Saturday, 5 August 2017

Saga - Enmore, Sydney

It was exciting news to hear that Andy Bowdy had finally opened up in Enmore. The shop is a tiny inconspicuous café on Enmore Road, On my first ever visit, I completely walk past the shop without realising. 

Step into the shop, decked out in natural wood, and be greeted by the stunning display of amazing cakes and pastries. You'll have a hard time narrowing down your selection as there are so many choices!

On one particular weekday, I'm in Newtown for a course and naturally decide to pop into Saga for a hearty breakfast.  I practically have the cafe to myself which is a bonus; weekends would be a different story though, so get in early!

Piccolo latte

The Artificer coffee is good here, but to be honest, I'm mostly here for the desserts. They do have a great all day brunch menu too, worth checking out if you can get a seat.

Corn pudding

I gravitate towards the corn pudding, which is a comforting mix of charred corn, spelt, cornbread crumb, pickled celery and poached egg. It reminds me of a less rich version of the delicious corn fregola dish at Pinbone. 

Cake cabinet


There's miniature versions of Andy's signature cakes, plus a whole heap of pastries and tarts. It's an indecisive person's worst nightmare. Since I'm heading to a course straight after, practicality helps me narrow down my choices to options that are more sturdy and transportable.

Pineapple coconut tart

The pineapple and coconut tart is a pimped up version of an asian bakery pineapple tart. Definitely one to get if you love coconut and tropical flavours, the palm sugar glazed pineapple and coconut cream filling is insanely good.

A couple of weeks later, I'm back for my next sugar hit. 

Banana cream pie

I had eyes on the banana cream pie last time so it was first on my list to try. The cream filling is light and airy, topped with a generous serving of chocolate shavings. There's also fresh banana and decadent chocolate tart base - which needs a bit of muscle to crack into as it's quite firm.

Peanut cookie

The peanut cookie is a whopper of a cookie, very buttery and dense. It goes down well with a cuppa. 

The Tony

And of course, I couldn't visit Saga without getting one of the signature cakes. The Tony is named after Andy's dad, and is cheesecake based. There's raspberries, creamy mousse, cheesecake, lemon gel and topped with hazelnuts, freeze dried raspberries and torched meringue. Don't let the size deceive you, this can easily be shared between 2 or 3 people. 

Saga definitely deserves all the attention it's been getting - it's a fantastic little shop to pick up a sweet treat (or five), and the brunch menu is pretty solid too.
Saga Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Grounds of the City - The Galeries, Sydney

The Grounds of the City has recently opened up at The Galeries after much anticipation and is, unsurprisingly, very popular. The café has a beautiful interior with a lot of old school charm. It's cosy and dark inside which is a nice escape from the cold weather. 

During the week the café first opened, I suggested a catch up lunch with a friend here and we managed to grab the last two seats at the bar right at 12pm. Lucky us, as it was otherwise going to be a 45 minute wait for a table, which would be a definite no-go for a workday lunch! We order the pea parmesan strozzapreti with wild mushroom plus the pumpkin tart to share. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures from this visit, but both dishes were delicious and I was impressed with the speed of the meal, we were in and out within an hour.

There's also a takeaway counter outside with a nice array of cakes and pastries where you can also order drinks and food to go. I've ordered a couple of times and the food orders are very quick, though drinks have been hit and miss. The waiting area can get super crowded and I found it hard to follow up when they forgot my smoothie order as there were just so many people, especially as the food and drinks are called out in two seperate areas.

Takeaway brekkie burger

The brekkie burger is a delicious takeaway option with maple bacon, fried egg, avocado and roast tomato relish on a brioche bun. I love the addition of avocado and this is definitely one of the better bacon and egg rolls I've eaten. 

Coconut smoothie

This smoothie is for the coconut lovers: a super creamy concoction made with coconut sorbet, coconut water, coconut milk and coconut nectar. I thoroughly enjoy this smoothie, but it does start getting a bit too rich half way through; highly recommend sharing this one.

My most recent visit is for a weekend breakfast and I'm surprised at how busy the place is for a early Sunday morning. 


