M and I have talked about going to the Norfolk for dinner for a while now. It’s the new-ish venture for Thomas Lim, ex Tetsuya’s who is now at Duke Bistro, The Flinders Hotel. To be honest, I didn’t even know this pub existed – don’t know where I have been hiding! However, I have heard that it has been refurbished, and is a lot nicer.
M and I managed to pick the busiest Saturday, it was the Surry Hills Festival and the beginning of the races and the place was packed! Thankfully, ‘The Mother’ and I got there a little early, there were no tables in the courtyard but got a table just near the door which suited us fine.
We started with a few drinks, bloody mary – served in the tomato can which I assume is where the tomato juice is from, was absolutely delicious. I love how it was served in a can. M thought it wasn’t spicy enough and claimed the one at Porteno was infinitely better. Now I haven’t had a bloody mary for such a long time, I thought it was wonderful! I loved the spicy kick at the end, although I have to admit, it could have been a little bit spicier.
‘The Mother’ and Y had beers – typical boys.
The menu is very Mexican, we were quite impressed with the bar snacks and thought we would share to start with. They have specials every single day of the week – $10 schnitzel night on Monday nighst sounds good, so does $12 rib night on Thursday nights, and as much as I love the sound of Tequilla nights, I think that could get extremely messy and ugly!
I couldn’t go pass the fried chicken wings with hot sauce and red eye mayo ($12.50). Tender, juicy and finger licking good, the chicken wings were too good to stop at just one! The coating was light and a little spicy but not mouth burning sensation and the red eye mayo were a wonderful complement. The ‘hot sauce’ weren’t exactly hot but they were definitely satisfying and absolutely delicious.
We shared the pork belly and slaw roll ($7.50) which were served with chips. I thought it was a rather small serving.
The bun was disappointing, and the pork belly was succulent but there were no crackle. It was nice but nothing special I thought.
The spiced Norfolk fries ($7.50) were delicious. They were crispy on the outside and soft mushy on the inside with a nice spicy flavour. It really went well with the beers and bloody Mary.
That was just entree! ‘The Mother’ and I weren’t super hungry, however, were keen to try the bbq’d sweet corn with chipotle mayo, queso and lime ($5.50). I love chipotle mayo and have been meaning to make it at home. Two pieces of corn smothered with lots of mayo and topped with grated queso. The corn was deliciously sweet, the mayo gave it that spicy kick and the cheese which was mild really complemented each other. It was wonderful and probably the highlight for me that evening.
We also shared the salt n pepa squid with jalapeno aioli ($14) – it had me at aioli. The jalapeno aioli was creamy and the jalapeno gave it that extra flavouring and spice. Unfortunately the coat of the squid had too much salt and not enough ‘pepa’. They were tender, just way too salty.
M couldn’t go pass the burger with wagyu beef patty, pickle, cheese, big M M M Sauce, bacon and fries ($17). She shared this with Y – unfortunately I didn’t have any of this, it looked amazing though.
She did say that it was almost as good as that of the lotus burger – we both LOVE the lotus burger. Damn – I should have said ‘yes’ when she asked! It looked messy, juicy, and frigging awesome!
We were going to order a side of the deep fried pickles with ranch dipping sauce ($7.50) but M and I thought it would be the same as the event we wen too, Half Baked Stoner Degustation, so gave it a miss. The soft shell tacos looked a little unappealing though. However, in saying that, I prefer my tacos to be crunchy and not soft.
The crowd that evening was a lot older than I had anticipated. Both M and I thought there would be younger, not sure why. The atmosphere was good and lively. I did enjoy the music – it had a mix of everything. The service was good and friendly. ‘The Mother’ thought it was good to have snack food, but wouldn’t go there for a meal. The mains he thought were pricey. Overall, the bar food looked more appealing than the mains.
We sat there talking, laughing and drinking – it certainly was a wonderful evening with friends and let’s do it again shortly!
GA’s rating: 7 / 10
‘The Mother’s’ rating: 7 / 10
305 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9699 3177
A good find and a true gem! I first came here with my eating partner, B. We have wanted to try this place for brunch for a while now. Unfortunately they don’t do all day breakfast, however, they do have a couple of breakfast items like banana bread or granola with yogurt that are offered all day.
I love the wooden plank, which the paper menu is clipped onto.
They also have daily specials on the black board which changes regularly. I was attracted to their brekky tasting plate which is offered on Friday and Saturday only and bookings are essential. We asked what it was and the waitress kindly explained it to us. It consists of fish toast, very Mediterranean and Spanish, and very yummy she claims. The second course being bacon and eggs on sweet brioche and lastly dessert – strawberries and ricotta which was exactly what I had for brunch that day. The breakfast tasting platter sounds wonderful – will have to ask ‘the Mother’ if he wants to come and join me one day.
I couldn’t resit but order the strawberry salad on walnut bread with sweet ricotta and mint ($12). It was just too pretty to eat! I love the bright red colours from the strawberries.
Thinly sliced strawberries with generous servings of ricotta on thin and toasted walnut bread sprinkled with icing sugar – YUM! Talk about sugar high and calorific but it was excellent. The strawberries were sweet and the ricotta was a wonderful complement. It was the breakfast indulgence that I needed!
B opted for something healthier, Le Monde Muesli with fresh fruit and yogurt ($9). Natural muesli topped with strawberries, banana and yogurt. It was good though, but I think my strawberry salad was infinitely better.
A week later, I was meeting my newly lady of leisure friend, A for lunch. I have wanted to try their lunch since I saw the menu. Their corn fed chicken salad – roast pumpkin, fennel, spinach, walnut and vinaigerette ($14) looked absolutely amazing! Unfortunately that was not on the menu when we came. Instead..
Frenched chicken wings with red coleslaw and peanuts ($11). Both A and I ordered this and wow – it was truly amazing! I have taken a liking to red coleslaw and this was superb. The Frenched chicken was tender, moist, salty and with a dollop of mayonnaise it was finger licking good! My only gripe would be there weren’t enough chicken wings! I probably could have eaten twice the amount.
The mixberry milkshake was thick, creamy, and deliciously sweet.
Le Monde, a true gem and this won’t be my last visit. Thankfully they open on Saturdays, as I will no longer have my weekday brunches *sigh*. The staff are lovely and friendly, and this place does get extremely busy around lunch time, so come early to beat that lunch time rush!
To my new lady of leisure friend – you deserve the break and enjoy every bit of it! I certainly did and if this opportunity didn’t land on my lap I would still be LOL-ing with you!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
83 Foveaux Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9211 3568
B and I were catching for brunch. We were originally going to go to Café Sicilia, a newly opened café on Crown Street, Surry Hills just opposite Tabou (which is now closed!). B and I perused the menu but nothing on the menu grabbed us so decided to waddle down and found Cossies Café.
It’s a small cafe, the place was relatively empty when we rocked up a little before midday but it did quickly fill up afterwards. The place is very cozy, unprentious and very welcoming.
Started with strawberry and guava frappe – very subtle guava flavour, it was delicious and absolutely refreshing. B had their coffee and said it strong, and aromatic.
B had the granola served with yogurt, berries and rhubarb compote ($10) – hmhmhm rhubarb!
I opted for something more substantial, salad nicoise with grilled salmon, olives, green beans and poached egg ($14.50). The salad was fresh and excellent, the dressing delightful. My only gripe would be the size of the grilled salmon! I had expected something a little more substantial, however, it was cooked to perfection – medium rare and scrumptiously tender.
This café is very humble, unpretentious and with very simple decoration. Don’t be put off by its humbleness, the service and food is very good! Moderately priced and is extremely busy on the weekends.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
638 Crown Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9699 8482
Last time I went to Bar H, it was for breakfast. It was such a long time ago that they have changed the menu and my lovely roasted rhubarb, strawberry and mint salad is no longer on the menu!
I was meeting the gorgeous B for lunch and I suggested this place. It was a warm day and we sat by the window people watching. One of the many things I love to do… people watching whilst sipping coffee!
I couldn’t go pass the jamon serrano el conquistadores served with dried figs, almonds and parsley ($18). I love the combination of figs and proscuitto. The figs were fresh and deliciously sweet. The proscuitto was cut thinly, melted in my mouth and ‘drizzled’ with olive oil, it was wonderful. It was a refreshingly light salad which I needed on the day.
B on the other hand wanted something more simple. She opted for the shaved kurobuta ham, heirloom tomato and machego sandwich on sonoma miche ($12). She didn’t have any of the cheese unfortunately as she is on a non-dairy diet! The ham was excellent! It was tender to the point of melting in your mouth, sweet, and a tad fatty. You can’t really see from the photo below but the generous ham is sitting on a mountain of heirloom tomatoes. I have to say, even without the cheese it was pretty tasty.
I love the coffee here, its stong, smooth and aromatic. Unfortunately they only have one size, small and one is never enough!
I have heard great reviews about their caremlised pork, fennel and mint sandwich – will have to try that next time! Yes.. more pork! YUM!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
80 Campbell Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9280 1980
This place really requires no introduction! It is one of my favourite weekend brunch spots. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to dinner here as often as I’d like. So when a dear friend, S, said she would like to go try this place, I couldn’t help but say yes! It certainly has been a long time since I had dinner at Café Ish, the last time was the all you can eat ribs! Way too long!
We started with the fried shrimps – crispy and crispy shrimp. I’m not usually a fan of eating whole shrimps – especially the head and tail but these were just too good – once you start, you can’t stop! And I didn’t mind eating the head and the tail either.
Next, the saikyo yaki kingfish with caramelised bush lime was wonderfully cooked. It was tender and the lime really gave it that extra zing and flavour. It was so light and tasty that I probably could have eaten the whole thing on my own!
We didn’t order this, but Josh kindly gave us the lamb cutlets to try. He knew about my non-love for lamb but adviced me to try it and my goodness, I have to say, it was probably the best lamb cutlet I have had ever. I had more than one bite – TWO in fact and it was a rather generous bite I might add. It didn’t have that lamb-y smell or texture, it actually tasted like beef for once. The crust was excellent, crunchy and the sauce – I can’t exactly remember the name of it but it was sweet and wonderful. It really complemented the lamb well! I think the other diners truly enjoyed this dish also.
I couldn’t go pass the pork ribs – we originally wanted beef but they had run out so opted for the pork. I love the ribs here at café ish, marinated in sake, soy, mirin and ginger and topped with corriander, fresh chili, shallots, sesame and black vinegar – it was just magnificient. It was SO succulent and tender the meat just fell off the bone and the sauce – S and I couldn’t help but dip everything in it! I think we both could have picked up the sauce and drunk the sauce! It was THAT good!
The skewer plater had three different types of skewers: two of each (from left to right), crocodile tail panko crumbed with japanese curry sauce; tofu, shitake mushrooms and spring onions; and grass fed mirragon wagyu with fresh tasmania wasabi and soy. My favourite had to be the crocodile tail followed by the wagyu beef which was succulent and just melted in my mouth.
S and T have never had their specialty – the soft shell crab omelette which is served with garlic, chili, soy, ginger dressing, avocado, shallots and lime. This would be my ‘usual’ if I had brunch at café ish on the weekends. It’s just too good to not have it. It’s a generous serving, deep fried soft shell crab with chunks of avocado and topped with shallots wrapped inside a thin layer of egg pancake and drizzled in chili, soy and ginger dressing is just excellent! The best soft shell crab omelette in Sydney!
Now dessert, we originally wanted the apple and munthari haru maki with butterscotch sauce and wattle macadamia ice cream and zen zai, which is chilled fruits, macadamia syyrup, rice dumplings, rosella jelly and red beans. However, they ran out of zen zai so Josh whipped up this wonderful yet refreshing pineapple dessert. Pineapple with passionfruits topped with sake granita! WOW. The pineapple were incredibly sweet, and the sake granita was light and refreshing. This was such a simple but wonderful dessert!
Instead of the apple and muthari haru maki, Josh made this magnificent dessert. This should definitely be on the menu! Toasted brioche with stewed apple, godzilla fruit and different types of berries topped with macadamia ice cream and butterscotch sauce (I think!). I have never heard of godzilla fruit so had to google it and they were absolutely delicious sweet! The brioche was sweet and topped with butterscotch sauce it was heavenly. A plate full of sweetness goodness – I had to refrain not to demolish this on my own, I wanted it on my own and could have probably eaten it all on my own! Greedy much? Yes!
It was great catching up with both S and T! They both definitely enjoyed the meal at Cafe Ish.
Thanks again Josh for a lovely meal and I look forward to visiting again shortly.
GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
82 Campbell Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9281 1688
I have been to Tabou many many years ago and have wanted to go back. I was catching up with a fellow blogger – the doctor to be, S, as she was craving French food and was keen to try this place.
Tabou is located on Crown Street (Cleveland Street end) in Surry Hills. It is not a very big restaurant, you can probably fit 50 people at ground level and 35 people upstairs. The restaurant really did remind me of a bistro in Paris –oh how I miss Paris!
We started with baguette and beurre conviette ($5). Unfortunately the bread wasn’t warm but it was fresh, it had a crunchy exterior and fluffy on the inside. LOVE fresh bread! LOVE!
We shared the soufflé aux fromages ($22) – twice baked gruyere and goat’s cheese soufflé. WOW. It smelt absolutely divine. It was the fluffiest and moistest cheese soufflé I have ever tasted. The crust was golden brown and crunchy, and it sat on a pool of melted cheese – it was seriously rich but heavenly and melted in my mouth! It was falorific, heart attacking but was SOOOO good!
S opted for the steak tartare (entrée size ($18)) – classic steak tartare, sourdough toast and accompaniments. The steak tartare was rich and full of flavour. Eaten with sourdough toast which was crunchy it was superb. It was a generous serving considering it was an entrée size. S demolished this, said it was ‘yummy’ so I can safely assume that she enjoyed it.
I couldn’t go pass the porc ($35) – roasted pork belly and loin, pumpkin and sage. Again a generous portion of pork belly and four thin slices of loin (which you can’t see in this picture below). The pork loin was tender and succulent, however, the pork belly was just to die for. It was so succulent that it melted in your mouth and the crispy skin was crunchy, gooey and chewy – just they way I like it! I love the pumpkin puree, bite size pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. However, I still prefer the pork dish at The Devonshire – the three different cuts of pork was just sublime!
We ordered a side of frites ($6) and it was SO GOOD! Crispy, crunchy and moist on the inside, it was just too good to stop!
I was full by this stage but couldn’t help but order dessert. There is always a different stomach for dessert! I knew S was going to get the Crème Brule ($13) – vanilla crème brule and again it was a generous serving! It definitely passed the ‘crack test’. The custard was wobbly like, moist, delciously creamy and deliciously sweet!
I opted for the fig tart with crème fraiche and vanilla bean ice cream ($14) – AMAZING! Crispy tart with fresh figs and creamy crème fraiche. The vanilla bean ice cream was creamy and excellent. I have been going through a fig crave and this definitely satisfied my cravings.
It was a wonderful evening, and a delightful dinner. Food is fantastic, service and ambience excellent.
Great little spot if you are craving for French food!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
527 Crown Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9319 5682
O no not for Oprah, or Orgasm but for Organic Produce. Owners Mick Gay and Shane Hillard are the creaters behind O-Organic Produce to create a new experience in organic take away food. They have a cute little café in Surry Hills and have started to supply to retailers around Sydney.
The café only uses organic food – food that are ‘produced environmentally that does not invovle modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers’. All the food are prepared fresh daily on the premises. They sell various wraps, salads, savoury snacks, cakes and other sweet ‘sin-ful’ things.
B and I decided to eat in, the all day breakfast ranged from porridge, bircher muesli, eggs and many more. The lunch menu looked appertizing, different types of salads, burgers and even had a bit of asian touch to it like fried rice and noodles.
I wanted breakfast, it was my first meal of the day and was absolutely ravenous. I opted for the organic baked beans on toasted sour dough with a fried egg ($11). Weird that I have been craving a bit of baked beans lately. The baked beans were delicious, moist and not sickly rich. It was incredibly filling and the fried egg was a great complement.
B opted for the organic bircher muesli – organic oats soaked in orange juice with bio-dynamic yogurts, apple, roast almonds, coconut and sultanas ($12.50) and it was deliciously moist, creamy and RHUBARD! I LOVE rhubarb! It was wonderful and I couldn’t help but have a couple of mouthfuls.
I have to admit, Organic Produce is not cheap but it was deliciously good and healthy. Organic Produce does catering and supply to wholesale. They do deliver around 10kms of metro area (Surry Hills) with a minimum order of $50 – that’s a lot of food!
I had a takeaway coffee from here, and it was excellent. Strong, creamy, smooth and delicioussss!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
487 Crown Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9319 4009