For a weeknight dinner catchup we visited Love Fish, a dining destination for fresh Aussie seafood in the heart of Barangaroo!
We started with a duo of Sydney rock oysters, which were beautiful and fresh! We then decided on the sea urchin taramasalata, a unique take on the classic dip. Fans of sea urchin will absolutely love this dish – it was a strong flavour, but spread over a bit of toasted rye, it was a definite hit. The salt and pepper southern calamari was also delicious and a nice classic option!
For the mains, we opted for one of the specials, which was the hot smoked whole rainbow trout with a smoked seaweed butter. The fish was perfectly cooked and generously portioned – a great dish for sharing! Our dish of the day was the Fraser Island spanner crab and squid ink linguine – the pasta was a lovely al-dente and the simplicity of the flavours, the zesty lemon and zucchini notes and generous helping of crab all tied together very beautifully, and we kept going back in for more!
Finally, we were so excited to try the desserts and they didn’t disappoint! We opted for decadence and had the “love.chocolate” – a dark chocolate and hazelnut combo with a buttermilk sorbet and crystallised honey crumb. While the flavours together were quite contrasting, each element on its own was so incredible, and the sorbet itself was my favourite part of the dessert, with the perfect combination of tartness and smoothness. The banoffee pie was a fantastic end to a great meal – while this dessert can often be overly sweet, this version cut back on the sugar and let the elements shine, with a light cream top, fresh banana pieces and a lovely caramel on the biscuit base.
Love Fish is perfect for everything from a special date night dinner to a big group feast, with options for those who prefer meat over seafood as well. Head on over and give their dishes a try, and let us know what you think!
Note: The Khana dined as a guest of Love Fish and Push Play Media and Events.
For an authentic Indian fine dining experience, we headed to Manjit’s on the Wharf on King Street Wharf, a creative Indian restaurant known for its hearty and delicious yet fun takes on classic Indian staple dishes!
We started off with cocktails – my Rosewater Martini was a beautiful shade of pink and had a great balance of rose essence with the classic martini taste. The Sharabi lassi was a great combination of creamy yoghurt lassi with liqueur, which balanced out some of the spicier dishes to follow.
Entrees were an easy choice – we picked the two most colourful dishes off the menu. These were the Crab Uttapam, which was a chilli crab curry on top of a light rice pancake – a delicious and healthy snack, and the Fish Malai, which was beautifully presented on a artist’s palette and had an array of chutneys serving as the paint (we particularly liked the mint!)
We then moved on to mains – the Baingan Takatak (a smoked eggplant curry) was impressively presented in a dome filled with smoke which infused the air as the lid was lifted, whetting the appetite for the delicious curry to come! We also tried the Lamb Shoulder Anarkali, another signature dish with melt in your mouth meat that fell off the bone, and a pomegranate and molasses base to add some richness to the spice.
Finally, it was time for dessert! We tried the Mango Pistachio Kulfi (ice cream), which was a great refreshing treat with plenty of nuts to cut through the sweetness. We particularly also loved the Deconstructed Shahi Tookra, which was a crunchy, French toast-like bread pudding served with a sweet saffron milk reduction that was drizzled over the top to add that extra layer of decadence fit for the royal Mughals who inspired this dish. It was so indulgent but we couldn’t stop going in for more – so incredibly good!
For a unique and inventive take on Indian cooking, challenge your tastebuds and make your way down to Manjit’s on the Wharf – you won’t be disappointed!
For a sunny Sunday brunch, we stopped by Surry Hills for some delicious classics at Basket Brothers!
We started off with the Veggie Basket, which was loaded with 2 poached eggs, haloumi, roasted tomato, avocado, garlic mushrooms and sourdough toast. This was a great hearty breakfast with plenty of variety, and I loved the novelty of putting everything together! We also tried the brisket with roast tomato, fried egg and potato gems, which was delicious and packed full of flavour, with tender spiced meat.
Finally, we finished up with the fluffy pancakes with bubblegum mascarpone and marshmallows – it brought us right back to our childhood and we loved the unique flavours of the fun treats! The pancakes were light and airy and really tasty, and are definitely worth a try.
For a lovely brunch or lunch in the Surry Hills area, Basket Brothers is the place to be. Make sure you get in early to avoid the queue, and happy brunching!
On a sunny Saturday morning, we travelled to Bondi Beach in search of some incredible brunch fare from XS Espresso! We had previously tried their amazing freakshakes and food options at their Parramatta and Weatherill Park locations, and were excited to see them open up a new location in the East.
