A Tavola – Bondi Beach

Sometimes when your original plans for the night don’t go so well, you end up having an even better night than expected and that’s exactly what happened this Thursday. 

We decided to go to A Tavola since there was a long wait at another restaurant. We arrived at the door and was approached by a man who said it would be around 15-30 minute wait which we were happy with that time frame. At this time it was 8:00pm. Every 10 minutes the man would approach us and tell us a table would be ready soon. At around 8:30pm we finally got a table and by this stage we were starting to get a bit impatient, so perfect timing. We got seated at the bar and as we we sat down the man who looked like a co-owner was very thankful for the time that we waited. We were then told that our waitress would come and explain the menu for us. I’ve never seen this approach at the restaurant but when you look at the menu, you realize why it needs to be explained. All these different dishes and names, I got a bit lost and overwhelmed. 

A short time later we were given complementary Rosemary and chilli focaccia bread with olive and chilli infused oil. 

(Sorry about the poor quality photos, I think I need to invest in a good camera)

This bread came to us so warm and soft! I’m a massive fan of chilli and that olive and chilli oil was beautiful soaked up in this bread. Great start to the meal. 

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Our waitress came back and went through the menu with us. The knowledge the staff have about the produce and dishes is astonishing. She went through every dish with us on the menu telling us where it came from and the different flavours experienced when eating particular dishes. She knew word for word of the whole menu. We were very impressed. 

When asked if we wanted a drink, the boyfriend said yes and i asked about their beers on offer, once again she had amazing knowledge. Her favourite was the Birra Italia which I ordered and the boyfriend got a VIS Beer. The beers were lovely. My beer was crisp and fresh and my the boyfriends beer was very lite but a little bit more bitter. 

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Next we ordered our food

To Start 

  • Blackened olives 

Mains 

  • (My Order) PAPPARDELLE con RAGU di MANZO e RAFANO – Pappardelle, wagyu beef shin, red wine, horseradish  34
  • Fusilli with buffalo mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and olives. 

To be honest I’ve never in my life liked olives. My family loves them but I can’t bring myself to eat them until tonight. These Olives were divine!! Full of flavour but not overpowering, they were soft and warm. How could I have not liked these before? I can say I’m officially an olive lover now 🙂 

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Finally our mains arrived and it just looks like heaven on a plate. I’ve never had Pappardelle pasta before and I’ve been saving up the time to try it at A Tavola and I’m so happy I did. We were told that the pasta is dehydrated before being cooked and you can see that as you walk into the restaurant from the side entrance as they have pasta sheets hanging on a rack on the wall. As I took my first mouthful, I know instantly why this is their signature dish! The pasta is al dente and you can taste that its dehydrated. It’s really delightful. The wagyu beef just melts into your mouth and the juice just catches on every bit of the pasta. A beautiful beautiful dish that I know I wont stop thinking about. 

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I had a taste of my boyfriends dish and that was perfect too. The pasta also had a bite to it, the flavours were so freshening and the buffalo mozzarella was perfect for the dish. It was like a wood fired margherita pizza but in a pasta form if that makes sense. I only had one spoonful of his dish as I just needed to get back to my pasta. 

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Location – Perfectly on Hall Street on Bondi Beach. It was a little hard to get parking as hall street was blocked off for road works, but we eventually found parking in one of the side stress. 

Price – For two beers, a starter and two pasta dishes it came to $84 dollars which I thought it be a lot more expensive but i was surprised to see that amount when we received the bill 

Service – One of the best I’ve been in Sydney. The knowledge of the staff is impeccable and they are friendly and warm towards you and treat you as though you are their main priority for the night. 

Atmosphere – Beautiful atmosphere near the beach. The lighting of this place is dim but very sweet and romantic. Everyone is there for a good wine and lovely pasta dish in one of the best locations in Sydney. 

Food – Quality food which is made with love, passion and soul. They have perfected their art of pasta at this restaurant and you know they take pride in that. Best pasta I’ve had in Sydney (Sorry mum) 

Overall this is one of the best restaurant experiences I’ve had in a long time and one i will be returning to sooner than later. I adore this place already and i highly highly recommend this restaurant for anyone looking for a romantic dinner, drinks with the girls, catch up with friends or just craving a really good pasta 

 

 

A Tavola on Urbanspoon

A Tavola on Urbanspoon

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A Tavola – Bondi Beach

Seven Seeds – Melbourne

Two reviews in one day…I think I’m becoming addicted and I’m missing Melbourne a lot today.

