Pablo & Rusty’s, Sydney CBD

I have often worried that as I have gotten older, I have become less social. I have no scheduled dinner parties, no nights out clubbing – in fact very few evening activities at all. As someone who thrives off social activity, it makes me wonder – am I spending too much time alone? Then I realised, no – I’m still a social butterfly, it’s just that the time that I like to socialise has changed. The new prime real estate in my calendar is now the week day breakfast and working in the city as I have for the pass year gives me easy access to some great week day only breakfast spots.

One such place is Pablo & Rusty’s. Located on Castlereagh Street, this place is a little oasis of strong coffee, delicious pastries and friendly service. When the rest of the world appears to still be asleep, this place is buzzing.


I’ve hit up Pablo’s twice in the last six weeks and both times have been wonderful. Although I was in the door before 7.30am on both occasions, I found myself still having to wait for a table.  It wasn’t terrible though. The staff are on the ball and with the quick breakfast service, within five minutes I was seated and ready to order. While you are at a table, they don’t rush you which is so nice. They seem to have hit that perfect balance between efficiency and courtesy – something that is really hard to do.

And the food is beautiful, pretty as a picture – and I did take a picture. If you can tear yourself away from the drool worth display case of muffins, tarts, croissants and danishes, the menu items are so worth it. From toast piled high with eggs, greens, mushrooms and other goodies to creamy porridge and muesli chock full of nuts and fruit, there is not a disappointing item on the menu.  You won’t experience FOMO no matter what you order – something I often suffer from.


If you’re in a rush, or feeling greedy, most items are available take away. That way you can have your eggs, and your cake… and eat it too. I’ve never been for lunch but I’ve heard it’s pretty spectacular. If the breakfasts are anything to go by, I can well believe it.

After several happy catch ups here, my friend and I have decided the Pablo’s is now our special place and there is nothing better than basking in the glow of an awesome friendship while filling your tummy with awesome food.


Burnt Orange, Mosman

love getting spoilt, and on my birthday this year, two of my besties spoilt me rotten by taking me to Burnt Orange cafe in Mosman.

Located in the back of Mosman, as far away from Military road as you can get while still on land, making your way down the bush path; intuitively you know something special is waiting at the end.

How people first found out about Burnt Orange and then located it on a map I have no clue, but they definitely did. Looking around at my fellow diners, they’re young, they’re gorgeous, and there are a lot of them. Coming here on this particular Saturday morning; the sun is shining; the view is spectacular, and it’s a full house.

Formerly a residence, the beautiful plantation style house has been transformed into a restaurant/cafe serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea to its hungry guests. A multitude of white washed wooden tables are situated along the large, wrap around, wooden balcony; and the vine patterned cream and green wall paper emphasises the country manor feel. We could be ladies brunching in a bygone era.

We were lucky to secure a table In the sun and with a light breeze. It’s bliss.

All being self-proclaimed foodies, we had all studied the menu online, so ordering with the courteous waiter was a quick affair.

The pancakes with ricotta and strawberries ($16) were a delectable dish. Also coming with a bacon option, they were stacked three fluffy disks high, and they were very generous in size.

The fetta, tomato and mushroom toast ($15) was also delicious. A deceptively simple dish, the mushrooms were perfectly grilled and not at all greasy; and the herb infused feta was it’s star. Served with two massive pieces of sourdough, I was in heaven.

The only disappointment was the breakfast board ($19) – a very small dish, particularly in comparison to the size of the board on which it was served. The majority of the elements present were nice, but they just didn’t seem to go together. Most of this dish was left behind.

After eating, I discovered the fun wasn’t over. The entire two story house interior has been transformed into a boutique shop where one can purchase anything from handmade jewellery, clothing and blankets to decorative items and home wares. Expensive but gorgeous.

It was a great start to the weekend, and an even better start to a new year. Makes me it excited for what’s yet to come!

Rating: 9/10

Where: 1108/1109 Middle Head Road Mosman NSW.
Why: great location, food and shopping.
Cost: $15-$21
When: 7 days from 8.30am

Good for kids: Yes
Take away: No

Cook and Archie’s, Surry Hills

The name is Bond…James Bond. Ok it’s not, but trying to eat at this cafe has been a bit of a mission.

