Flower Child, located inside Chatswood Westfield, is a cafes that is just beautiful. I think that when I pass it and I think that when I see images of the food on Instagram. After having it on my to do list for a few months, some members of our team decided we would try it on Friday as a Foodie Friday adventure (my original suggestion for the name of the day was Fat Fridays but apparently that was guilt inducing).
We decided to try and beat the lunch time rush and arrived at Flower Child at 11.45 but still had a five minute wait to get a table inside the café. Once seated you could really notice how pretty is was despite being inside a shopping centre with the roof covered in artificial plants.
After a thorough read of the menu and a stalking of Instagram I had arrived at the café desperately wanting to try the waffles despite it not being a proper lunch option. I had seen images of the waffles served with a coco pop anglaise, fresh berries, fresh and dried bananas, raspberry jelly and a scoop of ice cream online and thought it look like such a pretty dish and the coco pop element intrigued me. It was a bit of an internal battle whether I go for the waffles and I decided that if they could serve it without bananas it was meant to be ( I hate the taste and texture of bananas) and thankfully that was no issue at all so waffles for breakfast it was. My team mates all ordered burgers that came with a side of fries.
True to what we had seen online, everything was presented beautifully with the burgers being served on boards and my waffles beautifully served up with flowers.
But looks can only take you so far when it comes to food and I must say the waffles were tasty and I did not regret my choice. The coco pops added a nice crunch and the berries cut through the sweetness. The jelly, although added a nice colour to the dish probably pushed the sweet level too far. The waffles themselves were fine, not amazing but nothing to complain about but paired with the other elements is what made it stand out. The girls said although their burgers were nice it did not blow them away and they did have high expectations that Flower Child food would do that.
So although I wouldn’t rush back for the burgers, I thought the waffles were creative enough to bring me back to try their other offerings.
You know a country has nailed a dish when even after eating it every day while travelling you still crave it when you get home. And that is how I felt about ramen. Hot, flavoured soup and fresh handmade noodles was the best thing while travelling through Japan in winter and I still found myself craving back home in Sydney despite the heat. After having some of the best ramen in Japan, I knew I couldn’t just revert to the two minute kind so I googled best ramen in Sydney and the name Manpuku popped up a few times. My boyfriend who had travelled with me in Japan felt the same way about ramen so we decided to make an occasion of it and try the Chatswood branch of Manpuku for our Valentine’s dinner.
Thankfully the heat wave had passed by then and it was relatively cool for a Summer evening and my body was brewing a nasty cold so I was really looking forward to a bowl of soothing ramen.
Manpuku is located a little outside of Chatswood’s city centre but is still only a 10 minute walk from the station. We arrived shortly after 6pm and being Valentine’s Day the patronage was mostly couples but it wasn’t too busy and we were seated immediately.
Starving, we quickly ordered with my partner getting the salt based ramen and I got the spicy soy based ramen. By the time our dishes arrived, the restaurant was full. First I tried my soup; well-seasoned with a very very mild touch of spice then tried my partner’s soup which was a bit more of traditional broth. Then the next test- the noodles. They were definitely fresh and tasty but I would of liked them to be touch thicker. Overall the ramen was pretty good and was on par with what we had in Japan however we did find the serving size a bit small and partner left a little hungry so definitely don’t be shy to order some sides to go with your ramen.
I haven’t tried enough ramen in Sydney to say it’s the best (if you have any recommendations please let me know!) but if you’ve got a craving for good ramen, Manpuku will definitely meet it.
It was a bit of spontaneous decision to visit Japan over the Christmas break and given we only had two weeks, we decided to focus our time getting to know Tokyo and Kyoto, the bulk of our time spent in Japan’s capital. When visiting Tokyo, we certainly had an expectation that it would be weird and wacky and assumed we would be surprised and shocked on a daily basis. Instead our first impressions of Tokyo (and Japan for that matter) wasn’t that it was a crazy culture of fetishes and out there fashion but rather it was very organised, efficient and polite! From catching trains in peak hour to shopping at a busy convenience store, everything was done in an orderly fashion and no one was pushy but rather patiently waited their turn (I guess with Tokyo’s population being almost 4 million, they are used to waiting in line!). And they were so polite, sometimes in the hustle and bustle of things I would accidentally bump into someone and before I could even register it had even happened the person I bumped into would apologise to me!
