Anthony Bourdain Final Tour: Syndey, Australia

Every Monday I will break down one of my favorite Episodes of No Reservations and talk about what I learned from it and why it is my favorite.

Then you’ll definitely want to join in the conversation on Tuesdays as we talk about what happened the night before!

Also, you’ll want to follow me on twitter @sojournerabroad so that we can talk live during the new episodes!

The episode starts out and ends the same way.  Tony, Anthony Puharich, and Matt Moran sitting in the sun in the middle of the day, drinking a pint, and discussing what it means to be Australian.  One point is made over and over, everyone in Sydney loves Sydney.  And what’s not to love?

Now when I hear Australia, there two things that come to mind: 1) the opening scene from Dumb and Dumber where Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) mistakes Austria for Australia, & 2) the Sydney opera house as visible on the far left in this picture of the skyline to the right.  But with exception of the opera house visible for a few seconds while Tony is on a boat, neither of these topics are broached, rendering my knowledge of Australia from that point on null and void.

As with every episode, the food is the center piece.  In order to better order what happened, the following two lists list the major events of the episode.

People from episode:

  • Matt Moran – Moran is the head chef on Australia’s Master Chef. Moran acts as Anthony’s guide in Australia.  He owns multiple restaurants around Sydney and is extremely well known in the food community.
  • Ben and Elvis – Ben and Elvis are what Tony would call HIPSTERS, but to that we say again, “look in the mirror Tony!”  Alas, Tony says, “I surrender… the hipsters are everywhere.”  And these two hipsters know how to cook food!  They have many restaurants, all accessible through their website linked to their name, including Bodega, Porteno, and Gardel’s Bar.
  • Lanie Lane – Singer, songwriter, rockabilly musician.  Lannie Lane was playing music in one of Ben and Elvis’ restaurants.  Although they only showed one of her songs, her vocals, lyrics, and guitar play were all fantastic.  Apparently she is also being produced by non-other than Jack White, which we all know means she has talent!
  • Anthony Puharic – A butcher/chef and creator of what Victor Churchill is now.

Places Anthony Bourdain went in Sydney:

  • Moran family farm – at the farm, Matt shows Tony all of the lamb that Matt’s father has spent his life raising.  You can tell that it is a job of passion for the Moran family.  Matt and Tony then butcher a lamb and proceed to barbecue it.
  • Porteno – An Argentinian inspired restaurant includes large open spaces, loud music, lots of drinks, and giant slabs of rotating meat in the middle of the dining room!
  • Harry’s Cafe de Wheels – This food cart type restaurant has the most famous meat pies in all of Sydney. Bourdain suggests the Curry Beef!
  • Olympic Park – Bourdain watches a rugby game with a former player who, by all accounts, is a fanatic!  I still don’t understand rugby, but it is clear that Aussies love it!
  • Chiswick Restaurant – One of Matt Moran’s restaurants.  They use meet from the Moran farm and have a garden where they grow their own food.  What doesn’t come from in house, is local.
  • Golden Century – According to Bourdain, “you can’t do Sydney without doing China town!”  This is where I knew that seafood had to come into play.  The walls are literally lined with fresh seafood still alive in tanks.  This is a place by chefs for chefs in Sydney.
  • Victor Churchill – The oldest butcher shop in Sydney, dating back to 1876.  This is, according to Bourdain, the most beautiful butcher shop in the world. 4 generations of butchers in, and Anthony Puharic now runs it with his dad.  Featured here were prime cuts, gelatin, and cured meats (similar to the hamon in episodes from Spain).
  • Lord Dudley Hotel – self proclaimed as being the best known English pub in Sydney. This is where the beginning and end of the episode take place.

Take aways from the episode:

  1. As Tony and Matt are eating the fresh lamb, Matt says that the thing he hates most as a chef is when someone complains that their lamb is fatty.  I had mentioned in a previous post that I am working on fats, but it is hard.  It has so much more to do with texture, not flavor.  But one thing to keep in mind is that the chef prepared it that way for a reason, and I am probably the weird one because I don’t appreciate the fat.
  2. At one point Matt discusses that just a few years ago, no one in Australia would have eaten such original and different foods, but now there is a food explosion. Bourdain then asks facetiously, “Are you suggesting that food television is actually good for the world?”  The answer is a resounding yes!  I think that Bourdain knows better than anyone the barriers in food culture that shows like his have over come in our country (and the world).  If it wasn’t for shows like No Reservations, I would (pun intended) have many more reservations about other cultures and foods.
  3. While at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, Bourdain offers this fantastic tidbit. “You’ve got to ask in any town, what do they do better here than anywhere else? … I don’t know, meat pies are pretty f***ing good here.

Don’t forget to look at our “Anthony Bourdain’s Final Tour” page for a list of all of Bourdain related posts.

What was your favorite part of last night’s episode?

6 Responses to “Anthony Bourdain Final Tour: Syndey, Australia”
  1. I see you like Bourdain just as much as we do!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I liked that the weather was terrible. Melbourne all the way 😉

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