Adriano Zumbo, Rozelle

It's a Zumbo day, a Zumbo day!

It was finally time for my second visit to Zumbo ever.  With my previous trip being back in 2009, I was not surprised to see that there had been some changes since then.

One such change was the closing of the old Zumbo cafe near the patisserie and the opening of a new cafe on Terry St in Rozelle.

Zumbo cafe on Terry St

The new location is great because there is ample parking in the surrounding residential streets.  What I don't like about this cafe is the limited amount of seating.  There are 9 coveted barstools in the cafe for dine-in's where you can perch to sip your coffee and eat your sweet treats.  Oh - and you can peak into the kitchen...

And spot Zumbo!

Through a combination of miracles and a family leaving, we managed to score two seats at the window and shamelessly papped some shots of Zumbo with his crew in action.  The kitchen is quite large and there are a lot of people bustling around, baking and stirring.

View inside from the barstool

We also have a direct view of pre-orders waiting to be picked up.  I wonder who was the lucky recipient of these macarons?

We also noticed a lot of V8 cakes being picked up by people. (Side note: immediately after this visit, I proclaimed that I HAD TO HAVE a V8 cake for my upcoming birthday in November.  Unfortunately, since this visit, the cake has disappeared from Zumbo's website!  No longer able to be ordered!  Whyyyyyyy...oh the agony of being so close to buying a V8 cake and gobbling it up on my the dream has been destroyed into smithereens.)

First to be tried was the pear danish.  Recently I discovered my love for a good pear danish - sweet slices of pear, nestled in rich creamy custard and placed in a bed of flaky pastry.  I'm pleased to report that Zumbo's pear danish was delicious.  Yum.  The pastry flaked off and I was tempted to lick the sticky pear from my fingers. 

Pear danish ($4.50) and a flat white

Despite the fact that it was 11am in the morning, we also tucked into Sugar Lips, a heavily sugared raspberry jam donut.

Sugar lips ($4.50)

There is no way that you could eat this without sugar smothering your lips.  We cut it into half and somehow I ended up with half that was crammed with raspberry filling.  It became a bit too tart for my liking and I had to scoop some of it out to avoid a permanent screwed up 'sourface' with every bite.

Of course we also had to get some takeaway treats!

Ultimate chocolate brownie ($5.00)

Macarons - coffee creme brulee, mandarin, salted butter popcorn and butterscotch caramel ($2.50 each).

I loved the little box that the macarons came in!  So sturdy and cute.  At the time of our visit, the Zumbo website was still displaying the Eurasian macaron flavours as being current in store so I was kind of hoping to try them instead.   As it turns out, the macaron flavours had completely changed but but these ones were nice too.

After our little morning snack at the cafe, we decided to walk across to the patisserie on Darling Street....and pick up some more goodies.

Don the Pandan Man (bottom) and Enter the Dragon (top)

They were both delicious and looked too pretty to eat.  Don the Pandan man contained all of my favourite flavours - coconut, pandan and rice pudding.  I was in heaven.

Enter the Dragon consisted of toasted white chocolate mousse and peanut caramel, with some additional savoury flavours like coriander and chilli.

I really enjoyed my second visit to Zumbo and am already planning a third!

Lilianfels, Blue Mountains

After lunch at Brown's Siding Café and a trip to Logan Brae orchard for some apple juice, we decided to finish off our Blue Mountains day with afternoon tea at Lilianfels.

Lilianfels is a resort and spa located near Echo Point and the Three Sisters.

The Lilianfels lounge was just as I had remembered.  Lots of plush chairs, cushy furnishings and a pianist playing softly in the background.

Last time I was very impressed with their scones so naturally gravitated towards ordering the Devonshire tea again.  Disappointed to see that the price has jumped to $19.50 now - still cheap by Sydney standards but last time it was only $15!

Scones with cream and raspberry jam

The scones were nice but I would have preferred strawberry jam instead of raspberry jam.

Assam tea served with the scones

It was a nice relaxing end to a great day!  (Stomach was also bursting with fullness at this point)

The Lounge at Lilianfel on Urbanspoon

Brown's Siding Store and Cafe, Medlow Bath

We recently took another road trip to the Blue Mountains and discovered that what used to be the Whisk & Pin cafe has now been renamed Brown's Siding Store and Cafe!

Their website tells us that when the owner of Whisk & Pin sold the brand, she kept the store and renamed it.

I'm pleased to see that everything inside the cafe is still the same, with a bunch of wares to browse before we take a seat for lunch.

Inside the store

It was raining hard outside, with large claps of thunder.  The electricity went out a few times and the cafe would plunge into darkness before switching back on again.  I held my breath each time it went out - I didn't want to venture back into the cold and rain, not without eating first!

Some hot drinks to warm us up

I ordered a coffee and my friend ordered some tea which came in a cute little teapot.

Most of the lunch dishes are around the $17 mark and we each ordered something different.

Fillet Steak Sandwich
served with fresh beetroot, caramelised onions and wholegrain mustard mayo

What a monster of a sandwich! It came out on a massive plate and took up the entire plate, with onions and beetroot spilling out everywhere.  The fillet steak was cut into small strips and generously spread out along the sandwich.  Although it was ginormous,  I would try something else next time because the meat was a bit too tough for my liking.

Pumpkin and Pepita Fritters
with a warm cous-cous, date and pistachio salad

Reuben sandwich
Slow cooked corned beef on rye with Swiss grilled Cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing

The Reuben sandwich was another monster sandwich. The beef was sliced thickly and was thicker than the bread.  A few days after we went to this cafe, I was pleased to see their Reuben featured in SMH's 'Sydney's best Reuben' article here.

Of course, the best thing about eating in a store/cafe is that you get to leave with some goodies! I restrained myself to buying a slab of Whisk & Pin's chocolate brownie, made with Belgian chocolate. This lasted ages and was only $14.50 :-)

Brown's Siding Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sushi Hotaru, the Galeries Victoria

There is a new sushi train in town and everyone is excited!

1. It's cheap
2. It has touch screen ordering
3. The train is REALLY long (novelty factor)
4. Both times that I have been so far - funnily enough, both times on Friday night, we have had to take a number and queue (much like Ichi-ban Boshi upstairs) but haven't had to wait all that long.

I read about how long the sushi train was, but it didn't hit me until we were ushered to our small booth table at the back of the train and three wait-staff tag-teamed in showing us to our seats.

If you sit at a booth table, you can pick plates off the train or order from the touch screens mounted against the bottom of the train.

I am a big fan of touch screen ordering.  It's so efficient and you can peruse the menu for as long as you like.

To start with, I ordered a green tea milk with red bean ice cream - YUM!  The big scoop of red bean ice cream was so good, perched at the top of the drink and I happily mashed it around.

Green tea milk with red bean ice cream ($5.50)

I am always very hungry on a Friday night and tend to order anything that I want, as a reward to myself for reaching the end of the working week.

We quickly discovered that the tables of these two person booths are very small and it soon felt like we were jostling for premium table real estate in re-arranging plates around.

The sushi plates are $3, except for gold plates which are about $7 - namely the sashimi.  There are also side dishes that you can order which vary in price.

Grilled scallop

Grilled salmon

Soft shell crab roll

Crab claws

These balls were really disappointing! On another food blog, a food blogger had ordered these and they were the ones that I like, with stringy insides.

The ones that we received, were literally giant balls of solid seafood extender.


Tuna, kingfish and salmon sashimi (gold plate)

Another plate of salmon sashimi (gold plate)

Tuna hand roll


You can imagine how hard it was to find room for all these plates - plus the plates that my companion ordered!  We stacked them high but at times, several plates came out at once and we didn't had to reshuffle.

All in all, a great new sushi train that is in a convenient location.

Sushi Hotaru on Urbanspoon

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