And don’t get me wrong, we still got our fair share of wackiness, it just didn't happen on a daily basis. We were initially a little worried we would bored staying in a big city for a week but luckily we never had a boring moment and were busy everyday exploring different parts of the city and discovering new things to do. If you have never been to Tokyo, hopefully the below list gives you some ideas of how to experience the city. And if you have been, you might even discover something to tempt you back!
1. Get your fortune at Sensoji Temple
Upon entering the temple you will hear people rattling metal containers which is actually a part of the process of getting your fortune. You shake the container and pull out a stick that has a symbol on it, find the draw with the same symbol and pull out your fortune.
2. Buy weird snacks at Don Quijote
Don Quijote is a multi-level discount chain that sells everything from electronics to pet toys. My favourite level was the snack one where I picked up wasabi Kit Kats and spicy soy jerky.
3. Get amazed at the Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is hard not to miss, brightly coloured with two massive female robots out front. It’s less of restaurant and more of a show with anime style plots, dancing, animatronics and robots. And you might even spot a celebrity, while we were there we met some of the cast of The Walking Dead.
4. Have some cute parfait at Nicholas Charles Bunny café
This cute café went all out with the bunny themed décor and to go with their décor they also serve “Kawaii” desserts, their parfaits being their most popular dessert.
5. Discover a whole new world at Disney Sea
The sea version of Disneyland is only found in Japan so it’s worth a visit. The rides whilst fun and pretty impressive do all come with a hefty wait so I very much recommend downloading a podcast or ebook to listen to while you wait. Also, work out a strategy of which rides you want to get a Fast Pass to and in what order. The unexpected highlight of Disney Sea was the show, Mickey’s Funtasia, which uses fireworks, holographs, water and floats to bring back all the nostalgia related to classic Disney films. And as a side note, keep your eyes peeled for Mt Fuji while riding the Disney train into the resort.
6. Go sledding at Mt Fuji
Mt Fuji is an icon of Japan and is a great day trip out of Tokyo. You can do it yourself or book a tour. Because we went in Winter we couldn’t climb Mt Fuji due to safety reasons so instead we booked a tour that gave us the opportunity to view it on a cruise and while sledding near the base. And I say opportunity because Mt Fuji is notoriously shy. We were worried the whole day when it was hidden behind clouds and mist but in the last hour of our time there, it came out and gave us a show. My cousin who visited the very next week, was not so lucky and didn’t get to see it at all so manage your expectations when visiting and if you are desperate to see it make sure you keep a day spare as a backup plan day.
|Posing at the Maid Cafe|
7. Get giggly at a Maid Café
The easiest place to find a Maid Café is in the geek capital of Akibahara, Tokyo. We visited Maiddreamin and the girls try to be their kawaii-est with their cutesy voices, little giggles and maid outfits. It’s a funny experience as they try and guide you in learning some kawaii gestures and words. The cafe definitely gives you a bit of insight into the culture’s obsession with being cute.
8. Go vintage shopping at Sunshine City
This was an accidental surprise find as we actually went to Sunshine City for a different reason (see number 9) but there is an entire floor of cool vintage and vintage inspired clothes. The shopping here was more aligned with what I expected Japanese fashion to be. A great place to pick up quirky souvenirs and mementos too.
9. Star gaze at Sunshine City
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and catch a viewing at Konica Minolta MANTEN Planetarium. There are headsets for English speakers so you can understand the narrator as you take a journey through the stars. It was definitely a nice change of pace and a way to relax.
|Treat time at the Cat Cafe|
10. Become a crazy cat lady at a cat café
Being slightly allergic to cats, visiting a cat café wasn’t on the agenda but when walking the streets of Harajuka we saw a sign that said 200 yen for 10 minutes and we couldn’t pass it up. The cafe is made of two beautifully decorated rooms filled with the cutest kittens you can imagine. I upgraded my visit and paid for a cat treat which ended up meaning that all the kittens flocked to me as I fed them- definitely a great way to optimise a 10 minute visit.
