The Victoria Room Tea Salon, Sydney CBD. One morning I was talking to Jill Jones-Evans, owner of the Victoria Room about scones-as you do when you're a little bit obsessed with food. Mid conversation she casually mentioned how they had a 10 scone long scone menu at their new tea salon in the Westfields. Conversation screeched to a halt, I think I even heard the tyres screeching in the background and people may have looked around in alarm.
I spluttered "A menu with ten scones to choose from??? And you have a new tea room? Why have I not heard of this? " thinking that perhaps my sources at the afternoon tea association would have told me (ok there is no association but I thought I might have heard about it somewhere!) . The tea salon sits nestled like a porcelain cup amongst tissue paper on the fourth floor "designer's gallery" in the new Westfields complex. Service is very helpful and friendly and when Christie needs a high chair for Poppy the resourceful waitress gets one from another store. Couture high tea for one $58. A Sydney food blog. You don't really notice the gnome flipping the bird at you in the corner, but even when you do, it's hard not to laugh.
It's an irreverent cheekiness that sums up this tiny cafe, perched on the corner of Crown and Davies Street in coffee-loving Surry Hills. Bloody Mary $11 Sure it's barely midday but it's easy to justify a cocktail when we're talking about a Bloody Mary. Gnome boasts an impressive selection of wines given its size (six whites, three reds and one sticky available by the glass), as well as three beers and the Napoleon and Co pear cider ($8). The Bloody Mary is their signature drink, however, and with good reason. It's spicy, sweet and salty, accented with a sprinkling of black pepper and the tang of a freshly squeezed lime.
It's ridiculously good. Ocean trout, mascarpone and watercress sandwich $10 Despite the tiny kitchen, the menu covers a broad range of offerings. We stick with sandwiches and salads today, perching on the narrow banquette that lines one wall of the cafe. Flour and Stone: Bakery, Woolloomooloo (15 Nov 2011) Freshly baked sugar stop Sweet Infinity is now only located in the Strand Arcade and Flour and Stone opened this week taking over their Riley Street site with an equally impressive display of tempting delights that I'm sure will keep you coming back. The focus is more on the sweet than the savoury and the daily specials menu will guide you on what cakes are available. Nadine from Cookie Courture is the owner and hence why you'll see her cookies and other products on the shelves. The Fine apple tart ($5 slice) was very good and filled with plenty of thinly sliced apple as hoped. There's a bit of nice caramelisation throughout with a few sugary highlights on the palate and if it came with a dollop of double whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream it would have been even more satisfying and decadent.
The Wholesome carrot cake with spelt ($5 slice) was light and tasty and seemed to work well having the cream in the middle rather than on top as most carrot cakes tend to do. Flour and stone. Flour and stone 53 Riley St Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 Ph : (02) 8068 8818 Hours : Mon-Fri 7am to 4pm. Saturday 8am to 2pm. For fans of Nadine Ingram's Cookie Couture gingerbread (made, for years, by her husband Jonathan, chef at Verandah), the news that she was about to open flour and stone in the old Sweet Infinity space was eagerly anticipated. When we visited at lunchtime on their first day, there was clearly a lot of baking going on in the kitchen.
Cookie Couture’s wares are now being made in Woolloomooloo, so if you buy your gingerbread there, it’s not only likely to be incredibly fresh, but you’ll be able to buy them in single portions, which is now impossible to do at their retailers, who seem to only stock gift packs. Flour and stone will have some core items, combined with daily specials, including sandwiches ($6-$10), a savoury tart, and both small and large baked goods.
Whilst waiting, I started with a plain croissant. We shared two of the sandwiches between three of us. - Forbes & Burton. In a post-Masterchef generation, it’s nice to see a restaurant go back to cooking dishes you couldn’t whip up at home. It's also nice to be back in the old Dov space again performing once more at the peak of Sydney cooking - as one friend put it eloquently: "FAB is back! " (You'll understand what I mean if you look back HERE at a visit under a previous owner.) From his little bunker with a view to the streets of Darlo, Chef Paul Pereira (who I last saw at Finefish) shows he can work culinary magic with more than just fishes.
From your first glimpse of his amuse bouche featuring smoked Jerusalem artichoke and vanilla, salmon roe and puffed wood sorrel, you know you're in for a magical night. It actually amuses too, with textures, flavours and frivolity (and frankly by being more interesting than another bloody vegetable soup). By the time the bread arrives you're gagging for more. Enough about wine, let's talk about oysters! It looks like a salad, but tastes like dirty sex. Port D'Anvers: Chocolate Café Launch with Miss Universe Australia, Haymarket (6 Dec 2011)
22-25 Dixon Street, Haymarket NSW 2000 Celebrating Aussie sweetness At first I wasn't quite sure what a Belgian chocolatier, Miss Universe Australia, UGG boots, a Lion Dance and a Souvenir Shop all had in common but finally discovered it was a celebration of all things Australian (except the Lion Dance). Thanks to Igor Van Gerwen for inviting me to the launch of his new chocolate cafe located inside the Harbour City Group two level souvenir shop in the heart of Chinatown.
Probably the first launch I've ever been to where no alcohol was served but the abundance of chocolates, Parker's Organic Juices, Brasserie Bread cakes and the easy-on-the-eye Miss Universe models certainly provided enough distraction and sent me into a sugar overload topped up with a hot chocolate to wash it all down. I loved the illustrative menu where it's noted all hot drinks are served with a complimentary chocolate. CONS: If you're not a fan of UGG boots then beware as you enter Speech time Cafe service counter. Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow. The Boy and I decided to brave the 70 minute drive from our 'hood over to Banksmeadow (traffic!) To suss our the cafe at the legendary sourdough bakery Brasserie Bread. After we figured out exactly where Banksmeadow is (it's a REALLY long way from Parramatta, that's where it is). The huge warehouse located on Botany Road houses a bakery (best bread EVER), a cooking school (filled with little kids making a mess/cookies on the day we visited) as well as a very very popular cafe.
At the recent food blogger conference I attended I received two vouchers for some free bread, so whilst we waited in the queue for a table at the cafe we loaded up with bread - a sour cherry loaf (our favourite), a sourdough loaf and a caramalised garlic fancy type bread. It doesn't take too long to get a table and as The Boy and I have been studying the online menu for weeks we already know what we'll be having. In true brunch style we start off with coffee...mmm, coffee. Cafe review: Belljar Coffee. Annie Stevens Walking through the door of Belljar Coffee, I'm welcomed by charleston-esque music with a distinctive crackle. It comes from a bona fide record player nestled in the corner of this 1970s-nana-chic-style cafe, well removed from Newtown's main drag. The yesteryear impression continues with the decor: collectable plates on the wall, vintage wallpaper, crochet cushions, mismatched chairs, lace doilies, tea cosies with goggly eyes and piles of Frankie, the magazine of choice for young hipsters.
The cafe is the baby of Sam North and Angela Carmichael, both actors who had hospitality day jobs. Opening a cafe was the ''chance to take control of something and not be waiting by the phone'', North says. Coffee is taken seriously. The menu is light and simple - and actor-friendly, as everything costs less than $15 - with breakfast plates of prosciutto, avocado and ricotta, Sonoma toast, muesli with home-made yoghurt and a range of tasty sandwiches.
Bell Jar Coffee. Cafe Review: Three Blue Ducks. Review by John Saxby It can sometimes feel to the diner with sand on their feet and breakfast on their mind that the cafes across the road from Bronte Beach rely too heavily on their proximity to the surf, rather than what is on the plate, for their pulling power. Your towel will be dry by the time you've walked past them to Three Blue Ducks on Macpherson Street but you'll eat well and perhaps even feel you've earned a friand or two for having trudged uphill along sun-baked footpaths, past houses you will never afford, to get there. The small, 20-seat cafe has an open kitchen populated by staff that look like they might have just stepped out of the water themselves – and are keen to get back there – trying to outdo each other in some kind of highly competitive, share-house toast battle. Unlike a true share house, however, they can cook. If this foodie name-checking strikes a chord, take heart from the cafe's proximity to Pasta Emilia and the yet-to-open Iggy's bakery.
Three Blue Ducks Café, Bronte | Gourmantic. Home » Restaurant Reviews, Sydney Author: Corinne Posted on: October 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm Take an old chicken shop in a beachside Sydney suburb. Gut, renovate and decorate in warm dark tones with a funky graffiti wall. Add an open kitchen where you can watch the all-male action, a welcoming ambience and you have Three Blue Ducks. Located along the MacPherson Street strip of shops, this café which only opened on September 9 2010 is already drawing a solid local clientele. Long communal table Octopus graffiti wall The clipboard menu which changes often informs you that all pastries and baked goods are made on the premises, the coffee comes from Single Origin Coffee Roasters, the grass-fed Angus beef comes from Tasmania and Baker Friday supplies their breads and croissants.
We arrive for lunch on a weekday and secure the only vacant table for two. The chorizo fettucine with basil and cherry tomatoes is a spicy and smoky dish. It’s too difficult to say no to the double chocolate and orange tart. Café review – Double Roasters, Marrickville | Corridor Kitchen. Before Australia became an espresso drinker’s paradise, how the hell did we fill our time? What reason did we give for popping out of the office at 10:30am, a quick… juice? And what of those who don’t drink it? Something tells me the Aussie psyche is evolving a distinct distrust of the non-coffee drinker. We’re learning to look on them with the same suspicion we traditionally reserved for the teetotaller – eschewing coffee will soon be ‘unastrayun’. But lucky for caffeine addicts like me that our nation’s passion ensures that every five minutes a new, hip café or coffee roaster pops up. Double Roasters stands on the threshold between the part of Marrickville I’d consider living in and actual Marrickville.
