Frankies Food Factory Latte

Frankie’s Food Factory – Milperra

Sydney

Where: Frankie’s Food Factory, within Flower Power at 479 Henry Lawson Dr, Milperra NSW 2214

When: February 2020

Meal: Brunch

Cost: $48 for two

I’d heard a lot about Frankie’s at Flower Power, including that it gets super busy on weekends and is always packed, no matter the time of day. I had the opportunity to visit on a Monday for brunch and it was surprisingly busy for a weekday, but easy to get a table and service was fast.

I visited with my Mum who is always up for sharing meals so we can enjoy both a savoury and sweet option. We opted for the Za’atar & Mint Bagel ($19) to start with which had za’atar, hummus, truffle burrata, avocado, sesame seeds & mint on a fresh and soft bagel. The combination was a punchy flavour hit, including the hummus which had full flavour on its own. We also added the poached egg ($3) which is a must in my mind.

For our brunch dessert we had the Butterscotch Banana Pancakes ($18). This was a stack of three thick, fluffy and moist pancakes topped with a thick butterscotch sauce, that actually truly tasted like butterscotch. So often I feel people try and palm off a caramel sauce as being butterscotchy, but no, I’m onto those people. The flavour of the butterscotch worked really well with the bananas, white chocolate drizzle and peanut brittle chunks. My only wish was that there was a smear of the butterscotch sauce in between the pancake layers. That would have made it a 5/5 dish for me!

Coffee was also good, served on a nice board. I enjoyed a small latte ($4).

Would I go back? Yes, I really enjoyed my first visit and I’ve heard their Donut Fries on the dessert menu are definitely worth returning for!

Would I recommend it to you? Absolutely, I’ve already been telling locals I know that they must go. Frankie’s is pet friendly too, so take your pooch…if she/he is well behaved. There are many, many expensive things to knock over in Flower Power!

Show me the food…

My Zomato Gold Membership

Life

When I heard Zomato Gold was coming to Australia and launching in Melbourne, I instantly felt cheated that it wasn’t in my home town of Sydney. I reassured myself that with all the other discounted deals available through apps/sites like the Fork, EatClub and First Table, I would be fine and I wouldn’t be missing out. Plus those apps/sites give you discounts for free (except for First Table which charges a $10 reservation fee to access the discount), so why would I pay a monthly or annual membership fee for Zomato Gold?!

Well, that was all good in theory, but when Zomato announced Gold was coming to Sydney early this year, I all of a sudden wanted in on the action. I pre-registered to be given the first notice that it was open for memberships and a discount of 60% off the annual fee if I joined early…but that discount never came! I stumbled upon the fact Gold was open whilst on Zomato one day, but they were offering 50% discount to everyone. Miffed I didn’t get the promised 60%, I decided to not take part.

The 50% discount offer was there for weeks and I became complacent that I could take it if I really wanted it. I held the power in this relationship. Until…whilst browsing Zomato for a cafe for brunch I started seeing places doing 10-15% discounts on food for Gold members. Ok, I’m in! But oh no, the membership discount offer was gone…

However when Valentine’s Day rolled around the 50% discount returned. I pounced on it like it was a straight single man in his late 30’s who was over 6 foot and still had all his hair! I paid $44 and was instantly a Gold member and discovered that I will use the app to pay for my meals via my stored credit card details to access discounts off my bill.

Zomato-Gold-Terms

Which brings us to here, where I’ll be tracking the value I receive from being a Zomato Gold member.

Use 1 – Saved $4.87

Left of Field Rhodes, Lunch for 1, February 2020.

15% off total bill of $32.50

Running Total

Saved $4.87

Value vs Fee -$39.13

Left of Field Rhodes Interior

Left of Field – Rhodes

Sydney

Where: Left of Field, 3/7 Gauthorpe St, Rhodes NSW 2138

When: February 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approx $32 for one, but then I received a 15% discount by using my Zomato Gold membership

I went to Left of Field with something healthy in mind, and from seeing the way the Summer Falafel Salad ($19) was presented, I knew it would fit the bill. With falafel, rocket, kale, carrots, cabbage, onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot hummus, pomegranate dressing, tahini and candied walnuts it was full of all the good stuff, but also plenty of flavour and texture.

