Grandma's at McEvoy

Review: Grandma’s at McEvoy (Alexandria)

Grandma’s is a mini chain of Israeli cafes. I’ve walked past the one on McEvoy a zillion times on my way to/from the gym and it was only recently that I finally had the chance to eat there.

Grandma's open kitchen

The shashukas here seem to be famous (they have a few varieties: classic, spinach, beef, beef bolognese), so I ordered open fired eggplant shakshuka: 2 eggs cooked in sauce made of open fire eggplant, tomato & onion served with Labneh cheese. It comes with bread baked on premises, which is meant to be really good, but I had gluten-free toast instead. The shashuka was good but I had my expectations set too high. I’m still willing to try the other varieties, though.

Open Fire Eggplant Shashuka

Open fired eggplant shakshuka ($17.90)

The traditional chicken & vegetables casserole, served with rice, was awesome. It indeed looked and tasted like something your grandma would serve you when you went for a visit.

Traditional Chicken & Vegetables Casserole

Traditional chicken & vegetables casserole ($17.50)

The Jerusalem hummus and beef dish (slowly cooked minced beef served with Grandma’s homemade hummus, chickpeas & fresh bread) was also very tasty, good looking, and apparently very filling.

Jerusalem Hummus and Beef Dish

Jerusalem hummus and beef dish ($16.50)

Besides the usual coffee and tea offerings (there’s almond milk available for extra $0.50), there are also some homemade drinks and sodas, Israeli beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Almond milk chai latte, almond milk latte

Almond milk chai tea ($4.50), almond milk latte ($4.00)

Monday to Friday, Grandma’s offer a canteen-style lunch station. They also have a variety of frozen meals (including soups, stews, ice cream) and preserves for sale.

Grandma's olives, etc

The Bottom Line
Coffee & drinks: 3.5/5, decent coffee, almond milk available, also traditional drinks like rosewater lemonade and Israeli beer.
Food: 3.5/5, gluten-free and vegetarian options, traditional, hearty dishes.
Service: 3.5/5, good service.

Grandma’s at McEvoy
140-142 McEvoy St
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9699 1862
Website

Grandma's At McEvoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sub-station Cafe

Review: Sub-station Cafe (Alexandria)

Even though this cafe is conveniently located close to the gym we had only visited once for a pre-workout meal: coffee (for me) and a GF brownie (for Alvaro). Okay, I admit I had a few bites of the brownie. I made a mental note to come back for a proper meal, which happened last weekend.

I’m boring when it comes to beverages. Or should I say I always order the same to be able to compare establishments? Either way, my long black was good: not too strong and not too cold.

Long black

Long black ($3.50)

Alvaro had an açaí smoothie with banana and coconut water. I had a few sips and it was great and pleasantly thick.

Acai smoothie

Açaí smoothie ($8.50)

Meals are served on chopping boards, which is one of those trends that people feel strongly about (both ways). I don’t really care as long as the food is good. The Sub-Station breakfast comes with 2 free-range eggs (we had them poached), sumac bacon, chunky Mediterranean salad, avocado smash (ours was definitely not smashed), natural yoghurt infused with halva and roasted almonds (ours had strawberries), tomato relish served with toast (ours was gluten-free) and butter. Huge meal for breakfast, more appropriate for brunch or lunch IMO. Even though some of the elements were not exactly as described, we loved it.

Sub-station breakfast

Sub-station breakfast ($18.50)

Our other shared dish was one of the day’s specials: Kaskaval eggs with pan-roast tomato, kaskaval being a Bulgarian cow and/or sheep milk cheese. The dish comes piping hot in a small paella-style pan with a side cabbage salad, toast (we requested gluten-free) and butter. Good tasting dish and a nice alternative to shashuka for those who find it too spicy or who prefer a meatless version.

Kaskaval eggs with roast tomato

Kaskaval eggs with pan-roast tomato ($16.50)

Sub-station Cafe
124 McEvoy St
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9557 9868
On Facebook

Sub-Station Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sushi Jones

Review: Sushi Jones (Alexandria)

My husband and I have been married for 9 years. We’ve had difficult times but last year was, without a doubt, the toughest. But we’re still together and that deserved a celebration.

Now that I’m doing the AltShift experiment, I find it easier to eat out on 5S. Unfortunately, our anniversary fell on 3S, so I planned two dinners. Dinner #1 was in Sushi Jones, where it was easy to comply to the limits of the protocol.

Sushi Jones

The restaurant has a good selection of alcoholic drinks but we decided to be good kids and ordered a pot of green tea.

Green tea

Green tea

We ordered marinated seaweed salad (seasoned seaweed, sesame, goji berry), omelette (aka tamagoyaki), entrée sashimi with salmon, tuna, seasonal white fish, and aburi scallop, and 2 serves each of prawn and white fish nigiri. My husband ate the omelette and the salmon sashimi, I ate the white fish sashimi, and we shared the rest.

Marinated seaweed salad

Marinated seaweed salad ($5.80)

Tamagoyaki

Omelette

Entrée sashimi

Entrée sashimi ($14.80)

White fish and prawn nigiri

White fish nigiri ($6.00 for 2 pieces), prawn nigiri ($4.50 for 2 pieces)

Everything was fresh and service was great. We’ll be back.

Sushi Jones
8/10 Fountain Street
Alexandria NSW 2015

Sushi Jones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Parkview Hotel (Alexandria)

This is one of our nearby pubs that happens to have gluten-free options on the menu. It’s quiet and has a RSL vibe to it. Music is bad, but on the bright side it’s not as busy and noisy as more popular pubs.

My friend ordered the 250g grass-fed Black Angus rump with mashed potatoes & steamed seasonal vegetables, surfed up with sautéed prawns in a béarnaise sauce. It was a massive serve, with good flavour although the steak was not cooked as ordered. The steamed vegetables were actually steamed and not drenched in oil/dressing, which is perfect for people who are watching what they eat. Bonus points for that.

Black Angus rump, prawns & bernaise sauce

Black Angus rump ($15), surf & turf ($6)

I ordered the slow-roasted Byron Bay free range Berkshire pork belly & seared scallops with red wine jus. It normally comes with mash and steamed broccolini, but I asked for no mash. They gave me steamed green beans instead. It was a massive, tasty meal. Once again, there were no unexpected oils or dressings on the veggies.

Slow roasted pork belly & seared scallops

Slow-roasted pork belly & seared scallops ($28)

Parkview Hotel
178-180 Mitchell Road
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9557 1924
www.parkviewhotel.net.au

Parkview Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Nguyen Brothers (Alexandria)

A few weeks ago I was walking home from the gym and discovered this new Vietnamese restaurant. It’s not a secret that Vietnamese is my favourite Asian cuisine, so I organised a visit asap.

Nguyen Brothers

This venue belongs to the owners of Yen for Viet, which seems to be one of the good Vietnamese restaurants in Marrickville.

Nguyen Brothers

I had a sugar cane prawn rice paper roll and a vegies [sic] rice paper roll. The sugar cane prawn was not what I was expecting (it was more similar to kamaboko than to other sugar cane prawns I’ve had in the past). The rolls were standard, with a ton of vermicelli. I think the low carb soldiers at Roll’d have spoilt me.

Sugar cane prawn rice paper rolls

Sugar cane prawn rice paper roll

Sugar cane prawn rice paper rolls ($7.5 for 2)

Vegies rice paper rolls

Vegies rice paper rolls ($5.5 for 2)

The pork & prawn rice paper rolls ordered by someone else looked more attractive.

Pork & prawn rice paper rolls

Pork & prawn rice paper rolls ($6 for 2)

I also shared the pork, prawn, papaya & herbs salad. Nice salad, fresh and light, perhaps a bit expensive for what it was.

Pork, prawn, papaya & herbs salad

Pork, prawn, papaya & herbs salad ($18)

The most enjoyed dish of the day was the classic rice with crispy skin chicken, which looked amazing.

Rice with crispy skin chicken

Rice with crispy skin chicken ($13)

The rice roll (filled with stir-fried pork, mince, onion and wood-ear mushroom, served with pork loaf, cookead bean sprout, basil, fried onion and fish sauce), looked pretty good, too.

Rice roll

Rice roll ($12)

The biggest disappointment of the night was for the man who ordered rice vermicelli with grilled sliced pork, but I think it was just the wrong dish for that particular person, who dislikes fatty meat (??!!). I tried some of the vermicelli, and can say they were pretty tasty.

Rice vermicelli with grilled sliced pork

Rice vermicelli with grilled sliced pork ($13)

My overall impression was that food is generally good, with some exceptions (e.g. avoid rice paper rolls if you don’t like them filled with a ton of vermicelli). Can’t wait to try more dishes!

