Category Archives: Brunch

Jackpot visits Brooklyn Hide

Hello dear readers!

Welcome back to my blog! After a long period of not blogging about my various baking experiments and my new café/restaurant visits, I have finally come back with a new post and I am super excited to be back! I definitely went through a period where I wasn’t sure if I could sustain blogging given my workload and the amount of basketball I have been playing recently but I hope I can keep this up from now on. It’s nearly my one year anniversary of blogging and I would like to continue sharing with all of you Jackpot’s eating adventures and much much more!

The sun came out on Sunday and what a great way to spend the weekend catching up with friends over good food. Miss Baller and Mr Baller wanted to catch up for our occasional Sunday brunch before basketball. Miss Baller and I usually try to find a new place that we all haven’t been to so we can try out the food. I suggested Brooklyn Hide to Miss Baller and immediately at the sound of “bagel”, Miss Baller was in. Miss Baller and I love our bagels – I think there is something about a freshly baked bagel that really gets us excited or freshly baked bread for that matter ;p

Brooklyn Hide’s theme is all about NYC and each menu item on offer is named after a district in New York City: Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Midtown to name a few. Although I’ve never been to New York myself, if this is anything to base the whole NYC theme, I definitely can’t wait to go! Even the atmosphere inside Brooklyn Hide is meant to be reminiscent of Brooklyn. Miss Baller and Mr Baller were recently in NYC, so I’m sure this brought back memories of their trip together.

We got to Brooklyn Hide in Surry Hills around 11am and there was plenty of parking available on the street. The place itself is quite small but cosy. There are a few communal tables available or you can sit beside the window sipping on your coffee and reading the newspaper while you indulge in some bagels. We ordered our meal at the counter and sat on one of the communal tables as there was one free at the time.

I found the staff to be very friendly and easy-going which made the eating experience even more enjoyable.

Brooklyn Hide

Brooklyn Hide1

Brooklyn Hide2

Brooklyn Hide3

Artwork

Counter

Bagels

The display of bagels

Menu

The Menu

Menu 1

Specials of the day

Menu 2

Menu 3

Menu 4

Coffee

How nice does the coffee look!

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

Midtown Bagel

Midtown Bagel – Corned Beef, Gruyère, Sauerkraut, Mustard Mayonnaise (Our Reuben) $10.00

Mr Muscles and Miss Baller both ordered the Midtown Bagel and were both very pleased with their bagel sandwich selection. The bagel itself was very moreish and quite filling but did not leave you feeling too full i.e. there was still room for dessert ;P This was Brooklyn Hide’s take on the Reuben which so many cafes are serving at the moment. This one however was slightly different and of course served in a bagel. Definitely a great take on the Reuben and Mr Muscles seemed very satisfied after.

Brooklyn Hide Bagel

Brooklyn Hide Bagel – Braised Pork, Dill Pickles & Apple Jam $10.00

Mr Baller ordered the Brooklyn Hide Bagel so that Miss Baller could also try a different bagel sandwich. This bagel sandwich looked really great and Mr Baller was not disappointed with his choice.

Bagel with Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon

Seeded Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese and a side of Smoked Salmon $8.00

I decided to order something different from the group and went with the traditional bagel with cream cheese with a side of smoked salmon. I was really loving the seeded bagel which coincidentally every one of us chose. The toasted bagel was crisp in texture on the exterior but lovely and chewy in the middle. Just how I like my bagels. Also the cream cheese and smoked salmon combo whilst simple choices, paired really well with my bagel selection. I was full but not overly full which of course meant Miss Baller and I could enjoy and indulge in some oh so good but no so good for us cake ;P

I’d definitely come back to Brooklyn Hide to try out their other sandwiches and even their granola.

A great way to chill out and relax on a Sunday while indulging in some yummy bagels – I can’t think of anything better!

Miss Baller and I were keen to get our sugar fix so we dragged our significant others to Kurtosh after to try some cakes and take some home. Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller – always fun hanging out having our ritual Sunday brunch + indulging in dessert…until next time!

Card1

Card

Stay tuned for my Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe ;P

x

Jackie

2 Comments

Filed under Bagel, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Lunch, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Western

JACKPOT visits Me and Art

Hello readers!

Hope you all are having a great week so far and thank goodness it’s Thursday meaning it’s nearly the end of the week! Looking forward to relaxing on the weekend with some good weather, good food and catching up with friends, celebrating a 1 month for a cute baby girl and of course some basketball in between!

Last weekend I wanted to grab a few things from Thomas Dux in Surry Hills as I do from time to time when I have a chance to stock up on baking ingredients and food for the week ahead. As Mr Muscles and I had not eaten breakfast at this point in time, I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out another café on my list. I love going to vegan cafes to try out the various foods on offer whether it be savoury or sweet food.

My top vegan places in Sydney at the moment are:

  • Sadhana Kitchen – great for breakfast and lunch and of course if you feel like indulging, they do some really great raw cakes
  • Nourishing Quarter – great little dinner place serving fusion Vietnamese food with a modern take on it – love their tofu and quinoa dumplings, their quinoa rice paper rolls and their noodle salad served with crispy tofu and they also do raw cakes here if you are feeling like something a bit more sweet after dinner

I have yet to try Earth to Table in Bondi Junction which I have read many great reviews and am keen to hopefully try this vegan place out on the weekend…blog will follow shortly after of course =)

I’m always worried about taking Mr Muscles to vegan places as I am always worried he will never be full or won’t like what is on offer on the menus. Mr Muscles however happily guided me along the way as we searched for the café. We ended up walking from Thomas Dux a few blocks down in Surry Hills and finally found the café after a nice walk through Surry Hills.

