Lazy Lumps

Today was our last day in Australia and we were going to cap off our marvelous three weeks with a delightful dinner at Bentley, currently under the direction of Brent Savage who just won the Sydney Morning Herald’s 2015 Chef of the Year award.  Sydney is known as a bit of a foodie town and we figured we’ve only got once chance so we might as well go for the best.  Until dinner though, we had no real plans, having seen most of what we cared to in Sydney, so we just relaxed.

We woke up astonishingly early at 6.30 in the morning for unknown reasons and lounged about reading and interneting.  Eventually we roused ourselves enough to get a couple of loads of laundry in and did some research on Argentina before eating up the remaining food in our apartment for lunch.

Afterwards we decided we should probably stretch our legs a bit so we headed across town to the free Museum of Contemporary Art on Circular Quay.  Save a few pieces of aboriginal art and a shiny black piece I liked the whole thing was terrible.  It was all the kind of “art” where you look at it wondering if you are missing something and then think to yourself, “Nope, that is just a video of a guy skating in slow motion over and over.” Or, “Yep, that’s a bunch of white lines painted on some middle school butcher paper.”  We still toured the whole thing because we had nothing else to do but we have both firmly decided contemporary Australian art is not our cup of tea (which could have been an exhibit there).

Look its "art." This is literally painted on black butcher paper.
Look its “art.”
This one was at least interesting. It was shiny black and bits of green painted on flat black so it looked cool in the light as you walked by.
This was the best one…I know. It was shiny black and bits of green painted on flat black so it looked cool in the light as you walked by.
Aboriginal bark paintings.
Aboriginal bark paintings.

Needing to do something else so that that wasn’t our last act in Australia, we took a stroll down towards Darling Harbor. Along the way we stopped in a convenience store and procured a ginger beer I had been eyeing for the better part of this week.  It was quite good, tasted a bit like ginger ale, but had real pieces of ginger floating in it.  It turns out this would be the highlight of our afternoon.

Look how pretty she is, she could be a model!
Look how pretty she is, she could be a model!

As we approached the harbor we first saw a Madamme Taussad’s and we knew exactly what kind of neighborhood this was and the race was on to be the first to spot the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  There sadly wasn’t one, but in the course of circling the harbor we managed to find an IMAX, a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and a Hard Rock Cafe.  Almost a full of Yahtzee of terrible tourist traps.  The day was getting on, and we had dinner reservations to make so we headed back home to shower and put on our “nice” clothes once again before dinner.

After resting for a little bit and getting dressed we walked over to the restaurant.  After some initial confusion about where the entrance was we managed to find the hostess.  We introduced ourselves and she showed us to our waiting table and as we sat down she asked if Doug made the reservation.  A little confused I responded that yes, I, Doug, made the reservation.  She laughed and apologized.  Apparently there is a regular customer also named Doug Farrell who often will make reservations for friends. So if I ever need to doppelganger, I know there’s one waiting in Sydney.

After looking through the menu, we decided to order the eight course tasting menu so we could get a little bit of everything.  We did choose to forgo the matching wine pairings to save some money and just get a half bottle of white for the first half of the meal and a half bottle of red for the second.  We chose two bottles to match the dishes with the help of the sommelier and both were excellent, though the white was better.  Then came dish after dish of incredible food.  All of it was very interesting combinations that we would have never thought of, but they all worked together.  I went so far as to say I thought the food was better than Wink!, our Austin favorite.  Lynn called it a tie.

Our feast!
Our feast!
Scalloped ceviche with green strawberry  puree and horseradish.  Delightful, but the scallop was hidden under all the other flavors.
Scalloped ceviche with green strawberry puree and horseradish. Delightful, but the scallop was hidden under all the other flavors.
Raw pumpkin with persimmon and egg yolk soup, dried black bean crumble and seaweed oil.  This was one of Lynn's favorites and we were both delighted at the raw pumpkin which we had never had before.
Raw pumpkin with persimmon and egg yolk soup, dried black bean crumble and seaweed oil. This was one of Lynn’s favorites and we were both delighted at the raw pumpkin which we had never had before.
Mulloway (it's a fish, we learned) with charred spring onions and a scallop roe paste.  There was also a sauce of some kind.  This was overall, while still good, our least favorite dish
Mulloway (it’s a fish, we learned) with charred spring onions and a scallop roe paste. There was also a sauce of some kind. This was overall, while still good, our least favorite dish
Sous vide quail with celery, miso soy dressing, and smoked celery puree. Neither of us cared for the smoked celery puree but the quail was excellent.
Sous vide quail with celery, miso soy dressing, and smoked celery puree. Neither of us cared for the smoked celery puree but the quail was excellent.
Dried ham crusted pork cheek (yes pork coated in more pork) with charred leeks, garlic yogurt sauce, and some kind of tangy red sauce that we both liked.
Dried ham crusted pork cheek (yes pork coated in more pork) with charred leeks, garlic yogurt sauce, and some kind of tangy red sauce that we both liked.
My favorite (the true Texas I am) was Wagyu skirt steak with native plum and bean shoot puree.
My favorite (the true Texas I am) was Wagyu skirt steak with native plum and bean shoot puree.
Blackberry ice cream with lemon aspen (it's a tree in Australia we learned) cream and sorrel and bits of blackberry strewn about.
Blackberry ice cream with lemon aspen (it’s a tree in Australia we learned) cream and sorrel and bits of blackberry strewn about.
Violet ice cream with chocolate honeycomb crumble and blueberries.  This is The Bentley's signature dessert.
Violet ice cream with chocolate honeycomb crumble and blueberries. This is The Bentley’s signature dessert.

After dinner we took the long way back home through a light rain to admire the Christmas projections they put up on the government buildings downtown.  We also attempted to find some possums in Hyde Park, but it seems the nearby construction kept them all hiding up in the trees.  Safely home we called it a night, and stuffed ourselves into bed.

At Christmas time they project a bunch of designs onto the buildings downtown.  I was shocked at how well they line up.  It looks like the buildings are just really brightly colored.
At Christmas time they project a bunch of designs onto the buildings downtown. I was shocked at how well they line up. It looks like the buildings are just really brightly colored.
In front of the old post office they also have a giant Christmas tree.
In front of the old post office they also have a giant Christmas tree.
And in front of this tree seemed to be an amateur model shoot of some kind.
And in front of this tree seemed to be an amateur model shoot of some kind.

Daily Walking Miles : 12.9 miles

Fun Facts:

  • All of the cross walks have a “Look” with an arrow pointing the direction traffic comes from.  Probably because of all the people who come to visit from where they drive on the right (meaning correct) side of the road.
Look twice, save a life (yours).
Look twice, save a life (yours).

One thought on “Lazy Lumps

  1. Hello!
    I guess you’ve never heard of the quaking aspens in Colorado and the western U.S.
    London has those “look right” or “look left ” signs too. Saves tourists!
    I keep meaning to ask you-is there a halo or anything odd around the sun or in the sky there? Kathy F. Thought you could see the ozone hole.
    Glad you are having an amazing trip! Love you and miss you!

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