El Jannah, Granville

This is not what i would classify as my typical Sunday brunch food, and this is also an area that i have previously never been to. I am in an unfamiliar area but as my previous posts have proven, there are times where i will travel near and far for food. Good food. Instead of finding myself at a cafe enjoying my usual cup of coffee, i find myself here at El Jannah ready for chicken feast.

El Jannah

Word has it that this is Sydney’s best charcoal chicken paired with a legendary garlic sauce. Although we were there around 11am, there were already customers inside some for takeaway or eat in. The interior was quite spacious and service was fast and efficient, signs of the mass amount of traffic the shop must receive daily.

El JannahEl Jannah

Some of the food was displayed at the front, but if you chose to sit in the food is then brought to you from the kitchen. We were in no rush and a feast was about to begin, so we chose to sit in option.

El Jannah

Between four, we wanted it all. This is what i would call a “breakfast of champions”.

El Jannah

A whole chicken (19.9) was ordered because it was a signature and this was what we were here for.  Theres always this bit of doubt associated with ordering chicken, there’s always the chance of overcooked dry meat and in the rare case with the opposite, because raw chicken meat is dangerous. Fortunately for us, the chicken is just right. Charred on the outside with a distinct smokiness, but the meat itself remained quite moist.

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As i’ve mentioned in my previous posts, it seems that everywhere that does a chicken dish offers some kind of secret special sauce. In the case of El Jannah, it is the legendary garlic sauce. A dangerously addictive creamy garlic spread, good enough to outshine the chicken. A good spread for the generous serving of pita bread, for chicken, a good dip for everything. Garlic breath or not, i could see my friend considering licking the entire plate clean.

El Jannah

For variety and curiousity, we also ordered beef but this (not surprisingly) was outshone by the chicken and garlic sauce.

El Jannah

The falafel was a good choice, very crispy and fresh, a nice change to the ones i’ve been consuming at Sababa. Cant say much for the pickles though, which can get very salty after just a few.

El Jannah

Just like fish and chips, chicken and chips also seem appropriate. El Jannah offers a rather generous serving of addictive golden crispy chips seasoned with chicken salt. They’re addictive enough on their own, but even better when we realised they could be dipped in the garlic sauce. A brave person is one who can stop after one chip, but our group had absolutely no control.

El Jannah

Just to even out the heavy calories, we also ordered a Chicken Salad which in reality is probably not as healthy as it sounds. Nonetheless, it was a new experience which was worth the journey. We left quite bloated (unsurprisingly) and this was really a first for me but probably not the last. Definitely a different Sunday feed that has left an impression.

E.

El Jannah on Urbanspoon

Carlisle Bar.

Located conveniently at Kellett St (a moments walk from Darlinghurst Road), we arrived at the newly launched Carlisle Bar to have a taste of an up town Manhattan bar experience. Upon arrival, we were greeted by live entertainment, a stream of cocktails and tapas to share, we were ready to see what it was all about.

Carlisle Bar

Less talk, food and drink first. The first tasting begins with Grilled haloumi cheese, served with purple grape and balsamic reduction.

Carlisle Bar

I haven’t had much halloumi in my life but it was delicious, the kind that whets the appetite and i can see similar nods of approval throughout the room. We were informed that the halloumi was created by a 86 year old Greek grandmother who only distributes it to three people one of whom is Carlisle Bar’s executive chef Chrys Xipolitas. No wonder its good.

Carlisle Bar

Paired with the halloumi is the Clover Club (gin, lemon, raspberry and egg white) , a lovely fruity cocktail to start.

Carlisle Bar

Next course was the lightly floured Prawn Cutlet which was paired with three dipping sauces. Honestly, they were good enough to eat on their own. It was crispy without a heavy oily or floury aftertaste.

Carlisle BarCarlisle Bar

Eastside Fizz was the next drink to be served, a mix of Beefeater gin, lime, mint, Perrier water and sweetness.

Carlisle Bar

There were a few giggly happy people by this stage and having had a bit to drink myself, i was glad to see a bit more substantial food coming.

Carlisle Bar

The next course was the Spicy Chicken in the chef’s special sauce, is it just me or everyone seems to have a secret sauce/rub with their chicken??

Carlisle Bar

Special sauce or not, it was a good compliment to the tender chicken thigh meat.