Me and Art is quite a small café with some seating provided outside the café, some tables and chairs found inside the café and out back in their courtyard. As it was a nice day, we decided to sit outside their courtyard and take in the nice weather. It was chilly but the sun was shining and it turned out to be a really nice day.

The café is known for their Japanese artwork which hangs inside the café. I didn’t get to take a picture of this unfortunately but will next time I visit. Apparently these pictures are not just for show and that they are available for purchase for anyone interested with new artwork coming in every few weeks. It’s a very quirky café with even tables that have been sourced by the owner from various places.

The one thing that stood out about this café were the friendly staff who were quick to assist wherever needed. Mr Muscles had no idea what he wanted to drink as he was feeling like some juice and one of the staff decided to make something on the whim from the flavours that Mr Muscles had told them he wanted. It was this attention to detail and their great service that really makes this café different to other cafes we have been to.

Courtyard

Courtyard 2

Courtyard 3

 

Courtyard 4

Menu

Breakfast Menu

Menu

Lunch Menu

Green Tea

Lemon Water

Juice

Mr Muscles Juice – I think this had beetroot, carrot, ginger, apple and other flavours (it was meant to be some sort of detox juice – it was very delicious!)

Avocado Toast

Mr Muscles’ meal: avocado on toast: avocado with special herbs & spices heaped on crunchy sourdough $9.00

Mr Muscles wasn’t feeling too good so decided to get something small to eat. We were both surprised at how generous they were with the avocado which was lovely, ripe and smooth. The sourdough had a nice taste to it with the toast still quite crunchy despite the amount of avocado layered on top of the toast. Mr Muscles really enjoyed the dish however didn’t really care for the ground turmeric which had been sprinkled over the top of the avocado. He felt it overpowered the taste of the avocado and so decided to remove this and eat the rest of it sans turmeric. All in all a very healthy and filling breakfast in which Mr Muscles left feeling rather full.

Buckwheat Pancakes

My meal: cocoa and cinnamon buckwheat pancakes topped with banana, berries, nuts & seeds served with maple syrup and shredded coconut $12.00

I ordered the pancakes as I really can’t say no to pancakes and the fact that these were healthy pancakes…this was already a win win situation to begin with. The pancakes were not as soft as I had imagined but rather a bit more dense as the buckwheat flavour was quite predominant. I couldn’t really taste the cocoa or cinnamon but I found the pancakes really lovely and not too heavy to eat that I managed to finish the whole dish. The banana and the nuts and seeds were a nice side to the dish as you got a bit of crunch, a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and banana and a bit of tartness from the berries. I felt healthier just by eating this dish. I’ve tried recreating buckwheat pancakes at home but have never been successful. Now that I have tried these pancakes I am on a mission to try and create some wonderful buckwheat pancakes that don’t taste like rubber!

Mr Muscles and I left the café feeling full and satisfied. This café is definitely an up and coming café as I’m sure that more and more people will come to visit as they also serve lunch and if not for the dining experience then to view the lovely art hanging on the walls of the café. I know I’ll be back to try their nachos with tofu cashew sour cream and vegan cheese and of course their vegan pies which I have heard are really good!

Stay tuned for a recipe post…I know it’s been awhile but I’ll be posting one soon…

Here are my recent baking pictures:

Vegan Banana Bread

A new recipe experiment: vegan banana bread made using applesauce – surprisingly turned out better than I expected and the applesauce gave the bread a lovely moist texture

Vegan Chocolate Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Chocolate Banana Donuts made with spelt flour and coconut sugar

Raw Brownie Balls

Raw Brownie Balls made with raw cacao powder, walnuts and dates

Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins

Vegan Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins made with wholemeal spelt flour and coconut sugar

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes

Recipe experimenting with Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes made with applesauce, spelt flour and coconut sugar – surprisingly tasted light and moist without too much of an applesauce taste

Me and Art

62 Mary Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Website: http://meandart-sydney.webs.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Lunch, Muffins, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot visits Three Blue Ducks

Hello readers!

It’s been awhile since I have visited one of the cafes on my list of cafes I have been wanting to visit. Whilst Three Blue Ducks is nowhere near new, I had been wanting to visit this cafe for ages now and finally a brunch date with Miss Baller and Mr Baller meant that we could all try this new cafe together. Miss Baller and I had talked about a brunch date at Three Blue Ducks for awhile now and finally we were able to pick a date to go which suited everyone.

We all arrived at the cafe around 10:30am on a Saturday and you could tell the cafe was already quite busy with most of the inside tables already full. We were in luck as there were a few tables outside that were available and so we were seated outside the cafe with a nice wooden table and wooden benches. The waitress offered Miss Baller and I a rug to share in case we got cold as it was quite chilly last weekend.

I liked the atmosphere of the cafe, everything seemed so calm and relaxing and Miss Baller and I were discussing how long it had been since we had last visited Bronte besides going to the beach back in our uni days. The cafe is nestled among some local shops and bakeries such as Iggy’s which is famous for their sourdough breads. There was an urban and modern vibe I picked up from the setting of the cafe with painted graffiti walls on the side of the cafe. The weather was very lovely that day and soon we began to feel the sun shining on us which was a nice change from the cold weather.

I had read the menu online and seen many photos on Instagram and various blogs and was keen to try their quinoa and fig bircher but come saturday I was ill with the flu and wanted something a bit warmer. There were more options on the menu once we sat down and read the menu. The online menu only shows a few dishes that they offer so I was pleased to see that there were a lot more options to choose from. I was so tempted to order the pancakes as I love all things pancakes but in the end settled for porridge.

