December 3, 2009

I Tried Abalone

I'm in Sydney at the moment for the Dalai Lama's visit. I missed him when he was here last (June 2007) and I didn't expect him to return. He is back!!! The one catch...he isn't coming to Brisbane so I am staying in Sydney for a couple of days to chill out a bit and attend his 2 hour public talk on "Our Future Who Is Responsible?".

Dalai Lama Conference Sydney

Am I religious...in any way? Well no, not really. But I am quite spiritual...and curious...so I'm here :) I can't wait quite frankly, I am a bit excited to be able to see him in the flesh rather than on a dvd or in a picture.

All of that aside though, in typical Julep fashion I am always on the lookout for a new food experience. It is my motto to try anything at least 3 times...and if I still don't like it after 3 well then...I really don't like it. There are very few things that make the "I Simply Don't Like It" list.

Last night I came across something that may make the list...not because I didn't like it, but because I didn't quite see the point or value in eating it.

I am staying in Chinatown in Darling Harbour while I am in Sydney. I love Chinatown. It is strangely familiar and comfortable even though I am not Asian. It is wonderfully entertaining. I loved the smell of Chinatown last night. It was a heady combination of Star Anise and Palm Sugar on the boil. It was all around me (and in my hair this morning). Almost like someone had put Hoy Sin Sauce into a massive oil diffuser and let it run wild.

China Town Sydney

I went to a Chinese restaurant and on the menu they had Braised Abalone with Chinese Mushrooms and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (spelt Source on the menu). I thought...why not...I've never tried Abalone and all environmental extinction issues aside...I ordered it.

Abalone Dish

Well...it was interesting. Not the rousing experience I had thought it would be. I had heard that it would be delicious and I thought that was why they were considered a delicacy, so horribly overfished and there was such a HUGE black market for them.

Mine wasn't that great. It was tasty for sure...but nothing that I would add to the list of last meal dishes. It had a hint of seafood like taste, very delicate but was quite rubbery to chew.

Piece of Abalone

To help my experience along I also got some fried rice, steamed prawn dumplings and a beer...here's my table :)

Table at restaurant

I was eating alone...and as usual I had ordered enough for two...or more...

I find eating alone a bit of a daunting experience. Whenever you ask for a table for one the proprietor always looks disappointed almost. It was comforting last night to find that I was one of 3 single diners!!! AMAZING!!! I made a point of watching my two comrades to see what they do while they are sitting there waiting for their food to arrive. I always find this is the most awkward time of dinner alone...and well...one worked and the other played with his mobile phone. The mobile phone is normally my strategy.

But I digress. Was the Abalone worth it??? Well no. I kept thinking the whole time...I shouldn't be eating this...but I am. And I did. But it wasn't that fantastic. Not something I see the point of. Maybe I should apply my three time rule to this to see where it ends up in my thinking.

So to help my dining experience out...I ordered something that I truly love and adore...DEEP FRIED ICECREAM!!! God I love it!!! and it was simply divine. One of my very, VERY favourite desserts.

Deep Fried Icecream

YUM!!! (despite the somewhat interesting shape this time)

1 comment:

  1. Julie I would have to admit I am not normally accustomed to reading or contributing blogs, but being a Brisbane food enthusiast like yourself I feel I need to commend you on what you have established here; very entertaining and it's a pleasure reading about your experiences. I must admit I have only dined alone once , when I was in Lyon, France. I dat down to eat at around 9pm (which was late for me and I was starving) but for those who have travelled to Europe in the summer they will know that this is very early for dinner as the sun was still tanning those outside bathing in it. Anyway it was a surreal experience because I was alone in a restuarant and unable to speak French well (well actually to save myself) but the waiter greatly assisted me and he came back 10 minutes later with this extraordinary pasta dish (ravioli of some sort) that I have never come close to experiencing again. It was devine! The ravioli pieces were the size of my pinky nail, this I is the key to amazing ravioli! Thanks for the read. I'll tune back in soon :)

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