Made with love @Kindred

Located on busy Cleveland St, Darlington is the kitsch restaurant, Kindred. Aptly named, the friendly staff and setting will make you feel like part of the family. Serving mainly Italian Cuisine with much of their menu produced from scratch, in house and all made with love. The extra effort translating to a memorable dining experience.

Kindred is perfect for a date night or for sharing a meal with friends. If you visit in a larger group of 10 or more, the set menu options are a great option. We visited Kindred with foodie friends “Coffee Brunch Dinner” and “R&B(rum and bourbon) Diaries”, this was perfect as it allowed us to try alot more of the amazing food on the the menu than usual. The drinks list contained an assortment of quality wine options, also featuring beer from local micro breweries spirits and non alcoholic beverages.

We whet our appetite with an assortment of pickles, olives, yogurt and green sauce as well as fresh sourdough made in house served with cultured butter. Wonderful bread – I always say you can judge a restaurant on their bread, so this was going to be a good meal. The chicken liver parfait being a favourite, rich and creamy parfait combined perfectly with the peach chutney and charred sourdough, this dish was a revelation.

The house specialty being the fresh made pastas. The parpadelle with beef rugu was a winner as was the ridiculously tasty sweet potato triangoli served with, goats cheese, hazlenuts and a burnt butter sauce.

For something more substantial the polpette(meatball) and polenta had the mouth watering when it arrived at the table as did the roast pork fillet with kipfler potato’s. A serve of the rocket, walnut, pear and gorgonzola salad, a perfect accompaniment.

We channeled the second stomach for dessert  and were glad we did. The coconut yogurt pana cotta and chocolate fondant were a great finish to a wonderful dining experience.

Thanks to Kindred and their staff for the hospitality, great food and one of our favourite dining experiences to date.

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

Farm to fork @The Garden restaurant

The Garden restaurant is within the Wests Ashfield Leagues Club. The club has undergone huge renovations and it has resulted in a beautiful bistro type restaurant with hanging plants and themed garden décor. It is bright and open and you can see the chefs work away at their meals and also the woodfired pizza oven in action. With friendly service, we were looked after by waiter Dean, who has worked at the Club long before the new renovations. He explains to us that the Garden is a farm-fork concept, with head chef Oliver Heath, celebrating the use of well-sourced local ingredients direct from the farm. Ethically sourced and sustainable products with an aim to minimise waste. These aspects are a key to carrying out their vision. He even pointed out one of the county butchers who was in town and came to see how his product has been delivered on the plate. 

The restaurant is large and Dean said they’d served over 360 people the previous night, so they’re certainly capable of large crowds.  There’s also a large bar and small lounges where you can grab a drink, coffee or dessert if you so please.  The ambience was also nice, they had a solo guitarist playing and singing modern slow tunes.

The menu has a range of options; whether it be a couple of small plates, sharing plates or a few pizzas, there’s something for everyone and it is certainly family friendly. A foodie friend of ours had eaten at the Garden before and gave us some suggestions. We went for the Blue corn bread; corn bread made with blue cheese and a jalepeno butter – moist bread and strong flavours which worked extremely well together.

The pork roll-ups were a recommendation of our waiter – small wraps with some ancho chilli braised pork. This filling was sweet and these wraps are some which I’d definitely eat again. The crispy lamb ribs were one of our favourite things on the menu, sticky and melt in your mouth meat – certainly some quality meat.

We also had some lovely prawns from the special menu. The prawns were butterflied, grilled and served with lemon.

We thought the entrees were outstanding but keen on trying a main or two. There were some great options available, they sell full buckets of prawns, a family roast, pasta, schnitzels and burgers but we went for the farmer’s plate. This is a plate of the speciality meat, which on this day was lamb, with sausages, seasonal vegetables and gravy. We also got a side of cauliflower and the garden salad with walnuts, vinaigrette and organic feta cheese. Good quality meat that was cooked well.

