Thursday, December 27, 2012

ORTO TRADING CO., SURRY HILLS

DINNER @ Orto Trading Co.

Perfect for: A dinner with a close friend on a hot summer's night - get a table outside!
Price range: $$$ Exxy
My rating: 7/10
Food: 8/10 Service: 5/10 Ambience: 8/10 

Orto Trading Co. is a cafe slash restaurant slash bar nestled in the food-friendly part of Surry Hills. There are wooden tables outside in the courtyard for brunch, tables inside for dinner, and a bar if you're feeling a little thirsty.

I imagine most people try the brunch menu before they try the dinner menu at Orto, but I was starving when I walked past here one night and decided to give the dinner menu a go before I come back another day for brunch.

The first thing I notice about this place is that it's a little bit confused about what it wants to be. It has a pretty expensive dinner menu, signalling that it's a high-end sort of restaurant, yet it is blasting edgy indie music much more fitting of a cafe or a bar.


I order the fish tartare with coconut jelly to start. It is basically a ceviche but with an interesting mix of textures - the combination of the coconut jelly that melt in your mouth, the crunch of the fried onions, the tender fish tartare, the bits of finely chopped fresh red onion, and the bits of lime flesh that pop in your mouth. I thought this was beautifully prepared and presented.

For the main, I tried the stuffed roast chicken on a bed of pureed peas. The chicken was stuffed with prawn and ginger - I thought that this combination of flavours was very odd and didn't enjoy it all that much. Furthermore, the chicken was too well done and the pureed peas were cold when it was served, so I was a little bit disappointed with this choice.


The service was a little half-hearted - the waitstaff weren't attentive and I had to wait around for a while before I got a table, despite the fact that the restaurant was half empty. Despite that, the food did arrive pretty quickly once the waitstaff got around to taking my order. I do think that service is Orto Trading Co.'s biggest let-down.

I would love to come back for the pork three-ways sharing board, and hopefully the service will improve by that time.

Meal: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Address: 38/52 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills
Near: The Belvoir St Theatre - why not watch a show while you're close? 
Hours: Tue-Sat 8am-3pm 6-10pm, Sun 8am-3pm, Closed Mondays



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

BAROQUE BISTRO, THE ROCKS

Perfect for: A long summer lunch - grab a few macarons from their huge selection for dessert
Price range: $$$ Exxy
My rating: 8/10


Meal: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: French / Patisserie
Address: 88 George Street, The Rocks, NSW
Hours: Mon-Sat 12-11.30pm, Sun 12-3.30pm



Thursday, December 13, 2012

BIRDMAN EATING, FITZROY, MELBOURNE


Perfect for: A very late Saturday brunch followed by a stroll through the shops in Fitzroy
Hot tip: Try get a table outside if it's nice!
Must try: Ask if they have the 63 degree egg on their specials board. If not, you still can't go wrong with anything on their menu!
Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 9/10


Melbourne is my favourite food city in the world, but I have to admit that I'm not all that clued up on where all the hip and good Melbourne cafes/restaurants/bars are. Luckily, when I'm down there, I always stay with a good friend of mine who is the definition of a true Melbournian (think: half-shaved head, rides a fixed gear bike, wears retro patterned button-downs and refuses to write on anything that isn't a Moleskin). Naturally, she was all over the trendy foodie spots in Melbourne, so we seeked out Birdman Eating as our Sunday morning treat.

A quick look at the Birdman Eating menu will explain why it's one of the more popular cafes in Melbourne. There are a selection of delectable brunch items, and some of the keywords that jumped out at me were smoked pulled pork; apple pikelets; honey and lime mascarpone; baked vanilla ricotta.


I decided I couldn't leave without trying the black rice, coconut yoghurt and mango - a very odd combination of ingredients for breakfast, and awfully reminiscent of a Thai dessert - and I never say no to dessert for breakfast! It was delicious and perfect - not too sweet but not too bland. The three ingredients complemented each other perfectly.

