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Random DinDins Local Star

FOOD } MARTIAL ARTS | POLITICS #2 Zomato, Google Maps, TripAdvisor, Yelp, True Local, Instagram joe@randomdindins.com www.randomdindins.com

Joined 26 November 2016 Sydney, NSW

  • Sirocco Restaurant & Bar

    Restaurants Potts Point, NSW
    People forget that you don?t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy 4-star luxury! The new upgrade to Holiday Inn Potts Point?s flagship bistro features historical prints on the walls from the National Archives, an open kitchen and on it?s rooftop, harbors beehives in which honey is extracted and used in their Panacotta!

    What?s surprising are the substantial proportions of entrees, mains and share plates priced very competitively in comparison to other venues in the area making it the perfect destination for both the visiting traveller and nearby residents. Kids under 12 even dine for free with an adult paid main - now that?s value.

    The new menu is hearty, comforting and uncomplicated. An after work meet up called for an epic feast.

    Entrees, could seriously be a meal on their own! There?s a perfect balance in the CRISPY FRIED SALT & PEPPER SQUID - many places in my opinion go a bit too far with the salty element, but they?ve toned it down here which is really to my preference! The MARINATED FRIED CHICKEN features cornbread, baby rocket and jalapeņo aioli and there?s a mix of ideas in this remnant of the deep south of the U.S.A with hints of Latin America, set to guarantee this as a major favorite. Aesthetically, the ROASTED & PICKLED BABY BEETROOT SALAD wins hands down and delivers some seriously tantalizing flavor. Jeweled burgundy beet rough cuts & pearl white blobs of bocconcini on a bed of baby spinach greenery, sprouts of lentil, specks of quinoa is a bordello of texture play with intermittent crunch from the caramelized walnuts. It?s all bound together with a cooked wine dressing (Vincotto). Exquisite.

    Share platters of CHAR GRILLED SCOTCH FILLET & PORK RIBS and GRILLED ATLANTIC SALMON were the perfect mains from land and sea. Chunky cuts of Salmon, large ribs and well cooked steak. It was a smorgasbord of sweet and sour.

    The homemade BAILEY?S CREME BRULEE was a nice change from the standard vanilla custard cliche, simple and satisfying.
  • Mister Dee's Kitchen

    Cafes Darlinghurst, NSW
    This place is hidden from the main strip right up the back to the left of Aldi?s in Oxford Village. I?ll be honest and say I love the claustrophobic sushi place in the complex - but alas was closed during my Easter visit. Lucked out when finding this place. Great open setup with configurations for groups and solo dining.

    The food was great, the service friendly helpful and attentive, but I?m not sure about the portion sizes matching the price tags and am still deliberating on how I feel after the experience. Was the meal satisfying - Yes it was, so we?ll leave it there for now as the verdict is not out yet?

    Har Gau Prawn Dumplings were fabulous though I?m very easily impressed. Seafood Rice was good, but you?d have one prawn diced into 4 pieces, same with the calamari and I felt it was a little stingy. The Beef Flank was great with simple seasoning, but again - portion sizes are the issue. All in all was a hearty meal.
  • Bakehouse Cafe

    Cafes Belmore, NSW
    Absolute stunner of a venue which is the result of a $100m redevelopment project to Canterbury Leagues Club making it competitively a south west destination worth exploring! You?re welcomed at the grand entrance to the warmth of sunlight beaming through the atrium roof that radiates tranquility from the fountains and greenery.

    To the left is the Bakehouse which is now open 24 hours presenting a menu for it?s clientele of casual diners, in-house gym clientele and leisure visitors!

    The service team today led by Andrew and Bradley, reflect the personable warmth you would expect from a community based hangout where it?s just as important ingredient to local clientele as are the herbs and spices used in their recipes.

    The choice is varied to suit the vegetarian diet offering more than just token dishes, for the health conscious - protein boost add-ons to your smoothies and shakes or salads are available and the rest is couched in comfort food of classics and on-trend indulgent treats. Essentially it?s a bakehouse and everything is delivered fresh daily, the dessert range an art in itself.

    Portion sizes of entrees and mains are quite substantial making it very easy to turn into share plates. Highlights for me were the CALAMARI, the BIG BREAKFAST and ANTIPASTO PLATTER!

    All in all, service, menu, and the complex as a whole deliver an experience hard to match!
  • Harry's Cafe De Wheels

    Cafes Woolloomooloo, NSW
    Back in the day a trek to the ?Home of Sydney?s Best Pie? was the end note of many a good night out not only for eastsiders but for the who?s who of the city social scene. It?s Woolloomooloo water views made it the destination food truck / converted shipping container and since 1945 is now quite the icon. The menu was simple, the towering heap of mash, peas and gravy optional and it set the standard of ultimate meat pie satisfaction that many have tried and failed to replicate for decades!

    It was nice to return to this place many years later as an adult experiencing the nostalgia of many late night conversations, recovery and hanging out by the jetty as a rebellious teen.

    New Items to the classic menu include the APPLE TURNOVER, PULLED PORK ROLL, but today, opted for the CHICKEN CURRY PIE!!! Had it the good old fashioned way with dollops of mashed potato and mashed peas with the standard pool of gravy that oozes like lava as you break through with your fork!

    Perfection.

    Original Pie Heaven right here!
  • Monkey Magic Darlinghurst

    Restaurants Darlinghurst, NSW
    Had the pleasure of attending the grand opening and hues of red and dim lighting set a tone of elegance, chillaxation and cosiness. Strategically placed tables, couches and lounges dominate the main bar area and at the other end of the cute space is a dance floor to work off those Asian themed snacks. $8 plates keep things simple and uncomplicated. From the Prawn & Veg dumplings to the succulent fillings of their hand made pork buns to the loaded fries with peanut sauce and crispy shallots - basic needs for the meat and vegetarian eaters are satisfied because its ALL about working your moves on the dance floor and the awesome cocktail range.

    The CHAIRMAN?S SOUR is a concotion of spiced rum, lemon, vanilla and angostura bitters. It?s an inviting drink of spiked that goes down the trap smoothly.

    The GEISHA is bound to be another favorite. It?s a softer blend of Beluga Vodka, Lychee Liqueur, Lemon and Rose. It?s a sweet love potion that goes down a little too easily - very dangerous and inevitably leads to a memorable night!

    Great service, run by a friendly bunch of personable lads, it?s convenient location, relaxed vibe guarantees it to become an essential stop up at the Cross. Head to the coke sign and hang a right and there you will find the magic!
  • Cuckoo Callay

    Cafes Newtown, NSW
    It?s the 3rd year of the ANNUAL BACON FEST menu, with the release of 9 limited edition dishes that salute some iconic blockbuster films! Ingredients sourced from local state farms and local meat produce there?s something for everyone in this menu! Get in quick, these items that are on offer concurrently with the usual menu will be with us for another 9 weeks only!

    The choices today were very strategic. As they show the diversity in being able to cater to a wide spectrum of Newtown urbanites.

    The CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE BACON RIND is a beautifully plated work of art. The crispy maple fused coil of bacon crowns the pork sausage and bacon steak brioche? Cracked pepper and bacon crisps jewel the a shimmering, silky orb of creamy egg white that encases the inevitable liquid yolk slow cooked with precision at 63 degrees. This is a stunning dish and ideal for the bacon lover!

    SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is the answer to the burger call that we will always yearn for. A universal love of the burger sees this pimped up pulled pork, onion ring, slaw, chipotle, cheddar situation on a black bun complete with swirling Doritos train? It?s monstrous and exquisitely done!

    We ignore the absence of actual bacon in JURASSIC PORK, but it?s clearly designed to entice the cafe / casual dining snobs offering a very A?La Carte fine dining vibe without any pretentiousness. My god this is good. Slow cooked tenderness that crumbles at the touch of your knife, in contrast to the crackling rind top! It?s the cherry compote, granny smith apple puree and apple pickle / fennel salad that really gives the restaurant dinner/lunch scene run for the money. I really wasn?t expecting to be that impressed with what was served!

    Great friendly service, packed to the rafters and yet lightning fast waiting times! These guys are pros obviously as they cater to the foot traffic leading up to the station next door!
    A definite must this season!!!!
  • Bluestone Chinese & Malaysian Cuisine

    Restaurants Darlinghurst, NSW
    Having returned here 5 months later, there are some great new exciting changes to the menu! I sampled a few staples on the three set menus (Range $35-$50pp) and a few Entrees. It?s since expanded from their Chinese/Malaysian focus incorporating some Vietnamese, Thai, French inspired dishes.

    CHALDER SEAFOOD SOUP is the Bluestone Signature and it?s sort of a retake of Chowder with fish, prawn and calamari. A nice warming starter that will do well this season!

    LITTLE RICE CAKE are nice bitesize cakes of coconut milk, flour and turmeric topped with Tomato Salsa - it?s a GREAT VEGAN OPTION - for vegans and non vegans, I could eat a bucket load of these!

    SEAFOOD SPRING ROLL; These are the netted type which I think are quite aesthetically pleasing in comparison to standard wrappers used as there is a certain care and precision that needs to be done because of it?s holey surface when being filled. Beautiful crunch and a sweet chili dipping sauce - wonderful bite size treat that I envision as a side to your meal or snack if here at the bar.

    PRAWN DUMPLING: Stunning presentation, fresh off the steamer and topped with both crispy fried and fresh shallots! Meaty tiger prawn fillings.

    STUFFED ESCARGOT: Minced Pork and Abalone Mushroom, interesting textures in this that have been bound together after steaming. So full of flavour with a smokiness that runs through from the mushroom.

    STICKYRICE WITH CRISPY ROASTED CHICKEN, DRIED PRAWN & VETNAMESE SAUSAGE: Interesting combination of protein with sticky rice. Great crispiness achieved after poaching, maltose dipping and drying before deep frying.

    THE COMBO DESSERT PLATTER is a wonderful mix of black sesame ice cream, pandan ice cream, Creme Caramel, seasonal fruit.

    So much to love about the new direction of the menu as it re-tools the original Chinese/Malaysian tantalizing us with favorites from Vietnam and Thailand. Such great value as well in comparison to local area establishments, particularly with the tiere
  • Ume Burger

    Restaurants Barangaroo, NSW
    he waterfront views at Barangaroo coupled with the Japanese infused burger menu raises the status and experience of this joint by light years!

    ***** NEW MENU ITEM ALERT ****
    There?s always something worth coming in for, but these guys continue to pique our interest with the CHICKEN BURGER SPECIAL. It?s a Crumbed Chicken Thigh, Wuzu Kasho Mayo, Onion Tonkatsu Sauce and Shredded Cabbage

    ***** OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW ****
    THE FISH FILLET BURGER was brought in due to the Prawn crisis and for now, the Ebi Burger?s hand made prawn cats patty (YUM) stays a thing of the past but Regina tells us it may be back at some point. The Fish Burgers a beautiful hand crumbed fillet with Japanese Tartare sauce (which has textural cubes of egg through it), Iceberg Lettuce and Cheese. Biting into the crust is that rich fish flavor, still moist in the centre!


    The ultimate pig out session demanded we smash the entire range of burgers on offer in one sitting: Yes the CLASSIC CHEESEBURGER is a safe choice and of course does not disappoint but there is so much to love about the others.

    The UME BURGER uses fatty Wagyu beef for its mince patty that instantly Japani-fies the classic burger combo of truss tomato, onion and american cheese that has been replicated all over, so it was definitely a nice warmer to my main course.

    The MENCHI BURGER pays tribute to lovers of katsu and redefines the burger with pork, mild mustard, tonkatsu sauce, mayo, spanish onion and shredded cabbage. These three burgers are essential to understanding the entire menu ? just awesome!

    With our sides of Koki Fried Chicken, Hot Chips and Onion rings we played with the Nori Mayo and Spicy Cod Roe mayo. Such great new flavours and feelings are evoked here when coupled with your enjoyment of the classic American style meal you expect.

    Great relaxed vibe, long tables and standing cocktail tables with stools by the water make this a great casual destination.
  • Monte Alto Roasters

    Cafes Crows Nest, NSW
    It was a pleasure to come here both for the original soft launch and again after the official grand opening. The menu has changed slightly but the feelings of amazement and satisfaction after each meal remain. Harry now works out of the kitchen, but the menu still very much is his.

    There's elements of Japanese, a strong presence of Italian and Australian, the quintessential Modern menu of this culinary diverse dining landscape we live in.

    The VEAL SCALLOPINI is amazing served on garlic mash and surrounded by a mote of beef jus. Just like the SLOW COOKED PORK there?s delicate technique put in to ensure the tenderness in the meat. Both served with green for balance and crunch powerful protein plates in their own right.

    A newer menu item perfect for brunch is the SMOKED SALMON SALAD. Served with it?s side house mayo it?s perfectly balanced with an equal balance of salad and fish.

    Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the venue has an advantage over many cafes in the area as it is fully licensed and close enough to the centre of all the Crows Nest action, but far enough from the hustle to escape from work, with the family and your mates.

    The GRILLED SALMON was beautifully cooked and served on Asian greens and sweet potato mash, drizzled with soy and honey there's just the right amount of sweetness and balance between the potato and honey. Its presentation on the rectangle plate almost like a comet.

    The GRAIN FED EYE FILLET is a cut about an inch and a half or so thick and so you can appreciate the precision in its medium well success, perfectly seared on the outside with a nice juicy centre! 2 prawns accompany it with asparagus, corn and mushroom gravy and there's a slight play on the surf'n'turf with healthier bits weaved in - loved this.

    In reminiscing over the old menu, there have been slight changes to the presentation in some dishes, while others, as beautiful as they were (like the SOFT SHELL CRAB OPEN BURGER) are no more, however leave beh
  • Bluewater Cafe

    Restaurants Manly, NSW
    It?s literally metres away from the main crossing to and from the beach so naturally, the vibe is laid back and chillaxed. After a day in the waves, the menu offers some pretty rustic yet classy blends of flavors both in its food and drink range. The roar of the beach can be heard, the indoor and outdoor dining areas are bustling and hues of blue from the interiors reflect onto your plate.

    Such a great day and in paying tribute to the extended summer weather cocktails are essential with the sweet freshness of fruit based potions!

    MIDORI SPLICE (Midori, Malibu, Pineapple, Coconut Cream)

    GREAT GATSBY (Grapefruit, Vodka, Gin, Vermouth, Lemon)

    WATERMELON DAQIRI

    Difficult to compare and impossible to choose a favorite, though I did like the citrus blends in the Gatsby...

    The food menu is an amazing end note to your beachside swim or walks down to Shelley Beach and back. It predominantly features seafood.


    The BRUSCHETTA is topped with avocado spead, smoked salmon and capers. Beautifully presented, easy choice starter that will never let you down.

    If you can?t decide, the BLUE TASTING PLATE is made up of elements that one way or another appear throughout the selection of starters. Soft Shell Crab, Fishcakes, Prawn Skewers and Smoked Salmon with accompanying dipping sauce are very satisfying when looking to indulge without too much heaviness.

    The SPICED SOFTSHELL CRAB BURGER sees the crustacean crawling out of its bun adding a touch of class to a classic fave. Layered with slaw, aioli is heavenly with each bite.

    A powerful aroma takes over as the plate of RAVIOLI is brought over. Stuffed with Prawn, Lobster & Crab, brought to life with a subtle butter sauce and colored with rocket/cherry tomato garnishing. Immaculate dish!

    The absolute showstopper of the meal would be the BARRAMUNDI which we?ve all had a thousand times. However it?s the crafting of a Macadamia Crust that sets it oceans above many standard dishes. Perfect timing and technique has bee
  • Bloom the Healthy Food Co.

    Cafes Mosman, NSW
    It?s a menu that prides itself on being health focused. It?s a a cozy setting at the junction point of Miliary and Prince Albert Roads and there?s a strong buzz of locals.

    Sunday morning brunch is in full swing with some of the city?s most afflluent enjoying a catchup while feasting on some beautifully presented menu items.