The restaurant became quite busy, we weren’t really asked about dessert and were quite full at that stage. The menu shows they offer gelato and cheesecake and other cakes. Maybe next time we visit.

Thank you to The Garden and Ashfield Leagues for their hospitality and to Papaya PR for arranging the visit. You can visit their website and even see the farmers listed where they source their ingredients from.

The Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Australia day is coming, work on your BBQ skills @Rengaya Japanese BBQ restaurant

This Japanese BBQ restaurant is situated in the heart of North Sydney with a stunning outlook at the Sydney Harbour bridge from certain tables. The restaurant is a large space catering to groups of any size, with a range of different sized tables all with the BBQ’s in the centre. It is great to have a meal sitting around  the BBQ, although evolved human kind has been doing it as soon as we discovered fire.

Rengaya is a little pricey, but it is in a great location and they are serving quality produce. I like the fact that you are in contol of cooking the meat, so you are guaraunteed to have an awesome chef.

There is a range of sashimi; live lobster, fish, wagyu beef as well as other entrees like oysters, scampi and salads.We loved the Special Sashimi Selection: with fresh salmon, tuna, kingfish, white fish and squid add some fresh wasabi and soy sauce. A nice simple and health start to the meal.

Wagyu “yukke, a Japanese wagyu beef tartare seasoned with finely chopped shallots, sesame oil, garlic and an egg yolk on top. Simply delicious.

There are a range of assorted sides to choose from. Although a Korean favourite, I am a sucker for kimchi. Their famous ox tail soup with vegetables and herbs came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Full of flavour with a good amount of spice.

The meats they offer have various cuts, selected from the best quality 9+ wagyu beef. We went for the wagyu amusement where we could try rib finger, wagyu rib, wagyu loin, ox tongue, and oyster blade. You can then select particular cuts you like as well. They come with salt and pepper or bbq sauce and a range of dipping sauces. Try the meat without the sauce first, so good. We tried the zesty ponzu vinegar, we also went with sesame dipping sauce for a contrast of flavours.

To accompany this we had assorted vegetables and the foil yaki mushrooms mixed with garlic butter. All cooked to perfection, of course.

We loved the quality of ingredients and the Japanese BBQ experience at Rengaya. If you are super hungry, Rengaya offers a quality all you can eat BBQ experience. We thank Wakushu lovers for inviting us to enjoy the great hospitality and food provided by Rengaya Restaurant.

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

Cafè Cucina Espresso – A must for an Italian inspired breakfast

Cucina espresso located in the leafy suburb of Concord and is only 20 minutes from the Sydney CBD. Although not a suburb you’d usually pass through unless you live in the area, Cucina Espresso is definitely worth making an effort to visit. The cafè is very popular with locals, we arrived mid morning on a Sunday and the cafe was thriving with customers. We initially sat inside and waited for a table outside, with the staff accomodating when it became available. A delightful place to sit and enjoy our breakfast. It was a rainy day, but luckily kept dry by the overhead awnings. The owners very hospitable to everyone visiting their cafe and I understand why locals would keep coming back. We were informed it would be about 30-40 minutes wait due to the high volume of guests but we could order a drink while we waited. It’s great to be informed. It also didn’t take that long to get our food. 

The menu is extremely extensive and something for everyone, healthy options, a huge range of baked eggs and also sweet and decadent choices too. There is a wide range for lunch, but on this occasion we sampled the breakfast menu.

In a group, we were lucky to be able to share a few different items from the menu. A lighter choice to start with – the ‘buckinis’ or granola clusters with yoghurt and fruit, beautifully arranged and quite colourful.

This was followed by a breakfast burger with brioche bread and was very reasonably priced. We were impressed by the beetroot cured salmon done in house, sitting atop avocado served on pane di casa an Italian style of bread.

Then came the stars of the show; the famous baked eggs. Unlike any baked eggs you’ve seen before, the Italian styled baked eggs are huge and they have five varieties.
The  hearty Uovo Bolognese e Piselli which is eggs poached in a beef  bolognese sauce with peas, grana padano cheese and buffalo mozzarella served with pane di casa.

