Little EvieĀ 

Sometimes my reason for taking myself out for a meal is sheer laziness. I want some extravagant concoction but I’m too bone tired to construct it myself. So, what do I do? I do what everyone else in my generation does – outsource it. while I am capable of creating the gourmet (when things go to plan), I’m also capable of extreme lethargy!

Towards the end of last year I achieved an extreme physical feat. I and a team of my friends completed tough mudder. An 18km obstacle course filled with – you guessed it – mud! Although I was proud, by Sunday morning I was also exhausted and incapable of the feat of feeding myself. As a girl has gotta eat, that morning I took myself off to a cafe that I’ve walked passed many times but never ventured in – little Evie.


Located on Bourke street a block back from Cleveland street, Little Evie is an open, minimalist style cafe which has taken up residence in a location previously occupied by a cafe that can only be described as average. The teal, grey and golden timber tones give off a feeling of calm – a total contrast to the lightening fast speed of service. I’ve been here three times now and on each occasion the time between ordering and food arrival has been around 10 minutes. 

And the dishes….. delicious! Tasty and fresh ingredients, well cooked and piled generously on to large plates. On my first visit, I created my own one of a kind meal, using the optional sides to turn poached eggs on toast into a protein feast – adding roast chicken and mushrooms. And the roast chook isn’t the only unusual breakfast side available – they offer lamb too for those who like a meaty start to their morning. 


The next two occasions I ordered the same thing- the breakfast salad with a side of the chicken (#chickenforbreakfastisntwierd). This vege salad is exactly the kind of dish you want on a morning that promises a hot summer day ahead. Cool, refreshing and wholesome. It’s a massive plate but chock full of greens- you know it must be good for you!

I’ve spoken to the owxzner a few times now – he’s generally behind the cash register – in he always cares if I have enjoyed my meal. This place has become a staple in my cafe collection and I can’t wait for it to become a favourite of all my friends too! 

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The Choc Pot, Chatswood

Its always good to visit somewhere new and exciting. On Friday night, just like Aladdin and Jasmin, my parents and I experienced a “whole new world” at Vivid festival in Chatswood. 

 

Held for The first time on the Lower North Shore, visitors get to experience an underwater world constructed from beautifully sequenced lights and dynamic sculptures. While this was held at the Concourse and downstairs at the train station, it was the amazing new world that now exists above the train station that captured me.

I don’t know exactly when it happened (potentially through genie involvement) but a delicious place called The Interchange now magically exists in a space that was empty for far too long. 

Set out like an Asian street marketplace, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what to have for lunch or dinner. It’s a culinary tour of Asia- food court style.  Want to cook your own teppen? Visit Pepper Lunch for a massive plate of food from $9.90. How about a hearty soup? Then give 1ton a go. The Interchange has everything from Michelin star dumplings at Tim Ho Wan to an upmarket sushi train and these places will soon be joined by even more including the ever popular ramen Mecca, Ippudo.  

 

Having had dinner already at the newly opened Ribs and Burgers down the other end of Victoria street (dad the typical Saffer was craving a red meat hit), we decided to investigate the previously unexplored upper level in search of a cosy cafe and a sugar hit or two.

We found all of the above at The Choc Pot, a chocolate lovers paradise. It takes the Max Brenner and San Churro chocolate cafe concept and does it so much better. The menu is unique and extensive, the dishes are light and packed with flavor and the hot chocolates are creamy and frothed to perfection. They have also introduced to my tastebuds the most delicious teeny tiny chewy caramel fudge pieces which they call cranky pants caramel  – I could seriously murder a 1kg bag of those things in about 5 minutes flat. Ok … Maybe 10.  

