Darwin Blog

Urban Oasis
Thursday, 25 December, 2008, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney


I was recently in Sydney for work as was introduced to this store as somewhere I could commit “mortal sin“.

So I thought bring it on!

What can I say, except I did.  Well all the shopping wasn’t for me, I did some for my family and some Christmas shopping as well as a house warming gift – so it was all good.

For such a small store, there was so much choice and fabulous goodies, whether it was giftware, clothing, shoes or jewellery.  There was something for everyone, including the male in your life as well as children.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and were most obliging to gift wrap.

What more do I need to say, but please go visit and treat yourself, a friend for their birthday or pick something up for your present box.  I LOVE this shop.


BBQ King
Thursday, 3 January, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney


The decor is no frills, but the barbecued pork and duck is heavenly!

Located in Golburn Street, we chowed down for a quick lunch prior to proceeding to Paddys Market for some bargain hunting.

We also tried a BBQ King in Chatswood the following day.  Not sure if the restaurants are owned by the same people or not.  One thing we know for sure, the food was excellent.

The fried kwey teow was comparable, if not better than some of those I have eaten throughout Malaysia.

Eating good Chinese always makes one feel content and that the soul has been fed.

Shopping and Sydney
Thursday, 3 January, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney


I am no expert on this subject as I am still finding my around the shops in Sydney.

I do like Newtown, the Paddington and Glebe markets, Dinosaur Designs, Oroton (Pitt Street Mall), kikki-k, the Strand Arcade, the QVB, the Lindt Shop in Martin Plaza, the GPO – especially the Cheese Shop, Mao and More and of course, the Powerhouse Museum.

Hopefully in a  month’s time, I will have some new recommendations to share.

Bambini Trust Cafe
Thursday, 3 January, 2008, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney

Whilst in Sydney, we enjoyed a breakfast at the Bambini Trust Cafe on the recommendation of a friend of mine, Cath.  Her brother, Phil manages the restaurant and thought we should pop in and say hi and have a meal.  I made a reservation prior to leaving Darwin, but decided not to tell Phil that we were coming.  Afterall, we just wanted to enjoy a good breakfast and really no fuss.

We were a bit late in arriving and it was a wee bit squashy inside as the morning office workers edged their way out, thankfully they still had our table.

Apart from hot teas and chocolates, we ordered raisin and cinnamon toast, toasted Turkish bread with double smoked ham, aged cheddar and tomato and toasted Turkish bread with vine ripened tomato, avocado and basil.  All was good, tasty, satisfying and filled us up for a morning of shopping in the CBD.

While eating our breakfast, we were seduced by the smell of the duck confit being prepared in the kitchen and had some serious thoughts about having another meal at Bambini Trust.  Unfortunately, all our meals for the weekend had already been prearranged.

The dinner menu has a great selection of dishes and to be honest, I had already been online, printed off the menu and highlighted what I would have.  Dinner will have to wait for another visit to Sydney.

Breakfast worked out to around $10 per person.

Located in the St James Trust Building in Elizabeth Street.

the tearoom – Queen Victoria Building
Wednesday, 2 January, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney

There is nothing quite like having High Tea and we resolved, prior to going to Sydney, that we would endeavour to have High Tea on the afternoon prior to me flying home to Darwin.

On the top level of the Queen Victoria Building in the city is the tearoom.  Situated in the original Grand Ballroom, the tearoom is one of Sydney’s premier dining establishments and function venues.

There were many older ladies of the Sydney scene meeting up or dining on their own, the day we went and it was amazing to sit back and soak up the atmosphere and the ambiance.  The ceiling is a work of art – white on white detail of the original ornate ceiling towering 30 feet above spectacular 1920’s art deco chandeliers.

The afternoon tea hit the spot along with the champagne and sticky whites that we enjoyed.  Everything was just so old fashioned, right down to the cutlery, crockery and tiered serving plates.

Now that I think of it – it is a good way to unwind after doing a spot of shopping in the QVB Building.


Wednesday, 2 January, 2008, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney


It is such a pity that when this business card was scanned, the embossed part of the card was not captured.  But I am not going to talk about the business card, rather the yummy dining experience we enjoyed in March last year, on a late Sunday morning.

Icebergs came highly recommended by Rita and Donna, ex-Sydneysiders who now reside in Darwin.  In fact they assisted with a couple of the places we decided to eat at.

We booked in advance, well in advance in fact, long before we left Darwin.  One annoying fact about Sydney restaurants is that they feel the need to call you three or more times to confirm that you will be turning up for your booking.  Rita and Donna said there was a possibility that there might be some “famous” people dining on Sunday and we might get lucky in celebrity spotting.  Heads up – nothing, nanno on the day we went, but that was of no consequence.

Why?  Because the table they sat us had the most spectacular view and believe me if we were given daybeds to sit on, we would be serious squatters and still there.  To give you an idea of the views, see below.


 Now, seriously let’s talk about the food.  We ate well and as usual we got so excited about what we were ordering, we forgot to photograph some of the dishes we had.  We thought about asking other diners, but thought better of it.  To give you a run down:

Entree:  Crab, soft polenta, chilli, garlic and lemon; Risotto “Marchigiano”, slow braised veal, beef ragu, pecorino and “Stracciatella”, twice cooked chicken broth, zucchini blossoms, courvoisier – all the dishes were superb.


Main:  We were so engrossed in our dishes, we didn’t get photographs – I can vouch that each dish we ordered was exceptionally yummy.  Our order included Cotoletta and Spaghetti Vongole.

Desserts:  Hard to believe but we managed to have dessert and a cheese plate – see below. Burnt Caramel Icecream, Chocolate Savoiardi Biscuits, Saffron Fairy Floss and Double Chocolate Mouse with Icecream with Biscotti – very, very yummy.


The whole eat fest came to $317.90 and that included good wines to accompany our meal.

The only thing that did annoy me about Icebergs were the ridiculous “designer” white coats the wait staff wore.  If you want to wear white, then it must be immmaculately clean, something I would say is difficult to do when serving and clearing food.  The jackets did not look laundered at all, despite our waitperson inisting that they were.  The jackets were dirty and crumpled and in a little way was off putting considering that they are serving food.  Oh, considering the water shortage in Sydney, the automatic taps in bathroom stay on for way to long and I must admit, I must have seemed a bit of a country bumpkin trying to find out how to turn the tap off before realising it was automatic – how hard can it be to turn a tap off!

Highly recommend this as as a place top eat and relax on a Sunday when visiting Sydney.

Silver Service
Wednesday, 2 January, 2008, 8:16 am
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney


Some very dear friends of ours have recently moved to Sydney – hi J and B!

I thought I should blog about some other recommendations for Sydney, that may be of some assistance to them and others reading the blog.  I will be on my way to Sydney again in February and hopefully, discovering some more really exciting shopping and of course, food experiences.

I took many cabs when in Sydney last, as well as the train.  Love the trains – so easy to get around.  As for the cabs, there were some good drivers and there were some really bad ones.  Even though we were staying at St Leonards and this was my first time in the area for me, after the first day I knew my way there better than most of the cab drivers taking us – it really isn’t that hard.

The cab service I was incredibly impressed with is Silver Service and I so totally recommend them.  From now on, when I Sydney, this is who I will use – the number is in the phone.  I love the way they text you to say they have arrived and are waiting for you.