I love hustly-bustly markets, especially ones that have food stalls thrown into the mix. Sydney has its fair share of markets, and all the ones we visited had food to offer. Happy times, indeed.
Step into Paddy's Market and one gets transported to a different world, a world very much like our very own Petaling Street. Market City is a maze of stalls, selling perhaps the cheapest souvenirs in the city. Power through all the "I Love Sydney" t-shirts and boomerangs and you'll find a section of stalls selling fresh produce. Needless to say, we made repeated visits to the market, each time coming away with a lovely selection of summer fruits.
Gorgeous, juicy mangoes - gotta love mango season.
Even the king of fruits made an appearance
Sydney Fish Market
Fruit markets are always good fun but fish markets have a special place in my heart. Oh, how I've missed you, Billingsgate. The Sydney Fish Market is one part market and one part food court, yes, it really does spoil you.
Spotting an available table is half the battle won but the real test is in making your choices - and with display counters like these, it really is quite difficult to decide.
When in doubt, a combo is the best way to go - grilled all kinds of everything
Plump, briney, sea-tasting oysters
Lobster mornay with a few grilled fish buddies. The flounder had me at first bite.
And if there's still any space left for dessert - a chocolate covered banana (or whatever other fruit you fancy), to end the meal on a sweet note. Chocolate covered treats aren't the only sweets on offer - we spotted pots of yogurt and some delicious looking ice cream bars but after all that seafood, our tummies surrendered and one bite of a chocolate covered banana was all some of us could handle.
Foodies Market at the Rocks
Yes, the name itself is promising.
A stretch of stalls that formed a food street very much like London's Whitecross Market - all that sizzling and bubbling calling out to passers-by.
The brother and his spinach gozleme - thin, crisp pastry filled with a mix of spinach and feta cheese.
Curry laksa, from an Asian takeaway on the street perpendicular to the Foodies Market. Our inner Malaysians were curious, and were rewarded by a rather decent version (considering that it was a takeaway) of a local favourite.
When I mentioned that I'd be visiting Sydney for the first time in November, food recommendations started pouring in - "ribs!" "macarons!" "the fish market!". I have to admit that for awhile, we only had restaurants on our itinerary. Of course, we did eventually strike a balance and do our share of non-food-related sightseeing, but with lots (and lots!) of happy food memories in between.
We discovered, to our pleasant surprise, that our hotel was really just a stone's throw away from Darling Harbour, so it was one of the very first places we visited. We spotted Hurricane's Grill and Bar pretty much as soon as we entered Harbourside Shopping Centre and were excited to be able to start striking items off our "must-eat" list.
Harbourside Shopping Centre
Shops 433-436, Level 2
Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Ribs, that's the name of the game here. It was pork all the way for us, despite the restaurant offering customers a choice of beef, lamb and pork. Sticky, sweet-smokey ribs worth getting your hands dirty for. While I still reminisce about those amazing Chicago Rib Shack ribs, still sitting at the top my my rib list, Hurricane's did help me get my fix, and for that I am grateful.
The mixed salad, our attempt at balancing out all the pork.
Mussels cooked in creamy garlic sauce, a nice (creamy, as advertised) prelude to the ribs.
You'd think that we'd be too full to move after a huge rib meal (and we were, to be fair) but holiday stomachs are different creatures altogether and you know what they always say about dessert - there's always, always space for it.
Chocolateria San Churro
Shop 107/109 Harbourside Shopping Centre
2-10 Darling Drive
Darling Harbour, New South Wales
We'd seen this brightly lit outlet with the colourful interior on our way into the shopping centre - one of those warm, inviting dessert places that draws you in no matter how much you try to resist.
We wanted something to share as we didn't think we could handle whole servings individually and the Chocolate and Churros Tapas seemed to fit the bill. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, a nibble here and there, and 7 satisfied grins.
And that's how I knew, on the very first night, that I was going to like Sydney very much.