Inner city gourmet food tours of Sydney with Ultimately Sydney
These private inner city gourmet food tours of Sydney will introduce you to a colourful collection of passionate providores. You’ll sample their generous offerings as you travel in air-conditioned comfort. CBD hotel pick-up and drop-off is included. Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
The multicultural character of the Harbour City is reflected in its dynamic culinary landscape, and with largely new-look itineraries, Ultimately Sydney’s private inner city gourmet food tours of Sydney are a delicious way to explore.
Today I’m heading out on Gourmet West with a local guide to shop for gourmet goodies, and sample foods from around the globe.
We make our way towards Five Dock for our first stop. My guide Rohan tells me stories about places we pass – including The Slip Inn, where Australian-born Princess Mary of Denmark met her Prince. We also see the disused power station where scenes for The Great Gatsby were filmed, and ANZAC Bridge – fondly known by locals as ‘Madonna’s bra’.
We arrive at a traditional Italian deli where loaves of bread of all different shapes and sizes fill the window. Raineri’s Continental Delicatessen is a local institution. A customer next to me is speaking Italian. It must be so wonderful to be able to buy products from ‘the old country’ just around the corner from where you now live.
Rosaria, wife of Peter who started the business over 35 years ago, uncovers platters of cold meats and cheeses, and bowls of olives which are laid out on the counter and I chide myself for having eaten breakfast. The green breakfast olives are very moreish, as are the slices of sourdough bread, sprinkled with salt and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. I opt to take a bottle of this oil home with me. I try different cheeses, prosciutto, and salami; the pieces of Reggiano cheese shaved from a giant wheel are apparently great with red wine. Rohan jokes: ‘where is the red wine?’ Rosaria disappears and returns with some of Peter’s homemade vino!
I leave Five Dock feeling very full, and that was only our first stop. Next is a Lebanese sweet shop called Samir Abla Pastry, the shelves of which are lined with cellophane-wrapped mixed platters of baklawa and chocolates. Rohan points out large trays of semolina cake and date slice. The baklawa that accompanies my small cup of strong Turkish coffee is fresh and delicious.
One of the great things about these inner city gourmet food tours of Sydney is visiting places where locals do their shopping. Everyone knows the owners and stops for a chat. There’s a very strong sense of community everywhere we visit.
Marrickville has long had a strong Greek influence, but more and more Vietnamese are moving in. Here we call into the Illawarra Road Meat Market where the Greek butcher has prepared tasty lamb sausages for me to try. He specialises in Souvlakia (skewered meat) and with an esky provided, it’s easy to take some home for dinner. A couple of doors down, Rose needs a few minutes to make up fresh Vietnamese rolls in the kitchen of her recently redecorated restaurant, so we drop into the Hellenic Patisserie and Gelato Bar over the road. This is not an official stop but the cakes and biscuits on display are very tempting. I hold out for Rose’s fresh Vietnamese rolls and deep-fried spring rolls, accompanied by refreshing Vietnamese tea.
Today feels like a whistle-stop world tour of culinary styles. So far I’ve been to Italy, Lebanon, Greece and Vietnam, but Rohan has more surprises up his sleeve. In Petersham we sit down at the lovely blue and white tiled tables of the Sweet Belem Cake Boutique while John – the busy Portuguese pastry chef, takes time out to explain how he makes his delectable Belem custard tarts.
In an old paint factory, Precinct 75, there is another surprise in store: the chance to try the wine of A.Retief Wines – Australia’s first urban winery. Wine maker Alex Retief walks us through the production process, before we sit down at a long table between the oak barrels to taste six excellent wines (red, white and rose).
Our final destination is Young Henrys – a craft brewery tucked in a corner of Newtown. I’m served sample sizes on a beer tasting paddle, including the lighter local ‘Newtowner’, the Real Ale and the Cloudy cider. I really love this place. It’s friendly, fun and a great place to hang out of an evening or on the weekend.
Being chauffeured around to various foodie hotspots on these inner city gourmet food tours of Sydney is such great fun. It’s a gourmet ‘world tour’ without leaving home – what a treat!
Joanne travelled as a guest of Ultimately Sydney.
Additional images: Bigstock
About the writer
Joanne Karcz published a blog when she walked the Camino de Santiago some years ago and has been writing about her travels ever since. She is also an aspiring travel photographer and takes her camera wherever she goes. Joanne loves discovering new things to see and do in her own Sydney backyard, and blogs regularly about the city’s suburbs. She has travelled through Europe and South America and taken a group of friends on the trip of a lifetime to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. Her visits to Cuba and India were bucket list items, but she still has a few destinations to tick off!