Showing posts from January, 2016

TLC Cafe, Wollongong NSW

There is a large fern leaf incorporated into the bricked wall along a narrow enclave on one side of the back of the cafe.   Even if the space is compact, I noticed regulars heading straight for this alcove-like
corner.  The beauty of this is that this is smack in the middle of Wollongong city centre, a stone's
throw from the IPAC auditorium and across Burelli Street from the Council.   If you like, you can enter through a lane beside Lee & Me Cafe on lower Crown Street.

What seems to be city centre workers come in and out regularly even early on a weekday morning.
The menu is limited but easy, all for daytime snacking or a meal.  There are sweet stuff in the lit display.  The sunlight is kept out on the bricked plaza outside, whilst inside it is a refuge in a cottage surrounding.

The coffee blend is in house.   The staff that day were friendly, smiling and passionate about their business.   It is relaxing to come to this cafe whether for a short while, a take away or to linge…

Guillaume, Paddington NSW - Revisited

Guillaume's Restaurant had renovations in August 2014.  I would like to share my impressions on my most recent visit in December last year.

The Royale of Asparagus entree has always been a winner with me - served with truffle gems and mud crab meat, I reckon my focus moved away from the asparagus to its enhancing companions on the plate.

The Moreton Bay bug warm entree is always a winner with me, served with delicate but flavourful pork cheek, sea spray, cauliflower and radish - providing a yummy harmony between land and sea produce.  For those being inducted into gourmet Australian cuisine, this is a symbolic experience for a sea produce that is unique to the eastern seaboard of this continental island.

For beef lovers, it is irresistible to have the Shioro-Kin full blood Waygufrom the Macquarie Downs region in Queensland.  This is accompanied by pickled radish and Jerusalem artichoke, before being drizzled with jus gras right behind serving.   The other beef offering comes from…

My Pantry - North Wollongong Beach NSW

The lady who greeted at the door was friendly-infectious and knew how to get the drinks and food going.  She was professional, welcoming and made sure every table was attended to despite being busy.   We hung around for around three hours and felt like being at home.  There are choices in meats, salads and cocktails, with a good wine menu.  I noticed the Vegie Patch salad and tried at first to not choose chicken but in the end I deferred to the white meat, much to my glee for the crumbed chicken was a delight  - and I loved the uplifting batter.

Posters on the wall echo scenes from Cuba to Monte Carlo.   This is a two shopfront restaurant and accessible throughout the day once opened,  so customers and regulars think nothing of walking in during mid-afternoon.  From 230pm to 6pm, customers can also have cocktails, cheese platters and a relaxing atmosphere between the meals.   I understand that there has been a recent change of owners and I like what I see in the new arrangements.


Quay Canteen - Wollongong CBD

There is the Bakery Boys located further down Crown Street in Wollongong city centre.  But on the upper side along the mall, on top of another coffee place (the Square), lies a hidden gem, in the innards of the previous Central Chambers - climb up an unassuming stair case, navigate the narrow passages once you are on the first floor and head towards the corner balconies.  The menu is mostly Indo-Chinese, but you still have Aussie favourites like croissants, avocado smash and banana bread.
Another perspective is that it is vegan friendly, has gluten free options and its catch cry emphasise "raw treats".

Then we noticed the French baguettes, and before long it was Good Morning Vietnam!  Ingredients like fried shallots, coleslaw from the tropics, coriander, vermicelli salad and spicy sauces dotted the compact but diverse menu.  A fellow luncher recommended to me the v salad - laden with pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), mint leaves, cucumber slices, carrot and pickled daikon ra…

Franks 'n Beans - East Corrimal NSW

Hidden within the bowels of a suburb north of Wollongong is a cafe that feels like Waterloo or Surry Hills in Sydney or in a lane in Melbourne CBD, but from this cafe, one can wander down the beach, past a caravan park and enjoy a village feel in a small hub that has a newsagent, Foodworks supermarket, a clinic, a bakery and a small but good enough parking area.

The cafe is Franks 'n Beans, opened last year, where regulars can stroll down in their shorts, with their doggies or relax after having done the shopping chores.   The place is otherwise residential, dotted by houses from the eighties if not earlier.  I can pump my petrol nearby and then enjoy the trendy food and varied menu.

The long wall of Franks 'n Beans on one side have potted plants hanging  and there is even an old fashioned food cupboard that now serves to hold wine bottles.  There is a homely atmosphere and many have included this cafe in their routine.

Couples gyrate towards the tables inside, families love…

Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant - Revisited

The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant is located on Level 3 of the Market City Shopping Centre in Sydney's Haymarket.
It is open every day for yum cha lunch and dinners.
The above photographs were taken during a dinner with Jimbob.

The Dining Room, Park Hyatt - Sydney Harbour

With the stereotyped multi-million dollar view, the Dining Room in Sydney Harbour's Park Hyatt could not be placed in a better location - and with cosmopolitan cities these days, this means big money changing hands.  The menu at the restaurant is however medium priced for what you get -  care, creativity and sensitivity.   I love the presentation at the Dining Room, not just of the food, but of the lay out, the light from outside coming in and the view of the Sydney Opera House across the waters.  Staff are smartly dressed, obviously have been trained well and make guests feel good.
Vegetarian and gluten free options are clearly marked and offered.  There are both full and tasting menus, degustation and wholesome meals.   Private rooms are also available for consideration with locking in the Chef's Table for eight diners.

Escargot, carpaccio and gazpacho are words thatdot through the entrees for dinner.   The mains are beautifully and yet carefully verbalised and described  - …