Good food and good times @Silly Tart Kitchen

IMG_E2325

Potts Point, otherwise known as Kings Cross has vastly changed since the lockout laws. The area has had an influx of quality dining options to meet a different market. One new addition to that list is Silly Tart Kitchen, which is in fact, not silly at all, it’s perfectly refined. Silly Tart is doing all day dining, with a bit of fun thrown in with entertainment, happy hours, cheap tapas currently starting at $2, and you can do a boozy brunch or even a soon to begin high tea.

Slightly distanced from the main strip, the kitchen is located in what has always been a foodie area, in Kellett St which runs parallel to the main drag. Silly Tart has settled in one of the terrace houses that are a feature of the area. The restaurant is sectioned into different areas including a tea room which will host high tea, a jam room, a bar with some great cocktails and the courtyard complete with its own herb garden.

We popped in for a brunch visit on a Sunday and were well looked after by the friendly staff. There were plenty of enticing options on the menu. One must first start with drinks and wise we had a latte, breakfast tea and then escalated to a bacon Bloody Mary (what everyone needs at a brunch recovery). The Silly Tart Bloody Mary was a great cocktail and matched well with the big breakfast. The flavour of this cocktail was enhanced by the addition of bacon salt. There were also a range of gin cocktails, which are very on trend and a number of old favourites with Silly Tart adding their own touch to.

IMG_E2200

The brunch menu includes a good range of breakfast and lunch selections including granola, hotcakes and burgers to name a few. We opted for the hotcakes and the lot (the Silky Tart Big Breakfast). The hot cakes were an excellent sweet option, they were thick like a scone, yet light and fluffy, served with Pepe Sayer mascapone, a bitter sweet lemon curd, burnt pineapple and pepper. A beautiful dish not only by looks, but also flavour. Combine all of the elements on your spoon and you are in for a treat.

24008313_10159708402600008_2033321100_o

The lot is something you will see on most menus, however, this option at Silly Tart is next level, it would have to be close to the best big breakfast in Sydney by taste. The food was perfectly prepared with the yolk of the egg cascading down, soaked up by the fresh sour dough with a side of avo, potato scallops which were whole potatoes, an intensely pleasant flavour explosion from the 12 hour cooked tomatoes, mushrooms and crisp texture from the house cured bacon.

IMG_E2326

24007881_10159708399675008_365722098_o

This cafe is a great spot tucked slightly away from the hustle of Kings X. Perfect for brunch, and we have heard good things about the dinner and entertainment. A must visit if you are in the area and it is also worth travelling for.

The Silly Tart Kitchen  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flagship opening @Cloud Thief

IMG_0181Get ready everyone because those famously delicious Bao from the creators of Bao Stop have delved into a new enterprise, with a flagship store opening in World Square, Cloud Thief!

Matty of Cloud Thief has been working long and hard to develop his menu and gathering a swagger of bao loving fans along the way. Indulge yourselves with the old favourites and new additions to the menu.

From the classic selection, you can get the famous beef short rib, crispy chicken, pork belly, roast pork or beer battered barramundi and if you’re vegetarian, not to worry, there’s tofu too. These Taiwanese classics feature flavours of bbq plum sauce, peanut miso or Sriracha mayo and will certainly hit the spot. At a price of only 2 for $13, be sure to get in fast as they’ll sell like hot cakes.

From the premium selection, spend only $1.50 more and you can get Peking duck, Mongolian lamb or soft shell crab or umami mushrooms. There’s too many to choose from, you’ll just have to try them all!

In addition to the Bao, Cloud Thief are now selling rice bowls with a brown rice base, topped with vegetables and chicken or pork belly. There’s some salt and pepper tofu, fries and sweet potato fries. Last, but certainly not least are the one and only Peking duck fries. Words cannot express how good these are. You’ll simply have to go and find out.

IMG_E0169

Opens Friday 1 Dec 11am

 

Bespoke and designer cakes @Vanoir

IMG_2338

We had the honour of attending the official opening of Vanoir in Paddington, newly opened thanks to award winning cupcake and couture luxury cake designer, Orlando Sanpo. Sanpo, founder of Black Velvet Sydney and Creative Director of this new store,  Vanoir Sydney, has opened a new store with bespoke cakes, cupcakes and more to impress your guests and tastebuds.

IMG_2341

Situated in a beautiful townhouse at the Paddington five ways, it has stylish interiors and is the perfect addition to the area.

Upon entry, we breathtakingly admired all the sweet treats, almost too beautiful to eat. But, Orlando was encouraging us to try. We are glad we did!

IMG_2340gss

Marg Simonovska, Orlando’s friend introduced us to the story behind the business and to Orlando. Previously an interior designer, his passion for design is clear and this has transformed through to his production of amazing cakes, or as one could call it – edible art! He demonstrated the process behind his work, showing how a design goes from paper to the cake. He certainly creates masterpieces and comes with a wealth of experience through his studies, travels to the USA and UK and his cakes also have French patisserie technique.

IMG_2312

There was beautiful array of cakes, and smaller treats such as cake pops, eclairs and cupcakes. Orlando’s new creation is a lychee flavoured cupcake which was outstanding. The cake is so fluffy, flavoursome and topped with a deliciously creamy icing. We highly recommend trying some of these!

 

Pop in for a bite to take away with a tea or coffee or order a bespoke cake for any event and you will not be disappointed.

IMG_E2291

We wish Orlando and Vanoir all the success that it deserves.

Thanks to Samantha at the PRHUB for the invitation to the event.

Vanoir: 219 Glenmore Road, Paddington, NSW, 2021

https://vanoir.com.au/

IMG_2339

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

 

Authentic Vietnamese @ I Love Pho

I love Pho is not only the name of the restaurant we visited but a true statement of our feelings towards it. Situated in the heart of Crows Nest is this Gem of a Vietnamese restaurant, serving up tasty traditional cuisine.

23468222_10159636713430008_1534279370_oThe restaurant also has a traditional aesthetic look and feel which also reflects the style of food. With bamboo lining the walls and Vietnamese themed art, it feels welcoming and genuine. The service was prompt and super friendly and our waiter was extremely charismatic. Upon looking at the menu it was nice to see this restaurant is involved with a charity that helps the children of Vietnam, with 50c from every meal going towards building schools in regional areas. It is wonderful and is inspiring to see that this restaurant gives back.

The menu items sport a list of Vietnamese favourites with an emphasis on flavour. For starters, we couldn’t go past their amazing spring rolls with a crispy rice paper shell filled with a flavoursome pork filling. We also tried the warm freshly steamed rice paper rolls too. The sugarcane prawns are another good option. There is a nice subtle sweetness from the prawn paste and the sugarcane, which itself also edible and provides some texture.

A new addition to the menu are the signature bao bun with crispy pork. Highly recommend as an entree choice.

23469236_10159636718050008_961910141_o

Bun Xeo is always on the hit list, Especially the roast duck variety of this crispy Vietnamese pancake/crepe which stems from the French colonial influence. This was a great version of this dish with a crepe that was nice and crisp, and this is not always the case when we have ordered this dish at other places. Plenty of filling beansprouts and roast duck, as well as mint and salad on the side and also comes with a sweet and sour sauce for added flavour.

IMG_E2005

This was a return visit, on the initial visit we had Pho on our mind, the rich flavour of Hoi’an style broth brewed for 24 hours and it certainly hit the mark. This time I had another delicious soup on my mind. A soup with a bit of spice, the Bun bo hue. The Bun bo hue was on point the soup having done its time to develop rich flavour and had a nice amount of spice. This soup is not only tasty, it was also quite filling with plenty of meat and noodles.

IMG_E2015

The vermicelli bowl which came with BBQ pork skewers and a flavour packed marinated pork was also a generous serve. The pork this time had a lot more flavour than most, probably one of our favourites.

23468582_10159636715400008_505726499_o

I love Pho is a great Vietnamese restaurant serving quality traditional Vietnamese cuisine. The food is reasonably priced, the servings are large and the service friendly. Well worth a visit and we will be back.

Thank you to Ompty for the invitation to dine and to the restaurant for its hospitality.

http://ilovepho.com.au/

23482900_10159636715800008_864436346_o

I Love Pho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Candyland @Bello the Shelter

The food here is like you’re in Willy Wonka’s Factory, Candyland or a fantasy fit for unicorns. Splashes of colour, lollies and Oreos, you’re in magical place, worlds away from the shopping centre you’re actually at.

IMG_1900

Bello the shelter is located at the entrance to Westfield Burwood and is a large cafe with quaint homely style theming and sizeable booths and space for plenty of people to enjoy all day breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It was super busy when we there, buzzing with excited diners.

The owners are extremely passionate about their business, working hard for over 20 years to keep this a thriving cafe, adapting to the customers and current food climate. They are really hospitable and welcome us to experience their wonderful cafe.

A group foodies joined together on this occasion, ordering a range of the favourites to share. We began with some beautiful coloured lattes, the rose flavour – a hot pink cup of goodness, that tasted exactly like Rose! Accompanying this was a fluro purple taro latte. They have plenty more flavours on offer, so make sure you ask – they’re secret!

Then come the two drinks that anyone will jump with excitement at. The Candy land milkshake: a bubblegum milkshake topped with fairy floss, lollypops, sugar straps, gummy lollies and more to make your dreams a reality.