    We?re told the BLOOM BIRCHER MUESLI acai bowl has been all the rage on social media, so it was impossible not to peak our curiosity of this vegatarian and vegan friendly dish. Gotta say it does live up to expectation with toasted muesli and nut mix (walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, chia) colored with blueberry, kiwi, banana and strawberry. Nice portions of each element.

    The BREKKIE BURGER of bacon and egg comes is cut through with a nice sweet tomato relish, avocado and aioli.

    Contrasting dishes with distinctive purposes depending on how you pull up this Sunday morning.

    The FRENCH TOAST STACK is also quite pretty and the perfect morning starter. Ricotta, Fresh berries, maple (optional) glazed bacon create a filling meal. It?s got just the right amount of grease to continue on with your day guilt free.

    The service staff embody the local spirit of the place. Seamlessly weaving each table through stages of their breakfast and lunch with minimal interruption and understand their patrons well when making recommendations.

    Indoor and Outdoor seating is available, is very family friendly and the place is vibrant and roaring with conversation as it?s location acts as a meeting point for many of the locals and passers by! There?s a sense of history in this place from its patrons that adds to its warmth.
  • Burwood Hotel

    Pubs & Bars Burwood, NSW
    REDISCOVER THE BURWOOD HOTEL:
    Following the 6 month renovation and facelift of the bistro, gaming and bar entertainment areas, the new menu has been unveiled offering a smorgasbord of choice to suit all palettes.

    INTERIOR / AMBIENCE:
    The environmentally friendly feature wall is a mosaic of old roof tiles offering visual texture and contrast within the seemingly unsuspecting charcoal tone. An art feature in itself, diners also have full view into the kitchen and can watch all the action as it takes place. The split level area leads down into the main bar area. Prominently displayed is a large brass bucket which once use to serve as a hotbed for metal castings adding a nice touch to the history and long established venue that has survived since the early 1920s. Live sports can be viewed on screen while the main staircase to the upper levels leads to the gaming area.

    From the Rib Eye, Rumps, Burgers to the bite size Baos and handmade dumplings, the versatility of the menu shapes itself to your visit. Family friendly, wide bistro spaces in the main dining area makes it perfect for a quick easy meal out without fuss enjoying some premium quality cuts and exciting flavors.

    Snacks / Share Plates:
    Prawn Har Gau, Shanghai Pork Mince Dumplings are a stable in the local area and you can?t escape them here, but it is the SPICY CHICKEN BAO with pickled cabbage and samba aioli that almost that stands out. That is, until you have the PORK BELLY BAO! When having Korean, I?m quite predictable and so it?s quite refreshing figurative

    Great service awesome use of spaces for dining and/or drinks.
  • Mezzanino Ristorante

    Restaurants Waterloo, NSW
    Open just 5 months, the restaurant is on the upper floor of the Danks Street Produce Merchants. Beautiful space with a very elegant fitout - high ceilings, lots of natural light, and marble counters lining the bar and kitchen pass. A warm tightness group that offers a high standard of service that would rival many higher starred Michelin establishments.

    Very interesting concept of Italian Yum Cha or ?PLATINI SELECTION; is served on a marble top Cerallo (trolley). It?s a beautiful selection, and is impossible to choose from as each dish is so beautifully presented.

    We opted for the STUFFED CAPSICUM of italian sausage truffle paste parmesan breadcrumb. Thereis a nice outdoor crunch to the crumb and caramelisation to the caps surface and a nice blend of smokiness and rich rendered flavor.

    The POLPETTE DELLA NONA (Beef Meatballs) are quite meaty. A nice plump size with tender premium mince that is bursting with juice enhancing the flavor of the house mad sauce.

    PROSCUITTO was essential and they serve it here with roasted yellow nectarine and Stracciatella cheese. Made from buffalo milk, if you speak Italian, you?ll know that ?Stracciatella? means to shred and best describes the texture of this cheese that bathes in a gooey cream. Excellent blend of flavors here with such simplicity yet richness.

    In between courses, Simon, displays his mixology chops in the STREGGA SOUR COCKTAIL. It?s an orange flavored liqueur base and is the perfect interlude.

    The FETTUCINE CON FICHI is a wonderful non-token Vegetarian dish that is well thought out and celebrates rich northern italian. Fig quarters star in this pasta offering a nice pink and green speckling, it works well with the sweetness of the Taleggio cheese which binds it all together. A pistacchio crumble is mixed through for crush.

    For dessert we share the AFFOGATO
    - vanilla gelato with espresso 8, frangelico , that nicely cleans the palette and is a nice end note of bitter sweet?

    The service team led by the wonderful and charming Raff, the excellent menu created by Head Chef Ricardo complement each other in this new innovation that redefines the Italian Culinary experience. Special thanks to the well coordinated attendants serving us each course and drinks, Giada, Francesca and Simon.

    A definite must if you?re in the area and unlike any other Italian venue around right now, is definitely a destination dining experience worth trying.
  • The Ohbar 1982

    Restaurants Sydney, NSW
    Opened just 4 months, Paul and Chef Kit have travelled all regions of Thailand giving us a preview of their ?1st Collection?, having curated a new menu of 8 new dishes! Taking the best of the best, they?ve curated some very exotic dishes to reinvigorate our love for Thai.
    Conveniently located opposite Hyde Park & Museum Station on Liverpool Street, it?s tucked away on the ground level of the residential complex.
    .
    The menu tonight was truly breathtaking:

    HRUEM (pronounced ?Room?) is a delicate crotchet of egg encapsulating a a mix Chicken mince and prawn mince, thai basil and peanut. Soft to the touch and striking not only visually, but in culinary technique.

    LHON TASTE NHAM & SALTED PORK BELLY - Northern style mild coconut milk with pickled pork, Fried pork belly with fish sauce - a great yin yang to this dish of contrasting salt and sweet nutty versions of pork on the one dishing.

    VEG SHADER RICE OF GOD - color rice, kaffir lime leaves, carrot, ground coconut, cucumber, lemon grass, radish, mango with Budu (sweet salty southern thick sauce) - a colorful dish that takes the vegetarian palette on a sweet, sour, crunch mushy journey.

    HOR MOK TALAY - Mild curry with a mix of seafood. Absolutely the highlight as it?s brought to your table in a baby coconut while on fire!!! Stunning execution, riveting flavors, scraping the inside of fresh coconut as you scoop out the divine centre! (VIDEO AVAILABLE ON INSTAGRAM @randomdindins)

    SMOKE IN THE WATER - Roast Thai aromatic herbs in a dried smoked and lightly grilled freshwater fish broth. Crispy skin, fresh coriander leaves. Quite salty and would be an acquired taste if you?re less open to new flavors. it?s really beautifully presented with the volcanic eruption of suspended benito flakes on the broth laid fish.

    Drinks & water topped up like clockwork, service on point without being too intrusive, also did an amenities check (which to me, says a lot about the overall state of a venue) and it?s all top notc
  • The Q on Harris

    Cafes Ultimo, NSW
    What?s worthy of note here, and refreshing is the flip on Chef Taiyo?s menu having taken the helm just 5 months ago. 4 of the 9 dishes offer an optional meat/seafood add-on. I?m not a vegetarian, but appreciate the dishes and find it refreshing. Today we focused on dishes with a slight hint of Japanese and Korean, but define it as Modern Australian. There are hints of next season?s menu weaving in some flavors from the Mediterranean showing great promise. Conveniently located across from the Powerhouse Museum and servicing the many media corporates and university professionals and students in close proximity, the menu is safe yet somehow daring enough!

    KABUKI is Japanese theatre incorporating song, mime and dance and these guys have taken that drama into a Korean Chicken waffle combination that surpasses expectation. These waffles are not sweet but more in the Mochi gluttonous form allowing the Spicy Korean and sesame glaze to shine. The coating of the chicken is very South American with a herb flouring adding to the crunch.

    KINOKO TARTINE, the french open sandwich that features an assortment of herb roasted Shimeji, Enoki, Button, Shitake, Oyster and Portobello Mushrooms with creme fruit, Confit Garlic, baby spinach and onion crisps on Sour dough. There?s a pungent broth that forms from the layered flavor of shrooms.

