Review: Natty’s Cafe (Stanmore)

I used to go to an osteopathic clinic in Stanmore across the road from Natty’s. I had checked the menu and planned to eat lunch there one day but I stopped my treatment and forgot about the cafe until recently, when a house hunting trip took us one block away.

Natty's Cafe

Natty’s seems to have a solid local clientele. They do takeaway stuff but on weekends the bulk of the business seems to be eat-in.

Takeaway blackboard

Specials blackboard

Natty's Cafe

Coffee at Natty’s is BBB (bueno, bonito y barato). Drinks ordered in our table included a capuccino, a long black on ice a long black on ice with a splash of almond milk and the non-caffeinated morning liver tonic, consisting on juiced carrot, celery, cucumber, parsley and ginger.

Capuccino

Capuccino ($3)

Long black on ice, long black + almond milk on ice

Long black on ice, long black + almond milk on ice ($4.20 each)

Morning liver tonic

Morning liver tonic ($6)

The food menu seemed ordinary last time I checked but I think it might have been an outdated version. This time around things looked more appealing. Alvaro and I shared the big breakfast with free range eggs your way (we had them scrambled), bacon, sausage (swapped for extra bacon due to gluten content), mushrooms, rosti, smoky tomato relish and (GF) toast. Lots of garlic in the mushrooms, very tasty brekkie.

Big breakfast

Big breakfast ($18)

Dish number two was the smoky paprika baked salmon salad with kipfler, green beans, mesclun, capers, dill and aioli. In one word: delicious.

Smoky paprika baked salmon salad

Smoky paprika baked salmon salad ($17)

Both of our friends ordered the poached chicken salad with citrus, hazelnut, mint, mesclun and orange blossom dressing. Tried a bit, also great. Will be back next time I’m around.

Poached chicken salad

Poached chicken salad ($15)

Natty’s Cafe
14 Northumberland Avenue
Stanmore NSW 2048
(02) 9568 6711
www.nattyscafe.com.au

Natty's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Review: Sushizilla (Chippendale)

My sister and I went to check out the newest sushi train in Sydney, Sushizilla. They’re running a few specials, including all plates for $2.90 (excluding sashimi).

Sushizilla

Sushi train

You can also order a la carte via touchscreens.

Touchscreen

We ordered a plate of sashimi and a seaweed salad. Nice, fresh and pretty to look at.

Sashimi

Sashimi ($16)

Seaweed salad

Seaweed salad ($5.90)

Yeah, it wasn’t enough food. We grabbed a couple of plates from the conveyor belt, including the crab (stick) aburi sushi pictured below.

Booze

Crab aburi sushi

Crab aburi sushi ($2.90)

Sushizilla
Central Park
Shop 204 28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008
0438 689 119
www.sushizilla.com.au
On Facebook

Sushizilla on Urbanspoon

Review: Vargabar (Newtown)

Second visit to Vargabar in six years of living in the vicinity. My bad.

Vargabar

Vargabar

Brunch consisted of The Hippie: eggs, mushroom, spinach, tomato, asparagus, haloumi, avocado, GF toast, ordered with extra bacon, and the sweet potato rosti: poached eggs, roast mushroom, Parmesan, asparagus, ordered with… you guessed it, extra bacon. Decent breakfasts but not mind-blowing.

The Hippie

The Hippie ($18) + bacon ($4.50)

Sweet potato rosti

Sweet potato rosti, Poached eggs, roast mushroom, Parmesan, asparagus ($15.90) + bacon ($4.50)

Another dish ordered at the table was the pesto scrambled eggs with feta and spinach on GF toast, with extra bacon (really). They were good, I heard, although a bit too salty.

Pesto scrambled eggs

Pesto scrambled eggs Fetta and spinach on sourdough toast ($13.50) + bacon ($4.50)

Vargabar Espresso
10 Wilson Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9517 1932
www.vargabarnewtown.com.au

View Larger Map

Vargabar Espresso on Urbanspoon

Review: Three Williams (Surry Hills)

Three Williams is one of those cafes that have been high up at the top pretty much since they opened. I recently had the opportunity to give it a go and could see why it’s one of Sydney’s favourites.

Three Williams

They’re well known for their coffee, but I was not very fond of their brew. I had an iced black, a good alternative when there’s no cold drip on offer.

Iced black

There are also fresh veggie/fruit juices for those looking for a refreshing alternative.

Apple, carrot & ginger juice

Apple, carrot & ginger juice ($7)

Alvaro and I shared the heirloom tomatoes with two soft poached eggs, jamon and fresh avocado on GF bread (instead of sourdough) with smoked cheese sauce. Nice dish, with a good flavour combination. The sauce wasn’t as strongly flavoured as expected, but not in a bad way.

Heirloom tomatoes with two soft poached eggs, jamon, fresh avocado on GF toast w a smoked cheese sauce

Heirloom tomatoes ($19)

We also had The Merchant: chilli fried egg, crispy bacon, ranch dressing, pickled slaw on GF bread (instead of a warm brioche bun). Interesting flavours, but again nothing too crazy. Perhaps a bit more exciting on brioche, but very nice nonetheless.

The merchant: chilli fried egg, crispy bacon, ranch dressing, pickled slaw on GF bread

The merchant ($13)

People looking for a more traditional breakfast can choose something like poached eggs on toast plus extra smashed avocado and bacon.

Heirloom tomatoes with two soft poached eggs, jamon, fresh avocado on GF toast w a smoked cheese sauce

Poached eggs on toast ($11) + smashed avocado ($4) + bacon ($4)

Poached eggs on toast + smashed avocado + bacon

Three Williams
613a Elizabeth Street
Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9698 1111
info@threewilliamscafe.com
threewilliamscafe.com

Three Williams on Urbanspoon

Review: Twelve (Newtown)

This is one of those restaurants that have “been there forever” but somehow I’ve never bothered visiting. We were looking for a lunch destination on a Sunday afternoon and our chef/restaurateur friend suggested Twelve.

Specials blackboard

The specials blackboard is massive and fulfils its role to catch your attention. Read: most of us ordered specials. Alvaro and I shared the fish of the day, which was meant to be a macadamia crusted barramundi fillet with sautéed mushroom and mash potato, but because the crust and the mash were not gluten-free we got it naked and with salad instead. Nice dish.

Fish of the day

Fish of the day ($28)

Our second shared plate was the chargrilled octopus with chilli, kipfler potato, lemon & olives. The octopus was a bit chewy but the flavours were nice and delicate.

Chargrilled octopus w chilli, kipfler potato, lemon & olives

Chargrilled octopus ($14)

Other dishes ordered were the homemade pumpkin gnocchi, pan fried with asparagus, peas, zucchini & Parmesan, and the beef burger.

Homemade pumpkin gnocchi pan fried w asparagus, peas, zucchini & Parmesan

Homemade pumpkin gnocchi ($18)

Burger

Burger

Burger

The cakes display and blackboard are equally tempting. Servings are massive but I’m not sure if they’re great value. Alvaro called it quits after a few bites of his gluten-free Concorde cake.

Cakes

Twelve
222 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 9412
www.twelvenewtown.com.au

Twelve on Urbanspoon</p

Review: Eat Now (online)

No matter how much you plan and prepare, shit happens. You run out of food, you get sick, you’re too lazy to cook, you’re too lazy, or all of the above. Fear not, Eat Now comes to the rescue!

How is this different than ringing your favourite takeaway? Well, for starters you don’t have to ring, but you order online. Great for people with poor social skills or ESL, like me. Best of all, you can easily search for all eateries that deliver to your suburb, and then refine by cuisine.

eatnow_sshot1

All the info you need to choose a restaurant is right there: cuisine, delivery/takeaway hours, deals, payment methods. You can also see other users’ reviews if that helps you decide.

eatnow_sshot2

I was browsing through the restaurants that deliver to Newtown and found Phd, one of the best places for Pho, from what I’ve heard. As a bonus, they indicate which dishes are gluten-free.

eatnow_sshot3

I ordered a few dishes to try and got a confirmation message later on the day. The food arrived right on time and hot enough to eat straight away.

We tried Pho with medium rare beef, Pho with medium rare beef and brisket, boneless stuffed chicken wings, beef Vietnamese Salad, green papaya salad with prawn and pork, crispy skin chicken with steamed rice, crispy skin chicken with tomato rice, chicken with ginger and shallots. Food was nice and servings were generous. In case you’re wondering, not my favourite Pho but quite enjoyable, particularly the broth.

Pho

Salads, chicken wings, chicken w ginger

We will definitely be using Eat Now again!

Eat Now
www.eatnow.com.au

This is a sponsored post.

Review: Cornersmith (Marrickville)

Despite discouraging comments from people I know (“it’s good but too healthy for me” – my boss, “it’s okay but I prefer X” – a female foodie friend, “it was nice but we had to order two breakfasts each” – male friends) I was determined to give Cornersmith a go. The opportunity arose when my sis was in the area, and we joined her for brunch.

Blackboard menu

As most people know by now, this is not only a cafe that focuses on sustainability, seasonality, etc., but also a picklery, meaning they make (and teach people how to make) a variety of preserves.

Cornersmith

Preserves

They did not have any cold drip coffee but offered me filtered coffee on ice which was almost as good.

Filtered coffee on ice

Filtered coffee on ice

We shared a Ploughman’s plate with pasture raised ham, Mattra Cheddar, stone fruit, beet relish, pickles, Pepe Saya butter & gluten-free bread (normally comes with sourdough) that was awesome.

Ploughman's plate

Ploughman's plate ($18)

We also ordered soft poached Archerfield Farm eggs with (gluten-free) toast & smoked onion relish, to which we added red cabbage salad with pickled corn, cucumber, chillies & grapefruit dressing and pastured raised ham. Quite a mouthful… a delicious mouthful BTW.

Soft poached Archerfield Farm eggs w/ toast & smoked onion relish + red cabbage salad w/ pickled corn, cucumber, chillies & grapefruit dressing + pastured raised ham

Soft poached Archerfield Farm eggs w/ toast & smoked onion relish ($9) + red cabbage salad w/ pickled corn, cucumber, chillies & grapefruit dressing ($6) + pastured raised ham ($6)

Cornersmith
314 Illawarra Road
Marrickville NSW 2204
www.cornersmith.com.au
On Facebook

Cornersmith on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Fragrant roasted chicken with cinnamon pumpkin and broccolini

I’ve been using this awesome recipe for roasting chicken for the past few months. It’s simple and fool-proof, and it gives you the flexibility of using any spices you want. I often use a mix of rosemary and sage salts or a mix of rosemary and lemon salts. This time I used a mix of Moroccan spices and paired it up with cinnamon-y pumpkin and broccolini. Delicious!

Fragrant roast chicken

Fragrant roasted chicken with cinnamon pumpkin and broccolini
Yield: 4 servings

Fragrant roast chicken w cinnamon pumpkin and broccolini

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 chicken (pastured if possible)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Cinnamon pumpkin

  • 1/2 small butternut pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Broccolini

  • 1 bunch broccolini

Directions

Chicken

  1. Mix the spices to season the chicken. Follow Simone’s instructions.

Cinnamon pumpkin

  1. Peel and cube pumpkin.
  2. Place in a baking sheet, season with cinnamon and salt and drizzle with melted coconut oil.
  3. Bake at 180°C for about 40 minutes, until soft.

Broccolini

  1. Steam. Serve with chicken and pumpkin.

Review: Bread and Circus (Alexandria)

A long overdue visit to Bread and Circus was 100% worth it. Former food blogger Amanda Bechara opened this wholefoods canteen a few years ago. Despite its name, bread is not the only thing on offer. Otherwise I wouldn’t be interested, don’t you think?

Bread and Circus

Bread and Circus

The place, like the website and Facebook page, is very pink and delicate (not my style at all). I like the use of fresh produce as decoration, emphasising the philosophy of the canteen (even the bill comes with a yellow squash as a paperweight).

Table decoration

There is an interesting selection of coffees & teas (real and herbal) on offer. I had a filter coffee for a change, and Alvaro a lemony mint herbal tea. I found the tea a bit too dilute for my taste, the coffee was fine.

Filtered coffee, lemony minty tea

Filter coffee ($5), lemony mint herbal tea ($4)

The food menu changes daily, but the format is the same. What caught my eye were the salad plates that come in different sizes: as a side, regular, sharing and takeaway. You can mix and match between the salads of the day. We order three of the four available (the fourth had farro) in sharing size. I can’t remember the exact descriptions but trust me, they were as good as they look.

Salads

Salads ($25)

We also ordered some protein sides: preservative-free smoked turkey, preservative-free free range smoked ham, poached organic chicken with olive oil, and grass fed-rare beef, all of which come with condiments. We definitely ordered too much for 2 people, but we got excited to have such good quality options.

Smoked turkey, chicken

Preservative-free smoked turkey ($6), poached organic chicken with olive oil ($6)

Ham, roast beef

Preservative-free free range smoked ham ($5), grass-fed rare beef ($7) ($)

Everything was absolutely delicious and service was excellent. We will be back.

Bread and Circus
21 Fountain Street
Alexandria
0418 214 425
info@breadandcircus.com.au
www.breadandcircus.com.au
On Facebook

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Review: 80raw/20paleo (Glebe)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: raw vegan food is awesome. Not kidding, it is because it’s mostly paleo. Raw vegan treats? Even better. 80raw/20paleo brings raw vegan/paleo treats to the masses via their stall at Glebe markets.

Treats

Treats

We tried the salted macadamia caramel cheesecake, a lemon meringue cup and the salted mango cheesecake ice cream. My favourite was the cheesecake ice cream, which I found to be the less sweet of the lot (all of them were too sweet for me regardless).

Salted macadamia caramel cheesecake, lemon meringue cups, salted mango cheesecake ice cream

Salted macadamia caramel cheesecake ($8.90), lemon meringue cups ($5.10), salted mango cheesecake ice cream

They also do a variety of granolas for those who like sweet breakfasts

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Granola

There you go, if you’re market shopping on a Saturday morning go get a treat. Just remember “treat treats like treats” and make sure you check the ingredients list if you’re squeaky clean paleo.

80raw/20paleo
Glebe Market
www.80raw20paleo.com
On Facebook