Carlisle Bar

As the food progressively gets more substantial, so do the drinks. The final beef course was served with Blood and Sand, of Chivas, Cherry and Herring, Antica Formula, Ardbeg and fresh orange. Perfect if you need a strong hit, and thoroughly enjoyed by more of the males in the room.

Carlisle BarCarlisle Bar

The beef tenderloin was probably my favourite course, with the tender beef, cooked to medium rare (the way it should be!) served with garlic crisps in a bourbon jus.

Carlisle Bar

Tender slices of beef with addictive garlic crisps and intense strong flavours, i’d like another serving please.

Carlisle Bar

Disclaimer: Eilxrrr attended as a guest as courtesy from Bonnie Wu of the Carlisle Bar, opinions and thoughts are of my own.

Carlisle Bar

Leaving with the thoughts of halloumi cheese and delicious beef, we had a good night with drinks and good company. The lounge space and work man bar at the front is also perfect for parties or a place to unwind. Everyone left happy that evening with satisfied tummies and a $50 drink voucher in hand, i look forward to see what the Carlisle Bar will come up with.

E.

The Carlisle Bar on Urbanspoon

Bread and Circus.

Bread And Circus
I’m not sure if i’m the only one but sometimes i feel like i cant bring certain friends (specifically male friends), to certain food places simply because it a “healthy food” cafe. For some reason, there seemed to be this whole misconception that healthy  food doesn’t taste good, and “dude food” would be more appropriate (think along the lines of fried chicken or a pulled pork burger). But sometimes a girl gets lucky and finds herself at Bread and Circus. Plus points for friends who dont discriminate and were willing to give it a go.

Bread and Cirucs

It was a rainy weekend and although we arrived after the lunch hour there was still a bit of a wait, approximately half hour to be precise. We agreed as we were still relatively filled from our previous brunch and decided to wait in the meantime next door at Don Campos with a coffee.

Don Campos

It’s always coffee o’clock and a warm cup of caffeine is always welcome on a rainy day. I do hear they make cronuts but none were on display that day. The Rosetta Stone Artisan Bakery next door were serving up some tempting baked goods, but stomach space had to be reserved for the food that was coming next.

Don campos

After a relatively short wait, we were seated at the table and we were given the menu of the day as food here varies slightly daily.

Bread and Circus

Coffee was already had so out came the Something Green (6), a lemon based green smoothie with kale, spinach, cucumber and celery. Definitely green and very clean.

Bread and Circus

The Organic Brown Rice Chicken Congee (14) is simple and homey, served with wedges of sourdough. It was the perfect comforting bowl on a wet rainy day served with wedges of fluffy soft sourdough.

Bread and Circus

Our favourite dish of the day came out as their daily plate of Chicken Schnitzel. If you still believe that healthy wholesome food cannot possibly taste good, this would be the dish to prove you wrong. Starting with the chicken, the meat itself was so moist and juicy despite part of it being chicken breast. Then the crumb which was herby, flavoursome, addictive and mindblowingly good, if you know the recipe please do share.Theres also some sauce on the side, but the chicken itself didnt need any of it. It was a generous serve so we all got to try, but this was probably a dish you dont want to share. Sharing is caring but sometimes it’s so good you want to be greedy.

Bread and Circus

The Chicken Sandwich box (15) also arrives with chicken, salad, dressing and soft fluffy sourdough. Essentially, a healthy lunch box complete with greens, protein and carbs to fuel your day. The bread is really good here and i assume its coming from Rosetta Artisan next door. Probably worth the visit some time.

Bread and Circus

I’m not a fan of waiting in line, but if you’re curious to try out good food that not only tastes good but feels good then it’s probably worth a visit. Who knows, it might change your mind. And if its all too healthy, conveniently you can also grab a cronut next door to even it out.

E.

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MooBerry, Neutral Bay

It’s not every day that you see bright lights, flashing cameras and Porsches parked out the front along with a live band playing on Military road. The first thought i had was “wow i am definitely under dressed for this occasion”. Earlier this week, I was invited as a guest to welcome the new opening of MooBerry Dessert and Breakfast Bar in Neutral Bay situated on Military Road.

Mooberry(Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of MooBerry Dessert and Breakfast Bar, however the opinions written are purely my own)

The newly opened branch is located next to Maisy’s Cafe on Military Road and has three levels. The shop is quite spacious compared to a lot of other froyo chains with the downstairs serving yoghurt, while the upper two levels i assume were reserved for customer seating.

