Back in September 2010 J spotted cheap fares to Sydney and decided to book us flights to spend the weekend before my birthday in the harbour city. The idea being we would try and get to some of the restaurants in Sydney we want to try.
The first thing I did was book Tetsuya’s for dinner on the Saturday night. I have wanted to go here for a while and it was probably my number one pick over the other choices. I couldn’t believe I had booked a restaurant nine months in advance!
Over the next nine months there were various discussions of where to go to lunch on the Saturday and the Sunday. We would only be in Sydney one night, flying up early Saturday morning and back Sunday evening.
A lot of the places we were keen to try (Billy Kwongs, Red Lantern, Quay, Glass, Becasse, Marque) are not open for lunch on weekends. What to do? Funnily enough, Tetsuya’s is open for lunch on Saturday!
We had pretty much decided to get the ferry to Manly Saturday morning and have a wander around there and just decide where to eat at the time.
But then MasterChef came to the rescue (this is one of the reasons I like this show!). In one of the challenges, Sean Presland, owner and head chef of Sake made an appearance. We had been to Sake in Brisbane in January and loved it. We hadn’t clicked at the time whose restaurant it was but we knew there was one in Sydney as well. Seeing Sean on TV jogged the memory and the decision was made that lunch on Saturday would be at Sake down in the Rocks. Booked!
Around the same time, the head chef of Ormeggio at the Spit, Alessandro Pavoni, appeared on MC with his apprentice. His apprentice was competing against one of the contestants, if the contestant won they would get an immunity pin which meant they would not have to compete in an elimination challenge and possibly be kicked out. The apprentice lost.
We had never heard of Ormeggio but thought it looked like a place we would enjoy. A quick look on the internet to see where it was located, and whether it was open on Sundays for lunch and it too was booked.
We also wanted to visit one of Adriano Zumb0’s patisseries. Adriano regularly scares contestants on MC with his pastry creations. There is an outlet in Manly so that worked really well for us, ferry to Manly Sunday morning, a look around, pop in and buy some macaroons and then a short taxi ride to Ormeggio for lunch. It was all coming together.
The other meal that was planned, but not booked was breakfast at one of Bill Granger’s cafes, Bill’s. I have been a fan of Bill’s recipe books since receiving my first one as a Christmas present many years ago. We planned to go to the one in Woollahra after we arrived in Sydney on the Saturday morning.
It was a great weekend, we felt really relaxed and never rushed to be anywhere. We had a wander around the Paddington markets and around the markets at the Rocks. The Vivid festival was on so we got to have a look at many of the light installations, including the feature event of lights being projected onto the Sydney Opera house. The weather was fantastic, much warmer than what was happening in Melbourne.
An excellent birthday weekend!