D’ough Espresso, World Square Sydney

Address: World Square, Shp 9.14/ 644 George St, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9266 0395

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D’ough is located on the bottom level of World Square Shopping Centre, towards the south end of Sydney.

One morning, MC and I decided to grab some breakky and wanted something that was:

a) quick;

b) cheap; and

c) close to my work and his uni.

We decided to give D’ough a try.

Atmosphere

For a Wednesday morning at about 8am it was pretty busy with workers lining up for their coffee fix.

The counter area was crowded with the people waiting for their takeaway orders, but the inside seating area was quiet and peaceful.

Service

We ordered at the counter and paid at the counter.

Our food was then brought out to us by a friendly staff member who was pleasant and smiley.

Food

I ordered a toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese (and got a Boost juice to go with it from just outside).

MC ordered a toasted ham and cheese croissant with a hot chocolate.

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The blueberry bagel tasted great but wasn’t toasted enough, while the ham and cheese croissant was a little burnt! Such a shame as the flavours of both were pretty good.

MC also enjoyed his hot choc (and I loved my Boost!).

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food-  5.5
  • Ambience- 5.5
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Le Pain Quotidien, Westfield Sydney, Sydney CBD ($)

Address: Westfield Sydney, Level 4, Corner of Pitt St and Market St, Sydney, NSW

Tel: (02) 8246 9213

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

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Atmosphere

When you walk through the doors of Le Pain Quotidien, it’s like walking into a Parisian cafe. The soft browns, cute little wooden chairs and quaint jars and bottles on the counter make the place feel unique and artsy. You would never know that just beyond those doors is Westfield Sydney and the bustling Sydney streets!

It was mum’s first time at LPQ, but my second, and mum thought the place was quite adorable. We were there for breakfast and wanted to try out the coffee and some of the pastries on offer.

Service

As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by a friendly “hello”. The girl who greeted us was welcoming and cheerful, especially considering that it was so early in the morning.

She took our order with a smile and her warmth made us feel comfortable and at ease.

Food

Mum decided to order a cappuccino and an almond croissant. The almond croissant was delicious, really soft and slightly warmed up. The sweet icing sugar and almond flavoured coating were divine and made the perfect breakky pastry to go with the strong coffee.

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I went for walnut bread and a latte. Of course, I went for the chocolate spread (basically nutella), and it was fabulous! It wasn’t as sweet as nutella, but it was just as thick and smooth. LPQ sells the spreads and on that particular day it was $6.00 for a jar, not a bad deal!

Both coffees tasted nice and were served in relatively large round cups.

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My walnut bread was a brown sort of rye bread with lots of yummy walnuts. The bread tasted like sourdough and was quite thin.

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I ordered it toasted and was able to choose from a variety of spreads on the table including cherry jam, chocolate spread, apricot jam and white chocolate spread.

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Cost

The walnut bread was $4.00 for two slices, with free spreads.

The coffees were $3.75 for a small.

I don’t know how much the almond croissant was exactly, but it was around the $4-6 range.

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

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

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

Felix, Sydney CBD ($$$)

Address: 2 Ash Street, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9240 3000

Website: http://merivale.com.au/felix

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday 12:00pm – 3:00pm; and 5:30pm – 10:30pm

Saturday 5:30pm – 10:30pm

Sunday 12:00pm – 3:00pm; and 5:30pm – 10:00pm (kitchen closes at 9pm)

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Felix is a French-styled restaurant located near Sydney’s popular Ivy and Ash Street Cellar   Wine Bar (both Merivale establishments). It’s located close to Wynyard Station and Martin Place, making it well-placed to attract business people from the surrounding offices and those looking for a high quality dining experience.  My friend Fitness Fanatic and I were members of the latter.

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Atmosphere

Friday night is undoubtedly one of the busiest days for any restaurant. Given the fact that most people don’t work on Saturday and are looking for a nice place to relax post-working week, it’s not surprising that it’s such a popular night.

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The french style decor and eclectic mix of furniture, lamps and murals added to the opulent Parisian feel. The modern french style music also contributed to the restaurant’s atmosphere, as did the busy bar nearby. The oyster bar and wine cellar on display, as well as the ability to see into the kitchen made the space more interesting and less stuffy and formal.

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Service

Fitness Fanatic managed to make a booking for us on a Thursday at 6.00pm. We initially wanted to dine at 5.30pm straight after work but unfortunately this could not be accommodatedWe arrived at 5.45pm, a little early for our 6.00pm booking. Despite FF having been told that we couldn’t get a booking for 5.30pm, there were only two other tables in the restaurant, other than ourselves.

During the night we had one waitress who took our orders and handled requests. All food was brought out by the waitstaff and drinks by the bar staff.

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Our waitress was quite friendly and said all the right things but we couldn’t help but think that she wasn’t genuinely friendly.

All in all service was quite good. Food was brought out very quickly, we never had to wait long for anything and we were paid attention when we wanted it.

Food

We decided to go with the prix fixe menu. This had two options: 2 courses for $45.00 or 3 courses for $55.00. We chose the second option.

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Drinks

I chose a lemon lime bitters (my favourite) which cost $5.00.

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Breads

To start with we were served complimentary bread with a little butter. The bread was sourdough and while it was quite tasty, the sourdough baguette was a little tough and hard to eat. We also didn’t have a side plate to eat it on which was a bit awkward :p

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Entree

For entree I chose the Twice baked Gruyere Soufflé, Rocket and Walnuts. The souffle was well presented and at first I really enjoyed it. The smell was inviting, the texture not too chunky or too soft, and the taste revealed the perfect amount of cheesiness. I love walnuts and thought the rocket was refreshing and broke up the cheesiness a bit, but would have loved something juicy on the salad such as tomatoes, orange slices or figs.

Overall, not a bad dish but it did get a little overpowering and heavy after a few mouthfuls.

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FF chose the Smoked Chicken, Frisée, Onion Compote and Crispy Fried Poached Egg. I also tried some of her dish and thought the smokiness of the chicken was quite prominent and contrasted brilliantly with the sweet compote. We were interested to see what the poached egg looked like and thought it was quite interesting to see a poached egg, which is usually something so delicate, coated in batter and fried.

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Main

For mains I found it difficult to choose between the Mulloway and the Beef cheek. Both looked inviting but I decided to go with the Pan Roasted Mulloway Provençal with Fennel, Crushed Potatoes Steamed Fennel and Soupe de Poisson as I liked the idea of the pan-fried piece of fish.

The fish was quite well presented and the Soupe de Poisson (basically a thick, colourful fish soup), was (although not very fishy) tasty and fragrant. I was provided with a spoon for the soup but didn’t need it as the fish and potatoes soaked up all the juices. The fish skin was delightfully crisp and golden and the fish was soft and flaky. The fennel which tastes basically like celery was OK but the potatoes were a little undercooked. Overall I did enjoy this dish and had the potatoes been a little more cooked, it would have been brilliant.

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FF chose the Rotisserie Spatchcock, Savoy Cabbage and Boulangere Potatoes. I tried a little of the spatchcock, despite not being a huge fan of spatchcock generally as it’s a baby chicken and I don’t like the thought of eating a chick. However I did enjoy it and although I wouldn’t order it myself I thought the dish was quite well done. The spatchcock was well-cooked and the gravy was poured on top of the chicken at the table. The boulangere potatoes, which are basically finely sliced potatoes layered and cooked in an oven for a long period of time, were one of the standouts of the dish. FF mentioned that she thought there was too much chicken and not enough cabbage. We did agree that more chicken was better than not enough and that the servings at Felix are very generous.

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Dessert

For dessert I had trouble deciding between the profiteroles, the cold fondant and the parfait.

FF chose the profiteroles: Profiteroles, Vanilla Ice-cream, Pistachio Custard and Hot Chocolate Sauce. The chocolate sauce was poured on top of the profiteroles at the table. FF really enjoyed them and I thought the pistachio custard with hot chocolate was an interesting combination and went really well together. I did, however, think that the profiteroles were a little dense.

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I ended up deciding to go with the Vanilla Parfait, Glazed Fig, Baked Meringue and Almonds. I was extremely happy with this choice as the parfait was delicious and tasted of cardamom and nutmeg. It had the texture of pashmak, and the was very interesting to try! I love figs and really enjoyed the fresh figs. I couldn’t taste any glaze on them but I thought they were delicious nonetheless. The baked meringue added a lot to the presentation of the dish and the dry, sweet texture went great with the parfait. The almonds added some extra crunch. This dish was my favourite and by far one of the best desserts I have had in a while!

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Overall we had an enjoyable evening with excellent food, generous portions, great value and good service.

Cost:

The meal came to $115.00 all up.

Rating:

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

  • Service- 7
  • Food- 8.25
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value – 7.5

Felix Bistro and Bar on Urbanspoon

Tropicana Caffe, Darlinghurst ($$)

Address: 227 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

Tel: (02) 9360 9809

Website: http://www.tropicanacaffe.com

Opening Hours:

Open from 5am to 11pm every day

* * *

Being a hot summer day in Sydney, we decided to head out for lunch and stroll up to Tropicana near Potts Point.

Tropicana is one of the popular cafes in this area, with a variety of delicious meals on offer. They have everything from breakfasts to lunches, pasta to salad, foccacias to sweets, coffee to cakes. There is plenty of variety here, that’s for sure!

The six of us wanted to sit outside but as there were a few six-seater tables occupied by a single person, and we didn’t want to ask them if we could share, we decided to sit inside.

The cafe is pretty busy and, after queuing for a little while, we finally placed our orders. After a wait of about 10 minutes we were served our meals.

I ordered the Salmon Spring Salad consisting of – salmon, mesculin & Finesse leaves, red onion, fried capers, cold poached egg, avocado,  white balsamic vinaigrette.

It was delicious and fresh, and very light. I would have preferred my egg to be a little more runny, but overall, it was a delicious salad with plenty of salmon.

My friend ordered the Chicken Spring Salad with a side of eggplant. Although she liked the salad, she was surprised that the small side of eggplant cost an extra $4.00! That’s 1/3 of the cost of the dish!

Overall it was an enjoyable lunch and I am looking forward to trying some of the other dishes on offer.

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I finally got the chance to visit Laduree, Sydney!!!

Yesterday I finally got the chance to get some macarons from Laduree in Westfields Sydney.

On previous visits to Westfields after work (see Laduree in Sydney! and Laduree), the line was far too long for any sane person to wait in and so I had decided to put my french macaron experience off until another more convenient and less busy time.

This time I was able to avoid the queues and walk straight up to the counter as I visited the store at about 1.30pm in the afternoon.

 

The French staff make the experience a little more exciting with their snooty expressions and lovely accents.

The actual store itself is beautiful and very stylish and I love the green and gold emblem and the beautiful Parisienne chic decor.

The macarons were packaged in little green paper bags and put into a more sturdy green carry bag. I think a box would have been a better option as I found that a few of the macarons were squished when I got home. There are boxes available, but only if you buy a certain number of macarons.

I had high expectations of these macarons as some of my friends had described them as “the best macarons in the world”.

 

They were a lovely shape and there were some great flavours including salted caramel, chocolate, pistachio, raspberry, coffee, orange blossom, cherry blossom, chai/vanilla (I can’t remember), licorice and a strawberry-ish one. I ordered one of each flavour (except licorice as I am not a big fan of black licorice), and an extra orange blossom and two cherry blossom macarons. Each macaron costs $3.20 so this came to a total of $38.00 which is quite a lot for sweets!

When I tasted them I found them to be soft and moist on the inside. They were so easy to eat I could have eaten hundreds. However, while they were enjoyable and delicious and I couldn’t fault them, I didn’t think they were much different from Adriano Zumbo’s macarons or any other macarons I have tried. The only difference as far as I could tell was that the store looks fancy and they have French staff.

Laduree does make some beautiful macarons and some great flavours. For the full experience I would suggest eating in and ordering a pot of tea to enjoy with your macarons so you can truly indulge and enjoy the experience and the pretty store.

Laduree

So today I thought I’d try to get a piece of the action and went to laduree with the intention of indulging my sweet tooth.
Little did I know, as I made my way to Westfield Sydney, that half of Sydney had the same idea. When I got there there was a line of about 50 people and I was informed that they would not take any more people as they closed at 6.30pm.
While it’s understandable that they would be busy on opening opening week you would think they would accept a line of customers at least until 6pm. I was there at 5.15 and couldn’t get in the line.
Anyway I left, quite disheartened. My laduree experience will have to wait for another day!

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Laduree in Sydney!

Laduree has opened in Sydney (see: http://www.vogue.com.au/culture/interiors/laduree+opens+in+sydney,19777) and I just can’t wait to try it out!

The luxury pastry store, famous for its macarons, was founded by Louis-Ernest Ladurée in 1862. They are famous for being Blair Waldorf’s (Gossip Girl) favourite treats and are considered a “must do” when dining in Paris.

For more information see: http://www.laduree.fr/en/fabricant/produits/macarons