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

The Corner McCafe

Review: The Corner McCafe (Camperdown)

I’ve sold my soul to the devil. I’m reviewing an establishment that belongs to McDonald’s. Ok, jokes aside, I’ve been thinking about giving this place a go ever since they opened back when I was doing my undergrad at Sydney Uni but having a very good cafe on campus I never had the choice. Now that I’m back to the neighbourhood (I work at RPAH), I decided it was about time to see what they had to offer. Apologies in advance for the point-and-shoot photos.

This former McCafe morphed into The Corner when Maccas decided to test their ability to engage the hipster market. Kale and quinoa were recent additions in selected cafe menus and chia pots were not available in your local supermarket just yet.

The Corner

The corner has a section of food to grab and go (e.g. wraps, yoghurt, etc.) but you can also order a customised item either to eat in or takeaway. The bowls can be built with a base (brown rice or slaw), a protein (pulled pork, chicken or haloumi) and 2 extras (tortilla chips, pumpkin seeds, croutons, pico de gallo, dry slaw, jalapeños), plus lettuce, cucumber, cheese and a sauce (chipotle mayo, tomato chilli jam, spicy aioli or garlic aioli). All for $10.80. My bowl had slaw, pulled pork, pico de gallo and chipotle aioli. I found the meat to be the star of the show, with good taste and a decent serving. The veggies were a bit old and boring and could not be rescued by the sauce. I did not notice that there were premium extras that could be added to the bowl, e.g. guacamole ($1.50). There’s also the option of doubling up the protein for $3.

Pulled pork bowl

Pulled pork bowl ($10.80)

Other customisable items include pressed wraps, grain salads and classic wraps. There’s also a pulled pork sandwich and a classic bowl with pulled pork, plus toast and toasties (gluten-free available for extra $1).

Coffee is surprisingly expensive, considering there are plenty of better choices around. Small coffees are $3.70, and extras (e.g. soy/almond milk are $0.70).

Almond milk flat white

Small almond milk flat white ($4.40)

The Bottom Line
Coffee: 2.5/5, expensive and not much better than capsule coffee.
Food: 3/5, gluten-free and vegetarian choices available, customisable items.
Service: 3/5, standard “order and pay at the counter” service.

The Corner McCafé
8b Missenden Rd
Camperdown NSW 2050
(02) 9565 5710
Website

The Corner by McCafé Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aslan Coffee

Review: Aslan Coffee (St Peters)

Continuing with our exploration of our new neighbourhood, we visited this coffee micro brewery for lunch. It rates well in reviews everywhere and they seem serious about their beans.

Aslan Coffee

The coffee comes from Indonesia and is light and soft. Keep this in mind if you like your coffee strong.

Chai latte, long black

Chai latte ($3.5) + almond milk ($1), long black ($3.5)

The menu also features Indonesian items like the perkedel (Indonesian style potato croquette), Aunty Mei’s pork satay and Tempeh Orek burger. The rest of the menu mixes standard cafe fare with some North American influences, such as huevos rancheros and pulled pork burgers. Danish feta and chipotle aioli appear multiple times in the menu.

We ordered from the breakfast menu, which is available all days on weekends. The peppercorn hot smoked salmon with pan-fried perkedel, chipotle aioli, poached eggs, sesame seeds & fresh greens had a great flavour.

Peppercorn hot smoked salmon

Peppercorn hot smoked salmon ($18.5)

We ordered the green eggs omelette, a herby spinach omelette with semi-dried tomatoes, avocado, Danish feta cheese, pine nuts & side of chilli pesto with extra Spanish chorizo. Although I like my eggs less cooked, the omelette was good and very filling.

Green eggs omelette

Green eggs omelette ($17.50) + spanish chorizo ($3.5)

Other healthy options in the menu I noticed are the avocado boconcini salad ($12.5, with grilled chicken for $5 extra) and the roast vegetables salad ($15.5, with pulled pork for $4 extra). It’s also good to keep in mind that gluten-free toast is available for $2 extra.

The Bottom Line
Coffee: 3.5/5, good coffee but very delicate. Almond milk available.
Food: 3.5/5, plenty of vegetarian options (with vegan option available on most of them), some gluten-free options.
Service: 3.5/5, good service.

Aslan Coffee
1 Council St
St Peters NSW 2044
0488 827 526
Website
On Facebook

Aslan Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Lola

Review: Cafe Lola (Hobart, TAS)

One morning, breakfast at the conference was muffins and fruit. I silently turned around and reached for my phone to search for the nearby cafes I had bookmarked. The nearest one was Cafe Lola and I was extremely glad I found it.

Cafe Lola is located right on the wharf and it’s hard to miss – just follow the coffee-centric signs.

Cafe Lola

Cafe Lola

Their menu reads “At Lola we believe good food begins with sourcing locally and ethically, wherever possible, then preparing all our food fresh combining paleo and clean-food philosophies. Most importantly treating our food and customers with care, so you can enjoy being healthy and happy.” From my experience, it seems they do practice what they preach.

As I found out, coffee in Hobart is not cheap but fortunately this was an exception. My long black was not only decently priced ($3.50) but also decently sized and did not disappoint.

Long black

Long black ($3.50)

Even though I knew I would have a lot of food throughout the day, the brekkie paleo pod with soft scrambled eggs, bacon (or smoked salmon), spinach and kumara hash-brown sounded too good to miss. It was as wonderful as it sounds and very, very filling.

Brekkie paleo pod

Brekkie paleo pod ($15.50)

Even though the breakfast menu reads somewhat “normal”, most of the items have been revamped. For example, the toast is either gluten-free or rye and the spreads are home preserves. The granola, served with honey yoghurt and berries, is gluten-free, as are the ricotta & buckwheat pancakes with crispy maple spec (sic), orange & cardamom butter. The poached eggs come with sweet potato fritters, seared spinach & smashed avocado. You get the drill.

For lunch, they have pods in which you choose a base, a protein and an optional extra side. They also have gluten-free, paleo and regular cakes, slices and biscuits to grab and go.

Cafe Lola will remain bookmarked for my future visits to Hobart.

The Bottom Line
Coffee: 4.5/5, good and cheaper than the average in Hobart.
Food: 4.5/5, locally and ethically sourced produce, many gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and paleo options.
Service: 4/5, friendly and polite

Cafe Lola
1/1 Franklin Wharf
Hobart TAS 7000
(03) 6236 9934
Website

Lola Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pigeon Hole Cafe

Review: Pigeon Hole Cafe (Hobart, TAS)

It’s been a few weeks since I came back from my first (but definitely not last!) trip to Tasmania. I was there for just a few days to attend a conference but managed to squeeze in as many meals out as possible. My first culinary experience in Hobart happened on the very first day as soon as I dropped my bags at the hotel. I walked 10-15 mins looking for one of the cafes that had been recommended by my friend Cat.

Front counter

Being owned by farmers, Pigeon Hole Cafe is all about sustainable local and seasonal produce, quite literally “farm to table”. The cafe is small and charming and has shelves packed with homemade preserves.

Preserves

The menu looked so good I had to ask for help. Even though I was inclined to order the sardines with pickled vegetables, lemon and toast or the more orthodox roasted kale, beetroot & quinoa salad with goats curd, hazelnut and broad bean shoots, the waitress steered me toward her favourite item in the menu: the green eggs with free range ham and salsa verde on gluten-free toast. I’m glad I followed her advice, as the meal was delicious and the bread… oh man! One of the best gluten-free slices of bread I’ve had in a while. I forgot to ask for the brand, but I suspect it was locally made.

Green eggs

Green eggs ($15) + gluten-free bread ($1)

It was quite late in the afternoon so I decided not to have coffee. I know… I should’ve in the name of blogging. Next time!

Preserves

The Bottom Line
Food: 4.5/5, local, seasonal and sustainable produce, lots of gluten-free and vegetarian options. Great gluten-free bread.
Service: 4.5/5, friendly and helpful

Pigeon Hole Cafe
93 Goulburn St
West Hobart TAS 7000
(03) 6236 9306
Website
On Facebook
On Instagram

Pigeon Hole Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Copper Cafe

Review: Copper Cafe (St Peters)

We have moved. Again. Even though we’re not far away from our last place, this is a great excuse to getting to know our new locals. Our housemate got us decent coffee from here the day after moving, so I decided it was worth trying the food as well.

We each had a second almond milk latte to fill up the caffeine tank in preparation for the day ahead.

Almond milk lattes

Almond milk lattes ($4 each)

Alvaro had his eyes set on the Big Brekkie, which comes with 2 poached eggs, bacon, chorizo, roasted mushrooms, tomato, hash brown and sourdough. They don’t have gluten-free bread, so we ordered ours without toast. Keep in mind that the chorizo and hash brown are not gluten-free, so ask for a substitution if you are highly reactive to gluten. I was fine with the chorizo and didn’t eat the hash brown.

Big breakfast

Big Brekkie ($16.50)

We also tried the Eggs Benedict, which are served with smoked salmon instead of the traditional ham. Again, we ordered this without bread. I was happy to see that they didn’t skimp on the spinach. The radish slices definitely added to the looks and texture of the dish.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict ($16.50)

Other gluten-free options include the breakfast omelette and some lunch dishes, such as the grilled chicken salad. Just ask the friendly staff.

Being a small cafe, Copper offers baked treats to grab and go with your morning coffee, and also a variety of juices.

Baked treats

The Bottom Line
Coffee: 3/5, almond milk available
Food: 3.5/5, regular cafe fare, gluten-free options not labelled on the menu but meals can be adapted
Service: 4/5, happy to accommodate customer requests, responsive on Facebook

Copper Cafe
29 May St
St Peters NSW 2044
(02) 9519 4286
On Facebook

Copper Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The End of King Cafe

Review: The End of King Cafe (Newtown)

This venue, located close to St Peters station, has been the home of a few different businesses in the time we’ve lived in Sydney. I’m not sure how long The End of King has been here but it sure gets good reviews.

I gotta be honest and say that, besides the reviews, we came for the free wifi. Fortunately, food, drinks and service were great.

I had a macchiato for a change, which didn’t disappoint. I also tried Alvaro’s pineapple and mint frappé which was refreshing and not too sweet.

Macchiato

Macchiato ($3.50)

Pineapple and mint frappé

Pineapple and mint frappé ($6)

We ordered a couple of dishes from the specials menu, the chorizo stack (grilled chorizo, Black Forest bacon, scrambled egg with chilli and feta, avocado salsa on toast) and Sal’s Brekkie (sautéed mushrooms with kale, free range poached eggs, goat cheese, almond and hazelnut dukkah, polenta chips & toast). Both normally come with white sourdough and there’s a (small, from memory) fee to swap for gluten-free toast.

Chorizo stack

Chorizo stack ($17.90)

Both meals were great and very filling. If I had to pick a favourite, I’d go with the chorizo stack just because it was lighter on the carbs.

Sal's Brekkie

Sal’s Brekkie ($18.90)

Looking forward to trying more dishes, especially the salads and the coffee frappé.

The End of King

The End of King Cafe
609-611 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8021 3486
On Facebook

The End of King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stoneground Espresso

Review: Stoneground Espresso (Enmore)

Facade

The premises previously occupied by Bravo Coffee are now home of Stoneground Espresso, a clean modern space offering great (slightly expensive?) brews.

Menu

The minimalist menu reads: “Filter $5-10, Black $4, White $4”. There are a few croissants and cookies the size of my face, but it’s clear the main focus here is coffee.

Their cold drip is excellent, as is their service. It’s also a cool place to hang out, and I really appreciate the fact that there’s virtually no food, because it takes the pressure off.

Cold drip

Cold drip ($5)

There’s a variety of beans to take home, as well as Aeropress and other gadgets.

Coffee bags

An old roasting machine, which I think was there since the Bravo days, is the main decoration in the uncluttered cafe.

Machine

Stoneground Espresso
177 Enmore Rd
Enmore NSW 2042

Bondi Wholefoods

Review: Bondi Wholefoods (Surry Hills)

This is one of the many healthy Bondi cafes that triggered food envy every time I saw its dishes pictured on Instagram. A while ago I learned they had opened a shop in Surry Hills but the other thousand things occupying my mind wiped that fact out of my memory until last week. Turns out the Surry Hills shop is a short stroll away from where we practice Krav Maga.

Bondi Wholefoods

The shop is huge and includes a grocery store, the cafe, and a section with ready-made takeaway meals.

Takeaway

As you can imagine, I suffer from severe FOMO every time I visit a wholefoods cafe like this one. I finally decided to order the green longevity bowl even though I’m always suspicious of catchy phrases like that. However, once I read the entire description: “nutritious superfood kale & avocado, dressed in garlic, chilli, lemon and olive oil, twice baked cumin sweet potato, tricoloured quinoa, sea vegetables, sautéed miso mushrooms, fresh baby spinach, turmeric cashew cream, two gooey poached eggs, fermented veggies and fresh watercress”, I realised this meal could very well extend my life if I ate it every day. There are a few options for extra protein: free range crispy ham (my choice), smoked salmon, beef sausage or ocean trout.

Green longevity bowl

Green longevity bowl ($21.90) + free range crispy ham ($6)

Because it was too late for me to have second coffee, I ordered a turmeric latte made with organic turmeric and coconut milk, a perfect caffeine-free, anti-inflammatory beverage.

Turmeric latte

Turmeric latte ($4.50)

Alvaro had lunch elsewhere but couldn’t resist ordering an açaí smoothie, of which I had a few sips mouthfuls as the perfect end to my meal.

Açaí smoothie

Acai smoothie ($10.90)

Looking forward to trying more dishes, including their signature paleo bread.

Bondi Wholefoods

Bondi Wholefoods
517 Elizabeth St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9300 6776
Website

Bondi Wholefoods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Higher Ground

Review: Higher Ground (Melbourne CBD)

I caught up with my sister for a last breakfast in Melbourne before flying back to Sydney. Up until then I was under the impression that the only options near Southern Cross station on a weekend were fast food-type eateries but I was wrong. Higher Ground sits right across the road from the station, opens on weekends, and has fabulous food.

Yes, yes, the place is a little too hipster for my taste but service is friendly, which is what matters the most to me.

Open kitchen

We were not super hungry thanks to the substantial dinner we had at Supernormal the night before, so we decided to order just one dish to share. Once again our telepathic powers collided and there was no need to negotiate. The chosen dish was minced lamb fry up with eggplant, fried eggs, pickled rhubarb, smoked yoghurt, pine nut dukkah and possibly the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever had (which is made on premises, by the way). The bread was so good that my clever sister ordered some butter to enjoy the full experience. I don’t mean to sound like the bread was the highlight of the dish; it was all good.

Minced lamb fry up eggplant, fried eggs, pickled rhubarb, smoked yoghurt, pine nut dukkah, sourdough

Minced lamb fry up ($20)

I could tell they have the knowledge and the craft when it comes to coffee but the floral tones just didn’t click with me. Perhaps it was the method (I ordered a batch brew), or maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea (bad pun intended).

Batch brew

Batch brew ($4)

For people who can tolerate gluten there are several great-looking pastries on offer. It might be a good idea to grab a few before catching the Skybus.

Pastries

Higher Ground
650 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 8899 6219
Website
Email
Instagram

Higher Ground Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato