Archive for ‘Sydney – Inner West’

January 27, 2013


by minibites


Hartsyard gets it right. It’s a little restaurant that has found the right balance of being innovative yet keeping the it real. We’re a chatty bunch, but the food gives us silent intermissions between each dish as we munch.

HartsyardSalmon Cooked in a Jar

Seated with a menu in hand, it’s common courtesy to ask the others what they’re keen for tonight. “Meat! Lots of meat!” my Russian dining companion demands and we’re lucky. The menu is divided into Seed & Feed, with “seed” being nibblish, yet still a very substantial portion. “Feed” are the larger dishes, but all in all, are designed to share.

Our only “seed” is a jar filled with salmon. Yes, I had to admit there was a little pre-assumption that the jar is a bit of smoke and mirrors. But no, it was one of the best smoked salmon with boasting credentials the next day. A fresh dollop of creme fraiche on the side, greens, pickled gherkins and home baked rye bread crisps.

Hartsyard Peachy Keen Sour

There’s a bountiful of cocktails to choose from, while my Pisco Punch is good, it wasn’t as fabulous as the Peachy Keen Sour with pieces of stewed peaches at the bottom.


Pulled Pork

The first of our “feed” dishes arrive and a fat, glistering slice of maple bacon sits on top of our cube of pulled pork. With my new fisheye lens, I also capture my poor, yet patient dining companions eyeing the dishes to dive straight in.

The dish is so well juxtaposed with a less than beautiful looking piece of meat with fresh apples, shards of pork rind, fennel and yoghurt. The maple bacon is sweet and heart clogging but oh so good long with tender pieces of pulled pork below. My only complaint is that I wished I fought for more of it.


Fried Chicken

With luck, I’m dining with like-minded friends tonight and I jump at the opportunity to grab some fried chicken. It’s been a craving that I’ve been trying to suppress, but this this hit the spot. Crunchy, flavoursome and succulent on the inside, I was happily munching on my drumstick with my fingers and wiping the crumbs off my face, while the others were gracifully eating theirs with cutlery.


Smoked Wagyu Brisket

The last “feed” is the smoked wagyu brisket, and hello! This is melt-in-your mouth goodness and served with an arrangement of pickled and fried greens with a bbq mayo.


Maple Brulee

The night ends with the maple brulee, served quite naked without its usual white ramekin bowl. A crunchy dome, silky brulee, slivers of Palmier pastry, scoops of cherry ice cream, cherries and an interesting walnut coffee crunch.


On the quieter end of Enmore Rd, Hartsyard is a mix of clean and grungy basement interiors, dishing up some great feeds. The menu changes almost every time the seasons do which gives a great reason to keep coming back for more.

33 Enmore Rd
Newtown, Sydney

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon

September 20, 2011

Adriano Zumbo’s Croquembouche

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Adriano Zumbo's Croquembouche

Is it a beehive? A birds nest? Mmm it’s Mr Zumbo’s croquembouche! Another aesthetically pleasing piece of eye candy from Mr Zumbo. It’s the birthday of the most important person in the office, the brain and genius behind it all, so it was a fitting excuse to spoil him… and us!

The tower of custard filled profiteroles is generously held together with toffee then wrapped with spun sugar goodness and tiny flowers. Again, it’s delightfully over to top and overindulgent.

Adriano Zumbo's Croquembouche

The centre is a lot harder and less delicate as it looks, and really should come with an instruction manual and a miniature hammer and chisel to crack through the toffee. But once you able to serve it, the light choux pastries hide the silky, smooth custard and the spun sugar is just right (it’s a lot harder to do than it looks!!)

This tower had 35 profiteroles which was more than enough to send 13 people into a sugar coma. Make sure you have a tub of vanilla ice cream ready to tames the sweetness.

Adriano Zumbo Lab
114 Terry St
Rozelle, Sydney 

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

July 5, 2011

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

by minibites

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

Stumbling through the large barn like doors on Danks Street, it was nice to be shielded from the rain and cold. Cafe Sopra sits on the top of the constantly busy Fratelli Fresh market below – bringing the freshest fruit and veggie produce along with the pantry basics.

Cafe Sopra in Waterloo is probably my favourite, being the most rustic, being warehouse styled with gorgeous wooden finishes and natural light beaming through french styled windows.