Although I already had the black rice for breakfast, I couldn't possibly leave without trying the 63 degree egg (cooked for 63 minutes) on black pudding and sourdough. Now that's a little bit different - how does the 63 degree egg work? It's like the sous vide chicken that I mentioned in the post on The Rabbit Hole. The egg is cooked in its shell at a water bath of 63 degrees for a long period of time in order to get the perfect custardy egg white (not at all like the hard gelatin-like texture we're normally used to) and a very gooey, thick and rich egg yolk centre.
It was the best egg I've had in my life. And if you're a black pudding fan like me, you'll love this dish even more.
(I hate to be a party pooper, but this gem was not on the menu - it was only on the specials board.)



I just had a quick look at the dinner menu, and it looks as crazy-good as the brunch menu. Fried haloumi with red rice, sour cherries and pistachio salad. Earl grey cured salmon gravalax. Pork belly with wasabi, radish and caramelised apple. Just to name a few.

The service was good, nothing that disappointed but also nothing that impressed. It's just a brilliant little cafe with a fantastic menu of interesting items. You'd be silly not to come here!

Meal: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Address: 238 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Near: Some vintage stores in Fitzroy, so go for a wander
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10.30pm, Sat-Sun 8am-10.30pm

WEBSITE | MENU | Birdman Eating on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

THE BOOK KITCHEN, SURRY HILLS

Perfect for: Sunday morning breakfast and people watching (grab a table outside)
Something special: The cafe boasts a menu of organic and bio-dynamic food
Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 8.0/10

The Book Kitchen is a bustling little cafe on the corner of Devonshire Street and Bourke Street in Surry Hills. As its name suggests, it has shelves of gastronomy books for food-loving individuals like me to browse through or buy. And on the weekends, the cafe turns into a restaurant and opens up at night for dinner. 

I came here for a Sunday morning brunch with a friend and got a prime table outside, in perfect position to spot all the Bourke Street hipsters walk / cycle past to queue up for their weekend fix of Bourke Street Bakery goodies.


We both ordered the scrambled eggs and smoked pork hock with spinach, feta and asparagus on sourdough. I personally found it a little bit bland and had to pour a large amount of salt in order to satisfy my greedy taste buds, but I thought that the scrambled eggs were cooked very well.

I drooled all over the lunch menu (especially the pan-fried pork belly) and need to come back here to try it out.

Meal: Breakfast / Lunch
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Address: 255 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Near: Bourke Street Bakery is across the road so drop by afterwards to get yourself a little treat
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm, Sat-Sun 6am-9.30pm

WEBSITE | MENU | The Book Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Monday, December 3, 2012

MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR, EAST VILLAGE, NEW YORK

Perfect for: A quick meal on a cold day! Or in my case, perfect for trying out the momofuku buns without having to go to a busier momofuku restaurant in NYC.
Must try: The buns, and the momofuku ramen
Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 8.5/10



If you're not a local in New York, and you didn't know what you were looking for, you would completely walk past momofuku noodle bar without even blinking. That's what I did, even when I was looking for it.

Situated between 10th and 11th, on First Ave, momofuku noodle bar is always buzzing with 'bros' and 'hipsters'. We turned up for lunch at 12pm on a Friday and were lucky to get a seat. We were actually seated next to a number of New Yorkers who weren't used to this foodieholic taking photos of what I was about to consume, which resulted in a few overly long and awkward stares.

We got a couple of sharing plates, and each got a huge bowl of steaming momofuku ramen. That was more than enough for the both of us. The pork buns were everything they were made out to be, and much much more. 

The famous momofuku pork buns with hoisin sauce, scallion and cucumber

Korean-style roasted rice cakes with red chilli, roasted onion and sesame

Momofuku ramen with pork belly, pork shoulder and a poached egg

I was more than stuffed when I finished my ramen, but I still had food envy when I saw the smoked chicken wings, and we didn't even try the sweets from the milk bar. Another good reason to go back when I'm next in New York!

All up, the meal came to ~$50 for two people, and we over-ordered so I thought it was pretty good value!

Meal: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Asian fusion

Address: 171 First Avenue, East Village, New York
Near: The great boutiques on 10th - there is even a sweet little shop that only sells stamps (they do custom stamps too)
Hours: Mon-Fri 12-4.30pm, 5.30-11pm; Sat-Sun 12-4pm, 5.30pm-2am

WEBSITE | MENUMomofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MCA CAFE, THE ROCKS



Summer is here, and you're after a long lunch with a beautiful view. This is the perfect place for you - MCA Cafe in the Museum of Contemporary Arts. We arrived in time for lunch and got seated outside, and the first thing I noted was that there were sweet delights up at the counter that weren't on the menu - so if you've got a sweet tooth like me, don't be deceived!




We ordered the pulled pork sandwich (above), and ordered another but asked for it in salad form (below). The salad actually looks a lot more delicious than the sandwich too (and was much easier to eat!)

The staff were very accommodating, especially since the salad wasn't an option on the menu, but they happily made it for us anyway. 



Meal: Lunch
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Perfect for: A long lunch after a grand tour of the museum
Hot tip: Get a table outside if it's a nice day - but beware if it's windy!

Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 8.5/10

Address: Level 4, Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks
Near: MCA - check it out while you're there
Hours: Fri-Wed 10am-5pm, Thu 10am-9pm

WEBSITE | MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace on Urbanspoon 

Monday, November 26, 2012

KINGSLEYS STEAK & CRABHOUSE, WOOLLOOMOOLOO


Kingsleys ranks pretty high on my list of perfect Saturday lunches, especially if the sun is shining and the wine is flowing. We spent the morning playing squash in Surry Hills, and after all that exercise, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal here. 

Entree:
We ordered the Garlic Butter Prawns and the Burrata Mozzarella Salad, both of which I would recommend and order again myself. 
The Burrata Mozzarella Salad was very different to any Burrata I've had before - the cream inside the buffalo mozzarella was a lot thicker and congealed than others I've had which are usually quite liquid. The flatbread had a smokey taste to it, and it was perfect combined with the tomatoes, basil and olives. 


Main:
We ordered the Oven Roasted Tasmanian Salmon, and New York Striploin for the main, with a side of zucchini, peas, mint, persian fetta salad, and the kipflers, spinach and chorizo. 
The striploin was very flavoursome and I really enjoyed it even though I'm not usually a steak person, but I found the salmon a little bland. Highly recommend getting any of the steaks since it is a steakhouse after all, right? 

Meal: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Modern Australian / Steakhouse

Perfect for: Lazy Saturday lunch in the sun, definitely with a glass of white
Must try: Burrata Mozzarella Salad
Hot tip: If you're going during the day, book a table outside so you can enjoy the sunshine!

Price range: $$$ Exxy
My rating: 9/10

Address: 10/6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo
Near: The Tilbury Hotel - meet friends for a few drinks before or after dinner (or lunch if you're feeling parched)
Hours: Mon-Sat 12-10pm, Sun Closed

WEBSITE | MENU | Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

THE RABBIT HOLE, CBD

If you work in the CBD, you’ll have probably seen the Rabbit Hole on Elizabeth Street. With one of two spherification kits in Australia, the Rabbit Hole is really worth a visit – for a cheeky drink or a nice three course dinner. We chose both.

On the Friday night, you will walk down the spiral stairs and be greeted with live music. The right hand end of the restaurant/bar is the bar and the left hand end is the small cosy restaurant with no more than 12 small tables. As you’re taken through the restaurant, it’s hard to forget where you are because the place is all decked out in cartoons of Mr. Rabbit himself.


We order a couple of cocktails right away; Tea Smoked Apple, and New + Old School sparking cocktail (the one with the spherified Cointreau jellies). Round two quickly follows and we order the Star of Anise,  and the Rabbit's Elixir (carrot cocktail!).
My favourite was the tea smoked apple – smelt peaty like a good scotch, but it tasted like sweet apple. The New+Old was fun; you drink most of the champagne concoction at the start and you’re left with the jellies at the end which pop in your mouth. The carrot taste in the Rabbit's Elixir definitely came through along with the vodka, and I enjoyed it more than I thought. I don’t like the taste of Sambuca at all due to a bad experience with that involved flaming shots last year, so I didn't enjoy the aniseed cocktail, but if you’re a liquorice fan, you would probably love this.



For the entrees, we ordered 1) Seared scallops, celeriac two ways and buckwheat, and 2) Black pudding, caramelised apple tart tatin and crumble. All the dishes come out beautifully plated and you wouldn’t hesitate to give the chef a gold star for presentation. The scallop were nice, but nothing special, but the black pudding was delicious and would be a great bet if you’re usually a black pudding fan.

