Pub Life Kitchen, Surry Hills
Pub Life Kitchen (42 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills)- every Wednesday there are crazy burgers like the PB&J Chicken Burger ($15)
Edit: CLOSED You know what the best thing about reading blogs is? Finding out about random places that you never even knew existed! I’d been having cravings for a good juicy burger and after reading this post I knew I had to visit Pub Life Kitchen (42 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills) and get my burger on especially when I found out that every Wednesday they have some kinda crazy ass burger special!
My first visit to Pub Life one Wednesday night saw me chortling at the sight of the Tropic Thunder ($15)- a fat juicy piece of fried chicken with a sourdough beer battered pineapple fritter topped with a jalepeno and bacon relish and double monterey jack cheese on a fluffy house made bun. Holy moly that was one awesome burger!
Couldn’t resist the drink special- a Splice Of Heaven, which was rich and creamy with a swirly of mango and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes.
Noods has chosen the 300g Grain Fed Rump with fries, salad & gravy ($18) which was deliciously tender with just the right amount of char. He gave it the thumbs up and is plotting on visiting on a Tues when it’s cheap steak night lol
The following Wednesday we’re back again after hearing that the special burger was a PB&J burger. Yep I’m totally a sucka for novelty especially anything with peanut butter! The School Kid Special ($15) was, wait for it.. LEGEND–DARY. The peanut butter sauce was more like a satay sauce with heaps of crushed peanuts and I loved the sour cherry jelly layer which went awesomely on the slow cooked chicken.
Noods has opted for the Wagyu Beef Schnitzel ($18) which has a crunchylicious crumb and surprisingly tender innards. The mountain of mashed potatoes is ethereally light and I stealthily swipe forkfuls when Noods isn’t looking. And after a while I just didn’t care that he saw anymore because it was just that good. Good thing he’s the sharing type heh
Some stalking on the book of faces meant that there was no way I was missing out on the “Banana Split”($12), a classic updated without any fresh banana! That’s right folks there was some gorgeous slices of incredibly fragrant banana bread with giant scoops of ice cream, juicy morello cherries, peanut brittle and a blast from my childhood past- banana chips! Loved everything in this dish buuut kinda wished there was at least 1 piece of fresh banana buried under everything.
Visit #3 and I’m back with the penguin and the blue belt and have ordered a round of entrees to share. We were pretty devo when we found out the bone marrow on toast was goneskies but the fat golden batons of Cheesy Polenta Chips with Jalapeno Mayo made up for our sadness.
We um had to order more frieds! The Beer Battered Potato Scallops ($8), had a higher ratio of batter than potato and the Chicken Wings ($8) were a little on the slightly burned side but nm it was the burgers we were after.
Even tho it wasn’t a Wed when we visited, there’s a whole heap of burgers on the menu and I couldn’t resist the Cheeseburger($15). Aaaand because I always think that there’s never enough cheese on a cheeseburger I asked for extra cheese and almost swooned when my burger comes out with 4 slices of cheese haha yeah all that cheese/dairy pretty much defeated me but IT WAS WORTH IT DAMMIT.
The O.G Burger ($15) ie the Original Gangster contained a house ground beef pattie with caramelised onion, tomato, lettuce, smoked cheese, aioli on a house made bun. Richard demolished this with ease (mostly) but the humongous pile of chips defeated us all.
Sir D had the Chicken Burger ($15), with pieces of fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese and mayo and which I eyed with envy even though I was struggling with my own burger.
Clutching our stomaches we decided to share the Brownie Sundae which was a good idea as it was freaking massive! Rich chocolatey brownie pieces lie hidden in the depths of that bowl, surrounded by whipped cream, shards of honeycomb, peanut brittle AND GLORIOUS BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE. I love you butterscotch sauce! You make the world go ‘round!
I’m reeeeally hoping they decide to put the bone marrow back on the menu but either way I’m totes coming back for more crazy burgers!
Cibo e Vino, Castle Hill
Cibo e Vino (299 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill) is the perfect place for date night or for a catchup with mates. All the pastas are handmade each day and by golly are they amazing!
You know how sometimes you drive by a place heaps of times and you keep telling yourself hey we should try that restaurant someday? Cibo e Vino (299 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill) has long been on my list of restaurants in the westie hood to try, and with heaps of parking in Castle Mall rather than the horror of Castle Towers it is the perfect place for date night or for a catchup with mates.
Somehow whenever I see it on the menu I can never resist ordering a platter filled with nibblies ($21.50)- Gorgeous ribbons of prosciutto, fat slices of speckled salami, marinated olives, a pile of vivid pink pickled onion, wedges of reggiano parmesan and buttery garlic bread. The board was pretty impressive and uh probably best shared with 4 people cos woah baby that was a loooot of meat!
All the pastas are handmade each day at Cibo e Vino and because I can never have enough pork products in my life I had to order the Fettuccine carbonara with applewood smoked bacon, egg and parmesan ($21). Each strand of silky pasta was coated in an incredibly rich and creamy sauce with lots of crispy bacon bits. DELICIOUS BACON BITS. Bacon bits make me happy! The world needs more bacon bits!
Noods opted for the Spaghetti with crab, rocket and lemon ($24) and gleefully smashed it with ease, chortling every time he uncovered a mound of crab meat. Of which there were many. Chortles and crab.
MOUNTAIN OF FRIES. The “Cibo style” shoestring fries with herbs, parmesan, garlic and chili ($9.50) was nothing short of amazing and even though the chili was kinda tasting like burning I just couldn’t stop eating it! My stomach rebelled against my brain and kept telling me it could fit in more deep fried starch. That was an explosion of tasty right there. So FRICKEN tasty!
Stomaches at explodey point we had to take a breather before we even contemplated dessert and teehee I loved this Chocolat artwork!
Unable to handle anything rich we decided to share the Soft-centred meringue with rosewater, raspberry swirl ice cream and passion fruit ($12) which was thankfully light and refreshing. The meringue (heh I love spelling meringue because I keep chanting merengue instead) had a sweet, crisp outer layer with marshmallow soft innards and the ice cream was intriguingly addictive.
Cibo e Vino is a great restaurant and one that I will definitely return to try all the other pastas. And the fries. Gotta get the fries again. Yes.
ChocolateSuze dined as a guest of Cibo e Vino and The Bamboo Garden.
Milk Bar by Cafe Ish, Redfern
Milk Bar by Cafe Ish (1/105 Regents St, Redfern). $5 cheeseburgers, soft shell crab omellete, Ai’s freaking awesome fried chicken and the most amazeballs chocolate milkshake everrrrrrr
OH HAI JOSH AND AI! So like, I was pretty devo when news came that Cafe Ish in Surry Hills was closing, /insert weeping at the thought of no more soft shell crab omelets. But then word on the street was that Milk Bar by Cafe Ish was opening up at 1/105 Regents St, Redfern and so I managed to convince the other half to trek into the city with the promise of burgers and milkshakes.
I want caaaandy! Boop boop she boop boop (oh wow remember how terrible Aaron Carter’s version was? And oh geez has it really been 12 years since that song came out?) Ah those were the days… I remember sprinting to my nearest corner shop after school and pressing my face to the glass, staring at all the lollies trying to decide whether to get my money’s worth with the good ol gobstopper or head down the tried and tested waters of chocolate freckles… If only choosing what candy to eat was the hardest decision to make these days!
There’s a jukebox just begging to be played and funnily enough I was watching a girl choose her music selection and rocking out to Cyndi Lauper and then I realised that it was none other than Lee Tran Lam, who writes one of my favourite blogs The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry. Awesome to finally meet you and I challenge you to a game on the arcade machine next time! Also a shout out to Sarah who I spotted on the way out!
Drinks to start us off and I order a beautiful Piccolo ($3) to wake me up and Noods zeroes in on the Super Choc Shake ($7) which was truly incredible- rich chocolate ice cream + Lindt chocolate sauce and topped with a nice thick layer of Milo. Yep totally took sneaky slurps of the shake when he wasn’t looking! Also loved how we got the leftovers that couldn’t fit in the glass mmm more for me. (Here, let’s get another song in your head- Cafe Ish’s milkshake brings all da boys to the yard…)
I was totally gonna get the soft shell crab omellete but instead had to get some fried chicken action! Ai’s Freaking Awesome Chicken Wings ($13) really is FREAKING AWESOME, the lightly battered wings are golden and crisp and we chose the crab sauce over the other choices of vinegar & shallot sauce or hot sauce. Seriously that basket there was demolished in minutes. Totes coming back and not sharing heh.
Not sure why since I’m totes not a porridge type of gal but for some reason I just couldn’t resist ordering the Spiced Vanilla Milk Porridge ($9) which was satisfying with the motherlode of plump raisins studded throughout the creamy porridge and topped with stewed apples but best of all was the jug of jersey cream that I happily swirled in with the honey and chocolate buds. Ok I may have skipped the chocolate buds and eaten them separately…
Aaaaand we might’ve also ordered some burgers haha who can resist a Cheeseburger for only $5?? A juicy patty with grilled onion, oozy cheese and tomato sauce all sandwiched between a light and fluffy bun makes for a happy camper. I sent the pickle over to Noods’ burger who had added the option of turning his burger Japanese ($3 extra) which came with pickled daikon, carrot, cabbage and wasabi mayo. He gave it the thumbs up and then slumped over at how much food we had ordered and wouldn’t let me order any cake hmph
Pastries that I was oh so close to ordering! There be lemon tarts! And flan! And caramel slices! And upside down cakes! I will be back for you I promise!
But of course we couldn’t leave without hitting the arcade game for some PEW PEW time. Super tempted by Mappy, Joust and of course Dig Dug but eventually settled on the classic of Pac Man mainly because I like watching Pac Man chomp away… Milk Bar by Cafe Ish is a winner for me and we’ll definitely be back especially as we hear a peanut butter and jelly milkshake is in the works!
High Coffee, InterContinental Sydney
Available daily from 11am to 7pm, the High Coffee was perfect to catch up with a mate after work and costs $55p/p which is pretty tops value because there are 2 freaking delicious plates of savouries, enough desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth and 3 different types of coffee drinks. And guess what? I’m giving away a High Coffee experience for two people at InterContinental Sydney, valued at $110 so keep on reading to find out how to win!
Man I love a good high tea! Only problem is I’m not a big fan of tea and then I heard about the InterContinental Sydney (117 Macquarie Street, Sydney) doing a High Coffee and I was like woah awesome! Available daily from 11am to 7pm, the High Coffee was perfect to catch up with a mate after work and costs $55p/p which is pretty tops value because there are 2 freaking delicious plates of savouries, enough desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth and 3 different types of coffee drinks. And guess what? I’m giving away a High Coffee experience for two people at InterContinental Sydney, valued at $110 so keep on reading to find out how to win!
We begin with the incredible addictive Espresso di Manfredi Spice Martini, made with chilled espresso and shaken with InterContinental Sydney’s own spiced syrup and vanilla-infused Belvedere Vodka. Then onto the savouries- the Wagyu beef, cucumber relish and watercress panini is incredibly moreish and has me smacking my lips and eyeing off Angie’s share. The smoked salmon on rye with mascarpone and preserved lemon is tasty but it’s the roasted chicken and avocado with semi-dried organic tomato on a linseed roll that has me oddly in raptures. It was like my mind was blown on this relatively simple combo and I reckon I would’ve totally been happy with just this plate for my dinner.
Once we’d demolished the cold savouries a plate of the hot savouries immediately appeared. The golden pies held chunky beef nubs bathed in a rich burgundy sauce and were enveloped in flaky buttery pastry. I had to give the feta and olive mini muffin a miss thanks to my extreme dislike of olives but the prosciutto and green asparagus quiche was snarfed down in seconds.
We were then presented with a palate cleanser of green apple sorbet and while it was cool and refreshing it was a tad grainy.
And onto the sweets! First up, the chocolate and espresso crêpes and Belgian waffles which came with a chilled Cafè freddo with the option of milk and a jug of sugar syrup.
Fruit and plain scones with double cream and homemade strawberry jam is next, we were slightly disappointed that the scones weren’t hot and were denser than expected.
But ah saving the best for last! Salted caramel and espresso bavarois cream filled éclairs is hands down the favourite of the dessert plate with a light choux pastry and the perfect crunch of the toffee layer which sadly the infused cinnamon and ginger chocolate crème brûlées missed out on. The Opera slice with Espresso di Manfredi and chocolate ganache was gorgeously rich and while the macarons didn’t have any discernable wattleseed flavour against the P125 Valrhona-coffee curd filling the sweet meringue filled with Bailey’s cream and topped with canded macadamia totally made for the perfect ending of the sweets plate.
If we weren’t awake from all the coffee we definitely were when we tried the Espresso di Manfredi ‘corrected’ with a shot of grappa! It like a punch to the face with alcoholic potency! Woahhh baby!
And now who wants to win a High Coffee experience for two people at InterContinental Sydney? All you have to do is leave a comment in this blog post answering:
What is your favourite part of a high tea and who would you take with you?
The most creative entry will win this incredible prize! You can enter as many
times as you like, but you must be an Australian resident and the High Coffee experience must take place at InterContinental Sydney. The High Coffee experience will be valid for six months from date of issue. Please enter a valid
email address, it will not be made public and you will only be contacted if you win. Competition closes Sunday 22nd July 2012, 10pm AEST. Good luck! Congratulations to Lil! Loved your entry and I’ll be in contact with you soon!
Dinner at The Baron, Castle Hill
With candles flickering in jars on every table, the vibe is definitely more cosy and relaxed at The Baron (Shop 461 Castle Towers, Castle Hill) which is far, far away from the teenager prone area of the Piazza.
So I’ve blogged about The Baron before and no doubt if you follow me on Instagram you will see that the boy and I visit The Baron (Shop 461 Castle Towers, Castle Hill) at least once a week to get our daily bacon fix. But back in June they started opening for dinner and even tho we had just had brekkie we promised the boys we’d be back again that night. And oh how we regret not visiting sooner! With candles flickering in jars on every table, the vibe is definitely more cosy and relaxed and is far, far away from the teenager prone area of the Piazza.
Our beers of the night were: Red Duck White Garden, Red Duck Hoppy Amber and my fav- the Badlands Brewery Pale Ale.
We start with the incredibly smooth chicken liver pate that’s made in-house and has my eyes glazing over in raptures as I spread it inch thick onto the fluffy slices of Sweet Infinity bread. For $6 that’s damn good value especially with the cube of salty sweet butter to slather on your remaining piece of bread because you don’t understand the concept of trying to make the pate last…
The Corn Fritters ($9) are golden nuggets of happiness, the fresh corn kernels are bound together in a light batter and deep fried to perfection. The sprinkle of sea salt makes these babies addictive and soon it’s a battle of will power as we eye off the last fritter hiding amongst the fresh peas and mint.
Much love to the boys for sending us the Smoked Trout Paupiettes on the house- it’s almost too pretty a parcel to open! The paper thin slices of smoked trout is so delicate it’s a wonder they manage to hold the tiger prawn innards without breaking. I ‘had’ to eat this by myself as I only allowed the prawn allergic Noods a tiny bite and decided he could eat the fennel 😛
The Braised Oxtail ($26) is perfect for the chilly winter’s night- a muddle of tender meat hugs baby carrots and potatoes and are bathed happily in an incredible rich red wine sauce. I would have preferred if there was mashed potato so I could mop up the sauce but everything is cleared from the plate within moments of hitting the table.
Our favourite waitress Jess has sold us on the risotto special of the night and it is as perfect as she has described. Creamy and just the right amount of bite, it definitely felt like someone had stood at the stove and lovingly stirred each grain to just the right point of deliciousness. Tiny florets of cauliflower hide amongst the grains and slices of chicken (I believe poached?) sit atop the risotto mountain.
Clutching our stomaches and reaching explodey point I just couldn’t resist the Spanish Cheesecake and ohemgee if I hadn’t been so full I could totally just imagine being curled up near a fireplace and slowly demolishing the cheesecake spoonful by spoonful and not letting anyone near me. Made with fluffy ricotta it was incredibly rich and the quenelle of cream probably would have been better had it been ice cream instead and would’ve loved more of the butterscotch sauce. Because butterscotch sauce totally rocks my world.
New items for the dinner menu is in the works, I hear there’s a possibility of pork belly mmm. Currently The Baron is only open for dinner Friday and Saturday nights and hopefully thinking of opening for more nights which lol guess that means more visits haha