Dining and drinking – The Branksome

The Branksome Hotel, only only 1km from the airport is a great hotel for travellers, families and corporates alike. See our blog here for more details.

If you’re staying here, chances are you’ll need to eat and drink – you do that all here too. You can enjoy a meal at the restaurant, alfresco or order room service if you’d prefer to stay in. They’ve also got a huge rooftop bar where you can go for a few bites to eat and a drink or two.

Restaurant

Th Branksome has a restaurant and bar onsite, “Nate’s: east meets west dining” where we had both the buffet breakfast and dinner here.

The decor is bistro style with marbled tables and some Art Deco influences furniture.

The buffet offered cold and hot options; from fruit, cereal and cold deli items to western hot breakfast options such as scrambled eggs and sausages. You can also make pancakes and try a few baked goodies.

There’s a huge variety of loose leaf tea, coffee and juices to accompany your meal.

For dinner, we tried the new menu. The name of the restaurant is apt, since there are both eastern and western options. The food is quality and nicely presented. We shared three dishes including a Riverina Sirloin steak, Cooked to order and nicely seasoned. It came with a lovely jus and presented with julienne carrots and toast and sweet potatoes. This was a decent portion.

The quail was also a great choice, the tender meat was also flavoured superbly and served with similar sides to the steak.

Miso cod is also a favourite and the one here is particularly good, served with Hainanese rice and edamame beans. We really enjoyed this fish and it’s delicious glaze.

We were pretty full by this stage, but dessert wise, the sticky date pudding or deconstructed cheesecake would be our pick.

They have a good range of drinks on offer st the bar, including craft beer on tap, an extensive wine list and cocktails. The drinks are well priced and there’s also an early weekend happy hour.

Rooftop bar

They also have a lovely rooftop bar and outdoor terrace, perfect for an afternoon drink and you can also order food up there. Catch a glimpse of the amazing sunset with an unobstructed view stretching from the airport to the city skyline.

We enjoyed a networking event, which they have time to time, with heaps of food, drinks and live music.

IMG_6702.JPGThe space is large, so it could certainly host a number of events from parties to weddings or even fashion shows; it has a cool little stone walkway and plenty of tables and lounges to relax.

The Branksome Hotel & Residences

60 Robey Street

Mascot, NSW 202

Nate's Restaurant and Bar - The Branksome Hotel & Residences Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Stanton and co turn 1

Stanton & Co is a stunning new venue in a revived warehouse in The Cannery, Rosebery. The space has an industrial feel to it, and the team of designers took inspiration from New York’s Meatpacking District. You certainly get that vibe with its exposed brick walls and pipes, velvet chairs and deep cedar tables. It’s a huge space and can seat 240 guests, so it’s also perfect for an event. There’s a large bar, open kitchen and outdoor space to enjoy your dining experience.

We were lucky enough to attend celebrations for Stanton and CO’s first birthday with a bunch of foodies and we certainly had a great time.

Photo – supplied

The night kicked off with cocktails, wine and beer from Frenchies out in the spacious bar outside on the balcony of Stanton and Co. The ‘Bramberry cocktail’ with Roku Gin, yuzu juice and blackberries is a must try – very refreshing and a nice accompaniment to the food.

Photo – supplied

As we were at the first birthday, it was appropriate to to have a variety of party style food that could be shared canape style. We tried some beautiful oysters; both smoky and soy on arrival as well as the spanner crab mini taco, served with avocado and tobiko was super cute and a great little dish to share’.

Photo – supplied

We sat down and were kindly greeted by the staff who served drinks and started to bring out entrees. We shared a variety of small plates including the highlight – some deliciously crispy Jamon mozzarella croquettes with aioli.

We’re always fans of Salmon ceviche and the Stanton and Co. version was great, served with creme fraiche and potato crisps, this was a great starter. We can also thoroughly recommend the creamy Burrata, green tomato and salsa verde.


If you plan to visit, it’s great for a dinner date or a group catch because you can share with small, medium, or large plates. In particular, from the large plates, they have a twice-cooked chicken, slow cooked lamb shoulder, 800g dry aged T-bone, or what we tried: the absolutely incredible 1.2k pork knuckle. This was incredible. A moist inside, crispy crackle, served with seeded mustard.

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If you’re ordering a meat to share, be sure to order some sides too – some charred seasonal vegetables, fried kipfler potatoes with spiced rosemary butter, shoestring fries and house mayo or like on our visit we had a super flavoursome and creamy truffled mash. Another highlight of the menu.

For our dessert, we were grateful to try the butterscotch mousse with cherries and banana ice cream. This was super nice and certainly would pair well with a dessert liquor. You can also order a number of other desserts, including chilled pineapple parfait, chocolate crumble, cheese plate or affogato. There’s even a dessert plate you can share.

Photo – supplied

We’d like to thank all staff at the venue for their hospitality and to original spin for the invitation

Opening hours

Wed-Fri 5pm-6pm for $1.50 oysters

Happy hour 4:30-6:30

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to late

Sunday from 12pm to 5pm

Stanton and co.

34 Morley Ave, Rosebery 2018

Level 1 of The Cannery

02 8339 0580

Stanton & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Bored Monkey @ Narrabeen

The Bored Monkey is a large restaurant located over two floors on Pittwater road in Narrabeen. The restaurant downstairs is spacious and suits either a dining pair, larger groups and even a party. If you’re looking to have a function, there’s also a function venue upstairs. What a great place for a function, particularly when there is no minimum spend.

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The Bored Monkey operates for breakfast on a Sunday, lunch from Friday-Sunday and dinner Tuesday-Sunday. They are soon to open a cocktail lounge upstairs with tapas to suit the early cocktail hour crowd.

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The decor is casual and the restaurant feels comfortable, with a varied crowd of differing ages. Staff are warm and friendly and service was extremely efficient.

We would describe the menu as very approachable. All diners can find something that meets their taste. Whether it be a burger, steak, nachos, salad, pasta and meats, or something from their amazing range of seafood options, you will leave satisfied. There’s some dishes that would suit those with dietary requirements and also a kids menu. Kids under 12 eat free!

There’s a lunch menu for $29.95 or $25 for seniors. This is very good value for two courses (main and dessert) with a glass of beer, house wine or soft drink.

We really enjoyed the dinner menu, and feel that the food here is high quality. It would be categorised as modern Australian, featuring selections from the land, sea, grill and garden. On our visit, we had a few from each category.

For entrees, we began with a few Sydney Rock oysters, sampling a few flavours, the natural Kilpatrick, lime, soy, ginger and eschallots. The oysters were so nice and creamy and it is hard to pick a favourite.

These were followed by the sake scallops, which were cooked perfectly – three Victoria Bay scallops sitting in their shell, cooked with garlic, negara sauce, soy sauce and shallots, the were full of flavour and we just wanted to keep going back in for that sauce.

We also shared the Skull island prawns, grilled and served in their butterflied half shell, they were flavoured with a mild kick of chilli oil, basil, flakes of salt and freshed herbs.

Other entrée / tapas style dishes for you to select from include arancini, tequila poppers, pork belly, zucchini flowers and haloumi, to name a few.

For our mains, we decided to share the surf & turf which we chose Moreton bay bug as the seafood addition. A lovely piece of seafood beautifully cooked and flavoured, accompanying the grain fed premium sirloin.

We also enjoyed the Humpty Doo Barramundi , served with roasted capers, olives, fennel and noisette sauce. The barramundi had a lovely crispy skin and the fish was soft and flaky, just as it should be.

They also have salmon, mussels, marinara pasta, chicken and battered flathead, as well as a seafood platter amongst their extensive menu.

A variety of wine from the right regions and good range of beer on offer including craft beer on tap, with one of our favorites stone and wood pacific ale. There are number of inviting cocktails with many classics listed and a couple of interesting twists including the lychee martini and the salted caramel espresso martini. We had a refreshing mojito to accompany our seafood selection.

