When I first moved from New Zealand to Australia I assumed that hopping across ‘the ditch’ (Tasman Sea) would be just like moving to another part of New Zealand. How wrong I was. Australia is bigger, brighter and bolder – the multi-coloured birds squawk louder, the television reporters like to chase their reluctant interviewees down the street shouting things like “You can run but ya can’t hide, mate” and the prawns are enormous.
After four and a half years back in New Zealand we have skipped over the ditch yet again – this time to Sydney. It’s great to be in an Aussie supermarket again – like coming home! That warm weather up north means I can buy fresh local mangoes and melons – delicious. In New Zealand I tried to buy only Kiwi grown produce but now I’m in Australia it will be only Aussie-grown for me.
Today we took the light rail tram to Sydney’s Fish Markets. We followed the signs but could just as easily have followed our noses. Over the concrete floors we splashed past bright blue spanner crabs, gigantic snapper, boxes of sardines so fresh they looked as though they might jump out, piles of squirmy octopus, and bright red crayfish. An Asian man gently prodded a pile of whole fish, carefully selecting the freshest one.
What I didn’t realise was that you can eat there. With this discovery I hastily discarded the original idea to buy fish and cook it for dinner. Why risk setting off the smoke alarm by cooking in the apartment’s not non-stick fry-pan? I did that last time we stayed here – and that alarm is very loud! So we ordered a piece of grilled snapper, a piece of grilled gem-fish and four prawns on a skewer, sat down with our plastic forks and had fish for morning tea.
Our fish eating wasn’t yet over for the day. After more exploring and lots of walking we headed back to the Vietnamese cafe next to our apartment for the most enormous prawn and egg spring rolls. These are the healthy, not deep fried, type and I am inspired to try making them. All the ingredients are at the Asian supermarket across the road but I don’t have a recipe.