When given the opportunity to meet fellow food blogger Swee San of A Self-Proclaimed Foodaholic, I wasn't going to send the monkey on my behalf. Sure enough he’s cute and in addition to that, he is the virtual face of Milk and Cookies, however for this assignment the attendee simply had to be none other than yours truly. Not that I ever doubted the monkey’s social aptitude, he is actually quite the charmer but it was more to save Swee the embarrassment of sitting across from a plush toy in fashionable and crowded Bondi Beach.
Jest aside, it was refreshing to finally meet another food blogger. At least this time I knew I wouldn’t get strange looks from fellow diners when I took a camera out to photograph my meal. Although, according to Swee we did get looks from the adjacent table, but who cares what they thought. It was just nice to be able to talk to another person about blogging, baking and everything in between. I learned a little about Swee and about cheating puff pastry; I don’t think any other encounter would have resulted in such wisdom gained and so for that I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet her.
Iconic Bondi Beach was the location for our meet-up and it couldn’t have been more perfect. For lunch we defiantly opted for the breakfast menu at Bondi Trattoria. Swee wisely went for the poached egg, potato pancake with smoked salmon and spinach (14.50). It was a perfectly stacked serving of thick hash brown and poached egg topped with smoked salmon and spinach.I naively went for the Breakfast Pizza ($15) expecting a dainty sized pizza with ample toppings; what I got was a large (8-slice) pizza instead. Before you start making your own conclusions as to the fate of all 8 slices, I did share some of them and took the rest home for my dog. I was initially planning on eating the rest later but after a day of being at the beach and in the sweltering car, I thought the pizza would be better appreciated by my dog Jack, who has in fact becaome somewhat of a stale-pizza connoisseur. Fortunately for him no one in the household likes cold pizza.
After having some grub and conversation, we decided to make our way to Pompei’s for some gelato and more conversation. When it comes to Pompei’s, I have a weakness for their Fererro Rocher gelato. Personally, I think their version is one of the best around. I hesitated for a moment before digging into our rapidly melting gelatos and made haste for some respite from our walk in order to take photos before it melted into a milkshake.
Aside from getting a little too much of the daily recommended dose of bare flesh, we caught a lot of sun, sand and not to mention shark attacks. Yes, we were treated to a display that managed to capture the attention of literally the entire beach, from the South all the way to the North end of Bondi Beach everyone’s eyes were fixed toward the shoreline. The shark siren had sounded and immediately all swimmers were ushered out of the water. Although, from where we were standing there seemed to be no evidence of any sharks; no fins jutting out of the water, no razor sharp jaws and no suspenseful music, just two jet ski patrollers and a helicopter making a lot of noise and causing more hoo-hah than a bare-breasted sun baker. The "patrolling" went for a good twenty minutes and not one person could tear their gaze from the action at sea. It's like when you slow down at a car wreck, everyone was expecting at least something gory or shocking, although what eventuated was a complete anti-climax. Shark or no shark, it did make for an exciting anecdote to friends afterwards. Here is a rough sketch of what ensued.
I am still unsure as to whether there was in fact a shark or not at Bondi, however this did nothing to deter the swimmers from getting back into the sea. This might shock some overseas readers but nothing much will stop Aussies, let alone a shark from swimming at the beach. This could well be the fable of the Beach that cried Shark but I guess after forty years and no deaths from sharks, just from foolish tourists who don't know how to swim, most people will take their chances.
UPDATE: There indeed were sharks at Bondi Beach on this particular day, there were in fact three bronze whalers swiming rather close to shore. This report was found in the Sydney Morning Herald two days later.