Our favourite being the Uovo Cotto – it was eggs baked in a creamy white sauce with porchini mushroom, black truffle, potato mash and shaved grana padano cheese, topped with crispy bacon shreds and pane di casa – the taste was equivalent to a carbonara. Both were huge sizes so very reasonable for the price. On my next visit id like to try the one with pork fennel sausage.

The Nutella pancakes were another great option recommended if you have a sweet tooth. You definitely get your nutella fix with these, not only were they topped with nutella, it was also in the pancake mixture too. This was served with vanilla gelato, strawberries and fresh mint.

No fuss decor, Italian vibe to the styling and the counter also sells some goods to go. Great food on offer here and we certainly recommend a visit and in particular the baked eggs as a must. We’d like to thank Cucina espresso for the invitation and the management and staff for their hospitality.

Cucina Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

S’age bistronomy restaurant

S’age is situated amongst a high quantity of restaura1nts lining Willoughby Road and the Pacific Highway in Crows Nest. The area has an array of cafes, bistros and takeaway joints where you are quite spoilt for choice. However this restaurant is more upscale. Entering the restaurant from the main road, you’ll find a sophisticated dining space, dim lighting, lovely ambience and light music. 

Previously a Japanese restaurant, the chef also worked there. He has opened this new ‘bistronomy’ (bistro + gastronomy) combining French and Japanese flavours and techniques with local seasonal produce. Presenting beautifully plated dishes (or works of art!). It is a sensory dining experience, its name deriving from ‘sea, salt, soil’ all these aspects incorporated in their menu offerings. It boasts a 5 or 8 course degustation or ala carte menu, it is perfect for a date or special occasion. The food is high quality fine dining, with the restaurant aiming to have a more casual service experience. The atmosphere was certainly comfortable and relaxing.

We selected from the A La Carte Menu, beginning with some soft house baked bread and churned butter as well as the macarons. You would think you have macarons for dessert, but here they are combined with a filling of duck liver pate and make for a sweet but savoury bite.

One of the top dishes of the night has to go to the cold aneaebi sweet prawns with horseradish and jerusaleum artichoke, with flavours delicately combining to create a taste sensation.

There were plenty of items on the menu things that sparked our interest, including the smoked oyster and kangaroo tartare with plum powder sitting in an oyster shell. Certainly an interesting menu choice.

We also tried the potato and pumpkin gnocchi and the grilled wagyu rump. The rump was extremely good – perfectly cooked, with by creme fraiche, mushroom and mustard sauces.

Normally sides are to accompany your meals, right? Here they are stand alone stars! Make sure you order the thrice cooked potato. Potato is always good. But then boil them, fry them, cover them in batter and fry again and add burnt butter for good measure and you have one of the best things ever!

It doesn’t end here, we of course went for dessert. The chef plates the desserts at the bar and we were fortunate enough to watch the chef at work, such concentration and skill. For dessert the cherry and basil ice cream with red wine tuille and pink peppercorn meringue was combined interesting flavours and textures that worked. 

Another great dessert sampled was the tempered white chocolate log filled with white peach served with juniper berry ice cream and piña colada foam which decorated the plate and was a wonderful example of  technique shown by the chef.

We recommend the trip to Crows Nest to check it out as it will certainly evoke all your senses and make for an incredible dining experience. We dined as guests of S’age and thank thank the chef and staff for their hospitality.

S'age Bistronomy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A beautiful Middle Eastern Feast @ Coya

Situated in the leafy Northern suburb of Cromer is the middle eastern inspired restaurant Coya. At first we thought it seemed a little out of place. But as we found out, this was not the case. Coya is a local gem providing a quality restaurant experience with frendly service in an area not spoilt for choice. The chef Ashraf Saleh putting an innovative twist on traditional middle eastern meals. 