Three Blue Ducks

Wall

Setting

Setting 2

Alley

Painted Walls

Cakes

They sell cakes, toasted muesli and sandwiches to take away or eat in the cafe – apologies about the terrible photo as I was rushing to take a photo before we left. Wouldn’t mind some of that lemon meringue tart!

Menu

The Menu

Carrot and Ginger Juice

Mr Muscles’s Carrot Apple and Ginger Juice

Ginger Cinnamon Tea

My Ginger and Cinnamon Tea

Flat White

Miss Baller’s Coffee

Coddled Eggs

Mr Muscles’s: Coddled Eggs with Chorizo, Pulled Pork and Cannellini Baked Beans $21.50

Mr Muscles ordered the coddled eggs as he wanted to order something different to everyone. It was quite a heavy and rich meal as the chorizo itself was quite rich in flavour and the baked beans were also quite heavy. This is definitely a dish for someone who is feeling rather hungry. Mr Muscles felt so full by the end of the brunch but was satisfied with his meal choice.

Poached Eggs

Mr Baller’s: Poached Eggs, Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and King Salmon $21.50

Mr Baller decided to order the poached eggs. This dish came with a nice plump serving of salmon which had been wonderfully cooked to create a crispy skin. Although I didn’t try this dish I assumed that he liked this dish as he managed to finish the whole dish. This is always the sign of a well executed dish.

Scrambled Eggs

Miss Baller’s: Scrambled Eggs with Black Sausage, Dill Cucumber Yoghurt Salad and Red Currant Jam $21.50

Miss Baller ordered the scrambled eggs and seemed to thoroughly enjoy her meal. She mentioned that the black sausage was quite flavourful and decadent. The meal itself was beautifully presented on the plate and the texture of the black sausage contrasted significantly against the tomatoes, red currants and the softness of the scrambled eggs.

Porridge

My meal: Black Rice, Tapioca, Quinoa Porridge with Poached Fruit, Yoghurt and Honey $16.00

I was very happy with what I ordered. The black rice, tapioca and quinoa combined so well together and for something that looked rich, it was actually quite light. The sourness from the yoghurt and the sweetness from the poached fruit and honey really paired well with the porridge. This was quite a generous serve as well so I didn’t end up finishing it all but it’s definitely something I would order again. Also this was just what I needed, something warm yet not too heavy. There were also bits of walnuts and nuts throughout the porridge which contrasted against the soft poached fruit. The poached pear was soft and subtly sweet against the tartness of the rhubarb. This meal was rather healthy with all the different grains that I felt good about eating this dish – something that tastes quite indulgent but that is healthy and good for you…definitely a win win situation…or at least I keep telling myself that ;P

I really want to come back and try the orange and yoghurt pancakes and of course the quinoa and fig bircher that I missed out on trying during this first visit. Definitely a cafe that I would love to come back to regularly.

Iggy's

Miss Baller and I couldn’t help but walk into Iggy’s to buy some bread. They had some sample sourdough which we tried and instantly we were swayed to buy some bread. Their sourdough was really delicious and I’m sure that if no one was looking I could have eaten most of the sample bowl. Miss Baller and I both ordered a poppyseed bagel to eat later and halved a sourdough bread stick. The bread is so addictive and I thoroughly enjoyed my bagel which I had for lunch the next day. I will be back for more bread…carbs are my weakness afterall ;P

I don’t have a photo of the bagel and bread we bought as I quickly demolished any evidence of the wonderfully addictive bread ;P

Once again great food and even better company – that’s what I call a good saturday =)

Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller for an awesome brunch date yet again…where to next?

Three Blue Ducks

143 Macpherson St

Bronte NSW 2024

Ph: (02) 9389 0010

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Friday Breakfast: 7am – 11:30am Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm and

Saturday/Sunday Breakfast: 7.30am – 11:30am Lunch: 12.00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner (wed, thu, fri, sat) 6pm – 11pm Dinner bookings only

Website: http://www.threeblueducks.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

1 Comment

Filed under Bagel, Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Health Food, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT’s eating adventures of late…

Hello readers!

I haven’t been posting regularly for a while now due to a busy schedule so I figured I would pack everything into one post. My eating adventures during last month and the beginning of this month have been really fun as I try to explore and try new and different foods…there’s still so much to try and yet I still feel like I haven’t tried enough of the places in sydney especially all the new brunch spots…I’m sure I’ll get through my ever-growing list soon enough ;P

CORNERSMITH

Mr Muscles and I had a lovely catch up with Miss Baller and Mr Baller over a brunch at Cornersmith. This was my second time visiting this cafe and I was not disappointed. The food is fresh and always uses such great produce that it makes you want to try everything from their menu. The menus have changed since we last visited and I was disappointed to find that they did not sell the same types of jams I purchased from my last visit as I was ready to stock up on more jams and preserves. I definitely know I will be back again and hopefully there will be some more variations of jam for me to try =)

Poached Egg Roll

Poached Egg Roll 2

Poached Egg Roll

Miss Baller and Mr Muscles both ordered the poached egg roll and they both really enjoyed their meals. Mr Muscles had a similar meal the first time we visited Cornersmith but this time the poached roll had sliced radishes, and a mint salad. The ingredients were fresh and the crispy bun contrasted to the crunch of the salad and the softness of the poached egg. Mr Muscles and Miss Baller had no complaints and devoured their meal shortly after.

Poached Eggs on Sourdough

Mr Baller’s Meal: Poached Eggs served with Sourdough Toast, Pickled Beetroot, Buckwheat and Horseradish Labna

Mr Baller decided to order something different from everyone else and opted for the poached eggs served with sourdough toast with an accompaniment of various fresh ingredients. The meal looked really good on the plate with a variation of ingredients so that you could make your own sandwich or top your toast with all the different ingredients on the plate.

