Archive for the 'Cafe Food' Category

Bacco Pasticceria – now at the Queen Victoria Building!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Since Adriano Zumbo, Sydney has been in a bakery (and more specifically, macaron) state of frenzy.  It then surprised me that the new branch of the Bacco Pasticerria opened in quite a low key manner, in quite a low key spot at the top of QVB.  I can’t say that that upsets me too much, because this means that by lunchtime there is greater likelihood of a good variety of sweet things to choose from!  Bacco is a pasticerria and cafe and restaurant in one.

Beneath the stained glass arched entrance is a clear glass display of beautiful pieces of fine cake art.  It is soooo hard to choose from – tiramisus, mousse cake slices, gigantic macarons sandwiched with ganache, and their signature three texture chocolate mousse cake to name but a few..

They also have a good selection of family sized cakes, all too delicious to eat – topped with gorgeous strawberries, macarons and other jewels of adornment.   The style is less crazy, definitely not plain classic, each one a beautiful work of art that seems too good to ruin by eating.

What paticceria in Sydney would dare not offer a macaron. These chubby cuties sandwiched generously in ganache and irresstible in their pastel beauty.


Fresh Espresso – Leura Cafe, Blue Mountains

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

We went up to the Blue Mountains for the KCC Engage 2010 conference, and after a solid three days of a jam packed program, my car decided to linger around in Leura to avoid the exodus of 1000 people from the conference :)  We walked up the main street, called Leura Mall, and were tempted by a beautiful stationery shop, chocolate shops, funky homeware stores as well as the gourmet deli.  It actually surprises me that food in the country is more expensive than the city, because to me, the city has hats and star ratings.  I guess what I fail to realise is that the country usually faces more overheads as food and groceries may not be as accessible.  Anyway, we stumbled upon a cafe called Fresh, which is right on the bottom of the busy part of the street, tucked behind RM Williams and a real estate agent.   We peered in and immediately saw the cake counter calling out for us.. mm…

This funky little cafe even sells coffee making wares.  It shows that they are serious about their beans! Because they even blend and grind their own!

Despite the tempting cakes and coffee machine shopping, we were here for a feed.  There is a good chalkboard menu of specials, as well as an all day breakfast menu and some toasted turkish bread specials.  The BLT arrived and I immediately had food envy.  It was stuffed with layers of crispy bacon, not dry at all, gourmet mesclun, and tomatoes – it certainly puts soggy white iceberg lettuce filled tiny BLTs to shame!  It’s served with a leaf salad that has a yummy balsamic vinegrette.

I selected something from the specials menu.  I have thing for corn fritters, and as they had the on the menu, along with garlic fried mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and grilled capsiscums, I didn’t even think twice.   It was definitely dressed up to city style standards, but what I was disappointed about was that the fritters were more like pikelets studded with some corn kernels.  Bills’ corn fritters have made me accustomed to more like corn cakes, which are chunky and barely held together with flour.  So almost 100% corn if you will.


Big Brekky Cafe, Petersham

Monday, August 16th, 2010

I have been soooo curious about trying this place.  It has ranked many times on the Sydney Morning Herald Good Living’s list of top ten breakfast joints in Sydney.  But I am ever so cautious and reluctant to try places unless they have an online menu so that I can plan exactly what I want to eat, and in fact whether I want to eat there at all.  Well having run out of ideas for last Sunday, I decided to bite the bullet and decided to try it with a couple of friends, toddler in tow.  I called up to make a booking, and was actually very surprised that I was able to do so! And very friendly staff also accepted a request for a high chair.   The cafe is actually not near the shops that marks Little Portugal in Petersham, and is on a corner in the middle of nowhere on New Canterbury Road, Petersham.  When we arrived, I was very thankful we had booked as it was packed and we were told there were no more tables.  Phew for bookings!  We quickly ordered drinks.  Big breaky – need a big hot chocolate!  The bowl was only $4 and came promptly with two marshmallows.  Smooth and chocolate but not in a sickly sweet kind of way like some chocolate cafes.

The menu was HUGE!  Ssssoooo many choices.  It’s a big menu for  a big breakfast. So many different things to try, ranging from bacon and egg rolls to ‘Voluptuous Veg’ – aka poached eggs on green beans and sweet potato and zucchini fritters.  We opted for the sweet corn fritters with poached eggs, spinach, bacon and tomato relish.  Two big corncakes arrived piled high with bacon (a bit crispier would have been better) and lavished with perfectly poached eggs and a dollop of relish.  Check out the size of this mountain of food!! Exactly what I was hoping for and more!  The fritters were not too doughy yet still held together well.  Sort of like chunky pancakes, with a spicy curry flavour from the relish which added a slight heat.

Everyone was eating mushys and their garlicky aroma filled the air as you walk in.  Side of mushys – $3. (more…)

Ripples Cafe, Sydney Wharf

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

First up, let me just say that going to Ripples Cafe, Sydney Wharf on a rainy day is the WORST idea!  Its ideallylic waterfront location on the wharf also makes it a gauntlet for those without umbrella because there is absolutely no cover!  For some moments, it was rainy so heavily we wondered whether the plastic canopy was going to cave in, in fact some parts of it dripped.  But on a fine day, I’m sure it will be entirely spectacular.  Should have known that though, cos the restaurant is 100% outdoors!  Anyway, now that I have stated the disclaimer, let’s look at the delights for those who are lucky enough to go on a fine day!

We were famished by the time we got there, so first up was to order some roasted garlic bread.  Each serve came with four generous wedges of garlic bread with a twist. It was bread with whole baked caramelised cloves through it. And boy was there alot of garlic!  The husband of my manager was said to say “you reek!” when she got home!  But we as a whole team wolfed it all down.  It came served with extra garlic butter, as well as a walnut sauce which was a bit redundant as it was a bit sweet and the bread was sweet anyway.  I would have preferred the garlic to be more integrated into the bread as it was a bit offputting to chew through whole cloves of garlic.

Hunger staved, we could then turn our attention to ordering.  We were having the $29 team lunch, which comprised a choice of one of four courses with a glass of house wine, beer or soft drink; AND tea or coffee at the end.  First choice, was their signature fish and chips.  The fish was hake (ie shark), which is not atypical of fish and chips in Australia, but could be improved by using flathead for example.  They were crispy and served on crispy fries.

Second choice was olive crusted slow cooked lamb.. I don’t eat lamb, but was informed that it was braised so tender it fell apart at the mere touch of the fork, and the serving size was also very generous.   Served with mash topped with ratatouille and a basil dressing, it sounded a bit busy with the jus, but that’s just my opinion, uninformed :)

My choice was the sirloin with watercress salad and chips.  The steak was very tender and the salad tangy.  I quite enjoyed it!  I particularly loved the giant chips, stacked like a little block of potato jenga :) (more…)