I am finally home after an amazing 3-week vacation in the Land Down Under! Australia was so much fun – cute wildlife, beautiful sights and lots of relaxation. Plus seek refuge from the cold, rainy gloominess that is Oregon winter and heading to a tropical wonderland was a very nice change!
Our culinary Aussie tour was somewhat of a toss up. We had some really incredible meals and some not so great ones, including lots of pub food. Though we did find that Australians did have some similar food interests – a) they love pumpkin (perfect!) and b) they love pies. Sadly for me they don’t really mean dessert pies but rather meat pies and veggie pies but to Brice this was wonderful.
Our first experience with Aussie pies was (unfortunately) at PieFace, which we originally thought was a cute local pie shop. Turns out it is kind of like McDonald’s or Starbucks of pie – on every corner and just oily, mediocre pies. But nonetheless it was a good start on our pie tour.
Now THIS was a delicious pie! From Mocka’s Pies in Port Douglas, a beach resort town on the northeastern coast. Flaky, sweet crust with a fantastic filling of pumpkin, spinach and feta cheese. This was in my list of top 3 meals for the trip.
I also had to try their Fruit Mince Pies. Filled with brady soaked raisins, sugar and spices like nutmeg and cloves, these little pies are part of traditional Christmas meals in Australia.
Top Meal #2) In Port Douglas, we had an incredible meal at Harrisons Restaurant. Their chef Spencer Patrick moved to Australia from London, where he earned a Michelin star. Escaping the dreary England weather, he headed to Australia and opened this amazing restaurant about 4 years ago. We had one of the best meals I’ve ever had, including Moreton Bay Bugs, an Australian delicacy that is like a lobster and crab combined.
The meal was ended with an extremely decadent and tasty dessert called the Valrhona Chocolate Nemesis. A giant silky dark chocolate truffle that just melts in your mouth topped with crunchy housemade honey comb. Served with a white chocolate and amaretto creamy zabaglione (kind of like ice cream and flan combined). It was AMAZING.
Top Meal #3 was at Jellyfish Restaurant in Brisbane. It had a perfect location right on the waterfront overlooking the Brisbane River. We had more delicious fresh seafood. Brice was even treated to a whole baby barramundi (a local Australian white fish) – it seriously came head and all. Kind of creepy but when I ignored that part of it, it was really tasty. Our dessert that night was also amazing:
Duck Egg Creme Brulee that was served on fire (awesome!), with Custard Powder Ice Cream and Biscotti. Super delicious.
We had so much fun on our Aussie adventure and had lots of tasty food to make it even better!