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One of my favourite places in Melbourne has to be Seven Seeds! Unfortunately we only got to go there once but it will be the first place I go to when I’m back in Melbourne.

We went to seven seeds around brunch time. My boyfriend and I got out of the taxi in a lane way and thought we were going to walk to the main street to get to the cafe but no its in the lane way. I love cafe’s hidden in lane ways, I don’t know why but I do. We came to this massive wooden door which is always a bit exciting. As we walk in we’re greeted by a woman who takes us to a table in front of the kitchen and bar area. Straight away be both ordered a coffee. Me a Cappuccino and an espresso for the boyfriend, the woman took our order, gave us menus and also told us the specials which sounded very appealing.

As we looked at the menu I didn’t really find anything that stood out to me and  I always get poached eggs on toast with avocado and I wanted something different today then I remember out waitress telling us the specials for the day “Maple syrup and bacon French Toast”

YEP THAT’S A WINNER FOR ME! She arrived with our coffee’s and took our order of course I got the Bacon French Toast and my boyfriend  got the Curried Baked Eggs

The smell of coffee, I don’t think I could ever get over it. Our coffees were delicious and on this cold Melbourne day, its just what I needed.  IMG_4063

I kept looking into the kitchen to see if the next order ready was ours…after being disappointed twice as the waitress didn’t come to our table, the 3rd time lucky was our dish and my oh my did it look like a heart attack waiting to happen but on this day…I wanted to be a bit of a piggy.

This dish I will remember my whole life. It arrived with maple syrup drenched into the toast and bacon. I took my knife and fork and dug for gold and I sure found gold. That first bite was pure love. The texture of the French toast was soft like a pillow and the toast was thick, the sweetness was perfect with the maple syrup and all together with the bacon was bliss. I often think how much I can’t wait to go back and eat it again but then feel incredibly saddened as I remember that it was only the special for the day and I will probably never have it again 😦

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I tried my boyfriends dish and that was yummy also, I found myself going to his dish every now and then and taking a little bit of it! (Like I said I wanted to be a piggy) I expected this dish to have a big curry flavour but it didn’t, the curry flavour was there but didn’t take over the dish which I guess is a good thing. It was creamy and full of goodness although one bit of sourdough bread was not enough to soak up that goodness, my boyfriend ended up ordering another slice of it to finish the dish off. IMG_4066

Location – Would be hard to find if you’re not from Melbourne or have never been to seven seeds before. Luckily my boyfriend has been here before and knew exactly where we were going. No parking

Price – Very well priced. Not expensive nor cheap.

Service – Lovely service. You could tell the workers there were happy to be there and were more than happy to be at your service.

Atmosphere – The atmosphere was great! Busy yet relaxed environment not overwhelming, felt very content in the space and surroundings.

Food – Good food with a lot of love put into it! Sort of like mum’s cooking, you can tell they put effort into every dish and do it with love and passion.

One of the number one places to go in Melbourne, we’ll one of my places anyway!

Love Love Love it!

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

Seven Seeds – Melbourne

So sorry!

I haven’t posted in around 2 months! I’ve been so slack but i have been incredibly busy! I still have found time to go to great restaurants but I haven’t found time to blog about them but i am now free from exams and school and I promise I will be making more of an effort to upload more blogs! So keep checking back within the next week and you will see some new reviews on restaurants such as Chiswick at Woollahra, Moo Burger Crowsnest, Iceburgs Dining Room and Bar Bondi Beach and El Loco Surry Hill! 

 

Exciting food blogs to come! Can’t Wait

So sorry!

Cafe Mint – Surry Hills

It’s that time again! Friday night and looking for a new place to have a nice dinner, my favorite time of the week. We had a few options to choose from and a few hiccups on decided what to have, for some reason we could not decided on what we wanted and where we wanted to go but my boyfriend suggested Cafe Mint a modern middle eastern restaurant in Surry Hills which I was happy to try out after looking at their menu online.

We arrived at around 8:00pm, it was packed! We weren’t able to get a table but they offered us a place on the bar which I was happy with! The vibe of this place is very cozy and very relaxed.  Looking through the menu my eyes went straight for the Roasted Chicken, but as we looked through the menu more closely we decided to go for something new this time as we always have chicken. 

We ordered

  •  Mezze plate – House made hummus, babaganouj & muhammra with hot za’atar bread & olives. My boyfriend ordered and extra muhammra dip as it’s his favorite and I was excited to try it. $17
  • Ravioli – Filled with Roasted garlic & potato, topped with spicy slow cooked lamb
    mince, spices, caramelized onion and mint yoghurt $24

  • Lamb kefta – Lamb meatballs with zucchini & pistachio in a tomato sauce with
    olive & fennel seed on broad bean bissara & shaved fennel salad $25

Looking around at all the other diners food, I was getting pretty excited to try some this food. 