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

There’s only the 2 of us so we grabbed a seat at the bar where we could peer into the kitchen and watch countless dishes emerge from the relatively zen-like kitchen. Whilst also eying all the numerous desserts that we guiltily wanted…

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

The menu is generously extensive and most likely has a dish to tickle everyone’s fancy, and undergoes numerous changes to match the seasonal produce. As the afternoon progresses, the menu becomes shorter and shorter as the dishes become snapped up. Skipping the entree (to save belly space for dessert), we dive into some warm hearty pastas, mmmm!

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Mezze Rigatoni

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Penne al Forno 

It’s not long when the waitress leans over and presents a large bowl of steaming mezze rigatoni – soft cylinders of pasta mixed with soft beef ragu, bolognese sauce and light parmesan snow on top. My fellow foodie devoured the penne al forno (Italian for “from the oven”) – a terracotta dish filled with penne pasta, amazing slices of smoked ham, spinach, florets of cauliflower and oozy melted mozzarella on top.

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Banoffee Pie

The rain began to fall, so we chit chatter until our mains digest and dive into the infamous banoffee pie that countless friends have recommended. Banoffee is an English dessert which is simply, banana and toffee! Surprisingly it wasn’t too overwhelming sweet nor heavy even with the naughty layers of cream on top.

The next day we were battling banoffee cravings, so I gave it ago! The recipe was from Taste. Instead of just a dollop of cream on top, I whipped thickened cream, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and sugar till soft peaks formed then piped it on top. Viola!

Banoffee Pie

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

Amazingly satisfying Italian dishes made from the freshest produce for brunch and lunch. Delish!

Cafe Sopra
7 Danks St
Waterloo, Sydney 

Cafe Sopra on Urbanspoon

June 19, 2011

The Eathouse Diner

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The Eathouse Diner

After being all loco’d out over at El Loco, it was time to search for some desserts to sweeten our palates after numerous tacos and margaritas. The Eathouse Diner isn’t too far away so we hustled along to the next suburb and trekked down to find the bright coloured lights and of course the, Eat Here sign.

Inside it’s warm and it feels as though we’ve stepped back in time with retro milkbar benchtops, a chalkboard menu and vinyl floors. The dessert menu isn’t too far off being retro and ol’ school either, bringing back the favourites of Eton’s Mess and the classic forgotten Banana Spilt.

The Eathouse Diner The Eathouse Mess

The Eathouse Diner Banana Spilt

Still warm and giggly from our tequilas, we sit outside under the moonlight and devour our chosen desserts. The Eathouse Mess is mashed in with crunchy meringue, rhubarb, cream and coulis; so it was sweetness and texture galore. The banana spilt was the hot favourite being in its traditional boat bowl finished with a paper umbrella and wafer. Generous amounts of smashed up bananas, banana ice cream, chocolate sauce and crucnhy hazelnuts and macadamias to top it all off. Simple and classic, but brilliant.

The Eathouse Diner

Sit at the milk bar for proper food and a glass of wine, or swing by for some childhood desserts!

The Eathouse Diner
44 Chalmers St
Redfern, Sydney

The Eathouse Diner on Urbanspoon

January 22, 2011


by minibites

French toast a la Bitton with fresh fruit & orange jelly

Bitton has been my latest brunch craze. It’s one of those places where you’re not particularly in the mood to test the waters of something new, and just looking for that quick morning fix of good ol’ favourites.

On my first trip (yep, repeat offender already) I indulged in the french toast which was delicious. I’ve only had another memorable french toast experience which was in Lorca, Melbourne and this was has met the benchmark. Loads of fresh and seasonal fruit always helps cut the guilt of having such  a sugary delight so early in the day.

Poached eggs served with spinach, smoked salmon & hollandaise sauce

On my second trip back, I was in an eggy mood, so we opted for the breakfast staples. My companion’s poached eggs were delicious, one egg was a little overdone but the rest of the dish was flawless. Sitting on a potato hash brown, the creamy hollandaise sauce was just right.

One pan bacon and eggs with wood fired bread & tomato sauce

I opted for the one pan and it was filled with goodness, oozing eggs, bacon and 2 slices of wood fired sourdough bread. One of the things that Bitton is known for are their sauces, so the french toast orange jelly is available in the grocer, as well as the amazing spicy tomato sauce that swung my tastebuds into a dancing sensation.

Gorgeous view opposite a grassy park, delicious food and great service. Perfect way to start a weekend morning!

36-37a Copeland St
Alexandria, Sydney

Bitton Gourmet Cafe on Urbanspoon