Breakast with Kevin Bacon

This time last week I was on a breakfast date with Kevin Bacon at the wonderful cafe, The Grounds of Alexandria, Sydney

But just like the game ‘ Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon‘  wherein movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and Hollywood  actor Kevin Bacon…there was no separating me from the man last Wednesday!!

Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon

There can be no words when a picture so cute can say it all.

Kevin Bacon you stole my heart….Had I been introduced to you before I ate my breakfast I might have throught twice about ordering the Ham Hock on toast with smashed peas, parmesan and preserved lemon ( no doubt I ate one of your close relations….six degrees of separation and all)

Eating breakfast each morning with my black cat Flora just does not cut it anymore…my heart belongs to you.

Till we meet again Kevin Bacon….may the Ham Hock on the breakfast menu be removed, replaced by corn fritters or something of that nature…I want to see you on my return!

Kevin Bacon- The Happiest Pig in Sydney

Kevin Bacon- The Happiest Pig in Sydney

Breakfast Lust Story

A short story…about breakfast!

She had a crush on the waiter at her local café.

It was impossible not too.

He possessed a curly mop of hair, unruly, untamed, his skin was olive and he towered over her, she liked men who were taller than her.

Then there was his accent ( which she had from good authority was Canadian) and lastly, his confidence, self belief…that was what sealed the deal…this café kid was cool.

And he knew it….

She’d been frequenting this café on and off for the past month…always hopeful that her scrambled eggs with mushrooms on the side would be delivered to her table by him.

If this wasn’t the case, she didn’t mind…she had a back up plan….she would order two coffees, one at a time, thus increasing the odds of a brief encounter.

She loved his flirtatious nature…Or was it all in her head?

On her last visit, as she perused the menu, he had approached the table.

This made is hard to concentrate…however, as a regular, she already had her mind made up ….But she kept her eyes on the menu none the less…The longer she did this, the longer he would have to stand there ( oh the elation!)

Time stood still.

She looked up, catching his gaze

As she did, she put on her best attempt at a face that implied she was confused / overwhelmed by the menu…..She called it her – What exactly should I have? Oh, please kind waiter, what would you suggest?? – face.

It worked.

‘What would you like?’ said the waiter in her direction ‘You can have WHATEVER you want’

In a split second her brain fired a primal response.

‘I’ll have YOU thanks’

And all thoughts of a scrambled eggs with a side of mushrooms vanished….instead she was being hoisted onto his broad shoulders, out of the café, off on his motorbike, heading in the direction of the sun, the sea…destination wunderlust.

She realised he was waiting…waiting for her response….she almost had to pinch herself, hadn’t she just ordered him for breakfast?

The blank look on the faces of her breakfast companions suggested it might be the case, but she eventually  interpreted their facial expression as one of dismay…‘The waiter has asked for your order, hurry up…we are hungry!’

‘ Scrambled eggs with a side of mushrooms thanks’

And in an instant he redirected his gaze, taking the remaining orders from her group…never to return.

And although her breakfast was tasty and the two long blacks hit the spot….she was filled with  regret at not giving her  primal order precedent over the request for food and beverages….

In her heart of hearts, she knew her first order  would have been far more satisfying.

The London 2012 Olympics

As swimmers dart up and down the pool, I can’t help but be amazed at their aquatic awesomeness…As pole vaulter’s vault, sprinter’s sprint, hurdler’s  hurdle and gymnast somersault…I want in on the action.

The early morning tv sessions ( the time difference between London and Sydney is a killer), the dedication taken in reading up on athlete’s bio’s , studying the tv guide, preparing meals in advance so as not to miss  a minutes sporting action …This Olympics gig is only for the elite viewer, the dedicated, the passionate , committed.

That folks isn’t me…I don’t mind the odd bit of Olympic action…but it isn’t really isn’t my cup of tea…So to amuse myself at a time when only sport seems to matter, I have turned my attention to something I excel at….eating food….And I have hosted the 2012 Food Olympics…and I can’t wait to tell you who was awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The July edition of Sydney’s Time Out Magazine has to take the credit for this blog post. They encouraged readers of the July edition, to forgo elite athleticism, to leave it to the experts…ordinary folk should focus on what they do best…and in Sydney, that apparently is eating.

I took the message literally, and with the help of the restaurant reviews from previous Time Out editions, I have eaten my way around town.

