Trip to Sydney + Australian Junior Athletics Championships

The long awaited post is finally here!! Okay let me fill you in a little…flashback to about two weeks ago… “By the way, I am heading off to the Australian Junior Athletics Championships (a.k.a Nationals) on Monday and wont be back for a week so I am unsure whether I will have any wifi to post anything. So look forward to a big post when I get back because I am super excited to visit all the trendy cafes in Sydney and blog about them, as well as compete, of course.” …. was the last paragraph in my most recent post, ‘Yogurt bowl with ‘the lot’. So for those of you who are interested in hearing about the endless amount of food I ate in a very short amount of time prepare yourself; you may get a food coma just looking at all the food!! Nevertheless, I had an amazing time in Sydney and I got to do lots of eating, a little sightseeing and some running too! I didn’t have the best races (no pb’s) but the weather was horrific – good old Sydney weather!! No joke, all day it would be sunny and nice but in the evening there would be a massive storm. Despite all this it was a great experience and I am very grateful for this opportunity. I got to race at Sydney Olympic Park (the same as last years nationals) and I even got my last name of my race bib, which was probably the highlight of the competition!! Haha

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From this to…

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….this

On the second day in Sydney I did some sight seeing at Bondi, of course. It wasn’t as great as I was expecting but come on, its Bondi so it’s definitely a must to see if you are ever in Sydney. Of course being me I had a very, VERY long list of all the restaurant/cafes I wanted to go to in Sydney and I forgot to take it with me to Bondi – good one Tanisha! At least I had the Good Food Guide with me so we chose a funky little café in North Bondi called The Hill Eatery to have lunch at. The set out of the café was very trendy as was the presentation of the dishes. My dad and I shared a berry smoothie that looked good but was pretty average, although I do have pretty high standards (my mum makes a pretty mean smoothie)! My dad had a beef burger with chips, which he said was nice and I had a poached chicken roll with coleslaw, which despite having potential, lacked a whole lot of flavour.

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Bondi Icebergs

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The interior of the Hill Eatery

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Dad’s burger

IMG_2455 IMG_2459 IMG_2462 My mum, being the foodie she is, was straight onto Urbanspoon telling us to go to Trio (which happened to be on my list that I forgot to bring) but we had already eaten so we were too full to have anything there. Nevertheless, we went there, took some photos and looked at the menu, which looked great.

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Outside Trio

IMG_2471 And despite our full tummies we still had to have dessert so the next stop in Bondi was the best ice cream store EVER, another must when in Sydney: Gelato Messina. I mean, who wouldn’t go there, after all it holds the title of having the best gelato in Australia!! There were so many quirky flavours to choose from but after much indecision I chose a scoop of the apple pie, which tasted exactly like apple pie and even had little bits of pastry(!!), and a scoop of one of the specials of the day, which was ricotta gelato mixed with pieces of hummingbird cake. Enter food coma. Dad had a scoop of the salted caramel with chocolate bits. Amazing!! I am so glad I went there because it is certainly a standout gelato shop among the extreme amounts that seem to be in Sydney. Has anyone else noticed that every suburb in Sydney seems to have at least 5 gelato shops on each street? What’s with that?! IMG_2469

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Some of the awesome ice cream cakes they make at Gelato Messina

On the top of the very long list of restaurants/cafes (only second to Gelato Messina) was most definitely The Grounds of Alexandria (GOA), especially after my mum and dad went there last year without me because I was sleeping in – how inconsiderate of them for not waking me up (haha)! So I finally got there this year and boy was I impressed. Amazing is an understatement. In the Sydney Good Food Guide I believe the review says something like, ‘The Grounds is getting so big that it needs its own postcode’, and my, oh my is that correct! That place is massive, and it even has its own gourmet store with 3kg tubs of Nutella. Among this it has a garden bar, a garden area with farm animals like Kevin Bacon the pig, a chicken, a Shetland pony and a sheep, an old telephone box converted into an atm, vintage hot dog and donut stands, and a stand of the most delicious looking tarts (and other mouthwatering baked goods) I ever did see, upon entering the café. I was literally in heaven! We need a place like this in Perth. Now.

