Showing posts from August, 2015

Sandy Goodwich - Wollongong CBD

I love the way key menu items and offerings are provided hanging on small vertical boards on the wall facing customers when they walk in.  The kitchen and preparation is set aside on a dedicated area of the two shop front site.  You have a choice of tables but as is often the case, the barista and order counter are close by side by side.  There is an Euro feel about the lay out, dishes are carefully formulated with attention to ingredients, texture and presentation.  Coffee blends utilised are Golden Cobra and 212 Roasters whilst meats are supplied from the local Keiraville Butchery.  Breads are provided by Berry Sourdough further down the NSW South Coast.  There is a buzz about sensitivity to customer and community requirements in food.   Preserves, pastries, chutneys, mayonnaise and pickles are made in house.    Sandy Goodrich is serious about engaging with the community part from just operating a cafe business.

For a quick takeaway,  I recommend the pomegranate glazed roasted pump…

Tasmania - Suggested Cafes and Restaurants

HOBART Central

Breakfast or Brunch
1.  Daci & Daci Bakers*** $$

2.  Bruny Island Cheese Company*** near salamanca Arts Centre - providore $$

 3.  Remi de Provence*** - possibly best French in Tassie  $$$  also dinner and lunch - fine  dining
252 Macquarie Street, Hobart CBD - degustation

4.  Piegon Hole Cafe $$

5.  Raspberry Fool  $$ deserts
85 Bathurst Street, Hobart

1. Da Angelo Ristorante  at Battery Point - Pizza and Pasta $$

2.  Wine Bar MONA ( Museum of Old & New Art) $$$

3.  Salamanca Wharf Cafe*** at Battery Point  $$

17a Castray Esplanade, Hobart

4.  Providore     $$
100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart


1.  Smolt***  $$$   Italian and Spanish

2.  Monty's on Montpelier $$$…

New Zealand Remembers - National War Memorial, Wellington


The Northern Explorer - Palmerston North to Wellington


Pandoro Panetteria - Willis Street, Wellington New Zealand

A rather nippy morning in June.  Rush hour going to work, when coffee is most welcome.  An old building that hosts a bakery - and there are scores of people inside.  The outside does indicate sandwiches and pastries inside but really, there is more.   It is the aroma, the buzz, the eagerness of the customers waiting or seated inside.   The sky may be grey at this time of early day but there is light inside.   What are they making, what are they presenting, what are they serving?

It looks like the attraction is the artisan baked items, with a specific display on their own.  I see the cakes, pastries and breads - and then I know I am walking on to something unique.   From biscotti to crostini and brownies, each is calling out to tease your palate. To me at that moment it seemed I was facing the best of Kiwi baked delights smothered with Italian love.   The baked bread ranges through Tremezzino, gourmet burger buns, Ciabatta, Panini and more.

So is there any difference between a Kiwi an…

The Northern Explorer - National Park New Zealand


Terra Mia Italian - Wollongong CBD

A delightful find, a unique menu that emphasises more another than meats and seafood.   There is the aromatic stuff in the morning, especially from small sized omelettes ( frittatina) ; big sandwiches made from pizza dough ( panuozzo ); uovo (eggs) served with a wide choice of accompaniments like pork sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, pancetta and freshly wood fired breads ; and croissants like almond coated ones and Sfogliatelle.

The coffeeis strong and bold as one can expect.  Pasquale Crocamo, the person behind this relatively new place has a mission to combine the best ingredients and traditions from various parts of Italy with the best ingredients that Australia can offer.

The female staff member is very patient and focused on explaining the menu to non-Italian speakers like me.  The guy who attends to the cash register is enthusiastic and engaging as well.
Every time I drive past this place during evenings, there is a buzz inside.  It has both indoor and outdoor seating.  …

Watergrill, Kirribilli Club Sydney

Enough said - the Watergrill at the Kirribilli Club is upstairs and so commands a captivating panoramic view of water, bush and sky at the northern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.   Add to this a perfect winter's day where the sun shines intently, the air is coolish but guests were all tucked inside behind glass windows.  This is another outlet of a chain that operates in Girraween and Cronulla as well in greater Sydney.  Here you can sample not only the food, but a portion of lower north shore residents, visitors and tourists, families and other groups, having a good day in!

Vehicle parking can be a challenge in this petite suburb of Lavender Bay with its narrow and sloping roads and almost all metered parking requirements by Council.  There are only 65 vehicle parking spaces provided by the Club with a FIFO policy and no reservations allowed - parking tickets need to be validated at the Club's reception and paid on leaving.

Strong on seafood, emphatic on the Aussieness o…

The BullnBear Cafe, Bar and Restaurant - Wollongong CBD

Just a block away from the Hotel Illawarra, near the junction between Princes Highway and Victoria Street, the BullnBear opened only a few months ago and has been picking up the pace with customers.   To me, I love the practical pricing, the location, the staff and the two tiered levels of the site.  Not only open for breakfast and lunch, increasingly parties with small groups are being held there.  The walls remain rustic - perhaps there is a Spanish hint here?  They are within walking distance of the GPK shopping centre in Wollongong city centre and especially from the lane that leads to Sifters Espresso. 
More than coffee are the Spanish and Euro beers stocked at BullnBear. 

The few times I have been there the staff are kind enough to let the guests linger and enjoy the place, suggesting some items to further consider in a relaxing environment.  For quick stays, you can use one of the small tables in front of the bar or sit outside on the pavement.  The place is also worth strolli…

MoChi Restaurant, Wollongong NSW

Opening week in July at MoChi was a flurry of activity and customer interest.  The owners, the Sheppards, already operate Caveau, a small French dining restaurant across the road and which the Sydney Morning Herald has consistently renewed its one Hat rating.  Occupying two shop lots, Mo Chi is spanking clean with neutral hues (Nest Emporium), friendly staff (ground and first point of contact) and with a spacious feel.  The bar is upfront so one can ponder on its offerings whilst waiting for a table.  There is an in-room divider blocking up the inner third of the place, perhaps catering for any private functions cordoned off from the main dining floor.

The lunch express came in a single bamboo basket, with a section of yum cha dishes, including some of Hong Kong's Four Heavenly Kings but excluding the steamed cakes.  The prawn and pork filled Har Gou with a whitish outside layer was good to the taste, but the Shuimai's two choices - one with sticky rice, more Indo Chinese tha…