Friday, February 6, 2015

Sadhana Kitchen, Enmore

Three words. Raw vegan cakes. That's what drew us to this popular vegan cafe in Enmore, after our breakfast at the nearby Cuckoo Callay in Newtown. I had previously been to Sadhana Kitchen a few months back and tried their superbowl salad and banana french toast, but our focus this time was purely on the cakes. I had noticed their impressive cake cabinet last time, but had no idea they were raw cakes until someone told me. So what did these curious, raw and vegan cakes taste like?? 

I'll start off with my favourite, the Banoffee cheesecake. This was all kinds of delicious, it wasn't too sweet and delivered a punch of great banana flavour and vanilla and coconut-y creaminess. It was a solid cake with a smooth texture and nice crumbly base. I could eat one another one of these, all by myself. Also, yay for photogenic plating and swirly vegan chocolate sauce! 

Banoffee cheesecake ($12)

Next is the Snickers cheesecake. I am no expert, but something about vegan chocolate tastes different! Maybe it's just me but I taste a hint of sourness or something in the chocolate. Overall, it's not a bad cake, but it is very very rich though. Pretty high on the sweetness scale too, and that's coming from someone with a major sweet tooth. I actually really enjoyed tasting this cake, but if I had to eat more than a few spoonfuls of it, I would have difficulty finishing it because it's that rich and dense. I recommend sharing this cake, unless you are major chocoholic and cannot fathom the thought of sharing your chocolate cake with anyone else, then by all means, enjoy your slice of vegan chocolate heaven. 

Snickers cheesecake ($12)

Lastly, the carrot cake. Sorry, I need to emphasise, RAW carrot cake. Yes, I know the cakes here are all raw, but the raw pieces of carrot in this cake were quite ... I don't know, off-putting. It was bitter and had that strong, distinct raw carrot taste which is fine in salads, but in cakes ... it just didn't work for me. Actually, for the other two cakes, it was quite hard to tell they were raw, but this cake, oh boy, it definitely tasted uncooked. Some of the other Fat Fridayers felt it could be a good palate-cleanser because it had that refreshingness to it, but I guess that is up to the individual. Sorry, not for me. I would rather cleanse my palate with some fruits. Or a soft serve. Ahhhh I really need a soft serve machine. 

Raw carrot cake ($12)

I should mention the price of the cakes. They were prettttttttttttty expensive for a slice of cake. We chose to eat in, not sure if that affected the price (there were no prices on the cakes in the cabinet when we went). I was a bit surprised, because from what I remember, the price of the other food at Sadhana Kitchen were pretty standard/reasonable. Maybe the vegan ingredients for the cakes cost more? Service-wise, well it is partly self-serve, since you need to find your own table and order and pay at the counter. Then they bring the food out to you. Anyway, it was nice to try something different though. I don't have much experience with vegan cafes and I love love my meat, but it's nice to know that vegan food (cakes in particular) can be pretty tasty!

Sadhana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cuckoo Callay (Newtown)

What better way to start off the new year than cafe hopping? The first stop for the first Fat Friday of 2015 is Cuckoo Callay, located conveniently right outside Newtown station. Strangely enough, we have walked pass this place many many times but I never took notice of this place until now. 

Peanut butter and jelly shake, iced espresso

So let's go straight to the food shall we? Of course we always have to start off with a drink or a coffee. The day was particularly hot so a lot of us were very keen to sit down with a cup of cold drip coffee, unfortunately it was all gone, so some of us opted for the peanut butter and jelly shake and iced espresso instead. If you are a peanut butter and jelly fan, then this milkshake is the drink for you.

Cinderella's Breakfast: Pumpkin fritters, house cured salmon, poached egg, house made basil pesto and fresh heirloom tomatoes

For me the Cinderella's breakfast is a combination of everything you'd want to have for breakfast, cured salmon, fritters, runny poached eggs, refreshing tomatoes and aromatic pesto. Unlike common fritters such as corn or zucchini, the use of pumpkin gives more sweetness to the dish which works really well with the rest of the elements. The only let down is the cured salmon which could be cured a bit more because it didn't have much of a flavour or existence in the dish apart from providing a squishy texture.

