Eating Like a Local in Sydney



It’s bitterly cold in New England, but not so much in Australia. Photographer Josephine Rozman sent along some beautiful photos that I quite sadly neglected to share last week. Let’s lose ourselves in eating like a local during the Australian holiday season and this absolutely scrumptious Lamb Roast. Thanks, Josephine! – Maggie

I recently took flight back home to Australia to see the family leading up to the festive season. Unfortunately, it rained the entire month that I was in town and consequently I wasn’t able to photograph the typical Australian Christmas. Unlike the northern hemisphere, Australia experiences a hot and sunny Christmas. It is a chance for our entire family to come together over an array of barbequed meats, vibrant salads and delectable desserts. To top things off, this is all carried out in the great outdoors whether it be a backyard, a park or a beach.

Faced with very nontraditional weather, I took the opportunity  to portray a different side of Sydney that often gets overlooked. Consider it the lifestyle of a local.

With limited time and great company, I  revisited  some of my favorite local cafes  indulging in  mouthwatering comfort foods that eased the summer blues. Each day I set out to a new cafe with a good friend and my camera by my side. The story therefore evolved from being about typical Australian dishes to focusing more so on the enjoyment of eating food and the social aspect of the festive season.

Sydney is the hub for people  from  many different cultures. Its multiculturalism is celebrated through its food. At Bathers Pavillion Balmoral Beach, we  delighted in  a breakfast of eggs sunny side up on a bed of organic spelt toast and a side of roast tomato. At Esther’s Café in Annandale, our  palettes savoured  homemade fig and walnut bread coupled with light ricotta cheese and organic honey.   It was at Ricciotti Café Hunters Hill where we snacked on a warm salad and lamb wrap and pancetta panini drizzled in warm pesto. With a disposable film camera, I returned to Balmoral Beach where we ate beef ragu served on a bed of gnocci and dressed with a light layer of parmesan and poached chicken salad with caramelized almonds and green apple at  La Repubblica, a quirky Italian  restaurant  that exploded with personality.

We found immense joy in consuming these delicate dishes. I photographed the half eaten dishes because they epitomized the appreciation of the well-balanced flavors and enticing aromas of these much loved dishes.

Aussies can’t get enough of their lamb. That is why I decided to share this succulent Mediterranean style lamb recipe that I whipped up with my beautiful mother on our pre-Christmas celebration before I headed back to Hong Kong in time for Christmas with my husband. The great thing about this recipe is that it is barbeque friendly for those who desire a crispier style of meat.

Butterfly Lamb Leg Roast


  • 1 Boneless lamb leg, butterflied
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup fresh diced red bell peppers
  • ½ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ fresh orange sliced thin

Preparing the marinade

  1. Combine oregano, garlic, bell peppers, ½ cup lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  1. Place lamb in bowl and pour marinade over it. Cover bowl and leave the lamb to absorb the flavours of the marinade over night. For even coverage turn lamb from time to time.

Cooking the lamb

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
  1. Place marinated lamb on a rack and steam roast it by placing water in the roasting pan.
  1. Let the lamb cook for 1 — 1 ½ hours. Once the lamb has been in the oven for 45 minutes keep an eye on the meat and make sure it doesn’t go dry.
  1. Once the lamb is done (medium rare – medium), remove from oven. Sprinkle the lamb with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, cover loosely with foil and allow the meat to sit for 10 — 15 minutes.  
  1. Once ready to serve garnish meat with orange slices and rosemary sprigs.
  1. Bon Appetit!

All photos styled and photographed by Josephine Rozman.

Eat Boutique is an online magazine + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local + comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send a gift box of handmade food today.

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.