142 Addison Rd Marrickville, Sundays…
Another blissful Sunday morning at the Marrickville organic markets. Coffee first, to aid important decision making. The best coffee I’ve tried at the markets so far is from the building on your right as you enter the market from Addison Rd. Note the installation art on the side wall of the building of milk crates, took me a few visits to notice it and that it spelt out a word…
Next pick up Sicilian olives and hummus for casual pizza  dinner with friends, salami and soft French white mould cheese, a small Tuscan kale seedling for never ending batches of minestrone made with veal stock and thick lardons of pancetta.
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The lovely Kate, who has moved back home to Orange whom I miss dearly as she’s so entertaining, has a new food blog http://piesandkates.com/
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If you get sick of walking around, a cup of chai while sitting on woven mats in the sunshine is pretty nice… you can also get a $10 haircut at the stall next door. I haven’t been brave enough to try.
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There are both conventional produce and organic stalls, the conventional ones are labelled as such. The advantage of having both is sometimes the organic range is limited and if you have your heart set on cooking a certain something you’re more likely to find it having both options.
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The Common Ground bakery always smells good and they have a super juice with more good things in it than you could could think of. They usually sample it so you can try before you buy. They have lots of options for gluten and wheat free eaters. I bought a rice flour banana bread for my sister which she said was great. The also have spelt, rye, wholemeal, with and without nuts and seeds and all slow fermented sourdough (read maximum flavour development). They deal directly with a wheat grower too so their flour is really fresh. I just liked all the info they passed on, it shows how passionate they are about their product. They also had a rice flour lamington, the first of it’s kind I’ve come across, haven’t tried it yet though.
There’s also a Brasserie Bread stall where they try to lure you with delicious brownies and danish pastries. I’m sold on the sour cherry loaf and the quinoa and soy seed loaf if you like seeds. There is also a German bread stall with darker rye loaves, pretzels and tiny chocolate chip buns. I think the chocolate buns are best served toasted with butter, but they’re also good straight from the bag while browsing.
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Char kway teow at Jackie M Malaysian
Shopping just about done (and cash nearly depleted) and I settle on nasi lemak and otak otak, D has a lamb wrap from another stall which is a more appropriate portion size than mine, which is enough for two hungry people, so we take the rest home for lunch.
I bought some coffee beans from the fair trade stall and had a delicious coffee at home made from PNG beans. Flavoursome and strong without being too acidic or bitter.
I’ll try and get a picture of the corn fritters next time, they’re my healthy option for when I’ve had an indulgent Saturday night!

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The salted peanuts whet our appetites. I’d love to know if these are cinnamon sticks or cassia bark…
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Lightly steamed oysters with ginger, shallots and soy
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Chinese pickled vegetables, sweet, salty and sour with crispy wonton skins sprinkled with schezuan pepper & salt
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Bugtail wontons with schezuan chilli oil
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Crispy prawn wontons with a sweet Vietnamese style dipping sauce
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Slow roasted lamb pancakes- peking duck style. The home made sauce was tasty but a little too thin for the application, it dripped everywhere! I am not a big fan of ‘thickened’ sauces (apart from gravy) as a general rule, but here it needs it.
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A standout crispy pork belly dish. Salty and moreish, with a refreshing coleslaw packed with fresh herbs to balance the richness of the meat.
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The silken tofu was delicate and beautiful with a poached egg in the centre of the plate.
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Crispy skin duck with citrus sauce
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Stir fried mushrooms, fresh, flavoursome, delicate and a wonderful foil to the rich meats we ordered.
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Pears poached in red wine with sour cream and almond praline- cleansing and light

This is not a comprehensive list, just the start of a list of the best places to get a good coffee in Darwin. The criteria? The coffee should be full of flavour, the milk silky and not burnt. That screeching sound? It sounds bad for a reason. If you can scoop your milk into a meringue shape then it’s over cooked.
My faves? A tie between Ducks Nuts on Mitchell St and Jay’s Coffee cart at various markets and the Nightcliff Jetty. I bought some gorgeous home roasted beans from Jay’s Coffee, some Ethiopian Sidamo and some PNG Purosa, both organic. I’ve been grinding to order at home on my Rocky grinder and my Rancilio Sylvia has been loving it! Thanks 🙂
Jay’s Coffee Bar
Great coffee, freshly roasted fairtrade coffee beans and I’ve heard the iced coffee is the best in Darwin.
Rapid Creek Markets (Sundays)
Nightcliff Jetty (Sat and Sun afternoons)
Ducks Nuts Bar Espresso
Mitchell St. You can sit inside Bar Espresso, or choose the lovely verandah outside, same coffee, more atmosphere. But you have to brave the heat. Come on, don’t be soft!
There’s another list here, but I haven’t tried them all. Will have to ask my trusty coffee scout to suss them out:
http://darwin.citysearch.com.au/restaurants/roundup/1119945819575/1137547155562

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As soon as the balmy sea air at Mindil Beach hit my face, I relaxed. Sustained by treats from the stalls at the Mindil Markets, there was too much to choose from; Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, and Roadkill stalls all competed for my attention. Do try the Ice Kachang dessert if you can find it.
Enthralled by the hard-to-find-in-Sydney Thai vegetables at Rapid Creek Markets, along with a great selection of meat and other ingredients at the Greenie’s real food store that I visited far too many times than a 10 day trip justifies.
Thai Massage, an Iyengar yoga class outdoors that bordered on Bikram’s style, local Indigenous art and music, the Darwin festival, and my new favourite clothing designer, Gita.
I can’t wait to go back to Darwin, if only to recapture that breezy vibe.
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Sunset at Mindil Beach Markets
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Even in the dry season, Darwin gives you a nice sweaty glow…
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The view from The Wharf, a great place for dinner
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Fish & Chips, Laksa and Som Tam at the Wharf
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John Butler rocked the Darwin Festival
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Deliciously cooling pools at Buley Rockhole
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Florence Falls, a deep black pool beneath a waterfall filled with amorous fish