1304 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen NSW 2101, Australia

0299989899

theboredmonkey.com.au

We’d like to thank Josh and the staff at the Bored Monkey for the hospitality and to Blacker Media for the invitation to dine.

The Bored Monkey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hurricanes – waterfront venue @ Brighton Le Sands

Hurricanes is a bar and grill famous for their ribs and BBQ meat selection. The Hurricanes menu is that popular, they have a number of venues around Sydney, including the original venue in Bondi, and newer venues in Chatswood, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. They also have a stores in Qld and a couple of express stores around Sydney.

We visited Hurricanes at their Brighton Le Sands location. Brighton Le Sands is one of the lesser known waterfront dining areas in Sydney. Hurricanes has a prime spot there, right on the waters edge, boasting views of our historical Botany Bay. It also has views of the airport and aeronautical enthusiasts can enjoy watching the planes taking off and landing over the bay.

Hurricanes Brighton Le Sands is spacious venue with floor to ceiling glass to take advantage of the views. It is extremely large with plenty of tables, 2 bars and open plan so you could easily host a large party. We were informed they were booked up with 350 people for New Years Eve.

We arrived right on noon and it was just opening. We were promptly taken to our table, right at the windows with a lovely outlook. We perused the menu and staff updated us with the daily specials.

Hurricanes are famous for their ribs and steaks and they use a unique basting sauce to provide a lovely flavour to their meats. Meat cuts are all halal certified from their suppliers and can have no sauce upon request. They may not be known first and foremost as a seafood restaurant, but there’s plenty of seafood options too.

Our visit to Hurricane’s saw us try some of these seafood options, beginning with the scallops. Perfectly cooked, the scallops were served in the open shell, atop sweet potato purée, resembling the look of roe. We thoroughly enjoyed this start to the meal.

Following on from this, we ordered one of the specials, the grilled whole barramundi. It was soft and flaky, with the flesh falling from the bone. We enjoyed this with lemon and a side salad.

We couldn’t go past ordering a steak, which Hurricanes are notorious for. There’s numerous meats and cuts to select from. Whether it be the rump, strip stirloin, fillet tenderloin or T bone, you will find your perfect match. Wagyu, dry aged or long fed beef, Hurricanes sure know their meats. We went for the dry aged beef, aged for 21 days, served as a strip loin on the bone (400g), the flavour was lovely and it was cooked spot on to our request. Meats come with your choice of fries, salad or baked potato and you can order a sauce to accompany it.

Hurricanes also serve other main menu items like beef cheeks, lamb cutlets, pork knuckle, grilled chicken, burgers and more. If you are super hungry or a couple wanting to share a meal Hurricanes have a number of combo deals like steak and ribs or meat or seafood platters. There’s desserts and cocktails to top off your dining experience. The menu is certainly extremely approachable so we imagine it would satisfy any dining party.

We enjoyed our visit to Hurricanes Grill and would like to thank the restaurant and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia and Food Shot Sydney for the invitation to dine.

https://hurricanesgrill.com.au

95 The Grand Parade, Brighton-Le-Sands NSW 2216

Hurricane's Grill Brighton-Le-Sands Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

 

We keep going back for more @ The Mews, Mosman

The Mews, Mosman is one of those cafes we’re happy to go back to time and time again. So much so, that we named it one of our top cafes of 2017. There are so many reasons for this: delightful owners, great coffee and amazing food!

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It’s almost like the chef’s here have also been to art school, with the food being presented like a creative work of art. Packed with colour and interesting textures, you almost have to admire this for a while before tucking in.

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We tried a few of the new dishes out for spring. The dishes are all extremely creative and have a great combination of flavours.

The new menu otems include;

Pea and corn fritters – with chilli brocollini salsa, smashed avo, poached egg, tomato relish, whipped goats cheese and tempura iceplant.

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Hen – with smoked potato, tempura shemiji, romesco sauce, fried enoki, furikake ash with a generous serving of chicken.

