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thevinoman Jun 30th, 2005 04:01 AM

Sydney wine shops?
Will be in Sydney on business for about a month or so beginning mid July. As I am a "foodie" and also love wine, any suggestions for Sydney wine shops and/or gourmet markets would be great. Thanks so much.

fuzzylogic Jun 30th, 2005 04:20 AM

Well I don't usually go much further than the local bottle shop - but if you are thinking of shipping back home there is a place right down by Circular Quay - someone will know the name. I don't have any personal experience of it but check it out.

There are "farmers' markets" here and there - they might interest you -Leichhardt, North Sydney, etc. etc. All held on the first Saturday, or the third Sunday of the month, etc. If you want to know more go a google, or post again and I'll do some hunting for you.

Bokhara Jun 30th, 2005 02:32 PM

Hi Vinoman,
You will LOVE it here! As you're here for a month, you'll hopefully have time to explore some of the regional areas as well.

Cellars: Sixty Darling Street, Balmain; Kemeneys, Bondi; Camperdown Cellars,140 Parramatta Rd and also 21 Kingston Rd., Camperdown; Ultimo Wine Centre, Jones Street, Ultimo; Five Way Cellars, Heeley Street, Paddington.
These are all great, run by knowledgeable people & stock great breadth & depth of Australian & International wines.

There are also suburban wine shops everywhere. Few big chains, Theos & Crown of the Hill (same owners, I think), Liquorland (owned by Woolworths),and smaller, Dan Murphys (moved up from Melbourne), Porters.

Markets: My personal favourite is the North Sydney Growers Market, Miller Street, North Sydney - held 3rd Sat of each month. Good Living Growers Market, Pyrmont Bay Park, Pyrmont - 1st Sat of each month. Both from 7(ish) to 12 (ish). Best to go early. I'm going to Pyrmont one for the first time tomorrow.

When you get here, buy Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald. It has an insert, "Good Living", which gives reviews, news, "foodie gossip & tips".

The Sydney Fish Market is well worth a trip - have a look at the Blackwattle Deli there. Fabulous cheese section.

The Paddington area is also home to some great "Pub Bistros". The Four in Hand, Royal Bar & Grill, to think of just 2.

If you have a chance, take a trip to the Blue Mountains. There are some great restaurants and, if it's still there, Leura Cellars is a treat. Some restaurants to try: Solitary (Leura Falls); Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights, Silks, Leura; Collits Inn, Hartley Vale; Ashcrofts, Blackheath.
Just make sure you call before you go, you'll need to make a reservation the restaurant industry is pretty "fluid".

There are so many delightful little pockets to explore in & just out of Sydney - you could also take a drive to Wisemans Ferry, wind your way through some of the little villages & back via Brooklyn.

Just a thought- the Sydney Seafood School runs great cooking classes. I love to do cooking classes when I travel - always learn lots & meet interesting people.

And there are Gourmet Safaris of different ethnic areas. Maeve O'Meara who runs these is an absolute gem.

Hope this has been of some use. Let me know if you have any specific questions & I'll try to help.

prue Jun 30th, 2005 02:43 PM

One suggestion is that you visit the department store David Jones - Market Street store which has a wonderful Gourmet Food emporium - being in the city centre it will be easy to find, and I am sure you will enjoy it.

thevinoman Jun 30th, 2005 07:37 PM

Thank you all, and especially Bokhara for the great info. I'm very much looking forward to my trip.

Bokhara Jul 1st, 2005 11:49 PM

Hi thevinoman: You HAVE to go to the Good Living Growers' market at Pyrmont! I went this morning and it's great! Gorgeous location, right on a waterfront park in front of the casino (ugh! but it's useful as a v.close carpark). Unfortunately, got there a bit late (thought I needed to finish my book first !) but in time to buy some:

Buffalo Mozzarella,(Italian)Gympie (Qld) farm butter, Goma Japanese sesame sauce, honey smoked trout from Tamworth(NSW North west), Wagu beef from Condobolin (NSW Central West), 6 perfect tomatoes and a little tub of St. Marcellin Curtet which is positively runny and aromatic. And is about to be attacked with some fresh sour dough.

There are probably 200 or so stalls, well spaced around a central lawn, with lots of tables and chairs. Great spot for a sunny winter's morning coffee & Saturday paper when the shopping's done. It was SO lovely today as we've had a week of (desperately needed) rain. Next month I'm going early (8 at latest) and will have fun making Sunday lunch for friends with the proceeds.

margo_oz Jul 2nd, 2005 12:57 PM

Well done! Really good response.

While I knew all those things - it's great to see them brought together.
Yes - you do have to be at the Herald Growers Market early - I forgot it was this weekend, month, I guess.

No wine at the Growers Market, though (at that hour of the morning?!).

Good advice on getting Tuesday's Herald - the Good Living Section does tell it like it is. Did you see the review for Doyles, Watsons Bay? 7/20 for overpriced crap food! Echoes my sentiments exactly;)

Bokhara Jul 2nd, 2005 01:59 PM

Hi Margo,
I'm pretty sure there weren't any wine stalls. By the time I got there (11), the majority had packed up, but don't remember seeing any signage for wines.
I don't think there are any at Nth Sydney either, so maybe there's a licensing issue. Might be different from, say the Orange Food Week where all the local vineyards are represented in an open air venue. Or the Food & Wine fair (isn't that on at Darling Harbour this weekend?).

Agree 100% with you about Doyles. It makes me so mad ! I remember lining up at Rose Bay (where "Pier" is now) in the 60's & 70's for old Mrs. Doyle's wonderful fish. She would be mortified at the disgusting pap that is being dished up in Watsons Bay under the Doyle name. It's such a beautiful location, a natural tourist attraction ... and we serve them THAT !!! Imagine what you'd think if that were your only seafood meal in Sydney. Or if it were your first, it'd probably be your last - and what a lasting impression ! Grrrrrrr ! We COULD so easily do beautiful, fresh, simply cooked seafood up there! For Pete's sake, we've got fantastic quality produce, how hard is it to just cook & serve with care & pride ?? Too darned hard apparently !

I was glad to see the Good Living Review - just hope it gets Doyles' owners attention - or at least warns off a few potential disappointed diners.

(I'll dismount my hobby-horse now!)

Enjoy your weekend.

Bokhara Jul 2nd, 2005 04:45 PM

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS to the Good Food Growers market is great. Ramps everywhere and lots of paths. Would be a perfect venue for "Wheelies". Parking in the Casino then lift to ground floor - ramps out to street level.

tropo Jul 2nd, 2005 04:50 PM

thevinoman - there is a very good chain of wine/beer merchants called, "Dan Murphys", there stores are generally large in size, and they carry beers from Australia & around the world, together with a good selection of wines, from most states of Australia. Look up their name in in Sydney telephone book, after you arrive.

Peteralan Jul 3rd, 2005 08:42 PM

Another good market is at Fox Studios on Wednesdays. Agree with Prue re David Jones Food Hall ( they also have a good wine section).

thevinoman Jul 4th, 2005 07:30 AM

Wow, everyone's been just great in providing guidance. Thank you so much. If you see someone walking around Sydney on the weekends with a folder of papers, a map, a grocery bag, and a piece of bagguette and cheese hanging out of his mouth, that would be me. I'm going to post another question on this forum about favorite Thai restaurants in Sydney, so look for that. Thanks again!

thevinoman Jul 16th, 2005 10:55 PM

Well, I finally made it to Sydney this morning on the flight from Singapore. Got set up in a nice room at the Harbour Marriott with a spectacular view of the harbour and Opera House. I feel very fortunate. Spent several hours walking around the Rocks, Center City, David Jones. Going to try Sailors Thai tonight, and will post the review sometime this week. Thank you all again for your wonderful responses and help.

Neil_Oz Jul 16th, 2005 11:21 PM

Last week the Sydney Morning Herald's restaurant critic awarded Marque, in Surry Hills (very close to the city), an almost unheard-of 19/20 rating. Not cheap - from memory a 3-course meal costs between $74 and $89 pp and full degustation menu $125 (with wines, $190).

Bokhara Jul 16th, 2005 11:54 PM

Hi Vinoman,
Glad you made it safely & are enjoying your first day. Hope you appreciate the effort we all put into arranging this splendid warm "Winter" day for you (LOL) :)

If you're up just early in the morning, you can see the sun pop up just before 7 as you jog around the harbour foreshores past the Opera House, through the Royal Botanic Garden, past the Art Gallery, and back down Macquarie Street to the Quay. Great start to your business day - lots of people do that run.

Am dying to see your impression of Sailors Thai - we were there last week and had a wonderful dinner downstairs.

Another goodie - 5 mins over the Bridge at Willoughby, is Brass Razzoo.
In Willoughby Road. Had sensational meal there Friday night. French influenced mod.Aust. V.Small - you'd need to book and v.v.good.

Bokhara Jul 17th, 2005 12:06 AM

Hi Neil,
Saw that Marque review too. You're right, not too many 19's out there. I think it & Tetsuyas might be about it.
I like Marque v.much too - I had a beef cheek dish there last Winter that still lingers in my memory bank. Good wine list, too. :)

Peteralan Jul 17th, 2005 05:28 PM

I agree with Bokhara on this one. Marque is a great restaurant. If you get a chance to squeeze it in vinoman, do so . I'm sure you will love it. Enjoy your stay!

thevinoman Jul 22nd, 2005 09:27 AM

Unfortunately, when I went over to Sailors Thai the other night, it was pretty well packed, so I'll have to go back another time. I have found a place that's right next to the Harbour Marriott, called Alfredo's. Small place, about 20 tables, heart pine floor, beamed ceiling, a gentlemen playing a piano most nights. Have eaten there twice already, and the food has been superb. The gnocci with gorgonzola and basil was awesome, and last night had the flat noodles (Lasanelli?) with a creamy pesto that was excellent. The service is very attentive and fast. Wondering if others have been there, and impressions?

Bokhara Jul 22nd, 2005 03:51 PM

Hi vinoman,
Alfredos, yes - used to go there quite often when my office was opposite your hotel. Haven't been for a while, but they were always pretty reliable for a good lunch.

Sailors does get pretty busy so if you're not into communal dining, it's best to make a booking. Otherwise, just give them a call & see how busy they are upstairs when you want to go.
We often just pop in & if they're full, ask the waiters how long they think the wait will be, & go over to the Orient & have a drink while we wait. One good thing about the upstairs area is that the turnover is quite quick.

Have you discovered the Cheese shop and restaurants under the GPO building on Martin Place yet? Now THAT's a cheese shop!

Glad to see you're enjoying our "town" and not allowing business to interrupt your trip TOO much. LOL :) I always thought the opportunity of free travel, experiencing lots of different places, meeting local people and being paid to do something I like at the same time was the ultimate reward for being employed. ;)

Bokhara Jul 29th, 2005 12:04 AM

Hi vinoman,
Don't forget next Saturday (6th) is the Good Living Growers Market outside Star City Casino at Pyrmont. We'll be going, so if you'd like to catch up for a coffee, drop me an e-mail.
(delete the [email protected](dotcomau))

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