Sydney life

Kafiene Balmain

Balmain is a delightful suburb just a few kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. Darling Street is a Hub of activities, with weekend markets, florists, cafés and eateries.


Kafiene is a pumping café on Darling Street. With a cool and funky décor, a front window drenched in sunshine, serving Campos coffee. Kafiene was the place to be.


Sitting at the bay window at the front, staff couldn’t see us past the crowd waiting for take away coffee.

Our coffees arrived swiftly, they were on point! The milk nice and hot, well textured until velvety smooth. With nice woody tones, no acidic after taste, I would recommend coffee lovers give Kafiene a try.


The black rice porridge was a generous portion of black rice served with your milk of choice and a medley of fruits. The dish is not what I would have expected, cold strawberry with the warm stewed fruit and poached pear was not the balance I was looking for. The milk was served cold, on a chilly winters day the porridge did not stay warm for long. I would have liked a richer rice cooked with the milk, cinnamon, spices so it was nice and aromatic served hot.




The omelette had loads of great flavours. I would liked to have seen the flavours cooked with the eggs so that every bite had some of the gorgeous caramelised onion and chorizio.


Kafiene has an eclectic menu, with a broad variety to meet your dietary needs, serving scrumptious coffee.

IMG_3777 IMG_3784


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Ironwood café and coffee roasters at Woolwich

Ironwood café

Located on Woolwich Point,  Ironwood café has a great view of Clarke’s Point Reserve and some magnificent harbour and CBD views.

As you walk into the café, the array of coffee beans and tea is vast. You’ll have to make it past the cake and sweet counter to grab a table.

IMG_3744Staff are super friendly and happy to spend some time with you going through the menu. The ambience at Ironwood is great, the tables are large and the restaurant isn’t over crowded.

The coffee … The coffee is house roasted, you will definitely grab more than one. The coffee is full of flavour, nice earthy tones and balanced on the palate, no acidic aftertaste.

IMG_8947Ironwood has an extensive breakfast menu, with a Mediterranean influence. I really enjoyed the dukkah eggs, two eggs served on a generous portion of bacon, stacked on toasted sourdough, topped off with crumbled fetta, dukkah, honey and some mint. This was the waiter’s suggestion, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I was pleasantly surprised with how complimentary the sweet element was to this dish. The mint really added some freshness.  I would have liked it thinly sliced so I could have had a little mint in each mouthful.


The haloumi BLT, was a huge portion and super scrumptious. The Turkish roll was fresh, soft, fluffy and smeared with Aoli. The haloumi BLT came with a generous amount of bacon, haloumi, and salad. It was well seasoned and scrumptious.


The greek baked eggs were divine. Packed full of flavour, great herb, garlic and tomato undertones. The house roasted tomatoes are delicious.

The desserts. For once I’m actually a little speechless. The desserts are house made. The fruit tart was excellent, the short crust pastry shell was light and crunchy, a generous amount of custard and had loads of fresh berries on top. The Nutella croquembouche was rich and indulgent.

IMG_3746With a huge range of sweets you’ll definitely save room for dessert and visit Ironwood more than once to get through them all.  Portions are generous and menu items are all well priced. 

I cannot wait to go back to Ironwood to grab a coffee, try the dinner menu and sample a couple more desserts. 

Omnivore world tour Sydney – the young cuisine festival

What an experience to learn, watch, listen, touch and try foods produced by some of the most talented chefs in Australia and the globe. It was a fantastic opportunity to absorb the knowledge and passion displayed by some of the best young chefs in the world.

Coupe de Pates Cannelle

Bandoit lightly sparkling water

Omnivore is the cutting edge of modern young Australian cuisine. Originating in France, the Omnivore festival has returned to Australia for its second year.Coupe de Pates fruit and custard pasties

These talented young chefs brought a new way of thinking and a clear path of the evolution of Australian cuisine.

Coupe de Pates MacaronAll chefs shared the same vision, looking to the past to take flavours and skills to reinvent our cuisine.

