Review: Continental Deli and Bistro (Newtown)

Holy crap, it’s been almost a week since my last post! No, I wasn’t away, it’s just that I have been busy getting older and stuff. My sister invited me for pre-birthday dinner at the brand new Continental Deli and Bistro, the latest (ad)venture of Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore.


The cold display is full of cheeses and charcuterie and the shelfs stocked with tinned fish and other pantry goodies. Oh yes, let’s not forget the alcohol. Good quality spirits for the old-fashioned cocktails on offer.

Cheeses & charcuterie

Canned goods


We sat right in front of Elvis Abrahanowicz, who heard us speaking in Spanish and helped us choose our meal with his perfect Argentinian accent. We had a assorted meat plate that included prosciutto, sopressa, bresaola, and other delicious charcuterie items, garnished with a few pickled chillies. It normally comes with bread and butter but we were served the gluten-free option, i.e. Spanish potato chips. Very happy with that swap.

Charcurterie plate


Assorted meat plate ($30)

We also wanted some cheese but not a whole platter. Elvis recommended the Lamb chopper made in the US from Dutch sheep milk. It went really well with the meats and I really loved its rich, sharp flavour.

Lamb chopper cheese

Lamb chopper cheese ($10)

As mentioned before, cocktail-wise they stick to a few classics, of which martini (spelled “mar-tinny” because it comes in a branded tin) is my favourite. It was dry and strong, the way I like it, and came with a few olives on the side as garnish. Gladys had a sidecar, made with cognac and orange liqueur. Don’t like cocktails? There are also beers and wines available.


Mar-tinny ($15)


Sidecar ($16)

While we waited for our order I snapped a pic of the assorted (canned) fish plate, which I’d like to try soon.

Fish plate

Assorted fish plate ($30)

Continental Deli and Bistro
210 Australia Street
Newtown NSW 2042

Continental Deli Bar and Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Monster Rolls (Darlinghurst)

Right next to the awesome Mr Crackles, the once food-truck-only Monster Rolls has set up shop. Same deal here, they have slow cooked meats for their rolls… but you can have the meat with salad, too. Plus, they open until late. Win!

Monster Rolls

Monster Rolls

Slow cooked meats include Wagyu brisket, pork shoulder and lamb shoulder. You can also choose veggie balls or crumbled chicken tenderloins as your source of protein (but why would you given the other choices??!!).

Monster Rolls

Monster Rolls

The salad you normally get includes broccoli, carrot, radish, capsicum, etc. We noticed there was also coleslaw on sight and asked to have our pork shoulder with the slaw. One of my favourite combos. Both the salad and the meat (and the hot sauce on top) were pretty tasty.

Coleslaw & slow cooked pork shoulder

Monster Rolls
4/113-115 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 8354 1417

Monster Rolls Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Luyu & Yum Yum (Newtown)

First I reviewed plant-based food and now dumplings??!! No, I’m not crazy/sick, and I haven’t sold my soul to the devil (mainly because I don’t believe there is a soul, but that’s a topic for another day). When my sis told me about Luyu & Yum Yum and their gluten-free dumplings (thanks, Gladys!), I knew it was the perfect place to have a catch up with uni friends.

We tried the Mr Luyu Herb Dumpling (prawn & chives in rice dough, steamed), Mr Yumyum Fungi Dumpling (king oyster mushroom, Chinese mushroom, fungi, carrot, coriander & celery in rice dough, steamed) and Snow White Dumpling (prawn, asparagus, bamboo shoot & Luyu home-made creamy soup in chrysanthemum infused potato starch dough). Dumplings are served with three sauces (soy, chilli, and vinegar, if I remember correctly).

Mr Yumyum Fungi Dumpling

Mr Yumyum Fungi Dumpling ($10.8)



For the second round (yes, that wasn’t enough for three hungry girls) we got another serve of the herbed prawn dumplings, and my friends shared the the eggplant main dish (not GF, not pictured).

Mr Luyu Herb Dumpling

Mr Luyu Herb Dumpling ($11.8)

Snow white dumpling

Snow White Dumpling ($12.8)

Before I go, I forgot to mention that this place sits in the premises previously occupied by Paju BBQ, once upon a time our favourite Korean in the neighbourhood.

Luyu & Yum Yum
96 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 9888

Luyu and Yum Yum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Grk Souvlaki (Newtown)

Shout out to the Jugernauts for posting a photo of Grk on their Instagram feed. Ironically, I had walked past earlier on the same day but failed to notice the Thai takeaway that used to occupy those premises has moved on to leave room for more exciting eats.


They have souvlaki, they have gyros, they have dips. They have Greek yoghurt for dessert (!). They even have Greek salt on the tables.


Greek salt

They also have friendly and welcoming staff who are always up for a chat in Greek with customers who can speak the language.



We got a couple of lamb souvlaki plates which come with tomato, onions, pita bread and chips, and a 500g serve of pork and chicken gyro meat, which also comes with sliced onions (BTW, you can order just the pork or just the chicken, too). Meats were good, chips were not the crunchiest but that’s understandable because they were sitting below the meat.