For the mains, we ordered the roasted 1) Kurobuta pork loin & bean family; lemon puree, sugar snaps, peas & beans, and 2) Sous vide chicken breast, roast thigh, potato three ways & passionfruit. The pork loin was one of the most tender pork dishes I’ve ever tried in my life, and if you hadn’t told me that it was pork, I probably would’ve struggled to guess exactly what sort of meat it was.
I haven’t tried sous vide chicken before – only sous vide duck – so I thought I’d give this one a go. Sous vide means placing the meat in a vacuum-sealed bag and cooking it in a water bath of 60 degrees for longer than normal cooking times, so that the meat is incredibly tender but doesn’t lose any of its juices and flavour. And the chicken was very tender too – maybe tenderness is a theme here? – and the tender texture of the meat was well contrasted with the crispy breadcrumbs coating the meat. The three-ways potato was also very innovative – the first was the paper-thin potato chip coated in perhaps a thin layer of glucose and then fried (it literally melts in your mouth); the second was the tiny sautéed potato cubes; the third was the potato mash lining the plate. I thought both the mains were extremely innovative and I was thoroughly impressed. The only thing I would change about the mains would be to make it a little bit more flavoursome, as I felt both the pork and the chicken were a little bit bland.

For the dessert, we ordered the Dark Fondant chocolate, white chocolate ice & passion fruit meringue as well as the Melon, crisp pancetta, cognac ice cream & botrytis gelee.  I noted that the chef likes combining sweet with savoury, so I felt compelled to try the melon balls with pancetta, especially since it's so similar to the Italian entree prosciutto e melon.  
The chocolate was very rich but delicious with the vanilla gelato, and we felt that it was even better with the cognac gelato. I loved the cognac gelato in the melon dessert, but I didn’t like the combination of the pancetta and melon because I felt that the pancetta was too thick and fatty, and it overpowered the subtle flavour melon balls. I personally prefer it done the traditional Italian way with thinner slices of prosciutto.

The entire bill came to under $180 for four cocktails, entrees, mains and desserts, which I felt was very reasonable. The sous vide chicken was only $26, and you would struggle to find that sort of price for a main like that anywhere else.
We thought that the service was great and our waiter was very attentive and made a couple of great suggestions. My biggest praise is that the menu is very innovative – and you don’t often see that sort of boldness around in the restaurant scene, and I personally think that that’s what differentiates a good meal from a great meal.

Meal: Lunch / Dinner / Bar food / Drinks
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Perfect for: A drink with friends on a Friday night with live music
Also for: Dinner or lunch with your favourite foodie friend
Hot tip: If you’re having dinner, book! I imagine it will be much harder to get a table in the coming months as the restaurant gains traction.
Must try: Old + New cocktail

Price range: $$$ Exxy
My rating: 8.5/10

Address: 81 Elizabeth Street, CBD

WEBSITE | MENURabbit Hole Bar & Dining on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 3, 2012

TWIG CAFE, SURRY HILLS


If you walked past this wee café on Cleveland Street, you’d probably miss it because it is so well disguised as a garden store. In the front where it opens to the passerbys of Cleveland Street , you’ll find pot plants and garden gnomes in a serene store packed with foliage, but in the back, there is a sweet little café that serves cooked breakfast and lunch. There are tables inside as well as outside in the garden courtyard – perfect for a Saturday morning brunch if you’re in the mood for somewhere quiet and serene.

I live about a block away from Twig Café, and although it has been on my list of cafes to have brunch at, it really hasn’t been that high, just because I take it for granted that it is less than a 2 minute walk away. But on Saturday, we were after somewhere convenient, and this was the perfect location.

It was a little bit chilly so we decided not to sit in the garden courtyard, and we took one of the two tables at the back of the garden store. Upon first glance of the menu, I was slightly disappointed – there were only very generic options like eggs on toast (and choose your own custom sides), pancakes, eggs benedict etc – but I found out when the food arrived that the generic items can be very deceiving.

