Originally created 09/30/00


So, how are ya?

OK, so I've been working really hard for three weeks and have had more than my share of press box hot dogs. It was time for a really good meal.

I was down at Darling Harbour to cover wrestling and boxing after skipping lunch to cover diving, so I had worked up a good hunger. My stomach felt like my throat had been cut. Walking around the harbor with another reporter we tried to find a place that had more than fried hunks of meat and would let us in.

We hadn't counted on the national holiday. There is some kind of holiday weekend, so it seemed like half of Sydney was at the harbor. The French place was full, the authentic Australian bar had long queues, even the basic meat on a grill restaurant on the boat in the harbor couldn't take us for an hour.

The Greek place was full as were two Italian restaurants. We didn't want Chinese so we ended up at a place named &. The basic rule is the shorter the name the higher the prices, but we were starving.

Surprisingly, they let us in, even in shorts and sneakers, and backpacks full of computers. We didn't bother the other guests too much except when we kept whipping out our notebooks and writing about the food. (Sorry about the ink on the white table cloth.) Maybe they thought we were food critics from some fancy magazine. I got nervous when the first "complimentary" course was a piece of seared tuna with seaweed and tofu. It tasted OK, but it was about the size of a U.S. nickel. Suddenly, the meat pie stand was looking inviting.

For the next course I had miso-cured salmon with crudites. I think they forgot to cook the salmon. Carolyn, the other reporter, had salad of blue swimmer crab with endives and Hijiiki (more seaweed). They didn't cook the crab either.

I was feeling really stupid, wondering where we were going to go for some real food, when all of a sudden the sky outside lit up with fireworks. Did I tell you the restaurant overlooks the harbor in a spectacular setting? Maybe this was going to work out after all. Next I had truffled risotto of spring vegetables, which was fine and Carolyn had terrine of rabbit with three sauces (green, white and yuck). She claimed it was fine, as long as you didn't eat the jelly part. No worries, mate.

At least the wine was great. And then, there was another fireworks show, this time from a boat in the middle of the harbor. I wondered if you got fireworks with every course. For our main course we both had grilled breast of Muscovy duck with turnip and truffle tarte. Bonzer! Talk about spectacular. It was a huge breast, sliced thin with a wonderful wine sauce. Even the turnips tasted good. Can't say the same about the dabs of green paste that turned out to be peas.

For dessert we passed on the passion fruit souffle and ice cream bombe. Our choices: a light Valrhona chocolate pudding with Mascarpone and vanilla ice cream and roasted beurre Bosc pears with almond tuile and pear sorbet. Paired with a nice botrytis dessert wine, it made for a memorable dessert. I was full as a goog.

Now I think I can make it through the last few days of the Olympics.

See ya,



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