Cafe 0.6 – Alexandria

Sydney

Where: Cafe 0.6, 1a/11 Bowden St, Alexandria NSW 2015

When: July 2020

Meal: Brunch

Cost: $32 for one

The menu at Cafe 0.6 had long intrigued me with it’s interesting mix of ingredients and beautifully presented dishes. I settled on a bit of a space theme with my order by choosing the Saturn Black Sesame iced coffee drink from their ‘Out of Space’ collection and the Lost in Space waffle dish. 

The Saturn iced coffee ($8) is described on the menu as not too sweet, which thankfully is 100% correct as I hate sweet coffee drinks. It had a subtle black sesame flavour and the espresso shot (which you mix in yourself at the table) gave a powerful coffee hit that made it a true coffee drink (rather than a milk drink). 

The Lost in Space ($24) was their ‘signature moffle’ which is mochi crossed with waffle, with homemade salted egg sauce, peanut, black sesame ice cream & berries. Strangely I liked most of the elements individually, but not when they were combined together. The waffle I found very dense, almost tough. I loved the salted egg sauce though and would like to try that on something else. It was a beautifully presented dish, but just didn’t work for me. 

The cafe is located in the industrial area of Alexandria and parking was difficult for me on a weekday visit. I actually parked at Bunnings around the corner. I’ve heard parking can be tough on weekends too as it is close to some warehouse outlets. Service was very friendly though, so it was worth trekking back if you have to park far away!

Would I go back? Probably not. There are other things on the menu that also have quirky combinations, but due to the misfire on the waffles I wouldn’t rush back.

Would I recommend it to you? No. Based on other reviews I’ve seen there are definitely people that love this place, but my underwhelming waffle experience combined with the lack of easy parking makes it hard to recommend.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 3/5

The Woods Pantry – Villawood

Sydney

Where: The Woods Pantry, 5a/824-850 Woodville Rd, Villawood NSW 2163

When: July 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approximately $80 for a two course lunch for two

The Woods Pantry is located at Villawood which as per many of my recent reviews, is not all that close to where I live and usually dine. It was however conveniently located equidistant for my friend and I from home, so it was the perfect place to meet for lunch.

The menu is so full of interesting sounding dishes that I really struggled to pick just one! Fortunately my friend was equally as excited about the menu and agreed to a two course lunch and we shared all dishes.

We started with the Southern Fried Chicken Burger ($17.50) which was marinated chicken breast with house made slaw on a soft milk bun with chips. This was my absolute favourite of the day as the chicken coating had a little bit of spice to it which was a nice kick. The chips were also perfectly crunchy and delicious.

The Pumpkin Salad ($14.50) had spinach, cherry tomatoes, roasted pumpkin seeds and goats cheese in it, but we added halloumi too (+$4.50) as one can never really have too much cheese right!? The salad was fresh and healthy, but I generally prefer my pumpkin really roasted and charred for a deeper flavour and more luxurious texture and the salad needed more dressing overall.

Continuing on the cheese theme, our first dessert was the Knafeh French Toast ($18.50) which was cheese filled brioche with crushed pistachio, rose syrup and strawberries. It had the softest fluffiest cheese inside, which I’m told is a mix of four cheeses, but what they are is top secret!

Finally we tried the Biscoff Churros special ($18) and I loved how pillowy soft the churros were inside a crispy shell. It was a very indulgent end to the meal to dip churros into biscoff!

The Woods Pantry is a nice big dining space with indoor and outdoors tables and a cool vibe with the decor. We dined outside and took our time to enjoy our food as it was a particularly nice sunny winter day. Note, we dined on a weekday and I have no doubt this place is packed on the weekend!

Would I go back? Yes, it’s out of the way for me, BUT there were many other things I wanted on the menu including the Moroccan Lamb Sandwich, the Baked Eggs and the other French Toast which is filled with cream cheese and topped with lemon curd.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, their menu is huge with all day breakfast and separate lunch menu which includes salads, burgers and pasta.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 5/5

Goodfields Eatery – Lindfield

Sydney

Where: Goodfields Eatery, Shop 4/5 37 Lindfield Ave, Lindfield NSW 2070

When: June 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approximately $40 for one from the truffle menu, with wine

Like most people, when we were all thrown into Covid-19 isolation I was quite concerned about all the major life events we’d miss out on. You know, birthdays, weddings, truffle season. But thankfully we’ve we were let loose in perfect timing for the most glorious time of the year! 

