Shortstop Coffee & Donuts has finally opened it’s store in Barangaroo in Sydney! The Earl Grey & Rose cake donut and the Maple Walnut & Brown Butter raised donut are my faves and definite must orders.
I fricken love donuts. I mean, I didn’t get a donut tattoo for nothing 😛 Oh and then there was that time where I planned a trip to eat all of Melbourne’s best donuts in the space of 9 hours and pretty much went into a sugar coma but it was so worth it because I got to try the famous Shortstop Coffee & Donuts and oh wow this is a really long sentence but anywhos GUESS WHO HAS OPENED IN SYDNEY?!
That’s right, Shortstop Coffee & Donuts has set up shop in Barangaroo, just around the corner from Belle’s and the donuts are just as amazing as they were in Melbourne! The shop has a bit more seating than the Melb store plus you can always get takeaway and walk to the Reserve and eat by the water. The donut offerings for the day are displayed at the front and are between the $4-$5 range and will rotate in flavours each month.
Let’s start with my favourite donut: the Maple Walnut & Brown Butter raised donut ($5). The donut is so pillowy soft and fluffy but oh man do you know how amazing brown butter is?? Now imagine it in the form of icing! And studded with crushed maple roasted walnuts! Argh so good! It’s not too rich or oily and I’m pretty sure I could eat 3 in one sitting. This donut is not for sharing 😛
I’m not the biggest matcha lover in all the lands so this Triple Matcha cake donut ($5) was perfect for me as it wasn’t too bitter but I can see why other people would want a stronger matcha flavour. The donut had a fair amount of matcha and the icing was a white chocolate and matcha glaze that was a touch sweet but still pretty delicious.
Next in the cake donut range is the Red Velvet cake donut ($4.50), the deep red colour comes from the use of beetroot juice. It’s a tasty donut but I did wish there was less of the dark chocolate glaze and more of the cream cheese icing as it did overpower the flavour and I love me some cream cheese icing on a red velvet! The donut itself was great though, rich and moist and good for that chocolately fix.
The Earl Grey & Rose cake donut ($4.50) is my fave of the cake donuts, and quite possibly my second favourite out of all the donuts at Shortstop! The donut itself is slightly denser compared to the raised donuts but still pretty fluffy. The rose water with rose petal icing is the perfect amount of sweetness and considering I absolutely HATE earl grey AND rose, it’s surprising that I really like this donut haha 😛 There’s a touch of lemon myrtle and the earl grey flavour isn’t too overpowering against the light fragrance of the rose. I dunno, I feel like this donut is just so perfectly balanced compared to other donuts out there which are just overloaded with sugar.
Moving onto the filled donuts, the Boston Cream filled donut ($5) is a glorious flashback to childhood years of grabbing a custard filled chocolate iced donut at the school canteen for lunch instead of um proper food (haha HI MUM!) Short Stop’s version is decidedly more adult with a filling of vanilla crème pâtissière using Heilala Vanilla and topped with an incredibly smooth 85% Callebaut dark chocolate icing.
The Rhubarb Vanilla Brûlée filled donut ($5) is incredible, the Brûlée caramel layer is impressively crisp and the donut is filled with a creamy vanilla filling with tender rhubarb. I liked that the filling wasn’t too sugary because the brûlée layer more than made up for it in sweetness.
I loooved the Apple Pie filled donut ($5)! The sticky caramel sauce had the perfect buttery balance and had me grinning in glee. The filling is an apple compote and vanilla bean cream and topped with a spiced crumble that had me thinking about Christmas and how everything smells like cinnamon and oh boy can you believe we’re already at the end of April???
And lastly onto the crullers! The New Orleans Iced Coffee cruller ($4) is a wonder, crisp on the outside and super light and airy on the inside. The flavour is pretty damn amazing with a rich coffee flavour that is intense and oh so satisfying.
The Australian Honey & Sea Salt cruller ($4) is obviously one for the sweet & salty lovers with a glaze made of local honey and organic milk, and then sprinkled with fine flakes of sea salt. The salt on this cruller was the perfect end to my donut consumption!
Shortstop Coffee & Donuts is pretty fricken amazing. The donuts are made fresh each day in small batches to ensure optimum donut tastiness and I foresee the majority of my next paycheck going towards my increasing consumption of donuts 😛
Shortstop Coffee & Donuts
Shop 3, 23 Barangaroo Avenue,
Mon – Fri: 7:30 am – 4:30pm
Sat – Sun: 9:30am – 3:30pm
Dead Ringer is the refined big sister to Bulletin Bar with a smashing food and wine menu in Surry Hills.
