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The Women of Tennis Know Their Food

January 29, 2008 | By More

It’s a little bit hard to obtain, but a well worn copy of the slim-sized red book is circulating the corridors of Melbourne Park. Launched over a week ago by Justine Henin in Sydney, the food bible details in its 193 pages, player and tournament favourites for dining and shopping from Dubai to Amelia Island, or anywhere the Tour is likely to stop for a big tournament.

For Australia, the featured cities are Melbourne and Sydney, as you would expect of a Grand Slam nation. While in Melbourne, according to the guide, Maria Sharapova likes to frequent Koko, a Japanese restaurant in the Crown Entertainment Complex. “I go there for the spicy tuna crispy rice rolls. I have about 10 of them,” the svelte Russian reports. Daniela Hantuchova favours Koko’s California rolls and Jelena Jankovic admires the view across the Yarra River. “I’m a big fan of sushi,” says the slim-lined Serbian.

With many top Frenchwomen competing at Australian Open 2008, France Soir at 11 Toorak Rd is a popular haunt and stays open late. Amelie Mauresmo likes the steak at France Soir as does Severine Bremond. “I really like their filet mignon with gratin dauphinios,” says Bremond. Olga Poutchkova, who today challenged world No.1 Justine Henin for a place in the third round (unsuccessfully), likes to go to Jamie Oliver’s start-up, Fifteen, at 115-117 Collins St.. “Fifteen has some really good desserts and non-alcoholic cocktails.”

Asian restaurants are also popular, with Wagamama, Lingnan Restaurant, and Dragon Boat Yarra scoring a big tick from players. However, Japan’s Ai Sugiyama prefers Verge in Flinders Lane. “I recommend the Vietello Tonato and Barramundi Tortellini of brandale with horseradish and crab bisque sauce,” she raves.

Maybe restaurant-goers should heed Casey Dellacqua’s advice, following her sensational three set upset over No.15 seed Patty Schnyder. Casey opts for Soul Mama, a popular vegetarian haunt in beachside St.Kilda. In fact Casey’s picks are used throughout the Melbourne section, which makes sense as she’s an Aussie, but not so much sense when you consider she’s from West Australia. Then again, Dellacqua is a shop-a-holic and has spent many years training at Melbourne Park. “I like going to Crown Casino to eat and shop,” says Dellacqua. “It’s open 24 hours and has a nightclub and cinema as well.” She also frequents Chapel Street – “most of the stuff is from factory warehouses, so you can get really good deals” – and Melbourne Central. “It’s one of our best malls. It has a lot of good surf stores, which I like including Quiksilver.”

[Australian Open]

Category: Food

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