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A clumsy ode to Spice Temple’s heavenly facing chilli and sichuan peppercorn dish.
Since eating at Spice Temple a month ago I haven’t been able to stop thinking about those feisty little peppercorns. I was chatting to a friend of mine on the phone the other night while cooking this so it got a little more crispy than intended but it just added to the intensity of flavour on the skin. Tongue numbing, aromatic, mouth watering.
I have seen Kylie Kwong toast sichuan peppercorns with sea salt in a hot pan until aromatic and then grind them up to a powder in a mortar and pestle. This is essentially what I did and then added a little smoky paprika and sugar and rubbed it into the skin of an organic chicken, added a little oil to the bird with a few cloves of unpeeled garlic inside and whacked it in a hot oven. Oh, and I threw in a few dutch cream potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks. I normally go for 220°C fan forced, 20 minutes each on its side, on its other side and on its back. I sound like Samantha from SATC.
The end result is a moist chicken with a crispy skin, with potatoes that taste more like wedges as they have absorbed all the chickeny goodness and are lightly flavoured with sichuan.
Next step is to try this with quail, or maybe duck…and I don’t think it needs the smoky paprika or sugar.
Just to stress the point, this is a roast that takes just an hour to cook, plus preparation time. So maybe realistic for a weeknight when you don’t get home too late.

I have an apology to make. I have been very tardy with keeping this blog up to date. “What have I been so preoccupied with?” you may rightly demand. Well, ever since Easter I have been eating chocolate, on my couch, in pyjamas. Green & Black’s organic, once deemed too expensive, now just politically correct and a downright pantry staple. The Maya is midway between dark and milk (around the 54% mark) and has a hint of orange and christmas spice. Not bad at all. The milk is also a touch darker than your average milk (34%) so has a little more of a cocoa hit but without the bitterness of a dark. Ok, shutting up now. Sad, but what was once a treat is now an obligatory indulgence both anticipated and satiated.
I have also been sucked into watching Master Chef, however like my friend’s 4 year old son, have an aversion to the trauma of Thursday night eviction night. “But mummy, will we ever see them again?” says a concerned little voice with watery eyes. It’s just too confrontational and drawn-out ‘biggest loser’ style. Hurry up AJ, I mean Sarah, get us to the master class. Inspiration and instruction are where these types of shows can earn credibility by doing some good as well as just entertaining the masses.
But who am I to criticise, I’ve got my chocolate to distract me 🙂

The Eveleigh Market Saturday 13th December 8am-1pm
243 Wilson St, Eveleigh
Next market is in February 2009.
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This was a wonderful market held yesterday, in an open-sided but undercover hanger on a true Sydney summer day-humid, hot and windy. The restrooms inside the old carraige works just opposite provided a moment of coolness before the hunt began.
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Highlights were cherry jam from Bird Cow Fish, goat’s cheese from Jannei Dairy, eggplant, zucchini flowers, apples and less common herbs from organic suppliers. Bread from Iggy’s, Olive oil from Alto and brunch from Eumundi Smokehouse: Bacon and egg roll with homemade BBQ sauce, and a chorizo roll with tomato and basil salsa. I didn’t eat both, three of us shared them, but I could have easily scoffed them myself.
My sister was searching for the perfect Kris Kringle present for $15 and bought the last jar of cherry jam from Bird Cow Fish ($10 but it is a large jar) and then topped up the gift with a jar of Apricot jam from Rowan Farm for $5, so mission completed on budget! The cheeky little bugger even managed to find some bread for her supper after everyone had sold out as the guys at Jannei took pity on her puppy eyes and sold her their second last loaf used for tastings for a token $2. Always the negotiator 🙂
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Marinated creamy goat’s fetta at Jannei Dairy. I have been missing their presence at the Good Living Grower’s Markets- bring them back please!
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Went home with a small white mould cheese, similar to Camembert, called ‘Miette’. Perfectly ripe for sale, the edge was devoured and it is already developing a creamy oozy layer but is still a little chalky in the middle so I’ll leave it for another day or two.
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Fruity, buttery Stöllen from Pastisse
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Organic Fuji apples, basil and garlic
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Eumundi Smokehouse chorizo. I bought some of the small spicy ‘beer sticks’ as owner David calls them, you really need one to handle the heat and delicious intensity.
Nice review here of Eumundi: http://www.notquitenigella.com/2007/12/27/eumundi-smokehouse-at-dulwich-hill/
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Delicious olive oil and marinated olives from Alto, with the Robust premium a favourite. Got talked into getting the large bottle very easily ‘are you sure you don’t want the larger bottle?’ No, I’m not, how silly of me, of course it is better value 😉 I am quite happy to be persuaded.
Another delicious oil is the Pepperberry and Salt Bush olive oil by the Yaama Dhiyaan Cafe, also a lovely place for breakfast located just next to the markets on Wilson St.
Crusty sourdough, a quarter is plenty for us and costs just $3.25 from Iggy’s Bread (49 Belgrave St, Bronte. Corner of Murray St)
Can’t wait for the regular market next year…
http://www.eveleighmarket.com.au/

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