Catching up + pretty things

Catching up + pretty things

Yet another life-is-hectic-woe-is-me post. I’m in an endless cycle of my day job and side projects. Unfortunately the side projects are as digital as my day job so there isn’t much variety to be had. But that’s alright. I am missing making something a little more physical. My plants are crying for attention. I did notice that my asparagus plants have been sprouting some spears. I must make an asparagus centric dish one day soon.

I took Tuesday off last week as I had to pick up my mum who spent a month in the USA visiting my aunties. She brought back a tonne of chocolate and lollies – all in a giant box (in addition to her suitcase) that probably weighed more than I do.

H took the day off too, and we decided to go to DFO to take advantage of being out and about on a week day (oh the luxury!). We drove down to Homebush after having a lovely brunch at Kitchen by Mike and admiring some very colourful and pretty flowers. I opted for the pork belly with some beetroot, freekah and goats cheese – amazing by the way!

kitchen by mike

I managed to pick up four Essie polishes at $6 each. Loving DFO! I didn’t realise they were renovating and extending upwards! Good move if you ask me. I’m looking forward to the new stores that are opening in the not too distant future.

essie polishes

I put in an order for a piece of jewellery I’ve long been coveting. I’ve seen it on a few other bloggers and I just haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I even got a Forever 21 version for $2, but it was chunky and just didn’t satisfy my desire. I got it last week and haven’t been able to take it off since! I’m definitely going through a dainty ring phase.

jordan askill

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week so far!

Berry Sourdough Cafe

Berry Sourdough Cafe

I’ve been itching to go to the Berry Sourdough Cafe for the longest possible time. The last time I was in Berry, it was a public holiday and so it was closed, and there was a very disappointed me. Fast forward to last weekend, I made the effort to call ahead to make sure it was open. We came as a group of 9, and they don’t take bookings – so we had a short wait of about 10-15 minutes. They had local art hung up around the place. I loved the interiors! Everything was so kitsch.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

It was a hive of activity inside. We were given two tables pushed together, so it was a bit of a squeeze, but we made do. I was determined to try the food! There was a good range of local cider and beers available.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

I was preparing for the Berry Donut Van afterwards, so I opted for the potato, leek and smoked garlic soup with olive tapenade ($15.50). It was creamy and rich, and was accompanied with a slice of toast slathered with salty butter. Love.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

The majority of the table ordered the crisp pork belly, hazelnut puree, green pair and radicchio ($25) which most certainly didn’t disappoint. It was beautifully crunchy and pull-apart-moist at the same time.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

I have a thing for foodie aerial shots these days. Sure I look like a complete psycho doing them, but I really don’t care. Anything for the money shot! Three plates of the pork? Yes.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

This was the quinoa and chevre salad with spiced beetroot and walnuts ($19). I didn’t taste this but I was assured it was delicious, and the quinoa and other random seeds left you with a pleasant popping sensation.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

A couple of others in my party ordered the linguine with clams, green olives and verjus ($22). I’ll be honest, I didn’t try this either, but I can say about this is that it looked mighty tasty. The clams looked fresh, and smelled amazing.

Berry Sourdough Cafe

I have no regrets in making the Berry Sourdough Cafe the sole purpose of my visit!

BERRY SOURDOUGH CAFE
23 Prince Alfred Street
Berry NSW 2535
(02) 4464 1617

Late lunch at the Norfolk Hotel

Late lunch at the Norfolk Hotel

After seeing amazing food shots from Tina @ Bite Me Show Me at the Norfolk, I knew I had to go. The photos of the pork belly sliders were just too hard to resist. H and I went on a late Sunday afternoon. It was still very much a hive of activity at 3:00pm on a Sunday, which I found surprising. But then again I suppose it is a pub. With awesome food.

We started off with some cider while we perused the menu. There were so many items to choose from that it took us a while to decide. I consulted the Foursquare tips, which recommended everything from the lamb sandwich to the tacos.

Norfolk menu

We ended up with some cheesy chilli fries, which did not disappoint. They had just the right amount of spice, and a little bit of a kick. I love anything with nacho cheese. Mind you, right after taking this photo I meticulously picked off the jalapeno peppers before eating.

Cheesy chilli fries

The pork slider was a definite must. It was the perfect size for one. The slaw was nice and zesty, and the chunk of meat in the middle was cooked to perfection. Tender, yet crisp on the outside. I could have done another if it didn’t come with so many fries.