11. Try your hand at Pachinko
Pachinko is an arcade game that used mostly for gambling and it closest Western equivalent would be slots machines. Pachinko halls are everywhere due to their popularity with the locals. Wanting to see what the fuss was about we gave it a crack. The halls are lined with super bright, music playing machines which have slightly different forms of games which all involve tiny pinballs. We basically had no idea what we were doing but had a lot of fun trying to figure it out. Which was just as well because winning cash for gambling is illegal in Japan so collecting your winnings involves a sneaky process of swapping your balls for a prize at the hall which you then take to a nearby store to swap for cash.
|View of Tokyo from Roppongi|
12. Get an epic view of Tokyo
Exhausted and running out of time I wanted to make sure that my day included an epic view of the Tokyo Skyline and that I got to see Tokyo Tower which is how I ended up in Roppongi which houses Tokyo Skyview. At Skyview you can an amazing bird’s eye of the city with the Tower standing proudly amongst it. We went during the night as I wanted to see they city all light up but apparently on a clear day you can see Mt Fuji.
For the past few months I’ve had an endless list of reasons to be indulgent; it’s almost Christmas, its Christmas, its New Years, it’s almost my birthday, it’s my birthday week, it’s a day ending in Y. Endless. But I knew I couldn’t continue snacking 24/7 and still walk up a flight of stairs without passing out. So I started a healthy blitz meal plan I saw in my latest copy of Taste to get me in the habit of cooking healthy meals and snacks. But what is life without a little indulgence? And the occasion for indulgence came up when my partner told me I had one last birthday surprise on Friday night and did I want to go out for dinner beforehand? A healthy salad might be refreshing in the heatwave we are experiencing at the moment but doesn’t exactly scream celebration, so I said heck yes!
So that is how we ended up at Belle’s Hot Chicken on Friday. We arrived shortly after 5.30pm and it was surprisingly quiet. We didn’t have to wait longer than 2 minutes to order and decided on hot tenders with chips for the boyfriend and extra hot wings with chips for me. There were a number of sides available but we didn’t get a proper look at the menu and the lady at the register didn’t seem very patient or helpful hence why we both just went the default chips. I’ll admit when I made the order I did feel a little guilty about getting fried chicken and hot chips after a week of being clean.
We grabbed a table and it was scorching, with full sun exposure. Maybe the place wasn’t quiet because we had missed rush hour but because no one eats spicy fried chicken in hot weather! Luckily as our meal arrived, a table in the shade became available and we quickly moved over. Based on the looks alone it looks delicious- well seasoned fat thick crinkle cut chips with crispy fried chicken. A bite into the juicy chicken and all my guilt faded away- it was totally worth it. The batter was delicious, crispy and flavoursome and the wings were cooked to perfection. I did try the tenders as well but found them a little dry but my boyfriend disagreed. Now let’s get to the heat. I have a high spice tolerance due to eating chilli from a young age so I didn’t find the hot very spicy but my extra hot wings had a good amount of kick to them. An enjoyable level of spicy that didn’t leave me panting. I am now curious what the Hot AF would taste like (a reason to go back!). For those not into chilli, they did have some non-spicy options if you still wanted flavour without the burn.
I would definitely recommend checking out Belle's Hot Chicken if you like fried chicken and/or spicy food, plus it’s in a really nice spot so you can go for a walk after your feast (burn off some of that fried goodness). Because of the time we went, our walk coincided with sunset so got extra some pretty views of ANZAC and Harbour Bridge across the water.
p.s For those wondering what my last birthday surprise, it was tickets to Club Swizzle at the Opera House, a 1920s style comedy and performance showcase.
A few months ago I wrote about my pleasant surprise of finding some of the best Frenchtoast I had ever tasted in Penrith. Well, this westie town continues to raise their foodie stakes with the recent opening of Burgerhead. The restaurant is run by Michelin starred chefs who have worked at elite restaurants such Quay. That was enough information I needed to know I wanted to try these burgers!
