Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, Surfers Paradise QLD ($)

Address: 4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, QLD

Tel: (07) 5527 6183

Website: http://www.thesurfersparadisebeachcafe.com/

* * *

The day after we visited Muse, MC and I stumbled across Surfer’s Beach Cafe on our morning walk to the beach.

Atmosphere

It was quite crowded as it was peak breakfast period and the cafe is located at an ideal spot, right opposite the beach.

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In order to order we needed a table to sit at, so we stood around for a few minutes waiting.  We were a bit disappointed that there were about two to three tables of families that were taking up more space than they needed.  If they had moved down the table a bit we would have had plenty of room to sit.

Despite the wait for a table, we eventually found a seat by the entrance.

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The cafe has a lovely laid back surfer atmosphere.  There are surfboards on the wall and lots of yellow, blue and white around the room.

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The tables are a sort of old, worn white and the place gives off a very calm and chilled out vibe, except for the hustle and bustle of the busy diners.

Service

Service wasn’t very prominent as you have to order at the counter, which is probably a good idea given how popular the place is! Despite this, our food came out within about ten minutes and the staff were quick when we asked for things like serviettes and salt.

Food

I ordered a Tropicana Smoothie which was a very tropical combination of mango, pineapple, passionfruit and banana, some of my favourite fruits.

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Tropicana Smoothie, $8.50

For breakky I had the Big Beach Breakfast and MC ordered the Stack of Pancakes.

The breakfast was great, it was colourful and tasted flavoursome, the eggs were perfectly poached, the hashbrowns were crunchy, the bacon crisp and the tomato fresh.

Overall it was a pretty darn good fry up.

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Big Beach Breakfast, $19.50

MC’s pancakes were amazing, some of the best I have had.

I am a big fan of the thick, fluffy pancakes, the McDonald’s style ones that soak up all the syrup and just melt in your mouth. None of this crepe business.

These pancakes were all that and more.  They came with a side of butter, maple syrup and whipped cream and they were absolutely delicious.

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Stack of Pancakes, $9.95

Summary

Surfers Beach Cafe is one of those great finds that has a great view, a lovely atmosphere and a fantastic menu.  The wait can be a little frustrating but it was worth it for the view!

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-  4
  • Food-  8
  • Atmosphere- 8
  • Value – 7.5

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Three Williams, Redfern ($$)

Address: 613a Elizabeth Street Redfern NSW

Tel: (02) 9698 1111

Website: http://www.threewilliams.com/

* * *

I was super excited to be invited for a menu tasting at Three Williams in Redfern, along with some of my fave food bloggers, Excuse Me Waiter, The Lamstock, Simon Food Favourites, VegeTARAian, Jugernauts, 84th and 3rdFood is our Religion and Hillary and Dijon.

I’d heard a lot about the Three Williams and was keen to find out whether it lived up to my expectations.

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Atmosphere

Three Williams is located in Redfern, in an area that is apparently “not in the dodgy part of Redfern,” I was told.

The easiest way to get there is to drive, and there is plenty of parking out the front.  MC kindly dropped me off right at the door of the cafe.

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The cafe was busy but not quite full when I arrived at 9.30am for brunch.

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By the time we left at 11.30 however, there was a steady stream of customers walking through the door and a serious queue forming of patient customers, waiting by the counter for a table.

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The crowd at the Three Williams is a somewhat “messy cool” mix of mothers with screaming children, playing in the kids corner and trendy foodies casually enjoying a coffee and muesli.

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The decor is simple and almost “warehousey” but still quite funky, with a mix of light wood and industrial grey paints.

Overall, the place oozes a trendy and hip vibe and is perfect for those looking for a quick, quality meal before heading out to the markets or going to explore the city.  That is, if you can get a table!

Service

Service during our tasting was quite good.

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The staff were all polite and friendly but perhaps a little overwhelmed by the busy crowds and in particular, our fussy table of food bloggers!

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This is what it is like to dine with food bloggers!

While I thought they did a great job with handling most of the orders, my Chai Latte did take a while to come out (I had to ask how it was going to remind them).

Overall however, service was quite good and I don’t have any major complaints.

Drinks

Upon our arrival we were served coffee and drinks.

There was a delicious jug of fresh OJ, which was sweet and bright orange, perfect for the warm weather.

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Fresh Orange Juice, $5 a glass

The coffees were spot on. They were well presented and well made.

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House Chai Latte, $5.00

We also enjoyed a delicious Pineapple and Mint Soda.

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Pineapple and Mint Soda, $12.00 a jug

Some of the bloggers ordered the Peanut Butter Smoothie. I tried a little and oh my…. it was peanutty and creamy yet oddly (a little) bitter.  A strange mix of Reese’s Pieces and milkshake.

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Peanut Caramel Shake, $6.00

I also noticed some other great items on the drink menu, including the Banana, Medjool Date and Walnut Praline Shake and Willie’s 100% Cacao Hot Chocolate.

Food

Chef Tim Bryan of Aria and Chiswick fame is the driving force behind the Three Williams menu.

To start off, we tried some items on the breakfast menu (available 7am until 3pm). VegeTARAian tried the Granola with Hibiscus Pear, a delicious combination of fruit toasted muesli with creamy yoghurt and a delicious deep red, sweet pear. I tried a little and absolutely loved the lightness of the yogurt and pear and the tasty, crunchy granola.  Perfect for the health conscious!

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Granola with Hibiscus Pear, $12.00

The Spicy Smashed Beans with Avocado on Charred Toast was also delicious. The beans had the perfect amount of spice and were great combined with creamy avocado and crispy toast.  84th and 3rd also commented that she enjoyed this dish.

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Spicy Smashed Beans with Avocado on Charred Toast, $13.00

The Merchant burger, chilli fried egg, crispy bacon, pickled slaw, ranch dressing on a warm brioche bun was an interesting idea but I have to admit that I couldn’t really taste any chilli in the egg, although I did enjoy the pickled slaw.

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The Merchant, $12.00

The Poached Eggs, Marinated Bull Horn Peppers, Serrano Ham, Feta and Dukkah, on toast was quite tasty. The eggs were nicely poached (apparently in glad wrap from the lines on them), and the ham and peppers went really well with them, creating a nice balance of sweetness and saltiness.

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Poached Eggs with Peppers, Ham, Feta and Dukkah, $16.00

To finish off the eggs feast, there was The Big William: bacon, fried eggs, nuremberg sausage, roma tomato, hash, onion relish.

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Big William, $17.00

Of all the breakfast dishes, my favourite had to be the French Toast.  The brioche toast was crumbly, almost like a cake, and was drenched in a gooey maple syrup and topped with pecans.  The tangy yogurt and fresh blueberries and raspberries complemented it perfectly.

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Brioche French Toast, $14.00

If all that wasn’t enough we then moved on to the BEST HOT CHIPS I HAVE EVER TASTED. Crunchy. Salty. Crisp. Golden. Soft. AMAZING. These chips are the chips dreams are made of.  If you like chips, these are the ish.

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Beer battered chips with house aioli, $6.00

We also enjoyed some creamy and cheesy fish croquettes with lemon juice.

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Fish Croquettes with Lemon and Aioli, $3 each

We then tried some of the Caramelised Cauliflower Tabouli, a mix of cauliflower, pomegranate, quinoa, walnuts and preserved lemon. We had this dish without chicken for the benefit of the vegetarians at the table with us.

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???????????????????????????????Caramelised Cauliflower Tabouli, $13 or $15 with chicken

The final brunch meals before dessert were the Narnies. Sarnies but narnies. These are basically sandwiches made with naan bread.

While I didn’t really like the naan bread (I found it a little tough to chew and difficult to cut up), I did enjoy the fillings.

The prawn naanie was a fresh and light almost “prawn taco-like” combination of avocado, corn, lettuce and prawns.

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Prawn, iceberg lettuce, avocado and aioli, $14.00

The fried tempeh narnie was pretty spicy and tasted a bit like the filling for my Sri Lankan tuna fish pastries. It contained carrot, asian pickled vegetables, sriracha, and lime mayo. The tempeh was quite interesting, unlike anything I have had before, and I learnt that it was made of fermented soybeans, pressed into a pattie.

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Fried tempeh narnie, $12.00

Finally, the most delicious of them all, the glazed beef narnie. This delicious brisket, gherkin and chipotle narnie was tender, tangy and colourful. The beautiful glaze on the beef and the delicious sweet yet spicy chipotle were a match made in heaven.

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Glazed beef narnie, $14.00

Already full, we moved on to desserts, savouring the crispy glazed Grapefruit Donuts and Chocolate Brownies.???????????????????????????????

Brownies and Donuts

The Donuts were quite average, but the Brownie was heaven. It was slightly crispy on the outside yet fudgey and rich on the inside, the perfect consistency.

Although some of the other bloggers were too full by this stage and too “chocolate-d out” I happily devoured my share of the Brownies (and perhaps a little more!).

Overall

Overall I loved the experience at Three Williams. The menu is so different to any I have seen before and the standout dishes for me- the french toast, the brownie and the hot chips were fantastic.

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I would most certainly recommend giving this place ago if you are in the area!

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6.5
  • Food-  9
  • Ambience-  7.75
  • Value – 7.75

The TCFB dined as a guest of Wasamedia and the Three Williams.

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Momo Brasserie, Sydney CBD ($)

Address: 65 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9233 8838

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

* * *

Atmosphere

Momo Brasserie is located near the courts, at the top end of Hyde Park.

It’s about a 5 minute walk from Wynyard station and just around the corner from Martin Place station.

When we walked in, mum and I were greeted by a friendly waiter who asked us to choose a seat. We picked a window seat in the corner as the comfy lounges along the side of the wall are always the best!

The atmosphere inside is pretty calm and relaxed. The warm browns and soft lighting make it a relaxing place to enjoy a morning breakfast or afternoon tea.

I must admit I was a little reluctant to leave and head out into the chilly breeze!

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Mum having a read of the menu

Service

Although I resented the fact that the lady who took my booking called me “hun” (pretty unprofessional when you don’t know the person!), I have to admit that the gentleman who served us was pretty nice.

He was helpful, took our orders efficiently and without error, didn’t let our empty plates sit in front of us for too long, and asked us if we wanted more tea or coffee when we had finished our cups.

They also refilled our water, a small thing that I find is quite often overlooked in many cafes around Sydney.

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Me in the comfy wall seat 🙂

Food

Mum decided to go with the “Momo Breakfast”. The big brekky which came with a side of…well almost everything you could ask for with brekky except spinach and baked beans.

It included two eggs (which she ordered poached), a gourmet sausage, double-smoked bacon, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and toasted sourdough, served with cute individual pats of butter.

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Momo Breakfast, $16.00

Her breakfast was served with a generous amount of everything and she struggled to eat it all (although I expect my bro would have easily demolished this serving).

The eggs were poached quite well and were still quite runny in the middle which is perfect. It looked to us like they had been poached in Glad wrap as you could see the lines from where the wrap had been twisted.

One comment I would make about the breakfast was that the sourdough was a little too thin. There is nothing better than a piece of thick sourdough bread to soak up your eggs with, and I would have preferred a slightly bigger piece.

I decided to go for a less traditional brekky of poached eggs, prosciutto, grilled tomato and grilled haloumi cheese on toasted sourdough bread.

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Haloumi and prosciutto brekky, $14.00

The haloumi was delicious and salty, one of my favourite cheeses and I have seen it appearing on more and more menus lately.