Carrot and Hazelnut Loaf Slice

My meal: Purple Carrot, Hazelnut, Ricotta & Honey Loaf Slice

Me being me had to eat something sweet compared to everyone else eating something savoury. Miss Baller pointed out this menu item to me when she was reading the blackboard and immediately I knew I had to order this. The loaf slice was so delicious I wish I had eaten two of them. The purple carrots paired really well with the hazelnuts and the ricotta which it was served with. Each bite crumbled and melted in my mouth and every so often you would get a piece of hazelnut which gave the bread a nice crunch. It was that good, that I decided to eat it more slowly towards the end, only to savour all the flavours. It was such a great meal that I definitely would go back to Cornersmith just to eat this again. And because it had carrots in it, I didn’t feel as guilty consuming it whole but of course anything that tastes this good can’t be good for you ;P

We had a lovely time catching up with this lovely couple, that we have discussed another double date brunch soon…can’t wait! =)

THE WEDGE ESPRESSO

Mr Muscles and I visited the Wedge Espresso in Glebe finally last weekend as I had really wanted to try out their breakfast plate after seeing so many pictures of it on Instagram (this is what I do lately, stalk food pics on Instagram and hope that eventually I’ll get to visit all these awesome cafes in Sydney one by one…here’s hoping ;P).

The Wedge Espresso is quite a small cafe situated in a small narrow street in Glebe close to the Glebe markets. The cafe itself is not set up in the type of setting that a cafe usually is in. This cafe is narrow and long with a few tables and chairs inside with the option of sitting on stools and eating on a bench off the side of the cafe. The cafe is cozy and small but is known for its sandwiches.

Mr Muscles and I got to the cafe around 11:30 and by this time there was one other group in front of us waiting for a table. We waited about 5 minutes and we were able to grab a table inside. Although everyone was ordering sandwiches as it was nearing lunch time, I knew I had to try the breakfast plate. In my mind, I knew I would come back to try the sandwiches again at a later date.

The Wedge Espresso

Wedge Espresso1

Wedge Espresso 2

Wedge Espresso 3

Menu

Food Menu

The Menu

Drinks Menu

Drinks Menu

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate: Avocado, Toast, Tomato & Basil, Boiled Egg, Prosciutto and a Mini Toasted Muesli Cup $14.00

I ordered the breakfast plate and was surprised at the size of it. I think in my mind I had imagined it to be a lot bigger though this did not deter me from trying out the food. The food was nice but difficult to eat as I found myself trying to bite the toast continuously with great difficulty. I think that the toast was just a tad bit too hard for my liking and the extra crispyness made it hard to eat.  The ingredients all went well together but I was hoping for more. The muesli on the otherhand, was a nice bircher style muesli – chai soaked oats, green apple, dates, figs and cinnamon. What I liked about the breakfast plate was that I could try a bit of everything and I was able to create my own toast and its toppings to what I liked. However the difficulty in eating it made me wish I had ordered a sandwich instead. I definitely want to try the smashed egg and ham roll or the poached chicken sandwich on my next visit. I ended the brunch feeling slightly peckish still so Mr Muscles took me to the Glebe Markets where we shared some dessert together there. Dessert always fixes everything! ;P

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich: Spring Onion, Mint, Coriander, Plum Sauce and Black Sesame $9.00

Beetroot Salad

Beetroot and Goat’s Curd Salad with Rocket, Walnuts and a Red Wine Vinaigrette $14.00

Mr Muscles ordered a sandwich and a salad on the side. The pulled pork sandwich looked pretty good when it was served in front of Mr Muscles and he was really keen on trying it. Once he bit into it and ate a few bites he didn’t seem to enjoy it as much. He said that the plum sauce seemed to be a bit too sweet which made the sandwich too sweet overall so that that was all he tasted. It really overpowered the pulled pork and the savoury flavour he was expecting. He regretted not ordering the poached chicken sandwich so I’m sure that we will be ordering a few different things next time we visit. The beetroot salad was nice and fresh and a good accompaniment to the sandwich.

Mr Muscles and I left the Wedge Espresso feeling that the food was a bit of a hit and a miss. The food had lovely flavours but nothing that left us wanting more. We definitely will have to try the cafe again to try out all the other sandwich offerings for next time.

KURTOSH

After the Wedge Espresso, we visited the Glebe Markets and found that Kurtosh had a stall there. I was extremely excited as I had read a lot about this and wanted to try the food at their Surry Hills store so I was in luck when we were wandering the markets that we were able to find this. Mr Muscles and I decided to share 1/2 a kurtosh which had roasted hazelnuts on the outside of it. Kurtosh are basically round circular chimney like rolls reminiscent of a donut/bread and baked in a special type of oven. You can get all different types of flavours and toppings such as cinnamon sugar, almonds and even nutella inside the actual kurtosh. We shared the kurtosh as we walked around the Glebe Markets and I wished we had ordered more as it was extremely addictive and we couldn’t stop eating it. It had a nice crisp texture but it was really smooth on the inside like bread and I loved the novelty factor of tearing apart each part of the “chimney”. I didn’t take a picture of the kurtosh we ate because we ate it too quickly…you know me and desserts ;P

The next day I was determined to go and visit the Surry Hills store to buy us some more Kurtosh fresh from the store.

Kurtosh

Kurtosh 1

Kurtosh 2

Kurtosh 3

Kurtosh 4

Kurtosh 5

Kurtosh 6

I was in awe of all the cake slabs and various desserts on offer at Kurtosh that if I wasn’t in a rush I would definitely take my time to see which cakes I would like to try. There were a few cake samples on the top of the counters for customers to try and also some kurtosh samples to try as well if you do not feel like having any of the other desserts.

