All posts filed under: Taste

When tastebuds travel

The Farm at Byron Bay

Farm animals, flowers in bloom, fresh BBQ cafe fare and live music on the lawn – what’s not to love about The Farm at Byron Bay? Owned by the same team as Sydney beach-side institution Three Blue Ducks in Bronte, this vibrant and rustic barn venture is a much-welcomed addition to Australia’s favourite coastal town. Located on the turnoff to Ewingsdale road, a few minutes outside of central Byron, this modest property is a burst of rural delight, where you get to saunter through somebody else’s farm – even have a picnic in the grounds – and not feel like you’re being an intrusive creep. The vibe is relaxed, it’s rustic and unpretentious, but it’s also full of life and you can sense the care that is taken in the upkeep of the grounds and the creatures living within them. After taking a wander around the property to say hello to the blissfully filthy pigs, laying in their muddy earthen bath, or the nearby chickens pecking at scattered feed, you enter the main barn house …

Restaurant Love: Svartsö Krog, Sweden

An hour and a half out of the city by ferry, Svartsö is an island gem in the Stockholm archipelago that is almost worth visiting just for its lovely (and only) restaurant – Svartsö Krog. This dining experience can be filed under Travel’s Welcome Little Surprises. We arrived in Svartsö (as per my previous post on this island adventure) with zero expectations of a delicious meal – rather just a dim hope of any meal – and floated into what was surely some kind of heaven portal. Gourmet (but not wanky) local fresh Swedish food, delivered with friendly service. We couldn’t believe it when our waitress confessed – in the infuriatingly perfect English adopted by all Scandinavians – it was her first week. Even without a booking, we were seated on the wooden balcony, with views out to the water. The eve was starting to get cooler, but there were big rustic blankets at hand should we need them. On learning that food was served until 10pm and the restaurant was open until midnight, we …

Cafe Love: Folk, Byron Bay

Set in the leafy, sleepy outskirts of Byron Bay, Folk Cafe has all the ingredients of a great Northern NSW establishment – laid back vibe, organic + locally sourced food, a timber-roofed front porch, tasty coffee and smiling long-haired staff. But it’s the extra touches – like biodynamic ingredients, flower-garnished sodas, and woodcut balcony panels – that make this cafe, well…perfect. We started with much needed post-journey (from Sydney) coffees, and tried one of the ‘folk house brews’ – in this case a Vanilla Kefir probiotic creaming soda – which in addition to being delicious, was also served on a cool wood board with a description of both the beverage’s background and benefits. The menu puts any question of this being a cafe using local, organic ingredients to rest. We ordered the summer poached eggs on light rye sourdough with organic pea, lemon + mint smash, avocado, zucchini ribbons, fresh local greens, pesto + zataar and also the Folk burrito with spiced biodynamic brown rice + quinoa, organic black beans, relish, roast pumpkin, charred corn, …

Cafe Love: Sari Organik, Ubud

Part of the joy of this little thatched-roof cafe, set overlooking a rice field in Ubud, is the journey there. You turn off the main road (Jalan Raya) up an unpaved driveway, wander into a narrow laneway – sidestepping motorbikes and potholes – and down a path lined with palm trees and set alongside some of the prettiest rice paddies you ever did see. There is plenty along the path to tempt you out of the heat – yoga studios, sari stalls, aromatherapy and massage clinics – but if you go the distance to Sari Organik you will be rewarded with fresh watermelon juice and simple organic meals using produce grown on the property. And what a lush, peaceful little property it is…. Want more? Check out my Wanderlust on Bondi Beach Radio Bali Special, which includes loads of great interviews from this trip to Bali and an accompanying soundtrack!

Cafe Love: Neptune, Kiama

Kiama is a a little coastal township 120 kilometers south of Sydney. It’s easy to bypass it on the way down to the many splendid getaways that lay further down the map, but with the Kiama Coast Walk on the agenda over the summer break, it was time to discover what delights it had to offer…and I was pleasantly surprised, especially when I happened upon Neptune Cafe down on the harbourfront. Everything about the interiors in this seafaring-themed gem is on point. From images of Neptune’s trident, to old diving helmets, to nautical glass floats and shanty poems inscribed on the window slats. It has books, it has comfy old-world couches, and it also has super friendly staff. The bubbly owner Stephanie was all smiles and helped us decide which nearby beaches are the best for a snorkel or a swim and told us details about the locally sourced coffee. But let me tell you about the coffee. The coffee the coffee the coffee. It is a contender for the best mocha I have had …

24 Hours in Melbourne

A visit to Melbourne is always a good idea. With a vibrant arts scene, a smorgasbord of the country’s best cafes and restaurants, graffiti-clad laneways, excellent shopping, the leafy banks of the Yarra River, and cool urban neighbourhoods, even a short break in the city will leave you buzzing from Melbourne’s endless energy. We stayed at St Jeromes – The Hotel, which is on the third floor of Melbourne Central, where in addition to the impressive central skylight architecture, you can find Australian fashion labels like Sass & Bide and Scanlan Theodore, and in the exit laneway towards Swanston Street we stumbled on graffiti artists working on a mural, a common sight in the city. Two laneway visits are a must in Melbourne city – the narrow cafe-clad Degraves Lane and graffiti-filled (it was where Banksy created rat murals which were later cleaned up by council workers) Hosier Lane, which is also the site of one of my favourite Australian restaurants, the Spanish gem MoVida. EAT: Gazi is a modern Greek restaurant owned by restauranteur …

Night Noodle Markets, Sydney

Good Food Month has spread like a wildfire of flavour across the city, with its peak flame burning in Hyde Park, where the Night Noodle Markets are drawing a crowd each evening from 5pm (4pm on weekends). Under a canopy of lit up trees, lanterns and fairy lights, some of the city’s most exciting food joints are pumping out delectable Asian treats to a hungry crowd. If there is a trend at this year’s Night Noodle Markets, it’s Bao, Bao, Bao. Even Sydney dessert kings Gelato Messina are rockin’ a David Bao-wy at their Lucky Fortune Bar (alongside deep fried ice-cream balls called Great Balls of Fryer – you legends). But the Bao award clearly goes to Mr Bao for their crowd’s fuck-it-I’ll-wait-a-mile-for-this dedication, but their karaage chicken boa with crispy tofu looks worth every tick of line time.   Sydney’s best dumpling joint Din Tai Fun is on point as always, pumping out pork and special edition vegetarian ‘salad’ dumplings, as well as delicious spicy wantons. There are plenty of Korean offerings too, none …