Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sydney weekend - Doyles on the Beach & Chinta Ria

Last weekend, I was away again, this time in Sydney for a dear friend's wedding. My companion and I took the day off on Friday and made it a three day weekend so that we could make the best of the opportunities that Sydney has to offer.

I didn't get to Adriano Zumbo's in Balmain, because we left it til Sunday, and then found that the ferry timetable was rather woeful in meeting our need to do other things and get back in time to catch our return flights, so that was left for another day.

However, on Sunday, we did have a wonderful lunch at Doyles on the Beach in Watsons Bay. The Doyles name is synonymous with seafood in Sydney, and while there are a number of Doyles establishments, I am informed that the one at Watsons Bay is the original and best. It is pricier than the Doyles cafe nearby, but for the authentic Doyles experience, it is worth it. Mains average at around $40, and entrees are around the $19 mark.

For your money, you get this fabulous view as you dine:

I don't own Photoshop, so everything truly is as bright and as sunny and as blue as it appears in the photos. It was a truly glorious day. It may have been autumn, but it felt like summer in every way.

My companion ordered the Doyles Selection, with a mixture of battered whiting, stuffed prawn, fresh prawns, blue swimmer crab and chips:

I orderd the Hahns beer battered snapper with old fashioned chips:

Both serves were very generous (we could not have fitted in entree or dessert), and came with soy chilli, tartare and tomato sauces. We washed it down with a Boags beer (in my companion's case) and a Semillion (in my case) while admiring the marvellous view and general holiday ambience.

Our bill was just over the hundred dollar mark for two (including a weekend surcharge), but it is not something you do every day, and was a very enjoyable meal.

While in Sydney, we also went to the Chinta Ria Temple of Love restaurant in Cockle Bay. The food was very good, although on a Friday evening, we were lucky to get a table without booking and without waiting long. I recommend booking if possible because it seemed to be a very popular venue. We even did some celebrity spotting, as Angus Sampson (for international readers, he was The Bull in Where the Wild Things Are movie) arrived as we dined. I selected the chilli scallops - and man, they packed some punch - while my companion chose the Sassy Duck (duck in soy sauce). We had Pisces Toast (lovely toasts topped with ling, which you dip in sweet chilli sauce) for entree. Again, this was not a cheap meal (just over $100 for two with wine and beer), but it was very good food.

On a different note, I want to thank Gloria of Canela Kitchen Recipes for awarding me the Happy 101 Award and the Honest Scrap Award:

and Lily of
Lily's Kitchen Window for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger award:

The rules for the Kreativ Blogger award are:

1. Pass it onto seven other blogs you love.

2. Let everyone know seven things about yourself.

3. Notify the awardees on their blogs.

4. Link to the awardee's blogs when giving the awards.

I am unsure of the rules for the other two awards, but I am going to roll them all into one and pass them onto the following blogs that I enjoy reading regularly:

And ending with 7 things about me:

1. I have lived in 3 states, 2 countries and 2 hemispheres.

2. I did not travel overseas until I was in my mid twenties.

3. I did not fly in a plane until I was sixteen.

4. For me, it is dogs rather than cats, although this very sweet cat followed us to the ferry in Sydney last Friday (when it really was not in its best interests to do so given the heat, the distance it walked, and the fact that we could not take it with us):

5. I cannot live without chocolate - the panacea for everything - and I usually have some every day.

6. I regularly do clinical pilates to help my poor old back.

7. My current favourite shows are Mad Men and The Circuit, both of which are thankfully available on DVD.

Have a great Wednesday!


Happy Cook said...

Looks like you had a fab time, i wish i was tere to et that fish and chips :-)

Jennifer said...

Now that meal looks SO good!!!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Sydney!!!!

I'm so honored that you gave me an award. I've really enjoyed getting to know you through TWD and The Kitchen Reader-I always learn something from you. It's nice knowing that I have an acquaintance, even if it's only a cyber one, over in Australia.:)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a fabulous weekend and wonderful food!

Thanks for the award! I'll have to think of a few things to say about myself. I also like Mad Men and watched the first two seasons on DVD. Reruns of season three just started this week on tv!

Barbara Bakes said...

Congratulations on your awards! It looks like a wonderful day out in a wonderful city!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Nooooooo, craving fish and chips at 8:20am!

Congrats on the awards! I'm thinking of trying pilates to help my poor shoulders, good to hear it helps your poor back.

ARUNA said...

That meal looks fantastic!!!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Ahh I hope you had a great time in Sydney! :D Looks like you enjoyed Doyle's. I love Mad Men too but have yet to see The Circuit!

Anonymous said...

So generic, but I really really want the fish and chips. REALLY!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Congrats on your awards, well deserved!
I am loving the look of that sea food.
My new blog went up today and I am so excited. Stop by and check out my brand new and improved site daaaahling. I want to know what you think. I'm also doing a fab give away.
*kisses* HH

Anonymous said...

What a great review of Doyles. Made me absolutely homesick but thanks for the update on prices, not to mention the great pics of the food. Great job, Cakelaw.

The Blonde Duck said...

Thanks for the award! It was so sweet of you to think of me!

And I'm a dog person too. Obviously.

Johanna GGG said...

Congratulations on the awards - glad to see appreciation being heaped on you for all that wonderful baking you do!

Thank you so much for passing on the award - or is that three awards - to me! Wow! Will do that meme but might take a little while the way I am going at the moment

And I love hearing about your Sydney weekend - quite different to my Sydney trip recently - still need to write up my Glebe lunch - which I loved - much more my sort of thing than a fancy restaurant I went to in the City a few years back - but I do have a soft spot for Doyles - went there with my family when I was 14 and it was a special meal - but it took me til I was 20 to fly in a plane