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- Part 3

Wine and dine at Wynyard’s Panzerotti

December 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm
Panzerotti-Bar-96

Poached eggs for brekkie anyone? Source

The freshly relocated Panzerotti is back with a bang. And Ryan Auberson-Walsh is pretty happy with the new offerings.

A favourite restaurant contender for the busy CBD crowds, Panzerotti is generally open for breakfast through to late lunch weekdays, whipping up some of the most filling Italian-style dishes in Sydney.

Having recently moved to a new location with more room for the lunchtime rush, they’re now wedged underneath a heritage sandstone church with views opposite of Wynyard Park. But it’s also meant that their humble café has transformed into a new after hours bar and restaurant, becoming a hub to unwind and relax after a stressful day in the office.

Panzerotti bar snack

Lamb croquettes – part of the new bar menu. Source

With the move has also come a new menu – having been granted a liquor licence they’ve come up with some quirky cocktails that are just as delicious to taste than they appear on paper. The Bees Knees is exactly as it sounds, blending whiskey, pineapple, lime, honey and mint, while the Days End is something wicked to wind down with – bison vodka, basil, lemon and white vermouth.

Beers include the inevitable Peroni (what Italian bar is complete without this), Vale Ale, Stone & Wood, Balmain Pale Ale and Hop Hog. But for something a little fuller, there’s a neat selection of Italian, Australian and New Zealand reds, whites and rosés on offer.

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Super slider – one of many scrumptious dishes. Source

When it comes to food, it’s obvious from the lunch menu that Panzerotti take their pasta seriously – a highlight for dining in or takeout, there’s a choice of penne, linguine and homemade gnocchi with a generous selection of toppings and sauces. Alternatively, how down a wagyu burger with taleggio cheese or for the carb-conscious, the smoked trout or beetroot and feta salads are must tries.

It isn’t, however, all about pasta. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and here is where your choice won’t leave you feeling worn out by midday. Two favourites include the 3 egg omelette with king brown mushrooms or the French toast, doused with honeycomb butter, lemon curd, raspberry, mint and pear.

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Panzerotti’s Dessert of the Day. Source

Whatever time of day it is, the new Panzerotti Bar won’t leave you disappointed, and sitting in for an easy-going lunch is much more spectacular now that they’ve opened up to the world and offering an even snazzier food and drink selection.

Turramurra’s Hidey Hole

December 2, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Replay Espresso

It wasn’t long ago that the only coffee to be found on the North Shore of Sydney came from Nespresso tins in the pantry or, at best, the local bakery. But fresh, funky little cafés like Replay Espresso in Turramurra are changing all that.

 

Tucked away just off the Pacific Highway, next to Turramurra train station, Replay is the answer to the coffee lovers suburban wonderings of where to find a decent brew. The delicately made Gabriel Coffee is a welcome relief from the mediocre, milky blends that you regularly find once you’re more than 10km’s outside of the inner suburbs.

Replay Coffee

Offering a great range of food from paninis and pastries to healthy salads, there’s something for everyone’s culinary alter ego. Luke Avenue Cookies and Kiki Luscious Cakes have your sweet tooth covered while Oregano Bakery and Brasserie Bread add the element of class to this poky café that most lack.

 

The smiling young waitress recommended the BLT, and didn’t miss the mark. The just crunchy bacon, fresh rocket and tomato were the simple satisfaction tailor made for a Friday afternoon. And there’s something about eating off a wooden chopping board that makes you think: ‘I just became that little bit more in touch with my inner Surry Hills.’

Replay Bircher

With the day’s assorted newspapers sitting just under the funky communal H2O tap, there aren’t many boxes left unchecked on the modern rustic café’s list of must haves.

It’s no wonder there’s rarely a seat left unfilled. Fear not though, Beat the Q’s availability and Replay’s highway vicinity mean that you’ll be in and out with your caffeine fix in a jiffy if your schedule demands it.

A (Dear) Delicious Dulwich Hill cafe

November 28, 2014 at 11:50 am
Avocado Heaven Dear Delicious

In heaven with their top avocado dish and the croque monsieur.

Of all Sydney’s inner-west cafes, Ryan Auberson-Walsh has found one he can’t help but fangirl over. 

Dear Delicious,

What a wonderful experience my friends and I had the other day as we devoured several perfectly blended hot-drip coffees, fudgy chocolate brownies and enough egg and cheese dishes to destroy someone with lactose intolerance’s insides.

Creamy and mouth-watering, hearing that many of the products are made onsite (including that wonderful, wonderful ricotta) just seems to add a huge sense of credibility to your kitchen skills. Kudos to your chef/s for churning out such splendidly plated dishes – I’m currently craving the rhubarb and orange blossom pistachio labneh parfait, the blood red and coconut white hues positioned on the table opposite us were demanding our tummy-rumbling attention.

Breakfast beauties - the Avocado Smash and Croque Monsieur

Breakfast beauties – the Avocado Smash and Croque Monsieur

You’re one of those places that no matter how grand or quaint a meal seems, there wasn’t any food regret. Each of our plates was stacked a few inches high, my Avocado Heaven layered with two perfectly poached eggs, ruby red tomatoes, smashed avocado and baby spinach on top of locally-sourced Brickfields sourdough.

My mates also picked well – I have to admit, your attention to detail when plating dishes is so on point that I couldn’t help but nibble on what they ordered – the scrambled eggs (goats chèvre, spinach and giant field mushrooms) and croque monsieur (free range ham and horseradish clotted cream sandwich with fried egg) were out of this world.

Ready for the taking - cinnamon scrolls and other sweets are sourced locally.

Ready for the taking – cinnamon scrolls and other sweets are sourced locally.

We enjoyed making our way through the whimsical décor and past the open-plan kitchen to the intimate courtyard out back, lounging across a surprisingly comfortable wooden bench in Sydney’s sunshine, sipping at Little Marionette cappuccinos and iced mochas as a gentle breeze kicked up.

You’ve won us over – and we, or at least I, certainly cannot wait for a glorious return to try several other menu items (I’m looking at you, ricotta pancakes and coconut milk chai with nutmeg and star anise). But hearing that as of November 28 you’re staying open a little later for dinner service between 6pm and 9pm, perhaps I’ll have to swing by and munch on an entirely different menu.

Cheers for the eye-opening inner-west brekkie experience. It was, to say the least, delicious.

Sincerely,

Your newest and most-obsessed fangirl Ryan Auberson-Walsh

The sexiest all-day breakfast you’ll ever eat

November 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

Source

Source

It’s no secret that Newtown eateries can whip together a mean brekkie. Ryan Auberson-Walsh fesses up as to why Hoochie Mamma Cafe is the perfect amount of naughty. 

Strategically positioned opposite the Sydney University Village, Hoochie’s ample space (with over 100 seats) serves the bustling student population very well come lunchtime.

Featuring the likes of an ocean trout salad garnished with heirloom tomato and horseradish, you’ll struggle to choose something from the impressive menu. It, along with incredibly an rich classic Caesar, are definitely at the top of Sydney’s salad options. But as tasty and creamy as some of the salads, pastas (one can never say no to the prawn linguini) and sandwiches are, Hoochie is all about the ultimate breakfast.

Dished out between 7am and 3 in the afternoon, anyone from uni students to all night partiers (though we could suggest they’re one and the same) can roll out of bed and still chow down effortlessly crisp bacon or toasted muesli.

Standouts on the menu include the lumberjack omelette (chorizo, mushrooms and fetta), sweet corn fritters (bacon, baby spinach, avocado and tomato relish) and the Big Hoochie (2 eggs, bacon, mushrooms, roast tomato, hash browns and pork sausage).

Chocolate berry muffins. Source

Chocolate berry muffins. Source

Yet vegetarians should not despair – around half the choices are suitably overloaded with fruits and frijoles instead of being crammed with meat. Give the ricotta hotcakes (topped with sour cherries, vanilla bean mascarpone and toasted almonds) or brekkie bruschetta (ricotta, field mushrooms, roast tomato, avocado and parsley) a whirl – both are plated to perfection, and just as magnificent in your stomach as on your plate.

Fully-licensed, anyone up for continuing a potential bender-breakfast can sip on a wine, beer or cider. Though we strongly encourage you to choose a hot coffee – they’re ideal to have with one of the daily baked muffins that in the past have ranged from fig, walnut and mascarpone to boysenberry and white chocolate.

Be a little wicked and treat yourself.

Eat like an Italian at Bertoni

November 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm
Carbonara. Image by Paula F Machado

Carbonara. Image by Paula F Machado

Typically Italian from the food to the facade, Bertoni’s Farrer Place restaurant is one of the greatest city spots for easy pasta. Words by Ryan Auberson-Walsh

We’ve mentioned before that we love Bertoni’s restaurateur talent – their original Balmain venture a dear friend whenever we want to opt for some hearty Italian. But we’re yet to introduce you to their most recent establishment that’s opened up on the northern end of the Sydney CBD.

Sitting underneath a busy office tower on the corner of Bent and Phillip Streets, the pasta palace has been given a rustic Bertoni branding. With glossy white tiles covering the walls contrasted against elegant black wooden bench tops, the décor is subtle and not overpowering, leaving the quality and colours of the food to stand out.

Upon entry you’re greeted by friendly staff smiles and the cheeky odour of pastries splayed out in the counter display. The welcoming smell of brewing coffee (we all know Italians can whip together the greatest coffee) punctuates the nostrils and the aromas of the open kitchen waft throughout the restaurant.

Marinara. Photo by Paula F Machado

Marinara. Photo by Paula F Machado

Separated by a sleek shelving unit dotted with vino bottles and glasses, patrons can see, hear and smell their orders being freshly prepared – the one sense it leaves you without is taste, but the intimate atmosphere of the lunch crowds puts you at ease while you wait with anticipation for your dish (Take note, they’ll be staying open later for dinner very soon).

And what dishes they are! Prosciutto paninis and the famous favourite, the wonderfully cheesy lasagne burger, are all on the menu. It’s also worth trying the Pasta Bertoni for a delightful blend of baked pasta with smoked ham, salami, peas, mozzarella and Napoli sauce.

You’ve got to give it to them – as much as your Italian pals insist their mother makes the best pasta, Bertoni certainly sets a new benchmark.

 

Sweets just a Flour and Stone’s throw from Sydney

November 20, 2014 at 10:39 am
Old Fashioned Vanilla Cake. Image by Sihan Lee

Old Fashioned Vanilla Cake. Image by Sihan Lee

Sadly not everyone loves a good slice of cake or chocolate tart, but Ryan Auberson-Walsh thinks that even carbophobes can’t resist a cheeky nibble at Flour and Stone.

Strawberry honey & rosemary brulee.

That is just one of the many amazing sweet options on today’s daily menu at Flour and Stone, a quaint Woolloomooloo cafe providing the best of Sydney’s baking.

Sitting countertop beside the brulee are berry pavlovas, hazelnut torte, salted caramel and chocolate tarts, old fashioned vanilla cake, and chocolate, raspberry and buttermilk cakes. We could go on…

At the helm is master baker Nadine Ingram who has garnered skills from experience at Le Gavroche, Bourke St Bakery and London’s the Ivy, every morsel of food from the sandwiches to her famous lemon drizzle cake is exquisite. From preparation to plate, her work is utterly perfect – and delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it all.

Pulling all sorts of sugary things out of the oven isn’t the end of the story. Today’s menu also consists of asparagus, mint and pea galettes, chicken, leek and tarragon pies and zucchini, chilli and gruyere buns – among many other wholesome goods.

Image by Sihan Lee

Image by Sihan Lee

But her signature sweets are what keep locals flocking back, with her trademark pannacotta lamingtons, rustic cookies and hand-iced gingerbread (there’s enough cute cutouts of monkeys, foxes, pencils and cat to break the internet) often selling out before the city crowds can ready themselves for a lunchtime feast.

Nibbled upon with the accompaniment of finely brewed Alchemy coffee and Rabbit Hole tea, Ingram’s delectables are highly praised citywide, and if you’re not 100 per cent sold on throwing your sugar-free diet out the window just yet, we think it best you swing by the inner-city café and just try not to purchase anything. Best of luck – You’ll have ordered a takeaway tart as soon as the incredible smells wafting from the countertop hit you in the face.

 

The 5 best things about southwest Sydney

November 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Sure, it might be slightly hotter and drier out west during summer, but there’s so much to love about Liverpool and its surrounds. Words by Ryan Auberson-Walsh

1. Asian food

Apart from a few ethnic enclaves such as Haymarket, Chatswood and Ashfield, there really is nowhere as authentically Asian as Cabramatta. Food bloggers consistently rave about the tremendous quality and presentation of the dishes served here, and cuisines range from Vietnamese and Thai to Chinese and Cambodian.

It’s also where you’ll find the best pho and banh mi (pork rolls) in Sydney, with endless choices lining the bustling streets. Scattered among colourful fabric shops, electronics stores and bakeries, the abundance of amazing Asian food here is really something worth experiencing – and it’s a solid example of how deliciously multicultural Australia is! Two favourites include Pho 54 and Pho Tau Bay, with many dishes under $10.

 2. Op-shopping

Who’da thunk it? Liverpool has some of the greatest op shopping in NSW, and there’s really no mystery as to why.

As part of a more traditionally working class suburban area, there are a great number of charity organisations that set up shop here providing affordable clothing for the thousands of families living on a tight budget. That trend caught on and second hand boutiques began springing up around the suburb over a decade ago.

Now you’re essentially spoilt for choice – it’s an op shoppers dream, with vintage Levis and Ben Sherman shirting a fairly regular find in the men’s sections of each store. Moore St is home to one of the oldest and greatest (One Moore Time), the shop owner clearly blessed with excellent pun skills.

Monika’s Pre Loved Clothing on Railway St is also just a short walk from the station – a great starting point for any spending spree if you’re coming from another part of Sydney – and from there you’ll find a number of regional second-hand stores including Vinnies, Salvos, Anglicare, Lifeline and Big Heart Op-Shop.

Source

A hearty Ristretto salad. Source

3. Ristretto & Co

When it comes to a good cuppa, Liverpool has more of a burgeoning coffee culture, but that doesn’t mean a few existing cafes don’t whip up a solid cappuccino.

Enter Ristretto & Co on Northumberland St. It brings an inner city Italian flair that would be more commonly associated with Paddington or Newtown.

Featuring everyone’s favourite Campos coffee, the menu is warm and homely, complimenting the Italian heritage of the cooking. On offer are tasty paninis, enormous salads and eggs in every shape and form. We also encourage you to try the Big Brekky – it may very well be the most wonderfully plated dish on the menu.

Rachel Park's 'At the time it didn't resonate' (2014), as part of the 'Subject to Ruin' exhibition. Image supplied.

Rachel Park’s ‘At the time it didn’t resonate’ (2014), as part of the ‘Subject to Ruin’ exhibition. Image supplied.

4. Casula Powerhouse

An outstanding gallery and performance space housed in a gentrified 1950s power station, works featured rotate constantly, showing off the wonders and talents of western Sydney and beyond. Funded by Liverpool City Council, the building contains two artist studios, six gallery spaces a 326 seat theatre and outdoor areas with gardens and an amphitheatre.

First opening its doors as an arts centre in 1994, this twenty-year old space is the pride and joy of the local art scene.

This coming Saturday (November 22), it will host a Vintage Fashion Fair, and even the in-house Bellbird Café will be dishing up meals from the pages of the past century’s cookbooks.

Image by Jay La Photography

Musicians entertain the market crowds. Image by Jay La Photography

5. Liverpool Night Markets

Sydney City’s well-known Night Noodle Markets come alive every October for Good Food Month, but what many people outside of south-western Sydney don’t know is that out here we’ve got something splendid all year round.

Held on the first Saturday of every month from 4pm, the Liverpool Night Markets boast a melting pot of cultures and colours, with craft stalls, live music, clothing and food, glorious food. In the past, the markets have played host to talented chef Amina El Shafei from Masterchef and Fred’s Bush Tucker – a unique indigenous food experience.

The next market is to be held on December 6 and is all about Christmas, with carols, a tree lighting ceremony and stalls serving up all kinds of holiday treats. Here’s to hoping that gluhwein’s an option.


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