About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Copper Pan (St Ives, Sydney)

There is a cafe in Gordon that piqued my interest last year and so far I have only managed to have a cup of coffee there. Why? Because it is constantly packed and I don't have the patience to wait for a table when I have a list of errands to get to on a Saturday. The place is called Pottery Green Bakers.

A few months ago when I was browsing their Facebook page, I noticed mention of a sister cafe opening up in St Ives. Well, before you know it, I was checking it out. This cafe nook is The Copper Pan. It is located on the first floor of St. Ives Shopping Village.

The cafe is decorated with lots of wood with heavy iron chairs. It has a different look to its sister. I really like the look of the dark tables and the stools have iron legs. They are quite solid and for some of them you have to lift them up in order to move the stool.

I decided to check out a few dishes over different visits. On my first visit I had French toast with cinnamon, banana and Canadian maple syrup. My drink that morning was the Strawberry smoothie. I liked the glass jug the smoothie was served in.

I loved it! The bread was fluffy and nicely balanced with the maple syrup. And the dish was nicely presented on a board.

On my second visit, I had the Baked eggs with spicy chorizo and olives in tomato served with baguette in their signature copper pan. What is it about baked eggs that call to me? I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The bread was so fresh and had a lovely crust. I was literally smothering the bread in the tomato sauce and eggs. My drink for that day was the Mixberry smoothie.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Pendolino (Sydney CBD)

Pendolino is an Italian restaurant located in the historical and iconic Strand Arcade. I absolutely love walking through the Strand and browsing the shops. And when I have some additional time, I like browsing the 1st and 2nd floors of the retail shops.

But in all these years I have yet to dine at Pendolino. It was time to meet up with my friend SH and celebrate her upcoming birthday. Silly me forgot to bring her presents so that means I will have to mail them, wont't I? Duh!!

It was the first time I went to the Strand after hours and I was surprised at how everything was gated right at the start of the arcade. I couldn't browse around even though I was 15 minutes early for the dinner.

So I took the lifts and when I exited I was literally stepping into the restaurant. It was unexpected and it threw me a little.

The lightning was low, which to me means dark! Terrible for trying to take photos but great if you are here for a romantic dinner. Lol! They even brought out a mini lamp for diners to read the menu and they take the lamp away once the orders are placed. I was so tempted to ask for the lamp to stay on the table.

We had:

Three types of olive oil served with some delicious bread. I liked that they labelled each of the oil so we knew what we were tasting. There was the fruity olive oil, lemon infused, and blood orange. My favourite was the lemon infused. SH preferred the blood orange. And I really enjoyed the walnut bread.

Entree of Carpaccio Di Manzo All'Abese - free range raw beef carpaccio with truffled white walnut purée, Testun di Barolo cheese, rocket cress, wild baby olives and handmade rosemary grissini.

Entree of Burrata Con Insalata Di Rape Rosse - warm beetroot and red radish salad with burrata, crisp breadcrumbs, Cabernet vinegar, and Ligurian honey dressing.

I was thoroughly enjoying my entree. The burrata was lusciously creamy and the beetroot was sweet and perfectly cooked. The crisp breadcrumbs provided the much needed crunchiness to the lovely salad.

SH finished her dish up and her verdict was the carpaccio was delicious! Enough said!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Cafe Belle Fleur (Glenhaven, Sydney)

It was time for another Christmas catch up with one of my long time friends. As she resides in the Hills area, we specifically decided to meet at a cafe not located in any shopping centre. The main reason for this was to avoid the crowds during the post Christmas sale.

We eventually chose Belle Fleur which is a cafe located in the Flower Power compounds in Glenhaven, located in the Dural area.

I actually arrived a little earlier than I anticipated but that gave me time to browse through the nurseries and outdoor furniture section. Having never been here before, everything was new and interesting.

When we arrived at the cafe, I was immediately struck by the spaciousness. It would be very difficult to feel any sense of crowdedness. We were seated near the windows and had a great view of the pond and the large weeping willow. It was quite peaceful actually.

Being quite a warm day, I was hoping the cafe would be air conditioned. If it was, it wasn't on that afternoon but there were many ceiling fans that were turned on. It wasn't too bad where we were seated. But on a 40 degree day and there have been a few lately, it wouldn't have been pleasant.

For lunch I chose to have one of the specials. It was Prosciutto, gruyere and asparagus frittata, served with a side of salad. I enjoyed the frittata but did find the heavily laced salad dressing overwhelming the taste of my frittata. I found that distracting and decided to focus on the frittata and abandon the salad.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Nomad (Surry Hills, Sydney)

Yay! My first post of 2014 is about a great new restaurant in Surry Hills. My meal at Nomad occurred a couple of weeks before Christmas and as usual, I am a little behind with my posts.

By the way, my new year's resolution is to be more on the ball with my blog posts. One can only try but no promises! :)

Nomad has a 2 session seating policy with fixed times. Not sure if it is only for Saturdays but as mentioned before this is becoming rather prevalent. I have a friend who dislikes this policy intensely and absolutely refuses to go to restaurants who has this. I actually don't have an issue about it and ultimately I am there to enjoy the meal and the company. How do you feel about restaurants with 2 fixed time sessions in one evening?

When I walked into Nomad, I was struck by the openness of the restaurant. There was a warehouse like feel to it. It was like being in a loft. I loved it. Everything was open, even the kitchen. On one side was the stack of wine bottles and next to it was the drying area for the small goods. On the other side was shelves of bottled pickles. At the far end of the hanging small goods was the cheese room.

Our seating was for 6.00 pm and I liked the fact the restaurant was open before 6 to allow us to sit down and peruse the menu in good time.

As I was being seated, I was asked if I wanted tap water or sparkling water. Before I could answer, I was informed that it would cost me $4 per person for unlimited sparkling. Well, that decided for me, so I chose sparkling. I really like it when we diners are told of the prices before we decide on drinks and on specials.

So here is a list of the spread we had. I think we ordered just a little too much but I wanted to try everything. A common problem, as usual. :)

We started with the snacks which are categorised as small in the dinner menu.

Wood fired sourdough with black salt butter.

House made Nomad charcuterie - a selection of lardo, beef cheeks, ox heart pastrami, mortadella and chorizo. The lardo was just a tad to lardy for us but we loved the ox heart pastrami and beef cheeks. I also enjoyed the mortadella.

Foie gras and chicken liver parfait - the dish of the night as far as I am concerned! Although I am not normally a fan of the foie gras, it did lift up the flavours of the chicken liver parfait. The crunchiness of the pickles provided the requisite texture to offset the smooth and creamy parfait. Altogether they make a good combination of flavours and textures.