Last Thursday my friend and I headed over to Penrith and on the drive she admitted when picking places to go out she cares less about how the food tastes but rather the general vibe of the place and would be happy just eating a can of tuna. Uh oh, I had suggested a burger joint in Penrith- how much vibe could there be?!
We arrived shortly after 7pm and there was a short line but we were told it should only be about 5 minutes and were given menus to read while we waited. It’s a small restaurant with a number of tables outside. No decor on the tables, but rather ones you would find at a public park in a BBQ area i.e. no cool vibes. The lack of ambiance and vibes didn't bother too much because I was starving and the smells from the kitchen were delicious.
The menu isn't extensive, with about four different burgers, a shake, and a few side options. Being a fan of a good cheeseburger, I picked their version- The Louis and my friend got their chicken based burger, The Clucker. Both came with fries and I ordered a mustard mayo for our fries.
Once we ordered, we had no trouble finding seats and it wasn't too long before our buzzer went off and we could collect our meal. Just going on looks and the burgers looked good, a decent size and a juicy patty in the middle.
Taking a bite into my burger and it was good, everything felt fresh and tasty but it didn't blow my mind. My friend however, the proclaimed non foodie, was totally blown away by The Clucker and was trying not to scoff it all down so the deliciousness could last longer. She insisted I share in the joy and let me try it and I admit I immediately had foodie envy, the star of the burger was the fried chicken in the middle which was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and had some tasty seasoning going on. The fries were also good and I enjoyed the dipping sauce.
I will definitely go back and order the The Clucker and maybe try some of the other sides on offer. And I can't wait to see what else this town in the West will bring.
Bringing in 2017 in Tokyo - sounds like fun idea, right? I thought so, but then seeds of doubt started to sprout in my mind when I read a few pieces that said in Jap, NYE wasn’t about partying but rather the focus was on visiting temples and shrines on the 1st. My cousin who was travelling through Korea and Japan at the same time said they were purposely staying in Korea until the 1st because they heard NYE is a bit of dud in Japan. I was sceptical about this, how can NYE be a dud anywhere? I understood that for a lot of Asian cultures NYE didn’t have a significant cultural significance but I was confident that we could find some celebrations to partake in.
A quick Google search confirmed that there would be a few different ways to celebrate in Tokyo, including club events and something called a fox parade where locals dressed up as foxes and parade from one shrine to another but the best sounded like the countdown event at Tokyo Tower where you can gather at the tower and bring in the new year with a release of balloons and a firework display off the tower.
|My vision for NYE. Source: Huffington Post|
Fast forward to 4pm on the 31st of December and we are leisurely getting ready for our big night and I Google the best vantage spots for the tower, which is when I discover that there is no longer going to be a countdown event held at Tokyo Tower! No balloon release, no fireworks and no 3,2,1, Happy New Year! I naturally have a first world problem panic attack and frantically begin searching for alternatives. “Hooters apparently goes off….” I tell my partner. Were we that desperate? I then find an article that says that people generally gather at Shibuya crossing for a countdown, which they close off to traffic from 10pm. Shibuya it is.
We arrive at Shibuya a bit after 10pm and are surprised to find that the famous scramble crossing is less busy than it is during the day. There are a people milling around the edges of the streets, cameras set up and a few people sipping on a sneaky drink but it certainly doesn’t feel festive. We decide to leave the crossing and walk around, and we encounter more people drinking on the streets but we also overhear some dubious tourists questioning if they should leave and find somewhere else for the countdown. The streets slowly begin to fill up with people (some even in costume) but it certainly isn’t crowded. We return to the crossing and by now the traffic has been closed so we get to stand in the centre of the crossing, which is actually pretty cool. A few of the billboards welcome you to NYE Shibuya so we are definitely in the right place. There is a small van with four policemen on top of it and they watch over us, occasionally saying something in Japanese over the loudspeaker. I read that they refer to these officers as DJ police because they play music and they are usually instructing people in a witty manner. Because of the overly polite nature of Japan, when the police officers spot someone doing something against the rules (like sitting on someone’s shoulders) all they have to do is gesture to the person and say something in their loudspeaker and the offender stops what they are doing. The officers never have to leave their post and the crowd always obliges with the DJ polices’ requests.