We ordered a couple of coffees to begins, and for the food we got the corn and mushroom risotto fritter with roasted tomatoes, pork and fennel chipolatas with the roast eggplant, caramelised apple and rosemary relish, as well as the buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries and crisp pancetta.
I was surprised by the fritters – they tasted amazing and sticky like arancini balls, and came with a side of delicious caramelised apple and rosemary relish as well as the pork and fennel sausages. The pancakes were delicious too – the pancetta itself was paper thin and delicious – I’ve never had pancetta like that before – and the buttermilk pancakes came with a bit of surprise in the middle – bacon and cream cheese!
We also ordered juices as well – a pineapple and mint juice, and an apple and ginger juice. Both very tasty, but I preferred the pineapple and mint juice a bit more.
The service was fine; we found the ordering to be very efficient and the waitstaff were very polite, however we did have to ask for the bill twice which didn’t come either time so we just ended up walking up to pay.
All in all, Twig café is a sweet little place that really does surprise you with its ordinary-looking menu items. I’m looking forward to going back in summer when it’s a little bit warmer and trying out their lunch menu in the outdoor courtyard!

Meal: Breakfast / Lunch
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Perfect for: Saturday morning brunch and reading a book or the newspaper in the outdoor courtyard
Hot tip: Don’t be fooled by how ordinary the items on the menu might look
Must try: Buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries and crisp pancetta

Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 8.5/10

Address: Cleveland Street, Surry Hills
Near: The Yoga place…
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-5pm, Sun 8am-4pm

WEBSITE | MENUTwig Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 1, 2012

THREE BLUE DUCKS, BRONTE


   

I wish I lived closer to Bronte just for Three Blue Ducks. But frankly, I think this is the sort of cafe worthy of a 40 minute bus trip, even at 9.30am on a Saturday morning - that is how highly I rate this quaint little cafe that does delicious brunches with a bit of twist and uses fresh local ingredients. Of course, I wouldn't complain if it did move closer to me - Sydney could do with half a dozen blue ducks. Yes, I went there. Get this girl a stage. 

The first time I heard about Three Blue Ducks, I immediately knew I had to move it to the top of my to-eat list. Former head chef at Tetsuya's, Darren Robertson, running this gig?! Sign me right up. And it certainly didn't disappoint. They do breakfast, lunch and dinner (have yet to try lunch and dinner and I seriously have to go back), and all the menus look delicious. 

Have I raved enough about how good I think the food is? I haven't even talked about what we had. We got the scrambled eggs with black sausage, dill cucumber yoghurt salad and red currant jam, and the trout with poached eggs, spinach and hollandaise. The essentially-eggs-bene-with-trout was tasty, but the scrambled eggs and black sausage was to die for. The combination of the black sausage, dill and cucumber and yoghurt, and the jam - how did they even come up with something so genius?

To add to that, the service was simple, quick and satisfying. Our waitress was lovely and smiley, and came back a couple of times to check on us to make sure we were okay. We thought for a cafe that popular and busy, the wait would be ridiculously long (think Bourke Street Bakery, Bills etc...) but we were seated within 5 minutes. That's what I call service...



Meal: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Perfect for: Brunch with your best friend or significant other, before spending the day out in the eastern beaches
Must try: Scrambled eggs with black sausage, dill cucumber yoghurt salad and red currant jam! Incredible.

Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 9.5/10

Address: 143 Macpherson Street, Bronte
Near: Bronte Beach
Hours: Tue-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 7.30am-3pm, Wed-Sat, 6pm-11pm

WEBSITE | MENU | Three Blue Ducks on Urbanspoon


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CHOPHOUSE, CBD

When we went to the Chophouse last Friday night for dinner, our waiter teased us with a special that sold out in the first hour of the night. We asked to hear what it was anyway despite his warnings, and we were left with an empty spot in our stomach that wasn't going to be filled unless we went back for the beef Rossini with jamon, foie gras and truffle.

Beef Rossini or Tournedos Rossini, usually a steak filet served on a crouton and finished with a lightly fried slice of foie gras, black truffle flakes and madeira glaze. Reportedly created for and hence named after the Italian composer Rossini.

So I made sure we got an early table at the Chophouse and I put in a request for two Rossinis to be left aside for us today. The lady on the phone thought I was a little bit coo-coo. Oh the things I do for good food.