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<p>The Reuben Sandwich, one of many delicious lunch options<br /><br />

The Reuben sandwich, one of the many delicious lunch options.

Due to its immense popularity, getting a table at Cook and Archie’s can seem quite impossible. This, combined with holiday closures has resulted in two prior aborted lunch attempts. On this sunny Saturday though, I achieved success. The secret? Plan for a late lunch.

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<p>The Reuben Sandwich, one of many delicious lunch options<br /><br />

The cafe’s interior

Located on the corner of Buckingham and Devonshire streets, this café, with its generous and wholesome approach towards food attracts a broad clientele from the health conscious to those looking for a serious feed.

Surrounded by old warehouses, office buildings and converted apartment blocks, Cook and Archie’s is furnished with concrete floors’ a dark colour palette; factory style high ceilings, and light fixtures fit right in to its industrial surrounds, and the establishment provides locals with a good breakfast or lunch option. The giant painting of a knife, spoon and fork leaves diners in no doubt as to what they are there to do – just eat.

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<p>The Reuben Sandwich, one of many delicious lunch options<br /><br />

Tasty décor

Within minutes of walking in, me and my two Canberrian buddies, eager for some good food Sydney is becoming known for, were seated and ready to get stuck into lunch.

Between the all day brunch menu; the extensive lunch menu and the specials boards; there were lots of decisions to be made. Knowing I had a big dinner scheduled, I was looking for something healthy but interesting. Luckily for me, the menu was filled with such items. Oscillating between the Gravlax on Rye ($19) and the Potato Cake with smoked salmon and poached egg ($19.80), I broke the mental tennis match by choosing the Tuscan Grilled Chicken Salad with wild rocket, pear, walnuts, caramelised onion, fetta & lemon dressing ($19). It was flavoursome, decent in size, and had a nice crunch.

Tuscun Grilled chicken salad


One berrian buddy chose the Reuben Sandwich ($18), an expertly layered picture of yumminess containing the perfect ratio of Wagyu corned beef to cabbage.

perfect layers

The other chose the Pappardelle, duck ragu special ($22).


We paired these with a great cup of coffee ($4.30 reg) and a glass of freshly squeezed juice ($6.50).

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<p>The Reuben Sandwich, one of many delicious lunch options<br /><br />

Freshly squeezed beetroot, celery and mint.

A bit of an order mix up, which resulted in a late delivery of the Pappardelle was handled really well, with a sincere apology and the offer of a free drink while waiting. Much appreciated.

After much discussion, we arrived at the final verdict: definitely worth a return visit.

Mission complete, over and out.

Rating: 8/10

Where: Shop 1a 4/14 Buckingham Street Surry Hills NSW
Why: Diverse menu and generous portions.
Cost: $7- $23

Monday – Friday: 7am to 4:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am to 2pm

Good for kids: Enough space, but no children’s menu.
Take away: Yes

Pinbone, Woollahra

It’s always great when dinner is more than dinner. At Pinbone, it feels a bit like going to the circus. Located on Jersey Road, Woollahra on the old site of Buzo, this restaurant is casual elegance with dark timber tables, geometric light fixtures and some serious mood lighting. The menu features top class produce, and with items like fairy bread and chocolate crackles; we were in for a culinary ride.

Lamb rib

Only open since November, Pinbone has already built up quite a reputation, and with its chefs formerly working for some of the best restaurants in Sydney including three Blue Ducks and Billy Kwong; you expect fancy, shmancy and intimidating, but it’s not. It’s young, it’s fun, and the staff are all so nice that guests get to have an awesome gastronomical experience in a friendly, very warm environment.

It’s child’s play with fairy bread

Sharing is caring, and with the entire menu designed to share, you’re sure to feel the love. It’s split into three sections: snacks, larger share plates and something sweet. The creativity that has gone into the dishes is amazing. Classified as modern Australian, there are combinations you would never see anywhere else: white pepper with blueberries; poached squid with marrow, and mushroom with rhubarb – unique combinations which show not only a real understanding of flavours, but also a sense of adventure.

carrot and mussels. A combination that totally worked.