The eggs were again, poached very well.

The breakfast was enjoyable but it was a little small compared to the Momo Breakfast, and it wasn’t very colourful either. Some wilted baby spinach on the side would have been great!

For drinks mum ordered a latte….

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Latte, $3.80

…and I ordered a Chai Tea.

5 Chai Tea, $4.00

Cost

We used a Groupon voucher.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 7.5
  • Food- 7.5
  • Ambience- 7
  • Value – 7

Momo Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Jafe Jaffles, Opera House Sydney ($)

Address: Opera House Sydney

Tel: 0466 343 133

Website: https://www.facebook.com/JafeJaffles?group_id=0

* * *

Atmosphere

Atmosphere was obviously amazing as it was located near the Opera House, with a gorgeous view of both Vivid Sydney and the Harbour Bridge (see The Lowenbrau review for photos).

The little truck means there are no spots for seating, but the cute truck makes for an interesting dining experience!

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Service

There is a guy out the front of the truck calling out names and taking orders who is very friendly and talkative. He was the only person we really had contact with and he was really nice.

Food was quick out of the kitchen so we didn’t have to wait long- although even if it did, we wouldn’t have minded as the view is pretty fabulous!

Food

Mattycakes ordered a pork jaffle and a nutella one.

The pork one was more golden, soft and full of delicious filling.

The nutella jaffle was delicious and sweet, the perfect dessert or midnight snack! There was plenty of filling and the crisp toast and melting ice cream was a great combination together. The only thing that was missing was some banana on top!

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Cost:

Each jaffle was about $7-8.00.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-6
  • Food- 6
  • Ambience- 8
  • Value – 7.5

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Buddha Belly, Terry Hills ($$)

Address: 327 Mona Vale Rd  Terrey Hills NSW

Tel: (02) 9450 1504

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

* * *

Atmosphere

Buddha Belly is situated in Terry Hills gardens, just off Mona Vale Road. It is a tranquil spot, surrounded by bamboo, trees, a koi pond and a cute little store selling decor and furnishings from Bali.

All of this combine to make it a pleasant place to relax and enjoy a coffee or a meal. Prowsey and I headed over to Buddha Belly upon discovering that Plan A (Butcher’s Block) and Plan B (Sous le soleil) were closed on Sundays.

Service

Upon arriving we were greeted at the door by a young guy who led us to a table. During our time there we were helped by another waiter who was also young, and who seemed a little inexperienced and shy. However he took our orders with accuracy and politeness and we didn’t have any problems with service at all.

Food

We started off with drinks. I ordered a Summer Morning (pineapple, passionfruit and mint) juice ($7.50), while Prowsey had a smoothie (also $7.50). My juice was delicious. It had a fresh minty smell and a slightly sour tang of passionfruit mixed with the sweetness of pineapple- delicious!

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Summer Morning Juice

For entrees we ordered Sourdough Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Dukkah ($3.00). This entree included a large piece of bread, some delicious tangy balsamic and mellow olive oil, and a great dukkah mix of spices, herbs and sesame seeds. Delicious. It was a perfect serving for us to start off the meal without getting too full and was pretty cheap too!

For mains, Prowsey and I both ordered the Summer Salad ($27.00), which was a salad of smoked trout and crab meat, king prawns, green mango, paw paw, onion, cucumber, wakame, cherry tomatoes, herbs (including mint and parsley), and wasabi mayonnaise (taken from the menu).

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The salad was delicious. There was plenty of it and there was a high seafood to salad ratio. The dressing was delicious and creamy, while the leaves and tomatoes were refreshing and light. The seafood was cooked perfectly and the smoked trout really added to the complexity of the dish. At the end of this we felt satisfied and full but weren’t in a food coma from fatty carb-loaded food!

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After lunch, I had a chai tea ($3.80) and Prowsey had a cappuccino ($3.30). My tea was a little weak as I think one tea bag for that pot of water wasn’t enough (I prefer a strong chai tea with lots of milk and a bit of honey!).

Cost:

Overall our entrees, meals, drinks and coffee came to about $40 each.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5.5
  • Food- 7.5
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value –7

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The Butcher’s Block, Wahroonga ($$)

Address: 15 Redleaf Ave, Wahroonga NSW

Tel: (02) 9487 8136

Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Butchers-Block

Opening hours:

Sunday- Closed

Monday -Saturday: 6:00 am – 5:00 pm

* * *

TBB is the newest offering on the Ku-Ring-Gai dining scene. Prowsey has been raving about this place for a while now and I finally got a chance to visit with my friend, ClareBear.

Atmosphere

A father/son duo, George and Anthony, have transformed this space into a fresh and exciting new eatery whilst managing to retain the personality and uniqueness of the shop which, for over 70 years, was a Butchery.

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The Butcher style aprons, meat hooks and various accessories add to the atmosphere, while wooden benches and the smell of freshly ground coffee invite passersby inside to taste the delicious foods on offer.

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The place has a sort of rustic, garden vibe, with a lot of wood and exposed brick. The crowning glory of the decor is the vintage meat cleaver used by a Butcher in the store in 1882. While I LOVE that they have decided to use a vintage item in the restaurant, I was appalled to find that the cleaver is now used as a handle to enter the toilets! Bit gross really…

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Service

ClareBear and I rocked up at 10.00 am on a Saturday without a reservation. When we got there, there was already a line of about 10-15 people waiting to get in. We put our name down on the list and were told that the wait would be about 15-20 minutes. We decided to go to a nearby cafe, Danes, to have a coffee while we waited to get a seat at TBB.

After our coffee, we headed back and luckily, within about 5 minutes we were seated at an outside table. Unfortunately, as the day was very rainy, it wasn’t the best spot. We were quite cold (there were no outdoor heaters) and the awning didn’t quite shelter us fully from the rain.

Nonetheless it didn’t bother us too much, and we were excited to receive the menus.

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Throughout our meal, we had a few waiters serve us. I would have preferred to have just the one waitress who gave us the menus as it would have looked a little more orderly than having a few different people checking up on us.

I would also comment that some of the waiters seemed to hurry us a little, clearing our plates very quickly and always checking whether we wanted something else. Given the cafe was quite busy, that was fair enough. I did notice that once the place quietened down (around 12.30 pm), they stopped asking us if we needed anything and we went up to the counter to pay for our meals before we left.

Food

I was really in the mood for eggs so I decided to order the one pan bacon and eggs with sourdough and home made tomato sauce ($14.00).

I was hoping that this dish would be served in an actual pan (as the name suggests), but was a little disappointed that it was served up on a large plate. Further, the eggs were not runny enough and the sourdough was almost impossible to eat with a fork and knife as it was so crunchy. I ended up smearing the sauce over it and using my hands!

Despite the above, the tomato sauce was divine- it was chunky and slightly sour, was very rich and plentiful. There was plenty of bacon and eggs as well. If only this dish had been served in a mini pan, I would have been quite happy!

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ClareBear ordered the croissant with hazelnut spread ($7.00). I had seen this on the menu before and it did look absolutely divine!  A great alternative to Max Brenner, Oliver Brown or  San Churros!

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After breakfast we ordered some tea while we chatted away. I ordered the Congo Bongo, and ClareBear got the English Breakfast. The tea was served in cast iron tea pots which although nice to look at, were very heavy to lift! The tea pots gave us about 4 small cups each.

My Congo Bongo tea smelt like a fruity breakfast cereal and was the perfect way to relax on this particularly chilly morning!

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Cast iron tea pots

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English breakfast -milk served in cute bottles

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Congo Bongo tea

Summary

Overall a great little breakfast spot. The decor and menu options are great, and exactly what the upper north shore needs. Service is a little disjointed, perhaps due to the large crowds.

I would love to come back to try the lunch menu sometime and even the dinner menu, which I hear is soon to come!

Cost: 

Overall my meal came to about $20 while Clare Bear’s was about $12.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-6.5
  • Food-7.5
  • Ambience-8.5
  • Value –7.5

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Third Village, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 80 Stanley Street Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: 02 9361 5826

Website: http://thirdvillage.com.au

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 7.00 am – 4.00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 8.00 am – 4.00 pm

* * *

I’m quite sad that I only discovered this little gem on the last day of my job in Woolloomooloo. Had I known about it earlier I would have been a frequent visitor on my lunch breaks!

I met my lovely uni friend Nancy for lunch here on a particularly rainy day. Having walked through the drizzle with a borrowed umbrella (thanks Lauren!), I was glad to find the little hole-in-the-wall cafe in popular Stanley Street.

Atmosphere

Third Village is a typical Surry Hills/Darlinghurst type of cafe. A little bit of grungy-ness, a little bit organic, and a lot of friendly locals.

The interesting Oxford Street mural on the wall added a bit of colour and the wooden chairs and tables contributed to the natural and organic vibe of the cafe.

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Service

Introducing myself to staff I was welcomed to take a seat and asked what I wanted to drink. After ordering my preferred beverage, I was asked to come to the counter when I was ready to order. When Nancy arrived the staff took her order at the table. They were very friendly and service was quite prompt.

Nancy’s order, which required quite a few changes to what was on the menu, was accommodated with ease and I was pleasantly surprised at their flexibility and friendly attitude. Of course, as they knew I was blogging I can’t vouch for their being friendly all the time, but then again, who is? From my experience there they were quite nice.

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Drink

Both Nancy and I ordered chai lattes. I was impressed with how they presented them, in a small glass jug with a strainer and glass on the side. The tea was hot, sweet and fragrant and was absolutely perfect on this cold day. Nancy also commented on how well-presented the tea was and how nice it tasted.

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Chai Latte, $4.30

Food

The menu at Third Village is a little dodgy, being simply a piece of printed A4 paper. I would suggest either laminating the paper (as ours had a few patches on it), or getting a more professional one printed out. Despite the fact that plastic is not good for the environment, laminated menus would last longer and elevate the cafe a little, making it look a lot more inviting.

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I was feeling eggs that morning. Poached eggs. Don’t know why, as it was 1.00pm, but I just wanted eggs. 

After perusing the menu and umming and aaahing over the numerous delicious alternatives, I decided on the Eggs Royale. This consisted of 2 eggs (poached), on a toasted sonoma round roll with sustainable Tasmanian salmon, baby spinach and hollandaise sauce.

When the dish came out I was impressed. Presentation was fantastic and portion size was great. I was very excited to dig in, and the meal did not disappoint. The eggs were perfectly poached, the sauce creamy and delicious, the salmon fresh and slightly oily and the bread, crunchy and well-toasted. One of the best brekkies (for lunch) I’ve had and close to my favourites at Cora’s in Canada.

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Eggs Royale, $17.95

Nancy ordered the Eggs Mediterranean. As she is gluten intolerant we swapped sour dough toast for gluten free bread. She also asked for haloumi instead of sheep feta, and scrambled eggs instead of poached ones.

Her dish was also very well presented with two neat piles of bread, avocado, roasted tomato and haloumi topped with pesto, and a pile of scrambled eggs in the middle.

She said her eggs were not dry at all and despite the haloumi being slightly overcooked, she enjoyed the meal.

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Eggs Mediterranean, $17.95

All in all, both breakfasts were delicious and enjoyable, as was the chai tea. We also saw a few fellow diners enjoying some of Third Village’s salads which looked delicious- definitely something to try next time!

Cost

The Casual Food Blogger and her friend Nancy dined as guests of Third Village.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

    • Service- 6.5
    • Food- 8.5
    • Ambience- 5.5
    • Value – 7.5

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