And here I am, all food coma-ed out relaxing in foodie heaven. It was everything that was promised but still beyond imagination. The perfect balance of potency and subtlety of the truffle, cooked to medium rare perfection, wrapped in a strip of jamon. I wouldn't change a single thing about the dish at all.

We were surprised to find the bill coming to less than $120. Two Rossinis and two sides (portobello mushrooms and the red oak lettuce with avo, cherry toms and jalapeño dressing).

Foodie bliss!


Meal: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: American Steakhouse / Modern Australian

Perfect for: Tuesday night after-work dinner with colleagues
Also for: Friday long lunch with a friend

Price range: Expensive
My rating: 8.5/10 for Chophouse (based on other experiences), 10/10 for the Beef Rossini

Address: 25 Bligh Street, Sydney CBD
Near: The Rocks - go for a few drinks before or after
Hours: Mon-Fri 12.00pm-11.00pm, Sat 6.00pm-11.00pm



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LE MONDE, SURRY HILLS

If there was anywhere you'd want to make your local, it would be Le Monde. It epitomises the Saturday morning hangover cure - slowly sip your headache away out in the sun, people-watch if that's what pleases you, and enjoy your breakfast delight. Best thing yet - it won't even cost you as much as that cheap and dirty mojito you had the night before.

Back in the old days, Le Monde used to offer a breakfast degustation. A breakfast degustation! That sounds like the combination of all things I love. But it turns out that they stopped offering it in 2011. I think they should definitely bring it back for those of us in love with a good brunch. 

The menu is very decent, and as I mentioned before, it is very decently priced too. But don't just look at the menu and miss the blackboard specials and the baked goodness at the counter - we almost did. And the blackboard specials look insanely delicious too. 

Order the healthy option - soldiers and muesli. Beautifully presented, and perfectly soft yolks. 


Or live a little and order the potato hash with poached egg on chorizo and rocket. More than enough goodness to soak last night's tequila(s) up.

Meal: Breakfast / brunch / lunch
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Perfect for: Lazy Saturday morning brunch
Also for: Lunch on a first date
Hot tip: Check out the blackboard menu too - there are some great items on there!

Price range: Cheap
My rating: 8.5/10

Address: 83 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills
Near: Crown Street shops (5-10 min walk), and El Loco is across the road but that's for another time...
Hours: Mon-Fri 6.30am-4.00pm, Sat 7.30am-1.30pm

URBANSPOON

Thursday, October 18, 2012

REUBEN HILLS, SURRY HILLS



Meal: Breakfast / Lunch
Cuisine: Modern Australian / Latin American

Perfect for: Sunday morning post-run brunch
Must try: Salted caramel milkshake. All milkshakes!

Price range: $$ Not bad
My rating: 8.5/10

Address: 61 Albion Street, Surry Hills
Near: About 5-10 minutes from Crown Street
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-4pm, Sun 8am-4pm



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FOURATEFIVE, SURRY HILLS




Meal: Breakfast / Lunch
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Perfect for: Saturday morning brunch
Must try: Banana cinnamon honey smoothie, pulled-pork sandwich
Top tip: Allow waiting time because it is always full - there are heaps of shops nearby to check out while you wait

Price range: $$ Not bad 
My rating: 9.5/10

Address: 485 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Near: The squash courts at Hiscoes Gym - go for a game of squash in the morning before brunch!
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 7.30am-4pm, Sun 9.30am-2.30pm



Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE SARDINE ROOM, POTTS POINT





Meal: Dinner
Cuisine: Seafood / Modern Australian

Perfect for: Dinner with your best friends over a bottle or two of white
Top tip: The owners are hilarious and friendly - take their recommendations and make them part of the night's fun

Price range: $$$ Exxy
My rating: 9/10

Address: 31 Challis Ave, Potts Point
Near: Also across the road from Fratelli Paradiso, but that can be saved for another day...
Hours: Tue-Sun 6pm-late


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SEL ET POIVRE, DARLINGHURST



Meal: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: French

Perfect for: Casual dinner with friends before a big night
Top tip: Bottles of wine can just keep flowing at this place - it could break the bank!

Price range: $$$ Exxy
My rating: 6/10

Address: 263 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Near: A lot of nicer restaurants on Victoria Street (in my opinion)
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-late, Sat-Sun 8am-late