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food | Posse

The grandest Christmas shopping of all…

December 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm

KaDeWe - Weiße Weihnacht - Halle EG

You need to see Berlin’s Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) if it’s the last thing you do before Christmas Day – quite literally. As the largest department store in mainland Europe, you’d struggle to wander the glamorously decorated halls without impulse purchasing.

Anyone who enters from street level underneath the tremendously large glass arch looming above will notice a shift from a bustling urban thoroughfare into a more opulent retail world – where perfume penetrates the nostrils and the unnaturally lit corridors highlight thousand-euro price tags.

From the ground floor up you’re taken on a journey through continental Europe and abroad. Beauty and nail salons are first on the list, mixed in-between the ‘Luxury Boulevard’, home to top tier fashion houses from Gucci and Miu Miu to Tod’s and Yves Saint Laurent. If you’ve heard it mentioned on a Celebrity red carpet, assume you’d probably find it here.

One tier up is men’s apparel and another is women’s fashion. Level three is nicknamed ‘the Loft’ – Germany’s largest selection of shoes, as well as women’s leather goods and lingerie, children’s clothes and a hairdresser.

KaDeWe - Weiße Weihnacht - Halle EG

In-store Christmas display – shopping doesn’t get more beautiful than this. Images supplied.

Level four is an interior designers dream and is the kind of plush cushion superstore you’d imagine Catherine Martin would piece together much of her Oscar-winning inspiration. Lamps to linen, porcelain to pottery, if IKEA had a wealthy older aunt this is what she’d look like.

Another escalator skyward is where you’ll locate enough stunning stationary to put Smiggle to shame. And then there’s electronics, entertainment and toys too – a wonderful opportunity to exhaust yourself with any youngins strapped at the hip before heading upstairs to the Kaufhaus pride and joy…

kadewe-24_05_2011_0016

“Please sir, may I have some more?” – a response to a taste test.

The food hall – commonly known as ‘Delicatessen’ has over 30 gourmet counters, with more than 110 cooks, 40 bakers and confectioners spread across them. For Berliners and Europeans afar it’s one of the grandest reasons this monolithic mall has stood the test of time, having even been rebuilt after the Second World War for future fashion and culinary connoisseurs. In the early 1990s the top level was converted into a winter garden and restaurant, with room for over 1000 diners – a suitably lush indoor hangout to avoid the frosty north German winds.

With a grand total 60,000m2 shop floor– the equivalent size of an Olympic Stadium and then some, this magnificent department store puts a number of global contenders to shame for its symbolic strength, quality and product choice. But the best reason to shop here over Christmas is quite simple… It’s just so darn pretty!

kadewe-24_05_2011_0017

How many department stores can boast permanently flowing bubbly?

 

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

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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.

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.

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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.

This ain’t your ordinary bistro

November 17, 2014 at 9:47 pm
Fish of the day. Source

Fish of the day. Source

An impressive list of restaurateurs has made Southbank’s fare synonymous with high quality dining, and our introduction of Downstairs Bistro & Lounge is no exception. Words by Ryan Auberson-Walsh

Tuck in at Sydney’s Takara

October 31, 2014 at 10:44 am
Chicken or fish? Takara's lunch bento.

Chicken or fish? Takara’s lunch bento.

We Sydneysiders are truly blessed when it comes to experiencing the best of Asia – it’s on our doorstep after all. But choosing lunch isn’t that easy. Enter Takara. Words by Ryan Auberson-Walsh


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