Pipis at ACME (Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, NSW)
Summer and seafood is like salt and pepper or bacon and eggs, I can’t imagine one without the other. As the heat rises, I’m constantly thinking about the exquisite pipis I’ve had at ACME. I’ve had a lot of pipis in my lifetime and the ones at newly crowned Restaurant Of The Year (Time Out Sydney Food Awards 2015), ACME, would be some of the best I’ve ever had! The steamed pipis ($18) are fully purged live pipis supplied by Red Claw Seafoods, served simply with lime and 2014 harvest single origin Kampot pepper. The ingredients truly shine, this is simplicity at its finest.
The rest of the menu is pretty exciting too – think Italian with an Asian twist. The spaghetti, calamari, Korean bolognese ($24) and macaroni, pigs head, egg yolk ($18) are standout dishes, and while we’re on the topic of Summer, you can’t pass on the impossibly light and flavourful coconut rice cream with white chocolate ($10).
60 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 8068 0932
Hiking at Berowra Valley National Park and lunch at A Chefs Secret (Berowra, Sydney, NSW)
Australia’s great outdoors provides an awe-inspiring landscape for avid hikers. The Berowra to Cowan hike (part of the Great North Walk) offers many stunning creek vantage points along the way, including the Naa Badu Lookout (pictured below). The hike is 12.9km from Berowra train station to Cowan train station, and will take approximately 6 hours so pack plenty of water!
Aside from the view and the great workout you’ll get with all the steep climbs, a highlight you’ll enjoy is lunching at the mid-way mark at Berowra Waters.
With a focus on fresh seasonal produce, we rejuvenate with some housemade juice concoctions and indulge in linguine alla pescatora (linguine marinara with green prawns, calamari, blue swimmer crab, $24.90) and mussels with garlic & white wine, from the specials board.
The Great North Walk
Berowra Valley National Park
A Chef’s Secret
Berowra Waters Boat Shed, Lot 466 Berowra Waters Rd, Berowra Waters NSW
Phone: (02) 9456 6614
Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancake) at Thy Vietnamese Eatery (Cabramatta, Sydney, NSW)
When I think of Summer, I inadvertently crave the fresh flavours of South East Asia, in particular, dishes such as Banh Xeo ($11 – 15 depending on filling), a crispy savoury Vietnamese pancake. Made of turmeric, coconut milk and rice flour, the outer shell is crunchy and fragrant; the filling commonly consists of mung bean, bean sprouts, pork belly and shrimp and there are 6 variations on the menu here! The best way to eat this is of course with your hands, forming DIY lettuce cups with the plethora of mints and herbs, then dipping each parcel into a salty, sour and sweet nuoc cham dipping sauce.
Amy (our Cabramatta food tour guide) and I like to visit Thy Vietnamese Eatery for their ginormous version!
Seafood at Bennelong Restaurant (Sydney, NSW)
Although a visit to the Sydney Fish Market on any Summers day will satisfy, there’s something immensely enjoyable about fine dining, when top notch produce is served in ways that surprise and delight.
The menu is simple at Bennelong Restaurant with just one option, 3 courses for $130.
Particular favourites include the seared Hervey Bay scallops with brioche cream, sunflower, rye, golden heirloom cauliflower, the grilled Lady Elliot Island bug, served with an addictively pungent fermented chilli sauce, and the roasted John Dory served on the bone, with orach, turnips, umami butter.
As we depart Sydney, could there be any experience more iconic than devouring the pavlova, a magnificent edible replica of the Sydney Opera House, while seated beneath the sails?
Sydney Opera House Bennelong Point Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9240 8000
Banana Sundae at The Big Banana (Coffs Harbour, NSW)
With a childish obsession with Australia’s big things, I’ve long dreamed about an Australia-wide road trip to visit the entire list. The Big Banana at Coffs Harbour was the backdrop of a family portrait that hung in the family home all throughout my childhood, so when the opportunity arose, a detour was mandatory!
Although The Big Banana was no longer as big as what I’d remembered, new foodie memories were created with a large banana ice-cream sundae each!
Plus while you’re there, learn everything there is to know about the facts and history on the banana plantations.
351 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour NSW
Phone: (02) 6652 4355
Yamba king prawns at Clarence River Fishermens Co-Op (Yamba, NSW)
Yamba prawns make a regular appearance on the menus of many prominent restaurants across Australia, so why not go straight to the source!
