Coffee Deli Warehouse, Homebush (3)

It isn't often that you can boast having been to a place for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   It was only going to be a matter of time until we went to the CDW for brunch to complete our personal trifecta.

The CDW wasn't as busy as I have seen it at dinner, but there were still more people than I expected.

The 'Big Breakfast' caught my eye - I have a weakness for having every breakfast food on my plate.  There was the 'Warehouse Big Breakfast' ($22) option available and also the 'Vegetarian Big Breakfast' ($18).  I carefully read through the list of inclusions and realised they were basically the same except the Warehouse Big Breakfast included streaky bacon and Italian sausage.

I don't really like bacon all that much so I decided to order the Vegetarian Big Breakfast with an add-on of chorizo (extra $4).

Vegetarian Big Breakfast - two eggs cooked to your liking, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomato, cannellini baked beans, potato rosti, spinach and woodfired bread

I was surprised by how big it was when the plate came out.  It was huge!  I put in a good effort and managed to tuck away a lot of it.  Highlights on the plate were the grilled mushrooms and the beans which were well flavoured with spices.  Let down was the spinach (hidden under the bread in this picture) which hadn't been cooked and seemed like it had been tossed on the plate without any thought - it was very dry.

Eggs Benedict ($16)
Served with homemade hollandaise on English muffin and spinach with smoked salmon

My friend enjoyed her eggs benedict and I should have taken a photo of the oozy egg i.e. the money shot.

So after having been here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I think the best meal here is dinner.  I'm always happy with their pizza followed by a browse of the dessert section.

Speaking of the dessert section, I am a fan of their big, fluffy coconut cake. It makes me think of a grandma's cake and is slightly old-fashioned but light and airy with a heavy portion of dessicated coconut throughout.

And this dense, sticky mocha cheesecake which I had once - yum.
The cakes on display cost about $7 for a slice served with whipped cream.  You can also add on a scoop or two of gelato starting from $4 for one scoop.

I haven't been back for breakfast since this visit although that is not to say that I wouldn't in the future. 

Coffee Warehouse: Cafe & Deli on Urbanspoon

Yebisu Izakaya, Regent Place

In yet another example of the fast changing Sydney restaurant scene, there have been more changes to Regent Place.  Yebisu Izakaya has taken over the old location of Azuma Kushiyaki and remodeled with some pretty good graffiti art, hanging signs and bright lanterns.  Makes me feel like I'm on a street somewhere in Asia!

It was pretty busy for a weeknight and we waited about ten minutes for a table facing the counter.  There were touchpad ordering screens on the table which I love.  So convenient!
Yebisu Seafood Salad ($11.80)

The Yebisu seafood salad had a decent number of small sashimi pieces and a generous light dressing.

Mixed Aburi Sushi ($14.80)

The mixed aburi sushi contained two pieces each of grilled kingfish, salmon and scallops.  Simple but tasty.

Grilled eggplant with Sweet Miso ($6.80)

The grilled eggplant isn't the type of dish that I would normally order but it caught my friend's eye and he enjoyed it.  I found the miso sauce to be a bit starchy. Don't forget that you can scoop out the rest of the eggplant underneath the pre-cut pieces - waste not want not!

Grilled salmon skewer with teriyaki sauce ($ 4.80)

Salmon Kyoto style ($12.80)

Out of the two salmon dishes that we ordered, we both agreed that the 'Kyoto-style' salmon was not the best.  It was flavourless and tasted like it had been broiled then grilled for a few seconds and didn't have any kind of sauce.  Next time I would stick with the grilled salmon skewers.

There isn't anything particularly amazing about Yebisu other than the cool exteriors. The food on offer and style of service reminds me of Mizuya, Wagaya and Lantern which are all located nearby.  Similar menus and that handy touchscreen ordering system.  So I probably wouldn't go out of my way to visit again unless I happened to be nearby and it was the closest of all of them.

Yebisu on Urbanspoon

Pizzeria Belluci, Bankstown

A few weeks ago, I was reading SMH and an article in the Good Food section caught my eye: Sydney's best 'under the radar' eats.  Like a moth drawn to a flame, I immediately clicked through and let out a cry of surprise when I saw the headline photo was of pizza from Pizzeria Belluci in Bankstown - "Hey, I've been there!"

Unfortunately, no one around me shared my joyous surprise at being 'in the know' of one Sydney's 'best under the radar eats' so I quickly grabbed someone that I knew would care - a friend who lives a five minute drive from the Bankstown Sports Club.  "Hey did you know that you live really close to this place where the inside is made to look like the outside?  And the pizza is pretty good too!"

After explaining what I meant, my friend was very eager to check it out and we made plans to visit.

Since Pizzeria Belluci is inside a registered club, you need to follow the usual sign-in rules to get inside.  If you live within a 5km radius of the club and are neither a registered member of another club nor there as a guest of a member, then you will need to join as a member.  My friend signed up on the day and a yearly membership was $12.

The interior setting of Pizzeria Belluci is really fun.  There is a large seating area that can accomodate small and big groups, both indoors and outdoors.  The coolest part is that they have made the indoors seem as if you're sitting in an Italy.

On this sunny day, the light was streaming through the skylight and it was busy.  We were absentmindedly listening to this Italian music and suddenly realised it was coming from a singer crooning from one of the balconies!

Ordering is at the counter and they give you a number to take back to your table.

