Archives for posts with tag: travel

Are you wondering where to go for Oktoberfest in Sydney? Well, I have kindly volunteered to do some market research to help you find the best place to go. My suggestion, pork knuckle down and get to Löwenbräu Keller!

Perched upon Argyle Street in the Rocks, Löwenbräu Keller is the perfect venue for a few liters of beer and a good hearty meal.  They prides themselves on being the most authentic Munich restaurant in Sydney, and the historic cobble stone streets add a touch of charm while you’re playing make-believe wishing you were really in Munich celebrating Oktoberfest.

Löwenbräu Keller has two areas, the outside tables which are perfect for lapping up the daylight savings sun or the traditional Bavarian beer hall bar inside and down stairs. The service is typical German – serious, punctual and dressed in ledenhosen and beer wench dresses. Cheesy and cliché, what more would you want in a German restaurant during Oktoberfest?…. probably beer and food.

There is an extensive beer (Bier) menu with Oktoberfest specials coming in all shapes and sizes, but mostly in the traditional 1 litre beer mug. Get in the spirit and order the Bowenbrau Oktoberfestbier – a full-bodied brew with a hint of spice which will get you feeling very festive. As for the good, if you’re on a diet don’t even bother. If you like rich, creamy, fried food – you have come to the right place.

I opted not to go for the famous pork knuckle although I fully intended to before I arrived, but it was huge and looked like too much admin for my liking. Given I was a little tipsy I opted for an easier-to-eat pork belly served with braised cabbage, roast potatoes and jus. The pork belly was everything pork belly should be – a tender, juicy, fall-apart-in-your-mouth piece of belly topped with a crisp, golden piece of crackling. I could almost feel the roasted fat residing on my thighs immediately. But when in  Germany (or The Rocks), you must do as the Germans do. The chicken schnitzel covered in mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes was just as heart-stopping delicious.

If you’re feeling more like a pig than you are a German, never fear, Löwenbräu Keller have a roaming live German band there, yodeling for your entertainment so you can dance the calories and night away….

The Bitter: Probably more than I would have liked to pay, but you only get to celebrate Oktoberfest once (a year)

The Sweet: Service, schnitzel and shameless stereotypes

The Damage: Liter of beer, huge meal and cardiac arrest will cost about $50 per person.

Oink Oink,

Truffle Pig.

Löwenbräu Keller – 18 Argyle St, The Rocks – Sydney, NSW – lowenbrau.com.au

Lowenbrau Keller on Urbanspoon

Surry Hills’ Reuben Hills has been the talk of the town for some time, and the lines to get in aren’t slowing down any time soon. Why so popular you ask? Well, the trendy people who live and play around this area are as fussy about their coffee as they are about their chinos, and here you can find some of the best beans going around.

The owner, Russell Beard, travels the world finding the best coffee beans to roast on site and sources most of from south of the border including places like from to El Salvador, Panama, Colombia and Costa Rica. The food’s theme follows suit and is inspired by the food he eats on his bean hunting trips. Think full and flavoursome sandwiches, jam-packed tortillas and exotic eats for those with a sweet tooth like the ice cream sandwich or the salted caramel milkshake.

But being more of sucker for savory, I couldn’t even entertain the idea of looking at anything other than the ‘NOT Reuben’ sandwich. Rye bread generously stocked with a salty wagyu brisket, manchergo cheese and pickled coleslaw dressed with horseradish cream served in a neon basket, diner style. The sandwich was nothing short of amazing – full, delicious and left me wanting more even though my pork belly was at full capacity. My not-so-piggy friend opted for the lighter option, the crab taco’s which are filled with chunks of crab, avocado, sweet corn, smoked tomato and rocket. They are fresh, filling and full of flavour, but no match to my Not Reuben.

The café itself is as interesting as the menu. The neon light installations are a stark contrast to the exposed brick walls, tiled tables and unassuming entrance on Albion Street. Inside is a lively, modern and airy space with plenty of ventilation coming from the rear’s roller door. The staff are incredibly friendly and efficient despite being busy around the clock with pigs eating from early morning through to late afternoon. If you’re an impatient pig I suggest you opt for a late lunch around 3-4, but don’t expect to be hungry for dinner time.