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Mews open steak sandoitchi – this has got to be the best steak sandwich ever. 180g of grain fed rib eye fillet, with sauteed asian mushrooms in miso, baby wild rocket, tomato relish, melted cheese, nori, roasted sesame aioli on potato bread, topped with a fried egg.

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One of our favourite dishes most certainly has to be the okonomiyaki like Midori omelette which is a green omelette (made green with spirulina) and filled with a delicious mix of butter poached prawns, black rice, shallot, chilli, kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, katsuobushi and topped with salmon caviar.

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There’s some sweet dishes on the menu too and the especially insta worthy, taste bud friendly lavender infused hotcakes, so light and fluffy, with whipped matcha ricotta, koshian, black sesame, caramel, biscuit crumbs, raspberry, fairy floss.

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We visited on a sunny weekend with a group of fellow foodies and sat outside in the quiet laneway in the beautiful sunlit spot. The area is buzzing with happy café goers and we really like the ambience here. Suitable for families and even that special puppy in your life. The Staff at this cafe are so nice, helpful and really make it an enjoyable dining experience.

www.themewsmosman.com.au/

Shop 4/3-5 Myahgah Rd, Mosman NSW 2088

The Mews Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mordeo – in the heart of the CBD

Mordeo. It could be described as a hidden gem, being holed in between some city high rise work buildings off Philip St in the Sydney CBD. However their name is obviously out there and known in the city community, as it was pumping with crowds enjoying a few after work drinks and what looked like an incredible Espresso Martini. They also brew their own beer.

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We were at Mordeo for dinner though, and headed inside to the small bistro area where they have table service for diners. Quite a solid menu, with numerous Italian dishes including some pizzas that were being ordered in the plenty by surrounding diners.

We, however decided to go for some more hearty dishes, the market steak with peppercorn sauce, butterflied prawns with lemon and herbs and a side of broccolini with gremolata.

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We enjoyed all dishes and polished them off in no time. On this occasion we were too full for dessert. But, there’s always next time.

Our waiter/host for the eating, a French man was suitably charismatic and extrememly competent and his job. Orders were taken quickly and food came out without too much wait.

The ambience is sophisticated, yet still casual, the venue is dimly lit has an inviting feel. Outside, the oversized lampshades make for some cool decor.

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We recommend Mordeo for a bistro style Italian dinner or simply a few drinks after work.

We booked our meal through PokitPal. As a customer, all you need to do is download the free app, upload your mastercard details to your app. You can then search through the app, and choose where to drink and dinner. The cash-back percentage varies from venue to venue and is usually around 5-15%. At Mordeo, the discount was 15%. Once you’ve dined and paid, you will notice that percentage has been refunded to your card.

https://www.pokitpal.com/

Mordeo

1/126 Phillip Street, CBD, Sydney, NSW

Mordeo Bistro & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go for a casual catch up with mates @ Howard’s Cantina

It’s been just over a year since Howard’s Cantina first launched their bar and fine dining space on the upper levels of the Rose of Australia. There has been a few changes to the menu since then, but the charm we remember is still there.

Howard’s Cantina is a cool spot named after the patriarch of the Leach family who have been at the helm of the Rose for over 20 years.  It’s now under the leadership of son, Scott.  Tactful accentuation with art pieces and minimal work has been done to the space allowing the brickwork and fireplace to emanate the 86 year old history this art deco building has with the community.  Greenery creates a whimsical setting reserved for the fine dining area which is cleverly sectioned within the main relaxed areas of the cocktail bar.   Long share tables, casual stools and outdoor settees fill the main area that were entertaining a number of large group functions at the time of our visit.

The culinary prowess of Executive Chef Chris Bell shines through with some elegant deconstructed desserts and modern fusion flavor bombs that have creeped in from the fancy dining side of Howard’s menu.   It’s quite interesting as there are two very different experiences on offer here with very distinct menus.

