Afternoon Tea with Wedgewood, The Tale of Mr Rabbit at the Langham

The Langham Hotel on Kent Street Sydney is a beautifully sophisticated hotel with a sandstone facade greeting you on approach, as do the impeccably uniformed doormen. Flow through the entrance past the lobby and the suave looking bar, and make your way to the tea room for the high tea. The staff will run you through the details of the afternoon.

The tea room overlooks the harbour with views out to Balmain and beyond. The tables perfectly set with white linen and beautifully intricate Wedgwood china tea sets, silverware and tea pots. Looking around the room, a very traditional afternoon tea is on the cards. Alas, there is a flash of a white rabbit, the Easter Bunny bouncing around the room fancifully and happy to provide joy to the children in the room and add whimsical fun to the experience.

The theme of Easter is not only present with the Easter Bunny, it also makes a very visual appearance at an enchanted feature table in the centre of the room. The table full of sweets; chocolate easter eggs and assorted lollies, the display further decorated for Easter with an assortment of rabbit ornaments, flowers and a touch of theatrics with a fog cleverly created with dry ice, slowly cascaded to blanket the table.

The service begins with a formal greeting from the waitstaff and a glass of bubbles, Perrier in this instance. They are also happy to cater to special dietry requirements. We are left to peruse the menus, the food, drinks menu and most importantly the selection of tea. Do we go with a traditional tea, English breakfast or Earlygray or perhaps a masala chai or peach oolong? Feeling a little adventurous, the peach oolong nicely accompanies the tasty delights on offer.

The three tier selection of afternoon treats made its way to our table. Where to start? Is it with the savoury plate containing a delicious mix of tasty pastries and sandwiches or sweets? We went for savoury first and tried the smallest item; the mushroom and gruyere cheese puff. It is quickly lifted from the plate by an index finger and thumb pincer and disappears like a chocolate Easter egg on easter Sunday. This is followed by the beef and potato pie, the tuna and creme fresh tartlet, then the sandwiches; chicken tarragon and the old staple – curried egg. Then was our favourite bite, the kingfish tartare, lime, and corriander served in a little charcoal cone.

It wouldn’t be much of an afternoon Tea without scones and vanilla scones at this afternoon tea, along with the carrot cake were a real treat. Perfectly prepared and served with homemade jam and cream.

Already a good amount of food consumed, there were the dainty easter sweets on top of the serving platter. Cute as a button and very creative; there was a mini easter scene displayed on the plate with easter bunny heading down the hole on top of the Mr Rabbit tartlet, the tasty carrot and ginger garden bed complete with a mini carrot and cherry decoration top, the cream egg split in two and the scrumptious hot cross bun macarons.

This was a great cultured experience, good to share with the children and well curated with a visit from Mr Rabbit and the enchanted sweets table. Well worth a visit for their yummy afternoon tea and they are open all days, including public holidays until April 28.

We’d like to thank the Langham for the invitation to dine, and the hospitality provided on the day.

The Langham

New Shanghai – Pitt St

Dumplings and pork buns, there is something about these tasty little parcels that draw us in. This is our favourite part of Shanghainese cuisine.

New Shanghai have a few restaurants around Sydney and are known for producing delicious dumplings, wontons and buns. We visited the New Shanghai Restaurant in Westfield Pitt Street mall to get our fix. New Shanghai is set up to make you feel as though you are dining in the streets if Shanghai. The decor is architecturally a modern adaptation of a street market, but indoors. It is vibrant and fun, and you can get a glimpse of the staff making the dumplings.

New Shanghai is also a licensed venue a great spot for a bite to eat and a drink after work, with a good wine list and some interesting cocktails.

Dumplings on our mind, with the shumai first picked. In this instance, they are a brilliant multi-coloured soupy pork dumpling. Trying our best to maintain dumpling etiquette; place the dumpling on the spoon, pierce the dumpling add vinegar, soy sauce and chilli to taste.

The pan fried pork and prawn buns were phenomenal, all four disappeared in quick succession, with a tasty filling, the buns literally bursting with flavour when bitten into. The spicy prawn wontons were another favourite and were huge, a massive serving of yum and a must order.

It’s not all dumplings and buns, Shanghinese cusine has a variety of dishes and cooking styles. Grab a fried rice and sizzling mongolian lamb for some classics.

For a unique dish the clay pots are a good option. The clay pot with tofu and prawns with salty egg was on our order list and we were advised they may not be to everyone’s liking, however we enjoyed this dish and would recommend it to broaden your culinary experience with this traditional dish.

