Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Grounds of Alexandria

I've been to the Grounds a few times now and I think it deserves the hype and write ups it receives.
For one, the place is huge! You name it, it has it! Coffee roasters, bbq's, a florist, market stalls, lemonade stalls, pastry galore, take away and eat in options, a playground for the kids, a lovely garden to sit in  and of course, Kevin Bacon and Bradley the Sheep. 

My first visit to the Grounds, I had my Nephew with me. He loved the animals, as well as the playground. While you're waiting for a table if you choose to eat there, there's plenty of options to keep the kids occupied.

Kevin Bacon returned my Nephew's affection!

I haven't eaten from the bbq's outside but I have sat down inside to have breakfast twice. 

First visit I shared a Breakfast Plate with my sister, this was plenty of food between us. We ordered french toast for my nephew, this was delicious and yes, I finished off what he couldn't! Or wouldn't?..

Both times, I've enjoyed a coffee while I've waited for my table so with breakfast I order the Iced Tea which is very refreshing. 

Second time I've been for breakfast, I ordered the sweet pea falafels with poached eggs. This was really yum, eggs poached perfectly and comes with a nice yoghurt to smother everything in. 
Also with an iced tea!

There are SO many sweets available whether at the stalls outside or inside for display. Do not go past the hot, fresh, delicious cinnamon donuts. 
These come filled with either chocolate or jam, I've tried both and both are as good as each other. 

If you haven't been here, I think it's definitely worth a visit. Do expect await if you don't want to order take away. 


If you're all about deliciously tender, slow cooked meats - get here ASAP. 

Walking in, you walk past fire pits with surrounded by the lamb and pig that you've come here for. As soon as you spot these, you know you're in for good things. 

We order:

  • Bread with pork pate
  • Charcuterie plate
  • Fetta & Provolone filled Zucchini Flowers
  • Calamari with three styles of Cucumber
  • Chorizo
  • 8 hour wood fired pig
  • 8 hour wood fired lamb
  • Crispy brussel sprouts
Food comes out pretty quick here and pretty much in the order that we had ordered it. 

I'm not a huge fan of pate as it is, but a thin layer of this on bread does me good. 
Charcuterie plate, you can't go wrong. Super thin slices of delicious meats and olives, YUM! 
Zucchini flowers were pretty good, nice side to have on the table.

Calamari, yum! Really well cooked.
Chorizo, need I say more? Mmmm..

8 hour meats, these are SO tender, words cannot describe. Juicy, melt in the mouth, such an awesome flavour. You can't come here and not order these, you just can't!

Brussel sprouts, super crispy and mint goes really well! 

Full as googs, we decide to make room for dessert. We order:
  • South American Style Pavlova
  • Coconut Ice Cream, charred Pineapple, Tequila Granita, Tapioca & Young Coconut

This pavlova is out of this world. We easily could have demolished one of these each if it wasn't for our already close to exploding stomachs. 
The layers and flavours in this cake are just SO good! Caramel, banana, pistachio.

The waiter forgot our ice cream that we ordered, but it soon arrived after the waiter was reminded. This was really nice too, very refreshing on the palette and not as rich as the pavlova. 

My personal preference would be the pavlova though.

If you are planning on going here, I would suggest making a booking if you have enough people. Luckily, we did and even though we had, we still had to line up and there was still a line when we left a couple hours later. 

Watch this space...

I've been quite slack on the blogging front over the Festive period... Thinking back to where I have been since my last post, I have a lot to catch up on.

Posts will probably be short and sweet as some visits that I made to places were a little while ago now. 

Well, better get onto it. 

Ash x 

Monday, 10 February 2014

El Jannah, Blacktown

I haven't been to El Jannah in years and I had heard that one in Blacktown had opened. Seeing as this is a lot closer to home and also, I'm thinking with a lot more parking, I thought I'd check it out.

Short walk across the road from Westpoint is El Jannah, lines out the door as expected.

When I come here, I can't go past chicken and falafels. It looks like burgers are running out the doors but I stick to what I know. 

Boyfriend and I order half a chicken, a Falafel plate and a side of tabbouleh. With one drink, comes to around $22. Bargain for the amount of food you get, can't go wrong.

At Blacktown, there is some outdoor seating, though this I'm sure is constantly taken. If you don't get lucky with a seat outside, there are 2 dining rooms. One of either side of where you order, plenty of seating in here.

They are pumping out the chickens here, so food is pretty much instantly at your table. With your chicken you get your bread, a whole-lotta garlic sauce and pickles.

Falafel plate comes with onions and a yummo yoghurt for dipping or pouring all over your plate.

Tabbouleh, lots of lemon juice. That's how I like it, but may not be to every ones taste. 

Falafels here I really enjoy, lots of flavour. Chicken, crispy, smokey, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! I think it's the only way to do it really!

1. Smother your bread with garlic sauce

2. Fill up your bread with smashed falafels, ripped up chicken

3. Chuck on a big spoonful of Tabbouleh

4. Devour

I haven't been to Granville store in a really long time, so can't compare. But judging by the crowds around this place, pretty sure it's meeting the standard.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Terrace Cafe, Parramatta

I didn't realise how much time has passed since I last posted anything... have some catching up to do! 

I'm not sure if Terrace is new or not, but for some reason I've only noticed it recently. Waiting for a car service to be done, my Sister and I headed there for a well needed Saturday morning hang over cure. 

My Sister had been there once before and said that it was quite busy and service a little slow, however, that was on a Sunday. 

When we arrived, there were only a few people in there and we had our choice of seats.Waitress was quick to follow us to our table with a menu and took orders for coffee. 
My Nephew was with us and he had some banana bread. This was ordered and paid for separately at the counter as they have the pieces already wrapped and ready to go. 