Their grill items are very reasonably priced. Ranging from $15 (T-Bone Steak) to $28 (Rump & Sirloin), add-ons start from $4, mac & cheese ($5) or 3 prawns to surf your turf ($8).   For families the kids menu per dish ranges from $6-$8.

Soft Shell Tacos are packed with filling (2 for $10 / 3 for $15).   With 5 options to choose from the assembly of Japanese / asian ingredients piqued our interest. The tuna filling is cured in sesame oil adding a soft nuttiness to the fish.  This base allows for quite an interesting flavour symphony with red onion pickling offset by the iceberg crunch.  A wasabi aioli binds it all together evoking a sense of freshness which will appeal over the coming summer.

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The house ribs are still there thank goodness (Half Rack $20).   Nothing unnecessarily over the top, just simple seasoning and fall off the bone smoking, having absorbed the simple flavors of lemon olive oil, chill and oregano win us over every time.

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The Rajun Cajun Burger ($17) consists of a 100% angus beef patty, pickled jalapenos, house smoked jalapeños, cheddar cheese, tomato, cheese, lettuce, chipotle aioli.  Serious burger lovers should instead aim for the Tripple Bypass ($22) – Three 100% angus beef patties, three rashers of bacon, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, stuffed with onion rings, pickled zucchini, cheese goo, rose secret sauce.

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The Meringue Dessert ($13) is an art sculpture of whipped vanilla cream, anise poached pear and fresh mint. Such a delicate sweetness that’s put together here.

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The great thing about their menu is the versatility in design.   The hero protein or vegetable is easily accessorised with a wide range of add-ons to suit your personal taste and a strong selection of share plates are very generously portioned.  It’s also worth noting that there is no minimum spend or function room hire fee for their private spaces for groups smaller than 40.

Function Spaces:
https://www.roseofaustralia.com.au/functions.html

Vineyard: 32 people
Rose Garden: 36 people
Terrace: 30 people
Howards Bar: 34 people
Semi Private Dining: 14 people

Howard’s Cantina

Location:
1 Swanson Street, Erskineville NSW 2043

Phone: (02) 9565 1441

Contributor: Joseph Lloyd

 

Comfort food @Broadway Crown

Broadway on Crown is a pub and dining space which can be found in the busy area of Broadway, Chippendale.

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Only a stones throw from Broadway shopping centre, Chippendale precinct, Sydney University and the CBD, you will find this place buzzing with crowds. Uni students and young people enjoying an after work drink and the food and drinks menu caters to this crowd well. 

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The pub has a large bar with fully stocked drinks and special cocktails. There are plenty of interesting cocktail concoctions. We tried the ‘White Chocolate Passionfruit’ of Passionfruit Syrup, cake infused vodka topped with white chocolate drops. We loved the sweetness to this drink – a must for dessert lovers.

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We also had the light and refreshing ‘Vera Green’ and you can recharge with the fresh cucumber, aloe Vera, gin and limoncello.

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On the menu is the ever popular ‘Fairy Floss Martini’ made with Raspberry and Vodka and topped with Rose Fairy Floss. There is also the ‘Smashin Passion’ – Amaretto and Rum & Passionfruit  & a ‘Blood Orange Margarita’ – a zesty twist on your favourite – 100 % Agave Tequilla, Vanilla and Blood Orange Syrup. 

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Broadway on Crown also has your regular favourites such as espresso martini’s, aperol spritz, mojito, negronis and the much loved old fashioned.

The cocktails are reasonably priced at $16 or if you can get in for happy hour on Monday -Friday from 4-7pm, the cocktails are reduced to $12. 

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Food wise, the menu is packed with crowd pleasers like chicken wings, wedges, pizzas, burgers, pastas and schnitzels! Your ultimate comfort food and the perfect food to accompany a night of drinks!

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We tried the fried cauliflower starter and a different take on the chicken parmigiana – a huge chicken schnitzel topped with chorizo, melted cheese and hash browns! We managed to defeat it extremely satisfied by the end! We appreciated the side salad of rocket, cabbage and tomato as well as roast veggies. 