Pork slider burger

We also took advantage of the Sunday special, four tacos for $20. We got an assortment of chicken, pork and beef. They were all delicious as expected – with a smattering of fresh herbs to complement each.

Tacos at the Norfolk

There were a tonne more other items I’m keen to try at the Norfolk, so I’ll definitely be returning in the very near future.

NORFOLK HOTEL
305 Cleveland St
Redfern NSW 2016

Kitchen by Mike in Rosebery

Kitchen by Mike in Rosebery

I adore lazy weekends. The last one was just that. H and I decided on a late lunch at Kitchen by Mike. I’d heard a lot about it but I hadn’t realised it was so close. We arrived at around 2:30pm, somewhat concerned that the kitchen would be closing in half an hour (we’d soon find out we needn’t be concerned). Breakfast is served until 11:30am, and lunch from 12pm onwards.

It is set in the most amazing converted warehouse space. Everything from the interior decor to the menus and the aprons the servers wear are so stylised. I love it all. I decide to have the crispy pork belly with a crisp Caesar salad. It is nothing short of amazing. The pork belly melts in your mouth and the skin is crisp and light. The Caesar salad is a distinct highlight for me, a halved baby cos topped with a lusciously creamy dressing and a heap of crunchy bacon.

Pork belly with Caesar salad

H chose the roast chicken with a side of baby carrots and garlic and rosemary focaccia. They give you the option of choosing your own piece of chicken from the pile. The baby carrots are perfectly glazed.

Roast chicken with garlic and rosemary bread

We finished off with two soy mochas and a very rich chocolate mud cake. We just couldn’t say no to it. It cake with a dollop of chantilly cream. Will definitely be back for the breakfast session.

Mud cake

KITCHEN BY MIKE
1/85 Dunning Avenue
Roseberry NSW 2018

The Beltree, Hunter Valley

The Beltree, Hunter Valley

This is a bit of a continuation of my previous post on my recent day trip to the Hunter. I’m not too familiar with the area, so my friends and I were asking the local wineries for recommendations for restaurants. We were directed in the direction of The Beltree. A quaint little Italian trattoria hidden in the valley.

When we arrived just a little after midday, the place was bustling with activity. There was a steady stream of people coming in to eat. We walked in to a lovely open space with a patio set with tables and chairs. It overlooked the garden and was just so peaceful and serene.

The Beltree

Let me just warn you now, this post will be somewhat photo intensive. There are a whole load of photos under the cut!

The Beltree

We sat out in the sun on the patio and enjoyed the warmth. As we were waiting for our food I spied the chefs come out picking fresh herbs and flowers from the surrounding gardens.

The Beltree

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Lazy Lunching at Spice I Am

Lazy Lunching at Spice I Am

I usually shy away from hot and spicy foods. The exception to this rule has got to be the basil crispy pork belly at Spice I Am. H and decided to stop by last Sunday for a lazy lunch. We ordered the pork belly (a definite MUST), a beef penang and some steamed rice. We ended up getting there close to 3pm so there weren’t any crazy crowds. Getting here early or late is a definite as they do not take any bookings.

I also ordered a Thai iced coffee, which was pleasantly sweet and extinguished the flames induced by the crispy pork belly dish. I will admit that the best iced coffee I’ve had so far is Vietnamese iced coffee with the intriguing metal contraption.

basil crispy pork belly

beef penang curry

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Dinner at Montpellier Public House

Dinner at Montpellier Public House

H and I had dinner at the house formerly known as Restaurant Balzac, but now goes by the name of Montpellier Public House. It was yet another one of the multiple group deals I purchased towards the end of last year. It was about 80 dollars for the both of us, which included a bottle of bubbles and a three course dinner – with one caveat. The entrée and dessert was more of an assortment of their specialties, so really it was more like a multi course degustation than a three course dinner.

We ate there on a Friday, and despite not being in the city, it is bustling with activity. It has more of a relaxed feel than Balzac had, I guess you’d describe it as a gastro-pub. We got started with some lightly toasted bread with olives. H isn’t a big fan of olives, so I have a whole handful of olives to myself! They were tasty and crunchy – and super moreish.

Montpellier Public House Dinner

Montpellier Public House Dinner

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