Berets, Stars and Stripes: Brioche french toast with maple bacon, peanut caramel, whipped ricotta, cornflakes and maple syrup

When everything on the plate sounds like a part of a dessert the bacon might seem somewhat out of place, but when you have everything together in one mouthful it is a combination of balanced flavour and texture. Once you bite into the french toast you get the crunchiness of cornflakes then the fluffy brioche, the maple and bacon is a perfect harmony of sweet and savoury, the peanut caramel just gives the dish another dimension of sweet nuttiness while the light creamy ricotta helps neutralise whichever element that might be too sweet or too salty for particular taste buds.    

#Hashtag Browns 2.0: Crispy bubble and squeak hashbrown, poached egg, pea puree, marinated avocado and bacon steak

Out of all the dishes I believe this one to be the least overwhelming. The marinated avocado was a refreshing touch to the dish and runny poached egg is always good. The crispy bubble and squeak hashbrown did not impress me much as it was like mashes potato with an outer layer of fried skin, and the bacon steak wasn't too bad, but considering it's such a large piece of meat I much rather prefer them using the belly/streakier bacon with more fat to keep the meat tender and moist. 

Mother Ducker: Pulled duck, sauteed potatoes, green lentils, shallots, shaved asparagus, poached egg and chili jam

The last dish we had was a lunch item and it's a bit of a hit and miss. The combination of flavours were a little odd though still strangely tasty, however, would I have it again? Sadly, no. The amount of duck in this dish was slightly disappointing and amount of potatoes? Too much carbs!

Overall a pleasant start to the year and some pretty decent food for our first fat Friday.

Cuckoo Callay on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Earth to Table (Bondi)

This place has been on our hit list for a while now but we never got around to it because Bondi is a bit out of our way. At last, we could no longer resist the beauty of their raw cakes. On this beautiful day we were lucky to get seated at the back which is a brighter and more opened area compared to the inside. Lots of fresh air, natural lighting (perfect for photos) and occasional view of man hanging up laundry. The whole place had a very hippie/vegan/Bondi feel to it and the decors had me snapping shots here and there while we waited for the food.

Back seating area



Table "no.": a cute little jar of plant

Drinks: Give me a high; raw cacao, espresso and almond mylk blended with ice // Special of the day; ice tea

First came the drinks we ordered, the "give me a high" which is simply a vegan iced mocha and the special of the day, some form of berry ice tea (if I remember correctly). The first thought that came to mind when I tried them was it's not sweet! I guess it's such a common thing for iced drinks to be sweetened that it really does become an obvious difference when it's missing. The iced mocha didn't taste too surprising, maybe that's the reason I liked it more because the ice tea was very different, and unusual, most likely due to the combination of mint and cinnamon flavour coming through strongly.

Breakfast item: Granola

Now, on to the food. I'm not the cereal type of person and usually I would never even consider ordering granola off the menu, however, this granola turned out pretty good. The fresh fruits were sweet and juicy, a perfect combo with the crunchy granola and I really liked the subtlety of almond milk compared to dairy milk.

Main: Swiss brown mushrooms; marinated Swiss brown mushrooms served on a sunflower seed and almond bread with braised spinach and bernaise style sauce

This mushroom dish from the "mains" section would be best described as a vegan eggs benedict. I don't know how they do it, but the mushroom was "cooked" until tender and juicy which was a contrast in texture to the "bread" which greatly resembled... bird food, a loaf of seeds compacted together. The vinaigrette was perfect with the spinach and shrooms while the creamy and nutty "hollandaise"  helped balance the tangy flavour.

Cake cabinet: So many to choose from~

Triple berry coconut

Finally! It was time for dessert. As we were eating our mains I could see tables around us polishing their cakes clean off their plates, when I had it I knew why. Who would have thought healthy desserts can taste so good! Unlike the usual cakes which might leave you feeling sick in the stomach from all the rich cream and sugar, raw cakes are able to satisfy your sugar cravings yet leave you feeling happy and guilt free. The cake was creamy and smooth but light at the same time with subtle tang and sweetness of berries and mild flavour of coconut. The base was crumbly, crunchy and delicious.

Overall, my first raw food experience was indeed an interesting one. The food was good but not amazing so I most likely won't go out of my way for it again, however, I will definitely be back for their cakes!

Earth To Table on Urbanspoon\

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Mary's (Newtown)

So Fat Friday finally made its way to Mary's for their infamous fried chicken! Actually we went a while ago but then realised we haven't blogged about it yet D:
Anyways, here goes! So this obscure place is not easy to find, Mary Street is one of the small streets perpendicular to the busy Kings Street and as you walk along it there's a very likely chance you'll miss the place or wonder where it is because this place doesn't have a sign nor does it have a front door that yells out "come in we're a shop!". Making our way up Mary Street, we noticed a very shady looking back door which had us questioning whether that was the place. After walking up and down the street with no luck of finding anything else that resembles a shop or pub we decided to walk in. 

Inside (upstairs)

Downstairs was the bar, kitchen and high stools and tables more suitable for drinking and socialising. As we were there purely for the chicken we were guided to a more comfortable sitting area upstairs. 


Cocktail: Don't remember its name but somewhat resembled pina-colada and tasted like pineapples

Mary's burger

Of all the burgers we opted for the Mary's burger which contained lettuce and tomato as oppose to the cheese burger, just because it makes it a little bit healthier. It wasn't a bad burger but it wasn't something special. The bun was soft and the patty meaty and juicy. The fries were crunchy and golden.

Half bird

Now for their famous chicken! I have to say, it wasn't as good as I thought it will be. However, it was still a pretty satisfying fried chicken (apart from one piece which was still slightly raw and bloody inside...). Encased in the crunchy batter/seasoning was tender juicy meat, and they were so nice as to remove as many unnecessary bones.
The piece of uncooked chicken aside, it was a pleasant experience.

Mary's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hilton Hotel Sydney: Glass Brasserie

It's been a while since every one of our fellow Fat Friday-ians were able to join together for a meal and this time we were lucky enough to enjoy a buffet breakfast at the Hilton hotel for this wonderful occasion.
The Glass Brasserie is opened for breakfast from 6am to 10am Monday to Friday and 7am to 11am on the weekends. With a classy and modern interior, the feature that I really impressed me was the wine cabinets that went up to the ceiling. Even though it is high end dining the atmosphere was very comfortable and the staffs were friendly. The glass walls and windows allows enough light in (perfect lighting!!! especially for photo taking) and gives a lovely view of the city.
On to the food, now this is the type of buffet I like. There was freshly squeeze juices, a variety of fresh fruits (when I say fresh I really mean fresh, not un-canned "fresh fruits" which looks bruised and all), different flavour yoghurts, all the breakfast favourites such as sausages, eggs, old meats, cheese, mushrooms etc etc etc. I loved the potato hash, and lets not forget the pastries!! The pastries are placed in a different section away from all the other food so make sure you don't miss out on it. The donut is a must try, according to the rest of the Fat Friday-ians it was the best donut ever, soft and light, like clouds in your mouth.
For those who are interested, there is also a small menu which you can order from, though that might cost you a little extra.



City view

More food

And even more food

The pretty wine cabinets

It was a wonderful breakfast at a beautiful location with awesome people. Only regret is I didn't eat more!

Glass Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Paper Plane Cafe (Parramatta)

Is it just me or are hipster cafes popping up everywhere?! It seems like Parramatta is getting its fair share of attention these days, first was Circa Cafe, now Paper Plane Cafe is becoming the talk of the town. Located only 10 minutes walk away from the station and Westfield shopping centre, it is convenient for anyone looking for a good feed and a place to chill and relax with friends over coffee and drinks. The cafe is very open and spacious, wonderful lighting with seats outside and inside, though I would probably recommend sitting inside because you might get the occasional cigarette smell, plus the street view isn't very nice either.

Vintage decors, cute~

Inside (waiting...)

Inside from the outside~ 

Menu: all day breakfast, yay 

Peach Melba ice tea and Chai latte

Paper plane burger: beef patty, peanut butter, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun with a side of bad boys

Everything taste better with peanut butter right? The combination of peanut butter and burger might sound bizarre and weird to many but for some reason it works amazingly well. For all the burger lovers out there, this is a must try. The slight sweetness of the soft brioche bun and the salty sweet peanut better is the perfect compliment with the savoury, smoky bacon and cheese (yes there is cheese as well!). The bad boys, which is their famous thick cut chips are some of the best chips I've had. Crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside and lightly seasoned with chicken salt, so good!

Chorizo hotpot: chunky chorizo, egg and feta baked in a rich, spicy tomato sauce topped with fresh rocket and a side of crusty bread

The chorizo hotpot is pretty much baked eggs. The tomato sauce was surprisingly quite spicy but it worked well with the generous amount of chorizo as they were on the less heavy side. The fresh rocket was great for cutting through the rich flavour and the bread of course was the perfect side for soaking up all the egg-y and tomato-y goodness.

Reuben: silverside beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, pickles and thousand island dressing on rye with a side of bad boys

As for the Reuben, probably would have been better if it was cut in half. It was a bit messy and hard to eat but apart from that I loved it. The beef was full of flavour and tender, the sauerkraut which is sour cabbage (a typical side to German cuisine) was a good contrast to the salty meat and cheese and the dressing just helped pull everything together. There wasn't any pickles in the sandwich as the menu described but I didn't miss it at all, it was pretty satisfying even without the pickles.

Overall great food for a relatively affordable price. Would definitely be back for more of those bad boys.

Paper Plane Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brewtown Newtown (Newtown)

Brewtown, famous for their coffee and cronuts, a pastry which is a cross between a croissant and a donut invented by Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York. With a slightly old warehouse feel, the atmosphere of this cafe was hipster, lively, relaxing and friendly. Despite this, I cannot say our experience was wonderful. It was a very busy day at the cafe so when we got there we had to stand around outside to wait. The waiter eventually forgot about us but luckily we went up to check so we finally got a table.

The baristas



Not too much to say about the coffee other than the fact that it was pretty good. One of the things I would come back for :)

Cold brew coffee on daft

 Crispy fried blue eye cod with spinach, chorizo and house cut chunky chips

On to the food, this dish did not come out as I expected, for some reason I was expecting a piece of pan fried crispy skin cod with fresh green looking spinach and crispy crunchy chorizo, maybe it was the description "crispy".... so I was looking forward to a clean and fresh looking dish. However, what came out was battered deep fried cod which was not "crispy" as the description says, nor was it crunchy as the batter of a good piece of fried fish should be. The fish was well over cooked and dry and the potato chips were soggy. The chorizo was cooked with the spinach which was broken down and appeared to have a sauce/pesto like consistency. 

Blackboard special: Blood sausage, scrambled eggs and rocket baguette (or something along the lines...)

I do not eat blood sausage but from the feedback I heard this was really good~

Cronuts: cinnamon (front)/ glazed (back)

There has been a hype about these cronuts so I have been very eager to try them, however, I must say they are over rated. Flavour wise it tasted pretty much like a cinnamon or a glazed donut but by deep frying the croissant-donut, the layers of pastries were left very heavy, dense and greasy leaving a coat of oil on my fingers every time I picked it up.

Poached chicken salad with quinoa, roasted cauliflower, pistachio, zucchini ribbons

After the slight mess up with the tables and waiting there was a bigger mess up with the orders. The salad and cured ocean trout came out long after we have finished the fish and blood sausage. We kept waiting and waiting for about an hour, all this time they kept bringing us the fish and the blood sausage which we already got. Anyhow, we at last got the last two dishes placed on our table. The salad was definitely a healthier option, especially after the cronuts and it was yum! 

Beetroot cured ocean trout, avocado smash, rye sour dough toast, dill, Persian feta and beetroot relish

Lastly the cured trout which is a breakfast item on the menu. Wasn't an amazing dish but wasn't too bad either. The elements on the dish complimented each other well, the only down side was the trout could have done with more curing.

Overall not the best service, but great coffee! With the food, it really depends on what you pick, some dishes worked out pretty well but others were a hit or miss. If you are interested in the cronuts don't hesitate to give it a try, though I personally didn't enjoy the cronut there were some of us who did :)

Brewtown Newtown on Urbanspoon