Though there are still a few days to snare gold in London, both my waist line and wallet have requested that I hold the award ceremony early.

Gold

Spencer Guthrie’s, 339 King Street, Newtown

www.spencerguthrie.com

Spencer Guthries, a new restaurant on the famous King Street strip. A restaurant committed to sourcing produce ethically, reducing their carbon foot print and all that jazz…

They had me at hello, or was it welcome?

The restaurant is small, around 8 tables, the atmosphere, intimate, our waiter, attentive.

But it is all about the food….Flavour, flavour, flavour….delicate portions, plated to perfection…balance and harmony in my entrée of wild mushroom, main of steamed leather jacket and dessert of chocolate ( all things for that matter)

Water and wine and the finest of companions…a friend I have had in my life since the age of 5 ( Gold medal is almost a given!!)

Spencer Guthries…..Gold, yes baby, you are gold.

Silver

Hartsyard, 33 Enmore Road, Newtown

http://hartsyard.com.au/

Oh so close….think James Magnusson 100 metre freestyle final closeness…

The only was to separate the winner in the 2012 Food Olympics was to ask myself, ‘ How soon could I return to eat at the establishment’

To that question I answered ‘ Spencer Guthrie’s…tomorrow’, ‘ Hartywards…..next week’

Hartsyard seems to be the new hipster hangout in the infinitely cool Sydney’s innerwest.

A New York chef, meets Aussie girl….they fall in love and she brings him back to Australia. The result, Sydney gets an injection on NY coolness…and I could not be happier.

This meal is shared with a friend I have known since I was 3 years old ( another reason why this Silver is really like a gold in disguise) It was the perfect meal to accompany our friendship…fun, full of laughter and shared childhood memories of sea and sun.

Southern style crunchy golden fried chicken, the French Canadian inspired dish Poutine with beer gravy…We shared both mains…the dishes left us  feeling full and completely satisfied.

At the time I remember thinking ‘ I am eating Elvis Pressley’s final meal’…and then out came our dessert.

Peanut butter and Banana Sundae….and it was then and there that I died and went to heaven…I had never eaten anything so indulgent, so heavenly, so divine…the salty chocolate fudge sauce, the donut balls, ice cream that bubbled and burst with creamy goodness at the touch of a spoon.

Hartyard is awarded a silver only because I want so much to return…and return I will…I would go there for dessert alone…but with summer round the corner, my thighs and buttocks are wary…this restaurant is in a category almost entirely of its own….‘ special treat’ territory…returning to soon could very well clog an artery.

Oh the temptation!!

Bronze

Rueben Hills, 61 Albion St Surry Hills

http://reubenhills.com.au/

It had to be you, Rueben Hills…you are the gracious recipient of the 2012 Food Olympics bronze medal.

I love that you open at 7am-4pm, Monday through to Sunday, enabling me, to pop in on my way to work and indulge in the type of breakfast fit for a King or Queen.

I have dined in your company twice over the past few months, I like the mid-week visits, I have heard you are super busy on the weekend, crazy busy, and pre-work breakfast means that I get fast and fabulous service, and can make the tough decision of what to eat in relative silence…your innovative breakfast creations can make this very hard!

Breakfast number one was a breakfast trifle, berries in orange syrup w honey&orange blossom yoghurt , breakfast number two a spice grilled chicken fillet, Tomatillo salsa, cheese, pickles & chipotle aioli on brioche. On both occasions I doubted my choices…Was this really breakfast food?

I should have trusted your menu….turns out they are probably two of the most memorable breakfast meals of 2012.

Your café, the décor, the music, the food, the coffee…you are the real deal…the perfect inner city café, for breakfast for one, lunch for five or coffee on the go.

In a nutshell, you are just cool, I have a café crush on you…even more so that you have been awarded a bronze medal!

For more wonderful restaurant recommendations, check out a blog I stumbled across recently, The Adventure of Miss Piggy, for all things food and fabulous…..

http://theadventuresofmisspiggy.blogspot.com.au/

So go on,  host your own 2012 Food Olympics….get out there and award your favorite eating joint a GOLD medal for awesomeness….

Rueben Hills….pre-work escapism at its very best

 

Coffee and a view

Coffee and a view

For some weeks, I had eyed off this new business on Albion Street, Surry Hills…it looked other worldly…too cool….Was is a funky new small bar, a night club for the elite?

For sometime all I did was wonder, then my weekly café review came through from the blog ‘ Sydney on Sunday’ ….and I saw the light!