Lamb souvlaki

Lamb souvlaki plate ($18)

Pork and chicken gyro meat

Gyro pork and chicken meat ($18)

We also got a Grk traditional salad, one of the best ones I’ve had in a while.

grk traditional salad

Grk traditional salad ($6.50)

The guys at Grk sneaked in a couple of dips in my order: spicy cheese and tzatziki, both chunky and tasty.


Spicy cheese, tzatziki ($5 each)

Grk Souvlaki
Shop 2, 206-208 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
On Facebook

GRK Souvlaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Smooth Festival of Chocolate 2015 (The Rocks)

A couple of weekends ago the already busy streets of The Rocks were the stage of the smooth Festival of Chocolate: chocolate-centered cooking demos and products, and the normal bunch of completely unrelated food stalls that are present in every single (food and non-food) festival in Sydney. I went there before noon on Sunday and it was already packed.


Fortunately, the first stall I ran into was Danieli Gourmet Skewers and there wasn’t a big queue. I got a plate of Moroccan lamb, octopus and prawn skewers with salad (no rice). Yes, the salad was a bit of an overstatement but the skewers were good.

Danieli Gourmet Skewers

Danieli Gourmet Skewers

Lamb, octopus and prawn skewers

Lamb, octopus and prawn skewers ($16)

As I had limited time I only got to try a few chcoolates, including Origin and Zozoko. I liked Origin better, in part because they use Latin American cacao, in part because their blocks were cheaper. I bought a block of Peruvian 85% and moved on.

Origin chocolates

Zozoko chocolates

After tasting a few squares of chocolate I needed coffee. The hot weather called for a cold brew, served in an espresso takeaway cup. Too bad they didn’t have any ice.

Adore coffee

Cold brew

Adore Coffee cold brew ($4.50)

On my way back to work I had a look at the Black Star Pastry stall, but decided not to join the (very long) queue. I can walk to their Newtown shop any day, anyway.

Black Star Pastry

Instead, I stopped at Keski Pan, a Mexican stall offering sweet and savoury tamales. The sweet tamales were quite unusual (even though we do have tamales with caramel filling – called humitas) but I did not have enough stomach capacity and chose savoury instead: a tasty chicken mole tamal.

Mexican stall

Chicken mole tamal

Chicken mole tamal ($10)

Strawberry and chocolate tamales

Strawberry and chocolate tamales ($8)

The final morsel I got to try was paleo Sun Catchers brownies, which apparently are being sold in health food shops. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

Paleo brownies

Review: Zeitgeist Cuisine (Sydney CBD)

Sebastian was intrigued/worried when I suggested a plant-based cafe for a lunch catch-up. He offered to bring some jerky for me in case I passed out (I didn’t. I eat meat-free meals here and there and I’m fine).

Zeitgeist Cuisine

Zeigeist Cuisine

Zeitgeist Cuisine

Zeigeist Cuisine‘s philosophy is to offer healthy plant-based food in an area that desperately needs it (i.e. Sydney CBD). Their meals and treats are packed and ready to grab, but you can eat them there, too. Keep in mind the cafe is small.

Zeitgeist Cuisine

Zeitgeist Cuisine

Zeitgeist Cuisine

Small cafe, small menu. Not a bad thing when most items look appetizing; makes it easier to choose.


I don’t normally order smoothies but I figured I had to try one for the sake of blogging. The virgin espresso martini (cold brew coffee, dates, vanilla, cashews) was awesome: not too sweet, perfectly caffeinated.

Virgin Espresso Martini

The Raw Rainbow Pad Thai (rainbow zoodles w/creamy coco satay dressing) was our favourite. I loved the inclusion of spiralized beetroot (one of my favourite vegetables!), the variety of veggies in general, and the great sauce.

Raw Rainbow Pad Thai

Raw Rainbow Pad Thai – Main ($12.90)

The Green and Gold (roasted vegetables, spiced chickpeas, quinoa, activated walnuts, green leaves, chilli, turmeric dressing), while more “conventional” was great, too.

Green and Gold

Green and Gold ($14.90)

We were given free goodies to take home: a raw Znickers bar for me and a brownie for Sebastian. The bar is on the sweet side, so it’s best to cut in small pieces and share.

Raw Znickers bar

Raw Znickers bar ($4.90)

Zeitgeist Cuisine is a great new addition to the handful of healthy places to eat close to work. I’m glad we gave it a try.

Zeigeist Cuisine
B1/153 Clarence Street
Sydney NSW 2000
0430 818 842

Zeitgeist Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Fit and Fresh food delivery service

Sadly, 2 of my favourite meal delivery services (Feed Me and Go Paleo) have shut their services (don’t worry, RealFood Connection is still around). Looking for alternatives, I found Fit and Fresh, based in Newcastle. As it name implies, their focus is fuelling people for fitness and weight loss purposes. They offer both meal plans and individual meals.

The meal plans are awesome for people who are after a full week’s supply of food and don’t have the time, need or desire to decide what they want to eat at each meal. You can choose between 5 or 7 days, and also if you want breakfast + lunch + dinner or only lunch + dinner. You can also decide the size of your meals, (small, regular or large, which applies to the individually purchased meals, too).

Fit and Fresh

We’ve signed up for the 5 day regular-sized lunch + dinner paleo meal plan to help me out until life gets a bit less hectic. Dishes vary week to week and include soups, meat + salad, meat + vegetables and a few vegetarian dishes. Protein sources are varied, we’ve had beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish and prawns so far. Generally lunches are smaller but in general I would rank the meal size as decent to generous (remember we’re buying the regular size option).

Fit and Fresh

Fit and Fresh

Dishes that are not meant to have the meat mixed in with the salad/vegetables come with the meat in a vacuum-sealed bag which is great from a food safety, freshness and culinary point of view, but can get messy on the go.

Lemon chicken

Lemon chicken

Finally, I find the containers a bit too bulky and would love to see these meals packed in a non-plastic microwave-safe leak-proof alternative but I think it has not invented at the moment.

To find out more about Fit and Fresh and their meal plans click on the link below. You can find photos of some of their meals in my Instagram feed.

Fit and Fresh

Recipe: Vegan causa

Yes, vegan. Before you think I’m crazy for bastardising one of my national dishes, let me explain. I made this version for an assignment for which I had to modify a recipe for social (i.e. religious, ethical, etc.) reasons. I thought of causa because I know people make vegetarian versions all the time (not me, I love it with seafood) but I have never seen a vegan version out there. Not only I had to ditch the main protein, but also the eggs used as garnish and in the mayo. I combined a few vegan soy-free mayonnaise recipes I found online and the result was awesome! Also so much easier to make than regular mayo. I served this vegan causa to a bunch of friends and everyone (including Alvaro) liked it.

Vegan causa
Yield: 8 servings

Vegan causa


  • 8 (1500g) floury potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp (60ml) ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli) paste
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 4 Tbsp (60ml) macadamia oil
  • 1/2 cup (80g) finely chopped red onion
  • 500g white mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • vegan mayonnaise (see below)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4g salt
  • 8 (20g) black (preferably botija) olives
  • 1 (65g) heart of palm

Vegan mayonnaise

  • 3/8 cup (50g) raw cashews
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) water
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp (4ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) mustard powder

To serve

  • cherry tomatoes
  • lettuce


  1. Blend the mayonnaise ingredients.
  2. Place the chopped onion in a small bowl with the juice of 1 lime and season lightly with salt. Set aside to marinate while the potatoes cook.
  3. Cook and mash the potatoes, let cool down. Mix with chilli paste, juice of 3 limes, macadamia oil and salt.
  4. Slice mushrooms and sautée in olive oil. Let cool down, mix with mayonnaise (method below).
  5. Oil a ring mold. Press half of the mashed potato mixture into the bottom of the pan. Cover with the mushroom mixture in a smooth layer. Top with slices of avocado. Layer the other half of the potato mixture on top and smooth the potatoes with the back of a spoon. Top with slices of hard-boiled eggs and olives.
  6. Serve chilled with lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes.

Review: The Naughty Chef (Sydney CBD)

In the beginning I classified The Naughty Chef in the dodgy cheap eatery category. When reputable food bloggers (hi Simon and John) started posting photos of comforting-looking bowls of Pho, I moved it to the “maybe” category. It was only when I saw a coworker ordering a chicken vegetable soup with no noodles that I decided to give it a shot.

The setup of the restaurant is, in part, what makes it dodgy. You order in one shop, your bowl is served in just a few minutes, you get your cutlery and condiments, and then walk with your tray (spilling broth all over it) two shops down, to the dining room.

Order here



Eat here

I ordered the aforementioned chicken vegetable soup with no noodles and must say it was very good. Tons of vegetables, decent amount of chicken, flavourful broth.

Chicken vegetable soup, no noodles

Chicken vegetable soup ($11)

Sebastian ordered the special chicken soup, which was similar to mine, except that it came with a couple of dumplings in addition to the noodles and vegetables (and a couple of bean sprouts, which were not enough for Sebastian).

Special chicken soup

Special chicken soup ($12)

The Naughty Chef
Shop H4, Hunter Arcade, Wynyard Station
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9262 3373

Click to add a blog post for The Naughty Chef Pho on Zomato

Recipe: Fennel & apple soup with ham

This is a quick weekday recipe that combines two of my favourite things in winter: soup and fennel. Add one of my favourite things regardless of the season (i.e. pork, in the form of ham) and you have a rounded meal for 4.

Fennel & apple soup with ham
Yield: 4 servings

Fennel, apple & ham soup


  • 2 large (or 4 small) fennel bulbs
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 apple
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or fat of choice
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon rosemary salt (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary + 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 380g good quality ham, preferably not sliced


  1. Slice fennel, onion and apple.
  2. Heat ghee in a pot, throw in the fennel, onion and apple and cook until soft and slightly caramelised, approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Add broth and rosemary salt (or rosemary and salt).
  4. Blend the soup with a stick blender or in a regular blender in batches. Adjust seasoning.
  5. Dice ham and serve on top of soup.