Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trip to Australia (Gold Coast - January 2016)...Aussie Sushi Bowl

A little excursion.

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There is a tram station right by our hotel, so I took it and went down to Broadbeach, a town just south of Surfers Paradise.

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I was walking around the are and bumped in to a sushi restaurant, which looked authentic. Indeed,  once I entered, I noticed all the customers were Japanese. I sat at the counter and ordered chirashi sushi lunch set.

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It was so beautiful! I asked the chef about the toppings and he said most of them are local seafood. Some names were not even familiar to me. They were so fresh and delicious. What a nice find! I wish I could come here for dinner.

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After lunch, I walked to the beach. It was so peaceful and quiet. I enjoyed walking on the beach.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trip to Australia (Gold Coast - January 2016)...I cooked Kangaroo!

Work day!

I had so much work to I spent almost a whole day in the hotel.

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But, it was still a nice change of environment compared to working at home, as I am lucky to stay in a very nice suite with the gorgeous ocean view from every room (including one of the bathrooms)!

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Kitchen, dining, and living room.

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Bed rooms.

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Balcony is so long and the view is amazing.

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For lunch, I stepped outside to check out a place right by the hotel. It's a kebab take out (they say "take away" there) place. There are so many kebab shops in Gold Coast...kebabs are so popular here! Also, they normally refer to a pita wrap when they just say "kebab". I ordered mixed kebab (lamb and chicken). I loved that once he toast the pita bread before wrapping the fillings.

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My very first kebab wrap was so tasty! I requested tahini sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese along with the meat in the filling. The wrap itself seemed deceivingly pretty compact, but it was actually really packed and very filling. Wow, I had a food coma after I finished the whole thing.

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Late in the afternoon, I went out again for grocery shopping and picked up a package of kangaro meat! Jason came home early enough to have dinner together.

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So, I cooked kangaroo for the first time. I have eaten it when I visited Australia many years ago, but had never cooked it. I seasoned the meat with dukkah (Egyptian nut and spice blend - very popular in Australia) then grilled to medium rare. The meat came out very good. It was lean and tasty.

I enjoyed cozy Aussie night in our hotel.

Trip to Australia (Gold Coast - January 2016)...Byron Beach and Seafood Dinner

Steamed Jewfish at the Fishhouse

On Sunday, we got together with Jason's colleague and his wife to go down to Byron Bay for a beach day.

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Byron Bay is about 1-hour drive south from Surfers Paradise. It's a very popular destination and the town is small but very cute. Reminds me of San Diego a little bit. We arrived in the afternoon and had a quick lunch before heading to the beach.

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Beautiful beach of Byron Bay. We had a nice relaxing time.

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We also drove up to the lighthouse. The panoramic view was breathtaking.

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We came back to our hotel in the early evening. Then, after getting ready again, we drove down to Burleigh Heads (about 20-minute drive from Surfers Paradise) for dinner. It's another cool beach town with many locals. We had a reservation at a very popular restaurant, The Fishhouse.

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It's an elegant dining and the menu is filled with mostly local seafood, fresh catch of the day. I was so excited to try all the local seafood. We started with Sydney Rock Oysters (Macleay River, NSW) and Royal Miyagi Oysters (Blackman Bay, Tasmania). With NV Joseph Chromy sparkling wine, the oysters tasted so exquisite.

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Daily raw selection included Tasmanian ocean trout.
Char grilled King Prawns with Chilli * Garlic (NSW).

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Saffron Tagliolini with Bug Meat (Queensland)

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For a main course, I had Jewfish (Yamba, NSW), which was steamed and served with light broth infused with ginger & shallots. It was so pure and delicious! Jason had Swordfish (Mooloolaba, Queensland) and it was great, too.

So glad I could savor all the wonderful local seafood!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Trip to Australia (Gold Coast - January 2016)...Crazay about KOALA!

Naoko, Jason, and a cute koala

It was Saturday, so Jason had a full day off to hang out with me.

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I prepared simple breakfast. I love that his hotel room has kitchen and dining.

We drove to Crrumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which is about 30 minutes from Surfers Paradise. I was so excited to see the real koalas and other local animals unique to this region and continent.

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As son as we enter the park, there were koalas!! The first area was all sleepy koalas. They are just so cute.

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Then, more koalas. Too cute.

Oh my God...

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I got to hold a koala with Jason! I really wanted to adopt her. She was so fuzzy and just so cute. Super cute. Why are koalas so cute?? I was so happy.

After the cute koalas, we walked around to see so many animals in the park.

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Kangaroos were everywhere. They are not shy at all.

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So cute.

For dinner, we went to Sparrow Eating House in Nobby Beach.

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This is a moder Australian restaurant in a laid-back beach town. It was Saturday night and the place was very busy with seemingly all local crowd. We could manage to book two seats at a bar counter.

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Their wine list has all Australian wines, too. So, I enjoyed a different varieties by the glass.

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Fried calamari with harris mayo.
Confit Tetsuya's ocean trout with citrus, pomegranate & edamame salad.
Great start of the night. The calamari was so meaty and flavorful. The ocean trout was really gorgeous.

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Scallops with pickled ginger, wasabi caviar & Japanese mayo.
Cold rare beef fillet, whipped horseradish butter, white truffle oil & sourdough bread.
Very good!

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Slow roasted pork shoulder with crackling, roasted kipflers potatoes, greens, pancetta & goats cheese.
Strawberry lime jelly with coconut lebnah, fresh berries & sesame praline, broken meringue.

Everything was great. It was a wonderful experience of modern Aussie scene in Gold Coast.