Nguyen Brothers
21 Fountain Street
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 8964 1558
www.nguyenbrothers.com.au
On Facebook

Nguyen Brothers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Pana Chocolate (Alexandria)

A while ago Pana Chocolate opened a shop in Alexandria but I managed to avoid the temptation until recently. Now that I’ve changed gyms I walk past Pana 3x week. They don’t only sell their chocolate bars, but all sorts of raw gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free treats. What keeps me from going nuts is the price but it is good stuff. Great stuff indeed.

Pana Chocolate

Pana Chocolate

Pana Chocolate

Pana Chocolate

Pana Chocolate

Grapefruit, surprise cake

Grapefruit, surprise cake ($43 for both)

Blueberry & salted caramel, raw lamington

Blueberries & salted caramel, raw lamington ($15 for both)

Pana Chocolate
21 Fountain Street
Alexandria NSW 2015
1300 717 488
www.panachocolate.com

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Review: Henley’s Wholefoods (Alexandria)

A while ago I reviewed Henley’s Wholefoods Bondi Junction without knowing or expecting that they would later open another shop walking distance from where we now live.

Henley's Wholefoods Alexandria

For those who don’t know, this is a paleo-friendly cafe that focus on good quality ingredients. Coffee, which you can have with almond milk, is great, and they also have a good range of Mayde teas and Botannica cold-pressed juices available.

Coffee gear

Teas, sweeets, cold-pressed juices

I’ve enjoyed my usual long black and a cacao mint tea. I have also tried Alvaro’s smoothies: the Henley’s Special (double shot of espresso, whey blend protein, CocoWhip, almond milk, ice) and the Good Green Stuff (Nu Zest good green stuff, banana, avocado, mint, coconut water, ice), both great.

Long black

Long black ($3.50)

Henley's Special smoothie, cacao mint tea

Henley's Special smoothie ($9), cacao mint tea ($5)

Good Green Stuff smoothie

Good Green Stuff smoothie ($9)

On the food front, I have a few favourites. The grass-fed beef burger (served bunless with caramelised onion, celeriac, red cabbage & parsley slaw, plus coconut flour dusted sweet potato wedges) is a paleo girl’s dream come true.

Grass fed beef burger

Grass fed beef burger ($19)

I love the salad plates, too, in which you can choose one or more of the available salads, and add some protein. We tried a mix of the autumn roast (roasted golden & red beets, kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, ginger pickled carrots & toasted sprouted bread crumbs with a rocket & almond pesto) and purple power (Red cabbage, purple dutch carrots, beetroot, parsley, mint, pepitas & dried figs with horseradish & honey dressing) with miso ‘butter’ swordfish. Loved everything.

Autumn roast & purple power salads, miso "butter" swordfish

Autumn roast & purple power salads ($10), miso ‘butter’ swordfish ($8)

We have also tried the zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles), served with preserved lemon, chillies, slow roasted heirloom tomatoes & garlic prawns. Great flavours, but a bit small for big appetites.

Zucchini noodles

Zucchini noodles ($19)

My least favourite of the dishes we have tried is the grain free pizza with roasted tomato sauce base, chorizo sausage, Spanish onions, tomato salsa & almond parmesan. Nice toppings, but the base needs some work. It tastes and feels like a giant cookie. We’ve made grain-free pizzas at home with Primal Girl’s recipe with way better results.

Grain free pizza

Grain free pizza ($16)

On our way out one day Alvaro stared at the muffin tray as I was paying the bill and we got one for the way home (12 minutes walking). These are delicious and truly healthy, as they have no gluten, dairy or refined sugar. They have a “rustic” texture, in a good way, and the right amount of sweetness for our palates. Will buy again.

Muffins

Muffins ($5.50)

Henley’s Wholefoods
38 Mitchell Road
alexandria@henleyswholefoods.com.au
henleyswholefoods.com.au

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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: The Copper Mill (Alexandria)

As a Peruvian I feel compelled to know what’s happening in the Sydney food scene with regard to my national cuisine. The discovery that a cafe in Alexandria was serving Peruvian rolls not only sparked my curiosity but set me on a mission to investigate if the chicharrón was being properly made.

The Copper Mill

The Copper Mill is always busy but we managed to score a table. The menu revealed a few Peruvian suspects: chicharrón in the aforementioned Peruvian rolls and in tacu-tacu, and locro as an element of other dish, supporting the rumors that the cafe chef is indeed Peruvian.

Menu

As much as we both love tacu-tacu (a fried football of mixed rice and beans) we like our guts more and we decided to go with a safer option: the Peruvian roll on gluten-free bread. To put things in context, pan con chicharrón is a roll with fried sliced sweet potato, chicharrón (pork belly that has been boiled until all the water evaporates and then fried in its own -or added- fat) and salsa criolla (thinly sliced red onion pickled in lime juice). The guys at The Copper Mill have added a fried egg to bring it one step closer to the familiar bacon & egg roll, plus some lemon mayo for texture sake. The result was good, perhaps not the best chicharrón I’ve ever had but a nice glimpse of my homeland cuisine.

Peruvian B&E roll

Peruvian roll ($10 + $1.50 for the gluten-free bread)

Our second dish was a beef hash (corned beef, fresh radish, caramelised onions, poached egg, hazelnut dukkah, baby herbs) that we ordered with an extra poached egg. This hash comes with mixed with cubes of cooked potato making it a substantial base for the fresh and delicate radish slices and microherbs. I could have this for brunch every day.

Beef hash

Beef hash ($15)

The cafe has a nice variety of choices for the caffeine-seeking customers. I had a cold drip coffee that was smooth and refreshing. Alvaro ordered a coconut hot chocolate thinking that it would contain only coconut milk but it had regular milk too, which meant he couldn’t finish it. It was also very very sweet.

Coconut hot chocolate, cold drip coffee

Coconut hot chocolate ($5), cold drip coffee ($4.50)

The Copper Mill
Suite B, 338-356 Mitchell Road
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9517 3214
On Facebook

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Review: Breakfast at Vicinity Dining & Bar (Alexandria)

Vicinity Dining & Bar wants to show that they’re not just about the dining and the drinking but that they also offer great breakfast options for who live or work in the area. The breakfast menu was designed by Renae Smith, Masterchef contestant 2014.

Vicinity

Vicinity: Renae Smith

The brand new menu caters to the healthy eater, whatever your idea of healthy is (vegan, vegetarian, or the gluten-free meat & veg type like me). Freshness is emphasized, as well as quality of ingredients. That’s why Vicinity has partnered-up with brands like Pepe Saya, CoYo, The Protein Bread and Charlie’s balls whose representatives attended the launch.

Vicinity

On to the food. There was toast with Pepe Saya butter (including toasted Protein Bread, which is gluten-free), the good old bacon and egg rolls revamped with home-made maple bacon and tomato relish, African baked beans, big breakfast (eggs, haloumi, herb-roasted tomato, mushrooms, onion jam and bacon) and salmon stack with sourdough toast as the base for herbed crème fraiche, smoked salmon, crispy capers and lemon myrtle salt.

Vicinity: The spread

Vicinity: Bread

Bread

Vicinity: Bacon and egg roll

Bacon and egg roll

Vicinity: Pepe Saya butter, African baked beans, toast

Pepe Saya butter, African baked beans, toast

Vicinity: Big breakfast

Big breakfast

Vicinity: Salmon stack

Salmon stack

For those who prefer a sweet start of the day there was super bircher (wholegrain oats, black chia seeds, activated almonds and flaked coconut soaked in pure coconut water and topped with CoYo coconut yoghurt or Greek yoghurt, vanilla bean and fresh berries), fruit salad served with CoYo or Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup, and French toast also revamped with Pepe Saya buttermilk in the batter and topped with seasonal fruits, berry compote and vanilla bean Pepe Saya crème fraiche. Not as regular menu items but present on the day were the great Charlie’s balls and cakes by Black Poison.

Vicinity: Super bircher, fruit salad

Super bircher, fruit salad

Vicinity: French toast

French toast

Vicinity: Cakes

Black Poison cakes

Vicinity: Charlie's balls

Vicinity: Charlie's Balls

Charlie’s balls

My favourite dish was the big breakfast (great bacon!), as well as the protein bread (both the regular and the date and walnut loaf, which was not too sweet) of course with a generous amount of Pepe Saya butter on top. Charlie’s balls were great, too, and I hope to see gluten-free French toast one day in the menu.

Gaby @ lateraleating attended the breakfast launch as a guest of Vicinity Dining & Bar.

Vicinity Dining & Bar
90-96 Bourke Road
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9002 1333
www.vicinitysydney.com.au

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