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Chin Chin

14 Oct

It seems every dining publication you open you are bound to find a feature piece on Chin Chin – the Asian hawker style slash awesome bar slash super cool decor place that has openend up on Flinders Lane.

Don’t bother calling to make a reservation. Chin Chin is one addition to the growing list of restaurants who serve customers on a first come first served basis.

Feel like a spot of dinner at 7.30? You’ll probably be swamped in a huge line waiting to see what the fuss is about.

My secret is to go there first thing for early lunch (it opens at 11 AM) or visit in the downtime between 3-5 when the lunch crowd has left and the dinner crowd is yet to devour the place.

I have been 3 times now and each time I have been shown to a table straight away.

So anyway on to the food.

The hype is dead on – this place is a knock out.

Check out a few of the photos and let your tongue salivate.

Roti bread and rice

Son in law eggs

Tofu salad

Penang curry with eggplant

Ingredients for the DIY spring roll

Finished product: DIY spring roll

Special coconut ice drink


The offerings aren’t too bad as far as veggie options go. There’s a few selections in each section and they are all extremely delicious.

Special shout out to the son in law eggs (amazing) and the DIY spring rolls. The only thing I would suggest is perhaps putting a little more eggplant in the curry, I counted about 2 pieces in the whole bowl!

Counting down the days until I can frequent Chin Chin once again.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 7/10

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Le Chien

7 Aug

Le Chien has fast become a foodie/critic’s favourite.

Which is great for me because it’s situated in Seddon – nice and close to get to!

There are three things you’ll notice on your first visit.

1: the awesome art deco on the walls.

2: how BUSY this place is!

Le Chien place is ALWAYS full. Be prepared to be squished against the window on the bar stools or wait about 10 minutes for a table.

And 3: Le Chien make a mean breakfast.

I have been there on numerous occasions and each time I have (embarrassingly) ordered the same thing because it is so damn good!

I order the Promite Special – poached eggs, avocado, tomato on sour dough toast and I order some extras of feta cheese and homemade onion jam.

The feta cheese is to die for! So soft and creamy.

My dish

This is my favourite dish, hits the spot every time and it is the PERFECT hangover cure.

Mum orders the scrambled eggs with chilli on sourdough with sides of avocado and onion jam as well (if you visit you MUST get the onion jam!).

Scrambled eggs

I’m usually pretty hesitant to ever order scrambled eggs at cafes because they usually come out overcooked and I like them soft and mushy. Le Chien get the balance just right – perfect scrambled eggs.

I probably will venture out and try something new soon, but in the meantime Le Chien’s consistency means that I am always sure I am going to have a great brunch.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 7/10

Le Chien on Urbanspoon

Bill’s

4 Aug

Bills is a breakfast institution in Sydney and it’s not hard to see why.

There was a wait for breakfast at 10.30 in the morning! Okay, it was a Saturday, but still, being told to wait 20 minutes just to get a table with about 30 other people waiting for breakfast is crazy!

Once we were in and the food was served all was forgotten.

The pancakes were to die for. Not exaggerating when I say they were probably the best pancakes I have ever had.

For $17.50 the ricotta hotcakes were served with with fresh banana and honeycomb butter and I asked for some strawberries on the side.

Ricotta Hotcakes w/ strawberries

Rumour has it the pancake mix is made and thrown out 3 times with the next batch used as the mix to be served.

Again, crazy. But that’s Sydney dining for you.

I also had the Sunrise Drink: orange juice, banana, yoghurt and berries, very tasty.

My sister ordered the sweet corn fritters with roast tomato and spinach – minus the bacon with a side of scrambled eggs.

Fritters

The fritters were tasty but the scrambled eggs – oh my god. Soft, fluffy and creamy. Beautiful.

It is pricey for breakfast – but as you can tell by my review, if you are looking to indulge in the most important meal of the day look no further.

Looking forward to my next visit to Sydney just so I can have some of those amazing hotcakes again!

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 7/10

Bills on Urbanspoon

Orange

19 Jul

I heard about Orange through the trusted Broadsheet restaurant directory (download the app if you have an iPhone/Pad – it’s perfect on the run when you are in an unfamiliar suburb and you’re hungry!).

I dined at Orange after returning from Europe and I must say, it simply felt like I had walked into another gorgeous, old world Parisian cafe!

The wooden furniture, the dark and moody atmosphere and the jazz music gave me de ja vu.

Anyway on to the food.

There weren’t many vegetarian options in the mains section of the lunch menu, however there were a few options in the entrees and most of the starters/grazing options are vegetarian and would make a great tapas lunch.

I had freshly squeezed orange juice with the potato gnocchi –> tomato, basil, basil, balsamic reduction

Potato Gnocchi

and a side of truffled mash potato.

Truffled Mash

The food was nice and satisfying.

The meals I picked contained all of the ingredients I love, however there was something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on.

It missed that certain je ne se quoi that gives food its wow factor.

If I head back I will be keen to try some of the grazing options which look great but I didn’t get a chance to try. Also they had an all day breakfast menu which admittedly looked like it had some great food on it.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 8/10

Orange on Urbanspoon

Cafe Advieh

19 Jul

Apologies for the delay in adding new posts – I have been overseas for the past month. Rest assured I have a tonne (well, not a tonne) of eateries to review from Melbourne and, for something different, Sydney!

When I found out there was a place nearby serving Middle Eastern breakfast, I was intrigued and promptly headed down to give it a try.

I had high hopes, given it was located in Gamon Street, Seddon which is home to some great restaurants and cafes.

Also, Middle Eastern cuisine tends to have lots of vegetarian options so I didn’t bother trying to find a menu beforehand.

I was definitely not disappointed – Cafe Advieh is a hidden gem!

Everything produced in the family run restaurant is home cooked by the Mum with the children working the floor.

The Middle Eastern decor and the fresh mint tea really sealed the deal!

Mint Tea

The breakfast was delicious and the servings were generous.

On my first visit I ordered the Advieh Breakfast –> fried eggs, turkish bread, haloumi, roast tomatoes, olives, cucumber and lemon – delicious!!!!

Advieh Breakfast

My mum ordered the Open Avocado –> turkish bread, avocado, feta, tomato & basil leaves (not very Middle Eastern, but yummy none the less!)

Open Avocado

On my second visit I was enticed by the falafal plate (falafels with a choice of 3 salads in the salad bar + tzatziki + hummus)

Falafal Plate

Fair to say each time I loved my meal and left feeling satisfied and healthy as the dishes are so light and full of vegetables and legumes!

If you’re on the run they also have a take out bar with many Middle Eastern freshly made delights such as: salads, falafels, tzatziki, hommes and much more.

If you are in the area I HIGHLY recommend giving this place a go. I’ll probably see you there!

Vegetarian options: 8/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Cafe Advieh on Urbanspoon

Gravy Train Cafe

29 May

An oldie but a goodie in the West, Gravy Train Cafe recently appointed a new head chef so I thought I’d head down to try the new menu.

I was pleasantly surprised.

I ordered the grilled polenta with artichoke and romesca sauce on a bed of spinach and two poached eggs.

My dish

Mum ordered the three cheese scrambled eggs and my sister ordered the thin crust pizza with potato, caramelised onions and tallegio cheese.

Mum's 3 cheese scrambled eggs

Georgia's pizza

All 3 dishes were delicious! Polenta was soft and melt-in-your-mouth and the pizza had an amazing tang due to the onions.

I also really loved how they actually squeezed fresh juice – in my opinion there is nothing worse than being served cheap, nasty, carton juice!

Fresh orange juice

Would definitely go back! So many vegetarian options for brunch.

Would I go back? Yes
Vegetarian options: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Decor/interior: 7/10
Service: 8/10

Gravy Train Cafe on Urbanspoon

A Pint of Milk

20 May

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – with such great brekky places these days it’s not hard to see why!

For my first Veg Food Diaries assignment my boyfriend and I headed to a new cafe in Williamstown cutely titled A Pint of Milk.

A Pint of Milk

The owners have turned an old milkbar into a hip and modern little cafe that could easily fit into Fitzroy or Collingwood – I loved the big wooden share tables and the wooden bench that surrounded the perimeter of the inside.

Now onto the juicy stuff, I was happy with the amount of veg options, although I must say most breakfast places are usually pretty good with vegetarian selections.

The menu overall was innovative and original. No predictable ‘Eggs Benedict’ or ‘Big Breakfasts’ here.

I decided to order the sweetcorn & zucchini fritters with avocado salsa. I asked for a side of feta and a poached egg to accompany it as well as a green tea.

Cute tea pot

After 30 minutes of still no breakfast and no word from any wait staff (we counted there were 8 staff including the chefs) we started to get edgy and irritated.

I was saddened that a place that had so much potential couldn’t provide basic customer service and let us know what was going on.

The worst bit was the fact the couple next to us who were seated and ordered at the same time as us, were finished and leaving by the time our food came.

Happy to say I managed to put this first mishap behind me once the food arrived.

The presentation was gorgeous and the taste… wow… even better – I ate every last bit.

My dish

The feta was beautiful. It was of a high quality which is really important. I can always taste the difference between cheap and quality cheese. It was creamy and melted on the mouth – perfectly complimenting the flavours of the dish.

The fritters were light and fluffy and the avocado and tomato salsa had a gorgeous tang.

I’m really excited to go back and try the spiced chickpea, cumin & tomato cassoulet with poached eggs, hazelnut dukkah on flat bread and sumac labneh (a yoghurt cheese).

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 6/10

Pint of Milk on Urbanspoon