Living in Australia has been a lot of fun and being with Shane has been really nice (long distance can be really straining) but, to be totally honest, it has been a bit of a lonely experience. I’ve made some decisions which have made it more difficult to make friends (not working/being really careful with money). Don’t get me wrong, Shane’s friends are the BEST and Brendon and Andre are a ton of fun but everyone is so busy with studying (as they should be!) so it has been a little bit quieter than my life back home.
SO… when one of my FAVOURITE ex-impact colleagues told me that she was coming to Parra on business, it was extremely exciting!!! She has been really lovely to me – she has answered all of my questions about how much haircuts should cost, when one should tip (or as is the case here, NOT tip) – she also took time to call me on the phone when I got here and chat for a while.
I can’t describe how much I took all my friends back home for granted. Being able to just call a sister or a friend and head out for dinner is a luxury that I didn’t fully appreciate.
For weeks beforehand I planned and fussed about where to go for dinner. Shane, Andre and a few other dent students recommended the Bavarian Bier Cafe in Parramatta. It made a whole lot of sense for Amy and I to go to a good craft beer restaurant given that it was one of our favourite after work activities in Vancouver (we were just missing Michael!).
The restaurant location is really quite impressive, it’s actually an old church which has been refurbished into a restaurant.
They have huge vaulted ceilings and the light fixtures remind me of the lighting I saw in medieval buildings in Europe. Huge circular chandeliers that would have housed candles originally and then been lowered by chains from over a beam to be lit. You can also see some of the stained glass that they had in this photo.
Here is a better photo of the stained glass:
This is a photo of the bar taken in the opposite direction from where we were sitting. The booths reminded me of church pews with higher chair backs. It was a really neat place.
Amy and I obviously both started off with beers while we caught up. We chatted all about her wedding plans and what life was like in Australia for me.
Excellent beer. This is the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Hell Bier.
I would try to describe it but their website does a pretty good job at that already:
Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Hell is noted for its agreeable level of carbonation and its natural cloudiness. A cloudy, top-fermented ale brewed from 2/3 wheat malt and 1/3 barley malt, hops,Franziskaner’s own strain of yeast and pure spring water, according to a time-honored Bavarian recipe.
The aroma and palate is reminiscent of banana, passionfruit and vanilla, married with a distinct clove-like character, typical of this style. Zesty carbonation up front with a grainy wheat texture finishes light and satisfying.
Amy and I both opted to order Schnitzel for dinner – as you have to at a German restaurant!
Here’s mine – Swiss Schnitzel. It had ham and cheese over it with some sauerkraut on the side.
My one (major) complaint about the restaurant is that when we ordered, the waiter said “oh your dishes come with potatoes, how would you like them done?” “great, they also have a sauce with it – here are the types you can order – would you like one?”
I said yes because I thought it came with the dish but it was really $4 extra! Now this was already a $31 dish so I was pretty surprised and felt a little ripped off that they would present the option as if it were included and then have a fairly sizeable charge for it. It was also a very small amount of sauce.
So anyways, if anyone decides to dine here, be careful to clarify what actually comes with the meal and what is being offered as an up-sell. My mistake for being a silly tourist – upon closer review, it seems that they have at least one trip advisor complaint about this already.
Overall, the company was spectacular (11/10), the beer was awesome (8/10) but the food experience was disappointing (6.5/10). Next time, I want to try this Italian place:
After dinner, Amy and I went for a walk through Parra up towards the mall. It had been raining earlier but luckily the weather held nice for us.
This church is in the square where Jamie Oliver’s Trattoria is. If you remember my day one post. Jacaranda tree!! So pretty!! (I’m obsessed)
We ended up at Westfield where the movie theatre and Max Brenner’s is. (They say it like Max Bren-ah). We (foolishly) ordered sundaes and sat down to chat more.
Look at these things! We ordered one EACH! My god. After eating huge dinners! They weren’t expensive so we were kind of expecting like maybe a third of what came?
Needless to say, even after chatting and eating for an extended period of time, neither of us made it through our sundaes.
After all of that, Amy and I needed to really walk so we took a longer walking route back to her hotel.
On the way we came across a cool looking tree:
And took another selfie!
I had really missed Amy since she moved back to Australia and it was super awesome to catch up. Hopefully her work sends her to Parra lots more!!
Shane came and met me at the bus stop to walk home and we ran into Betty’s twin!
There were also a MILLION snails out! (Gross)
Shane wanted to hear all about my evening with Amy (he had to stay home and study) so we chatted for a while:
He learned about the dangers of getting fingers too close to teeth:
And then ultimately he told me he couldn’t goof off anymore and went to keep studying.
Exam time is serious business.
Overall, it was an amazing evening with a great friend. Hopefully Amy will make another blog world visit – Shane and I will have to travel her way next time!
Miss you all, Love you all!
(It’s been a fair bit of time since this really happened so really missing Amy again now! Come back Amy!)