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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.


Mores Cafe

Okay, so it's been a while. I've fallen into all-out lazy vacation mode since my trip to Vancouver, and it's been tough to get off my ass and start the task of recapping Australia. I'm finally doing it though. It's time I get back into the Arthur Hungry swing of things, and I'll start it all from the beginning.

Eating my way through Sydney was, like eating in any other city, a long learning experience. When you move to a new city, the eating scene is strange and mysterious. People have weird words to describe different things. They put different toppings on stuff. The city has odd trends, and different standards. I landed in Sydney without doing much research (I know, that's a bit odd for me), but I figured I'd have a lot of time to figure stuff out.

The only place I really knew I wanted to try before I got there was Tetsuya's, the country's most famous and supposedly best restaurant. Other than that, I started with a blank slate. So with some 50 or so posts about Australian food, I'll hopefully be able to slowly show you what I learned about eating in Australia - the nuances, the trends, the standards. It was an interesting experience for me, to say the least.


My first meal out was at Mores Cafe, one of many little cafes along Glebe Point Road in Glebe. In Australia, addresses are all broken down into neighborhoods, so only a small section of what is largely considered to be Sydney will actually have a Sydney address. The student housing for my program was just across the street from Sydney University, at the intersection of three neighborhoods - Broadway, Chippendale, and Glebe. Glebe is an interesting place just a few minutes walk from where I stayed, and has a long main street with cafes, restaurants, and shops of all kinds. We (my roommate Dan plus new friends Ben and Greg) were lured into Mores because they had a A$10 pasta special. The decor was simple and casual, and I would soon learn that Mores was one of hundreds of simple cafes with menus I'd quickly get sick of.

garlic bread - A$3 This garlic bread was pretty standard fare, but I should note the type of bread used. In Sydney they call it Turkish bread (or pide bread), and it's used pretty much everywhere from restaurants to pizza/kebab joints. I have no idea if it's actually Turkish, but it's actually pretty good for what seems to be a very mass-produced bread. It's basically a little round white loaf that can be cut into strips like for this garlic bread, or horizontally acrosse to make a sandwich. It is great for toasting or grilling, as the outside becomes nice and crispy while the inside stays doughy. Another thing I found out though is that in Australia they often charge you for bread, even if it's an extremely basic kind.

fettuccine carbonara - A$10 I saw a carbonara for A$10 (it's about 1 Aussie dollar to 75 US cents) - just one of many pastas on the discounted pasta list. I'd discover later that these generic pastas are served everywhere. Usually, places will have a list about 10 long where you can mix and match noodles with sauces like carbonara, boscaiola (a very common sauce in Sydney), marinara, pesto, and so on. This pasta wasn't great. It definitely wasn't authentic, with its liberal use of cream, as well as the use of ham rather than pancetta. (I'll leave the discussion of bacon and ham in Australia for another post; for now I'll just say Australian bacon isn't quite the same as American bacon). Still, the pasta wasn't overcooked, and it made for a pretty good cheap meal, though as you can see it was an eggy/creamy mess. It didn't look quite as bad in person, actually. And since I hadn't gotten sick of standard Australian-cafe style pasta yet, I was pretty happy with it.

Mores is a good example of Sydney's most typical restaurant. A simple, fairly cheap, usually sit-down place with a list of sandwiches, pastas, and a few other random items. These places are really formulaic and get pretty repetitive after a while, so you won't see me going to many of them. Rest assured that they're ALL OVER THE PLACE, and very easy to identify with a quick look at the menu. The mix-and-match pasta list (see: boscaiola) is usually the first giveaway. Mores was actually a pretty good one, as they managed to avoid the common deathtrap of overcooked noodles.

Reader Comments (1)

Great review and intro to Australia. Can't wait.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 at 4:04AM | Unregistered Commenterkeith

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