By Jennifer 8. Lee | July 5, 2007
The Australians eliminated their penny in 1991 — without too much of a fuss, so all cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents. Some Australians feel that Americans shouldn’t give up the penny without a fight (and indeed Americans for Common Cents seems to be holding the torch there). Other thoughts. Southern hemisphere, so seasons are flipped. It’s July but nights are long, days are cold, and there are no holiday festivities in sight. It feels like Narnia: winter without Christmas.
Why journey to Australia? Because it turns out that three of the most notable Chinese restaurants in the world are in Australia:
- Billy Kwong in Sydney, Kylie Kwong’s Chinese restaurant of modest size but large reputation. It’s the only Chinese restaurant to make it R.W. Apple’s posthumously published list of 10 restaurants around the world worth getting on a plane for.
- Flower Drum in Melbourne, which has made it to Restaurant Magazine’s world’s 50 top restaurants four times since the list was first published in 2002 (2002-2005). R. W. Apple did a write-up in The New York Times in 2003.
- Lilis in Melbourne. Lilis, located in a semi-industrial street full of garages, is the least glamorous of the three, but comes has an imperial pedigree. Lili’s great-grandfather was a minister of household affairs for the Empress Dowager. After her death he retired, but he kept the recipes that were later passed down through the generations of his family. Lili’s is one of three restaurants around the world (the other two are in Beijing and Tokyo) which are owned and operated by members of their family.
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