Archive for the 'Cafe Food' Category

Espresso Organica, Concord

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Reasonably new to the Majors Bay Road cafe/restaurant scene is boutique coffee roaster and cafe, Espresso Organica.  It’s on the quiet side of the strip – opposite Coles – which offers you the added advantage of a greater chance of finding a parking spot!  It’s especially quiet on Sundays when the childrens store next to it is closed.  It’s actually a tiny cafe. More like a shop with a few tables inside plus tables outside – brrr in winter!  If you are lucky enough to get a table inside (the staff are very kind and obliging), you will then have the problem of jostling for space with the person behind you, because both of you, even normal BMI’d people will find it hard to sit comfortably without getting into an airline seat style fight for room. Tip: Go in summer when it’s warm enough to sit outside!  First thing to hit you is the glorious dessert counter.  They don’t sell the usual bulk made ordered-in cakes, I believe they are home made in the premises.  I really really really really really was dying to try the baked cheesecake. But down to business, we are here for breakky and coffee. Since apaprently it’s my pastor’s favourite coffee in Sydney!

Cappuccino – indeed, not bad I’m told.

And the latte.  These come in small and large. Syrup or non syrup. Quite reasonably priced.

Okay, having gained a bit of a spare tyre aka muffin top over winter, I tried to go for something healthy (ie no sausage or bacon).  For me this came in the form of the mushroom, ham and pesto omelette with no cheese.  With a slice of sourdough and some mange-tout as salad, it was very satisfying, and not over cooked at all. Baby Lucas adored it too and helped me polish off a third of it!  The filling was generous but did not overcome the eggs.

Salmon benedict – perfect chubby ooozy eggs and a generous amount of salmon.  But what puzzled me was why it wasn’t served on english muffins, and instead only one piece of toast? Not that much sauce, but oh well, my friends seemed to not care much! (more…)

Coffee Warehouse Cafe Deli Take 5

Monday, June 20th, 2011

OK I said I would update on my progress of eating there, I’m sorry I missed bringing my camera on visits number 3 and 4 hehehe.  On visit 3 I had breakfast.  I was really disappointed because I was soo excited about trying the breakfast calzone.  It was pale and dry, and mostly spinach with not much meat or mushrooms or cheese to speak of, and really small.  But I guess I am used to gluttinously huge portions of breakfast, and at only $10, I couldn’t really complain much!  On visit 4, I had a gigantic delicious fluffy pillow of jam donut filled with raspberry deliciousness and calories.  Coffee was hot.  Good, yum.  And all this while, eyeing off people eating wood fired pizzas (for breakfast and afternoon tea??).  So it was finally my turn.  On Saturday night 7pm, I guess the word has spread, because I didn’t book (as I didn’t any other time), and it was full and my companion and I were relegated to a bench counter to eat. Boo :(  Oh well.  The food came so quickly and it was SO good!!  The wood fired pizza tasted every bit as good as it looked.  And not to mention – huge too!  And it came so quickly.  It’s delivered so dramatically on a wooden pizza paddle and perches on top of a stand.  Careful when fighting to grab the first piece, lest the pizza take a topple! I wonder if that’s happened yet ;)  We loved the crisp base, the generous tomato base and just the right amount of toppings.  The crust had a good bite too. I’m thinking that my trips to Haberfield for good pizza may be limited in future :)

We also tried the crab linguine, main sized.  I thought it could be a bit bigger, but otherwise it was nice – the pasta cooked al dente, fragrant olive oil and not stingy on the crab.  It was especially nice with the chilli oil that was offered to us.

I’m please to advise that the cool rooms are now filled with all sorts of goodies now.  Great fresh produce – what a colourful display!  I was hoping there would be some exotic goodies like heirloom tomatoes but alas they were just mandarins :( (more…)

Caffe di Stefano: Brand new Coffee Warehouse Cafe & Deli, Homebush

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Hot off the press!!!! Coffee Warehouse Cafe & Deli (CWCD for short) has JUST opened TODAY!!!  Driving by this site formerly a motorcycle shop, I was soooo excited to see that it was a proposed coffee ROASTER, warehouse, cafe and providore – 4 in 1 of my favourite things!!! Many a time I drove by, wistfully waiting for opening day.  I thought that day approached when I saw the ad in Seek for the head chef. But alas, more days passed before the paper went up behind the glass facade and then such a tease – the “opening soon” sign!!  And FINALLY this day has come! I saw movement there last week and called up Caffe di Stefano and said they were opening today. I made sure I was there.  It was definitely a low key opening – only locals in the know would find out about it! Just a bunch of balloons at the entrance, and signs of life, as opposed to most of the surrounding Parramatta Road area which is derelict!  The first sight you see is the pizza bar – wood fired of course.  Serving as a takeaway, and provider of freshly baked super thinly authentic pizzas for the restaurant.

The restaurant itself is a wide open warehouse space on ground level, and a mezzanine level.  A number of very large communal tables made of polished timber are surrounded by trendy stainless steel chairs.  A bar runs along the length of the window for gazing out into the street – or for me to sit and read my paper as I intend to, every single weekend for the rest of my life ;)  There are also tables of four as well.  Well , not time to eat yet – so I browsed around the shop.  It wasn’t so huge, but the offerings were quality.  Fresh italian crusty bread in every shape you would need for your weekend gourmet table, and at VERY reasonable prices.

The deli has a wide variety of salumi and other meats, as well as anti pasti.  Judging by the hooks above it, I am guessing that some lovely legs of proscuitto may soon arrive :)


Hyde Park Barracks – Let’s do Brunch

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I am the first to admit that I am not a patient person, totally lacking in virtue if that’s what patience is!  There is just so much to pack into weekends and evenings; and so many new places to eat and good places to return to that I just can’t spare any moment wasted, waiting!  And so it was that Hyde Park Barracks tried to grow this virtue in me….. and boy were there growing pains!  We had booked to go for the “Let’s Do Brunch” as part of the Crave Festival or Sydney International Food Festival.  Tempted by value for money, we eagerly awaited our 3 course  brunch for $25.  We easily booked online, and arrived 5 minutes earlier.  They are soooo busy, as a result of the usual weekend rush compounded with the super popular deal, I felt a bit sorry for the staff.  The poor manager was trying to kick out a party of 6 for us… unsuccessfully…. and well expletives aside, let’s just say that the people left at 12:30, which was half an hour later than we had booked, and even dared to have the nerve to snap back at the manager despite their overstaying their welcome.  argh… ok. channel anger into creative energy and I’ll keep it factual.  So, first course is the home made granola with yoghurt and poached fruit.    We got a small serving each, but boy is it filling.  Currants, toasted nuts, a dollop of yoghurt and only a tiny bit of fruit :(

More virtue growing as after one hour, we still had had only that small cold pre-prepared course!  So at 1:30, finally finally, we got our mains:  eggs three ways: Chorizo and sun dried tomato egg tart; spinach and mushroom omelette on a ciabatta crouton; and an egg benedict.  The tart was very fresh and eggs cooked still a bit runny – perfect! Would have loved some more chorizo though.  My favourite was the omelette. The spinach was very tasty, and was drizzled with a goats cheese dressing.  And finally, the egg benedict –  the sauce was universally agreed to be excellent, but the ham was disappointing, as it tasted like shaved ham from woollies, and almost on its last day IMHO.

You can see why we chose this deal as we got a third course. A waffle to share between two, with two scoops of vanilla bean gelato on top, drizzled with coulis and white chocolate sauce in the holes.  Oh MMAaaannnnn it was ssoooooooooooooooooooo nice…. the best waffle I’ve ever had!!!  Still warm, crispy on the edges from the sugar, and just the perfect amount of sweetness combined with the sauces.  This is definitely worth coming for, and in combination with the apolegetic free coffees, was almost enough to quench my annoyance at the long wait for the table (I know it wasn’t their fault, but still, 35 minutes I could have gone for a lovely walk in the park!) and the long wait for the food.

I also loved the room – however slightly noisy – which therefore makes it perfect to bring your kids!  I’ll be back to try their dessert tasting plate which we eyed off the table next to us!