Traveling to Australia – Qantas A380
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney – Spice I Am, Watsons Bay, Manly Beach, Cafe Paci
Sydney – The Opera House Black Star Bakery, The Rocks, Sake
Emirates Wolgan Valley – Part One
Emirates Wolgan Valley – Part Two
Kangaroo Island – Southern Ocean Lodge, Part One
Kangaroo Island – Southern Ocean Lodge, Part Two
Our first night in Sydney, we were pretty jet-lagged and knew that we had to go outside at night to avoid clonking out at 8 PM. We decided to use the first night to check out some Thai food, which we had been told we absolutely had to try while in Sydney – apparently it’s one of the best places in the world for good, authentic Thai.
We went to Spice I Am, which was recommended by some local friends as well as our concierge. It was about a ~15 minute metro ride from the Park Hyatt to the restaurant’s location in Surry Hills.
We took the opportunity to order a few dishes we hadn’t tried before – a roasted duck curry and a light steamed rice roll with vegetables. Both were delicious and hit the spot.
After our dinner, we headed back to the hotel and snoozed until the next morning.
The next day, we were very excited to take hop on a Sydney ferry! Soon we were zooming through the water and passing by the Opera House. I think a ferry ride is a must do activity for any visitor to Sydney – you really get to see the city from a different view.
After about 20-25 minutes, we arrived at our first destination – Watsons Bay, a little beach suburb.
The weather was a bit crazy during our day – it alternated between hot and sunny, to quite rainy. Because of that, there weren’t many people on the beaches at all, and we were able to enjoy them in relative isolation. How cute is this pelican?
We took the opportunity to take some short walks around the coast, and enjoy some stunning vantage points. Right after this we saw some locals coming out to surf – what a life!
We also walked around town, where we saw a lot of beautiful houses with lovely architecture. We were told that this was quite an expensive suburb to live in, in terms of real estate.
After a few hours on Watsons Bay, we were getting hungry. It had been recommended that we save our lunch for Manly Beach, so we hopped back on the ferry and headed over to our next destination – Manly of course!
Manly as a whole was a much larger and populated destination than Watsons Bay. While Watsons seemed like a sleepy. largely residential area, Manly had a bustling downtown with international brands lining the street (I was a bit surprised to come across Yogurtland!).
Our first order of business while on Manly was to grab some lunch. We headed over to the highly recommended Fishmongers, and grabbed a “Fishmonger box” which had all kinds of goodies like calamari, sweet potato chips and crispy fish.
After some food, we walked around the beach and the local area. Both Mr. Feather and I stopped dead in our tracks when we saw a little gang of white cockatoos roaming around. Apparently this behavior was a dead tourist giveaway as the locals were basically like, “so, what?”. But it was so cool for us to see these guys out in the wild!
After some good cockatoo spotting, we hopped on the ferry back to Sydney. It had been raining on and off while we were in Manly, so on the way back we were treated to a rainbow and some beautiful views of the Opera House.
That evening, we decided to venture out a little further from our hotel (about ~15 minutes) to the Darlinghurst area, to have dinner at Cafe Paci. Cafe Paci was a pop up restaurant which I had heard great things about from friends – however, the restaurant was originally slated to close in August, so we would have just missed it. Happily for us, the restaurant ended up renewing its lease for at least six months, we we were able to go!
Cafe Paci was located in the space of an old Mexican restaurant/tequila bar – Paci is a play on Finnish chef’s Pasi Petänen’s name.
The food was what I can best describe as “Finnish fusion”. We started off with some delicious “snacks”, and were later served an amazing fermented potato, molasses and rye bread. Yum!
Some of our favorite savory dishes, including a fantastic squid ink rice with cauliflower and anchovy butter.
My personal favorite dish though was a Cafe Paci signature – the Photato – essentially elements of the classic Vietnamese noodle soup pho, without the soup. Wagyu beef, mushroom, potato noodles….I could have eaten this for days! I’m not a huge beef fan at all but wolfed this entire dish down in no time.
The desserts were also great, with the standout for me being a carrot, licorice and yogurt sorbet. This was surprisingly refreshing. Actually later on in our Australia trip, we had another dessert which I thought had been clearly inspired by Cafe Paci’s – but there was no comparison, Paci’s was far superior.
If you are in Sydney in the next year or so (or however long Cafe Paci is able to stay open), I would highly recommend a visit!
That concludes one of our first days and nights in Sydney – next time, I’ll be covering a few more of my favorite sites, including the Opera House!