My friend and I took that message to heart, and it was with a sense of adventure and leaping into the unknown that we ordered. Our feast included fairy bread ($4), an adult version topped with caviar which was a popping sensation; as well as the deliciously sweet and sticky lamb rib ($5), and carrot and mussels ($20) – a surprising combination that incorporated in house pickled mussels, as well as skirt steak with mustard greens ($28). This last dish, though relatively normal sounding, was served with the steak hidden. Unveiling, it was almost as much fun as eating it.

the steak hiddenNumerous times throughout the night, talking just ceased. The food was that good that our enjoyment of it took all of our attention.

the steak revealed
Though all dishes were great, the best performance of the evening was definitely the dessert. The banana and Rum ($16) was a platter of delectable goodies including rum stewed banana pieces, waffle, banana meringue, ice cream and more. I died a little from happiness.

the high point, banana and rum.


This restaurant is without a doubt worth a revisit. Next time I’ll order the chef’s selection, a $70 per person set menu of around eight plates of the chef’s choosing. That way I’ll be able to try everything on the menu.

Rating: 10/10

Where: 3 Jersey Road Woollahra NSW
Why: Nothing else like it in Sydney
Cost: $4- $28
When: Dinner Wed-Sat 6pm-late
Brunch sun 8am-4pm

Good for kids: No
Take away: No

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

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

White Carrots, Darlinghurst

Meeting a girlfriend for a late lunch one Saturday on Crown Street, I found the place I had intended to go to closed for good.

White Carrots on Crown

That’s how I found myself one day at White Carrots, a small, whole in the wall industrial style cafe in Darlinghurst. Not such a bad way for things to turn out. I had walked by this nook of a place a few times during work hours, and it is always well frequented. Today though, it was just us.

Minimalistic interior

Apart from the cute name and the cute cookies being sold in little cellophane bags on the counter top; there is nothing really substantial separating this cafe from a hundred others in the area. It’s pretty stick standard. Not to say it’s not good of course. The combined breakfast and lunch menu has plenty of solid options to quench your appetite, from sandwiches and salads (which change daily) to eggs and muesli, all at reasonable prices.

Poached eggs with extra sides

Despite it being lunch, I was in the mood for a second breakfast and ordered two poached eggs on toast ($10) with a side of roasted tomatoes ($3.50) and stir fried mushrooms ($4). The bread was lightly honeyed which was very nice, and the egg yokes were cooked to a deep yellow and the perfect kind of runny. Both sides were quite large, well seasoned and not overly greasy.

long black and latte

I particularly enjoyed my long black ($3.50), and my friend liked her latte ($3) which was tasty but not that strong. I wouldn’t cross the city for it, but if you are in the area, White Carrots is a good option for a no fuss, no frills meal. You get what you pay for and you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 7/10

Where: 216 Crown Street Darlinghurst NSW
Why: Solid food and decent prices.
Cost: $5-$14
When: Monday to Friday, 7am till 3pm. Saturday 8am till 3pm

Good for kids: no. A lot of stairs.
Take away: Yes

4Fourteen, Surry Hills

I’ve walked past this place for ages, and finally one evening, a group of friends and I decided to go to Surry Hill’s Mecca of meat, 4Fourteen. Located on the corner of Fitzroy and Bourke streets, this restaurant is large and popular, attracting diners who respond to head chef Colin Fassnidge’s nose to tail philosophy on food.

beef brisket, worth stopping for.

4Fourteen is a spacious restaurant. The bar is its centrepiece, and dark timber tables of varying sizes are scattered around it. As you walk in, you immediately face the open plan kitchen. I love it when the kitchen is on display. It means diners are treated to a behind the scenes look, removing the mystery that surrounds the cooking of great food and making it more accessible. This kitchen is fascinating to see. It’s fast, efficient, clean and professional. It perfectly matches the great quality of the food being delivered on the plates.

corned silverside, pretty and delicious. The dish of the night.