The location is good, right in the heart of the city. It has plenty of room for small or large groups too. Staff were lovely, in particular the on duty manager Zin, who had amazing hospitality.

We appreciate the Atticism for extending the invitation and to New Shanghai for their wonderful hospitality.


New Shanghai

Shop 1017 – 1020/188 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

+61 2 8386 8368

Newshanghai.com.au

New Shanghai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Billi’s cafe, Mc Mahon’s Point

Situated in one of the most beautiful, picturesque locations around Sydney, Mc Mahons point, you will find Billi’s Cafe.

In and old terrace house, you can sit indoors or out and enjoy your meal in a serene environment.

Serving honest, wholesome food, this vegan friendly cafe has a menu curated by Chef Tom Walton (of the Bucket list Bondi) to suit all dietary requirements. The food tastes as good as it looks.

The staff are very friendly and helpful in explaining some of the menu items as we couldn’t decide what to order, everything sounded so enticing.

We decided on a variety of meals which are often our go to choices. We enjoyed the refreshing bircher muesli with burnt fig, almond & cinnamon muesli soaked in apple juice & yoghurt.

The aptly named Energiser toast, beautifully presented too and topped with avocado, fresh tomato, ricotta & basil on organic soy linseed sourdough.

The Goodness bowl, a nourishing and healthy dish with roasted pumpkin, quinoa, lemon oil dressing, steamed spinach, mushrooms, hummus, falafel, avocado.

This cafe really meets our food ethos and we certainly enjoyed our visit here.

Sydney Vegan Tours

Sydney Vegan Tours has just started up in Sydney after having success in Melbourne. The Vegan community in Sydney are growing and it’s great to get an insight into restaurants and stores available in Sydney for Vegan diners to find some delicious food options.

Sydney Vegan Tours are offering tours in different locations, beginning with the tour we experienced in Glebe. For $89, they take you to a few places including the Cruelty Free store and three different food locations. It’s super great value for a lovely day out and the opportunity to try different foods and meet new people.

The meeting place was at the Cruelty Free shop on Glebe Point Road. It’s a great meeting spot, whilst you wait for people to arrive you can look around at what the shop has to offer and even buy yourselves a few things. They have over 3500 vegan and cruelty free products including cooking ingredients, ice cream, snack food, sweets and even pet food. The store also sells Vegan make-up, shoes by Birkenstock and Doc Martins as well as a range of handbags. It really opens you eyes to a great range of products all in the one location.

Meeting the group is easy since the guide Sarah (and on this occasion Dan as well) is there in the Sydney Vegan tours T-shirt. We also receive a environmentally friendly shopping bag, some products (Vegan Aioli by Dibble and Bennetto chocolate) and some fact sheets to read through. We also hear about the tour for the day and are our way.

A walking tour is great to explore an area and get a sense of the amazing stores and cafes around, whilst also meeting many like minded people and hearing a range of life experiences. We really enjoyed this aspect of it.

We walked down Glebe point road where we pass a few Vegan places (not on this tour, but incorporated into some of them) and head into Victoria Park (cnr Broadway and ) in the Sydney University surrounds. We make our first cafe visit to the Gardeners Lodge cafe. In and old historic building, it has been converted into a Plant based cafe, boasting a wide range of Vegan items from cakes to sandwiches and even pastas. This comes to us from the famed ‘Gigis’ superstar chefs.

Here we begin with a coffee of our choosing, espressos, cold brews, hot chocolate or turmeric latte if that’s your preference. Coffee beans by Flying Pig Coffee.

Whilst we wait for our mains, the lovely staff bring us some Vegan cheese and Charcoal crackers which was polished off pretty quickly! So good you wouldn’t know the difference.

We the quickly polished off a few panini, our favourites were the oyster mushroom with raddicio and vegan blue cheese on a crispy sourdough. We also loved the schnitzel (plant based) roll with avo, lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo.

The next stop on the journey was to Salts Meats Cheese. You would not expect this place to be Vegan, however they have an amazing all you can eat pizza and pasta Vegan menu at $20 pp with any drink purchase. They had some amazing pizzas using Vegan Cheese! There are plenty of plenty of pizzas available. We enjoyed the eggplant pizza, the Patatufo with ‘not-Zarella’, roasted potato, rosemary, truffle, garlic as well as the Zucca – pumpkin purée, crispy capers, and walnuts.