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The Garden Bar

IMG_2844IMG_2848 IMG_2812IMG_2819 IMG_2822IMG_2835 At GOA I ordered the breaky burger which consisted of a brioche bun (are they the ‘in thing’ at the moment or what?!), a fried egg, bacon, avocado and aioli/mayonnaise (I cant remember which one it was), alongside some polenta fries. It was my first time trying polenta fires and can I just say they were so yum. They tasted kind of cheesy and were very toothsome. Dad ordered a burger (of course) with chips. I can’t exactly remember what was in it but he said it was really good. So overall, GOA was a success and is definitely on my list to return to. Plus the service was so good; our meals came within 15 minutes of ordering them, at the most. IMG_2831 IMG_2828 After visiting GOA we had to go to Bourke Street Bakery on the orders of my mum who insisted we go there and buy the raspberry and chocolate muffin because she always makes their recipe and is always being told how good hers is. So we got there and were lucky enough to score the last muffin, which tasted exactly the same as my mums by the way (which is very good btw). All the breads and baked goods looked finger-licking good but unfortunately we were way too full to buy anything. IMG_2867 IMG_2870Whilst in Sydney I also visited Taronga Zoo. It is not somewhere I would normally choose to go to but it was actually really good and had, quite possibly the best view a zoo could have.

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The entrance to Taronga Zoo

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The view from the amphitheatre at the zoo

After visiting the zoo I was lucky enough to go to the Sydney Opera House Kitchen restaurant for dinner. I was a bit apprehensive at first considering it only has a rating of 56% on Urbanspoon (and I rely on Urbanspoon A LOT) but it actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Obviously you would go there for the amazing views it has because it is about as close as you can get to the water from the Opera House and is overlooking the Harbour Bridge. We were even lucky enough to be in town when the cruise ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria were in harbour so we had full-frontal views of them too. IMG_2770 I ordered the ‘Jungle Curry’, which consisted of free range chicken, lemongrass, coriander, line, coconut milk, Chinese beans, thai basil served with steamed rice. It was a nice dish with a lot of potential but it definitely wasn’t restaurant worthy. My mum’s curry is probably just as good, if not better. IMG_2787 On my last day in Sydney I enjoyed a relaxing day around the Northern beaches. For a late breaky we stayed local and walked down to Barefoot Coffee Traders, and enjoyed some delicious salted caramel waffles with a hot chocolate. The waffle itself was absolutely perfect, it was so light and fluffy and the salted caramel was to die for, but there was probably just a tad too much for my liking. My hot chocolate was great too as it was made with real Belgian chocolate not that silly powder stuff that is only acceptable at home. Although the shop is literally only a hole in the wall with a half-a-dozen seats it is well worth the visit. IMG_4093IMG_4090 For lunch we had a quick stop off in Dee Why where we visited a little Italian deli to grab our lunch. At Livoti’s we got some wholesome focaccia sandwiches filled with fresh Italian ingredients such as pesto, bocconcini, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and salad leaves. It may not look or sound like much but it was so nice and delicious, and was a perfect way to round off our last day in Sydney. IMG_2881

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Lunch with a view

Before I left Sydney though I had to pick up some goodies from Harris Farmers Market of coconut yogurt, Byron Bay macadamia muesli in the fig and pear flavour, and Brookfarm cranberry macadamia muesli, because I had been dying to try them ever since I fist heard about them. I can’t seem to find those particular muesli’s in WA so then was the perfect time to get them whilst I had the chance. This was also my first time trying coconut yogurt and I was very impressed!! I could have bought the whole store of I wanted to but I had to restrain myself, otherwise we wouldn’t have any space left in our suitcases. IMG_2799 So, as you may have guessed I had an absolute ball in Sydney and am very glad I got the opportunity to do so. I may not have gone to all the cafes I wanted to or got any pb’s but I still enjoyed and that’s what matters in the end. Bye for now, Tanisha xx

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