Tomorrow it is Australia Day. Just to make it confusing, it is almost already Australia Day back in Australia. Australia Day commemorates the the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. It was decided by the British that new penal colonies needed to be sought after the Brits lost colonies in North America. Some Aboriginal people call it Invasion Day and burn flags, but some also call it Survival Day cause they recognise that the indigenous people and their culture were not completely wiped out by the British. It is all a bit confusing. I am all a bit confused cause I have spent my whole adult life living in London – that will be 14 years in May – British or Australian sometimes I don’t know.
Tomorrow is also the start of the Chinese New Year. So at work in a double celebration we are going to have a big feast for both days in one. My contribution will be ANZAC Biscuits [oh my favourite story is of Simpson and his donkey] and some Apple Liqueur from Larks Distillery in Hobart. King is cooking barbecue spare ribs!! Hayley is having a go at Lamingtons, Sam is bringing in crap from the Australia shop. The Australian and Chinese have enjoyed a really wonderful relationship from the 1850’s in the gold rush when the Chinese came to try their luck and scalped for their efforts. In later years, the Chinese were branded under some “White Australia Policy” as “The Yellow Peril”. The relationship has grown to be more fruitful and positive however with influences of Chinese cuisine and culture to the Australian landscape being very dear to many Australian’s hearts. You only need to go check out China Town in Sydney to see it stretches for blocks with some AMAZING restaurants. We don’t do number 10’s and a special fried rice there. Real Aussies know the difference between Pak Choi, Choi Sum and Bok Choi.
Anyway, my personal secret favourite place to go for a little but of homesickness relief – and I have to say those days are fewer and further apart – I always go into Milkbar on Bateman Street for a Soya Latte and sometimes scrambled eggs or toasted Turkish bread and Vegemite. As illustrated below:
God – Turkish bread and Vegemite – there is a paradox when you think what happened at Gallipoli! But please note the amount of Vegemite applied to the bread. That is how you do it. No more. Or it is HORRIBLE.
Milkbar is the only place in London that makes a good coffee with soya milk. [Well Milkbar and Flat White on Berwick Street of course cause they are run by the same people.] I also prefer Milkbar cause it is less crowded. My only criticism – and I am sure Pippa will join me on this – is that the sweet treat selection does leave something to be desired. I’m tired of cupcakes and never really been one for flapjacks. In the days of Maison B I would run up the road to get the coffees in and she would run upstairs to the patisserie for something sweet.