They also have pastas on the menu such as the Rigatoni All’Arrabita, Linguine Al Funghi – vegan cream, mushroom and roasted hazlenuts, Rigatoni Alla Norma – not-Zarella, eggplant, napolitana as well as Seasonal Linguine – napolitana, broccolini, cherry tomatoes, basil, pangrattato. We didn’t have pasta on this visit but it’s good to know it’s available.

After this we took a walk down Ambercrombie street to Something for Jess Cafe. It’s an eclectic little place, quite rustic in its styling. We like that they have art for sale on the wall, showcasing local artists, with some money being raised for charity.

Food wise they have a weekly menu change with their fritters and we tried mini zucchini fritters with salad and sweet potato. We tried some amazing cakes – the apple and cinnamon bread was phenomenal!!

After this stop the tour finished and we thanked the hosts for a wonderful day. We thoroughly recommend this to meet new people and find yourself introduced to new Vegan stores to visit.

Use booking code TWT for 20% off your next booking on a tour

Sydney Vegan Tours

sydneyvegantours.com

Rock and Roll Follies return for “Wanted + Wild” with a new show

“Wanted + Wild, Rock & Roll Follies” is now appearing monthly, showcasing glitz, glam, burlesque and a good dose of Rock and Roll. The crowd is entertained with a night of variety style entertainment of rock and roll dancing, singing, burlesque routines and even some amazing tricks! At only $34 for the show, purchased through Eventbrite, it is good value for a solid night’s entertainment.

The night was again hosted by Porcelain Alice, a showgirl, burlesque dancer and producer. She demonstrated her skills on the evening with her light hearted nonchalant boganesque crude demeanour and profanities, delivering many laughs. Although not advertised as a comedy show, there are many laughs to be had. She is a seasoned performer with a wealth of credentials and her experience and ability to entrance a crowd was apparent.

Dieslel Darling supported the hosting and also performed a routine that took us back to the 80’s in her leotard and sweatbands, performing an incredible acrobatic show on a stationary exercise bike.

The band rolls out the tunes between sets bringing rock classics to the crowd performing some amazing rock and roll numbers. The house band is joined Aussie Rock Legend herself – Christa Hughes , the vocalist of Machine Gun Fellatio, whose voice is incredible. She also did her own routine, a hilarious, albeit crude version of the sound of music’s “my favourite things”.

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Photo – https://www.facebook.com/wantedandwildrocknroll/

As for the Burlesque, this show had it all. Kelly Ann Doll’s impressive rockabilly dancing done at a cracking pace with plenty of sensuality in the performance was certainly entertaining.

Mr Gorski showcased his talents, showing it isnt just about bare skin and sequins, balancing a bottle of alcohol, resting atop a balloon on a knife.

This show was a real eye opener, it was refreshing to see some exciting live cabaret style entertainment in Sydney, with all performers putting on a great show.

It was great alternative to entertaining yourselves at a bar or staring at the footy on TV at the pub. This show was equally enjoyed by both ladies and gents. If you are looking for something to do and a little different, then we thoroughly recommend this. You can also get a range of bar snacks and Wanted + Wild themed drinks to enjoy whilst the show is on.

They’re back in June, so make sure you get your ticket soon, as they do sell out. Fast.

Regarding seating, it is first in best dressed! Or if you buy a VIP ticket, you will be seated at one of the ‘runway’ stage tables! Right in the action.

84 Union St
2009 Pyrmont, New South Wales, Australia

Facebook – Wanted + Wild

Thank you to The Society Group for the invitation to experience the show.

Bellbird now does brunch @ Casula Powerhouse

Bellbird restauraunt at Casula Powerhouse has got to be the best value dining in Sydney. This initative is the result of the talented chef duo; Federico Rekowski and Shephen Pham, with Liverpool Council providing them with creative freedom to show off their skills.

Bellbird dining also has their own vegetable patch on site which enables them to adhere to their sustaiable and farm to table philosophy. This garden means they can source the freshest of ingredients. The fact it is grown onsite means costs can be kept low, making it accessible.

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Casula Powerhouse and Bellbird Restaurant are in a decomissioned powerstation, converted into a museum and dining space. It is in a nice setting by the Georges River. It’s easy to get to, Casula train station is right on its doorstep. The powerhouse iself has a gallery and rotating exhibitions, and free entry makes for a great day out.

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The dining space is modern and a little rustic with comfy leather chairs and vases of flowers on each table. There’s an enclosed balcony space with heating to keep you warm. There’s an outdoor pizza oven soon to be used, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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The food on offer is Modern Australian and is influenced by cultural diversity. The technique on display is of a high level, as are the beautiful plating skills of the chefs. It is contemporary food with a fine dining feel.

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Bellbird are now serving a brilliant Brekky menu (until 11:30) and have plenty of vegetarian options too. Their breakfast offerings include an array of delicious flavour combinations and you are sure to find something to your liking. The current breakfast menu consists of the below options and it does change seasonally to ensure the freshest ingredients are utilised.

There are some classics done very well including the Bacon and egg brioche with tomato relish and the Baileys and brown sugar French toast with caramelised figs and double cream (vegetarian), sure to be a popular choice. We went for the sourdough, streaky bacon (normally comes with proscuitto but we asked for bacon) corn and spinach as an accessible brunch choice. We’re sure diners will like this too.

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There are two great salmon dishes on the menu and the pickled fennel imparts a unique elegant sweetness to the dishes.

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A new menu item – proscuitto and figs with blue cheese was a masterpiece of art – like a woodlands display on show. We thought this was creamy, super tasty and it had the freshest of ingedients.

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Other options include:

– Smoked salmon, poached eggs and toasted rye (without Salmon can make it vegetarian) served with pickled fennel, zucchini

– Lightly smoked Atlantic salmon with scrambled eggs and pickled fennel croissant

– Sautéed corn, tomatoes, confit garlic, prosciutto, poached eggs and rye

– Streaky bacon, confit field mushrooms, spinach, eggs and rye

If you sleep in and arrive a little later, the brunch/lunch options are superb including; burgers, vegetarian options, and a bunch of well curated and beautifully prepared menu items. The Cured SA Swordfish with charred Baby Onions, Crispy shallots and Japanese Mayo is a lighter, healthy option, with beautiful plating and we thoroughly enjoyed this.

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A popular choice amongst diners is the Gnocchi, figs and prosciutto which we had on a previous visit.  Ticks all of the boxes with house made Gnocchi and delicious ingredients, an enticing dish that will ensure food envy, but you will not want to share. This time, we had one of the new options, the falafels with smokey eggplant, labneh and tabouleh, served with crispy flatbread.

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Another quality dish is the pan fried free range chicken breast, served atop sweet potato puree, field mushrooms and jus.

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The desserts were spot on and we really enjoyed the Chocolate Brownie with Dulce De Leche, Peanut Powder & Cream, a soft and gooey brownie that we devoured in seconds.

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The absolute winner on the day was the Mandarin & Almond Cake, Lime Curd, Lemon Myrtle Powder & Pistachios. A moist and fluffy cake with a superb flavour combination. You cannot beat this, especially with a small $10 price tag.

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You can also enjoy a boozy beverage if it tickles your fancy. With craft beer, cocktails made from Australian artisan distiller Archy Rose, there is also a selection of wine on offer. Otherwise order a coffee your way, T2 tea of even hot chocolate made with callebaut chocolate.

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We’d like to sincerely thank the wonderful chefs at Bellbird dining, who not only produce amazing food, but make it priority to come and speak with customers. We appreciate the hospitality shown. We also thank Original Spin for the invitation to dine.

Bellbird Dining and Bar at Casula Powerhouse

phone – 02 8711 7123

address – 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula NSW 2170

 

 

 

Izu Village

Where to get your Japanese hot pot, Just off George St, not far from Town Hall, keep your eye out for the signs and make your way up the stairs to Izu Village.

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It’s a spacious restaurant with wood tables complete with a modern hot pot stove in the centre. There’s also a number of Japanese themed booths with tiled roofs, to give you the feeling of streets of Kyoto.

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We were visiting for the Japanese hot pot experience. For 90 minutes, we are treated to the full experience. The cost of this hot pot buffet is $68 pp. This includes fresh sashimi, which has some amazing scampi!

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Diners then order from the menu, Sashimi can only be ordered once. We then selected a mix of sushi and really enjoyed this.

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Then, select a broth for your hot pot. We thoroughly recommend the Sukiyaki a traditional Japanese broth, which is super flavoursome and served with a side of raw egg to dip your meat in. We also had porcini mushroom, there us plenty of variety, including chilli based broths if you like it spicy or tomato broths, if chilli is not your thing.

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Fill yourself a bowl of veggies, noodles and tofu from the self-serve buffet and put the ingredients in the hot pot and let the cooking begin. We really enjoyed the wide range of mushrooms available for the dish.

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There are plenty of quality cuts to choose from – wagyu chuck, wagyu shoulder, pork shoulder and lamb. The thin slices of quality meat only needs to short dip in their hot broth Jacuzzi, before being ready to eat. It is fool proof, anyone can do it.