    BIBIMPAP is the Korean mixed brown rice bowl of fried egg, shiitake, spinach, bean sprouts, seaweed, carrot, house made spicy sauce, pickled radish and bamboo.

    The French BRULEE is revamped with the Japanese citrus fruit, Yuzu turning the old creme flavor into a pungent custard creme with hard caramel top.

    And of course, you will have to find the ever popular MATCHA in the beautiful leafy toned cheesecake. The vegetal taste of matcha somehow works well with the cream cheese offering yet another surprise to your expectation.

    Big thanks to Mana and her team (Mio & Etienne), Chef Taiyo (Marites & Dianne) for great service, excelle
  • Le Monde Cafe

    Cafes Surry Hills, NSW
    LE MONDE

    It?s away from main light rail construction project so it makes for a nice warm haven on Foveaux where you can turn it into your office for the day, enjoy a catchup with mates or just indulge.

    The menu plays into our comfort zones without being too over the top. This is good, because you can rely on it?s consistency and invest without taking too much risk.

    Our meal today focused on their signatures:


    CRUNCHY POTATO ROSTI (with smoked salmon, also available with smokehouse bacon FYI, roasted cherry tomato, feta, spinach and poached egg). Subtle enhancements to the hollandaise sauce with Saffron and a crumbling of crushed pistacchio are a welcome touch that revitalises predictability in this dish.

    CONFIT PORK BELLY: (Beetroot puree, avocado salsa, roasted cherry tomato, radish pickles, poached eggs, orange sauce and toast). Interesting play on a number of technique and flavors here.

    MATCHA HOTCAKES:
    Don?t hate, but I was pretty immune to the matcha craze with the fashionable on-trend regurgitations of lattes, cupcakes, donuts, sauces, crumbles and what not, but I really enjoyed these and could not get enough. The matcha flavor is subtle allowing the mascarpone cream and fresh fruit to have their moments and it?s all brought together with the coconut espresso syrup. Amazing amazing dish and amazing signature.

    There?s a choice of indoor and outdoor tables, wait times were exceptionally fast and perfect for the restrictive lunch hour. Each dish deserving of a gasp as they were brought to the table by the friendly and attentive service attendants. Great standout in the Surry Hills cafe scene!
  • Cabra-Vale Diggers

    Associations & Unions Canley Vale, NSW
    Fantastic newly refurbished venue. The food is amazing! Flawless execution in the Garlic prawns which they serve with a baguette for you to dip into the emulsification of rich basil infused sauce! The meat on the trio sliders was tender, however what stole the show for me in the first course was the beer battered flat head soft tacos! Wasabi Mayo, charred corn, caramelized onion and coriander was a very interesting yet refreshing combination with an added crunch to this from baby radish - definitely my pick of the entrees!

    The Seafood Share Platter is massive with wild caught kingfish, chermoula grilled prawns, salt & pepper squid, beer battered barramundi fillet, rock oysters, smoked salmon and chunky fries - pretty ordinary sounding right?? BUT NO - it's the jim jam sauce that's accompanies this dish that completely breathes new life into this classic choice.

    Also worth trying is definitely the rotisserie of grain fed rump cap, such a beautiful texture in the meet from the way it's cooked.

    The desserts of Mango & Coconut Domes, Salted Caramel popcorn and Petite Choc Mirror Glaze are absolutely stunning. Definitely the first is destined to be a crowd favorite.

    Service was friendly, personal and charming, the ambience of the newly renovated venue adds to the atmosphere and the wait times were very very swift.
  • Burnt Orange

    Cafes Chatswood, NSW
    Such a cute little setup in the middle of fashion shopper?s central in ?the chase?. Level 1 next to SABA. So many brunch sessions happening on a Friday morning it was the place to see and be seen in the North Shore!

    Available for Breakfast & Lunch is the EGGS BENEDICT on toasted brioche with Alaskan King Crab. It?s a nice step up from the conventional with the salmon roe adding that ?crown-jewel? touch. The hollandaise and sweet potato were nice accents to this grand dish.

