I was walking down the street to get to work. My first working day in Australia. As I didn't know how the public transport work and merely out of curiosity I decided to walk from the place we stayed in Chippendale to The Rocks.
Everything looked completely unusual to me.
On the day we arrived to Australia, we went to try Thai restaurant which was near our hotel. Looking at the menu without any knowledge of what it is - apart from word "noodles" - we chose some dish. "Is it spicy?" we asked. "No, not spicy at all!" was the answer.
When we brought it home and started eating tears ran out of my eyes! Then I thought - what is "spicy" then?
With that experience in mind I walked past the numerous Asian eateries that populate George Street starting from Central Station and up to Town Hall. I was thinking what would I eat here? At that time I didn't know that "hotel" doesn't always mean accommodation, but a place to eat in majority of cases.
However I managed to get to the cafe located at my new office downstairs - Brew Cafe
I have come down and looked for soup in the menu. Why soup? Because it was the main meal I'd normally have for lunch. It appeared they had pumpkin soup which in fact is not a soup that I'd expect to eat. So I needed to order something else to feel full. So my first meal in Australia was something around $60.
Ironically, nobody at my new work would tell me a good place to eat for a reasonable price. So some time later I set up a Wiki page with information for new starters about various food courts and other places nearby.
On the way back home I found this little food court at the basement of HSBC building near Town Hall. There I found a soup called laksa. It looked extravagant to me and I asked again whether it was spicy or not. The response was negative and I bought it. My family and I had the first proper dinner in Australia that night.
The next day I went across the street from office and found this place called Golden Tower where it was a queue for laksa.
I bought it and became a part of the local club called "Golden Tower Laksa Lovers". For those who doesn't know yet laksa is a coconut milk noodle soup with either meat or seafood or a combination, bean sprouts and fried tofu. Check out this recipe for example http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/24239/malaysian+laksa. Interesting thing about laksa though is that the more "authentic" it is doesn't mean it's the most tasty.
After that of course I has got a variety of choices in Sydney CBD either of food courts or restaurants. In Sydney we have a great variety of food: Asian, Indian, English-style Australian, fast food, restaurants - whatever you wish.
I personally prefer Chinese type of food at food courts or Yum Cha at a restaurant and Japanese/Korean BBQ.
Been here for 7 years so far, but the memories about the first days in Oz are still fresh.