The menu catering to carnivore and herbivore with a carte, banquet or degustation options. Something to suit any occasion.
We sampled much of the menu and would recommend taking a food journey with the $60 six course degustation.

We were here with foodie friend Spooning Australia and and insta foodie wheredoieatpete. Great company for shared a meal and allowing us to try a variety of dishes that tantalised the taste buds and were visual treat.

The starters including the tasty Batanjin a fried eggplant dish with garlic black tahini and sumac. The fleur de courgette au fromage, a great tasting zuccini flower stuffed with four different types of cheese. There was also generous serve of king prawns with a piquillo pepper puree. The octopus which was a little chewy, but had nice flavour and our favourite starter being the nicely presented scallops that were perfectly cooked.

The substantials continued to excite, including the melt in the mouth beef cheek, then the Samke Harra; a beautiful piece of Barramundi flavoured with an array of mixed herbs. The confit duck muscovy again nicely plated, very crispy exterior. I had been craving a tagine for a while and was delighted to see the perfumed chicken tagine arrive at the table. An amazingly tender chicken dish slowcooked with fragrant spices, translating in to a very flavoursome.

The desserts looked anything but traditional, it was all very pretty, like a rainbow and flower garden on your plate. The brick pastry baklava was crisp, served dry and not drowned in rosewater, served with rose petal ice cream. The creme brulee had a smooth texture and combined nicely with contreau and rosemary. The Halwa marquis was an impressive mixture of texture with the suprise of a pistachio ice cream hidden in whip yogurt.

We enjoyed a nice middle eastern inspired dining exprerience, with beatifully plated food and friendly service. Thanks to Coya, Ashraf and staff for the invite and the hospitality.

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

Featuring… Sydney Festival Eats

The Sydney Festival runs from Jan 7 – 29 with Sydney theatres and galleries coming alive with drama, music, dance and you can even a free dip in the ‘beach’ (ball-pit). To support this, a number of restaurants offer an array of feasts at $55 or $30 price points for festival goers to eat before their show. Most include a glass of wine with a choice of main and entrée or share platter. From sea-side dining to inner city feasts, there will be sure to be something to fill your stomachs. See below for the festival menus we tried and follow the link to Sydney Festival for more festival feasts or shows that might inspire you for a great night out.


Waterfront venue, lovely to admire the Rose Bay surrounds. The deal here is a two course menu and wine for $55 – including salmon, avocado and herbs with fish roe or the heirloom and beetroot salad with candied walnuts and blue cheese. For the mains you can have battered fish and chips or a the grilled spatchcock with polenta. Sit here and watch the sunset whilst you dine.

Bishop Sessa

Bishop Sessa is ideal for a great date night and cocktail menu, inner city vibes. $55 for two courses – the meals are selected for you: roasted kangaroo with pomme puree, beetroot, grapes and wattleseed and a lemon myrtle and goats yoghurt pannacotta with apricot curd, poached apricot, green tea and apricot ice cream. They also gave us an amuse bouche potato skin and parmesan crisp as well as a pre dessert shortbread. Extensive bar if you fancy a cocktail or wine.

Walsh Bay Kitchen

Walsh Bay kitchen is a large restaurant next to Roslyn Packer Theatre, enjoy a wine and your meal before the show. Sydney Festival deal on offer for $55 – a wine and two dishes. We would recommend the arancini for entree and pork for your main. They also offer a tasting plate of prosciutto, salami, pastrami, grissini, pickles and a glass of wine for $30.


Kindred is a quaint restaurant in heart of chippendale. Italian influence with hand made pastas and organic produce. Everything on the menu is spectacular and the staff provide wonderful service. The festival deal offers a wine, pasta and sourdough for only $30, but we recommend giving ala carte a go too.


Malaya is a restaurant that has been in Sydney for 53 years which is a testament to how good it is. Great location in Darling Harbour right on King Street Wharf. The Festival deal features a banquet of their most popular dishes – my recommendation is the eggplant, best meal i’ve eaten there.