The windows in this place are floor to ceiling, which gives the café good light. The menu looks good. Weirdly, our brekkie arrives prior to our coffees. Our macchiato and double macchiato arrive next, and they are smooth and tasty. Café Review – Sonoma, Alexandria | Corridor Kitchen. Weekend breakky used to be one of my favourite rituals.
I had my places, I had my fave orders. But lately, it’s kind of fallen off the radar. So a couple of weeks ago, Senhor R and I jumped in the car and went to one of our all-time best breakky haunts, only to be greeted by sad, overpriced food and lacklustre service. We vowed never again to set out on a breakfast quest without a place in mind. Having heard good things about Sonoma Bakery Café, the relatively new Sonoma HQ, we decided to head southwards for something new. Obviously there wouldn’t be much point in ordering a Sonoma breakky if it didn’t include toast. We help ourselves to water from a handy tap imbedded in the bench and grab some salt and pepper shakers as well. Sonoma has their own blend roasted by Surry Hills hipsters Single Origin Roasters, I’m not a huge fan, nor am I a huge detractor.
The French House – Waterloo. The Danks Street precinct has a relatively new addition and in true Sydney form the locals have begun sniffing around to see what all the fuss is about. I think the most noticable feature and drawcard is the wrap-around balcony scattered with wrought iron furniture and mature gum trees seemingly sprouting from the decking. The balcony is teeming with new devotees sipping a coffee whilst munching a pre-made baguette sandwich or hand-crafted pastry at those typically sizeable Danks Street prices. Once inside, the "French" theme takes hold. You can't help but notice the oversized classic prints and ornate mirrors that adorne the dark pin-striped walls, as well as a large communal table decorated with candelabras sitting in the centre of the room and an eye-catching chandelier dangling above it. Platters abundant with danishes and growth-hormone-injected croissants greet you as you enter and colourful petite cakes are lined up neatly in glass cabinets on the rooms peripheries.
Honeycomb, Darlinghurst. Honeycomb is the new venture for Chef Andy Bunn, ex Café Sopra. It is where the old Koi used to be and prior to that Phamish. The space is simple, huge window that opens one side of the building. It can be cramp and incredibly noisy when its full house. However, the food, I have to say, is quite good and satisfying. His signature banoffee pie is on the menu, and so are some of his delicious pasta dishes. I came here with my Uncle and E.
We all couldn’t go past the deep fried zucchini flowers stuffed with five italian cheeses ($5.50 each). OH my, thin batter, the zucchini flowers were delightful. Thought we would share a few of their pasta dishes. The lamb ragu with chili, rosemary and chat potatoes ($26) were absolutely tasty. Three large meatballs with rich tomato sauce and spaghettini ($26) was probably my least favourite out of the tree, but it was still good. I was getting extremely full by this stage, but we opt for their special dessert, honeycomb semifreddo ($15). Honeycomb. Flour and Stone, Woolloomooloo. I have heard wonderful things about this place, the pastries, the pies and many more. For fans of Nadine Ingram’s cookie Couture gingerbread, the not so new news is that she has opened flour and stone in the old Sweet Inifinty space (which has now moved to the Strand) which is in Woolloomooloo. Upon entering Flour and Stone, you are instantly greeted by smiling faces and the smell of delicious baked goods.
I was tormented by the various cakes and cookies, I really wanted one of each. We were hungry, so started with the slow braised lamb, potato and rosemary pie. Now as most of you know, I am not a huge fan of lamb, but this lamb pie was incredible. Tender, succulent lamb with no smell or after taste. Uncle ordered the leek and gruyere tart and OH MY GOODNESS!
We were full. The famous cookie couture – hand iced gingerbread, monkey shaped and it was good! They serve coffee alchemy coffee and pots of rabbit hole tea brewed in brown betty tea pots. This could be my new favourite bakery. Orto Trading Co (Breakfast) Circa Cafe, Parramatta. Project 8 Cafe. Mecca Espresso, Ultimo. Fernside Coffee Shoppe, Redfern. Cafe Giulia. 13b, Darlinghurst – Rating: 20.5/25 | Sydney on Sunday. Forbes and Burton, Darlinghurst | J.B. José. La Gerbe D’Or, Paddington – Rating: 20.5/25 (re-review) | Sydney on Sunday. Tiger Mottle, Paddington – Rating: 19/25 | Sydney on Sunday. Tiger Mottle | Broken Lense. Does My Bomb Look Big In This? - Review - Tiger Mottle *UPDATED*