I’m always a little hesitant about falafels due to ordering them in the past and they end up being hard little tasteless bricks. These were served warm though and were really soft and fluffy on the inside with a light, crisp edge. Perfect.

I added avocado ($5) to the dish because I was super hungry and I felt the added fat would fill me up more. I expected it would have been sliced avocado, but smashed avocado arrived separately in small dish. Paying $5 for avocado seems a little excessive to me and I estimated it to be about a 1/4 of an avocado so I felt slightly ripped off, but it really added to the dish.

I also ordered the Tropi Cool Juice ($7.50) with pineapple, apple, lemon, orange and mint. This was a good sized serve and wasn’t too sweet and I felt the mint really gave it a refreshing quality that made it nice to have with lunch on a warm day.

Would I go back? Yes, this is my second visit to Left of Field and it has improved even further from the first time where they left an item listed on the menu off my dish when serving. Next visit, I think I need to try the Pavlova Hotcakes.

Would I recommend it to you? Definitely, plenty of variety on the menu with All Day Breakfast and All Day Lunch, so you’ll find something no matter what you’re in the mood for.

Show me the food…

Cafe-Ventotto-Surry-Hills

Cafe Ventotto – Surry Hills

Sydney

Where: Cafe Ventotto, 510 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

When: February 2020

Meal: Late Lunch

Cost: Approx $30 each

Café Ventotto is a beautiful little café where you can escape the bustle of Elizabeth Street.  It has the usual tables and chairs format in the front of the cafe, but up just a few stairs is a lounge area with velvet couches and low coffee table style dining.

We visited for a late lunch on a Friday and ordered a few dishes to share between two. The timeslot perhaps worked against us as a few items we picked off the menu were unavailable. This was particularly disappointing in the case of the La Vita Bella which is a sweet ricotta, strawberry and croissant dish that I had been lusting after on Instagam and I was definitely intending on getting it.

The standout for us of the dishes we did get was the Moo-Moo burger which had beautifully tender slow-braised beef brisket and lots of flavour from the housemade tomato eggplant relish, aioli and pickles. The Farmer Salad we choose to add grilled halloumi to, which was a plentiful serve. The Prince’s Feast also had tender lamb and worked well with the pearl cous cous and housemade hummus.

Drinks-wise we didn’t have much luck. My friend was interested in the Kombucha which listed four varieties on the menu, but the waitress looked at us like she didn’t know they existed and said they were out. We then diverted our attention to the smoothies, only to be told they had just two of the four options. We picked the Purple Bliss with blueberries, banana, dates and boysenberries, but found it lacked flavour. We added a strawberry shake too, but that was just a standard syrup shake, nothing special. Neither I would order again.

Would I go back? I really enjoyed the Moo-Moo burger and found the meals generous in portion size, but based on my experience with the lack of availability of dishes that I wanted, no I wouldn’t go back.

Would I recommend it to you? If you’re in the area, I would say sure pop in for a burger and try your luck with the La Vita Bella (make sure you tell me what it’s like), but I wouldn’t suggest you make a special trip to visit.

Show me the food…

2019

The Top 10 Things I Ate This Year

Life

As we descend upon Christmas and my diet will soon become 84% ham, turkey, prawns, pav and 67% champagne…I’ve reflected on the amazing things I’ve experienced this year and come up with the Top 10 things I put in my mouth. Really, with eating out a few times a week this could easily have been a Top 20 or 30, but I know we all have short attention spans.

So here it is, with my instagram commentary at the time…

1. Truffle French Toast – Three Williams, Redfern

“Omg, omg, omg! This was possibly the most amazing breakfast I’ve ever had in my life. Three Williams is celebrating truffle season with a special truffle menu and this is their Truffle French Toast. From the menu ‘crunchy brioche, truffle ice cream, gold feuilletine, chocolate brownie, caramel cooking crumb, popping candy, truffle anglaise, raspberries and fresh truffle'”

Three-Williams-Truffle-Brioche

2. Mushroom Risotto – Auvers Cafe, Darling Square

“Carbs are my favourite food group, so of course ordering both a risotto and a pasta* makes complete sense to me. I couldn’t go past the Mushroom Risotto when I saw that it came with tempura enoki and it did not disappoint! With the cherry tomatoes and edamame, it was quite fresh for a risotto and full of mushroom flavour”.