I ventured to Goodfields Eatery to get my very first truffle fix of the 2020 season. The entire menu looks great, but I love truffle with cheese so I picked the triple cheese and ham Jaffle ($29.50) made with croissant loaf, served on truffle cheese sauce, topped with fresh truffle. The cheeses were provolone, truffle pecorino and mozzarella and the truffles were grown in Canberra. 

It was an amazing cheese toastie, but despite the appearance of lots of truffle, I found the truffle flavour a bit weak. I noticed I wasn’t smacked in the face with lots of truffle aroma as the plate arrived at the table and trying the shredded fresh truffle by itself sadly revealed very little flavour. Most of the truffle flavour came from the cheese sauce. Overall I enjoyed the dish as it was a great cheese toastie, but it needed a stronger truffle flavour for me. Truffles need to be well stored and being a natural product will of course have quality variation and perhaps some are just duds. I accept this and it wouldn’t put me off Goodfields.

I also thought a nice glass of Shiraz ($11) would go perfectly with the richness of the cheese and truffle, but it felt a little unnecessary for a weekday lunch with the dish lacking the rich truffle flavour.

It is a lovely bright, green and airy cafe and the team were all super friendly. I also picked up some tips of other truffle menus in Sydney from my waiter who was a keen foodie himself.

Would I go back? Yes, there are plenty of other things on their Truffle menu that I’d like to try before the season ends, such as the Cheesy Lobster Fries and the Ice Cream Brownie Sandwich.

Would I recommend it to you? Definitely. It’s a cool cafe that comes highly recommended for their regular menu as well.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 4/5

Goobne – Darling Square

Sydney

Where: Goobne, Darling Square Shop, 16e Tumbalong Bvd, Haymarket NSW 2000

When: May 2020

Meal: Pre-Dinner Drink & Snack

Cost: $100 for two including a bottle of wine

My visit to Goobne was just as Covid-19 isolation restrictions were starting to lift. Restaurants could have up to 10 people dining in, which was a very strange experience! Because of the low capacity available, restaurants were only taking 90min seatings, so I decided I’d book two places for dinner whilst catching up with a friend.

First stop was Goobne for our entree and some drinks. I had seen the UFO Fondue Chicken ($38) on Instagram which looked good, but I had low expectations as it was oven roasted chicken, not the Korean Fried Chicken that I love. I also wasn’t sure about cheese on chicken, but as we all know, cheese makes EVERYTHING infinitely better, and especially when fondue style it seems! 

You get a choice of two seasonings on the chicken and we picked the Volcano (hot) and Galbi (soy) and both worked really well with the cheese. The chicken was tender and delicious and the cheese was plentiful, which was good as at $38 the UFO Fondue was a little pricey. It is a really good dish to share with your (well sanitised) friends though.

We were offered the Sharknado Cocktail ($18) for free as a bonus for booking during Covid-19 restrictions, but we both found it too sweet. It is visually spectacular and described as ‘a tornado of tropical flavours with a tequila bite and a hidden surprise (spoiler alert, its a thick red syrupy mixture designed to look like blood). I would have been very disappointed with it had I paid for it.

We preferred the bottle of St Huberts The Stage Rosé, which at $56 was also up there in price for the style of restaurant as it has more of a cheap funky bar vibe. Overall I loved our visit, but I think prices are a tad too high for a 5 star review.

Would I go back? Yes, I think I’d do the same type of thing with a pre-dinner snack and drinks. I didn’t get the feel from the menu that it would make for a complete meal, but perfect for share snacking.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, the chicken was surprisingly good and the cheese fondue was a fun way to eat with a bit of theatre at the table.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 4/5

The Burrow Cherrybrook

The Burrow – Cherrybrook

Sydney

Where: The Burrow, 132 Shepherds Dr, Cherrybrook NSW 2126

When: June 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approx. $65 for two with wine

I first heard about The Burrow when they launched their amazing looking Caramilk pancakes. I unfortunately didn’t make it out to try those, but all their food looked so good that I thought it would be worth a 40 minute drive out to Cherrybrook….and it was!

Two things I lurrrrvvvve in winter is slow cooked lamb and roasted pumpkin. I thought now the cooler weather is here that my salad bowl days were gone, but the Moroccan Lamb Bowl ($25.90) was the perfect winter bowl. The 12 hour braised lamb was perfectly tender, the pumpkin was full of flavour and I really liked the contrasting textures with the crispy chickpeas and pops of pomegranate offsetting the spinach and couscous. Paired with a glass of Malbec ($9.50), it was a very indulgent mid-week lunch.