I love Bulletin Bar in Circular Quay and when I heard that they were opening a second bar in the old Emmilou site in Surry Hills, I squeezed in a visit to Dead Ringer one Sunday arvo for some snacks and a few cheeky beverages. The food at Dead Ringer is looked after by Tristan Rosier (previously of est. and Farmhouse) and is broken up into snacks, mains and desserts and are all designed to share.
We start with the Sausage sizzle ($7), a much fancier version than the ones you get at your local Bunnings! A crustless slice of fluffy white bread holds a deeply rich morcilla blood sausage with a schmear of chilli yoghurt, pickled sprouts and a generous scattering of fried shallots. We probably should’ve gotten one each as this was one tasty sammich and we were eyeing each other over the last bite 😛
The Chicken Liver Parfait ($17) is a must order you guys! The slab of parfait is ridiculously light and fluffy, smooth and with the right amount of seasoning. I slathered it inch thick onto the crusty grilled bread (from The Bread & Butter Project) and was in raptures, holy crap I love chicken liver parfait! Side note, I love a place that has the perfect amount of bread to accompany parfaits! Also, usually I’m not a fan of pickles but these babies were awesome, sweet and tart and dangerously addictive.
Noods immediately zeroes in on the beautifully colourful Beef Tartare ($16). Dead Ringer’s version is amped up with aioli instead of egg yolk, and pickled daikon and eggplant instead of capers. Instead of toast or fries, you pile the whole shebang onto potato ‘paper’. I loved the potato crisps and probably would’ve been happy if it was available as a side by itself to nibble on. The tartare was deliciously fresh and zingy but I would have preferred a little Tabasco for a spicy kick?
After one bite of the Spiced Lamb Ribs ($23), I abandon all pretences of being lady-like and drop my cutlery in favour of picking up the ribs like a caveman. The ribs are braised until unctuously tender and then grilled to get that gloriously caramelised layer on the skin. That blob of green is a herbed yoghurt in case you needed something to cut through the richness but I’m all about the fat so was happy gnawing away at the ribs.
I couldn’t resist the side of Potato Gratin ($10) because well, potato anything is awesome. Noods immediately shoves a whole cube into his mouth but I chose to slowly peel apart the layers and eat it one at a time, like it was a delicious layer cake. Each potato slice was evenly sliced and perfectly tender in the middle with golden, crispy edges.
There are only 3 desserts on the menu and we choose the Toffee Ice Cream ($10) over the cheese board or the pickled pineapple with yoghurt granita dessert. We’re amused when the bowl arrives looking literally like a pile of crumbs.
A peek under the mountain of crumbs reveals a base of silky smooth toffee ice cream layered on top with chocolate custard. When eaten together with malt biscuit, honeycomb and bee pollen crumble it reminds us of a Golden Gaytime icecream! Actually it’s better because honestly the crumbs were always the best part of that ice cream and having a whole bowl of it just made all my childhood dreams come true 😛
Dead Ringer feels like a much more refined big sister to Bulletin Bar and I absolutely loved the space- there’s an intimate feel inside and classic chillaxed Surry Hills laidback vibe out on the terrace. Service was awesome, the staff were knowledgeable but super down to earth and I’ll definitely be back to try the rest of the menu including the creamed almond dip!
413 Bourke Street,
Mon – Thurs: 5pm – Midnight
Fri – Sat: Midday to Midnight
Sun: Midday to 10pm
Visit Hunter & Barrel Restaurant for delicious meats, tasty beverages and great views over Darling Harbour. Get the Gathering Feast if you’re in a group, there’s a coil of kransky bursting with aged cheddar cheese, a meaty Wagyu sausage, half a juicy roasted chicken, slabs of chilli pork belly and my fave of the bunch- the freakishly tender roasted beef rib that had a perfect creamy layer of fat and fall off the bone meat
Noods’ rellies are in town (HI GUYS!) and wanting a bite to eat in the Darling Harbour area we decided to go to Hunter & Barrel which sits on the former Chinta Ria site on Cockle Bay Wharf. We start with the crowd pleasing Hot Cheese Dip ($12), a cast iron pan holding molten cheese that we took great delight in dunking the toasted sourdough and promptly burning the roofs of our mouths. Or maybe that was just me because I’m impatient and I just love cheese 😛
You can choose from the a la carte menu or get a little bit of everything in one of their feast packages. The Hunter’s Feast ($38/pp) is for a minimum of two people. We’re a group of six today so we go for the Gathering Feast ($45pp) which needs to be ordered by a minimum of four people. The Feast kicks things off with this beautiful platter of cured meats, pickles, olives, crusty bread and garlic dip.