At Kurtosh, everything is weighted so you can cut as little or as big of a slice of the cakes to your preference. I will definitely be coming back to this cafe to try out their cakes but I was on a mission at this stage and that was just to buy a kurtosh.

The Kurtosh are made fresh to order and the dough is rolled out and placed on a mould to rest there before it is baked in the oven. As soon as you order, the Kurtosh is placed into the oven to bake and once baked, the toppings of your choice are placed on the kurtosh.

Once again I don’t have a picture of my kurtosh (see photo of one I found on the net below) as Mr Muscles and I quickly ate it on the car ride to basketball and back. I did manage to get a few photos of the Kurtosh on display before it has been baked and the ones that have been baked already. Definitely will be back for more Kurtosh soon enough so hopefully more pictures to come ;P

Kurtosh 7

Kurtosh 8

A picture of what the Kurtosh looks like and the one I ordered – a cinnamon sugar Kurtosh…YUM!! ;p

So as you can see, the eating adventures have been plentiful as always…I’m thinking I need to cut back on the sweet food at some point in time…perhaps next time ;P

x

Jackie

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Filed under Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Western

JACKPOT visits the Tea Salon at the Victoria Room

Happy Monday dear readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend filled with plenty of rest and relaxation! I feel like the weekend has gone by in the blink of an eye and if anything I feel more exhausted than ever trying to pack everything into the weekend before the week starts again. I’m hoping to catch up on some sleep this weekend.

Besides playing a lot of basketball over the weekend, I managed to catch up with Mrs Papparazzi yesterday for lunch. It’s been awhile since we last caught up so it was a good to catch up on what’s been happening. We decided to try our luck and see if there were any tables available at the Victoria Room Tea Salon in Westfield Sydney as usually it’s quite busy. We were in luck as we were able to get a seat not long after we queued in line for a table. We were seated in the corner so it was good to get a somewhat private area to just chat amongst ourselves without being too disturbed by the other customers.

There is the option of having the normal high tea menu or ordering from the main menu. Mrs Papparazzi and I were quite indecisive that day so we chose to go for the easier option and opted for the Classic High Tea to eliminate any decisions and choices that had to be made. However the choice of scones was difficult in the end for me…so many to choose from and with only the choice of one scone ;P

Menu

The Menu

Tea Menu

The Tea Menu

Green Tea

Plate

Love the old fashion teacup and plate designs

High Tea

The Classic High Tea Set for 2 $38.00 pp

Sandwich Tier

The Sandwich Tier – Chicken & Wild Herbs, Smoked Salmon, Rocket, Lemon & Capers, Cucumber, Creme Fraiche & Dill and Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream & Baby Cress

Mrs Papparazzi and I started off the high tea with the bottom tier of finger sandwiches. There is quite a few variations of finger sandwiches made with either white bread or wholemeal brown bread. I loved the chicken & wild herbs sandwich despite it being on white bread and the smoked salmon on brown bread. Mrs Papparazzi loves white bread whereas I love brown bread so in the end it worked out as I ended up eating most of the brown bread sandwiches except for the roast beef as I have never been a fan of it since I was young. I liked the lightness of the sandwiches so that there was still room in my stomach for the rest of the sweet treats and scone.

May13foodpics 044

The Scones Tier

Date and Orange Scone

Date and Orange Scone

White Chocolate and Cranberry

White Chocolate and Cranberry Scone

Jam and Cream

Scones served with Cream, Strawberry Jam and Orange Marmalade

I decided to try a different scone this time as I had tried the Lavender scone on the previous time I visited and wanted to try something different. There were so may choices from savoury to sweet scones with various different flavours. I ended up picking the orange and date and was hoping that the orange wasn’t too overpowering and I was in luck as the orange flavour was subtle but paired well with the sweet dates. Mrs Papparazzi ended up choosing the white chocolate and cranberry scone which I have heard is really lovely. There is also a rose scone that they serve with bits of turkish delight inside the scone or if you have gluten intolerances, there is also a gluten-free scone which you can request for. I think I will try the gluten-free scone next time I have high tea here. My scone came with some orange marmalade however I’m not a fan of marmalade and ended up eating my scone with the classic strawberry jam instead…tasted really good! Scones and Jam – I can’t think of anything better!

The Assorted Sweeties

Assorted Sweeties – Dark Chocolate Cup with Chocolate Mousse & Strawberries, Seasonal Fruit Short Crust Tartlet (Rhubarb), Classic baked lemon cheesecake with Pistachios & a Vanilla Cupcake with Fresh Passionfruit Topping

Fruit Short Crust Tartlet

Rhubarb Fruit Custard Tartlet

Dark Chocolate Cup with Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries

Dark Chocolate Cup with Chocolate Mousse, Cream and a Strawberry

Cheesecake

Classic Baked Lemon Cheesecake with Pistachio Pieces

Vanilla Cupcake

I loved all the sweet food on offer. My massive sweet tooth ensured that I sampled each and every one of the desserts…yes I know I really need to stop eating so much dessert..I’m planning on eating healthy throughout this week hopefully ;p I loved the taste of the cheesecake. Rich and decadent and luckily served as a small portion because I’m pretty sure I could have eaten 10 of these in one sitting! Also I really loved the texture of the cupcake…it wasn’t dry and the frosting reminded me of the cupcakes I used to eat when I was a kid. I have to thank Mrs Papparazzi for taking some of the photos for me on my camera as I had eaten the sweet food before taking any close up photos of them…yep my big sweet tooth once again! ;p

It was a good catch up over a lovely high tea…I’m sure that I’ll be seeing Mrs Papparazzi again for another food adventure soon!

