Categories
Café Modern Australian

The Potting Shed at Grounds of Alexandria – Alexandria NSW Restaurant Review

I’ve never really liked Grounds of Alexandria. While the sunny garden environment and the petting zoo is nice, I’ve always found that the actual food offered is overpriced and disappointing. This was again true during my latest visit, this time to The Potting Shed, one of the mini-restaurants within the complex.

Potting Shed – Steamed Buns with tempura oyster

I did not enjoy the steamed buns ($17-19 for 3). This was an open bao with a filling of tempura oyster, slaw, and sauce. What could have been great was truly disappointing. I thought that the tempura batter was too bready, and took the limelight that the oyster should have had. The oysters themselves were tiny and unflavourful – what you see in the images is mostly batter. I truly enjoyed some battered oysters on Miyajima Island in Japan, but also from local joint Kibuna in Mascot. These Potting Shed oysters were awful in comparison and not at all what I expected. The filling to bread ratio was ultimately inadequate, with much bun left over after the tasty bits were done. Truly a dish to be avoided – and looking at their online menu the evening of our meal – it’s not there any more.

Potting Shed – Duck Sausages

The Potting Shed Duck Sausages with colcannon mash, burnt onion, glazed carrot and thyme gravy ($29) started strong but it didn’t last. They were much more flavourful than the oyster bao that preceded them, but ended up far too flavourful. The salt really hit me in the sausages, to the point where towards the end of the meal I started wondering why I had the finish these expensive sausages and just stopped. If the sausages weren’t so salty they would’ve been good. The mash was buttery and smooth, and I enjoyed the fried greens (I believe they were kale). Ultimately the absolute saltiness of the dish ruined it. Avoid if you’re watching your blood pressure.

Potting Shed – Seared Mooloolaba Swordfish Loin

The Seared Mooloolaba Swordfish Loin with pickled mushroom, tarragon and cauliflower veloute with buttered and pickled white asparagus ($32) was actually quite good. A mild flavoured fish dish which was the highlight of the meal. My partner didn’t like that the fish was a bit tough, but I thought that it was probably just the right texture for swordfish, and gave it a steaklike texture. The buttery sauce was nice and mild, and I also enjoyed the large and thick white asparagus. Yum.

Potting Shed – Chips with tomato jam and aioli

I wasn’t about to complain about the Chips with tomato jam and aioli ($8) until I saw that it was called. What is the difference between tomato jam and tomato sauce, apart from a few dollars in price? The chips were actually quite good, and looking at the bits of skin left on the edges, cut straight from the potato. A sleeper hit.

Macaw

The other star of the show was this Macaw (uncooked). She was beautiful and well natured.

Overall brunch at the Potting Shed was a big disappointment. We spent just under $100 for the above meal and two coffees. Money (and sodium!) that could’ve better been spent elsewhere.

The Potting Shed, The Grounds of Alexandria
41/43 Bourke Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9699 2225

The Potting Shed Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Café Middle Eastern

Kelby’s Cafe – Marrickville NSW Restaurant Review

Colby is the name of one of my two favourite cats in the whole world, and I’m sad that I wasn’t able to bring him with me to Kelby’s Cafe. I have, in fact, never taken Colby with me to a single cafe or restaurant in his entire little life, but I’m sure that he would love running around and stealing everyone’s food.

I’m not usually a fan of shakshuka, but I was surprised to find just how much I liked Kelby’s Kibbeh Shakshoukah. The crunchy Lebanese bread was deliciously light and crispy. The shakshouka was meaty and tasty. The Lebanese stringed halloumi was something I had never had before, and an interesting spin on what is usually just a salty squeaky block of cheese. The baked eggs, chickpeas, basil, and tomato base were all delicious. I liked this dish so much I was hesitant to share it with my partner.

Klassic beef burger with side of chips

Kelby’s Klassic beef burger is one K away from a cult name, but many more Ks away from cult worthiness. I won’t go too far into it, but basically the beef patty was thick but not juicy, and not tasty either. While seasoned readers of this blog will know that I often complain about too much seasoning, this particular burger had very little taste at all. Coupled with the quite frankly weird dark, floppy and oil drenched chips this was not the pick of the day.

Of note for the hydration fans out there, water was a fill-your-own bottle affair from the chilled filter tap.

Would I come back? Maybe – but probably only if I’m already 90% pho by volume and Kurumac is closed. Would I recommend it? Yes – especially while the shakshuka is still on the menu.

4/5

Kelby's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
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

Categories
Brazilian

Brazilian Flame Barbecue – Zetland NSW Restaurant Review

Though there are many meats that I have tasted and loved in my lifetime, I had not, until today, ever had Brazilian barbeque. I found my way to Flame Brazilian BBQ after picking up a cake from nearby Black Star, and having read some quite good reviews on google.com decided why not.

Brazilian Flame offers five types of meat in various formats – on chips, on salad, in a roll, with some rice. The meats available are as follows:
– Pork
– Beef
– Lamb
– Chicken
– Chorizo
I had read great reviews about the chips from some chip fanatic on Google (he called them dangerous) and decided stupidly that it would be safer to get two lots with chips than to get some with salad (mostly as I did not know how to order the salad).

I had the BBQ meat snack packs of chicken and lamb on chips and beef and pork on chips. I can rate the order of meat enjoyment in the order of :

  1. Chicken
  2. Pork
  3. Beef
  4. Lamb

All meats but the lamb were quite moist and juicy. The chicken was the best. The pork was fully cooked through, but the fat and skin content were still there. The beef was in between medium and well done. The lamb was a bit dry. I had to give chorizo a pass but would risk it over the known quantity of lamb or beef next time.

Eating at peak period for Sunday lunch meant that the meat was always freshly roasted and constantly turned over. Wait time was a mere five minutes.

The quality of the chips were overstated. Admittedly they were eaten following a ten minute commute, but really good chips can usually withstand such a short amount of time. These did not.

The smoked sauce on top was just fine, there could have been more of it.

We only managed to finish around half the chips and meat between, so for $16 there’s a lot of food packed into these boxes.

Final thoughts

Not bad not good, should’ve had salad. Very cheap though.

3.5/5

Brazilian Flame
565 Botany Rd, Zetland NSW 2017
(02) 9167 3994

Categories
Café Middle Eastern

Kepos Street Kitchen – Redfern NSW Cafe Review

Kepos Street Kitchen came highly recommended by a vegetarian colleague of ours. Naturally we went without him to share a meat-heavy meal before a swing at nearby Moore Park.

The Charred broccolini salad, shredded chicken, coarse burghul, herbs ($18) was delicious. As a group we are not the biggest fans of salad, but all members of our party ended up enjoying it. There is a surprisingly generous amount of chicken tucked in with all the greens and grains.

The Burrata cheese, Persian eggplant, pine nuts, volcanic salt ($22) was pretty good. The cheese was firm on the outside and less firm on the inside, as expected. The real star of this dish was the crusty, freshly toasted bread. Delicious.

The Grilled prawns, chermoula, grilled lemon ($27) came with five prawns. The prawns were quite large and tasty, and the lemon was too (though I was tricked by a colleague into an entire quarter of the lemon pictured in one mouthful by itself). I’m still trying to come to terms with paying $5.40 per prawn though.

Kepos meatball sub, coriander paste, grated haloumi, ciabatta ($18) was very good. Plenty of meat and red sauce on crusty warm bread. Very yum and a good serving of meat. A strong recommendation for this one.

The Arayes pita of wagyu mince seasoned with parsley, onion, olive oil, cumin and paprika, chili tomato salad, tahini, pita ($18) started off good, however quickly we found it to be too flavourful and too saucy. You will recognise this complaint of “too tasty” from many of my reviews, and in this case you can rest assured that this was a view that was held by the majority of our group. I would not recommend Kepos Street Kitchen’s Arayes pita.

Pictured here is a half serve of chips, which were provided complimentary as they had forgotten to make our chips. Even this half serving was quite a lot of chips. The chips were fresh and fluffy on the inside, with a cripsy exterior. They may just be the best hot chips I’ve had in a long long time. There’s definitely something special going on, owing perhaps to a proprietary cooking method. At $7 (for twice the chips listed) I would give them a go.

Overall

Pretty much everything we had hit the spot. I can recommend.

5/5

Kepos Street Kitchen
96 Kepos St, Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9319 3919