Bakery Portuguese

Sweet Belem – Petersham NSW Bakery Review

After hearing many a story told by my colleagues of Sweet Belem’s Portuguese tarts I decided I absolutely had to try. Unfortunately for my wallet and my HbA1c, I was sidetracked into getting quite a bit more than just a few tarts.

Portuguese Tart

First things first. The Portuguese Tart. Sweet Belem’s Portuguese tart is not quite the tart that I grew up with. One of my best friends throughout high school (co-incidentally the one I ate at Din Tai Fung with eight years ago) was a little bit fancy, and would often get Portuguese tarts at the school canteen, never settling for a mere custard tart. On the odd occasion where he and I would partake in such opulent pleasures together I would find a soft, multilayered puff pastry crust around an eggy, custardy filling. For the longest time this is what I thought a Portuguese Tart was meant to be.

Sweet Belem changed my mind. As the benchmark for Portuguese Tarts, what Sweet Belem delivered was much different to my youthful experiences. The crust was flaky, hard, and crispy, made up of layers upon layers of pastry. The filling, caked in cinnamon, had a sweeter but also more complex flavour than any tart I had in high school or in the many years since. This is something you’ll definitely want to try for yourself.

And now for a brief description of some of the other baked goods I had. These are not labelled but I think you can figure it out.

Pineapple cake ($5.50) – NOT your Chinese style pineapple cake. Literally a pineapple slice on top. Soaked in sweet syrup. I didn’t like it

Baked chocolate tart ($4)- Enjoyed by my partner. Not too sweet.

Almond tart – Pretty good!

Egg and almond croissant ($4) – I actually really liked this, especially the parts with the eggy custard filling. A recommendation.


I liked Sweet Belem’s Portuguese tarts, and I think that if you’re in the local area they’re definitely worth a visit. Their other baked goods (even the excellent almond and egg croissant) range from middling to good but aren’t worth making a separate trip.

Sweet Belem Cake Boutique
35B New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW 2049
(02) 9572 6685


Frangos Charcoal Chicken – Petersham NSW Restaurant Review

Takeaway service at Frango’s is instantaneous. Stacks upon stacks of charcoaled chicken are on display in the window, ready to be cut into quarters, lathered with chilli sauce, and popped into foil-lined paper bags.

This review needs to be read in consideration of the following two facts:

  • Chicken was eaten after a huge meal at Fich at Petersham
  • Chicken travelled for around 40 minutes in the boot of my car as we then went to Hakiki’s before home.

With these caveats in mind, I still found the chicken at Frango’s disappointing. I have heard a lot of good things about Frango’s over the past few years, however never had an opportunity to try until now. My reference point for charcoal chicken in Sydney is El Jannah, compared to which Frango’s chicken is decidedly dry. Frango’s chicken has a light mushroomy taste, and what seemed to be a generous basting of chilli sauce turned out to be utterly inadequate – any sense of chilli flavour was difficult to find. I will admit to adding some Nando’s peri peri sauce at home, while my partner ate her chicken with some Pilpel garlic sauce.

Oddly enough Frango’s greek salad had red capsicum and celery inside. It was fine, nothing to write home about.

Frango’s is listed in a wide array of top-lists for charcoal chicken in Sydney, however I didn’t think Frango’s lived up to the hype. If I may be so bold, I would even say that when it comes to Portuguese chicken I have enjoyed chain restaurants Oporto, Nando’s, and Ogalo more. A bit of a let down.


Frango’s Charcoal Chicken
98 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW 2049
(02) 9560 2369

British Portuguese

FICH – Petersham NSW Restaurant Review

This was my first time ever eating in Petersham. I didn’t realise how close Vietnam was to Portugal.

The fish taco ($8) was not as good as I had expected. Online reviews that I had read before coming were overwhelmingly positive, however all mentioned that there was a sliver of fish skin within the taco to give the taco some cripsiness. Unfortunately this fish skin did not make an appearance in that taco that I had, which was basically just a piece of battered ling with some salsa and tartare sauce wrapped in a tortilla. While I must admit the taco was quite good, it was definitely not mindblowing, nor was it a standout in comparison to the rest of the meal. My meal was in fact quite battered ling heavy, and I would not recommend this taco if you’re also getting fish and chips, or a burger – it’s just not different enough.

Fich’s potato scallops (or potato cakes, depending on where you’re from) are $3 each and also much lauded. My colleague and I each enjoyed one, and they were indeed pretty good – formed to be much thicker than your classic potato scallop. I think my partner – a big fan of potato, oil, and salt – would like these, however as she does not like seafood I don’t think there’s much else on the menu that would suit her palate.

The fich popcorn ($16), little pieces of fish battered, fried, and coated in maple and sriracha sauce were not bad. The mouthfeel was quite similar to popcorn chicken, and it would’ve even been a bit hard to tell that they were fish at all ( at least while they were still hot). The sauce was only a bit too flavourful, but tolerable. I wonder if I could sneak this past my girlfriend as “chicken”.

The double fich burger with fries ($25) was a large and expensive endeavour. The taste and construction of the burger was basically as a big mac but with thick battered ling fish patties instead of beef. The fries, often described online as some of the best in Sydney, were good but unfortunately did not live up to the hype (I actually think those at Kepos St Kitchen are better, and that’s just out of the chips I have had recently.)

FICH. Not bad. Quite expensive. Apparently Portuguese for “file”. Don’t know why they’d call it that then. 3.5/5.

Fich at Petersham
3/98-106 Audley St, Petersham NSW 2049
(02) 9572 7887