The Victoria Room Tea Salon

Westfield Sydney

Level 4 (Designer Gallery), Cnr Pitt Street Mall and Market Street

Sydney CBD NSW 2000

Phone: 02 9357 4488

Website: www.theteasalon.com.au

The Tea Salon Hours:

Monday – Sunday: 9:30am – 6:30pm (except Thursday 9:30am-9pm)

Light Refreshments served all day & Lunch and High Tea from 11:30am-4:30pm

So until next time everyone!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, High Tea, Restaurant, Scones, Scones, Sydney, Western

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 1

Hello dear readers!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far especially given the Easter long weekend meaning that this week is just a little bit shorter =)

I spent some of my Easter in Melbourne catching up with friends, playing a bit of basketball and of course indulging in various foods. As soon as I stepped into Melbourne it was as if I had gained the capacity of two stomaches and I could eat nearly twice or three times as much as I usually would in Sydney…yes food coma indeed…most times were spent clutching my stomach after over eating and although I knew I was full most of the time, the lure of the oh so yummy desserts on offer in Melbourne pulled me back in each time…I’m definitely guilty as charged when it comes to over eating this Easter…and did I mention Mr Muscles bought me an Easter treat which consisted of Lindt Easter Eggs (one large one and some small ones) which as soon as I received it I devoured most of the large easter egg…damn my sweet tooth again…I never learn for some reason! ;P

I will most likely be splitting this blog post into two parts as I realised I took a lot of photos from my Easter trip in Melbourne so stay tuned for Part 2.

Mr Muscles and I decided to get some dessert on the first night we arrived in Melbourne so we took a nice stroll down to Chinatown in search of some Taiwanese desserts. I wanted to go to Dessert Story as I had heard a lot about this place but as soon as we got there the place was packed and people were queuing outside the place. Dessert Story seems very similar to Meet Fresh offering the usual grass jelly and tofu pudding desserts. As I didn’t want to wait in line, we decided to go searching for other dessert places to kill my sweet tooth craving. Meet Fresh was just down the road but as we passed it, we noticed how busy the lines were as well. I didn’t realise how much of a mission it was to find a dessert place to eat at in Melbourne on Good Friday. Clearly everyone had thought the same thing and wanted to indulge in some dessert on the public holiday hence the masses of people lining up for these asian desserts. In the end Mr Muscles and I found a small Taiwanese dessert place which had a table available so we decided to try it out. I thought the desserts were ok but wasn’t as good as Meet Fresh back in Sydney. The sweet potato and taro balls were not of the same texture or consistency that Meet Fresh tastes like.

Taiwanese Dessert

Mr Muscles ordered Grass Jelly served with Sweet Potato and Taro Glutinous Balls along with Green Tea Jelly and Noodle Jellies.

I was feeling a bit cold from the weather in Melbourne so decided to get a hot dessert instead of an icy one. I chose the silky tofu pudding in ginger soup. I was hoping that this would be similar to what they serve in yum cha but the consistency again wasn’t really there. However it did the job of warming me up. I still rather enjoyed the dessert despite not being what I had expected. It was lovely and gingery. Definitely something I would eat during winter.

Silky Tofu in Ginger Soup

Silky Tofu Pudding in Ginger Soup with Brown Sugar Sprinkled on Top

The next morning, Mr Muscles and I couldn’t quite work out where to have breakfast. Initially we had planned to eat somewhere near the basketball courts for convenience but as we got up relatively early we decided to eat downstairs of the hotel and splurge on a buffet breakfast. Grand Hyatt (Collins Kitchen) have a very lavish buffet breakfast on offer with various foods to suit everyone’s taste buds. I was in awe of all the food and couldn’t quite decide what to eat at times but knew that I wanted to try nearly everything. It’s quite pricey for $40 a person but it’s definitely a one time thing that you have to experience. I can’t even remember the last time I had a proper buffet breakfast but I was happy that we tried this out as this was definitely an indulging weekend for the both of us. Though I started regretting the choice of a buffet breakfast after I started playing basketball not long after as I managed to overeat. My plan was simple: do not overeat (on the basis that I knew I was about to play basketball)…somewhere along the way my plan failed miserably as my stomach got the better of me and everything I saw I just wanted to try…fail indeed…

Thanks Mr Muscles for taking all these photos for me…I felt slightly shy about taking so many photos of the buffet whilst there were cooks looking over each time I had my camera in my hand, so Mr Muscles decided to go around taking photos instead.

Yoghurt

Various brands of yoghurt and Yakult

Juice

The juice table

Bread Station

Various breads to choose from where you can slice the size of bread you want and on the other side there was already pre sliced bread which you can toast and eat with various jams and spreads

Spreads and Jams

Spreads and Jams to go with the breads

Fruit

Various fruit to go with yoghurt or to make your own fruit salad

Eggs

The hot food station with sausages, crispy bacon and a chef who made omelette and eggs whichever way you wanted and with the ingredients of your choice (think he didn’t realise Mr Muscles was trying to take a picture of the hot food station)

Hot Food

Asian Station

This was the Asian food section consisting of steamed dim sims and dumplings and congee which you could make with various toppings.

Condiments

Various toppings to use for congee

Buffet Kitchen

Rice and Eggs

More Asian food: Noodles, Fried Rice and some scrambled eggs which was placed in the Asian section for some reason.

And to my most favourite station of the buffet: DESSERT!

Dessert Station

Pastries

Various danishes and croissants to choose from

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Muffins

Muffins!

