sydney

Kafiene Balmain

Balmain is a delightful suburb just a few kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. Darling Street is a Hub of activities, with weekend markets, florists, cafés and eateries.

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Kafiene is a pumping café on Darling Street. With a cool and funky décor, a front window drenched in sunshine, serving Campos coffee. Kafiene was the place to be.

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Sitting at the bay window at the front, staff couldn’t see us past the crowd waiting for take away coffee.

Our coffees arrived swiftly, they were on point! The milk nice and hot, well textured until velvety smooth. With nice woody tones, no acidic after taste, I would recommend coffee lovers give Kafiene a try.

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The black rice porridge was a generous portion of black rice served with your milk of choice and a medley of fruits. The dish is not what I would have expected, cold strawberry with the warm stewed fruit and poached pear was not the balance I was looking for. The milk was served cold, on a chilly winters day the porridge did not stay warm for long. I would have liked a richer rice cooked with the milk, cinnamon, spices so it was nice and aromatic served hot.

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The omelette had loads of great flavours. I would liked to have seen the flavours cooked with the eggs so that every bite had some of the gorgeous caramelised onion and chorizio.

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Kafiene has an eclectic menu, with a broad variety to meet your dietary needs, serving scrumptious coffee.

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Ironwood café and coffee roasters at Woolwich

Ironwood café

Located on Woolwich Point,  Ironwood café has a great view of Clarke’s Point Reserve and some magnificent harbour and CBD views.

As you walk into the café, the array of coffee beans and tea is vast. You’ll have to make it past the cake and sweet counter to grab a table.

IMG_3744Staff are super friendly and happy to spend some time with you going through the menu. The ambience at Ironwood is great, the tables are large and the restaurant isn’t over crowded.

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The coffee … The coffee is house roasted, you will definitely grab more than one. The coffee is full of flavour, nice earthy tones and balanced on the palate, no acidic aftertaste.

IMG_8947Ironwood has an extensive breakfast menu, with a Mediterranean influence. I really enjoyed the dukkah eggs, two eggs served on a generous portion of bacon, stacked on toasted sourdough, topped off with crumbled fetta, dukkah, honey and some mint. This was the waiter’s suggestion, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I was pleasantly surprised with how complimentary the sweet element was to this dish. The mint really added some freshness.  I would have liked it thinly sliced so I could have had a little mint in each mouthful.
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The haloumi BLT, was a huge portion and super scrumptious. The Turkish roll was fresh, soft, fluffy and smeared with Aoli. The haloumi BLT came with a generous amount of bacon, haloumi, and salad. It was well seasoned and scrumptious.

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The greek baked eggs were divine. Packed full of flavour, great herb, garlic and tomato undertones. The house roasted tomatoes are delicious.

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The desserts. For once I’m actually a little speechless. The desserts are house made. The fruit tart was excellent, the short crust pastry shell was light and crunchy, a generous amount of custard and had loads of fresh berries on top. The Nutella croquembouche was rich and indulgent.

IMG_3746With a huge range of sweets you’ll definitely save room for dessert and visit Ironwood more than once to get through them all.  Portions are generous and menu items are all well priced. 

I cannot wait to go back to Ironwood to grab a coffee, try the dinner menu and sample a couple more desserts. 

Pu’er on Danks

Pu’er on Danks is an Asian fusion restaurant and tea house. The decor is quaint and oriental inspired with porcelain tables and wooden stools.  Service is impeccable; staff are happy to share their favorites and explain the variety of teas and menu items.

What comes to mind when someone says, ‘let’s grab Chinese for dinner’? Basic takeaway, fried food and some fried rice? No, not at Puer.

The menu is modern Asian fusion, which means the flavors connect to traditional Chinese cooking and incorporate modern influences i.e. street food!

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The tea steamed dumplings are scrumptious, the scallop dumplings are magnificent. The gyoza were perfectly cooked with a nice crunchy skin.

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It is a toss up between the street food and dessert for my favorite component of the meal. Hong Kong mini burgers comprised of a panko crusted piece of pork on a sweet golden bun. Wagu’s taco’s were totally amazing the wagu melted in my mouth and the taco bun was deliciously light and fluffy.

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The green beans with pork was divine and a huge portion.  Three cup drunken duck was so tender and the meat fell off the bone, the photo does not do the drunken duck justice.

