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

Page Two, Randwick

We were, for many years, locals in Randwick. It’s a super busy place with so many people around due to its proximity to the hospital, UNSW and racecourse. There’s lots of shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s often hard to select where to eat. Page Two cafe has popped up on the brunch and lunch scene, on Belmore Road. What is so nice about this cafe is, that whilst there are plenty of seats indoors, they have a beautiful little outdoor space with a garden at the back, and decorated with hanging colourful umbrellas from the roof.

We were greeted warmly by staff and welcomed to the cafe. We chose to sit in the outdoor garden and we were given some menus to decide. We made our selection, taking three dishes to share. It was lunchtime so we decided to have two salads and a salmon crostini to share. This came atop a slice of sourdough, topped with avocado, capers, dill, red onion, cream cheese, lemon and balsamic glaze.

For the salads, we had the ‘healthy salad’ with spinach, kale, avocado, poached eggs, quinoa, pumpkin, beetroot and hummus.

Our favourite was definately the poached chicken soba salad with lotus crisps and sesame dressing.

They use in house made beans for their coffees and also sell shakes, leaf tea, and freshly squeezed juice. We tried the Tropicana; watermlon, mint and pineapple which was very refreshing.

Pop in for an easy and reasonably priced menu. There’s all day brekkie on offer too.

Page Two cafe

Address: 122 Belmore Rd, Randwick, New South Wales 2031

Phone: (02) 9399 6294

Hours: Monday – Friday: 6:30am-5:00pm

Saturday – Sunday: 6:00am-5:00pm

Website: http://page-two-cafe-coffee-shop.business.site/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Page-Two-799338696917425/

Page Two Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

 

 

 

Ampersand Bookstore and cafe

As you walk down Oxford St, Sydney in Paddington, you’ll find yourself passing by Ampersand cafe & bookstore. Make sure you step inside.

Downstairs, it looks like a familiar cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating, but make sure you head upstairs in one of the three levels and find a seat amongst the floor to ceiling bookshelves.

Set into three rooms, consisting of books aplenty, organised into their themes with comfortable seating, this is somewhere you could absolutely sit for hours. Order your food at the front, and it will be delivered to you as you immerse yourself in the books.

Whilst it is only a small menu, the food is interesting and they also have some daily salads, sandwiches and pastry goods.

A couple of options using black rice, we chose the brekky bowl with Bircher and sticky black rice with figs, cinnamon and fresh fruits. We really liked this as it was quite different to your normal Bircher.

French toast is an option, baked or poached eggs and smoked salmon is on the menu but we opted for a familiar favourite – the eggs Benedict with crispy bacon and creamy hollandaise.

We were hungry so we also shared one of the fresh Reuben Bagels. It was filled with a super flavoursome pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut and this was the winner on the day.

For those wanting lunch, there’s a burger, steak sandwich and even a black risotto or polenta chips.

Coffee is by Little Marionette and the mocha was a good drop, complete with Lindt chocolate. We also had a cold drip which we certainly enjoyed. Smoothies and teas are also available.

Pop in for a nice meal and a good read.

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

The Alexandra Hotel – Leura

Fancy a getaway only 1.5 hours away from the Sydney CBD in the picturesque town of Leura? Look no further as we have the tips for you!

It’s hard to visit Leura without spending a small fortune, as there’s a number of extremely expensive lodgings and restaurants in the town and surrounds. However, we will point you to somewhere that is extremely good value for money at high quality.

The Alexandra hotel, established 1903 is the only licensed hotel in Leura and a short stroll from the mall. It is an old quaint boutique building with ornate trims and stained glass windows.

The hotel is sectioned off into a number of areas, with a sports bar and lounge bar (with floor to ceiling bookshelf). There’s also plenty of space for a party or function.

There is also plenty of outdoor space to enjoy.

The hotel is right beside Leura train station, but the noise isn’t obvious at all. The hotel aptly has has a railway theme to it, with the outdoor bar in the beer garden called “platform 3”, and a Leura Rail sign featuring in the dining room.

We also stayed in the hotel. It was a comfortable heritage room with vintage furniture, double bed and modern bathroom. The rooms have old world charm with some modern convenience including the addition of a/c and tv. The room opens onto a balcony with a nice outlook of the hotel’s backyard beer garden and out to the valley below.

The hotel is a great spot to dine, whether it be lunch or dinner, pull up a stump at either of the two beer gardens for a causal vibe or for proper sit down meal book a table in the dining room, named “Redfern Bistro”.

There’s something for everyone, casual food including burgers and pizzas, with the pizzas made in the wood fired oven in a traditional manner by Marco Marano.

The summer menu, prepared by chef Anna Borna features modern Australian gastro pub food, beautifully cooked and presented.

We were seated in the dining room and ordered a glass of bubbles.

Their Garlic bread made on a house baked baguette and is topped with melted garlic and parsley butter an ideal start to the meal.

This came out with the confit mushrooms dish, a tasty vegetarian opttion. Pan fried portobello and button mushrooms cooked in olive oil with rosemary and lemon with feta, almond and coriander dukkah (gf).

Other entrees on offer include oysters, pate, calamari and baked haloumi.

For the mains, the Pan roasted duck breast instantly piqued our interest. The meat was cooked to perfection, skin nicely seasoned, served with duck fat potatoes and rustic heirloom carrots. It’s accompanying home made Peking duck citrus sauce was brilliant and kept us searching the plate for more of it.

From specials board, we couldn’t go past the pan fried and seared ocean trout. This was a splendid fish dish, the skin salted, nicely rendered and crisp. The flesh was perfect; a lovely pink orange hue, flakey and melt in the mouth followed by the beautiful flavour of the fish. The sauce was a delicious combination of smoked paprika dill and grapefruit veloute, served with roasted potatoes, charred leeks, broad beans, peas and cherry tomatoes. Perfect Bistro fare and one of the better fish dishes that come to mind, highly recommended.

Whilst we were extremely satisfied at this point, we had to go with the dessert option on the specials menu, the banana spilt. Here it is the classic dessert that has been pimped up with two bananas, deep fried in a Moreish crisp salty batter. This has been placed atop a butterscotch sauce and served with vanilla bean ice cream. So tasty, it was irresistible .

It is worth driving up to the Blue Mountains for the charm of this beautiful old pub alone and the scenery in the area is an added bonus.

The Alexandra Hotel is well located a short stroll from the boutique town of Leura and a short drive to the tourist sights in the area. Book a room and make for a short getaway.

We would like to thank the Alexandra hotel and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia for the invitation to dine.

https://www.alexandrahotel.com.au

Alexandra Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rosenbaum and Fuller @ Bondi Beach

This cafe is in a busy area in Bondi off Hall street where there’s heaps of cafes to try. Rosenbaum and fuller has only been open a few months and trying to pave their way in a busy industry. We visited after finding this via Instagram and liked the idea of its vision with an ethical and sustainable supply and use of fresh organic ingredients.

It is a cafe by day and restaurant by lunch and dinner, they often have live music in the evenings with some dinner specials.

We like the set up of the space, it is nice decor, ambience and the kitsch features, like the hanging bouquets and alcohol bottles. The pottery cups are also a nice touch.

The service was excellent, the waitress was very helpful and personable and dealt well with our many questions.

We really enjoyed our meal, although only 2 of the party ordered since the menu online differed to what is actually on the menu when you arrive (and some of us decided what we wanted before we arrived and they didn’t have it). In addition, the printed menu is a bit vague, ie “avocado on toast or mushrooms on toast”. In reality, the food is far more creative, interesting and enticing than the menu suggests. So we recommend taking a punt and giving something a go because it is better than it sounds.

We had the gnocchi with mushrooms, kale, potato and a poached egg which was super delicious.

The roasted granola was lovely and came with a huge serving of coconut yoghurt and berry compote. Quite a good choice for vegan diners.

The coffee is good – they use edition roasters. There’s tea and other drinks and well as some brunch cocktails and alcohol at lunch and dinner time.

We like the cafe and hope to see them do well.

13 O’Brien St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

rosenbaumandfuller.com

Rosenbaum & Fuller Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Speciality Coffee and inspired menu @ Single 0, Surry Hills

Over the holiday period, we finally had the time to just chill out and visit some cafes that we’ve had on our list for a while now. We do enjoy Single O coffee, and have had it a lot when the roaster was previously in our local area. Since it’s departure, we’ve enjoyed it at a few cafes around Sydney. Recently we opted to visit its popular specialty coffee cafe in Surry Hills. In a side street that’s not too busy with vehicles.

Whenever you drive past, it’s always busy, evidence of it being a quality cafe. We arrived and had our name on the waiting list, but not for long, we were seated fast. Staff are obviously experienced in high turnover of customers, taking our coffee order as soon as we sat down to enjoy whilst selecting and ordered our food.

Nice smooth milk based coffees, which use only 3% milk but they also have filter, pour over, batch brew and iced drinks too.

The menu is extremely appealing and the majority of the menu items are healthy and made with using ethical produce, interesting flavours and Australian native ingredients.

We had the avocado and beetroot hummus, as well as the mothership bowl, with poached eggs, avocado, roasted mushroooms, roasted pumpkin, fermented cabbage, kale, turmeric cashew cheese, mixed grains and hazelnut dukkah. We often order this sort of dish if it’s on the menu, but this was one of the better ones we’ve eaten. The flavours are really lovely, a nourishing brunch dish we enjoyed a lot.

The coffee spiced beef brisket burger sounded extremely inviting and looked superb, however new year new me and went for a healthier but also appealing meal, the native nori toasted tomato with black rice, edamame, tempeh, asparagus, sesame dressing and a poached egg.

We’re also good authority that this place does a great bacon and egg roll, one of the best in Sydney. We’ll be back to try some of the other menu items in the near future.

Single O

60-64 Reservoir Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Phone: 02 9211 0665

Mon – Fri 6:30am – 4pm

Sat 7:30am – 3pm

Sun 8:00am – 3pm

Food ’til 2:30pm

Single O Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Calabur cafe – hidden little gem in Bondi Junction.

Calabur cafe is super close to Bondi Junction Westfield and Eastgate shopping centre. Walking by, you would probably not notice it, underground off the Main Street. Definitely make it a destination to visit.

It’s a vintage, rustic style place, with exposed bricks, pipes, rustic chairs, succulent plants, and feels like some of the cafes we’ve seen in Bangkok. They hold a few events like live music and charity fundraise too.

On walking in, the waitress and waiter were super polite and were warm and friendly. We took a seat at a table for two, and they offered us a larger table if we pleased. Very nice atmosphere!

We ordered the granola fruit market which was delicious – greek yoghurt with granola, kiwi fruit, blueberries, kiwi fruit and passion fruit, there was also some honey to put atop the creation. It looked beautiful, a real work of art!

We also had the ‘spicy’ Onsen eggs, which actually were not too spicy, served with avocado, heirloom tomatoes, radish, carrot and mushrooms.

The ‘magic’ noodle salad of purple steamed butterfly glass noodles that are meant to turn a lighter purple with a touch of lemon, served with carrot, seaweed, cucumber, zucchini, radish and a sesame dressing. You can have this with raw fish, so we opted for the tuna. This is a lovely fresh and healthy dish.

The coffees were excellent and a nice smooth brew.

Calabur Cafe & Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai food at any time of the day @ Boon Cafe

Cafe by day, thai street food style eatery restaurant by night. Located in “Thai Town” in the Haymarket end of Pitt Street, Boon Cafe is a winner in our books, especially for cheap eats.

The cafe has a good vibe to it and the decor is modern and has a market place vibe to it with exposed brick walls, a bicycle up on the wall and rustic flowers at each of the tables.

Inside the same building is an attached Asian grocer and fruit and veg market selling plenty of sauces, noodles, frozen foods and fresh items to cook with. The counter also has pre-prepared meals to purchase and take to work or home to reheat.

The cafe has a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. At breakfast you can grab a western meal, pan-baked eggs or congee.

At lunch time, some of their sandwiches sounded brilliant – basically it’s the typical thai meals on a Sandwich! Wow, like chicken cashew sandwich, mushrooms and holy basil sandwich or a fried chicken and papaya salad burger. It’s gotta be seen and ordered for sure!

We were there for dinner. The food is described as Isaan cuisine (from Northern Thailand), with Som Dtum, grilled and fried dishes, warm salads and fish, and rice or noodles. We ordered the larb soon sen / spicy glass noodles and minced chicken. I asked for mild, and it unfortunately came out way too spicy. The waiter was observant enough to notice and offered to replace the dish with a new, and less spicy one. We appreciate this gesture.

Our favourite dish of the night was the Padt Mee Kha ti – like a pad thai, this one has stir fried thin rice noodles but with tamarind, tofu, coconut milk, garlic chives and shredded omelette. This was super tasty and we’d easily order it again.

If you’re just here for dessert, there’s pandan croissants, toast with house smoked chilli relish and dried shredded pork or condensed milk and milo to name a few. Combine this with a coffee or matcha latte, homemade iced tea or traditional thai coffee, and you’ve got yourself a great combo.

The food here is super tasty, and the menu items are actually inspired and interesting! Prices are extremely reasonable too, and for $6, an entree sized soup is amazing.

Boon Cafe

http://www.booncafe.com

425 Pitt St Haymarket 2000

Boon Cafe Eatery & Grocer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jally’s Cafe @ Camden

We love that the cafe has a bit of history to it. In its previous days it was a garage owned by a chemist in the 1970’s. The cafe is opposite what once was a theatre, you’ll see reflections of Camden’s historic past on photographs on the wall. This is brilliant, considering Camden is one of Australia’s oldest towns.

This was turned into a cafe in early 2017 and it looks like a rustic garage with indoor and outdoor seating (made of light wood) and there’s also a backyard garden area.

Its vision is to serve wholesome food and great coffee. Open early, you can pop in for your morning coffee rush. They have plenty of varieties of milk if you have certain health requirements.

Food wise, the kitchen is open 7am – 3pm.

Whether it be smashed avo, bacon and egg rolls, pancakes or a brekkie bowl, we’re sure you’ll find something up your alley. It’s predominately a healthy menu. They’re pretty popular for their range of Acai bowls too.

We went for the brekkie bowl with quinoa , kale, mushrooms, roast pumpkin, avocado and 2 Holbrook eggs with almond dukkah . They were kind enough to replace the avo with feta for me, and add chicken. A super healthy dish and it was quite big, so I took a bit home.

We also had a gluten free dish – the zucchini, lemon and feta fritters, served with roast pumpkin and tomato, beetroot hummus, rocket and poached Holbrook egg. We both thought the pumpkin on both dishes was super flavoursome.

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Plenty of options are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free etc, so you will definitely find something for you.

There’s a heap of health based bars and sweets in the front counter, as well as pre made salads for those on the run.

Jallys also have a whole foods store in Whitemans arcade. It’s stumps me why it’s not next to the shop, but it’s worth a look. Selling grains, nuts and environmentally caring products, we purchased a few things. They give a card for a free coffee which is a bonus.

Jally’s Cafe

10 Larkin Pl, Camden NSW 2570, Australia

https://www.jallys.com.au

Jally's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato