Australia day – 26 January

27 Jan

Yesterday was Australia Day and the women’s singles final.


To avoid having to eat the dreadful food at the Rod Laver Arena – imagine oil being heated at above 180C for 5-6 hours and burned potato wedges cooking for that long and producing a variety of carcinogens, the bad wine  – Jacob’s Creek is one of the big sponsors, we went to Pei, a Mark Best restuarant, at Collin’s place on the way down to the tennis.

Now, some of you may not have heard about the virtues of Australian food. Let me correct the impression of it all being bad rum (Bundaberg), cheap wine (the aforementioned Jacob’s Creek) and pies.  These all exist.  However, due to the influx of many nationalities (Thai, Chinese, Greek, Italian etc, etc), and the high quality fresh produce available, there is a wide range of good food available that can rival London’s.  Additionally, there is also a significant amount of good quality wine available, most of which never makes it way to London or further.  If it does, it retails at over £30 a bottle – for example, Charles Melton’s extremely excellent Nine Popes Shiraz.

At Pei, we gallumphed our way through a couple starters: pork chunks and prawns with crispy pork salt and roasted garlic puree:

Crispy pork chunks

Crispy pork chunks

Grilled prawn and pork salt

Grilled prawn and pork salt

We then trawled our way through the mains.  By this time, the wine was having an effect on me, so all I remember was lamb, steak king fish and a pretty great bottle of red.

Lamb with minted peas and braised lettuce

Lamb with minted peas and braised lettuce

KIngfish and courgettes

KIngfish and courgettes

Steak with polenta dumplings and spinach puree

Steak with polenta dumplings and spinach puree


Fully fed and watered, we walked down to the Rod Laver Arena and the women’s final.

Singles final, Australian Open 2013

Well what can I say? Azarenka won. She played some reasonable tennis as did Li Na and they were pretty evenly matched. Li Na’s improvement (post Carlos Rodriguez) is pretty interesting to note, although it was unfortunate that she made so many errors on her serve, which she did not against Sharapova.

Li Na arrives for the ladies' final

Li Na arrives for the ladies’ final

Azarenka arrives

Azarenka arrives

Neither one of them is really a match for an on-song Serena and it was very frustrating to watch their fastest serves as 161 kph – Serena’s is over 200 and even Sloane Stephens was often close to the 180 kph mark.

Li Na returns serve in the second set

Li Na returns serve in the second set

Still, the match was entertaining, notwithstanding Azarenka’s squealing arias.
There is something irritating about Azarenka, from the self-consciously “too cool for school” hoody, incongruously matched with the pedal pushers and grandma’s swimsuit top; yhe “rapper” Redfoo (Berry Gordy’s grandson, with the unkempt hair) in her cheering section;

Redfoo(l) still hasn't combed his hair

Redfoo(l) still hasn’t combed his hair

to her nickname VKA (or Vic-ahhhh) and the crocodile tears on her victory. (I won’t mention the noises again – I’ve said enough already).
Come back Serena – your presence is needed!!!

Up next, the men’s final….

4 Responses to “Australia day – 26 January”

  1. Simone January 28, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    But you didn’t mention the post match bottle of Red shared at the Wine Bar on Swanston…

    • ncma69 January 28, 2013 at 6:52 am #

      Er, yeah – I was waiting for Greg to tell me what the wine was…..
      That’s my story and I’m sticking to it

  2. JT January 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Hi Nicole. Australia already??? You seem to be having a great time and the pictures make everything look very shiny and bright. I have tried out a couple of your recipes and have some suggestions as to how you could make them even better. I’ll share my ideas at a later date when they have properly crystalised…..jx

    • ncma69 February 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

      Properly crystallised? Lol!

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