And so, we’ve come to the end of 2012. As many people do at this time of year, I’ve been considering the past twelve months and all the changes that have come with it. 2012 was a big year for me; I left a good life in Halifax and now live a great one in Sydney, Australia. One of the things that was lacking for me in Nova Scotia was the opportunity to try wines from all over the world. Working with the company I’m with now, makes this desire a reality and I’m not only trying wines, but meeting their amazing winemakers as well.
I thought about the great dining experiences that I’ve had this year too. And there were many; I actually had difficulty trying to choose the 10 most special. Some are from restaurants near and dear to my heart in Halifax, while others are from my new ‘home’ in Sydney. Many of these bites weren’t exactly what you would call ‘gourmet’, but as I transitioned into this new life, sometimes comfort food was more important that gourmet. The underlying theme here though, is that these experiences will always be fond memories because of the people I got to share them with and the lessons that I learned along the way.
Enjoy the photos, and try some of these dishes if you can as they’re certainly worth it. I hope that this blog post might offer you the inspiration to ‘bite the bullet’ and take a chance . Don’t let 2013 pass you by without taking some risks and maybe having a little adventure along the way. Perhaps a change of scenery is just the thing to help you find what you’re looking for. All the best to you this year, and again, thanks for reading.
Top Ten Bites of 2012
(in no particular order)
Amuse Bouche at Seasons by Atlantica
This is one of those meals that was made even better by the circumstances. On a cold winter’s night we called up another couple (who appreciated good food and drink as much as I do) for an impromptu dinner to try out Season’s at Atlantica. This was the amuse bouche; a piece of buttery brioche topped with a slice of mellow Brie and crowned with a soft-poached Prosciutto-wrapped egg yoke. How satisfying it was to slice through the paper-thin Prosciutto and watch the creamy egg yoke pool in the bottom of my plate.
And the evening was equally satisfying: we started with cocktails; I brought some nice bottles; and we had apps and mains (trying one another’s and critiquing them). We shared a dessert and then they introduced me to my new favourite digestive: a shot of ice-cold Limoncello paired with one of espresso. The coffee helped to digest the meal, while the Limoncello’s tangy, citrus burst helped to refresh the palate after the bitter coffee. Sadly, my friends are no longer together, but the memory of this dinner will be one I cherish for years to come.
Scallop Entree at Saege (Halifax)
Ekmek at Estia (Halifax)
Radicchio Salad at The Bicycle Thief (Halifax)
Avocado Creme Brûlée at Pipa (Halifax)
Avocado creme brûlée! I was pretty skeptical about this dish. I was dining at Pipa and my bf and I decided to share some dessert. When we asked the owner for her reco she said – hands down – the avocado creme brûlée. Avocado is considered a sweet in South America and this is a common preparation for it. There isn’t a blog post for this one, but all I can say is that it is totally worth the trip to Pipa. Beneath the crisp sugar topping, the silky avocado custard is the epitome of luscious.
‘Back Door’ Pad Thai from Fid Resto (Halifax)
It’s no secret how I feel about Fid. It’s one of my favourite restos in Halifax. This meal was no exception – except that it wasn’t eaten at Fid. During the Open Halifax event, Fid started doing ‘Back Door’ Pad Thai, where one could order their Pad Thai as take-away for a reduced price.
Calamari at James Street Bistro (Brisbane)
I am such a sucker for calamari. When I was snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef this year, I was mesmerized by the magical world hiding our beneath the ocean’s surface. You can imagine my surprise when I saw several sets of bulging eyes coming in my direction; that of a school of squid! Little did they know all the ways I was contemplating cooking them…
Savoury Muffin at The Little Pantry (Brisbane)
San Choy Bow at Dragon Palace (NSW)
Veggie Burger from Chicken’s Plus (Sydney)
Gozleme at Harvest Music Festival (Sydney)
Festival food! When I arrived in Oz, I said I wanted to take in as many festivals/concerts as I could. This photo was taken at my first; Harvest Festival in Sydney. The dish was delicious, but further enhanced by the fact that: I can’t resist festival food; I had a slight beer buzz; and I got to spend a day in the grass listening to great music with wonderful friends. This snack is called Gozleme – a traditional Lebanese crepe filled with cheese, spinach and mushroom drizzled with lemon juice. For any Newfoundlanders out there, it tastes like toutons! No blog post for this yet, but it’s coming.
Happy New Year from sunny Sydney!
Fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge