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

The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe on Urbanspoon

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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.

Three Williams on Urbanspoon

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

* * *

Prowsey and I decided to catch up for some Saturday morning brekky. Prowsey is one of my best friends and although we are both pretty busy with work and other commitments we have been making more of an effort to catch up regularly.

We decided to head over to Butcher’s Block to try out the brekky menu.

I had been here before with ClareBear and really enjoyed it and Prowsey has been a few times as well.

1

Service

I arrived at Butcher’s Block at about 10.15 am. The plan was to meet at 10.30 am and I expected that Prowsey would be a bit late – as she usually is- but wanted to get there early to get a table.

When I got there I stood around the front for a bit before finding the person with the “magic clipboard” which would get you a table. After writing my name down on the list, I waited about 30 mins standing outside.

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I must admit that the system at Butcher’s Block is not the best. If I had not been there before I might have been waiting outside for a long time before I realised that I needed to put my name on a list. I think a better system would be for the person with the clipboard to either wait outside to greet guests or for them to have the clipboard outside with a sign telling people to write their names on it (similar to that at Sushi Hotaru).

Either way, despite the poor organisation of the “magic clipboard”, Prowsey arrived at about 10.45 and we finally got a seat inside.

2

Service was pretty good – our food was brought out quickly and everyone was really friendly, helpful and polite.

The one issue I had was that they seemed to be hurrying us up to leave. We felt that they would constantly come over to us and ask us how we were going or clearing plates as soon as we put the fork and knife down. Understandably they are really busy and want to get people in and out, but you certainly feel it! Not the place to go when you want to take your time eating and drinking.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere was lovely and exciting, full of the clinks of forks and knives and people talking. The cute decor is perfect for the spot (see my previous post on The Butcher’s Block for more details), and luckily it wasn’t raining so the beautiful sunshine was streaming through the windows and open outdoor seating at the back.

Overall it’s a pretty nice and peaceful spot and quite cosy too if not for the fact that it is so busy!

Food

5

Prowsey decided to order the Big Breakfast with a side of mushrooms. Prowsey loves mushrooms and was pleased with the large quantity of mushrooms she got for only $4.00. She also enjoyed the sourdough bread and lovely eggs. She also had two skim cappuccinos which were beautifully presented and which came out really quickly.

4

I ordered the Ricotta Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas and Cream. The ricotta pancakes were soft and thick, deliciously puffy and melt in your mouth good. The bananas were cooked in the pan until they were just soft on the outside, and the caramel on top was crunchy and hard, adding a bitterness to the starchy bananas and sweet pancakes. The dish was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed it, would definitely get it again.

3

The coffee was delicious and although I don’t drink coffee that often I had two cups- a latte and a capp! They also do takeaway which seems to be popular with the soccer and rugby mums in the area!

Cost:

Overall my meal cost $23.00

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5.5
  • Food- 8.5
  • Ambience- 6
  • Value –6 

The Butcher's Block on Urbanspoon

Made, Balmain ($$)

Address: 358 Darling Street Balmain NSW

Tel: (02) 8086 0467

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

Opening Hours: 

Thursday to Monday 7.30am til late

* * *

A trip to Birkenhead Point for some shopping led us to the lovely part of the world that is Balmain. Having been here a few times before I knew that this area is full of cute and quirky cafes and gorgeous views of the harbour.

We parked on the side of the road (metered parking) and took a short walk along Darling Street to see what was around.

Although it was 1.00pm, I was in the mood for brunch food and so we had a look at a few of the menus from some breakfast cafes in the area, finally settling on Made.

1 Made is a small cafe with a little outdoor area in a building which was probably once a terrace house.

A friendly waiter asked us to take a seat (anywhere we wanted as it wasn’t too busy), and we chose a seat out on the balcony.

After a lot of “umming” and “ahhing”, mainly on my part, we placed our orders. While we waited I had an English Breakfast tea and MC had a (very yuummy) banana milkshake.

MC ordered the Made Steak & Eggs Breakfast which contained:

  • 2 eggs
  • Steak
  • Grilled tomato
  • Potato rosti
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Choice of toast

He was pretty pleased with it and seemed to enjoy it. He did mention that he wanted some bacon (available as an extra for $3.50) but I just swapped him some of mine for some of those delicious potato rostis!

3

I ordered the Made Full Breakfast which consisted of:

  • 2 eggs
  • Grilled tomato
  • A rasher of bacon
  • Roasted mushroom
  • Baked Beans
  • Black Pudding (I swapped this for an extra rasher of bacon)
  • Choice of toast (I picked sourdough)

The beans were cooked in a delicious tomato-y sauce and the bacon was golden and brown-just the way I like it! The bread was well toasted and the tomato and mushroom were char-grilled. I had my eggs poached and they were made just to my liking-  not too runny. Overall a delicious and very filling brunch!

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I also have to comment that service was pretty good and the girl who was our waitress was very friendly and nice.

I would certainly recommend brunch at Made for anyone living in the area or visiting.

Rating:

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

    • Service- 6
    • Food- 8
    • Ambience- 6.5
    • Value – 7

Made Balmain on Urbanspoon

 

Pancakes on the Rocks, The Rocks Sydney ($$)

Address: 4 Hickson Road, The Rocks

Tel: (02) 9247 6371

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

* * *

On Friday night I organised for some of my school and exchange friends to go out. We began with happy hour (5-7pm) drinks at the Establishment and were originally going to have dinner there as well. However, as it was overcrowded and we couldn’t find a table we decided to head to Pancakes on the Rocks.

This proved to be a good choice as the 8 of us were quickly seated.

We ordered the following:

  • Chicken & Bacon Pizza, $17.95

MDS and I shared this pizza along with the Strawberry Patch pancakes. I really enjoyed it as there was plenty of chicken and bacon and the base was the perfect thickness. It was a decent sized pizza and everyone knows pizza is the perfect food for sharing!

  • 3 x Devil’s Delight Pancakes, $13.95

Three people ordered the Devil’s Delight (chocolate overload) pancakes. While it looks delicious and sounds like a chocolate lover’s heaven, they commented that it was a little dry.

I have had this item before and also tried some of MC’s Devil’s Delight. I agree that they were dry and I also noticed that they were much drier than the Strawberry Patch pancakes that MDS and I ordered, possibly due to the addition of chocolate powder or cocoa to the batter?

  • Tabriz Savoury Crepe, $14.95

One friend ordered the savoury crepe which was a ground beef and mushrooms in a red wine and tomato -based sauce. I am not usually a fan of savoury crepes and didn’t try this so I can’t comment, but here is a picture of what it looked like:

  • Brandied Apricots Pancakes, $10.95

After the Tabriz crepes he was still hungry and ordered this pancake dish. It looked very very sweet but apricots are an interesting topping for pancakes and I’m sure the ice cream and apricot combination was great!

  • Fisherman’s Catch, $21.95

Always a winner the Fisherman’s Catch was crispy and golden!

  • Aussie Sunrise Breakfast, $12.95

The Swiss and Czech girls who shared this dish said they really enjoyed it and the caramelised banana was supposed to be delicious. A very reasonably priced dish for so much food!

  • Strawberry Patch Pancakes, $12.95

MDS and I also shared these pancakes. They were moist and tasty and we ate it all! Definitely recommend this!

Cost:

Cheap meals with good portion sizes, a variety of food options, a nice atmosphere and a convenient location.

Rating:

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

    • Service- 5
    • Food- 7
    • Ambience- 7
    • Value – 8

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