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There’s also a refillable drink station for your non alcoholic drinks, which is included, you may need all the refills of soft drink, Calpis and juices if you go for the spicy broth.

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If you want alcohol you can order it at an extra cost, there’s sake, umeshu, Japanese whisky, beer and wine.

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The staff were super efficient and helpful and food came out really fast. Japanese is our favourite cuisine and we really enjoyed our visit to Izu Village for the hot pot.

Izu Village 伊豆野菜村 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Inspiration Coffee, Bankstown

Southwest Sydney coffee lovers can rejoice with the opening of Inspiration Coffee in Bankstown.

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Single Origin is the bean of choice, providing a welcome injection of quality caffeine with the bonus option of cold drip coffee. With a gleaming La Marzocca espresso machine taking pride of place in a dedicated takeaway window, you know they are serious about servicing their customer’s coffee needs.

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The quality extends beyond the bean with everything on the menu made fresh; this is no where more apparent than the freshly ground Wagyu in the beef burger, with a flavoursome patty served with egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, caramelised onion and sauce.

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There is plenty on the menu to surprise and delight; As well as the eight burgers, wraps and sandwiches in the aptly named “Hands On” section, there’s a comprehensive all-day breakfast menu as well as salads, pastas, and sweet and savoury waffles galore.

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As well as the burger, we enjoyed a salad and sweet waffle. The Grilled Salmon Salad features a beautifully cooked piece of Tasmanian salmon served with two halves of a just-set boiled egg, lettuce, Spanish onion, cherry tomato, broccoli, olives and sprouts with a zesty dressing and topped with super crispy ribbons of sweet potato.

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The blueberry waffle was presented with a variety of colourful, sliced fruit, with plump blueberries bursting with each mouthful.

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Inspiration Coffee cafe sets a new standard in cafe dining in Bankstown, and its popularity will soon see extended weekend trading hours for those long, lazy Sunday brunches.

Inspiration Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shakesbeer – plays in a pub!

Shakespeare is not just for old theatres or the year 12 English Curriculum. It is for the masses to enjoy in a pub whilst having a few beers and dinner!

Developer by Chris Huntly-Turner and James Haxby, and supported by a range of quality performers, the folks at @bardwork have put together a modern version of Much Ado about Nothing.

They travel around Sydney’s pubs and perform their plays in and amongst the beer drinking crowds. The Oaks was the perfect venue for this and we liked that throughout the play, people were served food, you could head to the bar and grab a drink and this did not distract them in any way.

The performers were brilliant and we love how the play was adapted to suit the venue and also the modern world. They included the crowd in their interactions and we loved the additions of music to keep in engaging and fun!

We thoroughly enjoyed it! Keep an eye out this and if you get a chance – check it out! Get in fast though, historically, they’ve been sellouts! The Oaks hotel often host great events from wine or beer tastings, cocktail making or even food pairings.

https://bardwork.com

The Oaks Hotel

118 Military Rd, Neutral Bay NSW 2089

oakshotel.com.au

(02) 9953 5515

XS Espresso, Bondi Beach

For the best cheat day destination on the east side of Sydney, look no further than XS Espresso.

For the healthy folk amongst us, sure they have smashed avo on toast, an açai bowl, or a quinoa nourish bowl as well as cold pressed juices….But, why would you with the siren call of shakes, crepes, waffles and pancakes? On the savoury front, there’s pizza, pasta, burgers, fried chicken and loaded fries.

The signature XS Espresso shakes have to be tried to be believed. The original cronut is a salted caramel shake with Oreo, Tim Tam and Belgian chocolate blended throughout, and topped with a cronut filled with Kit Kats, M&Ms, wafer sticks, Maltesers and Caramello koala, and these are desserts in their own right.

Great flavours and contrast of textures made the Chicken and Waffle a standout dish; crispy buttermilk fried chicken is perched on a sweet waffle, and served with a creamy slaw and crispy sweet potato tendrils.

The Two in One does double duty as a dessert with a warm, chocolate soufflé on a waffle, and garnishes that transform it into a feast for the eyes.

Dine al fresco or take a seat inside. A stylish interior features white vertical cladded walls and bentwood chairs, grey replica marble round table tops and black banquette seating along the entire length of one side of the cafe. It’s contemporary, welcoming and distinctively beachside.

There truly is an excess of delights at XS Espresso so indulge and enjoy the experience!

XS Espresso, Bondi Beach

99 Hall St, Bondi NSW 2026

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