The Mezze plate was the first to arrive. 

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Nothing better than bread and some dips! The muhammra dip was beautiful but for some reason I couldn’t get enough of that babaganouj dip! I could have just had that with a spoon. We eventually finished the za’atar bread but had so much more of the dip left so we asked for more bread. We ended up getting Turkish bread instead of the za’atar bread which was incredible. To be honest I wish we had been served the Turkish bread in the first place. It was thick, fluffy and perfect with the dips. 

Our next two dishes arrived. First the meatballs.

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What a bowl of flavor. We only got three meatballs in this dish but the portions of the meatballs were HUGE! The lamb spices with the crunch of the pistachio was perfect. The tomato sauces was rich in flavor and added so much to the dish. I cant imagine coming back just for this dish, perfect for a warm winter dinner. We both had a meatball and a half each which was perfect because we have the ravioli to go yet.

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The star of this dish has to be that mint yogurt. The ravioli was cooked al dente which was perfect! I was disappointed in the filling of the ravioli though. It was underwhelming. The texture of the potato was lovely but garlic? Where? I couldn’t taste the garlic but luckily that mint yogurt came to save the day! It was a bit tangy which I really enjoyed and that drenched in the spicy slow cooked lamb mince was divine. 

A lovely meal and would be very happy to return for the Mezze plate, the meatballs and try that chicken dish! 

Location –  Great! Right on Crown Street, may be difficult to find parking.

Price – Reasonable. For the two of us, three dishes in which we both shared, it came to around $70 dollars

Service – It was lovely service. The woman knew what she was talking about, she was cheerful and make our experience comfortable. 

Atmosphere – A great place for a date or for drinks with friends. It’s a small venue that sits around 40 people. The lighting is nice which adds to that cozy feel. I wasn’t a fan of how the door didn’t close properly and I would get hit with this cold air.

Food – Perfect middle eastern food with great spices and flavor. I will definitely be returning. It’s a new one to add to the list of places to go and recommend. 

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Cafe Mint on Urbanspoon

Cafe Mint – Surry Hills

Chat Thai – Randwick

I’ve been told that Chat Thai is only one of a few restaurants in Sydney that comes close to capturing the same Thai food flavors as Thailand. I’ve become quite obsessed with Thai food, so of course I had to see what everyone was saying but i was a bit hesitant because who names a Thai restaurant “Chat Thai”?

There are many Chat Thai stores around Sydney, but we ended up going to Randwick as it was the closest one. We arrived at around 8pm on a Friday night and got a table straight away. It’s a small restaurant and it was packed so I was glad we were able to get a table as soon as we walked in.

The waitress handed us the menus which is a hard cover book. I’ve never seen a menu presented in that way, so I was pretty impressed.

My boyfriend and I order the three main dishes that we always get when having Thai. At Chat Thai we ordered:

  • Gai Satay ($3 each) – Skewered and char grilled chicken fillets with peanut sauce with a sweet chilli and cucumber salsa dip.
  • Chicken with cashew nuts (13.90) – Stir fried chicken with cashew nuts and smoked chilli jam (Boyfriend’s order)
  • Padt si-ew ($10.90) – Stir fried wide rice noodles with chicken, egg and Chinese kale in dark soy sauce. (My order)

First dish was the Gai Satay.

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Now this is what satay sticks should taste like! The char grilled taste of the chicken was so perfect and the crunch from the peanuts in the sauce was perfect. I hate when you get given satay sauce and its just liquid based. This was thick, tender, crunchy and full of great bursting flavor.

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The Chicken Cashew nut had a different flavor to what my boyfriend is used too. The chicken didn’t have the smoky flavor that he has had at previous Thai restaurants. I had a taste and it was sweet and tender. He seemed to really enjoy it.

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Now to my dish, Padt Si-Ew

I have only started ordering this dish within the past few months, before i always used to get a curry of some sort.

This padt si-ew was delicious. It was full of flavor and satisfied my cravings for this dish. I do have to say that the noodles were quite oily but I am happy to overlook that as it was perfect. The chicken was tender and had a yummy char grilled taste. It had the right amount of soy sauce and I love the hints of fried egg throughout the dish.

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The water cups are so cute too.