MooberryMooberry

There was no specific menu provided on what the store has to offer yet, but i did catch a glimpse of a coffee machine serving mecca beans and i did overhear someone say waffles.

Mooberry

On the evening there was also a bar area if anyone wanted a drink or two, and also a few small savouries upstairs to balance out the sweet.

Mooberry

But priorities first, because we were all excited for froyo. The process is quite simple you line up to order choosing between the flavours on offer that day, which was a choice between original, coconut or chocolate.

Mooberry

The second part is probably the most exciting because as you move along you get to choose your toppings. It starts with the less guilty fruity options but theres always a struggle to choose between so much variety.

Mooberry

For something a bit more sweet and indulgent, there was also chocolate and confectionary options to tempt your tastebuds.

Mooberry

I’ve had my fair share of froyo in the past from all different chains that stemmed from the early froyo craze so i was curious to see what Mooberry had on offer. The first one i tried was their original flavour followed by the coconut flavour.

Mooberry

Having tried both flavours, i would say it is one of the better ones that i have tasted. The texture itself is the right balance between creamy and light, nothing too heavy but not lacking in flavour either. Although the flavour was mild you can still distinctly tell and recognise the flavour. It was refreshing enough to go for multiple or bigger servings. The fruit is also very fresh and there seems to be quite a larger variety of toppings compared with other chains.

Mooberry

This is their second branch but the original still remains in Newtown for those who are interested in trying. Although it is just newly opened it’d be interesting to keep an eye out for what they have on offer.

E.

MooBerry Dessert & Breakfast Bar on Urbanspoon

Salvage Specialty Coffee.

Good coffee has become a want, a need and an absolute necessity for the majority of us simply because life is just too short for bad coffee (and bad food in general). It’s not very often that i find myself up in the north, and usually its for a more authentic Japanese meal or probably because i have something to do. But this time i wandered out of my usual cafe comfort zone to try Salvage Specialty Coffee.

Salvage Coffee

Priorities first, mecca beans are used here to create an aromatic cup of coffee. Life can now begin after caffeine. I had done some prior research and noted that the barista here was awarded “Bonsoy best barista” of 2013 by SMH. In terms of food, the menu is small with a few items being listed on the blackboard. Food is nothing fancy but very simple, but sometimes simple is good and all you really need.

Salvage CoffeeComfort food arrives first in the form of a Pulled Pork Roll with housemade BBQ sauce, fennel, rocket, apple slaw on brioche (14.50). It’s exactly what you would imagine it to be, the kind that was messy to eat and served with fall apart juicy meat on a soft brioche bun.

Salvage Coffee

Next to arrive was a lighter option of Smoked Ocean Trout with pickled fennel, poached egg , creme fraiche on sourdough (14). A simple dish with a perfect runny poached egg and refreshing pieces of ocean trout served on crunchy soy and linseed sourdough bread.

Salvage Coffee

The other order was the Spicy Porky beans with a poached egg served with seeded soudough and split farrow (15). A flavoursome protein dish complete with a bit of meat, beans and a runny egg.

Salvage Coffee

The good news is that Salvage Speciality Coffee had lived up to its name, however it was agreed that food portions are definitely on the small side. The other good news is that more and more food food and coffee spots are starting to appear, and eventually the spread of good cafes will extend beyond my usual comfort zone. Better food and coffee makes happier people.

Salvage Coffee on Urbanspoon

E.

Singapore // Restaurant Andre.

While it might sound ridiculous to some, I’ve come to realise that most of my travel plans revolve around food and restaurant bookings, rather than sightseeing, which has become a second priority. Disagree if you like, but good food should always be a priority. Happy stomachs means happy people who can then do other things, such as explore and sightsee. Travelling to Singapore also meant i was absolutely spoilt for choice when it came to eating, from cheap and cheerful hawker stalls to the opposite spectrum of fine cuisine.

Restaurant Andre

On the top of my list was Restaurant Andre because of the high praise and recommendations i had heard from various friends. Go for lunch they said, so off to lunch i went.

Restaurant Andre

Sometimes i feel like its a gamble with restaurants like these because the menu is forever changing. If i didnt mishear the waiter i believe it changes daily according to how the chef feels. Which was completely fine, because i was about to enjoy and indulge in one of the most memorable lunches i’ve had yet.

