Afternoon tea @ The Westin

Sophistication, class, heritage and history. That, combined with good champagne, as well as sweet and savoury treats is what you’ll find at this Afternoon tea.


The Heritage Afternoon Tea at the Westin has been inspired by Sydney’s history and the surrounding area, which extend back to the colonial period, and beyond. With Sydney undergoing rapid gentrification, it’s great to see this hotel keeping up with current day tastes and also reflecting on our wonderful nations early history.


We are made aware that this hotel, right in the centre of the CBD, in Martin Place to be exact, was the location of the GPO – the general post office since 1874 and was one of the first major building developments in Sydney.


Throughout its time, it has been a communication centre, clock tower and bells rang out through Sydney.

The hotel has the old post box on display here, as well as a clock theme in the bar and numerous old photographs around the hotel.


In 1999, exactly 125 years after the GPO was opened, the building became the Westin Hotel. We love that it honours its heritage as well as being a modern hotel.


It is in this setting that we experience two versions of the afternoon tea: the heritage afternoon tea and the mad hatters tea party.

We love a good afternoon tea. There’s something about it; you feel sophisticated and quite relaxed as you sip that champagne, eat bite sized treats and finish with a warm cup of tea. Plenty of people would call this a ‘high tea’, but that infact is not quite right.

Afternoon teas and High teas are steeped in British tradition and it’s important to first distinguish between the two. History has it that ‘afternoon tea’ became the bridge between meals, since the real “tea” (or dinner), was not often eaten until late. This was often a light meal such as cake or scones and a cup of tea. This became fashionable by Anna the 7th duchess of Bedford in the 19th century who invited friends over for the first ‘afternoon tea’.

Unfortunately, whilst this was ok for the rich, but not necessarily possible for the working classes who worked late and didn’t have time to sit down and break. So, high tea became the go to for the working class areas of the UK. High tea was a mix of tea, bread and a heavy food like meat, fish and casseroles to keep that body full. Eaten at tables with high backed chairs, to be distinguished from the ‘afternoon tea’, enjoyed at low, comfortable lounges.


What is on offer at the Westin, is ‘afternoon tea’ in the Lobby Bar and lounge. Afternoon tea usually consists of tea, scones, finger sandwiches and sweet treats.


At the Westin, their heritage tea was a three tiered wonder, which had some beautifully prepared sandwiches – the double smoked ham and cheese and cucumber, as well as slow cooked chicken and picked bell peppers in a spinach toast roll, a smoked salmon triple stack with caper berries and a small green salad and ocean prawn boat with crostini and lime.



The sweet portion of the afternoon tea was amazing. There was a profiterole with chocolate filling, a glazed caramel mousse with fresh berries and raspberry gel. Topped off with our favourite – the vanilla Creme brûlée with a nut biscotti.


Accompanied by scones with homemade strawberry jam, raspberry chocolate jams and clotted cream.


We had a Ruinart champagne as well as a cocktail to mix it up a bit. The cocktail was the perfect choice with the Mad Hatters version of the afternoon tea. A bit of whimsical and magical addition to your experience.



On this version of the afternoon tea, you find the savoury component with a roasted beef and fresh asparagus roulade on a mini Lauren, an Alaskan crab meat salad on double Bread, as well as a cherry, bocconcini and tomato salad boat.


For the sweet option, there was the ‘clock’ – a green macaron with a blueberry cream filling and a ‘love heart’ – layers of buttercream with chocolate ganache and raspberry jelly. The pièce de résistance was the mad hatters hat itself – a dark chocolate mud cake, cased with icing.


So whether you’re up for tradition or a modern take on afternoon tea, the Westin can suit your taste. Come and enjoy on a beautiful afternoon and you will enjoy it immensely.

The Westin – Bar, Lounge & Room

1 Martin Place, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia  

T +61 2 8223 1197

Afternoon Tea

The Lobby Bar, Lounge and Room- Westin Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wholefood cafe @The Bean Hub & Co, Castle Hill

The bean hub, new to Castle Towers shopping centre is a lovely cafe focusing on using fresh and organic ingredients that are nutritious and delicious. It is a wholefood cafe and as such, they have plenty of options for those with gluten free requirements and diners that follow a vegan and paleo diet.

