Monday, October 21, 2013

Sydney, a haven for brunches!

Sydney is so chock-full of good cafes I often wake up at an ungodly hour (according to me anyway) just to have breakfast. I cannot go past a bowl of muesli with sweet, cold yogurt in the morning though sometimes, I do opt for something savoury as there is only so many types of muesli you can make.

One of those such mornings was when I wanted to pay the newly-opened Paramount Coffee Project a visit but due to a heavy downpour and a horrible parking situation that saw us parking near Two Good Eggs, we soon found our hungry stomachs protesting against braving the rain and the queue. Plus, Two Good Eggs is one of our "go-to" breakfast places anyway so...

No regrets there as their dishes were good as usual. I had breakfast envy upon seeing the hub's Italian sausage dish. The serving was generous, hence, I had a taste of each ingredient on it.

Sausage - Hmmm, hearty and umami-flavored with a peppery kick.
Tomato relish - Sweet and tangy, perfect as an accompaniment to the toast!
Eggs - Poached perfectly, no complaints there.
Tomatoes - Very juicy and tender.
Hash brown - Balanced slight crispiness on the outside to the mushiness inside.

I picked something off the blackboard specials menu, namely the grilled chicken salad that came with feta, arugula, chickpeas and capsicum. Again, the serving was very generous (this is coming from someone with a big appetite!). There were heaps of chicken; so much I had to pass the hubby a slice. They were perfectly grilled and therefore, tender, moist and flavorsome. The salad, while adequately dressed, was just average.


Give this place a visit when you don't feel like queuing up for the latest hyped cafes. It had a clean environment and service was efficient and friendly too!

Two Good Eggs on Urbanspoon

I hardly venture out to Potts' Point but when I do, I make sure to brunch at one of the most popular spots. Room 10 was a very small cafe in the hip alley of Llankelly Place but what it lacks in space is more than made up for with its non-standard, absolutely delicious menu items.

The only downside is that this cafe operates on a cash-only basis.

Hubby's flat white, which he really liked.

As was his salted beef sandwich! Honestly, I was never a big sandwich fan until I sank my teeth into this one... it was so good! Where do I begin? Perfectly toasted golden brown crunchy-on-the-outside-and-soft-on-the-inside or the more-ish tender beef slices? WHERE?

The envy was soon gone when I got my breakfast rice. There were quinoa, red rice and miscellaneous grains & nuts in this... all combined to provide the biggest flavor crunch I'd ever tasted! The sweetness from the fresh fruits just added to the utter pleasure that was the never-ending bowl of sweet and savoury heaven with just a touch of tartness from the stewed rhubarb.

Oh, did I mention that the service was very friendly as well? :)

Room 10 on Urbanspoon

When I told the hubby that it had been months since we last had dim sum, he gladly obliged...  But it was partly thanks to his visiting sister. A dim sum brunch was no fun when it was only me and him; we both liked a little bit of variety!

So we went to the bustling The Eight at Market City and miraculously, managed to get a table straight away. These dumplings were good, and packed tightly. They tasted fresh and his sister even commented that the large and succulent shumais reminded her of her favorite ones back in Malaysia!

I like the fact the service here wasn't as overly pushy as Zilver's. Once, this lady just sneakily plonked a dish down on our table without any of our friends actually asking for it. Anyway, moving on, some carb-loading was to be done after our 6.5km trail run in the morning. Too bad the noodles were a big, stinking disappointment. There was absolutely no flavor to it. I felt like I was eating plain flour.

BBQ pork buns the hubby said were quite standard. Really, I can't wait for my trip to Hong Kong again at the end of the year, if only to visit Tim Ho Wan again.

Encased in these translucent skins were some of the freshest, plumpest shrimps I'd tasted. Now, if only the skins were slightly thinner, then they would have been perfect.

Our must-order in a yum cha restaurant, steamed pork ribs. The Eight's came piping hot and garlicky, which made the soft, chewable ribs an utter joy to eat. The fact that there was pumpkin (hidden underneath) made me a happy, happy girl as I am currently having a ROAST PUMPKIN WITH EVERYTHING moment. :P

Fried green beans with pork mince, just to offset some of the unhealthiness lol. These, while slightly too oily for my taste, were highly addictive. Pretty soon, the plate was set directly in front of me haha!

Egg tarts! These were quite run-of-the-mill but run-of-the-mill was good in my books. We ordered egg custard buns as well and those you can check out the video of on my Instagram.

The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Narcissist comes out to say hi. *waves*

Moving on...

Combined review of two visits. Despite living a block away from Brickfields, I'd only been there once with the hubby months ago. Don't get me wrong, it is a very good cafe and all and walking past it every time they are baking their famous sourdoughs is enough to make me salivate for the next few minutes but just the fact it's too near actually diminishes its appeal a little... Do I even make sense here?

Hot chocolate. Could have been served hotter but it was nevertheless good; not overly sweet and with just the right amount of milkiness.

Brickfield's has really good sandwiches. On our first visit there months ago, the hubby and I had their hyped beef brisket sandwich and we were both blown away by how good it was. No difference this time around with the chicken sandwich, which was jam packed with succulent slices of chicken and fresh vegetables (sorry, I cannot remember what was in it except for the mayo... I always remember mayo).

The truth was, Sebrina ordered this and offered me some when she couldn't finish it.