All the meals were delicious and seasoned to perfection. I have to warn you SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT.

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The desserts were divine. I loved the coconut sorbet and black sticky rice with the gorgeous coconut syrup to drizzle on top! The red bean donuts were light and fluffy and totally Moorish!

The teas are perfectly matched to your taste and desire. The tea light candle creates a great ambiance on your table and keeps the tea warm.

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Puer is a great local Chinese restaurant that I would go back to as the food was enjoyable. The street food was so easy to share. The food is unique and a touch more expensive than traditional Chinese.

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The full menu is available online

http://www.puer.com.au

Pu’er
20a Danks Street Waterloo
NSW Australia 2017
P: 02 8399 1331

Thank you Pu’er for inviting me to dine at your establishment as a guest, all opinions in this post are my own.

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Amoretti’s Chiswick

Amoretti’s Chiswick
Set in the heart of Chiswick, Amoretti’s serves some hearty and authentic Italian food.
Nonna’s breakfast plate is a delicious and generous portion. The food was well seasoned, loads of depth in the flavors.

The Napolitana sauce had eggplant, capsicum and olives, add the eggs, sausages, provolone cheese and the meal is HUGE ! Served with a side of Amoretti’s organic bread. The meal is scrumptious, not for the faint hearted and could even be shared !

Nonna's breakfast, delicious and rich
The BIG BREAKFAST, is exactly that, BIG !!! eggs, bacon, potatoes, Italian sausages, mushroom, tomatoes and organic bread. The staff are willing to modify the menu for people with dietary requirements, and the Big Breakfast pictured has no bread or potatoes, with added sauteed baby spinach.

Amoretti's modified big breakfast plate
The coffee was not as strong as I would have hoped for such a big cappuccino.
The pizza is delicious, with a generous amount of topping and great flavors. The fresh basil and fresh cherry tomatoes made this pizza a party for my mouth.

Margarita pizza, a great balance of flavours

Amoretti’s is a family run business, they aim to please in all that they do, very happy to modify the menu to suit dietary needs/requirements.
Parking is available, they have a great online ordering and  delivery service.

Amoretti’s is open for breakfast 9-3 on Saturday and Sunday

Amoretti’s is open for dinner 5:30-1opm Tuesday to Sunday 

http://chiswick.amorettis.com.au/

 

Blackwall Café

Blackwall Cafe 
Scrambled eggs with a side of house smoked trout

Hiding at the water end of Blackwall Point Rd is a gorgeous and quaint café, with water and city views. The Blackwall Point Café is a great spot to enjoy all the gorgeous and glorious things about Sydney, GREAT views and GREAT coffee!Great coffee

Staff are super friendly and keen as to make your experience enjoyable.

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The coffee is superb, All Press Coffee is used. Well crafted by the barista, nice and smooth, no acidic undertones.

The food is delicious, portions are generous and well priced. Dishes were seasoned to perfection. The trout house smoked trout is totally divine.

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Blackwall  Café has loads of parking, close to the ferry and right at the bus stop so getting there is super easy ! This cafe is an InnerWest delight and well worth the trip.

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It would be formidable for me not to mention the salt water fish tank, if the ocean and city views are enough you enjoy the gorgeous tropical fish tank filled with coral and loads of fish ‘nemo’ while you enjoy your time at the Blackwall Café.

NEMO

Open 6:30-4pm everyday expect for Tuesday.

45 Blackwall Point Rd Chiskwick

97137561

Shisha Bar Croydon

Shisha Bar Croydon
On a busy corner of Croydon Rd is Shisha Bar an Industrial inspired cafe. The corner location mixed with a full crowd can make the Shisha Bar a noisy place. Staff was helpful and obliging, making the Shisha Bar a welcoming place. Serving an eclectic menu, with inspiration from the Middle East, America and Modern Australian cuisine.
Sumac calamari is delicious. Sumac is popular in Middle Eastern adding a little tang to the light and crisp calamari.

salt n pepper squid
The ‘frisky mint lemonada’ is a mint based mocktail that is light and refreshing loaded with mint.

minty goodness
Shisha bar serves a fabulous Knafeh. A warm, baked cheese dessert soaked in sugar syrup, sprinkled with some pistachios which are a great crunch to this smooth and creamy dessert. The Knafeh is an excellent portion, served at the dream temperature. The perfect dessert to warm the cockles of your heart as the temperature begins to drop.
Shisha Bar is a fabulous place to a late night bite ‘n drink with friends. They have an extensive breakfast menu (that’s available until 2pm weekends!) which I look forward to trying.

