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I’ve reviewed Wild Pear Café before, but on a wet weekend in Sydney when you just want to get away from the chaos and enjoy a drive through the suburbs where space is less of a premium, this is a … Continue reading
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The Picnic has one of the more unique menus that I’ve encountered for a while. With a series of unusual ingredients and interesting combinations, the dishes suit those looking for something slightly different to the norm. Located in Burwood Park, … Continue reading
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Recommendations are marvelous things. Without them, my job of selecting the next café would be infinitely more difficult. Social media helps along the way but there’s nothing like a little local first-hand knowledge to let me know exactly what’s … Continue reading
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Look out! Café fever is heading west. This week we discover Excelsior Jones, a hip new café in Ashfield, which is just as happening as any in Surry Hills. We bundle into the car early on a Sunday (10am is … Continue reading
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After neglecting Croydon for far too long, Café On Strand is our first review in the suburb! With no spare tables outside, we seated ourselves within. The interior is spacious but we found it far too loud and echoey. All … Continue reading
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PS Café is a new arrival on the Sydney scene that is already expanding its premises. We luckily arrived early and although we tried to brave the weather outside, we eventually spotted a vacant table within. There were others braver … Continue reading
Parramatta is best known for Church Street, a popular restaurant and café strip. However this week we ventured away from the hustle and bustle of a city centre and relaxed in the Parramatta Park Café. The Park is well maintained with a creek and river running through it. There is a bicycle track and numerous open and shady spaces to relax or enjoy some sports. The Parramatta Park Café is right at the centre of this green getaway, serving more than what you would expect from a park kiosk. There are numerous seats both inside and out with most tables having a view of the river. Table service is provided.
The jumbo strawberry and banana smoothie ($5.50) seemed like a safer bet than the avocado smoothie. It was served to us overflowing and we got very sticky while we sipped it. The fruit was fresh however the ice cream used did have a tangy aftertaste that was not very favourable. There are numerous other bottled cold drinks as well as teas and coffees so we’d recommend choosing one of them.
The Bundaberg Ginger Beer ($3.50) was thirst quenching and delicious. Not much more can be really said except we were given a glass with ice in it, which was appreciated.
One of three specials on the menu was the chef’s omelette ($14.50). There was no shortage of vareity and amount of ingredients. Enclosed in the omelette was bacon which would have benefitted from longer frying on a separate pan, chorizo, salami, tomato, parmesan and rocket. The one gripe we had was that it was not cheesy enough – we wanted to cut the omelette and have strings of cheese between the pieces. Otherwise, we enjoyed the dish as it was not too dry and boasted plenty of flavour.
The Turkish toast with avocado ($10) was overpriced for what it was. The avocado looked slightly bruised and wasn’t presented very well but was ripe and delicious nonetheless. We would’ve liked some lemon on the side and some salt and pepper too.
The seasonal fruit salad ($8.50) was also disappointing. It didn’t look very fresh and was served in an unappetising manner squashed into the bowl.
The café has a great location so if you’re out enjoying the park it’s convienent to stop buy. The waitress who took our order was very helpful but we did not receive the same service form others. Cutlery, food and drinks were cast onto our table in a fashion we’re not used to. You’ll pay relatively high prices for average food so don’t come with high expectations.
The Park is gorgeous and has a large bike track for cyclists. Bring along your picnic rug and Razor scooter for maximum enjoyment.
Overall Rating: 20.5/25
Phone: 9630 0144
Address: Parramatta Park, Parramatta, 2150
Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash
Situated within the gardens of Flower Power nursery in Enfield, this café is a great meeting spot for friends and families. Children can wander around the ponds and fountains and chatter to the birds in the aviary. There is a designated smoking area far from the rest of the tables which is a welcome change. The café was bustling with life when we arrived at 11am on a Sunday. I booked for a party of 12 people and reconfirmed the day before, however we arrived to a table for 8.
We ordered and paid at the counter where the service was rushed and the wait staff were not particularly welcoming. The drinks and dishes came slowly from the kitchen and some later orders came well before those that were ordered first.
The drinks were tasty and met our expectations. The vanilla milkshake ($5.00) brought back childhood memories and the coffees hit the spot after a late Saturday night. Coffees came in two sizes, a cup for $3.25 and mug (tall glass) for $4.20. We indulged in a cappuccino, mocha, hot chocolate and flat white. The coffee was well roasted but not presented as well as we are used to.
The menu stated that ‘fresh fruit frappes’ were available however when asked what they contained the wait staff were not sure. The waitress then produced a bottle of premade frappe demonstrating that the mixture contained berries. We were disappointed that the frappes were not made fresh and decided against ordering one. In addition there were no freshly made juices which didn’t leave a lot of fresh and healthy options for a hot summer morning.