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We also enjoyed a grain fed sirloin steak (250g) with thick fries and side salad.

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Probably one of the more quality steaks we’ve had in a pub. 

This pub hosts events and set menus from $39 pizza parties – $49 sit down meals – book online for events like Melbourne cup!

On Mondays, $21 for a Parmy and a pour (425 ml schooner if cricketers arms) and there’s plenty of other deals so check out their website. 

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Broadway Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to get a good pub feed & a T-Bone Steak Burger @ Burwood Hotel

The recently refurbished Burwood Hotel is smack bang in the middle of the Burwood Chinatown food precinct.

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This hotel offers quality pub grub at a good price. The menu is a little more exciting than your standard pub fare. With an American inspired menu, including some pimped out burgers.

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They have a 1kg pot of mussels as an ongoing special, ranging between $10-$15 dollars, with a choice of sauce and differing spice levels; lemon and pepper, cajun and if you like it hot, the spicy Korean Chilli. We opted for the medium spice level, which was a tasty cajun sauce.

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Speaking of Cajun, the fried Jalepeno poppers were a great starter and an even better share plate. They were huge and used fresh Jalepenos that weren’t too spicy.

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But you must try the burgers. The dry aged t-bone burger is not only a cool looking burger with a T-bone as a crown, it was also super tasty. The use of the t-bone making this a fancy cheese burger with a nicely spiced, freshly ground meat patty, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion and fried onion for some crunchy texture. Due to the quality cut of meat used it’s a little pricey at $19, but well worth it as it is a delicious burger. They were also advertising a Wagyu beef burger for $16, which seems like pretty good value.

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The Burwood Hotel has a nice comfortable modern dining space with friendly staff. They have also added a bit of excitement with some great American menu options, whilst still catering to those who love those pub classics. It is well worth a visit for a drink and a feed with friends.

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Burwood Hotel

121-123 Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134

Where to go in Buenos Aires

What an awesome city. It is picturesque, there are plenty of good sites to see, food is amazing and to top it off, it’s not expensive.

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We found it safe to walk around here, people are very friendly, but make sure you know some Spanish! It’s a big city so you can’t walk everywhere, so we used Uber a bit (more convenient than public transport for us).

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Where to stay 

Buenos Aires is about 45 Mins from EZE International airport and we recommend getting an Uber as they work out a lot cheaper than taxis.

In terms of areas to stay, Recoleta and Historico are both good and close to the main points of interest. San Telmo is also good for antiques and galleries. We chose Palermo as its for a younger crowd with lots of bars, restaurants and trendy boutiques. As you head closer to the Libatore av you will find plenty of cheap patisseries too.

There’s so many options of hotels to stay, get online and do you research as to what suits you the most.

Hotel First Palermo

This hotel has a great location in Palermo. We have been going budget and this was a good budget hotel with a pool and lifts! We appreciated the upgrade room – it was a large room with a television, a safe and a heater. Breakfast was also good, included breads, fruit, eggs and even dulce de Leche. The staff were outstanding and made so much effort to help, and organised football tickets for us and offered advice for food etc. But to be honest everything was great except it is incredibly loud on the street side. Mostly partygoers in the early hours of the morning.

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What to do 

Recoleta Cemetery tour

We decided to join the Recoleta cemetery tour with “Buenos Aires Free walks” to learn the stories of the people buried there such as Eva Peron. Our guide Victoria was superb, extremely passionate and knowledgeable and looked after the group well. We learnt lots of interesting information about the cemetery. Although this particular walk wasn’t “free”, $150 pesos is totally worth it.

We heard about stories such as “the girl who died twice”, “till death do us part” and the gravekeeper”. They were very interesting and made it better than simply walking around ourselves. If you do choose to go yourself, entry is free.

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They also have the free city centre tour and free Recoleta tour, as well as $200 peso tours to La Boca.

You can look them upon online at www.buenosairesfreewalks.com

Jardin Japones 

This is a  little Japanese Gardens in the heart of Argentina. Serene and calm. It’s 120 Peso to enter and have a look around.