Didn't take us too long to decide what we wanted. My Sister went the standard big brekkie, with bacon, eggs, the lot. 
I went the Brekkie Bruschetta and my Nephew, pancakes with ice cream.

Coffee came out before the food. I ordered a latte. They serve AllPress here, taste wasn't too bad. It was just very milky/foamy. 

The smoothies and milkshakes come in really cute jars and milk bottles too.

Food didn't take any longer than normal to come out, first thing I 
noticed was serving sizes here are pretty good for the price. I don't think I saw anything on the brekkie menu for over $15. 

Brekkie Bruschetta came with two pieces of toast, a whole lotta bruschetta and two delicisouly runny poached eggs. Such a delicious combo, and not too heavy on the precious stomachs suffering from hang overs. 

My Sister was happy with her plate. It was just what she wanted. Two perfectly fried eggs, grilled tomato, bacon, toast. 

My Nephew didn't eat his pancakes, though I don't think that is any indication of the taste, more so for the fact that he'd demolished a huge piece of banana break and a choc milkshake before it came out! 

Anyway, it wasn't too difficult a task for my Sister and I to finish it on his behalf... can't let anything go to waste! 

Overall, if this place is local to you, think it's definitely worth a visit for a close by, decent weekend breakfast! 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Black by EZARD

As part of Good Food Month, Boyfriend and I headed to Black by Ezard at The Star for their ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ special.

The special:
$38 for a selection of two dishes from:
** Sashimi of hiramasa kingfish, sesame custard, edamame puree, chardonnay and shallot dressing
** Corn-fed chicken faro risotto, parmesan cream, exotic mushrooms, blueberries and roasted chicken jus
** Chocolate warm couverture ganache, dulce de leche ice cream and peanut butter mousse.

We had all intentions of going main and dessert, but on arrival, seems we didn’t have so much of a sweet tooth that moment, so we decided to go the first and main course.

Oh, it also included was a choice of tea, coffee, a glass of Brown Brothers Wine, Coopers Beer, a 500mL S.Pellegrino sparkling or Acqua Panna still mineral water. Being all TGIF that day, I had myself a glass of the Pinot Grigio and Boyfriend had a Coopers.

Walking into the restaurant you were hit in the face with the amazing fresh buttery smell of warm brioche loaves. 

These are given complimentary to each table with butter and black salt. YUM! We quickly tear this into pieces and scoff it down. 

We are asked if we want some more bread to the table, but give each other the look and politely refuse as we don’t want to spoil what is to come.
While we wait for our Sashimi, we look around the room and it seems almost everyone has opted for the dessert option. I do start to have some food envy, but then our plates arrived.

A huge serving of sashimi. So thinly sliced and fresh. The serving size is one I have shared at other restaurants I have been too, so pretty happy with the value for money at this point. Go Good Food Month, woo!

The sesame custard is so creamy and smooth and compliments the sashimi so well. There are also what I think are little crouton like things sprinkled over the top of the dish, these create a nice crunch to each mouthful to break up the textures of the fish and custard.

After our plates are cleared, it doesn’t take long for the main to arrive. Ok, so chicken or risotto are both something that I wouldn’t usually order given another option. But I have to say, this was pretty damn good!

I’m sure there are other places that cook their chicken just as well, but this chicken was cooked to perfection. It was so soft and still juicy and cooked perfectly the whole way through – how do they do it?! It was so tender, arrgh, yum!

Mushrooms, parmesan cream and jus, delicious! Also, the blueberries worked… who would have thought?! There was only a few on the plate but enough to give a little fruity flavor explosion every few mouthfuls.

Again, serving size was decent. By the time I had finished this, I didn’t need to eat any more!

Thank you Black by Ezard for a great lunch and taking part in Good Food Month. Will definitely be back! 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

Heading home from Three Blue Ducks, we drove past Bourke St in Surry Hills and decided to make a pit stop to check out Bourke Street Bakery.

I had planned that when I finally went to Bourke Street Bakery, I’d be purchasing their famous sausage rolls. But seeing as we had just had breakfast, I opted for something sweet. Boyfriend also has a sweet tooth, so thought I’d get something to take home for him.

Walking up, the windows are full of delicious looking tarts and fresh loaves of carb-a-liciousness. All the tables outside were full and so was inside. Though they seemed to be pumping through the orders pretty quick.

Looking at the cabinet inside, I ended up deciding on a slice of the carrot cake and a chocolate mousse and raspberry tart. Breaky Buddy went the chocolate mousse and raspberry tart but also went the strawberry meringue tart.

$5 seemed to be the going rate for all sweet treats in the cabinet.

They also had a fridge full of fresh juices and milks I think it was, to purchase. Breaky Buddy also bought an orange juice.

I didn’t eat these till later in the afternoon. It was SO hot on Saturday. We had the aircon pumping in the car, but I don’t think this stopped our tarts from melting a little in the heat. I put them in the fridge for a while, but I couldn’t wait too long to eat them.

Chocolate mousse and raspberry tart was first to go. The mousse was so soft, I think this definitely had melted. I might need to purchase myself another one to compare..
Chocolate and raspberry is always a winning combo! Mousse was rich, I think I may have preferred just a little more raspberry to cut through the richness of the chocolate a little more.

Carrot cake was left in the fridge till dessert time that night. Big chunks of nuts, (having a mind blank.. think walnuts!), good, thick layer of cream cheese frosting through the middle. I think I preferred this to the usual thick layer on top of the cake.

I caught up with Breaky Buddy the next day and she said her tarts were a little on the melted side too. She said the same as me for the chocolate mousse and said the strawberry meringue tart didn’t have the strongest flavours.

Going to go savoury next time I think!