Knafeh

 

Shisha Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Prato Cafe Diner – Abbotsford


Prato Café Diner

Prato

There is never a dull moment when dining at Prato. In the extra large café, the constant bustle of clients can be heard.  The wait staff are uber friendly and attentive that they even remember you name and order. The kitchen staff busy creating, baking and preserving.

barley porridge

The décor is warm, cosy and has a gorgeous garden outlook from the back veranda; it can, however, get a little noisy when it is a full house.

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Most of Prato’s products are made in house, the bread, kefir, muesli, cakes and cookies just to name a few! Campos coffee is served and perfectly crafted each time.

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The food at Prato is superb! Every dish is impeccably seasoned and presented; the passion the kitchen team has for food is evident in each dish that is served. The banana bread is the cake of choice, made on sight and super delish!azimuth:0.000000||elevation:0.000000||horizon:0.000000

The breakfast/brunch menu has loads to choose from; the house made muesli or quinoa porridge are my favourites. The sautéed mushrooms on toast are amazing, as is the house smoked bacon and egg roll.Bacon and egg roll

A plate of house made scones with jam and cream, will tame even the wildest hungers in need to a tasty and hearty afternoon tea.azimuth:0.000000||elevation:0.000000||horizon:0.000000

Try the available bruschetta’s; they make a robust meal packed with flavour combinations which include beetroot ‘n fetta and hommus ‘n roasted cauliflower.
campos coffee

Sourdough is made on site, the pistachio and fruit loaf is perfect, bacon is house smoked, kefir is fermented on sight, the guys in the kitchen are passionate about creating good quality whole food.

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What is Prato missing? A big breakfast plate – the quintessential Sunday option. You can assemble your own by ordering the eggs and adding extra’s as you wish. Prato’s service can be a little sluggish, during busy periods.

I am a Prato breakfast/brunch fan; it is my go to place in the Inner West. Parking is ample and untimed.

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Honey Lemon Chicken

Honey lemon chicken Honey lemon chicken with a side of steamed greens

This dish is so quick and simple you will never get it from the take out store again. You can cut each piece of chicken into nugget sized pieces if you prefer. I serve this dish with a big bowl of steamed greens. You could easily serve this dish with a side of rice. The benefit of using cornflour is this dish is gluten free!

Honey lemon chicken

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts

1Tb Dry Sherry

2Tb soy sauce

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

Oil for frying

¼ cup cornstartch

½ tsp baking powder

Sauce:

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup honey

2tb cornstartch

1 cup chicken stock

3tb lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 lemon sliced

2tb vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Garnish: chopped shallots

Honey lemon chicken

Method:

  1. Slice chicken in half horizontally, so you will have 4 thin slices of chicken breast.
  2. In a large bowl combine the chicken, sherry, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix together, cover and refrigerate. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, 1/4 cup corn-starch and baking powder to form a batter.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Place vegetable oil in fry pan on a medium heat
  6. Dip chicken in the batter to coat.
  7. Place chicken into fry pan and fry until golden brown and turn over and repeat for the other side, do this for each piece of chicken breast.
  8. In a medium bowl combine the sugar, honey, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, lemon juice and 1 pinch salt, mix together until their are no lumps add stock and lemon slices. In the fry pan that you cooked the chicken pieces in place lemon sauce, on a medium heat bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with shallots and serve.Honey lemon chicken

COMBINATION STEAM OVEN JAFFA BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES

JAFFA BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES


I find using Buttermilk keeps my muffins more moist and gives them a little extra tang. The buttermilk is a perfect, slightly acidic, addition to a citrus sweet.


Combination steam oven Jaffa cupcakes

Combination steam oven Jaffa cupcakes

375grams SR flour

165grams caster sugar

1 egg, whisked

1tsp vanilla essence

160grams butter, softened.