Fresh from the trawlers, Clarence River Fishermens Co-op offers an abundance of juicy king prawns, and plenty of other local catches.
Set up a picnic at the back for a priceless experience.
Clarence River Fishermens Co-Op
15 Yamba Road, Yamba NSW
Phone: (02) 6646 2099
Coconut panna cotta and breakfast at Capri By Fraser (Brisbane, QLD)
Summer is all about feeling great, and Pete Evans’ paleo-inspired menu at the new Capri By Fraser in Brisbane will definitely leave you feeling healthier! (Don’t be put off by the paleo label 😉 )
From breakfast through to dinner, you’ll be spoilt for choice with plentiful superfoods and wholesome dishes on the menu. This hotel restaurant is refreshingly different in all the right ways.
P.S. Get the coconut panna cotta with summer fruits ($12)!
Asana By Pete Evans – Capri By Fraser
80 Albert Street, Brisbane QLD
Phone: (07) 3013 0088
Mojitos at the Rum Bar / Fish D’Vine (Airlie Beach, QLD)
If you love a good mojito, you’ll love the Rum Bar. There are over 450 rums on the rum wall and their Best Mojito In The World ($9.90) made with Havana Club 3 year rum, fresh limes, mint, sugar and soda, may be a big call, but it’s pretty darn good.
Proving that there’s a rum for every occasion, the oyster shooters in rum spiked bloody mary ($4.50) will whet your appetite beckon you to sample the large seafood menu on offer.
Rum Bar / Fish D’Vine
303 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, QLD
Phone: (07) 4948 0088
The view at Coral Sea Resort (Airlie Beach, QLD)
Close your eyes and transport yourself to a relaxing seaside destination. Are you in a jacuzzi spa tub, or a hammock? Can’t decide? Have both at Coral Sea Resort!
Lying on the balcony with the sea breeze rolling off the glistening sea, this waterfront location is one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments.
With decent dining options to match, it’s the type of resort you don’t ever want to leave.
Pictured below is the pan roasted barramundi with roast hazelnuts, red wine, cauliflower puree, roast root vegetables, from the degustation menu ($82 or $119 including matching wines).
Coral Sea Resort
25 Ocean View Avenue, Airlie Beach, QLD
Phone: (07) 4964 1300
Seafood platter at Pebble Beach Dining, Qualia Resort (Hamilton Island, QLD)
For an even more luxurious experience, look no further than Qualia on Hamilton Island, which was named the best resort in the world in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler awards.
Naturally, the hot seafood platter ($90) at Pebble Beach Dining – one of Qualia’s more casual restaurants – is world-class spectacular. The array of local reef fish, scallops, prawns, grilled Whitsunday bugs, and cuttlefish is all cooked to perfection.
Spend the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool. Now that’s how Summer is done.
Pebble Beach Dining – Qualia
20 Whitsunday Boulevard, Hamilton Island, QLD
Phone: 1300 780 959
Mango Sorbet at The Big Mango (Bowen, QLD)
Further north in Queensland, you’ll reach Bowen, home of some of the best snorkelling spots including Horseshoe Bay, and also where you’ll find the Big Mango.
The Big Mango is located at the Bowen Visitor Information Centre and is symbolic of the area where mangoes were first cultivated in Australia back in the late 1880s.
Once you’ve had your fair share of touristy photos, head inside for cups of sumptuous Bowen mango sorbet made with 100% Kensington Pride mangoes. It’s also a one stop shop for all your mango souvenirs… Mmm… mango lip balm?
If big Australian icons are your thing, there’s also the Big Pineapple nearby. Queensland really does have all of our favourite Summer fruits covered!
Bowen Visitor Information Centre / The Big Mango
236 Bruce Highway, Bowen QLD
Phone: (07) 4786 4222
We’ve teamed up with Vision Direct to bring you the best of food this summer! From November 24th to December 8th, Vision Direct is hosting a contest on Instagram and giving away a FREE Weber BBQ + gourmet goodies. All you have to do is follow @VisionDirect_AU and upload your best food photo this summer with the hashtag #MySummerVision to WIN!
For contest details, go to http://blog.visiondirect.com.au/my-summer-vision.
This post was made possible thanks to Vision Direct