Jamaica Blue
Westfield Hornsby
Hornsby, Sydney

One of the more prolific chains of cafes around Sydney is Jamaica Blue. They actually have 16 outlets in Sydney alone, and others across Australia in just about every state. They even have two in Westfield Hornsby alone.

We've often drifted past one or the other of their Hornsby outlets but usually on our way somewhere else.

Sometimes we've simply stopped to grab a quick take away coffee.

This time we decided to drop in for a quick bite and of course a coffee.

Mlady had the salmon quiche which came served hot with a wedge of lemon and a side salad. It was a decent sized serving. Sir had the smoked salmon wrap that also came served toasted and warm with a side salad. Both dishes were nice. 

Jamaica Blue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


The Bank Hotel
324 King St
Newtown, Sydney

Never judge a book by its cover. The Bank Hotel may seem like your average pub but venture inside and you'll find a lovely hotel that flows through to an oasis in the Beer Garden. It's lovely there, with lots of timber, leafy branches, lounges, wicker chairs and hanging lanterns.

A lot of effort has also been put into the new menu too and the variety and quality was impressive. They even had duck sausage rolls with HP Sauce - Mlady was impressed with this! The enormous pride in The Bank Hotel of licensee Jake Toivonen shows through in everything he does. We were fortunate to have him recommend some dishes for us and to also show us around later on. It's a huge place too, spread over three levels. The upstairs indoor/outdoor area was also great!

The smoked oysters with creme fraiche, tabasco and crackers was a great starter.

We just loved the contrasts in this appealing entree - the soft sweetness of the creme fraiche compared with the salty smoked oysters and the bite of the tabasco.

It had tang, taste and texture all in one lovely combination and yet it was also so simple.

The crumbed mozzarella,  "saltimbocca" and tomato vinaigrette was to die for.

The crispy outer coating gave way to an oozing mozzarella centre that was enhanced with a tasty prosciutto wrapping.

This was an amazing dish that is understandably very popular here at The Bank and we'd eagerly have it again next time!

Of course it's still a pub (or Hotel) so you can obviously get a range of drinks here!

Apart from the usual array of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails on offer they also have specials from time to time.

On our visit we just had to try the Tijuana Colada - this drink looked amazing in it's jar with colourful straws protruding.

It also tasted just as amazing too!

Mlady started with a non-alcoholic drink and had a lovely Strangelove Organic Energy Elixir of Ginger Beer which was extremely refreshing, as it was a muggy day.

The pizza's here are certainly impressive.  We tried two and loved them both.  First was the potato,  broccoli and fennel sausage pizza.  This had such a great mix of flavours, the sauce with it was great and the thin base was lovely.  We then had the roast prawn, harissa and black cabbage pizza which had a real bite to it. Prawns and chilli go so well together - and adding a thin pizza base caps it all off very nicely!

Mlady's main course was not a huge surprise given her favourite was on the menu. She had the crisp skin salmon with horseradish mash and nicoise.

The skin was indeed nicely crisp, just as described in the menu and exactly how Mlady likes it.

Mlady absolutely loved the horseradish mash. It had lovely flavours that fortunately didn't overpower the salmon and the nicoise capped it all off nicely.

I must admit I am partial to larger servings for my meals - it's my inner glutton showing through. Well I was certainly pleased to find that my main course was a massive serving!

I had what was probably the largest meal on offer - the 500g sirloin on the bone with onion rings and cress.

The steak was a lovely cut of meat that was cooked to order - medium rare.

I have to also confess that the presence of onion rings is also a huge attraction for me when ordering some meals. This was one such occasion and I was extatic to find that the onion rings were the biggest I've ever seen - they were absolutely huge, and yet at the same time tender and very tasty.

Desserts are brought in at The Bank Hotel from Pat and Stick's.

Their sweets - or sweeties as they're described in the menu - are simple but oh so effective.

We started with a vanilla ice cream sandwich which was lovely and so easy to eat with the biscuits on the outside. Then the caramel pecan ice cream sandwich was just as nice!

Jake Toivonen
The Bank Hotel is an wonderful oasis in the heart of Newtown. It has great food and service in pleasant surroundings. We were impressed and we saw that many more were as well!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of The Bank Hotel. Special thanks to Jake Toivonen for his time and suggestions. Thanks also to Gabby and Tim for looking after us on our visit. Thanks also to Kimberley Stewart of Agency G for arranging our visit.

 The Bank Hotel on Urbanspoon


Michel's Patisserie
Thornleigh Marketplace
2-12 The Comenarra Parkway
Thornleigh, Sydney

We received a lovely Valentines Day gift from Michel's Patisserie - through their Thornleigh cafe. The lovely mud cake for two was not only a pleasant surprise, it was delicious too! These tasty treats are not only available for Valentines Day, the cake is available all year round. Lovely!


Bert's Pies
Available at many Merivale venues

Merivale have decided to add to their already massive variety of food offerings by bringing us all Bert's Pies named after Bettina Hemmes - pie lover and nicknamed Bert.

These pies were the winner in a Merivale competition among their chefs - with Alex Woolley of the three hatted est. restaurant taking the honours.

We started our evening with the new sausage rolls  that are also available - Bert's Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls.

The pastry was so flaky and tasty and the pork and fennel filling went perfectly and was packed with flavour.

The tomato sauce was nice too - it was homemade and was quite mild.

Then we started on the pie - the reason we were all here at Palings Kitchen and Bar.

The pie was extremely tasty with good chunky pieces of tender beef surrounded by a delicious gravy. The pastry was again great as well.

Add some smooth mash and sauteed winter greens and you certainly have a great meal that is also very affordable.

Bert's Pies are a great addition to the menu's of a wide range of Merivale venues. They aren't available at all their places - but quite a few. Give them a go - we loved them and the others at our media function seemed to as well.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Merivale. Special thanks to Rebecca Gibbs for arranging this Exclusive Media Tasting Dinner.