This is not your average omelette, but a creative masterpiece with a choice of two fillings. We chose the 8-hour slow-cooked pork.Read More
The Penang Fried Koay Teow was such a tasty dish. These spicy flat rice noodles came with king prawns - and plenty of them too!Read More
These dim sims astounded us - the biggest we've ever had - massive! They were juicy on the inside and crisp and golden on the outside.Read More
We started with an old favourite - prawn and garlic chive dumplings - although to be honest most of our choices were old favourites!Read More
2A William St
Tucked away around the corner from the highway in suburbia Turramurra is the quaint, quirky and somewhat hidden Replay Espresso.
It's cosy but uses its space well and focusses on good coffee, a selection of tasty looking cakes and pastries on display at the counter and a range of hot cooked meals from the menu.
It arrived at our table brewing in a beautiful purple cast iron teapot that looked great - and fortunately tasted just as good as well.
Then there's the coffee. It's done well and having tried their brews it's easy to see why its popular.
Hasn't acai become popular lately?
This berry like product from a type of palm tree has a name that half the world struggles to pronounce correctly - including us originally - ah-sigh-he.
Not that this growing popularity is a bad thing as it's good for you and goes well with so many things.
This version was an acai bowl with fig and maple granola in clusters served with sliced banana and shredded coconut.
It was a big, bold, colourful and tasty serving that was extremely filling.
Apart from the cooked to order meals there is also a good selection of pre-prepared sandwiches, croissants and other bread filled goodies,
On this occasion the choice was a simple ham and cheese toastie.
This was already prepared and just had to be toasted. Nevertheless, it had good fillings and was nice and tasty.
It did look spectacular when it arrived at the table with a big dollop of purple yoghurt beside freshly cut pieces of fruit all on top of crispy muesli.This was a feel good dish - you feel good for eating healthy and the tasty is a bonus.
This was crushed avocado, grilled halloumi, roasted tomato and basil pesto on organic sourdough with a soft boiled egg. The egg was a side and you can order more eggs or other sides. It was a hearty brunch and we do love halloumi any time of the day!
Venture inside - you have to anyway as you need to order at the counter - and check out whats there before you choose.
If you like good coffee they will keep you happy too.
Artisan Soudough & Seeded Breads
61-71 Mentmore Ave,
Grain is a bakery first and foremost, producing a wide variety of lovely sourdough and seeded bread varieties on the premises.
But it’s important to also realise that this is a café too, with a great menu and a lot of quirky recycled furnishings giving the whole place huge charm and appeal.
It may be a bit hard to find as there is no signage allowed on the building but it’s definitely worth making the effort to find this great place.
The décor is really delightful and certainly interesting, with a row of old cinema seats down one side and both modern and antique furniture living happily together.
The large window, which shows part of the bakery workings, is a nice feature.
To start the experience, Dame K chose a Single Origin Ceylon tea and Dame M had her fix of a flat white from Cabrito coffee beans.
Both were very nice drops.
The breakfast menu is offered until 11.30 each day and the lunch menu follows, with really tempting sandwich and salad options.
Dame K decided on the toasted brioche roll with free-range bacon and eggs, tomato relish, BBQ sauce and Swiss cheese. The combination sounded so good! The brioche roll turned out to be big and beautiful. Despite the size, the brioche was soft and light so it wasn’t a heavy meal. The filling was tasty, the bacon was crispy and the eggs oozed to perfection!
For Dame M, it was the smashed avocado, Persian feta, soft boiled eggs, pistachio and basil.
This smashed avo dish was just as impressive with great visual appeal.
The Persian feta was silky and combined so well with the beautifully cooked eggs and the toast gave it a nice crunch.
What a delicious dish!
We couldn’t leave without trying something from the lunch menu, so we opted for a sandwich with slow roasted pork loin, spring onion salsa, hummus and sesame. It was a very substantial sandwich, stuffed full of goodies which really complemented each other. It was also a winner. We also saw some amazing looking salads come out while we were grazing so we’ve made a mental note to try some next time.
And the bread!!
Where do we start when it comes to talking about the delicious goodies they have here.
We had to take some home - it was impossible to resist!
The Dames love good sourdough and these loaves impressed us with their light centres and authentic flavour.