We started with two of their freshly squeezed juices – both delicious, fresh and full of flavour and healthy goodness, and a great way to start the meal! We then selected our food – we had the XS Stack, the XS Ricotta Hotcake (two of their Signature dishes) and the Shakshuka.
The XS Stack was a good combination of all the brunch classics – avo, haloumi, grilled tomato and a poached egg on zaatar-topped sourdough bread. This was a great veggie dish – hearty and filling, and the bread and zaatar combination was especially delicious! We also loved the shakshuka – definitely one for lovers of spice, the chorizo and the tomatoes were cooked to perfection.
However, the star of the day was the XS Ricotta Hotcake – absolutely covered in every fruit you can imagine, as well as a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream, it looked super impressive! The taste exceeded the presentation even further – it was light and fluffy and had the perfect balance of sweetness from the ice-cream and tartness from some of the fruits, making it a perfect brekky choice.
For a menu that caters to all tastes and a great, chilled out atmosphere and vibe, head on over to XS Espresso at Bondi, and take a quick dip at the beach afterwards – what a great morning! They also do lunch, dinner and desserts so there’s plenty of delicious ops to try.
For a fun and unique dinner experience we headed to Vecino in Canterbury, a Mexican x Korean fusion restaurant that serves up tacos with a twist and some seriously cool drinks!
We started off with two of their signature cocktails, which were both delightful – the Cruiser Rita, which was a watermelon frozen magherita with an upside down Vodka Cruiser bottle being the star of the drink, and the Fiery Skull, a blueberry lemonade drink with an alcoholic kick!
We then moved onto the food – starting with the cauliflower “chicken” which was coated in fried batter and served with a sweet and sour chilli sauce and crispy tortilla strips. The cauliflower was delicious and had a great texture, with the heavy flavours tricking your brain into thinking you were having meat!
We also had the Baja Fish tacos, which were filled with strips of battered fish, a fresh cabbage slaw and some dill ranch sauce to add some creaminess and tie everything together! Finally, we tried the grilled lime prawn burrito bowl – definitely our favourite dish of the day! The zesty grilled prawns were paired with cheesy beans and rice, more of that amazing cabbage slaw and crispy taco-style shells to soak it all up – it was such a great bowl and fantastic for sharing, too!
Vecino is a great place for a dinner and drinks sesh with a big group of friends, but also has the perfect vibe for a fun date night! Give them a try and don’t forget to grab one of their incredible drinks!!
On a warm summery evening, we decided to dine at Hurricane’s Grill at Brighton Le Sands. We were given a table near the window, overlooking the water – it was a great spot to see the sun set and watch people swimming and walking along the beach.
For starters, we ordered garlic prawns and mushroom bruschetta. We loved the creativity of the sauteéd mushrooms and goat’s curd being the star of this bruschetta, along with cherry tomatoes and basil pesto and served on sourdough bread. We also enjoyed the garlic prawns, and the flavoured garlic oil was so delicious with the mini baguette that it was served with!
Our main was of course the signature ribs that Hurricane’s Grill are famous for. We decided to order the half rack of pork ribs with sweet potato fries. It was cooked to perfection, with the smoky sauce perfectly complementing the melt-in-your-mouth, tender rib meat. The sweet potato fries were crunchy and hearty, and a great alternative to regular chips. The side of garlic mushrooms was a nice complement to the hearty ribs.
Finally, we grabbed the dessert menu and after a look at the dessert cocktails, we decided to indulge. Our choice was Toblerone and Night out at the movies. The Toblerone was a blend of Baileys, Frangelico, Tia Maria, honey, Mars bar chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream – a rich, decadent, chocolate-y treat! The Night out at the Movies dessert cocktail had fresh bananas, Bacardi, butterscotch schnapps and vanilla ice cream blended with caramel pop corn syrup – if you’re a fan of sweet and fruity cocktails, this is for you!
Hurricane’s is a great place for families, big groups and couples to come together and enjoy a rack of ribs and other hearty dishes – it gets messy but it’s always so much fun (especially the novelty of wearing a bib to eat dinner!) There are plenty of locations across Sydney but the Brighton Le Sands one has some incredible views – be sure to request a window table to lap them up!
For a decadent seafood and steak feast, we headed to Fire and Ice Grill in Manly. Set right along the water’s edge with stunning views of the beach, we were so excited to try their speciality 180 day dry aged steak!
To start off the meal, we began with kingfish ceviche, which had the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness with a tangy mango salsa drizzled over the top. We also loved the seared scallops, each served in a beautiful silver spoon – the attention to detail was outstanding! The Alaskan King Crab was also another highlight – the freshness of the crab and the simplicity of this dish was thoroughly enjoyed!