Rueben Hills, Surry Hills…..was…a….cafe….

And I just HAD to go there.

So early one morning, battling the rain and frost, I arrived for breakfast. The review I read stated that weekends at Rueben Hills very busy due to it being a bit of a hot spot…so Tuesday morning, 7.27am suited me just fine.

I got a window seat, and was served a delightful coffee in next to no time. My breakfast choice of Trifle- muesli, berries in orange syrup with honey&orange blossom yoghurt, soon followed.

As I gazed out the window, not a care in the world, I felt I had been transported to another place….. New York City, Melbourne, Berlin….all the fine places I have visited around the world seemed to have converged to a small converted terrace in inner city Sydney.

Rueben Hills has the power to transport people….it is a combination of great interior design, eclectic and attentive wait staff, fine food and coffee and the soulful tunes played on turntables…

Breakfast became an experience….

My pre work attempt to escape the everyday , the ordinary, the ho-hum paid off….I walked with a spring in my step to work that morning for I had started the day in fabulous fashion!

And whilst not every day can be heralded in in the same way…..I think it is very important to treat yourself now and then, when you can….Take the time to ensure that every day has a little bit of ‘extrodinary’ about it.

 

This post was  inspired something I read  via facebook. I follow the Petrea King Quest for Life facebook page and blog.

Quest for Life featured an article by Rosie Brogan, who writing features on Blackmores, the natural heath care brand, website:

Giving your life meaning ( when sometimes it feels like there is none)

It highlights the importance of doing something new, difference, outside the box to keep life interesting…and for me, Rueben Hills for a pre work mid-week breakfast was just what was needed

 

And also inspired by the wonderful Sydney on Sunday, my go to blog for recommendations on where to have a yummy cafe experience in Sydney and beyond.

There Rueben Hills Review: Reuben Hills Cafe Review

CUWAM Thank you for reading…..Danke Schoen

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I start this weeks message with a simple thank you for reading……Danke Schoen

The countdown is on…In less than two weeks catch up with a mate month will go global….But I will find myself alone in my first destination…Paris….the city of love…But whilst is the city of love, I think my first love will be sleep….For the lead up to any oversees holiday, when working full-time, is always a tad stressful, the organisation, the expectations, the sorting out, the packing, the catch ups to say goodbye ( it only 5 weeks)…Yep, Paris here I come…number one aim in the city…catch up on some much-needed R & R ( and then the focus can shift….to pastries, park life and modern art)

My other destinations will see me take in Copenhagen, NYC and the seaside towns of Devon and Cornwell in the Uk, the city of Bristol and the fabulous London….it would be an understatement to say that I am excited….

But the week that was…the catch ups that where….the 9-5 grind that took its toll…Yep another week has passed me by, and I was lucky as many catch up adorned each day…

I struggle to recall Monday…It was a day of administration stress and frustration….which resulting in me locking in a Tuesday drink with friend Scott Duncan…..There was no gym action, the was a home cooked meal as I dined solo in front of the tellie….and lost myself in Nine’s Farmer Wants a Wife….A definite low light of the week.

On Tuesday, still suffering from the ill effects of a testing Monday, I put out the call that the only fans of my blog are my parents…and therefore insulted many of my readers!! And for that I am sorry…However, views to the blog hit a mid-week high and I am tempted to indulge weekly in online pleads for attention…I also talked to a colleague at work, Ricardo, about a desire to take my bloging to the next step…help will be provided in late October / early November…stay tuned.

And after work drinks at the Clare Hotel, Ultimo, Sydney with Scott…And a glass of wine was never sold so cheaply….When it came time to focus in on drink number two, I asked for half a glass of red…The bar tender charged me $3 and then gave me a glass more generous in content that drink one?? The Clare Hotel…I love thee….Dinner followed, at Satang Thai on Quay Street, Haymarket….reminded of my days as a high-flying travel agent ( actually I never left the ground!!), for the beef basil and chilli was a dish I consumed on a regular basis back then, the humble restaurant being my local….Ah, good things never change….Satang Thai Thai street food remains the same…and Scott and I were left content and satisfied after out meals.

On Tuesday I also tried something new…I went to the gym at lunch time….between the hours of noon and 1pm…I pumped iron ( well I used the treadmill) at Newtown Fitness First…impressed by my midday commitment to exercise…I declared that I would pack my gym gear for a similar work out session on Wednesday.

Wednesday….a day of commitment to my work…the start of information session to my students who are to embark on an exchange to countries ranging from France, Germany, Austria, UK, Switzerland…I was proud of my work and presented relevant and factual information to my student cohort…I was also proud to announce my annual leave to my students… ‘See you later guys, will be back in the country mid October’ There was no lunch break, high hopes of a midday gym session were sidelined…but come 5pm…I was gym bound…Newtown Fitness First here I come….

My Thursday was devoted to the humble nachos dish…It was all I could think about….I had heard someone the night before of the bus home mumble the word nachos to her friend on the phone ( or was her friend’s name Marcus / was she talking about the circus??)…who can say…But after presenting to the UK student group, I hit King Street Newtown for some Guzman and Gomez Mexican action…Taking my lunch to Camperdown Memorial Park, I had a photo shoot with my lunch, basked in the sun…and felt genuinely happy to be alive

Friday…an office morning tea, a late lunch and an afternoon tea of cupcakes, home-made baked beans and Tim Tams ( a combination I would later regret) …It was Friday…but it was a day that pressed many administration buttons…as the seemly endless task of preparing for a 5 week vacation was taking its toll…I was beginning to doubt my ability to make it through the next 2 weeks with my sanity intact…

Nothing a shuttle bus, train ride, and harbour ferry journey can’t fix though…Once I left the office I regained my sense of equilibrium…And I took a lucky dip approach to public transport to purchase my Dad’s 61st birthday present…Arriving at Balmain wharf…I walked to a fabulous little bottle shop and found a bottle of Shiraz from the Heathcote region in Victoria ( preciously what my Father had asked for) I then headed in the direction of home….two bus rides later I was united with Flora, another TV dinner and then to B.E.D.

I baked a chocolate slice early Saturday morning…then drove to Bondi for brunch and a catch up with the lovely Mrs Rebecca Wearne ( formally Crowe)…Crowe is still glowing with post wedding bliss, and rightly so, she married a lovely farmer from NZ…Crowe’s Danny could give a lesson or two to the so-called men on Farmer Wants a Wife season whatever number they are up to!!

Over coffees, avocado salsa and crispy prosciutto, Crowe and I chatted about my impending holiday, her fabulous husband and the general coolness of everything that is the Sydney suburb of Bondi….Leaving café Deli Bottega behind, totally satisfied and ready to face the afternoon, Crowe and I parted….

The afternoon was spent rummaging in Bronte St Vincent De Paul Opp shop…and I can out with some bargains…Two books, a silk scarf and a dress….Which was put on for the evening festivities….An all in one birthday celebration for my Mum and Dad, and me as well…Though my special day isn’t till September…I will be gallivanting around the globe….My Mum’s b’day not till October…But what the heck…It was time to celebrate…

Over goat curry, BBQ lamb, 9 lentil curry and copious pappadums…Mum, Dad, Michael, beautiful Tennelle and myself celebrated at the Nepalese Kitchen, Crown Street, Surry Hills….It was to be my Dad’s birthday the following day, and we continued into the night with desserts of rose-water, pistachio and fig ice cream….As if that was not enough…we continued across the road to Gnome Cafe ( formally Coffee Tea or Me) for coffee made with love ( especially for my brother Michael…his coffee came complete with love heart…Barista love??)

Sunday…I caught up with Elena and her friend Astrid, who will cat sit whilst I globe trot. After providing Astrid with the details needed to live the life of an Eastern Surburbs princess ( complete with cat), a quick drive around the burbs, we were all exhausted and needed refueling… Parc Cafe hit the spot, coffees and a late breakfast ensured that smiles returned….

Determined to completely annihilate myself before I hop on that 747 to Paris next week, after bidding adieu to Elena and cat sitter Astrid, I headed via car to Epping…to catch up with my remarkable Grandparents, still alive and very much together…married for what seems 1000 years, completing each others sentences and pieces of cake….We chatted away over tea and coffee…smiled, laughed and genuinely enjoyed each other company….

And now I am home, the week / the weekend has come to an end…and once again I find myself in the kitchen….cooking myself a dinner of roast vegetables, having earlier felt the need to eat ½ a pack of Smiths Cheese and Onion chips and gulp down a can of coke ( serious, hung over after three wines…is that what being 33 entails….not looking forward to that ‘ special’ day in September)

Thank you for reading…Danke Schoen

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