Grain is open 6 days a week currently (closed Sunday) between 8am and 4pm and is located in a large brick warehouse building.
The building is being renovated to house other specialty businesses which will move in soon and give visitors a gourmet centre experience.
Well done to owner Brian Horgan for bringing this to the people and to the lovely Alfie and staff who looked after us so well.
Those Dames, who review for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, were guests of Grain. Special thanks to Clive Morley for arranging this visit.
Level 3 Macquarie Centre (outside the centre)
Cnr Herring and Waterloo Rds
Macquarie Park, North Ryde, Sydney
Even though Open Kitchen is described in it's name as a yum cha restaurant, they have a far more expansive menu.
They do of course offer yum cha during the day and are at their busiest on weekends where there is often a queue at peak times.
It's a little hard to find because it's listed as being on level 3 of Macquarie Centre but it's actually part of but outside the centre. Ask if you're not sure because it's worth finding. We started with some green tea while we looked at the menu.
We started with a serving of sesame prawn rolls - plump prawn pieces inside crispy fried thin pastry covered in a generous coating of crunchy sesame seeds. They arrived hot in a serving of three and were certainly tasty. We also had some lovely BBQ pork pastries - crisp pastries filled with a rich mix of tangy pork.
Prawn dumplings are a favourite of ours for most yum cha sessions - especially steamed ones - and a serving of four meant we didn't have to fight over an odd number or cut one in half! The same applied to the tasty English spinach dumplings - which were actually prawn and spinach.
Finally it was on to their xiao lung bao - four steamed thin pastry pods filled with a delicious light soup. These were really good. We also finished with some steamed pork and prawn shumai. These were packed and a more substantial and filling dumpling - going perfectly with the small dipping bowl of chilli sauce.
We enjoyed the food at Open Kitchen. It was fresh, tasty and arrived quickly. Service was efficient and the place is big but nicely set out. Ordering is from the menu rather than from passing trolleys, so it's a bit different - but it still works and it certainly seemed popular with a queue to prove it.
Top Ryde City Shopping Centre
Crn Devlin St and Blaxland Rd
The place had an outside reception area roped off with floral arrangements and they even had red carpet for the VIP guests - a nice touch.
The atmosphere was buzzing with the crowds milling and the smell of lovely food wafting out. Our appetites were growing.
It was like being in the middle of a pretty bamboo forest - but with food being delivered by the second - that's our kind of forest!
Then nibbles came flying out of the kitchen and our hunger started being quickly satisfied.
Quick hands were snapping them up in a flash: spring rolls, mini peking duck pancakes, dumplings, pork sui mai.
Our favourite was the duck pancakes which we saw being feverishly assembled at the bar.
The flavours were good and we love our duck!
The atmosphere was buzzing, the food was abundant, the drinks were flowing and the entertainment was exciting.
It was ticking all the boxes of a great launch and a great night.
We learned that there were around 250 people invited to this event so it was certainly an accomplishment to have catered so expertly while maintaining the quality of the food.
Lan Yuan opens daily for yum-cha at 11 am and closes at 10pm with easy parking at the shopping centre.
Those Dames, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of Lan Yuan. Big thanks also to Vanessa from Wasamedia for the invitation and arranging everything so professionally.
92 Majors Bay Rd
The area has predominantly Italian and Greek eating houses, so this modern Asian jewel in the crown of Concord is one you must treat yourself to. On approach, you are immediately drawn in by the upbeat feel of the place with its heated outdoor area and stylish decor. We were greeted at the door and shown through the open dining room to a cosy booth table. The place has a great vibe, decorated in warm Asian murals and black contrasts with a vibrantly lit and funky cocktail bar.
The menu looks great and there is a tempting specials board. Owner Phil explained the dishes we were interested in, the specials and their ingredients in some detail.
Johnny at the bar suggested we try the cocktail of the day, which was a raspberry martini. That sounded too good to pass up and it was truly delectable.
Although the choice was tough, we decided on the Pork and Prawn Dumplings and Chow Fan Noodles to start with.
The dumplings were very tasty and came served in a light soy sauce.
The delicious Chow Fan Noodles were rolled rice noodle topped with a slightly sweet sesame sauce.
We loved them both.
Then our mains arrived.
Our first main was the lovely Salt and Pepper king prawns. We were advised that these are a very popular dish at Wok Chow and we could easily see why.
They were so crispy on the outside and yet stayed succulent and tender inside.
They were quite a treat.
We witnessed the golden house-cooked duck coming out of the oven and being sliced for this dish so we know it isn’t outsourced!
The Black Pepper and Garlic Beef in a hot pot was simply melt-in-the-mouth and full of flavor. We loved this dish! Now although we don’t get too excited about fried rice, Phil persuaded us to give it a try. It was wonderful stuff and it tasted very different. We realised it had less oil and plenty of fresh herbs, making it an exceptional fried rice. In fact, the freshness of the ingredients really shone through in all the food.
With a little notice, Phil and his team can even put on a special banquet for your group if you crave a certain something and it’s not on the menu. (Think mud crab or salt and pepper lobster!)
Even the staff come back and dine here when they are not working, which says a lot. Fully licensed but also BYO wine if you prefer, Wok Chow seats around 40 inside and the same outside. It's open from 5pm until late every day and also do a popular take away trade too.
Newsflash: Wok Chow hosts a Mingles Night (singles and friends) every Tuesday evening with $10 cocktails and $5 wines to help break the ice! Other theme nights are also regularly featured.
BBQ and Hot Pot tables are also available for groups of 6 or more when booked in advance.
Those Dames, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of Wok Chow. Thanks to owner Phil together with Maggie and Johnny for their warm and welcoming service and thanks also to head chef Jian Li and his team who make the kitchen sparkle. Special thanks also to Jo Lincoln from redesignIT for arranging this visit.
Shop 4005, Level 1
Top Ryde City Shopping Centre
Crn Devlin St and Blaxland Rd
Lan Yuan literally means Bamboo Garden, and once you arrive here you'll instantly know that you're in the right place! There's bamboo everywhere!
The food is Cantonese, but with innovative twists in many dishes that work really well.
Lan Yuan is in the piazza at Top Ryde City shopping centre, a great foodie hub. In fact it sits above the piazza looking down from the first floor so you need to get there from inside the centre rather than outside from the piazza.
They seat around 90 but this may expand in the near future. They also do a popular yum cha by day before switching to their dinner menu.
Robert, our other waiter, recommended the seafood san choi bao. We love san choi bao anyway, but this variation was packed with prawns, scallops, vegetables and crispy noodles and served in lettuce leaves - as expected.
The sauce was surprisingly subtle so you could still taste the delicious seafood.
Pippies can sometimes be fiddly things to eat, but these ones were so plump it wasn't a hassle at all. These wok fried pippies were served with a tasty but not overpowering XO chilli sauce with some kick but not to much.
The Lan Yuan fried rice was a treat, packed with fresh prawns and scallops and topped with colourful crab roe.
We ended up having the wok fried rock lobster with soy, ginger and shallots.
The lobster was beautifully cooked and there was so much of it. We were in heaven. The flavours of the sauce went so well too - it was a lovely dish.
If you like a dish with a real kick - a big kick in fact - then you have to try the Szechuan pepper chicken.
It's a powerful dish that has a massive serving of tender chicken served with a generous topping of black peppercorns and loads of dry chilli.
It looks like it would be hot and it is hot.
This was again a big serving with tender beef coated in a tangy but surprisingly delicate house made wasabi sauce.
Some may be scared off by the word "wasabi", but don't be, it's purely for flavour and not for heat.
Any of the dishes with the words Lan Yuan in the name are basically signature dishes. The Lan Yuan salt and pepper crispy bean curd was exceptional. It was so light and fluffy inside with a nice delicately crisp outer layer. The flavours were lovely too.
It's a great way to eat your veggies and enjoy them - especially for kids!
This very tasty version had a crisp coconut crumb batter surrounding vanilla ice cream.
You then choose your topping - chocolate, caramel or strawberry (or all if you must)! Mlady chose chocolate - no surprises there.
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Lan Yuan. Special thanks to James, Robert and Naterlie for looking after us so well. Big thanks also to Vanessa Gregory from Wasamedia for arranging our visit.