Steel bar and Grill

Steel Bar and Grill is in an excellent location of the CBD, right near central station. The $55 Sydney festival eats is a great deal – you get two courses with 2 wines. We recommend the zucchini flowers filled with ricotta, truffle, preserved lemon and vino cotto as well as the beautifully soft little parcels of parmesan gnocchi with carrot purée, artichoke, silver beet and lemon labne. The desert was also great – it was a chocolate deluxe with chocolate mousse, chocolate glaze and chocolate crumble – soft and with the right amount of crunch. Great deal before seeing a show.

Thanks to Zomato, The Sydney Fesival and the restaurants listed above for the invitation to sample their festival feasts. For more detailed reviews on each restaurant please check out our posts on Zomato

LuMi – A shining fine dining experience

LuMi dining has been on our hit list for a while now. Occupying a spot where all the boats moor near Star City, it has a pleasant outlook. We were there in the evening, it was dimly lit with some perfectly placed lights above our table to highlight our food. With two chefs in action that compliment each other. An Italian Chef who has trained in Japan and a Japanese chef that has trained in Italy, making for an exciting sophisticated Japanese/Italian fusion dining experience. It is a set menu of 8 meals plus snacks for $115, which I think is reasonable considering the quality and presentation of the food, which is outstanding. For an extra charge you can add oysters or matching wines. The service was impeccable, personable and informative. The restaurant is also obliging to substitute dishes due to dietary requirements.

The meal began with a few different amuse bouche; a pea and parmesan soup and a mini loaf of bread which was so bleeping amazing, this set the precedent for the meal to follow.

The menu listed meal began with a light and nicely balanced dish of Snapper with roe emulsion and fermented cucumber.

Then came the Oxheart tartare with creme fraiche and sansho pepper, well seasoned and nice acidity. I felt a bit indifferent when reading this on the menu- but loved it, one of my favourites.

We then had the amazing Agnolotti – porcini, rye dashi. This was an Italian pasta with a rich mushroom flavour and Japanese inspired rye dashi.

There was a Tagliolini – eel, bottarga and orange. A very rich flavoursome dish as well as the Wagyu with celeriac and mustard – melt in your mouth beef with great flavour combinations.

After this came the Sorrel parfait a palate cleanser in preparation for the visual spectacle to come.

The star of the night was the Douglas Fir with rhubarb, raspberry and olive oil. It looked like a fried egg, but was actually ice cream with a silk texture and a dollop of olive oil in the centre representing the yolk. Simple and delicate.

The finale an amazing burst of flavour from a watermelon wedge infused with yuzu a Japanese citrus fruit.

An incredible dining experience with a fusion of cuisine and favours that you would not usually find working together. One of our favourite restaurants of the year gone.

LuMi Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A hotel serving a homely meal

When you think of the Ibis brand, you think of the Hotel Chain, right? Now, keep it in your mind as a restaurant choice too. With the recent Summer Menu launched, you can visit Ibis Kitchen, Mascot for an affordable dinner that comes bursting with flavor, beautifully plated and food that will certainly leave your stomach feeling completely satisfied. 

The menu has a home cooked feel to it and the meals come out nicely presented. The chefs certainly love their work and take great pride in creating dishes to please their guests. The place was full of people having Christmas parties, a dinner with their colleagues and families enjoying a meal together. It really suits many people.

We were invited here to sample the Summer Menu and begun with a few drinks to whet the appetite. For myself, I had the mojito – great to have when socializing with friends, but you can also choose from a wide selection of cocktails, wines and beers and some crazy shakes.

Canapes accompanied this, a shared bruschetta plate and prawn cocktail skewers were flavoured with lime and chili, pressed into a huge slice of watermelon. Combined with my mojito, it was a refreshing start to the evening.

Following this we were seated to enjoy a meal which began with sliders, a smaller version of their popular ‘Ibis Standard Boomer Burger’; meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, beetroot and pickles on a sesame seed bun. Really enjoyed these. One of the other lovely canapes was the squid with napolitana sauce.