|Standing in the middle of the famous crossing, awaiting 2017|
As it gets closer to midnight the streets get more and more crowded until we are shoulder to shoulder with people and no longer feel the cold. There is no music playing (other than the quiet beats of the DJ police which is now drowned out by the noise of the crowd) but the mood definitely begins to feel more festive as groups of people sporadically break into chants or dance and begin to get more chatty with each other. 80% of the crowd are drinking despite the billboards flashing that drinking on the streets is not allowed. Obviously this not enforced as the DJ police never mention it (or maybe they do but we don’t understand Japanese). And although people are drinking it never gets rowdy or violent. Maybe it’s because the billboards are also encouraging us to be polite and well-mannered.
Soon it is a few minutes until midnight and we have all watched a video play on the billboards about different people’s wishes for 2017. We saw locals wish for their businesses to succeed in the New Year, wish to create a sense of community, wish for same sex marriage to be legalised. It is a nice feel good video and primes us for the countdown.
And its on! We are squished together and swaying with the crowd as we countdown. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Happy New Year! We all cheer as one and then hug our loved ones and wish strangers around us a happy new year. The more “merry” ones (i.e drunk ones) begin to hug strangers and wish them as they make their way through the crowd. Only a few minutes into 2017 and the crowd begins to try and move out of the crossing area. Ride along with the tides of people or you will be squished. Or more squished than when you ride the tides. Then the waves of people wash you up to the side streets and you can breathe.
|Post countdown billboard display|
It definitely wasn’t like the New Year’s Eve celebrations we have in Sydney. There was no spectacular display of fireworks. There was no music. There was no dressing up. It wasn’t the most festive way to bring in the year but it certainly was unique and for that reason will be a new year’s eve I will never forget.
If the crowds at the shops are anything to go by it looks like a lot of people have left their Christmas shopping to the last minute! For those of you have travellers and wander-lusters on your shopping list, hopefully this gift guide provides you with some last minute inspiration. I’ve even divvied it up depending on your budget. If you have left it super super last minute (i.e 11pm on the 24th or even Christmas morning) just print a picture of what you are going to buy/is in the post and wrap them up (extra bonus is they won’t be able to guess what it is!)
Gifts Under $100
A beautiful journal would be loved by most travelers so they can record their memories and stories. Package it up with a glue stick and small scissors and they can also scrapbook all the ticket stubs and pamphlets they collect along the way.
With the internet full of so much information you might think travel guides are outdated but I still love reading them as I prepare for my trip and it’s a great offline reference while I am actually travelling. It does become a bit annoying to lug around an actual book so an eBook is perfect.
Novelty Neck Pillow
I was skeptical about neck pillows until I got one- they are amazing! They let you comfortably sleep on all modes of transport and help support your neck (ie stops it from bobbing around crazily). Luggage Direct have a few cute novelty (but practical) ones, I particularly like the koala one pictured below because it’s a bit Aussie representation while travelling.
This is might seem like a boring and literally tiny gift but I can never get enough memory cards when travelling. I stash them everywhere and use them both for my camera, GoPro and as a backup storage device.
Gifts Over $100
This is an obvious one because luggage is an essential! Luggage Direct has a wide range of luggage for any traveller’s needs. In particular, I like the Mandarina Duck range because the designs are bright and cute (thus making them super easy to spot on the conveyor belt); sturdy and some on them have extra pockets which are always handy for stuffing random bits and bobs into (normally my travel buys!)
I got gifted one a few Christmases back and it has been the most useful thing while travelling- I store a local travel guide for offline advice, a book to read, a few movies and shows to make journeys go faster and a copy of my itinerary.
You know what travellers love? To travel! Duh! So give them the gift of travel. It doesn’t need to be an extravagant overseas holiday but even a nice weekend away would be appreciated. Coupon sites such as Groupon and Scoopon always have nice and affordable packages available.