Biscuits

Freshly baked biscuits

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Bread

Biscuit Jars

Crunchy Chocolate Biscuits

Almond Tuiles

Almond Tuiles

I started off my buffet breakfast with healthier items to not make me feel so bad when I started to indulge in all the sweet food. I realised that I didn’t eat much savoury food and stuck to all things sweet whilst Mr Muscles chose to eat all savoury foods not indulging in anything sweet.

Yoghurt Bowl

My yoghurt bowl consisting of natural yoghurt, strawberries, pineapple, crunchy nut granola and leatherwood honey

I really loved the do it yourself yoghurt, granola and fruit that I ended up getting 2 servings of this as it was really tasty.

Omelette

Mr Muscles’ made to order omelette

Pancakes

Pancakes made to order topped with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar

I was quite disappointed with my pancakes. They were dry and not very fluffy.

Danish and Croissant

Raspberry Danish and Mini Croissant

I chose the Danish and croissant because it looked quite tasty but upon eating it, I was disappointed as it was again dry =(

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun

Since it was Easter I decided to try their hot cross buns. There were the standard hot cross buns and then a chocolate and cherry one. I decided to go with the chocolate one. Again the bun was quite dry so it made it difficult to eat.

Banana Bread

Banana bread with various biscuits

I loved their banana bread and you had the option of toasting it which really made a difference. It was so good that I was tempted to get another one but since I had eaten so much and had chosen to eat this last I couldn’t fit another one in. The biscuits were really lovely as well with a nice crunch to them. I really adored the almond tuiles and definitely could have gone back for seconds, thirds…but alas food coma was getting the better of me.

I realised I didn’t take too many photos of the savoury food that Mr Muscles ate. He also thought that while there were plenty of options for food at this buffet, the taste of the food was lacking in some areas. It was a bit of a hit and miss with various foods. Mr Muscles tried out some of the Asian foods such as the steamed dumplings and the fried rice. He quite enjoyed the fried rice and he also got a portion of scrambled eggs so that we could share. I quite enjoyed the scrambled eggs and that was perhaps the only savoury thing I ate apart from some bread I sliced for myself and toasted.

I really loved that there was a whole station dedicated to dessert. You could either choose pancakes or waffles. Because my pancakes were dry I wasn’t sure what the waffles would taste like so I didn’t order them. I wish I had chosen waffles instead of pancakes looking back though. Also, I loved that there were various bircher muesli on offer in the cabinet of the dessert station which were presented in glass cups.

The buffet itself was very pretty, very lavish and with so many options, it was hard to try everything without feeling over full. I didn’t even get to try everything and I still felt quite full. All in all it was a good breakfast to start the morning and that yoghurt and fruit with their crunchy granola was really a highlight for me for the buffet =)

After the buffet and basketball we caught up with Miss G and Mr D over lunch. Miss G and Mr D have been living in Melbourne for a while so know the best places to eat. They took us to eat at Two Birds One Stone as Miss G was telling me that they serve a yoghurt pannacotta for breakfast (which is served all day) so I was keen to try this out.

Two Birds One Stone is a lovely little cafe located in a small street in South Yarra. There are tables inside and outside of the cafe and when we got there the cafe was quite busy. We took a seat outside as there was no space inside and each time a waitress would come out with various people’s dishes I was having serious food envy. All the food looked so good and delicious and whilst I wanted to eat something savoury I knew my inner sweet tooth was craving the yoghurt pannacotta so I decided to go with that instead.

cafe

inside cafe

The inside of the cafe

Freshly Baked Muffins

Freshly baked muffins

Cakes

Various cakes on offer – the cheesecake brownie looks awesome!

The Menu

The Menu

Mr D's Coffee

Mr D’s Coffee

Mr Muscles Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Ms G's Coffee

Miss G’s Coffee

Info about Coffee

Tasting notes for Miss G’s Coffee

My Green Tea

My White Peony Green Tea

Corn Fritters

Mr Muscles’s meal: Corn Fritters with house smoked salmon, avocado & snow pea tendrils $17.50

Mr Muscles ordered the corn fritters which looked really lovely on the plate. These corn fritters were a little different from the usual type of fritters we have eaten before. The texture was a lot softer instead of the usual crisiper ones that we usually order from other cafes. Mr Muscles enjoyed his meal however he stated that the serving size was rather on the small side and had hoped that there would be more on the plate.

side

Mr Muscles’s side: Ham Hock Beans $4.00

Mr Muscles ordered an extra side of Ham Hock Beans to go with his corn fritters. He enjoyed his side of beans as it was gone not long after he had eaten his first spoonful.

Two Birds Meal

Mr D ordered the Two Birds meal consisting of scrambled eggs on toast with mushrooms, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, homemade sausage and bacon, haloumi, ham hock beans and an extra piece of toast for Miss G.

When the plate came out I was surprised at how large the serving was for this big breakfast. Mr D and Miss G really enjoyed sharing this meal together. Definitely something to eat when you are feeling extra hungry or just want to indulge in some savoury goodness!

Miss G and I both ordered the yoghurt pannacotta and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Yoghurt Pannacotta

Yoghurt Panna cotta with Kaffir Lime, Fresh Fruit & Nut Cluster $12.50

The yoghurt pannacotta was soooo good! It was like eating dessert but in a bit of a healthier way and that you could eat this for breakfast or lunch. The nut clusters gave it a nice texture compared to the smoothness of the panna cotta and I liked how you could taste the tartness from the yoghurt. In no time at all, I finished the whole dish and had wished there was more but once again, food coma came into play and I was soon clutching my stomach as I felt that I was still quite full from the breakfast but I really couldn’t say no to pannacotta.

I really want to try a lot of the other dishes next time I go back to visit Melbourne…I saw a few customers order the charred polenta with mushrooms and the smashed avocado and feta on toast…definitely something I’m coming back to try!

