Bona Fides, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney

Bona Fides cafe - there are two around the city and being the penny pinchers that we are, we always hop on to the deal vouchers whenever they come up with a decent offer on Groupon etc.

On this occasion, we grabbed the deal for a lunch time meal for two at the one at Darling Harbour at the Tokio hotel. Normally I don't eat at Darling Harbour given that you tend to pay more for the views than the actual food. But once in a while, if you can get a good deal it's not bad just sitting back and enjoying the sights like a tourist.

Garlic Prawn - $19.90 - four or five prawns simmering in a terracotta pot of tomato and garlic sauce. A no-brainer combo and hard to go wrong. The crusty toasted bread was useful for soaking up the remaining sauce

Stuffed zucchini flowers - $19.90 - I remember having this at another Bona Fides branch and it's not bad. The garden salad underneath is nothing to write home about, but the zucchini flowers are lightly battered and fresh.

Seafood platter for two - $69 - And here was the main attraction. A two tier platter of hot seafood to share.

Top plate a handful of grilled prawns on a bed of garden salad. Salad is the same as other dishes but the star here really is the prawns

Bottom tier - battered morsels of fish, calamari, ocotpus, prawn on a bed of thick cut chips. The first few pieces are absolutely heaven, but as with most deep fried food, but the last mouthful you begin to wish you had stopped a few servings ago. Luckily there were two of this to finish this off.

Bona Fides Restaurant at Tokio Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Uccello, Sydney CBD, Sydney

Uccello is an Italian restaurant located on the top of Sydney's Ivy establishment - next to the famous Ivy pool bar area. It's a one hat restaurant serving Italian cuisine which we had decided to check out for a birthday celebration.

Arriving around 6:30pm on a Friday meant that the place was buzzing with the after work office crowd and unfortunately we were initially seated at the edge of the restuarant - towards the open pool bar area. This meant that it was quite hard to make conversation given the music and noise from the other guests. A quick comment to the waiter and we were whisked inside to a more quiet table.

The menu isn't very extensive so it seems they have chosen to be quite selective on what they offer.
We ordered 2 entrees, 2 mains and 1 dessert, however given that we ordered 2 pasta mains, we probably could have done with less. The pasta itself is quite filling.

Complimentary bread and olives - The bread was nice and house made, however I would have preferred it to be slightly warm rather than room temperature.

Grilled octopus on mash potato, parsley and olives - $21 - A giant octopus leg which reminded me of a movie I saw recently on giant squid. I find octopus to be quite hard to get right but here they have done a good job. Not too tough but enough bite. Nicely chargrilled it went nicely with the olives. The mash base was also creamy and delicious but I thought it was a bit odd a combination.

Fried calamari with lemon and parsley - $24 - Flash fried calamari pieces, fresh and tasty. Minimal batter and seasoning allowed the flavours of the calamari to shine. 

Linguine marinara with scampi, clams, mussels, prawns, calamari - $37 - Disappointingly for a one hat restaurant, the first serving of this pasta, came out under done. The pasta was still very chewy and hard on the inside. A word to the waiter and they immediately sent it back to be redone. The second time around it was much better. A generous amount of seafood in a light tomato based sauce. One of the better marinas I've had.

Chitarra, guanciale, S.marzano tomatoes, pecorino - $34 - A less common pasta, I had to ask the waitress to explain almost all the ingredients, lol. The chitarra pasta is a thicker, rougher cut variation of spaghetti, reminiscent some think hand cut egg noodles. Guanicole is a type of ham and this provided the flavour hit to the dish - kinda like bacon chunks. Percorino was the sprinkling of cheese on top which made the dish complete. My favourite of the 2 pastas.

Black forest mousse with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and cherries - $14 - This was the dessert special of the day and was a rich chocolate mouse with cherries and a swirl of whipped cream on top. The combo of cherries and dark chocolate mousse is a match made in heaven and a wonderful end to the meal.

Uccello Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Koi dessert bar, Chippendale, Sydney central

Reynold Poernomo the name on everyone's lips at the moment. Famous for being on Masterchef and the controversy surrounding whether or not he is actually an 'amateur' chef given his experience in kitchens and his brother being an actual Masterchef judge in Indonesia.

He now has another reason to be famous as he has opened up a dessert bar in the trendy area around Central Park near Broadway. It actually is not just a dessert bar as you can also dine in and have a proper seated meal there also.

All the desserts are displayed neatly in the counter and you can have a gander before you select what you want. It's also an open kitchen if you want to have a bit of a perve at Reynold as some of the girls did, lol.

Nomtella - $11 - Full description above, but basically this is a soft chocolate mousse with a thin twirl of salted caramel at the top of the mousse. Coated with hazelnut chocolate sauce and sprinkled with edible gold specks, it was almost too good looking to eat.

Not sure what these ones were called as they didn't have tags on at the time of purchase. Didn't enjoy these ones as much. The tart in the background was kind of like a chocolate crumble, but I found the tart shell way to hard - especially with the plastic takeaway spoons that that gave you. Didn't get to try the white dome dessert, but it looks good!

Koi Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spice Alley, Chippendale, Sydney Central

Next to the swanky big new apartment blocks of Central Park, there is a new hawker style eatery. Tucked away behind some old heritage listed buildings is 'Spice alley'. Not actually a restaurant in itself, but a hawker style area serving a number of different Asian cuisines. Inspired by the kind of food halls you see through out south east Asia, Spice alley offers food from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, just to name a few.

Drinks are purchased at the drinks stations and food is served at the various stalls. Just line up at the one you want, place your order, get your ticket and wait for it to be called. Seating is first in first serve and you can choose to sit in the outdoor open air section, or inside the heritage buildings. 

I think the best way to enjoy spice alley would be to go with a bunch of friends, all order a bunch of dishes from different stalls and to grab a table inside a heritage house and pig out. This is what we did and below are some of the dishes we ordered.

The semi-secret entrance to Spice alley

Outdoor seating and the food stalls

Thai papaya salad with 3 chicken ribs ~$11 - The surprising thing about this dish was the chicken ribs. I had expected just bone but instead there was meaty morsels of tasty chicken rib cage meat inside the bones. Cooked with a salt and pepper coating, it was like eating mini - KFC wicked wings

Crispy pork belly with stir fry vegies and steamed rice ~$14 - my favourite dish of the night. Lovely crispy crackling with a chili jam sauce that was enough to make my forehead burst with sweat.

Roti Canai ~$5 - Not enough sauce! The roti is made on site by the roti chefs who you can observe through an open kitchen, however, the issue is that there is not enough sauce for the roti and the sauce itself is a bit too watery for my liking.

Char kway teow ~$12 - not a bad char kway teow, but it was missing the 'wok hei' (breath of the wok) that usually makes this dish so special. A tad bland but that is easily fixed by a dollop of sambal. A decent smattering of plump prawns.

Curry puff ~$5 - curry puff was good but not great - filled with mince and vegies

Nasi Lemak ~$12 

Durian Roti with vanilla ice cream ~$9 - there's not much places you can get a nice durian dish in Sydney where as there is plenty in Singapore and Malaysia. This is a decent attempt to bring the king of  fruits back to the mainstream but there wasn't enough durian inside the roti :( Might be good for those that have never tried durian before, but for those durian addicts outdoor, you will be left wishing you were in Malaysia.

Kopi-Tiam Spice Alley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bacino Cafe, Mosman, Sydney North

In Sydney's north, there is a nice coastal walk which you can do between Balmoral and Chowder Bay. You can start at either end and finish with a dip at Balmoral Beach or at Clifton gardens and enjoy the sights and sounds of our harbour foreshore along the way.

This is already quite a nice day out, but at Chowder Bay and Balmoral, there are also a few cafes and restaurants which you drop into to have a bit before heading back home. On this occasion, we were at Chowder Bay and decided to have a quick breakfast snack at Bacino Cafe whilst we took a rest and enjoyed the view.

Bacon and egg panini -$9 - Freshly toasted with runny eggs, crispy bacon, basil and tangy tomato. A great breakfast combo.

Coffee- $4.50 - Regular mocha with real chocolate flakes, hehe

Coffee- $4.50 - Regular flat white

View from the deck

Bacino Kiosk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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