Saturday, May 28, 2011

Manly Eats

When I arrived home from Japan in March I discovered there had been a few changes in Manly town! Several new cafes and food related shops had sprung up in my absence, adding to the rejuvenation of the area which was given a good rev up a couple of years ago with the arrival of Hugos and  more recently with Manly Pavillion. 

Historically the food in the village has been pretty crap.  OK, OK that is a generalisation... (but a fairly apt one).  There have been a couple of beauties along the way of course but sadly several of them have not lasted the distance. We are talking about a fickle beachside town - stupid busy in Summer and almost dead in Winter. Thankfully that appears to be slowly changing with what looks to be a steady flow of people traffic this cool season.  And with good reason.

Mr Zumbo has moved in and a couple of relatively newish local joints such as Jah bar, The pantry, Barefoot coffee traders, The Troubadour, Miss Marleys, Manly Wine bar and the revamped Bower cafe have been serving up decent coffee and/ or pretty good food and cocktails of late. Thank the lord!

But Organicus seems to have become my regular for brekkie... the atmosphere is fairly laid back,  the food and coffee are pretty damn fine and everything is, as the name would suggest, organic and made on the premises with care. They have a great display of excellent looking salads and other luscious take away items -  muffins, cakes, bread etc so if you are looking for something quick on your lunchbreak or a lovely picnic in the park it is worth dropping in. 
Croque Madame.... mmmmm please

 Great choice for the kidlets too...

I also had a delicious breakfast at The Pantry recently. The view is stupendous, right on the beachfront...  and if the morning offerings are anything to go by the midday meal looks very promising indeed. Some good cookin' going on in that small kitchen...  (even the position above the public toilets won't put me off returning soon). More on this spot later...

The recently opened Hemingway's is worth a look. I also had breakfast there this week ( I seem to be doing little else but eating eggs at the moment ...) and scoffed a fairly decent bacon and egg roll - although the bread was a little too chewy for my liking but early days (week 1 in fact!). The breakfast menu is small and the bowl of coco pops didn't really inspire me -  but I suspect it is lunch, dinner and later in the evening that will be more of a focus. It is a quirky menu and if they pull it off it could be a lot of fun. Its following the trail of that whole dude food movement and I look forward to seeing how it goes...

If you are visiting from out of the area and looking for a quick coffee -  Bacino Bar and Barefoot are the go ! And I hear a rumour the Barefoot folk are opening up in the space next to Adriano's joint. So yay - one more fab spot to enjoy a cup- o-Joe and a sneaky macaron... I have yet to get a seat at Infinity Sourdough Bakery - actually it is generally so busy you can barely get a foot in the door - but I hear they have good coffee too.  Let you know when I find out...

I'll keep adding to this post as I stumble across the new places that keep cropping up.  (And perhaps include a few older ones too if they are lifting their game with the influx of competition...)

I don't know how this came to be but I love this thongy installation - it is near the council carpark behind the library - check it out while it lasts. 

Mizuya Karaoke Restaurant

A couple of posts ago I talked about a girls' night out at the fabulous Absinthe Salon. 
In fact that night was part of  an hilarious girls' weekend to celebrate my cousin Julie's 40th Birthday. 
Thankfully there was no absinthe hangover so we were able to front up in full force for a long Karaoke lunch the following day. The image above gives a pretty good indication of the level of festivity.... It was FUN!   

For a day time event it ended up being so much more enjoyable than I had anticipated (Karaoke in Oz is usually something tagged onto the end of a booze fuelled night)  - but what surprised me the most was that the food was actually quite decent (in context of course). 
Order via the touchscreen in the wall. If you spend enough money on food and drink your crooning time is complimentary...

 Sushi, Chicken Karaage, Edamame
Takoyaki ( octopus fritters) and Tempura

Lotus chips and Kakuni (simmered pork)
Cheese filled mochi and Gyoza

And after one last slow song from "M'Shell" we headed back to our base at the Casino apartments where the evening began.... and ended. Very late...
Breathtaking view from our room.
The Casino isn't the first place I would think of to stay in Sydney but it was super convenient and the 3 bedroom apartments we booked were very comfortable and well appointed.   The whole area is becoming a lot more user friendly for those who wish to do things other than throw away their money on the blackjack table. There is a pretty little street just across the road from the back of the Casino that leads you to several cafes and there we found a top spot for breakfast  - Cafe XXII  - which I will post about shortly.

You will find Mizuya Karaoke Restaurant HERE.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Berardos Bistro on the Beach - Noosa Australia

Idyllic beachside setting. Iconic Noosa Restaurant offshoot. Perfect day. Tasty tucker. Great mates. 
Say no more. 

Both Berardos Restaurant and Bar and Berardos Bistro on the Beach are situated on Hastings street, Noosa, Queensland, Australia. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coco (gogo!)

Whilst waiting to pick up my laptop from the doctor recently I had bit of a gander around Mosman and was surprised to see quite a change from the last time I had cause to be in the area. This gorgeous chocolate shop (did the name Coco give it away?)  is tucked away behind the main intersection at Spit Junction in a tiny precinct known as the Myahgah Mews.  The small triangular shaped pocket houses a couple of fab boutiques, cafes and food stores including the cavernous and delectable Fourth Village Providore (or '4th mortgage providore' as the locals have nicknamed it... I say - its worth paying decent money for quality product and will post on my visit later).  
Coco is the brainchild of Aussie woman, Rebecca Knights-Kerswell, who opened her first store in the UK before returning home to open a couple more. The chocolate is excellent (and yes I am qualified to determine this fact being a discerning chocoholic) and comes in a fantastic range of flavours (many of which I managed to sample in one afternoon!) using organic and quality ingredients. 

Pretty bars of Dark chocolate with Rose and Black pepper, Orange and geranium,  Tobacco, or Cardamom and Cinnamon. Milk chocolate with Lime and Coconut,  Caramel, pinenuts and sea salt (oozing with liquid caramel), Lavender.   White chocolate with Cranberries and spice or  mixed berry and vanilla bean - you get the idea...   The choice is extensive and all tasted were Deeevine.

English style rose and violet creams, Truffles, Pralines,  Nougat, Candied rose petals, Scorched almonds - I could go on.... but instead I urge you to either visit one of their stores as fast as your feet can get you there or take a look at their website - they even have an online store. Dangerous.

Coco's  packaging is printed with unique, commissioned artwork turning the already sensational chocolate into the most stunning gifts. 

The Mosman store is a treasure chest filled with the mingling aromas of cocoa, spices, roasted nuts and natural fruit and flower essences. And it is all sooo girly and lovely. 

Luscious triple Choc dipped cherries soaked in kirsch for 6 months - ooh yeah.

Chocolate flakes are mixed with fine cocoa for making the same luscious hot chocolate you can enjoy at the store. The drinking chocolate comes in a huge range including chilli, nutmeg and white chocolate with lemongrass, lavender and vanilla.

Go on - give yourself a little winter treat and pop over for a fabbo hot chocolate or a coffee to get you started then spend some time perusing the store - it is small but JAM-PACKED and I promise you every time you turn around you will find something new to sniff or taste!  It really is like one of those old fashioned kid in a candy store experiences. Only better!