My friend had the Fish and Chips ($19.90) and he said the fish was really crispy and tasted great. He also enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay ($9.50) with his meal.

 The cafe is in a little strip mall which I wasn’t really expecting, but once you get inside it’s quite a nice environment. Service was friendly and I felt that they were particularly diligent about their Covid-Safe practices which was reassuring.

Would I go back? Yes, it’s very out of the way for me, but I really liked the flavours in my food and I often see them advertising interesting specials on Instagram that could see me jump in the car instantly!

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, lots of variety on the menu and quality food. Slightly higher priced, but worth it in my opinion.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 5/5

Two Hungry Bears Logo

Two Hungry Bears – Narrabeen

Sydney

Where: Two Hungry Bears, 1303 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen NSW 2101

When: June 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approximately $45 for two meals

Post coronavirus quarantine it been a long time between good burgers for me, but I had a very positive feeling that Two Hungry Bears would be worth the drive to Narrabeen for that elusive dirty, juicy, cheesy burg. Their Mac Daddy burger ($18) lured me in and it really hit the mark.

The Angus Beef patty was pink, juicy, slightly charred and full of flavour. The crispy bacon was just the right level of crispy where it’s not just flavourless dust. The mac n’ cheese tasted like cheese (unlike many) and combined with the American cheese slice, this burger was all sorts of oozy cheesy goodness. Finally the raw finely shredded onion and special sauce rounded it all out to be a monster of a full flavour burger. Often I find burgers over priced, but this was huge and delicious and worth every cent of $18. 

I made it a combo with fries and a can for +$7.50. The fries were amazing. Super crunchy and seasoned and it made it hard for me to get the burger in as I could not stop filling up on the fries!

Often at burger places I am torn between the beef or fried chicken options. I love a classic beef and cheese burger combo…..but I also really, really love fried chicken. So despite the enormous size of the burger, I added a serve of their Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Tenders ($11) too.

It arrived at the table coated with a heap of fiery red, angry looking seasoning that I was worried would have me sniffling and coughing like I had a sudden corona attack. It actually wasn’t that hot, it’s what I’d call pleasantly spicy. The breast chicken was succulent and I loved the flavour of the super crispy coating. It was right on the cusp of almost being a little too oily, but hey, if you’re that concerned about grease you’re probably not ordering fried chicken right! Just like the burger, I thought these were a really generous size for $11. I was glad I took my leftovers home for a second indulgence later.

My only disappointment about this place was that the restaurant has zero ambience. It’s located on a busy road and has a takeaway shop vibe. It’s by no meals a destination burger joint, but being close to the beach you could always grab and go and eat somewhere more scenic.

Would I go back? I loved the food, but I’m not sure I’d make the effort to drive there again. It was an hour drive and I HATE the traffic up to the Northern Beaches and back. If I was in the area I would definitely stop by though.

Would I recommend it to you? I’m a little torn on this one. The food is great, BUT with a lack of ambience I’d probably not recommend this as a must go. Best for those that live on the North Shore, or feel like a big (annoying haha) drive.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: n/a as they do not have a page on Zomato

Kaffeine & Co Yagoona

Kaffeine & Co – Yagoona

Sydney

Where: Kaffeine & Co, 7/44 Dargan St, Yagoona NSW 2199

When: June 2020

Meal: Brunch

Cost: Approximately $40 for two

A visit to Kaffeine & Co has been on my foodie to do list for a loooooong time. Unfortunately Yagoona is quite out of the way for me, so I delayed venturing out there and kept bumping it down the list. I’m regretting that decision now as I’ve been missing out on some seriously good food!

The Knefeh Balls ($18) were what initially drew me to this cafe. Described as sweet cheese custard balls, topped with crushed pistachios, rose petals and rose water syrup, I was actually a little unsure if I would like them. Rose water can be polarising, but I didn’t find the rose water syrup overwhelming and thought it all worked perfectly together. I also loved the crispy outside of the balls and the soft delicate cheese inside, plus the dish looked absolutely beautiful!

We also tried the Americano Brekky Burger ($15.50) with beef rashers, hash brown, fried egg, jack cheese and BBQ sauce. Again, I was a little unsure as I love bacon and had never tried beef rashers. The local area has a high population of Muslim residents, so bacon was out, but I couldn’t imagine beef rashers would be the same. Well, let me tell you that if I was eating them in a Masterchef blind taste test, I would have said they were bacon for sure! Similar taste, texture and even visually it looked every similar.

