The Tin Shed – Nowra NSW Restaurant Review

This motel cafe about 150 metres from where I’ve been living in Nowra advertises itself as Nowra’s best bacon and egg roll, and after finally trying it on one of my last weeks in town I’m liable to agree, having never even had any of the other bacon and eggs around. Finding the actual cafe within the motel complex was a little difficult to start, and I almost walked into not one but two motel rooms with people actively making their beds or packing their suitcases before I was able to locate the café.

It was staffed by one single dude, which I guess is fair given they’re not really that busy – but it was one guy taking the orders, cooking, making the coffee, and answering the phone which meant that my post-nights haze was a bit more prolonged then I would’ve liked, sitting at their single table and waiting.

Luckily for both me and them, their Rocking Bacon and Egg Roll ($15.50) was seriously good. I honestly did not expect how good it was, and was blown away when I first bit into it. The bread is crispy (as my left posterior and inferior gum will tell you) and oily and deliciously toasted. The flavours are interesting far beyond your average B&E, with such an unexpected tanginess from the roasted pickles, the umami from the balsamic mushrooms, as well as the unusual strangeness from the use of melted camembert as opposed to just regular cheese. The egg was perfectly easy and runny, and the barbecue sauce well applied to flavour but not overwhelm. Each bite was actually extraordinary, and I realise now that I lie. I have in fact had another B&E roll in Nowra, and this is the better one by far.

UPDATE On my second visit to Tin Shed, only a fortnight later, the roll had changed. The bread was different, thicker, not as mouth-cutting, not as oily, and generally less good. This also threw off the filling to bread ratio, which was in perfect balance previously. I don’t know why they would have done this. Maybe they simply ran out of their usual bread.

VERDICT: Definitely worth a try. Call ahead to order so you’re not left waiting. I don’t know how to avoid getting the second kind of roll. Maybe show them this post and ask for the good one not the bad one?

The Tin Shed Cafe
9 Pleasant Way, Nowra NSW 2541
0409 992 109

Café Vietnamese

Coffee Embassy – Northmead NSW Cafe Review

The purpose of an embassy, if I understand correctly, its to put one’s best foot forward to foster communication and co-operation between parties. Unfortunately for coffee, its Northmead-based embassy does not quite cut the mustard.

Coffee Embassy’s chosen ambassador is their “famous” bacon and egg roll with housemade tomato relish ($8). Though proclaimed to be Northmead’s best on posters on the cafe’s structural poles, I found this bacon and egg roll to be very lacking. Though my first experience with this B&E in 2019 was actually quite positive, it all changed when I visited again in 2021. The 2021 iteration was overall quite a dry roll, with both the bread and bacon lacking any significant amount of moisture. The bacon was unusually hard, difficult to bite, chew, or enjoy. Though it’s Coffee Embassy’s signature dish, I though this roll was one of the worst I’ve ever had.

Moving on from the bacon and egg , we will now discuss this crispy pork banh mi ($8). Though I remember enjoying Coffee Embassy’s pork rolls when I first started eating there in 2019, I have, in recent times, grown accustomed to the excellent quality of crispy pork belly rolls at Hong Ha, Marrickville Pork Roll, and in the rest of the Eastern Suburbs. My most recent trips to Coffee Embassy have instead been met with grief. Coffee Embassy’s pork is drier, colder, and leaner than I had expected, a far cry from the standard crackling pork belly rolls you might get elsewhere. Furthermore, the promised crispiness was not locatable. Not great.

I don’t know if Coffee Embassy has become markedly worse over the last few years, or if my tastes have just evolved and become more refined. Either way I’m glad that though they are an embassy they are not representative of banh mi as a whole. If you’re already in Northmead, Xcel Roll’s Parramatta store is not that far away.

Coffee Embassy
33/1-3 Kleins Rd, Northmead NSW 2152
(02) 9613 3634


That Katsu Guy – Manly Vale NSW Restaurant Review

The first thing that I noticed on my trip to That Katsu Guy’s market stall at Wentworth Point two weekends ago was that, contrary to my expectations, That Katsu Guy wasn’t one Japanese guy cooking katsu. It was actually just a local Aussie guy and his wife, and while in most situations that would normally be a red flag, it was absolutely not a problem in this circumstance. Reid and Prema Green cook up absolutely delicious, authentic, and innovative Japanese dishes from within the confines of a moveable market stall, so good that they have attracted the nod from celebrated local Japanese chefs like Yuta Nakamura of Gold Class Daruma.

Veteran readers of this blog will know that I went through a big bacon and egg roll phase back in 2020, and That Katsu Guy’s breakfast sando ($11) can kick it with the best. Sandwiched between two layers of soft shokupan is a panko-coated and deep fried combination of a soft and gooey egg, cheese, and bacon. This katsu “patty” is then sauced with a balanced amount of a combination of tonkatsu sauce and mayonnaise and served to the hungry customer. Katsu bacon and egg is not something I’ve had before, and I think is a good fusion of Western and Japanese cuisines.

Also part of our lunch was this Kakuni Pork Belly Kushikatsu ($8), a braised pork belly that was coated in panko and deep fried and skewered. The meat had a great melt-in-the-mouth quality, and again saucing was used conservatively and appropriately. Great.

My only regret is not having more of their food, but having waited quite a while for the first set of food in the midday sun I didn’t feel like going for a second round. Next time.

That Katsu Guy
C15/1 Campbell Parade, Manly Vale NSW 2093
0405 092 872

And various market stalls across Sydney


Piccolo Me – North Rocks NSW Restaurant Review

All things considered, Piccolo Me is home to some pretty tasty, pretty cheap food.

The North Rocks Smash ($19) is a full featured smashed avocado plate consisting of smashed avocado on toast, rolls of smoked salmon, two poached eggs, and some tomato and herby stuff. All elements are good, including the runny yolks inside the poached eggs. At $19 it makes for a pretty reasonable value proposition. Just don’t add a beef patty for $5 like me and then wait fifteen minutes before digging into it.

The Hangover Roll ($10) is a great bacon, egg, and hashbrown roll at a great price. It hits just right, and it hits with the best.

The Piggie Smalls Wrap ($12) is very similar to the Hangover Roll, but in wrap form. I’m not too sure what the difference is, actually, but assume there must be one. Also good.

The Hen Solo Wrap ($12), unfortunately not pictured, is a nice chicken wrap that is jam packed with grilled chicken and enough sauce and tomato to maintain the moistness. I can also recommend.

The Pablo Escobowl salad ($15.90) is, like many of Piccolo Me’s other dishes, a meat forward meal. The pulled pork was absolutely excellent, with good moistness and a slightly sweet and slightly tangy marinade. Maybe it’s the fact that I hadn’t eaten for 24 hours before this meal, but my first taste of it sent me straight to heaven. The other salad components were fine but nothing to write home about, the smashed avocado being the secondary breadwinner of the dish. I opted for some extra Moroccan chicken ($4) in my “salad”, which unfortunately ended up a bit dry for my liking. A good bowl.

Piccolo Me North Rocks
6/213 N Rocks Rd, North Rocks NSW 2151
0468 617 337


Two Fives – Rosebery NSW Café Review

We’ve eaten at Two Fives both in person and via delivery services.

This grilled chicken salad with Lebanese bread was not exciting. Very healthy. Wouldn’t recommend.

I really really loved the pea, smoked salmon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce thing. I can’t find it on their menu any more, but I would really recommend it if you see it on their specials board.

The mint coffee was good, the iced latte was pretty standard.

Two Fives’ I Stand Carroted ($21) is basically carrot cake pancakes drowned in mascarpone (however I don’t know how submerged they would be if eaten in person). I didn’t care for it much but my partner liked it.

We enjoy the Crispy Bird ($14), a chicken schnitzel sandwich with Tomato, Cheddar Cheese, Lime Garlic Mayo & Lettuce.

The cure ($16), a breakfast burger/sandwich with a hearty helping of bacon, 2 eggs, potato rosti, lettuce, tomato, and sauces is delicious. It is one of the best bacon and egg rolls in the area, helped by the fact that it is not merely a bacon and egg roll. I can recommend this one.

The Miss Maroubra ($14 – not pictured) is basically a ham sandwich but yummy.

While their sandwiches are very expensive, they’re absolutely jam packed with ingredients. I can recommend Two Fives.

Four out of fives.

Two Fives
355 Gardeners Rd, Rosebery NSW 2018
+61 (02) 9669 1611