 Farnese pizza
 Mozarella, garlic, prawns and chilli ($19)

Rapallo pizza
Mozarella, chicken, bbq sauce, onions and capsicum

Out of the two pizzas that we ordered, the Farnese was much better than the Rapallo.  The Farnese had a generous scattering of prawns and a subtle sting of chili that kicked in after a few bites.  As you may know by now, my tastebuds can't handle chili but this came in just under my chili limit.

The reason that I didn't like the Rapallo was mainly because the capsicum seemed like it had been thoroughly cooked before being added to the pizza.  This was a real let down because they tasted soggy and wet.  I would have much preferred bright capsicum with a bit of a crisper crunch.

Still, it is a fun place to visit and now that my friend has invested in club membership, we have vowed to come back again to try more pizza (cost per pizza session and all that).

 Pizzeria Bellucci on Urbanspoon

Sushia Izakaya & Bar, Sydney CBD

Where is Sushia Izakaya & Bar?  When I first heard about this Japanese restaurant, I had to pause for a second to wonder where it was.  The address said 20 Bond Street in the Sydney CBD and the only building on Bond Street that I could think of was the Fitness First Bond Street building.  Given that I walk along Bond Street almost daily, could I have been oblivious to this restaurant here?  The answer is yes - this was exactly where Sushia is hidden - tucked away in a corner of the ground floor, opposite Australia Square and Ryan's Bar.

I was mollified to find out that Sushia only opened late last year.

The entry into Sushia
Sushia has both outdoor and indoor seating.  Walking into the restaurant, it was a bit like falling into a rabbit hole.  The narrow hallway lined with sushi train stools suddenly expanded into a much larger space with tables, low chairs and even a private dining area.

The white wave design along the ceiling and walls made my overactive imagination feel like I was inside a whale.  It turned out that the waves were specially designed and constructed to prevent echoing and loud noises coming into the restaurant from the surrounding bars.  I really appreciated this since lately I've been feeling like I can hardly hear myself speak in a lot of restaurants.

I thought the private dining room in the above photo was very cute.  Sometimes private dining rooms in Japanese restaurants can be quite stark but this one was very charming with potted plants and empty glass bottles giving it some ambience. I could definitely see my work colleagues wanting to pop here for a corporate lunch.

The offerings on the sushi train looked appealing and I took a quick snap of the plates on offer.

Sushi train plates (click to enlarge)

We didn't take any plates off the train but instead enjoyed some dishes from the menu that came recommend by our incredibly friendly waiter, John.

Agedashi tofu with almond flakes and den-daishi sauce

The agedashi tofu was silky smooth with just the right amount of light batter that stayed crisp on top.  I liked the addition of almond flakes which added some texture to the dish. Usually I tend to dismiss agedashi tofu as a generic starter dish but I really enjoyed this version.

Sushi and Sashimi platter

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you would have seen that I posted a picture of this platter because I was so impressed by the presentation!  It arrived on a large stoneware plate appearing as if it bore three dragon eggs.  Carefully placed seashells and polished smooth stones graced the back of the platter and even the piped wasabi itself looked like a small shell.

The sashimi was very fresh and John told us that they choose their seafood each morning.  My favourites on the platter were the salmon sashimi (melted in mouth), grilled aburi sushi and the pieces of salmon & avocado roll - I liked how the seaweed still had a bit of fresh crisp wrapped on the inside of the roll.

Soft shell crab kara-age salad with wasabi mayonnaise

mixed leaves, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and avocado

The wasabi mayonnaise dressing on the soft shell crab would please the wasabi fans.  There was a strong horseradish kick in the creamy sauce and I was pleasantly surprised to see the generous slices of avocado included in the salad. 

Prawn tempura
Black tiger, king prawn and scampi

The tempura scampi and prawns were perched prettily in the bowl before we devoured them.  I prefer scampi served raw because the sweetness in its flesh seems lost when the scampi is fried.  My friend really enjoyed this dish because she loves tempura prawns.  

Seafood kushiyaki skewers with chili balsamic sauce
Prawns, scallop and salmon served with salad

Sushia has a number of interesting items on its menu that I haven't seen before and this was one of them.  The skewers were neatly jammed from top to bottom with prawns, scallops and pieces of salmon.  It is actually a really good value skewer for the amount of seafood that you get.  It was nice to see that the salmon was cooked well - I always fear with smaller pieces of salmon that they will be overdone due to how quickly salmon cooks.  The chili balsamic glaze gave a great burst of flavour to the skewer and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Teppanyaki Wagyu beef steak with mash sweeet potato and sesame demi sauce

The menu lists the Wagyu as having a marbling score of 9+, John proudly told us that they source their Wagyu beef from Queensland and this is one of their most popular signature dishes.  I enjoyed the tender pieces of beef but my friend and I both agreed that the star of the dish was......the sweet potato mash!  Peeking out from underneath the beef, we lapped this up.  It was soft, seasoned and I would probably order this as a side by itself next time!

We were so full by this stage, I could barely breathe but as we all know, there is the magical separate dessert stomach.

House-made green tea and cookies & cream ice cream

Green tea ice cream! One of my faves!  Despite being house-made, it was well mixed without uneveness in distribution of matcha that I have seen elsewhere.  A perfect sweet ending to the meal.

Before we left, I noticed they are doing a check in promotion where you can get 10% off your food bill if you do a Facebook check in and show it at the counter.

And they have a Happy Hour promotion too - with a range of Japanese beers and Asahi on tap.

Now that I know that Sushia is just down the road from my work, I think I will be back again soon.

Sushia Izakaya & Bar on Urbanspoon

The Food Book dined as a guest of Sushia Izakaya & Bar and The Horizon Communication Group

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