MissDissent (missdissent) wrote,

This Week's Column - Airport Filler (by Alex Harmon)

Published in the City Hub and City News.

Maybe I’ve got a bit of Kath and Kim in me, but I love airports. The holiday starts as I enter the big white open space of a terminal. Once luggage has disappeared, I’m choking in expensive perfume, and eating while jumbo jets take off. It’s my idea of a good time, and at Sydney International Airport, if you bypass the fast-food labyrinth, you’ll find an array of top-notch restaurants and cafés, too.

WEBAirport_China Grand

It’s hard enough to find good yum cha, let alone when the cravings come a-knocking mid afternoon. Fear not, the airport caters for world-travelling body clocks. At China Grand you’ll find yum cha day and night, prepared fresh by the order, and the service is speedy and friendly. The special fried rice is a treat, with diced seafood, pork and beef and topped with fish roe. As are your staples - pork buns, prawn dumplings and pork dim sum. Or try something completely different, like their deep fried cod fillet with sweet corn sauce. It’s steamy and satisfying; and for those travelling on a budget airline, they’ll pack it all up, so you can be the envy of cattle class.

China Grand on Urbanspoon

Don’t be too hasty to go through Customs; first stop off at Danks Street Depot and try some of Jared Ingersoll’s sustainable snacks. Yes, he’s brought a bit of Waterloo – along with the ethics – to the airport. A Callebaut chocolate brownie doesn’t make you feel so guilty, when you know you’re supporting local producers and farmers on the eggs, butter & other bits contained within. And it wouldn’t feel like you were on Danks Street without a toasted Reuben sandwich. Jared uses corned wagyu beef, and braises it with tender loving care. Be warned, it is so good, Custom’s officers will want to confiscate it; best you eat it on the outside. Nervous flyer? The bar will whip you up a mean gin, ginger and honey cocktail. Not nervous? Who cares, it’s after 12pm somewhere in the world...

Tucked away from the bright lights you’ll find Itacho Sushi, a cute sushi bar that actually has a chef on the premises. Packaged sushi is my worst nightmare so I was delighted to see the chef, direct from Hong Kong, preparing fresh sushi at arm’s length. This is the best pre-flight meal you can have - fresh, light and healthy. Plus they have boxes of fresh ginger – a natural breath freshener – because we all know how close those seats are going to be. They also whip up ramen, a noodle soup that works whether it’s day or night. I couldn’t help but enquire about a sign for a ‘ramen challenge’, which the waiter explains: “if you can eat three bowls in an hour, it’s free. And you get your name on the wall.” As temping as it sounds, the bowls are huge, full of thick noodles and the broth is steamy. Plus, you don’t want to be that person on a long-haul flight…

Itacho Sushi on Urbanspoon

Finally, if (like me), you arrive at airports hung-over (when will I learn?) you best stockpile a hearty meal, and you can always rely on an Italian family to do just that. Trattoria Prego have their own wood-fired clay oven cooking up delicious pizzas. If you’re really famished, I recommend The Godfather, the newest addition to the menu. It’s the granddaddy of pizzas with the works - chilli and some olives thrown in for good measure. The seafood marinara is also satisfying, with huge chunks of seafood and lashings of sauce. The food will tide you over and keep you happy before economy size portions inevitably disappoint. Lighter options include salads, which they let you mix-and-match for ten bucks. Also, sitting in the traditional style restaurant, you’d have no idea you were at an airport, apart from the occasional boarding call. Oops, I think that one was mine…

Trattoria Prego on Urbanspoon

Tags: food, food news
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