Restaurant Andre

We begin with “Snacking” which the waiter introduced as a Spring roll with a glazed Miso soy bean paste served with aubergine puree. The first thing i notice is the presentation which had amazing attention to detail, all i can imagine at that point was someone in the kitchen painstakingly placing each delicate herb one by one. Taste wise was just as good as it looked, a very light crunchy exterior bursting with a flavoursome creamy aubergine mousse. I was impressed.

Restaurant Andre

The first course to be served was the lightly marinated Striped Jack tartar of red radish, cucumber and pomegranate ginger blossom, red coral and fennel mousse. To get things started, this was a light course with refreshing pieces of raw fish which balanced out the heavier element of the fennel puree. There was also interesting textures coming from the red coral and pomegranate which created bursts of sweetness as you bite into it. So far so good.

Restaurant Andre

Next up was the Black bone chicken egg, winter mushroom broth and its puree served with wild grains couscous puffs. There are some things on the menu you see listed on the menu and think to yourself “hell yes”. This was one of them.

Restaurant Andre

This was nothing short of amazing and i loved every element of it. The local egg (80% egg yolk and 20% egg white) was served with a fragrant mushroom broth. The egg was beautifully cooked and the broth was intense in flavour. The added grains, cous cous puffs and enoki mushrooms also complete the dish with amazing textures. This would probably be my favourite dish.

Restaurant Andre

The meal progresses onto more substantial dishes starting off with the Spanish Octopus a la plancha, smoked purple cabbage heart, brocolli textures, beurre blanc. The octopus itself is simply grilled and the meat was very tender. However, the standout of the dish for me was actually the vegetables underneath. The cabbage heart was the standout of the dish with a smokey flavour cooked to the right texture, the flesh was still soft but still has a bite. To finish things off, when you dig through to the bottom of the dish, you also find a lovely tasty surprise, a hidden pile of bacon.

 Restaurant Andre

The last savoury course is served with the Slow roast Short rib a  la moelle, warm vegetable salad with anchovy carrot, potato and margarine. It was presented with a lovely vegetable garden with hidden chunks of bone marrow. Definitely a great meat lovers dish.

Restaurant Andre

The meal always ends sweet with dessert, starting with the cute ball of pre dessert. The name escapes me, but it was a simple bite sized sponge cake soaked in rum served on a bed of vanilla creme.

Restaurant Andre

And finally, we are served our “Black Forest” dessert with black olive soil and black cherry dark chocolate sorbet. The sorbet was smooth and creamy, balancing  well with the macerated cherries.

Restaurant Andre

At this point i was extremely full but i looked forward to this dessert as it reminded me of the “Chocolate Forest” dessert at Sepia. As full as i was, a meal is not completed without dessert and there’s always a bit of room for chocolate.

To me, Restaurant Andre was one of the most memorable meals i’ve had yet and it’s a rather rare occasion to enjoy and be satisfied with every course that was presented. The service and food were of a very high standard, and for those interested in wine it might be good to know that the list here is also quite extensive. This was defintiely a good start to my Singapore eating journey.

E.

Three Williams.

I’ve started to notice that eggs benedicts and omelettes seem to become more and more the cafe food of the past, instead cafes are offering up their own version of breakfast/brunching signatures. Three Williams for example, have been noted as many peoples favourite cafe already despite being relatively new, and with so much good feedback it was definitely on the list for a visit.

Three Williams

A good start to any cafe meal/brunch is definitely a good cup of coffee.

Three Williams

The most notable thing on the menu are of course the signature narnies, which are house made naan style flat breads ” filled with things”. The fillings do sound enticing and if its a signature its definitely asking to be ordered.

Three Williams

The Beef Narnie (14), was the first to appear with tender flavoursome meat, a bit messy to eat with the slaw and chipotle mayo but well worth the mess.

Three Williams

Next came the Pork Narnie (14), which comes with salad and hoisin sauce. This was very interesting because of the hoisin sauce it really tasted like peking duck except with pork of course.

Three Williams

To balance out the heaviness of other dishes, there is also the Caramelised Cauliflower salad (16) which comes served with tabouli, quinoa, preserved lemon, walnuts and lemon. You might not think much of salads, but this is one of the more memorable salads ive had. Not like the ordinary bland type of green salad, the shredded chicken is served moist and still with the skin while the cauliflower and walnuts gave it a nice bite/texture.

With service, coffee and food all right i can safely say its lived up to the hype. I do hear that the french toast and donuts here are good too so if sweets are your thing its probably worth a try.

E.

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