This post is sponsored by Luggage Direct
Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is on most Aussie's bucket lists of places to visit. We have grown up learning about it and having it as icon of our outback. But travelling to the red center is quiet expensive, and at times flights overseas can be cheaper and thus more tempting. But this year when we saw that one of the budget airlines had return fares for $150, we jumped on the chance and quickly called around to see who was keen to book ASAP! Because it was a very rushed decision, there was no time to check with manager's about applying for leave so we planned on flying in on Saturday and flying out on Monday, giving us about 48 hours there. We were a bit worried that this wasn't enough time, but now having done it, it was the perfect amount of time to experience the wonder of Uluru ad Kata Tjuta National Park.
The following list is what we ticked off in that short amount of time that I would recommend people do whilst in Uluru, even if you are there for longer. I would also recommending hiring a car from the airport to give you the flexibility of doing what you want and when.
Valley of the Winds Walk
The Valley of the Winds is a trail that takes you through Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas) and includes two lookout points. The total circuit is about 7.4kms and takes 3 hours to complete. This is an easy walk but the heat can be brutal (the trail is actually closed after 11am on days forecast to reach beyond 36 degress Celcius) so try and do it early in the morning. Since our tight timeframe meant we didn't have the luxury of doing it when it was cooler we decided to only do half the trail and even still it was stunning to see the massive formations up close and get among them.
|Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)|
We watched the sunset on the first day at the Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing area as it gave us a view of the sun-setting over the outback to the right of us, the changing hues over the Olgas directly in front of us and then the changing hues over Uluru to the left of us. It was a perfect spot to see the changing colours of the sky and see the two formations in one spot.
|Our view of Uluru at sunset from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area|
This is a given when visiting Uluru. Try to get in 30 minutes before the time of sunrise to get a good spot and to really see the changes of colour in the sky and of the rock.
The Mala Walk is one of the walks you can do along the base of Uluru and is perfect when you don't have time to walk around the entire thing. There are free ranger guided walks but since we were up so early for the sunrise, we were there too early for the guided walk so opted to do it ourselves which is very easy to do as there are stops of information to read along the way. This walk is not difficult at all and takes about 1.5hours return. This walk was a great opportunity to get up close to Uluru, and walk into the little nooks and caves, see the Aboriginal painting on the walls and learn about the local culture and history.
|Part of the Mala Walk|
For those who don't know much about Aboriginal culture, this is a perfect spot to learn more. There is video viewing room that showed a video about how tourism and exploration impacted the local culture and a museum to learn about not only the local culture but also about the wildlife and fauna. There is also a gift shop and cafe at the centre.
It was definitely a unique experience being able to explore the outback on camels and getting to interact with them but we did learn during our experience that all the camels there were taken from the wild so that they could be trained to be ridden by tourists which made us feel a bit guilty. They did also explain that by being taken from the wild their life expectancy increased by 20 years so its something to consider when deciding if this is something you want to do.
Sounds of Silence Dinner
During 2016 there is an art installation called the Field of Light so during this time the experience is called a Night at the Field of light. This experience included drinks and canapes which we watched the sunset at a private area, an Aboriginal performance, a three course dinner cooked with local ingredients, beer and wine, a star talk (definitely a highlight, I hadn't seen so many shooting stars in one sitting and such a clear look at the stars) and then time to explore the Field of Light, which is basically an installation of tiny lights across the outback (the field equates to the size of several football fields) which change colour. This package was a little expensive at almost $200 so a cheaper alternative is to do just the sunset canapes and drinks and Field of Light which was under $100.
Enjoy the Resort
All the accommodation, restaurants and shops all sit within one location- Ayers Rock Resort. And there is lots to do just in the resort including free daily cultural performances, talks and tours, pools, bars, games rooms and lookouts.