Location – In a small street in Randwick, not a place I would have expected a Thai restaurant to be. Easy access.

Price – Fairly cheap prices for great Thai food. Always a +

Service – I wouldn’t say it was the best service we have had, but they were polite and we got the right dishes and they came to the table quickly. That’s all you need

Atmosphere – It’s a small restaurant and only seats around 45 people. It’s a bit tight. I love the open kitchen, even though it seems every restaurant has one now, but it’s always exciting to see your food fresh and cook in front of you.

Food – Great Thai food. Couldn’t ask for anything better.

I would love to come back to Chat Thai. It’s not so chat afterall

Chat Thai Randwick on Urbanspoon

Chat Thai – Randwick

Phamish Vietnamese Cafe – Darlinghurst

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Phamish….My go to place for a romantic, quick, yummy dinner!

I’ve been going to Phamish for the past 10 months and not once have I been disappointed. Luckily the first time I went to Phamish I was with someone who knew how their system works as it can be a bit confusing for new customers.

We arrived at Phamish at 7:30pm on a Saturday night, and we got a table straight away which was great as the past few times we have had to wait 15-20 minutes for a table, which is no problem but as it is winter I was glad to see they have outdoor heaters.

As you arrive to Phamish, you walk up the front to order where you can also see the menu which hangs on the wall above the counter. My boyfriend and I for the past 10 months have ordered that same dishes!

  •  Vietnamese Chicken Curry – Yellow curry with chicken, lemongrass and sweet potato (also available in Prawn or Vegetable version)

and

  • Sesame Lamb – Grilled Lamb Fillets with a Garlic and hoi sin marinade, served with cucumber and cherry tomato’s.

and of course rice. We also thought this time we would also try a new dish.

  • Crispy Spring Rolls  – Deep fried Vietnamese spring rolls with ground chicken, rice vermicelli, wood ear fungi served with a sweet chilli sauce.

As we finished ordering we walked to our table which was outside (luckily next to a heater) and waited for our dishes to arrive. Two woman sitting next to us looked confused as they were sitting down waiting for someone to take their order, they then realized that you have to walk to the counter to order. This is an example of how I said earlier that the system is a bit confusing if you’re a new customer.

The first dish to arrive was the Crispy Spring Rolls. Image

WHY HAVEN’T WE ORDERED THIS BEFORE?!? YUM!

The Spring Rolls came to our table hot and very fresh. It was a generous serving of 6 rolls. The crispy pastry was perfectly golden and brown. The flavors were beautiful and fresh. The ground chicken was full of flavor and the crunch of the rice vermicelli was perfect. The sweet chilli sauce gave it a great kick and was perfect with all the falvors and textures of the crispy spring rolls. Great start to the meal!!

The next dish to arrive was the Vietnamese Chicken Curry.Image

This will always be my very favorite dish at Phamish! As my boyfriend says “It’s like they massage the chicken” The chicken in this dish is so tender and juicy and the spicy yellow gravy is absolute heaven when soaked into the rice. I get to eat the potato’s as my boyfriend isn’t a fan….More for me I say! Once or twice I have gotten potato’s that have hardly been cooked and are just hard and I can’t eat them but this time they were soft and drenched in that yummy curry gravy. I could have this dish every night, no problem! So good.

Last but definitely not least…Sesame Lamb.

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Once again this dish is so full of flavor. The lamb is tender and the star of this dish has to be the sesame seeds, the flavor of the sesame seeds with the lamb is a perfect combination. Although its not an attractive look when the seeds get stuck in your teeth. The hoi sin sauce is sweet and light. The sauce of this dish is also oh so good in the rice. I love the hint of freshness with the cucumber added to the dish as well.

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Like I said at the beginning of the blog. This is our go to restaurant if we can’t find anywhere else to go or if we just feel like a meal that we know will be perfect and quick. It’s romantic and we know the food will always be up to scratch and good service.

I 100% recommend Phamish if looking for a place to go on Thursday nights and on the weekend for a relaxed date night or to catch up with friends. It’s also BYO

Location – In the heart of Daringhurst, would be hard to find if not a regular customer but can be easily found with directions. Next to two also very successful restaurants. Jazz Milk Bar and Lucio’s Pizzeria.

Price – $$ Fairly cheap!

Crispy spring rolls – $12

Vietnamese Chicken Curry – $17.90

Sesame Lamb – $19.50

Service – Good. Always friendly and with a smile. I love it when they come to your table to re-fill your glass of water.

Atmosphere – Romantic. It’s also a bit small, as you have to keep shuffling to let people through. It’s always busy which creates an uplifting vibe. Phamish only seats around 50 people. There is outdoor and indoor seating. (20 seats inside, 30 seats outside). One down fall is the seats. They are hard metal and an unusual shape which can be very uncomfortable

Food – We are regular customers of Phamish and every time it’s great. The food is full of flavor and perfect sized portions. Unfortunately Phamish don’t do desserts but I say you go to Kurtosh in Surry Hills which isn’t far, if you want something sweet and a great coffee.

I know i’ll keep going to this place for a very long time. Can’t imagine life without Phamish.

Phamish on Urbanspoon

Phamish Vietnamese Cafe – Darlinghurst

Mary’s Newtown

My boyfriend and i were contemplating whether or not to go to Mary’s at Newtown or Buffalo Dining Club at Darlinghurst, we ended up choosing Mary’s which i was thrilled about! I have been reading so much hype about the food here, I’ve been dying to go.

We arrived at Mary’s around 8:30pm with another couple, Without the line of people at the front of the door, this would have been a hard place to find as its tucked away on Mary’s Street in Newtown (hence the name), the line went very fast so it wasn’t a problem. As the line started to move we were given hot chips to enjoy whilst waiting in line which was great because 1. We were freezing 2. we were hungry and 3…Free chips! Cannot complain.

As we walked in, the atmosphere changed to a fun,crowded and loud environment. We headed up stairs which i was thankful for as it wasn’t so loud up there, where as downstairs the music was on full blast and you had to shout to the people you were talking to. As we sat down a lady came to our table and told us the menu, which consisted of burgers, fried chicken and mash and gravy so we figured we would order everything! We ordered 2 Cheeseburgers, 2 Mary’s burgers, Half a bird of fried chicken (5 pieces) and mash and gravy. My mouth was watering just ordering it. She took our orders without paper just from memory which i found to be impressive but then again it isn’t a massive menu.

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How cute! The Tabasco hot sauce and salt and pepper come in little Jack Daniels Bottles.

The fried chicken and the mash potato arrived at the table first and i went straight for the chicken. OH MY GOD! amazing! This fried chicken was soooo good. The crispy skin just flaked off which also had a great crunch to it and had a beautiful smoky, spicy flavor to it, which i was very happy about, i always love a bit of spice. It also had a flavors that i would not place, i spent ages trying to figure out that other spices were in the batter. The chicken was juicy and succulent and a generous amount of meat too instead of all bone.

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The Mash potato and gravy was served in a basket with grease proof paper. It was silky, buttery, and salty just how it should be and the gravy had a lovely meaty flavor to it which is perfect for dipping your chips into. Perfect combination, chips and gravy. oh my! This place is all about getting your hands dirty while enjoying a fatty greasy meal.

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Now for the star of the night! The cheeseburger!!!!

It too was served in a basket with a very good amount of shoe string fries. The burger was wrapped in grease proof paper. I felt like it was Christmas morning and i was opening my first present, this is how excited i was to finally try this burger.

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The bun is shiny, super soft and sweet. The meat patty was smoky and greasy, with the american cheese, mustard, tomato sauce, onion and pickles, this is a typical cheeseburger but it had a unique flavor too it which made it special and incredibly tasty.  I’ll admit, i think my expectations were too high for this cheeseburger but i will say only just slightly. It was a great burger and to be honest…i’ve been craving all day. It was a perfect size and i could have multiple a day…tempting but i wouldn’t haha.

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Overall it was a very successful night with great company! Mary’s is perfect for wanting to catch up with friends over a drink and things to snack on whilst talking and having a laugh.

Location – Right in the middle of Newtown but difficult to locate as its tucked away. You can just walk straight past it without knowing.

Price – Burgers range from $12 to $14. can add bacon for $4 and can double for $3

Fried chicken range from Half bird $16 to Larry Bird $45

Mash Potato and gravy $5

Service – All staff here are helpful and attentive. We had no problems. Staff are here to have a good time with you and serve whilst still being professional.

Atmosphere – Mary’s is very loud and dark. It gives off a southern barn feel with a modern hipster twist. Great music is playing and everyone is there to have a good time and a great feed.

Food – Perfect! If you’re after a very greasy, finger licking, getting your hands dirty type of meal. this is the place for you! Burgers, fried chicken and mash potato and gravy. What else do you need? Every dish was full of flavor and yummy!

I honestly cannot wait to go back! OH and they do take away burgers! Even better. YAY!

Mary's on Urbanspoon

Mary’s Newtown