Thanks Miss G and D for showing us this place…it’s a great find for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

To be continued with a post on the Prahran Markets and a breakfast at Cumulus Inc….so stay tuned!

Collins Kitchen (Grand Hyatt Lobby)

123 Collins Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9657 1234

Website: http://www.melbourne.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-melbourne-grand/index.jsp?null

Two Birds One Stone Cafe

12 Claremont Street,

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 9827 1228

Trading Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm and Weekends 8am – 4pm

Website: http://www.twobirdsonestonecafe.com.au/

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Lunch, Melbourne, Melbourne, Pancakes, Restaurant, Toast, Waffles, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT visits EXCELSIOR JONES

Good Morning dear readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I’m definitely feeling some Monday-itis this morning and trying to somehow keep awake even though my eyes are struggling to stay open. I guess that’s what happens when you try to pack in too much into one weekend. I will be posting up one of my baking experiments soon as I was eager to try out some new recipes so stay tuned for the next recipe post on my blog.

I wanted to visit a new cafe as I usually try to visit some new cafes on my Saturdays that I have free. As I was so exhausted from the week before due to work and everything else, I woke up a lot later than anticipated so I was worried that by the time I headed out to brunch that it would be too busy as most people tend to eat brunch around 10:30-11am. I still decided to try my luck and decided upon going to Excelsior Jones as I had read a lot about this new cafe from various blogs. I had also read that their serving sizes were rather on the small size so in anticipation of this, I knew that we needed to probably order a dish to share between Mr Muscles and I to accommodate for his hunger ;P

Excelsior Jones is located in Ashfield in the corner of a street where there aren’t any other cafes in sight. Mr Muscles was telling me how this cafe was probably something that was needed around this area as there aren’t many popular cafes situated here. We got to the cafe around 11am and found the cafe to be quite full where we had to wait for a table initially but as we were about to sit down on a bench to wait, a couple were just leaving so we got shown to the table within a few minutes. One thing I must mention is that the staff are very friendly, very attentive and are always very quick to check if there is anything you need. They also quickly cleaned the dishes off our table when we were done with our plates. You can tell the service here is important and that the staff are more than accommodating to the customers’ needs.

Excelsior Jones Sign

Excelsior Jones

Door

Kitchen

Inside

Specials Board

Diners

Diners 2

Counter

The inside of the cafe is simple with simple furniture and accessories used for each table yet modern at the same time. You can see inside the kitchen from the side of the restaurant and each time the waitress would pass our table, I would eye out all the food that passed us by. There were some great looking dishes and you can tell that they emphasise the importance of presentation for each dish to really enhance the fresh and flavourful ingredients that they use.

Pork Hash

Mr Muscles Meal: Pork Hock Hash with Pearl Shallots, Fried Buckwheat, Poached Egg & Fresh Herbs $16.00

Mr Muscles really enjoyed his meal. It was similar to a deconstructed hash browns. The flavours were rich and the ingredients were fresh. The meal itself was rather on the heavy side despite it being quite small in size. Mr Muscles finished his dish in no time at all. I saw other customers eye down his food as he was eating it and asking the waitresses what this dish was so you could tell that this dish seemed very appealing to customers. This was the most expensive item on the menu however the dish itself really combined flavours and ingredients you probably wouldn’t think went well together but somehow mixed well together. The best part was once you poked the poached egg, the yolk just oozed out on top of the rest of the ingredients in the dish. I think Mr Muscles would definitely order this dish again.

And because he was feeling extra hungry, he ordered a side of toast with butter.

Toast

Toast with Butter $5.00

Pikelets

My meal: Sourdough Pikelets with Stewed Strawberries and Custard $13.00

Close up

A close up of my pikelets – look at how juicy those strawberries look! I kinda wish I had some right now ;P

I had been wanting these pikelets ever since I saw them on various food blogs so I knew I really wanted to order it for my meal. I was surprised at how light these pikelets were and that they didn’t leave you feeling heavy. The portion size was rather on the small side for me as I was hoping that I could have more after I demolished the dish whole. The pikelets were also surprisingly not that sweet like usually pikelets I have tasted which I liked. The stewed strawberries were very soft and melted in your mouth with each bite. The custard was nice but very thin almost more to the consistency of milk. I really enjoyed the dish and definitely will order these pikelets the next time I visit this cafe. I however was not full after eating this so Mr Muscles decided to order me a side of fruit and yoghurt to accompany my meal.

Fruit

Shared dish: Poached and Fresh Summer Fruits with Sweet Oats and Yoghurt $10.00

The fruit and yoghurt accompanied with some oats was very fresh and tasty. I liked the contrast between having fresh fruit in the dish alongside poached fruit (I think pear). The dish is simple and not complicated. Definitely something to have if you are feeling like a very light meal. I really want to try the House Made Granola next time along with the Sautéed Field Mushrooms on Toast. I’ve also heard that their lunch menu is nice too where they serve Cheeseburgers with Angus Beef and Gruyere.

All in all I enjoyed my visit to Excelsior Jones. This is definitely an up and coming cafe as more and more people are finding out about this cafe and visiting more frequently. I like that the service is attentive and that the turn around for a table is quick and efficient so you are not waiting too long. I think this cafe is definitely a hidden gem in a street that really needed a cafe like this.

Excelsior Jones

Excelsior Jones

139A Queen Street

Ashfield NSW 2131

Ph: (02) 9799 3240

Website: http://www.excelsiorjones.com/

Trading Hours:

Tues-Fri 7:30am-4pm

Sat & Sun 8am-4pm

Until Next Time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Fruit, Pancakes, Restaurant, Sydney, Toast, Western, Yoghurt