180ml Buttermilk

1TB orange zest

1TB orange juice

Ganache

250 grams dark chocolate melts

1/3 cup cream

  1. Heat combination steam oven to 200oC quarter steam and heat/ 25% humidity.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, I used silicone bakeware.
  3. Measure the buttermilk, and stand aside (this will prevent the butter hardening up later).
  4. Cream together, butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest, add egg and orange juice and stir to combine, alternatively add flour and Buttermilk, mixture should appear slightly lumpy.
  5. Divide mixture evenly into 12 hole muffin tin and bake for 15minutes or until evenly browned.
  6. Whilst cooking prepare ganache, by heating cream and pouring over chocolate until chocolate has melted. If chocolate does not melt completely, oven a gentle heat or double boiler heat until melted.
  7. Once cupcakes are cool to touch, individually dip into ganache and sprinkle with orange zest.

Left over ganache keep well in the refrigerator, can be re-heated and tastes amazing on ice-cream !

The BeeSting Cake ! The most delicious cake I have ever made !

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BeeSting cake

the last piece of the BeeSting cake

After sitting around with some of my colleagues discussing our favourite cakes, I decided I wanted to create my own version of the BeeSting cake.

This is possibly the most multi-faceted recipe I have tried to blog, this one you may need to print out and follow as it has several components. Each component takes a little bit of time to create, however, each component is rather simple, so do not be afraid to try this recipe.

The yeast gives this cake a wonderful and light texture and will fill your house with the most mouthwatering aroma.

I hope you enjoy this recipe make sure you share it with your families and your guests, allowing them the privileged to try and to savor each morsel of the BeeSting.

Cake

1 sachet instant yeast (8grams)

¾ cup full cream milk

¼ cup caster sugar

2Tb Honey

2 ¼ cup plain flour

2 large eggs

80 grams butter (softened)

You will definately want more than 1 slice
Almond Crunch Topping

120 grams butter
1/4 cup caster sugar

¼ Cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons honey

5Tb thickened cream
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

Custard Filling

1 cup full cream milk

2Tb thickened cream

3 large egg yolks

¼ Cup caster sugar

2Tb honey

½ tsp vanilla bean paste

3Tb cornflour

A slice of the Bee StingMaking the cake mixture

Heat milk in the microwave for 30 seconds until warm; add the yeast and caster sugar, set aside until it is slightly foamy, approx. 5-10 minutes.

In a large bowl mix all of the remaining ingredients until well combined, 2-3 minutes, I did this with my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, this may take an hour, using a spoon pierce the surface and allow the mixture to rise again whilst you prepare the tin and topping.

Grease a 9inch deep cake tin with butter.

Pre heat oven to 180C fan forced.

The last piece of the BeeSting who wants it

Making the almond crunch topping

Place the butter, sugars, thickened cream and honey into a medium sauce pan, allow to melt over a medium heat, allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes it should turn a pale brown, stir through the almonds, remove from the heat.

Baking the cake

Pour the cake mixture into the greased tin. Dollop teaspoons of the almond crunch topping across the top of the cake.

Wet a tea towel wrap it around the cake tin and tie a knot, if you tea towel isn’t long enough tie it in place with cooking string. Place cake on a lined tray as some of the almond crunch topping could ooze over *

Cook for 23-28minutes, until a skewer comes out with no cake mixture on it, it may have some caramel on it.

Remove from oven, allow to cool in tin for 10-15minutes or until almond crunch topping has hardened. Once hardened transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.The BeeSting

Making the custard filling:

Mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and pale. In a small bowl place the cornflour,  whisk in 1-2Tb of the milk to make a paste, making sure there are no lumps. In a small sauce pan, place the egg mix and gradually add milk and cream add the cornflour, make sure the mixture is well combined. Place onto stove on a medium heat and stir constantly in a figure 8 motion until it thickens add honey, set aside to cool. **

Assembling the cake

Cut the cake in half horizontally, place the bottom half of the cake onto the plate you will serve it on. Place the custard filling into the centre, leave 1cm from the edge. Place the top on and enjoy ***

Cutting a wedge can make it a little less oozy

*wrapping a wet tea towel around the cake tin prevents the centre of the cake rising and will help you to achieve the nice flat top.

** I make the custard the night before so it is nice and cool

*** if you want to serve the pieces to without the custard oozing out, cut the top into wedges and rearrange on top, prevents the oozing.



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