For a feast worthy of kings, check out Ferah Cafe and Restaurant in Newtown for the Turkish Breakfast Banquet!
So I saw @crunchytiger post about the Banquet Turkish Breakfast For Two ($42.50) at Ferah Cafe and Restaurant in Newtown and I freaked the hell out because look at it! It’s BEYOOOOTIFUL! So much fricken food but all relatively healthy! Huzzah for health so that we may continue eating burgers and fries and mash and gravy 😛
But first, tea! The top teapot holds Turkish tea and the bottom teapot is hot water, so you can adjust the strength of your tea to your liking. Oh and sugar cubes for those with a sweet tooth.
YASSSS GAWD! A giant board arrives first, piled with slices of watermelon, rockmelon, cucumber, tomatoes, Turkish white cheese, kasar (traditional Turkish cheddar cheese) and lil saucers of marinated olives, jams (sour cherry and strawberry), cream & honey, tahin-pekmez (tahini mixed with grape molasses) and butter.
Then steaming hot bowls of Menemen- Turkish style scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions and chilli, a bowl of fried egg studded with Sucuk (Turkish sausage), and a basket of fluffeh Turkish bread.
And finally the pastry board with Sigara boregi- Turkish cigar shaped pastry, made with feta cheese and phyllo dough. Definitely a feast worthy of kings!
Mjolner is a new viking themed bar and restaurant in Redfern with incredible food, order the bone marrow, beef short rib and the snapper!
“So there’s this place which is viking themed and you drink beer out of a horn.” Um hell yeah! That’s literally all it took to convince Noods, Kiren and Syl to visit Mjolner (mythical name of Thor’s hammer) in Redfern.
We descend down the stairs and make our way through the dark, cavernous rooms, past the wall of meat ageing in the locker.
We’re welcomed with a traditional Viking toast, a complimentary serving of house made mead. It’s smooth, fruity and sweet and so delicious I immediately order another shot of it.
The boys want to drink their beer in horns so a round of bottled beers are ordered before our waiter arrives to explain the technique of drinking out of the horn (sideways just fyi lol)
We start off with this must order- Roasted Bone Marrow ($20) with meat powder and watercress. We scoopsies the quivering, gelatinous globules and pile onto the warm bread. We unanimously agree that it was a good thing we didn’t have to share!
Then there’s the tender and delicious smoky Charred Octopus Tenticles ($20) with curls of kholrabi and a puddle of squid ink sauce.
The Whole Snapper ($35) is a beauty, the fish is plump and flakes easily away. The flavours are fresh and clean and I feel incredibly virtuous haha #cleaneating
The Short Rib ($45) with celtuce and juniper is bloody impressive and is my fave of the night. It’s super tender with a good amount of fat ribboned throughout so it just melts in your mouth.
The special of the night was the Pork Loin ($60) which was just so beautifully presented. I mean look at them fat slices of juicy pork, each crowned with glorious crackling! Definitely value for money!
On the vegetable front we go for the Cauliflower ($18) which was roasted and doused in the most incredible burnt butter sauce. Seriously, bathe me in that sauce please!
We also added some sides of Pan roasted green beans ($14) with hazelnut sherry and garlic.
And Roasted carrots ($12) with carraway and yoghurt dressing. I was a bit disappointed by the portions of the vegetables at those prices. They were all delicious but I guess I was expecting whole baby carrots so when this bowl came out I was like, did someone give us a half eaten bowl?
For dessert we shared the Mascarpone parfait ($15) with macadamia, charred lemon and plum sauce which was deliciously creamy and had the perfect balance of sweetness.
And the Cheese selection ($35) because, cheese. Unfortch by then it was getting late and we were being urged to finish up our meal so I never did get to find out what the cheeses were other than ‘hard, soft and a blue’. Side note: look! Babeh carrots!
While the food was incredible, the service can be a bit hit and miss which is a shame. On a round of beers we’d ordered, they didn’t bother telling us they were actually out, and instead just served us a different beer from their list (Nice varied boutique list tho btw). For the next round, wanting to try their other beers, and not being a big fan of our previous choice, we unknowingly ordered the same beer that was given to us. Wondering why it tasted the same, we queried this, but was told they had actually run out of our previous order, and refused to swap out the beer or cancel it from our bill even though we didn’t drink it, putting a damper on such a great night. Ah wells.
A weekend away at the Hunter Valley! Staying at Crown Plaza Hunter Valley and eating and drinking my way around the region.
I love the Hunter Valley. Every year the boy and I escape for the weekend to get our cheese and wine fix and bring a trunk full of deliciousness back to Sydney! So one bright and early morning we head off from Sydney for the 2 hour drive to the Hunter and check in at the Crown Plaza Hunter Valley.
It was a tad chilly that morning but oh man how inviting does that pool look!
The breakfast buffet ($38pp) at Redsalt is pretty damn impressive, there’s the egg station where you can customise your omelettes, the pancake machine station (where I always end up googling how much it would cost to have one of these babies at home), the hot food station with bacon, sausages and hash browns, the coffee and juice station, and of course there’s fruits, cheese, cereals, breads and fresh pastries.
I’m a fan of chardonnays and so a visit to Scarborough (179 Gillards Road, Pokolbin) is always a winner, especially the free cheese platter!
Cafe Enzo (Broke Rd & Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin) has the fricken best scones I’ve ever had. The scones are ginormous, with a nice light crust, buttery crumb and are just oh so fluffeh.
We sign up for the Lovedale Bus Tour ($55pp) which runs every Saturday, starting at 12.30pm at the Lovedale Bar with a tasty platter of pulled pork sliders, prawns, fish and chips and of course a refreshing glass of your choice from the taps. We head to the Lovedale brewery for a tour of the beer making facilities and get a walkthrough of the bottling and canning process.
And then hopping on the bright yellow double decker bus to hit a couple of wineries in the area- Tamburlaine Organic Wines and Cockfighters Ghost Wines welcome our group and with some very nice discounts 😛
For the months of May and June, some of Lovedale’s best chefs and winemakers are joining forces for the Lovedale Pie and Wine pairing. We were in need of sustenance before heading out for a big day of wine tasting so went downstairs to the Lovedale Bar & Restaurant for the beef shin pie with mashed potatoes and green beans and paired with a Lovedale Brewery Lager. The pie was pretty damn tasty tho with incredibly flaky pastry and tender meat, tho purists will say it’s more of a pot pie than a proper pie lol /stares at Noods.
One of my absolute Must Dos in the Hunter Valley is visiting all the cheese stores! First stop is Binnorie Dairy (Tuscany Wine Estate, Hermitage Rd & Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin), which is a must visit if only just to get their flagship cheese, the international Gold Medal Winner marinated fetta.
And then onto Hunter Valley Cheese Factory (447 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, next door to McGuigan’s Winery) where I can never resist the neon green waxed cheddar or their grape vine ash brie.
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop (2144 Broke Rd, Pokolbin) has 2 locations, the main one is at the Roche Estate Complex (2144 Broke Road, Pokolbin) but for some reason we prefer heading to the Pokolbin Village location (Shop 3, 2188 Broke Road, Pokolbin). It’s less frenetic at this store and the staff are super lovely and there’s cheese tastings which always pleases my soul.
My favourite restaurant is EXP (1596 Broke Rd, Pokolbin) who use fresh, local produce from the Hunter region. The food is always incredibly presented and so very delicious and the matching wines from Oakvale winery is always great.
ChocolateSuze stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Hunter Valley as a guest.
Run by North Hobart’s Sweet Envy, Drury Lane (upstairs from Brewtown in Newtown) is one heck of a place to grab some coffee and relax with delicious baked treats. The pecan sticky bun is a must order!
Heads up Sydney there’s a spanking new patisserie that have set up shop in the old Oconnell Street Merchants premises upstairs from Brewtown in Newtown. Drury Lane is run by North Hobart’s Sweet Envy, with Alistair Wise at the helm.
There were so many baked goods that I wanted but there’s only so much Raff and I could possibly eat! Fat lamingtons, unbelievably flaky croissants, pretty as a picture vanilla slices…
I’m immediately drawn to the ginormous cookie sandwiches ($7) in the display, there’s the Monty – an orange biscuit with coconut butter cream and jam filling and the Nutterbutter – a peanut cookie with peanut butter buttercream filling but we choo choo choose the Margate!
Isn’t she a beauty? The Margate has a chocolate buttercream and ganache filling and is pretty damn incredible, tasting like a softer, chewier version of an ANZAC biscuit <3
Drury Lane’s kitchen also pumps out a savoury range, buttery pies and sausage rolls are available so be sure to check out the chalkboard for the days selection. There’s two kinds of of sausage rolls: Pork & Fennel ($7) and a Lamb & Harissa ($7). And for the pies there’s: Cauliflower & Cheese, Tongue & Cheek and a Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Pie.
The pastry is brilliantly flaky and of course shatters all over me thanks to my inability to eat like a normal person.
The Chicken & Sausage pie is a winner, more of that incredible golden pastry and tender pieces of chicken buried within. I also loved the homemade tomato chutney on the side which is sweet, tangy and slightly smoky.
The Pecan Sticky Bun ($7) was featured in Gourmet Traveller’s Top 50 dishes and it’s not hard to see why! Bite into the crisp outer pastry studded with a generous amount of pecans that’s smothered in a gooey, irresistible dark caramel which has got a good hit of salt to stop us from going over the ledge into a sugar coma. Definitely a must order with each visit!
Last but not least is the Jatz Crack Pie ($7), a layer of sweet caramel quite like the Momofuku crack pie or a caramel slice and layered with Jatz crackers for the buttery salty hit.
I’m looking forward to returning and trying every single baked good on the menu!
Andy Bowdy’s signature cakes are now available in miniature sizes at newly opened Saga in Enmore.
I’ve been dying to try one of Andy Bowdy’s cake creations for ages but had been deterred by the prices. But let us rejoice! For Andy and his partner/manager Maddison Howes have opened Saga in Enmore with mini versions of his famous cakes and oh so much more!
Customers can choose to dine in or takeaway the desserts. There’s boxes of tiramisu, fresh focaccia, flaky palmiers, and cookies galore which were flying out the door when I came by last weekend.
What a beautiful display! There were 4 flavours of the miniature versions of Andy’s cakes and I opt for the Grace ($15). There’s layers of fragrant carrot cake, salted caramel, mousse, baked cheesecake, pecans, crispy ginger cookies, segments of mandarin and the signature torched meringue. Yes the cake is pricey but it’s definitely more than enough to feed 2 people and you can see how much effort has gone into all the elements for this creation.
The brunch menu is available all day (8am – 3pm) and Noods goes for the Mushrooms on toast ($18) which is a fricken forest of mushrooms that have been roasted, pickled or caramelised and jumbled on top of a slice of sourdough with a thick schmear of creamy mayo.
I was tempted by the Philly Morgs ($17) sammich with porchetta, braised kale and bacon dressing from the sandwich menu (available 10am – 3pm) but decide to go for the Corn Pudding ($17.50) instead. It’s a riot of textures with the charred corn, the bite of spelt grains, the crunch of cornbread crumbs, and the schmear of caramelised corn custard hiding underneath tying everything all together. There’s also celery in there but we all know how I feel about celery 😛
Want a shot of the gooey egg you say? Well say no more, here you go!
I absolutely adored the Banana Cream Pie ($8.50)- sinking my spoon into the cloud of vanilla chantilly, past layers of rich banana cream and rivers of salted caramel before making my way to the chocolate biscuit base. The pockets of Jack Daniel’s gel is probs a bit much at 10 in the morning but hey. Whatever floats your boat!
178 Enmore Road,
Mon – Tues: Closed
Weds – Sun: 8am – 4pm