Shops

We loved Buenos Aires for shopping, whilst there are a few large mainstream plazas, we recommend heading to Palermo Soho for more boutique style shopping, smaller designers, cool clothes and furniture. We enjoyed looking around here. There’s also some discount outlets.

** Tourist refund 

There’s plenty of advertising about getting your tax back on purchases at the airport. It’s a good idea if you can, just be very sure to do the following:

  1. Check that the shop facilitates this (usually a sticker on the shop window)
  2. Check all the labels on that the item is made in Argentina. The airport staff will check.
  3. Have your passport at time of purchase
  4. Ask for the tourist refund scheme form
  5. Have the form and goods to show at the airport before going through departure gates

La Boca

This is a cool place to visit for its colourful houses, street art, street performers (tango) and steakhouses. However people are hesitant because of the area and its perceived danger. Even Buenos Aires locals are wary of the area. BUT follow travel advice and you’ll feel absolutely safe. Yes the outskirts are rough. So, get a cab to Caminito street where the majority of colourful houses, artists and restaurants are. It’s a huge tourist spot and you will be absolutely fine, just don’t take valuables to prevent theft. This area is also home to the famous and successful La Boca Football team. See a match if it’s on (be sure to arrange a tour).

Futball 

When visiting another country, we are always looking at experienes that can be enjoyed that give an insight in to the local area and it’s people. In Argentina there are a few that come to mind, including Gaucho and soccer. They were both a bit pricy to do both and we love sport and had heard good things about going to the soccer in Argentina. We chose to go to the soccer. After reading reviews online, it seemed a little difficult and time consuming to arrange tickets yourself. We spoke to the concierge at our hotel who arranged tickets through an agent. The agent provides transport to and from the game and your entrance tickets. This experience is a little expensive, but worth is to immerse yourself in local culture.

To say the Argentineans are fanatic is an understatement, they are very extraordinarily passionate about this game. As such, it can even be considered a little dangerous to attend. There are measures in place to make attending a game safer, these measures include; home fans only (YES! no rival fans in the stadium), no alcohol is served within the stadium and there is also plenty of security and police to keep things in order. In Buenos Aires, there are two main teams: Boca Juniors and River plate, who have a fierce rivalry and stadiums that accommodate 60000 plus fans. Tickets are members only, with a seven year waitlist for membership. We went to a smaller game between Boca and smaller local team Argentinos Junior. The game was played at Maradonna stadium, which is named after the Argentine soccer legend. He also represented both clubs in his career. The stadium is basic, with cement step seating and no cover with the stadium accommodating 20000.

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The magnitude of how fanatic the supporters are is evident through the stadium set up, no plastic seats, fences with barbed wire separating sections of the crowd. It was a dreary wet night, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of the Argentinos fans, with rythmic drumming and passionate chanting continuous through out the game. The tunes so rythmic it could have been used as tango music, another Argentine tradition. It was an awesome atmosphere, with quality soccer from both sides. Boca was too good on the night, taking the game 1-0. It was also bizarre when Boca scored their goal and there was the sound of crickets, not one applause or cheer. Despite the rain and a Boca win, all fans stayed until the final whistle.

Going to a soccer in Buenos Aires is more than a game it their a passion. It was wonderful to experience the local culture and passion and it is a highly recommended activity.

Other

Some attractions we didn’t have time for but come thoroughly recommended include

  • Teatro Colon – a 7 storey landmark
  • El Zanjon de Granados – to see a tour of their tunnels and cisterns
  • The polo
  • Horse racing
  • Plaza de Mayo
  • Congresso Nacional
  • Plaza Dorrego – the city’s oldest plaza
  • Galerias Pacifico Shops – for shopping and beautiful ceilings
  • A visit inside Casa Rosa (pictured below). Be sure to buy tickets online.

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Where to eat and drink

Vinosfera Wine Gallery 

Lovely little wine gallery offering wine/cheese/chocolate tastings for 600. We had a glass of wine each and received great advice from the staff. He even gave me a complimentary taster. It was an enjoyable visit.

Lab Training Coffee 

Trendy little coffee store with a range of coffee styles and you can get your preferred milk style. No chemex on the day we visited. I personally found the coffee quite strong. Food and cake on sale too. Staff are efficient and nice.

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Felix Felicis and Co

A small coffee shop selling good milk based coffees as well as cold brew, plus a number of small baked goods. Staff were friendly and the cafe has a cool vibe.

Chori 

Chori is a takeaway style sandwich shop, serving chorizo sausages with various toppings. We tried the chorizo with aji sauce, caramelised onion, yoghurt, spinach and tomato on a fresh roll. It was a good burger. Although we didn’t have them, they have some cheesy vegetable sides too. The shop was pretty busy and they also sell alcohol and soft drinks.

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Pani

We couldn’t go by without a visit here. The desserts are phenomenal. Yes you might consume your daily intake of calories and need a wheelbarrow home, but we’re pretty sure it’s worth it. Amazing cheesecakes and everything dulce de Leche! We tried the dulce de Leche cake with Oreos. It took us two days to eat. Amazing. The cafe is styled in an antique / rustic decor and the staff were lovely.

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La Cabrera 

This is a famous Latin American steak house that is famous for a reason, they do really good steak. We visited both locations in Palermo. Be sure to keep an eye out for their happy hour each evening, which provides 40% off. We also recommend you book as by 8:30 people are lining up outside (but you get free snacks and champagne) so it’s not too bad at all. Don’t expect to leave this place hungry, to say the servings here are huge is an understatement. It is recommended that you share a steak, unless you are survivor hungry. The restaurant has a casual but upmarket feel, suitable for all including the niño (children). The waiters have character, making for an enjoyable experience.

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The restaurant provides you with a delicious bread basket, which is very common in Argentina, there is olive oil and basalmic on the table and they provide a meat dipping sauce. We visited a couple of times and it never disappointed. The 850g T-Bone was a massive piece of meat, nicely seasoned and perfectly cooked. Some theatrics included when the waiter busts out the carving knife. The steak had a thick layer of fat, but other than that, it was delicious. The rib eye was superb, also seasoned nicely and perfectly cooked. The steak also came with a large assortment of sides including carrot brûlée, mashed potatoes, ratatouille, mixed salad (with egg, bacon, dressings), mate foam, pickled vegetables, beans and cheese, confit garlic as well as apple sauce and chimichurri. We don’t recommend you need any sides. The wine is also quite nice, the 375ml bottle is perfect for one person. We couldn’t do dessert as we were so full! They also bring out a lollipop tree at the end, which is a nice touch.

Don Julio

Don Julio is an upmarket steakhouse with a classy feel to it. They had the best steak we had in South America, maybe ever. The service was slightly off when we visited, one of the waiters appeared to be sick with the flu and the sommelier wasn’t interested in discussing the wine (she seem more  interested in serving the most expensive wines to the rich people). As with most restaurants, the meal is provided with a nice selection of bread. To start, the grilled provolone was very nice, impossible to go wrong with hot cheese. For our meat dishes, we choose the beef ribs which were a tasty option, but the rib eye was out of this world. We could eat here everyday We really liked the cutlery, especially the steak knives, which are small gaucho knives. You can purchase these knives and they also come with a leather sheath, which makes for a nice souvenir.

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Casa Dulce De Leche 

We also did more research about places to eat which we didn’t get time for so maybe you could consider:

  • Scarlett cakes bakery for their chocolate torta
  • La Mezetta for their super cheesy pizza slices
  • Cafe Tortini – a historically famous cafe known for their Tango Sensation routines with dinner
  • Fabrica de Churros Olleros in the federal district for churros
  • La Panera Rosa – a huge pink cafe known for brunch and desserts

Overview

Buenos Aires has been one of most favourite places to visit and we’re sure you’ll love it too.