The only negative about our chosen venue, is it’s very noisy. 4Fourteen features high ceilings causing the conversation of all diners to echo. It was so loud that no more than four people in our group could be part of the same conversation at one time. The people on the ends had to lean in to be heard. They are obviously aware of the problem though, and have tried to fix it by installing roof panels. Unfortunately they’ve been unsuccessful.

the small dish, chicken bread.


Once we were all seated, our very helpful waitress came over to help decipher the menu. She translated some of the more unfamiliar ingredients, and explained that the menu was broken into three main sections: nibbles; small dishes which could be considered entree size, and larger dishes designed to share between two or three people. Some of these came in an even larger size, enabling you to share between five or more. This meant that although the prices seem quite steep at first, they were actually quite reasonable when viewed as a meal for two or more with sides.

the menu which required translation

With this in mind, we ordered one small dish; one large dish; one extra-large dish, and three sides. Between the six of us, this was definitely enough to leave us all feeling satisfied rather than uncomfortably stuffed.

Marty’s Farm veg

I began with the corned silver side beef ($34 for two), and I actually muttered oh my god several times as I was eating it. It is a sweet and unctuous dish, and so moist it melts in your mouth. The beef brisket ($64 for four) was also a great choice. It was smoky, soft and full of flavour. The tomato salad ($14) was fresh and light, and included a very generous amount of mozzarella. The sweet potato ($12) was creamy, and the carrots with mint yoghurt dressing, tonight’s Marty’s Farm Veg dish ($14) was a solid option. For the small dishes we ordered chicken bread ($14), of which was a delicious concoction of chicken stock soaked bread, baked and topped with liver pate. So yum.

sweet roast potato


All the sides were good, but the meats were the stars of the show. Half way through our meal we were distracted. Dessert had been delivered to the table next door and it looked fabulous. We literally all turned and stared.

tomato salad

When our time came, choosing a dessert was a negotiation just as complex as a Middle East peace treaty. It required debate, compromise, and the final decision to order three and share.

roasted pineapple

The roast pineapple ($16), my personal favourite, was light and fresh with interesting flavours and textures. And as a friend said, a sophisticated dessert. The white chocolate sandwich ($14), their signature was also a fantastic dessert. More indulgent, the rich caramel was complimented by the smooth and cool white chocolate mousse. The last choice, the honeycomb peanut butter block ($14) was good but comparative to the others. A bit one note and not as exciting.

white chocolate sandwich


honeycomb peanut butter block

Happy to be out with great friends and full of great food. It was an excellent weeknight dinner out. One that I hope to repeat soon.

Rating: 9/10

Where: 72a Fitzroy Street Surry Hills NSW.
Why: For the love of meat
Cost: Approx. $40 per person
When: Monday – Saturday for dinner from 6pm.
Tuesday – Sunday Lunch from 12noon

Good for kids: No
Take away: No


# Surry Hills
# Australian Restaurants
# Meat

The Moody Chef, St Leonards

You know how Cheers is a bar where everyone knows your name? Well the Moody Chef is a cafe where I definitely wouldn’t mind them knowing my name.

Located in St Leonards on a relatively quiet side street, we joined a number of other lunchtime customers who found this warm and friendly cafe as the perfect place to escape the grotty weather of a wild and windy Saturday.

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<p>A tower of fluffy deliciousness<br /><br />
Mushroom Bruschetta: perfect eggs on top of meaty mushrooms

I must admit that I looked up the menu online before we arrived and I’m glad I did, otherwise it would have taken me forever to order. Despite the great looking lunch menu, I generally find that an all day breakfast section is hard to resist and this time was no exception. In fact, we all decided to have breakfast for lunch.

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<p>A tower of fluffy deliciousness<br /><br />

Poached Eggs with spinach, feta and lentil ragu

I decided to have a very eggy breakfast and with about six different poached egg dishes, I was spoiled for choice. I went half and half on the Mushroom Bruschetta with pesto, parmesan and poached eggs ($16.90) as well as the Poached Eggs with pumpkin, feta and lentil ragu ($16.90). Both meals were delicious. Generous in size, the eggs were the perfect balance between soft and hard. The mushrooms on the bruschetta were the meaty, flat cap variety and they were lovely. Both also came with golden brown sourdough – a great compliment.

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<p>A tower of fluffy deliciousness<br /><br />

Banana and Blueberry Pancakes: a tower of fluffiness

We also ordered two serves of the Blueberry and Banana Pancakes ($16.90). Stacked three to a serve and topped with mascarpone and candied walnuts, these pancakes were light, fresh and seriously tasty. The fresh berries cut through the maple syrup sweetness, and with no heavy batter or floury flavour that often accompanies cafe-made pancakes, this dish was a winner.

Despite being happy with our choices, there were many other menu items I would have liked to try, namely the Nutella Pancakes and the Slow Roasted Lamb Melt. I also spied a delectable looking cinnamon scroll sitting in the dessert display case as we made our way out at the end of the meal and waddled back to our car. With so many more things to try, I’d say there will be many more visits in our future. So Moody Chef, let’s get acquainted. I think you are someone who should definitely know my name!

Rating: 8/10

Where: 1/30 Atchison St, St Leonards NSW 2065
Why: An enjoyable cafe you can book
Cost: $15-$18 a meal
When: Mon—Fri 6am-5pm.
Sat 7am-3pm

Good for kids: no
Take away: yes

Not Bread Alone, Crows Nest

I love a place that has so many different types of dishes on the menu where all appetites are tempted. From an initial google search and previous breakfast experiences a couple of years ago, I thought that Not Bread Alone would do just that. With an all day breakfast menu and an extensive lunch menu including five sections; no one should have had cause to complain that they couldn’t find anything that they felt like. On offer are three kinds of open (or normal) sandwiches, six salads, four burgers, four pastas and a plethora of mains which cover your Australian Classics like grilled fish of the day ($24.90), scotch fillet ($22.90) and veal schnitzel ($20.90).

A converted terrace house set back off the Pacific Highway, the kitchen is located inside where the front bedroom would once have been. A serving counter is next to the entrance, and seating has been set up on the enclosed outdoor balcony upstairs and on the pavement downstairs.

We were initially seated right next to the entrance in an awkward configuration for four. Given that we had made the effort to book, and there was another table available (also reserved but the group hadn’t yet arrived), I asked for us to be moved. The waiter, after a moments hesitation agreed stating “first come first serve.”

The staff all seem to wander around a bit in their own world, and the owner/manager isn’t overly pleasant. After waiting half an hour with our menus, our order was finally taken. A minute later, another waitress came to take our order again, unaware we had been helped moments earlier.

While we waited for our food, the weather turned cold and rainy. Luckily the outdoor area is equipped with heaters. I asked a passing waitress to please switch it on for us. She didn’t seem to hear me. I had to turn on the heater myself until the manager came to help, looking quite disgruntled that I had taken it upon myself to touch it in the first place. Once the heater was on though, we warmed up quick smart.

The food quality was also a disappointment. It seems to have gone downhill since my last visit, on which occasion I had the most gorgeous ricotta hotcakes that I still dream about. The veal schnitzel ($20.90) was greasy and under seasoned. The beer battered fish ($20.90) was also average and came with bonus human hair on the lemon. When mentioned to the waitress, she did remove it off the plate and brought a fresh one, but there was no apology. At least the chips that came with both dishes were home made and tasty.


The vegetarian big breakfast ($19.90) was a good dish, but the sourdough it came with looked supermarket bought and over toasted.

The only stand out was the veal ravioli ($20.90) with the provincial sauce which was well balanced, and each parcel of pasta contained a decent amount of meat.

The place is not all bad. The wine menu is nice and blankets are provided to guests sitting downstairs to ward off the chill in the cooler months. The desserts which passed us also looked fabulous, but we weren’t in the mood to try and get someone’s attention again in order to order one.

All in all the best thing about the lunch was the company. I’m not sure if there is new ownership, but things have definitely changed in the last couple of years. It’s a shame. This place used to be a winner, and with a little bit of effort could probably become a winner once again.

Rating: 5/10

Where: Shop 2, 376 Pacific Highway Crows Nest NSW.
Why: Veal ravioli
Cost: $12.90-$29.90
When: 7 days, breakfast & lunch.

Good for kids: No
Take away: Yes