Categories
Café Middle Eastern

3 Tomatoes – Ashbury NSW Restaurant Review

3 Tomatoes is an unusually bustling cafe on an otherwise quiet suburban Ashbury street, a provider of a wide an interesting range of food options on their all-day menu as well as a selection of artisan groceries at their counter up front.

The Syrian falafel bowl ($17) with additional poached egg ($3.50) was a green and fresh bowl of sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced radish, unsliced salad leaves, unsliced pickled chilli, and four or five freshly cooked falafels, all drizzled in tahini and parsley. This bowl was an enjoyable and fresh treat, promoting a healthful feeling with each bite of its salad-like ingredients. The falafels were warm and fresh, with a good crunchy external layer and warm, moist, textured interior. The first bite of any fried food is always the best, and while my enjoyment of the falafels waned as they radiated heat into the surrounding environment they remained reasonably good by the end, especially when paired with the mildly sour and mildly spicy pickled chillis. While I was initially concerned by the number of falafel served, they proved to be in the perfect ratio to the salad, and we did not find ourselves wanting for more at the end of the meal. The poached egg, an addition onto the base bowl, was well done with mastery shown in timing. Overall quite good. Very sesame flavoured.

It’s a shame that I don’t have a proper photo of the beef brisket ($18) without it being covered in part by the gigantic extra handmade 3T hash brown ($7). I would have liked to be able to comment on them individually, but the layering of the hash brown within the beef brisket dish made this impossible. The beef brisket dish with date molasses, capsicum, tahini, cooked greens and a fried egg was warm and tasty, if less fresh and wholesome compared to the aforementioned salad. The meat was a particular highlight, given that we have had some relatively disappointing red meats in brunch meals of late (at other establishments). The fried egg, similar to the poached egg, was cooked to a high degree of runny perfection.

The handmade 3T hash brown ($7) was my partner’s compromise after I told her she shouldn’t order the shoestring fries. It was quite large, though I guess if it had been any smaller we would’ve been upset at the $7 asking price. It had an crispy exterior with a moist interior, and was strongly herbed for additional flavour.

The pastel de nata ($4.50) from Tuga Pastries will be reviewed individually in a separate post if I ever make it to one of Tuga’s stores, but suffice it to say it was good, and I didn’t even have to wait thirty minutes in line to eat it.

Sticky Chai ($5.50), Soy Latte ($4.50). Coffee by Will & Co. Good foam on the latte.

THOUGHTS
It’s a very nice, doggy cafe in a very nice and doggy neighbourhood. I’d like to come back. I will admit that I looked online at real estate in the area after I got home. I am in the right age and stage chronologically but not financially. Pegfeeds is why.

A human, in double denim, petting a dog, not in denim.

3 Tomatoes
121 Holden St, Ashbury NSW 2193
(02) 8065 1288

Categories
Middle Eastern

Kabab Al Hojat – Merrylands NSW Restaurant Review

The mixed kebab ($20) from Merrylands’ Kabab Al Hojat is pretty well known both within and outside of the Western Sydney Afghan community. Essentially what your $20 gets you is a skewer of chicken, a skewer of lamb tikka, and a skewer of shami (mince) with a grilled green pepper, half a tomato, some fresh salads, and an unreasonably large quantity of bread. The meats were juicy, well flavoured, and tender, but I thought that the fresh salads didn’t really complement the meats in the way that I ate it. I assume that one of the intended ways to eat this would be to wrap everything up in bread and eat it as a roll, in which case it would’ve made more sense.

Pretty good/10. Well known locally. Some guy in scrubs came to pick up his order whilst I was there, and given it’s around a half hour round trip during the day from the nearest tertiary referral hospital I thought that was a bit brave.

Kabab Al Hojat
2/254 Pitt St, Merrylands NSW 2160
(02) 8677 9423

Categories
Middle Eastern

CK’s Canterbury Kebabs & Burgers – Canterbury NSW Restaurant Review

Probably unrelated to CK Kebab in Westmead, CK’s Canterbury Kebabs & Burgers provides a high-mid tier mixed kebab for a hefty $12. The salad is fresh without any hint of weirdness, the meat used is good, and the service is fast.

There is no additional charge for tabouli or multiple sauces, though I would’ve preferred a 50 cent surcharge or something to get an actual quantity of tabouli worth mentioning. I will ask for this the next time I go.

UPDATE
We’ve had probably ten kebabs over the course of the year since I first drafted this post, and they have been repeatedly high quality. The bouli to bab ratio has improved without us asking for anything in particular, and the kebabs have remained plump, juicy, and tasty. Unfortunately I don’t have any recent cross-sectional imagery to prove this.

Other things we have eaten from CK’s Canterbury include burgers, snack packs, and chips. See below.

This beef burger with egg was probably $9-10. It was really only OK, with the patty too soft and untextured for my liking.

I don’t know how expensive these chips with chicken salt were, but they were pretty good, fresh, and sogged only by tomato sauce.

The snack packs were also good, I’ve had a few, uncaptured, that I shouldn’t have. CK’s is just so convenient on the way home from the city after an expensive meal that we often find ourselves topping up on it.

VERDICT

Not gourmet, but not everything needs to be.

CK’s Canterbury Kebabs & Burgers
280 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury NSW 2193

Categories
Café Italian Middle Eastern

Bar Biscotti – North Strathfield NSW Restaurant Review

The main take-home message from this review is really that the food was good, but we spent 40 minutes waiting.

This mango smoothie ($9) was $9 expensive, but pretty good, and came soon after ordering, which was more than we could say about the rest of our meal.

The Mediterranean Potato & Eggs ($21) featuring spiced (mostly vinegary) potato, egg, and zaatar was pretty good. The potatoes were a bit more sour than my partner would’ve liked, and though she wasn’t particularly keen on them I felt the eggs were quite good, as was the surprise zaatar which I think was just mentioned in the menu as “coriander… and a side of pita bread”.

The Italian Meatballs ($22) were pretty good. The Turkish bread was probably the best part – light and airy, a bit oily, a bit crispy, and nice and warm. The beef meatball was a bit weird, a brown exterior with an unexpectedly pink interior displaying a gobstopper like quality that the waiter PROMISED was normal and intentional (but why?) We did eat it and did not get sick. The Napoletana sauce was fine, and the rocket was plenty, but I do feel like a bit of extra bread to soak up all that extra sauce wouldn’t have gone astray. I don’t know why there’s a separate option on the menu for a meatball sub which seems essentially the same dish with different bread and cheese but vaguely the same deal. It was a difficult choice, but I think with this delicious Turkish bread we probably made the right one.

OTHER THOUGHTS We didn’t really complain about our meal taking an extremely long time to come, but the couple next to us who ordered after us and got their food fractionally before us did, and I think they were offered something free out of it. The food was reasonably good, but I’m just glad we had nowhere else to be that morning, because 40 minutes is too much.

Bar Biscotti
24 George St, North Strathfield NSW 2137
0424 195 732

Categories
Middle Eastern

CK Kebab – Westmead NSW Restaurant Review

Service is fast and friendly. Kebabs are well priced, well flavoured, and sauced – much better than other local alternatives.

Their spinach and cheese gozleme ($13.50) is also good.

COMMENTS
The opening hours (essentially Monday-Sunday 0900-2030/2100) could be a bit better. I think they must open so early because they also serve coffee, but I wish they would close a bit later so that we could get their kebabs delivered to work on a night shift rather than settle for inferior alternatives. As it stands, CK Kebab is a good option for the nocturnist who occasionally visits the adjacent Coles to buy snacks for his nursing colleagues before his shift.

CK Kebab
29-33 Darcy Rd, Westmead NSW 2145
(02) 8677 7708