The second one, a chocolate version with Oreos, brownies, chocolate wafers and cream, you cannot come without ordering one of these.

Another beautiful dish is the Organic Granola with Seasonal fruits, poached pear, served with fruit and organic honeycomb, complete with small jars of syrup, milk and coloured cereal.

IMG_1907

For a savory selection, we went with the Egyptian style “Basturma Omelette” – free range eggs with olives and fresh tomatoes and a side of sourdough.

IMG_1911

There’s some other interesting options, which we didn’t have but worth a try are the “Salmon macarons” or a brioche French toast with matcha, dulce de leche and gold leaf. With the flowerpot, filled with waffle chunks, pannacotta, chocolate “soil” and strawberries”, you will be in absolute heaven!

IMG_1909

Whilst we picked some of the super interesting options, they do have your typical foods like benedict, Bacon and egg rolls, avocado on toast and more.

From the lunch menu we couldn’t go past the “Season” – the charcoal bun with a grass-fed angus beef patty, with double hi-melt American cheese, roasted capsicum, beetroot balsamic, bacon, oak lettuce, tomato and secret sauce.

IMG_1912

They also have a burger called “Viral” that is crumbed and deep fried with pickles, jalepenos, salsa and sour cream, this is not for the faint hearted and sure to go crazy with the insta crowds.

In addition to this, the menu has a range of other burgers, ribs, hanging skewers, steak and schnitzels as well as salads.

A great café to take a break from shopping but it’s also a destination café that is certainly worth specifically travelling to. Food to suit any market and there are quality inventive dishes but also regular menu choices if you’re not as adventurous. We certainly plan a plan to revisit.

Thanks to Chew Crew Media for the invitation to dine and to the restaurant for their hospitality.

Bello The Shelter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Newly opened at Tramsheds @Mama’s Buoi

We visited the newly opened Mama’s Buoi at the Tramsheds dining precinct. The Tramsheds were once the location of the Harold Park Harness Racing. This venue and the quality of its restaurants is in stark contrast to the sausage sandwiches, VB and Vodka Cruisers that were served up in it’s past life.

Tramsheds hosts a range of cafes and restaurants and we visited the new Mama’s Buoi which has a cool modern set up, with an open kitchen and bar. There is plenty of colour splashed around the restaurant and some fluorescents which pop in contrast to the black steel beams and warehouse setting of the Tramsheds.

IMG_1796

The Mama’s Buoi brand is known for serving consistent high quality Vietnamese cuisine. A menu inspired by the founder Bao Hoang’s mum, there are a range of foods to share amongst friends. The food director comes with a wealth of experience and has designed a high quality menu and they serve their Vietnamese food at five different locations. Having visited their Surry Hills, Crows Nest and now Tramsheds location, we can attest to the fabulous food they have on offer.

IMG_1762

The drinks list is also tops with Mama’s Buoi always impressing with great cocktails. The frozen cocktails were on the cards, the innovative frozen kambucha was refreshing and was well suited to the food being served and great for warm days ahead.

This visit involved a banquet menu allowing us to sample a range of items on the menu, which is the intention of the restaurant. The entrees were all very enticing with some popular Vietnamese bites including; duck pancakes, salt and pepper squid, roast pork belly and our favourite entree on the list being the crispy Coconut prawns coated with coconut strips for added texture and crunch.

IMG_1792          IMG_1808

IMG_1811

The mains included a the wok tossed seafood and Mama’s beef stir fry, both having nicely balanced flavours. The home style chicken curry had delicate flavours and the chicken was ridiculously tender. The smokey eggplant was super tasty and is a good vegetarian option. The crab fried rice, something a little more special than your usual fried rice.

IMG_1816

IMG_1812

For dessert we had the opportunity to try something amazing, with an old favourite: the creme brulee getting a Vietnamese twist. The Vietnamese coffee creme brûlée impressed all. diners. It was a great dessert, channelling the Vietnamese coffee which is always a favourite with the beautiful texture of the brûlée to pay homage to the French.

IMG_1821

It was another enjoyable visit to Mama’s Buoi in a great new location. It features attentive service and food on par with the other Mama’s Buoi restaurant’s. Make sure you pop by, grab a bite to eat and enjoy one of their frozen cocktails. You will love it as much as we did!

Thank you to Wasamedia for the invitation to dine and to Mama’s Buoi for the hospitality.

http://www.mamasbuoi.com.au/

Mama's Buoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hipster vibes @Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco

The Merivale group have a long list of quality hospitality venues including some great bars and restaurants. The Merivale Group has been expanding into the suburbs of late and purchased the “Tenno” Tennyson Hotel in Mascot. This is your typical local pub, with many regulars having beers and watching the footy. However, make your way out the back and find the previously occupied drive through bottle shop, which Merivale have turned into a cool restaurant/ bar called Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco. The set up inside is the same, however there is a fresh hipster paint job, disco balls, some cool 90’s hip hop tunes and a bar where the old service counter used to be.