Their coffee is air roasted (using all press) and enjoyed by the local community that visit. We had a great latte as well as a hot chocolate. We also tried a tea from their selection. If you prefer, they also have healthy juices, kombucha and smoothies on offer.


Head chef, Milan Sodolovac has been in the Hills district for approx 10 years and knows the clientele well. His wholesome food is the perfect fit for those that enjoy a clean lifestyle.


Breakfast and lunch options use organic ingredients and fresh produce. We tried the buckwheat and blueberry pancakes with caramelised banana, fresh berries, coconut yoghurt and organic maple syrup. Simply stunning!


We also went for the Hub Bowl: butterfly pea flower infused coconut yoghurt with toasted gluten free granola, chia seeds and fresh fruit. It looked so appealing and tasted so fresh and we felt good having a health dish.


They also have a range of typical brunch option like shakshuka and avo on toast as well as a couple of salads and burgers.

They also have a range of gluten free, raw and paleo desserts and many are dairy-free and refined sugar free so you can have that treat and not feel too guilty!


If you’re in the area or having a bit for a shop, visit here for a great meal, that is healthy and fresh.

 The Bean Hub & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Classic French Dining @Macleay St Bistro

Macleay Street Bistro is a Sydney dining institution serving classic French Cuisine. They are currently celebrating 35 years of service with a 1970s inspired, classic French menu. This coincidentally includes some of our favourite dishes – you cannot beat a classic.


Macleay Street Bistro is set in a converted terrace house and on appearance the restaurant is your cliché French fine dining restaurant.


White tablecloths with tables set impeccably with crockery and wine glasses.


The set up and decor may be classic French, however the music is modern and upbeat, as is the maître d, Clive. The service at this restaurant is extraordinarily professional, whilst still personable, with Clive providing plenty of character. He comes with a wealth of experience and it shows in leaps and bounds. This was one of the best dining and service experiences we have experienced in Sydney.

What better way to start a meal than with a refreshing cocktail – a beautiful French martini – chambord, vodka and pineapple juice. A recommended start to your meal at Macleay Street Bistro.


Another traditional start to any bistro meal is bread and Macleay St Bistro uses quality artisan producers to supply the restaurant. A French Baguette from Sonoma is accompanied by another Sydney favourite, Pepe Saya butter.


We were visiting for their impressive celebratory six course degustation menu incorporating their classics to reflect on and celebrate their 35 years of operation. Before the degustation began, we requested to try the French onion soup, which people have been raving about. They are not wrong – this soup was incredible – light and packed with flavour. This is a must order!


The First course was the pan seared scallops, prepared to perfection combining with added texture provided to the dish by the hazelnuts and an earthiness from the roast cauliflower and contrasted by the light cauliflower purée.

This dish was paired with a Riesling, the Framingham from Marlborough New Zealand a sweet wine with strong flavours of lemon and rasins, this conjuring memories of lemon cordial, when you indulge and get a little heavy on the cordial. This wine nicely matched with the sweeness of scallops.


For the Second course, we get hands on with the Macleay St Bistro organic grass fed eye fillet steak tartare with house made mini baguette.


The plate is beautifully presented with a mound of thin strips of beef and an egg yolk on top that brings the dish together. This surrounded by little quenelles of Dijon, eschallot, Cornichon, Anchovy paste and capers. Break open the egg yolk, mix it with the beef strips, then combine other flavours to taste.

This incredibly rich and beautiful tartare was paired with a Joseph Faiveley Pinot Noir From Burgundy, France. A lighter style red which helped cut through the richness of the tartare. What a fabulous pairing, they sure know their stuff here.


The third course was a twice baked French onion soufflé with truffle butter and a wholemeal sourdough roll. This is comfort food, the perfect winter dish that will warm the soul. Light and fluffy, sitting in a pool of cheesy goodness, you most certainly need to try this. The flavours of this dish complimented by a Vincent girardin Chardonnay from Burgundy, France. The the wood flavours from the oaked chardonnay and the sweet onion and cheese of that twice bake soufflé were truly magnifique.



The fourth course was a divine organic grass fed eye fillet with fresh parsley and sauce au poivre, a great cut of meat, cooked medium rare, it melts in your mouth. The wine of choice Mon Coeur, Syrah, Rhone valley, France. What else would you pair with a steak?



The penultimate dish was the fifth course, a classic Macleay st bistro Creme brûlée Served with chateau la caussade Sainte Croix, Bordeaux, France. The perfect end to the meal.


When you think you are finished, the staff bring our house made chocolate truffles, rich and beautiful. What a perfect dish to end on.


For a meal that is truly special, do make a showing at Mcleay Street Bistro for the weekend lunch offer. A 6 course classic French menu for $90, for matching wine add $75. All items cooked to perfection and served with a great wine pairing. You receive an authentic French Bistro experience, make sure you bring your appetite and enjoy the experience that will have you embracing winter in Sydney with some comfort food and service that is equally comforting. Bon appetite!
Phone: 02 9358 4891
Address: 73A Macleay St, Potts Point NSW

thankyou to Ompty Media for the invitation to dine and to the staff at Macleay st Bistro for their hospitality.

Macleay Street Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Unicorn High tea is magical @ Made by the Hill

Unicorns, rainbows, sugar and cream is what we found at our recent visit to Made By The Hill at Rooty Hill RSL in Western Sydney. We’ve been there a few times now for the launch, some crazy cocktails, the whole hog burger competition, and now for their exclusive Unicorn High Tea.


What a whimsical high tea like no other! Made by Hill has teamed up with Pasticceria Papa to host the first Unicorn themed high tea event in Sydney. A great venue for this event, the venue is huge so we get a great deal of space in a comfortable setting. We were treated to a 3 tiered stand full of colourful and unicorn inspired delightful treats.


Featuring a long ricotta slice, rainbow ice cream, ricotta filled cupcake and cream filled rainbow cone, it was what children’s dreams are made of. Rainbow colours, additions of fairy floss and lollies, you’ll be on a sugar rush for days.


The famous papas cannoli were filled with rainbow cream and we also got a brightly coloured macaron and marbled doughnut.


The food here is magical and perfect for your next high tea. It’s also suitable for your family to visit too.


It’s not just food, we got some amazing adult cocktails and strawberry freakshakes!



Thanks to Made by the Hill and the society group for the invitation.

Thanks to Alex @lalan_eats for her contributions pics

Girdlers for delicious and nutritious food

Girdlers has made a name for itself, not only because it’s owned and named after the silver fox, Mr Ryan Girdler himself, but because of the wholesome and amazing food on offer.

Although it’s located in Warringah Mall, the design of the cafe and ambience makes you feel like you’re at a beach, especially if you are seated in one of the three cabanas.


They serve fresh, wholesome food which is not just nutritious but also well presented and super tasty. The menu is enticingly diverse and caters for all dietary requirements. They support local, organic produce and promote sustainability. Very good service and friendly staff who don’t mind a joke or two.


On this visit we tried the Holy Avo – avocado and kale florets with grilled haloumi, fresh micro herbs and poached eggs on rye sourdough. You can replace this with gluten free bread if you wish.


The organic buckwheat crepes had multiple options and we went for the Veggie Patch crepes, which were beautifully made into a little pocket, with baby spinach, crumbled fetta, mushrooms, avocado and spiraled beetroot. We added a free range egg to this.


The Love Me Berry crepes are on the sweet portion of the menu, topped with seasonal berries, blueberry infused maple syrup and coconut ice cream.


On the menu you can also order Shakshuka, oats, granola, chia pots and more!! So many healthy options, that this really is the perfect cafe for us.

Girdlers also proudly roasts their own coffee serving their own house blend but single origin is also available. We had a few drinks on this visit including a beautiful turmeric latte, Almond latte and a hot chocolate, as well as some Kombucha (from a local supplier) and a Mango & Almond Smoothie.


A place that is definitely worth a visit!!!

Girdlers Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wholesome and beautiful food @ 5 loaves 2 fish

5 loaves 2 fish might be in a quiet laneway in Neutral Bay, but it’s already made a name for itself. It’s a place that you wouldn’t pass through unless you were purposefully looking for it. However, you most definitely should be looking for it. A large bright open cafe, contemporary styling with white walls and greenery, it’s very welcoming.



Chef Andrew and staff are brilliant. It was super busy the day we were there, and with customers ordering custom items, it could have been a long wait. However Andrew was amazing, pumping out the menu items from scratch (that’s impressive) and covering the diners meal when they ran out of their first preference. A+ class service right there. Wait staff attended to us quickly, delivering our coffees almost as quick as we ordered them.


The menu here is superb, and right up our alley. Wholesome, healthy food and they cater well to dietary requirements. We could have ordered anything, it sounded so good, but we rested on a breakfast item to share and a brunch/lunch dish each.


We tried the Honey Roasted Pistachio & Almond Granola w/ Organic Coconut Yogurt, berry compote, fresh berries and Canadian maple syrup.


The slow roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad, served with sweet potato hummus was divine! We added the turmeric spiced chicken (keep this off and it’s a vegan dish) this was incredible.


We admired the fish tacos from a afar, so they were a must order for us too. Small soft tacos, filled with spiced grilled barramundi and cabbage slaw, herbs, lime cream and tomato salsa.


The kitchen takes so much care with their flavours and presentations. We absolutely love this place and are excited for our next visit!

5Loaves 2Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sydney Seaplanes Empire Lounge

Sydney Seaplanes is not just a place for a plane ride over the harbour, it also has a bar and restaurant and you can visit the empire lounge simply for a meal and enjoy the beautiful harbour scenery.

Outdoor seating on the verandah or inside near the bar, come here for a relaxing setting.

Although the outdoor temperature was a bit cold on the day we visited, they have outdoor heating and blankets to keep us warm.


They have a top cocktail list and we began with one each. The flavours of these were lovely and refreshing and the presentation also fit the setting. Brunch always has to have a Bellini and this one was a nice mix of Champagne with white peach and vine peach liquor. The skyline swizzle was a mix of rum, açai berries, raspberries, fresh lime and bitters. Gin, pineapple, lime and bitters made up the Honolulu cocktail and it was awesome.


Food wise, we left it in the hands of the waiter to order us an array of foods, beginning with some beautiful oysters and a vinaigrette.


The menu is predominantly seafood, a natural choice given the proximity to the sea. From the sea menu, we tried the Balmain bug risotto, which was cooked just as risotto should be, and with the addition of nice small chunks of Balmain bug. Beautifully presented with edible flowers, Creme fraiche and edamame, this was a popular dish amongst our group.


We also tried the yellow fin tuna tartare with avocado, black sesame and ponzu, accompanied by some rice waters.

957A556D-0D16-4205-A7F2-03A3C64B323DThe kale and avocado salad with quinoa, chickpeas, seeds, pine nuts and mint was so refreshing and nice and light to go with the meal.


We also had the swordfish steak special with sugar snap peas and a romasco sauce, a seafood lasagne and a side of bread and butter.



It’s a perfect location, lovely food and efficient service.


Empire Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Visit Kusuka for a beautiful brunch

Ever since we visited Kusuka’s first cafe in Haymarket, we fondly remembered them for
their amazing bowls, colourful lattes and magical drinks. Although it is in a hidden location, customers flock there to get their Instagram worthy pics and delicious food offerings.


We were excited to hear they opened a second location closer to the CBD on Sussex St. A much larger space, filled with light, the beautiful styling certainly makes you happy! Long before you’ve even got your meal!

The owner Mario is just delightful. So keen to know his customers, explain the food and really make you feel welcome. One of the most hospitable owners we’ve met.

Their dishes are influenced by their Indonesian heritage and we love their Super Bowl. Mee Goreng is always a winner! Served with pork belly slices, Balinese chilli, Marsh, sausages, corned beef and melted cheese. It’s packed with flavour, the right amount of a chilli kick and extremely satisfying as a brunch option.


We also were recommended to try the crispy rendang. We all know that rendang isn’t always crispy, but this is a play on a Masterchef episode. The crispy rendang is sitting atop an omelette with some greens, radish and pour that rendang sauce all over it.


On our last visit, we tried Martabak and we liked it so much, we had this again. Filled with meat and topped with chilli sauce and melted cheese.


Added to this was a side of fried tofu with some chilli and a side of tamarind sauce which gave it a nice kick.


Another superb choice has to be the kopi pancakes – a sweet dish that has coffee mixed with the batter and made into fluffy pancakes and served with peanut butter between the pancakes layers and topped with ice cream and maple syrup.


Alongside this we had a brownie affogato. How amazing is that! Coffee here is also good and a personal favourite of ours is the red velvet latte.



We thoroughly recommend a visit here for a beautiful brunch in a delightful setting.