The lamb kofta: soft inside and nicely chargrilled spiced lamb, beautifully flavoured with mint, yoghurt, zucchini, sumac and pickle, this is great as an entrée to share with a group or as a party snack.

Then on to substantial meals for suited for sharing.  the Riverina rib eye, grilled and set atop crisp chargrilled vegetables and potatoes, so colourful and drizzled with a salsa verde.

The Thai beef salad, like that mountain one wants to climb, it was towering with green papaya, Asian Greens, julienne vegetables, a great combination of flavours, topped with marinated beef strips at the peak.

When one thinks that they are full, there’s always that other stomach that exists. It is called the dessert stomach. I’m pretty sure we all have one. I’m glad mine was there, particularly for their crème brulee – a soft custard (vanilla beans visible, so I knew it was going to be good), and the sugar layer cracked just as it should.

With this, came the “shimmy shakes”, and may I say that you should shimmy right in and get yourself one of these beauties. They are the Mickey Mouse to a child at Disneyland. A glass jar filled with chocolate or caramel shakes, topped with half of the lolly jar (pretzels, marshmallows, popcorn, waffles, sauce and cream). Wow. Kids and adults alike will love this one.

A menu suitable for any guest. Stay in the hotel, or pop on in for a meal and you won’t be disappointed.
Although we didn’t stay, we did look at the rooms and had a chance to see the new refurb that has taken place. This hotel caters for travelers and business guests alike. Ibis is the most popular and recognized brand of their hotel group – it is clean, comfortable and appropriate for families. Being close to the airport, and affordable, it is an easy choice.
Thanks to Travel with Raf and Ibis Hotels for the invitation.

Ibis Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The versatile Treetop cafè

​Treetop Cafe is a venue in the newly revamped development of a once bland and unappealing industrial area in Waterloo. As this area continues to grow its high-rise population density, open park spaces, Treetop answers the call to its locals and workers with a menu of classic treats. From morning to night, you will find your caffeinated wake up call, luscious brunch, snack pack lunch or greasy hangover cure and be greeted by charming service at the same time.

Indoor and outdoor seating is available, and the high ceilings that open up the cosy space as a comfortable pit stop to and from the nearby childcare centre and park, or a power breakfast after your workout or lunch away from the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded store complex. Pot plants and shrubs fill the interior, paired with quirky trinkets on the walls and shelves adding to its unique character.

The Hot & Cold beverage selection is quite comprehensive offering Di Bella Coffee bean options, freshly squeezed and organic juice, milkshakes, on top of the usual cafe soft drinks. There’s nothing like the boost you get from their apple watermelon juice!

The double stacked pancakes were so airy and topped with ricotta and mixed berry compote, garnished with fresh strawberry with an angelic dusting of icing sugar! The other sweet option is the Berry French Toast. Toasted chunks of honey muesli encircles a thick cut of brioche that’s topped with thick poundings of yoghurt and mixed berry compote.

The Corn Fritters are also made from scratch and mounted with ricotta, parmesan, tomato salsa, poached egg and salmon (there’s also a bacon version of this too!).

The classic bacon and egg roll is done with generous servings of sauce that drip out from the bun with the meat rendering and egg yolk in one hot mess that’s designed to bring you back from the dead after a big night out.

If you’re after something a little more substantial – then look no further than the Big Bird Benedict of crispy chicken, poached eggs, tomato salsa, capsicum, spinach and ripples of hollandaise binding all together in one hearty packed food anthem! Beautiful crust with a moist chicken centre.

Basically there’s a food choice for everyone. The menu provides comfort, safe haven, ‘go to’ options for its clientele. The obvious detail in plating is impressive considering the efficient waiting times after ordering. The space is comfortable and relaxed enhanced by the friendly service attendants and it will be impossible for this new kid on the block to not become the local favourite.

Writer and co-contributor – Random Din Dins

Treetop Cafe of Waterloo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato