Review: The Garden Bar @ The Grounds of Alexandria (Alexandria)

Our first experience at The Grounds of Alexandria was at The Garden Bar. As its name implies, this is the outdoor section of The Grounds, with a limited but appealing menu.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Garden bar menu

We were there for brunch (before noon) and thus were not able to sample the spit roasted rolls (we will next time). So we had bacon & egg rolls on gluten-free bread and smashed avocado on gluten-free toast.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Smashed avocado on GF toast, bacon & egg roll (GF)

Smashed avocado ($9), bacon & egg roll ($9)

The smashed avocado comes with tomato, feta, chilli & mint. I couldn’t taste the chilli but the combination of flavours was very pleasant. Although not advertised, there was a nice olive oil in the mix.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Smashed avocado on GF toast

Smashed avocado on GF toast ($9)

Bacon & egg rolls and other BBQ items are pick-up at the corresponding station, which has a wide range of sauces available, including aioli, smokey mayonnaise and chimichurri.

The Grounds of Alexandria: BBQ pick-up

The Grounds of Alexandria: BBQ

The Grounds of Alexandria: Sauces

The bacon & egg roll was epic. It had that combination of quantity and quality that is so hard to find these days.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Bacon & egg roll (GF bread)

Bacon & egg roll (GF bread) ($9)

The drinks menu includes (non-memorable) coffee, plus juices and shakes. Alvaro had a coconut kale shake that was pretty good and not too sweet.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Juice menu

The Grounds of Alexandria: Coffee, coconut kale shake

Coffee ($3.50), coconut kale shake ($8.50)

There were tempting sweets at the Garden Bar and we found out some of them were gluten-free. So we had one of each.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Sweets

The Grounds of Alexandria: Sweets

The Grounds of Alexandria: Sweets

The Grounds of Alexandria: Sweets

Sweets

The Grounds of Alexandria: Orange & poppyseed muffin, polenta cake, passionfruit cheesecake, lemon meringue tart

Orange & poppyseed muffin ($5), polenta cake ($7), passionfruit cheesecake ($7), lemon meringue tart ($7)

My favourite was the cheesecake, followed by the polenta cake. The orange & poppyseed muffin had pieces of orange in it, which I found pretty cool.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Orange & poppyseed muffin

Orange & poppyseed muffin ($5)

The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7A, No. 2 Huntley St
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9699 2225
groundsroasters.com
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The Grounds of Alexandria on Urbanspoon

Review: Bitton Gourmet (Alexandria)

It was Friday night, Alvaro and I were both busy and tired and not particularly craving one of our easy-to-put-together dinner staples. Alvaro wanted “lots of meat”; I had been craving a nice steak for a while. And oysters.

Most people think of Bitton Gourmet as a breakfast/brunch spot but they do dinner, too. And they have steak and oysters. Granted, it’s not the kind of restaurant we feel particularly comfortable in (a bit too fancy) but we make this sort of exception once in a while.

Bitton Gourmet

Next to our table and in the middle of the dining room there were wooden shelves full of house products for sale: chutneys, flavoured oils, spice blends. The dominant colour is red and service is extremely attentive. Food does take a while to come out of the kitchen, so don’t go if you’re in a rush.

Bitton Gourmet: Bitton products

Before our entrée we received complimentary hors d’oeuvre: broad beans, parmesan and chilli-infused olive oil served in Chinese spoons. I realised that even when they’re my favourite legume I hadn’t had any since going paleo (~3 years). They were unbelievable flavourful, perhaps my favourite bit of that particular dinner.

Bitton Gourmet: Broad beans, parmesan and chilli-infused olive oil

Complimentary hors d’oeuvre

Then we received our entrée: ½ dozen freshly shucked oysters with red wine vinegar and shallots. The oysters were nice; I preferred them with lemon than with the vinegar.

Bitton Gourmet: Freshly shucked oysters with red wine vinegar and shallots

½ dozen freshly shucked oysters with red wine vinegar and shallots ($18)

Mains came out at the same time. I started with the lamb shank special that came with some sort of caramelised garlic sauce, potatoes and mushrooms. This was the other highlight of the night for me. The meat was super tender and perfectly seasoned. Yes, the sauce was sweeter than what we normally eat but the caramelised garlic gave it a very intense flavour that was by no means overpowering. The potatoes were soft inside and crunchy outside.

Bitton Gourmet: Lamb shank

Lamb shank special

The other main was the beef eye fillet with peppercorn sauce, pommes frîtes and salad, a more standard dish that was nonetheless very good. Perhaps the “salad” could have been less simple but I’ve heard this is normal in France.

Bitton Gourmet: Beef eye fillet with peppercorn sauce, pommes frîtes and salad

Beef eye fillet with peppercorn sauce, pommes frîtes and salad ($28)

Just as we were about to pay we were served complimentary crème brûlées without even asking if we wanted to look at the dessert menu. A perfect ending for a great night out.

Bitton Gourmet: Complimentary crème brûlée

Complimentary crème brûlée

Bitton Gourmet
36-37A Copeland St
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9519 5111
www.bittongourmet.com.au

Bitton Gourmet Cafe on Urbanspoon

Review: The German Hut (Alexandria) – Closed

When I was a child, there was a caravan with hot dogs for sale a few blocks away from my house. I loved when mum bought me a hot dog there, usually when we went to the pharmacy nearby, not because the hot dogs were great (I’m not saying they weren’t, I just can’t remember) but because of the charm of buying something from a parked vehicle.

Fast forward more than 20 years, and here I am, living in Sydney, and eating the real thing (seriously good German sausages) in a trailer turned into a small cafe. Its name? The German Hut.

The German Hut is hidden in a huge complex, the South Sydney Corporate Park in Alexandria, which houses all sorts of businesses from all sorts of industries, including the South Sydney Markets. If you get there from the entrance in 190 Bourke St and follow the water canal until you reach the nursery, you’ll find the sign that points to your destination.

Sydney Corporate Park entrance

Sign

Nursery next door

The last time I was there was last Sunday. Unfortunately the grill was not turned on because there are not too many customers.

The German Hut

Grill

But still, they offer some of their goodies for hungry customers like me who pop in during the weekend.

The German Hut

The fixed menu includes different kinds of sandwiches, as well as hot and cold drinks, plus their famous waffles. There are daily specials on weekdays, too.

Sandwiches menu

Drinks menu

First I had a skim cappuccino, generously dusted with chocolate, just as I like it.

Espresso machine

Skim cappuccino

While sipping my coffee I watched Boris, the owner, prepare the waffles batter in a large container. After mixing countless batches of batter, he just eyeballs the quantity of each ingredient and the result is always the same. When he started cooking them, the smell made me even hungrier. Then he put them on a rack to cool down and I started taking photos of them (straight from the waffle maker and dusted with icing sugar) to calm down my appetite. Of course it didn’t work and I ended up eating half of a waffle with cherry compote and whipped cream on it.

Waffles

Waffles

Waffle with cherry compote and whipped cream

Waffles may be The German Hut’s bestselling item, but the reason I’m willing to walk 30 minutes from home is the sausages. There’s no point in trying to compare them to your average Aussie sausage. They just beat them all. Ok, I know I may be exaggerating, but honestly they’re really good. There are two kinds: the Kransky (spicy and smoked beef and pork sausage) and the Bratwurst (mild pork sausage). Both come in a bread roll with sauerkraut, crispy onions and your condiments of choice (I like them with sweet mustard only).

Kransky roll

Bratwurst roll

I’ve tried some other stuff from them, sandwiches and muffins, all good. They also have soups on weekdays for the hungry corporate people around them, and I’ve heard they’re really worth trying. Too bad I work in the CBD, I’d love to order takeaway for lunch from time to time.

The German Hut
South Sydney Corporate Park
Entry via 190 Bourke St
Alexandria NSW 2015