May 19: Bhan Mi; “Grazing” Meal


For lunch we went immediately for our favorite sandwich: a Bahn Mi for $8.75 per serve with tax and tip.


Rather than cook a meal we snacked on a spread of smoked salmon, cheddar, liverwurst, endive, roast garlic dip and crackers.

  • Nut Thins were $2.49 or $1.75 per serve
  • Grapes were $5.23 and we used less than 1/4 or 65c per serve
  • Smoked salmon was $4.19 or $2.10 per serve
  • Cheddar adds $1.00 per serve
  • The full liverwurst pack is $3.20 but we had under 1/4 each or 80c per serve
  • The garlic spread is $2.99 for the pack, and there was about 1/4 left, or 38c per serve
  • Add 50c per serve for incidentals.

We had a very enjoyable dinner while catching up on some television for $7.18 per serve.

May 18: Airline Food!


Shortly after takeoff on the trip home we were served a Moroccan Style Lamb Curry with roast potatoes, a dinner roll, Orange Chocolate Mousse and cheddar & crackers.

It was okay as an airline meal. Included in the air fare.

Breakfast (Dinner)

Because the flight arrived very early the airline served breakfast just before landing. We had some scrambled eggs, roast potato and a small chicken sausage. Again, nothing to write home about but acceptable airline food.

May 17: Meat Pie & Sausage Roll; Seafood Rissotto/Veal Cutlet


For our final lunch with Philip’s mom we went with her to her favorite local coffee shop and had meat pies and sausage rolls. Well, Philip had one of each while Foodie Greg has a quiche.

The quiche was pretty good while the meat pie and sausage roll were quite ordinary. The average cost for the meal was Au$8.50 (US6.38) per serve.


Our trip home had started with an overnight stay in Sydney, which allowed us to catch up with an old friend and eat Italian. Foodie Greg had a Veal Cutlet which was quite good, while Philip had a “seafood risotto” that was not too bad but was definitely not made on arborio rice, so ended up a little starchy.

The meal averaged Au$37.50 (US$28.13) per serve.

May 16: Ham Salad Roll; Pork Belly/Squid Salad


Being Thursday, we were near the bakery again and once again enjoyed their Pork Roll, which is a cold cuts variation of a Bahn Mi, for Au$6.00 (US$4.50) per serve.


Ahead of attending a “mystery musical” (actual show not announced until the overture starts) we had dinner at the Larendon hotel, near the venue.  Foodie Philip had Twice cooked Pork Belly while Greg had a Squid Salad.  Both were excellent for Au$26.50 (US$19.88) per serve.

May 15: Pepper Steak Pie and Sauage Roll; Pork Spare Ribs with BBQ Sauce and Corn


The Foodies have a side quest to find a meat pie and sausage roll – quintessentially Australian – as good as, or better, than we have been enjoying from Bronzed Aussie in Downtown LA.

Foodie Greg recalled a highly regarded bakery and pie shop in nearby Whitebridge, so we collected our Pepper Steak pie and a sausage roll there and ate them in a nearby oceanside park.

While the filling in both was good the pastry did not live up to the US example, but good for Au$8.50 (US$6.37) per serve.


At the evening meal the Foodies separates and went with their respective families. Foodie Greg with his parents while Foodie Philip met his brother at a local pizza place.

Unexpectedly they had “18 hour slow cooked pork ribs” on the menu, which was hard to pass up.

Served with an ear of fresh corn on a bed of arugula (a.k.a. Rocket) and a great BBQ sauce, they delivered on the promise. The ribs were beautifully tender with good flavor, but it was th BBQ sauce that surprised and delighted.

There was the expected sweetness but balanced with an acidic finish that was hard to pin down, so I asked! Turns out that a combination of lemon juice and chili creates a flavor profile reminiscent of vinegar, although toward a balsamic vinegar.

I don’t know if they always have them, but if you’re near Cardiff NSW then check out Frank and Ollie’s. Really tasty for Au$18.00 (US$13.50). Brother’s seafood pizza also looked really good and had his approval.

May 14: Pork Chop with Wilted Kale and Potato; Chili


The Foodies took two of their nieces out to lunch at the well regarded Parry St Garage, where we both had an excellent wood fired pork cutlet, red radicchio marmalade, garlic & rosemary potato, greens & pork crackling. While we both felt it could have been cooked just one or two minutes less, it was still moist.

Well worth the Au$28.50 (US$21.37) per serve. In Australia tax and tip are included in the price, leading to approximately the same net cost in both Countries.


Tonight we prepared our favorite Bacon and Black Bean Chili, with avocado and sour cream. This recipe makes at least six serves.

  • Ground Beef (a.k.a. mince) was $6.50 or $1.08 per serve
  • Bacon cost $2.37 or 40c per serve
  • In the abscence of “chili powder,” which is ground chili in Australia, we used ‘taco seasoning’ which cost $1.25, but we used only ¼ or 10c per serve
  • Tomato paste was 90c, or 15c per serve
  • Canned tomatoes were $1.00 or 17c per serve
  • Black Beans were $3.00 for two cans, or 50c per serve
  • Two avocados were $4.40 or $1.10 per serve
  • Add 15c per serve for seasoning and sour cream.

While it wasn’t quite as good as our regular version, it wasn’t bad for Au$3.75 (US$2.81) per serve, which is a little Les than the US$3.71 last time we made this at home.

May 13: Barrumundi Burger; Pork Belly with Choucroute


The Foodies returned to the Belmont Yacht Club where Foodie Greg had lunch with his parents last week. This older Registered Club is built out into the Lake and we were surrounded on thre sides with water

We both chose the Barrumundi Burger at Au$15.00 (US$11.40)


We had seen pork belly at the new Warner’s Bay Aldi so picked up one suitable for three and decided to serve with choucroute. Unfortunately the German owned Aldi only has sauerkraut in October!

We found the necessary ingredients at another supermarket and prepared the meal over three hours.

  • The pork belly was $12.50 or $4.17 per serve
  • Carrots were 24c or 8c per serve
  • A can of sauerkraut was $3.20 or $1.07 per serve
  • Add 20c for onion and seasoning.

The Pork was beautifully tender while the skin had crispened up nicely for “crackling” and the choucroute a perfect complement, even though we forgot the potatoes! A good meal for Au$5.52 (US$4.19) per serve.

May 12: Kedgeree; Kedgeree


The Foodies were hosting Mother’s Day for the family, and served Kedgeree, with actual smoked cod!

The recipe made eight serves.

  • The smoked cod was $5.06 or 63c per serve
  • Bacon cost $2.05 but we used half, or 13c per serve
  • Tomatoes cost $4.96 but where split over two meals, or 31c per serve
  • Add 50c for milk, onion, curry powder and seasonings
  • Three eggs cost 75c, or 10c per serve
  • Add 44c for rice per serve.

The Kedgeree turned out really well and was appreciated by all who ate fish. Darn it, we didn’t check and one of the Mother’s present isn’t a fish fan. Still, for those who indulged it was Au$2.11 (US$1.60).


The Foodies had the remaining Kedgeree for dinner while Foodie Philip’s mom had leftover ham chowder. Again Au$2.11 (US$1.60).

May 11: Hamburger Wrap; Ham and Corn Chowder


While Foodie Philip repeated the Caesar Schnitzel Wrap of a couple of days ago – taking off one piece of Schnitzel for later – Foodie Greg’s hankering for an Aussie style burger was temporarily thwarted by the lack of a bun.

The suggestion was made, and accepted, that the burger be served as a Wrap. Foodie Greg thinks this unconventional approach is better because the Wrap is better bread than a typical hamburger bun.

Both meals were huge for $12.00 and $8.50 respectively, or an average of Au$10.43 (US$7.90).


Mom suggested we cook Foodie Greg’s Split Pea Soup from the ham stock she’d made earlier in the week, but the lack of liquid smoke and a stick blender meant that the recipe would be compromised. Instead it was decided to cook a Ham and Fresh Corn Chowder.

This was a much more successful recipe than an earlier attempt that turned out to be too sweet to eat! The recipe made six serves so we will get two meals from it.

  • The Ham stock had no cost
  • Bacon cost $2.05 or 34c per serve
  • Sweet corn on the cob was $2.50, or 42c per serve
  • Celery was $3.00 but again we used only ⅓ or 17c per serve
  • A carrot was 38c or 6c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for potatoes
  • Add 15c per serve for spices.

This was a really tasty Chowder for Au$1.34 (US$1.02) per serve.

May 10: Indian Curries; Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Olives


Lunch found us in the local Village as Foodie Philip’s Mom like to go there daily. Today we chose the local Indian takeout and had Beef Vindaloo, Beef Madras and Lamb Korma, with fresh baked – as in while we were waiting – naan.

It was all really tasty for Au$10.90 for each curry serve, and we shared the $3.50 naan: Au$12 .65 (US$9.49)per serve.


Because Lamb is more readily available in Australia, we chose some Lamb shoulder chops suitable for  Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Olives. We shopped with a real butcher shop, not the meat counter!

  • The shoulder chops were very reasonably priced at $10.80 or $3.60 per serve
  • A jar of olives was $3.00 but we only used half, or 67c per serve
  • Tomatoes paste cost 90c or 30c per serve
  • A jar of dried thyme was $2.49 but we used only a fraction (instead of Rosemary) or about 10c per serve
  • Cherry tomatoes were $3.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • A pack of celery was $3.00 but we used ⅓ or 33c per serve
  • Carrots cost 95c, or 32c per serve
  • Add 25c for onion and seasonings.

The dish turned out really well, with a lot of flavor for Au$6.57 (US$5.00) per serve.