Sunday, December 11, 2005


the coastal walk

yesterday i availed myself of the clean, cheap and efficient sydney bus system to head out to world-famous bondi beach to take the lovely coastal walk thru tamarama down to bronte. i know the aussies reading this are in laughter over my description of their public transit, but i gotta remind 'em: you ain't been to noo yawk, mates, so you have absolutely no idea how good you have it!

only 35 mins. on a beautiful and busy sunday afternoon brings you to bondi from downtown sydney -- that's easier than getting to coney island, for sure. it was a beautiful sunny day but a bit windy, so bondi was fairly empty.

i really enjoyed walking along the beach, washing my toes in the tasman sea. i would have hopped into the designated swimming area, but the number of large blue bottles (what i would call portuguese men-o'-war) washed up on the beach made me think twice.

by large, i mean breakfast-plate size, with 6-ft. stinging tentacles! the surfers in their full bodysuits were undeterred, however.

i'd already been to palm and avalon beaches, which many aussies think nicer than bondi, but i did want to take the famous cliff-side walk. . .

this morning i once again hopped the bus to the balmain district to try the levain baguette at victoire. note that this isn't wood-oven bread, due the urban location of the bakery.

once again, the baguette showed the crust bubbles from cold retarding, but these were much smaller than in the previous sydney breads i'd tried. the crust was a little thick and chewy -- this seems to be common style in most artisan breads here in sydney.

the crumb was nice with irregular holes, and had a good creamy color. however, i once again thought the bread a tad too sour for authentic baguette.

while many sydneysiders will argue that victoire makes the best baguette in town, i'm still sticking with the bourke street bakery as my bread choice. however, let me say that the viennoiserie -- such as the marscapone-strawberry napoleon -- is absolutely amazing.

and i could rave for quite awhile about the individual quiche lorraines, which boast a delicous creamy interior. too many quiches have too hard and almost rubbery fillings, to my view. the paté brisée crust was also light delicate, with decorative handkerchief ruffles at the edges.

that, along with a local white nectarine and some local organic baby lolla rossa, made an excellent lunch on the bus bench as i made my way back downtown. . .

posted by fortune | 8:50 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 3 comments

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