Tag Archives: Australia

Sydney Growers Market or why waking up early is good for your stomach

Sydney Grower's Market

For the past goodness know how many years, I have managed to commit the cardinal sin of sleeping through the first Saturday of the month and not go to the Sydney Growers Market. In my defence, the market is open only between the indecent hours of 7 – 11 Am. So unless you are a food fanatic, an early bird or in my case still jet lagged, the chance of catching this market and still maximise your weekend sleep is rather slim.

Sydney Grower's MarketIt just happened to be that Semi-Permanent was on the same weekend and when y asked if I would be interested in coming along, I half managed to get myself out of bed to catch the tail end of the market. The weather was mild, families were out and in the grassy space between Pyrmont pier and Star City Casino a number of tents were set up to sell the most mouth watering produces found in Sydney. I gravitated towards coffee before milling around the many bakeries around the market. I managed to grab some sausages from the rather famous Eumundi Smokehouse before continuing on for the first session of Semi-Permanent. Helen from Grab Your Fork had been faithfully blogging about the Growers Market for quite some time know if you want to find out more, as for me I have pencilled in an early morning for the next market day.

Sydney Grower's Market

As for Semi-Permanent this year, and what the heck is it? From the horse’s mouth…

So, what is Semi-Permanent? To put it simply Semi-Permanent is a design event. It consists of a conference and side events which include exhibitions, competitions, workshops and parties. It’s a week long celebration of all things design. Graphic Design, Film, Art, Illustration, Web Design, Photography, Visual Effects, Animation, Graffiti, Motion Graphics, Stop Motion; all these things and more. Semi-Permanent explores the diverse and exciting design world bringing together exceptionally talented artists and designers to speak at the event.

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Some of the more memorable speakers for me in the past were: David Kinsey, Beci Orpin, James Jean and Marmalade to name a few. There were years that you wonder why on earth they bother with some speakers, but this year was a definite winner in my book. I only attended the Saturday session, half expecting to see the usual hit and miss line up as previous years, but was pleasantly surprised that all the speakers were quite amazing.

As for highlights… I was rather inspired by Wired’s magazine presentation. I haven’t picked up a hard copy in years and was not aware that the magazine went through a design evolution in the past few years. I loved the fact that every facet of the refreshed magazine was so carefully thought of from the newly created fonts, strong design and layout structure, but provided enough flexibility to use any visual element they like. Who else… Daniela Federici’s talk was gossipy and surprisingly candid in her experience with celebrities and Ron English (of the fat McDonald fame and that now famous image of Obama as Abraham Lincoln) was wonderful, it was rare to see works that you know will be an icon for many years to come. If you live in Auckland or Perth, SP is about to head your way later on in the year. I’m not sure if the line up will be the same, but it’s definitely worth checking. If that’s not possible, check out their podcast for videos of some past speakers.

Bondi Icebergs

Bondi sunset

Think of Australian beaches and Bondi immediately comes to mind. Although arguably not the best or biggest beach in Sydney, but it is probably the most famous due to quality entertainment such as Bondi Rescue. Popular with the eastern suburb crowd, it easily has the best dressed beach populace in Australia and Paris Hilton will not look amiss amongst the bronzed bikini clad beach bunnies.

Sadly, I have to confess I am not a big fan of the beach. A little dip here and a bit of sunbaking is all fine and good, but the idea of battling for a parking spot in order to enjoy a few hours of beach time does not appeal in any way. It’s actually rather ironic as my old university and everywhere I have worked at were within walking distance from the beach.

That being said, one would wonder what on earth was I wandering around Bondi with a few friends for?  Why for the food ofcourse.

icebergs

Part belated birthday celebrations as well as general catch up with friends we decided to have dinner at Icebergs  dining room and bar. Located on top of Icebergs swimming club  (an iconic building in itself), Icebergs the restaurant had was opened in 2002 with rave reviews for its mediterranean cuisine and view of the beach. It had always registered in my head as one of those restaurants I would like to visit, but decided to put off for later.

View wise, it’s rather amazing. Seated on a table next to the window meant that we were able to view the beach as the sun slowly set into the horizon and dipped the beach front with a golden glaze. Les impressive was the fact that they asked us to be out by 8.00 pm for a 6.30pm booking throwing any dessert plans out the window!

Nevertheless, the ambiance was lovely, service was quick and attentive and the food was as what we hoped for. The seafood offering was plentiful and absolutely delicious! A quick walk through the meal from top to bottom:

Scallops

Hand Dived Spring Bay Scallops, Tomato, Green Chilli, Garlic, Radish Salad

Dinner at Bondi Icebergs

Rainbow trout Carpaccio, Shredded Rocket, Basil, Boiled Free Range Egg, Lemon, Olive Oil (very light and one I would like to replicate for myself)

Dinner at Bondi Icebergs

Risotto “Nero”, Squid-ink Rice, Calamari, Chilli, Parsley, Lemon, Garlic

Would I go back, now that I have tried it? Yes and no. It’s a great place to bring visitors, but though the menu was excellent it was somewhat on the pricey side and I can probably get a similar offering somewhere else. I would probably visit their bar, but not quite convinced about driving all the way there and then only being able to have a drink or two before making my way somewhere else.

Dinner at Bondi Icebergs Dinner at Bondi Icebergs Dinner at Bondi Icebergs

New Year fireworks finale

Happy New Year 2009

2009 opened with a bang for me. Definitely the best light show in Sydney in a long while and by pure miracle we managed to get a decent spot in Milsons Point without having to camp for the entire day. I remembered in previous years the fireworks were concentrated on a single location so unless you have a good view of the harbour or the bridge, you ended up on missing on half of the action. For some reason they managed to get the right combination of different locations and variety of fireworks to make the 12 minutes simply amazing. Add the no cloud factor and a smooth running bus and train system it was a great night all around.


New Year fireworks finale

Originally uploaded by mirvettium