 

To avoid family arguments, we ordered a couple of things and shared. Of course we got two of the largest items – Lord of the Crepes, a beautiful lattice creation filled with a light whipped cream, topped with strawberries and drizzled with a really yummy milk chocolate; and Super Terrific Time, a gorgeous and apt name for a giant, freshly made, pillowy soft waffle topped with those incredible caramel fudge pieces, caramel sauce and the chocolate drizzle. Both plates were massive but so light and fresh that you could eat the whole thing without feeling fat, ashamed or sick after. 
  

Dad even managed to fit in TCP’s signature Belgian hot chocolate in milk chocolate. It was warm, frothy and the perfect level of sweetness.

Funnily enough, we ran into an old friend who was also experiencing the chocolatey goodness for the first time. Given that the place has been open for a month, it’s incredible so many people have found it. But found it they have – the place was packed – even with the extended Vivid opening hours.

Before we left we were already talking about coming back and what else we have to try. I think I have found my new happy place and I didn’t even have to fall down a rabbit’s hole- just climb some stairs above Chatswood train station. It’s so Harry Potteresque – It makes me love it even more!  


 

Mama’s Buoi, Surry Hills

The term mama’s boy is generally used as a criticism but one guy proud to call himself one is Bao Hoang, founder and head chef of restaurant chain mama’s boy. And boy, can this mama’s boy cook!

Originally launched in Melbourne, Mama’s Buoi hit the Sydney food scene in late 2014 under chef Tiw Rakarin- first opening a locale in Surry Hills and then a second in Crows Nest – providing locals with a much needed place to get good quality Vietnamese that also has a classy, trendy ambience to socialise and linger in.

When my friend requested a ‘healthy restaurant’ for us to have a midweek group catchup, I suggested Vietnamese and booked Mama’s Boy the moment there was group consensus. And thank goodness I did. There was no way we would have gotten in otherwise. The place was teaming with people. When a few of the group showed up 10 minutes early, they were told to wait outside until the allotted booking time – our table was still occupied and the bar was full.

When we were lead to our table, I told the waiter the was a chance another may be joining our group. The look of horror he gave me suggested that I’d killed his puppy. He promptly informed me that the table we’d been allocated had no room – thank goodness our extra never showed, I think he would have had a heart attack.

What the place lacks in well mannered staff, it definitely makes up for in atmosphere. Diners sit at giant share tables and booths under a giant cloth canopy, strings of light bulbs and hanging plants. A giant slogan on the wall written in Vietnamese translates to one of life’s very important questions – do you love your Mama? The teal and timber colour scheme and the herb displays around the open plan kitchen echo the freshness and lightness of the food.

And the food was great! Two of the girls got vegetable curries and a side of rice to share, one guy got the morning glory stir fry with minced pork which he almost moaned over, the other sticky beef ribs- gone in two minutes flat, and the last two of us had a vermicelli noodle salad with chicken- salty sweet perfection!

The thing we loved most though was the music. Classics from the 90s and 00s swirled around us causing us to break out in to periods of seat dancing. Definitely a unique (odd?) choice but one I heartily approved of!

I’d love to check out its Crows Nest sister to see if space is more freely available and if the staff are nicer but all in all, Mama’s Buoi is a place and a person I heartily approve of. They’re loving, open to being molded and apparently can cook up a storm! What’s not to love? šŸ˜‰

Devon cafes, Surry Hills and Waterloo

One of my best friends has spent the last year travelling the world with her boyfriend. As much as I was excited for her to go, I was also sad because I knew I’d miss her so badly. When she returned for a brief visit before jetting off again, I found out that despite enjoying her epic adventure, there were things she was missing, ME of course, and …. Brunch!!

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It’s for that reason that when we got our chance to catch up, I chose the most epic, imaginative and truly unique place I could think of – Devon cafe.

Named after the street on which it’s found – Devonshire street, Devon cafe is one very popular place. It’s the only cafe I’ve even been to that on enquiring how long a wait for a table was, I was told not to bother by the wait staff. But for those who like to eat adventurously, the place lives up to the hype.