Freshly baked croissant with king crab salad

Wild mushroom feuilleté
The wild mushroom feuilleté is layers of puff pastry topped with wild mushrooms, peas, sheep's curd, hazelnuts, spinach and a perfectly poached egg.

The croissant sandwiches a generous portion of creamy king crab salad with soft herbs and lemon. 

The Grounds of the City is on the expensive end for breakfast, though admittedly we did order some of the pricier dishes. However, my pick out of all the dishes was the least expensive brekkie burger. 

The Grounds of the City is already a firm favourite in the CBD so be prepared to wait for a table during peak times. At the moment it's only open during the day for breakfast and lunch, but watch this space.
The Grounds of the City Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Devon Cafe - Barangaroo, Sydney

Having visited Devon Cafe in Surry Hills many times before, I was pleased to find out that they had opened up a branch at Barangaroo. The cafe is located one block back from the main waterfront strip and is quite busy when I go with my mum during Saturday brunch rush hour. 

There's a number system where you write down your name and number of people, and then take the number. We waited about 10 minutes for a table, which wasn't too bad.

Cold pressed juice

My mum orders one of the cold pressed juices: it's an earthy blend of beetroot, cucumber, carrot and green apple; with the addition of lemon and ginger, it's the perfect blend to ward off the winter nasties. 

Devon affogato

I go all out and order the affogato with a mix of the black sesame and matcha soft serve. Let's not lie, it's pretty much a dessert disguised as a drink, but it's damn good! It's the first time I've had an affogato served with soft serve. The matcha flavour is standard, with the other flavour changing on a seasonal basis.

Crab pasta

I think the crab pasta was one of the first dishes I tried at the original Devon in Surry Hills. The squid ink angel hair pasta, crab served with sugo al pomodoro has a nice chilli kick to it. 

Devon Waldorf

We order the Devon Waldorf as a lighter dish to compliment the pasta. It's a fairly big serving with a mix of lettuce celery, slices of Fuji apple, grapes, walnuts and poached chicken; all tossed in a creamy goma dressing. 

A few weeks later, we're in Barangaroo to catch some of the Vivid lights and drop into Devon again for a small bite to eat before tackling the crowds. I was pretty keen to try out the sandos as they are usually only offered on weekdays, and I never get a chance to make it over during weekday lunches.

Ebi katsu sando

The prawn katsu sandwich is simple; ebi katsu, cabbage and yuzu mayo, but is done really well. The panko prawns are lightly crumbed and have that fresh from the fryer crunch. 

Purple Haze sundae

I also can't resist getting the special Vivid dessert, the Purple Haze. It's a delicious ube soft served topped with taro chips, coconut strips and cubes of leche flan. Here's hoping the ube soft serve sticks around for a while! 

Devon at Barangaroo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sasaki, Surry Hills, Sydney

Restaurant Sasaki is a not so hidden gem from chef Yu Sasaki, the man behind the ever popular cafe with the matcha goods, Cre Asion. The restaurant is intimate with a handful of seating; we booked weeks in advance for a weekend dinner. The food is homely and pays homage to Sasaki's Japanese hometown of Shimane. 

The entrance to Restaurant Sasaki is literally located just behind the cafe. You can't miss the noren (Japanese fabric curtain) that is at the entrance of the restaurant. There are several tables situated in this little entrance area, and whilst it would be lovely in summer, I'm very glad that we are going to enjoy our dinner inside.

The menu is designed, like all good things in life, to be shared. There is one exception though - the desserts which are mostly bite sized, so you can basically order one each of everything.

Yuzu umeshu

There's a nice wine list at Sasaki with plenty of saké too. I go for the refreshing yuzu umeshu. 



Egg and crab

Chicken and mushroom rice

Pork, salt and daikon

The eggplant comes out first and it's a surprise as we didn't realise it would be served cold. The smoked eggplant is paired with buckwheat and a dashi and plum jelly. I found myself wanting a bit more texture halfway through the dish. 

