Level 1/90 Hay St, Haymarket (map)
(02) 9211 6677
Lindt Concept Store and Café
53 Martin Place, Sydney (map)
(02) 8257 1600
Some may view my purchase of the Sydney Eats (Cheap Eats) guide as foolish, given that as a dyed-in-the-wool Melbournian I don't get up to Sydney that often (I dunno, the yellow numberplates, achingly beautiful harbour and ubiquity of Tooheys New all conspire to make me vaguely uneasy)...
But as the Guide led me to Ramen Kan, in my book it was $14.95 well spent!
Down in Haymarket near one of the monorail stops, one enters Ramen Kan through a nondescript entrance next to a fast food joint, then takes a dank smelly lift to an upper floor (not unlike Madame Brussels). To one's pleasant surprise, the Ramen Kan interior is airy and classy.
I sat at a long skinny table facing the window, ordered a Calpis peach tea and examined the menu. One of the pages proclaimed that the "delicious cloudy stock" that accompanies the ramen simmers for three days. How could I not try it out? I gestured at the ramen the Japanese woman sitting next to me was happily slurping and asked "kore wa nan desu ka" (one of the few phrases I can still bust out) - it turned out to be the Ramen Chicken Karaage, which I ordered. A steal at $11.50!
They weren't kidding about the stock being cloudy and delicious! The chicken was wonderfully fresh and the ramen were soft and the whole thing was sen-bloody-sational.
The ramen came with a side serve of dried garlic, chilli and crispy fried shallots...
Anyone know where to get ramen like this in Melbourne?
F and I had plans to visit the Art Gallery of NSW (and, importantly, the Art Gallery of NSW Shop), but first we met for a hot chocolate at the Lindt Café in Martin Place.
Apparently, it ain't just a café: it's a "Concept Store and Café". All rather grand, eh?
I don't have much of a sweet tooth - if faced with a choice between sweet and savoury I'll choose savoury nine times out of ten - and chocolate can sit safely uneaten in my kitchen for weeks at a time. That said, I am partial to the odd red Lindor ball, and if I do have chocolate maturing in the kitchen it tends to be a Lindt Excellence Crunchy Caramel bar, so I'd been keen to try out the Lindt hot chocolates...
...but it was a warm day and I was still full of ramen, so settled for a bottle of Heidiland mineral water (cute name and label!) and two macarons - hazelnut and passionfruit ($2 each).
Duncan from the blog Syrup and Tang created quite the hoopla and excitement at the Melbourne Food Bloggers' Banquet last November with the salted caramel macarons he prepared. He duly posted a series of incredibly detailed posts which answered everything you always wanted to know about macarons (but were afraid to ask). Much as I enjoyed reading other bloggers' attempts to follow Duncan's teachings (especially Thanh's emotional rollercoaster!) and liked the crazy little beauties Duncan brought to the banquet, I still wasn't wild about macarons... but this passionfruit one was fantastic.
Check out that fluoro orange!
One more thing - after the Gallery we had heaps of fun wandering around the Botanic Gardens, experiencing Ghostgarden, which was part of the Sydney Festival:
Ghostgarden takes you on a surreal journey through the Royal Botanic Gardens. This 21st century GPS technology will take you back to the 1800s, when Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens were a zoo and parklands, in this tale of Jack and Lucy and their impossible love. Is this a tale of the past or from the future?
Using the worldwide Global Positioning System (GPS) and pocket PC's, Anita Fontaine's cinematic tale unravels as you wander the Royal Botanic Gardens' paths and gardens. Collect your GPS device from the Sydney Festival kiosk, and embark on the Ghostgarden tale in this beautiful and evocative setting.
The best part was that each GPS/pocket PC came with a gorgeous purple parasol! :)