The mini orange cake ($4) and caramel cheese cake with ice cream ($7.80) were an impressive sight. Creations made out of toffee impressed all members of our party, children and adults included. The taste didn’t impress as much as the presentation however they were still delicious.
Breakfast finished at 11:30am so one member opted for the Linguine with home made meatballs ($19) from the lunch menu. Our guest reported that the meat balls did indeed taste homemade and she was impressed with the fresh herbs used in the dish. She also commented that the prices seemed quite high, ‘…the Fish and Chips were like 22 bucks!’ They also offer a selection of dishes on the Children’s Menu for those under 12 years of age.
Overall, the cafe is a great place to bring children and have a satisfying meal. Being located within the nursery and close to Henley Park it’s a great way to start a leisurely Sunday.
NB: 10% surcharge applies for Sundays and public holidays.
Overall Rating: 15/25
Phone: 9744 6449
Address: 27 Mitchell St, Enfield
Payment Options: CC, EFTPOS, cash
Majors Bay Road is the central shopping area for Concord but it’s not all hustle and bustle. The area is tranquil and the residents laid back. Frank Lacava runs Valentini’s Cafe and he was on deck, serving tables while we were there. There is no shortage on the drinks menu: all coffees big and small, six flavour shots, six teas, milkshakes, smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.
The fresh juices available are orange, watermelon, carrot, pineapple, celery apple and ginger. We indulged in orange & pineapple and apple, carrot, orange & ginger juices ($5 each) which were both cold and well blended. Delicious.
The bacon and egg roll ($6.50) was slightly oily on top of the bun but had well cooked ingredients and tasted great. What made it even better was adding some haloumi from our other dish…
Valentini’s Brekki ($14.50) was a great choice for vegetarians with two eggs, two slices of toast, grilled tomato, two big slices of grilled haloumi and chutney. The sliced white bread was disappointing lacking the flavour and texture we’ve come to expect. However the chutney made up for it casting us back to good home cooked breakfasts. The presentation could’ve been better but would probably conflict with the hearty, good value impression we were given so no complaints here.
The bacon & egg roll was too small for big eaters so we added a toasted croissant ($4.50). The croissant selection was ham, cheese & tomato or jam & butter. We chose the jam option and received the croissant already buttered, jammed and ready to eat – a more casual and homely affair as most cafés would bring the condiments separately. The croissant tasted fantastic: fluffy, with a great chewy consistency and a good amount of jam.
Overall Rating: 16/25
Phone: 9743 3939
Address: 398 Majors Bay Road, Concord, 2137
Payment Options: CC, EFTPOS (both $10 minimum), cash. 10% surcharge Sundays and public holidays
Like a desert oasis, Sideways Deli Cafe emerged amongst the quiet suburbuan streets of Dulwich Hill. We found that with good reason it proudly boasts its Inner West Business Awards 2008 and 2009 for most outstanding cafe. There is ample seating both inside inside & out for small & large groups. The wait staff are very welcoming and fast. The other patrons quiet and friendly, lending to a relaxing atmosphere. Despite the fact that the café is situated directly next to a roundabout, there was little to no traffic and none of it consisted of any loud buses or trucks.
The frappes proved to be fresh and delicious. The pineapple, berry & mint ($5.70) delivered the flavours of all the ingredients it promised. The orange, mango & ginger ($5.70) seemed to be lacking ginger but both drinks were the perfect start to a hot summer’s day.
More fruit was on the way in the form of one of the best fruit salads we have experienced in terms of variety. The seasonal fruit salad with yoghurt and honey ($9.50) contained pineapple, watermelon, kiwi fruit, nectarine, strawberries, orange. The fruit was fresh and the juices combined at the bottom of the bowl to make a refreshing blend.
The green eggs ($14.90) were fluffy & light and offered something different to the usual café fare. The pesto and feta added new life to an old staple. The sourdough was thick, fresh and perfectly prebuttered. The bacon and tomatoes completed the meal. The bacon was cooked slightly less than we were used to but suited this dish, as well as the next one, which we had some of it with…
… the corn fritters ($14.50). The dish consisted of two corn fritters served with sautéed spinach in between. This was topped with a tomato relish and two slices of fried haloumi cheese. Despite its appearance this was a a filling dish. The fritters were thick with lots of corn and herbs and was a standout amongst our orders.
Overall Rating: 20/25
Phone: 9560 1425
Address: 37 Constitution Road, Dulwich Hill, 2203
Payment Options: CC, EFTPOS, cash