I haven’t even finished writing about Italy, but here I am with a post about another trip! On a whim, my friend and I decided to return to Sydney for a short food filled adventure; emphasis on the food part. Although we really didn’t do much sight seeing there was plenty of eating and lots of sunshine.
Links to each place are at the end of each day.
In a strange stroke of misfortune, we headed up to Sydney while it was in the midst of a heatwave. We boarded an early flight from Melbourne, arriving both ravenous and already very very warm.
Luckily, my friend’s brother had generously allowed us to stay with him for the weekend.
We were looking forward to having some brunch when we landed, but the café that we wanted to go to had a wait time of 30 minutes. Instead of waiting it out hangry, my friend’s brother suggested that we try a Thai place nearby first. Thus, our very first meal turned out to be a pre-lunch of pork belly and pork ribs. Looking back, it certainly set the theme for the decadent weekend of eating that was yet to come.
Flower Child Café
Flower Child Cafe is a tiny little café, located in the Chatswood shopping centre. From the beautiful botanical interior, we felt worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre.
I appreciated the cute little silver platter that the tea came on. However, I felt that with such a cute silver set up, it would have been even more thematic to have tea cups instead of coffee cups.
We shared a French toast and fried barramundi with zucchini noodles. This French toast made both of us swoon. Even though I’m not usually the biggest fan of banana, when incorporated in mascarpone it was perfect. It added just the right amount of sweetness without being overwhelming. It helped that the brioche that this French toast was made out of was delicious when eaten on its own.
The noodles and fish were actually eaten after the French toast! The noodles were light and refreshing with a touch of sweetness from the mangos. The fish was fresh and slightly crispy. It was an uplifting combination that we polished off despite having already eaten just a few moments earlier.
Let’s remember that it was an incredibly sweltering hot weekend. At this point, we were dehydrated and exhausted from the brief moments that we had spent under the sun. This called for a retreat into this cute Korean café for some sweet tea lattes and blessed air conditioning.
The only thing that we had properly planned before setting off was a luxurious degustation at Est. Please look forward to a more detailed post about this meal later.
Paramount Coffee Project
With some help from google, we picked out our next brunch destination. We managed to snag a seat just before it filled up. The high roof and exposed brick walls gave it the converted warehouse look that I so strongly associate with Melbourne. That morning the light filtered in beautiful through the high windows and to the multiple counter tops.
Although it was still fairly early in the morning, we were already very warm, so cold drinks were in order. The mango crush smoothie was sweet and surprisingly creamy for a fruit based drink! It seemed like a travesty to not order coffee from a place that specialises in it, so I opted for a cold drip. I find that cold drips tend to be much milder than other filter brews. This was fruity with only the barest touch of bitterness.
My friend was craving eggs, so she opted for the biscuits and gravy with sausages and eggs. She commented that the polenta biscuits were too dry for her tastes, but that the gravy sauce with the eggs was exceptional. From the bite that I tasted, the gravy was full of rich, meaty flavour.
I felt like something a little lighter and opted for the muesli with extra yogurt on the side. Every mouthful was sweet, crispy and chewy. The mix of textures made it a really satisfying way to start the day. I probably didn’t need the extra bit of yogurt, because it already comes with a generous dollop, but you know, when you’re on holidays it’s hard to hold back!
Uncle Tetsu is the originator of the soft wobbly cheesecakes that have been making the rounds on various social media videos. When they first opened in Sydney the lines for the original cheesecakes were seriously intense. However, when we arrived things had died down and they were offering a whole range of baked goods beyond the original cheesecake. We tried the baked cheese tarts. Unlike Hokkaido Baked Tarts, these were actually sweet and slightly lemony. The gooey little tarts were the perfect pre-movie snack, but I imagine that they would also be very tasty once put in the fridge and eaten cold.
I was too busy scarfing this down to take a photo it seems!
I have but one thing to say about Sparrow’s Mill: Get the ‘Incredible’ fried chicken. The cinnamon based soy sauce and fried toppoki are, as their name suggest, simply incredible. Don’t think too much and just get as much chicken as you can!
Not content with just one degustation on our trip, we went on another. The dessert degustation and KOI proved to be a real treat, that I’ll also write about in detail later.
I will say that it was rather pleasant to walk around Chippendale and peek into all the new restaurants and laneways that Sydney has been creating.
The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar
Of all the places that we visited, this is the one that I most want to open up in Melbourne. As the name suggests The Rabbit Hole specialises in tea. Not only do they have a wide array of teas and tea lattes, but their menu options are also often flavoured with tea in some way.
In an unusual move for me, I went for a herbal with the red delicious tea. This was uplifting and slightly sweet even without sugar. My friends opted for the famous tea lattes. I tried a sip and boy, these were wonderful and warming. I would drink 10 of these on a cold winters day.
The cured salmon on toast was a lot bigger than I was expecting! The salmon was a touch on the saltier side, but the tea cured onions helped cut through everything.
To finish we shared a beautiful lavender shortbread and took away some iced teas to combat the building heat.
I’m desperately hoping that a specialty tea store like this opens up somewhere closer to me so that I don’t have to fly interstate!
There’s no such thing as too much brunch in my books. For our very last meal, we went to yet another café. Devon café was actually the only brunch place that I went to on my very first trip to Sydney almost 4 years ago. It seems that since then, they have only gone from strength to strength. Without fail, every Sydneysider I asked recommended Devon Café.
We went to their newest venue in Barangaroo. It was a bit of an adventure in itself to check out this newly developed area. With all these new developments popping up in Sydney, I feel like Melbourne really needs to up its game with even more great foodie and shopping areas to stay in the competition!
That aside, the menu at Devon was just as tempting as I remembered it being. I was a little surprised to see that the dish that I had tried in 2013: Breakfast with the Sakumas was still on the menu!
Evidently still feeling like salmon my friend ordered it. It seemed that I was also in a fishy mood as I went for the eggs blini with salmon. Our other friend ordered the French toast. This looked very luxe as it was dotted with gold leaf and perfectly piped cream.
Our lunch spread not only looked delightful but tasted amazing as well. The blini was soft and had the barest touch of sweetness. It soaked up the sauce and complemented the salty bursts of salmon roe and silky soft salmon.
Somehow in 3 days, we managed to go to 4 cafes, 2 degustations and eat a total of 8 restaurants. Not a bad effort! It was a real struggle to go back home to the cold and away from the holiday mood we had all weekend. I know I’ll go back to Sydney some time to see my Sydney-sider friends and to eat more food, but first I’m hoping to explore other parts of Australia!