And then the main event arrives! There’s a coil of kransky bursting with aged cheddar cheese, a meaty Wagyu sausage, half a juicy roasted chicken, slabs of chilli pork belly and my fave of the bunch- the freakishly tender roasted beef rib that had a perfect creamy layer of fat and fall off the bone meat.
The Feast also came with any 4 choices of salads or sides and boy, were they super generous servings! The Radicchio Salad was crisp and had a fair amount of balsamic dressing and parmesan cheese; the Grain Salad held a mixture of chickpea, barley, lemon & rocket; the Butter Mushrooms were super juicy and smothered in garlic butter; and for some greenery, the Broccolini to ease our meat sweats.
We also ordered the Grilled Flat Iron Steak ($28) which was cooked medium and came with a dollop of garlic butter and our choice of Grilled Cauliflower. The steak was pretty damn amazing, perfectly grilled so the edges were slightly smoky, but still retaining a juicy baby pink centre. The cauliflower was a surprise hit, with the florets toasty and crispy and tasting slightly nutty.
And because our family of carnivores can never have too much meat, we ordered the Rack of Lamb ($38) with coal roasted corn. I freaking love lamb and it was cooked spot on with nicely rendered fat and a juicy centre. Side note: The corn cob is cut into segments so you don’t feel too caveman-like and gnaw away at the whole cob. Which I would still do but you know, sharing is caring 😛
For dessert, I couldn’t resist ordering the Chocolate & Marshmallow Roast ($10), Hunter & Barrel’s take on the s’more. Grab a bikkie and plunge it into the depths where a layer of molten chocolate hides beneath fluffy peaks of toasted marshmallow. Ridiculously sweet yes, but ahhh tastes like childhood 😛
There’s long wooden tables and cosy booth seating inside but if the weather’s nice you definitely need to sit outside and enjoy the view of the Harbour with a cheeky beverage or two!
Hunter & Barrel
Tenancy 303 Cockle Bay Wharf,
Sun – Thurs: 12pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 12pm – 10:30pm
Head to Butter in Surry Hills for the best fried chicken sandwich in Sydney. Expect crunchylicious batter, juicy chicken and a beautiful river of dashi butter!
Can we all please take a moment to bask in the glory of this Fried Chicken Sandwich ($16)? It is a thing of beauty and is hands down my favourite fried chicken burger in Sydney right now! The soft, squishy milk bun holds a ginormous piece of juicy fried chicken with pickle spears on the bottom but then there’s also DASHI BUTTER schmeared inside and my god butter + fried chicken is probably enough to send shivers up your arteries but it just made this sandwich the best bloody thing ever!
The Miso Corny ($4) is an ear of corn split into 2 and absolutely saturated in beyoootiful miso butter. I wasn’t baller enough for champagne and stuck with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and also a Butter as F@#k slushie ($12) which oddly reminded me of butter menthols.
Helen and I also order the 3 pac ($16) which comes with 1 thigh piece, 2 tenders, and a side of slaw and we added an extra thigh piece ($4) because Helen wanted a spicy sauce. The heat level of the sauces starts from naked (aka original) and works its way up from OG, fire and hot AF. We were cautioned when we requested the hot AF sauce and instead of drenching the chicken in it they served the sauce on the side which was probably a wise decision because holy crap it was like eating fire! Helen can usually handle the hottest of all spice levels and this had her sweating! The slaw helped with the burning but it was a tad on the too creamy side and I would’ve preferred if it had a bit of acidity in it to cut through the richness.
On my second visit with Isaac and Raff, we decided to splurge and get the Size 13’s ($60), a shoebox filled with 4 thigh pieces, 9 tenders and comes with 2 sides of pickles, 2 sides of slaw and 3 sauces. The man himself, head chef Julian Cincotta (ex-Nomad, ex-Rockpool and winner of the 2015 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year) comes out to present us with our box of chicken and all heads swivel when the lid is lifted. I met Julian way back in 2012 when he was working at his family’s cafe, Sit n Chats in Westmead and it’s been a blast following him on Instagram all these years.
Fried chiiiiicken! The batter was crispy, crunchy and perfect, not too oily and the meat itself was pretty damn juicy.
Sauces (smoked aioli, buttermilk ranch and honey mustard), slaw and pickles that came with the chicken. Oh and we also ordered a side of shoestring fries ($5) because well, fries.
Aaaand gotta have dessert! The soft serve ($6) flavours rotate but when we went the offering was a creamy peanut butter soft serve with Milo crack rock topping.
Butter is a hybrid sneaker, fried chicken and champagne bar and a great addition to the fried chicken scene. Oh and fyi they’re launching an e-store soon for anyone wanting to buy some new kicks!
6 Hunt Street,
Mon – Thurs: 11:30am – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 11:30pm