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Serving food which is a fusion of Australian and Asian, typical brunch options include soft shell crab and Nashi pear salad, green eggs and ham, sakuma’s eggs and Cronuts in many different magical flavours.

My beautiful friend – who is both gluten and dairy intolerant- went for a slightly more traditional meal (as far as these things go at Devon) and picked the smoked eggplant on toast (gluten free bread) with mushroom purĆ©e, hazelnuts, crunchy chickpeas and parsley. I’ll admit, It looked a little small to me but she took a long time eating it and, once she was done, she was a very happy Chappy. Her boyfriend – who is also gluten intolerant (a match made in digestive heaven) was so excited by the range of gluten-less breads available that he went no further than the toast with three sides – jam, butter and Vegemite ($7.50). I guess for him bread is an adventure.

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I on the other went a little bit ‘wild’and had the eggs blini ($20)- two 63 degree eggs on a thin bed of pancake deliciousness, topped with thick slices of smoked salmon, asparagus and caviar, smothered in a creamy hollandaise sauce. Despite all the elements it was actually quite light – I didn’t feel stuffed and they all balanced each other out perfectly. It was a great meal with great friends and I couldn’t wait to repeat it.

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I got the chance a few weeks later when I went to visit the sister cafe, Devon on Danks with another friend for a Saturday morning catchup. This time I opted for the naked bruschetta – another light looking meal that was anything but. Three pieces of toasted brioche with roasted pumpkin, egg and Asian mushrooms – all sitting in a swirl of pea and goats curd mash ($14.50). Brought in as part of the summer menu it’s like sunshine on a plate. My friend was feeling a little Sam I Am and had the dr Seuss’s green eggs and ham ($20). She just loved every bite.

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Because I couldn’t go past those yummy Cronuts a second time we decided to order one of those and the daily Muffin (choc banana) to share. The muffin was good- the cronut was out of this world!! We got the raspberry one ($6.50), not usually my favourite flavour being a chocoholic but man, it was life changing. We literally sat there saying oh my g-d for five minutes while we ate this thing. Epic!!!

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All in all this has to be one of my favourite places to eat in Sydney. It’s quirky, it’s delicious and with he menu constantly changing, there is no risk of getting bored. If you’re up for the adventure, dive on in…. I dare you!

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The Spice Room, Circular Quay

You know that mystical, magical stairway to heaven that you always hear about but no one has been so kind as to give you directions to? Well I found it!

Meeting up for a mid week, after work dinner with some of my favourite city girls, I stumbled across the infamous stairway in The Spice Room, a newly opened Indian restaurant in Circular Quay. With each step given the name of a herb or spice used in Indian cooking, basil leaves, fenugreek and peppercorns guide you up to a paradise filled with aromatic and tasty delights – my idea of heaven.

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Opening late last year to rave reviews, The Spice Room provides Sydney siders with authentic, up market Indian food at extremely reasonable prices a stones throw away from one of our city’s busiest tourist hubs. Tucked away in the corner of Arthur street and Phillip street, the place is a hidden gem, just like a precious stone, it’s a little hard to find but pure quality.

Once you walk past the quirky entrance featuring a bicycle and those gorgeous spice stairs, the space opens up and you encounter sheer grandeur. Designed to look like an ancient Indian mansion, dark wooden tables are bathed in golden light and with antiques scattered around the room it’s like Aladdin’s cave – if Aladdin was one classy adult with a penchant for food and entertaining.

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Like all Indian restaurants sharing is the name of the game here. Even if you choose to come alone, the giant share table in the center of the restaurant ensures that you won’t be dining solo.

The menu is divided in to several ‘rooms’.There is the bite room (entrees); the tandoor room; the ocean room featuring seafood delights; the sharing room listing platters of mixed items; the rice room giving the choice of around 6 different types of the White carb; the naan room which astounded me with its variety and finally, the banquet room which gives diners the choice of two different banquets at a per head cost. There is also a mains section that lists the variety of chicken. Lamb, beef and vegetarian dishes available.

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To say your choices are extensive is an understatement. What really excited me though was that in addition to all the classic dishes you know and love (hello butter chicken), there were some dishes that I’d never seen before and they sounded incredible (salmon tikka anyone?)

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Not to go too wild, we played it semi safe and ordered a smorgasbord of items in an attempt to try a bit of everything. We didn’t even come close but we didn’t care, it was all delicious. The black lentil dal ($16.50) was creamy and spicy, soaking perfectly into the rice. The saffron chicken korma ($23.90) was juicy and well balanced with a subtle sweetness. I just adored the lamb with apricots and potato matches ($26.50) – the meat was melt in the mouth and the potatoes provided a great crunch. The king prawn gulmohar flavoured with rose petals and gently cooked in a clay were prawns like nothing I’d ever tasted- tender and beautifully delicate. To accompany it all, the masala spiced mushrooms ($19.50) were a great choice – packed with flavour they made the perfect veggie side.

Despite the awesomeness of the above, I’d have to say my hands down favourite dish was the cheese naan. Fully coated with shiny, greasy tasty tasty cheese, we were all seriously tempted to say yes when the waiter came by offering a second serve. I could have ordered more to take home with me in a doggy bag but I was strong and I didn’t – and I regretted it the moment we left.

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Just like the ambience, the staff were extremely charming and very helpful. They knew the menu like the back of their hand, made wonderful recommendations (saffron chicken yum yum). They have also mastered that great trick of remembering your order without writing anything down. Impressive- especially as we kept changing it.

They say the food served at The Spicd Room is fit for royalty and I’d have to agree. By the time we were done I was fit to burst. I’d had my fill of great food and great conversation – facilitated by the fact that it was pleasantly quiet.

I can’t wait to return. Very soon I will mount that stairway again with the purpose of filling up on tikka salmon, walnut and date samosas and of course cheesy cheesy naan bread Hmmmmmmm….yep, definitely heaven!

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Eathouse Diner, Redfern

I think it was Shakespeare who said “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. I wonder if food by any other name would be as tasty? Well for Sunday breakky with my awesome cousins (one of whom used to be a professional chef) I wasn’t going to risk it. I picked Eathouse Diner as the scene of our catch up – it’s purpose is all in the name!

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Located in East Redfern on Chalmers street, this charming venue with stuffed koalas, mint green walls and fairy lights has been open for lunch and dinner for a while now but has only recently opened its doors for breakfast. It’s so new I don’t even know the locals know about it! Getting a table just after 10am was dead easy – we were one of only two groups sitting but as the time crept towards lunch, the place filled up.

The menu is succinct, very well priced and boy is it tasty!! The random box of rubber, bloodied, severed hands that happened to be just lying around couldn’t even put us off.

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One cousin when classic and got scrambled eggs on toast with tomato relish and baby rocket ($12). I’m not a big scramble fan but these looked creamy and were apparently delicious. I also have it on good authority that the relish was top notch. Two others at the table ordered the huevos rancheros ($16) – a spicy concoction of beans, onion and tomato, hidden beneath two large fried eggs and topped with guacamole, coriander and sliced jalapeƱo. This hotty pattoty was warming and filling and the tortilla it was served with made it fun to eat. Not for the spice allergic!

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I went with the ricotta fritters served in tomato, red pepper salsa, topped with Parmesan ($14). This was quite a surprise. I expected hotcakes – Bill Granger style and ended up with little arancini looking balls of cheesy goodness. I loved that they felt the need to top this dish with more cheese. It was definitely an awesome pick, especially as I’d been considering the Bircher muesli. Golden and crunchy on the outside, smooth an creamy inside, all these needed was a bit of salt.

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In addition to the food, another highlight, and I really don’t say this often (if ever) are the toilets! The decor is just too awesome! Who doesn’t want to pull their hand towel off a French waiter roll holder?

Add some really nice and friendly staff into the mix and the place is a winner

The Potting Shed, Alexandria

I’d been looking forward to a friend’s dirty 30 for ages. When you are going for dirty, you have to pick a suitably themed restaurant…. and nothing in this world is filled with more dirt than a potting shed. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Minds out of the gutters people and into the flower beds!

On Saturday night I wandered down the proverbial garden path to one of The Grounds night time haunts, The Potting Shed. This restaurant has to be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen! To start with, despite the warm night, a mini bonfire has been set up outside the entrance accompanied by a pot of skewers and marshmallows for toasting. I almost didn’t make it into the actual restaurant. Boy I’m glad I did!

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When these guys go for a theme, they seriously commit. Timber tables of all shapes and sizes completely fill the place while the diners who sit at them, lit only by candle powered lanterns, provide the happy buzz of chatter and laughter that sets the scene for our celebration. A beautiful explosion of greenery covers the ceilings and walls with potted plants, vines, hanging baskets and flower beds positioned in every available space. It is the unique touches like a hanging bench swing and a real life macaw vocally making his presence known that makes this place really special.

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And the menu… It was to die for! Attached to a clipboard with a pitchfork or shovel clasp, everything from the appetisers to the sides to the mains are designed to share and we could see why – giant sized potions and delicious options that create a complete inability to make choices, all of which are definitely value for money!

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We began with two servings of the pumpkin fatteh $16, which was, and I kid you not, an explosion of happiness in my mouth. It kept me silent for about 15 minutes which is basically unheard of! Served on a wooden board it consisted of perfectly roasted pumpkin, zatar coated pita bread, sweet labne and toasted pine nuts. Individually the elements were tasty – together they were the perfect mouthful.

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We moved on to the small sized (cough cough) serving of the steamed black mussels $15. These juicy morsels were stewed in a rich tomato and chorizo sauce that was perfectly spiced. The two slices of buttered garlic and herb bread that accompanied the dish were the kind of carb I would happily get fat for.

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By this stage we were stuffed but that didn’t stop us from moving on to our mains. We’d ordered a mixed barley salad $18 which was the only slight disappointment as though there was tasty stuff at the bottom of the plate, it was a sparing potion and smothered in salad greens. Not to worry though, our other main was the lamb shank pot pie $24 – a mammoth dish of juicy, soft, fall of the bone meat topped with creamy, well seasoned mashed potato. We were heroic in our attempt to finish it but despite our best efforts, half made it home with us to become the following day’s dinner.

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The others had ordered the mixed meat and cheese platter, the wagu burger, grilled fish and the beef back strap. Everyone was deliriously happy with their choices and by the end of the night, utterly stuffed. Thank goodness there was no cake, although the ones available for special preorder I was told, had been seriously tempting – cheesecake pavlova anyone?

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But no, there was absolutely no room for sweets and yes, I too almost fainted hearing myself say that. All I had space for was one perfectly toasted marshmallow and then it was off into the fairly light filled night, taking our happy hearts and grateful stomachs home.

Hurricaines Express, Darlinghurst

Did someone say steak?

Meat lovers in the inner west rejoice. Hurricanes has opened up one of their signature restaurants in Waterloo, and they’ve brought with them all their well known, meaty goodies.

Junior Beef Ribs: an example of meaty goodness

Located on Bourke street at the MacEvoy Street “T” junction, this Hurricanes Express has been serving sit down and take away meals to the many Meriton apartment locals for around three weeks. Cue the communal drooling.

The delicious menu which prompted drooling

 

Excited, we no longer had to trek to Bondi Beach for great ribs. Right here a group of friends decided to go for an impromptu dinner.

Half a chicken with sides

The space is large and airy with a variety of seating available from high stools to tables, each branded with the signature “H” logo. Without a booking, we nabbed a comfortable booth, and we were very happy.

A friendly and casual dining area

On arrival, there was some confusion over what express meant. There are tables and the full menu is available, so what is different to the norm? Express equals counter ordering and buzzers we discovered. Sauces, cutlery and bottles of water are all self serve, but the food is delivered to the table (so why the buzzer?)

Did someone say steak?

All the meals ordered were great. We filled up on a flavorsome pulled beef burger ($14.90) with a side of corn ($4); half a chicken ($16); a grilled chicken salad ($20.50) which required a larger bowl it was so massive; 200g sirloin steak with sides ($19.90) and two juniors meals – the lamb ribs ($12) and the beef ribs ($12).

Pulled beef burger

We couldn’t believe the portion sizes, and they came with a side each. An answer to Australia’s obesity crisis perhaps? Not that we were complaining. They were delicious!

Junior lamb ribs and side: not for kids alone

In terms of drinks, a full range of soft drinks is on offer, but alcohol is also available which was great. There is nothing like a nice glass of white or red on a Sunday night, but why is it served in a water glass? Licensing? The beer came in glass bottles.

Water or wine?

All in all it was a fun and relaxed night, filled with great food and great friends. I went to bed thinking Mmmm steak…

Grilled chicken salad

Rating: 7/10

Where: Cnr Bourke Street and McEvoy Street, Waterloo NSW.
Why: Meat
Cost: $4- $25
When: Lunch and Dinner, 7 Days

Good for kids: Yes
Take away: Yes

Chapter e Food and Juice Bar, Darlinghurst

It was Friday lunch time, and with an empty fridge at home, I was on the search for a wholesome, non costly takeaway bite to eat. I found it at Israeli owned Chapter e Food and Juice Bar.

OpenĀ forĀ less than six months,Ā this cafe serves a range of hot and cold middle eastern dishes fit for hungry workers, along with a broad selection of freshly squeezed juices.

A friendly, open shop front.

Owned and run by the same people who own the establishment next door, 3 Group Espresso; this cafe has a bright and airy feel with wooden detailing; exposed pendant lighting; a mirrored back wall; hanging plants, and food displayed canteen style in clear glass cabinets.

Warm lighting

On the counter sits a sample plate of home made hummus smothered in z’atar spices and olive oil just waiting for you to dip in a piece of pita bread. As the owner says, it’s not quite as good as in Israel, but it’s close. In Australia, where good hummus is hard to get, this is a real find.

Food out on display

Chapter e is so new that no pricing structure has been established yet. There are a few eat in tables, but their food is primarily sold in three takeaway sizes. At the moment, You are allowed to order as many of the different dishes as you can fit into your desired plastic container. I chose three dishes in a medium box and was charged $10. It was enough for two lunches.

More lunchtime options

I found out just before paying that the generous owner gave me too much, so my food was packaged as a large, but I was still only charged for the medium. I thought that was really considerate.

All neatly packaged and sealed with a special sticker for me to take with me

The food was great. It’s warm, comforting, and the flavours are full and rich, just like a home cooked meal made by a loving, Jewish mother.

my three options – all for $10

I chose a salad, a grain and a meat dish. The red cabbage salad with celery and mayonnaise had great crunch and a delicate flavour. The Israeli couscous was tender, and the pearly grains were soft without being mushy, flavoured with chopped vegetables, and topped with a spicy capsicum sauce. The perch fish balls were served in a thick tomato, eggplant sauce. The balls were firm, and the fish flavour was quite prevalent and well complimented by the sauce. I have to say, this was my favourite of the three. It was such a unique and fun way to eat fish.

Current food menu

With this shop barely on its feet, there are already plans for a second, with ideas for a new shop in the Vaucluse area. The product range in this shop is also set to expand. Shelves will soon be stocked with homemade jams made from exotic fruits such as figs, and large loaves of challah (plaited bread) will be sold. The range of salads and hot dishes will also expand.

Juice menu

We think this might be Darlinghurst’s newest cafe to watch.

Rating: 8/10

Where: 197 Darlinghurst Road Darlinghurst NSW
Why: Wholesome food and friendly owners.
Cost: As yet unknown.
When: Breakfast and Lunch, Monday – Friday.

Good for kids: Yes
Take away: Yes

Sydney Fish Markets Cooking School

Special occasions deserve special treats, and in my family, that usually means something food related. Last weekend. I was very excited to attend the Sydney Fish Markets cooking school to celebrate a wonderful family member’s birthday. It was an interesting and very fun Saturday night out.

We entered the fish markets in what felt like the dead of night. They were deserted, and I must say, I felt like I was getting a behind the scenes look at a Sydney icon. We were met at the entrance by one of the kitchen hands and ushered upstairs into an area most visitors would never know existed; a massive, multi purpose venue above what during the day is a hustling and bustling marketplace.

The dinner to come

We were all here tonight to learn how to barbecue with seafood, and we learnt that it’s not as hard as it seems. The menu consisted of two main dishes – orange marinated swordfish steaks and seared mussels served with mango salsa. These were accompanied by freshly made hummus on grilled Turkish bread and a green leaf salad.

Creating our side dish

A bit like a progressive dinner, the experience took place in three interconnected rooms: the auditorium, the kitchen, and the dining room.

The demonstration bench

We began the night with a 1 hour demonstration in the auditorium. The room, seated theatre style was ideal. It wasn’t so large as to feel like a university lecture hall, but the tiered seating ensured there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. There were also TV screens set up above a large preparation counter, and a stove area streaming up close footage of the cooking process, which meant that everyone could see everything. All attendees were also provided with their own recipe book to follow, along with and a pen to make notes.

The demonstration was great. We were walked through the entire process, from fish preparation to marinating times, grilling heats to plating niceties, all at an easy to follow pace. Then it was time to try it for ourselves.

Our amazing teacher

Almost magically, a section of the auditorium wall slid open to reveal a large, stainless steel equipped, professional kitchen, one any cooking show contestant would be delighted to work in. Just like an episode of MasterChef, we were split into teams of five to cook both of the dishes presented. Unlike the show though, the prize we were all working for was getting to eat a delicious dinner.

Preparing the bread

After we divided up the jobs required (this included setting the table), we got down to work. These dishes weren’t just made to look easy to cook, they were easy to cook. Soon the air was filled with delicious smells, and everyone was busy madly marinating, pureeing and grilling. The beauty of seafood is how fast it is to cook, and we were all getting pretty hungry.

Grilling the seafood

Throughout the whole process, the highly competent kitchen hands wandered around the kitchen giving friendly advice or assistance where needed. It was really considerate. It ensured we all were on track to end up with an edible feast that we could be proud of making ourselves.

Once each team was done, we made our way through to the dining room. This room was just gorgeous. Set up for fine dining, it was decorated nautical style with fishing nets strung from the ceiling containing hundreds of glowing light bulbs. The bright red walls gave the place life, and the atmosphere of being somewhere truly unique and special.

The spectacular dining room

Each team was assigned their own table, and we sat down together to enjoy the products of our labour, while the staff served us a choice of white or red wine to accompany our meal. It was delicious. The seafood was light, fresh and beautifully flavoured; particularly the swordfish which had really soaked up all the flavours of the marinade used. We were all so impressed with how tasty it all was; how little time it took to achieve, and the fact that it was us who had made it!

Our feast

After a complimentary Lindt ball (or two) and an after dinner coffee, we were all satisfied and ready to go.

We ended the night with a bang. The experience ending just in time for us to wander over to enjoy the fireworks display at Darling Harbour. An awesome end to an awesome night.

Rating: 10/10

Where: Corner Bank St & Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW.
Why: Learn to make delicious seafood at home
Cost: $80 per person for a private class of around 30 people
When: Around six times a month on Friday and Saturday nights, or you can schedule your own function.

Good for kids: No
Take away: No