So that was all the things we managed to tick off during our time in Uluru. It definitely was an amazing experience and I cannot explain how it felt when we saw it for the first time. To see more pictures check out my Instagram. You can also check out my footage below:
Apparently the reason the youth of Australia can’t afford to buy a house is because we are spending too much money on smashed avocado at trendy cafes. Obviously this is an exaggerated claim, and might have also something to do with how expensive housing is in cities such as Sydney. And if we are never going to be able to afford a place to live is bigger than the size of a shoe box, then we deserve to find some happiness in a yummy meal at a cute café, right? And the youth (and really the people) of Sydney have really been treating their tastebuds over the past few years, which has resulted in more and more cool cafes popping up all over NSW and not just exclusively in the city (maybe also because the cool people of NSW can no longer afford to live in Sydney so the food is following where the people are) and I have to say I love it. The cafés in the west have plenty of parking and often the lines are much shorter, if there even is one. A few weekends ago we drove in Penrith, got some free parking and paid a visit to one of these cafes, High St Depot.
When we arrived the waitress seemed a bit concerned that she couldn’t seat us straight away as if this was the first time someone had ever had to wait for a table. We assured her it was fine and that we were happy to look through the menu. We were surprised how many of the things on the menu we wanted to order, which illustrated that that although we were willing to try a café in Penrith we were sceptical to how it would compare to the trendy cafes of the city. Between the three of us we decided on two chicken karaage burgers, three snickers milkshakes, three arranchini balls and their French toast. By the time we had picked what we were getting our table was ready and we ordered straight away.
The café has a funky vibe, with a cool dog mural on the wall and modern décor. Another tick for the café.
The shakes arrived first and although nice, it was not as full of flavour as we were expecting. With all the other food we had ordered we probably didn’t need them.
The arranchini balls and the burger arrived and I quickly tried an arranchini ball, it was good, nothing to complain about but nothing special about them and at $3 a ball I wouldn’t order them in the future. By the time I had finished that the French toast had arrived, and with the coconut ice cream threatening to melt, my cousin and I quickly dug into it. Oh my was it delicious! I loved the use of syrup made from palm sugar which perfectly complemented the not super sweet ice cream, strawberries and crunchy toast- would definitely go back for this.
By the time I had gotten to the burger I was full, so my fullness might skew my review of it. The burger was served with chips and I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were! Perfectly crunchy and seasoned on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Definitely some of the better chips I’ve had. The burger was also nice, generous serving of crunchy chicken with Asian slaw but not wow (but again I was super full).
Overall, I have to say I was very impressed by the little café tucked away in Penrith and that French toast will certainly bring me back.
Food is a little overpriced but the service is improving since I first went. That was my friend’s brief review when I told her I was going for breakfast at Wolfe and Co in Dural. She also reasoned the pricing is probably due to the fact that they use organic ingredients sourced locally. I guess I would see for myself!
We arrived at the café a bit before 10am on Sunday and I was surprised at the location, just on the on the side of a street. When I heard a café in Dural, I expected it to sit on a large lot of farm-like land similar to Wild Pear but the modern décor and the layout is quiet nice and feels private. Our timing was perfect because when we arrived there were a few empty tables so we were seated immediately but midday way through our meals, we noticed there was bit of a line outside. Early bird gets the worm, or the breakfast in this case.
We didn’t take long to pick what we were getting and were ready to order. The staffs, however, were not ready to take our order despite us making constant eye contact. We even thought if we stopped talking and turned our charges out they would notice our cues. Nope. In the end we had to just gave up with subtly and told a waiter we were ready to order to which he replied yup and walked away! He did eventually return and took our order.
I ordered the truffled mushrooms (mushrooms, mushroom pate, ricotta and truffle served on a slice of sourdough bread) which was $15.50 and I added bacon for a not so cheap $4.50.
The food didn’t take too long to arrive and all our dishes certainly were pretty, matching the general feel of the place. It’s a shame that bacon is an expensive addition to the dish, because it really made the dish. It had a nice salty, meaty flavour that balanced the two mushroom elements. Even if they added feta instead of ricotta, it could remain a vegetarian dish whilst also have a salty element. All together the dish was quiet tasty and the perfect proportion that left me full but not stuffed.
My sister got their famous Banoffe French Toast, which she said was nice but not amazing. My cousin expressed similar sentiments in regards to her “eggs as you like” dish.
Overall, I would say Wolfe and Co is definitely a nice addition to the growing café scene but they still have a few little kinks to work out.