 There is a fun vibe to this place the wait staff are friendly, helpful and fit the hipster vibe. The beer fridges are still there and are self service and reasonably priced. Pick your drink, take it to the counter where they add it to your tab and mark it off and you’re ready to drink. The walk in refrigerator which once stocked cartons of beer remains and is now a walk in wine fridge which is an additional element of cool, literally. Grab a ski jacked from the wall hooks if you need one. There is also a creative cocktail list with some interesting and tasty concoctions.

 The food is rustic Italian fare, which is in contrast to the fit out, but it is quality food and it totally works. The meatloaf was a tasty starter, served with peppers and pickles. A classic pasta dish we shared was the gnoccheti, shell type pasta with some beautifully braised lamb, some crispy rosemary which added texture and a flavour that we love.

 IMG_0968

IMG_0969

We thoroughly enjoyed the glazed porchetta and scallion, which was deliciously sweet and smokey. We topped this off with a robust side of the polenta, with corn and chervil.

Whoever would have thought an old drive through bottle shop in Mascot would work as a location for a restaurant. A great addition in an area not spoilt for choice. It is a little pricy for the area, but totally worth it for the one of the more fun dining experiences on offer in Sydney at the moment. We understand it is a pop up so get in there soon!

IMG_0973

Mr. Liquor Dirty Italian Disco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Art of Dining @Westfield Hornsby

Art of Dining, held at Westfield Hornsby, is an annual festival celebrating food, drink and entertainment.

This year’s Art of Dining was a wonderful community event where people of all ages gathered together for an enjoyable afternoon, with musical acts who performed on the main stage and engaged the crowd with dancing – one act even encouraged kids to get on stage to play the bongo drums!

There was also a jumping castle, which all the kids loved of course.

22906498_10159586448485008_1327453229_o

Outside the Dining Precinct at Westfield Hornsby, there were a number of stalls set up, offering a range of different delicious cuisines.

We were lucky enough to have sampled what Joyful House had to offer at the Eat.Drink.Westfield event back in August and so we made a bee-line straight for their stall to get a yum cha fix. We had plenty of tasty morsels, such as salt and pepper chicken wings, spring rolls, mixed dumplings, fried won tons and pork buns.

We also couldn’t resist the bite sized mango pancakes being served up by Westfield Hornsby favourite, the House of Canton.

For the adultsShores were serving up the perfect combination of oysters and a glass of champagne. Craft beers and cocktails were also available from the bar. It was very enjoyable taking in the entertainment and performances on the main stage whist sipping on an Aperol Spritz.

IMG_E1463

Food trucks are so in fashion these days and they were certainly popular with the crowds at this event.

Inbocca were selling pizzas, lasagne cubes and arancini, whilst The Wienery had a variety of mouth-watering bites, including bacon wrapped hot dogs – definitely a popular choice.

23030480_10159586448910008_1265034502_o

We tried the Egyptian food from El Qahirah, which has introduced us to the wonders that this cuisine has to offer.

One of our favourite meals of the day was an Egyptian street food dish; a bowl of rice and lentils, topped with a middle eastern spiced tomato sauce, macaroni, chickpeas and fried onions with a magic ‘Dukkah’ flavouring of vinegar, spices and chilli. This dish, called Koshary (meaning Cairo), is the National dish of Egypt and we can certainly see why! Wow!

They also have flatbread pouches filled with the works for a healthy option!

IMG_E1457

Alexander’s Bakery make a variety of Macedonian filled pastries. The Burek, with a range of sweet and savoury fillings (our pick being the spinach and ricotta and the smokey pulled pork) was delicious! These were selling out super-fast with the crowds and we highly recommend trying some.

One must finish their dining experience with dessert… and that we did with some beautiful little patisserie foods from Love One More Bite. Their tarts were not only visually appealing, but also extremely tasty. Our favourites were the unicorn and the special skull feature, perfect for Halloween.

IMG_E1447

The food was on point and the entertainment provided ambiance whilst dining, with a range of acts including Malaika Green, Mi-kaisha, Phil Maxwell and The Modern Glitch.

The skill displayed by the face painters from Kozi and Pinky Entertainment was very impressive with children queueing up for face art. But, who said it only has to be for children? It was Halloween, so we decided to line up for some painted faces too! The line moved quickly and there was no cost involved for shoppers. Our “Day of the Dead” faces are testament to their amazing skills!

This annual event certainly brought people together – watch out for its return next year. We cannot wait to see what Westfield Hornsby puts together next year, this event is definitely not to be missed!