*Original post also included the Seafood Spaghetti, which was also really good!

Auvers-Risotto

3. Stoner’s Delight Part 3 – Ms. G’s, Potts Point

“The award for the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life goes to*… ‘Stoner’s Delight Part 3’. So good, actually ridiculously good, no incredibly ridiculously good. From the menu ‘doughnut ice cream, peanut dulce de leche, peanut & pretzel brittle, crispy bacon, mars bar brownie, raspberry curd, potato chips & deep fried Nutella”

*Ok, so it’s not number 1, but I ate this in May and the prior dishes came later in the year!

MsGs-Stoners-Delight

4. Blue Majik Smoothie Bowl – Concrete Jungle, Chippendale

Hands up if you’ve ever ordered a meal and gasped as it arrived as it was just so darn pretty with all the micro herbs and edible flowers and floss etc….and then discovered the dish had almost no flavour. Yup, its the most crushing disappoint isn’t it?! I ordered this smoothie bowl with some trepidation as it looked impossibly gorgeous on the ‘gram. I gasped when it arrived, I tasted and I gasped again! It is so insanely delicious. Summer in a bowl! The coconut yoghurt based smoothie is flavoured with pineapple and banana alongside the blue spirulina and is silky smooth and subtly sweet. Combined with the crunchy puffed granola it is so more-ish and easy to finish, despite the generous serving.”

Concrete-Jungle-Blue-Bowl

5. Eggs Benedict – Auvers Cafe, Rhodes

“Last week I saw a post of Auvers Apple Crumble French Toast* and decided I just had to get myself to the Rhodes cafe to try it…but once there I got distracted by THIS!!! Their Eggs Benedict is a nice departure from a traditional eggs benny with pulled pork, runny onsen eggs, pork floss, spinach, smoky ponzu hollandaise and corn salsa on a toasted croissant. The flavours are incredible!”

*I have returned for the Apple Crumble French Toast and it was also amazing and was very close to being a third Auvers dish featured in my Top 10!

Auvers-Eggs_Benedict

6. Flaming Truffle Pasta Supper – Handpicked Cellar Door, Chippendale

“Perfection”

Ok, so the post that accompanied this actual pic was rather succinct, so the commentary from the prior post that showed the pasta being prepared in front of us was:

“You may have noticed that I’m a tad interested, no excited, no obsessed with truffles! Last night I ticked off one of the last Sydney truffle experiences on my foodie to do list, which was the Flaming Truffle Pasta Supper at Handpicked Wines. I had high expectations of this and it did not disappoint! It was quite the experience, from picking your preferred truffle origin by smell at the table, to seeing the theatre of the flambé and of course tasting those delicious truffles in a cheesy pasta. If you have a spare lunch or dinner slot this weekend or next, I implore you to go before truffle season ends!! You wont regret it.”

Hnadpicked-Cellars-Truffle-Pasta

7. The Fatty 5-0 – Southside Social, Frankston Melbourne

“Can we just for a moment all stop to admire and appreciate the delicious piece of burger art that this is? The Fatty 5-0 is mac & cheese topped with a beef patty (two in this case), topped with cheese, topped with bacon, topped with BBQ sauce, topped with pepper mayo, topped with pickles. All that topping really paid off! Seriously good burger!! It’s going on my best burgers list (you probably only need one patty though, I had to take one off like a lame piker).”

Southside-Social-Mac-n-Cheese-Burger

8. Fried Chicken – Fat Belly Jacks Pop Up, Castle Hill (usually in QLD)

“The Hills are alive with Brisbane’s claimed ‘Best Fried Chicken’. Now I haven’t eaten much fried chicken in Brisbane, so I cannot confirm or deny that title, but I can say that Fat Belly Jack’s fried chicken is freakin’ awesome!! The chicken coating is crunchy and smoky spicy with a very pleasant heat in the Medium. Fat Belly Jacks go large too, with both the tenders and the burger piece being huge! The pop up is only here for 3 weeks, so run!”

Fat-Belly-Jacks-Fried-Chicken

9. Lychee, Raspberry & Rose Cruffin – Lune Croissanterie, Fitzroy Melbourne

“I’d like to share with you a sad tale. After waiting 40 mins to get my croissants today, the place was packed and there were no seats available. So I went outside to take pics and after I got the shot of the almond croissant (prior post) the wind picked up, so I retreated to my rental car. Not ideal, but I’ll make do. Whilst trying to get a pic showing the delicious inside of this Lychee, Raspberry & Rose Cruffin disaster struck!!* Photo shoot over, rental car returned with mysteriously sticky dash and full of crumbs”.

* The cruffin fell over whilst taking pics and smeared the creamy filling on the dash. That pic is also on my instagram if you want to see more! But despite the lack of commentary, I actually really loved this cruffin. The flavours worked so well together without being overpowering (always a fear with Rose involved) and it was so deliciously light and flaky. Definitely worth the 40 minute queue!

Lune-Cruffin

10. Jalapeño Poppers – Tres Salsas, Hervey Bay Queensland

“I love a Jalapeño Popper, especially a huge Jalapeño Popper!”

Ok, so I was on holidays when I posted this which I assume is why my commentary was so brief as I LOVED these! They certainly were huge, but they were so well presented and stuffed with plenty of spicy cream cheese filling and served on top of chipotle mayo. So often poppers are disappointing and flavourless, but these packed a punch.

Jalapeno Poppers


My foodie to do list is still full of new places to try in 2020. Comment below and let me know if there is somewhere that topped your list this year that needs to be on my 2020 list!

Post your own Top 10 on Instagram and use #top10thingsiate2019 and tag @mslunchalot so I can check it out.

First Drop Cafe – Redfern

Sydney

Where: First Drop Cafe, 69 Baptist St, Redfern NSW 2016

When: November 2019

Meal: Brunch

Cost: Approx $30 each

I love fried chicken and to be able to bring it forward to a mid-morning meal of brunch with the Southern Style Fried Chicken Eggs Benedict ($22) was perfect. The chicken had a tasty, crunchy coating, the eggs were perfectly poached, the kale nice and crispy and the whole thing was doused with the most delicious sriracha hollandaise. The biscuit it was perched on was perhaps a little too big as I couldn’t finish it, but I’m never going to complain about having too much food!

I also had the Serious George smoothie ($9.50) which has the magic combination of banana and peanut butter with dates, chia seeds and coconut with soy milk and coffee added. You can also get it without coffee which is the Curious George ($8.50). It was super thick and really filling and I loved scraping the peanut butter off the side of the glass with my straw.

I experienced great service and the cafe has a cool vibe, particularly out in the street when the jacarandas are flowering.

Would I go back? Yes, the Fried Chicken Benedict is a special that I felt I needed to take advantage of, but there were plenty of other things on the standard menu that I would like to try, particularly the Aegean Skillet.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, it is definitely a menu that has something for everyone.

Show me the food…

first-drop-cafe-redfern

Buttercrumbs Croissant – Five Dock

Sydney

Where: Buttercrumbs Croissant, 189 Great N Rd, Five Dock NSW 2046

When: November 2019

Meal: Morning Tea

Cost: Approx $10 each

I love a buttery, flaky pastry and Buttercrumbs delivered on that aspect. There were about 10 different options of croissants in the window to select between, but I couldn’t go past the Strawberry and Nutella pastry ($6).

It had a tasty vanilla custard on top with sliced fresh strawberries and inside contained a layer of Nutella. The flavours worked really well together.

My latte ($3.70 small) was ok, but on the edge of bitter and it was a coffee brand I had never heard of before, Normcore. The seating area is basic and seemed like an afterthought. I unfortunately sat between two groups of ladies that were having very spirited conversations and it was so noisy it was unpleasant. Next time I would do take away and enjoy my delicious croissant in the serenity of my home!

Would I go back? Yes, I would like to try their square croissants. They have the classics on the menu daily, but have a variety on rotation, so a few visits is definitely warranted!

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, maybe you’ll get lucky and have a better dine in experience than I did, or pick up a few and take them home.

Show me the food…

buttercrumbs-strawberry-nutella-croissant

 

Concrete Jungle – Chippendale

Sydney

Where: Concrete Jungle, 15 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

When: November 2019

Meal: Brunch

Cost: Approx. $27 each

I’ll admit I visited this place as I saw the Blue Majik Smoothie Bowl ($17.50) on instagram and thought it looked amazing…and it did not disappoint. So often pretty things on instagram lack flavour, but this is the exception. I loved the pineapple and banana flavour with the coconut yoghurt and the contrast between smooth and crunchy with the puffed granola. It almost messed with your mind as pineapple and banana conjure up ‘yellow’ thoughts, not blue! With the wave like swirl it was like Summer in a Bowl.

I also tried the Berry Booster Smoothie ($9)  which had mixed berries, banana, coconut yoghurt, maca powder, milk and vanilla. It was smooth and creamy and not overly sweet.

Coffee ($4 regular) was good too which is their own ‘Concrete Jungle House Blend’. Everything was presented beautifully and was clearly high quality food, plus the cafe has a nice, bright and airy vibe to it.

Would I go back? Yes, these guys are clearly quite creative with their food and flavours and there are a few other things on the menu that I’d love to try such as the Blueberry & Lemon Ricotta Hotcake and the Seared Tuna Black Bean Spaghetti.

Would I recommend it to you? Absolutely. You won’t believe how good that Blue Majik bowl tastes until you try it for yourself!

Show me the food…

Auvers Cafe – Rhodes

Sydney

Where: Auvers Cafe, 2/42 Walker St, Rhodes NSW 2138

When: November 2019

Meal: Brunch

Cost: Approx $25

Recently I saw an Instagram post of Auvers’ Apple Crumble French Toast. It looked amazing and it made me add Auvers to my foodie to do list. When I went though, I got distracted by their Eggs Benedict and it was a good distraction indeed!

Auvers’ Eggs Benedict ($18) is unlike any Eggs Benny I’ve had before. With pulled pork, soft onsen eggs, spinach, ponzu hollandaise and corn salsa on top of a toasted croissant with a garnish of pork floss, there are lots of interesting flavours in every bite.

I also had the Black Sesame Frappe ($7) and added a shot of coffee. When I’ve had them before they are very sweet, but this was very subtle and the coffee made it perfect.

I love the food at Auvers, but I will say that the location and cafe is lacking some ambience. On my visit there was also a lot of clutter around the counter and coffee service area that was a little off-putting, but not enough to put me off the great food!

Would I go back? The food was great, but the location is really in the centre of apartments and there isn’t much else there. Instead, next I will try their Darling Square location.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, if Rhodes is near to you head there, otherwise Darling Square sounds like a good prospect.

Show me the food…

Auvers-Cafe-Rhodes-Eggs-Benedict

The Spot Car Wash Cafe – Punchbowl

Sydney

Where: The Spot Car Wash Cafe, 69-71 Belmore Rd North, Punchbowl NSW 2196

When: October 2019

Meal: Brunch

Cost: Approx $20 each

I know I may have lost you at the title of this cafe, but please forget everything you know about car wash cafes here! Usually they are places where you dread spending up to an hour waiting for your car with a terrible coffee and if you’re brave (and desperate), some pre-prepared rubbish food looking sad wrapped up in cling wrap.

But not with these guys! Everything is made fresh and is beautifully presented. The menu has many delicious options, but I can’t go past the Pancake Revolution ($16). You get three buckwheat pancakes that are thick and fluffy and the dish isn’t overly sweet like so many that you’re unable to finish because of sugar overload.

I also loved the Spot Pulled Beef Benedict ($16) which is 12 hour slow cooked beef, with spinach, poached eggs and freshly made hollandaise on top of charcoal sourdough. The beef is so tender and the eggs were perfectly poached.

The coffee is also great and is made with Pablo & Rusty beans ($4 large).

Would I go back? Yes, my car is back to being regularly washed since I’ve found these guys. Perhaps I’m slightly more skewed in that decision by the food, but my car is immaculate after a visit ($35 in and out wash for a sedan).

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, they opened only a few months ago and the decor of the cafe is a work in progress, but the quality of the food and the service makes up for any current lack of ambiance.

Show me the food…