This was my order; the toasted muesli with a poached fruit, soy milk and yogurt with honey. These were  good... and it subscribed to my notion of what a perfect bowl (or in this case plate) of muesli should be; crunchy oats and nuts complemented by the soft texture of fruits and sweet, sweet yogurt.

Third visit was with the hubby and it was just like the first time, except we got cakes to stuff our faces with first because we were fat just couldn't wait. Our choices were the Persian love cake and the hazelnut brownie and oh em geeeeee, did they satiate the sweet tooth!

On to the main business; my breakfast plate of broad beans, boiled egg, dukkah, parmesan and silverbeet served on their famous sourdough toast. JAY-SUS! So many ingredients on a plate, and definitely a dish you can't easily find anywhere else. This was a pleasure to eat through, from the bittersweet fresh silverbeet and creamy mashed broad beans to the crispy, perfectly toasted sourdough and...

THE EGG! The dukkah-crusted egg! While the yolk took centre attention on my Instagram, it was really the white that I loved better, thanks to its super soft and slight wobbly-ness that was such a perfect complement to the dukkah.

Not sure if their current beef brisket sandwich was the same one we had a while ago but it was still mightily good. Very tender beef slices marry well with the creamy and crunchy coleslaw and plus, the bread was just so, so achingly soft under the crust.

On a side note, the hubby thought their coffee was really good.

Brickfields on Urbanspoon

Remember how I said at the beginning of this post that my intention to visit Paramount Coffee Project was thwarted by the rain? Well, the hubs and I made the trip there again... to join a crowd outside waiting for a table. Le sigh but what was I expecting visiting a hyped cafe on a weekend?
Was glad that it was only 10 minutes before we got seated though, despite being told that it was at least a 20-minute wait, and even though we were seated at one of those communal tables I absolutely detested. This stupid culture really needs to die along with the person who first started it, thinking, you know what's a good idea? Throwing a bunch of strangers together to eat on the same table. I was extra ticked off because the hubby and I had to huddle too closely together lest my clumsy self elbowed the *ehem* big person sitting next to me.

-end of rant-

Hubby's flat white.

And his Philly cheese steak. If it reminded you of Reuben Hill's not-reuben sandwich, it's because PCP is opened by Reuben Hill's Russell Beard and Melbourne's Seven Seeds' Mark Dundon (hello, next cafe to visit in Melbourne!). Now, where was I? Right, go spend your money on Reuben Hill's not-reuben instead because while the beef was faultless, the sandwich was in a dire need of more cheese to justify its name. The sourdough was also slightly over-toasted in my opinion. Only good thing going for this? The McClures potato crisps and dill pickles that you can get at an extra 3 dollars. The former was highly crunchy and the latter was a delightful sour crunch!

My arrollado, before I took a bite. And yes, I didn't order the crab po boy that had been flooding my Instagram news feed for the past few weeks. Didn't feel like having a burger at all.

I don't think I'd heard of the word arrollado until that day but a quick Google search yielded answers that it basically meant "rolled pork" in Spanish! PCP's was made of kale, maple bacon, house made ketchup, fried eggs and avocado.

This was quite good but just one little gripe; the wrap was way too bland! I don't eat a lot of wraps to have a knowledge of what a good wrap should be but I am pretty sure it shouldn't taste like plain flour. I stand corrected on it though. Anyway, I ended up discarding half of the wrap to enjoy the yummy ingredients inside. Creamy avocado, sweet and savoury bacon, gooey fried eggs, hi, I loved all of you!

The Paramount Coffee Project on Urbanspoon

Before moving on to the final brunch spot for this long post, here's a little shout out to VCDC at Rydalmere for their car paint, styling and miscellaneous service on the hubby's new car. The hubs is a crazy car person and he will only send it to the best, and VCDC ticks all his boxes, leaving him a happy customer.

I finally made the pilgrimage to The Grounds of Alexandria this morning. Pilgrimage because it was perennially in the top 10 of the most blogged about cafes on Urbanspoon! I have read most of the reviews and because of that, I wasn't entirely too shocked that the place was packed on a Monday morning... before 10.30am. Wtf Sydney-siders? Go to work or something!
Ordered a gunpowder green tea to sip on while waiting for the hubby to park his car.

Mouthwatering display of baked goods. Willpower prevailed.

His truffle scrambled eggs. This posh boy... truffle everything! He thought the eggs were a tad overdone but overall had little to no complaints about the dish. We both thought the toasts was amazing and ended up finishing them after asking for some butter and jam from one of the friendly waitresses despite being full to the brim.


Here's my health plate, and what I thought of them.
 Green juice of kale, celery and apple (?) - Thank God I couldn't taste the celery in it. I don't really do green juices but this was quite refreshing.
Granola - FREAKING AMAZING! Loved that there were copious amounts of nuts, dried fruits and seeds! It was so flavorsome and an utter bliss to eat drenched in the milk.
Stewed rhubarb - Tart-ily sweet and quite a tangy mouthful. I loved it.
Vanilla bean yogurt -Meh.
All the fruits - They were all very fresh and sweet, except for the grapes which could a bit plumper. They were clearly lacking the whitish "bloom" that indicates freshness.

All in all, a good wholesome meal but really nothing worth queuing up almost two hours for on a weekend.

The Grounds of Alexandria on Urbanspoon

Ciao for now! Watching Prisoners soon. :)