The Bitter: The coffee beans have a bitter taste, but that is the only bitter about this place

The Sweet: Salty wagyu Brisket and salted caramel milkshake, death row meal worthy combo

The Damage: A meal and milkshake will set you back about $25.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Rueben Hill – 61 Albion Street – Surry Hills, NSW 2010 – reubenhills.com.au

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

After a whirl wind trip around the Caribbean and the US (I know, life is tough) I was sitting in the jumbo jet headed for home feeling like a jumbo pig. I had only been gone for one week, how could I possibly feel so porky after such a short amount of time? With winter just around the corner, the last thing I want is to look like a strung ham in my skinny jeans.

Then it dawned on me, Americans (who have also permiated the paradise that is Aruba with their “upsized” attitude) have made me fat by feeding me full of meat, booze, doritos, cheese (especially the orange stuff out of a pump), free refill coffee and carbs upon carbs (home fries with an eggs benedict always seems god sent at the time). So in hindsight it was no surprise that I was feeling like a pregnant pig, I had been eating bacon cheese burgers while sipping on pina coladas for a week and snacking on Doritos to fuel me for the walk from the pool to the casino, an exhausting 100m trek. But I kept thinking, when in Rome do as the lard laden Americans do…..

So it is time to get rid of the bacon rind and start the first ever diet(ish) of my life! The emptiness of my bank account, pressure of my top button and the feeling of being an over fed heffa in cattle class was enough motivation for me to put this change into action immediately!

They say it takes 3 weeks to break up any habit so, in stages, I will break each of those Americana habits I too willingly embraced over the past week and that I (over)moderately implement in my day-to-day diet. The thought of not indulging in six of my favourite things makes me feel anxious but I just need to take a few deep snorts and bite the bacon!

The Porkless Pig Challenge:

Who? Me, Truffle Pig

What? A 9 week challenge eliminating six of my favourite things from my diet

Why? No idea, I am starting to regret it already. But, I will do it to test my will power, relieve the seams of my jeans from tension and learn to cook and eat differently

How?

  • Stage 1: Three weeks with no meat* or chips
  • Stage 2: Three weeks with no booze* or carbs**
  • Stage 3: Three weeks with no coffee or dairy*

Those that know me are probably laughing and thinking this is Mission Impossible and rightfully so. My “No Chip” weeks usually end in me going 24 hours without then waking up from a what I call a “Samboy Blackout” with chicken flavouring on the tip of every trotter, a bloated belly, a sty of crumbs surrounding me and a very amused/terrified household.

So, by taking this challenge publicly I hope to stick to my guns with the support from my readers and friends – you will all have to deal with my mood swings, withdrawals and hold me back from attacking any pack of Doritos within reach. On the plus side, I will be forced to expand my culinary skills by delving into vegetarianism which is a foreign concept for me as I like my steak rare and my life motto is “if there’s no meat, it’s an entrée”.

Will I have a mental break down? Will I start gnawing at my own arm? Will I die? Will I save money? Will I lose weight? Will I replace barramundi for bacon forever? will I succeed? or will I be found oinking in a self-made sty in 711 snorting Samboys, Gaytimes and meat pies at 3am on day 3? …………………… Your guess it as good as mine.

Oink oink,
Truffle Pig.

*Exceptions made for meals I can’t avoid i.e work events, weddings or birthday celebrations. Any infringements of the challenge will add an addition day to the stage.

**I will draw the line at calling a banana a carb so my diet will only restrict pasta, bread and rice.

After touching down in Hong Kong we beelined for the first yum cha restaurant we could get our trotters on and from that point on it was a non-stop eating frenzy that left me looking like an over stuffed pork bun.

It was quick trip filled with extreme eating (chicken feet and frogs followed by some dry heaves) and more dumplings I could keep count of. The food markets were amazing and undoubtably fresh with the fish still flipping and flopping as though they had jumped right out of the harbour  onto the street. Every part of the animal is out for the world to taste – the ears, the heads, the organs and all the bits I actually like to eat – if only I had a kitchen over there, I would have gone bananas.

The street side food vendors are as cheap as chips and full of flavoursome fun. Sign language is essential as english speaking service is as rare as a bad meal over here. We were welcomed into the kitchen to point out what parts we wanted on our plates and we were never met with disappointment. Service with a smile, sizzling stirfrys, sweet and sour soups, Sing Taos and so much soy sauce!

My hooves and hunger kept me too preoccupied to document every place I overindulged (and there were lots!) but I am happy to point pigs in the right direction if they want to know where to stuff their snouts in Hong Kong. I love everything about this insane city and I can’t wait to eat it all over again next year.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Hong Kong here I come…. Not a single soup will go unslurped, a gyoza ungobbled or a noodle ungnawed.

Send me any suggestions on where to eat, drink and shuffle my trotters….

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.