Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy birthday, Janet!

Sydney skyline in the background
Today is Janet's birthday and I'm taking her to the zoo! It's a $46 ticket but on your birthday it's only $1, what a deal!  They give you a birthday badge that you're supposed to wear - I was hoping they'd give her a crown or something! But of course, she refused to wear the badge, but  somepeople must have liked the idea because I saw at least 6 other people with their birthday badges and I went out of my way to say happy birthday to them! It was an okay zoo but I think Toronto's is nicer and Janet told me later that she thought so too. Toronto's is much larger, area-wise at least and how many times can you look at a kangaroo, a wallaby, a
 wombat or a bilby and know which is which? They had no North American animals, no surprise because it's too hot for them here. Also the zoo is built on a quite steep hillside so we had a real workout even though we tried to go from top to bottom! The best thing was I finally figured out how to take a close up photo - duh! I was devastated to learn that Martha had been here on Saturday, performing! It turned out to be very warm, so after 4 hours we figured we had our money's worth and took the ferry back to Circular Quay.
potato bread/roe
There was a wine shop I'd been glancing in before and because it was her birthday, I figured I'd spring for a bottle to celebrate. Their wine prices are very similar to home, in fact Yellowtail is $12 here, same as in Canada. I had a nice chat with the girl in the shop and she recommended a Taylor Shiraz at $20. We had a chuckle about Yellowtail - I had been afraid to mention it previously because in Australia they think it's crap, while it's virtually a no.1 best seller in Canada mostly because that's all we get but when I told her it was like $6 in the US, she couldn't figure that one and I explained that it all had to do with taxes and duties.

my half of the salad
Then back to our hotel to do a bit of googling. After booking our dinner table at 'ester' which 'Lonely Planet' recommended and just happened to be in our neighbourhood, for 6:15pm, Janet wanted to find a shopping mall. I have my doubts as to whether one like she wanted exists. We did find really fancy malls that are mostly filled with tons of eateries and high end shopping aimed at the Asian market, nothing even remotely possible for aging, short, chubby Canadians like us. We finally gave up and sat around doing a little people watching until it was time to go to dinner.
'ester' is listed as trendy, modern Australian with eclectic dishes meant to be shared and LP has $$ on it, meaning $15-32 for a standard main course. The menu is not too helpful in knowing what you're getting but the waitress takes the time to do a bit of explaining (and we're still not too sure) but we end up ordering several things to share. Starting with potato bread, salmon roe and kefir ($22); leaf salad with pumpkin seed and praline ($14);  then king
roast cabbage
prawn, fermented shrimp paste butter, capers, ($32); cauliflower, almonds, sauce, mint, ($12); roast cabbage with some kind of foam with green stuff
lamb kebob
below? ($18); lamb kebab on homemade flatbread with parsnip shoestring fries, ($18) and followed it all with a dessert of licorice ganache with cream and pineapple ($16). Actually we were full but intrigued by the licorice business and after all, it was her birthday (thankfully, I picked up the tab the night before! ;-)). Final bill came to $140! It was all really good
and I didn't care if it was gauche to photo the food - I
king prawn
had checked ahead with Janet to make sure she didn't mind either. I did refrain from telling them it was her birthday in an attempt to get a discount! A tip was mentioned when the bill was presented but none was added.
Fitbit, 13.75 km; MA, 11.75 km - you know, even though I may have dissed that Fitbit, I think I might be swayed...

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