The egg and crab chanwanmushi is a silky smooth steamed egg custard. Sasaki's version is very satisfying and one of the best versions I've had to date.

My favourite of the night is the pork cooked in a salt crust; the pieces of pork are so fatty and juicy. It's the perfect comfort food when eaten with the delicious takikomi gohan: a mixed rice. The variation of the rice on the night we visit is chicken and mushroom. 

Mandarin and pomelo

Caramel and nuts

For dessert, I order the mandarin and pomelo, a refreshing and light, palate cleansing dessert, followed by the caramel and nuts, thin and crisp wafers sandwiching mixed nuts, soy caramel and caramel cream. Do yourself a favour and order one (or even two) of these babies, it was so good! The greedy guts in me was secretly wishing I had ordered another one. 

Sasaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Paul's Famous Hamburgers - Sylvania, Sydney

Sometimes you just want to ditch the fancy gourmet burgers and have an old school milk bar style burger with the lot. This is where Paul's Famous Hamburgers in Sylvania, a Sydney institution that has been around since 1957, comes into the picture. 

I'd say the tag of best burger in Sydney is a long bow to draw, considering the competition out there these days and the high standard of burgers on offer in Sydney. I definitely wouldn't call this the best burger, in Sydney but there is something charming about this slightly run shopfront, that appears to have remained the same over the years. On the day we visit, Paul is walking around and clearing the tables.   

Don't forget to grab a bottle of frozen pineapple crush to complete your Paul's experience. 

Burger with the lot

Be prepared for this to get messy; the burger with the lot comes with a onion, bacon, pineapple, egg, lettuce, cheese and beetroot which will most likely fall apart half way - the joys of eating a massive burger.

Paul's Famous Hamburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

4 days in Tasmania - Cradle Mountain to Swansea (Day 2)

Following on from my first post on my Tasmania trip (, here is day 2!

We decided to get up nice and early to catch some more of the amazing Cradle Mountain hiking trails, such as Crater Lake and Marions Lookout. The Cradle Mountain lodge page has a nice  summary of some of the Cradle Mountain walks. 

As you can see it was quite overcast and rainy. One tip to keep in mind when hiking in Cradle Mountain, be prepared for anything and everything. We encountered sun, rain and wind throughout our walk, and one thing I wish I had brought with me was cover for my face - I ended up very red and chapped from all the wind on the mountain.

After our walk, our next stop was the Devils@Cradle Tasmanian devils sanctuary, a conservation facility where you can see them up close and how they interact with each other.

Our final destination for the day was our accomodation at Swansea, with our drive taking us past Wilmot, the home of the letterbox trail. Wilmot is quite a scenic drive with a beautiful backdrop of Tasmanian's northern mountains and along the way are these quirky roadside letterboxes that the community has put together, mostly from scrap metal and other materials. 

Tassie devil mailbox in Wilmot

Minion mailbox

Wombat mailbox

It's a nice little distraction along a scenic drive - that's the thing about Tasmania, there's amazing scenery almost everywhere; think rugged mountains and lush greenery. We stopped along the way at a creek, hoping to spot some platypus but no such luck.

Next pit stop was Sheffield, better known as the town of murals for self-explanatory reasons. We grab some lunch here and walk around to see some of the cool murals around.

Sheffield is also one stop that you can stock up on groceries at the local IGA before heading into Cradle Mountain. 

We also take the scenic route (aka took a wrong turn and stuck with it!) which leads us to stop at Hillwood berry farm for a quick break and to try out the scones, of course. 

The scones are delicious, as expected. I don't think we had a bad scone during this whole trip and there were quite a few consumed. How cute is the raspberry tea cosy?

Tasmania is truly stunning no matter where you go. I was smitten by the gorgeous sunsets we had from our waterfront Swansea beach chalet. We managed to grab some cheese along the road trip and a bottle of red wine, just in time to enjoy the sunset from the balcony.

There are a couple of restaurants options in Swansea; we decide on a takeaway pizza from the Swansea hotel since we already had wine and snacks.

Hillwood Berry Farm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Need more Tassie inspiration? Check out my other posts here: