Song Kitchen is cooking for a cause

We love our food and when we hear anything is supporting a good cause in any way, we are interested. Raising money, providing resources for the needy or donating profits, we consider all of this amazing! So when we heard that SONG KITCHEN has a social conscience, offering 100% of their profits to support the YWCA NSW – an organisation that helps women experiencing domestic violence, we were there in a heartbeat. 

Located on Elizabeth street, Sydney, it is a hotel restaurant in the city end of Surry Hills. Song Kitchen is somewhere city goers may walk past everyday. Don’t just walk past, head on in. Open for less than a year, Song Kitchen is run head chef, Charlotte Gonzales. She comes with a wealth of experience, having been a chef since the age of 18 having worked in a number of well known restaurants, including a number of Merivale venues.

The menu at Song Kitchen offers a quality dining experience at a reasonable price, showcasing fresh food that is European Bistro inspired. There is also an extensive wine and cocktail list. Song Kitchen is also giving back to diners, offering a free wine with dinner as a promotion.

We were in a group and were fortunate enough to sample much of the menu.This included the Rabbit terrine with apricot, pistachio and chargrilled bread as well as the Kingfish ceviche. The charcuterie board, which is always a great share option for a group and had a quality selection of cured meats, house pickles, and chargrilled bread and very enjoyable with a glass of wine. A fresh light option was the tomato and melon salad with prosciutto. Our favourite was the grilled king prawns, perfectly cooked and plenty of flavour provided by long red chilli, garlic, coriander, lime & romesco salsa.

The corn fed chicken, super tender, served with potato mash, broccoli and a lemon salsa. A number of our group went for the beautifully cooked grain fed scotch filler (250g), served with a generous amount of nicely seasoned shoestring fries, red wine jus and a side of Bearnaise. If you are in the mood for pasta the waiter recommended the Pince all’Amatriciana tomato sauce.

Despite the fact we were extremely full, a few of us wanted dessert too and shared some classic including; Crepes Suzette, Creme Caramel and profiteroles with hazelnut icecream.

A beautiful menu with so many awesome options! Make a booking, dine with your friends and know you’re helping a good cause!

https://www.songkitchen.com.au/category/whats-on/

Rey’s Place, new modern Filipino restaurant – you must visit

If you’re looking to try something new, then be sure to head down Crown Street, Darlinghurst and check out the newly opened Modern Filipino restaurant called Rey’s Place. Put it this way, they have SUCKLING PIG! Need I say more?

Rey’s Place is a cool split level restaurant bar with some great 60’s tunes playing in the background, it is totally fitting for the styling of he place and we bopped along whilst enjoying our food and drinks. It is cosy and as you walk in, you will find that there is a well lit space with a bar and dining area. Downstairs is a larger area with another bar and the kitchen. The staff here are incredibly friendly and will make you feel welcome. They give a good rundown of the menu and provide advice on matching drinks with your food.

Rey’s Place do great cocktails make sure you check out the list. Many of the cocktails are original to Rey’s and there is something for everyone: they have rum, gin, vodka and whiskey concotions. The ‘Filo Thyme’ was suprisingly good, made with Suntory Kakubin whisky, raspberry, thyme, citrus, prosecco this cocktail was refreshing and aromatic. 

The Thrilla in Manila was another favourite, this drink is appropriately named. The Thrilla is a stiff gin and juice cocktail of Bombay london dry gin, pineapple, oregeat, citrus. as the menu says “a killer and a thriller and a chiller” There is also a good range of beer, wine, spirits and non alcoholic drink on offer.

The food at Rey’s Place is tasty and very moreish. With exciting Filipino inspired street food for small plates and starters, best enjoyed with a drink. For starters; the BBQ corn Collette with chilli and garlic butter on sweet corn had a nice kick to it. We also selected the Okoy; crispy fried white bait fritters with spiced coconut vinegar were both quick to disappear. Also on the list were oysters and zucchini flowers which certainly sounded appealing too! 

From the smaller plates menu, it was impossible to go past the Sisig Bao slider of braised pork belly with ginger, garlic and onion, dressed with Smokey Adobar Aioli. It would be possible to go through a stack of these, so much flavour. We are now living with regret, as we should have ordered a double serve. The small plate selection also had a number of tempting options such as fried chicken wings and king salmon ceviche.

There was a lot of food envy when the larger plates went pass our table to other diners. However, we couldn’t go past the Lechon- slow roast SUCKLING PIG with Sarsa and chilli- mansi drippings. This dish is truly droolworthy with succulent slow cooked meat and crispy skin crackling. We will have to return for the braised oxtail in peanut sauce or grilled stuffed squid next time. The sides include stir fried water spinach, salad or steamed rice.

From the dessert menu there’s pretty much the one option or ice cream. The dessert is a tasty little number. The sugar glazed banana spring rolls with Ube Parfait which is purple with a taro like flavour and is served on banana chips for added texture.

If you’re interested in trying a bit of everything, the tasting menu is a good option at the reasonable price of $45, and another $36 with wines to match. There aren’t too many Filipino restaurants in Sydney unless you head out west for some street food. Rey’s Place is a great spot to get acquainted with Filipino cusine, good food, drink and good vibes.

www.reysplace.com.au

Rey's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cool neighbourhood café in Surry Hills @Pablo’s Vice

IMG_7549Pablo’s Vice is a bargain gem and one of the oldest continuous running cafes in Surry Hills. The cafe began as a refreshment store, before espresso was a thing in Sydney. Pablo’s Vice has continued to offer honest and comforting Australian food, along with the ever popular daily coffee. This joint is literally a hole in the wall with counter and stools out front as well as some tables and benches fixed to the front wall and a few inside as well. It is a great spot to hang, with plenty of action on the street to keep you occupied there is also some cool street art surrounding this cafe. The friendly staff Saf and Mustaf were absolutely delightful and really made our visit enjoyable!

They have kept it going with extremely reasonable prices (only $8.00 a burger), and quite possible the cheapest I’ve seen in Surry Hills! Pablo’s Vice also offer all day breakfast until 2pm with many of your favourites like muesli, banana bread, bacon and egg rolls or smashed avo, as well as haloumi and salmon stacks. We visited for lunch and were impressed to see a variety of vegan options catering for the local crowd. A summer vegan salad or guilt free vegan burger with a spiced chickpea and cauliflower pattie or a vegetarian haloumi burger. They all sounded appealing. However, it was hard to turn down Pablo’s Beef Burger; a quality burger at a great price. The burger was super tasty and was loaded with quality ingredients including a seasoned organic beef patty with caramelised onion, melted American cheddar cheese, maple bacon, sweet gherkin pickles, iceberg lettuce, aioli and tomato relish on a milk bun. Alongside your burger, you can also get tempura zucchini chips, homemade onion rings, or sweet potato fries.

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The honey mustard chicken bowl is extremely popular. Unfortunately they had sold out of chicken. We instead went for a breakfast option, getting farmer Jo’s muesli (the burnt fig and almonds, dipped in honey and rolled in cinnamon) with strawberries, bananas, honey and Greek yoghurt.

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Pablo’s Vice is perfect for taking in the local vibe and they are also a licensed venue. With quality beer and wine on their list, you will be hard pressed finding a cheaper option in the area. Enjoy your drink with their antipasto platter.

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At $8.00 for 1-2 people or $14.00 for 3-4, it’s perfect for a leisurely brunch without breaking the bank. Saf, the barista offered us to try his specially made berry mojito and of course we took up that offer!

If you’re not up for drinking, they serve Campos coffee, T2 tea, milkshakes, smoothies and Capi Mineral water. We really enjoyed our latte and chai latte as well.

An absolute bargain gem, perfect if you are looking for somewhere casual to hang out, have drink and a bite to eat. A big thanks to Ompty Media for introducing us to this great little café.

Pablos Vice

Pablo's Vice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

For some tapas, drinks and cool vibes, visit Donny’s Bar.

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Donny’s Bar is a great bar/eatery just off the Corso in Manly. Donny’s Bar is set up with a loft and a few tables out front to be enjoyed when the weather turns on. Once inside, the first level has the main bar and a hidden private bar out back. The kitchen and dining area occupy the upstairs space. The drinks are on point and the food is of a high standard. The food has a homely approach and perfect tapas to enjoy with a drink or two. Even better, they have a range of great daily food and drink specials, like $5 steak night on Tuesdays!. Check out date night and half price Sunday deals which are superb value.

We visited on a Sunday evening and they had a half price tapas menu and also a corresponding happy hour which runs from 5pm-7pm every day. There was also live music put on by the venue from Thursdays to Sundays, making this joint ideal for a Sunday Sesh.

Donny’s have good beer on tap and a quality selection of cocktails and the sticky date espresso was a definite ‘must order’.

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Foodwise, there a number of tapas plates, perfect for sharing (but keep in mind you will want it all yourself!) The crumbed camembert was incredible; you simply cannot go wrong with fried cheese. This is accompanied by a sweet spice and chili infused date paste. 

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The leek and Manchego croquettes were beautiful, absolutely delicious and full of flavour and another good option to snack on with a drink.

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There are larger plates, if you are something more substantial. With a range of quality options, to suit all diners . The crispy skin salmon was very inviting, nicely plated and perfectly cooked.

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We were advised the chicken skewers were marinated for 24 hours and are a popular menu item. These did not disappoint, they were tender, juicy and very flavoursome.

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Donny’s bar is a cool join with a relaxed vibe, a great spot to catch up with friends enjoy a drink, some good food and entertainment. The specials are extremely good value. Make sure you check this joint out if in Manly.

Donny’s Bar

7 Market Lane
Manly, NSW 2095

Tel: (02) 9977-1887

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Nourishing and beautiful food @Three Beans

Don’t be caught out by the stereotype of a shopping centre cafe. Three beans is a great cafe located inside Broadway shopping centre. This cafe has rustic styling, it is a large space and has a stack of magazines and papers to read whilst you wait.
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A good spot to dine in and take a break. There are also plenty of take away options if you are in a rush maybe a pre made wrap, sandwich or cake and coffee to go.
Three Beans Cafe use their own sustainable blend of coffee. There’s also a malabar chai, matcha latte, and iced drinks too. If you’re keen on a refreshing frappe; try coffee or berry!
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Their all day menu boasts good variety, with breakfast, brunch and lunch options; from the summer pancakes and bacon and egg rolls to ham, turkey or chicken sandwiches. The miso chicken and lamb wraps also sounded delicious. With a focus on healthy eating, all menu options list the kilojoules for each, helping you to make an informed healthy decision. We went for two of the healthiest options; the ancient grain salad and nourish bowl.
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The ancient grain salad was a tasty option with a large serve of healthy ingredients including; buckwheat and quinoa, which also had fresh herbs, avocado, beetroot labneh, lemon and poached chicken.
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The nourish bowl, had a good mix of nourishing ingredients such as kale, peas, coriander, red cabbage. Carrot, onion, grains, egg and topped with hot salmon and dressing of coriander and ginger. Very flavoursome for a healthy dish.
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The granola and matcha pannacotta, is a good option if you are after a sweet option and it is a paleo too! Served with berries and coulis, this is a lovely dish and it came presented like a work of art, absolutely beautiful.
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It’s the perfect place to stop for rest and whilst you’re shopping. It also suits families, with a kids menu and the famous babycinos. Be sure to check it out.
Thanks to Huddle Group for the invitation to dine and the hospitality provided by Three Beans.

We visited: Broadway

L122 1 Bay St, Ultimo NSW 2007

Three Beans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

House Bar and Bistrot Italian from paddock to plate

House Bar & Bistrot is a new European style Bistrot in Potts Point. Located at the end of Kellett Street, not far from the main strip. The food here is mainly Italian inspired, all made from scratch including the bread and Pastas. This was certainly evident when tasting as the food was incredible. Set up in an old Victorian style terrace, with multiple dining spaces including outdoor, which was lovely to sit at during the evening we visited. It is a good spot to enjoy a drink with some great food.

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To drink, there are a number of cocktails to choose from as well as some nice Italian wine. Be prepared as the wine glasses are very generous as are the pours (which is not a bad thing). We also sampled a lovely lemon soda which was very refreshing.

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The food here is expertly prepared by Milanese chef Mauro. The appetisers are great for sharing with a range of tasty bruschetta to choose from. The roast pumpkin and thyme atop bruschetta is a classic flavour combination and very enjoyable. It was certainly evident that the bread was made in house as it was superbly fresh.

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The food at House Bar & Bistrot is seasonal, with a paddock to plate ethos. The seafood zuppetta is a perfectly prepared medley of cod, squid, pippies and octopus served in a light tomato soup.

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The freshly prepared Pork Ragu ravioli was incredible, with butter sauce. This was a high quality pasta dish.

The atmosphere at this restaurant is casual, and on the weekends they have DJ’s and acoustic musicians. They have a small Italian inspired wine list and good food. The portions are a little small and the price a little expensive, which is justified as the food is made from scratch, with great care and precision.

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House Bar and Bistrot

62-64 Kellett St, Potts Point NSW 2011

House Bar & Bistrot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Reina for Venezualan Arepas

La Reina serves delicious Venezuelan food. This business started on the market scene and now has a permanent spot at the city end of Newtown. This is primarily a takeaway joint offering the famous Arepas, which are a popular Venezuelan street food and are also very popular in Colombia.

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Arepas are healthy corn flour bread / tortillas served with an array of different fillings. They are Gluten free and you can also get vegan and vegetarian Arepas. They are huge, like a massive burrito, filled with rice, beans, pulled pork, chicken, salads, cheese and more, served solo or with grilled plantain.

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This was our first Venezuelan food experience and we were suitably impressed with its refreshingly healthy fillings and amount of tasty options. We tied the famous ‘Papellon’ the popular Venezuelan choice which is designed to represents all different cultures, with chicken or pork, beans and feta – your choice when ordering.

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The National dish of Venezuela is the ‘Reina pepiada’ supposedly developed to represent Miss Venezuela in 1953, filled with chicken, avo and a touch of coriander. They also offer some less traditional deconstructed Arepas in bowls with a serving of rice. Make sure to add some capsicum sauce or the avocado sauce for added flavour.

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If you can’t decide what to order, the sampler is your best bet, quadrella of mini arepas. It is a colourful offeeing with the corn bread dyed green with kale and purple with beetroot. For fillings choose from varities of pulled pork, beef, chicken or vegetarian, they are all delicious and made from fresh ingredients.

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The husband and wife team and their business partner are all delightful and super proud of their food. It’s great for a healthy and filling bite to eat, the food is nourishing, well priced and prepared on the spot. La Reina is a good health take away option and is well situated close to the uni and bars of Newtown, make sure to check it out when you’re in the area.

La Reina

 69-77 King Street, Newtown, Sydney

La Reina - The Queen of Venezuelan Arepas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Chez Sun is an amazing patisserie and café

Chez Sun is an amazing patisserie! It is also much more that just a master of fine cakes. It is also a great place to enjoy a coffee and meal for breakfast, brunch and even dinner Thursdays – Saturdays. This two level eatery is located in Surry Hills toward the Oxford St end of Crown St. The bottom level has an open view of crown street.

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Once inside, head up toward the counter where you are greeted by the friendly staff. It is here where you see the beautiful display of cakes, which are an absolute work of art.

If you are dining in, it is recommended that you head up stairs. Once on the upper level, you will find an oasis in the heart of Surry Hills. With an inviting French inspired sitting/dining area, you can sit down in a tranquil environment for hours. There are burgundy leather bench seats, a fire place, book shelf and nicely upholstered lounge chairs and marble coffee tables. This is a perfect spot to enjoy a cake accompanied by tea or coffee.

We visited on a sunny Sunday and chose to pass through the luxurious sitting/dining area and out on to the black and white mosaic tiled terrace balcony. A great spot to enjoy a coffee, juice or tea whilst pondering what was the night before and browsing the brunch menu.

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The brunch menu literally had something for everyone. Plenty of breakfast and lunch options: both sweet, savoury, healthy or a hangover cure. This made for a tough decision. The hot cakes are an absolute must, the plate nicely decorated with light golden discs (hotcakes), served with a berry coulis that is not overly sweet and combines nicely with the decadent quinelle of marscapone.

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A tasty savoury option is the three egg omelette with bacon, mushroom and jalapeno’s, nicely presented with the omelette wrapped around a flakey croissant topped with parmesan and hazelnut.

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Be sure to save some space for the patisserie on the way out. The items on display impeccably presented to reflect real items. The white peach, filled with peach cream was very fresh and perfect for summer. The green apple was very impressive, it actually looked like a glazed granny smith. This was also light and fresh the braised diced apple and dill centre a nice flavour combination.

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The were a number of items on display that will have us return for more. Chez Sun echoes quality in all that is put forward. The meals are extremely delicious and nicely presented as are the sweets. The set up of this terrace is eclectic and inviting. This is a great spot to escape, enjoy a bite to eat with your tea or coffee. The juices are really nice too!

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Thanks to Ryan from Get Social for arranging the invitation and the staff at Chez sun for their hospitality.

Chez Sun

251 Crown Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney 2010

Chez Sun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

GPO Cheese and Wine Room, the name says it all!

A Hidden gem in the depths of Martin place in the CBD of Sydney is the GPO cheese and wine room. Enter via the old post office building, head down the stairs and you will find your cheese wonderland. Once inside the cheese room, to the left is a cheese counter and the rest of the room is filled with bottles of wine. This could be considered heaven for some and probably is.

There is a nicely set dining room to the right, where you can enjoy your selections in sophisticated comfort. The staff are very attentive, filling your water glass and providing great service.

The GPO cheese and wine room has a large selection of wine from many regions around the world, much like their cheese offerings. We browsed the menu trying to decide what to order, a difficult task considering everything they have to offer. Do we pick a couple of different types of cheese, burgers, antipasto, a cheese and wine flight or a main? Nope, we spot that they have fondue on the menu, something you do not come across too often in Sydney. This is something that appeals to my Swiss roots.

We select a nice glass of pinot and sip away, in anticipation for the brie coulommiers and truffle fondue to arrive. The fondue hits the table, the flame is lit and the cheese melts, turning into a bowl of liquid goodness. The fondue set was very impressive, consisting of a large platter containing a selection of cured meat, potatoes, bread, crackers, pickled figs and grilled garlic prawns. The fondue forks were kept busy as we were selecting items to pass through that decadent mix of cheese and truffle, transforming each item into a mass flavour infusion. At $56 between two, it is great value.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the GPO cheese and wine room, set up in the historic post office building at the bottom of Martin Place. With a great selection of cheese and wine at a good price, this place is now on our radar and one we recomnend you add to your list.

https://www.gpogrand.com/gpo-best-cheese-wine-room-sydney
GPO Cheese and Wine Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banh Meats & Co tweaking an old favourite.

We love a good Banh Mi and had been hearing about Banh Meats & Co for a while. We can thank Zomato for arranging the visit. Banh meats is located in Burwood, just a short distance from Westfield and the train station. The shop itself is set up for take away, with a few tables to dine in. It is a casual dining space with a modern fit out and we liked the decor. Order at the counter, grab a table and get ready to hoe in.

We were happy to see that Banh Meats & Co had a coffee machine and ordered a coffee whilst deciding on food. There were also a number of cold drinks on offer including; juice, soft drinks and frappes.

There are of course a range of Banh Mi, served on burger buns or baguettes, they also do salads if you are watching you weight or just like those better. In addition to this, they have the Banh meats version of a snack pack, that can be customised. Our snack pack was a concoction of potato gems, topped with mac n cheese, some diced spanish onion, challots, coriander, pickles and soft shell crab. Go nuts!

The Banh Mi here are pimped out with different types of meat you won’t find on your traditional roll including soft shell crab, fried chicken, roast pork and smoked beef brisket. The roast pork served on a baguette was insanely huge, the meat nice and tender with crisp crackling and this baguette filled with the same salad ingredients served on a traditional Banh mi including pickled carrot. We also added a soft egg for good measure.

The round Banh mi served on a burger bun was also a great option, if you prefer the softness of a bun over a crunchy baguette. The fried chicken variety was a favourite. It had a good batter, not too oily, the chicken succulent, served with fresh salad, bacon and some mac n cheese. This burger didn’t last long.

Banh meats and Co has some tasty food on offer, perfect if you are looking for a quick bite. Yes, Banh Meats & Co is a little more expensive than your traditional banh mi. Keep in mind this is not your hole in the wall joint with a questionable food safety record and they have upped the game by adding quality meats selections.

https://m.facebook.com/banhmeatsandco/