Coffee is Will & Co and my Latte ($4) was perfection. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating, with big windows that open up so the cafe is light and airy…but could be a bit cold in winter.

Service was amazing and special mention goes to Luke who looked after me as I had a tiny disaster with the burger. Whilst I was distracted taking photos of the Knefeh Balls, I didn’t notice the steak knife in the burger slipping…until it fell over and flipped the burger onto the floor!! Thankfully Luke had it remade and I was actually able to taste it. What a foodie fail!

Would I go back? Yasssssss! There were so many delicious looking things on their Instagram that I struggled to decide what to order. I need to go back and try the Nutella Balls and the Knefeh French Toast.

Would I recommend it to you? Definitely. There is something for everyone on the menu (including healthy options) and I’m almost certain you’ll find something you love.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 5/5

Kelbys Cafe Marrickville

Kelby’s Cafe – Marrickville

Sydney

Where: Kelby’s Cafe, 293 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

When: March 2020

Meal: Brunch

Cost: Approx $40 each, but we ordered three dishes between two

Although we are in the midst of Coronavirus chaos at the moment, as someone who is well and not high risk, I am still venturing out occasionally and being cautious and sensible about my activities. So many businesses are suffering at this time, but hospitality workers cannot work from home of course and it’s a scary prospect that many of these businesses may not survive to see the world recover from this.

But in the meantime, let’s focus on some good, which was this delicious meal at Kelby’s. Sharing (carefully and cleanly) brunch with a friend, we ordered up big with three meals between two. We started with the Eggocado which is on the specials board, but I suspect based on it’s popularity on Instagram it has actually been around for a while and will likely stick around too. Eggocado ($18.90) is an egg baked in half an avocado, with crispy bacon, crumbled feta and tomato salsa, served on two pieces of sourdough. We loved popping the soft egg yolk and were impressed with the plentiful serve of feta.

Next we had the Klassic Beef Burger ($13.90) which is a homemade premium beef patty, with cheddar cheese, fresh tomato, caramelised onion, lettuce and aioli on a milk brioche bun. We decided to upgrade it to Hawaiian style (+$3) with the addition of bacon, egg and pineapple and added a side of hand cut chips (+$3). The burger was epic, seriously huge!! You can’t even see the patty in the pics due to the egg and lashings of aioli dribbling down the side, but to me this sauce ratio was perfect! The beef patty was seasoned with some herbs that I couldn’t quite work out what they were, but they were noticeable so may not appeal to all.

Our sweet dish was the Warm French Toast ($16.90) and we chose the Berry Compote option rather than the bacon and caramelised banana. This dish was stunning when it arrived and I really enjoyed it being a spin on the traditional French toast style by using Turkish bread fingers stacked Jenga style. There was plenty of maple syrup and the toast being served in fingers meant there was plenty of surface area to soak up all that syrup.

I also ordered the Coffee Frappe ($7.50) which was double espresso blended with milk, crushed ice and your choice of vanilla, caramel or hazelnut syrup. I picked vanilla and was glad it was subtly sweet. My friend had the Berry Bliss Frappe ($7.50) with fresh apple juice and mixed berries blended with crushed ice. In the current circumstances I was unable to steal a sip, but she assured me it was really good! Both drinks were big serves and great value for the price.

We also had a regular latte ($4) and hot chocolate ($4). I liked the coffee and would stop in for one again if I was in the area.

Would I go back? Yes, I loved everything about my visit to Kelby’s Marrickville!

Would I recommend it to you? Absolutely, the menu is huge and all the meals I saw coming out of the kitchen looked beautiful and like the were tasty flavour combinations.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 5/5

Down n' Out Sydney Meal

Down n’ Out – Sydney CBD

Sydney

Where: Down n’ Out, 77/A Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000

When: May 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: $22 for one, no drinks

During Covid-19 lockdown I was craving a big, juicy, dirty burger. Sure, you can get burgers takeaway or delivered, but I find they’re a food that doesn’t travel well and need to be eaten promptly to avoid a soggy mess. So when restrictions were eased to allow up to 10 people to dine in at restaurants on May 15th, I was keen to scratch the dine in burger itch.

However, it turns out lots of other people were having the same yearning, as the Down n’ Out restaurant was already full with people waiting when I arrived. Reluctantly, especially since it was raining outside, I ordered takeaway and stood aside to wait for my meal trying to avoid the stream of people that continued to arrive minute by minute.

I ordered the Single Beef Burger ($12) which had a wagyu beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles and secret sauce. I also added bacon ($3). This was a classic American style burger with a slightly pink patty, which I would have preferred pinker, but it was juicy and tasty still. The secret sauce was nice, but non-distinct. I enjoyed the burger, but there was nothing stand out about it and it’s not a burger I’d rush back to have again.

Whenever I see onion rings on a menu I need to order them, it’s my side of choice! Down n’ Out’s version are Angry Onion Rings ($7) and they are like nothing I’ve ever had before. Nor want to again unfortunately. They had a real onion ring inside (which is a big tick as I’ve found some places strangely give you minced onion and batter formed into a ring shape), but it was coated in about 2cm of batter/dough that was dense and tasteless. It reminded of a deep fried onion doughnut more than an onion ring. The red seasoning it had been topped with, which I assume is where the ‘Angry’ is meant to come in, was also fairly bland not the punchy chilli flavour I expected. I ate one onion ring and threw the rest out.

Before my visit to Down n’ Out, I had read a few reviews that referenced the entry way looked a bit dodgy and you have to go up a set of ‘sketchy looking stairs’. I was glad to have read this as otherwise I may not have ventured inside alone, but inside it was fine and just a traditional grungy looking bar with old school pinball machines and video games.

Would I go back? Maybe, but it would have to be a stellar looking burger special (which they do a lot of) to lure me back in. The standard menu won’t cut it for a repeat visit.

Would I recommend it to you? No, it’s not a must do burger joint in my mind. If you’re in the city looking for a burger, I’d suggest Bar Luca on Phillip St instead and definitely get the Blame Canada burger!

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 3/5

Alder Inn Wentworth Point

Alder Inn – Wentworth Point

Sydney

Where: Alder Inn, Shop 6/9 Waterways St, Wentworth Point NSW 2127

When: March 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approx $50 each, including cocktails

I love trying lots of different dishes when I eat out, so dining with someone that is happy to share is great, but it’s even better when a menu has small dishes that are designed for sharing. Alder Inn’s Asian Fusion menu has Bites, Bao, Salads, Mains, Rice and Desserts with a wide variety of flavours.

My favourite dish of the meal was the American Style Fried Chicken Bao ($7) which was super crispy, with good flavour in the batter and came doused in maple sriracha mayo. We also tried the Sweet & Sour Pulled Pork Bao ($7) which was nice to eat, but didn’t have any particularly strong flavours, despite coming with a wasabi lime mayo. The bao buns were light and fluffy and thankfully didn’t have the sticky texture that I’ve often encountered with bao.

We also tried the Popcorn Prawns ($12) which had a tasty crispy crumb topped with a honey glaze & sesame seeds. I liked that they were served on a little lettuce and red onion salad that cut the sweetness of the honey on the prawns.

The main dish we tried was the Wok Fried Wagyu Beef ($22) which came with tender beef cubes, capsicums, fried shallots, sesame seeds and an amazing black pepper sauce that was quite addictive. The sauce helped to jazz up the Spicy Chicken Fried Rice ($11) which we couldn’t detect any spice in at all. We also ordered the Fries ($5) which came with a spicy Szechwan Pepper Mayo, but we struggled to eat many chips as we already had so much food between two people!

Dessert was the Deep Fried Vanilla Ice Cream ($14). The coating was crispy and tasty and it was covered in salted caramel sauce with butterscotch popcorn. After a big meal it was nice to share this and it would likely be too big a serve for one person anyway.

For drinks we tried the Mojito ($12) with vodka, mint, lavender & lemon. The mint was really refreshing, however we struggled to detect the fresh lavender, but that may be a blessing that it wasn’t overpowering with having such a strong scent. The Tequila Rocks ($15) was tequila and strawberry juice on ice and was definitely sweet, but not too intense.

All dishes were generously sized and incredibly good value to share. Service was really friendly and quick and the restaurant was nicely decorated, just a little hard to find as the doorway is slightly hidden from the road.

Would I go back? Yes, I loved the food and thought it was really well priced for the amount of food we received. Alder Inn is a recent rebrand moving from traditional Chinese food to Asian Fusion, so I’d be keen to see how the menu develops.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, you can’t beat the value and variety on the menu.

Show me the food…

Zomato Review: 4/5