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10/13/14 - Back to Sydney

If you look at the picture of that bridge on the right and are so glad we're back in New York City because that's the Hell's Gate railroad bridge, you an incurable New Yorker. There is nothing we can do for you.

We're back in Sydney for a day, back in the arms of the ever nurturing Sydney Park Hyatt. Their concierge pulled off a miracle and got us into dinner at Quay, one of the great restaurants in Sydney. This is where we first had fresh pork belly, the dish that, along with various technological changes, totally eliminated pork belly futures. Once we discovered that one could cook pork belly the way they did at Quay, there was no future. Pork bellies were eaten now. We also had green lip abalone, mud crab congee, hog jowls, seafood in XO sauce, lamb, smoked oysters and slow cooked duck. Then came the piece de resistance, the snow egg. This was one of those molecular gastronomy things with a sugar crusted meringue egg formed around house made strawberry ice cream served on a bed of mulberries. Well, they may have fooled some, but we knew what we were eating. We were eating pavlova.

Pavlova was once the national dish of Australia, but it became a cliche. For a while it was hard to find a dessert menu without pavlova, but now it is hard to find one with it. Well, Quay came through, even if they had to give it another name. Thank you, Quay.

Our next day we spent exploring the botanical gardens. Australia was full of plants unfamiliar to the colonizing Europeans, so there is a botanical garden in every major city, a collection established as Europeans tried to figure out which plant was what. In Sydney it was even more fun, because the place was full of school kids learning a bit about history, so this meant old fashioned mob caps for the girls and old fashioned straw hats or tricorns for the boys. Australia has some pretty nasty history, so we hope they were being told some of the good stuff too.

Then we had our final dinner at Rockpool, another one of our favorites. We booked the regular Rockpool restaurant, but it had been turned into a temple of fine food and dining. We couldn't face it. We had an early flight home. Instead we went to their bar and grill where we had a crudo of mullet, tuna and ocean trout followed by the Kaleberg version of surf and turf. That's a huge grilled rock lobster with a side order of wagyu skirt steak and some killer wagyu beef fat fried potatoes. We're hoping our flight to Vancouver can handle the excess weight tomorrow.

It's not the Hells Gate Bridge in New York City. Hells Gate is a real place between Manhattan and Queens. This bridge is in Sydney.

Sydney from its harbor walk

The iconic opera house, once a symbol of architectural over-reach, now a beloved icon.

From the botanical garden

Australian Naval Power, though there was probably more in Warrnambool on the Great Ocean Road.

We're not sure what this was, but it's like the Belvedere in Manhattan.

One of the great old trees in the botanical garden

Keywords: australia