End of Suakin Drive
Georges Heights (near Mosman), Sydney
It's hard to put into words just how picturesque this place really is. With sweeping views out across the harbour is easy to see why this is so popular for weddings and special occasions.
There are also the lovely walks in the surrounding bushland too - with many people working up an appetite by doing this first, or working off their food afterwards with a stroll in nature.
But it always seems to come back to those views and of course the charm of the building, the area and the history associated with it all.
This was a real gunners barracks. Constructed in 1873 it was the last military building in Sydney made entirely of stone. It was built to last - and it has!
Of course when you think of high tea you often associate it with champagne - and you won't be disappointed here. After we were greeted and seated at The Gunners Barracks we were greeted again with two glasses of lovely bubbles.
Somehow sipping champagne in a lovely historic building with fine china on the table and sweeping views of the harbour and they yacht races seems so ....... wonderful.
Then of course there was the actual high tea that arrived a short while later.
The beautiful three tiered stand of fine bone china was adorned with delicious goodies on each layer. A separate plate had even more treats - light and fluffy freshly baked scones (with a side of double cream and home made jam), tasty mimosas with raita dipping sauce and cute mushroom tarts.
The bottom layer of the stand had finger sandwiches - egg and mayonnaise, salmon with cream cheese and cucumber and finally tender roast beef.
The top two layers had the sweet goodies like a very light almond slice, a beautiful rhubarb panna cotta topped with crumble, salted caramel macarons, chocolate slice with raspberry (chocolate heaven) and a lovely light fluffy and creamy passionfruit cheesecake. It was sweet eaters delight.
High Tea also includes tea - naturally - and there are so many choices of different tea's here the hardest decision you need to make is which one to actually have.
Mlady had her favourite - English breakfast tea - and wasn't disappointed.
Sir decided to be a bit adventurous and had the fragrant vanilla tea which he had black and adored.
The Gunners Barracks is a sophisticated and elegant place, with spectacular views and food to match this.
Its great for couples or groups. Its outdoor balcony is lovely but they also have a beautiful indoor area too.
Even though it's a big place - seating around 350 - it is understandably very popular - so make sure you book. It's so worth visiting!
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of The Gunners Barracks and Grand Pacific Group. Special thanks to Melody and Sam and to Aaron and Sal for looking after us so well. Big thanks also to Hannah Evans from Grand Pacific Group for arranging our visit.
Shop K3415 Macquarie Centre
Cnr Herring and Waterloo Rds
North Ryde, Sydney
If you like looking at pretty food, then eating it, this place is somewhere you'll love. The Passiontree Velvet name is probably better known north of the border in Queensland, but they've now thankfully spread their wings and travelled south.
A shopping centre isn't where you'd normally expect a place like this but it certainly doesn't seem to be a problem for the many people visiting. In fact, it probably makes it all the more accessible.
Nestled in the newish part of Macquarie Centre, this place stands out with its huge almost glowing display of beautiful cakes and macarons. It causes people to stop, stare longingly and then invariably buy.
It also gave us a bit more time to decide what to order, as well as a chance to go and gaze longingly at all the goodies on display inside their long front counter.
It's a sweet-tooth's paradise here with so many choices. Some are individual servings while others are for sharing.
The very intriguing baked stuffed avocado caught our eyes and intrigued our appetites straight away as it sounded a bit different.
It was avocado halves lined with smoked salmon and baked with an egg in each half.
There was a hint of chilli and some cracked black pepper too and it was served with two pieces of toast - pane de case to be exact.
Then the high tea for one arrived. It was a two tier stand with long rectangular plates.
The bottom level had sandwiches, a fresh scone and a lovely salmon bite.
The top level had the sweet stuff and they really looked good. They also tasted great too!
Each one was a work of art - beautifully presented and hard to resist.
So we made the easy choice and decided not to resist!
We had the salted caramel popcorn eclair and the popular strawberry cheesecake eclair. Both were delicious - light fluffy pastry with great flavours for the fillings and toppings.
They also use clear glass teapots too - so they can see if you need a top up and offer it asap. It's a great idea and they also look really cool as well. If you want herbal tea don't fret - they have plenty as well.
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Passiontree Velvet. Big thanks to Bec for looking after us and to Chris for inviting us.