We then went onto the mains – we opted for the special of the 180 day dry aged steak with a glass of red wine and it did not disappoint. It was perfectly cooked, bursting with flavour and cut into thin slices for easy sharing. To complement the steak we went for sides of bone marrow and asparagus – the bone marrow was divine, so rich and decadent but a delicious complement to the steak.
We couldn’t leave without a sweet treat for dessert so we went for the baked New York cheesecake with a side of ice cream, which was a great end to such a grand feast!
Fire and Ice is the perfect venue for lovers of speciality steaks and fine seafood – the owners put lots of care into sourcing and cooking their meats and it really shows in their dishes! Give it a try the next time you’re in Manly and tell us what you think!
For a lovely local brunch, we visited Culture Bean cafe in Kogarah – a cute neighbourhood gem with a great menu of classic dishes!
We started off with a healthy freshly squeezed juice and refreshing açai smoothie combo. This was followed by the shakshuka, a beautiful baked eggs dish with rich tomato and smoky chorizo. We also tried the charcoal bun chicken burger – the soft charcoal bun was complemented by a generous amount of spicy chicken, and it was super tasty.
To finish, we needed a sweet treat so we opted for the Knafeh French Toast. This was the standout dish of the day – the incredible texture of the cheesy cream filling and the crispy outer layer of the toast was divine. The Persian fairy floss on top added a touch of rose water flavour, and the fresh fruit added to both the beauty and the freshness of the dish!
There’s plenty to love for everyone at Culture Bean, and the cozy ambience will keep you coming back again and again for their incredible brunch fare!
Having eaten at their flagship cafe in Parramatta, we decided to visit the new Social Hideout location in Waterloo, which is such a feast for all your senses!
Walking into an oasis of flowers, we were amazed by the beautiful decor, complemented by pastel table settings and Instagrammable neon signs. To complement this, a creative and unique menu left us spoilt for choice of brunch fare, but we started our breakfast with coffee and an aromatic lavender tea.
Then came taro hotcakes served with black sesame ice cream and plenty of fresh fruit – the savoury taste and rich colour made this a truly one of a kind dish! Next was The Habib brekky bowl with za’atar poached eggs, beetroot, labneh and sourdough bread. The vivid contrast of the bright pink of the beetroot and the yellow eggs showcased the contrasting and complementary flavours in this dish.
We finished with the Eggs Benedict served on a red velvet croissant – this was my personal favourite! The crispy and crunchy croissant toast together with the creamy hollandaise and melt in your mouth pulled pork was a great treat, and it kept me coming back for more.
Overall, whether it’s a special occasion like a birthday or a hens, or even just for a fancy brunch with the girls, Social Hideout is definitely not to be missed!
Just a short walk away from Central Station, you will find Meet Mica, a café offering delicious modern Asian inspired dishes for breakfast and lunch.
The café is bright and airy, with the kitchen in full view so you can watch your brunch fare being prepared. There’s a great menu, with lots of sweet and savoury options and some great drinks to match.
We started with the crab and egg croissant, which was our favourite dish of the morning – a crunchy toasted croissant filled with scrambled eggs, crab meat, crab mix and butter corn finished off with a generous serve of fish roe on top. It was a great contrast of sweet, creamy and salty flavours, and we savoured every bite! Our next dish was lobster congee – lobster meat served in rice congee with slow cooked egg, katsuobushi crush, green shallot and ginger. The texture was thicker than normal congee, brimming with rich lobster meat and the egg yolk melted throughout. A very unusual taste, but super enjoyable!
Our final dish was the matcha French lava toast. It was truly decadent, with matcha milk foam, strawberry dust & seasonal fruit. As we cut into the toast which looked as delectable as a piece of cake, the matcha milk foam oozed out of it, making for a great grammable moment! Lovers of rich matcha flavours will adore this brekky dish – it’s not to be missed.
For drinks, we could not go past the red chai, a caffeine-free blend of chai spices & five aromatic herbs: hibiscus, rooibos, honey bush, rose & rosehip. It came in a beautiful glass pot and was great with dash of milk or even without.
Overall, Meet Mica is a great new player in Sydney’s brunch scene – the unexpected, hearty dishes that play with your sense really leave you wanting more! I would definitely recommend sharing the dishes to sample a variety of flavours and still have room for something sweet to finish off the meal. For my next visit, I have my eye on the eggs benedict on fried bao and tataki soumen noodles – be sure to check it out!
Note: Khana dined as a guest of Meet Mica and CPM Online Marketing.