Friday, February 6, 2009

job cut detox

I went to Adelaide last week and let me tell you, if you felt the same sense of doom and gloom as I did, I would prescribe a few days of holiday at a location of your choice. Sometimes you just need to get away from it all to lift up your spirit and recharge the body, mind and soul.

In all honesty, I did only go because I had a Qantas voucher that I had to use before its January expiry date. But, it turned out to be a holiday taken at the most opportune time, I could not time it better myself. Even with the crazy heat wave, I really enjoyed myself.

I arrived in Adelaide at night and was promptly taken to Alfy's boyfriend's parents' (Bruce and Margareth) house for dinner. Although, I was already stuffed to the brim (I ate before I got onto the plane and ate again in the plane), I could not refuse without appearing rude.

They were having steaks and served me a medium rare steak. Now, if you knew me, you would know that I hate bloody steak. I like my meat completely dead, without any hint of 'moo'. But I couldn't not eat it, so I ate it and helped it along with plenty of iced water.

Bruce and Margareth are such nice people, I am very fond of them. When I was in Adelaide last time, they put me up for 3 days, knowing nothing about me. Who does that kind of thing these days? But this time, I stayed at Alfy's place (with Aaron and Josh), I got the nice bed closest to the aircon! Yay!

The next day, for lunch, I couldn't resist suggesting fish & chips. I never used to be crazy about fish & chips. But with any kind of relationships, you can't help but get influenced by those closest to you, and vice versa. This particular obsession is courtesy of my boyfriend.

Not knowing why I so adamantly wanted fish & chips, Alfy drove me to Port Adelaide and we found this brewery called Port Dock Brewery. We both ordered the beer battered fish & chips. The fish was moist and lovely with crispy light batter and the chips were not too greasy. But, I think the one I had in Albany was probably better, the taste of beer was more noticeable. But, the Brewery's atmosphere was obviously the winner between the two. There's quite a few people there at lunch time, a lot of older people and there were also a few Origin Energy employees.

Beer battered fish & chips - $15.50

Next, we went to Haigh's Chocolates for their free tour. I learnt that they acquire their choco-making craft from Lindt in Switzerland. No wonder their chocolate is so yummy! I bought the scorched almonds in dark chocolate ($6.90) for myself and chocolate coffee beans ($7.20) for my sister. I had had the almonds before, so I knew exactly just how sinful they were. Ooh la la...

The second day and also the last, we went to McLaren Vale and had lunch at the Almond Carriage Café, a genuine vintage rail carriage that was retro-fitted as a café. The interior was complete with antique trunks, leather seats and wooden adjustable blinds. And the waiter was such a character. The food itself was pretty average, but I did go only for its novelty. The food in the menu had really quirky names, like Train Smash Special, and The 'Big Conductors' Gourmet Breakfast. But I chose boring pasta with bolognaise sauce ($12), I wasn't feeling particularly adventurous. Alfy said her chicken and avocado salad ($12) was quite good. One thing good, in my opinion, was that they didn't go easy with their portions. It was quite hefty, enough to fill you up for the day.

Fish curry rice (small) - $6.50
Chilli hot chocolate - $4.50

We explored a few wineries before we gave up because it was too hot and head back to town. We had dinner in the Market Plaza Food Court, inside the Adelaide Central Market. I was still craving for fish so I had Curry Chong's small plate of fish curry rice with onions, red peppers and generous chunks of sweet carrot ($6.50). Aaron and Alfy had the (kanga)roo curry rice ($6.50), which she admitted she chose when she didn't know what else to get. My fish curry rice was great. It was fast, cheap, spicy but not overwhelming, and the fish was fluffy.

The next morning I had to fly back at a disgraceful hour, so I decided to treat myself with a cup of chilli hot chocolate ($4.50) from Cocolat. I couldn't help but order this as it reminded me of a scene in the movie Chocolat, where Vianne made Armande a cup of steaming hot chocolate topped with a dusting of chilli. And my chilli hot chocolate really lived up to this expectation, it was warming yet decadent.

Cocolat, the café, had various assortments of delectable muffins and cakes, like the Bailey's Embrace, Harry Hazelnut, and Caramel Craze. Alas, I couldn't bring myself to order one, it was simply too early in the morning for me for a sugar overload.

Port Dock Brewery Hotel on Urbanspoon
Port Dock Brewery
10 Todd St
Port Adelaide SA
Open 7 days 9am-midnight

Almond Carriage Cafe & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon
Almond Carriage Cafe
Main Road
McLaren Vale SA
Open Monday & Wednesday-Friday 10.30am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm

Curry Chong's
Adelaide Central Market
Gouger St
A
delaide SA
Open Tuesday 7am-5.30pm, Thursday 9am-5.30pm, Friday 7am-9pm, Saturday 7am-3pm

Cocolat on Urbanspoon
Cocolat
Level 2, Adelaide Airport
Adelaide SA
Open 7 days 4.30am-10.30pm
(After much googling, the delectable beer battered fish and squid I had in Albany was from:

The Squid Shack

Emu Point Boat Pens
Emu Point
Albany WA
Open 7 days 10am-7.30pm.
The ladies serving were really friendly and the seafood caught locally from Oyster Harbour. Try them out if you have a chance.)
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