Coupe de Pates Macarons

Plenty of delicious pastries and decadent marshmallows, petit fours, Macarons from Coupe de Pates, Bandoit and Evian water was available to sample.evian

Carla Jones: 4 Fourteen

Carla Jones 4Fourteen and I

Demonstrated how to produce a pork terrine using all parts of the pig. It was the best terrine I have ever tasted.

Pork Terrine

Josh and Julie Niland: Fish FaceJosh with the biggest piece of Tuna I have ever seen

Demonstrated how at Fish Face they use the whole fish in ‘fin to tail’ cooking and produced a delectable tuna salad.Tuna salad with puffed burgal

Gita Seaton who came all the way from Canada.Hush puppies with homemade spicy salsa

Brought to us a little soul food and made each of us a Hush Puppy and demonstrated how to cure fish. It was truly amazing to hear how she established herself by starting pop up diners in convenience stores !Cured kingfish on celery and kaffir puree

Patrick Friesen: Papi ChuloPatrick Friesen and I

An amazing character who brought a cheeky sense of humour to the culinary arts. He demonstrated how to make a gorgeous squid salad with crunchy potatoes. He shared with us his passion for cooking, quality produce and excellent flavours.  He proudly uses Australian iron bark at Papi Chulo.Squid salad with sorrel and dill dressing

Paul Farag: Four in Hand

Taught us how to fillet a flat fish and how to use all parts of the fish to minimise wastage. At For in Hand they use the whole fish from head to tail. He demonstrated how to perfectly pan fry fish  and make a sorrel and apple emulsion sauce.

Paul Farag flounder with a sorrel and apple emulsion

Nathan Sasi: NomadNathan Sasi demonstrating how to make mortadella

Demonstrated and produced one of Nomad’s famous charcuteries, the mortadella. His passion for creating charcuteries from scratch using and reinventing forgotten skills.Coupe de Pates Cannelle

Omnivore has finished for 2014 so keep your eyes peeled for 2015. The Omnivore festival is not one to be missed.

Coupe de Pates canelle with silver leaf

Dining experience review: Forage Marrickville an Inner West delight

Upon arrival I was bombarded with the smell of ground coffee and sweet yeast. Our hostess greeted us with a warm welcome.

The hostess diligently explained the menu to us. Forage had numerous choices on the breakfast menu.  My dining partner selected the big breakfast, eggs scrambled. I selected the Mexican. The hostess politely warned me ‘it’s hot’.

First arrived my cup of perfectly crafted Grinders organic coffee, Forage set a bench mark of excellence in its coffee, very smooth no acidic tones a rich full taste with a nutty slightly cocoa aftertaste.

Grinders organic coffee

Our breakfast plates arrived, both of generous portions. The Mexican had pulled pork, salsa, guacamole, eggs and tortillas. My hostess was right, my dish came with high visibility of chillies in the salsa, guacamole and eggs made me a little cautious as to how hot this Mexican plate would be.

Mexican plate
My taste buds went into an instant flurry of excitement, it was hot, spicy, smooth and with hint of sweetness from the pork it was the most perfect match of flavours on a breakfast plate.
For those who love a little spice, the mixture of chili’s in the dish offered different graduations and onsets of heat.

The big breakfast

Forage is an excellent Inner West café. The Mexican is worth a try for the brave, definitely not for the faint hearted.

Forage 181 Marrickville Rd Marrickville NSW 2204

Sydney Fish Markets Pyrmont

If you are looking for a great place to purchase the freshest seafood in Sydney and to grab a bite to eat head down to the Sydney fish markets in Pyrmont. Its a great day out, with food stalls, flowers, yum cha all with a water view !

Seafood is fresh, staff are super friendly and it’s got loads of food stalls and restaurants within.

Watch this space, recipes on the way !


mixed seafood plate for lunch blue swimmer crabs big mud crabs beautiful squid Fresh fish