Kusuka On Sussex Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Memories in Shanghai – Passionate in Sydney concert

Dragon boat Chinese Restaurant in Harbourside shopping centre, Darling Harbour hosted a VIP event to support and promote the show “Memories in Shanghai – Passionate in Sydney” – the show for traditional music star, Yang Xuejin who is here to bring the sound of folk opera to Australia.

Performing for one night at Star City, on Monday 18th June, Yang Xuejin’s friends and supporters visited Dragon Boat for a celebratory dinner.


The restaurant was set up for a beautiful dinner, complete with wine and lucky door prizes.


We started off with an traditional entree: the bbq plate with roast duck, bbq pork, beef shin, and jellyfish.

AAE6C109-9F6A-442D-8842-6990313B82ACWe then shared fried rice, beef and snow peas (that had a wasabi flavour) and mushrooms.

Guests heard from some speakers and a musical performance.


Dragon boat is the perfect location to host his event, with plenty of space and views of Darling Harbour. Fireworks are also visible as well as the lights of Vivid.

What an enjoyable event to experience and it’s amazing to see how the restaurant supports and showcases China’s fine food, music and culture.


We were lucky to receive some tickets from the venue to listen to this show.


Organised by the Australia International Culture Industries Association and held at the Star Event Centre it was a rare chance for audiences in Australia to be delighted with the music of Yang Xuejin.


Yang Xuejin, hailing from the Yunnan Province, is known for the song “there Is a Beautiful Place”, amongst numerous others. She performed a solo concert of her classic songs.

Extremely experienced, she is a graduate of Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Professor and master tutor of the Vocal Opera Department there.

She has performed around the world including at the Champs Élysées in France and even in the Golden Hall of Vienna.

Known for singing Chinese folk songs. She performed a number of these songs at her special concert, showcasing her sweet and sincere voice which ha broad vocal range. Some songs were gentle and others quite upbeat and poppy.


She entertained the crowds and the show was a lovely demonstration of her beautiful voice.


The orchestra was conducted by first class composer and conductor Tu Bahai. The MC of the event was Wang Yong.

The Shanghai pop music orchestra also showed their talents on the viola, trombone, cello, saxophone and more.

We also heard from the group of Yong Sopranos, graduate students who were also hugely talented.


Thanks to Dragon boat restaurant for the invitation to dine and tickets for the event.





Holy Duck @ Castlecrag

Holy Duck, what a great name for a restaurant! Specialising in Modern Chinese cuisine, and that oh my, that duck. This is what you come for. Castlecrag is the home of the second restaurant of this name, with first in Kensington Street Chippendale.



The restaurant is located in the shopping square, unassuming from the front, apart from the large lit up sign directing us to Holy Duck. Once inside, the restaurant opens up into a large dining space with the decor of a traditional Chinese restaurant. With large round tables making Holy Duck the perfect place for a group dining experience and the white lined table cloths adding a touch of class. We were here on a Friday night and shared the restaurant with many families and couples sharing a meal together.


With an interesting mix of interesting cocktails to choose from, a great way to start the meal whilst deciding what to eat. The holy drink is a favourite – an exotic mix of flavours that will refresh you and get the tastebuds ready for the meal ahead. It is made with vodka kaffir lime lychee, ginger and coconut water.


The food at Holy Duck was absolutely brilliant. The steamed dim sum platter the perfect start. With an assortment of of tasty dumplings including; prawn har gow, vegetable dumplings, chicken sui mai and prawn and chive. These were possibly the best dumplings we’ve had in a long time.


A revelation was the pink salt and black sesame egg and spinach tofu. An contrast of flavours and textures that will blow your mind. Crisp fried outer crust and soft centre of the tofu combined with the pink salt and sweet toasty black sesame.


But the show stopper was the signature crispy duck. You can hear the crispiness of the fried duck as you break through the skin to reveal the tender, moist flesh. This will leave you with a slack jaw muttering Holy Duck, we reckon this is how they named the restaurant. This fine specimen served with a make your own pancake kit, complete with julienne cucumber, thinly sliced shallots and hoi sin sauce.


To finish, you are left with a tough choice do you do dessert and what do you order?
Of course you do and it is a difficult choice. The silky vanilla panna cotta with honeycomb with contrastingly decadent black sesame ice cream. Pretty much like having two desserts in one, perfect if you like to share.


Be sure to visit Holy Duck, you will be in for a treat. There is a great range of modern and traditional Chinese cusine. The signature crispy duck is a must.

Holy Duck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato