Tiger Mottle and a Wander in Paddo

Jacaranda: the gem of Australian summer
Jacaranda: the harbinger of the Aussie summer

Summer is here at last and the season is in full swing — soaring temperatures, sudden thunderstorms, flowers in full bloom. The hubs and I spent the morning wandering around Paddington, a leafy suburb affectionately referred to by locals as “Paddo”. We pass through Paddo every morning on our way from Bondi Beach to Sydney’s CBD, yet in the excitement of exploring some of Sydney’s lesser known neighbourhoods, this gem has managed to fall off our weekend radar.

Breakfast was at Tiger Mottle, a cute, neighbourhood cafe, a few short steps from the heart of Paddo’s Five Ways. Tiger Mottle prides itself on a fresh, simple menu and strong, reliable coffee. They’re well known for their use of the double ristretto method, but the delicious aromas that waft out of their storefront on Glenmore are reason enough to visit.

Photo Nov 15, 10 17 40 AM

We’ve visited Tiger Mottle before but this was our first time sampling their food. In keeping with Sydney café culture, the menu offered up an array of egg and sourdough dishes with a smattering of avocado and seasonal salads. I was excited to also see quite a few innovative options, including Quinoa Bircher. I’ve been wanting to make a quinoa-based breakfast porridge, so this was a quick, no-risk way of taste-tasting the concept.

Everything was delicious! There’s nothing more disappointing than a breakfast that leaves you feeling unsated. Luckily, Tiger Mottle delivers on its mantra (or really the “Mod Oz” mantra) of fresh, flavorful food, done simply and healthily. And to top it all, we got to sit in the cozy garden out back. This one’s a winner.

After brekky, the sun peeked out and gave us some respite from an atypically overcast day. We wandered around and I snapped a few shots of green, leafy Paddo and some of it’s gorgeous summer blooms.

Paddo reminds me a lot of London’s Nottinghill; the quiet streets and narrow, terraced houses make for a quaint, village-like feel. On a sunny day, Paddo’s dappled laneways could pass for something out of a Mediterranean postcard.

Now, the front doors and flowers of Paddo could make for more than a few blog posts all by themselves, but I’ll leave you here with a few favorites. Till next time x

Tiger Mottle on Urbanspoon

In search of new stomping grounds

Greetings from Sydney!  Two whirlwind days have gone by and we’re settling in and enjoying our time in Australia. Our Qantas flight deposited us at Kingsford Smith International early Friday AM and, after shepherding our many bags through customs, we arrived at our corporate apartment to learn that check in starts only at 2pm. Hmm. We spent the morning opening bank accounts and investigating phone plans and after some half-hearted unpacking, we let the jetlag get the better of us, passing out early in the evening.

Saturday was much more eventful. After a morning run around the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens and an Australian breakfast, we made our way to Paddington to kick off a jam-packed schedule of open houses. Sydney’s “Paddo” appears most similar to New York’s West Village and London’s Notting Hill: cobblestone streets, open air cafés, boutiques and art galleries and plenty of gastropubs. Paddo is known for its leafy, narrow streets and terraced 2 and 3 storey houses with wrought iron lace balconies. Its central location, midway between downtown Sydney and the Eastern Beaches, and its proximity to Centennial Park makes it a popular neighbourhood for young professionals.

A typical 19th century terrace house in Sydney’s trendy Paddo

We saw a total of eight houses in Paddington and, as much as people complain about rents here, we were frankly amazed at the space available to us for the price of a New York shoebox. We were also impressed by how high tech most of these 19th century homes appeared to be. Our excitement peaked with our seventh viewing and we spent part of the remaining afternoon considering our bid strategy over a delicious lunch at Chiswick.

Chiswick Woollahra
Lunch at Chiswick in Woollahra
Beetroot, Quinoa, Fennel Salad
Beetroot, Quinoa, Fennel Salad

Getting back to the CBD turned out to be a bit of a pain but we managed some downtime in our apartment before heading out for the Lions vs. Wallabies game. Some of Niraj’s colleagues picked us up and, as it turned out, spent most of the 1 hour commute giving us the hard sell on living in Bondi!

The sales pitch continued at dinner and persisted even through the car ride home. We had originally thought of living by the beach but after experiencing the painful bus commute when we last visited Sydney, we’d thrown that idea out the window. Besides, wasn’t the beach a little too touristy and chaotic to make a permanent home out of? Apparently not. As we listened to these guys expound the merits of a beach side property, the answer seemed incredibly clear: Paddington was going out the window and we were going to start our search from scratch…in Bondi!

Oh and side note but the Wallabies vs. Lions game was absolutely incredible!  It’s been an amazing first few days in Sydney!

30k British and Irish fans travelled to Australia for these games
30k British and Irish fans travelled to Australia for these series of games