    The ORGANIC BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES are served extra fluffy with fresh cranberry ricotta, seasonal fruits (in our case, mango, strawberry, blueberries and banana) and a side of maple syrup. This is the perfect Gluten Free option. Rich and substantial with so many elements to mix and match with each bite.

    Washing it all down with a Cappucino, Short Black, and a bit of a gossip session - it made for the perfect Friday brunch catchup! Lunch menu is available from 11.45am. Great friendly service from Hasan and his team and super fast wait times from the kitchen led by Chef Masaki and Sous Chef Arye!
  • Sicilian Restaurant - Parramatta

    Restaurants Parramatta, NSW
    It?s always a pleasure to visit a venue that has stood the test of time like Sicilian has for over a decade. Seafood dominates as it does in the region of Italy that this menu is inspired

    LOW CARB BURATTA CHEESE - served with rocket and figs, dried cherry tomato, toasted ciabatta garnished with fig reduction

    CLASSIC ARRANCINI DI RISOTTO - this is the main way Sicilians use their rice next to risotto, in its natural flavors and stock, sits on marinara sauce and shredded fetta.

    PORK BELLY: The crispy pork belly with truffle mash, seared scallops finished with an apple mousse and cider reduction. The meat is so tender and and its rind making a nice crackling sound when breaking! Great contrasts and perfect prep.

    BAIA MORTO BAY BUGS: Grilled garlic and herbed infused Morton Bay bugs rested on basil infused rustic mash and roasted vegetables (zucchini caps), finished with Sicilian Hollandaise sauce

    RISOTTE DI PESCE: Is typical of the sicilian island as their risottos will predominantly always feature their local catches. Prawn, calamari, vongole, octopus, and mussels feature here with fresh roma tomatoes and saffron.

    NUTTELLA PIZZA: It was impossible not to have a pizza from the feature woodier oven in the lower ground dining area. Chef made us a fantastic banana and strawberry creation with a luscious nutella base and a centerpiece of ice cream. Such simplicity, yet rich and elegant - perhaps the underlying thread to the success of the menu and this venue that has served tens of thousands of meals over the decade.

    Karina and her team served our table, were very helpful with recommendations and the wait times were surprisingly quite swift considering a number of large groups had walked in while we waited to order. The ambience is classy and sophisticated, nice booths in the lower dining area, and versatile table settings to suit all occasions on the upper split levels and rear bar areas. Al Fresco dining is also available.

    A leader in the Parramatta dining scene
  • Social Hideout

    Cafes North Parramatta, NSW
    Nestled away in a residential complex you can escape from the city metro hustle of Parramatta into a haven of plush greenery and a menu of Modern Australian. A relaxing space with light and airy indoor and outdoor seating, it's perfect for local area workers, post work out boosts and brunch with friends.

    There's a great rhythm to the service with a smooth pace and transition have been served throughout our meal by manager Nader and members of his team Linda, James and Chiaki. Such welcoming hospitality encapsulating the warmth of the place.

    THE HABIB' is a new item on the menu featuring Za?tar (a blend of middle eastern herbs, sesame and salt) poached eggs. The beetroot hummus provides a rich fuchsia tone to the classic chickpea with chunks enhancing the pasty texture - it's got an earthy taste. Bursts of pomegranate add surprise and excitement to the grand portobello mushrooms, smashed avocado that sits on sourdough. It's a fabulous reimagining of classic ideas.

    If you prefer the classics, the F45 GRANOLA BOWL is a great choice with almonds, pecans, macadamia, pomegranate, chia seeds, shaved pears, apple maple, vanilla yoghurt - a healthy start with a nutritional super boost, but as the colder weather sets in (or not), there will always be a need for the signature SOCIAL HIDEOUT BREAKFAST. Poached Eggs, bacon, sausage, hash, thyme mushrooms, roasted tomato, sourdough are universally loved making it impossible to decide!

    SECRET MENU ITEM: There's a range of lattes if you're looking to start your day with some vibrant colors. From the on-trend green matcha latte to the red velvet latte, ask about the purple taro latte which has almost a sweet potato kind of flavour.

    This is the kind of place anyone can enjoy and becomes a local favorite, if not, need to know secret. It's menu has a balance of healthy options and comfort food in a relaxing setting.