Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Teahouse - Camellia Gardens, Caringbah

The Camellia Gardens at Caringbah is a nice little place escape for some afternoon tea. On this particular Sunday afternoon with a girlfriend, we had some beach time at Cronulla and then decided to check out the Camellia Gardens nearby after a recommendation from a friend.

We grab a seat in the outdoor verandah area at the Teahouse, looking over the gardens. 

Tea and dessert menu

The scones are highly rating here, so it's a no brainer when deciding what to order. There's a range of baked goodies, desserts and also high tea. 


Teahouse scone with double thickened cream and berry jam

The scone is served warm, and is delicious and fluffy.

Mango macadamia torte with berry coulis and ice cream

The torte is nice and light, with the ice cream being the perfect accompaniment (not that I can think of any dessert that ice cream doesn't go well with!)

After indulging at the Teahouse, we roll out for a stroll around the pretty Camellia gardens. The duck ponds are a favourite, with plenty of cute baby ducks and we even spotted a turtle. The perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon - highly recommend ordering the scones!

The Teahouse on Urbanspoon

Friday, 30 January 2015

Jillian's Cakery - Surry Hills, Sydney

Happy Friday!! 

It's always hardest going back to work after a long weekend, and it's time to celebrate with something sweet. 

Jillian's Cakery is a relatively new cake shop in Surry Hills.  It's one of my morning stopovers now as they have a coffee happy hour and I can get my morning macchiato for a bargain $2.

Cheesecake brownie

The friendly staff happily cut the brownie in two, and packaged them up separately, for a friend and I to share.  The brownie is very good - dense and rich, the way a brownie should be. 

Cinnamon scroll


I can never resist the tin of gorgeous cinnamon scrolls sitting on the front counter.  These sticky buns are perfect after warming them up for 20-30 seconds.

Caramel and almond square

Carrot cake
Jillian's Cakery also have an assortment of whole cakes, some of which are sold by the slice. I have the carrot cake as an afternoon treat and it's delicious. Packed full of carrot and slathered with generous lashings of cream cheese frosting. Definitely one for the frosting lovers. 


There's also a handful of savouries as well, such as quiche and soup.  This cakery is a fantastic place to stop pass to satisfy a sweet tooth. I have my eye on the red velvet cake to try!


Jillian's Cakery on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Wilhelmina's - Balmain, Sydney

Wilhelmina's is a relatively new small bar that has opened in Balmain. With colourful interiors and a focus on food, it's the perfect location to grab a well crafted cocktail and some great food. 

Wilhelmina's is sister bar to the ever popular Grandma's, and one of my after work regular drink haunts - The Wild Rover. Both are fabulous bars so I definitely had high expectations!

Rhud Mule

Tanqueray gin, lime, rhubarb & ginger beer. 

Wilhelmina's has a decent cocktail list, with fresh juice and fruity flavours in most of them. 

Asparagus, fennel, almond and curd

Heirloom tomato and smoked burrata salad

A wonderfully fresh salad of bright heirloom tomatoes, with the burrata cheese adding a nice, creamy zing to the dish.



The menu changes often as Wilhemina's is all about using seasonal and local produce. I very much enjoyed a lazy Sunday afternoon here, and will be back to try out some more dishes - I've heard great reviews regarding the brunch too (available Friday - Sundays from 10am)

Wilhelmina's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen - Chatswood, Sydney

On one particular shopping expedition to Chatswood, we couldn't resist the lure of Taiwanese beef noodle soup at Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen, one of the many food choices dotted along Victoria Avenue. 

The menu consists of a selection of smaller dishes, rice dishes and of course, the beef noodle soups. 


The shop is quite small with a handful of seats. The decor is bright, with a red wall and these colourful lanterns everywhere. Ordering and paying is done at the counter, before the dishes are brought out relatively quickly. 

Gwa bao

Braised pork belly bun with pickled mustard, coriander and crushed peanuts.  These soft buns of fatty pork were deceptively filling! 

Bao Dao spicy beef noodle soup

Baodao half and half spicy beef noodle soup

The half and half includes the beef brisket pieces as well as beef tendon. Both of the noodle soups were served with some greens and a sprinkle of shallots.

I quite enjoyed my noodle soup, it was flavoursome and the beef was so tender, though I'm not sure how it compares to the real deal.

Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Friday, 9 January 2015

Surry Gills - Surry Hills, Sydney

After hearing that a new seafood place, Surry Gills, had opened walking distance from work, I was eager to try it out.

Located on Devonshire street, a couple of shops away from Devon cafe, is this cute fish and chip shop. Surry Gills has all the classics, as well as some fish burgers and specials. 

Blood Orange drink

Surry Gills stock these Karma Cola organic fruit sparkling water drinks, with a range of flavours. The blood orange tastes zesty without being overly sweet. 

Grilled fish of the day with salad & chips

Surry Gills Burger

Grilled fish with garlic mayo, pickles, capers and mixed lettuce, with a few chips on the side thrown in for good measure.

The fish is well cooked at Surry Gills, with prices quite reasonable. It has now become a regular lunch spot when I feel like some fish. 


Surry Gills on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Macau eats

Another long overdue holiday post, but this time on some of the wonderful eats in Macau.

I had seen rave reviews about Fernando's at Hac Sa beach, so decided to go there for lunch on one of our free days. We arrived around 12:45pm and there was a sizeable queue, we had to wait for around 30-40 minutes. Luckily, there is a nice courtyard area and a bar so waiting is pleasant enough.

After a bit of research, I decided that the suckling pig was a must order. 

Complimentary bread to fill up on if you're starving from the wait. It's also handy if you have ordered a dish with lots of sauce.

Suckling pig

Glorious crackling skin!! Unfortunately, the chips and salad are nothing to write home about, but the star of the show more than makes up for it. 

Stuffed squid

Whilst it's not the best looking dish, the stuffed squid was so tender and flavoursome. 

I would definitely advise arriving early to beat the rush, as it is a very popular place.

Restaurante Fernando
Praia de Hac Sa, No. 9 Coloane, Macau
http://www.fernando-restaurant.com/index_en.html

I lost count the amount of times I had late night dessert in Hong Kong and Macau:

Mango and pomelo sago

Pot plant tiramisu



Macau are well known for their portuguese tarts. The line are Margaret's cafe e nata in town are usually insane, with the line snaking around the corner. 

Highly recommend heading to Lord Stow's garden cafe in Coloane instead - it is out of the way, but is a lovely little cafe with a variety of food and drink options.


portuguese tarts
Portuguese tarts

Lord Stow's Garden Cafe
www.lordstow.com/
Rua da Cordoaria, 105, Edf. Coloane, Coloane Village, Macau
Open daily 10:30am to 7:00pm

Friday, 2 January 2015

Devon on Danks - Waterloo, Sydney

Walking to Devon on Danks from home somewhat offsets the gluttony of devouring donuts for breakfast.

sydney cafe, devon cafe
This new Devon on Danks street is spacious, with plenty of seating. 

As it's Christmas holiday season and still quite early, we are the first to arrive. 

Devon on danks menu

The menu items are similar to the Surry Hills cafe, though with the notable addition of the donuts, cronuts and soft serves.

Macchiato

Coffee is much needed for an early start.

Soft shell crab roll aka Japanois

Crispy soft shell crab with sichimi pepper, wasabi mayo, tobiko, nori, pickled cucumber, carrot & shiso. This did not quite hit the spot, it was like a love child of a japanese soft shell crab roll and a Vietnamese bahn mi, cased in a sweet asian style bun, though the soft shell crab was perfectly crisp.

sydney brunch, devon cafe, waterloo, sydney breakfast
Dr Seuss' Green eggs and ham

A visually appealing dish with smoky thick cut bacon,  63 degree egg, green tomato ketchup, pea puree, soybeans and pea tendrils.

Donuts

sydney donuts, sydney doughnuts, devon on danks, matcha red bean, raspberry, milo
Danks-in-Donut

A trio of mini donuts, including matcha & red bean, raspberry & vanilla cream, and milo.

Devon's cronuts aka cronnies

Devon on Dank's version of the cronuts are colourful, square and petite.

cronut sydney devon on danks
Pork floss and mayo cronut

The cronut here is good - lovely, flaky and crisp. However, the savoury pork and mayo combination is an acquired taste, and one I have not yet acquired a taste for! I would definitely try the other flavours next time. 


Devon on Danks on Urbanspoon