some are still functional
buildings others lay in ruins but they all provide enchanting opportunities for young and old.
a photo essay
BY PETER PIZARCOFF
TRAVEL
15
Inspiring MindsIndependent Media
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
16
BLARNEY CASTLE
green is the colour of
Ireland and strolling
around the Blarney
Castle it’s easy to see
why. Surrounded by lush
parklands (including a
Poison Garden), you’re
tempted to revisit – just to
be sure. Oh, and don’t
forget to kiss the stone.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
17
TRAVEL
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
18
DOUNE CASTLE
if you’re a Python
fan, you can’t miss
a visit to Doune
Castle. Used as
the set of “Monty
Python and the Holy
Grail”, it is situated
in the Stirling district
of central Scotland,
just a picturesque
one hour drive west
of Edinburgh.
You could gallop,
if you have
coconuts handy.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
19
TRAVEL
EDINBURGH CASTLE
perched upon the
landmark, Castle Rock,
and dominating the
skyline of Edinburgh,
history of the castle
can be traced back to
the 12th century. The
major battle for visitors is
negotiating the countless
inns and whiskey centres
on the Royal Mile.
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
20
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
21
TRAVEL
EILEAN DONAN
CASTLE
is renowned as the
most photographed
and recognised Scottish
castle. If your thing is
a fortress that dates
back to the 6th century,
located at the junction
of three grand sea lochs
besieged by magnificent
scenery that you can
gaze on for hours, this is
the place to go.
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
22
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
23
TRAVEL
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
24
ROSS CASTLE
a hidden treasure in
Killarney (County Kerry,
Ireland), it’s the ancestral
home of the O’Donoghue
clan. Rumours have it
that a number of ghosts
frequent this beautifully
positioned castle.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
25
TRAVEL
URQUHART CASTLE
delightfully positioned
on the banks of Loch
Ness and beside the little
village of Drumnadrochit.
It is said that your
chances of viewing
the famed Loch Ness
monster, are proportional
to the amount of local
“liquid produce” you
consume.
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
26
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
27
TRAVEL
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
28
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
29
TRAVEL
By Beatriz Gamas Gonzalez
SECRET MADRID:
THE SPOTS ONLY
THE LOCALS KNOW
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Inspiring MindsIndependent Media
30
If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of big cities
and visiting every single museum and monument,
it is time for you to go to Madrid and visit the
spots only the locals know. The best way to fully
experience the city is submerging yourself in the
way of life of a true madrileño, which of course
involves eating out. I’ll show you how in just three
days, you too can discover this lifestyle.
Tasty Friday
If you are visiting the city in June, do not miss
the Feria del Libro in the peaceful Parque del
Retiro, where you have the opportunity to buy
books and have them signed by the most famous
Spanish writers. The park offers families, friends
and couples a nice break from the busy streets of
Madrid, whether in terms of sport or entertainment
with lots of attractions, the most beautiful of which
is the magical Crystal Palace. Afterwards, take
the underground to the heart of Madrid and have
lunch on the ninth floor of 2 Plaza de Callao. With
a gourmet supermarket and delicatessen bars as
part of El Corte Inglés stores, this is my favourite
spot to get the best shots of the Madrid skyline. To
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
31
TRAVEL
have your merienda (typical Spanish snack food)
try a hot chocolate with churros at Chocolatería
San Ginés or make sure you buy a napolitana de
crema at the pastry shop La Mallorquina, both
very close to the famous Puerta del Sol. Later on,
if you are looking for a great night out that is truly
a Spanish experience then Taberna Pompeyana
in 5 Álvarez Gato Street is a great place to start.
The style and décor is traditional Spanish and both
the music and waiters create a unique atmosphere.
After drinking some jars of sangría, get ready to
have the night of your life getting in and out the
countless surrounding clubs.
Cultural Saturday
A nice way to spend a Saturday morning is
visiting Ocho y medio bookshop in 11 Martín de
los Heros Street, where film buffs find themselves
in heaven surrounded by a selection of scripts
and books about cinema in many languages. You
can even enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee while
browsing. At lunch time, I suggest heading to any
of the many restaurants close to Plaza España
to have one of the Spanish best kept secrets –
the menu of the day. You will definitely enjoy a
two course meal with dessert and a glass of wine
for a very reasonable price. Look for the famous
cocido madrileño on the chalk boards outside the
establishment and rush in. Plaza de España, a
central square surrounded by some of the highest
buildings of Madrid, is also the place where
young people meet up Saturday evenings, from
fan clubs of alternative bands to manga lovers.
You can get a picture in front of the monument to
Miguel de Cervantes, author of the world famous
story Don Quixote de la Mancha. At night, stroll
through Gran Vía, the most famous avenue in
Madrid, which resembles New York’s Broadway.
Spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment,
you can decide either to enjoy something in
the theatre or end the night singing along to a
musical.
Traditional Sunday
A Sunday morning in El Rastro in Ribera de Curtidores
Street is a must. This open-air flea market is the most
famous in Madrid and is an example of the quirky
local culture. The market serves as a great place to
indulge in traditional tapas due to its location close
to the famous and historic quarter La Latina. Get lost
in its winding streets during the evening and enjoy
the mouth-watering tapas which make Madrid a
culinary legend. If you head down Cava Baja Street,
you can expect to end the day on top of a barstool
hanging out in the little hidden squares. This old part
of Madrid, where remains of its first urban walled
enclosure can still be seen, is without doubt one of
the gems of the city, do not miss it!
Madrid is a beautiful mix of old and new, a city
of culture, bars, concerts, sport, nightlife where
nobody feels like a foreigner. However, there
is something in Madrid that I have not found yet
in other cities: the combination of perfect blue
sky when wandering the streets and bustling
atmosphere of the bars. Whether you get to leave
the city or not, I am sure that Madrid will become
a part of your best memories.
•AtmosphereatMuseodelJamónin7Calle
Mayor - Beatriz Gamas
•CrystalPalaceinParquedelRetiro-Beatriz
Gamas
•CuchillerosStreetinthequarterLaLatina-
Beatriz Gamas
•PlazaEspaña-BeatrizGamas
•TapasinTxirimiri,6HumilladeroStreet(La
Latina)- Beatriz Gamas
•TheamazingGranVía-BeatrizGamas
•TheuniqueOchoymediobookshop-María
Montañés
•Viewsfromthe9thoorof2Plazade
Callao - Beatriz Gamas
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
32
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
33
TRAVEL
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
34
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
35
TRAVEL
The Jewish Holocaust is now a well-documented black mark on European history and even 70 years on,
there are parts of Europe that will forever be associated with this time, perhaps no place more so than the
Auschwitz camps in Krakow, Poland. A site like this touches people in different ways and for our writer
Kristie Donnelly, it resulted in the beautiful poem below.
We live in a world dominated by love, yet still finding our mentality can be depicted by such evil.
Some believe we are as though puppets, strung by the hands of god.
Motionless, voiceless, controlled by a pathway inevitably written for us
I refuse to lose my voice, I refuse to watch the hands of history be rewritten.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel this world, see things only most acknowledge,
feel more than just emotion society allows us to feel-
I began to engage in a love for the world around me.
When I travelled to Poland in 2013, I insisted on being seated by the window.
My wondrous mind, totally fascinated by the reality of flying across the globe.
Every worry seemed so distant and irrelevant.
A distance for growth, a love for difference.
Poland was a chance for me to acquaint knowledge with sight,
but I wasn’t prepared for the flood of emotion still carried by the Holocaust.
I walked through the camps, feet heavy in the power that still remain before me.
Silent and ghostly, holding my deepest respects for the prisoned ashes
of those abolished of their lives.
By Krisitie Donnelly
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
36
Auschwitz II is still almost entirely preserved.
The dark, burnt crematories, the engraved
screams on the walls used by weak hands in
suffocating cells for their only hope of being
heard. Their only hope of being remembered
-עזרה; תועלת; עוזרת; עזר “Help”
The cries of many
The blood of more
The souls of all
Glass rooms alight the only remains.
Piles of clothing, passage ways of hair,
Jewish fortune.
Anything to be viewed
as value for money.
Power within a massacre.
Strength, for the fight.
Blurred wet vision and a heavy heart,
for its only history we hold,
emotion lost and they’ve won the part.
Pain and suffering of a Jewish hate crime
Death and its affiliation
No clear warning sign.
Forced to build their own graves,
only few were saved.
Exhaustion and hunger,
a storm never free from thunder
Power over our minds, controlled by a belief,
we fear the chance is lost for relief.
Over those who were lost, we began to mourn,
and await another destruction to be born.
Although we recognise their faces,
little remain with graces.
We pray to a god, we no longer believe in
Religion and faith, where to turn- no safe
hiding place.
Liberation came too late,
for too many had lost to fate-
I realised then and there, I never want to become
a person that followed for intimidation of fear.
For my path is only mine to write, mine to dream.
For life is too short to risk regret
Stand up, fight back. Never forget.
*For those who lost their lives in the thunderous
devastation of power and fear that brought
history the Jewish annihilation, the Holocaust.
For all those unaware of such evil.
For those who underestimate the chance to
use a voice unspoken.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
37
TRAVEL
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
38
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
39
TRAVEL
SOUR ON SYDNEY
GONE BAD
A FOODIE
ADVENTURE
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
40
SOUR ON SYDNEY
GONE BAD
A FOODIE
ADVENTURE
By Arielle Milecki
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
41
TRAVEL
As a Melbournian from birth, I have always fought hard to defend its honour in the Sydney vs. Melbourne
debate. Granted, this may have been unfair and defensive considering I had not spent much time in
Australia’s biggest city.
But now I have spent at least some. Two days. Four meals. And oh boy, am I excited to finally exert my
opinion with some evidence to back it up.
Let me start by explaining that my relationship with food is special. There is nothing that gives me
more pleasure than a coffee rich with character, eye fillet melting in my mouth or al dente pasta
THE GROUNDS OF ALEXANDRIA
Building 7A, No. 2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Breakfast burger
$16
My Instagram is filled week after week with beautiful
photos taken of The Grounds of Alexandria. It’s a
complex which hosts a coffee research and testing
facility, a café, beautiful herb and vegetable
gardens and a small provider called Salts Meats
Cheese. After arriving in Sydney late the night
before, we decided such an institution would be a
perfect start to the weekend. We arrived just after
11am to a packed courtyard and were told the
wait for a table of seven would be at least an hour.
Luckily, a long wait at The Grounds is easily passed
walking through the various gardens and tasting
the products on offer at the small market stalls and
at Salt Meats Cheese. After an hour and 15 minutes
we were finally seated in the warehouse style café,
to be told that the breakfast menu is no longer on
offer and only brunch and lunch can be ordered.
Disappointment number one we were all hoping
for an all-day breakfast menu.
We ordered up big nonetheless as it was almost
12:30pm, and boy, were we hungry. Despite being
chock full of herbs, neither dad nor sister liked the
Quinoa and Herb Omlette, with what looked like
a waste of 15 eggs and a total of $34. Maybe
that was the problem, good in theory but not in
taste. The toast from the Grounds bakery, although
a simple choice, was served with a couple of
selections of bread. It was decided that this was the
best dish we ordered. The bread was fresh, the jam
was full of flavour and it thrashed the rest out of the
park. The steak sandwich had a strange tang and
the breakfast burger (on gluten free bread) was
tasty but lacklustre. The Grounds of Alexandria is
a beautiful place to visit but perhaps don’t bother
hanging around for a feed. Rather come, let your
kids play with the few animals at the petting zoo,
buy some overpriced flavoured sea salt for home
and grab a fresh lemonade on your way out.
Quinoa and Herb Omlette
$17
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
42
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
HURRICANE’S GRILL
130 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach
Hurricanes has been cooking up
its secret recipe original basting
in the iconic Bondi Beach for
19 years. They specialise in
Australian free range and grain
fed beef and beef, pork and
lamb ribs which had me excited
as I have a serious soft spot for
ribs. The pork ribs were by far
the stand out—so juicy they
literally squirted with each bite.
The beef and lamb however,
were way below average as
we found them to be fatty and
chewy. We also experienced a
few problems with our oyster
order, but that was soon sorted
out. The chips were good but
some salt wouldn’t go astray.
Rib Eye 350mg
$35
Beef, pork and lamb ribs half rack
$31.9, $34.9 and
$31.9 with mushroom sauce
perched in garlic. Similarly, nothing upsets me like a soggy sandwich, a dry stew or a limp salad. In
my opinion, food can make, or break, a holiday.
To celebrate my mum’s 50th birthday, my large family of seven decided ascend on Sydney for a weekend
trip. Our main focus: food. Nothing spells disaster like a family holiday and grumpy moods. I am
capricious at the best of times, and surrounded by my family, old habits die hard. As I am the official the
Selector of Restaurants, I decided to go with two Sydney iconic restaurants and two lesser-knowns: The
Grounds of Alexandria in Alexandria, Hurricane’s Grill in Bondi, The Fine Foods Store in The Rocks and
Fei Jai in Potts Point.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
43
TRAVEL
THE FINE FOODS STORE
Shop 9/The Rocks Centre Kendall Ln, The Rocks
From what I’ve heard, The Rocks is not exactly
known for its good value or food, but The Fine
Food Store was sold on Urbanspoon as the best
option in an area of overpriced touristy eateries.
Melbourne is abundant in fantastic breakfast
and coffee options and I did not want to settle
for an unpopular option.
The Fine Foods Store certainly looked the part
with its rustic wooden share tables and its
colourful cabinet of pastries and sandwiches.
It did not however, play the part of an
accommodating café where food and service
is key.
I ordered the salmon gravlax bagel. It was
good no doubt albeit small. However, it was
an overall underwhelming experience. The fruit
salad, was a bowl of flaccid melon with some
yoghurt slumped on the top. The coffee was
ok, nothing to write home about. They wouldn’t
scramble eggs. The only option was poached.
The blueberry bircher may have been the only
impressive looking meal of the bunch. My mood
was certainly starting to decline.
Bagel gravlax
$15.5
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
44
FEI JAI
31 Challis Ave, Potts Point
Fei Jai was recommended to me by a Sydney-
sider as an intimate and sophisticated
restaurant close to Kings Cross. This was by
far my favourite meal of the weekend and
it was nice to leave on a high. The Crispy
Lamb Spring Rolls & plum sauce were
exactly what you would hope. The meat was
hearty and tender, the pastry crisp and salty
and the dipping sauce an absolute treat.
Another favourite was the Braised Eggplant
& Blue Swimmer Crab. The eggplant tasted
almost caramelised and I was disappointed
to see it finish so quickly. There was nothing
special about the Singapore noodles, similar
to what you would expect in a Bain Marie
at a takeaway joint. I didn’t like the Kung
Pao chicken because of the overwhelming
amount of chilli and flavours that didn’t
match. Another standout was the crispy
beef strips with sweet black vinegar and
sesame however by this point in the meal,
I could barely eat more than a piece. If we
weren’t flying out the next day, I certainly
would have had the leftovers wrapped up
and taken it home with me.
Blue Swimmer Crab Dumplings
$16
Though the Melbourne vs Sydney debate is stale, it will inevitably persist into the future.
So I may as well weigh into the debate with my opinion, no matter how limited my experiences
may be. Melbourne cafes and restaurants kick Sydney toosh almost every time.
Although they have the odd Fei Jai, they are a diamond amongst the rough.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
45
TRAVEL